Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Interview Tuesday: Meet Kentucky Runner Joey Hartlage

2014 MSC Steeple Championship
I have met Joey once or twice but hope to run more with him in the coming year - if I can keep up:) . Enjoy reading his interview and get to know more about another local runner.

Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I am 24 years old and was born and raised in the south end of Louisville, KY. I graduated from Butler Traditional High School in 2012 and earned my BS in Business Administration (Marketing emphasis) from Campbellsville University in 2016. Since graduation I’ve maintained my residency in Campbellsville, KY enjoying the Heart of Kentucky. I’m less than a month away from earning my MBA from CU as well. I am the youngest of three, enjoy a great cup of coffee and pursue the game of golf any chance I have. I love the Lord with all of my heart and delight in every moment with my girlfriend, Katelyn.

What is your profession?
While being a grad student, I serve as Senior Athletic Enrollment Counselor at Campbellsville University. I’ve served hundreds of students and their families over the past 2.5 years with the admissions process to CU. It’s been a learning experience like no other. Thankfully, two months before completing undergrad, I was offered this position and gladly accepted!

Last year, I had the additional opportunity to be Assistant XC/T&F Coach at Marion County High School and loved the chance to give back to the sport. Unfortunately, I didn’t continue to coach this year due to workload at CU and I was afraid I wasn’t able be there for the team. Yet I know it is not my profession, but I would love to continue to coach again in the near future.

How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
2108 Bourbon Chase Relay
3rd grade is when I began. Attending a small catholic grade school made it easier to try many sports and I believe having my older brother already in the sport helped me get involved quickly. #RaiderNation

How long have you been running?
If we’re talking first taste of racing, 3rd grade. If we’re talking competitively and actually acknowledging the sport for what it’s worth, not until freshman year of high school (this was when I realized I had a shot at breaking my brother’s high school PRs = extra motivation). From the beginning, I would say 16 years ago.

Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
Grade school were the glory days of basketball (5th/6th “B Team” City Champs), baseball and football. Junior year at Butler I swam to try it out and loved it. I picked up playing golf my sophomore year of high school because my family enjoyed it and over the years we’ve never had a consistent Hartlage “A Player” – Josh (bro) will continue to claim it.

How would you describe your running in High School and College?
High School was definitely a learning experience because it was my first sport where I had my full focus. Only dropping a whopping 30 seconds from freshman year PR to senior year PR felt disappointing, but I can definitely say I was consistent over the years! As I reflect back on it, it was more than setting a PR every race, but the importance of the team aspect.  At State, our best finish was 4th my junior year.  I was never in the Top 3 throughout my HS career, but knew I had to play my part every Saturday.

College was the opportunity for me to reach my full potential. Beating my HS 5k PR during my best 8k freshman year was the first sign. My proudest accomplishments were junior year qualifying for nationals individually, winning the 3k steeplechase at conference and our XC team’s first ever conference championship senior year. This win qualified us for our first ever Nationals appearance as a team.
Katelyn & Joey after the Pack the Pantry Relay in Somerset KY

Finally, through my competitive years of running (and still today) I’ve never developed a kick. If you’ve raced with me or against you should know this one. My high school coach, Brandon Lesher, will never let this one down.

Now that you have graduated from Campbellsville University what differences did you find with regards to running now as compared to then?
The art of running is far more than competing at the high school and college levels. Running can bring people together for a variety of reasons: fellowship, competition, accountability, curiosity, awareness, an outlet, love and much more. Then, I was so focused on my training, the team, what’s next for us, rather than trying to share the social, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of running. After running collegiately and connecting with running communities, I have more respect for the activity. As many see it today, running will always be a love-hate relationship for me. I don’t plan to ever give it up, but I’ve been in the trenches before where it hurts and also have had a runner’s high for weeks. It has mind of its own.

Training wise- the discipline of running can be hard when you don’t have the same schedule of it four years in a row. It’s not as easy to go out and run the same mileage or simply have the time to do it due to other commitments. I’ll always get on myself for not running, but know it’s also not the end of the world. I tend to find many road/trail races I’d love to compete in, but I can’t bank on my college training anymore.

Do you have any advice for younger runners looking to run after high school?
In my profession I help students with the college admission process and while meeting with their family I tell every student this: If you are serious about competing at the collegiate level and you have the opportunity, take it. I spread this message spreads across all prospective student-athletes who want to be an asset on a college team. Regardless if it’s NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA, all younger runners need discipline and consistency. These practices go in hand in hand. Without discipline, it’s hard to be consistent in your actions. Without consistency, the mental muscle of discipline will weaken over time.
North Cheyenne Park Colorado Springs, CO

Do you still have a connection with CU?
As stated above, yes. I work full-time in the Enrollment Office and a full-time grad student. Most importantly, I still make time to join a staff intramural team and put a beat down on some students ☺

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
  • 3k - Steeplechase | 9:49
  • 5k - | 15:35
  • 8k -  | 26:22
  • 10 Miler -  | 59:53
What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
Junior year, Mid-South Conference 3k steeplechase. Two meets prior I had pulled my groin throwing a javelin, therefore two weeks before MSC I barely totaled 20 miles. A heated pad was the only way to loosen my muscles up, but adrenaline took over at the start. A few jumped upfront to slow the pace, but I was in the mindset of qualifying for nationals so I took over and never looked back. Second to last water pit I landed on both feet = momentum gone and pain kicked in. Basically trotted the last 1.5 laps clipping the last barrier, but came across victorious.

Do you have a favorite workout or workouts you do?
I don’t have a favorite workout, but what I’m most known for and enjoy is the improv workout. I’ll plan for a steady run, but will feel good and jump right into a tempo/progression run. This may seem dangerous to some, but if you feel mentally and physically great why miss out on the opportunity? Straight confidence booster, if needed.

How about a favorite route you like to run?
Walker Ranch Loop Trail – Boulder, CO. I experienced it this past July on vacation and it was the most beautiful trail I’ve been on ( https://www.strava.com/activities/1729950350 ) If not this beaut, than any trail I’ve never ran before!

What is your favorite distance to run and race?
Dylan and Joey at Magnolia Road - Boulder, CO

  • Training: I always enjoy a 7-9 milers. Just enough to put some miles on my legs.
  • Race: 5k at the moment, but I think the 10k+ will be the new distance in 2019.
What shoes do you run in and what do you like about them?
The Mizuno Wave Riders have been a very comfortable, stylish trainer where I can do long runs in, but still get some speed in without problems. Temporarily I’m running in Nike Pegasus to try something new and I couldn’t pass up the deal. Both solid trainers.

Do you have any long-range plans?
I’m looking to take a run at my first marathon at the end of 2019 or early 2020. Boston qualifying will always be on the checklist, but it’s still in the works. As long as training and miles continue to increase I’d like to take a jab a higher distance trail runs. In 2019 I plan to stay away from 5ks as much as I can unless the organization hosting is something dear to my heart.

What do you like best about living and running in KY?
We are not the most competitive running state at the high school, college and professional levels, but I love how the Bluegrass Family is very supportive for those individuals and teams who have made it up the ladder. Kentucky is also not the healthiest state, but I love following active groups whether it be running, cycling, paddling, hiking or CrossFit clubs/teams/organizations throughout the state. I love to promote running, but would rather promote an active lifestyle because of the benefits I mentioned above. Kentucky is progressing slowly in these areas and any active person would appreciate it if anyone contributed. Lastly, I’ve enjoyed running the trails, roads, hollers and hills of KY, but I’ve only ran a very small portion – another reason why I’ve loved it. It’s a great opportunity to explore KY and see God’s creation.

Anywhere else you would like to visit to run?
It’s hard to beat Eugene, Boulder and Colorado Springs, but any trail in the mountains near a lake is breathtaking. I’ll honestly be content with a trail I haven’t discovered or route near a historical landmark. I need to be a little more intentional about running at KY State Parks on the weekends. Our state is quite beautiful.

Do you have any bucket list races?
Boston Marathon, half or full marathon at Disney and Krispy Kreme Challenge. After running Bourbon Chase I would like to run more Ragnar Relays, but nothing else has caught my attention. Just enjoying the ride.

What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
I’ve always been one to run on my own schedule and if timing works, I’ll put some miles on my shoes. Sometimes this can be rough if due to overcommitting myself to other events on my calendar.

What do you see as a trend in running?
The Incline, Manitou Springs, CO 

Ultras are becoming more common in the region as well as participation in club runs. Running clubs across the state are being started by organizations, specialty running stores, individuals and other ways for accountability purposes and community. This involvement has increased participation in road/trail races, too. Will Rivera out of E-town and Matt Hoyes from Bardstown are two central Kentucky known ultra-runners who have done the dirty work and have inspired roadrunners, like myself, to get a taste of trail races and longer distances.

If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
The mental side of running is just as important as the physical portion. Remember the reason why you started running, why you’ve continued running, who you’re doing it for or what you plan to gain out of it – and use this to encourage yourself and others. Breaking it down from the beginning helps breaking down the mental and physical barriers that lie ahead of you.

Do you have a website or other social media site you would like to share?
Any closing comments?
If you’re based out of Campbellsville-Taylor County or close, join the Campbellsville Running Club this December or the New Year for group runs:
  • Dates & Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30 PM EST
  • Start: Harden Coffee on Main Street

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