"There are not traffic jams along the extra mile." - Roger Staubach
100 miles, 100 marathons, 100 weeks, 100 RUNNING WITH AL blogs! Yep, this post represents 100 weeks in a row of RWA. Now, back in 1999, I began writing a weekly training email for my Leukemia TNT trainees. Then, 2 years ago, I decided to enter the 21st Century and try to design a blog page and see how that went. I love it. My own colors, my own font, and whatever flies through the empty recesses of my mind. I must admit, I get a kick looking at the blog map that shows that for some strange reason, runners in French Timbucktoo are reading my blog. Now, what they're commenting about the blog, I have no earthly idea, but I'm sure it's something along the lines of "Sacre Bleu!! Thees ees magnifique!!".
There are two things I really enjoy doing...well, I guess there are a lot more than two...at least I sure hope so. Anyway, as I sit in front of my computer about to snap off another weekly RWA, I realize this brings those two pleasures together; running and writing.
In my 33 years of pleasurable running, not counting High School, which was definitely NOT pleasurable at all, running has become a part of me. I enjoy doing it. I want to do it. I don't believe it's life or death, but it does make my life richer and I sure believe it keeps me healthier. It doesn't define who I am in it's rawest basics, but it defines who I am by the friends I choose to run with, the conversations I have with them, and the topics I choose to post for the world to see (which, surprisingly, is more than a metaphor). But, for something so simple, running sure can be one of the most diverse things you can do.
You can run distances from sprints to ultras...on flat roads or in the mountains...on trails and on pavement. On sand and on treadmills...on indoor tracks, 30 laps to the mile or outside tracks, 4 to a mile. You can run alone, with your buddies, with perfect strangers, with huge crowds. You can run local or you can run anywhere around the world.
I've raced as short as 100 yards and as long as 111 miles. I've run midpack most of my life, but I actually won a couple of races outright. I was a scrub on my High School Track Team, but I've competed in 5 Boston Marathons and in the USA National 24 Hour Championships. Recently, I finished dead last in a trail race without even getting lost! But, it's better than the couple of times I didn't finish at all.
I've run this great country in places East to West from Boston to San Diego, and North to South from Alaska to Miami. I've run and drank Guinness in Dublin, and I've run and drank Dos Equis in Mexico, and I've run and drank Molson in Canada. And I have PR's that were set when my 38 year old son was in elementary school.
In 1978, I took a single step on the UAB track and ran a mile, which to me was forever. Last December, I passed the 77,000 mark for miles since that single mile and forever is not in the vocabulary anymore! Mingled in all those miles, I've competed in 130 marathons or ultramarathons. And so, you see, I have 30+ years of memories that just pop into my head now and again and I enjoy writing them down. A hundred weeks ago, I began this blog, and hopefully some of you still enjoy reading it, because I do enjoy to write. And I sure do enjoy to run. And when we can combine the two, Al is happy!
And somewhere along this journey, I hope to see you all on the roads - AL
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