Runner Spotlight: Jay Sole

9 01 2016
Jay Sole is a regular around the shop for our weekly group runs. We caught up with him to learn more about his running journey.
Jay Sole
How long have you been running?
I started running in the mid 70s.  After spending the summer at a Officer Training Camp for the US Marines, my brother came home and invited me to go on a run with him.   I wasn’t a runner, but I said yes, and I about died trying to keep up with him!  That was my turning point.  I started running to keep up with my older brother.
What keeps you motivated?
Keeping up with the Joneses!  Or maybe I should say, the Dave Sorrells!  In 2008 I showed up for a Fleet Feet Fun Run.  Seven years later, I’m still having fun!  I remember early on, trying to keep up with the speedsters and praying for a red light so I could catch my breath!  But that’s how I got better.  Pushing myself while still having fun listening to Ben and Feb talk in paragraphs while I could only manage a grunt here and there.  Running with other runners keeps me motivated to be the best  I can be.
What’s your favorite running or race memory?
So many wonderful memories!  Flying out west with Angi, Zane, and Tim to run the scenic Denver half marathon.  Running a 10 mile race in Houston with my son.  We ran in the morning, he got married that evening!   Oh, and there was the week Ben Knoernschild decided to change things up for Fleet Feet’s speed workout.  He paired us up into teams and we held a spirited relay race with a Fleet Feet gift certificate up for grabs.   Everyone gave their best effort.  I remember Anna throwing up afterwards!  My  partner was Tim, and he ran the last heat so hard that he sprawled out on the football field when he was done,  only to realize he couldn’t stand up!  His legs had locked up on him.  We carried him to Ben’s car and gave him fluids.   And they say football players are tough.  What football players do as punishment, we were out there doing for fun!   I think Rachel won the gift certificate!
Do you have a bucket list race?
One of these days I want to do the Big Sur Marathon.  Do they have a half?   I don’t do full marathons.  If I ever do get around to running a full marathon, Boston would definitly be on the list!
What does a typical training week look like?
It looks like a well oiled machine!   Mondays I do about six miles with the Fleet Feet gang.  Tuesdays is speed work with Paul Sax.  On Wednesdays I rest!  Thursday I run around midtown with my speedie friend, Brittney, for about six miles.   I usually do a solo run of about 5 to 8 miles on either Friday or Saturday, and on Sunday it’s a long run with Scott and Jeanine.   I feel this routine keeps me in race shape throughout the year and I simply tweak it here or there if I have a specific race in mind that I want to peak for.   I don’t have a particular race in mind at the moment, but in the back of my mind I know the familiar races that I run every year that I like to be ready for.
Is there anything else you want to add?
For years I ran on my own.  I can resonate with the phrase “the lonliness of the long distance runner”.   But I would encourage anyone who is not running in a group situation to give it a try.  I have become a better runner, a more informed runner, and a happier runner as a result of the friendships I have made over the years.   So a big thank you to Fleet Feet for enriching my life with friendships, laughter,  and comradery on this running journey of mine!
Thanks for sharing your story, Jay! Do you know someone we should feature? E-mail us at lovetorun@fleetfeetmemphis.com.

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3 responses

14 01 2016
Dave Sorrell

Nice write-up about a good running friend!

14 01 2016
Anthony Ward

Glad to learn more about you Jay, and a great write up. You keep me motivated to be faster — maybe some day I will be at your speed — especially at the end of the Monday night run when you leave me in the dust.

14 01 2016
Brandon Sole

My love of running wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you! Love ya Dad! Awesome article!

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