I am going through the exercises in the book “The Running Revolution” aka the Pose Method and the first one is a writing down my running biography. I have done this in more depth in my Running Story page, which if it interests you can read here. I will do a much shorter summary in this post.
I have been running since 1971 when I started to run cross-country in high school after getting cut from the summer soccer team, because I was too small and getting injured to easily by the bigger kids. I always could run faster (one of the things you learn when you are smaller than most everyone else), but running long distances were not a big draw for me. In high school I was a much better sprinter 100/200 yard dashes and even won the Penquis League championship in 1975 in both, on very little training.
I have never really stopped running, but there were times over the last 50 years years that I ran less due to life getting in the way or more likely injuries, but most years I ran at least 500-700 miles and many years I ran a lot more. Since 2012 I have run more than I ever and typically get between 1,500 and 2,000 a year, unless…I am injured and then I typically attempt to run through the injury and also return too soon to ensure that I get in my weekly mileage.
Injuries are the bain to my running, it seems that they happen all too often and screw with the consistency that is needed to improve or in my case at the age of 63 maintain what I have. Usually, it is training errors that contribute most to my injuries, but I also know that my running form is now a mess and definitely is a factor when it comes to my numerous injuries over the years.
My best experience in running was attending the inaugural Runner’s World Half, 10K and 5K back in 2012. I went as an invited blogger and wrote about my experiences there. I even finished 2nd in my age group in the 5K. Worst running experience was probably the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon, I finished, but never have been the same runner since.
I have also been a running shoe geek for many years, I enjoy trying out the newest and greatest running shoes that I can afford and typically blame the shoes for too many of my injuries and give them too much credit when I am running well. I am not a fan of minimalist shoes and prefer ones with a bit more cushion, but while I have attempted the Hoka style bandwagon, I have yet to find a highly cushioned trainer that works for me. I am somewhere in the middle and prefer a 4-8 mm drop, a wider toe box and narrow heel cup, a cushioned but responsive ride, lighter weight and a slightly rockered sole.
For this deep dive into the world of the Pose Method, I will probably use my Skechers Razor 3s and New Balance 1400 v6 for the most part, since he emphasizes using a more minimal shoe.
Over the years I have mostly been a solitary runner and even now during the COVID-19 pandemic, I really have not missed running with other runners all that much. I still get out the door most days and enjoy the “me” time that my training/running provides me.
Besides I get a little over-competitive when running with others (even on fun runs) and generally attempt to keep up with the faster runners for as long as I can, then I end up in no man’s land behind the faster runners and ahead of the slower runners when I am running with others. Or when running with 1-2 others (Mike & Jon), we will be running along easy and then without realizing it, we/I tend to pick up the pace even on easy runs.
However, when it comes to racing while I enjoy being around other runners and the social scene even though I am not a very social person and since retiring am losing some of the motivation to deal with too many people at a time. I also tend to put too much pressure on myself to do more or run faster than my current physical condition allows (reality sucks) and when I don’t meet those lofty expectations, I get down on myself. Which sets up a cycle of negativity and my old nemesis race anxiety kicks in.
I have attempted to change my running style several times over the past 8 years and never have succeeded in changing much of anything other than not swinging my arms across the center-line of my chest as much. I still heel-strike, although if I am running faster I do get up on my forefoot, but I am not strong enough to maintain that form for long and revert back to a rolling heel-strike rather quickly.
That is a quick look back at my running and it has been quite the adventure actually, where I have gotten to meet people who have made my life better, helped me though some pretty difficult times and challenged me to be a better person. Yeah, running is a part of who I have become and not being able to run would not be the end of the world, but I would sorely miss it.