Yes, I am from Maine and tend to look at myself as a Maneiac more so than a Mainer — there is a difference. I have been a runner since 1971 when I started cross country in high school (you do the math) and I cannot imagine life without running being a part of it.
Over the years, it has been a running joke around the house that I tend to do things…well differently from other folks. While most of the time I get done what needs to be done and survive the process by only giving small amounts of blood or a few bruises. That there might be a few bumps along the way is a given it seems when I start something. Yeah, the process of getting to the finish can be a bit convoluted, fraught with missteps or unforeseen adventures that TheWife explains away as “Harold being Harold”.
My blogging, running goals, and training are also a result of the “Harold being Harold” processes. They often resemble a butterfly flitting from thing to thing as I find new ways to make my blogging or running better or at least more interesting for me. This blog is my story of those mundane runs, detours, misadventures adventures, backtracking, and how I make more than a few friends along the way.
As I get older, my primary running goal is very simple, but will be difficult to achieve since this is Harold we are talking about:
to be still be running at age 80 and hopefully beyond, while having a lot of fun along the way.
Nope, it is not a smart goal, and not fully measurable. It is completely a North Star goal, one that will guide me, hopefully, to make better choices as I move forward in my running life.
Plus, if I get a little smahtah or wizah as I get older (“they” tell me it might happen). I might attempt to tinker less with how I train, not worry about all the data points I can create, find running shoes that work for me, use technology a little less to confuse the hell out of me, and finally, focus on enjoying my running more.
However, there are a couple of measurable goals that have eluded me for many reasons over the years — Achieving a Boston Marathon qualifying time and then running Boston. Those are the ones that I am focusing on over the course of the next few years — as long as the body holds up to the task.
I have more to learn about running and aging. At times they are complimentary, although it seems at this point those two topics are seemingly at odds about what will be the best way forward as I get older. I am sure that I will have a few more “interesting” conversations with myself about reality and fantasy regarding what I can do versus what I want to do. Those marathon dreams might be a major topic of concern.
These conversations with myself also mean that I will get frustrated, (rather whiney) when things are not what I expect or want for a while. This will put me into Harold being Harold mode as I attempt to find a way around the different challenges and roadblocks that inevitably will find their way into my running. Even so, I eventually get back to enjoying my running at whatever my new “normal” ends up being.
As you can tell from the photo, I usually don’t take myself all that seriously. I know that getting old is a helluva lot better than the alternative. Well, as long as I am healthy and have most of my faculties intact. I also plan to have some fun while running and continue to live the best life that I can beyond running.
At some point in the next 20-30 years, I will die and yes, I do think about that more than I used to. Death is unbeaten as far as we know, but I have a feeling the Grim Reaper enjoys a good laugh now and then. So I hope he chuckles at my lame efforts to stay half a step ahead of him, at least until he finally decides to catch me.
Or more likely, race me across that final bridge to whatever comes next.
I just want a step head start and then the opportunity to run like I never have run before.
No fear, no regrets, just running with the wind and a smile on my face.
Although I might cheat a little and finally wear a pair of super shoes for that added 4%.