Twice was nice, but three was even better for Kelly Perno-Grosser. The 37-year-old from Seaford won her third consecutive 10K title at the Long Island Marathon Sunday morning. Perno-Grosser broke the tape in 40 minutes, 9 seconds.
“I was really trying to break 39:20, but I really wanted to get the three [in a row] just to say that I’ve done that in my life,” Perno-Grosser said.
Training is a labor of love for the Plainedge High School math teacher. She wakes up most mornings at 4:30 a.m in order to put in the work for the sport she loves so dearly. Twice a week, she attends Orangetheory fitness classes in Merrick. The workout combines sprinting and weight lifting. She said that her new routine has absolutely made her stronger, but has yet to lower her times.
Last week, she took it easier than she normally would. With a big race coming up, the defending champion knew that tiring out her body would be counterproductive.
“This week is a taper week,” Perno-Grosser said. “I didn’t do any weights or anything. I just tried to run easy and build in the energy in the rest of my legs. They say the more rest, the better for a race.”
Although she would have liked a small rain shower to cool off, Perno-Grosser said the cloudy conditions were good for running — with one minor exception.
“It was very humid,” she said. “It got really hot when Mile 3 hit. We were all kind of like, ‘Oh, boy. It’s getting hotter than we thought.’ ”