Saturday, February 21, 2009

Three Infulential Runners

There was perfection in this morning's run.  The weather could not have been any better than what I had, running as the night faded into a glorious sunrise.  As I set out, I started drifting back to the starting point.  Distance running start point happened around spring of '05.  About 4 years ago.  There were 3 influential runners that kept my newly started habit going.  The first fella was a co-worker of mine at that time.  He was a triathlete who seemed to be perpetually ready to partake in the full triathlon at any givenmoment.  Mike Waldau.  Mike brought structure and goal setting into my running.  After I got up to about 3 miles, he steered me to Run The Woodlands series.  It turned out that RTW had been taking place 2-1/2 miles from my house twice a month.  After my first 5K, Mike asked what my time was.  It told him 31 minutes and something seconds.  His response was, "that's very good for a first timer.  I bet if you worked on it, you can smash the 30 minute barrier."

That got me hooked on running.  Since then, it has always been, what would it take to break the next time barrier and what would it take to run the next distance.  Mike also told me to start keeping notes on my running.  So blogging because my next natural thing to start up.

Then an exponential event took place.  I discovered that running was an active and social event.  There were clubs all over town and running events that until then was invisible to my life, were literally taking place every weekend.  This is when I met Jon Walk and Steeeeve Shepard.    Jon literally introduced me to the great big world of internet runners.  His timely data points and stories kept me interested in the sport of running.  His uncanny ability to remember other runner's data and running events were ever fascinating to read about.  I believe Jon came up to me at one of the RTW races and introduced himself to me.  Since then, I've participated in events that he organized and led.  So you could say Jon helped me with the social aspects of running.

I met Steeeve through Houston Striders.  I was a member of the Striders for 2 years in my early years of running.  It is a fun feeling to belong to a group of like minded individuals.  As the saying goes, misery loves company.  During difficult long runs, I always found comfort in other member's triumphs and pains.  Running isn't easy and it is good to know that others have to also pay their dues to triumph.  Steeeve was the President of the club at that time and despite not knowing him personally, he was always there at the races and on my blog, cheering and encouraging every milestone and miles I was running.

Heading north on Kuykendall, a fire engine red Impala SS slows to my speed and calls out.  It's Dave Smart!  He's already done with his 7 miler for the day and looked like he was headed home from somewhere.  Always good to see familiar faces.  Dave is once again my team mate for 09 TIR.  Hey Dave, "Nice Car!!"

M1:  9:28
M2:  9:29
M3:  9:31
M4:  10:15
M5:  9:09
M6:  9:44
M7:  9:30
M8:  9:35
M9:  9:27
0.8:  7:22

Total:  9.8 Miles
Pace:  9:33

After I returned home, Alex was ready and waiting for his 1.3 miler.


Steeeve said...

Thanks, Holden, I'm flattered! Haven't seen his name in the results for a while, but Mike Waldau is a monster triathlete, as is his wife Susan. Cheers!

TX Runner Girl said...

It's great to go back and see where it all began...I like to reminisce, but I also like to hear how others got started too!