Runner Spotlight: Erik Price

Erik Price

When did you begin running and why?
I had always been athletic but never ran much. Shortly after college due to a mixture of boredom and weight gain I started checking out area fun runs. Once I got over the 3 mile hump I was hooked, wanting to get faster and run farther. Cute runner girls helped provide some extra motivation – I met my fiancée running!

How did you find out about DCRR and when did you join?
From what I can remember it was just word of mouth that brought me out to the Saturday Long Runs. After that I started coming out to more club activities and races. I knew there were a lot of fast runners in the club, and since I wanted to get faster this seemed like a good place to learn. This was probably around the Spring of 2009.

What are you training for right now?
Since I’m in a recovery phase I’m not training for anything specifically at the moment, but I would like to do more speedwork soon and race some of the DCRRC Snowball Series events. There is an Ultra-Marathon Race series called “The Beast” in Virginia that I want to target for 2014. It’s a lofty goal but good to have something to shoot for. I plan to get back to the longer distance stuff in late winter.

What’s your proudest running moment?
There are many – first 10 miler, first marathon, first ultra, etc. – but the one that stands out was breaking 3 hours at the 2012 Chicago Marathon. As I passed under the race clock at the finish it still read 2:59:something-something so I knew I made it! My last mile was my fastest, albeit the most painful, to make sure I would come in on time.

What’s your favorite part about being a DCRR member?
The connection to a larger community of runners is what keeps me coming back. Not only do you have people to run with and races to test your fitness, but I feel like I can “make a difference” in the greater DC/VA/MD running community. Oh, and the free tech t’s!

What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?
I like to call it “The Three Ps” of running. Patience (don’t get anxious and overdo it; Rome wasn’t build in a day!), Persistence (follow your plan and keep at it in good times and in bad), and Pacing (run the easy runs easy, the hard runs hard, and then run the heck out of those races when you peak!). Apply these in life as needed!

When did you get into ultra/trail running?
It was around Spring 2012 when I started getting out on the trails more and doing back-to-backs. My first trail race was the Northface Trail Marathon in June, and I did my first 50k a few months later.

What race day traditions do you have?
My race days are pretty regimented. First I like to wake up early enough to have time to just kind of hang out for half an hour (I wake up slowly…). I have 1 cup of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter and a little jelly – I get nervous when I’m stuck with only stale hotel coffee. If its a big race or a long drive to the start I’ll sip on some water and maybe eat a banana or cliff bar. I’m not superstitious so I make sure everything I do is for a reason. Don’t forget the Body Glide!

Favorite running shoes or running gear?
I find I run pretty well in Saucony shoes, I also like the Books Pure line (though I won’t touch anything else even close to “minimalist” footwear). I wear the odd looking Hoka OneOne shoes on the trails for ultras. As far as apparel, Brooks really knows what they are doing, their gear just always fits me perfect. I kind of hover between a medium and a large so it can be tough to find new stuff. I usually only wear a stop watch while running. I think that while technology (such as GPS and iPods) do a good job motivating some people, it can also detract from the experience so I’ve learned to just run by feel. Oh, and I love my foam roller!

What’s your life like outside of running?
There’s life outside of running? Haha, its pretty normal I think. After work I like to play with my dog, watch movies, and just kind of relax at home. I got into cycling last spring so thats a good compliment to running when it’s warm out. I’m a big Washington Capitals hockey fan so that keeps me busy when it’s dark out in winter. I really love to travel when I get the chance.

If you could be be a pro athlete in any sport other than running, what would it be?
Good question! Probably rugby, the only other sport I have ever really taken seriously. I played in college and it was a blast, it combines the grit of football with the fitness of soccer, and a camaraderie unmatched in any other sport. Like running it probably won’t make a good source of income – not that I would be tough enough to play in the big leagues anyway!