Why did you start running?
I began running in 2015, kind of, like twice a month running. By 2016 it had actually taken hold. I had noticed that (1) my back felt a lot better after even a short run (I sit at a computer most of the day), (2) I felt a lot better after a run.
That same year we had began fostering, already parents to three young kids.That was great. By 2017 I was starting to feel the stress of now 6 kids total, and, just life. Instead of running more, I started by eating more. I’m an excellent deep fryer and to say my fries were (are) popular was (is) an understatement. So by mid-2017 I had gained 3 kids, 20 pounds and scores of points on my lipid panel.
That is when I really began running. I went from 30 miles a month to 60, 70, 80, 90 a month virtually overnight. Except that now it was my way to burn off stress, lose some weight, pray -- to stay sane.
In 2018 I kept at it because I felt good doing it. I wasn’t great at it -- Bobby invited me to BOTPE after a particularly brutal race where all I can say is I didn’t DNF. I kept consistent because of how much better I felt and found that I was actually getting OK at this running thing. My times started dropping without much effort and I didn’t physically feel like I had been hit by a bus. And then I found the mountains.
How long have you been running?
Running in the Smokies -- away from the touristy areas -- was one of the most incredible experiences I had ever had. I was able to run/jog up to places I’d never been before, either because it was too hard or took too much time, not anymore. I left the headphones behind and went where there were as many bears as people. It was spiritual too, away from all those things I was able to hear God more clearly than I had in what felt like ages
What is your favorite thing about running?
I still can’t say how amazing it felt to be able to just be in the mountains, able to go wherever I want to go for as long as I want, out in the wilderness. It’s the best.
What are your goals?
So running into 2019 I have some race goals, I want to do Whitestone well and Covenant well, but after that I want to get up into the Smokies as many weekends as possible. I want to run mountains.
What is your favorite race?
Running mountains is the closest thing I have to a favorite race.
What are your current running shoes?
I run in Hoka Gaviota’s, they last me 700-800 miles, offer stability support and more ankle support than most running shoes. (Great for mountains, noticing a theme here?)
What would you tell someone who's hesitant to start running?
If you were thinking about getting into running but hesitant to start I’d say just try it out. There are no obligations. You don’t even need to have a reason to start. With running the reason will eventually find you, or it won’t and that’s ok too. But if it does, it opens up new worlds. And yeah, you lose weight and live longer and feel better and all that stuff, too. But I think my family would say they support my running not only because I like it but because I come back a better dad and husband.
That’s worth more than any medals.
But maybe not the mountains :-)