|"I'd love to have my son fall in love with running"|
There are so many reasons why I run. I run for my health, to be an example to my kids. But really, I just love to run. I love being able to challenge and push myself. Every time I reach a new milestone or goal, there's always something else to strive for.
How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
I've ran off and on for years but it wasn't until April 2010 that I truly began to take running seriously. A good friend of mine, who wasn't a runner at the time, said he was signing up to run a half marathon and threw out the challenge for anyone to join him. After thinking for a second, I said, "Sure, why not?" I had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I found the more I ran, the more I loved it.
I've done all kinds of exercise programs over the years, but running has been the best and my preferred exercise of choice. It's so simple, so basic and yet so challenging. It gives you everything you need.
How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or your are feeling particularly lazy?
I keep goals, races, etc. in front of me to help keep me motivated. Life happens and training gets thrown off schedule from time to time, but you've got to find ways to work around that. Also, you need the occasional unplanned rest day.
On days when the weather is bad, I first see if there's an opportunity for me to get my run in later in the day. If not, I either just deal with it or find a treadmill. If I'm feeling lazy, I just remind myself that I'll feel 100 times better after the run than if I stay in bed, and 99 times out of a 100 that works. :)
Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
Don't have a running coach other than Twitter and DailyMile. I've read John Bingham's "Marathoning for Mortals" and have the "Runner's World Complete Book of Running" handy at all times.
How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
I have to make time. My job working in sports information at a small college with over 20 intercollegiate athletic programs does not allow a lot of free time. Add the fact I'm also a husband and dad of two, and time is a precious commodity. So, I usually run early in the morning, getting up around 5 a.m. to log my miles. Some think I'm crazy, but the day is always better when it starts with a run.
Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
YES! My bride is wonderfully supportive but thinks I'm nuts. I'll tell her about some milestone I just achieved or a new race I'm wanting to run, and she just looks at me and shakes her head. When I told her about my plan to run my first full marathon, she was like that's wonderful and said "I know you can do it" but added "You're crazy if you ever think I'm going to do that."
What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
Road, it's what I know best. I haven't done much trail running but hope to do more of it this winter. I am no fan of the dreadmill, err I mean treadmill. To me, the treadmill is a necessary evil. I don't like running a treadmill, but thankful for it when running outside is not an option.
What is the hardest race you've run to date?
The 2011 Go! St. Louis Half was very difficult. It was much hillier than I had anticipated, but the weather is what made it rough. Held in April, the forecast for race day called for highs in the low 60s, overcast and 60-80 percent chance of rain. Come race day, it was in the 70s at the 7 a.m. start and hitting the 90s by the time I had finished. No one was prepared for temps like that. It had been 5-6 months since I ran in temps in the 60s let alone the 70s.
What is the most enjoyable race you've run to date?
The 2011 Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, Ky. The course is picturesque as it runs through horse country in the heart of Bluegrass country. Held in October, it's just a gorgeous run through the countryside with fall colors at their brightest. Of course, the fact I PR'ed didn't hurt. :)
Have you ever been injured due to running? What were the ramifications?
I've pretty fortunate to not have been injured much. This past summer, I ran with some friends on a beach in Florida before sunrise. Big mistake as I found a turtle hole. Only hurt my wrist but it could've been worse. Other than that, I've strained my left hamstring and my IT band has acted up. Stretching, icing and listening to my body have done wonders in dealing with those.
Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner.?
I used to listen to music but gave it up three months ago. I love running without music and found I run faster without it. I always have tons of things running through my mind, and not listening to music helps me think things through. I track my runs with the RunKeeper app on my iPhone. One day I hope to have my own Garmin.
How do you get yourself through the difficult parts of your runs? Do you have a personal mantra or do you just give up?
It's cliche but I keep saying to myself "I think I can! I think I can!" just like the Little Engine That Could. During races, I think of all of those who support me - especially my wife and kids, and how I don't want to let them down. They've sacrificed a lot for me to have this opportunity, so I must give my all.
A lot of runners know that "Who has the runs" has a double meaning. How do you deal with the occasional "problem" that plagues every runner at one time or another?
I always try to have a couple of 'pit stop' spots mapped out along my route. There's always a fast-food restaurant and/or a gas station or two along the way.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up running?
Don't focus or worry about what others are and can do. Focus on yourself. If you can only run one lap around the track without stopping, great! Keep at it, and you'll be running a mile non-stop in no time. No two runners are the same. Just be the best runner you can be.
What is your next big race?
The Knoxville Marathon on April 1 - my first full! I'll be running a 10-mile race on Jan. 28 and a half marathon on Feb. 11, but those are just tuneups for the full.
What is your immediate running goal?
My immediate goal is to finish December with 120-plus miles to give me 1,250 miles for the year. Then, I'll be locked in on completing my first full marathon.
What is your ultimate running goal?
Funny you should ask this. I just came up with one the other day. I want to run 100 half marathons by my 50th birthday. I just turned 40 in November and have 5 half marathons under my belt already. Lord willing, I will hit the 100 half marathon mark but doing so by my 50th will be a challenge given my job. But hey, as long as I'm running, I'll be happy.
I'd also like to run a 50K, but I'm holding off until I see how I do in the full marathon. First things first, you know
More importantly, I'd love to have my son fall in love with running. We're training to run a 5K together in May, and he seems to like it.
Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)