A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Blah, blah, blah.
So here’s my running cred.
Just before the birth of our second child I began running. At first to control my weight. Then I allowed myself to be goaded into the Sycamore Pumpkinfest 10K. I beat the guy that double-dog-dared me. I’ll never forget the look on his face as I cruised by him just before mile 5. “Hi, Rocky!” I said. I didn’t understand the implications of his excuse-making the next week at work. “I’m just a little older than you.” and “I didn’t execute my strategy correctly.” I had just gone out and ran as fast as I could for as long as I could. It was the first time I had ever beaten any one at any athletic endeavor in my life. I was hooked.
I mean, I didn’t win the 10K, I just beat the guy I knew. A few years later another fellow runner at work challenged me to my first 5K. I beat him, too. Since I don’t remember my 100 yd. dash times from grade school, I can’t say I NEVER ran that fast, but it was the hardest I remember ever pushing myself. I ran 7:20 that day, a personal best I have yet to beat.
In the next 10 years I ran 2-3 10Ks per year, but running was always just a lifestyle thing, not a competition thing. Usually about 2 miles per day, but I ramped it up if I was expecting to run in a race.
I moved on from 10Ks to a few 1/2 marathons and 30Ks, and then my first Chicago marathon in 2003 at the ripe old age of 44. Then the Triathlon bug bit.