How did you get into running?
I started running competitively when I was a freshman in high school. I played youth sports growing up (soccer, basketball, baseball) and I was sure I was destined for the Major Leagues. However, when high school rolled around, and all of my friends hit their growth spurt, I did not. I was 5’3” and weighed 95 lbs soaking wet. I simply was not strong enough to play high school baseball, and I was cut from the team. All of my friends could not believe I decided to go out for the track team. Nothing about my athletic past would indicate I would be a good runner. In fact, I was the slowest kid on our baseball team. You could time how long it took me to run the bases with a sun dial. I once hit a soft fly ball over a shortstops head and into shallow left field. The left fielder picked up the ball and tossed it to first base; I was not quick enough to beat out the throw and was called out at first.
It took some time before I started seeing quality results as a runner. I did not qualify for the State Meet when I was a freshman, but by the time I was junior, I was a State Champion!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
In Track and Field, you can measure how good someone is by the times they run and the races they win. I nearly walked away from professional running at the end of 2016, however, the idea of looking back at my personal bests in 20, 30, 40 years and knowing I may have been able run quicker terrified me. Now I am working with some of the best coaches in the world (Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs). It is easy to get out of bed each morning because I am confident the program they have created will allow me to maximize my potential.
Biggest running accomplishment and future goals?
Every kid watches the Olympics growing up and dreams of representing their country one day. I have qualified for two Olympic Trials in my career. I am proud to have put myself on a stage that would allow me to qualify for the Olympics. Unfortunately, I have yet to make a team. My future goal is to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
What will you do differently/better to achieve these goals?
Over the past five years, I have paid close attention to what I was eating and putting into my body. It was only after I started working at The Feed that I realized there was a lot more I could be doing from a nutrition standpoint that would help me improve my ability to train at a high level. To be a great athlete, you need to work hard. To work hard, you need to fuel properly. I am looking forward to using the knowledge I have gained from working at The Feed and incorporating it into my training.
What is the most important aspect of training?
Commitment. I believe the most important part of training at a high level is an unwavering commitment to the process. There are so many aspects to training; aerobic development, anaerobic specificity, recovery, nutrition, etc. You can not afford to neglect any of these areas if you want to be your best. I believe committing to your training and making the decision to live the lifestyle of an elite athlete is the most important thing you can do.
We hear that you have a very fast better-half? Who wins on the morning run?
I do! My girlfriend, Sara Sutherland also runs professionally. I am mildly biased, but I strongly believe Sara has a bright future in the sport. It is nice having Sara at practice every day. We do a good job supporting each other, and we will do some of our easy runs together. I did have a humbling run this fall; we were doing a hard 12 mile run on some of the dirt roads around Boulder. Sara and I started at the same time, and I put a good amount of distance on her early in the run. I had to make a bathroom stop 5 miles into the run. When I got out of the bathroom, I saw Sara in front of me, pretty far off in the distance. Despite my best efforts, I could not reel her in. I saw her peak over her shoulder a couples times over the final 7 miles. She won’t admit it, but she was trying to hold me off that day - She did!
Your three must-have nutritional products?This is a tough question. I use a lot more than three products from The Feed. However, if I have to choose three product I could not live without I would have to pick Nuun Vitamins, Good Day Sleep Chocolates, and HOTSHOT.
- Nuun Vitamins - I always have my water bottle on me. It is so easy to toss a Nuun tablet in my bottle to make sure I am staying properly hydrated.
- Good Day Sleep Chocolates - Everyone loves a good night's sleep. Sometimes it can be difficult to fall asleep. I tried Good Day Sleep Chocolates for the first time this winter and fell in love with them. One chocolate will put me to sleep 15 minutes after I eat it. I also travel internationally to compete occasionally. I recently flew to London for a race. I took Good Day Sleep Chocolates on the plane flight over and slept like a baby. I have never adjusted to international travel as well as I did after taking Good Day Sleep Chocolates.
- HOTSHOT - I have not had to use this product very often. Although, I had been having some trouble with cramping this spring. After putting down a bottle of HOTSHOT, I was able to rebound and finish my run easily. I was very impressed with how quickly this product worked.
Describe your role at The Feed (Director of Operations and Development)?
I wear a lot of hats at The Feed. I manage staffing, customer relations, and operations. We are continually working to provide our consumers with the best experience possible! My team and I work hard to communicate with customers and educate them on which products will help them train better. Once a customer knows which products they want, we do our best to get them their Feed Box quickly!