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One-Line Bio

I am a haphazard runner living in the greater Washington, DC, area.

Biography

When I first started running it was clear to me I would never be a fast runner, and it quickly became clearer that that meant I would never be fully accepted in much of the running community. Looking for companionship and guidance, I called my local Road Runner group and several other groups that all said they "welcomed beginners" on their websites; when I mentioned that I still took walk breaks and averaged a 12 minute mile, they coughed and hemmed and hawed and finally said that I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with any of their runs.

I was discouraged and annoyed--every magazine, news program and health website said that people should get out and start exercising, yet apparently, true beginners were not welcome. How was I supposed to start leading a healthy lifestyle if I couldn't find a place to learn and grow?

Finally I saw an ad for a marathon training group called DC Fit in a running circular, and it specifically said "couch potatoes welcome." I emailed them and said I didn't want to run a marathon, just wanted to find some people to run with and learn from; they said I was welcome to come out and once the mileage got high I could drop out or turn around early.

Outside of the marathon thing, they were just what I was looking for--they had weekly seminars that talked about what to wear, how to deal with injuries, how to stay hydrated, and everything else I was eager to learn. And I quickly fell in with a group of slowpokes like myself who were happy to take walk breaks and gab during our runs.

I enjoyed it so much, I actually stuck it out for the whole season, then another, and ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001 and 2002 (averaging a slow but acceptable to me 6 hours).

The running friends I made with that group are still friends to this day, and I still run with some of them...when we can motivate ourselves.

And that's what inspired me to write this blog. Despite having run two marathons, two half marathons, half a dozen 10 milers and other races, I remain a running outsider. All the other running columns and blogs will mention occasional motivation lapses, but in general they're peppy, motivated, regular runners who talk about things like wind sprints and 4x400s and other things I can't identify with.

I know there are other lazy runners out there, like me, who run when they can, enjoy it sometimes, hate it others, but nonetheless consider themselves to be true runners and okay just the way they are.