Above All Else, Bob Mueller Enjoys Running

You can find Bob Mueller’s warm smile and joyful demeanor at many BAR runs. Bob’s pure enjoyment of running for running’s sake is the secret behind that glow.

“I never was and never have been a competitive runner.” Bob didn’t run or train in high school. “I didn’t get really serious about running until I turned forty.” Now, he has been running well over twenty years, has completed over sixty marathon/ultra marathon races, and is just fourteen marathons away from completing the fifty marathons in fifty states challenge.

It all started when Bob changed jobs, and a guy he was working with was a big distance runner. This coworker claimed that anyone could be a runner through training at long slow distances. So, Bob started adapting those principles on his own. Then, his friend gave Bob a marathon training schedule. “The first time I ever had a bib number on was when I ran a marathon.” After completing that first marathon Bob thought he was done with running.

Wisconsin friends who ran city of trees in 2014, out for a visit, all 50 staters

Months later, Bob started to feel the itch to run another marathon. He had trained all on his own for that first race. He then thought training would be better with a group. He joined up with a marathon focused running group in Wisconsin where he made lifelong friends who paced with him, helped him grow, and got him interested in the fifty states marathon challenge. Running has become his favorite form of exercise. “I really value the benefit of a group more than anything else.”

Marathon Medals

When Bob moved to Boise, he found the BAR and joined the group. He loves seeing new members and helping new runners. “In every other sport you are competing against other people.” If there are people who don’t feel they are good enough to run with the group, “they just need to look at me. I am happy with where I am at; I don’t mind being at the back of the pack. Everyone is good enough to run.” Bob brings a pure enjoyment in running for all who participate in BAR runs to draw from.

The joy of running is of the utmost importance to Bob. “It was only eight years ago that I ran a 3:40 marathon to qualify for Boston and this year I couldn’t break six hours in Alabama. And, you know what? To me, I am equally satisfied with both ends of the scale…Wanting to improve is always there, so I wouldn’t want to imply that I am complacent. But, I enjoy running too much to get discouraged with where my performance level is at. Because then that ruins the whole thing. The day I can’t go out and say I enjoyed the run I was on and I worry more about the time I had, then I have taken all the joy out of the sport.”

Join Bob at our next BAR run and take part in the joy of running with him.

See you out on a run!

2016 Sawtooth Relay with Josh, Sarah, Kallie, Courtney, we didn’t know each other before event, permanent friends afterward.

Beer and Running

The relationship between runners and beer can run deep. A friend of mine was asked about beer and running. “Doesn’t drinking beer hurt your running?”

His response: “The only problem with drinking beer and running is you might spill some!”

There seems to be something special about runners and their beer. The drink is common fare at post-race celebrations and some of my happiest memories involve a pint with my friends after a run. Of course, for the performance minded runner, consuming beer should always take place after a race.

There are exceptions of course. Every year the Boise Area Runners – The BAR – holds a brewery run here in Boise that appeals to the runner and beer lover inside me.

I remember showing up to my first brewery run with a mix of curiosity and anticipation. I came prepared with my $10 in cash to give to Woody, (the run host). He explained the route we would follow coursing about six miles through the Boise area.

Twenty or so runners, we ran the mile to our first stop, 10 Barrel Brewing. Woody purchased two or three pitchers and announced the choice of brew. A stack of taster glasses in hand, we all joined in getting familiar with some of Boise’s best micro-brewed beer.

The comfortable autumn weather provided an ideal context for discovering the beauty of Boise’s cityscape and the talent of our local brewers. A little taster at The Ram, Boise Brewing, Woodland Empire, Cloud Nine, and Highlands Hollow gave me a deep appreciation for the quality and variety of craft beer available in the Treasure Valley.

In the last mile a few of us decided to get after it and run “fast” to our final destination. While my head swam from the previous drinks and the exertion to try to keep with the group I gave up in a fit of laughter and joy at being with such great people taking part in two of my favorite activities: running and drinking beer.

You have a few opportunities to join in a brewery run. The BAR’s first this year will be Sunday, March 19 for the Boise Pub Run (details here). A pub run will also be part of the Running Retreat on Saturday, April 22 in McCall (details here). Last, on Sunday, October 15 we will cap the fall weather with a Boise Pub Run (details here). Hopefully you can join us!

See you out on a run!

Beau Seegmiller “Running Makes the Best People”

Anyone who has seen Beau Seegmiller arrive at a BAR event with his characteristically joyful smile knows that Beau loves being part of a running community. He joined the BAR six months after moving to the Treasure Valley, and immediately found rewarding personal connections.

Beau founded a running club in eastern Idaho, and was part of a club when he was in graduate school in Arizona, so he had high expectations when he showed up for his first BAR event. “Runners are the best people. It’s the people that make running so joyful.”  The BAR lived up to his expectations, and within a few weeks of coming out to group runs, Beau was hooked. From the training benefits of running with others, to the nearly immediate friendships running allows him to form, Beau is dedicated to the group and enjoys supporting others as they stride towards meeting their running goals through the BAR.

In addition to running for the social benefits, Beau is committed to marathon training. He explains, “Nothing captures my sense of self and meaning like running. The marathon itself has come to be the quintessential metaphor for a life journey and all of its challenges.” Beau balances his dedication and work ethic with a willingness to adjust and back off if fatigue or precursors of injury warrant.

The day before his 18th marathon (Onward Shay, October 30, 2016), Beau reflected that he doesn’t run to be healthy or keep his weight under control. “I definitely don’t run because it is convenient (it isn’t). I realized recently I would be running just like I do even if it was bad for me. There is something about the transformation that takes place in a build up for a big race that is intoxicating. And then, running a race, truly running a race to the limits, brings me smack up to the edge of my very existence. Sometimes I have been able to peek over the edge into that abyss of nothingness and it thrills me. Running, it is the stuff of life and death and I can’t help myself.”

Beau appreciates how running enriches his life, and he has a compelling desire to support others in pursuit of their running goals. He coached middle school track and cross country athletes in eastern Idaho for six years, and found tremendous joy in helping youth experience the physical and mental benefits of distance running. No coaching positions were available where Beau currently teaches, and he was considering trying to do some freelance coaching in the Treasure Valley in order to contribute to the running community. The opportunity to run for a leadership position with the BAR in 2015 came at just the right time to provide Beau with a meaningful way to make a contribution to the sport he loves.

Over the years, Beau has had many experiences that deepened his appreciation for the communitarian nature of running. One particularly memorable event was in 2007, while running his third marathon and first Boston Qualifying time. Somewhere between mile 17 and 18, he hit the infamous wall and his legs felt like lead. He turned a corner and found himself running uphill and into the wind. His mindset went from bad to worse, and he momentarily fantasized about lying down on the street to sleep. Then a group of four runners who were cutting through the wind in a makeshift V-formation came along side him. They were taking turns in the most difficult position while the others got a respite from the brutal headwind. One of the runners said to Beau, “Tuck in behind me.” When Beau didn’t understand the directive, the runner repeated, “Tuck in. We will take you in.” Beau was able to stay with them for 6 miles, set a smashing PR and his first BQ. He never saw the V-formation runners again, yet he will always remember their kindness. Such supportive acts are not random at all, but rather part and parcel of the long distance running community. Being a part of maintaining and expanding that sort of compassionate community is one of the powerful motivators that helps Beau love running.

As Beau says, “Running makes the best people.” See you out on a run!