Personal Bests

  • 04/07 Boston Marathon3:33:22
  • 10/08 Hartford Half Marathon 1:46:23
  • 09/06 New Haven Road Race 20K 1:36:47
  • 08/04 Deary 5-M Road Race - my 1st race ever 39:37
  • 11/06 VMG 5K 21:05
  • 07/06 Boombox Mile 6:12

Breaking The Tape

Upcoming Races 2010

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Ode to Mrs. Harkins

Last night’s run was dedicated to Mrs. Harkins, East Haven High School chemistry teacher, circa 1987.

The weather was kindly apologetic yesterday after the record high temps (89 degrees) that we reached on Saturday (see, it really was frickin’ hot – I wasn’t making that up!). It was cloudy, cooler (mid 60’s)and just on the verge of raining.

I ran my typical 4.25 miles in 37 minutes, which I think is the best time I’ve clocked so far on that particular route.

And I thought of Mrs. Harkins, as I have quite a few times in this last year. She was the type of teacher that all the boys oogled and all the girls admired. She was beautiful (she bore a striking resemblance to Vanna White), intelligent, confident, funny, understanding and in great shape. She earned the title of Miss Dead-Lift Connecticut and was the first woman I had met who was into bodybuilding and fitness.

She was also the coach for our track and cross-country team. Mrs. Harkins actually asked me, ME personally, to try out for her team. And she had never even seen me perform athletically in any venue. I still have no idea why she singled me out back then, but I remember being pleased that she asked.

But did I take her up on the offer? No, of course not. I was far too cool to be seen running around a track, going nowhere for no reason. The only reason to run was if we were being chased by the police because we were at a keg party in the woods, right?

Hindsight is 20/20. I try not to play the “what if?” game in my head, as we all know how maddening that can be…but I do wonder…what if I had gotten into running when I was 17? Where would I be now? Would my passion be the same?

I was so afraid of team-sports when I was in high school. The pressure to make so many people happy (teammates, coaches, parents) all at the same time was too much for me to bear. And I am still a bit reluctant to be competitive with anyone other than myself…but I can’t help wonder “what if?”

Then I remind myself…if Mrs. Harkins could see me now, she’d probably be proud that I finally found the joy that running can bring. Sometimes it just takes a while to appreciate a gift that you’ve been given.

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