Olympic Trials Qualifier – Alexandra Bernardi

Where did you qualify for the trials? What was your time?
2018 Philadelphia Marathon, 2:43:43

 What is your best, clearest memory of your qualifying race?
I have 2: The first is seeing my husband and son cheering for me around halfway. It was a great reminder of the sacrifices we made as a family to support my (selfish) goal of qualifying for the trials, which was motivation to keep pushing through the second half of the race. And it gave me a boost of adrenaline thinking about the example I was setting for my son by setting a big goal and putting into the work to achieve it. The second was sharing a very emotional celebratory hug with past CPTC teammate & training partner Veronica Graziano immediately after finishing – not many people have the first hand experience of chasing the trials standard, but we got to share that journey together, so being able to savor the moment with someone who was literally by my side day after day, working toward the same goal, was priceless.

How many marathons have you done?
I think the 2020 Trials will be #20 (2007 Philadelphia Marathon was my first! I ran 3:33:54 and qualified for Boston, my “reach” goal)

How long has the trials been a goal? Did you set out last year to get there?
The 2020 trials were in the back of my mind since I completed the 2016 trials, but qualifying wasn’t a real focus until the spring of 2018, and didn’t feel like a realistic goal until I was a few weeks into training and had a real sense of where my fitness was at.

Favorite NB shoe and why.
1080s have been my tried & true trainer for years –  it’s the perfect neutral shoe with some cushion for easy days.

What is your favorite marathon workout and why?
As much as they scare me on paper, I love a long marathon pace tempo run. It’s always a challenge, but the confidence and sense of accomplishment that you get after successfully pushing yourself for 10-15 miles can’t be replicated by any other workout.

What is your favorite NYC area race and why?
As a runner, I love the NYRR Bronx 10 mile. As a spectator, NYC marathon, of course!

Any unusual obstacles you had to overcome to get to the trials?
Juggling training and parenthood! I have a 2 year old and ran my qualifier roughly 1 year post-partum. While no longer a “new mom” it’s still a daily struggle to find the right balance between family time and training time.

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