2015 to Now – Life is Good

As we get closer to the end of this forty-plus years of running highlights – that have included a few life stories as well, it gets easier, yet at the same time more difficult to tell the stories. I know/remember things better, but some of the memories are still too fresh for me to have…well processed everything through this brain of mine or include other people that may or may not want to be part of this story.

The things that I didn’t include surprised me, but then again it is me you are talking about here :-).

The years 2015 to Now

Way back in 2015 (which does seem life a lifetime ago now), I was running fairly well, weighed about the same as I did back in 1986, but still battling far too many little nicks, niggles and injuries. It seemed that every time I would just get going well, another “minor” inconvenient ache or pain would pop up. I know the reason now, but back then I could not figure out why.

Other than small issue running for the most part was pretty good during these years. Continue reading

2011 to 2015- Life After Teaching

During this time, I went down the road less travelled and yes, it made all the difference.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah.

There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

Yeah, this one is a bit longer than the others, but a LOT happened.

This post will be about:

2011 to 2015 – Life After Teaching

A huge part of my recovery from knee surgery back in May 2011, was that I tendered my resignation as a Special Education teacher that June to focus on getting my health back.

You see, when I had my knee operated on, I was over 200 pounds at 5’7″ (lots of flubber), stressed out to the max all the time, frustrated because I didn’t seem to be helping the students or not doing enough to teach them to help themselves. Nothing seemed to be working and it was making me grow old before my time.

I felt 80 going on 55. Continue reading

2008-2011 — Too Damn Many Injuries

January 2008 through May 2011 were the toughest years of my running life, I had so many major injuries that significantly reduced the number of days that I ran during these years. A quick run-down of the major ones:

• 1/4/08 – Fell off the Ladder while shoveling the garage roof

• 2/4/09 – Massive Migrane initially thought to be a stroke or Bell’s Pallsy

• 2/10/10 – Injured Right Knee playing racquetball that eventually ended up with…

• 5/17/11 – Arthroscopic Surgery Right Knee

Yes, there were many more “minor” things that kept slowing me down, but those were the ones that seemed to hammer on the body the most.

Continue reading

2000-2007 – A New Beginning

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

This post will cover the years October 2000 thru 2007, which I consider the renewal of my running and personal life.

2000-2007 – A New Beginning

The new Millennium found my life in a complete upheaval and then renewal.

A lot went on before I met TheWife on October 2, 2000, went through our courtship, moving in and getting married in 2002.

2000 was the year that I re-kindled my love of running.

It did help that the then future TheWife was a runner and being runners played such a major role in our courtship.

I ran fairly consistently during these 7 years and even though I only raced once during that period, day-hiked a great deal, learned a little about kayaking, figured out that I didn’t mind treadmills for running during the winter, loved saunas, trail running and running with my wife.

The conversations and discussions that we have and had while running and being active together have helped us grow much closer than I think that we would have otherwise. Continue reading

1988 – 2000 — The Lost Running Years

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

This post will be about the years

1988 – 2000 — The Lost Running Years

Snow Shoeing with Dad – I don’t have any running pics from this time.

This post will be about 1988 to September 2000. These are the toughest years for me to write about. A lot happened in my life professionally and personally that well…looking back were years that I made a lot of mistakes. Twelve years which I consider the “lost” years of my running life. I didn’t race at all and while I ran quite a bit during this time, I didn’t run consistently and it was more spits, spurts and far too often more than a little bit of indifference.

However, even though I didn’t run consistently or race much, I still would run around 200 days a year.

For many reasons and how painful some of the memories are for me me during this period, I have decided to make this post my most generic and will just skim through most everything and then move on.

Continue reading

1984-1988 New London and Meeting Some Greats

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years

Running 1984-1988 – The Glory Years

Well at least the time in my running life, where I ran well and had delusions of grandeur.

CGAS Cape Cod 10K – 1985 //

1985 & 1986 were my personal glory days when it comes to my running career. Starting in April ’85 until September ’86, I think I ran a different road race at least twice a month and traveled to a couple of out of state races, specifically to run them. Something that I had never done before.

During this time my race pace was usually between 6:00 and 6:20 pace, which really wasn’t that fast for the time period, but faster than I had ever run before or since. Hell every once in a while I would break that magical 6:00 minute pace barrier for a race and I thought that I could do even better, with a little different training.

Those thoughts of grandeur that runners get from time-to-time, which were also wonderfully dashed during this time period when I got to run with some really good runners for a while.

We moved to the New London/Groton, CT area in October 1984 and I found a wonderful running community at the Coast Guard’s Research & Development Center that was located over on Avery Point (yeah, the college). There were about 10-15 people who would run almost every day at lunch time, so it was very seldom that I would run by myself, unless I wanted to. It seemed like there was always someone to run with.

At first I had a hard time keeping up with most of them, but I got better with the daily runs. When they saw that I was going to train with them in all kinds of weather, they began to accept me into their running circle (this was before Google, Facebook and all the running apps).

Continue reading

1982 to 1984 Running While Living in the Washington DC Area

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years 1982 to 1984 and I was living in the:

Washington, D.C. Metro Area

I got assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. during the Summer of ’82 and lived in Alexandria over at the Mt. Vernon Square Apartment Complex. Which had a path leading to the back road and up this big hill and then about a mile away was the Mt. Vernon Bike trail. I ran on the bike trail a lot while we lived in Alexandria. It was a lot safer than running on the roads around Rt. 1.

Although, as I added mileage to my running I did get over around Fort Belvoir and the Old Town section of Alexandria. Continue reading

1979 to 1982 – Running in St. Ignace

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years:

1979 to 1982 — St. Ignace, Michigan

Over my summer leave I ran maybe 5 times, I was too busy getting out having way too much fun and sun before my next duty station – it was the graduation summer that I never had. Transitioning back into the Coast Guard was going to be tough or was it?

I’m on the one without gold on my sleeve getting my Associates Degree. By the time this photo was taken I had become quite the Chunky monkey.

I arrived at the Marine Inspection Office – St Ignace July 1979 and had been on 45 days leave. Needless to say, I was still in civilian mode when I arrived, but that was okay, because of all my duty station St Ignace was the closest to me being a civilian during my Coast Guard career. Getting to wear civilian clothes, working in a small office in the Town’s Municipal Building made it seem as though the Coast Guard was miles away.

The first year in St. Ignace, I really didn’t run that consistently, it was more about meeting people, learning the area, a new job and it is where I met my first wife that summer. All I know is there was lots of bars, let me repeat lots of bars, eating at the Big Boy restaurant, not a lot of exercising and gaining back all of the weight that I worked so hard to get rid of those previous years.

When I saw a photo of me in uniform that first winter, I decided it was time to get my ass back on the roads and do something about the flubber that had come back in a bad way. Yes, I smartened up again. Stopped the boozing and began to run and I ran a lot. My boss was a runner and he was very supportive of my running.

Mail Order Running Catalogs

The next spring was when I discovered mail order catalogs and Moss Brown Inc. of Georgetown and ordering online using a credit card. It made it sooooo easy to simply call them up and place an order for that new pair of Shoes that appeared in Runner’s World or Running Times. All I know is that Moss Brown and a few other companies did get a lot of money sent their way and my started me on my weakness for new running shoes.

I went through several different shoes while there (some very good, some horrible), but the one pair I remember most was going down to Petoskey, MI and finding a brand new pair of Nike Equinox at a bike shop that carried running shoes, that I had been reading about in my Runners World and just had to have a pair.

The store didn’t have any 7.5 or 8.0, so I settled on a very tight pair of size 7.0 and hated the shoe, they blistered the hell out of my right foot (even back then my right foot bothered me), but I ran in them anyway because I didn’t have any others (my then wife had gotten rid of all my old ones before we left that day).

I know that I only ran about 50 miles in them before I went out and bought a new pair of Saucony Jazz, which didn’t work all that well for me either. So I ended up getting a pair of Brooks shoes (not sure if it was the Villanova, Tempos or what they were), that I just loved and ran in those for a long time.

Than I got a pair of Etonic Streetfighter’s if I remember correctly, between the Brooks and the Etonics, I was pretty happy with my running shoes for a while.

I was in St. Ignace until 1982 and I never ran a road race there, but I had several weeks where I was running 50-60 miles a week and reading all the running magazines I could get my hands on. I always pretended that I was training for Boston.

The biggest memories I have of running in St. Ignace are finally making it to the top of the hill beside the town office without stopping. It was a real tough uphill run for me. However, the course that I ran the most and no doubt was my favorite course was the 3.0 mile loop around the old trail out to the Airport, even back then I liked to run trails, I just didn’t know how much.

St. Ignace is where I learned that I do love to run long distances, even if I was and still not all that good at it.

1977 to May 1979 – Cape Cod and Bat Out of Hell

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years:

1977 to May 1979 – Cape Cod

My next place to run was Cape Cod Air Station and there I started running again pretty regularly.

I was running in Brooks (I think the model was the Vantage), only this time I started to run longer distances and found that I while I wasn’t all that great at it, it did help me get skinny again.

One of the thing about living in the barracks at AirSTA Cape Cod was the only damn hill in the areas was coming back into the Air Station itself, so I always had to run up that damn hill to get back to base. Good training but I hated it. Although I hated that hill, it was nice for doing repeats and I lost most of the weight that I had gained onboard the SPAR, that first year at the Air Station.

The most memorable run I had was that first year there during November, I was supposed to be a tough runner, so I always wore only shorts and a t-shirt, no matter what the weather was (stooopid me). That day, as usual I was running in shorts and a t-shirt, the weather was probably in the 30’s with 30 mile an hour winds whipping off the runways and I went for a 5 mile run.

Needless to say, I was frozen when I got back and they took me over to the infirmary because I looked like I was going to die. A certain part of my anatomy was very frozen and had to be checked out by the on call physician to see if I had done any damage. It took a loooong time to live that one down.

The female HM’s were particularly brutal.

The CO at the time was an ultra-marathoner (which was very uncommon for back then) and after the next days briefings, I got a call to walk down the hall to his office. This wasn’t unusual since I did a lot of work for him and the XO. When I got to the office he asked me to sit down and he gave me some tips and advice on running in cold weather. I learned to run with a plastic bag inserted in my shorts or better in wind pants and he kindly advised me that I continued being a macho runner would lead to a very short running career. After that I got Bill Rodgers running wind suit and used it effectively in cold or nasty weather for many years.

When I moved off base and lived in Falmouth, I would drive down and run along the ocean drive to Woods Hole, not realizing it was part of the Falmouth Road Race course (unfortunately, I never ran it though), I just enjoyed the views both scenery and girls that would be walking/running there.

I lived on Tanglewood Dr in Falmouth and if you went all the way to the end of the road, it turned to an old woods road that came out on a series of cranberry bogs, that is where I did a lot of my running back then. Not much traffic out there which was a problem during the summers on Cape Cod.

Shorty cut-off shorts and tube socks – I was sooooo cool!

As usual I got hurt while playing basketball and ended up on crutches what seemed like most of the summer of ’78, actually only 3 weeks and I took the cast off, not the Doctors. The start of my not being to good with Dr.’s Orders – which in the military they really get pissed about and they let me know they were not happy with me.

After that I did run more, but never got into the local road racing scene down there, which is something that I regret.

So the summer of ’78 wasn’t a great running summer and while I kept running most of that fall and into the winter, when I met young lady who was living up in Worcester. I was spending time trying to get to know her a lot better, so running became less important to me. Things didn’t work out between us and I used running to help move past what had happened.

I did run my first 5K road race in Falmouth on January 1, 1979, as a New Year’s resolution that I was going to run more and do some road racing, lose a the weight I had gained. Unfortunately, the race was an utter fiasco, I was hung over, out of shape, overdressed, almost didn’t finish and finished last (DFL).

However my first enlistment was up in June and Rick, Bobby and I were gonna get out of Coast Guard. All three of us had out short-timers chains/calendars and we had made plans to go hiking up in the White Mountains with another guy – Kim.

So I was working out and running was a big part of the preparation for this hiking adventure, that whole spring. It ended up that Bobby and I re-enlisted at the last minute, the job market was not too great at that time for me (no degree), so when the detailer offered me a sweet new duty station in St. Ignace, Michigan and a nice re-enlistment bonus – I took it.

We did the hike, but didn’t do as much as we had planned, other priorities split us apart and we cut the hike short.

I left Cape Cod that May and took 45 days leave from the military, got tanned, did some haying for a local farmer and became a beach bum,

Gramp, Mikey and me

I also fell in love with a girl from up in Dexter, we spent the last couple of weeks of my leave getting to know each other a bit better. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t come with me and I drove off into the sunset for Michigan. Listening to Meatloaf’s – Bat Out of Hell cassette tape in my Brandy Spanky New Subaru Brat.