Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kingwood resident keeps his running shoes on

Just after winning the Masters Crown in the Houston Marathon I sent a note to a sports editor at a newspaper who interviewed me once before after a Boston Marathon who at the time expressed interest in a follow-up down the road some time. This seemed like a great milestone for that follow-up. Turns out he has moved on so the email went to the general inbox of the newspaper and I didn’t hear anything back and I had about forgot about it when I get a call last week by a reporter at the local paper that they would like to do an article on me running Houston. A bit flattered I thought it would be nice and for that little paper having a Kingwood resident win the Master’s title seemed to be newsworthy.

Ok – so my wife and I met with Jennifer at a starbucks last Friday and I tell her about my marathon background and she goes and writes up a story. I was kinda expecting a "local guy wins master at houston marathon". The story is still nice and flattering but not quite what I was expecting with not even a mention of winning Houston Masters Crown. Well – the story is out now and I feel the need to add a few editorial corrections to set the record straight – not that hardly anyone would ever read this….the major lesson learned for me – ask/require to read a story BEFORE it is published just to at least get the facts right.

Kingwood resident keeps his running shoes on

No matter what the weather may be like - it could be torrential rain storms, fog, sleet or snow - Kingwood resident John Hill enjoys running in it.

Wow – I’m really something here - No – we in fact do not get sleet or snow in Kingwood – but I do enjoy running in the rain – as long as it’s warmer than about 60. I’ll do it colder but I don’t enjoy it.

Hill only started running about two years ago and has already completed two Chevron Houston Marathons, a Boston Marathon and the list goes on.

Who is this “Hill” guy – I’m John – and actually it's been about 2 1/2 yrs and it was 3 Houston’s – ’06,’07,'08.

“I first signed up for the Chevron Houston Marathon because I had it on my list of things to accomplish in life. I thought that once I completed the marathon, I would be done running marathons but I enjoyed it so much, I have not stopped yet,” said Hill.

Hill runs and blogs under the name “Kayry,” which stands for his daughter, Kaylee, and his son, Ryan, with his wife, Susan.

I’m sure this is not meant to be worded to mean that my wife runs (and blogs) with me – in fact she does not run with me – working out at the Y with weights and some treadmill is her thing - but not running - except to be my biggest cheerleader.

The father of two admitted he only trained for two weeks for the marathon but still finished the race with an impressive time of four and a half hours.

I think I said 2.5 months not 2 weeks but thinking back even that was a mistake – it was from beginning of October to mid-January so 3.5 months – but it was ~4 ½ hours.

Hill’s second marathon adventure took him to San Diego to compete, but unfortunately he came down with a sickness which did not allow him to finish the race.
“All of my family encouraged me to do another marathon and they were all there cheering me on, so it was a disappointment not to finish. That is when I decided I was not going to let this be the end of my marathon career and started to train even harder and finally qualified for the Boston Marathon,” Hill said.

Finally qualified – makes it sound like a long journey – actually it was the next Houston Marathon – with I started training for in September this year instead of October although now I would call what I did for that month of September basebuilding – but I did train harder – and got down to 3:10 – good enough by 5 minutes to go to Boston.

The next time around for the Chevron Houston Marathon, Hill trained properly, ate the right foods and increased his speed and endurance, which boosted his time up an hour, thus making the 2007- 2008 year a marathon year.

Hmmmm – not even sure what this paragraph means - right food – does that double quarter pounder and fries I just finished qualify :-). 2007 was definitely a marathon year – I think of the year as Houston ’07 to Houston ’08 – and it would be nice if I knocked off an hour (that would be just a minute behind Ryan Hall at the Olympic trials) – but it was only ½ an hour (3:10 to 2:40).

“Running marathons, at first I thought it was a phase, but it has become a lifestyle for me. I wanted to get faster and improve my time with each marathon and I plan of beating Lance Armstrong this year in the Boston Marathon,” Hill said.

The Boston Marathon will be held April 21 and the hilly course is 26 miles, 385 yards. The next Chevron Houston Marathon will not wind through the city until January 2009.

In addition to competing in marathons, Hill enjoys running with Kingwood Fit, a training program for walkers and runners designed with the goal of completing the Houston half or full marathon in mind.

“I have really surprised myself with how much speed I have gained with all of my training, but I still plan on improving my time and getting better and better,” Hill said.

What’s next? Hill plans to compete in a marathon in Alaska and compete in a half marathon at Texas A&M to prepare for the fast-approaching Boston Marathon.

Alaska will not be “compete” – if I even do it (I did sign up and most likely will) – it will be a very scenic 26.2 mile run through a very pretty part of the country which just so happens to line up exactly with a fishing trip I have up there the following week with a group including my Dad and brother.

“I do not know what is planned for the future after the Boston Marathon; I take it one race at a time. I hope I can encourage and inspire others to get involved with marathons because they are fun and will help keep you in shape,” Hill said.

It’s a bit of a stretch to put that within quotation marks as something I said verbatim – but I guess it’s all essentially true but not in a way I would say it.

Anyway – thank-you Jennifer for writing the article – not quite what I was expecting but still a nice article - Thanks again.

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