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September 01, 2009

Steve Norman

Written by Dena Evans
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A San Juan Capistrano resident, Steve is an accountant with Zaldivar, Sattar & Associates, LLC. Steve graduated from San Diego State, after a post-high school sojourn in Hawaii following a childhood in Garden Grove and San Jose.

Steve found Focus-N-Fly through his entry process for the Select Staffing Santa Barbara International Marathon. Having run in high school, he returned to running recently and ran his first marathon at the 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego. While his son and daughter, students at Dana Hills High School, are training for their fall cross country season, Steve will be gearing up for Santa Barbara.

Although his current goal race is Santa Barbara, running for Steve is also a focused way to gain some endurance for the surfing habit he cultivated during his time in Hawaii. As he puts it, he wants to be able to catch more than two waves in a row without being worn out.

1. How did you start running?

I didn’t have any idea what cross country was when I started high school. I had to run the timed mile for PE. I did very well and the cross country coach approached me and asked me to try it out.

Running theory was very different then – more miles, not as many quality workouts like my kids run. For the most part, it was just “run a lot of miles.” The injuries- people just didn’t seem to understand running injuries the way they do now. I over-pronate, and back then the doctors told me – that’s perfect, that’s what your foot is supposed to do! We had baseball coaches trying to come in and coach cross country, and knew nothing about running. Now at Dana Hills, the coach has been there for 37 years and although originally was a sprinter, he has gained an awful lot of knowledge about distance running.

I destroyed my ankle with a really bad spring while playing racquetball right out of high school. I could twist my ankle just walking down the street. About 13 years ago, I was living in Sacramento and a friend said, “Hey, I had an ankle like that, but there is a doctor around here who can help.” Dr. Leone went in and shortened up all the ligaments and took out some bone spurs and it is good as new. 13 years later, I have never twisted it, and it is never swollen. I was able to start running again, and while I was inconsistent for the first few years, I have been running consistently for about 6 months.

2. Who is your running role model?

I really don’t have one, I feel bad, but I just don’t.

3. What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

The most memorable experience would probably be finishing the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego. I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 50 and that was 26 days before my birthday. My wife is 5 years younger, and wanted to run in support of me. At 21 miles, her hips were hurting. The only thing that helped was to run faster, so she left me mile 21 and finished 10 minutes ahead. She met me at the finish line and it was a surprisingly emotional moment.

4. What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

I love Focus-N-Fly. I love the workouts, the variation of the workouts. I like getting on the track once a week. I really enjoy having something that lets me know what to do. Having not been in running for so long, when I trained for the Rock ‘n’ Roll I would just go out and run 4 miles here and there, and the plans I found online were very cookie cutter. Focus-N-Fly really helps me feel like I am making progress with each workout, and that each workout has a purpose that moves me toward my goal. The Garmin and the heart rate monitor have really helped my understanding as well - the paces seem slow, but the HR monitor kind of substantiates what the pace chart is telling me to run. Having run before, I find myself getting pulled into that mentality of running fast all the time, even though I can’t because I am getting older.

5. What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

I just have to have my bib on the night before and it has to be straight. Because of my fear that I am going to oversleep, I have to have everything laid out so I can throw it on and head out the door.

6. What is your favorite place to go for a run?

We have a trail that goes from my house to the beach, down past the San Clemente pier to the end of this trail and back. I always run out to the end of the pier on my way down and on my way back. It is just a really pretty run.

7. In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

My goal is more of a two to three year goal, but I would like to qualify for Boston. I am a long ways off from that, but my goal is to be under 4 (hours) at Santa Barbara, and to qualify for Boston I have to run a 3:35. This (Santa Barbara) is the intermediate goal that I think is attainable and then we’ll see how many marathons it will take to get there.
Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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