dailymiler of the week: Vern M.

Vern Myers doesn’t race much. He runs for what running gives him – physical fitness, an outlet for stress relief, quiet reflective hours. “It gives me a mindset that anything is possible,” Myers says. Not that he’s opposed to entering a local 5K here, a Turkey Trot 10K there. He just doesn’t care that much for big events. He runs the local marathon, The Gusher, each year and he completed his first ultra, the Rocky Raccoon 50K in Huntsville, Texas, last November. Crossing the line on that one was a very personal moment. His favorite annual outing, the Deer Fly Festival 25K Trail Run, isn’t an “official” race at all. It’s a free event – no registration forms or fees. It’s really just a group run with finisher’s medals. “You just let the race director know you’re coming or show up and sign in at the race.”

Before Vern took up serious running in 2008, he took daily brisk walks and threw in a jogged interval every once in a while. He did a bit of cycling too. He just wanted to keep up some general fitness. But then, as he grew older, he looked around and observed that the most active people maintained a great quality of life as they aged. That’s when he took up running. He says, “I just decided I wanted to step it up a notch fitness-wise.”

About a year after he started running, Myers discovered dailymile. He joined because it looked like a cool way to log and track his workouts. The big surprise came when he started meeting people. He loves sharing thoughts and encouragement with those in his network of friends. “The support here has contributed to my successes in a big way,” he says. “I’ve made some close friendships that I really treasure.”

Outside of running and general fitness, Myers reports a love for reading, camping and kayaking. He spends his spare time on do-it-yourself home improvement projects and “playing the guitar poorly.” He is also passionate about caring for the environment and advocating for animal rights. Both concerns have led him to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vern gives these tidbits of advice to beginning runners. “Build up slow and gradual. Schedule recovery days into your program. Listen to your body and take extra recovery when you need it.” In addition he suggests cross training saying, “Sometimes runners neglect everything except their legs.”

Myers heeds his own advice. He cross trains on his bike, lifts weights and practices yoga. Yoga is, according to him, the yin to running’s yang. “Running, cycling, and weight training all tighten the muscles,” he states. “Yoga loosens them.” He believes the meditative part of yoga helps him make the mind-body connection which keeps him in tune with what his body is saying to him as he runs. The physical component increases his range of motion making his running more efficient.

About Mike N

Mike Neifert is an avid runner and cyclist who lives on the plains of Kansas. He works out mostly in the early morning hours before the sun comes up. He drags his wife and kids along on runs and rides whenever he can. He's run a 50K, but not a marathon. He wants to ride 200 miles in a day sometime soon and plans to run 100 miles in less than 24 hours in November 2012.
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