Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Are Running People

I am a runner raised by runners. When people ask me how I got into running, I just kind of shrug and say that it was sort of inevitable. Not that anyone ever forced me to run. But I grew up with parents who ran every day, so it’s easy to see the source of my habits. Thus, this post is an ode to my family. Because I love them. Because I love runners. And because we are running people.

We’ll go by age.

  1. Dad 

Picture a turtle. Now picture an older man running. Now combine the two. That is my father. (Though in his mind he is a svelte 90-lb Ethiopian...)

But don’t be fooled, though this guy may not look like a super-speedster now, he’s put in more than his fair share of miles over the years. He started running cross country in high school, and then got more serious after college. I mean, we’re talking 25 marathons, 13 of which were sub-2:30. That’s fast. That’s averaging under 5:30 minutes per mile pace for 26.2 miles kind of fast!

His PR? 2:24:28. Again, that's fast.

Since his speedster days, hhe’s coached college and high school track and cross country, and currently leads the cushy existence of waking up in the morning, driving to some trails for a run, and then chillaxing. (Am I jealous? Yes.) To be fair, he does put in a lot of work with his current high school team. And he seems to be a bit of a social director for the old runners in the Greater San Francisco area. He organizes runs, (going to Mt. Tam on a Sunday? He’ll be there.), and plans workouts for anyone who asks. Every time I go with them I hear stories – you know your dad, back in the day…

  1. Mama

My mom and running is a bit of an enigma. She seems harmless. Almost spacey at times. Like she just goes out there and runs a bit and whatever happens happens. But let’s not discount the fact that at one point this little jackrabbit ran a 2:46 marathon. WTF??? I know, right??? She started running recreationally mid-college, and didn’t start training until after she graduated.

And get this, when she started training for her first marathon, someone at work told her that she needed to run a 20-miler beforehand. She knew a 1-mile loop in SF. So she went out one morning and ran it 20 times! Yep, true story. Exemplarary dedication or lack of creativity? I’ll leave that one up to you…

And I recently learned from my dad that her best marathon was the 1984 Olympic Trials. I mean, I knew that she ran in that race – but what I didn’t know was that until a couple months before the Trials she was training for the 1500m on the track (4:35 pr). AND that her longest run pre-marathon was only 12 miles!!!

So there’s that.

  1. Sister1

Out of all 5 family-members, Sister1 probably is the least likely to consider herself a “runner.” Which says something, considering that she’s run a couple half-marathons, and did 2 years of Cross Country in high school!

  1. Me.

 I’m a runner. Obviously. You all know enough about me for now.

  1. Sister2

 Sister2 ran a pretty mean Jr. High mile. Then she opted for the non-running route through high school and played silly games (soccer and tennis – sorry to offend anyone) instead. 

But as we watched the Boston Marathon a couple years ago (Mama was running it), Sister2 thought, Hmm, I think I could do that. You know, I think I’ll do it next year. 

So she just went ahead and did that. She ran the marathon in under 4 hours, and is now in training for the National Marathon in DC (ever hear of the destination marathon trend? I am her destination!). Our running styles are pretty opposite - Sister2 is more into running long and slow than running fast. But whatever works for her!

And there you have it. That’s my family. And now you see why I am the way that I am. Like I said, we are running people.