What got you out running/walking for the first time?
Although I was active growing up and through my 20’s, I slowed down and over the next 25+ years I accumulated a few more pounds than I’d like to admit. Over Memorial Day 2013 I decided I would change my lifestyle and diet and began to walk each day which then progressed to hiking. As I continued to lose weight during my 2nd year, I gradually started to run. Initially I would walk a block and then run a block and each time out I would attempt to run a little further and run a little faster and eventually lost 70 pounds and got my weight back to where it was at when I was in college.
What’s a song that helps pick up your pace?
I don’t listen to music when I run preferring to listen to the sounds around me. I have to admit though I do enjoy hearing it during the races. It definitely can help you step up your tempo.
What is the race medal you are most proud of and why?
2015 San Francisco Marathon. This was my 2nd race and first marathon. I was also fortunate enough to have BQ’d during this race and it set me on my current course.
What is your dream race or location for a run?
I have so many races and locations I would love to run. I’m looking to complete the Abbott World majors, but also look to do some trail runs in places like New Zealand or the Swiss Alps.
What is your favorite trail to run?
Pinnacles National Park. I figure I’ve visited the park over 200 times since 2013. The views are incredible and it’s always great when the California Condors are sighted, but this was where it all began for me. I started hiking this park when I was attempting to lose weight. When I first started I couldn’t even hike up the hills without taking constant breaks every few feet. I eventually worked up to a weekly 18 mile run that includes 4,000 feet of elevation gain. The first time I was able to complete the full run without walking was in the Fall of 2016, three years after I started visiting the park.
What’s your favorite race distance?
I would have to say it’s the marathon. Shorter races are over so quickly while the marathon you need to prepare and it’s so much more meaningful to me.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or that you have seen on the trail?
During the 2016 Chicago Marathon I came across a guy running barefoot and only wearing a caveman loin cloth. I later saw a picture of him in Runners World. During another marathon, there was a gentleman doing cartwheels at around mile 20. At that point in the race I was having a hard time moving forward so I was amazed to see acrobatics that late in the race.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t running?
I enjoy backpacking, traveling and cooking. It’s always fun exploring new areas and having new experiences. This year I’m off to backpack in Utah and I also plan to spend a week exploring New York when I’m back running the NYC Marathon. I have to admit though the best way to explore new areas when traveling is during a long run.
Who are your running heroes? Who inspires you?
There are so many incredible runners out there it’s hard to come up with just one. The one that probably has had the largest impact on me though is Shalane Flanagan. I had an opportunity to meet her in Boston in 2017 and look up to all that she’s accomplished. You’ll more often than not find a batch of her Superhero Muffin’s in my fridge from her cookbook “Run Fast, Eat Slow”. I also marvel at Meb and his ability to win the Boston Marathon in 2014.
Describe the moment you realized you were a “runner”.
I ran my first race in April 2015 at the Presidio 10 and took 2nd in my age group. That evening after the race I figured I must be a runner and signed up for the San Francisco Marathon in July.
What are your goals?
I currently have two running goals. First I would like to run a sub 3 hour marathon which means I need to shave 10 minutes off my current PR set last December. My second goal would be to earn a silver buckle at Western States. Not sure if I can achieve either at this stage of my life, but it will be an interesting journey trying.
What’s your favorite beer (or other drink if you don’t drink beer)?
I grew up drinking Bud Light in the Midwest, but more often than not you’ll find Shock Top, Shiner Bock or Angry Orchard in my fridge.