Yes, they’ve been supportive, and no,
none of them run. It’s a little too early
to tell if my daughters will be inspired
by my example. They are only 9 and 12
How did you keep your mind occupied
during training and racing? Did you
listen to music? Do logarithms in your
I tried a Walkman once and didn’t like
it. So I don’t listen to music. It’s easy to
keep the mind occupied. For example,
the time spent running can be used to
blood disorder and had nothing to do
with running, but it means I’ll be on
blood thinners the rest of my life. In the
middle of June, I began walking 4 or 5
miles a day on the treadmill and by July
began to fit in some light running—walk
one minute and run one minute. My per-mile pace is a lot faster, even with the
walk and run, than it was before the embolism was found.
On the brighter side, what’s your rest-
ing heart rate? It must be rock bottom!
It’s usually between 45 and 47.
decides to take up running and has no
hope of doing 50 before 50 because
that boat has already sailed?
You need to make sure that you have no
health issues that would prevent you
from running and build up to it slowly.
Aerobic capacity increases more rapidly than the stresses that your body can
handle. So while you may feel good after
a few months of running, it can take six
or more months of running to build up
to a marathon. And it’s important to remember that the older we get, the longer
it takes for our bodies to adapt.
in my opinion, there are three keys to success, and they are
weighted equally—preparation, the desire or will to succeed
and luck. you need to have a good day in order to succeed.
solve a problem or plan out a day or a
project. I once used a 10-mile run on
the treadmill to compose my talk for a
wedding later the same day—I was the
How has your body held up? That much
running has to have taken a toll on
your knees, at the very least.
Not too bad for 35 years of running and
over 60,000 miles. Having a large build
and being a big runner doesn’t help. I
have had lots of injuries, but fortunately
the knees have not been damaged from
all of the running. One of the challenges
now is to manage the injuries. Just when
you think you have had them all, a new
one appears. It seems now that there is
at least one injury each year. And they
take longer to heal or remedy the older
I get. My new challenge is overcoming
a pulmonary embolism that I was diagnosed with after coughing up blood in
early June. (My breathing hadn’t been
right since the beginning of March
and my running was getting slower
and slower, but it was hard convincing
the doctors that there was something
wrong). The clot was from a genetic
Did you find yourself employing any
of your actuarial skills and training as you prepared for and ran
I found the discipline from studying was
helpful. I never failed a fall exam and
usually ran the New York City Marathon
a week or two before the exam. Also, my
actuarial experience helped me in managing all of the variables involved in a
marathon. It’s similar to what we need
to do professionally.
Do you have any hints for fellow
actuaries who are inspired by your
I would tell them to set a goal that is
challenging but attainable. Running
marathons is like taking exams. In my
opinion, there are three keys to success
for each, and they are weighted equally—
preparation, the desire or will to succeed
and luck. You need to have a good day
in order to succeed. There are lots of
variables that can affect the outcome.
Experience helps you to manage these
What about a midlife individual who
How many people have made it into
the 50 States Marathon Club? It must
be a select group.
There are actually two clubs— 50
States & D.C. Marathon Group USA
com) and 50 States Marathon Club
( www.50statesmarathonclub.com). The
latter group lists (as of the end of June)
440 male and female U.S. finishers. I’m
listed as No. 407, certified on Dec. 14,
2008. By the way, there’s another actuary, Peter Schwanke, listed at No. 401.
He was certified on Nov. 2, 2008, just a
month before me.
Having completed your goal of 50 before 50, what’s your next challenge?
I plan to try and run 100 marathons
before I turn 60 and/or run all of the
marathons in the New England states.
Right now, I’m at 64 marathons. Despite
the setback from the embolism, I still
haven’t given up on running two more
marathons this year—Maui in September and New York in November. I have a
friend who will be running his 20th New
York City Marathon then, and I want to
run it with him. We’ll see.