OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — You might keep up for a little while, maybe a mile or two depending on how fit you think you are.
But if you want to keep up with Gia Madole you’ll need to pick up the pace and the mileage.
She runs 100 miles of wooded trails around the Oklahoma City metro ever week.
“It’s another challenge,” she says. Another test to see how far you can go and what you can do with yourself.”
A visit to the Lighthouse Fitness Center where she trains and works out asks, “Some people are blessed with strength, other quickness. Are you one of those people who can just go and go?”
“Go forever,” she queries with a smile? “Yeah. That’s me.”
When she’s not training other athletes inside the gym she’s working on her core muscles (stomach and back) with an exercise ball or just doing bicycles on a mat.
She teaches boot camps early in the morning. Throw in hundreds of power squats and you’re approaching her daily regimen for ultra-marathon training.
“Some runners only run,’ she cautions. “I thing that’s where you get more injuries because you’re only running and not training your whole body to be fit.”
She played some sports at Bishop McGuinness High School.
She jumped horses for a while.
It’s only been a year-and-a-half since she took up running competitively.
The switch was a good one.
She discovered a talent for endurance races.
So far in 2014 Madole has run in two separate 100 mile races, one 50 mile race, and a 50 kilometer race.
The biggest test, though, comes in September.
She is the only Oklahoma athlete invited to a first ever challenge, a 200 mile race around Lake Tahoe.
“You just have to get it in your head that you’re going to do it,” she says. “You train for it. Get your body ready, and just mentally go for it.”
Race organizers told Gia to expect 40,000 feet of elevation change on the race course trail.
That’s why she added one more facet to her workout routine.
A couple of times a week she runs up and down a stairwell at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.
She and a partner run up and down ten times.
They go outside to run a few miles.
Then they go back and run the stairs ten more times.
There aren’t any mountains in central Oklahoma high enough to run on, but that hasn’t stopped her.
No one, not even Gia herself, is really certain what her limits are yet.
A race around Lake Tahoe is just the latest challenge.
There are 75 runners invited to participate in this inaugural race.
Madole is hoping to finish the course within 60 hours.