Now it's time for another runner spotlight...my favorite time of the week! I love reading other runners' stories about their running journey! If you are interested in being spotlighted on my blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to spotlight you! You don't have to have a blog to be spotlighted...you just have to be a runner! ;-)
Today I'm spotlighting Austin from Running-Write! I'm super excited because this is my first male runner spotlight!!! Keep reading to learn more about Austin and his running journey!
Name: Austin Bonds
When and why did you start running?
I suppose that the starting point for my running story is 2007. From what I can recollect, I remember that I wanted to become more physically active. Since I didn't have a gym membership at the time, a simple but profound thought popped into my head one day: go for a run. Knowing nothing about how to run, I took some laps through my neighborhood and had very sore muscles the next day. I like to tell people now that running is like lifting weights - start slowly and add resistance (mileage). With time, you are capable of remarkable accomplishments. I completed my first marathon on March 30, 2008 - the Georgia Marathon - which was my first race too. I finished in 4:09. Fast forward to today and I’ve completed eight marathons (seven on the road and one on the trail). For me, running is joy.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
I’d have to say that the marathon is my favorite race distance since I’ve completed eight. I completed a trail marathon in February 2013 called Thrill in the Hills. This race is my favorite right now. When I started the race my focus wasn’t on a good finish time as it was on simply staying focused mentally so that I could avoid tripping or rolling my ankle. Thankfully, I didn’t fall once. I finished the race in 3:57 - which was first in my age group!
What is your race day routine?
I don’t do many races a year, but I try to follow a pattern of consistency when it comes to race day. Like other runners, I get out all of the gear I’ll be wearing for the race the night before so I can dress quickly. I usually arrive at the race an hour early so I can jog for about 10-15 minutes to warm up my legs and get the muscles firing. Arriving early also allows me to take care of any intestinal issues so they are less likely to surface during the race. I kiss my wife, line up in the corral, pray, and run hard.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
This is no doubt a nod to my wife, but I’ve come to appreciate my Road ID bracelet as the most essential piece of running gear I own. Every time I go out for a run I slip it over my wrist in case I’m in an accident and become incapacitated. She feels safer knowing that I wear it, and I want to do all that I can to put her mind at ease.
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
I tend to run fairly heavy mileage, so I don’t follow any specific diet plans. I believe that moderation is a great course of action to pursue in regards to food as it relates to running. What’s so fascinating about cardiovascular activity like running is that it makes you very hungry – but it’s incumbent upon us to be mindful of what we eat. I focus on maintaining my weight, but if I’ve had a long run or pushed myself hard during a workout, I will have a little extra ice Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
As to supplements, I usually alternate between Powerade and water for hydration during longer runs and use gels for fuel (I like the e Gel by Crank Sports for the added potassium and sodium, along with the Chia Energy Gel by Huma – this gel is gluten free for runners who have gluten sensitivity or allergies).
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
As someone who now works at a specialty running store, I wish I had known when I first started running that being properly fitted for shoes is essential. Being fitted reduces the likelihood of injury since shoes protect the feet from impact, provide the right level of stability based on pronation tendencies, and accommodate unique foot shapes. So – if you have not been fitted for running shoes – go do it!
What is your fondest running memory?
The fondest memory I have of running is the most recent marathon I completed. In March 2013 I finished the Georgia Marathon with a new personal record of 3:17. This course, like other races in Atlanta, is quite hilly – the elevation changes are constant and intense. Frankly, I’m surprised I finished this race so quickly. Like many runners, my eyes are focused on qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Therefore, I need to shave off another twelve minutes for the 3:05 qualifying time. This is a major undertaking, but I believe I can do it in 2014 or 2015.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
I’d say that most people don’t know that I’m focusing on entrepreneurship right now. My hope is to see Running Write, a running blog that I’ve started, potentially become a business and a well-known voice in the running community. This process is still early, but I hope to see the website emerge in visibility and readership with time. I have degrees in business and education, but running is where my long term career vision is taking shape. I’m even pondering the idea of becoming a race director. Time will tell though.
Here are all the different ways you can connect with Austin!
Thanks so much for sharing with us Austin!!!
QOTD: Do you prefer running on the road or trails?