21 Dec Staying Vertical with Jared Carson
On Saturday, December 10th, William Dyson, of High Five Events, grabbed coffee at Mellow Johnny’s with Jared Carson, ASICS Sales Representative. They discussed his recent Thanksgiving victory over his slightly younger identical twin, returning to the Austin Marathon in the Elite Field, and training with the newest addition to his family.
William Dyson – You recently won the Atlanta Track Club-produced Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon by beating your twin brother by 74 seconds. How many times did you remind him of that during Thanksgiving?
Jared Carson – I’m one minute older than my identical twin Josh. He and I ran together in high school. Josh used to beat me much more in high school, but in college I got more victories. We’re both super competitive. At the beginning of the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, we struggled to maintain the same pace and I kind of took off. It always feels good to get a win against Josh. There’s always tons of trash talking between the two of us, but it’s always in fun. We both started running at the same time and it’s been invaluable to have him as my training partner.
WD – You’re originally from Georgia. What brought you to Austin?
JC – My now wife, Megan had a job with Adidas and received a promotion. As you can tell, I followed suit. I arrived in Austin in May 2013; Megan moved in October 2012. After her move, I began visiting Austin to check out the place, get used to the community, and become involved in the Austin running scene. I ran the 3M Half Marathon in January and didn’t decide to run the Austin Marathon until after that race.
WD – As the reigning 3M Half Marathon Champion, what’s it like to win a major race where you live/train?
JC – For me, the biggest thing was being able to run in a community that’s always so supportive of everyone. It makes everything that much easier to be engulfed in that atmosphere. Coming back to race the 3M Half was my way of overcoming a physical challenge (out for year and a half with injury). The support I received on course was overwhelming and truly appreciated.
WD – Will you attempt to go back-to-back in 2017?
JC – Originally yes. But I’ve accepted a new position with ASICS and my family and I will move to Portland at the end of the year. I would love to defend my title, but it’s not looking very likely. The 3M Half was already on my calendar and I wanted to use the course as a training run, but life had other plans!
WD – Best of luck, Jared! When did you first realize you had that internal desire to push yourself and your limits?
JC – I started running as a freshman in high school. It was a casual activity and I ran primarily for soccer. I didn’t enjoy it and ran the bare minimum. I looked at running as a sport, not a lifestyle. When I was a junior in high school I began to adopt running more as a lifestyle. It became exciting and I began to challenge myself. College is when I really began to take running seriously. It became important to me. I became aware of how I could make myself better: doing the little things, making certain preparations, learning about proper nutrition and hydration, understanding running form, etc.
WD – How does a runner of your caliber handle injuries, mentally and physically?
JC – The biggest thing for me is to be patient, but every runner needs to know what works best for them and their situation. The path of least resistance is to compare your training to others, but what works for someone else might not work for you. I learned the hard way about trying to do too much and unnecessarily pushing myself. Experience has taught me how my body responds and reacts. Training for me isn’t a tremendous amount of work, it’s about being smart with your workouts and training runs.
WD – Congratulations on being accepted into the Austin Marathon’s Elite Field! How’s your training so far and what are your race-day goals?
JC – Training is going well. I’ve been working with my college coach. We’ve put together a 12-week training program and I began after the Thanksgiving Day Half. I’m taking a different approach this year because the 2013 Austin Marathon scarred me. I didn’t train properly and the end result wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve included more long runs during my training to get my body acclimated to the longer distance. Every competitive person has a time goal, but I want to finish, feel good, and be competitive. I really look forward to running with the other elites.
WD – Most people give advice to their younger self. What piece of advice would you give your future self on Feb. 19th?
JC – Don’t panic race morning! Don’t eat oatmeal, a banana, and a bagel the morning of the race. I was very inexperienced in 2013 and it showed. I woke up in panic and, even with my fueling plan, thought I had to eat more than I had planned. My overall fueling plan during race wasn’t ideal because I didn’t practice enough. During my training I’ve become accustomed to fueling and hydration. I think the biggest thing is to run within myself and not get wrapped into what others are doing. I know that’s more than one piece of advice, but you live and you learn. You can believe I will use that pre-race and in-race advice on Feb. 19th.
WD – After the Austin Marathon, what race is next on your spring calendar?
JC – I don’t know yet. I’ll definitely take some time to recover and scope out the racing scene in the Northwest. I’ll more than likely look for 10K road race.
WD – You used to work and train with Rogue Running. You mentioned working with your college coach, but do you still train with Rogue? If not, do you train with a specific group?
JC – Right now I run solo and am following my 12-week plan. The past few years, I’ve been doing my own thing with guidance from college coach. Sometimes I get ready for races with David Fuentes if we’re in the same training phase. My lifestyle is my accountability partner. I thoroughly enjoy the competitive aspect of races. I like to make it fun and love to get out there and run. If you put too much pressure on yourself to race it becomes unenjoyable. Running makes me a better person, husband, and father. I’m tremendously more productive and more efficient with my time.
WD – You’ve coached before. Put on your coaching pants: what advice do you have for someone wanting to PR at a marathon or half?
JC – Make sure to have fun. Tailor your training to what’s best suited for you and stick with it. Remain consistent and stick with your training plan. On race day, run your race, follow your hydration/nutrition plan, and have fun!
WD – What motivates you to run?
JC – The satisfaction I receive post-run motivates me to run. I have this internal motivation to get my day started and started properly. Running quenches that need. I get this sense of achievement. I’ve accomplished something to start my day before most people are awake. Running is my quiet time. If my schedule doesn’t allow a morning run, I’ll run at the end of day. I use that time to reflect on the day.
WD – Congrats on your family’s newest addition! How do you balance your family life, work life, and running life?
JC – Thanks! I’ve learned to adapt. But I first had to be willing to adapt. Runners can be selfish, type A. I can no longer think selfishly. In reality, I don’t want to be selfish. Now I want what’s best suited for my family and our schedule. With my family, I don’t dwell on things. If I have a bad workout, who cares?! I get to go home and see my boy’s face and spend time with my wife. When that takes place, everything becomes a distant second.
WD – What advice do you have for fathers who want to run or are just starting to run?
JC – I really enjoy taking my son on my runs. We’ll go for an easy run and I’ll strap him in the stroller; he loves it! My goal is to teach him at a young age to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. New fathers can let the situation overwhelm them or they can adapt and enjoy the process. I use our time running as a bonding moment. You’ll have to adjust your schedule though. If you miss a run or workout, the key is to not get stressed out and worry. Running with your kid will create this new element of satisfaction and happiness that you didn’t have before.
WD – What has running given you?
JC – From a mental aspect, running has given me the ability to realize how to overcome challenges and obstacles in life. This pertains to everyone, but so many times work gets stressful, dilemmas come up, problems need to be solved; running has shown me how to handle these situations. From a physical standpoint, it’s allowed me to overcome injuries and taught me to push past pain. I can handle situations better because of running.
WD – Favorite place to run in Austin?
JC – I’ll give you my top three: #1 – Scenic Dr.; #2 – Town Lake Trail; #3 – Terrytown,
WD – Favorite non-running activity?
JC – Spending time with family. My wife and son are my everything. Life gets busy and things speed up. When I come home life slows and I enter a place I can’t get enough of.
WD – Favorite Austin restaurant?
JC – Without a doubt it’s Curra’s Grill on Oltorf. That was one of the first restaurants I ate at when I first moved to Austin. If you haven’t had one of their avocado margaritas, do yourself a favor and go get one!
WD – Jared, thank you so much for taking the time to get with me in what I can only imagine must be a hectic time for you. I had no idea you were this busy! I hate to see you and your family leave Austin, but wish y’all nothing but the best in the next phase of life. We’re thrilled that you’re running the Austin Marathon with us and will see you, Megan, and Brady in February.
JC – Don’t worry about it at all. I can be the busiest person in the world, but I’ll make time to sit down with you and High Five Events any time. We’re sad to leave Austin, but we’re equally as excited to see what this next chapter holds for us. Plus, we’ll be back in February. We’ll have to grab an avocado margarita after the marathon!
Staying Vertical is an interview session with various individuals within the endurance community hosted by William Dyson, High Five Events Communications Manager. Staying Vertical will showcase the perspective of runners, triathletes, sponsors, partners, event producers, and volunteers to understand what makes them tick. We will highlight their involvement and give the endurance community an inside look into the individuals that are just like you and me.
Awards and Recognitions –
2016 Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon Champion (1:11:33)
2016 – 3M Half Marathon Champion (1:08:23)
2014 – (Houston) USA Half Marathon Championships (1:07:02)
2013 – Austin Marathon 3rd (2:40:25)
2013 – 3M Half Marathon 3rd (1:07:02)
Two-time All-American, track and cross country (Shorter University)