It is hard to believe that I have considered myself a runner for more than forty years.
No I have never been a great runner, but I have had my moments of glory as a runner, but also those times where running was not a priority in my life and then there have been periods where I couldn't run due to injuries.
However, all-in-all I can say that running has been that one constant that has been a constant through the good times and through the bad.
Without further ado, here is my story of running for more than 40 years.
- The Start of My Running Story
- Cross Country-What in the Hell Was That
- The Not-So Glory Days -- High School 1971-1975
- Running and Boot Camp - 1975
- 1975 - 1977 Running While On the SPAR
- 1977 to May 1979 - Cape Cod and Bat Out of Hell
- 1979 to 1982 - Running in St. Ignace
- 1982 to 1984 Running While Living in Washington, DC Area
- Memories of the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon
- 1984-1988 New London and Meeting Some Greats
- 1988 - 2000 The Lost Running Years
- 2000 - 2007 A New Beginning
- 2008 - 2011 Too Damn Many Injuries
- 2012 - 2016 Life is Good
No, not all of the memories in this series (hell throughout my life) are all fantastic - there is always the ying and the yang. That is a part of life too, we all go through our peaks and valleys as we journey throughout our lives. The important thing is even when you are in those valleys is that you keep putting one foot in front of the other and climb back up those big-ass hills in front of you.
Yeah, though some of them - for all of us have been pretty damn steep, but when you climb out of that shit hole and look back on what you did and how far you have come, there is a sense of relief and the knowledge that you will not have to go down that particular path again.
Then you keep moving forward.
I hope that you enjoyed parts and pieces of the story that I have shared. For those of you who know me and know some of the back stories beyond the running side of what I wrote, I know perspectives and other things that color our memories...
I think I will leave it at that.
It still doesn't seem possible that I started running over 40 years ago.
No I am not an élite runner - far from it, I am just a pretty average one who running has ranged from jogger to road racer. Over the course of all those years, there have been several interruptions and times when I did not run as much:
- I got injured a lot (usually from training stupidly) or things not related to running i.e. falling off roofs, playing racquetball, slipping on ice, just being active and clumsy :-),
- Life has gotten in the way far too often (kids, work, priorities change), yeah, just living life.
There are many reasons that many people say they run, but I think that mine are pretty simple:
I enjoy running and challenging myself to do better (whatever better is at the time I am doing it)
The other thing and yes, I believe this very strongly is that:
I don't have to run, I get to run.
Even though I love to run fast, I never ran in all that many races. They just have never been a big part of my running, other than in high school, a two-year stretch in the mid '80s and some local races over the past few years.
Official competitions or constantly training for them, scared the bejeesus out of me. I have all the excuses: You know that I had too many other things going on to give it the time, money and effort that it would have required of me. Yeah, that race anxiety thing I think stopped me more than I want to believe. To be honest with you and myself - I was scared to death that I might actually succeed at something.
In other words it wasn't meant to be and while I can think about what might have been all I want, the truth is that I wasn't, didn't and will never be a great runner or racer. I just don't have the "right stuff" when it comes to the mental side of running.
In this series you will find my recollections and honest reflections about a part of my life that others only glimpse, as that "crazy guy" they see out running in all kinds of weather, after dark, during the day, N'oreastahs or even during hunting season.
I can't imagine how different my life would have been without running being a part of it for all of those years.
Let's just hope that the next 40 years of running are even better :-).
Yes that means that I still plan to be running when I am 95 years old - don't bet against me. :-)
This concludes my 40 Years of Running Series. You know something I am glad that I did it, it brought back a lot of memories, made me think, but most of all provides others with a glimpse into what made me a runner.
As the series is published I will continue to add them.