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True Bonds

May
22

I drove into the far parking lot at Carroll Community College and parked my car. I was there fifteen minutes early for an 8:30 run with Steve Moore.

I needed the extra time to ready myself, so I got out of the car and did some drills. Then I set off for a jog around the large building.

It was a Sunday morning, and no one else was there to see my stiff shuffle. The rigidity gradually release it’s hold, and by the time I returned to my car I was moving more fluidly.

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The Elements of Success

Apr
10

I’ve been the coach of the Flying Feet Running Program for twelve years.

When I began the program, I already had nearly 30 years of personal experience. I had trained with, raced against, and learned from hundreds of successful runners. I had read many books on training theory and race preparation.

Now I have a dozen years of observation to add to all of that.

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Value Enough

Mar
27

The parking lot was empty when I pulled in.

Not many years ago it would have been starting to fill with the cars of early morning golfers. You might say that Wakefield Valley has seen better days.

I walked between the large clubhouse building and the historic Durbin House, both wrapped in a wire fence to keep intruders away. Based on the deterioration, you would think that the dwellings had been deserted for decades. Things age with nonuse.

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The Greater Good

Mar
13

It was 1976, and Terry Baker was sleeping on his sister’s front porch, not because he had no place else to go, but because Mike Spinnler was meeting him there for a pre-dawn run.

Baker grew up in Washington County, Maryland, the fifth of six children living in near poverty. Not one of his parents or any of his five siblings graduated from high school.

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HARD

Feb
28

Dawn Penrod started running in 2009 when the stress in her life demanded some release. She had been active in the past, knew that exercise made her feel good, so she found an on-line training program for beginning runners.

She talked some friends into running with her, and before long they were all gearing up for their first marathon.

There is a picture of Dawn in the middle of that marathon. She’s running past a street sign with a single appropriate word on it – Hard.

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In the Distance

Runners feel a connection to one another, a bond formed with mutual respect.

And yet, running is deeply personal, reminding us of our earliest days, when we could find simple joy in fresh air, and excitement in the rhythm of our movement.

But running isn’t just child’s play. It can be a weapon against our deepest fears, giving us a means to fight our apprehension and doubt. We battle negative voices, and we overcome them.

In the process, we learn a lot about ourselves, realizing we’re capable of more than we thought we were.

Half-Mile Repeats

Feb
13

The sun was going down by the time I left the house.

It was a Thursday in 1989, three weeks before a target race I was hoping to win, and I needed to run a workout that would tell me the one thing I always wanted to know before a big race, was I ready?

I used the mile and a half run to the local college as a warm-up, and then ran a couple easy laps on the empty, dark track.

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OLD FRIENDS

Jan
31

The gun sounded, and Mike Konsen sprinted with the pack.

Mike was a year ahead of me at South Carroll High School, a senior who ran track for the first time as a junior. He quickly earned a place on our two-mile relay team, and just a quickly became my closest friend. He had an old VW Beatle, and we used it to traverse our tiny universe.

We were running the opening race of a 1978 outdoor track meet, and Mike positioned us near the lead before handing the baton to John Horton.

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It isn't all good

Jan
03

Running isn’t all good.

I know that may be a surprise to those who read my stuff. I’ve shared many worthy stories about how running has enhanced my life and the lives of other people. These have been stories of strength and perseverance, of courage and tenacity, and of hope and peace.

But running isn’t all good. There are five drawers in my dresser. Two of them are cluttered with running clothes, meaning the other three are cluttered with all the things a normal person wears. A runner’s wardrobe has to be diverse, which brings me to another bad thing.

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