TSR Runner of the Week-Spencer Adkins

By: Kayla Dodd

Some may know our Runner of the Week as a local Meteorologist for WOWKTV, but TSR recognizes Spencer Adkins as this week's TSR Runner of the Week!

Spencer has been in the running scene for many years now, he ran track in the mid 1980's and then picked it back up a few years later in 1998. The ability to stay at it for that many years, amazes me, all the dedication and hard work ALWAYS pay off!

He completed his 1st 5k back around the year 2000 at Ritter Park, and this race just so happened to be his current PR! Nothing like giving it all you got your first time!!! When he started running at this time, there were not many 5k's in our region taking place, so he was lucky to find races to participate in during the summer. Now there are 5k's every weekend in various parts of the Tri-State Region and beyond.

"I really like the notion of 'current PR' because that is the key to staying on the road. More runners need to have this mindset. I will never beat my PR from my 1st 5k when I was in my 30's, but I have a PR today that I do want to at least maintain or try to still beat! In 2012 I ran my 5k in 20:00.08...yes 8 one-thousandths, so it is NOT a sub-20! If I had blinked or just leaned in at the tape, I would have been sub-20. But this is what makes racing fun."

He is right, racing is fun and we need to get out there and just do our best, yes we like to support local charities but we are also in competition with ourselves. Spencer said, "4 years later I am going to say my PR is 21:15 and that is what I shoot to run my current 5k's in."

His current running goals consist of more distance running and not as many timed 5k races. 4 years ago, he was focusing on the speed but now after fighting some recurring injuries and being a little older, he has changed his goals a bit. He now is focusing on just staying fit and healthy. He gets out and runs several times a week, and likes to run races in the 10k to half marathon distance.

One thing that he would like to share with fellow runners is to not be afraid to listen to your body and change your goals up if need be. Do not settle for less, but do what you can and push yourself to reach your goal...whatever that may be! Whether you get out and run 1 mile or 15 miles, just do it for you. Spencer said, "It is OKAY to declare victory by just being out there, taking part in the activity and just staying healthy & fit!"

Spencer had a wake-up call years ago and wanted to take matters into his own hands (or feet). He weighed more than he wanted to and had a history of heart problems in his family. He went to Laidley Field in Charleston and could not even do one lap, and that was his eye opener. He still keeps an old photo of himself, as a reminder of his weight then and for current motivation. Since then, he has kept up with his running goals and plans, and still puts in the all the miles and sweat!

When asked what the coolest thing he has ever seen on a run, check out his response, “I was running in Yellowstone Park. First, I had no idea it was so high up there and that the air was so thin. Second, I had no clue how cold it was in September (and yes I am a weatherman…)! I started running and about a half a mile down, I heard a loud snort, I stopped and looked around and there was a monster sized ELK!! The elk was also not happy to see me and I just froze…hoping he wouldn’t approach me, I slowly tip-toed away. That was an amazing sight to see on a run!”

We all need some motivation, whether it be from our friends or just something we mentally say to ourselves to help motivate us. Spencer always asks himself, “Are you here to RUN or what?” That usually does it for him! He has also been dealing with some injuries and referenced a good friend, WK Munsey, of the Tallman Track Club in Charleston. WK says, “You can’t be out running if you’re hurt…so it is OKAY to take time off to heal if you have to.” This is absolutely true, sometimes it is better to just listen to your body and take a few days or even weeks off, to allow your body to heal so that you can continue with your running journey and goals!

He has been running with Asics shoes for a long time but recently threw in some Sauconys and those shoes have been a great new mix for him. Finding the right shoe is key to successful training! His favorite piece of running gear is his ear buds. He does not race with music/ear buds but always uses them when he is training. His furthest distance he has ever ran, was his half marathon and he said that was far enough!

When asked what advice he would give to a beginning runner, he said, “Start slow. Don’t try to do it all at once. Even if you have great success early, if you run too much or too far or too often you can get injured or burned out. Follow your running passion and put in the effort but learn where the line is for you so you’re hungry to come back the next day instead of dreading another workout. Ask everyone questions. Don’t be surprised if the answers are all over the place. But the experience of other runners will help you find solutions. There are only a million ways to be a decent runner. You’ll find what works for you through trial and error.”

Running has changed Spencer’s life, he has set goals for himself and sticks with them. He has met great people and always makes instant connections with other runners in public. His best experience from running has been the people that he has met along the way. But most of all, running has been able to give him the healthy lifestyle that he works hard at every day. Good luck Spencer, on ALL of your running goals, TEAM TSR will see you at the finish line! 

Do you know someone who should be the TSR Runner of the Week? Comment below or email kayla@tristateracer.com. 

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