This week is a pretty boring week running wise. I am also fighting the return of allergies and nighttime coughing, so I am once again drugged out.
So, I thought I would share the story of how I started running.....
As many of you know, I grew up in Santa Monica, Ca. I lived on a street where the 1984 olympic marathon ran by (I was doing my paper route when the runners went past).
At my Jr. High School, Lincoln, we had to do the Presidents Fitness test every so often. One of the segments is running the mile. We all dreaded "the mile". Like that was an eternity.
The first time I ran it for this test I was lazy, out of shape, and (add any other adjective here). After finishing, the teachers aid who was timing looked at the stopwatch and said something like 11 or 14 minutes. He then said "that was pathetic".
He was right.
That spring and summer I must of hit puberty, because I became a basket case full of energy. I had a crush on this girl (her house was on my paper route), and I just could not think straight and deal with my overload of energy. So I started running.
By the way, I ended up marrying that girl, and we now have 4 boys. We did not start dating until I was 21, though.
Back to running.
I would run to the beach "station 8", go body surfing, and then run home. I just ran and ran. It felt good to purge my body of this excess energy. It calmed me down. I had no rhyme or reason. I just ran. I would finish a run and jump in our pool without cooling off.
School started again, and "the mile" was looming near. The next test started and I knew I could run the mile without suffering. That day without trying, I ran between 6 and 7 minutes. I did not take too much effort. I then realized that, if you actually train, you can run faster. Duh.
I progressed throughout that year, and my times improved to under 6 minutes. People thought I was fast. (remember, this is jr. high)
The jr. high olympics came, and I was to compete in the mile. I was a top favorite. The top three of us started the race at the back of the pack, and let all the others think they could sprint it. After 2 laps, the 3 of us were in the lead.
I ended up taking second at 5:20. It was the most painful 4th lap of my life. I hated the feeling.
The High School Track coach caught wind of the time and called me at home. He told me, with work, that I could be a competitive runner. So I went to train at the high school.
The following weekend after the first practice I cracked my pelvis in a skiing accident. I did not run for 4 months.
I then found out my family was moving us to Chicago that summer, so I would not be going to that high school anyway.
End of chapter 1.