We recently caught up with Edward Liljeholm, an essential worker, runner, and TRL member since 2017.
How long have you been running and why did you start running? I started running, on a treadmill, back in 2002 to aid in martial arts. While martial arts is very physical, there isn’t the level of conditioning that happens. I started running for one mile, then two, and then for years, three. Getting a few 5ks on the treadmill. Then I started to look at a marathon, and joined Team Red Lizard.
What’s your favorite distance/type of run and where’s your favorite place to run in the greater Portland area? I love half marathons. It’s not too long, or too short, but just right. In terms of favorite places, I would say the Greenway trail in Beaverton. It’s technically wetland, but it is away from busy crowded areas but still in a place where there is paved road.
What’s your most memorable running moment/event? The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon 2019 om Sauvie Island. It was a good day, a familiar place, and where I achieved my goal of running a marathon.
What do you most enjoy about training, racing, and being a TRL member? I get to explore areas that you just can’t get by any other means. Sure, bicycles are on trails, but you can pause for a moment and snap a photo, and then continue on, or even better, to keep going and get one while going by. Racing helps focus the training, but also has me run routes I normally wouldn’t. Some of my favorite places to run are built from races. Running with TRL has helped with finding people that can guide me, cheer me on, and then celebrate with. It’s also a pleasant group to relax with after a run.
What’s life like as an essential worker? Are there many runners at OHSU? Being an essential worker has definitely changed in the last few months, but running has helped a lot. Keeps me focused on what’s in front rather than thinking too much about what’s ahead all the time. There are many runners at OHSU, as well as a few TRL members. We still chat about PRs, pace, and how our running is going.
How do you stay motivated? Goals are definitely central to that. They shifted in the pandemic. It used to be the next race, or another marathon, but now it has become a little more contracted. I have done a number of “chipper” runs (run 98 miles and imagine you’re running in the Irish countryside). Now getting out there with school is a little different, but still important. Weekly goals are part of it as well.
What’s the best running advice you’ve received? To not overdo it. It has helped me understand that you can work something too hard, and it’s been tough to balance with my martial arts mentality of “push past the pain.”
Tell us one fun fact, hidden talent, or something we don’t know about you, but should. I have limber wrists because I juggle.