Today’s guest is a man that wears many hats, among them he’s an ER doctor, a member of the KC Symphony Chorus, a husband, a father, and also a runner.
He has also dabbled in run streaking which I’m sure will come up in today’s conversation.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles today with Bill Featherston.
His Love For Running Grew Slowly
Bill Featherston had more of a hate relationship with running for the majority of his life until recently.
While growing up, he could usually be found at the back of the pack while running.
Fast forward to when he was an adult and he enlisted in the Army.
The Army required him to run a 2 mile timed run every 6 months.
Bill always dreaded the run but did the minimal amount he had to do to prepare.
After serving in the military, Bill went on to become an ER doctor.
It was 20 years ago, after finishing med school and his residency, that Bill began to take up biking.
Biking was his main mode of exercise and he enjoyed it, but he found that his weight was going up rather than down.
A FRIENDly influence
In an effort to manage his health and weight, Bill joined a local gym that a friend frequented.
Bill admittedly was not one that gravitated towards weights, so instead, he jumped on the treadmill.
Slowly his half-mile increased to a mile and over time his distance steadily grew.
Around the same time, his sister-in-law was training to run the Marine Corps Marathon.
Bill’s curiosity began to grow about what he may be able to accomplish.
After running consistently for a few months he signed up for his first half marathon.
Bill downloaded a one-size-fits-all plan from the internet and followed it perfectly.
For the first time in his life, Bill began to truly enjoy running.
Just Keep Moving
As an ER physician, Bill occasionally has to be creative when it comes to fitting running into his life.
His schedule can often be erratic and he has found himself running at all hours of the day and night.
Bill recognizes the need for quality sleep for both his health and recovery.
At times he is forced to divide up his sleep throughout the day, but he tries his best to make it a priority and do his best.
His ultimate goal is to just keep moving and take it one day at a time.
Some goals are more general for Bill and other goals have seemingly crept upon him.
The goal to try a run streak was one such goal that he never envisioned trying.
Bill first heard about a run streak from a friend that was doing it and also from reading about it in a magazine.
The initial goal was to run 1 mile a day from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July.
Once Bill accomplished that goal, he was motivated to keep going.
Eventually, he decided to try to make it all the way to a year.
He started his first streak in May of 2019 and just barely made it to the one year point.
Bill was beginning to feel the onset of injury when he ran a virtual half marathon in May of 2020.
With only one week to go to get to his goal, Bill pushed through the pain and successfully completed a 1-year run streak.
He was forced to take a break from running for 3 weeks afterward due to his injury.
A Habit Was Formed
Bill has since started another streak and is over 100 days in.
He plans on going until life intervenes and forces him to break the streak.
Over the course of doing a streak, running has become a non-negotiable part of Bill’s daily routine.
With a busy life and a stressful career, running is sometimes Bill’s only time alone.
His daily runs along with being an ER physician have made Bill even more aware of runner/bike safety.
Some of his most important takeaways for staying safe while on the roads are:
- BE VISIBLE
- Always stay vigilant
- Assume cars are NOT paying attention
- If running go towards traffic. If biking go with traffic.
- Make eye contact with drivers and wave when possible to ensure that they see you
- Maintain situational awareness
Running and biking with cars on the roads do carry some risk.
The benefits can far outweigh the risk if proper precautions are taken.
An Unusual Time For Racing
The pandemic is rarely far from Bill’s mind given his job.
Being a runner along with a doctor has given him more insight into the future of racing than the average runner.
In his opinion, at the earliest, Bill doesn’t expect to see many races until late summer or fall of 2021.
Anything resembling a normal race isn’t likely until there is the widespread availability of a reliable vaccine.
Bill is a proponent of wearing masks to help prevent the spread of disease, but even he finds it unreasonable to wear while racing.
The many logistics needed to ensure the safety of runners during the era of Covid-19 is no easy task that Bill doesn’t see happening in the near future.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Bill Featherston by following him on Twitter.
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