Two years ago Jim Schwan could not even run a mile without stopping, and yet just this last weekend he set a new personal record at the Tomato Fest 5K with a time of 23:25. That’s a 7:34 pace, yo! So how did he accomplish this amazing feat? Well sit back in your office chair, get comfy, and listen to(or read) the fascinating tale of one Jim Schwan…
Although born in St. Louis, Jim moved to Nashville at the age of 12, when his father landed a job in the music industry. And the music gene must have run deep in his veins too, because years later when Jim attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he decided to form his own band, Wet Jonah.
(Eat your heart out Bono!)
The band consisted of the standard quarto of dudes; 2 guitarists, 1 bassist, and 1 drummer. Their music had that heavy grunge sound of say a young Soundgarden mixed with the mind-altering progression of Jane’s Addiction. The band toured throughout the Southeast playing covers and originals in every bar, club, and frat house that had a need for some R-O-C-K. But ultimately Jim decided that a musical career was not for him, so he went back to school and earned a masters degree in communications.
Skip forward to a couple of years ago when Jim decided to get a little more active in his workout routine. Accoring to him his 32 x 32's were getting a bit snug. So in June (circa 2007) he joined a Boot Camp class at the YMCA, and on day 1 they made him run a mile as fast as he could. The results, to put it lightly, were not pretty. But in his moment of physical weakness Jim decided to push through, not give up and give everything he had to the 6-week course. And with that attitude leading the way Jim signed up for his first race ever … A TRIATHLON-SPRINT! Mind you, that was only a mere 8 weeks after almost keeling over during a straight 1 mile run. As he told me, his goals were simple: 1.) to finish 2.) to finish without walking 3.) to finish in under two hours. His finishing time for his first ever triathlon…
Not only did he achieve his goals, he has since run 4 more triathlon sprints, improved his time at each race and has two more to go before the end of the year. He came to East Nasty when “the honorable” Mark Miller had an informational meeting on training for the Country Music Half Marathon, and ever since then he has been hooked.
When Jim is not running he can be found either working as a production manager or riding around town in his Smart Car or on his Harley Davidson. He and his wife (Bettina) of 12 years live out in Inglewood, and have 19 pets. You will have to ask him, because there are too many to list here.
Finally, Jim wanted to send out a big thank you to both Mark Miller and Chuck Hargrove for all their expert advice and encouragement, especially on those long runs at Percy Warner. And also a big thanks to all the rest of us East Nasties who Jim said “help make running fun!”