1. Did/do you always find running enjoyable?
Yes, as a kid I remember racing other kids on the playground, granted it was shorter distances, but I loved it. Also, I think running is the most purely competitive activity around. It is always measured and quantified. I’m a hugely competitive person at just about anything I have ever taken up, so that it easy to enjoy for me as I was either competing against a foe, the clock and ultimately myself!
2. What is your favorite distance?
My all time favorite race, which unfortunately is something I’ll probably never race again is the Steeple. I believe it to the best and most demanding race on the track.
As of now, I really enjoy racing pretty much every distance, but if I had to pick one, I’d say the Half.
3. What do you struggle with most in running?
Patience as well as teetering on that grey line of doing too much and not enough in training. I want results quickly and they take time, I’ve had to learn patience over the last 18 months and its finally starting to payoff.
And ultimately, knowing when to rest. Sometimes you are better off taking a day than lacing up the shoes and heading out and being able to figure that out and do it can be very tough.
4. Do you remember your first 5k, half marathon and/or marathon time?
I do, I can remember all 3 races!
5K – Lou Cox 1994 – 19:47, after my 8th grade track season. I went out way too fast!
Half – Columbus Marathon/Half 1997 – Again, I found myself in a race where I had no idea what I was doing…I’d asked my HS Coach (2:22 marathoner at the time what to do), John recommended going out in 7:00/mile pace, lets say the pace quickened in the 2nd mile and I set what ironically is still my half marathon Lifetime PR of 1:20:37
Full – Flying Pig 2011 – 3:50:36 – this was just awful. I would of dnf’d if I could of gotten back to my car sooner! I’ve had hydration issues in all 3 marathons I’ve run (here is to hoping 4th will be the charm!) and this was the worst. Body totally locked up at 17….1:30 first half, 2:20 second half
5. What is your advice for someone looking to improve speed and/or endurance?
Mileage….getting in the most you can and have a steady diet of tempo/threshold work. Sprinkle in some speed work as you go and the times will come. It takes lots of patience in running, as I’ve learned. But I’m a true believer in the more mileage you can consistently do at the appropriate paces, the better off you will be long term.
If you’re doubtful, look at US Marathon times in the early 80’s compared to the 90s to today……In the 2017 Boston Marathon, a time of 2:27:43 would of gotten you 47th overall…in 1983….236th. Those guys were putting in 120-150 mile weeks religiously and not focusing on 10×800 or 1000s or 400’s to the extent we tend to now. Crazy to think 14 of the 26 fastest American marathon times ever were run in the 80’s. Only 10 guys have run a top 26 American Time in the last 27 years.
Fact of the day, top 26 American Marathon times run by decade:
2010-Today – 4
2000’s – 3
1990’s – 3
1980’s – 14
1970’s – 2
6. What is your can’t live without running gear, besides shoes?
Besides the obvious, Shirt/shorts/watch/socks. Nothing really….I’m superstitious however when it comes to race day. I can’t live without the process….warm up, drills, bathroom, water, change shoes to flats and race socks, put on singlet, 2nd run @ Tempoish pace, strides…if that doesn’t go right, its gonna be a bad day…
7. Ok shoes, do you rotate? If yes, how many in rotation – explain.
ummmm, sure…there is no method to it. I wish I had a pictures of the shelves in the basement to show the many pairs that actively have miles on them but are not retired, i’d guess its 20+ pairs…from flats to trainers to spikes. haha I love running shoes! And @ 70, 80 and some 90 mile weeks, I go through them regularly, I retire pairs at 500 miles…
8. Do you have a mantra that you use when racing or training?
Not really….If anything it is telling myself to focus on my form and run through a mental checklist, if I can hold that together when it gets tough, I can make it through.
9. Do you ever feel unmotivated to train? If so, how do you overcome?
Absolutely….if you don’t, you aren’t human. Its a tedious sport and obviously we love it when we get out there. As they say the hardest step, is the one out the door for the run. On miserable days outside, its having something to watch while I run on the treadmill (20+ milers on a tread are long……) I tend to use running movies, or old marathons (recently watched Joan Benoit 1984 Olympic Marathon which is on YouTube). I always remind myself, there are people faster than me training today and if I don’t, I’ll fall a little farther behind, if I do run, hopefully I’ll make up a fraction of time..
10. What is the best thing running has given you?
Friends (you really get to know people when you run 1000’s of mile with them), Health, An outlet for stress, a passion to share with my kids and some really nasty looking feet!
Rick is our newest member of Rogue Racers and we are so excited to have him join the team! Immediately after receiving his singlet, he wore it well with a lightning fast 5k. Rick is also running Indy Monumental which brings our team total to 15 runners going to Indianapolis! Welcome to the team, Rick!