Running like a turtle with the fastest of them all

By , June 17, 2009 8:00 am
A turtle's best friend

A turtle's best friend

Dan Daly’s motto is “run like a turtle….smooth, steady, and strong”, however his life is anything but turtle-like.  Not only is Dan a cross-country coach, parent, Chicago Area Runners Association president, and financial planner, he is also one of the faces behind the Bloomingdale trail development.  We sit down with Dan and get some good tips on running and living a health lifestyle this summer.

More about the man who does everything (almost)…

F: You are a financial planner, runner, CARA president, and Cross Country coach.  How do you manage to do all of this?

D: By keeping it fun.  Don’t forget husband and father also! I’m fortunate that I make my own schedule and like to be active.

F: George Carlin once said that running isn’t a sport because anyone can do it, even his grandmother.  What words of wisdom can you share to people who say running isn’t a sport?

D:Give it a try!  I’d suggest anyone who doesn’t think running is a sport come to a youth race and watch the finish line. There is  such a range of emotions as kids cross the line that you can’t help but be moved by the effort and determination of the athletes.

F: In your opinion, has running (as a sport) changed much since you started?  Fast forward twenty years from now, what’s your image of the future of Chicago running?

D: When I first started it was mostly about running hard and improving your time. Now there is more attention to the benefits of the activity both physical and mental. I see that aspect of the sport continuing to grow and I hope more and more people will embrace those benefits of running

F: Your wife is a pilates instructor and you are the President of the Chicago Runner’s Association…do you compete against each other in your respective sports (ie does she make a contest out of a pilates workout?)?

D: We don’t compete against each other in our sports as we both know the other can kick our ass in it.  We try and encourage and support each other in our specialty. I try and work on my core and my wife runs much more now than before we started dating.

F: Running appears to be a solitary sport that can take a really long time to complete.  What goes through your mind when you run for 3 hours?

D: Lots. If I’m out for a training run then it’s mostly day to day stuff or some random thought that triggers a range of memories. During a marathon I think of the race and my race plan relative to how I’m feeling and where I am on the course. Sometimes you find ways to amuse yourself like observing the passing scenery, but the best way is by running with someone and sharing the experience.

F: What motivates you to run in an indoor track for 20 miles in the winter?  Do people think you are crazy for doing so?

D: Mostly very cold weather! I only have run indoors in Jan/Feb. It may seem boring but I usually have company for portions of the run, and there are always women in shorts on the track, which is a nice distraction.

F: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen at a race?

D: During the 2004 Stockholm Sweden marathon a guy passed me in pigtails, a bra, and a thong. The worst part was that he was in my sight line for another 2 miles.

F: If we lived in an alternate universe that banned running, you would…

D: Be sad and cry then find a way to covertly run, or switch to another endurance sport.

Where to live healthy in Chicago…

F: What do you do or where do you go in Chicago to live a healthy lifestyle?

D: I love our lakefront, I really enjoy being near the lake for any activity.  I also enjoy the Boulevard system and the parks they connect to and like to kayak on the lake or on the river.  A great place to run is near Lane Tech H.S. and go north where it’s quiet and tree lined, or South into the industrial section that leads to the city.

F: What neighborhood do you live in?  Favorite things to do out there?

D: We live in Logan Square…I love running along the boulevards into Humboldt park.

F: Where are your favorite running paths in the city?  Worst places to run in the city?

D: Lakefront, Boulevards, and the Bloomingdale trail.  Worst place to run is on any of the main streets with traffic, noise, congestion, and litter.

F: Best meal to eat before a run?  Where to find it?

D: I like oatmeal at home.

F: Any advice that you can share for first time Chicago runners?

D: 1) Get out there and explore, don’t just stick to the main path on the lakefront, take  some detours off that path.  2) Look around when you run in the neighborhoods, don’t miss checking out the architecture. 3) Join a group and make some friends, 4) Enjoy the journey, 5) Have fun!

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