I have been playing around and trying to improve the header on “A Veteran Runnah” for a couple of days now and finally came up with one that I like. I apologize for the qualify of the pictures, but getting good running pictures from those different eras was difficult.
The photos symbolize the seasons of my running life so far and I thought you might be interested in the story behind why I picked those photos.
The first one is me getting ready to run a high school Cross Country meet in the Fall of 1973 versus Greenville.
I was a Junior in the picture at Nokomis Regional High School and had been a chronic under achiever when came to distance running.
Running Cross Country was something I did because I wanted to be on a team in high school. Looking back I think that I ran more out of respect for Mr. Smith than for me, because back then I did not enjoy distance running very much.
I was a much better sprinter than distance runner, see my Running High School Cross Country 1971-1974 post and he was a teacher who made a significant difference in my life.
Once I graduated high school I did learn that I missed distance running and my attitude towards it changed considerably as that season of my life came to a close. I finally, realized how important running was to me and how much I enjoyed distance running.
In this picture I am running in a 10K at CGAS Cape Cod in the Spring of 1985. It was during this period of my life that I learned to love running and how to run faster than I ever have before or since and met some really great people who ran.
If you look close you can see that I was even getting a lot of air, as I was passing this guy. There was about a mile left in the race at this point and I was beginning to increase my pace a lot.
This period was the peak of my personal running career during 1985 & 1986 – they were my personal “Glory Years”.
However after those two years, the summer phase of my running life was mostly marked by a lack of racing, inconsistant running, injuries, careers and a growing family. In other words life got in the way, but looking back I did a lot more running, then people realized, just not a lot of racing or the other social aspects of running. I had become a recreational runner.
To me that sounds like a lot of summers, many of us have had throughout our lives, lots of good memories, but looking back you think about all the stuff you could have done instead.
This is my current profile picture and yes I am hitting double-nickel next summer.
I have finally begun to acknowledge that physically I cannot do the things I was able to do in my 20s, 30s or even my 40s and it sucks. Which means I have to watch out that my mind doesn’t think it is 20 years younger than it is.
After getting injured in Feb 2010 and very little running until Nov 2011 (surgery and all that), I don’t want to go through another period where I can’t run. So I have to train smarter than I have in the past (and not play racquetball).
Actually I feel pretty comfortable with the direction I am going with my running, I have goals and put together a bucket list of things that I want to accomplish before I die (or can no longer run).
I have been told that with a certain amount of age comes some wisdom and hopefully they were right – I know that I will find out.
I haven’t reached this stage of my life yet, but I am getting closer and there is no delaying the aging process, it just happens. However, until I hit 60 that picture will remain blank. I haven’t figured out the goals that I will have for this stage and will wait until I get there.
Overall I’ve been lucky
Looking back I have actually been pretty lucky in my running career. I have ran in places others only dream of, met other runners who are great people and now I am enjoying the running community online more and more. Perhaps it is time to look more into the social aspect of running locally, that means running a few races, (which is really part of the social aspect of running) or finding a bunch of runners who don’t mind a slower old fart running with them.
Most of all in the current season of my running life and the next one – I am looking forward to just running.
Those are the stories behind the pictures on my header.
What season of your running life are you presently in? How is it going? How did the previous seasons treat you?