|Half Marathon, Dec, 2018|
Career-profession? I spent my professional life working in the world of private clubs, early on as a general manager and, for the past two decades, as Principal and Senior Partner in Master Club Advisors, where I continue to focus my efforts on executive search, leadership workshops for boards of directors, strategic planning facilitation, and speaking to assorted club associations and groups literally around the world. All four of my private-club-centered novels (Private Clubs in America and around the World, Murder and Mayhem at Old Bunbury, How Now, Norm’s Tao, and Soul on Nice) continue to sell reasonably well because, well, most everyone agrees that they are pretty darn funny. (Book details are available at www.CliveEndiveOgiveIV.com and www.NormSpitzig.com.)
When did you start running and why? I began running regularly as a junior in high school, I think because I didn’t make the football, basketball and baseball teams—and I dearly wanted to participate/compete in a sport. (Cross country here I come!) It has turned out spectacularly well for me: I’ve been running, and loving every minute of it, for over fifty years!
How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week? I had one year when I surpassed 3,000 logged running miles back in the early 1980’s, but far more importantly, I have been very consistent in striving for, and almost always reaching, at least 2,000 logged running miles in any given calendar year—something that I have accomplished 46 times during my time on earth. I’m hoping to make it an even 50 before I begin to back off a bit.
Top performances or running achievements? My best time in the marathon is 2:51:30, recorded at the 1982 America’s Marathon in Chicago. Other “notable” personal bests (at least from my perspective!) are:
*** my 1982 Fort Wayne 50-mile run in 6:49:04,
*** my 35:50 in the 1982 Cincinnati Home Loan 10K,
*** my fifty-five minutes flat in the 1981 Cincinnati “Mini-Marathon” (15 kilometers), and
*** my 1:21:02 in the 1981 Covington (Kentucky) Wade YMCA Half Marathon.
|Norm and wife, Cody|
Total lifetime miles? That’s an easy one: I officially surpassed 100,000 logged running miles on March 27th , 2019. My highest weekly mileage is right at 100, a feat that I accomplished exactly once. (And that was enough!) As of this writing, I am around 100,100 miles, “off and running” on my second one-hundred-thousand miles!
Current running, cross-training, strength and stretching?
I do a fair amount of stretching before and after my runs, but my cross-training and strength work are virtually non-existent (unless you count my “reps” raising the evening glasses of Chardonnay to my mouth!).
A recent race result? I’m not sure if what I do still qualifies as “racing”, but I do faithfully participate in one (and only one) running event each year: The Mount Dora, Florida Half Marathon every third Sunday in December. I ran a 1:56:43 in the 2018 event, a mere 35:41 slower than my personal best over the same distance in Kentucky thirty-eight years ago. Alas, tempus fugit.
Does getting slower bother you? How do you stay motivated? Not one bit! I still very much love to run—and decades of experience tells me that, no matter how badly I feel right before I start, I will surely feel a whole lot better, both physically and mentally, when I finish. People who are
looking for “motivation” to run are missing the point; just get out there and do it like you always do!
Any changes in diet, weight, supplement usage? My wife, Cody, is an excellent cook—she owns a wonderful little breakfast and lunch café in downtown Mount Dora FL called Cody’s on 4 th (www.Codyson4th.com)—so I’ve always been spoiled with healthy, tasty, home-cooked food. Lucky me! My daily “supplements” currently consist of a multivitamin, an aspirin, some potato chips and Chardonnay.
Injuries or other health setbacks? I have been very blessed when it comes to my running: I have had very few injuries—and those that I have had have been minor. I attribute this to a combination of luck, clean living, good genes, and the fact that I have enough sense to “back off” or take a day or two off if and when I sense something “wrong” with my body. I just don’t have the temperament to be a streak runner, out there each and every single day come hell or high water.
Favorite inspirational quotes?
1--"The six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends.” – Steve Jobs
(2) “It is not our abilities that show who we really are. It is our
choices.” – Albus Dumbledore
(3) “You can stand me up at the gates of hell and I won’t back down.” –Tom Petty
(4) “When I get my big raise, I’m going to spend ninety percent of it on wine, women and song. I’ll probably waste the other ten percent.” – Dizzy Dean
Three short tips for hopeful lifetime runners?
1--Take it one day at a time,
2--Keep your sense of perspective and sense of
3--Never forget this most basic rule of life: “Don’t sweat the small stuff—and it’s ALL small stuff.”
How does running and fitness improve your life on a daily/weekly basis? Running soothes the “Savage Type-A Beast” in me, it keeps me mentally sharp and physically fit, and it adds purpose and meaning to my life. Who could ask for more?!
How would you describe your philosophy of life, running, and aging? There is a large volume of research, beginning with the landmark MacArthur Foundation Study on Aging about 30 ago, that clearly demonstrates that much more is possible than once thought as we age. In fact, we now know that 70% of physical aging, and about 50% of mental aging, is determined by lifestyle—the choices we make every day. Rather than being a process of steady decline, aging can be a time of growth if we maintain our physical and mental skills, reduce our risk for disease and injury, and stay productive and engaged with life. Running dovetails into this research perfectly!