A mid-life start to running paid off with friends and healthier lifestyle
This is not necessarily a permanent goodbye, but my contributions will be limited in the future. I started this site in 2006 and turned it over to HB Wise almost two years ago. During the time I was mainly the only “employee” I have enjoyed trying to bring more coverage to road races in the DFW area. But with grandkids taking up much of my weekends, I have to start devoting more time being a spectator at their endeavors. That’s the main reason, I am limiting my contributions.
I’ve been running for about 45 years. Included in those years was covering DFW races for the Star-Telegram and writing a running column. I have met numerous local and elite runners during that time, including covering the Boston Marathon twice and the New York Marathon once. I also was among the masses for the 100th Boston. That definitely is one of my running highlights, along with running (sort of) the Dublin and Honolulu Marathons. However, my best time-wise moments came at the Cowtown Marathon.
I also met many elite runners when Cowtown would bring in running celebrities to run, usually the 10K. They included Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit Samuelson.
Overall, though, the most fun I’ve had during the years was after I reached mid- and late 40s and early 50s. I was running some of my best times and had some friendly competition in my age divisions. There weren’t as many events then and it seemed that most of the same competitors were at the same races. And I was a member of the Fort Worth Runners Club for several years, and still might return when I increase my jogging, and the smaller, but fun, Mid-Cities Running Club. There were no membership fees; just show up, pay a small fee and run. Distances were from five to 20 miles through neighborhoods. Sometimes it was a little difficult to see the arrows and runners would get lost. I think everyone eventually made it back to L.D. Bell High School, where we started and finished.
When I first started “running” I was 40. I am about 5-11 and weighed 175. After several months of running and altering my diet, I was down to 155….new wardrobe. I looked emaciated and had executive at S-T if I were all right. I had to explain why I looked so gaunt. Eventually, I started looking somewhat normal and gained back to 160. The reason I started trying to take better care of myself was because my dad died at 51 (he was a smoker) and an uncle died at 48 (another smoker). My aunts had much longer lives.
I ran the first (now defunct) Dallas Trails Marathon, which also happened to be my first. I ran it a week after doing the Cross Timbers 18-mile trail run at Lake Texoma (that distance since has been replaced). It had rained the night before, which made for some slippery moments – I fell down five times, bonked my head once on an overhanging tree limb, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I tried almost every training plan that Runners World published, and discovered the best results I got were from hill training, track repeats, tempo runs and slow, long distance runs. I did most of these by time and not by distance, most of the time. But I knew my paces very well then and never was too far off.T