“I’m a senior in college that fell in love with running just last year.
But in Cinderella fashion and with the help from a lot of great friends,
I went from 2 miles to 26.2 miles in 10 months! I now can’t imagine my
life without running and hope to someday find a career revolving around
What got you interested in running?
I started working at an athletics store about two year ago. Being in
such a positive environment with so many athletes was nothing less than
motivating! Eventually I started running with our work group which
really solidified my passion for running.
Are you Vegan or Vegetarian? For how long? Why did you decide to give plant-based a try?
I’ve been a Vegetarian for almost 6 years, I started just after my
sister stopped eating meat. I originally changed my diet out of
compassion for animals. And while that cause is still very dear to me, I
now find more value in supporting a meatless diet from an environmental
standpoint. Every day there are things I feel I’m responsible for doing
to keep the world working well, this diet is just another great way to
What keeps you motivated?
I think accomplishments in general are very motivating for me, which
running is all about. I can talk to 50 runners and they will all be
training or working towards different things! Whether that’s finishing a
race, reaching a speed, or just staying fit, the passion other runners
have to meet their goals keeps me going. Right now I’m training for my second marathon and using Nike+
group challenges to keep me focused along the way. I’ve never felt more
confident in my running!
Do you have a favorite race length?
If you could run with anyone (living/dead), who would it be?
Is saying Pre a cliche? I find it inspiring that he he was able to
compete at such an amazing level, while maintaining one of the best
mustaches known to man.
Aside from him, I already run with the best people I could imagine.
Twice a week at Nike Portland I get to run with people from so many
different background, but we get out to run anyway and kill it every
time. While our experience levels vary, our excitement level is at a
constant degree of awesome unlike anything else I’ve witnessed. If you’re
in the area and want to join, we meet Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30!
What is your all-time favorite race? Why?
I’d have to say any full Iron Man out of pure admiration. I hope to
complete one myself by the time I’m 30. It takes athleticism,
dedication, and a passion for healthy living to this outrageous level
that I currently can’t even imagine.
Do you have a favorite pre-race food?
Yes, that would be just about anything with peanut butter on it (even if that anything is just a spoon).
Post-race food is something I have perfected as a runner and as an
amateur cook. It often boils down to either a taco salad, a baked pasta,
or if my boyfriend is around to work the kitchen, a homemade pizza! The
trend here being carbs and cheese, can’t run without them!
What piece of running gear could you not possibly live without?
I’m in love with running tights! That might be a vanity thing though.
Something about seeing my long legs in action probably gets to my head a
little more than it should.
What do you tell yourself when you are struggling?
I once heard a great piece of running advice that goes: Always stay present
I can’t help it if I’m injured, sick, or just plain feel sluggish. So I
put those things behind me and think about what I can do in that very
moment, to make my run the best it can be. If mile one wipes me out,
focus on mile 2, focus on what I can control.
Do you have any current goals? Races?
I’m signed up for the Timberline Marathon in Oregon at the end of May.
I’m taking it easy though, as I want to PR by 10 minutes in July when I
run the Eugene Marathon!
What advice would you give to someone who’s new to running?
Find other people to run with. I swear to anyone who reads this that if
you do a little Googling you can find a group in your area to run with.
Having people to motivate me and keep me accountable has allowed me to
move more than I ever thought I could!
If you don’t like running in groups (although it’s my biggest “don’t
knock it ’til you try it”), then join an online running community. You
can still share miles, times, recipes, advice, and even make some great
Where can we find you online?
You can learn more about me and my running adventures at phillipmatos.com. My Instagram username is phillipmatos, that’s where I upload my best
running photos. Although don’t be surprised if you see a surplus of
shots from my running club! #Werunpdx
If you have a question for Phillip, or just want to show him some love, leave a comment below!
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