|"Put your shoes on and go run!"|
I started running for fitness and weight-loss. While I’m still trying to lose some weight, it’s become such an ingrained part of my daily life, I run every day for the love of the run.
How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
I started in April ’09 out of frustration with my health. I was 300+ pounds (maybe as high as 310) and I was just tired of feeling so sluggish all the time.
I had the gym membership, tried the pills, cut the carbs and nothing was working. As a former Marine, I knew what worked, and that’s what I was going to do. I work in a county jail, and in the inmate library was Dave Kuehls “Four Months to a Four-hour Marathon” and I grabbed it (what inmate was going to be able to train for 26.2 with only 1 hour of rec per day?). I was a little disheartened at first because of the speeds, but I knew I could at least finish a 5K, and that’s what I did. I signed up for my first 5K in September ’09 and finished in 33:38. I was hooked!
How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or your are feeling particularly lazy?
I started out by having races to train for, working up to the marathon. After my injury (see below), I had to take a short break because of the soreness. I then started my runstreak on 5/11/11 and that has kept me going since then (as of this writing, I’m at 1009 miles for 2011, 225 consecutive days of running and 810 miles in the streak). As for the weather and laziness, I have found a quote that I can’t seem to find the source to, but it says “It’s never too hot. It’s never too cold. You’re never too tired. You’re never too busy. Put your shoes on and go run!”
so no matter how bad, I run. Even if I have to take it to the mill in a bad storm, I will get my run done. I’ll even work my 12 hour shift, go run 2-4 miles, take a shower and go back into work for another 4 hours of OT, only to do it again the next day.
Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
Social media has allowed me get my questions answered. When I need to know about nutrition, I ask. When I have a problem with funny aches, I find an answer. I have used books, like Bill Rodgers and Scott Douglas’ book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Running” and Hal Higdon’s “Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide” (which I also found in the jail’s library).
How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
I just do it! I will run between my shift and overtime at work (see above). I’ll get up at 5 am on Sunday morning to fit in 10K before going to church. I have even come home at 10 pm and run just a mile to keep my streak going.
Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
Family supports me, and my wife started running back in May ’11 and finally joined me for runs in August to present (these help me get in slower miles for aerobic training as opposed to my normal anaerobic fast runs). Some friends support me, but there are always knuckleheads that laugh. What are you going to do?
What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
Road, for sure. I wish I had trails to run on. The treadmill (turdmill, dreadmill, etc.) is a necessary evil when I need it.
What is the hardest race you’ve run to date?
My marathon. I had done a 20 mile training run successfully, but 14 miles into my 26.2, the lactic acid buildup was so bad, I had to walk a lot. During one of my walking breaks, the sag wagon pulled up to me and offered me a ride, to which I replied “I didn’t pay $80 to ride your bus! Thank you!” and I started running again. The race took me 5:55:58 to complete. I will be more successful next time.
What is the most enjoyable race you’ve run to date?
The NBD 5K with my son. Although I could’ve finished it faster than I did, I ran the whole thing with him, even taking walking breaks when he did. I still PRd by 1:01 from my first 5K!
Have you ever been injured due to running? What were the ramifications?
Yes. When I ran my half marathon, my hips were sore. As I started upping my mileage the following weeks, my hips got worse, which got me into Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run”. I remember thinking “How do people run so many miles without pain?” and wondered if I was doing something wrong? I originally found the Evolution method online, then ChiRunning and the minimalist movement. I was hooked! Running felt fun and a little more comfortable again! But that brought on my first injury. On a 7 mile run, I was on an uphill section, about two miles in, and leaned too far forward, putting strain on my right Achilles tendon, leading to some sharp pains. I finished out that run with it being 5 miles and had to take my time getting back into it. I also had some tendon issues with my big toe after completing my marathon back in March that ultimately led to 19 days of not running, to which I came back at with a runstreak! Since then, I’ve had minor aches, but nothing that has taken me off of my feet.
Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner.?
I always had music when I ran. I couldn’t imagine going without because of the boredom. I would have different artists and genres, at different BPMs that started me realizing that I ran to the beat. Again, when I started ChiRunning, they said that you should run at 180 BPM, so I found a way to change the tempo, not the pitch, of my music to either 180 or 90 BPM and thus allowing me to run to the beat, while staying in step. And it must’ve worked, because now that I run without music (almost 2 months) the 180 BPM seems to be engraved into my steps because from time to time, I’ll check myself and see that it’s there.
How do you get yourself through the difficult parts of your runs? Do you have a personal mantra or do you just give up?
I find myself singing Marine Corps running cadences or just saying that I’m not a quitter.
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?
Tight cheeks. LOL! I’ve had a few times that I’ve had to slow down and cut the run short because of the trots, but I also make sure I go before I go.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up running?
It takes time to work up your distance and speed. The same with weight loss, you didn’t gain it overnight, you won’t lose it overnight. When I started running in ’09, I was a 12:30/mile runner. It was frustrating to see that others were so fast (even just sub 10:00) and I wasn’t making progress. Within a year, I was sub 11:00, and my average for this year (including my 13:31/mile marathon) is 10:19 for 1009 miles, with my current times being between 8:30-9:20/mile over 3-6 miles! So give it time and patience, you will get there!
What is your next big race?
I would love to do another marathon, possibly the Ocean Drive Marathon in Cape May, NJ again, since that was my first one, but I don’t do many races because of my work schedule (I work every other weekend and I can’t keep taking vacation days to run races). I may also get involved with the Ragnar Relay in Lancaster, PA next year.
What is your immediate running goal?
Run injury free and continue to get faster while still losing weight and staying healthy.
What is your ultimate running goal?
Run until I’m old.
Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)
Daily Mile: http://www.dailymile.com/people/mhickman
I do have a blog, but I have neglected it, so maybe I can resurrect it: http://finallygetitrunner.blogspot.com/