I hated running in High School, much preferring baseball to anything else. I did run some track, but only did that to assuage the football coach at our small, rural Nebraska school.
After our first son was born in 1978, I became aghast at my lack of physical conditioning and decided, reluctantly, to start running. We lived in southern Africa at the time (another story there!!) and I was amazed to find that I actually began to enjoy running!
About that time, Jim Fixx published the now-famous book “The Complete Book of Running” which was the first time I read about running at all. That hooked me further. I ran more and started entering races in various places in southern Africa. Eventually, I started three and finished two marathons in 1980 and 1981. What a thrill…I still remember it well. Hitting the wall and nearly passing out in my first start (80 degree weather, 3 water stations…bad news), then finishing twice, in 4:17 and 4:16.
We moved back to the US in 1982 and I kept running. With (then) two little kids and a job, I mostly did about 15-20 miles a week and ran the usual 10k/5 mile races and enjoyed it. But another job change in 1996 required 70 minutes of commute time a day and just running on the weekend really didn’t work well. So, the miles drifted off. I missed it but couldn’t do much about it.
Then, in May 2004, I was recruited into a new (and very cool) job at a place 4 minutes from my home. How cool. In the interview process, it hit me that I’d now have the time to run again. At the same time, I discovered that the city had developed the West Lafayette Trails System. One of the terminations is just three blocks from my house. Boom, I had a place to run with nearly 10 miles of pathway out of the way of cars.
I started in again and it was like having an old friend back after a long absence. It took a few months to find shoes that worked but when I did, I just started ramping up the mileage through the fall and winter of 2004-5.
As of this writing, in November 2005, I’ve had a full year of pain-free running now and it is a joy. I hope you can participate in this enjoyment with me.