1. How did you get into running?
Hmm. It’s tough to say how I started - my dad ran triathlons when my brother, sister and I were young so we always had him as an example (and a running partner early on). I think when I was in 6th grade or so I started running - I joined the middle-school track & cross-country teams and ran with them for a couple of years. The cross-country races were never that long and I have no idea what my times were, I honestly don’t remember. I stopped running towards the end of middle-school/early high-school because I got more involved in other things. I briefly picked up running again in college, just more as a workout activity more than anything. Then again, after college, I started working out at lunch regularly and running off and on.
Things didn’t really get serious in the running department until the fall of 2010 - I was playing softball on a rec-league team and managed to break my arm. After surgery to fix the damage I was pretty much without the use of my left arm for 6 weeks and that’s when I started running regularly again. I entered a 5K the following spring it has sort of progressed from there. At first I said I would never run a marathon and had no interest in running one and then I went and did the Chicago Marathon last fall. Running has really become a big part of my life in the past 2+ years.
2. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s #1 on it?
I would love a) go on a European tour and b) go see Machu Picchu in Chile. Running-wise, I don’t really have anything that I would consider to be “bucket list”. I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool things with running already. I would love to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I’m not gonna kill myself to do it. More than anything, I would like to continue to be able to keep running as a part of my lifestyle…both now and well into the future. I always admire those 50, 60, 70 and 80-year-olds I see out there, still running and enjoying the sport. I wanna be like that.
3. What has been your favorite race?
I loved running the NYC Half Marathon last year. The ironic thing was that prior to the week of the race, I didn’t think I was going to be able to run it. I had a nasty bout of IT-Band Syndrome in the two months leading up to the race and then miraculously it cleared up the week of the race and I was able to run it. My time wasn’t all that good, but it was such a cool experience to run through Central Park and Times Square, I’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, I’ll also never forget the guy who took a shit, with his butt facing us runners, up on a hill around mile 4 or so. Everyone was groaning and yelling at the guy. I also remember crossing the finish line and being so grateful for being able to run the race, for being able to complete it - it was an awesome feeling. It was also my first half-marathon.
4. What motivates you to keep going?
Always wanting to get better. I know there will come a day, because of age or whatever, where I simply won’t be able to improve on my PRs. Fortunately, that time is not now and so I’m hell-bent on taking advantage of my prime years to set lofty goals and achieve them. I’m so grateful to have this body that God gave me; a body that works well and seems to be able to perform at a higher level than most people. Using my talents in running is one way that I worship the God that created me.
5. What is one habit you have that you wish you could break?
I’m a nail-biter and I hate it.
6. If you could have ANY job in the world—what would you do?
Probably detective - hope to do it someday.
7. What’s your favorite piece of gear?
It’s probably a tie between my Garmin 305 and my Saucony shoes.
8. What is your go-to pre-race meal?
On race morning I usually keep it really simple. A cup of coffee, a banana and maybe a PB&J or Clif Bar. The night-before meal could be anything.
9. Do you take supplements? If so, what?
10. What do you love about running?
I don’t get to do it very often, but I love running with other people. There’s something about going on a run with someone else that’s special. I also love the sense of accomplishment after a great workout or race. Secretly, I love being in the gym, seeing all the muscle-heads flexing and thinking to myself, “I could waste you in a 5K.”
11. What is your next BIG race?
Next big race is the Chitown Half on March 24th. Training hasn’t gone exactly as I had hoped, but it’s been solid and I’m feeling confident. My goal is to break 1:30:00. This will be my third half-marathon and I think if the weather conditions cooperate, I can do it. Training has been going well and according to my other recent race times, McMillans says that I should be able to do it.