My dad is a runner.

Being a runner is like being an alcoholic, marine or biker.

You may sell all your bikes and not ride in years, but you will always be a biker at heart.

Once a marine, always a marine.

And even though you don’t touch a lick of alcohol in a decade, you are still considered an alcoholic.

Even though 5 heart attacks, orthoscopic knee surgery and a torn muscle keep you from running, you are still and always will be a runner.

In June of 1979 my dad was a part of an unofficial world record (Guinness didnt show up) of the most miles by a 10 man team in 24 hours. They ran a total of 289 miles. My dad ran 28 of them averaging 5 minute miles for the first 20.

THE FORMATIVE YEARS

My dad always ran growing up. Before anything was done each day, no matter where we were he always ran. Back early in my parent’s marriage he used to run as much as 14 miles a day (8 in the mornig and 6 in the evening) and 2000 by the end of June (he said that he would only  finish out the year with 3000 miles).. He was obsessed.

I’m nowhere near like that, but I like a good run.

During high school I ran a lot because of JROTC. I was easily one of the most fit kids in my battalion. I know from looking at me now, no one would ever guess I was in JROTC, let alone the battalion commander. As such, I had to be able to out run, out push up and out perform any cadet under me. And I did.

As a freshmen I joined my battalion’s ‘elite’ unit the Eagle Team. We had to run 2 miles in 15 minutes, do 60 push ups in 2 minutes, and do 60 sit ups in 2 minutes. I failed the first administration of this test. The next one was 15 days later.

My dad and I embarked on Hell Week Times 2 Plus 1 to get me ready. We both trained everyday in running, push ups & sit ups. The test day came… I ran my fastest 2 miles to date and vomited at the end.

But I passed and would later become Eagle Team commander on my way to battalion commander.

THE DEVELOPMENTAL YEARS

After graduating high school, and beginning to attend college I ran as a necessity. My third year in undergrad I joined our soccer team and had to run tons. I was no longer the fastest or most fit kid on the block. But I began to run again. Running meant little to me for the next few years.

After graduating undergrad and moving a few times we were in Gainesvie, Fl. Blocks from a middle school with a track. I would take my dog, Raizon, to this fenced area and let her run off leash while I ran anywhere from 2-3 miles. This was great bonding time for me and her and the beginnings of a great relationship.

Then Ronda got pregnant with Noah. I gained like 20 sympathy pounds. Very rough. After Noah was born I began to run with great frequency. I ran several times a week to lose weight and for the sheer enjoyment of it. I didn’t formally keep track of how far I was running each week/month. I usually ran about 3 miles each run on 3-5 days a week. Not bad.

Over the next 2 years I was reasonably consistent in my running. When we moved back to central Florida, my commitment to running took a turn…

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