MEMBER: Lucia Sanchez

Name: Lucia Sanchez
Hometown: Newtown, PA
High School: Mount Saint Joseph Academy
College: University of Notre Dame
Occupation: Clinical Research Coordinator (but, soon to be a 1st-year medical student!)

Personal Bests
1600m: 5:37
Road 5k: 20:23
Road 10k: 43:28
Marathon: 3:26


By: Kevin Brandon (03/08/19)

Lucia, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! I’m from Bucks County, which is about 45 minutes outside of the city. Growing up, I tried a variety of sports and activities, but I devoted most of my time to dance. I danced competitively from the ages of 4 to 18. I didn’t start running until sophomore year of high school! I attended an all-girls high school where I ran on the cross country and track teams and then went to Notre Dame for college. I had an incredible experience at ND, but after graduation I was ready to head back to the east coast. I landed a job as a clinical research coordinator at CHOP and then moved into the city! I was looking for a running group that was competitive and young and that is exactly what PRTC offers. I was definitely nervous at first since I was not a collegiate runner and have been running on my own for the past 4 years, but it is so great to have a team to work out and hangout with again!

When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?

I had my first go at running in 1st grade when my older brother joined the track team and my mom decided it was easier to take us to the same after school sport. My elementary school running career was short-lived after 6-year old me ran in the 4x100 relay and handed the baton to the wrong team! Luckily, I found running again the summer prior to my sophomore year of high school. I started going to the gym with my mom and running on the treadmill. Once I was able to run 4 miles continuously, I decided to join my high schools cross-country team that fall. It was the best decision I have ever made. I found so much through running; I could not imagine my life without it!

Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.

In the beginning, I struggled to adjust to the demands running put on my body because I continued dancing while running cross-country and track.  I would go from school to XC practice to ballet for 2-3 hours to home around 8/9pm. Eventually, it all caught up to me and I found myself with iron deficiency anemia and a major lack of energy throughout most of my junior year season. After learning how to properly fuel my body for all the activity I was doing, I had a great senior year season. I PR’d in the mile, ran in the 4x8 at new balance nationals, and our team won our XC league championship.  In college, I trained on my own, taking on more mileage. I had some college friends who asked if I wanted to run the Chicago marathon with them and that is how I became a marathoner! I have since run two more Chicago marathons and am looking forward to (hopefully) running Boston in 2020!

What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Chicago marathon this fall was very memorable! I found out the women’s standard changed to 3:30 a few weeks before the race. I knew I was prepared to run under 3:35, but was nervous about making the new cut off time (especially after running 3:35:14 in 2016). Despite not ideal racing conditions, I ran it in 3:26!

How about a not-so-great moment?

Oh boy, definitely my first marathon. I injured my sacroiliac joint a month prior to the race. On race day, my SI joint was not completely recovered, but there was no way I was backing out after all the training I’d done throughout the summer. I threw on some KT-tape, loaded up on Advil and started the race. Things went GREAT until mile 19/20 when the Advil wore off and I realized my SI joint was indeed still injured. On top of that, I had severe muscle cramping due to poor nutrition during the race. I somehow crossed the finish line, but it was one of the most painful experiences. To this day, my friends and family still talk about how pale/sick/confused I looked after the race, describing me as a “limping ghost.”

Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?

I am excited to work on my speed. I hope to break 20 minutes in the 5k and eventually run 1:30 in the half. I would love to drop my marathon time down more! I’ve run three marathons and improved by 10 minutes each time, so I know I have the potential for more PR’s. Otherwise, I’d like to stay healthy and keep running as long as possible.  

Preferred pre and post-race meals?

Pre-race is usually banana and peanut butter on toast. Immediately post-race is anything salty (ideally, a Philly soft pretzel). Later, any dessert that involves chocolate, or ice cream. 

Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?

I am currently working as a research coordinator at CHOP in the division of GI and Hepatology. In a few months, however, I’ll be starting medical school!

What inspired you to pursue this field?

I was initially drawn to a career in medicine because of my father. He is an interventional radiologist and I was always amazed by how much knowledge he had. In high school and college, I became fascinated by all that our body does in a day. I knew a career in medicine would allow me to keep learning about the body’s functions while also improving the health of others. Running has given me a greater appreciation for what my body can do so I also hope to instill this appreciation in the patients I work with!

Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?

I enjoy taking classes at Flywheel and Solid Core for cross training. In addition, I have a new interest in hiking and national parks. I’ve visited Yosemite, Arches, and Zion and I’m eager to check another one off my list. Lastly, not a hobby or a talent, but I love dogs. I run down Spruce Street to get to the SRT just so I can run by the dog park! My family has a golden-doodle named Bernard and we are so obsessed with him.