I have run quite a few road races in my day, but admittedly, my day came during the Reagan Administration.
Back in the day, I was a decent runner. My career highlight came in late 1985, when at age fifteen, I turned in an eighteen-and-a-half minute 5k at the state cross country meet (six-minute miles isn’t bad). A year prior, just after my fourteenth birthday, I ran a 15k (9.3 miles) in Memphis in one hour and thirteen minutes (eight-minute miles, thank you very much). The 15k was my longest race, and in fact, the longest I ever ran without stopping. My friend, Shawn, and I, did run about eleven miles one memorable day just for fun(?), but with a couple of significant breaks thrown in.
After a twenty year break (or so), I hit the road to run a 5k with my wife for her 40th birthday last spring, but from my perspective, my job that day was cheerleader, not competitor (and I must say, I did look cute in the uniform). That was a good day for several reasons, and I must admit that the 5k-running crowd did bring back some good memories. Still, however, I didn’t get the urge to really run again.
I should probably mention that I have had the running urge at various times in what I called a twenty year break, but none lasted long enough to qualify as anything worth mentioning. Instead, they were more opportunities to feel badly about myself, so let’s just act like those never happened, ‘kay?
So. Something happened to me this summer in the Houston heat, and I decided that I want to run a marathon. I must have been light-headed at the time, but for whatever reason, my interest has remained. Thankfully, climbing stairs and mountains in Malibu for the past couple of years meant that I wasn’t horribly, horribly out of shape (relatively speaking). It didn’t take long for me to be running a mile or two at a decent pace. Now, after returning to Malibu for a few weeks and keeping this running gig up, I am up to three / three-and-a-half miles at a decent pace. That’s a long ways from 26.2, but it is a step in the right direction.
So I’ve placed a few markers for myself on this new little journey of mine, and the first is this very weekend:
* 5K: I am running the Lexus Santa Monica 5000 this Sunday morning, and my goal is to see if I can run it in under twenty-five minutes.
* 10K: I plan to run the Venice-Santa Monica Christmas Run on December 11, and my goal is to see if I can run it in under fifty minutes.
* HALF-MARATHON: I plan to run the Pacific Half-Marathon in Agoura on March 26, 2011, and my goal (unrealistic dream?) is to run it in under two hours.
And then we get to the biggie. The marathon. Since this is kinda the whole point of all the other, this is a rather big decision. My choice is further complicated because, if all goes as planned, I’ll be ready to give this sucker a shot just as I’m completing the bar exam, moving (?), starting a new job (?), and no telling what else. Therefore, I’d better keep this puppy flexible. So, I’ve got a couple on my radar for now, but these are just possibilities.
1) THE CAMARILLO MARATHON: This one is close by, and it is a flat course—both good things. If we stay in California (as we would like to do), and if I am either unemployed or permitted by my new job, then this seems like a logical target marathon for me.
2) THE MAUI MARATHON: This one is not close by, and it is not a flat course—both bad things. Plus, it is completely illogical—but I like that part a lot. Further, it’s in Maui. This is my dream marathon, and dreaming is a really good thing, too.
Check it out on YouTube:
So anyway, I hope to run a marathon about a year from now, and I plan to run a 5k for real this very Sunday morning. I’m kind of excited about this weekend, and hoping my aging, creaky body doesn’t get in the way of what I hope to be a good start to this little journey of mine. Wish me luck, and I’ll let you know how it goes.