It’s a massive pleasure to welcome inspiring running Dad Drew (@bibwearingdad) our first stateside Dad on the blog.
TDCR: So Drew, tell us a bit about yourself
DW: Hi I’m Andrew (Drew). I’m 34 and am Director of Digital Marketing, leading the digital practice/services for an ad agency specializing in Building Product Manufacturing. I’ve been married to my wife for 3 wonderful years and we have an 18 month old little girl – my little sweet pea.
TDCR: So what do you keep in your kit bag?
DW: In my kit bag you will always find the same things on a daily/weekly basis. I am a creature of habit, so once I find something that I like or at least that I don’t hate, I stick with it.
Right now, I will typically have a Honey Stinger Waffle (Chocolate/Vanilla), my ‘The Feed’ water bottle (one with water and one with Nuun electrolyte tablet, maybe two tablets if its a hot humid day). Then I will have myself a Vega protein shake for after the workout and be ready for recovery with some Vega or Maurten recovery and a nice roller for get all that funk out of my calfs.
After going through a shoe fitting from my local running shop I now have Hoka One One and Sauconys in my bag. Cavu or Clifton for training purposes and then Kinvara 9 or another Hoka shoe for race day. My socks of choice are Swiftwick, based on getting a free pair from a race and then absolutely loving the compression that comes along with them and now I purchase a pair or two here and there when needed.
TDCR: How did you get into running?
DW: I was a sprinter through high school and college, primarily in the 100, 200 and
400m. I played soccer professionally and then indoor semi-professionally and was primarily a winger, flanking up and down the feed outpacing others. As I went through college and graduated I then turned my life to experiences. I started doing other events like criterion bike races, skiing, mountain biking, etc. I started to run casually, but nothing more.
As of this past year (April to be exact), I started to look into training and aligning myself to a specific coach/program to help guide my training and putting proper plans in place to get me where I would like to be. Which is for to just feel that I am the best I can be within myself. Not a time, not a place, but a feeling that I know I am at my best fitness level EVER!
There is always something to enjoy from running as a sport. There is a lot of personal effort that goes into it, so the rewards that come out of it are solely on you… not anyone else, not anything else… all on you and I love that aspect of it.
TDCR: What has been your biggest challenge as a runner?
DW: Patience… and figuring out what am I actually capable of. As a sprinter, it was a lot easier to see things come to fruition. You could get in the blocks and practice starts for a day/week and see results start to come forward. In long distance running, I am finding that it is through repetition and building up a foundation through persistence that you start to build your speed and endurance for a long distance runner. There is a lot that goes into it and a lot of variables that can alter it as well… this has been the hardest thing for me to get behind and truly embrace.
The last portion of that has been in having a kid, balancing out the time, effort and well being in staying healthy. It is hard to be in the Northeast of the states in going through all four (4) seasons and having a daughter in daycare and working full-time in a demanding agency life. Balancing it all; making time in your life for your partner, staying healthy every day, requires planning having everything in control in the way you need it to be in order to have a successful training run, race day and night of rest/sleep.
TDCR: So far, what has been the highlight of your running career?
DW: As I have started my long distance running career, it is the running in the GNC Liberty Mile in July and running a time of 4 min, 49 seconds 16 milliseconds! The goal was to run sub 5 minutes and the race was completely outside of my comfort zone, in knowing that it was going to be an all out press and going to be extremely uncomfortable/painful at any given point in which my body is going to say… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
My coach prepared me very well with this and in going into this, we were working on my speed to get my legs going fast again in order to build that paper base to get into the endurance side of things for the half marathon distance later in the year. It all came together, the race was fantastic running in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh, PA and came across the line with a time that blew down the 5 minute door.
TCDR: What event’s are on your wish list and why?
DW: Being here in the states, a big one is to eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon.
That is an obvious one, just purely based on the running world and how everyone in the world has embraced this race as a perennial power marathon. Another goal is to race at an Elite status in any decent size of a half marathon one day… is it a stretch goal? sure, but I still feel I have a long ways to go with my speed and fitness on my half marathon speed/time.
Lastly, I would love to run in the actual Kona Ironman… it is something that might not happen too soon but I will get there when my kiddo is older and I know I have more time to dedicate to this.
TDCR: What words of wisdom and tips would you give to other running dads?
DW: Control the things you can control. There are always so many things that are happening in your life from one minute, to one hour to one day. From daycare calling about a sick kid to work needing you to pull an all-nighter to prep for a new business pitch. From working together in balancing your partner’s needs as well with fitting in an hour or two on weekends to get your long run or workout in… it is a lot and it wont always make sense, so do not get frustrated with it all. Just embrace it and focus on the things you can control and work forward from there.
TDCR: Thanks Drew!
You can follow Drew’s running journey on Instagram