Race Team Spotlight: Tonya Philippi

Tonya Philippi has been a staple in the Nashville running and racing community for quite some time. Before tearing up the scene in Nashville, she ran at the collegiate level for Nebraska Wesleyan. Now, she crushes it locally while also working as a massage therapist and raising her little boy, Oliver along with her husband, Nate. We chatted with Tonya to get the scoop on how her training and racing have gone this year. 

NRC: You've been racing a lot this year . . . and winning! What kind of training are you putting in? Who do you usually train with?

Tonya: You are being gracious. Most weeks I get in 6 days of running between 40-50 miles a week. Generally I run with others at least 3 days a week. Team member Kris Rhem started an amazing group I love to train with and on other days I meet my running husband Jeff Matlock. I love Pilates and yoga 1-3 days a week for strength and stretching.  

NRC: What's been your favorite race so far this year? 

Tonya: I would have to say Country Music 1/2 marathon. I love this race because of the energy it brings not only from the 30k runners but also the amazing hometown crowd support. The highlight was seeing my husband and son at mile 10. This is the first 1/2 I had done since Ollie was born. 

NRC: What do you have coming down the pipe for future races or goals?

Tonya: At this point in my life, I would not say that hitting PRs are my goals. While Oliver is still young (currently 18 months old) and with the possibility of adding more to our family, I do not expect to be able to have time to put in the training I feel necessary to attempt those goals but I do thoroughly enjoy picking a race a month or two out and training more specifically for it. It tends to stress me out to choose races far in advance and makes the process not as fun for me. 

NRC: What's your favorite distance to race?

Tonya: I really enjoy 5 mile races and 10 mile races. Just under a 10k and not quite a 1/2 marathon seem to hit the sweet spot for me.

NRC: Any race day must-haves, pre-race rituals, etc?

Tonya: I need my shot of espresso in the morning (but that is really every morning). I like to do a couple mile warm up and then some movement prep and strides. In college I always used to eat a gigantic peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from this place called The Cookie Company the day before a race.  Maybe that is what I am missing now!  

NRC: Any advice/tips for moms and dads of young children on juggling parenting/work with running and/or racing? Any other fun stories about training, racing, being a mom, etc?

Tonya: I have to get up earlier than I ever thought I would to get my runs in. Thankfully I have an understanding husband who gives up some of his sleep when he hears my alarm go off anytime between 4:20am-5:30am. I like to get my run done early however some mornings I do "sleep in" till 6 or so and end up pushing Oliver in the stroller while I run. I work part time as a massage therapist so this does allow me to spend more precious time with the little man.  I get massages myself about every 4-6 weeks. This is essential in my life to stay injury free and helps with relaxation from the stresses of life. 

Thanks, Tonya, and good luck on running, racing, and parenthood!!

Tonya and teammate Kris Rehm

Tonya and teammate Kris Rehm