Showing Category: Inspirational People & Stories

My Father and My Milestone

My father left this planet on this day, August 12th, in 1967. He died of a heart attack on hole 7 at a golf course in Erie, Pennsylvania. I was 10 years old.

My brother, Dave, came to deliver the news and take me home from a YMCA overnight summer camp that I was attending; I was in my second week. It was a traumatic day for me, and I’m sure, for my brother.

dad

Today, 49 years later, is a milestone as my dad was 59 years old when he died, and I am 59 years old now. So this means, that from this point on, each day will be another day that I outlived my father’s age. And thankfully, so have my brothers. Sadly, I did lose my oldest brother a few years ago. He outlived my father’s age by 15 years.

My memories of my father are vague, but the memories I have are good. The bad memories, if any, must be subconsciously suppressed deep inside, never to surface. How did his death on August 12, 1967, affect me long-term? I’m not really sure, but I suppose it did. Either way, I’m just happy for the person I am.

The Boston Marathon 2014 – Healing A City

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the tragic events of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  It’s easy, however, to believe that of all of the 35,000 runners in Boston to run the 2014 Boston Marathon have one focus, healing. This years Boston Marathon really is a piece of unfinished business necessary in the healing process.

Boston Strong

There are so many stories coming out of Boston that it is impossible to keep up with all of them — and the stories I’ve read carry the same theme, healing.  Many of us runners will not be in Boston physically this year, but all of us no doubt will be there in spirit.  Most of us know somebody who will be one of the 35,000 runners representing our running community.  Runners and non-runners from all over the world will be directing positive energy towards Boston — incredible healing energy.

Why My 100th Marathon Will Be My Final Marathon!

I love running and I love running marathons.  It has been 25 years since I crossed the finish line of my first ever marathon in Los Angeles on March 5, 1989.  Today, I have a total of 99 completed full marathons, and on May 4th I will cross the finish line of my 100th and final, marathon at the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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Ready to Finish Marathon 100

People who know me well really don’t believe I’ll retire from marathoning.  I even have a bet with a friend (which I can never win) that if I was to run another marathon I’ll owe him $100.  If I don’t, well, I can never collect.  Pretty much a “sucker’s bet!”  Never said I was smart!  Some are quick to say “Shut-up, I’ve heard this before and will see you at 101!”  But I’m telling you, it will not happen.

A Runner May Not Live A Day Longer, But Will Live A Longer Day!

 

I Live a Longer Day!

 

When my brother was in his running prime, he would say, “A runner may not live a day longer, but will live a longer day.”  This saying resonated with me ever since.  There are many reasons why I believe this saying is true, specifically due to running’s positive effects on your health, both physically and mentally.

In my late teens and early 20s, I smoked and ate junk food, meat and potatoes, and beer, were the main staple of my diet.  I’d light up the second I woke up, and sometimes even light up during a meal.  Yuck!  I didn’t focus on my health; it didn’t matter, I was invincible.  Fact is, if you buy a new car and beat it to death, it will run great for a while, however, at some point the abuse catches up and it falls apart.  If I would have continued down the path I was on, chances are I would be in extremely poor physical and mental health today, and therefore leading a miserable life.  Fortunately, I chose the path of a healthy life, and my life has been truly fulfilling.  The bottom line; if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.  Health is more important than all the money in the world.  I am glad I found running and chose the healthy path!

Running is Liberating!

I’m always curious to hear what attracts people to running.  All of us runners have our personal reasons as to why we run.  I met with a good friend of mine this past week to talk to her about her incredible story that I plan to include in my upcoming book, One Foot in Front of the Other.

Running is Liberating!

Running is Liberating!

During our conversation, we were discussing some positive metaphors such as “desire to do it far exceeds the willingness to accept normalcy,” and “if you are truly determined, you can do anything.”  As I was listening to her story and the more we talked about running, another metaphor, “running is liberating” kept resonating through my mind as a mantra all day long.  “Why,” I thought?  Because running really is liberating!

The “InVinceAble” 2013 Colfax Marathon

Sometimes, it takes a few weeks for me to digest a trip and/or a marathon before I can write about it — but this was not a normal trip and certainly not just another marathon. That said, a few weeks ago I went back to my home turf in Denver to run the Colfax Marathon, but this marathon would have special meaning.  It was to show support for a friend and fellow runner, Vince DiCroce, as he continues to battle brain cancer.

Colfax Marathon

As the plane landed at DIA, I was excited that I would soon see many of my friends.  I’ve been living in Maui for almost a year already, and have been able to keep up with many of them through Facebook. I was also excited that I’d be able to pick up some new running gear and supplies from my favorite running store Runners Roost, a luxury since we have little access to running stuff on the island. My current running apparel was getting a little worn out.

Runners Remembering Boston – Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things!

It’s been a week since the unfortunate events in Boston. It’s been a week of tragedy, pain, fear, drama and even relief.  Most importantly,  through it all we’ve witnessed the rise of heroes and the full beauty of the human spirit.  Some were actual runners who had just put their all in for four hours to complete 26.2 miles of endurance, pain and fatigue, only then to unselfishly continue on to aid others in need; the human spirit showing its finest form.  Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

We then witnessed throughout the week dedicated professional law enforcement giving their all towards their work, working tirelessly for hours and days until the residents of Boston were safe and the country could breathe a sigh of relief.  Not to be discounted were the citizens of many communities coming together to assist.  These true heroes displayed love for their job, community and fellow man – another display of the human spirit in its finest form.

Our little part to remember Boston!

Our little part to remember Boston!

Dreaming of Being an Elite Runner

I remember last December while I was running the Honolulu Marathon, there was quite a long stretch of out-and-back.  Being a mere mortal, I was at about the 11-mile marker and in the distance quickly approaching on the other side was the first place elite runner, just about to cross the 20-mile marker.   As he approached, I turned to runner next to me and said “if only!”

Being an average runner, I sometimes fantasize what it would be like to just once experience being an elite runner.  As an elite, I could bypass all the traffic in the morning getting to the start line in a limo and be dropped off in the VIP area where I would be isolated from the crowds and even just about have my own port-o-let.  Oh, and I could save a ton of money since my entry fee is waived (actually they’d probably pay me) and my travel expenses and accommodations are also covered.  Plus all the free food! What a deal!

To Be an Elite Runner!

To Be an Elite Runner!

Want to Step Up Your Running? Join a Running Group!

So you want to step up your running?  Want to get motivated?  Want to get faster?  Want to make some new, like-minded friends?  Then join a running group!  It can do the trick!  Why Not?  Spring is around the corner and local running groups are probably just now gearing up.  Who knows, you could even find yourself running a half or full marathon by this fall!

Join a Running Group

Join a Running Group

My first experience with a running group was back in 2001.  I moved to Reston, Virginia, from Denver to be with my now wife, Debbie. David, whom I ran all 50 states with, said, “That’s it, you will never be back.”  We were only 22 states into our goal of 50 states, and I’m thinking, how am I going to maintain my marathon training and how in the world are we going to complete all 50 states?  So, before I moved I searched the web for running routes in Reston and actually found a running group, the Reston Runners.  This running group was a godsend to me and really transcended my running to a new level.  Not only did I discover wonderful running routes, but I actually became a better runner.  And, best of all, I made several new friends.

Got Runner’s Burnout?

It’s amazing to me the ups-and-downs and peaks and valleys of running.  The high times are when you feel like you’re on top of the world and your body feels like a well-oiled machine that can run mile-after-mile-after-mile — everything just clicks.  Even when you’re not running, you’re dreaming of running.  All you seem to think about is running, running and running.  It’s the anticipation to lace-up and pound out some miles, and even visualizing your next race.  The low times, however, come out of nowhere; something changes and your running motivation disappears, your times are slower and the floor drops from underneath and then you realize, gee I have a case of “Runners Burnout.”

Runner's Burnout

Runner’s Burnout

Yea, I know, now that the spring marathon and race season is just around the corner, the last thing you want to hear about is Runner’s Burnout!  But with the snow, rain, cold temperatures and flu these past few months, there are probably several normally motivated runners who are right now experiencing a severe case of Runner’s Burnout.  Just the thought of lacing up your running shoes is overwhelming, and forget about going outside.  Also, the dreaded “dreadmill” for a run is not even something you want to deal with.  And that upcoming race even seems impossible.  It sucks, but it does happen to us mere mortal runners every so often.

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