Mark and Stacy Porter are a positive force to be reckoned with. They set the example on balancing fitness and family. Their athletic achievements as a husband/wife team are inspirational. They encourage each other while keeping family first. Stacy and Mark are Broker/Realtors at ERA Old South Properties. They attend Marcus Pointe Baptist Church and raise three kiddos- Trenton 13, Braden 11, and Lauren 6.
Why did you start running?
(Stacy) I started running in 2002 because Mark suggested we should sign up for a 5k, and my first race was the Navy Birthday 5k in November 2002. I had played sports in junior high and high school, but I had not run in several years. After having kids, running gave me free time away from my small kiddos. What mom wouldn’t want to run for an hour and give her husband the “opportunity” to be blessed by changing diapers?!?
(Mark) I restarted running almost one year ago this week for this reason, I was sitting in my lazy boy recliner watching TV with a separated right shoulder from basketball, a coke in one hand, the clicker in my other and an extra 30 lbs of reserve weight wrapped around my mid section. Stacy kissed me good night because she was going to be getting up early to run. I turned the TV off after she left and sat there completely disgusted in the state I was in…..out of shape, immobile and a bad example as a husband first and a dad second. Somehow I had slowly gotten out of shape (or changed shape) and was overcome by the circumstances of life and pushed a very important part of life out..health. Stacy is the person that inspired me to start running and God is the one who put the passion in me to continue. I started out walking with my arm in a sling and eventually started jogging like that. I got disciplined to do some jog/walking 5 days a week and after a couple of weeks of sorting things out I sat down and wrote out my goals for the next 9 months. It was a list of things that would be impossible to do as a one day a week basketball player. I kept track of what I did every day and reviewed the list. One by one I checked them off and was blessed to be able to check off several of them 2 and 3 times.
How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?
(Stacy) I first came to Running Wild as I started training for my first 5k. I realized quickly after a few short runs that the “Clearance shoe at the local sports store” was not working for me. I needed to be properly fit for running shoes, and the experts have never disappointed me. I have met a lot of great people through Running Wild who have challenged me exponentially. I recently used Keaton at Running Wild to pace me for the Seaside half marathon, and I determined (at approximately mile 6) that I was not going to be riding his Pain Train! He PR’d this race by a landslide by negative splitting the second half! However, it did give me a bull’s eye on his Running Wild singlet, and in turn, I set my PR for a 13.1 – 1:45:56.
(Mark)My immediate goal was to just become a better husband so I kept finding myself stopping by Running Wild to see what else I could find for Stacy to help her with her running that she did not already have. If I was going to be running I needed to get some good equipment and be on a good team and I found both at Running Wild. The first piece of advice that I got from one of the staff was to sign up for a race and the rest would be history.
What is your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?
(Mark) My favorite thing about training with Running Wild is the positive attitude of the people that make it up. Each team member that I have met from the owners to the newest hire all have an energy about them that winners possess….a positive attitude and the sky is the limit mentality. Whether it is a long run on a Saturday or 6@6 on a Tuesday or Thursday, you are surrounded with people that WANT to be there and that makes a huge difference.
What is your greatest athletic accomplishment to date and why?
(Stacy) Greatest athletic accomplishment…without a doubt was the SRI Tri in October 2012. As we all know, you are either a swimmer or a runner. Well, my idea of swimming has always been to wade into the gulf to “cool off” from sunbathing! So when Mark mentioned we should do a Tri, it was a bit intimidating to me. However, I enjoy challenges; so, I signed myself up for Masters Classes at the Y and started swimming 3 times weekly with the group. I will never forget the feeling of “What have I gotten myself into?” as I stood there looking into the gulf waiting for my wave to start. But I also will never forget the feeling of completing the 600 yard swim and running out of the water, transitioning onto my bike, and thinking, “So this is what it feels like to accomplish something that you thought was unattainable .“Self doubt is often our worst enemy; so kick him to the curb, or to the beach! There is no room in an athlete’s mind for negative thinking. One of my favorite quotes is, “Show me a woman who is content, and I’ll show you an underachiever.”
(Mark) My greatest athletic accomplishment was TRAINING for my first Marathon. Going to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 every night to make the 4:15AM alarm clock 5 days a week for 22 weeks was a complete schedule change from my “normal” life. By the time the marathon came I felt more prepared than I had ever been for anything athletic. My first was the “It’s about the shirt” marathon in Fairhope. The first half of the race was overcast and hilly and the last half was 4+ inches of rain and flat. I can say I was a top 20 finisher in my first marathon…don’t ask how many people finished the race. 🙂 Stacy, who had signed me up for this and had trained 18 weeks for it, had gotten bronchitis the week prior and still completed the half.
Backing up just a little, I did my first half marathon in November of 2011 to see what the feeling was like as compared to how my wife had described it in words. The only problem is I trained on the Thursday prior to the race only running 6 miles. I say that because looking back on it I did it all wrong and that is no way to plan for a half marathon. In fact, it was so bad that when I labeled the race at Garmin connect (using my wife’s pink 110) I named it “Mark’s First and Last Half Marathon”. Sometimes we have to eat our words!
What is your favorite running gear and why?
(Stacy) My favorite running gear is my Garmin 110, which is very user friendly and starts up quickly. Also my Thorlo Experia socks are the only socks I use. They are moisture wicking, and it seems to help with toenail blisters.
(Mark) My favorite running gear (besides shorts and a shirt) would be my Garmin 310xt. I used apps on my android and iphone until my wife got me a GPS specific timing device. I later found out that I was putting down 7 minute miles just a few weeks into my training and that was not setting well with Stacy who had been training for years to get to that. Being the competitor that she is, she wanted me to have the best equipment that would help me the most. It proved that I was not a 7 minute miler and that some days my apps would be accurate and some days they would not. You have to get a GPS specific watch if you want consistency and to improve. We do speed workouts, interval running and different courses all with the 310xt and if you are a solo runner it is like having a partner with you. The staff helped with our dicison to get the 310xt because of our desire to do triathlons and it has been great!
What shoes do you train in and why?
(Stacy) I train in several different shoes depending on my run workout for the day, and I also find rotating my shoes helps to avoid injury. My favorite, and usually my racing shoe, is the Newton Distance. I transitioned slowly into wearing them and have noticed an improvement in my stride and form. I also like the Brooks Pure Flow, a great minimalist shoe that is very light.
(Mark) I have gone through 3 pairs of Brooks (Defiance, Ghost, and Pure Flows) shoes and just purchased my first pair of Newtons. I used the Defiance for the first part of my first marathon training which was about 18 weeks and then the last 4 weeks I purchased the Ghost and finished it out with the race. Stacy suggested that I rotate my shoes throughout my next race training and that is what I have done. My favorite racing shoe is the Brooks Pure Flow for anything half marathon or shorter so far. I have done two full marathons and have used my Ghost for both because of the distance and extra support that particular shoe has. With my Defiance retired I will now work my Newtons into the rotation. As of today I have put 1 mile on my Newtons. I got advice from Shannon, Keaton and Jared and they all pretty much agreed with the type of shoes I should be in even with their varied preferences.
What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to reach it?
(Stacy) On Sunday, March 24, Mark and I will be running the Inaugural Corpus Christi Navy Marathon. I am usually skeptical of inaugural runs, and especially inaugural marathons for that matter! However, we were going to be in Austin for a real estate seminar; so why not try to nab some TX bling while there. This will be my seventh 26.2, but I am planning to run this one for fun since my 26.2 training is still early in the season.
(Mark) I will be running a marathon in Corpus Christi on March 24th and then one in May. We are training for the one in May using a combination of two training programs. My body likes two rest days a week so I combine a training program from the first marathon I did (2 rest days beginner program) with the program I used for the second marathon (1 rest day intermediate). Tweaked, it has the same mileage of the intermediate with 2 rest days. Only TIME will tell how that works out….literally. Two other goals that I have in sight are an Ultra marathon and a half Ironman. I enjoy the challenge of doing something that pushes me past what I think I can do. I am going to continue with the group running which naturally pushes me harder and I will continue with TRI Gulf Coast in their Mere Mortals program, which meets on Sunday mornings for tri training.
Thank you for this privilege and we are grateful and blessed to be a part of this great Pensacola area running community!