Sometimes it’s hard to get to know an online running coach unless they are constantly putting themselves out there. While I try to be mindful of bombarding my social media with “hey, look at me” content, I thought this would be a fun way for runners wanting to get to know me a bit better.
Disclosure: There also may be affiliate links present – which means if you buy something with that link, I make a small commission.
Question # 1: What is your best run ever?
I think most of us do a bad job of remembering the really good runs and instead focus on the bad ones. I had a really good 20-mile run that I was really proud of and I distinctly remember appreciating the 2018 Philly Half Marathon as it was a good stepping stone for me on very, very minimal running.
Question # 2: What 3 words describe my running?
- Fast – Until recently, my easy runs would flirt with sub-7 paces, but now I’m closer to an 8 or 8:15 average. On race day though, I can still put out a good performance and usually finish up near the race leaders.
- Graceful – I’ve worked really hard at being an efficient runner. I work on running form drills and my overall strength and this helps a lot with looking good on a run.
- Sporadic – after my marathon, I’ve put off any kind of formal training. When I’m registered for a race, I’m much more committed to weekly mileage goals.
Question # 3: What is your go-to running gear?
After my running shoes, my Garmin watch and my Tifosi sunglasses, everything else is up for grabs. I really like Feetures socks and I always have a few pairs of running shorts that I cycle through, but really, it’s all about matching the gear to the conditions I’ll be running in.
Question # 4: What is your one quirky running habit?
One thing that I’m pretty consistent with is always stopping a run when my watch hits a nice round number. It can either be based on time or distance, but I like clean numbers that I can do quick math with. I would feel off about a run if I ran 5.37 miles; I would rather have stopped at 5.25 miles or run until I got to 5.5 miles.
Also, I like doing an even number of striders. Logistically, it makes sense to end back where you’ve started, but there’s something about doing an even number of strides that I like.
Question # 5: Do you prefer morning, midday, or evening runs?
I prefer morning runs even though it takes me a while to actually wake up and get loose. I’m a teacher and so I get up really early anyway, but on days that I run before work, I’ll get up around 5:30 and get 3-4 miles in. It’s nice because everyone is still asleep and the day hasn’t gotten crazy yet. When I wait until night time to run, I always feel rushed. I also don’t do a good job of fueling when I run at night – I’m either starving or full and I would much prefer running before I ate anything.
Question # 6: I won’t run outside when it’s…
Up until the beginning of 2018, every run I ever did was outside. When my wife got a job at a local gym, I got a membership. Now, I’ll do about 1 run a week inside on a treadmill so I can be at the gym with her. I used to hate running inside, but now I can tolerate it.
Question # 7: What is your worst injury – and how did you get over it?
In 2005, I pinched a nerve in my foot and that kept me out for 4 months of college cross country. In grad school, at George Mason, I had a stress fracture on my tibia that kept me out for another 4-5 months. I’ve had a lot of “runner injuries”, but have never (knock on wood) ever had a career or super-long term injury. I’ve found that patience and continually working on the “small things” keeps me healthy and happy.
Question # 8: My personal bests are?
In college, I ran 14:17 for 5k and 3:47 for 1500 (the equivalent of a 4:05 mile). After college, I ran a half marathon in 1:10:19. I was really proud of this race because it was the first real distance race I did and even though I fell apart at 10 miles I still was able to average 5:22 pace.
After a big gap from competitive distance races, I finally lined up for my first marathon and ran 3:14:57 at the Atlanta Marathon. I was proud of the training I did for this and was really excited to see what I could do over 26.2 miles.
Question # 9: My next race is?
I don’t have a race lined up for just yet, but I do know that I train much smarter when I have a race that I’m aiming for. One goal I have is to break 5 minutes in the mile each year, so that’s always on my radar. I’d also like to lower my marathon PR, but I don’t see that happening in 2019 or early 2020.
Question # 10: What watch do I train with?
I currently run in the Garmin 235. I like the watch because it tracks my daily steps and has the ability to measure different things I like: weekly mileage, weekly calorie burn, and intensity minutes. I also like how I can customize the apps and watch faces.
Question # 11: How do I stay motivated in the summer?
The summertime is my chance to put in quality, low-key miles. I am by nature a morning person, so I don’t mind getting miles in while everyone else sleeps. Plus, being a teacher gives me summers off and a chance to work out with different friends I don’t get to see during the school year.
Question # 12: Favorite post-run treat?
I like getting food back into my system right after a run and since it’s usually in the morning, I like fueling with an egg sandwich or with oatmeal. I’ll also rehydrate with a low-sugar drink like Nuun. They keep me hydrated without all the extras that other drinks have in them.
Question # 13: In 20 years, my running will…?
Continue on! I’m in the mindset shift from fast, fast, fast in favor of “easy does it”. For the better part of 12 years, I had pushed my body to the brink and now it needs a reset and an adjustment. So yes, I’ll be running in 20 years, but it’ll be a much different version than the first 12 competitive years of my running life.
Question # 13.1: If I could race anywhere?
If I could race anywhere on the track, it’d probably have to be somewhere like the Penn Relays. If it was a road race, I have come to like courses that are spectator friendly (I don’t wear headphones, so I like to hear sounds on the course). Maybe something like Boston or New York for marathons as they are usually shoulder to shoulder packed. If you’re asking me where I’d like to run, I’d have to say Valley Forge or Valley Green, both just outside of Philadelphia/Villanova area.