Bill, you are regularly active. Why do you exercise?
Due to genetics and some not taking very good care of myself in the past, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in my early 40’s. Exercise combined with proper diet goes a long way to keeping your blood sugar and triglycerides low.
You’ve attended a lot of running events, which one was your favorite? Any coming up soon?
My favorite race is the Louisiana Marathon in Baton Rouge. I’ve run both the 13.1 and 26.2 mile distances. The highlight of the race is the segment of the course that runs through the LSU campus. Being a Razorback fan, it’s hard not to call the Hogs when you run past Death Valley. I’m training for the Little Rock Half Marathon on March 3. It’s my first major race since taking off from running for a few months last year. Training has been going very well and I look forward to a great run in my home town.
Do you ever include your family and friends in your events or do you prefer to go solo?
Running is social life for me. Race trips are always great with friends. When I started running back in 2010, I attended the Thursday night fun runs at Go! Running, a local running store. That’s where I met my core group of friends. I’ve also made friends from other clubs in Conway, Benton and Cabot. Most regions and larger towns in Arkansas are home to a Road Runners Club of America Chapter.
What would be your advice if someone wanted to start participating who has never been to one of these events?
For the women who are looking to make that change from couch to 5k whether running or walking, I highly recommend the Women Run Arkansas Clinics. These are guided running groups based on pace and experience. I help coach the Hillcrest Clinic that meets at War Memorial Park down the street from UAMS. I really wish there was a similar resource for men. But, in that same spirit, find a running store that hosts group runs or look for an RRCA club. You will find that runners are very generous with their time in helping someone who is new to the sport get started.
With the weather being so crazy in Arkansas lately, what is your advice for someone who needs to dress for a cold run?
Multiple layers comprised of wicking fabric are very important. Wicking fabric pulls sweat from the body to the exterior of the shirt where it can evaporate easily. I don’t recommend traditional cotton sweat suits for running. They get wet and sodden and no longer warm the body. Instead, look for “tech” winter gear. Under Armour, Nike and Brooks make great products. Shop around to get the best value and check your locals for sales before going online.
Have you ever had to overcome any injuries while training for the half or whole marathon?
In 2011, I spent weeks training for my first full marathon. On the morning of my 20-mile long run, I slipped on some ice and broke my foot. The UAMS orthopaedic clinic benched me for six weeks and I had to wear a walking boot. It was a huge disappointment, but I followed my physician’s instructions to the letter and was able to get out training again. Injury requires patience and compliance. Avoidance of injury is also important. Taking rest days, cross training with walking, yoga or cycling are all good modalities to fill in those days where you don’t run. My first training partner was a retired ultra-runner who recommended no more than three runs a week: two short distances and your long run on the weekend. Fill in the rest with something else.
Do you feel like your exercise helps you manage your stress?
Yes, I forgot that when I went through a stressful time last year. Exercise provides so much more to your well-being than a chemical or food alternative. You have to learn that it’s self-care. Make the time, put the phone in the drawer if you can, and go to the gym, track or trail.
When the weather is bad out, what is your go to indoor activity?
Treadmill time at the UAMS Fitness Center! I also make myself get out to walk or run in the rain on occasion. Little Rock is one race where the weather is so unpredictable. You will have cold, heat and precipitation in all forms. In 2014, we started at close to 60 degrees. By the time the organizers called the race, it was sleeting and below freezing when runners were pulled from the course.