Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I was born in Chattanooga, TN and grew up in Southern Indiana/Louisville, KY. Graduated HS from Christian Academy of Louisville and went then graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL in 2000.
What is your profession?
Sales, I work in commercial roofing and my territory is the Southeast, AL, GA, MS, LA.
How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
I ran track in HS along with playing multiple sports and have always run kind of off and on since then.
How long have you been running?
I started back to legitimate running I would say with my first 50K in 2012 at the Duncan Ridge Trail 50K. It took me 8:27 and was pure hell. I had NO idea what I was getting into.
Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
Nothing really to speak of other than a few sprint triathlons my senior year in college and I ran a marathon that I signed up for about a week beforehand, which I don’t recommend. 😊
Did you run in grade school, High School or College? If so where?
High School Track at Christian Academy of Louisville.
So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past.
I have no Idea my 5K PR😊 nor a 10K pr😊. I don’t think I’ve ever run either on roads that I can remember.
- I ran a 10K on trails in 2017 and finished in 40:57.
- 50K: Oak Mtn 50K, 4:56:51, 3rd OA - 3/24/2018
- Lake Martin 50Mile: 9:04 1st OA - 3/19/2016
What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
I’d have to say winning the 50 miler at Lake Martin. I was in a bad place and deep into overtraining which I new nothing about at that time. I just new I wasn’t performing well in those days. I almost didn’t run it and decided the night before to do it. My wife and my boys made it for the finish which made it memorable. I wasn’t that fast that day and luckily no legitimately fast runners showed up, so I snagged a win.
Do you have a favorite workout you do?
I do a lot of MAF training so most of my runs are low HR. I enjoy hill intervals though and I have a hill close to my house that I have a love/hate relationship with. I feel like Hill intervals give me the best bang for my buck it that training phase. I hate to do them, but I always feel like I see big improvements quickly from them.
How about a favorite route you like to run?
I run a lot of trails and I have an old standard 6 mile loop that we run very regularly. My favorite trails are the Backcountry trails at Oak Mountain State Park. They are pretty nasty and steep, some of them could definitely use ropes on rainy days.
What is your favorite distance to run and race?
At this point I’ve completed mostly 50Ks, but I feel like that at my age it is getting harder to compete at that distance.
Do you have any long-range plans?
50K June 2nd. 50 miler September, 100 miler in November, Pinhoti 100. I signed up for the 100 last year after a 4 month break from running and have been using it as inspiration to stay more consistent.
What do you like best about living and running where you live in Alabama?
I really enjoy being able to run in shorts basically the entire year except for a short winter where it can get cold enough for pants and long sleeves. The weather here is perfect for running except for summer. Summer can get brutal so I feel like it actually takes more discipline that any other time of year.
What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
Balancing family/work/running and staying consistent with it. I’ve been married for 16 years and have 3 active boys that are 11, 8, 5. I’m in sales so I travel a lot and many of my runs during the week are completed out of town from a hotel. The boys have sports and I coach a lot of them so this takes even more time. My wife is super supportive of my running and I do my best to get my runs over with as early as possible. Many times that means 4:30 Saturday and Sunday mornings. If my wife wasn’t supportive and flexible with me, I don’t think I would be able to run ultras, they are just too time consuming to train for and to painful when untrained.
What do you see as a trend in running?
I feel like I’m seeing a lot more people on the trails and I’d like to see more. I feel like the trails are a little healthier place to train and safer. I run a lot of roads but really would run trails every day if I could. I feel like too many people chase their watch all day long during training on roads, whereas running trails is a little more relaxed and enjoyable.
If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
Be intentional about rest. I made the huge mistake of thinking that more hard work was better and it almost ended my running. It has taken me almost 2 years to recover from overtraining. I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way from my overtraining ways. Now, I do my best to never run junk miles. Keep your easy days easy and keep your workouts intentional. Its ok to bail on workouts if you think your body isn’t ready for it that day. Typically, I keep workouts 2-3 days apart from each other and everything else is run at low HR. I never recovered early on in my running and this really set me back. I just didn’t really believe it was needed, but I was very wrong.
Also, diet is a very big part of running. I follow a moderately LCHF diet and I feel like it helps me recover faster, along with maintaining a healthy weight. I’m not saying LCHF is for everyone, but being intentional about what we eat as fuel definitely helps you train better.
Any closing comments?
I got into running ultras when I was going through a very difficult career time in 2008. I literally turned to running because I think I felt like it was the only thing I could control in my out of control life at that time. It helped me get through some very difficult times as an outlet for stress. These days, it helps me stay stable and consistent and has finally just become part of my daily routine. I’m not elite by any means, but if I can put together a couple good training cycles, I can compete with some faster guys which is a lot of fun. It all depends on the day, but I love competition and I love to race.