Faces of Main Street – Michael Viscel Jr.

Faces of Main Street – Michael Viscel Jr.!

Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, there’s a hero living right around the corner.  An ordinary person that’s done something extraordinary, and owns a story worth sharing!  As we prep for this year’s race, we’ll be featuring some “Faces of Main Street“, and with their consent, sharing their inspirational stories!

This month, our team caught up with Hunterdon resident Mike Viscel Jr., an “ordinary” guy with an extraordinary story!  Read below for our interview with Mike.

MSHM: Hey Mike, thanks for taking the time to share your story.  We typically like to ask a few standard questions so other participants may learn a little about you and find inspiration in what you’ve achieved.  So what got you started?

MV:  There were a few things that got me started. I generally didn’t feel great, as I was weighing about 270 lbs. I had dieted and exercised a bit before, but without much success. The first thing that started to push me was that my wife and I were in Baltimore, and we had our picture taken. I remember feeling self-conscious about the photo being taken, which never happened to me before. Second, my wife had started a gym routine and began getting in really good shape. She really motivated me to begin exercising, running, and eating healthy.
Before
After the 2017 MSHM
MSHM: Awesome to have a partner in crime! What keeps you going now?
MV: I am competitive and goal oriented, so I’ve always used that to motivate me. I always set new attainable goals and try to achieve them. Once I achieve them, I add new goals. For example, when I started jogging at 270 lbs, I was only able to jog a mile (maybe two) at a 5.0 pace on a treadmill. I eventually moved to three miles, then five, then added more speed.  I also need to change my work-outs often to stay motivated. I have found that adding HIIT workouts, like Crossfit, to my weekly routine motivate me because they are goal oriented and different every time.
MSHM: Pretty impressive progression! What sort of changes did you experience?
MV:  The biggest change I had was in my weight. I went from about 270 Lbs to 195 Lbs. I weight about 200 Lbs now, about three years after losing the weight.
MSHM: Wow, that’s seriously impressive!  What would you say you’re most proud of?
MV: I’m most proud of my kids and my wife. Outside of that, I’m proud of the weight I have lost and some of the things I have done along. Since losing weight I have run several dozens of 5K’s and a bunch of 10K’s. The Main Street ½ was the first ½ I had ever run, and it was something I never thought I could / would do. I ended up running a second one two weeks later!
MSHM: Good stuff man…but what about  when you “slip” or have a set back? How do you overcome?
MV: Generally I complain to my poor wife first, and then just get back to my regular diet / exercise routine.
MSHM: She sounds like a trooper, and good for you for keeping your focus.  How has running and the Main Street 1/2 played a role in your story?
MV: As I mentioned, at 270lbs I never thought I would be able to run a 5K, never-mind a ½. Running the Main Street as my first ½ marathon has become a major milestone for me. From what I hear it’s also the most challenging ½ I will likely ever run!

MSHM: I remember hearing this story some from your friends and being so honored that you chose our race as your first.  What you would tell another who found themselves in a similar spot to where you were?

MV: Set small goals and achieve them. Small goals continue to add up to big gains. 5lbs turns into 10lbs. 10lbs turns into 20lbs….. Same with miles and running. Small gains eventually become big gains if you’re disciplined and give yourself the time to achieve them.
MSHM: Good stuff…what about future goals? What’s on the horizon for you?
MV: I plan on continuing running ½ marathons, and want to finish the MainStreet under two hours this year. I have also been interested in trying a Sprint Triathlon.
MSHM: Really great…thank you so much for your time…look forward to seeing you sub 2 this year!