July 2021 Member Spotlight
For such an accomplished and speedy runner, you’d be surprised to learn that George Adame from Austin, Texas has only been running consistently since January 2018. George did run briefly in college, but laments it wasn’t long before he allowed unfolding life circumstances to shift his priorities. “Working and taking care of others led me to neglect my own health,” he explains. “Eventually, I realized that I might not be here for others in the future if I allowed myself to continue with weight gain, lethargy, a sedentary lifestyle, and accepted all the associated health risks.”
So, George jumped back into running and became immediately hooked. He’s currently in training for Boston Marathon 2021 and, to date, has six marathons and assorted other distances under his belt. “Marathons are my favorite event,” Georges says with passion. “There is something quite rewarding about crossing that finish line at the end of a marathon. It is beyond euphoria. It is not endorphins. It is much deeper. It is confirmation that one’s will is far stronger than any muscle.”
George’s father, Alfredo Adame, is his inspiration for fitness and becoming stronger in life, both literally and figuratively. “My father was short and small and was an easy target for bullying when he was young,” he explains. “My dad purchased weights and learned to use strength training and isometrics to get strong - very strong! My mom has a photo of him in his early twenties holding a wagon axel and large steel wheels over his head. That was his makeshift “barbell” which weighed much more than his body weight.”
George’s father was a retired Army Captain and is now deceased. “My dad lost his own father while still in high school,” says George, “and, as the oldest in the family he always cared for his mom and six siblings. Growing up, he was well-known and respected in our small community of Donna, Texas.” Forget hitting the track with a celebrity athlete, George says his dream running partner would be to log a few miles with his dad. “I saw how strong my dad was. But he never had a chance to see me run. He never saw what I was able to do.”
“I keep a picture of my dad (bodybuilder) posing in our living room and look at it every day for inspiration. And, as a tribute, I sign all my athletic-related social media posts with “OJO”. My father used to sign his letters from Germany (WW-II) to his mom with “OJO.” In our Spanish culture, OJO translates as “eye” and is used to mean I have my “eye on you.” That was my dad’s way of letting his mother know that even while he was serving in Germany, he was keeping watch over his mom, brothers and sisters from afar.”
Being fairly new to the Texas Beef Team, George has a mentor as part of the Beef Buddy program who helps him to navigate the way. “Thank goodness for Janna Levy, my Beef Buddy,” he says. “I’m pretty forgetful by nature and she’s like a calendar, alarm clock, mom, trainer, and guide all wrapped up into one. Now, I may forget to sign up for stuff but I can always rely on her remind me to register AND show up!”
Read on to learn more about this inspiration member of our team and the Austin running community.
Family: In September 2021, I will celebrate 35 years of marriage to my wife, Lisa. We ran together in college and now do short runs and races together.
Profession: I’m a tech lead managing software for a large enterprise at a federal agency. I used to think 24x7 support was a cool thing until managing chaos at any hour became a way of life. I used to have light brown and reddish-brown hair at one time, now it’s gray!
Three Things You Might Not Know: 1) I am forgetful with names, dates and details; 2) I enjoy an ice-cold Mexican Coca-Cola ‘Medio Litro’ after long runs or finishing strong at a race; 3) I’ve run three “Quadzillas” back-to-back April, May and June 2019 (finishing in three days for each). This running challenge is to complete a 5K, 10K, 21K and 42K within a four-day time period. I ran a fourth Quadzilla a few months later on my 60th birthday.
Other Hobbies: I really like photography. I grew up with a love for capturing moments, expressions, situations and scenes. It all started with my mother in the 60s. My mom used to take photos at all family gatherings and other moments that defined our lives. I learned at a young age that a small investment of everyone’s time to capture a moment provides you with an opportunity to relive those precious memories. Any pose or candid moment may become a precious moment of joy, promise and hope. You never know when these treasures will pay off until you don’t have them like during the pandemic. This is why I often take pictures and share them. I also enjoy fishing, model rocketry, body surfing and other obscure things like blow gunning, boomerang slinging, frisbee football and pellet gun target practice.
Volunteering: I’m involved with the Gardening Ministry at St. Vincent de Paul (although not recently because of the pandemic). I volunteer often with various TRIs and running events managed by High Five Events. I volunteer every year with “Move Dirt” to help build and maintain the trails along Brush Creek Regional Trail. And also give my time to help maintain and beautify the trails and areas along Town Lake for the The Trail Foundation.
First Race: My first race was a trail run called “Race to Build – 10k” at Southwestern Williamson County Regional Park directed by Bill Schroder and supported by Georgetown Running Club. I came in 3rd in my age group. I really enjoyed this event and it is where I realized how much fun it was to compete.
Favorite Beef Team Memories: I volunteered handing out finisher’s medals at the 2021 Austin Half Marathon. I normally don’t volunteer at races because I’m always running in them. Several injuries have prevented me from training and racing so this year I decided to give medals instead of earning them. It was both an emotional and remarkable experience. I got to see so many racers cross the finish line, proud of what they accomplished, celebrate their victory then walk over to receive their medals. It still gives me goosebumps. My good friends from New Braunfels made it a point to come over to me to receive their medal and it meant a great deal to me.
Team Challenges: I also really enjoyed the Geocaching event at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park with my Beef Team running buddy Janny Levy. I spent a lot of time training, running, racing and social events with her and thought the Geocaching event seemed like a fun activity to share together. It was even more fun than I expected. Using the clues to search and find treasures was quite fun. I was very happy to participate in that unique activity.
Favorite Race Memories: I ran the full 2020 Austin Marathon in 3:24:24, finishing 2nd Place in my division. My “stretch goal” was to qualify for Boston 2021 and I accomplished that with an 11-minute cushion – and in my second-ever marathon! My favorite part of the 2021 Austin Marathon was when I approached the big hill at the end. My tank was empty and legs were toast. My will and courage left me at mile 25. As I began the hill climb some dude in shorts and blue cape came up along me and encouraged me. That motivation made me to forget about what led to that point and focused me on getting to the top of the hill to the last turn.
I also have great memories about the Dresses for Dreams 5k in Georgetown, TX. I placed 1st in my division for the second time. That’s what I did but what Robin Daves-Winkles, the race director, did was far more important. She and her team help raise money for teen girls in Uganda who have little hope for healthy and safe environment to live. The money raised creates an opportunity for a prosperous future for these young girls and funds sanitary kits, education, safe/secure environment for abused girls and prepares these young girls for a brighter future.
Training Groups: I train with Bill Schroder’s group “No Excuses Except Lighting”. I do hill runs with Austin Runners Meetup on various Wednesdays on Ladera Norte and Mesa.
Obstacles: In 2020, I suffered from three significant injuries that kept me from training, routine running and racing. To recover and rehab, I took off 4 months from running. In addition, I reduced my running by 60% for 4 months during rehab. Also, the pandemic did create some obstacles to running including missing the comradery and motivation of group runs and restrictions preventing running in popular parks and trails.
Race Quote: Earn your pace! To me this quote means train, train, train and keep training. Done well, you won’t have to look at your watch to see if you’re on pace on race day. It becomes automatic much like muscle memory. On race day, I won’t be questioning my abilities. If I trained hard, trained often, set a goal, focused, pushed myself beyond what I normally do then I should be able meet my goal because “I earned my pace”.
Pre-race Food: Lots of coffee and PB&J sandwiches.
Best running advice: You don’t win a race at the start.
Favorite Running Gear: HOKA ONE running shoes, Clifton Series
Favorite Running Music: I made a playlist of 70s classic rock that I listen to on every run. I also like Reggae music for those particularly stressful days.
Favorite Cut of Beef & Ways to Eat It: I like Ribeye, and keep it simple when it comes to preparing the steaks. A generous coating of light olive oil, Kosher salt and fresh coarse black pepper. I grill over mesquite at medium/high to get a sear with cool center for a medium rare finish. I have learned to grill two extra steaks. The two extras I keep in a container to sit in the juices overnight (refrigerated). The next day, the steaks turn extra tender. I’ll either make steak & eggs or slightly warm the steak, slice thin, and mix with a salad. If there is still enough leftover, I’ll make tacos with homemade salsa for another meal. It’s good knowing I have these extra portions on hand to use in other nutritious, delicious recipes.