|"Running is the best kind of medicine"|
For me, running is more for the enjoyment than anything else, but its main advantages keep me fit and healthy. Running for me is a stress reliever and great therapy after a busy and challenging day. It also challenges me to set personal goals and claim the accomplishments.
How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
I have been running since January of 2008, but I didn't become serious about it until 2009. After a routine visit to my family physician, he discussed placing me on additional medication for my high blood pressure. I told him that I wouldn't be on the medication for long, as I was going to get serious about my diet and exercise. Three months later, he ditched the additional BP medication and soon after that he took me off of my Cholesterol medicine.
Running is the best kind of medicine.
How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or you are feeling particularly lazy?
I made a commitment to lace up and run every day of this year, so I have no excuses. On rest days of my race training schedules, I slip on my running shoes and head out the door for a minimum of 1 mile. I have other friends that have committed to the same goal, so we have some accountability going on amongst us.
The weather here in Arkansas only bothers me during the summer months. The temperatures and humidity can become quite unbearable on most days. During those days I usually try to squeeze an early morning run before heading to the office.
Cold weather, and rainy days, are more of my favorite conditions to run in. I enjoy running on rainy days, it's refreshing to me.
Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
My friends that have been running much longer than I have, are always available if I need advice. I also subscribe to Runner's World magazine and get a lot of my information and ideas from the articles. It's a great read, very informative, and a great motivator. Usually after reading an article or two, I am pumped and ready to head out the door for a quick run.
How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
It is difficult to find time in my profession to fit in a workout, and there are always plenty of excuses to be found at the end of the work day. That is why it is important to me to set goals, and have an event on the horizon to keep me focused and motivated to get outside and run.
Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
My family is very supportive, but in the back of my mind I can't help but wonder if they think I'm crazy.
My wife and stepdaughter actually have been encouraged by my running and accomplishments, that they actually ran their first Half Marathon in Little Rock last year. I am very proud of their effort and commitment in completing that race and others. But my friends, on the other hand, think I'm out of my mind.
What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
I'm a road runner (meep, meep), I run most of my routes on the asphalt road because the sidewalks are less forgiving.
I don't do treadmills, although we do own one. But unlike me, it gets plenty of rest.
What is the hardest race you've run to date?
I would have to say that the 2011 St. Jude Marathon in Memphis. I signed up as a St. Jude Hero, which in addition to running the Marathon mean't that I would also raise money for the kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Through the generosity of my family and friends I was able to meet my fundraising goal.
Getting to wear a St. Jude's Hero singlet on race day was an honor, but running the segment of the course through the campus of St. Jude Hospital was emotionally draining yet physically exhilarating. Families, friends, and patients of St. Jude, that lined the course, called us heroes. That was tough to hear and brought tears to my eyes, because in fact, they were the true Heroes!
What is the most enjoyable race you've run to date?
To be honest, I would have to say all of them. I enjoy race day's immensely! It's a natural high hanging with thousands of other crazy people like myself.
I have gained some great friendships, near and far, through each race.
Have you ever been injured due to running? What were the ramifications?
While training for my 1st Marathon in Little Rock last year, I developed an injury in my right leg. I knew something was painfully wrong, but neglected to visit my doctor knowing he would advise me not to run. I rode my bicycle the last 3 weeks of training and took it easy. On the day of the event I nursed myself through the course and was able to finish. The following week I was in the doctors office where he confirmed I had just run a Marathon with a stress fracture. Not recommended!
Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner?
I like music but not while I'm running, mainly because I like to be aware of my surroundings, especially with many driver distractions these days. I enjoy the natural sounds around me while I am clicking along. I'm a Garmin slave! It's like the old American Express commercials of years ago, "I don't leave home without it".
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 Pray…a lot! God helps me to complete what I push myself to do. It does become difficult at times, because I push myself to run every part of the course, regardless if it is a training run or a race.
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?
Thankfully I have not had to address this issue. I try to take care of business before I leave the house, and have been fortunate to make it home before it strikes. It's just like a fire drill though I guess…You have to have a plan of attack just in case!
What advice would you give someone thinking about taking up running?
Before you even head out on your first run, go to a specialized running store and get fitted for a good pair of running shoes. This is the best investment you will make starting out. Second, take it slow and build your miles gradually. Overdue it, and you are for sure heading for an injury. All in all, just go for it! It is a life changer, and I can personally testify to that.
What is your next big race?
The 2012 Little Rock Marathon on March 4th in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the 10th anniversary of this race, and they boast one of the largest finishers medals you will ever receive. This years medal has been compared to the size of a pie plate. It's no lie, last years medal was ginormous!
This will be my 3rd ever Marathon, and 2nd at Little Rock.
What is your immediate running goal?
My immediate running goal is focused on finishing the Little Rock Marathon in 4:30:00 or better. My best Marathon time to date is 4:43:00, but with advice from friends, I have been training wiser and more efficiently and with results.
What is your ultimate running goal?
To keep running, and stay healthy. Hopefully in doing so, I can help encourage others to follow suit by the changes and accomplishments they see in me.
Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)?