Soldier, athlete, husband and dad: Spotlight on Master Sgt. Paul Wayfield
September 7, 2012
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - (September 7, 2012) He often starts out a newcomers briefing with "Do you want the good news or the bad news" and although the crowd usually beckons for the bad, there isn't any. He's just a good news kind of guy with a positive attitude. He loves his Family, the Army and he loves to run.
Master Sgt. Paul Wayfield, a senior human resources sergeant originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., currently assigned as Equal Opportunity Advisor to Fort Wainwright is married to Laura, a Department of Defense contract specialist, and has two daughters. Nicole is a sophomore at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Emily, a fifth-grader at Pearl Creek Elementary.
The Wayfield family recently traveled to Anchorage to compete in the Big Wild Life Run, Aug. 19. "We love the race course, the running community and atmosphere in Anchorage," he said. "I placed eighth overall (in the half marathon at 1:23:33), second in my age group and ran the Kids' 2K event with my daughter, Emily, the day prior." His wife and two daughters ran the 5K (Sunday) and handed out medals at the finish line.
"Paul is our nucleus for getting out there and staying active," his wife said, "He helps the whole Family by motivating all of us to get out there and just do it no matter if we run, jog or walk." They often participate in fun runs on post and throughout Alaska. She said, "We also did the Disney World 5K as a Family and Paul, Nicole, Emily and I all finished together and stayed together the whole time because our goal was to start as a Family and finish as a Family holding hands up in the air while crossing the finish line."
Wayfield has been running since high school but he didn't start running seriously until 2006. After knee surgery for an injury suffered during the Army Combative Instructor Course, he said, "I utilized my second deployment to get serious about recovery and running, just to prove the doctors wrong." They had given him a profile and said he would not run again.
For years he said he approached physical training like the typical young Soldier, running a 13:30-mile or better to maintain the high PT score. "However," said Wayfield, "after conducting and applying research I began to see results and lower running times." He now runs 30 to 35 miles a week, trying to mix it up with short and long tempo runs combined with speed work at least twice a week, "and of course pizza every Friday night." His goal is to run the Army 10-miler in one hour or less and drop his half-marathon time to 1:15.
He admits he used to be that guy who only had to run four miles a year. Now he believes that whatever you do athletically, you should strive to do your best. "There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning, arriving at PT only to feel afterwards like you could have slept in. Heck, you're already up, shut up and work out."
Wayfield's career goals are to retire from active-duty in the next couple of years and hopefully continue working with Soldiers and Family members on Fort Wainwright. He said they want to stay here for a number of reasons. "The small town atmosphere, low crime rate and it's a great place to raise children."
His advice to those new to running, "Start slow and stay within your physical limitations," Wayfield said, "Repetition and sound eating habits are the keys to running success. Remember, it is never too late to start running. Some of the fastest people I know are in their mid-40s." His main goal athletically is to keep up with the young kids and stay injury free.
As someone who has been around the block a few times, literally and figuratively, he recommends Soldiers need to find time throughout the year to stop and reassess goals and ensure they are utilizing the benefits afforded to them, especially college. "The Army requires your very best," Wayfield said, "You should require the same from the Army."