Meet the Athlete: Bob Garcia

Name: Bob Garcia

Age: 63

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Current residence: LaVista, NE

Occupation/Degree you are working towards: Retired teacher/coach in Omaha Public Schools (McMillan Jr. High, South High, Bryan High) and Lincoln Parkview Christian, currently special education paraprofessional at Millard South High School  

High School – Omaha South High, 1973

College (major/minor)  UN-O, Grace University, Peru State College – B.S. in Education, Mathematics, December 1978

What is your running background? Ran in junior high, high school, college.  Quit for a year and a half and have been running ever since when not injured!  I thought I would taper off competitively by the time I turned 30 but I kept doing well so I never stopped.  I hate to train, love to compete.

Favorite distance to run?  2 mile, short and sweet. When I came back to running after college, I only started running 10k’s because I saw that the guys I wanted to beat in the mile were strong 10k runners and I was not.  I like shorter distances.

What are your future running goals?  Continue to break age group records at races, compete in National Masters Meets.  Since 2002, my record against Craig Christians is about 1 win and 70 losses, so I am hoping to eventually even that up.  I am hoping to perform well at World Masters Track in Toronto in 2020.

I can’t run without…?  Falling. And daydreaming.  Probably why I fall. But I daydream about winning and improving my running and other areas of my life.

Do you do anything to stay injury free?  I’m still working on that. My injuries are from freak accidents, not overtraining.

Do you have a favorite running book/podcast/movie/athlete?  Favorite running book, Run Your Best by Ron Daws.  After reading it, I improved several levels beyond what I thought I could reach.  Favorite runner, Billy Mills. I was fortunate to be invited to his house near Sacramento in 1994, and hear about the making of the film “Running Brave”.

What is your favorite race you have competed in the past?  Omaha Corporate Cup, 1986-87. The Corporate Cup was always a race I wanted to peak for, with a fast course and plenty of competition.  I don’t run it anymore; it’s just not the same.

What is your number one bucket list race you would like to do in the future?  July 4th Peachtree 10k, and any race that would finish on the Strip in Las Vegas.

Do you have any advice to other runners?  Stay consistent. I do well when I am, and poorly when I’m not.  Do other things besides running, any sort of cross training or exercise.

What are your PRs? They are from a long time ago!!

The ones I care about the most:

Mile-4:21, 2 Mile-9:26.3, 5k-14:47, 10k-30:52, half marathon-1:09:58, bench press-270.  I ran a 52.9 440 and sub 2:00 880 in relays and though some might not count them, I knew I ran fast those days.

How long have you been an LRC-Nebraska member?  As soon as I pay my dues, yes.

What excites you the most about being an LRC-Nebraska athlete?  I do enjoy running as part of a team when the emphasis is on team competition.

What does a typical training week look like for you?  Walk us through your daily routine (training related and otherwise):  My training is very random these days. I am always doing something to help me stay fit, just not always running.  In the past I always took one day off a week, now I take more. I generally go only about 3-5 miles for my regular runs and try to do a 10 mile run each week.  If I don’t feel like running I just do a Sudoku or a cryptogram and hope that it somehow helps my aerobic capacity. I have avoided stretching for the last 15 years and it has caught up with me.  Now I have no choice, it will be part of a daily routine or I will likely continue to have back problems. I am hoping that with the flexibility improvement it will be easier to get in mileage that I have avoided.

We all approach training and racing differently, so tell us what your short-term and long-term goals are with running:  I just keep looking for ways to fight the aging process, usually running fewer miles but do more muscle building activities.  I want to be competitive until I am physically unable to do so.

Where are your 3 favorite places to do long runs at the moment?  A mountain trail whenever possible, any trail by a stream, any place where I can run with someone (who is not trying to race!)

After a solid race or long run, what is your favorite meal to demolish and replenish those calories?  Please use details and give recommendations! N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestle’s makes the very best – chocolate!  (My favorite commercial from the early 60’s!) That’s about as scientific as I get with this topic. I usually try to make sure I am hydrated well but other than that, since I like pasta, I make sure I get plenty of that, and lately have cut back even more on donuts and soda pop, two of my favorite food groups.

Share a crazy training or racing story, or simply an interesting moment in time:  I was running a point-to-point 5k race in St. Joseph, MO. In 1992, I was 37 yrs. old.  We had to take a trolley to the starting line. I was in a car with two guys who were discussing which of them was going to win.  I listened with interest, not intimidated, and I was pumped! The first half mile was downhill with the second half mile uphill and I sat behind the two guys.  Before we hit the mile mark I got impatient and took off. I had all sorts of adrenal rushing through me as I flew downhill for the 2nd mile.  When I hit mile 2 I looked back and there was nobody!  One of them had dropped out and the other was not close enough to matter.  I took it easy for the last mile, part uphill and part downhill, and ran 14:47, a course record, which could have been a lot faster.

What book are you currently reading or TV show are you binge watching?  I just read “The Pastor’s Wife” by Sabina Wurmbrandt, about people in Romania who were taken captive for their beliefs.  They suffered so much; I hope I would be strong like that if it ever came to that here. I admired their tenacity, faithfulness, and endurance.   I usually like to read sports books or historical books.

You’re the star of a running movie, and the opening scene is you running on a winding dirt road, with a beautiful sunrise.  What song is playing in the background? One song that really gets me pumped in “Revolution” by the Beatles. It may not be a running song, but it gets me moving!

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