I woke up on marathon “afternoon” in my home in Sherman Oaks, California ( a suburb of LA) with the sunlight streaming through the blinds in my bedroom, not only too late to make it downtown to watch the race, but embarrassingly too late to even see the race on television. I knew something had to change, and it had to change now ! Little did I know it at the time, but the direction of my life would change in that instant, forever !
I showered to wake myself up, pulled on a pair of shorts and cotton t shirt and laced up my Reebok high top basketball shoes. (To that point in my life, I never owned a pair of technical running shoes). Over a bowl of cereal, I glossed over, for the first time, a book entitled ‘ The New Competitive Runners handbook ‘ by world renowned coach, Bob Glover that my sister had sent me a few weeks before.
My training for the New York marathon was about to begin and although there was a very long road ahead, my life was about to find meaning.
When I first arrived in Los Angeles a year and half earlier, I joined the Holiday Spa health club on Pico and Bundy in Santa Monica. I seldom frequented the club except to occasionally swim or use the spa but I decided that afternoon to try running on the indoor track on the second floor of the club. It was eleven laps to a mile. I don’t remember warming up or stretching, I knew very little if anything about pacing but I was bound and determined to run a full mile without stopping, as hard as I could run.
Bent over double, heart rate astronomic and completely exhausted, I completed the eleven circuits in a little over ten minutes. It was a small but significant step on the journey. From that day forth I was diligent about following the advice of Bob Glover in the New Competitor’s Handbook. Each day’s training completed was a small victory in a long battle. By the summer, I completed my first half marathon in Santa Monica. I sent my entry in to the New York marathon along with thousands of others hoping to be selected for the lottery. I was to find out later in the year that I did not make it but was placed on the waiting list. I was bitterly disappointed. I had run the marathon so many times in my mind from that eventful day on March 4th, and its participation and completion represented much more in terms of my life than just a 26.2 mile foot race. At the time it was my raison d’etre, it was indeed, my very reason for being and it represented hope.
Disappointed but not defeated, I changed my plans and entered into the Chicago marathon. In the meantime, I decided it was time to move to a new town. Los Angeles, whilst fun for a while, represented to me in many ways all that was wrong with my life and I was looking for a fresh start in more ways than one.
In October of 1990 I moved to be near to my brother, Neil in Santa Cruz, California on the northern end of the Monterey Bay. A beautiful town, smaller and much quieter than the razzle dazzle of Los Angeles and southern California.
Great news, I am back in !
I do not remember the exact date but it was several weeks before the New York marathon weekend, when I received the great news that I had been accepted off of the waiting list into the 1990 New York marathon. I was ecstatic; it all seemed so right. My Brother-In Law, Mason had also been accepted and our plans were finally coming together. Bob Glover’s wonderful book rapidly became my bible and beacon of hope. Indeed the very concept of completing the New York marathon provided me with hope on so many different levels that transcended a running race.
November 4th 1990. New York City.
.........to find out what happens next, stay tuned for my autobiography coming soon !~ One ordinary runner, one extraordinary story !