Focusing on a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body
Tigard resident John Goodhouse is best known around the city for his work as a City Council member.
But behind the scenes, Goodhouse is also an avid runner who loves competing in long-distance racing and taking part in events ranging from the popular 5K distance all the way up to ultramarathons, a category that is defined as any race longer than the traditional marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. But more than that, he believes that fitness is an overall part of leading a healthier, more productive life. And that’s something that virtually anyone can benefit from.
“Working out keeps your mind healthy and keeps your energy and mood lifted,” Goodhouse said. “The other part is longevity; staying active and moving around leads to a healthier, longer life. When you look at people who have tons of money, the one thing that is still true is that you can’t buy your health.”
The quest for lifelong fitness started early for Goodhouse, a lifelong resident of the city who grew up and went to school in Tigard.
As a kid he played soccer for years. Then, when he got a little older, he also played football for his school teams, along with basketball, track and field and even wrestling.
As an adult, his career and family took up a lot of his time. But Goodhouse still found time to run to keep in shape.
About 10 years ago, however, his interest in running and fitness shifted into high gear when he discovered the exhilaration of long distance racing. He started with 5-kilometer road races and gradually expanded to half-marathons, full marathons, and then ultra-marathons like the Silver Falls 50K and the Volcanic 50 around Mount St. Helens.
“It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that my brother and I ran in the Portland Marathon,” he said. “Then he told me he signed up for an ultramarathon. I had always wanted to do trail running, so between the time the Portland Marathon finished and the Silver Falls 50K after that, we got our trail packs on and started running on Forest Park, the Gorge and on other trails.”
Preparing for an ultramarathon takes many months of diligently sticking to a schedule and refusing to compromise when it comes to working out, diet and rest.
“It’s all about putting those miles in and being diligent,” Goodhouse said. “Especially with a busy schedule, you have to put it on your calendar like it’s your job.”
Goodhouse isn’t a huge fan of listening to music while he’s working out. When he does, however, he tends to listen to motivational tunes like action movie soundtracks.
“I’m an 80s kid, so sometimes I like to listen to the ‘Rocky IV’ soundtrack,” he said.
Other times, he will listen to motivational speakers as he works out, absorbing the words of encouragement and letting it wash over his mind as his muscles do the work.
Goodhouse is a fan of both Brooks and Saucony running shoes but is currently sporting a pair of Brooks Caldera trail running shoes.
His typical running clothes depend on the season. In the fall or winter, he’ll wear full leggings from Nike, dry fit shirts and a Patagonia running jacket. In the summer he tends to simply wear shorts and a tank top.
Another piece of indispensable gear is a Garmin Forerunning 935 runner’s watch, which syncs to an online community where progress and times can be shared and compared or even posted via social media.
For trail running, he wears a small backpack with a water bladder and drinking hose.
“You can throw some things in there as well, like a whistle and space blanket and a first aid kit,” he said.
For running at night, Goodhouse swears by Noxgear vests, which use LED lighting in multiple colors to allow the wearer to be seen by drivers at much greater distance than with simple reflective equipment.
It’s a truism of running that the first step is always the hardest.
“Once you’re out there it’s like ‘Oh, I love it and want to do it again,’” he said. “There’s always the joke when you do long races, it’s ‘I’m never doing a long race again.’ And then the next day you’re signing up for another one. It’s about really having that plan and sticking to it.”
The same is true when it comes to a runner’s
diet. Sure, staying away from heavily processed
foods, sugar and fast food are good ideas. But there’s more to it than that. In fact, Goodhouse lives by the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your success in a race comes because of diet and 20 percent because of working out.
What’s Your Workout?
Tigard Life is looking for inspirational stories of health and fitness. We’re looking for people with interesting stories about how fitness has changed their life. Know someone we should feature? Contact Josh Kulla at [email protected].