If There’s One Thing The World Needs, It’s Another Running Blog


My mom used to tell me in high school that it was great that I had found running because it’s a sport that you can take with you for your whole life.  From 2000 to around the summer of 2008 I did everything I did my best to disprove that notion.  I’ll start from the beginning.  On a whim before my freshman year of high school, way back in 1995, I decided to join the cross country team.  Mind you I never ran more than a mile before that in my life and had always been a chubby kid growing up.  What I found over the course of the next 4 years was that runners were my absolute favorite athletes and teammates.  There was always a sense of community at meets, even with the biggest of rivals, with every athlete having the common goal of running his or her best on that day.  Back then I was never a great runner, but managed to post 5k times in the high 18’s and make a few state meets for indoor track.  I also looked forward every summer to going to Green Mountain Running Camp up in Lydonville , VT to run their great trails and hang out with other runners all day (and, OK, the girls tended to be pretty cute too).  All this is by way of saying running was a huge part of my life, and I defined myself as a runner.

Fast forward to college.  I gave the Tufts XC team about 2 weeks of my attention before deciding I just didn’t have the mettle for it.  Part of it may have been a terrifically poor (for their and my standards) showing at the intra-squad kick-off meet on their home course, which completely sapped me of my confidence.  As a result, I spent the next four years playing ultimate frisbee with the Tufts E-Men, a pretty competitive squad.  We’d even do indoor track workouts during the winter!  While ultimate did a decent job of keeping me in shape, I certainly was not the lithe guy I used to be by the time I graduated in 2004.  I can’t honestly say I ran more than 4 miles over those 4 years, nor I suppose can I missed it terribly.

Rock bottom was law school, where free time is at a premium, and I did not spend that free time exercising.  Life revolved around studying and quick, cheap, terrible-for-you food.  Slowly pants and shirt sizes increased and looking in the mirror I grew more and more depressed with the figure staring back.  Thinking about it now, the slide continued past law school through my first year of practice when I continued my sedentary lifestyle, too scared to put on a pair of running sneakers because I would have to confront the slow, fat, unhealthy guy I’d become.  When you don’t feel like a runner, when you don’t feel like yourself, it’s hard to see how you can ever try to get back to where you once were.

I finally decided to make a change that summer of 2008.  Yes, I gave in and did the whole no-carbs thing, and it worked.  Unlike the people who pack the weight back on though, which is certainly easy enough, I used the weight loss to transition back into the sport I came to realize I missed.  I bought myself a pair of Saucony Grid Hurricane Xs (note the last Hurricanes I had owned were the IIs) and, thanks to the encouragement of my wife (who I met at law school) hit the road with the goal of running 30 consecutive minutes.  Agony.  But it got better.  I set a goal of running the Boston Marathon in 2009.  Once you tell people around here that you’re running Boston, it would look pretty silly to back out later.  To make a long story shorter (too late), I went from:

First XC Meet in High School, Sheehan Invitational

to

3rd Year of Law School

to

After finishing the 2009 Boston Marathon.

Sorry about the formatting of the pictures, still getting the hang of this WordPress thing.

So now where do I stand?  Well, after a long hiatus caused by injuries and a wedding, I’m back.  I’ve set some goals for the upcoming season and can’t wait to see what I can accomplish.  Will I ever get back to challenging a pre-2000 PR?  Who knows, but that’s not really the point.  The point is to challenge who I am now, not who I was then.

In the end, maybe my mom was right, once a runner, always a runner.

Happy trails to you.

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5 Responses to “If There’s One Thing The World Needs, It’s Another Running Blog”

  1. luau Says:

    Welcome! Your story has a familiar ring for me. Glad you have rediscovered running. I’m hoping to run Boston in 2011. What’s your next race?

  2. luau Says:

    No, there can’t!

  3. mikmoore924 Says:

    Love the story. I am a 2L and have a similar one (baseball and football in HS, not XC). Realized after 1L that I was sick of how unhealthy I was and got “back” into running and am planning on completing an ironman in Aug. Keep writing!

  4. jumbolaw Says:

    Thank you all for the comments so far, keep ’em coming! Aside from the occasional “fun run” here and here (more on that to come), my next big goal race is the Johnny Kelley Half Marathon on May 30, 2010 in Hyannis, MA. Hoping for a sub-1:40 PR!

  5. The Laminator Says:

    Welcome to bloggyland! Congrats on making the jump! Something tells me you’re going to enjoy it more than you think!

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