Tommy Neal grew up on a small farm outside of Leeton Missouri and started running in 5th grade because he was getting into trouble at school. ”My mom made me run a mile before school so that I wouldn’t have so much energy!” Since then, Neal has achieved enough success in the sport to attract two sponsors that help supplement his income and allow him to train hard enough to hopefully make his olympic dreams a reality. Having recently been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Neal is careful with his diet and will be sticking to water and a couple of gels for his fuel options on race day.
Runners Feed: Take us through a typical day of your life…
Tommy Neal: Wake up about 6:00 am, feed, and water my Chickens. I check my blood sugar levels (I’m a newly diagnosed type 1 Diabetic), take an insulin shot if I need it, and then put together a protein-based smoothie. Around 7:30 to 8:00am I head out for my first run. Typically if it’s not a workout day I will go 10 miles. After I finish my run I would get either a smoothie /Users/janetlaan/Desktop/Tommy.jpgat Jamba Juice or Endurox R4 for recovery. Then I get ready for work at 12:00 and fix a high protein meal/low carbs… I will work from 12 to 6:30 pm at Boulder Running Company. Then I will prepare for my second run at about 7 pm and will go between 6 to 10 miles. At 8:30 or 9:00 I will then fix dinner of salmon, chicken, and/or vegetables. I’ll also have another smoothie. Then put in a movie or watch some college basketball if it’s a good game! I go to bed around 10 or 11 o’clock.
RF: Do you work full or part-time while training? If so, what do you do? If not, what has kept you afloat while you pursue your dream?
TN: I work full time at Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs. I am a footwear speicalist and work with runners and walkers who typically have some type of foot or leg pain and fit them with the right shoe. Running serves as a my second job to help pay the rest of the bills. I do get a huge amount of support from my 2 sponsors Boulder Running Company and Adidas. Before I started running for them I couldn’t put in the mileage that I wanted because I couldn’t afford the shoes. They are a big part of what I have achieved up to this point. I’m also the race director for a race in my home town Leeton, MO. The race serves as a fund raiser for an injured soldiers organization called Eagle Divers.
RF: What do you do on a regular basis to make sure you toe the line healthy?
TN: I work with a chiropractor, Dr. Chris Motley out of Nashville, Tennessee and he is the best! Dr. Motley will also be joining me at the trials in a couple of weeks. I now check in with my Diabetic Dr. and regular PA Rebecca Henderson. She recently diagnosed me with diabetes and literally saved my life. My girl friend Adrian does light massages before I race or before big workouts. My massage therapists Larry Guerrin and Ewan Simpson work with me on a regular basis.
RF: My onsite support team will include…
TN: Dr. Chris Motley, my Mom and Dad, Brother, my college roommate and professional running mentor Blake Boldon, Girl Friend’s Family, Cody Hill, and Chris Bittinger. I’ll have lots of support in Houston!
RF: How will you be decorating your bottles to make them easily recognizable?
TN: No Bottles, just water and a gel pack or 2 in my shorts… just in case. water is all I should need if I train right and have my insulin right.