LVL Profile: Jason Porter

Profile Tuesday. Today, we put the spotlight on Jason Porter of CMS, who was featured in our March/April 2013 issue, #13. Porter has added another child to his family since then, proving lots can change in a small amount of time. One thing remains: Porter is still a great competitor and person.

A Disciple of Daniels

We start Jason Porter’s running life in media res at Cortland State University.  His coach was Jack Daniels.  The Jack Daniels, and, No! we ain’t talkin’ ‘bout whisky.  Daniels trained Porter to times that he didn’t even think possible.  “I discovered under Jack’s tutelage that just by showing up for practice, running the workouts as prescribed (not faster), and racing at 100% effort, I could become a better runner,” says Porter.  Their mutual approach of low volume and high quality workouts kept the student-athlete healthy for his entire college career.  That good health allowed for a 3rd place finish in the 1500 at the NCAA Indoor Championships.  “Making it to NCAAs was a thrill,” says Porter, “I didn’t hold back in the NCAA 1500 trials to make sure I made the final.  Placing 3rd in the final was higher than my expectations.  I was a little emotional after that race.”  Getting to the podium in a national collegiate competition is worthy of a moist eye in the humble opinion of The Legion.  When all was said and done, Porter graduated from Cortland with 6 track records (2 of which were relays).

After graduating from college, our protagonist headed west to pursue another passion: freestyle mogul skiing.  As he strove to become a professional in that sport, he kept running in the background never taking more than 2 days off in a row.  When he moved back east to Burlington, VT at the age of 25, he started to run again more consistently.  After dabbling in various distances with varying degrees of gravity, Porter got serious.  Coach Daniels mailed him a marathon training plan.  Says Porter, “After doing familiar tempo training we did at Cortland, only more of it, my marathon times plummeted.” As a resident of Burlington, the Vermont City Marathon became his cornerstone event.  “I got a little faster each year trying to run well against the athletes invited from around the country,” remembers Porter, “I felt embraced by the Burlington community to do well in this race.”

Perhaps due to the reading and re-reading of Daniels’ iconic book, Daniels’ Running Formula, Porter developed an interest in exercise physiology.  His pursuit of the discipline led him to a career as an ultrasound technologist with a specialty in cardiovascular diagnostics.  Porter sums it up best, “My interest in running led me to a very satisfying career in health care.”  And Porter tells me: don’t even think about picking up a cigarette.  Apparently those things will kill you.

All runners have a little OCD in them, and Porter is no different.  Back in August of 2003, he started a running streak: a minimum of 2 miles a day.  His rationale: “I came to realize how fortunate I was to be able to go out every day and go for a run.  I thought with settling down with marriage, career, and family, it would be a good challenge that would help me maintain some degree of fitness.”  So, is present day Porter nothing more than a fitness jogger?  Not exactly. “I found during my years in Utah that it didn’t take a lot of training to get into good racing shape, if you have a base.”  For some that competitive spirit can never be snuffed out.  Back to the streak: it’ll be 10 years without a day missed this coming August.  Not too shabby and certainly on The Level.

If you would like to read more from the March/April 2013 issue, click here.

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