Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cornered in the School Yard!

This is a reply to an open tag that has appeared on multiple blogs I read so here’s my two cents.

How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Hmm let me think. Ten years ago I was living in London, working in HR/Recruitment and serving as a Sergeant in the Territorial Army (think US National Guard) my running pretty much was composed of maintaining a passing level of the BFT; Basic Fitness Test, this comprised of three miles and was age graded, the first half was, from memory, was fifteen minutes (10 minute pace) and was completed as a squad the second half was individual effort and I was given 10.5 minutes (6:59 minute pace). This was all completed wearing running clothes; vest shorts and running shoes and was on the road. Because everyone know that when you heading off into battle you’ll going to don you nicest matching Asics kit this test was changed to the CFT; Combat Fitness Test, three miles, a 56lb Bergen and your personal weapon and in boots. The whole thing was completed as a squad, the route was shifted to a tank trail, think mud, more mud 12-24” deep puddles, mud, more puddles, did I mention mud and you had an hour to finish it.

What is your best and worst run/race experience?
I have actually had some pretty good race experiences; my personal best half marathon at the Santa Barbara Wine Country half last May was a great run, finishing my first marathon, my first 50k and then my first 50 miler all hold special places but probably the best runs are the ones where I have a whole morning to run around the trails “out back” behind my house and for that I have my understanding wife to thank. As for the worst; getting stuck with a knee injury 10 miles from home kinda sucked, getting soaking wet in Wales wasn’t so great and overheating while on a 20 miler wasn’t much fun either but you know they may have been bad runs but there’s always a lesson to be learned and that counts for something in itself.

Why do you run?
Because golf is too damn hard! To find the limit. To see Mother Nature in all her finery. To see what’s on the other side of the horizon. To set a healthy example to my boys.

What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
A couple of pearls of wisdom; never make decision on an uphill! If you want to run fast; train fast, a modified military one; train hard: race easy and finally sunscreen! As for bad advice; hmm a couple of bad shoes salesmen who nearly killed my feet, running is bad for you knees (a perennial favorite) and run through pain; you can run through discomfort but pain, real pain should be listened to.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Dang, there’s really not much left…hmm let me think. I am a qualified riding (horse) instructor, in a previous life I trained and competed as a show jumper in Holland and the Low Countries.

So if you’ve just read through this and have a blog and haven’t partaken consider yourself tagged.

PS for those of you who follow such things, this year's, (this weekend's in fact) Western States has been canceled due to wildfires that are raging through Northern California, thousands of lightening strikes during the month of June on the backend of one of the driest winters on record have left many areas in tinderbox conditions. While I even cannot begin to emphathize with runners who have trained and been selected for the race my thoughts go out to the firefighters on the line working hard to save people and property.


  1. Don't even get me started on golf. I've only been once in my life and NEVER AGAIN! Just don't have the patience I guess, or the skill HAHAHA

  2. I hear about Western States -- that sucks for those runners. And too bad they couldn't at least get a refund.

    Thanks for sharing with the tag. Horse riding, eh? Interesting.

  3. Alright, I may have to participate on this one. Although it may be boring. Not much excitement here. Then again it won't matter, not many people read my blog anyway!

  4. "never make decision on an uphill"

    Indeed - I always tell myself that no matter how bad it is, I'm not going to change any strategy until at least 100-200 meters after the hill. If the situation hasn't changed by then...then I might have a real problem on my hands....or feet.

  5. Can't imagine a 50 miler. I'm probably good for a 50k but the extra 19 miles sounds like a killer.


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