In high school, about 3453245 years ago... or so it seems, I ran cross country and track. The mile and half-mile generally. I enjoyed running. On Saturdays, after chores, I would go running. Usually for about 4 or 5 hours, though not that entire time non-stop running. But I would run most of it. I continued to enjoy running while in the Army, though the last decade has seen my body weight go up and my running time and distance go down.
However, I'm going to get back to my running roots, as it were, and do more of it. Much more of it. One of the ancillary activities that I love about running is keeping track of my running. A running log just feeds my need to keep track of stuff. I can track raw mileage, the amount of time of each run, minutes per mile, and much more. And I love doing that.
I recently finished reading Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone interested in endurance running, the Tarahumara Indians, and/or barefoot/minimalist running. I've read some reviews of the book and some folks think that McDougall brings those topics above and some others together in a compelling way, while others feel that McDougall is a little "loose" with the science of barefoot running and disagree with his views on that topic. Regardless, the book answered some questions for me: what of those Mexican Indians that ran the Leadville 100 that I watched on TV some time in the 1990's? I loved watching that race and how it played out. But I never heard of it again after that and I would sometimes describe it to others when talking about running, though that was the one and only time heard of the Leadville 100, or any race like it, really.
So, about a month ago, my new boss starts talking about how he's preparing to run the Honolulu Marathon and about this book he reading (Born to Run). As he talking about the barefoot running stuff, I interject about the Leadville 100 and these Mexican Indians that ran the race with sandals they made out of tires and leather string. He tells me that that race is described in the book! Needless to say, I had to get it. And as I said above, a compelling read.
That got me to thinking: why aren't I running? When I'm in shape, I love it. Especially trail running. I love that feeling of zooming through the trees, jumping over roots and rocks, dodging the boulders and bushes on the trail, the quiet, the stillness. Why don't I do it? I need to lose weight, I need to do something that will keep my mind and body active when I leave the Army, and I loved running before and after I enlisted. Granted, I'll never set any records, I won't go to the Olympics or challenge the top marathoners of the world, but to me, running was never about world records or winning races. It was about having fun, feeling good and keeping a log!
Well, when I find something that I'm interested in (or rekindle an old interest), I turn to another old friend from high school: reading. I'm 100 pages into The End of the Trail: A 100 Mile Running Odyssey by John David Fischer, and next on my running-reading que is Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich.
I've even started the log, which includes some goals. Mostly long-term goals, which does include an ultramarathon, eventually. We'll see where this "trail" leads me.
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