Originally from Pittsburgh, David has moved around quite a bit, including stops in Arizona, California, back to Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. Most recently, he has settled in Houston (Pearland) where he works as an engineer for Continental / United. David is married with a two kids, six and eight years old. He reports that his eldest is a bit into running kids races, but only so she can stay one medal ahead of her younger brother! Having met his wife through a running club in Pittsburgh, David has enjoyed running with clubs each place he has lived, and has even coached USA F.I.T. teams along the way.
Coach: How did you start running?
DB: Well, when I was in California, one of my coworkers in 1995 talked me into doing the 1996 Los Angeles Marathon. I was completely oblivious to any of the training plans out there, so I bought a book. It was kind of disastrous. What helped me was the Mt. Baldy run, 8 miles up. Hill training really helped me, and I ran a lot with some of the Road Runners clubs. 10 years after I left California, I found a club in Pittsburgh, called People Who Run Downtown. Every Tuesday evening, they would meet at a bar or a restaurant and run 2,4, or 6 miles. By the time I moved to Houston, I had run three marathons by that point and run Pittsburgh. I thought I was done with the long runs, but my boss was running Houston. I met him at mile 22 and ended up running him in. I kind of caught the bug again, so here I am looking forward to two more marathons this year.
Coach: Who is your running role model?
DB: The only role models I have, I realize they are the people I have met through the running clubs. They are the typical runner, anywhere from a 3.5 hour marathoner to the people that are doing the walking. Everyone is out there to enjoy themselves, just have fun, and get to know people.
Coach: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?
DB: I was trying to remember all the racing that I have done so I could answer this question. I came up with one idea, but in this case it was it was more of an incentive for me while I am racing. My wife and kids try to get around the marathon course to see me as many times as they can. I try not to allow her to do this [by going as fast as possible]! The slower I go, the more times they can see me. So, she had a PR of five two years ago when I ran 4:30. However, no matter what race it is, that has always been the most memorable thing, coming around the bend and seeing them.
Coach: What have you enjoyed about working with us?
DB: A lot of it has been talking and emailing with the coaches. One of the things I really like is that even when I have coached, it is a standard schedule and doesn’t take into account your fitness. With this, you can run a time trial and if you end up doing better than what is showing, then you can have your schedule adjusted so you can train harder and vice versa. I really dread speed work, I’d much prefer hills. Because I am not that fast right now, I can do my speed work on the treadmill. I do my warm up on the track, then set the treadmill on a slight incline and set the paces for what FNF has told me. Although I dread doing it, it is a balance between not looking forward to it, and seeing the payback for it.
Coach: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?
DB: I guess I have a couple. One I have had from a racing standpoint from the California club days is that only on a run of 10 of miles or more, I’ll do Vaseline on my feet. I don’t know if I would get blisters otherwise, but I have never gotten blisters doing it. A bunch of us would do mud runs, so we got dogtags, and everywhere I go now I get new ones, even if the information is already on my bib. I got shoe tags from USA FIT, and still use those.
Coach: What is your favorite place to go for a run?
DB: Whenever we go on vacation, no matter where we go. I’ll usually go for an early morning run; not a fast run, but just exploring, finding parks and restaurants. Then during the day we’ll try out those parks and restaurants.
Coach: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?
DB: I hope to actually come up with that magical racing moment. I’ve worked with Kate on the schedule because I am really training for Houston. It will be a big jump for New York, but I am just using it as a long run. I’m hoping to run a reasonably slow, well-paced long run. My dad and grandfather grew up there and I have only really been there twice, once to help with clean up after 9/11. I’ve run Houston, and even though last year was fantastic, it Is still businesslike.
My goals for Houston last year were first, always finish, and second, break a PR (4:13). The third goal was to break four hours. I ran 4:03. I was happy, as the projection from FNF was 4:04. I knew from mile 12 that I wasn’t going to break the four. I was going to move on to half marathons, but now I’m optimistic that as long as I stay healthy I have a reasonable shot at it!