While most mere mortals spend Sunday mornings sleeping in and relaxing over a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast, the seemingly immortal men of the Endurance Reno Team were up every Sunday at the crack of dawn, training hard for the Napa Valley Marathon. After months of intense training, Jaime Cabada, Nick Jones, and Scott Burnett (Stefan Precup also competing but unavailable for this interview) are ready to conquer their first 26.2 miles this Sunday, March 2. All three gentlemen were kind enough to answer a few questions as they prepare for the big day.
What made you decide to do your first marathon?
Jaime Cabada: The marathon is a distance I didn’t think I’d ever run, but since joining the team in April of 2013 and seeing the progress I’ve made since then, I think I’m ready for it and wanted to challenge myself to see how I’d do. Also, seeing the pride and accomplishment on the faces of my awesome teammates when crossing the finish line made me want that same feeling.
Nick Jones: Okay, so what made me run my first marathon you say, to tell you the truth my lovely wife did.
It all started about two years ago sitting in a Starbucks with Diana meeting a very intense man who talked about a running team. The meeting was mostly for Diana who was more interested with “activity” than me, at the time. Up to this point the most “running” I have ever done in the last about 10 years was 1.5 miles at a time once a year for my annual National Guard PT test. But that all changed when I showed up for a track practice and met a lot of very strange people who liked this “activity” called running. After that I was hooked! I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment, sweat, and lead-filled legs. So on to this marathon thing… I kind of had the feeling that after my first 5k race while deployed to Biloxi, MS (i.e “the armpit of the south”), it would be nice to complete a couple more 5k’s. But my tenacious wife had other plans for me. Little did I know, she had signed me up for my first half marathon, which I completed, (nearly died) and that’s when I knew I had a glimmer of a chance to start and finish a full marathon. So, all in all, without the AWESOME support of Diana, Coach Will, Coach Frank, Coach Lupe, Coach Sam, Coach Sarah and all of Endurance Reno and Sparks Teams, I would not be on this path to success and would never have thought in a million years that I could even attempt a marathon, let alone anything over 1.5 miles or 2.414016 km.
Scott Burnett: I guess it was a bucket list thing. Once you start running you want to always test yourself a bit with longer distances. Also I have IMLT (Ironman Lake Tahoe) in September, so need to know what it feels like.
Why did you pick the Napa Valley Marathon for your debut?
Jaime Cabada: I thought it would be fun since so many of my teammates and friends are also doing it…plus it was voted one of the top 10 most scenic marathons worth traveling to!
Nick Jones: Some people say peer pressure is a bad thing: In this case it’s not. I have heard from our teammates how much fun this race is and how this is “the one” to cut your 26.2 teeth in to. That and having so much camaraderie within the team made me want to eventually do it (2015ish). So Diana sealed the deal with coercion and signed me up, so not turning back now.
Scott Burnett: Why Napa? Last year so many teammates did it and I wanted to share in that journey.
What are your goals for the race?
Jaime Cabada: My goal is to finish with a Boston qualifying time, for my age group 25-29, of 2:55 or faster.
Nick Jones: What are my race goals….I want to finish with bonus minutes!! But mostly I want to finish alive.
Scott Burnett: Number 1 goal is to finish…. PLEASE Lord let me finish. Second is to have fun, and not really worry about my time.
How are you feeling (mentally and physically) as you get ready for your first marathon?
Jaime Cabada: Mentally and physically I’m feeling ready and anxious since I’ve put in all the hard work and seen the results of it in practice. The only thing in the way is a sore Achilles that has been bothering me lately, but I think I’ll be okay by race day.
Nick Jones: I’m not going to lie mentally. I’m still a little worried, but I think once I get there and being surrounded with the team and start to feel the surge of electricity from the crowd, that feeling will go away.
Scott: Burnett: I feel rested now after January’s training. But I wish I had put in more training miles.
Any words of advice for others who want to take the plunge and run their first 26.2?
Jaime Cabada: Be consistent in your training. Put all the hard work in while training so you can have fun and enjoy your race when it gets here.
Nick Jones: I think the most important thing you can do is surround yourself with positive thinking people and don’t let the naysayers live rent-free in your head.
Scott Burnett: Don’t worry about where you are physically when you start. Just start, even if that is just walking. Be gradual with gaining mileage in training. Your body will adapt to the demands but it does stress it, especially if you try to do too much. Some runs will feel great and others will suck. So don’t put too much mental stock into any one run, or any one effort. Last…enjoy the journey. We are lucky to be able to do this. Smile J
Look for Jaime, Nick and Scott (and Stefan) to tear it up on the Napa course on Sunday. Good luck guys!
Happy Running! Coach Sarah #Enduworld