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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Suckered In

It happened.  Again.  I got suckered in by my friend Billy.  He's pretty well known in the blogging community as L.A. Runner, and he's been trying to get me to blog for about a year.  I've been hesitant, but conceded a little when I set up this account a few month ago after finishing my first 100 miler, the H.U.R.T. 100 Mile Trail Race.  But, for whatever reason, I never really followed through.  Anyway, I just got back from running the LA Marathon where I saw many great friends--and voracious bloggers--who all kept asking me when I was going to start blogging.  My friend Danica aka chicrunner  was also encouraging me to start Tweeting....Hmmm.  Well, friends, here I am.  Blogging.  Happy now?  Actually, I'm quite excited to be here and hope that I can contribute something to the community.  I don't propose to know everything, but I have had some success with running, and it is my hope that I can help other runners out there find success in their running.  I guess I'll start off with brief Q&A about myself. Here are the basics:

Ryan (Hi!)

Honolulu, Hawaii

What do you do besides running?
Until recently, I worked as a pilot flying medical transports here in Hawaii.  I will be going to grad school in the fall to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.  I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, cycling, swimming (in the ocean all year long).  I also coach high school cross country and track.  I love reading, hanging out with friends, and am thinking of trying home brewing soon!

How much do you train?
I try to run 6 times a week, but have learned to accept that I sometimes have to miss a workout and that's okay.  Life happens.  Running should be a fun, never a job.  I believe firmly in taking rest days to recover properly.  I don't follow any set schedule, though I do borrow ideas from many different books/coaches.  My weekly mileage is typically around 45-50 miles, though that fluctuates.  High mileage is not inherently bad, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary to achieve good results.  I prefer to be slightly undertrained but healthy than push myself to the limit in training and get to the starting line hurting.

Did you run in high school and college?
Yes.  I ran cross country and track in high school and college at Bowdoin (also Joan Benoit Samuelson's ala mater).  I also did a little steeple chasing back in the day.  That's one tough race.

What kind of races do you run?
I run races from 5k to 100 miles, though I gravitate towards the longer stuff.  I'm all about trying new challenges, so I never really specialize (for better or for worse).  I like racing the half marathon, enjoy the excitement surrounding marathons, and love the people in the ultra running community.  I usually pick races based on the experience I think I will get out of it (location, friends also running) rather than on the course itself or the potential for a PR.

What's your favorite race?
That's tough, but I'd have to say the Boston Marathon.  I'd run it every year if I could.  Ultras organized by PCTR and H.U.R.T. are also top-notch and always fun.  I'm looking forward to running the New York City Marathon this year.

What are your PR's?
I don't really think PR's are that important, but here are some of mine for those of you who are curious.
5k 16:02
10k 35:08
Half 1:19
Marathon 2:56

Do you use a Garmin?

Why not?

Why do you run?
While I enjoyed running competitively, I feel as if I am past that stage in my career.  This is not to say that I don't like pushing myself to run faster or farther, but simply that I am not so motivated by competition and winning.  I run because it is fun.  I enjoy being around fellow runners and friends.  After college I stopped running for a few years, gained weight and felt miserable.  I worked hard to get myself back in shape, and now that I am healthy again, I just want to continue to take care of myself and have a positive hobby.  Running provides all that.  Running helps me feel good about myself and what I am doing with my time here on earth.

Who is your favorite runner?
There are many great athletes, but I am very much inspired by the accomplishments and humility of Haile Gebrselassie.  I have lots of respect for runners like Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher, too, who are showing Americans that it can be cool to be a runner--and doing a damn good job of it, I might add.

If you have any other questions, just ask.  Thanks for reading.