By Divya Putty
People have hobbies and and interests they pursue outside of school or work. Most of us know what we love to do and try to save time for it. English teacher, Anton Talarico, loves running because it promotes a healthy lifestyle. Even though he has a full time job, he is dedicated to his hobby and spares time to train for and participate in numerous competitive runs.
Talarico took up running in 2008. Since 2010, he has taken part in two ultra marathons (which are 31.25 miles each), 15 marathons, and several half marathons. While these accomplishments may seem impossible to some of us, Talarico worked hard to become the good runner he is today.
“I wasn’t used to running. It was exhausting. I remember feeling so winded. To think of where I began and where I’m at now in terms of cardio, I’ve come a long, long, long way,” Talarico said.
When he first began running, Talarico started with distances of one or two miles, then gradually worked up to five or six in one run. Most marathon runners, like Talarico, practice before taking part in the race through distance training, since runners require stamina and mental strength to continue until the end. When preparing for a marathon, Talarico will run five or six miles three days a week, then run a long distance of around eighteen miles on the weekend.
Whether having trained for days or months, a marathon runner can find it hard to keep their head in the game. Although reaching the destination in any run is followed by a sense of achievement, getting there is quite difficult for many runners as Talarico has observed and experienced.
During a long race, runners will hit a wall, reaching a psychological block, and question why they are taking part in such a difficult task.
“People start thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? I could be home, on the couch.The good news is that you will get over it. As dire as it feels, you’ll get over that wall and you’ll catch a second wind,” Talarico said.
While Talarico has participated in a myriad of runs, he does not compete at the level to be a professional athlete. If he began earlier in life, he might have been able to, but he simply runs for his enjoyment.
In addition to running for pleasure, Talarico prefers to run in smaller races where the environment is not so bustling, such as Catalina.
“That’s what I love about Catalina. You can stay on the island and walk with a cup of coffee in your hand to the start line. It’s a very comfortable experience. Unless you live near a race, you’re driving, you have to get up at 3 a.m…Whenever you can walk to a start line, that’s pretty rare and pretty nice,” Talarico said.
In the future, Talarico might take part in a triathlon which includes running, swimming, and biking. It causes damage on the feet and knees over time; so swimming is a great alternative.