I began running in July 2016. I was 50 pounds overweight and unhappy and I was desperate to make healthy changes in my life both for myself and for my girlfriend (now fiance) Susan. I decided one day to download "Couch to 5K" and give it a try. It was hard at first, each run was slow and painful and the diet and lifestyle choices that accompanied it were difficult. I was running for a minute and walking for three minutes after that and I could barely keep up. I was logging EVERY SINGLE BITE OF FOOD in Weight Watchers and it drove me crazy.
A funny thing happened though...it started to work. My weight dropped and my pace per minute right along with it. Runs became easier and longer and I began to feel healthier than I had in a very long time. I had run before but I had never been this dedicated and I certainly had never enjoyed it as much as I was. It was freeing and it made me feel in control of something.
I decided to register for my first race ever, the 2016 Great Pumpkin 10K and it went so well that I registered for the 2016-2017 Polar Bear Grand Prix through which I learned about the Louisville Distance Project at Fleet Feet Sports. I signed up for this Run Club and I have never looked back. This fall marks my fourth LDP training season and during my time with the Club, I have run 6 half marathons, multiple shorter distance races and last May I completed my first full Marathon when i crossed the finish at the 2018 flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. I'm currently training for the 2018 New York City Marathon on November 4th and a 20 mile trail race on December 1st.
What is your favorite distance?-
I love the marathon distance. There is nothing quite like the feeling of crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles. You have spent four months running, lifting, stretching, taking ice baths (in WINTER), eating only that which fuels you, and willing your mind and body to run for 26.2 miles...and then you do...and they hang a medal around your neck and not one soul can ever take that accomplishment away from you. I will never BQ but I will always be a marathoner.
Do you have any running advice you'd like to share?
Put one foot in front of the other and wear your biggest smile, you're doing something good for yourself and you should be incredibly proud of that. If it turns into something deeper and suddenly you're toeing the line at a Marathon, great, but if you make the trip around the Seneca loop twice and then go home, you have done a great thing.
Find your tribe and run with them.
LDP not only introduced me to proper training, gear, diet, and form, it introduced me to friends. The friends I have made in my time with a run club have shown me kindness, love, and support and without them I would have given this up a long time ago.
Why do you like River City Races events?
The 2016-2017 Polar Bear Grand Prix was my first RCR event and I was so impressed at how well run it was and how much fun everyone seemed to be having and that hasnt changed. Every time I run a RCR race I have a great time and I meet other people having a great time. Races are the most fun when you feel safe and supported and I have always felt that way with this organization.
Anything else you'd like to share:
I would like to thank my fiance Susan. She has been at nearly every finish line I've crossed and is a fantastic runner and ambassador for the spot herself. it is a joy to do this with her.