dailymiler of the week: Patrick G.

Every few weeks we pick one inspiring dailymiler to be featured on the blog. This gives us a chance to learn the stories of members of the dailymile community. Check out past dailymiler’s of the week or nominate a dailymiler for a future post!

This week you’ll be getting to know Patrick G. who has been on dailymile since 2009. He’s a dedicated runner, an early riser and certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm for what he’s doing. Patrick is another runner who puts in an impressive amount of time and effort into his training and guess what? He’s not some elite who gets to eat, sleep, eat and train. He’s a regular person. I never cease to be fascinated by the countless dailymilers who are just like Patrick, putting in hard work and enjoying it to the fullest while juggling life’s other responsibilities – which include being a husband, father, a coach, and the president of a company!

I was equally impressed with his attitude toward running injuries. Patrick has dealt with his share of them and he has such a ‘zen’ perspective. Many who have dealt with injuries know that it’s easy to fall into despair when you can’t run, or you can’t run like you normally would. His response to my question seemed incredibly grounded to me and no doubt many of among us could learn a lot from his outlook.

Pike's Peak Marathon & Half Marathon

What struck me most about Patrick was that in each of his responses you can really feel his passion. I’ve never met him in person, but the main conclusion I’ve come to is that he must be an incredibly down-to-earth guy. He’s obviously a good runner, but what stands out the most is that he is clearly after more than just numbers and time goals, for him it’s also about fun.

Maybe I’m an easy person to impress, but I’ll let the rest of you be the judge of that :)

When did you first start running?
I originally ran Cross Country in High School where I won KS State 5A Championship in 1989!  I then attempted to run at Kansas State University, but after a couple years of injury prone running I gave up competitive running to focus on college.  I really didn’t run much for 15 years until my daughter started running in grade school and I decided to help coach her team.  That is where I met the friend, Kevin Swinicki, that introduced me to to Daily Mile.  Kevin got me back to really enjoying running again.  This was about 5 years ago.  Over the last couple years I have become obsesseed with getting faster again!  I love competing against myself.

Why running and not some other activity?
I love the feeling of going out for a long run and the freedom of running down dirt roads or trails.  It is safer than biking for me.  I had a couple close calls on a bike that took the fun out of that for me.  I also enjoy the fact that I can run with friends and talk while on the run.  Just can’t get any better than a nice long run with friends!

Have you ever dealt with an injury? How did you deal with it mentally?
In college I had two stress fractures in consecutive seasons and I ultimately gave up competitive running for some years.  Since coming back I did have a stress fracture and found that ART physical therapy cured my lower leg issues.  Then I had a broken metatarsal in my right foot that sidelined me.  I have had a couple calf issues.  However, I have really grown to appreciate compression wear and feel that I am getting very good at overcoming and moving past injuries.  I also recently have grown to love my Newton shoes.  While I have had a lot of differnt types of injuries I feel it is much better than a lot of other sports and I recognize that I regularly push the envelope of what I should be doing.  I try to push myself very hard.  Mentally, I do fine with it.  Running is my hobby so I don’t stress over it.  However, when injured I do REALLY miss the feeling of a good satisfying workout.

Your nominator mentioned you often get up at 4am to get your workouts in. Were you always an early riser? If not, how did you get into the habit?
I became a morning person in high school and college.  We regularly had 5am workouts and it became easy for me to get up early.  Now it is really the best time to go get a run in and fit it in my schedule.  There is something very peaceful about getting out early in the morning and getting the run in before most of my peers at work even get up!  I love seeing shooting stars in the morning.

The person who nominated you also mentioned that you are a busy bee. How do you juggle all of your responsibilities and still have the time and (more importantly) the energy to run?
I am busy but I draw energy and strength from running!  I am a happily married father of 5 children and I am also president of a large building material company in Wichita with over 300 employees.  I think my wife, kids and co-workers know that I am a better person for getting my run in and that it helps drive me to succeed at other things at home and work so they are amazingly supportive of my hobby!

What goal you are focusing on right now?
I really want to break 3 hours for the marathon but I think for the first half of this year I want to focus on getting my half marathon time to less then 1:20 and get qualified for New York in 2014 so I can go run it with some of my training partner friends!  Mostly I want to just stay in competitive shape and be able to go do challenging long runs with my friends.

What’s the toughest part about trying to reach that goal?
Staying healthy and not crossing that line that would lead to an injury!

It’s clear that you put in a lot of hard work just by looking at your dailymile profile. You train hard physically, but do you also train mentally? Do you have mental tricks that get you through tough runs or races?
I am proud of my mental strength!  In high school I used to listen to running psychology tapes and did a lot of mental image training.  I also used mantras during races and focused on that to keep my mind off of everything else.  Today I do my best racing when I am having fun!  I like to tell race volunteers “thanks” during runs and interact with spectators to make it more fun for me and them! The key thing is to know that the pain won’t hurt you.  I just put it out of my mind.  I even had half a root canal done without pain shots!

Pike's Peak Half Marathon & Marathon

How do you reward yourself after a race?
I love a good beer!  I also really enjoy the post race activities with friends.

Who has been most inspirational to you in your running journey?
In high school it was my XC coach and my track coaches.  They were awesome!  I was very lucky.   My friends are very supportive and I thank Daily Mile for keeping us all in touch on a regular basis!  Our friend, Kevin, is also been very inspirational as he quit his corporate job and opened GoRun Wichita running store and has done so much in our community to grow the love of running.  He is also the one that has helped me coach a group of 50+ middle schoolers for the last 5 years.  I have to say right now my wife has been my biggest supporter and inspiration.  She was an awesome runner at Kansas State University when we met and had an awesome career. She knows what it feels like to go race and therefore knows how much fun it is for me.  Plus, I always remind her that it is much quicker to go run 15 miles than it is to go play 18 holes of golf!

THANK YOU dailymile for having such a wonderful website where we all get to post and share our running experiences.

And a big thank you to you Patrick for answering my questions and for being such a vibrant part of the dailymile community.

About Steph

A used-to-be-un-athletic-wannabe-ultra-runner-running-coach-history-lover-turned-science-nerd-student from Montreal, Canada. She runs to wake her brain up for the day, to keep sane and to keep Zoe (her dog) happy. After 4 marathon and 2 ultras in two years, she has decided to spend the rest of 2012 and 2013 building speed and working toward a faster 5km. But she won't forget her desire to run a 100 miler someday! When she's not running or having her brain eaten by school she's writing, reading or singing in her garden. She dreams of one day having a farm with chickens that she will love and never eat.
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