February 2020 Member Spotlight
Brenda & Jim Case
This month, we’re shining the member the spotlight on Jim and Brenda Case, a dynamic duo from Arlington, Texas. The couple, married for 31 years, have four grown kids, two grandkids, and are both busy professionals who also volunteer, yet have made the time to balance fitness with fun in their lifestyle as an active couple.
“We love being together in everything we do, whether it be running, cycling, Camp Gladiator, other cross training or just sitting together watching TV,” explain the Cases. In addition, their other hobbies include traveling and trying out all the local breweries, wineries, and distilleries on their adventures. Also, while they eat a balanced healthy diet that includes beef, Brenda and Jim also treat themselves once a week with a “cheese tray dinner and stove-top popcorn for dessert.”
The running bug first caught the Case family 11 years ago, when their then 5th grade daughter expressed an interest in joining the after-school running team. Jim quickly jumped in to support her endeavor, serving as an adult volunteer. “Soon,” says Brenda, “Jim was running ‘a LOT’ and was gone several days a week. I saw him out having fun while I was just holding down the house and life. Finally (four years ago), I decided to make time for myself, as well, and joined a running group with a Walkers2Runners program.”
While both Brenda and Jim are runners, the two are a little different in their natural preferences, more so than just the fact that Jim likes New Balance shoes and Brenda prefers Brookes. Jim, an engineer by profession, is analytical and perhaps more outcome oriented, often self-talking himself through tough races with the mantra, “I didn’t pay to walk this.” But, it’s this persevering, goal-driven mindset that has earned him multiple Boston Qualifying marathon finishes! Brenda, on the other hand, says she doesn’t care as much at all about the numbers or pace, but participates in events “to enjoy myself, the people, and the race experience” and exercises to “stay healthy and stay accountable to and from friends.” Her mantra is “One mile at a time.”
In this next year, Jim and Brenda are planning to do fewer Dallas-area races and instead focus on more destination races throughout Texas so they can meet more members of the Beef Team at large. “We now try to encourage others to come to races, events, volunteer opportunities to greater embrace what we are here to do, which is support the ranchers and beef producers,” explain the Cases. Read on to find out more about this awesome Beef Team couple that has likely cheered you on at a race (or will soon).
Favorite Beef Team Memories: Jim remembers a past Cowtown Marathon, “… having a beer at mile 21, fireball shot mile 22, then high fiving Beef Team Volunteers at mile 23 with a huge smile.” Brenda says, “A favorite memory is ‘pirate walking’ at Miracle Match Half Marathon in Waco with a huge group of us out just to have fun!” They both also have great stories about past Beef Adventure Races and Prime Cuts Retreats.
Favorite Races: Germanfest in Muenster with camping at little league outfield starting Friday night, bike ride on Saturday, German Festival in afternoon, and 5K race on Sunday. Also, the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, OK with a full weekend race schedule, nice expo, dinner and crowd support.
Running Clubs: Runners of Arlington, Fort Worth Runner Club, Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs. Brenda: Runners of Arlington, Fort Worth Runners Club and MRTT (Moms Run this Town), Half Fanatics.
Running Accomplishments: Jim has multiple BQs and finished a 50 miler. He’s run 9 marathons/ultras, 19 half-marathons, a dozen or more long trail races and countless other shorter-distance races. Brenda once ran three half marathons in three consecutive weekends and, if that isn’t impressive enough, PR’d them all!
Favorite Type of Race: Jim likes the process of training for a marathon with a friend, “building up the miles on Saturday mornings, experiencing the sunrise, and chatting about everything.” Brenda now considers obstacle races her favorite and her first official one was the Merrill Down & Dirty Race.
Current Obstacles: Brenda is recovering from meniscus surgery (Feb 5, 2020) but is motivated to get back out there soon.
Running Advice: Jim says, “Your brain will try to convince the body to shut down at 70 % depletion level and then you have to convince the body to push through to the 30% that’s left.” Brenda’s advice is, “Just enjoy the race, whatever your pace. The fact that you are out there running is priceless.”
Inspired By: “The Slow Runners,” says Brenda. “They probably won’t ever place or medal in a race, but they are out there trying!”
Favorite Beef Cuts: Flat Iron, T-Bone, and the Chateau Loin Roast received during the holidays.
Cooking Skills Acquired: Always use a thermometer and remember that food keeps cooking after you remove it from the heat source.