Some interesting accounts to read here.
Here is what I have:
1. Started running, in earnest, the spring of my sophomore year in high school, 1989.
2. Was encouraged by the former cc coach, who was my then p.e. teacher, Coach Bailey.
3. Ran 1600m & 3200m that first year, was so repulsed by the long workouts and racing at both ends of each meet that I talked my coach into letting me run the 800m the following year. Not a great plan, I was just bad in the 800m and concluded that I just was not cut out for track though I loved cross country.
4. Walked-on at both colleges (JUCO and then small D1 school) I attended, wound up with a small scholarship at each. Got along well with my college coaches which probably planted the seed for wanting to coach years later.
5. Wound up at two programs with heavy foreign student-athlete presence, which also made a big impression on me. Not only surrounded by a variety of world and cultural perspectives but also highly dedicated individuals who applied themselves diligently not only at the track but also in the classroom. By contrast, significantly more of my U.S. teammates tended to slack off in one or both areas – I certainly did not attend Grinnell. I tended to befriend my foreign teammates, they seemed far more interesting than drinking the Beast did.
6. Had some pretty accomplished teammates, the U.S. runners were state finalists/medalists in Texas and the foreigners were finalists in the W.C. and O.G., one even got bronze in the 100m in Sydney.
7. Still have not run a marathon. I figure it just does not seem all that compelling on a participatory level.
8. Planning to race middle distance (800m-3000m) this summer on the track and to go to Masters Track Nationals in Kansas.
9. Favorite running film is “Running Brave.”
10. Favorite running book is “From Last to First.”
Bonus: favorite running shoe was the old, split-tongue asics Gel Exult. (Best I have run in within the past 12 months: the new Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2.)