News | April 12, 2016

'Silent Running': DLA employee finds resiliency in extreme distances

By Dianne Ryder

Many DLA employees might refer to their workdays as “running around the whole day,” but Army Lt. Col. Jamie Miller, a DLA senior operations research analyst, literally ran from sunrise to sunset during the Bel Monte 50-Mile Endurance Trail Run along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Love, Virginia.

During the past three years, Miller said he has become interested in “ultra-endurance” runs — those that exceed the traditional marathon distance. He said the long-distance runs help him both mentally and physically.

“I have a lot of time to think through things [and] put them in better perspective,” he said.  “Or I can solve my problems in my head.”

The Bel Monte was Miller’s fifth high-endurance run of 50 miles or longer, but he said it was unique not only because of the distance, but also the terrain.
“It had a lot of up-and-down hills along the Appalachian Mountains,” he said.

Another challenge was running several miles without the company of other runners, he said.

“[Those six miles] were really very challenging, mostly because … I was by myself,” he said.

During that time, he said he felt hungry, tired and alone until he came to the next rest stop, where he paired up with another runner to complete the race. He compared both experiences of running alone and with others to resiliency in the workplace.

“I think that’s one of the challenges that we all face, from a resiliency perspective … Sometimes we’re not able to talk to people or we find ourselves isolated,” he said. “I knew that when I hooked up with somebody else we could talk a little bit and he would help motivate me to finish.”