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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