Sep 2, 2011

Training for a Marathon? UC alum has tips for you!

David with poster of his book
If you have ever considered training for a marathon, you may want to pick up UC alumnus David Levine's book: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Marathon Training! He also gave us some great insight about his experiences at UC and what he has learned since he graduated.

When did you graduate from UC and what was your major?
1980, with a major in Political Science.

What were some of the most memorable experiences you had at UC?
Way too many to write, and possibly some things would be inappropriate to mention.  I guess you could say, I grew up a lot at UC.  I do remember a housemate, Reid Horowitz, giving me a book on running in 1977.  He said, “I don’t know why I’m giving this to you, but I sense it will help you somehow.”  Well, since my first book is on running, I guess it helped - and I still have that book.

How did UC transform your life?
In several ways, but possibly the most important, I learned to question why.

What makes you proud to be a graduate of UC? Why are you Proudly Cincinnati?
UC was the first time in my life where I found I loved learning.  I learned a lot there.  Sparks began at UC, which later turned to flames.

Explain what you did after graduating from UC. What are you doing now?

Writing has always been a big part of my life, since UC.  Just after graduation, I wrote for a local paper; did PR for a theater; covered stories for a magazine, and moved to Los Angeles.  I was even an assistant to an Academy Award-winning writer  at one time. I spent a lot of my time working at studios, and after 13 years, I still work at Sony Studio, on the old MGM lot.  I stopped writing for a while, and took up endurance athletics - I wanted to see the ocean and get outside. Well, here I am writing again.  I have a few other articles which I already wrote as well.

David after an Ironman race
What have been your biggest accomplishments in your career?
The book was a good one; winning a huge theater acting award; completing Ironman races are exciting; and I have loved helping people achieve dreams and get faster, as a coach.  However, I sense that the definition of being young at heart is when you feel as if you haven’t really achieved much, and have a world of accomplishments yet unturned.  That would be me.

How did you decide to write your book about marathon training? How long did it take you to finish your book?
I have long been frustrated with the ineffective methods which most non-pro, adult athletes use to train for endurance running events.  A friend e-mailed me that a publisher was looking for writers for a book on marathon training.  I had her submit a writing sample of mine, and boom, we were in.  Our deadline was six months, and that was about how long it took to finish everything.

How does it feel to have a book that is selling nationally?
I’m not sure.  I’ve done a few lectures, but I do that sort of thing anyway.  You know, I had this idea that one day I would walk into a huge bookstore and find someone glancing at my book. Shuffling over to that person, I would mutter, “Great book,”  and then calmly walk away.  So I one day I saw this enormous bookstore closing forever.  Sad, but great discounts and I remembered this nutty idea. When I walked through the doors, I found most of the shelves to be empty, and if they ever had my book, there was no sign of it anywhere.  So I never had the experience of receiving much recognition as an author.  On the other hand, it is a new world.  Nearly all of the books I have purchased lately have been online and I seem to have received some amazing reviews on 

Anything else you would like to highlight about your career or your relationship to UC?

I miss those days at UC.  Don’t get me wrong, life gets better, if you remain positive.  However, having time to simply learn, and nothing else, would be something I would now absolutely cherish.  In fact, I’m toying with the idea of going back for a master's, if I can figure out where to find the time.  Creating time to learn is something we adults place far too little emphasis on.

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