David Miller aims for his first full marathon


Every time he goes out for a run, David Miller tries to break down the physical and mental barriers that come with sport.

To help out, Miller, a 58-year-old Springfield Township native, likes to turn to music. One song in particular, “Look What You’ve Done” by Tasha Layton, serves as inspiration.

While the song’s message explains what the Lord has done for Layton, it has double meaning for Miller. Just a few years ago, his running career was non-existent. Now he has run three half marathons, several five and 10k races and is now aiming for his first full marathon this Sunday at the 2022 Flying Pig.

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“I don’t run to win anything other than to accomplish something I’ve never done before and have the satisfaction of it,” Miller said. “That’s really my goal.”

At a Christmas party in 2018, Miller’s son-in-law Tom Cantwell asked if he would join him in the Flying Pig.

“I could beat him (Cantwell) at racquetball any day of the week, I’m sure I could beat him at a marathon,” Miller laughed.

Running has a way of humbling you, though. Miller’s first race was the 2019 Fairfield Food Pantry 5K. After that, there wasn’t much left in the tank.

“I finished the half (marathon) and I was totally exhausted. I couldn’t walk another yard,” Miller said. “I quickly realized it was way more than I could handle.”

Now imagine adding an extra 13.1 miles.

“It was the furthest thing from my mind to think that I could run another half marathon on top of that,” Miller said.

A few days later, Miller opted to listen to his nine-hour playlist while cutting the grass. All of a sudden, he had the itch to run again.

“The endorphins all start to kick in because they were related to running. You come in with a good run and it’s satisfying. Physically the hormones are flying and the endorphins are really pumping you up,” Miller said. do this for me.”

Miller’s extensive playlist includes classic rock, country and Christian pop. He plays classics like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and a variety of Katy Perry hits. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” and Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” might come in handy when racing up one of The Flying Pig’s many hills.

“There’s just a lot of fun songs that say, ‘You can do it,'” Miller said. “Music is directly tied to those good runs, even if they’re tough – you get something done. Music showed me how our emotions are so tied to these key events in our lives. It just hooked me.

Miller believed that if he could run a half marathon after just four months of training, he could do a lot more if he had a full calendar year of training.

He made a plan and stuck to it – eat well, train and run several times a week, even for 2-4 hours on weekends.

“You don’t go from your couch to a marathon. You go from the couch to 5K and then 5K to 10K and work slowly and that’s what I did,” Miller said. “You just worked the plan.”

This is another aspect of racing that is easier said than done. Some days you don’t feel like working out or running. Other times you think too much about every aspect of a marathon, from what you’re going to eat and drink to the weather. Learning about CNN anchor Chris Berman’s heatstroke during the Boston Marathon earlier this month didn’t help.

“A friend of mine sent it to me. So it’s going to be a lot of water and Gatorade,” Miller said. “I think about everything, there are so many things. I received many messages of encouragement, fun and necessary.

The only time Miller remembers running before marathon training was when he was in eighth grade and was asked to run with a girl he had a crush on. He couldn’t refuse it, then was “ready to die” after five miles. Now he considers a 5K an “easy run” and has a few planned this week – along with his meals and basic workouts – before resting all day Friday and Saturday.

“Just last night, I was like, ‘This is going to be so hard.’ Then this morning, I wake up and I’m pumped again,” he explained. “Again, you just gotta plan it right.”

Miller is running for CancerFree Kids, a Loveland-based charity that researches pediatric and childhood cancers that has helped two families from Miller’s church.

He will also race with Cantwell, who helped start this journey a few years ago over Christmas. Due to a knee injury, Cantwell was unable to run the full marathon, opting instead for the half. They will run together until the split at Madison Road when marathoners go right and half marathoners go left.

“He (Cantwell) can outrun me, there’s no doubt about that, but he said he’ll run with me until the split,” Miller said. “That’s what it’s all about and it’s going to be fun.

“Mentally, I think I can do it because I’ve gone through the training. It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about it. Mentally I’m going to depend on training and physically I might walk a bit, but I’ll finish strong. You train and discipline yourself and I think it’s going to work – fingers crossed.


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