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Motivation

Category Archives: Motivation

Embrace Your Local Penguin

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Sometimes it isn’t the miles but the people who make the run. Of all the changes that running has brought to my life, maybe the most important one is my awareness of my need for people. Having spent most of my first 40 years as a musician, I became accustomed to spending hours alone in a practice room. The practice room became a sanctuary, a safe haven from the pressures of work and relationships and family. I thought running would be the same. I thought that I could simply replace the time alone in the practice room with time alone…

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Better Late Than Never

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The transformative powers of running apply at any age. Last April, I went to the Yakima River Canyon Marathon, a point-to-point race from Ellensburg to Selah, Washington. I was there to help 77-year-old Bob Dolphin celebrate the completion of his 400th marathon. You read that right. A 77-year-old doing his 400th marathon, with Yakima being the 24th marathon Bob had run in the past 12 months. Perhaps even more amazing is that Bob didn’t run his first marathon until he was in his mid-50s. Joining me in the celebration were members of the 50 States and DC Marathon Club, the…

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A Change of Course

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Sometimes we need to rethink what it means to succeed. Sometimes you meet a person and you just know that he or she has a life lesson to share. That’s what happened when I met Mike in March. We and about 80 other runners were aboard the Ocean Nova, bound for Antarctica where we would run the Antarctica Marathon or Half-Marathon. At first glance, there was nothing remarkable about Mike. He seemed to be just another middle-aged man, carrying a few extra pounds, whose glory days as a runner were back in the nylon shorts era. As often happens when…

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An Afternoon with Larry

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The long road back starts with a single step. I’ll call him Larry to spare him any embarrassment. Those who know who he is – know. Those who don’t need only know this: in his prime, he ran a marathon in 2:48. That was many years ago and nearly 200 pounds ago. And yet, there we were, on a marathon course, making our way to the finish line. A year earlier, a mutual friend threw down the gauntlet and asked Larry to confront his weight, which had reached an alarming 330 pounds or more. I promised Larry that if he…

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Monumental Running

By | Bingham, Half Marathon, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Marathon, Motivation, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Training, Walking | 2 Comments

Penguin Chronicle :: August 1996 :: Monumental Running We all have favorite places to run. Sometimes a route is so familiar that we can run it on autopilot, allowing our minds to rummage through stored thoughts and feelings. Other routes are new and require our full attention, thus distracting us from the physical act of running. Still others contain remnants of past runs and promises of future ones. These routes become special not so much because of what or where they are, but because of the events that occur while running them. Running on and around the Mall in Washington,…

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The Era of My Ways

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motivation, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Walking | 3 Comments

I never thought much about eras. I understand that time moves on and things change. I don’t use a rotary phone anymore – or even a “Princess” phone for that matter. I don’t have to check my oil every time I stop for gas – heck – I’m not even sure my car has a dipstick. And I don’t have tin foil on my TV antenna so that the picture is clearer. So, yes, I get it. But I never thought of myself as having lived in – and through – an era until I was interviewing my friend and…

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The Final Countdown

By | Bingham, Half Marathon, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Marathon, Motivation, Motorcycling, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Training, Walking | 7 Comments

They say a photo is worth a thousand words. This photo is actually worth over 160,000 words. 18 years. 12 columns a year. 750 words per column – give or take. And that’s just the written words. There’s no way to calculate the number of spoken words over the course of the past 18 years. From small gatherings in running specialty stores to hundreds of people at race expos to thousands of Team in Training participants at inspiration dinners I’ve talked to, tried to inspire and motivate, and made giggle more people than I could possible count. This December that…

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Flashback Friday: Running Off At The Mind

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motivation, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Walking | No Comments

Imagining the worst is never best By John “The Penguin” Bingham Published August 14, 2007 A few weeks ago, I was running on my brand spankin’ new treadmill, which currently resides in the middle of my living room in Chicago. It’s a fairly high-end model with lots of bells and whistles: one-touch pace adjustment, instant elevation options for both incline and decline, built-in television screen. About the only thing this machine doesn’t do is run the workout for you. During this particular run, I found myself struggling early on after setting the pace at four miles per hour (an easy 15-minute-per-mile jog). My…

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The Curse of Talent

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motivation, Penguin, The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

Most days I love my job. I’m not always happy when I’m repacking a carry-on bag that I just unpacked, but for the most part traveling to races around the country, meeting runners and walkers of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities is very satisfying. Even more so, lately, I’ve enjoyed getting to spend time talking to, and learning from, the sport’s very best. Recently, in a conversation with Deena Kastor, arguably the greatest runner of this generation, I asked her about her early running days. She said she knew at 11 years old that she had talent. And that…

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Flashback Friday: I am not a Jogger

By | Bingham, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Motivation, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Walking | 2 Comments

I may waddle when I run, but I’m running all the same. The late Dr. George Sheehan, beloved “Runner’s World” columnist and arguably the first running boom’s premier philosopher, once wrote that the difference between a runner and a jogger was a signature on a race application. (For the youngsters out there, there was a time before online registration when you actually filled out a paper application, signed it, attached a check, and mailed it in. Quaint, I know.) As succinct as Dr. Sheehan’s definition was, it made the point. If you were motivated enough to train for and participate…

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