“It’s impossible, said pride.
It’s risky, said experience.
It’s pointless, said reason.
Give it a try, whispered the heart.”
Favorite running book: “You would think I have a favorite, but I don’t. If I had to pick one it would be Run Less. Run Faster, but not for what you think. It would be because of the numbers in the book. I am very analytical so I love seeing different paces and where you should be and what you should be doing based on different times. I look at it every now and then as a comparison.”
Favorite post-race meal: Burger and Beer. My favorite post long run treat is a root beer.
Favorite non-running activity: Going to concerts and listening to music
Favorite “P” from P3 - Passion. “I have so much passion for this sport it hurts. Passion is what keeps me going every day; through snow, rain, and sun.” ~Mike
Mike first started running when he was in Elementary School, running with his step-dad and uncles in local 5k races. He fell in love with the competition of the sport and ran in many races in Spokane during his teenage years. However, he didn’t like running by himself at the time so he didn't do a ton of training. Due to the inconsistency of training he ended up with Runners Knee, thought that he had bad knees and thus ended his running “career.”
Fast-forward to 2010, Mike was headed out to Hawaii for the first time. He decided to bring his gym shoes along for running on the beach. “I had a romantic view of this idea of running along the Hawaiian Beach in the morning with the sun coming up. So I ran. I ran every day I was there until I was so sore I couldn't physically run anymore. I found that love that I thought had escaped me many years ago. I decided on the beach that last day that I would go back home and I would cradle this love and not let it escape me again.”
Mike would then spend the next 7 years gradually increasing his mileage and distance. “I would eat up all of the knowledge I could obtain on how to train properly. At first I ran with music for motivation and a bunch of “nevers.” “I never thought I would run a marathon—I didn't think I could maintain focus for 26 miles, that is a LONG time. I eventually dropped music from my training runs and then races as I found the sounds around me soothing and also allowed me to focus on the tasks at hand, both in training and racing. “ As Mike trained and moved from 5K to 10K to the Half Marathon he felt a gentle pull toward the longer distance. It took him almost 2 years after he started before he ran his first Marathon. It was hard and amazing and I knew when I crossed that finish line that my life would NEVER be the same. My "nevers" for distance were now "nevers" for holding me back. I would never be afraid to push my limits from that point forward. I wanted desperately at this point to qualify for Boston; that was my new goal.”
With new goals set, Mike struggled with training and figuring out what he needed to do, what pacing, what quantity of miles, what quality of miles. “I believe fate led me to working with Michele and P3|Running and with guidance on a daily basis I am realizing all of my dreams.”
Mike has now completed 1 - 50 mile race and is ready to tackle a couple more before he takes that next leap to a 100 mile race. “I love running. It doesn't matter to me if it is the road or trail, training or racing. Lacing up those shoes and accomplishing the goal of the day, week, month, and year. I definitely get asked which I prefer and I would take either or both.”
When asked about his running hero; “Kara Goucher has become my running hero. Why? I think it’s because she wears her heart on her sleeve, she sticks up for what is right in the running community and gives it her all every single day.”
Mike’s favorite workout is the track. He believes that the long run, hill repeats, steady state, and tempo all have their place and their difficulties, but as he says, “I love going fast on the track. You really don’t have to hold back as much on the track as you do with the other workouts as the intervals are shorter in length.”
When it comes to training ground, the trails call to Mike. “I love to train at Cougar Mountain, depending on the day/weather it can be so different. It is usually quiet, just you and your footsteps…occasionally a squirrel or deer as well. Trail running forces you to focus on the moment and what is directly in front of you, so I like going out there to let my mind become untangled from life for a few hours.”
He loves both having a running buddy and running solo. If it’s a hard workout he prefers to run solo, but easy days he loves the company and to be able to catch up with friends for an hour or make new friends.
Favorite distance? “This is like choosing your favorite child…I guess if I need to pick one it would be the Half-Marathon. It is short enough you can push from the beginning and you can take some calculated risks, whereas with a Full or longer you need to bide your time. I have a special place in my heart for Mercer Island; it’s the first time I ran a sub 1:30. I remember that day so vividly; it was one of the first times I had a “make or break” moment. About 5 miles in I was running what I thought was way outside of my ability and I had to make a choice of whether to slow down or go for it. I chose to go for it and if I burned up, so be it, there is always another race.”
“Experience helps with needing to dig deep. Running the distance multiple times and learning how your body reacts in races builds confidence,” Mike says. “My strategy is just hold on and the moment will pass. It doesn’t always work out but I do my best to keep in a positive state of mind. There can be dark moments out there and what I learned is to embrace those, when you get through those moments they make you a better person. You can always hold on for one more minute, two more minutes, and then at some point that moment will pass and you will be back on your way to achieving our goal of the day.”
Mike recalls his funniest running moment with his Dad. He ran back after finishing the San Jose Rock-n-Roll to find his Dad and run in with him. “As we’re making our way back in he stopped to walk RIGHT in front of the cameras. The looks on our faces are priceless as in my mind I am thinking, ‘Wait. Never walk in front of the cameras, Dad!’ “So I have that thought in my mind and you can see he realizes it at the same time I am thinking it. It’s one of my favorite pictures from a race.”
Mike is most proud of Boston 2015. He didn’t get to run the race he had hoped for in 2014, be he loved that race as it was his first Boston and his entire family was there…”But in 2015 I executed a near flawless race plan and finished with my second ever sub-3 marathon. It wasn’t in ideal conditions, but I’ll always look back on that race fondly.”
In 2017 Mike’s goals are to run the Mt. Hood 50 miler and the North Face SF 50 miler. “I want to work to be better at this distance,” he says. “I also want to run a couple of great races at both the Boston and Chicago marathons this year.” Outside of this he wants to continue to improve and spend time with his family out on the race course; running a couple of races with his Dad and one with his sister.