I do not claim to be wise; I only claim to collect wisdom & share it. On a good, day, I learn from it, too.
I am a runner, too. I run for health. I run for inner peace. I run for the challenge. I run because God made me for it. I run long runs to have alone time with God. I run shorter runs with friends and family to get connected.
I am an RRCA Certified Running Coach. I love working with individuals in Knoxville and across the nation as they seek to reach their goals.
I blog about running because I think about it a lot and want to share what I have learned, what I am learning, and how I learn it. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I enjoy the process of putting it together. Let me know if there is anything that you would like to learn more about, okay?
P. Mark Taylor
Stories of My Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs in Running…
I ran cross country and track in high school, but then I was sidelined by a tenacious tendonitis. I tried to start again multiple times with the assistance of sports experts, doctors, and coaches. After 20 years, I finally figured out that I needed bigger shoes. If my big toe can move freely, the tendonitis does not show up.
With the tendonitis finally conquered, I began to run again. This time, my knees were beginning to ache. I went to a knee specialist. He said, and I quote, “You’ve got bad knees. You were born with them because your calves are too short. Run short distances and stay off of hills.” He charged me $100 to tell me what I already knew! I ran periodically, but I could never run consistently because of my knees – plus the fact that I live in East Tennessee means that I run on ridges and other big hills if I run at all!
Back in high school, I saw myself running marathons for the rest of myself. Unfortunately, my first marathon would not be run until 25 years after graduating from high school. In 20010, I ran the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I could not train for it every day and my longest training run was only 17 miles, but I did it. It was not pretty. I finished in 5 hours and 35 minutes, walking the last seven miles… but I did it!
The big breakthrough in my running came in late 2010. I heard about the minimalist movement and shoes that looked like gloves. The idea of running barefoot seemed logical enough… if God created us to run (which I do believe), then our bodies are capable of doing all of those things that we are trying to accomplish with shoes: cushioning, motion control, … the idea of shoes that allow for the feel of barefoot running but offered protection from sharp rocks made even more sense.
I bought my first pair of Vibram Five-Finger shoes in late December of 2010. They were far from perfect… I had lots of friction issues due to the fact that the first pair did not fit just right… but my toe was free to move (no tendonitis) and my knees no longer hurt! Hallelujah, I was free! I wore Vibram Bikila LS most of 2011 & they fit better than the KSO model.
I have tried several minimalist shoes now and still prefer Bikila LS.. They fit like a glove, have a great feel for the road, and offer decent protection from sharp rocks. I currently run 30-50 miles per week depending on where I am in the training schedule.
As of April, 2015, I have completed 9 marathons.
- My first one was completed in 5:34:38 back in 2010.
- My personal record was set at the Indianapolis marathon in 2013, finishing in 3:12:45.
- I have exceeded my qualifying time for Boston on five different courses:
- 7 Bridges 2012 (Chattanooga)
- Shamrock Marathon 2013 (Virgina Beach)
- Indianapolis Marathon 2013
- Savannah Marathon 2014
- Boston Marathon 2015
My next goal is to run the marathon in under three hours. If I do that, I will beat the BQ time for my age group by 25 minutes. If I don’t go sub-3 at the Savannah Marathon on November 8, 2015, then I will just keep trying… because I can.
I will share more stories through this blog. Stay tuned!
“Train smart, eat well, & enjoy the run!” — P. Mark Taylor
Check out these books by P. Mark Taylor for more advice on running: