WomenRunningTogether chatted with Sabra about her running, being a grandmother, keeping a low profile and not setting limits.
Sabra Harvey, Age 60.
Married to Bill with two sons and one granddaughter.
Lives in Houston, Texas.
Graphic designer (very part time).
Running club - Houston Striders.
Road Runner of the Year
2009 USATF National Outdoor Track & Field W60 Champion:
800, 1500 & 5000m
W60 Records (Pending):
8K Road - 32:10 (World Record)
5K Road - 19:12 (World Record)
1 Mile Road - 5:44 (American Record)
800m - 2:34.66 (World Record)
1500m - 5:22.50 (American Record)
WRT: How did you get into running?
WRT: So running came pretty easy?
WRT: When did you decide to step it up?
Sabra Harvey: In 2004 we moved to Houston and I started looking around for clubs. I stumbled across a clinic that the Houston Area Road Runners sponsored.
It was for beginners and experienced runners. I met my coach, UK runner Karen Bowler, and runners from my club, Houston Striders.
Sabra Harvey: Very excited and supportive even though they know my approach is low key. My 83-year-old mom wants copy of any press. I sent mom and my sister a link to the video of my race at Nationals.
WRT: Are you still coached by Karen?
Sabra Harvey: I'm on my own now, using what Karen's taught me to move forward with my running journey. I still call Karen "coach" and she's my "go-to" resource. We do a one-hour core session each week and run together if our schedules allow.
But I mostly train on my own. People all have different schedules and different goals for their training, and it's not easy to find a like-minded training partner.
Sabra Harvey: I run on a low mileage base, around 35-40 miles, six days a week. I do one speed session and one hill or strength workout a week. I follow the hard easy rule. My long run is typically 8-10 miles.
Also, I fit in one weight session, one swim session and core work three times a week. I stretch after every run and get a massage when I can afford it.
Sabra's record road 5K run, April 09.
WRT: Are you a morning or evening runner?
WRT: You raced at both the USATF National Masters Champs and the National Senior Games this year, how did these compare?
People were very enthusiastic and the atmosphere was good. Stanford was a great venue. The extra things were nice: the food and merchandise vendors and the picnic area. It was convenient and created a feeling of community.
Oshkosh offered a great venue for Nationals too. Besides the number of athletes, one of the main differences I saw was what I would call competitive details.
At Senior Games, the road races were not quite what you would expect for a national event...no chip timing, sloppy start, course probably not quite accurate. Nationals was very good with those details for the events I did there.
WRT: At the National Senior Games you ran on the road, no track.
This year they opened up registration at the last minute to anyone who'd participated locally in many events, so it seems qualifying is a moot point. What it amounts to really is a declaration to participate, not qualifying.
WRT: Do you prefer road racing?
WRT: It was a long season with two National Champs so close together. Were you looking forward to a rest?
Sabra with granddaughter Samantha.
Sabra Harvey: I have the USA Masters 5k National Championship in October, then cross country for the rest of 2009. Plans for 2010 are still very preliminary. Travel and hotels are expensive, so this influences how many races I do.
WRT: Would you think about racing indoors?
Sabra Harvey: Not really. We have great weather in Houston in winter and spring. I like doing the road circuit.
WRT: Houston is known for its running community.
Sabra Harvey: Yes, we have lots of clubs to choose from and there are many marathon training programs that are well attended. The park where I train is full of half and marathon training groups.
WRT: Have you considered running a marathon?
WRT: Have you had any serious injuries?
Running at 60
Sabra Harvey:WRT: So you didn't put on any weight with menopause?
Go For It
WRT: What would you say to encourage women to take up running and racing?