I Am a Runner

I AM A RUNNER
by Richard Akersrick3

After reading an article shared by Runner’s World I decided to put down my thoughts from my past and what got me started with running and my continued love for it. I borrowed some lines from that article but, changed them up a bit, these lines are what brought back memories of so many of my own experiences. I continued on with my own thoughts…Maybe these words can encourage new runners or any runner starting out with new goals and or ambitions…

 I Am A Runner

 As a kid I was always one of the fastest kids on the block but, I fell in love with the long run after I read a story of a kid who got burned in a fire and was told he would never walk again. In short he did walk and then ran. For whatever reason that story inspired me and I started  doing the longest runs I was allowed to do on the school track teams. I started running for the enjoyment of it during the summer after 6th grade and since then, there are two things I can say for sure that I’ve collected from everyplace I’ve called home—a driver’s license and miles logged in my running shoes. Life’s direction has shifted more times than I can count, influenced by circumstances and decisions, but if there’s one thing that has kept me sane and sometimes the only thing that has kept me moving forward has been running.(Lines from Runners World article with a few changes to fit my thoughts)

 rick2I often looked at marathoners and thought there was no way I could ever do that. After my 2nd marriage fell apart I needed something to keep me occupied and to fill all the empty hours. I got involved with Team In Training and started training for a half marathon. As I started logging the miles I decided I wanted to fulfill one of my life’s ambitions and complete a full marathon. Up to that point the farthest I had ever run was 6 miles without stopping. I kept on adding miles and kept on running until I hit the 20 mile mark and as with most training programs that is the longest distance you run.

 My first marathon was the Austin Motorola Marathon in Texas. It started out with a very cold morning and I had no idea what I was doing or how fast I could even run or even finish a 26.2 mile race. I saw a sign in a pace group with 4hrs and 30 mins and I settled in there. Bang went the starters pistol and I was off doing something I never thought I could or would do.

As the miles went by I settled into a good rhythm and pace and started moving up and around runners. I had injured my Achilles earlier during training from improper running shoes and I thought I had rested enough for it to heal because all my training runs, with the right shoes after the injury were pain free with no issues. Then I felt a slight pull in my Achilles I slowed way up and hobbled on for a mile or two. I came to an aid station and got an elastic bandage and wrapped it as tight as I could without stopping the blood flow. Off I went again with a much slower pace than before. The more miles I ran the pain lessened and slowly I got back to a good pace. Mile after mile I ran and seeing the mile marker 20 I knew I was in unknown territory.

On I ran and I could actually feel that I was going to finish my first marathon. Mile marker 24 then 25 then I saw the 26 and I knew I was going to finish. All the months of training and after 100’s of miles logged I had done it, my first marathon. Something I had only dreamed about but never thought I could accomplish. I crossed the line with a 3hr 41 min time, I was 49 years old.rick45

After the race and a few days had gone by I got the Boston bug. I got to thinking about the race. Even after my slowing way down and stopping to wrap my calf area I still had come so close on my first try, only 16 minutes short. I signed up for another marathon for later that same year in November, The San Antonio Marathon. I finished that one in 3 hrs 21 mins and soon as I got back home signed up for the Boston Marathon as 50 year old and competed in that race in a time of 3hrs 31 minutes.

I am now 59 years old and have run several more marathons and a half marathon since then. My times are not as fast as they were 10 years ago but, as long as I continue to stay healthy and have the time to train I want to continue to run..its a part of who I am and has been as far back as I can remember… I am a runner.

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