January 1, 1979 – A Humbling Memory

This is a post that I originally wrote back on March 4, 2012 and was an important one for me.

I am number 72 with the black watch cap and “old school” nylon warm-up suit. (Go straight up from the word Starts).

I was doing some early spring cleaning today and came across this old newspaper clipping of a race that I ran back on January 1, 1979 (Yeah a long time ago).

Last Place

I am pretty sure I remember where I finished in this race – last — at least I never saw anyone behind me.

This was the only race in my life I have ever finished last. As soon as I finished I kept running to my car and drove away as fast as I could. I didn’t take my finishers tongue depressor – I just kept going, I was too embarrassed about who I had become and what had just happened to do anything else.

I was 21 years old, single, lonely and trying to drown the weight of the world, in ways that were unhealthy and looking back very self-destructive.

The reason for my last-place finish was too much beer, booze, bad food, too many nights at Bobby Byrne’s Pub and the Holiday Inn – all this had gotten me fat and way out of shape (no drugs or tobacco – I never did those). This race was going to be my attempt to go ahead and jump-start my fitness program. A way to start building-up my self-esteem.

It didn’t help very much in that respect.

Unfortunately, instead of motivating me to do things differently or building up my self-esteem, this race had the opposite effect. I wallowed even worse in self-pity and continued down my path of self-destructive behaviors for a few months after this race.

With a little help

Thankfully, a couple of my good friends (Rick and Kim), along with LT Perry & LTJG Currier took an interest in getting my ass straightened out. I did and eventually decided to make a career of the Coast Guard. Doggy Moore gave me this clipping as a reminder, after I had cleaned myself up. I have kept this newspaper clipping to remind me of both that low point in my life and how lucky I was to have had others to support me, through this dark period of my life.

While I have raced some and run a lot since this race, something died in me that day and I never really got it back. When it comes to running an organized race, getting to submitting the race application or showing up the day of the race became very difficult and I would find reasons to not go to a race – if I could. Once I was at a race I was fine, but getting me to sign-up or show-up is something that I have always found difficult ever since that day – old memories die-hard.

What memories mean to me

It is amazing the feelings that an old newspaper clipping can bring out in you and help you to realize something very important about your life and yourself. I failed terribly (in my mind back that day) and how I let it affect me negatively for so many years. Even those years I was running good, in the back of my mind, when I submitted that entry form or to get to a race races I always thought back to this day when I had finished last – (even if I knew I wouldn’t finish last) and it scared me.

I didn’t need much of an excuse to bail on a race and did so many times over the years.

I have learned not all running injuries are physical and sometimes the emotional injuries are the most difficult to recover from.

The reality is that

Memories – some of them are painful, some are good, but they all are a part of who we are. This is one of those more painful memories for me and reminds me of a part of my life that I am not very proud of. However, it is one that I am glad to say, that I have finally gone beyond.

Different Person today

I am a different person/runner now and many of the demons that pursued me that day – have been faced and vanquished. While that person in this picture is me – it is a different me, who is just a memory, not who I have become and enjoy being.

I hope that you don’t mind my excising another demon from my past, but it was one of those posts that was and still is important to me – a reminder of how far I have come over the years and that we all have things in our past that affect how we think about things today, but that we can overcome those demons and have a great life in spite of them!

  • I wonder how many people in this picture are still running? I am glad that I am.
  • If you know of anyone who ran in the late 70’s in Falmouth, Mass, who might have been in this race, take a good look at the clipping or send the photo to them.
  • It would be great to hear from anyone who was at this race and what they remember about it and where they are in the picture.

What I Learned this Week – 3/10/13

A lot of changes going on here this week

There I did it this week – I decided to go back to having Blogger as my blog host. I just feel more comfortable here and while it means a short-term reduction in my stats – it is just that a short-term thing. It has meant a lot of extra work, because there is no easy way to import WordPress.com posts to Blogger. Due to that, I will not be importing my 2012 daily training logs to Blogger, I will just be importing the other posts.

This was also my first week on my modified Hanson’s Half Marathon Training Plan. I am running a lot slower on my recovery/easy runs and notice that I have more energy for my SOS (quality) runs. Although I am not following things exactly, but I am doing a lot better than I usually have with training programs. I do like the structure that it has provided me this week.

I did volunteer to put together a Google site for my local running club, so I had to go back and play with the tools a little this afternoon to re-familiarize myself how to build one. It has been a couple of years, since I used gSites, but once I started to do it, things came back pretty quickly.

Then this afternoon I put together an over-50 Google+ Community, after +Dean Colprit  suggested it would be a good idea. I don’t know how it will go, but it would give us 50+ runners someplace to gab and bounce ideas off one another.

Yep – it seems like I am doing an awful lot with Google.

The one thing that I learned and something that I want to do is that I have to find a running partner to do a couple of workouts a week with. It is just nicer to have someone to run with, instead of flying solo all the time. Hey, if you live in Central Maine, let me know if you are looking for a reliable running partner!

Yes I went over 50 miles for the week, I hadn’t planned on it, but when I got the opportunity to run with Patrick, the 5.66 that we ran, put me over the top. It is the second time this year that I have hit that mark and to be honest, I don’t remember the last time that I ever hit 50 miles in a week this early in the year, much less twice.

Top 10 posts this week:

  1. My Modified for Me Hanson Method Half Training Plan
  2. Runneritis – Updating How my Dread Disease is Going
  3. Moving Back to Blogger
  4. 13.1 Mile Long Run – Broke into 3 Sections 3/8/13
  5. Stay Connected to Running-Even When Injured
  6. Winter Doesn’t Want to Give Up 3/7/13
  7. Making Progress on the Move Back to Blogger
  8. Runneritis – A Dread Disease
  9. Good Tempo Treadmill Run – 3/6/13
  10. 5.0 Mile Run on my Rest Day in Waterville

Actually I was surprised with how my stats didn’t really decline from my WordPress.com stats, if anything, they seem a little higher for a normal day, it will be interesting to see how it goes over the next month.

Well time to get back to converting WordPress.com posts to Blogger posts, only around 250 left to do :-).

5.0 Mile Run on my Rest Day in Waterville

Today was scheduled to be my day off, but I got an offer to run with Patrick this morning and talk about what happened at the Central Maine Striders meeting last Wednesday – that to be honest, I forgot about. If I have an opportunity to run with someone else, I will usually re-arrange my schedule to accommodate running with them. I get to run so seldom with other, that it is a nice change and I do enjoy it.

We met to run in the Colby College parking lot and it was still in the 20’s when we started out and we went out slow. W got talking, not really paying attention to the pace and as we got warmed up, we just went at a steady pace. It was a little faster than I would have liked for a day-off run, but I felt comfortable the entire run and didn’t feel as though I was pushing very hard.

Garmin Stats 3/10/13
The first mile was slow and comfortable to warm-up then we held a nice 7:40 pace for the next three miles and then cooled-down back into Colby. I like to run in this part of Waterville, there is room on the side of the roads, so you don’t feel as though you are running in the ditch to avoid vehicles, like I do in Sidney.
Very happy with the run, the conversation was great and the weather cooperated, just a little chilly, but no big winds, rain or snow ;-).
I have to admit that I do like running with someone else, especially when that person is a better runner than I am. It allows me to run and not think about the run as much.
I ran in the Altra Superiors and they did great with an all road run at a faster pace. I didn’t get that right pinky  toe crunched feeling and to be honest, I just stopped thinking about what I was running in and just ran.