30 Things About Coach Pennington

nate30 Random Things You May Not Know About Nate Pennington, the founder and creator of RunDreamAchieve.

1. My father was in the Army for 22 years. Served in Vietnam and absolutely loved the profession he chose. I grew up around military bases and have always loved the Air Force since I was a child but I would much prefer if the world’s military’s didn’t even have to exist and we could all as a people love and respect each other.

2. I began running from a nudge given to me by my big brother Paul. He was a shot put and discus thrower and asked if I wanted to come out for the track and field team. I had no idea what events to run. I tried the 800m, 1600m and 3200m and somehow found a passion and love for those events. The love grew into running longer distances.

3. My first marathon was the 2002 New York City Marathon. I was part of an armed forces marathon team running for lung cancer research. We started in last place. Yes, had to wait until every runner had started and after that, we started. Chase Manhattan Bank donated $1 for every runner each of us passed. I went from 32,189th place to finish 253rd in a time of 2.43.36, finishing as the top runner on the team.

4. I am a huge fan of Andrea Bocelli. I absolutely love his music and Canto Della Terra is my favorite song he sings. It is incredible how someone can hold a pitch for as long as he does when he sings. His music takes me away from the world, if for only a few minutes..time very well spent.

5. I am the co-owner of two beautiful little baby cats-Sophie and ‘Ferm’. They were named after two of the world’s greatest Mathematicians. Pierre De Fermat and Sophie Germain. My wife is a mathematician so I lost out on the naming rights but I love the name Sophie and Fermat, ‘Ferm’ as we call him sounded cute.

6. I met my wife online.

7. I lived in Belgium for 18 months and was able to travel across Europe visiting the Netherlands (my second favorite country in the world behind the US), Luxenbourg, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland (close 2nd favorite), Hungary (2 days in Budapest…would take a good 2 months to sightsee through that city).

8. I met and got to hang out with the former world-record holder for the marathon, Haile Gebressalassie, in Alphen Aan den Rijn, Netherlands in 2005. He had come to the city to try to break the 25K world-record. He did running 1.11.37 (an INSANE time). I humbly ran the 20K in a then-PR time of 1.06.11 (5.19 pace for 12 miles…2 years later I would hold the same pace for 26.2 miles…keep training!

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9. Olympian and 2.11.35 Marathoner, Dan Browne, was my teammate for 3 years while a part of the Army World Class Athlete Program. He was my biggest inspiration because he had run so strong for so many years, even broke the 4-minute mile while at West Point.

10. I have been on active duty for over 16 years…still can’t believe it.

11. I did a 30-mile run for the first time in 2011 training to break the 2.19.00 marathon barrier…went out to Land Between The Lakes in Kentucky to do the run. It was hilly and not fun. I averaged 6.04 pace and I could barely walk to my jeep when I was done, splendid! The longest (and fastest) I have ever run for that amount of distance.

12. I consider myself a complete introvert but can get quite animated if has anything to do with helping people, running or fitness. I know what I am good at and am passion about and these are the areas that bring me out of my shell.

13. My brother ran a 2-mile ‘fat man’ relay with a bag of Lays Potato Chips in his hand while he was doing it. Yes, very true. It was our last track and field event at one of our duel track meets in high school and I kid you not, he ran those 8 laps while holding (and eating) a bag of chips.

14. I sold moths as a kid…hahaha Yes, guess I had a little entrepreneur spirit in my DNA. I sold them for a nickel door to door. I still have the zest for entrepreneurship and have never understood why so many, including myself, trade our time for money. I will continue to learn the path less traveled.

15. I have always wanted to run and work at Nike. Have admired the company since I was a young kid. I am unsure I have the athletic talent deemed ‘worthy’ of Nike. 2.19.35 won’t cut it but I can still dream:) Perhaps I can get one of those goals achieved….but perhaps I can run a 2.10 and get a sniff? Anything is possible.

16. I have always had a tendency to stick up for those who get picked on or bullied. The world is cruel and we all need to strive to care, love, respect and uplift anyone we can.

17. I am a huge fan of the Netherlands. I absolutely love the country. The windmills, the wooden shoes, the culture…love it. I spent a lot of time in Amsterdam and Rotterdam when I was stationed in Belgium…fell in love with that country. The picture to the left is of me racing in the Van Alphen 20K in Alphen Aan den Rijn, Netherlands in 2006

18. I once drove 135 miles an hour in a rented mercedes benz on the German Autobahn…and still got dusted in the process by a driver in a black porsche flashing his lights at me to move into the right lane…yeah…interesting.

19. My wife is a 3.23.11 marathoner and won a 50-miler in Chicago..most beautiful human being I will ever meet and a damn good runner.

20. I ran 11.30 for the 2-mile and 5.30 for the mile the first time I ran the events as a freshman in high school, dropping to 9.46 and 4.24 upon graduation from high school…believe in yourself and keep doing the work.

21. I like fast cars and have a bit of a lead foot. I love BMW’s and Mercedez and hope to earn the privilege to drive one in 2013. (goal was set in 2013…bought a 2007 Mercedez C230)

22. I love to read inspirational, business, motivation and documentary books. I think I have read just about every book Donald Trump has written. Huge fan of his.

23. I find great joy in helping other athletes. This is why I started rundreamachieve.com. I am around military experts all-day who could tell you everything imaginable about a weapon system or plans and operations. Exercise science, training methodologies and running has been my passion since I was 15.

We all have strengths and I aim to help and possibly even kick some visitors butts into believing they can achieve their running goals. I mean that with the best intentions, but far too many people discredit and underestimate their abilities. My mission is to overwrite that thought pattern and motivate others to achieve their fitness goals.

24. I was coached for 3 years by the last American female to win the Boston Marathon. Lisa Rainsberger, formerly known as Lisa Weidenbach. She was my professional coach while assigned to the Army World Class Athlete Program.

Lisa was the first coach I had ever had who found something in my training that I had overlooked for nearly 17 years. My iron intake. I was diagnosed as being anemic while I was training in Colorado Springs.

I couldn’t figure out why on earth wasn’t improving on my half-marathon and marathon bests and turned out my body was extremely low on iron.

I strongly suggest you consider getting a blood test if you are feeling overly fatigued. It changed my whole outlook on training. Lisa ran 2.34.04 to win Boston in 1985, won the Chicago Marathon twice and has a PR of 2.28 for the marathon.

25. I nearly killed myself when I was kid while we lived on Fort Bragg by nearly driving the go-cart I was driving under a bus…not cool.

26. I love coffee…never drank it until I joined the Army. I watched my mother drink it all through growing up and wondered how on earth she could drink it, little did I know a few years later I would learn to love the taste of it. The ungodly hours we work kindly assisted my willingness to give it a try.

27. I visited the site where the late Steve Prefontaine passed away in Eugene, Oregon while attending the 2008 USA Olympic Track and Field Trials and corresponded with his parents a few years ago via email.

28.I absolutely love sea food. I probably could eat Red Lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorite dish is King Crab Legs and Lobster Tail.

29. I have two marathons I want to run a world-class time at, Amsterdam and Berlin.

World-Class and National Class are two different things and know what I am up against, but I learned first hand, that you can drop significant time in one effort.

One of my readers dropped over a full minute off his marathon time in one race, that is huge!! Your running could change overnight, with one effort, but that doesn’t give you a reason to stop working. Running ability must be nurtured and worked at continually. There are no shortcuts to creating a breakthrough effort.

30. I retired from the Army having served 20 years 24 days on active duty as of December of 2021.

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