Thursday, December 11, 2008

MCRR Spotlight

I had the honor to be the Medina County Road Runner spotlight runner for this month. This means that I answered some questions and my answers were sent out with the monthly newsletter to all the members. Here it is:

Spotlight Runner
Name: Dan Horvath
Birth Date and 5 year age group: May 2. Age group: 55-59 - the "geezer" division. But I'm one of the
"young guys" in the group. Really.
Occupation: My day job is being a Software Engineering Metrics Consultant. I'm self-employed and
have some flexibility, so I also fill in part-time at the Second Sole store in Medina. My wife, Debbie tells
me I come home from *that* job with a smile on my face. That's a switch. One other thing: I do some
freelance writing, including one or two articles a year for Marathon and Beyond.
Children/Grandchildren: Two daughters, both married. One in Connecticut, the other in Chicago.
Debbie, and I are always singing, Stuck in the Middle with You, except our kids aren't clowns or jokers;
they're great kids, er adults. No grandchildren.
Any interesting facts about your life we should know? This is not the least bit interesting, but Debbie
and I have moved many, many times. I'd say how many, but I can't count that high. We're from NE Ohio
originally, but have also lived in Gallipolis OH (on the Ohio River) and in Farmington Hills, MI, suburb of
Detroit. The most recent move to Brunswick was in 2004, and it is the second last. Last will be into a
rectangular box. One other uninteresting fact: I travel quite a bit - both for work and pleasure. I've been to
Europe many times over the last few years especially. Debbie and I are headed for Hawaii (our 10th trip to
the islands, I think) in March.
How many years have you been running? Too many to count. I started during the first running boom in
the 70s. I suppose it was 1976 or so. So that makes, what, 32+ years? Sounds about right. I do have logs
for most of them. Someone please ask how many total miles I've run in my lifetime.
How many days a week do you run? 5 or 6. I always take at least one day off per week, whether I need
it or not.
What’s your average weekly mileage? In the 60s these days. It was in the 70s last summer. Funny thing
about that. It seems that there are many folks who run faster than me in races, but do fewer weekly miles.
I don't know why, but maybe I should increase my mileage some more?
Favorite Running Shoe ASICS 21xx. I've tried others, but I keep coming back to this one - it always
works for me.
Favorite Running Magazine I guess I'd better say Marathon and Beyond.
Morning or evening runs? Morning. After coffee, my drug of choice.
Prefer to run alone or with someone Yes. Really - I like it both ways. When given a choice, I do always
run with others, however.
Where do you run, neighborhood, park, treadmill, etc. Yes... I know I'm a smarta$$, but I can't help
myself. I really do run on all of the above. I have a treadmill that I hate, but use when I can't get outside. I
run in my neighborhood, but usually I head farther out on the country roads. I meet friends and run on the
towpath on Saturdays. Sometimes we do more technical trails. I sometimes drive to Hinckley or the Lester
Rail Trail. Finally, I try to hit the track at least once per week, as long as it's runable.
What’s your favorite race distance? Yes. OK, now I'm really being a smarta$$. I've done everything
from one mile to 100 miles. I suppose I've enjoyed the longer ones somewhat more than the shorter ones,
but that's not always the case. I suppose my specialty is marathons. They've given me a few very
satisfying moments, but *much* more often they've caused me extreme consternation. I suppose I'd have
to say that ultras are really the most fun.
Any future running goals? I want to become the greatest runner who ever lived. Haile Gebrselassie is
shaking in his boots, er runnning shoes.
Ipod or Purist (no music)? Purist.
If Ipod, what music? Yes. I've been answering yes so much, I don't know how to say N/A. What's an
IPOD, anyway? I do like classical music when I'm not running.
Favorite running gadgets ( Forerunner, heart rate monitor, etc) I had a Garmin Forerunner 305. You
may think this is strange for a purist, but as someone who measures things (namely software) for a living I
loved the durn thing. Until it broke. Something like a day or two after the warranty expired. Now I'm too
cheap to pay the $99 to get it fixed. Somehow I'm still able to run without it again. The way I used to.
I also have a True Treadmill. Did I mention that I hate the thing?
Favorite or most memorable running moment: I'm usually somewhere in the middle of the pack. Once in
a while I do a bit better and contend for an age group award. But I've always said that I wanted to win a
race, no matter how small, no matter what competition there is. I'd only won one race in the distant past:
an *extremely* low-key ultra in Michigan. I didn't have high expectations heading into the Green Jewel
100k in the Cleveland Metroparks on May 3, 2008, one day after my 55th birthday. I just wanted to finish,
and I needed to do it by a certain time in order to make it to the airport for a flight to Europe. To make a
long story short, I got lost and ran an extra 3 miles, but made it just in time to get to the airport for the
flight. And I also finished first!. Now this was also a very low-key event, but even so, it's my most
memorable moment. For further reading, see:,
or my blog entry for the race:
Any superstitious rituals, ie. favorite race socks, shirt, etc.? I stand on my head for one hour before each
run. Just kiddingL I really can't think of any.
Favorite post run indulgence? Being horizontal for a long period of time. For some reason I usually can't
afford this luxury in terms of time. For you newbies: I'm generally kidding here - there are better post-run
activities like walking, stretching and massage. Lately, after big races, I often seem to find myself heading
somewhere far away on a plane (see above). I don't recommend this activity either. Sometimes I do go
for a walk with Debbie a bit later in the day.
Runner Personality Profile – Dan Horvath
1. Race t- shirts sold out on race day, your thoughts.
a. That’s ok I just want to run. This happened most recently at the November 23 CWRRC
Fall Classic. No shirt, no problem.
b. I’m disappointed but don’t really mind.
c. Those bastards!
2. Someone passes you in a race, your thoughts.
a. I’m happy for them.
b. It inspires me to try harder. !
c. Bastard. ! All of the above. Really.
3. You’re feeling a little stuffy mid race youL
a. Have a tissue tucked in your sleeve.
b. Use your sleeve!
c. Hope people stay to your left because snot rockets fly to the right. ! I'm not pretty when
I run.
4. Your breathing during a race would best be described as.
a. Quiet and controlled.
b. Labored but contained.
c. The equivalent of a heavy breathing obscene phone call. I'm not pretty when I run.
5. Your on pace for a PR and notice another runner sitting off on the side of the road, you.
a. Stop to help. If necessary. But if anyone else shows up to help, I'm outta there.
b. Notify the next aid station as you pass.
c. If they look to be in your age group they are on their own!
6. You have another commitment on the day of a race you’ve really been looking forward to, you.
a. Go to the commitment, there’s always next year. I will usually try my best to make both
the commitment and the race, no matter how much the time conflicts. Maybe it's just a matter
of having to run extremely fast this time.
b. Explain that you’ll miss the engagement due to a race and hope they understand. if a)
really won't work - the race would probably take precedence.
c. Feign illness or blame your lack of showing on your kids. If a) and b) don't work.
7. A friend wants you to wear his business T-shirt in an August race to get some free advertising,
it’s a heavy weight cotton, you.
a. Wear it, it’s just the one time and it’s a friend. Only if it's 5k or shorter. But what do I get
out of it (other than friendship)?
b. Tell him you wore it so his feelings aren’t hurt.
c. If it’s not dri-fit it’s not touching your body!
8. Has running ever negatively affected your work or life due to fatigue or scheduling?
a. no I've made it one of my life's priorities to not let this happen. I think I've done a good
job, but I'm not sure how Debbie would answer this question for me.
b. yes
c. Why, who’s asking?
9. You chose your races based on.
a. Challenging course and competitive fields.
b. Scenery, location or cause.
c. You looked up previous years and realized you had a shot at some age group bling. All
of the above. I'm not picky. I do travel to some races, but I generally prefer those close to
10. You’re getting ready for a long run when your Ipod battery dies, you.
a. Go anyway; you enjoy the run more than the music. Once again, what's an Ipod?
b. Are annoyed but will still do the run,
c. Absolutely freak out, what will drown out the voices in your head now?

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