With a nod to Father's Day this Sunday, we are highlighting ultramarathoner Michael Wardian, dad of two young boys. Mike is well known for many running feats, but the one that knocks our socks off is his 2:34 marathon while pushing a running stroller (!!). (Speaking of socks: We're giving away two pairs of 110% Flat Out Sox this week. Giveaway details below the Q&A.) We're bestowing Mike an honorable Mother Runner degree, especially after reading his response to Dad-centric multi-tasking question.
Most proud racing moment: I am very fortunate to have a lot of really proud moments, but I think one of my best was qualifying for my first Olympic Trials in 2012. It gave me a lot of confidence to know that if I worked super-hard, anything was possible.
Best “Dad” memory while running: You know you are a parent when you are more concerned with how much the kids enjoyed the run rather than if you enjoyed your run. One memory that comes to mind is racing a 5 miler with the boys, Pierce, 7 years, and Grant, 5 years, a few years with a double BOB stroller with a flat tire. I started the race in last place to allow the faster runners to get ahead and because I thought the flat would slow me down but I quickly worked my way through the group and moved into second place. During the race, however, the kids were bickering and kept chucking out different food and toys so I was constantly slowing to pick up whatever was ejected from the stroller. It seemed like I was toying with third place: As soon as he would get close, I would start running again and pull away; then the boys would throw something out and I would have to stop and get it, and he would catch up only to have me start running again. After the race, I told him I thought he was cursing me and the boys loved making me suffer.
Stroller-pushing pointers: My best tips for pushing a stroller with kids are make sure to have lots of snacks and water and to inflate the tires. It is so much easier to push with inflated tires.
Favorite 110% piece: I have a few favorites but if I had to choose one it would be the Juggler Knickers. They work great, address a lot of areas that need taking care of, look cool, and are super comfortable. [Pssst: Juggler Knickers are triathlete Dimity's faves, too.]
Most memorable Dad-centric multi-tasking while wearing 110%: I wore my 110% Juggler Knickers every day after each run during the 2014 Dopey Challenge. So, I was on full on Dad-duty at Walt Disney World--riding all the rides, doing all the shows, and hanging with my family while icing and recovering. That’s what I love about 110% gear: You don’t have to be limited in what you’re doing to benefit from ice and compression.
How 110% helped you stay Dopey: The 2014 Dopey Challenge was an incredible event--5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half-marathon on Saturday, and full marathon on Sunday. Nothing like trying to run you guts out first thing in the morning, then going home, grabbing the family, and tooling all around the Disney parks the balance of the day with the other athletes. Super fun and a great way to spend a long weekend--especially if you can recover properly as I did with my 110% gear.
Next up: I just finished a few races in Vermont for the Vermont City Marathon where I was 6th overall; then I raced the Comrades Marathon (56 miles) in Durban, South Africa and I was 36th overall and the first USA athlete; and just this past weekend on June 8, I won the Race 4 Ever in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My next event is on June 21--the Zugspitz 100K near Garmish, Germany.
Phew! I need to put on some 110% gear just to recover from reading about Mike's racing! Given how clever 110% gear is, I could slip on some of the compression wear, put a few of the included, flexible ice sheets, and sit in front of my computer while I ice and recover. Or, as I often do, I could pack my kids' lunches, put in a load of laundry, and drive carpool--all while icing my tight calves or squawking glutes.
To celebrate Father's Day, we're giving away two pairs of 110% Flat Out Sox--think of them as "his & hers." While the Flat Out don't include the ice sheets, they do offer top-notch compression, offering support and aiding recovery for you and your partner's hard-working lower legs. (Hey, and if the winner wants to give the second pair to her running partner, it's A-OK to us.)
To enter this special running giveaway, share a recent accomplishment of your partner. Could be the 5K your hubs just ran, the promotion he got at work, or the erupting volcano he helped your daughter construct for the science fair. Or could be the sub-2:30 half-marathon your running partner cranked out or the great report card your son (your proverbial partner in crime) brought home. Come on: To be entered to win two pairs of 110% Flat Out Sox, brag in the Comments section under this blog post on our website about what some "partner" in your life has done lately.
[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of United States and Canada. It begins on 6/11/14 and ends on 6/17/14; the winner will be announced on 6/21/14. One entry per person. The value of the prize is $120. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.