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How I Did It: Attorney returns to golf after seven-year hiatus

After a seven-year hiatus, Allan Phillips (shown golfing in New York in April 2000) returned to golf this summer.

After a seven-year hiatus, Allan Phillips (shown golfing in New York in April 2000) returned to golf this summer.

Name: Allan Phillips

Age: 29

Occupation: city attorney, criminal division

Height: 5 feet 11 inches

Weight before: 160 pounds

Weight after: 160 pounds

Fitness accomplishments: Competed in the Golfnow.com Tucson Summer Swing series 2008 to stay active for his upcoming marathon after a bout with valley fever in April. The series marked his return to golf, with a first-place win in one event and second place in another. He also tied for ninth in the Chandler City Amateur in August with a two-day total of 143 (one over par), and this month tied for fifth in the Gilbert city championship.

Background: Phillips picked up golf in high school and played four years at Emory University in Atlanta. During college, he also started running to get in better shape for golf. He liked it so much he ran his first 5K in 1998, then in 2001, after graduating from college, he ran his first marathon, finishing in 3 hours and 8 seconds.

“I had dreams of turning pro in golf, but it just didn’t happen, so I played recreationally for a few years and then turned to running,” he says.

How did you progress with running and what did you like about it?

As with most people, you tend to make great strides in the first few years because you are so rudimentary when you start. I had always envisioned myself as a marathoner. The longer the distance, the better I was.

How many marathons have you done since 2001?

Three. In June 2002, my time was 2:59:04. I ran two in 2004, with times of 2:52:20 and 2:43:49. I also started competing in triathlons in 2002 while I was living in San Diego. My best triathlon was the 2006 Eagleman Half Ironman with a time of 4:34.

What are you training for now?

I am training for the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon in January. I’d like to break 2:40.

How has your marathon training gone this year and what sparked your return to golf?

In the spring, I came down with a bad case of valley fever. My wife and I had never even heard of it before we moved to Tucson a year ago. Since I could not run much this past summer, I participated in the Golfnow.com series.

Were you surprised by your performance?

I was very happy given that I had played only occasionally and had not been in a real golf tournament since the summer after I graduated from college.

Now that you have recovered from valley fever, how are you training for the marathon?

Mostly I’m running every day, at varying amounts and intensities. An easy day is about 6 miles, and my longest days are up to about 20 miles. The biggest thing is just being consistent from month to month.

Do you think you can break your time of 2:40?

Training-wise I am on schedule to do so. One of the reasons I had a gap between the 2004 and the 2009 marathon is I had untimely injuries or got sick shortly before the race. So the biggest thing is getting to the starting line in one piece.

After the marathon will you continue playing competitive golf?

Definitely! I learned this year that my game is fairly low-maintenance and that I can actually play respectably with minimal preparation. Playing strictly for fun these days has helped my mental perspective, and I rarely get flustered anymore when I hit bad shots. I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of the great Bobby Jones, a fellow Emory grad and lawyer, who was the greatest part-time golfer in history, having captured several major championships and golf’s Grand Slam in 1930. I may not reach that level, but it is nice to know that I can dust off the clubs and post some respectable numbers.

Allan’s Sample Diet:

Breakfast: Cereal with soy milk, eggs with cheese, waffles, peanut butter, banana and orange juice

Snack: Water or sports drink

Lunch: Chicken or beef with rice or potatoes, grapes, apple and granola bar

Snack: Water or sports drink

Dinner: Salad, chicken or beef with rice, pasta or potatoes

Dessert: “It depends on what treats my wife has made!”

Allan’s Sample Workout

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 5:30-7 a.m. swim with Masters swim team at Tucson Jewish Community Center; evening easy run (45 to 60 minutes), pull-ups, chin-ups (some with a book bag full of old law school textbooks).

Tuesday: 12- to 14-mile run, including five one-mile runs at my half-marathon pace (90-second recovery between miles); evening stretching and core exercises.

Thursday: 12- to 14-mile run, including seven 1,000-meter runs at a 12K-pace, (200 meter easy jog recoveries), plus four 200 meter-runs at a one-mile race pace (200-meter easy jog recoveries); evening stretching and core exercises.

Saturday: 16- to 20-mile run, with first half easy and second half building toward marathon race pace.

Sunday: 8- to 10-mile very easy run, followed by Masters swim practice.


We want to hear your success story!

E-mail details of how you did it to features@tucsoncitizen.com (features@tucsoncitizen.com). Include your full name, age and anytime phone number.


Editor’s note

Body Plus neither condones nor endorses sample workouts and diets. Consult your doctor before you begin any fitness regimen.

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