December 2016 Runner of the Month – Vincent Pavic


1) How long have you been a runner and what sparked your interest to begin running?

Having played sports all my life I think I’ve always been running, but as a sport itself I’ve been running since 2002.  I started in order to drop a few pounds and as an extra activity at the gym.

2) Where are some of your favorite places to run?

This is hard to say.  I enjoy running in new places, but I’m quite content running on my normal 4-mile loops near my home.  I like to mix it up and will run the trails through the City Park and will go into Ocean City to run the Boardwalk and be near the ocean.

3) What is your “fuel” of choice (aka pre/post workout meals, supplements, etc)? What are your favorite recovery foods after running?

Before a big race I eat a bagel with peanut butter and jelly with a bottle of Gatorade (anything but red).  I also load up on corn bread muffins (love ‘em).  Longer races requiring in-race fuel I use GU Gel and I prefer Strawberry Banana.  After races if I can get my hands on a hamburger I’ll do that.

4) What are some of your goals/accomplishments as a runner? 

I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to do.  I’ve run 10 marathons (11 with NYC this year), I’ve written a book (Four Seconds from Boston) about my biggest goal, which was qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon, and I dropped that aforementioned weight I talked about back in 2002.  I’m a big numbers/statistics guy so I’d have to say for the future I’d like to just keep running and banking miles and running races.  I’ve run 148 races of varying distances and I recently went over 12,000 all-time miles since I started recording my mileage.

5) What are two hobbies outside of running you enjoy doing?

I’ve been an ice hockey official for 21 years (I’ve worked over 2,000 games; told you I was a statistics guy), and have umpired baseball for 11 years.  It was much easier skating hockey games when I lived in Western Pennsylvania (moved to Salisbury in 2012), because the nearest rinks are in Harrington, DE and Easton, MD but I’m still at it and logging a lot more miles on my car.

6) What do you love most about running?

I think the solitude.  I’ve always been a solo runner.  It gives me time to think without any interruptions or distractions (aside from the occasional traffic snarl).  I do some of my best thinking while I’m on a run.  I also love the health benefits that running provides.

7) What’s your most embarrassing running moment?

I can honestly say I’ve never been embarrassed while running.  This was the hardest question.  I truly thought long and hard about it, but I really haven’t been (I’ve just jinxed it).

8) How do you juggle busy life/running?

I make time for it.  For me, mornings are always better.  Getting up and out and running before anything else is the easiest way.  Late fall and winter it gets more difficult and I transition to an evening runner for some reason, but it’s always been that way for me.  I’m very self-motivated so I guess I just make the time for it.

9) What’s your favorite race and why?

Second most-difficult question.  I’ve run so many good ones.  I wimped out and I’m going to give you two that are tied.  No question I really have a spot in my heart for the Chicago Marathon.  The crowd, the course, and my personal memory of it make it THE race for me.  I ran it in 2009 and haven’t gone back but want to someday.  My wife and I both really enjoy the Jingle Bell Run in Ocean City.  Running a race in the evening is really different and it’s always a treat to run through the light displays.  Christmas is also my favorite time of the year so that probably has something to do with it.

10) What are your favorite stretches after running?

Maybe this should be my most embarrassing moment.  I don’t really stretch.  I never really have.  Even when I was playing football in high school and college I “faked” most of my stretching.  It’s not something I really ever enjoyed doing.  If I’m injured and coming back from an injury I might stretch a little but that’s about it.

11) What part does running play in your life?  (Are your loved ones runners?)

It’s as essential as breathing.  I hope I’ll always be a runner.  My wife is also a runner so it’s a part of our household culture.

12) Why did you start running (aka, health, family, friends, or something else entirely)?

Health reasons.  I was 31 and feeling a little lazy and had put on a few extra pounds.  My father had triple bypass surgery when he was 53 years old so I decided I wanted to get back into shape.  I actually write about this in the first part of my book, Four Seconds from Boston.  Did I mention I wrote a book? It’s available on Amazon J.

13) What is your favorite cross-training activity and why?

I still lift weights, but not like I used to.  The older I’ve gotten the weight has become less and I’ve also started to enjoy walking.  During the winter months when I’m skating hockey games, that is a great cross-training activity and is a perfect complement to my running.

14) What is your biggest accomplishment or what are you most proud of in your life outside of running?

I’ve already mentioned the book and that was a very cool and rewarding experience because it was something I always wanted to do.  I am shocked that it ended up being a book about running.  That surprised me.  Outside of that I’d have to say being married to an amazing woman who supports me and all of my crazy ideas and hectic lifestyle.  Becky and I are celebrating 19 years of marriage this year and have been together for 24 years.  That’s over half of my life.  I’m proud of my marriage.

15) What advice would you give a newbie runner?
Just keep running.  It’s like anything else in life.  There will be highs and lows.  But I’d also add that our sport is very “technical.”  Find a pair of shoes and insoles that work for you, and don’t increase mileage too quickly (that’s one I wish someone had shared with me).  Injuries will always be a part of our sport and the next one is never that far in the future.  Do what you can to minimize them because an injured runner is not a runner.

Following “bonus” questions were asked by previous interviewees….

Where is the farthest place you ever entered in for a race? (asked by Leah Fuller)

I did a 10k in Las Vegas, Nevada back in 2003 and in March I did a half marathon in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I didn’t check but those are two very close so I’m not sure which one is further.  I’m guessing Vegas.

What is your favorite running music (asked by Jennifer Kukel)

I enjoy all types of music, but I really like alternative stuff (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Three Days Grace, etc.)

What type of running shoe do you wear?(asked by Marie Bahno)

I’m very brand loyal.  I use Asics (any stability shoe in their line).  I just bought a pair of the official New York City Marathon Gel Kayano 23’s and I love them.  I usually opt for the GT series, but the more expensive shoes really are more comfortable.  Guess I’ll have to invest more money into shoes.

Asked by Vincent….

What one question would you ask the next runner of the month?

What is the strangest race you’ve ever run?

Since I’ve added it, I’ll answer mine.  In 2006 in my hometown of Johnstown, PA they ran a race up the face of a mountain where the Inclined Plane is.  It was a 2.3 mile race and was a switchback run along a rugged trail called the Inclined Plane Trail Run.  I’m not really a trail runner and it was a difficult race, but probably due to the distance it made it strange for me.  I remember thinking they should have just extended it a little bit and made it a 5k.

And while parents want to be excited with their teens, they have a nagging concern

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