10 Years on Cinco de Mayo

It has been quite a while since my last post. I never claimed to be a good blogger, or consistent for that matter. You get my ramblings when I decide to ramble about something. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not post just for the sake of posting.

So what is worthy of a post today? Saturday was Cinco de Mayo. It was the Mexican holiday that commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Here in the U.S. I think Americans “celebrate” Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to drink beer. I suspect most people do not even know why it is a Mexican holiday. I had to look it up myself.

If anyone is still reading, I guess they are still wondering what warrants this post. Cinco de Mayo 2018 marks the ten-year anniversary of my first day in Run University‘s Running 101 (couch to 5k) program led by Coach Danny Haralson. In other words, 5 May 2018 marks the beginning of my running career. I met Danny for the first time that day at the formerly Colonial Bank parking lot next to the Mountain Brook YMCA. That building is near the site of the old Shades Valley High School and is now a BB&T office building that we run by often.

If this were a movie script, that day would have been the launch of a glorious running career. The reality is that I did not like it and wanted to quit. The program lasted seven weeks and culminated with the Race to the Courthouse 5k in late June. I hated everything about it for the first six weeks and had every intention of stopping as soon as I finished the 5k. A week before the race, we ran the route and it was the first run that did not suck in every way. I still did not like running, but I realized the 5k was doable.

After the 5k, I stuck with it and ran another 5k in July. Since there were no 10k races in the summer due to the hot Alabama summers, our group just continued running together until our 10k in October. It was during that summer that I started to enjoy running. In reality, I probably enjoyed spending time with the friends I met in the running group. It also helped having Jerry Smith run with us during almost every run. Jerry was a long-time runner and helped Danny with his C25K groups. Between he and Danny, I learned to push myself while learning to enjoy running.

I went on to finish the Hueytown 10k in October and followed that up with the Vulcan Run 10k in November. From there, I ran my first half marathon (Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham) in February 2008 and my first marathon (Baltimore Marathon) in October 2009.

To date, I have run 36 marathons (including five ultramarathons) and almost 60 half marathons. I have also run numerous 5k, 8k, 10k, 15k and other distance races. I am not very fast, but I will finish what I start. I enjoy pushing myself to see what I can do.

As my blog title denotes, I am also an accidental streak runner. I have run at least one mile every single since 24 December 2011. I never thought my streak would get this long. Early on, I was inspired by Prince Whatley‘s streak. His run streak went for over 11 years before an injury forced it to end. He is an amazing athlete that has coached so many runners through the Team In Training program that benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Like Prince, I want to be an encouragement to others with my running. I want people to understand that I am a very unremarkable runner. If I have a strength, it is consistency and determination. Some might call it obsession and would probably be accurate in their assessment. I am not very fast. I am also not overly slow. I am just very average. I see a lot of runners that are much faster and possess much more impressive achievements than I do but I understand that everyone runs for different reasons. I can appreciate each person’s journey is different from mine. I just want them to reach whatever goal they have and will be happy to help in any way I can.

This post got much longer than I expected, but that is what can happen when I ramble. Come run with me sometime and find out how true that can be. I want to close with one of my personal running quotes that guide my running journey.

There are two types of distance runners: thoroughbreds and pack mules. I am perfectly happy being a pack mule. ~ Randy Lyle

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