Happy Tuesday! I don’t know about you but all this rain we’re getting here in South Carolina is bringing my mood down. I had to resort to the treadmill last night to get my 4.5 mile run in. I’ve vowed to stay off the treadmill as much as possible for the remainder of the year but the thunderstorms we were getting made it a more ideal option. I swear I’m much slower on a treadmill though. And I found myself taking walking breaks. Ugh!
So to brighten up the mood, let’s talk about this week’s featured runner! He is a musician turned runner and in a within a year of starting out running, he completed his first marathon. He skipped over all the other distances and got right down to business! He set his sights on that marathon as his first goal and used the other race distances for training and to build his base. Amazing…and it goes to show you that you can achieve your dreams if you put your mind to it! So without further adieu…
Hello! I’m Glenn Sewell, a freelance musician and runner in Alexandria, VA. I moved to this area in 2002 following grad school at Indiana University – Go Hoosiers! Thank you for reading!
Name: Glenn Sewell
Location: Alexandria, VA
How and why did you start running?
I have been running since 2007 and the story is kind of funny. The first race I ever spectated of my then-girlfriend-now-wife, Jenny (see photos), was the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon. I watched with her mother and she is the type of spectator who loves to be at as many mile markers as possible, so I must’ve walked 10 miles that day! I found it exhausting and told Jenny that I would just run MCM the following year because it had to be easier! So, I started slowly building my base after that, running some 5Ks, etc., and ultimately did run the 2008 MCM and have run four more marathons since then.
Why do you run?
For many reasons, but three stick out: 1. For my health – it goes without saying that distance running is good for you and remaining healthy, active, and in shape is so much better than the opposite. 2. Because it just feels so good and is a panacea for everything. 3. To spend more time with my wife. Running together is our favorite pastime.
How has running changed you?
I’m healthier and in so much better physical shape now. I was never overweight, but I think that if I had not started running I would be much heavier today than I actually am (mostly due to my love of beer!). I can see it in old photos. I was on that path. It’s also helped me get over a fear I’ve always had of overexertion. I don’t know if there is a word for a fear of your heart beating too quickly, but I had it. Now, I don’t. And I owe it to countless track workouts and 5Ks where I pushed myself to the limit.
Which race distances have you run and which one is your favorite? Why?
5K, 8K, 10K, Half-marathon, 20-milers, and marathons. Each has its own unique pros/cons, but I love the 5K. I am sprinter naturally and I love to run fast and short. One of my biggest goals currently is to run a sub-20 5K. My current PR is 20:30. That said, my very first real 5K race I completed in 27 minutes, so I am proud to have shaved off that much time!
What an awesome accomplishment to run the Marine Corps Marathon only a year after spectating it in 2007, the same you decided to start running!! Tell us how you felt when you crossed that finish line and achieved that goal you set only a year before.
I broke down in tears in my wife’s arms as I usually do at the end of any marathon. We’ve spent hours and hours training together and to see her there at the end (she’s faster than I am and always finishes first!) is quite an emotional experience.
How do you fuel for your runs and/or races?
Before normal shorter runs and races I like to fuel with almond butter on toast. During longer runs I think I’m pretty typical – water/Gatorade, Gu gels, sports beans. I also love the post-run chocolate milk!
Which race was your favorite and why?
I think my very first marathon (MCM 2008) was the most memorable, obviously, because I went into it not knowing that I could even finish despite all of the training. The most beautiful race I’ve ever completed was the Falmouth Road Race. That should be a bucket list race for everyone!
What tips would you give your former self or someone just starting out?
First, go to a running store and get the right shoes for you. I did not and ended up with terrible IT band issues when I first started out. Second, find an experienced runner to run with and who is willing to be patient with you. I was lucky. That person was my wife!
Do you listen to music while running? Share a couple of your must haves for your race playlist!
Definitely not. In addition to wanting to be aware of my surroundings at all times one of my very favorite things about running is being lost in my thoughts. Music drowns that out. Plus the wires are annoying.
What is your greatest running achievement to date?
Completing a marathon a little less than one year from beginning to run.
What is your dream race? No limits, anywhere in the world! And why?
Big Sur! It just looks so beautiful.
Have you ever won or placed in a race? Tell us about it!
Yes, in some smaller 5Ks I’ve placed top 3 in my age group. That’s always fun.
Have you dealt with any injuries or health issues in your running journey? What were they and what did you do to overcome them?
See question #8. I simply found the right shoes and the injuries went away!
What running goals do you have for 2014?
A sub-20 5K! I ran two marathons last year (in a span of two weeks!), so I am concentrating on shorter distances this year.
What tips would you give someone who had a hard time finding the motivation to run longer distances or lacks the motivation to run at all?
Don’t think about it. Just put on your shoes and go. Make it a habit like brushing your teeth and soon you won’t be able to live without it. You will ALWAYS feel better after a run.
Are you brand loyal or do you use different brands? Tell us what your favorites are and why!
Not really. I do run in mostly Asics, though.
What is your favorite running gear item and why?
I don’t really have one. I try to keep it simple and not weigh myself down with too many “things”. I have found that Nike Dri Fit shirts are fantastic and generally pull those out of the drawer first.
Have you volunteered for a race before? Tell us about your experience!
What time of day do you prefer to run and why?
Depends. I love mornings and it’s critical to get out early during the summer in D.C. But I also enjoy the post-work run to relieve the stresses of the day.
Are you a part of a running club/group? How has that helped you with your running?
I am not.
Besides running, what other passions do you have?
Music. I am a freelance classical percussionist!
We all have our own quirks. What is one of yours?
I get extremely agitated, anxious, and stressed when I am late for anything. Is that a quirk?
Have something to share that I didn’t ask? Feel free to add it!
I really, really want to meet and run with Kara Goucher. Can anyone make that happen, please?!
Connect with Glenn on Twitter: @glenns_music!
Thanks for sharing with us Glenn!
Do you have any questions for Glenn? Feel free to leave them in the comments!
Are you interested in being featured also?
Fill out the form and I will respond with your questions and additional information regarding the feature!
See you on the road!