Canadian marathoner, american criminal appeal lawyer, record holder, burger connoisseur and lover of beer... sometime a bit of a jerk

Comments: 153 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

blood_bender20 karma

First, you're such a hero to so many of us. You represent the best of what this sport should be, from your raw athleticism, competitiveness, poise on and off the track, the fact that you embrace the amateur side of the sport by still practicing law, and really you're just very likable. I've said many times to this community that I love your instagram because it's one of the few elite IGs that we get to see your personality.

(ok blood_bender, bring it down a notch, jeez, act cool)

Ok I have like a bajillion questions but here's my top 4 (feel free to skip any of these -- I'm sure this community will come up with many more better questions):

  1. You're the first athlete (that I know of) that might be aware I've profiled them on /r/AdvancedRunning. I'm nervous to even ask, but if you happened to have read it, did I get anything wrong / that you want to clarify?

  2. Has stabbing yourself with a safety pin to get rid of a cramp ever worked or was that just a spur of the moment thing in Moscow? Also, what?!

  3. (asking the real questions here) What's your favorite beer?

  4. What's your favorite running memory?

LJM525224 karma

Firstly, thanks for your kind comments.
1) From what I saw the info was accurate... which is awesome because there are times things get lost in translation 2) Ha! No! It has never worked, though I have heard of cyclists "pricking" themselves to fix something. Dude, desperate times call for desperate measures and I was desperate to do whatever I could to cross that finish line. Some girl in the race handed me the pin and made a stabbing motion... so I did exactly that. 3) Bone Shaker by Amsterdam Brewery is my go to when I'm home in Ontario. 4) I have two - Seeing my family after running at Pan Ams in Toronto Seeing a video of my niece running laps around the kitchen after I set the marathon record. As she ran she proclaimed "I'll be LaLa's record... watch this"

pand4duck17 karma

Hi Lanni

Thanks for doing this! Stoked to have you on reddit. Hope you come by AR sometime :)

  1. Whats your food of choice post race?

  2. If you could only run in one pair of shoes for the rest of your running career, what would they be?

  3. What is your dream vacation?

LJM525214 karma

Post "big" race I go for a burger and beer. If it a race that is just a train through or a mini "blip" then I'll still have my beer but try to pick something a bit closer to my normal dinner options

Oh geeze... right now I am in love with the Asics Dynaflytes

I have always wanted to go to Ireland

SHSrunner6 karma

What are your normal dinner options usually like?

LJM52529 karma

I eat a lot of asparagus... it's usually with every meal I have actually lol. Otherwise, I try to have red meat 1-2x a week and it's a lot of chicken and eggs otherwise with other veggies and quinoa

the_goldenpony14 karma

Hey Lanni! Fellow Canadian here...

First of all, gotta say you've been a huge inspiration for me to keep running and it was awesome to run past you (you lapping me haha) in the Scotia Bank Marathon back in 2015.

What's it like being a prominent Canadian athlete in the athletics world, how different is it compared to being American in the same shoes?

How do you go about juggling running with your work in the legal field?

If you're able to respond to me, thank-you! You're amazing and represent us Canadians extremely well. All the best in 2017.

LJM525211 karma

Thanks so much! How'd you enjoy the marathon in 2015?

It is actually still a bit weird to be a "prominent" Canadian athlete or considered that by some anyways. I just want to run fast and hard and represent Canada. It has been interesting to see how my American friends and training partners handle it. I think we all recognize the honour and responsibility it is to represent our countries.

I have a great law firm that lets me work from home/training location. It can be a bit hectic when a case is due and I am in a heavy week of training (usually because I have managed to procrastinate on something). I like schedules/plans and making lists to keep things moving forward

DJ_Glovehand14 karma

If you had to run a beer mile right now, what would be your choice of beer and expected time?

LJM525219 karma

Ohhhh... that's a good question. I love the hoppy beers but fear they'd be brutal to chug. I'd have to go with good ol' Canadian beer and hope to be around 7:30 - 8 min mark (marathon speed haha)

herumph12 karma

Hey Lanni! Thanks for doing an AMA.

1 - What do you think the biggest problem facing professional female runners is currently?

2 - What's your favorite type of burger post marathon?

Bonus question: The House of Run podcast has recently had talks about who the best trash talker in track could be. Have you had any experiences with other athletes trash talking you, jokingly or not, before or after a race?

LJM525215 karma

1 - I think we still have a lot of body image issues that plague our sport. Men deal with it too, but I believe girls are hit with pressures outside of sport as well that can make it incredibly difficult to see our bodies as equipment and fuel them appropriately.

2 - It depends on where I am... but it has to be one that can drip grease down your elbows while eating it

bonus - Oh, I have experienced my fair share of troll talk... but I have been fortunate to compete against some amazing ladies who have never said anything unpleasant.

Serious-Business12 karma

Lanni, thanks for representing the maple leaf so well over the years!

What do you think about when running a marathon? Are you focused on staying focused, or does your brain go on autopilot at times?

LJM525218 karma

I usu break the race down into 5km portions and focus on my goals each segment - how is my body feeling, what other ladies are around me, can I handle pressing the pace a bit. Towards the end of the 5km there is usually a fluid station that I gear up for and then it's back to the same 5km protocol

CatzerzMcGee12 karma

Thanks so much for doing this!

1 - What's your favorite/go to workout in prep for a marathon? One you can check against other times you've done it?

2 - What's your favorite quirky law you learned about in school?

3 - How do athletes get the governing bodies to change in terms of representation and transparency? What are realistic steps and what are "dream" steps you wish you could enact?

LJM525215 karma

1) It used to be 2*(8x800) w 200m jog between the 800s and 400m jog between sets. Now it's 18 miles at normal-moderate run pace and then directly into 4 miles at race pace or better. 2) I think I remember reading that more than 5 women (unrelated) living in one house is considered a brothel in Tennessee... don't quote me on that 3) We were fortunate to have a sport wide review this year where 120-140 different athletes, coaches, support staff etc., were able to state what they thought was done well and what wasn't. I have been pretty vocal over the years about standards being more equally and fairly set across disciplines within athletics, which does not always make me popular, but I hope shows other athletes that we can and should stand up for what we want to see in our sport. In reality, I believe a lot is being done to make things more transparent.

blood_bender9 karma

I have been pretty vocal over the years about standards being more equally and fairly set across disciplines within athletics, which does not always make me popular

Maybe not popular with Athletics Canada, but we think it's great!

LJM525211 karma

haha thanks!

snapundersteer6 karma

Thats monster. What effort do you do the 800s at?

LJM52529 karma

the first set is around marathon pace or slightly faster. The second set is half marathon pace to whatever I have left at the end

ryebrye12 karma

Lanni, I saw on your Instagram some posts of you doing what looked like some 3D gait analysis. (Unless you glue ping pong balls on your joints to run for fun on treadmills... Which would be a perfectly fine hobby - not judging at all)

Have you learned anything about your own running mechanics from doing such analysis and have you made any changes? Have things improved??

(There are some camps that believe that proper mechanics "just happen" when you run lots of long easy miles, while others believe that by adjusting your mechanics you can become more efficient - just curious what your experience has been with running mechanics)

LJM525216 karma

I have an affinity for ping pong balls

I actually have learned a lot about my stride pattern through using different analysis tools. I believe you should not mess with your natural stride too much, but there are things that can tweaked to make you more efficient and less injury prone. For the most part it's the lack of movement in my rib cage/mid back that we are trying to work on so that I can take some of the stress off of my hips.

Tweeeked12 karma

I also have a question from /u/bigdutch10, who is working at the moment and is unable to post:

First off congratulations on your Rio Performance, qualifying for two events is incredible. Also just wanted to say the way you handled Jeff Adams recent criticism was done with pure class. Athletics Canada set much tougher standards than the IAAF to qualify for World Championships in London next year. How do you handle this? Also best luck in the future

LJM525212 karma

Thanks so much for the support. It was frustrating to read the published standards and to have them released so close to our national championships. Mainly because we have some amazing talent coming up in the 2hr32 - 2hr35min range for women, and a lot of guys that are coming up as well, that could benefit from a slightly relaxed standard. I am hopeful that the current standards will be revisted

gwild0r11 karma

Lanni!. Huge fan. This may be a repetitive question,. How do you stay motivated? I fell apart in my last Marathon trying to push myself.

LJM525214 karma

In training it can be tough - I love running but I am not always in love with it - so I try to remind myself that I am choosing to do this and that despite how crappy one day's training might be, my goals are worth it.

For races, if things start going sideways I try to reset and re-evaluate what goals I can still salvage. I try to line up with an A B and C goal for a marathon since they can be really tricky beasts.

ForwardBound10 karma

Hi Lanni. I'm a big fan and so appreciative of all you do for the sport. We're lucky to have you leading the way. Thanks for everything!

My questions:

  1. When you were in law school, where did you see becoming a lawyer fitting into your life, and did that affect your balancing of training and studyign? Does the law call to you in the same way that running does? As a lawyer who runs, I have to say, I'd much rather be logging miles than contracts any day of the week.

  2. What races are you targeting in 2017? Are you going to favor the marathon over the track, or hit both pretty hard?

  3. I don't even know what kind of law you practice, actually. Are you in court a lot? What do your colleagues think of the fact that you're a world-class elite?

LJM525214 karma

Thanks for the props!

1) At the time, I thought lawyering would be my life. I didn't quite know how not to train and race, but it was something I was doing more as an outlet from studying. I found it made me a better student and then, after being admitted to the bar, a better lawyer. Now, at this level of running I find I need the law to remind me that there are bigger things to life than racing, federation politics, etc. I really do not know if I could ever pick one over the other.

2) I actually just met with my coach yesterday. We won't be focusing on a marathon for the Spring but will look at getting some strength and speed training in for some solid half marathons.

3) I primarily handle criminal appeals. I was in court a lot from 2011-2014 handling some family law cases and smaller criminal cases. Starting 2015 I hit the road to prep for my Rio qualifiers and was lucky to have a law firm that let me take my work on the road and handle more of the motions and appeals side of things. I actually love that it isn't a major deal at my firm. They are crazy supportive and proud, but I am still just Lanni when I'm working on a case.

ForwardBound6 karma

Criminal appeals, that's tough. Big things hanging in the balance there. That you work with those cases is so impressive to me--I'm glad you have such a great office willing to support you!

I love to hear that you'll be targeting the half. It's such an exciting distance. Best of luck!

LJM52528 karma

I like appeals... it's the long game (similar to a marathon in a way I guess)

allxxe10 karma

Hi Lanni! Thank you for representing Canada so well on the world stage - I met you briefly at the Ottawa 2015 race weekend and it was the highlight of the weekend.

I have a light hearted question for you... You elites, you're obviously much better runners then we are, but are you any better at "running math" then we are? Or does calculating splits/time/distance/etc all while running confuse you as much as it does us?

LJM525213 karma

Oh my goodness I am run math stupid on a good day. I know what I need to split for my 5km segments in a marathon but I am terrible at converting km pace to miles or visa versa and always have to use pace calculator to figure out workout targets

FlashArcher9 karma

As a burger connoisseur, what's the best burger you've ever had? Why are you sometimes a bit of a jerk? What did you do?

LJM525214 karma

Max & Erma's Garbage burger

I am pretty pragmatic and blunt... sometimes it rubs people the wrong way

Tweeeked9 karma

Hi Lanni,

Mike here - thanks again for doing this! I’m sure lots of people will ask questions about your training, so let’s go in a different direction:

You are all of a sudden president of Athletics Canada. What are your main priorities? Specifically, what is one thing you would implement for an immediate benefit to the sport and one thing you’d implement for a long term benefit to the sport?

Thanks again! If you ever make it over to Vancouver Island for a race I owe you a beer (which I hear you are a fan of).

LJM525210 karma

Whoa! I think I would first step down (Politics are not fun). In all seriousness, I think it would be best to have at least two people leading AC plus a strong connection to the Board of Directors and the National Teams Committee.

TrimHopp8 karma

Hi Lanni, thanks for the AMA.

Every runner follows certain rules when it comes to recovery or training, but is there something you feel is unique to yourself that you claim helps you in training?

I've heard everything from binge drinking to medical Marijuana to coconut water to 12 hours of sleep per day, etc. But was hoping you had something!

LJM525210 karma

I try to follow the standard recovery rules - eat within 30 mins, ice baths and foam roll etc (and of course after a really big workout there is usually a beer on ice waiting for me). I find it actually matters more what I eat and drink leading into the workout/race and what I take in during. Though it is not always possible for those of you who work/family full-time, I find that the 30-45 min before I head out for a hard effort is the most important time for me. I try to prop my feet up and turn my brain off before I head out for a hard effort. Also... always travel - even your work commute (I used to drive from White, Georgia to Chattanooga every day) in compression socks and with a small squash ball handy to put under your hip/hamstring

courtoftheknee8 karma

Lanni! Such a huge fan of yours :) what would you say to a municipal government who was wary of closing city streets for road races? I am always worried my favorite local events will be denied permits!

LJM525212 karma

That is an issue that road races do have to deal with... creating a strong relationship with the local governments to host the races we love. I can understand the arguments from the government side, but believe that the travel and tourism benefits outweigh the costs. I also think the other benefits to the local community are huge - promoting healthy and active lifestyles; a lot of road races benefit charitable organizations etc.

ryebrye8 karma

My phone often switches "running" to "rubbing" when I'm using the swipe keyboard. I am starting to think it does it on purpose. How does your phone subtly mock you and how do you reestablished dominance over it?

LJM525216 karma

Ahhhh... I have learned to change the auto correct on my phone so that it knows I do not mean "duck" ;P

RunRoarDinosaur8 karma

Hi Lanni! Thanks for doing this - it's really cool of you to answer our questions. I've got one legit one and one goofy one... and one accidental one that developed from the goofy one.

1 - What made you decide that you wanted to go pro and also continue competing at that level while also practicing law? Pursuing two careers seems really intense, and it's awesome that your firm is supportive!

2a - If you were a boxer, what song would you choose to play for your walk out there to get yourself (and the crowd) hyped up?

2b - Do you have any music you listen to before races to get you focused, or to distract you from nerves, or anything like that?

LJM52528 karma

1) I kinda stumbled into the whole "pro" running thing. I had that sneaky break out in 2012 at Rotterdam but then was injured through the summer. In Jan 2013 I ran the Houston Half and ran fairly close to my PB (PR for you 'mericans) at the time in some pretty junk conditions. I came back from that race realizing that I had to make a choice - I could let 2012 be my defining performance, run at a medium level and continue working full-time or I could find a way to pursue running and work. I sat down with my law firm that next day and we came up with the arrangement we have now and I have been chasing fast times ever since.

2) Oh... ummm ... Die another Day by Madonna haha

3) I listen to Dirty Radio's "ground shake" before most big runs and races. It's actually my race day alarm clock. I figure it's one of my favourite songs and puts me in a good mood... might as well wake up to it to start my day

Tweeeked5 karma

On the topic of music, I read the blog post in which you interspersed Metric into the writing. Have you seen them perform live? I still remember their great performance at Ottawa Blues Fest a while back!

LJM52527 karma

No I haven't... and that makes me insanely jealous of you

generictwit7 karma

Huge fan of yours :) Nearly broke my phone's data limit watching your Rio marathon run while in transit.

I always get asked this as I run a fair amount, so I am curious what an elite athlete would say: What kind of advice would you give to someone who's new to running? What's the best way to get started?

LJM525210 karma

I did that watching the 2014 NYCM lol

I try to tell people to be patient and not to freak out if they have some ups and downs... That's part of the ride. If they have never run before I try to introduce them to a learn to run program - I find it helps them stay motivated and eases them into it.

AisforAwesome7 karma

Lanni! I has been such a pleasure to watch your career and being able to see your profile grow among not only the running community but also as a voice for women in sport. So first of all, I want to say thank you for that.

My question though: What has been the most impactful interaction you have had with another runner? Has it had an influence on the reason or way you run now?


LJM52529 karma

No, thank you. It means a lot to me to hear that people support what it is I am trying to say/do.

I would have to say Des Linden and Diane Nukuri have been two of the most amazing runners I have ever met. Their grit and determination in training and racing is beyond measure and I work hard to channel them when I am suffering lol. Their approach to life, running and racing is refreshing to come across when I am on the road training and racing.

ryebrye7 karma

How conscious are you of your breathing pattern when running? I've read that 2:2 is most common, with 2:1 used to for temporary hard bursts...

But there's that guy over at runners world who is all gung-ho about 3:2 breathing being a good way to reduce injuries. Just curious if you've ever dabbled in 3:2 breathing.

(It's perfectly alright to say "never thought about it. I breath when I need to" - that's actually probably the "correct" answer)

LJM52526 karma

I actually do not pay a lot of attention to my breathing patterns/rate. I have been told by people who have trained and raced with me that they'll see me completely inflate my lungs and then breath out slowly mid-interval or race. I think it is a skating thing - we were always told to breathe in through our nose and out our mouth... that doesn't translate well into running

LivingBroke7 karma

What are your thoughts on the Queen?

LJM525214 karma

She reminds me of my grandma

Michael7326 karma

Do you ever run trails?

LJM525210 karma

Yes! I love trail runs and actually raced a lot of trail races in law school. Now, I have to be a bit more careful and will stick to dirt paths and roads as I get closer to my target races.

ryebrye6 karma

I read in an earlier reply that you are based in Toronto right now... Cool city, but man it gets cold there..

What's your strategy for doing long runs in an environment where the air is trying to kill you and turn you into a popsicle?

Is it hard to find 20+ Mile routes you can run where the sidewalks or road will be ice-free? (Do you ever log 20+ miles on a treadmill or in an indoor track.)

LJM52527 karma

Here in Toronto it is actually super to run outside as they clear the pathway along the lake shore regularly. I try to keep my longer mileage runs outside as I find the treadmill to be a bit boring and it actually aggravates my left leg/hip if I run on it for too long.

ryebrye6 karma

As someone who will never be sponsored by a brand, I've often wondered what it would be like to be effectively "married" to a shoemaker. I'm sure you loved Asics before they sponsored you and yours is a marriage full of love... But when you and the other elite athletes are in a quiet room and nobody is around to hear your secrets, have you ever heard someone admit to having a "wandering eye" towards another brand?

"I love my gel kayanos, but man what I wouldn't give to do a quick tempo run in some boosts right now!" (Not you of course, but... Have you heard of any other people ever be jealous of another sponsor's gear?)

LJM525213 karma

LOL. It is actually more like a very long courtship where you are wondering if they are going to ask you to marry them or just move in. Kidding...sort of. Shoe relationships can be interesting because, yes, we love the shoes we run in (sometimes it takes a period of learning to love), but the shoe companies can change or tweak a model and we have to adapt. Then, as we have seen with a few big runners in Canada this year, you can be let go from a company and be left trying to find a new partner on the rebound. It took me a while to find saucony's I liked back in 2012/13 and some time to switch into Asics after that. I do not enjoy the transition phase, so once I'm in a shoe I try not to look at my ex again

DukeVT5 karma

What's your favorite Courtroom experience?

LJM52527 karma

When my client asked if Lawyers were allowed to have blue in their hair

crazykilgore5 karma

Hi Lanni, what do you think of the Letsrun messageboards? Have you read posts about yourself on there, and if so, what did you think?

LJM52528 karma

I try not to read that stuff... some people will send me screen shots or tell me something they've seen. I think constructive discussion is important. That doesn't mean I believe it all has to be friendly and nice stuff said - there can be discourse and differing points of view.

EmmaT20145 karma

Hi Lanni!

Thanks for being such an outspoken advocate, feminist and role model. I sent you an email a while ago, and I was wondering if you have any time to chat? How do you get through a training rut when you don't enjoy running as much as you used to?

LJM525210 karma

Thanks for the support... it does mean a lot to me to hear from people who like what it is that I am trying to accomplish in our sport.

Email me again - I am heading to Kenya this weekend and will have a lot more time to chat.

Briefly, if I truly am not enjoying running I take a few days away from it. Yes, even in a heavy training program. I'll take a day or two completely off or cross-train depending on what it is about running that I am not in love with. If it is just because it's too hot or I am sick of the running loop, then I have to suck it up. But, if I truly feel a break is necessary, I take it. Even just telling myself that I am allowed to do that is usually enough for me to decide I don't actually want to miss a run. If it is just a case of the running blahs I message a friend or find a local running group that is going to meet up... running is meant to add to our lives and sometimes that means adding in some friends a long the way

The_Black_Polar_Bear5 karma

Heya Lanni, props for doing an AMA! It sounds like you've recently moved to Toronto, so that's pretty cool.

  1. Do you find it challenging settling into a new environment and keeping your training on track?

  2. Do you have a fave run spot in Toronto so far?

LJM52525 karma

Yes! I made the move here in November. I'll still have to leave for training camps but it was important to me to set up a better "home base".

I have been on the road for a lot of my career and find I adapt pretty well to a new training environment. For this move I found it incredibly easy. I had just run NYCM and was in a down phase from training anyways

I have been running with the Parkdale Roadrunners and have loved doing their different loops through the west end of the city

PerunThunderGod4 karma

Are you living in the USA when Trump is president?

LJM525211 karma

I'm actually based in Toronto right now but will still be in and out of the USA for work

FlashArcher4 karma

What do you think of Justin Trudeau?

LJM525210 karma

I'm excited to see where he can take our country

grah78304 karma

Hey Lanni,

So, kinda weird question, but what brought you out to start running with local TO crews recently -- PDRR and Academy?

LJM52526 karma

I have run solo for the most part since college, but have really been detached from any feeling of community since I moved to running at this level. I figured if I was going to move to Toronto I should do what I can to join the community. My world is mostly running, so running with the crews in town seemed like the perfect way to immerse myself into the local communities.

Thisisthechange4 karma

As somebody who ran high school track and cross country but is looking to run her first marathon, how would you recommend I get started-- is there a particular program you used when you first started?

LJM52526 karma

My coach and I actually used my 10 weeks to 10km program and just added in some extra mileage for my first one. I would suggest reaching out to some local run clubs or crews to see if there are a few people gearing up to train for the same marathon. There are also some great programs online. If you are still friendly with your high school coach he/she might be able to point you towards a local coach.