Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Runner in the Spotlight: Bill Shires

Where do you work?
I work as a Software Architect for Fidelity Information Systems

How long have you been in Charlotte? What brought you here?
I came to Charlotte, NC in 1989 to finish my college education after taking a few years off to work.

What’s your favorite restaurant and why should I go eat there?
Since I am a runner, I do love pasta and salad. There is an Olive Garden near my house so I am always dropping by to load up on carbs.

When and why did you start running?
In high school, we would run to stay in shape for the more traditional stick and ball sports. Then, one spring one of our coaches challenged us to run the hometown race. I remember hitting the first mile in 7:30 and was gulping for air. I thought I would die but I ended up finishing in 44 minutes for the 10k.

You are known as the Godfather amongst members of the CRC. Can you explain why?
I will have to give credit for the naming to Ben Hovis. We were on a run at Ann Springs and he said it. From this on, it just kind of stuck.

What are some things you love most about running?
Aside from meeting new people, running is like an adventure story. Each day my runs give me an opportunity to explore the world.

Favorite Place you’ve traveled and loved for running?
I always like running near water so I would have to say Key West. I can run in the morning and watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and then do a 2nd run to watch it set over the Gulf of Mexico.

What is your most memorable race and why?
It was an 8k in Virginia many years ago. I took off with the leaders. It was one of those days where everything was clicking and I didn't feel any pain. I just ran. I set a PR that day of 26:15.

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
There are several places that I like to run but I would have to say my favorite is running at McAlpine. It is probably the only place in Charlotte, I can string together more than one mile of terrain.

Favorite Charlotte area race?
Darn, this is a hard one. I would have to say Blue Points. I don’t know why but I always seem to run well on that course.

What’s your favorite distance and your PRs for that distance?
In the last few, it has become the Marathon. My PR is 2:36:07

What are your goals for 2011?
Well, my biggest goal of ’11 is to run the Boston Marathon. This will be my run of Boston so I hope that I have trained well enough to have a good showing.

What compelled you to join the Charlotte Running Club?
Running clubs tend to go through cycles and running clubs in Charlotte had been in a down cycle for a few years. Then along came CRC and suddenly people were getting excited about running again and training together. I felt like if I wanted to keep improving the people in this club would help me do it so I joined up. I have to say that so far I have been right. They have been great motivators.

What’s your next race?
My next race will be the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011

You haven’t missed a day of running since 1986. How were you able to make that a reality?
I had been running for about 3 years and would frequently take days off running. But after finishing 2nd in a race, I came home and said to myself “If I want to improve, I need to run every day”. That was in Oct of ’86. Since then, I have run every day. Sometimes, it was a little as mile if I was sick or injured, but I always pushed through it.

How do you run so much mileage?
I was never blessed with blazing speed that some runners have. I always seem to do better by logging a lot of miles and running the tough workouts. So while I have never run really fast times, neither have my times fallen off much through the years.

How do you stay away from injuries?
This is a tough question to answer. Everyone is different in the type of workouts that will push them closer to being injured. But when I do come down with an injury, I make it a point to learn about it and add something new to my routine that helps prevent it.

What is your best tip for other runners?
Don’t push too hard too early in your training cycles. Learn to listen to your body and let your body tell you how hard is hard enough. In reality the true key to improving is not running your workouts really fast or doing 30 mile long runs, but being able to run every day.

1 comment:

  1. so much can be learned from the Godfather. Truly a special runner in town. If you get the opportunity to pick his brain at a race or on a run, do it! He is a great racer and a real pleasure to be around. Go Bill!!!