Simon took the time from training and working on his Master’s degree to indulge us in some Q & A. He began running in 2011 as part of a weight loss journey and, over the years, has contributed several inspiration stories to our Running Room Magazine.
Compare yourself now to the Simon ‘before’.
Before I started running, I didn’t set goals for myself. I was never athletic as a teenager and could barely run a few blocks without feeling exhausted. Now I’ve acheived goals I would have never thought possible, including losing over 60 pounds, qualifying and running the Boston Marathon, and breaking 80 minutes for a half marathon.
Finish this sentence: “On my best day, running makes me feel __________.”
Blessed and gracious. After seven years of running, it is still not an easy sport. My best day would be any day I can run injury-free–regardless of speed.
What are you training for now?
I am fortunate to have just received race confirmation from two World Marathon majors: the Boston Marathon, and the Tokyo Marathon in 2019. I was initially hesitant to tackle two marathons 43 days apart, but I realized this is a lifetime opportunity.
Breakfast on event day: Stoked Oats, a banana, and a cup of coffee.
Describe your emotional state during a long run.
This quote sums it up: “The hardest part is walking out the front door.” If my legs are tight, I may foam roll or do dynamic stretches. To help myself mentally, I break down the distance into manageable segments. During the run, I focus on my breathing and think positive; instead of thinking of how tired I am, I tell myself how strong I am in the current moment.
What is your biggest running-related splurge?
My running shoes. I currently wearing the Nike Vaporfly 4%, and they are pricey shoes!
What activities do you do that complement your running?
Dynamic stretches and drills–such as high knee skips, butt kickers, carioca, and lunges–which all increase hip flexibility and leads to improving my stride.
What is the best compliment someone in Run Club has given you?
My running friends calling me an inspiration. I am an ordinary person, and the truth is, without them and the running community, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What changes have friends and family noticed in you since you began running?
Many are really surprised at the amount of weight I have lost. Before running, my family and close friends called me ‘Big S’. Now, people mention how much happier I look in photos– I guess I’m smiling more these days : the smile represents how blessed I am to have friends and family supporting me on this journey. I will continue to train hard, train smart, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Simon runs out of the Country Hills Running Room in Calgary. In a dream event, he would be paced by World Marathon Record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, on a course dotted with live gospel music and pizza stations every 10K. Besides running, he enjoys dragon boat racing, hiking, badminton, and floor hockey. He is a nurse by profession and is currently working towards his Master’s Degree in Public Health, greatly anticipating being able to help others on their wellness journeys.
Simon’s Personal Bests:
17:55 – 5K 34:45 – 10K 1:18:11 – half marathon 2:55:48 – marathon