Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running to run (and eating anything you want).


I ran track in high school. I remember clocking my first 400-meter dash in 50 seconds. It was my sophomore year. And I was pretty proud.

After that, I sucked.

One day, I remember coming into school the day after a track meet. My government teacher, Mr. Hill, saw me coming down the hall. His arms were crossed and he had this disappointed look on his face. I thought I had been busted for cheating.

Nope. That would've been to easy. He simply arched his arm and pointed his finger over to a bulletin board that posted the previous day's track meet times. Gulp!

Eimer - 400-meters - 1:06

A 66-minute 400-meter dash. Yep, pretty pathetic.

Suffice to say, the next year, I gave up track and field for wrestling. Then, my senior year, I pretty much did nothing except bag groceries and drink beer. It wasn't until my freshman year in college that I noticed a slight beer gut forming right above my nether regions.

That's when I started running to stay in shape.

Since that time, running has become an almost daily ritual for me.

I've run a couple marathons, some half-marathons and numerous 5k's. I've ran in rain, snow, sleet and hot sun. I've ran in in temperatures ranging from 100-degrees to zero degrees. I've ran up mountains, on pavement, in a desert and through the mud. I've even ran in a real-life rain forest.

All for the simple joy of running. Oh, and the fact that I don't want to be a fat ass.

Oh yeah, and to eat and drink anything I want whenever I want. Although that general philosophy has changed a bit over the years.

So imagine my shock when I came across this ESPN.com article about running streaks.

The story is about streak runners who've ran every single day for years. And I'm not talking two or three years. I'm talking over 30. Some of them have been running longer than I've been on this Earth.

In fact, Mark Covert, a 56-year-old teacher and cross-country coach at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif., holds the longest active daily running streak of 39 years, 130 days.

Let me clarify. That's, at least one mile per day. Every single day. For almost 40 years.

These guys are the real deal Holyfield.

On a personal note, after college I kept a daily log of my runs. In the late 90's, I was going to try and run every single day for an entire year. As it turned out the heavy partying, hazy all-nighters and mind-numbing hangovers took their toll.

Sadly, I only made it a month.

Even that was pretty damn hard, especially from a psychological standpoint. Every single day I woke up, my mind started contemplating when and where I was going to get my daily run in.

That's why I think a year of everyday running can be a pretty draining experience, especially if you're on vacation.

That's also why, in my opinion, the streak runners' achievements outlined in the aobove article completely eclipse my dedication to running.

Call it insanity or a healthy addiction. But, I think these guys deserve major kudos for their achievement.

In fact, this has motivated me to attempt my one-year goal of consecutive daily runs.

However, that will have to wait a couple more years, until my two little kids are a little bit older.

Hell, maybe they'll run it with me.

To add to that, I can only hope their 400-meter-dash will be a little faster than mine as well.

2 comments:

Eric Wiley said...

Inspirational!

You were probably kidding, but if not I cannot pass up this opportunity to call bull-dookey on your 50-second claim. That's only three to five seconds behind OHSAA state records.

Not to mention that your track had a right angle in it...ahh hahahaha.

Your Finest Eimer said...

You know what? I think you're right about the time. The current Boys Division 1 400 record is 45.55. Maybe it was my overworked imagination. But, I'm sure I landed somewhere in the 50's. All I remember is that I was pretty impressed.

Also, Martins Ferry will open a new grade, middle and high school in less than a week. And, guess what mo-fo? A state-of-the-art track as well. No more right angles here.