Dads Who Run: Meet Gene Soboleski

This is the next installment of Dads Who Run here on cubicle dad runs.

Working parents have a lot on their plate. And as a working dad, I think we sometimes get taken for granted. It’s tough to balance work, family and life in general. Now add in endurance sports? You’re upping the ante a bit. I thought it would be nice to highlight some Dads who run! If you’re a dad who runs, and want to share your story, send me an email and we’ll talk!

With that said, take it away Gene!

1. Introduction: Greetings! I am Gene and I blog over at and tweet via @boutdrz. A bit confusing, I know, but so am I. My grandfather called me Zig until my cousin was born, then I became Big Zig. As for the twitter handle, it is supposed to be read as “Be Outdoors”, and was my license plate for a few years a few years back. I love being outside regardless of the weather, unless I am just sitting around. I don’t do beaches well, but put me on a wooded trail with about 10,000 black flies and mosquitos and I am in Heaven. My wife and I have 3 kids ages 5 to 18. She runs a day care from our home, and I work as an Informatics Nurse at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. In my spare time I like to boutdrz, especially running.

2. How long have you been a runner? I think that I have been a runner for most of my life, at least since elementary school. I was always first or second during the races in gym class, played soccer in Jr. and Sr. high. I got into cross country skiing during the winter, before the days of running year round was ‘invented’. More recently, though, I took up running again after I found a local (but now defunct) hill climb race that went up and then back down a ski area here in VT. I had convinced my sister to do it with me, and we had a great time. After that, I was hooked (again).

3. What are your running goals? My short term running goals are to run at least 4 days a week. This has been very difficult for me to do, which will have some impact on my medium term goal of running in the Philadelphia Marathon this coming November. It will be my first marathon, so I am pretty excited about it. Longer term? Well, yesterday (25SEP11) I helped crew for some runners doing the Vermont 50 Ultra race, and I think I got bit. Not by an insect, but by the Ultra Bug. So…..perhaps in 2012 I’ll prep to do that. About a year ago a former classmate of mine reminded me that our high school gym teacher had competed in Ironman several times by the time he was our age. It was almost as if he was tossing out the challenge for me. I’ll be 45 in 2013, so that might be a goal for that year. I swim like a brick, so it might not be in my best interest…

4. When do you run? Do you schedule time or just go? I try to schedule times to run; first thing in the morning, or right after work. Often, though, I am nervous about running in the dark near my house, so i chicken out and end up just stretching, doing some Boot Camp workouts, or just hanging out online and drinking coffee more often than i run in the early hours. Running after work is tough, as our middle kid is involved in sports and needs rides home from practice and such, which only allows me 30-45 minutes to get a run in before I have to turn on the taxi light. My best successes with running have been when I just discuss it with my wife and then take off for a few hours in the middle of a weekend.

5. Is balance easy for you? (insert laugh track here!) not at all. I strive to be balanced, but I tend to be on the extreme edges of most things. Black or white. I don’t dwell well in the grey. So I’ll either have a great week of running and a bad week of family time, or the reverse will be true. While my wife is VERY supportive, I often get trapped in my own brain and have diffuculty making the best decisions. Balance is something I need to work on, almost as much as my hill work!

6. Or do you make running/ training a priority? Fitness/training is a priority for me. I try to squeeze it in every day, even if it is just a short burst of high intensity training during lunch, a run around the ball fields during practices, or prepping big salads for the family so that we eat less of the spaghetti dinner…..(shhhhh….don’t tell them my secret!)

7. Do you share your story? (i.e. blogging, twitter, facebook) I share my stories, both good and bad (for good or bad) in all kinds of places. Twitter and my blog are my most frequent dumping grounds, but I also try to be very active in the comment sections of other’s blogs; offering either advice or empathy as I see fit. Sometimes, though, I do offer a swift kick in the arse, and have received my fair share in return!

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