February 20, 2009

Tina Chase

Written by Dena Evans
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Tina hails from Amesbury, a small town in England near Salisbury and Stonehenge.  From an all-girls high school, she went on to St. Hilda’s College at University of Oxford, where she studied metallurgy and material science.  After graduation, she got into programming, and eventually came to the United States in 1985. Tina now works for Wells Fargo in San Francisco, in a division that manages small business credit.  She’s married to a husband who runs, and enjoys hanging out on Ocean Beach with her English chocolate Lab, who doesn’t.  On Superbowl Sunday, she used her home field advantage well, finishing the Kaiser Half-Marathon in 1:32:45, her fastest Half in seven years and quick enough for fifth place age group honors.

1.    How did you start running?
I wasn’t a runner until I met my husband, but have been running since 1991. He’s from Chicago, and we met in England for work.  He was a high school hurdler and my boss was a big marathon runner, so he and my husband put together a half-marathon training program for a few people in the office.  From that I took third in a 10k and won 10 pounds….took everyone out for a drink.  I find running relaxing, if you’re in meetings all day, it is just nice to get out and run.  I also mixed in ten years of triathlon, including two years in Australia, during which I did the Australian Ironman after winning a health club membership for an indoor triathlon (swim laps, stationary bike, treadmill) for time. When I came back here in 1998, I couldn’t fit in all the triathlon training and went back to running.

2.    Who is your running role model?
Ann Thilges.  She does two Ironman Triathlons a year.  She quit her job to learn physiology and now teaches at San Francisco State.  She is a great role model when it comes to being focused and reading up in advance, doing all the research.  She also had the guts to quit her job to do something she loves.

3.    What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?
The New York Marathon because of the crowds.  When you come off the Queensborough Bridge, the crowds are absolutely unbelievable.  It is so well organized as well.  Secondly, the Australian Ironman.  I trained two years for it as the first year, I got a stress fracture six weeks before the race. It was devastating, but all things seem to happen for a reason.  I realized I needed to get my training life in perspective. The next time it was a lot more fun.

Also, the Nike Women’s Marathon.  The downhills crushed my legs.  That was probably the hardest marathon I have ever run.  Additionally as I mentioned at the Sports Basement (ed note: Tina was a panelist at the FNF 2.0 launch event), the Chicago Marathon in 2006 where I did a PR (3:23).  It was all the sweeter because I had been traveling a lot for work and had come back from a scary episode related to anemia.  I had no pain the whole time.

4.    What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

I enjoy the training plans, the variety, the fact that it is based on how you did in your last race so you are training at the level you should be.  I train pretty much on my own, but because there is so much variety, I never get bored.  I’ve had coaches before, but the efficiency….I’m doing less, but achieving more.

5.    What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?
One thing I do is I generally have pizza and a glass a wine the night before.  If it is a marathon I have steak and a few glasses of wine after.  In the morning I usually have oatmeal, but I don’t do anything too crazy.

6.    What is your favorite place to go for a run?
I live on the edge of Golden Gate Park, so through the park and along Ocean Beach.  It is really nice to come out of the park and feel the energy from the ocean.

7.    In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?
As a lark, I applied to do Alcatraz (Triathlon), and got in.  I’d also like to get in the NIKE Women’s Marathon, and since I took second in my age group last year, I’d like to win this time. Next year, I turn 50, so I am paying attention to times this year as I look forward to a new age group.  For some reason, my times seem to be getting better with age.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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