Health and Wellness Profile: Kirk M. VanOoteghem
Kirk M. VanOoteghem
began at Ball State in April 1995 in the Libraries’ Business Support Services unit. Over the past 16 years, he has held several assignments, most recently serving as the University Libraries’ Lead Microcomputer/Network Analyst where he plans, recommends, and implements library technology projects and associated computer-related systems and processes critical to the operations of the University Libraries.
One of Kirk’s passions is running — during day or night, over flat or hilly terrain, on paths or through woods, and during all seasons of the year.
Kirk explains that he first started running consistently in January 2009. His New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and get fit, two goals that he accomplished. By July, he had lost nearly 40 pounds. By the time Kirk ran his first marathon on October 17, 2009, he had lost nearly 50 pounds total.
Now Kirk has 14 marathons under his belt, and he has decreased his marathon time by nearly 40 minutes from his first marathon.
Kirk’s 2012 goal is to complete 12 full marathon events, several of which are already scheduled.
In early January 2012, he will participate in the Goofy Challenge at Disney World, which will see him running first a half-marathon (13.1 miles) and then a full marathon (26.2 miles) on consecutive days. Later that month, Kirk will be at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park where he plans to run a full marathon entirely in the woods, on hilly terrain, and in the worst of winter, entirely at night. “I can’t wait for this one!” Kirk says.
Consistent training is obviously an important part of preparing for marathons. Kirk’s method is to train year round, typically running five or six days a week, resting on Sundays. His normal weekday run is 6 to 6.5 miles. On Saturdays, he does a “long run” of 10 to 20 miles, depending on his race schedule.
Kirk estimates the he has averaged about 1,500 miles a year for the past 3 years. At the same time, he says he has transformed his nutritional habits as well, which he considers essential to successful marathon training.
Kirk says that he loves the discipline aspect of running, to see consistent improvement, and to set new goals and see his accomplishments. To help share his love of running, which he warns is addictive, in 2010 he formed a summer running club in Yorktown, Indiana, for children in grades 3 through 8. He says the club has attracted over 30 participants in both years, and the goal for the children is to run a 5K race. ◙