Friday, November 6, 2009

A Running Latecomer

Running is not new to me, I guess. We all run at one time or another. But running as a pastime, running as a near obsession, that's what is new.

I do remember when I mowed the neighbor's yard, when I was about 11. I saved up some cash, and what did I want to buy? Running shoes! Why? I don't really know. . . . I don't remember running much, and when I did run I was slow and got tired. I also remember asking for a "Jogging for Jesus" t-shirt for my birthday. It had a picture of a turtle wearing running shoes. I saw it at the mall when were on the way to Luby's after church. But I don't remember doing much running, except under compulsion at P.E., or as part of the game at Little League.

I ran a little after college, but never got into it for very long. I scoffed at my brother's desire to run and to enter races. Why pay money to run with hundreds of strangers early on a Saturday morning when you can run whenever you want for free? At times I would build up to running 2 or 3 or 4 miles at a time, sometimes maybe even 5. But for one reason or another, I would quit.

Then last year I realized that I was getting close to 40. The scale was consistently reading closer to 200. My relative youthfulness and good health would not last long at that rate. So I decided I needed to run. Coming up in a couple months was the Fort Worth Zoo Run. On the web site they posted a simple 10K training program. Ten K was longer than I had ever run, so I figured that would be a good challenge. I registered, followed the program, and ran! My goal was to finish in an hour; I finished in 57:11, 29th out of 44 in my age group. Not only did I finish well, I enjoyed it and immediately started looking for another race to run.

After a recent race, I sent out a race report to a few friends and running acquaintances. One said, "Do you have a blog?" I didn't, so here goes. I have benefitted from and been informed and entertained by blog postings from other runners. So I'll add my voice to the mix: A blog to post reports from races, thoughts on running, and, I guess, whatever else comes to mind.

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