Friday, November 1, 2013

Runner of the Week (11-01-2013)

Name: Matt Orlando

Twitter: @TheRunnerDad

Blog: The Runner Dad

How long have you been running?
I started running in 1995. A friend of mine convinced me, against my will, to sign up for the Cross Country team. I used to think those guys were crazy, running around in the heat for no reason what so ever. Well, needless to say I became one of those crazy runners, still going strong after 18 years.

What/who motivated you to start running?
For me I think the better question is what motivates me to keep running. As a runner (and a person), you evolve so much over time that the reason for starting and reason for continuing are usually not one in the same. I first started to have something to do in high school. I continued running in college to keep me in shape and explore the local area. In my mid-twenties, my best friend challenged me to run a half-marathon.  This in turn motivated me to run a full-marathon, which got me involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program. Shortly after I lost my brother to cancer, which motivated me to stay involved with Team in Training. For a brief time, life got crazy, time got away from me, and I sort of lost my way. Thankfully, in 2012 my son was born, and that rekindle the motivational flame within me to get up and get moving. Add on to that my desire to lose the weight I had put on (I'm now down 23lbs since April), and I've been on fire for running again since.

What’s something that you can’t run without?
In all honesty, there is nothing I cannot run without. I prefer the sounds of the environment over listening to music. I use a Garmin, but some of my best runs are spent without it. A shirt is optional depending on the weather, and I have even been known to go barefoot, should the surface allow for it. I suppose some would call it minimalist, but I prefer to just call it me being me.

What is your favorite race you have ever done or place to run?
I think those are two distinct questions. My favorite race would be the Virginia Beach Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon. I've run it several times, twice with Team in Training, and have a blast every time I am there. As to my favorite place to run? Give me a good trail, the more challenging the better, and I am in running heaven. I do, however, love running at the Jersey shore boardwalk in the summer and fall, which is where I have been doing most of my runs as of late.

What is the best advice you would give a beginning runner?
I would have to just reiterate my mantra, which is this:Find the Reason. Find the Courage. Find the Strength. Above all, have fun and enjoy the journey.

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