This post is the first in a series of guest posts by Eric Motter. Check back every few weeks to read more about his journey as a Nike-sponsored athlete and his marathon training progress.
“You don’t have to be a professional athlete to train and treat yourself like one” – motivational quote from my wife, Jennifer Motter.
I, Eric Motter, am a Nike-sponsored athlete. Tell everyone you know. Obviously impressed by my PR in the Capital City Half Marathon: 2:12:55, ranking me in an impressive 4,478th place, Nike has offered to cover the cost of my training for the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. I’m 100% certain this is an interim step along the path to Nike naming a building on its campus after me, probably wedged between the Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm buildings.
Perhaps you’re wondering how in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks we have gotten to the point where an average athlete (at best) is being sponsored by the biggest athletic apparel company in the world? Let’s go back to the very beginning. I think it was Winston Churchill who said it’s a very good place to start…
When I was in fifth grade, Randy “Bones” Benedict became a member of the class of 1990, the greatest graduating class to roam the hallowed halls of St Pius X in the school’s prestigious history. Upon eighth grade graduation, Randy and I went our separate ways but still maintained our friendship. Our paths crossed once again when I found out Randy’s company, Second Sole, was responsible for providing the gear for the Columbus Marathon, for which I am a member of the Board of Trustees.
Ever since that day whenever I needed running help, Randy was there. When I needed new running shoes, Randy was there. When my wife wanted to go sub-2:00 in her half marathon, Randy was there. When my training stalled out and I couldn’t push my pace, again, Randy was there. And now he’s still there, but frankly I kind of wish he wasn’t. In what I can only imagine is revenge for a time I wronged him when we were kids (Bones – did I do something to deserve this?), Randy
offered to dictated to me that he was going push me under 2:00 for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon this year. The conversation went something like this**:
Me: Hey, brother! How are you?
Randy: Shut up, Motter! You don’t run fast enough for me to even acknowledge you as a person, let alone as a runner. I’m going to make you fast, and you’re going to blog about it. Nike is going to cover the cost of your gear during training, assuming you’re not too much of a wuss. I’m going to push you so hard you’ll pray for death. You never should’ve passed that note in study hall to my girlfriend when we were in seventh grade!
As Randy pushes my fitness to a level I haven’t seen since I was 17 years old, I’m going to detail my suffering on these pages. Come back every couple of weeks if you want to read about the trials and tribulations of an experienced, but still slow runner as I get myself into sub two-hour ½ marathon shape. I do have some experience in training for half marathons (I’ve run eight), so I can guarantee some of the stories will include the virtues of body glide, how to stay disciplined after a run when all you want is a large Rubino’s pizza, and the fine line between the right amount of red wine to have at a business dinner the night before a long run and the amount that will have you throwing up into the bushes. It s going to be an interesting four months…
** The conversation actually went nothing like that, as Randy is waaayyyy too nice of a guy. I think the actual conversation was Randy offering to manage my training plan and me quickly agreeing. But, let’s be honest, it sounds a lot more interesting if I pretend he pressured me into this. Plus it gives me someone to absorb all of my negative energy when I’m huffing and puffing at 5:30 in the morning and need to blame it on someone.