In the first month, I ran/walked 23 miles; in the second month, 29.5 miles; in the third, 39 miles.
My first 5K was on June 1, 2004, eight days shy of my 35th birthday. It was the Chester County Running Store‘s Summer Cross Country Series in West Chester, a nice rolling course, meaning few hills, although for someone as unexperienced as I was (and still am), it seemed like mountains. I ran a 32:25, or a 10:26 mile.
My second race (see photos below by our friend Ann V. Loftus nee Loftus)was on Saturday, June 19, 2004, the George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank, N.J., where Dr. Sheehan was from (and also near where Bruce Springsteenlives.) It was a 5-miler. I wanted to run in the race, because I had been reading some of Sheehan’s books given to me by a former high school cross country coach and still runner even into his 70s. Sheehan wrote a column for Runner’s World when he was alive and if ever there was a guy that could motivate you, it was he. He didn’t begun running until the age of 45, and he was, and still is, truly an inspiration to me.
Anyway, I ran it in 55:29, or at an 11:09 pace. The race ended on a hill, and almost knocked me out, but I made it. Plus the town of Red Bank was great. The people in the town were awesome, cheering you on, and many had sprinklers and hoses they used on us as runners ran by. Plus afterwards, the race organizers had bananas and bagels and, of course, water and juices – like many races. Also the people whom I met from the race were awesome too. Being only my second race, I was glad to have someone with whom to talk after the race. Many, I learned, like me, weren’t marathoners. They were just out there proving to themselves that they could do it.