SHAWN RAZEK | MAY 2019 - Member Spotlight
It is awesome having Shawn and his good spirit, encouragement, and SPEED that he brings to the San Francisco Road Runners. We are grateful for it! Shawn was our fastest runner at the Boston Marathon this year and his family joined us too for our post-race SFRRC team celebration. You'll see him at our Saturday club runs, and sometimes on Tuesday at track or Thursday at our Embarcadero runs.
As Shawn shared with us, "It's been a great experience with the group thus far and I just wish I would've joined sooner."
Questions we asked Shawn:
When did you first get interested in running? And why do you run now?
My older brother and sister were avid runners (well, sprinters) in high school. My sister held 3 school records and I just wanted to follow in their footsteps. I quickly realized my sprinting capabilities were poor, so I turned to distance pretty quickly.
I've been running for over 15 years and I still do it so I can eat ice cream every day! On a more serious note, the only thing that truly gets my mind off the stress of work and life is running. I can go out for a run and just completely forget about the 1,000 things on my to-do list or all the crazy stuff going on in this world. I just started racing again last year (took a 6+ year break) and I've set some lofty goals for myself. I don't want to look back in 20-30 years and have regrets about not achieving those goals. But, really... I love ice cream and running makes me feel less guilty about it. :)
How did you hear about SFRRC and for how long have you been a member?
I heard about SFRRC from Christine Lampe. She joined a few years back when we were running together in the local Fleet Feet group. When Fleet Feet closed (sadly), I was looking for another running group, especially one focused around the community. Christine suggested I try a couple runs with SFRRC and the rest is history.
What are your running goals? Any upcoming races? And what's been the key to hitting your goals thus far?
Pre-Boston, I was aiming for 2:49, but fell short due to some injury issues and training. I ended up running a 2:53 (still extremely happy with it). So, the short/medium term goal is 2:49 and the longer term goal is 2:39
I still split my workouts between running (3 days a week), lifting (3 days a week) and cycling (maybe once a week). I want to continue to maintain that balance, but in order to reach 2:39, I am going to have to sacrifice lifting a bit which I am willing to do.
My key to hitting the goals is always staying positive. I believe running is 80% mental. I look around and see that other people have achieved similar goals, so why can't I? Also, I want to coach and mentor folks at some point. So, I want to reach these goals so I can provide perspective and tell stories to others to help motivate them and help achieve their goals.
What are a few of your favorite things about the club?
Everyone is so nice! When I first joined, so many people came and introduced themselves which gave me a sense of belonging. Though I am newer to the group, the members don't treat me any differently. Also, people are super positive which motivates me to keep going.
I enjoy meeting new people and building relationships and SFRRC has enabled me to do that. It helps when you already have something in common, the love for running!
Favorite Race: Double Dipsea
Favorite Training Runs: 800m repeats around ATT (Oracle Park). I love turning the corner and stepping on the gas. I enjoy tempo runs as well, especially doing them with other people.
Which pace group are you in: 7:30
How many miles do you run per week: ~25-30 (Not counting my 1.5 mile runs with two backpacks to the gym)
Shoes: I always race in Nikes, but I switch up my trainers. I am currently running in Nike Pegasus but spent a few cycles running in the Adidas Boston. Next cycle, I will probably go back to a lower profile shoe (I don't like foam!).
Food (when training for a marathon): Ice Cream. Other than that, I enjoy eating different variants of pasta. I also make killer salads which I typically eat more frequently.
What do you like to do when not running with the club:
I try to be outside as much as possible. I enjoy traveling, spending time with my fiance, the dog, hiking and cooking.
What keeps you motivated?
I set goals and try to achieve them for my own personal well being, but I also want to make my family and my fiance proud. Though my dad can't remember a marathon is 26.2 miles, I always think of him and my mom during workouts and it helps pull me through. My brother and sister told me that my parents would tell every person that their son was running the Boston Marathon. I remember my dad called me one day and he said 'Shawn, what was your qualifying time for Boston? I'm at Doctor X's office and I was telling him how you're running the Boston Marathon next month'. Moments like those motivate me, even more, to keep going.
My fiance is my number one fan. I try to stay humble with my running, but she will be sure to tell all our friends, family, and new people we meet how 'fast' I am. She puts up with me waking up at 5AM every day to run or lift, she helped me through my injuries, and so much more.
What words of advice would you give to someone who is training for a race?
Hurt now, win later. My high school friend had a brother who ran the Steeplechase in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. One day, he came to our school and did a workout with us (well, he was more or less jogging). He took the lead and just kept saying "hurt now win later" and it stuck with me. You can't cross the finish line at the time you want unless you put in the effort and experience some pain.
When you're in the middle of a workout or a run that isn't going your way, tell yourself when you finish, will you be more proud of yourself that you pushed through the pain and achieved something, or more upset that you "took it easy"? The answer is always the former. Keep pushing, keep trying because, in the end, it will all be worth it.