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Who inspires you? (Read 872 times)

vicentefrijole


    I know a lot of fast runners. A few sub-3:00 hour marathoners. Want to know who personally inspires me the most? Some lady in my neighborhood I don't even know. She's probably early 40's, had a few kids, and has a backside roughly the size of Texas. As far as I can tell, she has absolutely no actual knowledge of running; and I know she has no running clothes at all - the woman actually runs in BLUE JEANS! Seriously.
    I just pulled with quote out of something JakeKnight wrote in another forum. A great topic, I thought. Who inspires you all to run? Another runner? Or someone else (or something else) entirely? I'm inspired by older runners... I mean much older! There are two women, probably mid-70s or so, who run on the same route that I do. They don't go particularly fast but they're out there pretty often and I think it's pretty amazing to be running to be out there at that age. [I know it's unrealistic to think I'll be able to run till I'm an old, old man (unless I happen to have the perfect genetic profile of super-strong cartilage and collagen, I guess)] but I still find it pretty inspiring. Big grin 9/20/06, 12:00 PM: Bracketed text retracted after snappy-retort by JakeKnight!
      Many people. Once, a 200 lb. shot puter inspired me to run. I ran track in high school for one of them most successful school track programs in the US. I was a mediocre middle distance runner on a very good team--I ran the 400, 800 and once in a while the mile. My coach had a rule that all track men raced the 400 at some point during the season. He thought it was the great equalizer--that is it was equally painful for everyone and so it was a right of passage to earn the title. Not sure if I agree with him but it was his theory and he was in charge. Anyway as the season neared its end, the 2nd and 3rd heats (the JV heats) of the 400 would be full of skinny freshman 2-milers and lots of throwers and jumpers. Most of the non-middle distance runners would treat it as a joke, run it in their trainers and sort of jog it so they could check it off the list. But some kids took it kind of seriously and I always admired those guys. For some reason there is something inspiring about a 200 lb. shot putter, stuffing his fat feet into a pair of borrowed sprinter's spikes, learning how to start in blocks--the whole nine yards--and then gutting it out for the whole lap, rigging up and fighting for every yard down the front straight to avoid at all costs finishing dead last to a bunch of freshmen in an utterly meaningless heat. Brought a tear to my eye. That right there proved to me that the will to compete is innate. Either you have it or you don't. To that shot puter, it was not a meaningless 3rd heat of the 400 in a meet of little consequence. It was a race, pure and simple.

      Runners run.

        I LOVED that quote in the other thread - great spin-off! I was inspired to start running again by my mom - at almost 57 years old, she's been running EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 5 or so years. She doesn't race, she doesn't measure how far she goes, she doesn't even time herself. She just puts on her running shoes, and heads out the door for 25-30 minutes each day. And if she could do it...why couldn't I?
        -Jess


        Needs more cowbell!

          What inspires me is the women of my mother's and grandmothers' generation. Particularly my husband's grandmothers (mine are both deceased). One is on Fosamax for her brittle bones and the other recently broke her ankle in 3 places while just standing waiting for an elevator--she was not walking, jumping, or in any way moving. Her ankle just crumpled while she stood still. I don't want that to be me in 50 years. I'd like to minimize the pills I will have to swallow in the future. I can still remember all of the medications my own grandparents were taking every day during all the years they were around in my life. And now I see my mom on quite a few prescriptions...blood pressure, Fosamax, etc. These people aren't inspiring me in the conventional sense, but they are serving as a warning of my future reality if I am not more active...use it or lose it, so to speak. k

          Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

          '14 Goals:

          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            I would have to say my wife inspires me. We have known each other for almost twelve years and been married for ten and a half of them. I started running almost 15 years ago and when we first met she was pretty much anti running. After coming to a few 10 K races, she saw and liked the camaraderie among the runners; the way we all interacted after the race and the look we had on our faces after the accomplishment. One day she went out for a run and came back angry that she couldn’t go one mile without walking. So I started going out with her and we would run and walk as she needed. It was slow going for her but she kept at it and before long she was doing one mile, then running 5 K races, then 10 K. I was very proud of her. The next thing I know she tells me she wants to run a marathon, I told her good luck, if I ever need to go 26.2 miles for anything, I have the car. So she started building her mileage, giving herself a year and a half before trying one. She announced in the spring of 2002 that she had signed up for the Chicago Marathon and thus her training began. I did run with her up to 13 miles, but had no desire to go further. I was to be her support person for the race and gladly accepted that role. The day of the race I camped out at the finish line and watched as the runners crossed. I was amazed at each and every one of them; the effort they put forth and especially the emotions they showed as the crossed the line. At 4:36:24 Sarah crossed the finish, I was so proud of her! I waited for her at our designated spot and when we saw each other it was awesome; she was crying because of what she had accomplished and I was crying because I was so proud of her. It was a that moment that I decided that I needed to try and run a marathon too. I am now training for number six and Sarah number 7. She has dropped her finish time at each race, with her goal for the Ashland Whistle Stop being under 3:40. If you could see the look of determination on her face when she is running in general and during a race especially (during training runs I am normally the stronger runner, but during a race she blows me away by setting a strong pace and never wavering). She has come so far in a fairly short period of time that I just smile when I see her bearing down on a difficult run. Sorry this was so long… Blush
            "It is very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runner. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit." George Sheehan


            Needs more cowbell!

              If you could see the look of determination on her face when she is running in general and during a race especially (during training runs I am normally the stronger runner, but during a race she blows me away by setting a strong pace and never wavering). She has come so far in a fairly short period of time that I just smile when I see her bearing down on a difficult run. Sorry this was so long… Blush
              Don't be sorry--that was really beautiful. It's stories like that that make me think a marathon may even be in my future. Your wife has inspired more than just you. Smile k

              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              vicentefrijole


                Don't be sorry--that was really beautiful. It's stories like that that make me think a marathon may even be in my future. Your wife has inspired more than just you. Smile k
                Seriously... that was really beautiful. I am inspired as well. I have always been involved in running (since I was a little kid) so it seems kinda natural for me. But I find it so amazing when people make running a part of their lives later on in life... and that's the case for a lot of runners in this forum. I think it takes a certain form of bravery to make changes as difficult as that.. changes that transcend more than just the physical demands of excercise. Hats off to you all!
                  I'm inspired by older runners... I mean much older! There are two women, probably mid-70s or so, who run on the same route that I do. They don't go particularly fast but they're out there pretty often and I think it's pretty amazing to be running to be out there at that age. I know it's unrealistic to think I'll be able to run till I'm an old, old man (unless I happen to have the perfect genetic profile of super-strong cartilage and collagen, I guess) but I still find it pretty inspiring. Big grin
                  I could not possibly agree more! If I had to list my top 3 favorite things about running, one of them would inevitably be the fact that you can run for a lifetime - that you can get better as you get older - and that your life will be longer and better because of it. I absolutely love the fact that, especially in longer events, the age of the crowds go up. Did you know the average age of marathon finishers is very late 30s? There's a reason: running (long distance running, anyway) is one of the few athletic endeavors (along with a few other endurance sports) that you really can start late in life and get GOOD at. And for those of us who are average plodders, the truth is that there is a lot of room for improvement for decades to come. At the last 5k run I did, I had my ass soundly kicked by the woman who won the 70+ age group. She had me by a good minute. And she looked amazing. In street clothes and a little make-up, I bet she'd pass for being in her 40s. I asked her when she started running: it was when she turned 60, when she retired. Just awesome. Here's a secret: my ultimate running ambition is to get seriously into ultramarathons. Someday, the big goal is to finish the Western States 100. And part of what I think is so cool about the ultra distance runs is how OLD the runners are. Here's last year's results for the 210 official finishers who made the 30 hour cut-off. Go check it out. While you're looking, count the number of people in the 18-29 age group. Don't worry - there ain't many: http://www.ws100.com/results06.htm In fact, the first finisher under 30 came in 22nd place. The 2nd place woman was in the 40-49 group. Is that awesome or what? I was looking at some ultra the other day and noticed that it's age groups actually STARTEd at 39-and under. Awesome. The other day, there was something on television about the Badwater Ultra. For those who don't know, it's 135 miles. Through the middle of Death Valley. Followed by a climb up 13,000 foot Mt. Whitney. The time cut-off is SIXTY hours. Oh, one more thing: it's held in JULY! The average temperature is 130 degrees. The road gets to 200 degrees and melts your shoes. Fun little race, huh? So we're watching it on television, and my better half says - "Wow - they're old." And she was right. A lot of wrinkles and beards and gray hair. One of the few younger guys was an active duty Navy Seal who, although he did manage to finish, got his ass kicked by several grandfathers and at least one grandMOTHER. Again - is that awesome, or what? Actually, here's the results from last year's Badwater. If you ever, ever think you're too old, take a look at them: http://www.badwater.com/results/index.html Sure, the winner Scott Jurek is just 31, but he's a non-human running cyborg, so he doesn't count. Cool But check out the rest of the top 10 - their ages are: 48, 43, 46, 43, 53, 48, 39, 54, and 54. Wow, huh? And the women's winner (5th place overall!) was 43. The truth is that you can get better as you get older. You can definitely run farther. And for us slow-pokes, you can definitely run faster. And it really is so, so inspiring! Which is why I want to strenuously object to this part of your comment:
                  I know it's unrealistic to think I'll be able to run till I'm an old, old man (unless I happen to have the perfect genetic profile of super-strong cartilage and collagen, I guess). Big grin
                  To quote Colonel Sherman Potter ..... HORSEFEATHERS! Seriously. The reality is that if you train consistently, if you train smart, if you don't push yourself into injury, if you take the recovery days you need .... then YOU and all the rest of us can (and will) run farther, better, and maybe even faster, even 20 or 30 or 50 years from now. And that's precisely my plan, by the way. I've done the math. In roughly 2054, I should begin winning age group awards. So don't steal my dream. Big grin
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  vicentefrijole


                    ...Which is why I want to strenuously object to this part of your comment... To quote Colonel Sherman Potter ..... HORSEFEATHERS!
                    After looking over the results-links JakeMcKnight posted, I would like to retract my previous comment... I hadn't really every looked at the stats of these Ultras close enough to realize that they are dominated by the older crowd. That's very inspiring indeed. Jake: Your post was... AWESOME! Big grin I challenge you to a 100 mile foot-race in the year 2054! See you then.
                      After looking over the results-links JakeMcKnight posted, I would like to retract my previous comment... I hadn't really every looked at the stats of these Ultras close enough to realize that they are dominated by the older crowd. That's very inspiring indeed. Jake: Your post was... AWESOME! Big grin I challenge you to a 100 mile foot-race in the year 2054! See you then.
                      It's a deal. I'll bring the beer. You bring the Ben-Gay. And just for fun - and because I plan to compete for Zoom-zoom's "world's biggest dork" title - I just googled the American age-group running records. Ready to feel slow? Let's compare with my own times, shall we? I'm a reasonably fit 37-year old former Marine; only been (semi)seriously running for a year or so. My 5-k PR is roughly 23:30; my marathon best is 4:20. I expect to break the 4:00 marathon in the next year, and get that 5-k time to around 22:00 or so. So how do I stack up with the old farts in the nursing home? The American record for the 10-mile for men aged 60-64 is 59:24. Uh, damn. Sub-1:00 10 mile. That's your grandpa, running under 6:00 for 10 straight miles. Well uh, maybe I can beat that guy's Dad? Nope: the American 10-mile men's record for 75-79 is 1:15:53. That's a 7:30 pace. For 10 miles. For an 80 year old. Well, I can beat the women, right? Um. No. The women's 65-69 10-mile record is 1:25:21. A little over 8-minute miles. For a little old lady. Someday, years from now, with a lot of hard work, I might be able to come close. Well, maybe I'll have better luck in a shorter race. Like I said, them old geezers can run a long ways. Let's peek at the American records for the 10 k. (I don't even want to know what the WORLD records are): (To compare with yours truly - I think if I pushed it I could just barely break a 50-minute 10-k): The American men's record for 60-64 year olds: 34:27. Damn. 70-74 year olds? It's 40:12. Well, I MUST be faster than the 80 year olds. Right? No. The 80-84 year old record is 45:28. The WOMEN's record for 65-69 year old 10k is 43:57. Maybe I should go longer? Let's try really long - the 50 miler! The men's 70-74 50 mile record is ... 7:48. That old geezer just ran 2 sub-4:00 marathons. In a row. The 60-64 record ... 6:39. Yeah. No typo. Your grandpa just qualified for Boston. If he was 25 years old. And he did it twice in a row. My personal favorite: the women's 50-mile 45-49 record is 6:09. The woman was 47. 47 years old and she just about ran two 3:00 marathons ... in a row. Are we inspired enough yet? How about the marathon? That's a good benchmark, right? The men's 65-69 record is 2:42. That is ... fast. That's fast for anyone. Really fast. That's about a 6:10 pace. For 26.2 miles. The 80-84 record is 3:43. Okay, one more try ... a really short race. The 5-k. We've all done 'em. We must be faster than these geriatrics who are probably just hurrying to the finish line so they can catch a Matlock re-run, right? These are unbelievable. If you think you can't run fast cuz you're 40, how about the women's 65-69 record - it's at 21:16. For the 55-59 year old grandmas, it's 18:32. I'll never run it that fast. Not in a billion years. 50-54 --- it's 17:28. The men's records are even worse. My ultimate dream is to break 20:00 in the 5-k. But it wouldn't be enough to grab the men's 75-79 record. It's 19:24. 65-69 ... is 18:21. 55-59 ... is 16:07. Yeah. The guy was 55, and ran three sub 5:20 miles in a row. I don't think I could do that on a bicycle. For more inspiration .... and more proof that the "I'm old" excuse is really, really, really lame, you can check out a few more records: http://www.usatf.com/statistics/records/masters_roadLDR.asp I think I'm going for a run now. ----------------------------------------------------- P.S. 42-year old Eddy Hellebuyck from Albequerque ran the 5-k in 2003 in 14:13. Yeah. Again,not a typo. 14:13. For some of us, that's probably a decent mile pace. P.P.S. Oh - Eddy's mile pace? It was around 4:25 or so. Per mile. 3 of 'em. In a row. He's 42. P.P.P.S. Speaking of the mile ... SEVENTY year old Scotty Carter set the mile record for 70-74 year old men in 1987. He ran that mile in 5:32. Did I mention he was 70 years old? That's pretty inspiring. (And a little embarrassing) Time for a run.
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        And just for fun - and because I plan to compete for Zoom-zoom's "world's biggest dork" title - I just googled the American age-group running records. Ready to feel slow? ... P.S. 42-year old Eddy Hellebuyck from Albequerque ran the 5-k in 2003 in 14:13. Yeah. Again,not a typo. 14:13. For some of us, that's probably a decent mile pace.
                        LOL! Thank you for those wonderful statistics! And yes, that's a good, pretty-hard-working mile pace for me! Big grin Today's my birthday - and I was feeling a little old (though I know I'm not!). These are perfect! Thank you for your perfectly timed "birthday present." Janell

                        Roads were made for journeys...


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          Today's my birthday - and I was feeling a little old (though I know I'm not!). These are perfect! Thank you for your perfectly timed "birthday present." Janell
                          Hey, does this mean you're older than me, now?! Wink I'm looking forward to the day when I'm in an older age group than Eryn, then I can REALLY call her a whipper-snapper! Big grin k

                          Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            Hey, does this mean you're older than me, now?! Wink
                            Little punk! Where's my cane?!! I'll teach you to respect your elders! Hey! Come back here!

                            Roads were made for journeys...