By Brittani Dick

From running through trails in Jefferson Memorial Forest to running through her daily tasks as HR coordinator for Schulte Hospitality Group, Mary Orr is neat, energetic, and well put together. At her job, Mary dabbles in many different duties — from coordinating all new-hire activities for the corporate office, to maintaining job descriptions and managing the company newsletter.

Her life outside of work mostly involves lacing up her favorite running shoes and chasing after her next personal record (PR). Her pre-run routine depends on the distance she is trying to achieve on that particular day. For shorter runs, she will lace up and go without putting much thought or preparation into it, but for longer runs she has several secrets up her sleeve.

Photos by Sunni Wigginton 

“Typically, I eat something simple beforehand. I love Nature’s Bakery Blueberry Fig Bars or natural peanut butter on a whole grain bagel,” she says. For hydration and a little extra mid-run fuel, Mary favors Nuun Salted Watermelon electrolyte mix and Huma Chia Energy gels.

Fashion piece she’s loving:
One of a runner’s most treasured possessions is a good pair of — you guessed it — running shoes. Mary’s running friends strongly suggested getting fitted for shoes, and she gladly took their advice.

“At first, I found that the best shoes for me were made by New Balance. As I got more and more serious about running and learned more about how my foot strikes the ground, I decided to try a few different brands to see what worked best. Most brands gave me something different to complain about, so I was obviously nervous to try yet another new brand — Saucony Kinvara,” she states. Mary describes the first run in a new pair of shoes as “interesting.” “It feels weird. The shoe is stiff, and the friction makes your toes a little uncomfortable, but after breaking in my Saucony Kinvaras, I was amazed. It was literally like walking on a cloud,” she says. “The best part was that I no longer had the same issues with my feet that I was experiencing with other brands, including New Balance.”

Beauty product she’s loving:
Mary describes her beauty routine as “minimal.” “My current obsession is Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick in Tender Heart. It is neutral, which I love, but gives my lips the perfect apricot/beige hue.”

She also raves about Nubian Heritage African Black Soap, which can be found at any natural food store for about $5. “When I am not working, I am running. So, the first thing I do when I get home from a long day is wash my face. I can’t tell you how many cleansers, soaps, and toners I’ve tried. Nubian Heritage African Black Soap is my absolute favorite. I use it every day, twice a day, and my skin has never been more clear.”

Latest purchase she’s praising:
Mary praises her favorite running watch, a Garmin Forerunner 220, for tracking her runs and uploading the information to her running app. “I’m a very simple person,” she states.

“I really don’t need much. Many of my friends have newer and more expensive running watches, but the Garmin Forerunner 220 is perfect for me. Of course there are other brands out there, but Garmin is the best in my opinion, and it’s nice that they offer so many options for every runner.”