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10 Questions with Ray Wisdom
(High School Science Teacher at Lift For Life Academy)

Ray is a part of TEAM UNSTOPPABLE which placed first at St. Louis Track Clubs November 21st, 2010, Marathon Relay at Forest Park. With a final time of 2:25:21. Ray and his three teammates beat all of the other 66 teams.

1.At what age did you start running competitively?
I remember being in sixth grade, and we had a Ďfield dayí. There was an event called the marathon, which was really 800m. For an eleven-year-old, that was daunting. Anyway, I ran the race and won easily. I realized then that I would never sprint again. Starting in 7th grade, I ran track. Usually the mile and 800m.

2. Why did you start running?
Running has always been a great outlet for me. I played soccer for 10 years, so running for long periods of time was nothing new. I love the prospect of kicking my own butt physically. Knowing that at the end of specific workouts, I will almost certainly feel like throwing-up.

3. How many miles do you typically run in a week?
It depends on what I am training for. If there are no races on the horizon, it might only be 30 miles or so a week. If itís for a half or full Marathon, then the mileage goes up. I am a big believer in hard miles during the week, and a long run on Sunday, so my miles never get too high. Iíve never run 100 miles in a week, which a lot of distance runners do.

4. What is your favorite brand of running shoes?
I have Mizunoís right now, and they are phenomenal. They are the Wave Riders I think. Best shoe Iíve ever had.

5. Do you listen to music when you run? If so what do you listen to?
I am a traditionalist when I run...no music. Itís funny, I have music playing almost all day, but when I run, I want to sort of zone out, focus on my body. Once I get into a rhythm, my breathing becomes the beat.

6. Where is your favorite place to run?
This is like asking Ďwhat is your favorite movie?í! I love running trails at Castlewood State Park. Forest Park in St. Louis is great. I have about 20 runs that I can do from my house. Running has always allowed me to really get to know a neighborhood, and I am pretty proficient at getting around St. Louis because I have run a majority of the city.

7. What is the farthest distance that you have ran?
I am training for my first full marathon right now. Iíve run multiple halfís. Most of my races now are between 7-13 miles depending on the terrain.

8. Have you had any injuries related to running?
I had 2 stress-fractures in high school and one in college. Since then Iíve been fairly healthy. I twisted my knee in a trail run last year and had to take 2 months off. I stretch a lot more after running now, and I think that helps. I also listen to my body more.

9. What has been your most memorable running experience?
Going to state in high school as a team was awesome. Running against some great athletes in college was great as well. There isnít anything specific that stands out though. I love going to races and seeing hundreds if not thousands of people out, getting ready to compete.

10. What advice would you give to beginning runners?
You base is extremely important, but you have to build-up slowly. It may seem like youíre not making any progress, but you are, and by going slow, you are less likely to injure yourself. I have found that when I am training, I have a slow build-up, then I seem to plateau. Then one day, my fitness level just jumps, and I can do much harder workouts. Sort of like a punctuated equilibrium.

To read more about Ray Wisdom Click HERE

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