Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National Running Day

Happy Running Day!

I had big plans that didn’t work out this morning. My son was up for 2 hours last night. I was actually wide awake at 3am and briefly thought about just going for a run then, but decided I needed to try and get some sleep more than the run.

The folks at flotrack interviewed some elite runners about how they started running and what running means to them. See the interviews here.

It is fun to reflect on all the good times running has brought me. I have a picture of me holding a medal for being the youngest runner to finish a local 5k at the age of 7. I started running competitively at Mohave Valley Junior High School in AZ. We would run about a half mile for time in PE class on an old dirt road out and back course near the school. Our PE teacher would time it and post the best times on a window at the schools main office. This was one of my favorite days as I would usually finish in the top few in the school. I joined the track team there and we traveled to Kingman, Bullhead City, and Lake Havasu for track meets in the spring. We would have practices after school where we could try any of the events to find out what we liked and what we were good at. I tried hurdles, long jump, and shot put! But I always enjoyed and was more competitive in the “long distance” events (1200m was the longest event at the Jr. High meets). The experiences in Arizona motivated me to join the cross country and track teams when we moved to Henderson, NV before my freshman year at Green Valley High School, and the rest they say is history.

Running has given me an outlet.
… has helped my self esteem.
… helped me pick my university.
… is how I met my wife.
… helped me pick my career.
… has helped me get a job.
… has helped me set goals.
… has created many friends.
… has filled my competitive spirit.
… has become a part of who I am.

So how did you start running and what are some of you fondest memories that involve running? Share any stories you wish.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people…who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept…Generally, by the time you are Real, most of you hair is loved off…but these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” –Velveteen Rabbitt


Chuck said...

My start in running has to due with the raising of my two nephews. They came to live with my wife and I when they were 9 and 10 years old. As a kid I played the traditional sports: baseball, football, and basketball. I immediately signed them up for the same sports. The younger of the two would always get in trouble at football practice. For punishment the coach made him run around the backstops with all of his football gear on. One of the other parents told me about a local 5K race out at Mayflower Gardens. He told me that I should enter my nephew in the race. Well he ran the race in the low 18's and won 1st place in the 12 and under division. That was the start of some fun times for my nephews and I in running. Later that year he won the Carlsbad Jr. mile in 5:10 and the 12 and under division in the Carlsbad 5000 in 17:25. He went on to run the 1500M and 3000M in the Junior Olympics in 1990 & 1991 in Florida. In 1992 he set the 8th grade state record in the mile on the track at Long Beach City College with a 4:38. His first race as a freshman at Palmdale H.S. he broke Meb Keflezighi's freshman's course record at the Sideside Invitational in Ventura. My other nephew also started running and ran a 4:32 mile as a freshman at Palmdale H.S. He also finish 3rd in the freshman race at the FootLocker Regional Cross Country Championships in Woodward Park. He ran 16:47 and beat current marathon runner Peter Gilmore by 3 seconds. I also had the privilege of coaching Antonio Arce. He ran with my nephews at Palmdale H.S. His junior year he finished 2nd to Meb in the 3200 at the state meet with a time of 9:03. He also won the division II cross country state championship as a senior and finished 7th at the FootLocker Cross Country National Championship in 1994. Antonio received a scholarship to Notre Dame. He ran with Justin and Sergio in the Olympic trials.

Running has given me so many wonderful memories and allowed me to make a lot of great friends.

Ron said...

By the way this is an awesome post. I thought I knew a lot about you Karl and I found out something new.... Running to me has always been surrounded by personal growth. The times times in my life that I was not running are also the times when I was not healthy. Not running for a few years among other things led to my personal demise. So running is a process of personal growth. How can I push myself that nothing else in my life can push me? Be better tomorrow than you are today.

Chuck said...

Karl....This morning I decided to do a fartlek workout on the aqueduct in preparation for the Brentwood 5K this Sunday. About 25 minutes into the workout, I was running at 6:15 mile pace when my left calf cramped up. It sounds like the same thing that happened to you back in mid April. I walked about a mile back to my car and immediately iced and massaged it when I got home. It is feeling a little better, but it is very tight. I would appreciate any advice to help with the recovery.

Thank you

Karl Stutelberg said...

If your calf feels as bad as mine did I don't think I would be racing a 5k this weekend. Let me rephrase that, I wouldn't have been able to race a 5k 2 days later. I think this may be your body telling you, "This is too much, it is time for a break." Fartlek workouts and racing a 5k a week after the LA marathon is way too close. Jogging it would be ok but any kind of faster pace puts you at risk.
To answer your question. After my calf cramped up I was able to run again two days later but felt very tight. A week later I had the same cramping and I think I had done too much that week. Stretching and massage made it more sore. The best thing I did was frequent ice baths (mixture of ice and water in a waste basket) 2-3x/day a few anti-inflammatories and rest. I still didn't feel 100% going into the OC marathon 2 weeks later and I wasn't able to run normally without tightness for a total of 3 weeks after the initial injury. I hope yours recovers more quickly but my advice would be not to push it at all. I would jog the 5k or not run at all, and if you do run it ice immediately after. Give yourself a break 2-3 weeks and then start ramping the training back up for your fall marathon. Hope this helps.

Chuck said...


I really appreciate your help. I believe that your assessment is correct. My calf cramping was my body telling me to take a break. With the way my calf feels there is no way that I could run a 5K this weekend. I will follow your advice and do ice baths and rest. I have 7 weeks until my next race. I am going to try and run 3:12 at the San Francisco Marathon.

Did you see the Flotrack interview with Michael Granville? I got to know him and his father very well back in the early 1990's. He ran youth track and cross country against my nephews. He was a great kid. I am pleased to hear that he is doing well.

Thank you

Dale Lister said...

Dateline Mid-October 1998 + I was 36, tipping the scales at around 200 pounds. A couple of coworkers had been talking about running and planted the seed....

I saw an ad for a cruise, and offered a bet with my wife. I get down to a 36" waist and we go on the cruise. She said a sarcastic "sure" and the bet was on. She asked how I was going to diet and I said, "I'm not, I'm going to run!"

The next day I went out and ran 1 hilly mile in my neighborhood. I had to walk twice. The next day, I did it again, and so on, and so on, and so on. By the end of the 3 week break I had been on, I was doing several miles nonstop. The first day back in school I ran 5 miles going home. I added miles daily and extended my long run each Saturday so that I could enter my first race: The 1999 Los Angeles Marathon, not quite 6 months after having started running. My time was 4:26 and I was hooked...