Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5 questions (and answers)

I've been tagged by Anne.

Here are the rules:
Visit 5 blogs and leave invitations to play, referring others back to your blog for more details. On your own blog, list the five questions and your own answers to them. Also, let the person who has tagged you know when you're done.

Here are the questions and my responses:
1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Yikes. Pretty aimless. I did a little here and there, a few miles at a time. I don't think I entered any organized events that year.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
The races tend to stand out more in both cases.
Best: I ran cross country in college (Division III: no scholarships, an average runner on an average team in our region). In my freshman year, I started out basically 8th on the team, if you had to make a competitive depth chart based on practices in September. The week of our first home meet (fourth race of the year), I hurt my leg and had to hobble back from a run. Race Saturday was a rainy and muddy, and things weren't really looking up. But an amazing thing happened. I caught up to a line of my teammates in the middle of the race and moved up from 8th to 4th on my team and held onto that spot. To be fair, our top runner was out, and some of the other guys probably started too fast that day. Still, I went on to place in our top four in three other meets that season, and I felt like I had arrived as a competitive runner, at that level.
Worst: going out too hard and cramping up in my final high school AND college cross country races, an ugly symmetry of wasted efforts. Thankfully there were many good days in between.

3. Why do you run?
To improve my health and fitness. To seek out new trails and new challenges. To enjoy the company of fellow runners. Plus it makes me happy.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best: improve gradually by stressing the body, then resting.
Worst: go out really hard in distance races, like 30 seconds faster in the first mile than the pace you can realistically average over the whole distance, instead of running within yourself.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people know.
I am descended from the sister of a real-life 18th century pirate who sailed from Rhode Island to Florida and back. We have some things in common. He found gold in Florida waters. I also found treasure in Florida - my wife. We were married ten years ago today. :-)

Now, I get to tag some others.

They are (drumroll please):
Beth at 6 a.m. Running
Andrew from New Zealand
Just a Trail (Running) Fool
Ellie at Against the Wind (if/when she's not backpacking)
bloggers I've tried to tag with this meme, but was too late - they'd already been tagged: 3
(one to go)


Andrew is getting fit said...

Great answers. I'll give it some thought and then do mine. :)

Anonymous said...

Here is my post. Thanks for tagging me. I've been wanting to respond more to you, but haven't been very good about it.

Sunshine said...

Belated best wishes for your anniversary... and another good year together.

Seems like there is a repeated message in your 5 answers .. about not going out too fast... I will take that seriously next weekend!

Ellie Hamilton said...

Thanks for the tag and for making me think a little! I liked your answers and I love your comeback to running!

Jeff said...

Thanks to all to responding to the tags, and for the warm wishes and encouragement.

Race pacing has always been somehow fascinating to me. I've had a fair number of races where I've started out too fast, primarily due to either a lack of recent racing/pacing experience or to trying too hard early in the race (mostly when I was younger). Almost invariably these days didn't go so well, but I like to think that if I'm slower now, I'm a better pacer - or just more realistic.