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The Penguin Chronicles 2.0

Category Archives: The Penguin Chronicles 2.0

The Art of Aging

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It’s funny how your perspective changes. When the best I could do was run a 12-minute mile I thought that a 10 minute mile was fast. As I improved and could run a 10-minute mile I thought an 8-minute mile was fast. When I realized that I would never be able to consistently run an 8-minute mile I gave up trying to decide what fast was. It’s the same with getting older. When you’re young you want to be older. You want to be 16 so you can drive, or 21 so you can drink [legally!] The age when you…

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Part 3: What’s It’s Like Now

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What’s it like now? This simple answer is: I don’t know. But, then again, neither does anyone else. The running participants, the running events, the running industry, and the running ethos continue to change like the colors and shapes in a kaleidoscope. Just look at the options in shoes. For years Nike was the dominant brand. There were other, less well known brands, like Brooks and Asics and – if you had wide feet – New Balance. And then, if you knew as little as I did when started running, you wore Saucony “Jazz” because you liked jazz. Now you…

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Part 2: What Happened

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What happened? Simply put: WE happened. There was a giant community of runners and walkers who felt ignored by, or worse yet disdained by, the running industry. Many of us felt ashamed by how we looked, how slowly we ran or walked, and by the huge gap between what we were capable of and what we wanted to do.  To be honest, I never really, truly enjoyed running. Or, at least, not in the way that I enjoyed making music, or riding a motorcycle, or even riding a bicycle. Running was a constant battle between the strength of my will…

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Part 1: What It Was Like

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A Brief History of the Second Running Boom. The late, great, running writer and philosopher Dr. George Sheehan wrote that true effort galvanized the body, mind, and spirit. I agree. There is that moment at the very edge of one’s ability and preparation in which there seems to be a unity of all that we are. Where I disagree is in defining who is eligible to find that unity. Before Frank Shorter won the Olympic gold medal in the marathon in 1972 running was almost a secret activity. There were runners, of course, and there were running events, but it…

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Starting Over

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It all began in the back seat of a Dodge mini-van coming back from a Half Ironman triathlon in Panama City, Florida. Somewhere in Alabama, while reflecting on my last place finish, the words “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” were written. And that, my friends, was the beginning of a 20 year journey of writing, speaking, and learning. [read the original column here] For those of you who don’t know the story: I posted my reflections on finishing last with an internet group called The Dead Runners Society, Marlene…

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The Penguin 2.0

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They say old writers never die, they’re just at a loss for words. After 14 years of columns for Runner’s World magazine, and 4 more for Competitor Magazine, I put the laptop down and figured I was finished. Well… maybe not. So stay tuned. I seems that there may be more that I want to say.

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