click to enlarge
Day 5037 //
December 31, 1989
Don't worry, we'll get back to many of the 4500
days between this entry and the last one. I said I would be jumping
around and this is the first leap. What is that scribbling over there
you ask? It's a little bit of personal running history - the day my
running streak began.
It all started simply enough back in early 1987
with a few miles here and there. My dad actually began before me going
back to '85 or 86. I can remember the first pair of shoes he ran in
- some Nikes that looked more like todays casual tennis shoes. I also
remember one of his first races which included a river to cross near
the finish. Needless to say, the leather, pseudo-running shoes stiffened
up and were never the same. It seemed to be a rather solitary activity
and since I was only 11 years old, I stuck with baseball and basketball
and other team sports.
I participated in my
first race in September of 1987, a nice and easy 3K which turns out
to be about 1.86 miles. Don't remember my time, if I won anything or
even how I felt. I do know that I received my first race T-shirt and
it certainly would not me my last. 1988 saw a few more mile here and
there with four more races during the year. We had fun traveling to
the different races but would mostly let my dad do the running. I was
12, my sister 10 and my brother 8 so they would get youngest runners
and I would sometimes win my age group. My mom would also run every
now and then making for a pretty powerful running family. And even if
the times were not on our side, the door prizes usually were.
You would think there was a natural yearning
to run for me but that really wasn't so. In fact one of my earliest
'running memories' is very anti-running in nature. It was around the
summer of 1989 and we had been in quite a few races going different
places every weekend. I raced but didn't train too much. I tried to
come up with every excuse in the book like my ankle was sore, it was
too hot out, it was raining, I had too big of a meal, I was too tired
from other sports, I had to do homework.
I ended up designing a sign on our old Commodore
computer and dot-matrix printer. It had a footprint border and big bold
words "Running is NOT my life". Soon, running would
become a very integral part of my life. Fall came and went. Winter began
and I ran a couple times in December. Then on December 31 I went out
for a 4 miler. It was training for a 5 mile race the next day on New
Year's Day. There isn't really anything special about the run. It was
just our regular 4 mile loop and I didn't even take an accurate time.
The race went well and I went out again the next day. After a week straight,
my dad placed a bet. The first person to miss a day has to pay the other
one $20. Another week passed and still going strong. January passed
and I wasn't about to lose $20. Two months, six months and finally a
whole year passed.
The records and times would continue to drop.
The miles would contine to climb. The race t-shirts would contine to
pile up. Little did I know that there were other
streakers out there running everyday. After over 12 years of running
every single day, there are so many stories and statistics to share.
I will share many of them and finally concede that running really is
an important part of my life. III