I decided to do an interview with Timbeaux to get some insight into the rationale behind some of his stupidity.
1. Me: Why are you called Timbeaux?
Timbeaux: That goes back many years to junior high or high school. My good friend, Jeff Kearns, and I would always answer the phone by saying, “Hey Jeffro, Hey Timbo”. And that continued for years. When I did my first charity challenge, Jeff set up a website for a blog and looked for a good domain name. He found www.timbeaux.com and the rest is history. As a side note, I am not Cajun (much more redneck), so the spelling of Timbeaux is a stretch. Christine is half-Cajun and gave me her permission to use it.
Jeff & I training for Rouge Roubaix in 2007
2. Me: When did you start running?
Timbeaux: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…… Let’s see. I was very small as a kid. Short & skinny. So football was out of the question. Actually any sport that required hand/eye coordination was an epic fail for me. After dabbling in motorcycle racing for 3 or 4 years, I just started running. A friend who lived across the street, John Ryan, and I decided to start running before school when we were in junior high (middle school for you youngsters). We got up at 5 AM, went and ran (maybe a mile or two) and then went to school. We signed up for our first 5K and I have been running ever since (except for taking off from 1984 after track season until about 2001).
Me at 14 or 15 years old running for Broadmoor High School Cross Country
3. Me: Is your family active as well?
Timbeaux: Yep. They always have been. As a kid, my dad ran the first two Great River Road Run 10K’s with me. He also rode his bike the entire way when I did the Baton Rouge Marathon in 1981. My wife and kids are also very active. Christine (wife) has now completed 2 marathons, 1 Half Ironman triathlon, and a lot of shorter runs and triathlons. Lara (daughter) was a swimmer, dancer and runner in high school. She also did some triathlons and is training for her first half marathon in January. Mason (son) played a lot of sports(baseball, soccer, basketball, karate) growing up before settling on swimming. He has done a few road races and triathlons, but has excelled in the pool. It definitely makes it easier when they all understand what I am going through!
Christine, Mason, Lara & me at the Chi-Omega House 2011
4. Me: How did you get into ultrarunning?
Timbeaux: A double dog dare. Actually it ended up being a triple dog dare. I was training for my second Ironman in 2007 and raising money for Habitat for Hope. As a fund raiser, I did a “March Madness” event where I completed the MS 50K trail run in Laurel Mississippi on a Saturday, woke up the next morning and completed the 100 mile Rouge Roubaix bike race in St. Francisville, and then 2 weeks later did the Holy Toledo Triathlon. It was pain on top of pain on top of pain. But I really enjoyed the 50K and the chance to run in the woods.
5. Me: Why raise money for charity?
Timbeaux: Because somebody has to. Fundraising has always been a big reason why I do these long stupid races. I figure if I am going to go through the pain of training and my family is going to have to put up with it as well, then someone should benefit from it. And trust me, there are thousands of great charities out there who need help. With the current technology and social media, anyone can sign up for a race, find a local charity and help them out by running or racing for them. It always seemed like a win/win situation for me.
6. Me: Do you have a personal connection with cancer?
Timbeaux: Unfortunately yes. I was in my teens when my Maw-maw (Dad’s mom) was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was my first real experience with the disease. She fought it for 7 or 8 years before she lost the battle in 1987. Thirteen years later my Aunt Sue (Dad’s little sister) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she died at his house in 2000. From 1987 to now, there have been many, many other friends and co-workers who have had cancer and some have lost their lives as well.
7. Me: How did you find out about Habitat for Hope?
Timbeaux: Back in 2005 I did the Janus Charity Challenge with Ironman Florida and raised money for the Baton Rouge Scottish Rite Childhood Learning Center. In 2006, I got involved with a charity called Team Cancer Sucks run by a friend of mine, Buddy Legnon. Buddy had lost his sister, Riki Jo, to cancer. When I decided to sign up for another Ironman, I wanted to raise money for a charity related to children’s cancer. Unfortunately, Team Cancer Sucks did not have a 501c designation which was required. Buddy got me in touch with Habitat for Hope who he had heard was doing great things. So I did.
Team Cancer Sucks
8. Me: Why did you choose to raise money for them?
Timbeaux: Once I talked to Mark & Mylissa Horrocks, I knew it was a perfect fit. Mark & Mylissa started HFH after their daughter, Bella, was diagnosed with cancer and had spent time at St. Judes. Seeing how they had literally dropped everything in their lives and started this charity was inspiring and motivating at the same time. They have such a passion for helping families with children at St. Judes because they lived through it.
Horrocks & Hutchinson families in Memphis, 2007
9. Me: Why did you decide to run 100 miles?
Timbeaux: Because it was there? I guess when I was doing a 50 mile run in 2009, I realized it might be possible. After that race, it got pushed deep into my subconscious thanks to the aftermath of the race (cramps, nausea, dehydration, pain). Earlier this year some friends, Pat Fellows & Susan Hayden, drug me out of retirement to do a 50K. When I finished it, I decided it was time to give the 100 miler a shot. So with Christine’s approval, I signed up and the rest is history.
10. Me: What is a typical day/week of training like?
Timbeaux: There is no such thing as typical. One thing I learned when I did my Ironman in 2005 is how much my training affects the rest of the family. It was rough on the kids, but especially Christine who had to take up all of my slack (training time & exhausted laying on the couch time). After that, when I would do a race I tried my best to work the training around our family schedule. Some times it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Because I am at work for 4:30 AM, early morning running is out. So I have to run in the afternoon when Mason is at swim or whenever I can. On the weekend, I plan my long runs around family events. I have run at 2 in the morning. I have run at noon during the summer. I run whenever and wherever I can to get my mileage in.
11. Me: Are you on a special diet?
Timbeaux: Diet? Seriously? Actually I eat pretty healthy because that is the way Christine cooks. I don’t even like the word diet. Between the Atkin’s “Eat a pig a day” diet and the “Eat Right for you Blood Type” bullshit, I don’t believe anyone who comes up with a new diet. By the way, the moron who wrote the blood type book was obviously O+. They got to eat all the good stuff. The A+ types like myself were limited to tree bark and slugs.
But I usually eat what I want. If I want a fried shrimp poboy, I eat a fried shrimp poboy. Weight control is all about calories in versus calories out. And as long as I am running myself into the ground, I can keep things in check.
12. Me: What is your favorite food?
Timbeaux: It is proven fact that it is impossible for me to walk past a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg, Tree, Heart or Pumpkin without buying it. There is something about the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter in the larger ones that make them irresistible. I have been known to eat a 6-pack of them at one sitting with a big glass of milk. But my favorite food would have to be either shrimp or crawfish. Fried or boiled. I am not picky.
13. Me: Have you had any injuries?
Timbeaux: Knock on wood…….I have been pretty fortunate. Over the past 6 or 7 years, I have had one bout of plantar fasciitis, some tendinitis in the lower leg, and a few broken toes and black toenails. But other than that, it has been good. Oh….I also dislocated a rib while running with some Double Z water balloons around the LSU lakes. The things I do for charity…….
Mysterious Fairy spotted running the LSU lakes in 2007. Sexy ain’t she?
14. Me: How do you do such long training runs on short loop courses?
Timbeaux: I lead a rich fantasy life. Actually, I listen to podcasts and music to take my mind off passing the same cow for the 20th time. I also find that running at night helps because you can make up the scenery you want. You have to be able to turn your brain off for periods of time and also be able to control the negative thoughts. Other than that, I have no clue. I’m an idiot.
15. Me: How do people respond to your plans to run 100 miles?
Timbeaux: It’s kind of funny. When I first started doing triathlons, people were curious about the whole swim, bike & run thing. The Ironman was a stretch, but most non-athletes were in awe and always had the same question, “All of that in one day?” When I did marathons, they might not know how long a marathon is but they understood enough about running to know it was tough.
For the 100 miler, the response is usually pretty consistent, “How far? …………..(they walked away)”. For most people, their brain cannot comprehend a 100 mile run. They understand running. They know how far 100 miles is. But they can never make the leap between the two. So they walk away with the two concepts bouncing from one side of their brain to the other but never coming together. Now when people ask me what I am training for I just say a really long run.
16. Me: What do you expect on race day?
Timbeaux: The worst.
I am expecting the race to start with a temperature of 25 degrees, warming up to 90 degrees with rain and 30 mph winds during the day, and then dropping to 20 degrees with snow at night.
I am expecting to have muscle cramps from 20 miles on, vomiting at least 4 times per loop, chafing on my legs that will rival a 3rd degree burn, and blisters on my feet that require a skin graft from my ass to be able to walk again.
I expect to be wanting to quit at 40 miles, hallucinating about Indians and Tinkerbell throughout the night, tripping and falling on every root on the course, and hobbling around with multiple stress fractures and broken bones.
I expect to be hypothermic, catatonic, psychotic and crying hysterically at random points throughout the day and night.
I am expecting the worst.
I am also planning for every one of those events to make sure they don’t happen. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.
17. Me: Are you afraid of anything?
Timbeaux: Besides the girl from the Ring that sleeps under my bed? Sure. I am afraid of failing. Maybe not the failing itself, but the fact that I would feel like I failed others. Christine and I both have always taught our kids that if you work hard enough and don’t give up, then you can succeed. So if I just gave up, then that would be tough to handle.
I also don’t like worrying Christine or my family. That is one of the main reasons I have always trained so hard. If I am in the best possible shape I can be in at the starting line, then I can feel stronger for more of the race and hopefully shorten their time of worrying.
18. Me: Do you have a theme song for the race?
Timbeaux: This race is definitely too long for just one theme song. I considered “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”, but that just didn’t fit. So I broke it up into Pre-race, Loops 1 – 5, and Post-race.
Loop 1 (0-20 miles)
Loop 2 (21-40 miles)
Loop 3 (41-60 miles)
Loop 4 (61-80 miles)
Loop 5 (81-100 miles)
19. Me: What is the first thing you will do after the race?
Timbeaux: I guess that depends on what kind of shape I am in by then. Probably the obvious things: rest, eat, sleep, recover. We will be heading the next weekend to the Short Course State Swim Championship, so I will be able to cheer for some other people. And then I will figure out what is next. Nothing epic I hope. Not unless it is something Christine or the kids are doing.
20. Me: Do you often talk to yourself?
Timbeaux: Uhhhh…..aren’t you talking to yourself right now? Okay, try this experiment. Go out and run for 8 hours straight by yourself without seeing one person and try not to talk to yourself. Good Luck.
By the way, if you read all of this I am impressed. You are either a remarkable individual or bored out of your mind. I am betting on the remarkable individual category. Please do me a favor, go to my donation site and make a donation to Habitat for Hope. They deserve every ounce of sweat, blood and tears I can give them.
Timbeaux & I sitting down for a chat