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Andrew Glaze: Running saved my life

Andrew Glaze bounds up a mountain.

By Henry Howard

“How far are you going tonight?”

It was a simple question to kick off my interview with Andrew Glaze earlier this year. Even though I knew he is a run streaker, I didn’t expect the answer I received.

“I don't know. You sound like my wife. She always asks. I just run until I'm done. Maybe seven, maybe 10, something like that.”

It’s no wonder Glaze doesn’t stick to a plan, instead focusing on his passion that he says saved his life.

But he is no ordinary run streaker, aiming for at least a mile a day. Glaze tabulates his run streak by weekly mileage — he’s at 191 weeks of at least 100 miles running, as of Nov. 12. It’s an inspiring achievement, especially considering his journey.

‘Pretty intense fire burning inside’

Andrew Glaze shows off his bib for Rocky Raccoon.

When Glaze was younger, he was far from the fit, healthy endurance athlete he is now. He smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol and was out of shape.

“I was an unhealthy person, completely inactive,” he recalls. “I started exercising because I was having really intense anxiety and depression. Shortly after going to the gym, I took a class to try to better understand what exercise in general. I had to run a mile and a half in the class. It was super hard and I got super sore but I just kept running after that. That was the catalyst to get me out of all that negativity in my life. I quit smoking cigarettes and everything else. Here I am, 21 years later, still running and making healthier life choices.”

It would seem his body felt the urge to move before his mind. The inactivity perhaps led to the drug and alcohol use, which the body reacted to by fueling anxiety attacks.

“I clearly am the type of person who has a pretty intense fire burning inside of me at all times,” he says. “If you're not doing anything and that fire's burning inside, then you have to use drugs and alcohol to numb it. I don't think there was a dark moment when I hit rock bottom. I started just having intense anxiety attacks.”

Going to extremes

Those who travel a similar path to fitness are regular runners. They may often cover 30, 40 or even 50 miles a week. But Glaze goes well beyond those marks. What draws him to that extreme?

“It keeps me in shape for doing ultras for one,” he says. “If I keep a good base, I can just jump into an ultra and I don't really have to train for it. That's an advantage because I keep a loose schedule and I don't always sign up for things like I should. Most people sign up for an ultra and then they spend months training, whereas there have been times when, literally a few days before, I'll sign up for a 100-miler and then go run it.”

Andrew Glaze sometimes just hops into a 100-mile race.

In addition to the fitness Glaze has developed from running, it has also helped his mental wellness.

“I have pretty significant PTSD from my job as a firefighter,” he says. “For me, running long distances quiets my mind and puts me into a state of where my brain stops thinking about things that I don't want it to think about. I find it super peaceful. It helps me compartmentalize the trauma, not push it down so that it goes away, but just helps me deal with it.”

Being a firefighter presents another challenge to Glaze. But he has found ways to balance his job, running, family life and more.

“I wake up early and I tend to run when everybody's sleeping because we tend to get fewer calls in the middle of the night,” he explains. “It's easier for me to get extra miles while people sleep. Inevitably, I run fewer miles at work than I do at home. I break it up into two runs a day, which is less challenging to run 15 miles a day, which gives me 100 miles a week. If I only get five miles at work, I can always put in more time when I'm off work.”

Glaze estimates that about 95% of his weekly totals are 140 miles or greater. He started it when COVID hit as a way to challenge himself.

“I never thought I would make it this far,” he says. “When I started it, I always just assumed something would happen. I'd get COVID. I'd get hit by a car, something would happen where it would stop, but it hasn't yet so I'll just keep grinding away until something happens.”

No meat and dairy, no GI issues

Glaze started a vegetarian diet in an unusual way.

“I was vegetarian for 17 years before I went vegan,” he says. “I originally stopped eating meat as a joke. I had a cousin who was vegetarian. I always used to talk to him about it because I was a huge meat eater and so I told him that I would quit eating meat for a month just to see what it was all about and then I could more articulate why it was a flawed strategy.”

Once Glaze stopped eating meat, he felt better and had more energy.

“Then about four years ago, I got a dairy allergy. And if you're a vegetarian and you have a dairy allergy, you know what that makes you? It makes you a vegan.”

The vegan diet has led to less stomach distress during races, which is incredibly important for Glaze who ticks off 100-miler and longer feats of endurance.

“I had a couple of races that ended because I was in some GI distress,” he recalls. “in hindsight I look back and it's because I ate dairy, but at the time I didn't know that I was having a dairy allergy.”

Andrew Glaze says running has saved his life.

Getting enough protein, B12

Some who consider going plant-based, vegan or vegetarian are concerned about getting enough protein. Glaze was in that camp, too, until he educated himself by reading some books.

“I was still eating eggs because I still was buying into the protein myth that the meat and dairy industry has inundated American society with,” he says. “After about six months, I figured out a way to get around that. I don't really need all this protein unless I'm trying to be a bodybuilder and put on all this muscle.”

Still, he needs protein for proper muscle repair. So where does it come from?

“If you do the research, you'll find that there's protein in everything we eat, from broccoli to beans,” says Glaze, who takes a B12 supplement that is recommended for vegans. “I don't really focus on it. I don't think about it. I don't really care where I get my protein. My diet is mostly carbs and fat, and in that diet there tends to be protein somewhere.”

Inspiring others

As we come to the end of the interview, Glaze is winding down his run. The miles don’t matter. For him, it’s about his own personal health journey and inspiring others.

Will Andrew Glaze hit 200 straight weeks with 100+ running miles?

“I don't have any affiliations with anything,” he says, noting he purposefully not sponsored. “My goal in all this social media, running and everything is just literally to inspire people to move and be active. I'm not trying to make any money or anything like that. I'm just trying to make the world a better place one mile at a time.”

Glaze turns back to how running saved his life.

“I hope that through awareness, people following me, reading articles like this one and listening to podcasts that I can help inspire people,” he says. “I hope people find running or exercise or walking or bike riding or whatever and they find real happiness because it's a really great thing. It's a really great thing to do for your life, for your health and everything. Mental health, physical health, family health, everything. Exercise is the key.”

Speed drill

Name: Andrew Glaze

Hometown: Redlands, Calif.

Number of years running: 21

How many miles a week do you typically run: 140 to 180 miles

Point of pride: My kids.

Favorite race distance: 100 miles

Favorite pre-race or training food/drink: Vegan tacos.

Favorite piece of gear: Garmin Fenix 7x

Who inspires you: “My dad’s memory.”

Favorite or inspirational song to run to: “My body,” by Young the Giant.

Favorite or inspirational mantra/phrase: smile, or you're doing it wrong.”

Where can other runners connect or follow you:

• Instagram: @amglaze

• Tik Tok: @glazeruns

• Strava: Andrew Glaze


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