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Kat Von D Is Ready To Rock San Diego

Photo: Courtesy TLC
Photo: Courtesy TLC

She will run the anchor leg of Sunday’s marathon for the “LA Ink” relay team.

Interview by: Matt Fitzgerald

More than 30,000 runners will participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon To Benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Sunday. The participant with the most Twitter followers will be Kat Von D, star of the TLC reality show LA Ink. Kat will run the anchor leg of an “LA Ink” relay team—her first formal running event of any kind. Look for documentation of her experience on an upcoming episode of the show.

Kat was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her hectic Hollywood life to talk about the run. Are you nervous?

Kat Von D: I have to admit that I’m both nervous and excited. Not only is this the first time I’ve ever been part of a marathon, but the expectations are a mystery to me, so I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to be a good runner.

What part makes you most nervous? I mean, most marathon runners don’t have cameras on them…

My involvement in the marathon doesn’t have anything to do with placing or anything. For me it’s more like, here’s a really cool opportunity to use the TV show as a platform to raise awareness for things that I believe in. I think it’s awesome what the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon does for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and what better way to promote that?

So, you’re running as part of a relay. Who’s on your team?

Okay, here’s the deal. I have to explain this, because I’m not chickening out of doing the whole thing. I didn’t get in on it until late in the game. I wasn’t told about it until recently. So, for something like this I would train for like a year, at least. I just didn’t have enough time to train to finish the whole thing and be able to make it.

My little brother, Michael, is going to be on the relay, as well as three of the other tattoers who work at my shop. So, it’s pretty exciting.

Do you have any ringers? Who’s the strongest and who’s the weakest?

I think we all have our strengths and weaknesses. But my brother, Michael, impressed me actually, because we’ve been running in the mornings and stuff and he definitely has a whole lot more endurance than I’ve given him credit for. So, we’ll see!

Now, you don’t strike me as a morning person, and this thing starts pretty early. Are you up for that?

I’m actually a big-time morning person. I wake up at 6 AM every day, so it definitely won’t be anything different. I usually go to sleep around nine or ten, give or take.

Wow, you’re like a real marathon runner!

Either that or a grandma!

How have you trained for the race?

We’ve been training with an actual trainer, and in our spare time, which hasn’t been as much as I’d like it to be, we’ve been running—pretty much every day for the past few weeks. We did as much as we could do considering the time constraint.

Do you have any past experience as a runner? Did you run in school at all?

Well, yeah, maybe to ditch PE. But as an adult now I actually enjoy exercising. Even if I wasn’t doing the marathon I have a pretty strict regimen that I like to do every day, which is everything from Bikram yoga to training with a trainer.

Now, I have one tattoo and I remember it was pretty painful when I got it. You need a high tolerance for pain to be a distance runner. Do you think you have an advantage there?

I guess I’ve got that working against me too, because I’m the biggest wuss. I don’t handle getting tattooed very well. So all I know is I’m going to give it my best shot!

One of the cool things about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is that it has live bands all along the course. I know you’re a big music fan. Do you think that’s something that’s going to help you along—having loud music pulsing in your eardrums as you run?

I think that’s just an awesome idea. When I first heard about it I was like, “Why didn’t I think of that?” So, yeah, I’m excited about that. But I’m really in tune with my workout playlist so I’ll probably have my own music for the in-between time. Music is definitely something that makes me go faster.

What’s on your iPod when you’re training?

I have a specific playlist that I made that has an upbeat tempo. It’s everything from that disco Kiss (“I Was Made for Loving You”) to Kylie Minogue to Muse, and everything in between.

If one of the other runners comes up to you after the race on Sunday and says, “I had such an awesome experience, I want to get a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon tattoo,” do you know what you might come up with?

That would be awesome. I would just have to collaborate with the person and see what they wanted to get. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be so tired at the end that I won’t be ready to talk about tattoos!

How will you celebrate? Just take a nap?

I don’t know. My boyfriend is coming down to be a cheerleader from the sidelines. He’s got the kids so we’ll have to start driving back afterwards. So, unfortunately, I probably won’t be partying too much.

Is there any chance we’ll see you running the whole marathon next year?

You know what? There is definitely a big chance, because I love a challenge, and that would definitely be challenging. I’d love to train for something like that and actually do it—if you’ll have me!

You heard it here first folks!

Right on!