Back to Back Ultras? Why not.

        Okay people the Albany marathon is this week! Who is excited and nervous? This girl. Training for this marathon has gone extremely well. A big part of that is due to me having an awesome coach. I thought you all would like to meet him and learn more about him. World meet my coach Buddy!

   Have you always been a runner? How did you start running? What are your favorite distances? Any must have running gear? What is your favorite post run snack?

I have not always been a runner. I thought running was boring and senseless. In high school I quit playing baseball because I had no desire to run 3 miles a day. Since, as a 15 year old I knew everything, I knew for sure the furthest I needed to run in baseball was 90 feet. Maybe 180 if I wanted to leg out a double. Either distance far short of 3 miles. So I decided to focus on playing drums in rock bands and drinking. As it turns out, running wasn't senseless….I was. Some would argue that I still am. I didn't begin running until I was about 34-35 years old. And that was to win a weight loss bet. I made running 3 miles a part of the bet because that was the number that made me give up what I still believe is the greatest game ever. So I ran for a few years. Then, again, focused more on alcohol. After a few years I got to the point where I only ran once or twice a year. Something like the Peachtree Road Race. That way I could tell people I was a runner. In actuality I was just a drunk. On June 26, 2009 I drank what I pray to God will be my last beer and began running. Again. To lose weight. My favorite distances are those that I can get others to run with me. I don’t run with music but prefer to run with people. And talk. At least until I’m told to shut up. My passion lies in helping others experience running and achieving their goals. My only must have running gear is shoes. Which is one reason I believe running is so amazing. Necessary equipment is minimal. My favorite post run snack would be anything with sugar. Or Waffle House.    

         Recently you became an ultra-runner running the Pine Mountain 40 and then the next weekend the Bartram 100. Are you legally insane or just runner insane? Was there ever a point where you felt that running two back to back ultra- events might be a bad idea? Did you do anything special to recover quickly from the Pine Mountain 40 to be ready to run the Bartram 100? After running 100 miles does 40 miles just seem like a warm up?

I’m probably somewhat insane. I’m definitely not runner efficient. I did the events back to back because I thought doing the 40 in Pine Mountain might give me an idea what to expect in the 100. I was supposed to pace a friend in the 100 and wanted to be reasonably sure I could complete it. Prior to the Pine Mtn 40 my longest run was 26.2 miles last done in March 2011. When I finished my quads hurt until Thursday. I remember running Wednesday morning with you and feeling every step (funny thing is I don't remember him saying anything or even being slowed down at that is kind of amazing). But they were fine for Bartram. Pine Mtn was definitely much harder on my body. I was able to run a couple of miles the Monday following Bartram and ended up running about 25 miles that week.

        What is the best and worst thing about running 100 miles? What did you do with the belt buckle? I would have it on at all times if it were me but then I am super modest and humble. Any advice for training for a 100 miler?

The best thing about running 100 miles, without a doubt, is being able to tell Stephanie (Stephanie is our co-worker at the running store, oh yeah I also work with my coach...and by work with I mean he is my boss) I’m an ultra runner! And there’s good food and candy at the aid stations.  Seriously, it’s being able to know that I could. And I believe most people can, but won’t. The belt buckle is somewhere at the house but I couldn't tell you where exactly. I’m not much of a belt buckle guy in regards to fashion. I also don’t wear cowboy boots or listen to country music. And I realize that has nothing to do with these questions but I feel it’s always appropriate to let people know you don’t like country music (this is where we differ in opinion;) yay for country music). I definitely wanted it but not for style. I just wanted to say I earned it. As for training my advice would be to run. A lot. It’s really just about getting your body used to it. It also should be noted that I did not race this event. There is a difference between completing it and racing it. I believe if you are serious about racing the event it should be taken much more seriously. I also believe the time commitment would be difficult for most people.

 Do you think you will do more ultra-racing events in the future? Have any in mind?

I will do more ultras. I am currently signed up for Operation Endurance March 29. It is a 24 hour endurance race located on a one mile track. This should be challenging mentally almost as much as physically.

        You also coach some pretty big name runners… myself….what is your typical week of running like? Do you do any other exercises to stay fit for all the running? What is your favorite thing about coaching/ training others? What keeps you motivated to meet crazy runners at ungodly early hours to run?

Wait! Big name runners or big feet runners (okay now we are getting personal, for a size 12 my feet look very I am tall people they are in proportion...)?! My typical running week is anywhere from 15-40 miles. I am blessed to be able to run with several people. In addition to training it is one of the things Janet (Janet is Buddy's lovely girlfriend) have always enjoyed doing together and is a huge part of our relationship. The best thing about coaching/training is that it allows me to serve and encourage others. I get much more satisfaction out of helping others reach their goals than I could ever get if I were only concerned about me. Giving to others and encouraging is important because not only are they my spiritual gifts but, I believe, it also keeps me sober. Nothing is better for me than getting out of myself. So, selfishly, I try not to be selfish so I can stay sober! Ha! 

         What has been your favorite race thus far and why? How do you feel about racing? Is it fun or do you only do it when someone begs you to pace them?

I don’t know I have a favorite. Again, I don’t really race as much as try and enjoy the experience. So I guess I've really enjoyed them all. I do like pacing because that allows me to see people hit their goals.

        What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Do you have any advice for those looking to start running?

If you’re looking to start running then do it. Get good shoes and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Find an accomplice. Not only are strong relationships built during a run but having accountability helps on days motivation is hard to find.

         Anything else you want to share about running or life in general?

For me, running and life are both much more enjoyable when you have other people to share it with. That just came to me on the spot and it sounds really corny but it’s true. 

Buddy has been a huge help in pushing me to get a bit faster and have more confidence in my ability. In other words he has made me run really fast and really far and some really hard workouts and I didn't die. Always good to know that you are capable of more than you thought you were. Plus running with him and some of the other people I have gotten to train with for this marathon has made me realize how much I like running with others. Whatever happens on race day I am glad I found an awesome coach to push me to train harder and dream big!


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