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Not So Normal Run

Hello!  It has been much to long since I popped in to say hi.  I apologize - things have been crazy around here.  I will definitely update you on things soon, but for now, I want to share a great local event that is coming to Carrboro this weekend.  It is called the Not So Normal Run.  I had the pleasure of meeting the race's founder, Jay, for coffee a few months ago.  I was able to ask him some questions about his race that I wanted to share with you!

How long have you been running competitively?

Jay started to Started running competitively back in September of 2013.  He started out with a 5K and was immediately hooked.  From there, he continued to sign up for local races.  They were mostly 5K races at first.

Later, he joined the Fleet Feet training program and trained for his first Half Marathon - The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Raleigh.  He loved the achievement of completing this race.  The only thing was that most of the money raised at this event was going to San Diego rather than staying in the community that helped raise the money.  This was a problem that stuck with Jay and helped motivate him to create his own race.

Jay enjoyed the camaraderie and enthusiasm amongst runners on race days.  He recalled one event in particular that really moved him.  At the Marine Corp marathon in Virginia in 2014, he was standing in a corral waiting for the race to start and made small talk with the woman standing next to him.  It turns out that she was a Boston Marathon runner from 2013 and had felt uneasy about getting back into a marathon after the tragedy that she had experienced that day.  Having overheard this, two marines came over to her and asked her if they could escort her to the start line.  She had marines escorting her for the majority of the race.

Ultimately, Jay’s goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and run it one day.

What motivated you to start running?

Jay had always admired people he saw out on runs.  He figured it looked like they were having fun.  He decided to give it a try.  He was tired of being at home and he wanted to get himself back out into the world.  Running seemed like the perfect outlet.

How do you train for your races?

Jay says that he trains for races “as best as he can.”  He tries to run about four days a week.  He incorporates recovery runs, speed workouts, and long runs.  He is always striving for quality runs rather than quantity.

Any special diets while you’re training?

Jay says he eats pretty clean to begin with.  Wine, of course, is his biggest weakness.  He tries to focus on protein and vegetables for dinner.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with running?

“Join Fleet Feet training program.  It will change your world.”  Jay says that he has never met a group more welcoming.  They have a great coordinator named Nora and the entire staff is just awesome.  Fleet Feet cares about their runners.

Recommend going to the gym and not just run.  You have to cross train.  Get your heart rate up a lot.  You get faster during your recovery.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are - it doesn’t matter.

Find what moves you.  Run for something.  Highly recommend running a military race - opens your eyes to things.

Supportive of Wear Blue: Run to Remember.  Team Red White and Blue are all veterans.  That’s what he wants - he wants everyone to be running for a non-profit.

What is NotSoNormal about the NotSoNormalRun?

Everything.  It’s getting not so normal-er by the day.  It feels like there is a 5K race almost every weekend.  But they are very myopic.  The whole event lasts 2 hrs but it’s not very inclusive.  It doesn’t feel like people coming together.  Jay wants people to come together.  

As Jay would say: Run Local. Give Local. Live Local.

This year, the race has been expanded.  There is a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon race.  So runners of all abilities are encouraged to find the race that is right for them!

Hope to see you out there this weekend!

Photos courtesy of Gameface Media.