RETIRING KIND

This time it started with a slight loss of motivation.  It grew into lethargy.  Transcended into apathy.  And now, full blown lazyassitis.  Last year at this time I was running 75-80 miles/week.  Last week I put up a dismal 14.  I’m at a whopping 17.5 for this week with no inclination to get out the door.

This has happened only once before in my storied career.  I turned 40 in 1997.

My peak performance years were between the ages of 32-39.  Still winning a lot of the local “fun runs” and the occasional Real race.  My marathon pr of 2:46 set at age 37.  The four oh changed everything.  The ever present and hungry young guns began notching their belts.  It wasn’t a pleasant transition for me and rather than settling for second, or third, or worse, I decided to hang em up.

They stayed hung for the next 5 years.  Then I moved to Omaha.  Listened to some of the locals crow about their similar prs and how they accorded each other legend status.

I had already been working with the top runners in the United States through the Athlete Development Program (1997-2002) and as the Women’s LDR National Champs Chair (2002-2009).

When I tried to point out that these cats were decent regional runners it went over like a ton of bricks.  Immediately ostracized is a better way of putting it.

Two things happened then.  One, I got my own desire back.  Two, I founded Team Nebraska.

The former ignited a drive and passion for my own running that had lay dormant for too long.  The  latter would serve to unequivocally and glaringly expose false idols.  Made a bunch of friends from that too don’t you know.  The record books now are studded with Real Race performances that will be the new standards for excellence in Nebraska athletics, for a very, very, very long time.

A tip of the sombrero here to the really old school cats.  Karlene and Roxi Erickson.  The Halls, Ronn Baker, Gary Julin, Ron Olsen, Greg Carlberg, Tim Dooling, Rob Finnegan, Kurt Keiser..  Excellence from an era long gone.  They got it, still get it, and appreciate what has happened over the last 12 years.

My critics are now comfortable with their glee clubs, and I recognize they are as important to the running community as the 1% at the top.  But I’m the guy that never lets you forget where you rank and that rankles a lot of cankles.

And that brings me up to today.  No desire to get out the door.  No desire, period.  I feel as though I’ve given everything I have to give to this sport.  Some will always appreciate the renaissance, others will always revile me.  C’est la Vie.

I will be back though.  A change of scenery perhaps will do it.  Maybe something as simple as getting my dear sweet Linda healed up and running again.  In fact that might be a big part of what I’m going through right now.  I guess we’ll wait and see.  In the meantime, please pass the bon bons.

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