I ran my first 10K race in the summer of 1980, in Goderich, Ontario. I have no idea what my finishing time was. In fact, I’m not sure I knew even then. I was so new to racing, and so overwhelmed that I was actually doing it, that remembering my finishing time was beyond me.
When I look at this photo now, I notice two things. One is how very tense I look. Not my hands, which are pretty relaxed, but my face. I look as if I was hurting big time. That could’ve more than just the race, though. That was a very stressful time of of my life, and I’m sure I carried the stress into everything I did.
The second thing I notice is my race gear. This race happened only a year or so after I’d started running. The shorts and singlet were a present to myself for having lost 30 or so lbs. in that time. I remember thinking they were probably the coolest items of clothing I’d ever worn, and I kept on wearing them until they’d virtually fallen apart.
This was early days for me. I owned only one running outfit and only one pair of running shoes, but I felt as if I owned the world. The shoes were the Brooks Vantage model (pictured at right). They were, now that I think about them, a remarkably light, non-restrictive, and natural-feeling shoe.
It all seems so very long ago. I guess that’s what old runners do – remember the good stuff.