Running

3 4492

Coach McLellanOver the weekend I learned of the passing of my high school track coach.

He was 77 years old and in a nursing facility due to Alzheimer’s.

I call him my track coach but he was better known in Connecticut as a legendary football coach as well as “the” gym teacher at my hometown’s high school.

He started at the school in the early 1960’s.

Now, by the time I was in high school, in the 1990’s, he was like something you’d only seen in nostalgic “good old days” movies.

Big chested, big square teeth, brush cut, whistle around the neck, clipboard in hand, and a booming voice that wasn’t overly loud but came through clearly as a growl more often than not.

He was the epitome of the classic high school football coach that doubled as the gym teacher

No simple task for an older John Wayne type to be surrounded by a bunch of Gen-X’ers slipping into the grunge era — it must have been confusing to him — but, man, did he ever command respect.

And he got it too.

He wasn’t your friend, he was your coach — whether you were on one of his teams or not.

I remember running track when all of the other teams had started wearing long mesh basketball style shorts and leaving their over-sized singlets untucked.

We’d step off the bus with our short shorts and singlets tucked in like we were competing in the 1948 Olympic Games.

One classmate of mine, upon hearing of his death, mentioned that he’d wanted to get an earring in high school really badly, had his parents approval and everything, but refrained for fear that Coach would rip it out and was, now 25 years later, happy that he’d made the decision not to get one.

I doubt Coach would have ever actually said something like that out loud but I 100% believe that that’s the way he thought.

Glenn McLellanOld school.

For real, he was straight out of the 1950’s…in 1991.

Thinking back, I can only think of one guy in our high school that made the mistake of getting an earring. I can think of around 30 that got one once they were out of high school and out of Coach’s view.

The man clearly had an impact.

So, back in February, a former student of his (way older than I) posted on Facebook that she was doing some sort of volunteer work with comfort/therapy dogs in South Carolina and she’d walked into a room and saw a familiar face — Coach McLellan.

She posted a picture of Coach, still looking like a big strong gym teacher, and mentioned that Coach was suffering from Alzheimer’s related dementia and that his wife thought it was wonderful to see him light up reliving the “old” days — all but ignoring the dog in the room.

With that, I contacted my fellow alum for some contact details and wrote Coach a letter…the old school way…on paper the very same day.

I’m glad I did.

Here it is…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – |
Hi Coach!
My name is ##### ###### and I went to AHS from the Fall of 1990 through the Spring of 1994.

I was mostly a rec-level athlete growing up so by the time I was in high school, and in your gym class, my athletic endeavors were pretty much coming to a close.

As such, my moderate athletic abilities were pretty much unknown to everyone — myself included.

In Grade 9, I had gym class during seventh period — at the very end of the school day. The group in our class was an unsual mixture with a handful of kids from all four grades — something that didn’t usually occur for gym or any class, really.

Not sure if it was a scheduling mix-up or what — it was a weird situation but for a ninth grader coming in, it was pretty intimidating — especially for someone that wasn’t considered extraordinarily athletic.

One of my first memories of that gym class was when you paired us up in twos for two-on-two basketball.

Basketball was never a strength for me and I think that was obvious to you. You paired me up with DS (name removed but he went on to became a professional athlete).

Imagine that — a freshman paired up with a senior who just so happened to be the star of the soccer and basketball teams…and pretty much the most elite athlete to ever attend the school. Crazy.

As a result, I thought it was pretty neat that he even knew my name. And I’ve got to admit that his abilities on the court actually kinda made me look good too.

I also remember that when the floor hockey session eventually came around in gym, I was somehow forced to do recreational dance with B.T. (the female gym teacher) instead.

In fact, during my four years in high school — I never once got to play floor hockey in the gym; the one activity I knew I’d excel at.

But my fondest memory came in the Spring of my freshman year.

My parents had always said things like “Make the most of the opportunities presented to you” but I’d never really been able to apply that to anything in my life at that point.

It was the day we had to run the mile down on the track for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

I’d always been “okay” at most of the tests — pull-ups were always very easy for me.

Running distance though, not so much.

So you had our whole class walk down to the track and set us off running.

Most of the girls walked.

The smokers walked slower.

I started off trying to stick with the “real” athletes like Larry, Ken, Jimmy and John (all jocks in the stereotypical sense) and was doing a pretty good job sticking with them.

Then I started to pull away from them.

And then I lapped them.

I remember thinking in my head as I began the fourth lap, “What on earth is happening?”

Seriously, it was like no one else was even trying…except they were.

The guy in the converse high-tops and argyle socks that couldn’t shoot a basket, was horrible at volleyball, and mediocre at soccer, should not have been leading the field.

By OVER a lap!

I remember crossing the finish line winded and you coming right over with the watch in your hand and a grin on your face and saying, “Brainy… you’re on my track team now.”

Perhaps it was my very first runner’s “high” but I really thought you were kidding.

That is, until we went back up to the school and you showed me where the track locker room (which I’d always thought was just for football) was.

Not even taking off my gym clothes, I went to the pay phone to call my dad — “I’d need to be picked up later. I’m joining the track team!

Now, it was kinda awkward to be the new guy on a team with so many upperclassmen.

And being the new guy who didn’t appear to have much athletic ability made it even more unnerving for me. And joining the team mid-season? Well, that was unheard of. And it certainly didn’t help that I was a little bit shy too…

But you took me into that locker room, introduced me to everyone and pretty much set my mind at ease.

Actually, I was scared shitless and felt really, really, out of place. I didn’t feel I’d truly earned the full backing of Coach McLellan, the legendary High School football coach.

But you did back me. 100%.

Even though you didn’t coach the distance runners directly, you made sure I was taken care of — and I can’t thank you enough for that.

That weekend, I went out with my dad and we bought some running shoes — really ugly Asics with horrible green and highlighter yellow trim that totally clashed with our uniforms.

Three school days later, I was on a bus to Stafford or Tolland or somesuch other outpost in Connecticut for a track meet and running the very first event of the meet and as the only runner from our school.

I finished “in the points” and, being my first real race, it was a personal best.

On the bus ride home, I sat with Joe Gillis — nicest guy around — and I remember thinking… I’d have been home watching tv with parents right now… but instead I’m a valued member of the track team and sitting with a popular senior on the bus talking about how we did in our events.

For a ninth grader, that’s a big deal.

So as the weeks passed, I got better and better, and started doing more of the distance events — all of them actually — and by the end of the season, the 5000-meter was “my” event and I was finishing first with consistency and qualified for the State Open.

Somehow, a couple of freshman, Jeff and I, had managed to reel in and surpass every other distance runner on the team. It was really neat to have guys who, weeks prior, wouldn’t even so much as look at me in the hallway at school, darting back and fourth across the football field cheering me on by name for both straightaways.

While I was pretty much a non-factor at States… as a team, we won the State Title in 1991. What an awesome bus right home that was from East Hartford…

Now, still not really feeling comfortable with my place on the team, I skipped the team banquet that year.

Man, you got in my face about that at my next gym class, called me into your office down in the locker room, gave me my JV letter, shook my hand, smiled, and told me not to skip another one in an almost silent tone that only an intimidating football coach could.

The following fall, instead of hanging out at home, I joined the cross country team.

And then I did track again. And then cross country. And then track again and so on wracking up six varsity letters and adding another State Championship in 1994 — when I was a factor.

Not to bad for the seemingly unathletic kid that played tuba in the band and rode the “loser cruiser” to school each and every day.

Oh, and for the record, I never skipped another team banquet.

Now, my parents were never really athletic. I’m not sure there’s an athletic bone in my Mom’s body. My dad was more of a musician who ending up working for one of the insurance companies. But what man doesn’t want to be good at sports?

My dad died back in 2010 but my fondest memories of him are how he’d show up at every single track meet — you know where we had crowds that could be counted on a single hand — to watch his son outrun everybody.

He was beaming with pride sitting on those bleachers next to the tower hearing all of the guys cheer me on as I boringly ran in a big circle twelve and a half times, then four times, and then, later, another eight times.

I can still picture the look on his face saying, “Yep, that’s my kid.”

I went two seasons without losing a single race at home. I think the only time I wasn’t the first across the line was at one of the invitationals we went to. Talk about a personal confidence booster.

And that’s 100% on you, Coach.

I sometimes wonder if teachers even know when they’re “making” one of those moments for their students.

Sure, I may have drawn attention to myself on my own that day in gym but you took it upon yourself to make it more — and gave me the confident backing to really apply myself.

Further, after you’d passed the coaching reins on to Kurt — he pushed the same type of confidence on entering me in invitational meets with times well beyond what I’d ever done.

4:18 mile? Me? I can’t do that.

I did it.

Confidence is a crazy thing.

My life would have been *so* much different had I not gotten involved with that track team. Err, had you not forced me to get involved with that track team.

No way would I have been “rounded” enough to somehow find myself in the National Honor Society. No way would I have ever considered myself athletic scholarship material. No way would I have even had a girlfriend in high school.

It’s amazing, just a few months ago the Class of ’94 had our 20th reunion.

At heart, I still kinda of define my high school self as the dorky tuba player in the band that didn’t talk much… But the reality is that most people remembered me as a really fast runner. That’s a pretty cool high school legacy for someone like me. Something I’m really proud of even if I still find it difficult to believe.

Thank you for noticing and forcing me to pursue something that I was naturally good at. Something that I didn’t even know I could do and something that, had you not “put” me on the track team that day, something that I never in a million years would have pursued on my own.

You gave me my first opportunity — my first big break — and I certainly rode it as far as I could. And I’ll tell you, I’ve taken advantage of every other opportunity that first once opened me up to.

Thanks so much Coach!

6 1736

MolassesThroughout my years in high school running cross country and long distance on the track, the coaches would often say things like “finish strong”.

Not such an easy task when you’ve already gone around the track a dozen times as fast as you could and are on your last legs.

My finishing “kick” could only be described as “slow as molasses in February”.

No joke, my track coach called me that.

Frequently.

ALL FOUR YEARS.

Thankfully my pace for the previous dozen or so laps greatly exceeded nearly all of my competitors so it was pretty rare event that I’d actually “need” to finish strong.

In fact, I can only remember having to actually sprint down the final straightaway once… ever.

I lost, obviously, you know, being slow as molasses in February…

So here I am, fourteen weeks into my aggressive auto loan payment plan and the finishline is in sight.

I’m excited to rid myself of this monthly, err, weekly bill.

But like on the track 20+ years ago, even though I’m nearly done, I’m worn out.

My checking balance has fallen to the point that, well, I probably should be “re-arranging” some payment dates or dipping into my savings so as to not only avoid fees but also maintain my own personal finance standards of pretty much always being a month ahead of myself.

Basically, the extra payments I’ve been making, while painful from day one, are really getting to the point that they’re crippling.

Okay, crippling is too strong of a word.

They’re restrictive, I guess. I treading water, yes, but slowly sinking. Not sure how much longer I’ll last…

But I’m not suspending the payments.

I’m too close.

And based on my past experiences, the moment you start to veer of course and start making excuses, well, you lose.

I might not have the kick I thought I’d have for these last few weeks of payments (in fact, I thought I’d pay it off by August at one point), my fast pace will get me there soon enough.

Just over $3000 to go…

– – – – – – – – –

PIAC Tangent
Usain BoltIt’s funny, the first time a coach yelled that on my final lap, I was thinking, “Huh? Does he want me to flex on the straightaway?”

Seemed like a goofy request considering I’d already lapped the competition…

Finish strong?

Dude, I’m so far ahead, I could start walking and still finish first.

But here’s the thing if you’ve never really watched distance running… The further you go, the more your “form” breaks down. Your shoulders start to rise, you bend your elbows more, your head flops around, and you start taking smaller and shorter steps.

Even marathon runners run like Usain Bolt at the start. Twenty six miles later, only the really elite ones still have that form.

17 10357

Brittany from The Biggest LoserI admit it. I watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights. All two hours of it. Every week.

I remember when the show first started a few years ago. I didn’t watch it back then.

I often wondered, who would want to watch a bunch of shirtless people go to Fat Camp? I mean, if Richard Simmons isn’t involved, what’s the draw?

Am I right?

But last season, for reasons unknown, my wife and I watched the first episode. I was hooked. Even had a television celebrity crush on Brittany — that’s her pictured. She was one smokin’ fat chick.

Anyway, we watched it religiously through the entire season. It blew my mind to see these huge people morph into, well, people you wouldn’t even consider overweight (though in most cases, they were still a little heavy.)

Then, as with most weekly elimination reality shows, the wrong person won. That left a sour taste in my mouth — the show is stupid.

But this past Tuesday, my wife and I watched the season opener and guess what? I’m hooked again. No television crush this time, I just like the show.

I hate Jillian — not a fan of screamers. I realize some people need that type of treatment to get off their, um, fat asses but I find that I’m more motivated by someone with Bob‘s approach.

The whole thing kinda reminds me of running track in high school. We distance runners would all go up to the weight room and try to hold our own among the fat guys who threw heavy things (shot put and discus). They spent a lot of time in there. We, being walking stick men, obviously did not.

The top priority while in there pumping iron was to not embarrass yourself. That was it. More important than building up some muscle — just don’t embarrass yourself.

They, the chuckers and hurlers, had their own coach who was, well, a yeller. You know, screaming at them and calling them degrading things in an effort to get them to do more. I’d say he got mixed results.

Our coach, Kurt Fioretti, infrequently even came into the weight room, but his approach was a lot more like Bob’s. Always encouraging. He made us think we could do anything — and often times it was successful.

I’ll never forget at an elite invitational meet where I didn’t really belong, way outclassed, and he handed me my race number — you know, the stickers you see some runners stick to their bare legs whenever track & field is on television.

Distance RunnerWell, those numbers are seed numbers. If you’re expected to finish first, you get the number one. Second, you get number two, and so on…

He handed me number 3.

“Number 3?! Are you kidding? Have you seen the field?”

“Yeah, I told ’em you run a 4:09 mile,” he said with a sly grin and a wink.

Now, at the time, the fasted I’d ever run the mile was maybe 4:56. That was a decent time for a high school miler in the early 1990’s, but that kind of pace at this specific meet would put me a distant last.

Just being there, I was at risk of embarrassing myself.

No, make that, I was at risk of humiliating myself and the town name emblazoned across my chest.

I remember lining up at the starting line and having that uncomfortable feeling of those around me wondering who the “new” guy was.

The first lap wasn’t a problem — I’d never had a problem hanging with the studs at that point. The pace was faster than I was used to but I had it in me to stay up front — leading actually.

By the second lap, I knew I was out of my league. I was still leading but there was no way I’d be able to maintain this type of pace.

My coach was running back and forth across the infield so he could cheer me on the back stretch and the home stretch (something he’d never done in the past) mispronouncing my name the whole time, “C’mon Breeny! You’ve got this… Stay strong, you’ve got this Breeny!”

In the end, I didn’t finish first.

I didn’t even finish third like I was supposed to.

I finished sixth with a time of 4:18.

I was ecstatic — I’d knocked 38 seconds off of my personal best. That’s over 12%. That’s HUGE!

After that, I never looked back — and that’s what I see on the show, primarily from those being trained by Bob.

Some motivation, a little encouragement, some shocking results, and then you’re off and running on your own.

It’s a good feeling, even if you’re feeling it vicariously through some really fat people while you lay on the couch with your pants unbuttoned eating ice cream.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a little encouragement for say, hmmm, how about putting more money in to savings, this show is a pretty good start.

No, it’s not about money (though there is the token cash prize at the end), but it’s not really about losing weight either.

It’s more about changing your ways to reach your goals. Some people need to be yelled at Jillian-style, others just need to be encouraged Bob-style. There’s a little something for everyone — just insert your own goal in place of losing weight…

(Now can someone get NBC to speed up the weigh-ins? Seriously, they draw that out for half an hour each episode… Totally unnecessary…)

1 893

Tyson Gay drops the baton…Earlier today I made reference to the fact that both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s 4×100 meter relay team dropped the baton in the Olympics this week, thereby eliminating themselves from the finals.

Last night I also noticed that in the men’s semi-final that Great Britain, the favorite in the race, made their exchange outside the zone. Stupid. That can’t happen. Especially at this level and in a preliminary race?!

It took NBC at least 5 minutes to make mention of that fact because they were so busy giving us super close up shots of the Americans who didn’t even cross the finish line. I’m not even sure that they made mention of who won the heat. Poor Tyson Gay…

NBC’s over-Americanized presentation aside, I couldn’t help but laugh at every single heat. Nearly half the field in each race was disqualified for either dropping the baton or making the exchange outside the zone.

On top of that, when an exchange was made successfully, it was poorly executed EVERY SINGLE TIME!

I ran track in high school. I wasn’t a sprinter, but being a middle distance runner, I did run the 4×400 and 4×800 relay on occasion.

Sure, being that those races aren’t as short as the 4×100, the baton exchanges aren’t quite as important, but you know what? We practiced them. A lot.

No, we weren’t world class in the relay. But our handoffs, well, based on last night’s performance by at least 8 different countries, were, in fact, world class. We would have qualified for the finals just because we would have finished the race. How sad is that?

I feel bad for the US. Individually, they don’t have the best sprinters in the world, not even close (though NBC would have you think otherwise) but they do have the most depth.

While a guaranteed gold medal in the relay may have been a lofty expectation, the US relay teams were basically guaranteed a medal. Guaranteed.

But they didn’t practice the team part. That much was obvious. Hey, the article even mentions that point — though I’m not sure it even had to. It was *that* obvious.

As a result, they didn’t even make the final.

On a personal note, I thought it was disgusting that the NBC commentators essentially blamed Darvis Patton on the men’s side seemingly because he isn’t the household name Tyson Gay is. I’m sorry, but that missed exchange was 100% Tyson Gay’s fault. 100 percent. The anchor dropped the ball.

For the women, it was rinse and repeat. NBC again laid blame on the wrong runner. Lauryn Williams, I’m looking at you.

3 733

Asics Gel 1120Back in March, I mentioned that I wanted to trade in my Converse All-Stars for a pair of real sneakers.

Last night, I finally did it — and inexpensively too!

With vacation on the horizon and an itinerary that includes a ton of walking, it was getting down to the wire.

In high school, when I was taking running pretty seriously, my shoe brand of choice was Asics.

My training shoes were Asics, my racing flats were Asics, my spikes were Asics, my back-to-school shoes were, well, those were Converse.

So, obviously, my search narrowed in on Asics.

We’d looked at shoes in stores locally, Asics included, and I just couldn’t seem to find anything I liked. Seemed that at every store, I’d start in the running show section and wander off course back to the canvas casual shoe area — where the Converse are.

I really like Allstars, but they just won’t get the job done this time. That, and I already have 4 different colors on the go right now.

The biggest hurdle for me was color. All of the running shoes on the market are U-G-L-Y. I mean, you can only put so many reflective strips on them and still make them look nice, you know? And what is with the color combinations?

It was far too difficult to find a shoe with the base color being white. I want a white shoe with a colored brand logo. That’s it. No bells, no whistles, and as few reflectors as possible. Oh, and no over the top plastic bubble areas visible in the sole either.

Last night, I settled on a winner. They’re not perfect. I don’t particularly like the plastic logo that looks hastily applied to the side of the shoe. The funky toe cap area looks a little, I dunno, metallic for my tastes.

But you know what?

The shoe is predominantly white — and that isn’t easy to find anymore.

They’re Asics Gel 1120’s. List price is around $80. We saw these at local stores, as well, but not this color, just some horrible dark grey and maroon color combo — with a dashing hint of highlighter yellow thrown in. Yeah, did I mention that running shoes are U-G-L-Y yet?

Anyhow, I went online to find them and came across the site RunningShoes.com. Their list price was $39.99. Shipping would be $5. Too good to be true?

I was skeptical at first — I’d never heard of the company or the site. Then again, I haven’t picked up an issue of Runner’s World since, probably, 1991 and that was well before Al Gore ‘created’ the internet. (What I’m saying is that RunningShoes.com probably didn’t exist back then and that I’m a good 17 years removed from being in the know.)

As I always do with a merchant that I’m not familiar with (or one that has a very, well, simplistic shopping cart script on their website), I did a little research on them to see if they had a bunch of bad reviews somewhere.

Everywhere I went had them listed (a good sign) along with the infamous, “Be the FIRST to write a review about RunningShoes.com!” Not a good sign.

Good grief.

Things were not looking good… I then tried to find the same shoe from another vendor. Lots of companies offered the horrible grey/maroon color — didn’t want that — and one had the color I wanted for $64.99 — didn’t want to pay that when I knew it could be had for far less.

I went back to RunningShoes.com. Hmmmm… I Google’d them again. They apparently sponsor a lot of local road races out in Washington State. I guess that’s a pretty good sign.

Then I came across this link. You don’t need to click it — it’s not that exciting. Really.

It’s from a United Healthcare Oxford Health Plan site. My guess is that it’s supposed to be behind a password for members or something, but it clearly states, “You are eligible for 10% off our already low prices and free shipping on orders over $50. To get your 10% discount just order online at www.runningshoes.com and use “oxford” as the coupon code.”

I felt a little guilty. I’m not an Oxford Health Plan member but I gave it a try anyway, and what do you know, my price dropped $4.

That did it. Sure, $4 isn’t much, but getting to plug in a coupon code made me feel like I won something.

I clicked “Submit Order”.

So my new sneakers should arrive early next week and they only set me back $40.99.

Hey, when compared to what Foot Locker and Sports Authority wanted for the same shoe (in ghastly colors), I just got them at half price! Woo-hoo!

Time to see how things have progressed on my goals for 2008

Eliminate all credit card debt by the end of June 2008. Current credit card debt is $10318. I’m aiming to achieve this goal slightly ahead of schedule, by about a month, according to the snowball plan I started in November.

At the end of February, the balance was down to $2750. This morning, I’ve already knocked another $750 from that. So, with $2000 remaining on the total balance, I’m hoping to use the next paycheck and a little from savings to wipe it out for good and mark it up as a completed goal before the next progress report.

Eliminate PMI from the Mortgage by the end of December 2008. Right now, it’s costing me over $1000 per year. For what? Nothing. To meet this goal, I’ll have to contribute an additional $160 per month towards my mortgage.

With the added biweekly $25 my wife is now tossing in towards the mortgage, this goal is also rapidly approaching completion. We’re a little over one third of the way to eliminating PMI already.

Pay off my auto loan by the end of December 2008. Current balance is $7418. This is also included in my snowball plan and it’s scheduled to be paid off in October if all goes as planned. I’m not looking to speed this up; just finish it off.

I’m just making the payments on this one… Balance is now $6920.

Increase my 401k contributions to 15%. This way I’ll receive the maximum match allowed from my employer. Right now, I’m contributing just under 10%. I’ll plan to make this move once the credit card debt is eliminated. Achieved 12-27-2007

I achieved this goal before the year even started. Woo-hoo for me! Too bad I’m down 3.5% on the year even with the added contributions…

Increase my passive income. Now that I’ve dumped my largest client, the hockey team, I’ll soon find myself bringing in a lot less income. But, I also find myself with a lot more free time. Free time that I should use to optimize my other ventures to make up the difference; except now I’ll focus on more passive income streams because, in all honesty, I’m tired of working so much. Right now my 100% passive income hovers around $50/month. With the least effort possible, I’m looking to triple that in 2008 and pick-up a few low maintenance clients as well.

Getting there… January brought in $79.48 and February brought in $74.09 of totally passive income. I’m not quite there yet on this goal, but I spent a lot of time this past weekend tweaking things to ensure that March is even higher.

$10k in savings. This is my lofty goal. I’m not sure it’s even possible. Right now my ING account is holding a mere $1k. No matter how far rates fall, with a 5-figure balance working in my favor I’ll have to be making atleast $1/day in interest and for whatever reason, I like that. I’d also like to pay for some still needed interior renovations in 2008 with cash and this is where I’ll draw from.

Still tanking. Not sure I even want to talk about this one… No, but really, I think that once the debts are eliminated, progress on this one will take off and I still think it’s possible to reach $10k by the end of the year.

Run a marathon. This is a goal that I just added into the mix last week. To be happy, I’ll need to keep a pace between 7 and 9 minutes per mile.

I laced up my sneakers for the first time yesterday and went out for probably for a little over a mile. My back hurt almost immediately and afterwards my legs were really tight, but that’s to be expected on day one. Hopefully it goes a little better tonight. By the end of this week, I hope to be putting in atleast 3+ miles per day as I build up my stamina.

2 701

Al BundyAt the risk of sounding like Al Bundy bragging about days gone by, not to mention scoring 4 touchdowns in 1 game for Polk High, my glory moment in high school was running a mile in 4 minutes and 18 seconds.

I can play it off like I don’t remember the exact circumstances leading up to the personal best, but I actually do remember them. Like I said, it was a glory moment.

The mile, or 1600 meter, wasn’t my best event while running on the track team. I was more of a distance runner, with the 5000 meter being my specialty. Didn’t lose a single race my junior year. Not one.

I wasn’t blessed with blazing speed. In fact, I wasn’t going to out sprint anyone.

What I did have was a rather fast pace and the ability to maintain it lap after lap after lap after lap almost indefinitely.

But now, 15 years have passed…

And there’s that additional 60 pounds around my mid section that’s kinda tough to miss…

But, deep down, I know that I can still do it.

No, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to run a 4:18 mile again.

I think it may even be a stretch to think I could get one mile under 5 minutes these days (though I used to be able to do 3 consecutive miles under 5 mintues).

My goal is to complete a marathon this fall. That’s not such a hard goal to achieve.

The difficult part is that I don’t want to embarass myself.

I’ll have to finish in under 4 hours. That works out to around around a 9 minute mile which, right now, sounds like a walk in the park.

The stretch goal will be under 3 hours, averaging around 7 minutes per mile. That’s a pretty quick pace, but something I think I can work myself up to over the next 5-6 months…

Even if I don’t make it, just being in somewhat better shape will make me feel better all around.

It’s cold out today though, so I think I’ll start working on this next week or, perhaps, the week after that… ;0)

Can You Dig It?

196FollowersFollow
62FollowersFollow