I discovered running as I toyed with concepts of cross training for cycling and as I toyed with ways of improving my performance in triathlons. Over the years, I have discovered my nitch ... the mid-distance races, 10 milers and half marathons (13.1 miles).
I am self-coached. I've been fortunate to keep from getting bored by practicing a training approach that I once read in a triathlon log book. It says/said "try something new". This approach has been kept alive with the helped of other athletes whom have given me pointers on how to training, how to manage my nutrition, how to train for specific races and even how to prevent injury. Thanks to all the athletes that have pitched in and allowed me to continue being self-coached.
The following list my running years and accomplishments, reverse chronological order.
I had moved from Charlottesville, VA back to Houston, TX, for a job in July. On my return, I had a humbling experience. Whereas I was running 10 to 12 miles before leaving Charlottesville, Houston August temperatures forced be to shorten by distance to 10k distance.
This was the running year I practiced a lot of aqua-jogging, cross training. I had a membership to the UofH fitness facility and the swimming pool was inviting enough to accomodate aqua-jogging 1 to 2 times per week.
The Houston Half Marathon was evidence of good training. I came close to beating my PR in the Half Marathon. I missed beating my 1977 PR by about 25 seconds, too slow.
Before I called the running season over, I had the chance to redeem myself. I set a PR! I ran the Motorola Half, in Austin, in 1h:22min:50sec / 6min:19sec pace.
This was one of the longest racing seasons I ever had, but, it was full of accomplishments.
Training started early on in the summer as I prepared to participate in the Gay Games, held in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, I would participate in the Olympic Triathlon and the Half Marathon.
The first accomplishment I achieved was in the Army 10 Miler. Chip timing had me down for 1hr:5min:53sec. Three weeks later, I was racing in the Sydney Gay Games Half Marathon. My time was not that fast, 1hr:30min:55sec, but it got me a bronze medal in my age group. I had several factors slowing me down, a blister that didn't heal correctly after the Army 10 miler, warm race conditions, and a little tired from the Olympic distance triathlon I had done 5 days earlier.
On my return to Charlottesville, I decided to "just" train, while I set new goals for the remainder of the racing season. I ran several races before setting my eyes/goals on 2 10-Milers back to back, to finish up the racing season. I ran the Charlottesville 10-Miler in 1hr: 7min:23sec (6:45 pace), on Saturday and drove to Washington, DC, the same day. On Sunday, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in 1hr:5min:55sec (6:35pace). I ran the 2 10-Milers as planned, in a negative split format. It was a nice closure to another racing season.
2001 was a year to enjoy running in the VA hills, around DC and even Philly.
I ran my 2nd marathon, the 1st Annual Baltimore Marathon. Although, I cut abou 25 minutes from my last marathon, Houston '97, it was grueling distance.
Training, however was more fun. I did several brick workouts in the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah Nat'l Park; talking about long hills. I even set a PR; I ran a 38min:29sec in the Charlottesville Pepsi 10k.