We catch up with the top American woman at the 2010 Boston Marathon.

Paige Siemers seems to get better with age. The 31-year-old—you may know her as Paige Higgins—recently placed third at the California International Marathon, clocking a 2:36, earning the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials “A” standard and smoking an impressive field of runners. The Littleton, Colo.–based runner and assistant track coach at Colorado School of Mines is also known for her 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials appearance, as the first American woman to finish the 2010 Boston Marathon, and generally as a top contender in some of the toughest marathons around the country.

This may come as no surprise. Having grown up running with her father, the sport is in her blood. “I’ve always loved running,” she explains. “Running is something I find great joy in, regardless of whether I’m training for a race or just out for a run in the off-season. I think that’s why I keep going. I simply love being outside, in the quiet, listening to silence and being with my thoughts.”

These days, she typically trains with Colorado State University head cross-country coach Art Siemers or her husband, Chris Siemers (younger brother of Art), who also coaches at Mines in Golden, Colo. Although she’s logged as many as 150 miles per week in the past, she’s currently running about 100 miles every week and focusing a little more on quality, faster workouts instead of merely logging endless amounts of slow miles.

“Chris and I get our training in before work (around 6 a.m.) and our second runs whenever we can,” she says. To me, it’s just about getting out there and doing it. I’m pretty sturdy, so I know I get away with a lot that others probably can’t.”

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Here Are A Few Of Her Favorite Things

Favorite shoe: Nike Lunar Racer. “It’s my go-to training and racing shoe. I love how soft it is, and I just feel fast in the shoe.”

Favorite breakfast spot: Golden Diner, 700 12th St., Golden, Colo. thegoldendiner.com “They slow-cook their oatmeal and it’s so fresh.”

Favorite workout spots: Washington Park in Denver or Clement Park in Littleton. “I like doing loops because you can do [faster] progressions every lap, and it’s a wonderful atmosphere.”

Favorite dinner spot: Sherpa House, 1518 Washington Ave., Golden, Colo. ussherpahouse.com “The alu gobi is amazing. Especially during the winter after work and practice, it’s just warm and cozy.”

Favorite run music: Idina Menzel. “I listen to her music before every race. I got to see her live at Red Rocks, and it was a dream come true.”

Favorite hill run: Lookout Mountain in Golden. “It’s a 5-mile hill climb with amazing views. You can run up the road and take the trail down. After that workout, regardless of time, you just feel accomplished.”

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