Today’s guest is another one of those folks who I’ve been connected with on social media for quite some time and are just now making a chat happen.
Maybe it has taken this long to happen because he is just too fast for me to keep up with!
I am looking forward to trying to keep up with Jim Gregory today.
Trusting The Process
Jim Gregory loves to race the marathon distance, but it wasn’t always that way.
For quite some time he was scared of attempting the distance.
Once he got over that fear, he signed up for his first marathon in 2015 and hired a coach to help him achieve his goals.
Jim crossed the line of his first full with a time of 3:28 even after hitting a wall with one mile to go.
It didn’t take long for Jim to sign up for his second marathon, knowing he had a lot more to give.
He finished his second full in 2016 with a time of 3:08.
Jim had his sights set on a sub-3 marathon, but in order to do that he had to learn to trust the process.
With a lot of trial and error, he was able to achieve his goal in 2017 when he ran a marathon in 2:57.
Simply Loved To Run
Jim grew up on a farm in southwest Indiana with his mom and grandparents.
He recalls falling in love with running at 6 years old when he would race his grandfather that was driving a tractor.
The reason for running was quite simple for him at the time, he enjoyed how running made him feel.
Once he reached junior high, Jim joined the track team and began to race more competitively.
While in high school, he was on both the track and cross-country teams.
Jim was a talented runner, but he didn’t want to continue to run collegiately.
He took a few years away from the sport before he began to feel the itch to run again.
Jim was able to walk onto the team at his Division II school and was in the best shape of his life while competing.
Once A Runner, Always A Runner
Jim had an amazing few years running collegiately, but following graduation, he was feeling burnt out.
He took 3 to 4 years off from running and moved around the country a bit.
When Jim finally settled in Washington, D.C., is when he really got back into the sport.
Everyone he knew seemed to be a runner and that is what encouraged him to start running again.
Jim hired a previous coach and began making progress by setting short-term goals.
The goals were measurable and simple.
One of the biggest struggles that Jim experienced was trying to keep his easy runs truly easy.
It took him about 3 to 4 years before he really learned how to trust the process.
Building On Progress
Jim ran what is his current marathon PR of 2:48 in the 2018 Berlin marathon.
His PR was the result of years of building upon each race result to get to the next level.
He spent 3 years focusing not only on quality training, but also on sleep, nutrition, and recovery.
Consistency in all those areas led to everything clicking for the Berlin marathon.
Jim came to realize that each race, regardless of the outcome, is a building block to get to the A goal.
As he has gotten older, maintaining some of his good habits has gotten more challenging.
Sleep is in shorter supply, due to him waking in the middle of the night more frequently as he ages.
Jim thrives on consistency, so if one area is lacking, he will try to make up for it in another area.
Jim is not immune to injuries.
He has experienced stress fractures, stress reactions, and torn muscles.
His injuries typically occur below his knees.
In an effort to prevent injuries, Jim rotates his shoes often and tries to be smart with his training.
He also makes time to stretch before and after his running.
All of his efforts have paid off because 2022 was an injury-free year for him.
Along with avoiding any injuries, he also proved to himself that he still had the ability to run fast.
Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, Jim hopes to continue with his consistency in all areas of life.
If he falls off his routine, he will give himself grace.
He is running the Chicago marathon again in the hopes of getting redemption and running sub 2:40.
Prior to Chicago, he is considering running the Carmel marathon along with some track races along the way.
Jim keeps coming back to running over the years because it allows him to be free of life’s demands.
He enjoys embracing the challenges that running has provided him.
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