Roots’s PRT P.O.T.D. for 12/6/07
Thanks to all who posted before me in the PRT Person of the Day. Reading your posts motivated me to come out of my shell on this day.1. Why do you run?
Because it's cheaper than golf?
Aside from the obvious health benefit, I run because it makes me feel good. I suppose I’m addicted to endorphins. Running is my daily playtime. It’s also my time to getaway and escape burdening thoughts of work and responsibility. My daily run provides time for me to think.
I’m not an overtly religious person, but often my run is the time when I communicate best with God. To me, the day-by-day activity of running compliments and parallels my spiritual side. For me, running and prayer go together as acts of daily cleansing.
Running also satisfies my competitive nature.
I had to think back to when I started running. I played on soccer and baseball teams from age seven through high school. In the Army, I ran because I had to. I learned to play golf in high school, which became my primary pastime for about a dozen years. Later, after leaving the service, I picked up running as a hobby because it’s less expensive and more time efficient than golf.
Having running goals is why I continue to run.
In my third marathon, I was three minutes short of BQ. The close call started the pursuit of the BQ dream. It took five more tries over two whole years before finally earning a trip to the 2006 Boston.
Since then, I’ve turned to the dream of running further than ever before. It started gradually with a 50km run and then 50 miles in 2005. The distances progressed in 2006 with the Laurel 70 mile and a 12 hour run. Finally, this year I tackled the 100 mile distance. Crossing the finish line was a dream come true.
I’m not sure I wish to go further than 100 miles. Although I love trailrunning, I enjoy the challenges of road running too. I spent the balance of 2007 working on improving my marathon time with runners from my local running club.
Other reasons for running:
- I finally quit smoking over four years ago; a habit that consumed over one-third of my life.
- To enjoy a savory meal, dessert, or beer at my choosing.
- To socialize. Along with the great people I’ve met through Kickrunners, I am also member of three local running groups.2. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Tough to say. I’m proud of my 9+ years of active duty Army. No one moment stands out above others. I was deployed to a combat zone three times by the age of 22. My first job as a brand new NCO was in Mogadishu in a position two levels above my rank. I was forced to learn quickly, and on the fly. Interesting to me is how individual leadership skills change when everyone in the room is carrying bullets.
Running-wise, I’m proud of my longest ultra runs - The 100 miles at Mohican and the 76 miles at the Presque Isle 12-hour run.3. What is your motto/theme song?
Theme song? That’s easy. “Running,” by Carlos Jones.Click here for a You Tube link to a live version of “Running,” by Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band.
I feel lucky to know Carlos Jones and his style of roots reggae music. My housemate has backed up Carlos on keyboard for about a dozen years and since I moved here four years ago, these guys are a part of the Cleveland I know. “Running,” was written by Carlos with his prior band First Light during in the 1980’s.
A more recent song by them, titled “Leave a trail,” is another positive song that inspires me to seek peace, love, and to run more trails.
Motto: “Today is the day to do something great.” I’m a strong believer in the power of positive thinking. Late in the marathon, I think to myself that it’s not everyday that that I have this opportunity to be at mile 20 of a marathon. Saying to myself, “Today is my day,” is my way to trick myself into staying positive, even when my body wishes to stop or slow down.4. How do you deal with bad runs?
I really don’t have many. Most days I am just a jogger. With distance training, 90-100% of all my miles are at easy or recovery pace. I don’t have many bad days when most runs are easy pace.5. Do you reward yourself for good runs? How?
Running, on most days, is the best part of my day. Having enough time to run each day is often reward enough.6. Who do you admire most?
Difficult question. I admire anyone who works to help others. Educators and servicemen are high on my list.7. What is the greatest advice you have ever received?
Be yourself. Life became a lot easier for me once I learned to worry less about what others thought of me and more time on what I think of me.8. What do wish you had learned younger?
To be a better saver. Also, to be more studious. Growing up, I gravitated towards sports more than academics. I wish writing, reading, and vocabulary came more naturally to me.9. What do you wish you could do but can't?
Spend more time here at Kickrunners reading all the threads. The site has grown and I hate missing all the awesome contributors and amazing race reports. I don’t get to read and post here as much I as I wish.10. How would your friends describe your personality?
Positive, prepared, and kind. I imagine they’d say obsessive, too.11. What do you wear running? favorite outfit?
As little as possible.
Shorts and a singlet during the summer. Unfortunately where I live, little as possible sometimes means tights and a jacket. Sometimes more. The amazing thing about running is how the body self-regulates temperature in just about any weather. I used to take my shirt off during the summer, but nowadays I’m too embarrassed to reveal my beer gut.
For roads, I wear Brooks Adrenaline and Wrightsocks. For trails, its Montrail somethings and wool Darn Tough socks.12. What has been your favorite race?
It's difficult to name only one. Each one of my 10 ultramarathons has a special moment to me.
-Flying Pig Marathon: The site of my first BQ and by far the best organized marathon out of the 15 different marathons I’ve run. If I were ever to fill out a customer survey regarding everything I’d want from a marathon, it seems like the Flying Pig has already addressed it. The volunteer support is top notch. I returned this year, two years later, to score a second PR
- Buckeye Trail 50km: My first ultra; a trail race within the nearby Cuyahoga Valley Nat’l Park. Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed helping out with trail marking and volunteering, along with running in the event.
- Mohican Trail 100 mile: Volunteering here 4 years ago was my first glimpse of an ultra. I paced a runner for the last part and instantly became hooked. I volunteered and paced here each of three years before I finally took the plunge this year.13. Do you have a goal race right now?
Yes, the Laurel Highlands Ultra on June 14. It’s a point-to-point race that travels the entire 70 miles of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in SW Pennsylvania. In preparation, my plan is to train for and race the Boston Marathon in April. The marathon training cycle will set the foundation before the final two months of increased mileage before Laurel.
I have a feeling that my ultrarunning ambition will not be complete until I run the Massanutten 100. It's a ridiculously rocky trail race in Virginia.14. What makes you happy?
This is no short list!
Running, of course. Specifically that feeling, 20 minutes into a run where the effort of running disappears and the body seems to work without effort.
The huffing and puffing of climbing a hill, followed by the near-wreckless abandon of fast downhill running.
Witnessing a personal best.
In racing, that extraordinary moment (usually two-thirds of the way) in the race where finishing is no longer a question and the realization of outcome crystallizes into view. The final surge to the finish makes me happy.
Aside from running, I'm happy by dreaming, handwritten thank you notes, good beer (even better if shared with a sweetie), new music, fresh veggies, home cooking, and vacation.15. Tell us one interesting thing about you that you haven't said (at least not often) on this forum in the past.
I was an Airborne paratrooper for a good part of my Army career. Eventually, I became a Static-Line Jumpmaster and some of my days were spent pushing paratroopers, equipment, and myself out the door of an airplane. Sometimes, I miss the adrenaline rush of jumping but not enough to pay to skydive.16. Tell us one interesting thing about another user of this forum that has not been posted (at least not often) on this forum in the past (make sure the other person will not object to posting the info!).
Hmm. This year I’ve been fortunate to meet many Kickrunners. Most all of the meetings have been brief encounters at races and well documented here. I don’t think there’s anything unknown to all.
How about this: A couple years ago when I started using a running forum, I discovered the daily run thread in the R&R section of CR. Within those welcoming rooms were Grizzly, Alex, Flounder, and sometimes fox-runr. Its been a treat to follow along with them over the years.
Thank you very much for reading. Feel free to ask me questions. Today happens to be my first day of work after a two-week vacation. I might not get here right away, but I will reply as soon as possible.