I have been athlete most of my life, swim team, soccer and basketball. In high school and college basketball consumed a very large part of my time. I played 4 years of College Varsity Basketball at Colby College in Maine. I am 6’6” and a big guy so I am not the most nimble on my feet.
After College, I searched for my next challenge. I saw the Ironman Triathlon on TV. I was a good swimmer and I bought a bike and I knew I could slog through the run as it was just about mental toughness. Through my younger years running was a punishment not something that was fun. I completed my first Ironman in 2003. After that race I made a life goal to complete an Ironman Triathlon each decade (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s). As I was preparing for my second Ironman in 2012 a friend suggested I read the book Born to Run and it totally changed my thinking. I realized that running was painful because I was a heal striker. I started to work hard on changing my gait. I bought those ridiculous toe shoes and it was what I needed to make the conversation and give my brain the feeling of what it is like to run without pain. I still have to work hard every run to stay a mid-foot striker. I started to love running. Up to this point I would only run because it was part of a Triathlon and a necessity.
At the time, I worked long hours and loved heading out at night after putting my children to bed for a night run with my headlamp. I also found that part of my problem was that I could not turn my brain off from the other entire thing happening in life and work. Music did not do it for me. I started to listen to audio books and again click, another piece of the puzzle fell into place. This kept my brain engaged just enough to stay focused on the proper gait (so running was not painful) and I could also not perseverate on all other aspects of life, leaving just enough room to enjoy the run and my surroundings.
I have completed one trail marathon, the Big Bend Ultra 50K as well as the winter 25K at Yankee Springs. I run 10 to 30 miles a week with no problem. I do most of my running in the woods on trails as I love the connection with nature. So, if you see a Sasquatch in the woods it is probably just me out for an evening run.