UPDATE: I stopped writing on this page nearly 10 years ago after I discovered I had a torn meniscus in my left knee cartilage. The tear wasn't that severe and mostly caused by all of the running I have done in my life. So below is the page I created some time ago highlighting my running. Note: I ran in very few races in my life. While I did run a number of marathons just by being out on the trail and running that distance, I never ran an organized marathon. In fact, I have only ran two organized half marathons...races I ran at nearly the age of 59.
I never entered an organized 5K run. I ran an organized 10K race in which I finished number two in the race. The interesting aspect of this race is the fact that they only gave out awards to the top finisher of each age group. The guy that finished ahead of me and was number one in the race was in the same age category as I was...30-39. So this meant that he was to receive an award for finishing in the 30 -39 age bracket. The winners of the other age categories also received an award. But not one of them finished ahead of me and they received an award. So the number two finisher of this race (me) walked away without an award. Doesn't seem fair does it? As you learn growing up "life isn't fair."
Or how about this organized race experience: I entered a 10K race about 10 years older than I was in the story above. There were many thousands of runners. The layout of this race was simple, run twice around a given area to complete the 6.2 miles. I had one of my best start pace going at the beginning of this race. At one point in this race there were only two other runners ahead of me and I could see they were younger runners than me. Quickly I realized I was going to finished number three in this race. I started to fixate on the fact that I was going to have one of my best finishes ever. My breathing and pace was just exceptional in this race. At one location on the race course (which was the second time around the course), I noticed a police officer ahead directing, I thought, the street runners in this race. I noticed he was shaking his arm to go left, so when I got up him I went left onto a street and kept running....until I realized this street wasn't a "race course" street at all. I immediately turned around to get back to the point of the actual race course. As I approached the cop who pointing me down this street, I screamed at him loud "you sent me down the wrong street"...He screamed back at me "I tried to let you know you were going down the wrong street but you didn't hear me." What the hell was he doing on this street? I guess he was directing traffic...I didn't see him out there on the first time around the course map. I quickly realized that I was no longer going to finish #3 in this race. I had lost my 3rd place position with the time I spent going down the wrong road (asshole cop) and then going back to the correct road to be on, to finish the race. When I went through the official "finisher's" area I yelled at a race organizer that a cop sent me down the wrong road....I got my belongings and just left race in disgust.
However, what happened to me at this race was the realization of something important: I thought I was going to finish #3 in this race and that nothing was going to prevent this from happening. In a flash, I realized that I wasn't going to finish #3. We never know what can happen, in an instance, that will change the outcome of something we expect to happen in our lives. What you think is a "life's" given can easily and instantly change like it did with me...just an outward movement/direction of the arm of a police officer that appears to be innocently placed there on a city street...as was in my case, changed the outcome of my race.
I do have a conspiracy therory about the above race experience. The Sacramento news media were there at this race to cover it. The news media hated me because of all the stuff going on with Raley's and exposing their personal friends...which most of it I was responsible for doing. They also knew I was a good long distance runner. I have always suspected that cop was placed there on that particular street to purposely direct me down the wrong street, if the timing was right, so that I wouldn't finish the race at the top of the runners. That cop wasn't there on the road during my first trip around this course. There was a good gap between the first two top runners and me and a good gap behind me and the other runners. Why was he out there, which was only about a mile from the finish line, on the second trip around this course?
So getting back to my story:
I have been running for nearly 44 years. I have enough running miles on my feet to take me around planet Earth three times. In fact, the mountain lion that chased me when I was on my first trip around planet Earth, it is the exact same mountain lion that tried to chase me while going around the third time. I know because part of my running pants, when it tried to runnernap me on the first trip around, was still hanging out of its mouth. It's possible too that with the amount of running I did on bike paths and running trails in my life, I alone may have eliminated 5% of the World's ants. A little running humor.
In 2010 I ran my first two organized half marathons. In my first half marathon, I finished first for the 55-59 age group and ran a 1:41. My second half marathon I ran in 1:40, a tad faster, but I finished 4th for my age group.
Note: When I first started running in Boise, Idaho, back in the early '70s, there weren't any (?) public organized races around-except for the Boston Marathon. In fact, I believe I was one of the few people in Boise running the streets and the tracks during this time period.
The first organized race I entered was back in 1980. It was a race called the "Weinstock's 5-mile-foot-race." Weinstock's was a large upscale department store and this chain of stores was later bought out by Macy's and renamed Macy's. The race started at Sacramento's downtown plaza. I had worked all night at a Lucky store where I was the night-crew manager. I asked the store manager, John Maglietta (misspelled) that I wanted to enter my first race and requested that night off. However I wasn't given the night off so I could sleep before the race and be well rested...a typical experience I had with the assholes running Lucky Stores.
I arrived at the race location at about the time it was about to begin. I jumped into the crowd and before I knew it I was running and trying to get myself into a comfortable pace. I had established running 5-minute miles during the weeks before the race so I felt I could post a respectable time. I came in 20th place (I believe) in a race with over 1200 runners. My race time was 27.03 (I believe) which was OK. I felt I could have lowered my finished time had I been at the front of the pack where most of the fastest runners started from. This was my first race after being a distance runner for many years.
My first goal for 2011: To become healthy and injury free. I hurt my left achilles tendon back in November of 2010 and then injured my left leg calf. I have had a difficult time with these two injuries. Note: Until I turned 55, I didn't have that many injuries attributed to my running. But it seemed after I turned 55 I started to incur injuries such as pulled calf and hamstring muscles.
Below represents my first half marathon:
I also want to thank Doctor Gallawa for helping me with my feet when he discovered a broken bone in my foot when other doctors were telling me they couldn't explain the terrible pain in my foot. Dr. Gallawa also provided me with great orthotics and I would recommend Gallawa to anybody who needs professional help with their troubled feet.
Even though I finished 1st in my age category, I wasn't excited about my finish time. I did make one mistake. I happened to spend a couple of miles of the race course talking to a nice fellow runner, Mark Ashenfelter, who finished right behind me in this race. I may have wasted extra valuable energy while talking to this runner-oh well, I was happy overall with my first half marathon race.
This 27-year-old runner did give me a compliment when he told me that he hopes when he gets to my age that he can still run and be in the physical shape that I am currently at...
I can thank God for assisting me at this race. I didn't stick around to receive my award for winning my age division. I then ran the American Parkway Half Marathon on May 1st. I ran out of gas half way through so I wasn't too impressed with my performance. Oh well, it's all part of the progress.
My second goal: To qualify for the Boston Marathon-if I do that really would be great, but it is not that important to me. When I was age 49, I had trained for an entire year for the 2000 CIM, here in Sacramento. I was putting in 22 miles every other Saturday during that year. I was training for a 2:45 time which would have qualified me for the Boston.
I ran so much during that training year my immune system was lowered and I had caught the flu a week before the race and was told by my doctor that running this race would be risky and so I determined that regaining my health was more important than running this race. I wasn't very happy and I probably will never consider this marathon to run in the future because of the time of year this race is scheduled, which is December---during a time when colds and the flu are "running" rampant. Right now though, I need to rid myself of the left leg injury which has been difficult for me to do. When I do qualify for the BM, I will have to decide if I want to travel to Boston to run it.
My third goal: Plan a trip to all of the churches in Sacramento, snatch a woman's purse and see if there is anybody talented like Pastor Glen Cole fast enough to chase me down...just kidding...
My fourth goal: To get Jim and Joyce Raley Teel to run naked with me at the San Francisco Bay to Breakers...once again - just kidding...
I don't have too many pictures of me from my running past. Below, to the left, is a photo of me and my two kids at a Blood Run-probably in the late '80's. Over to the right is my great run in San Francisco in May of 2000.
Below are a couple of images from my Parkway Half Marathon race: