This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Harold Shaw.
Running has been one of my passions for many years. It has helped me through some very tough times, is part of some fantastic memories and allowed me to meet people, who I never would have met otherwise.
Fortunately, I have been around long enough to be considered a veteran runner (age group) – one of the joys of being an old fart.
I served 21 years in the Coast Guard and am that kind of veteran too. Just because I wear a Coast Guard t-shirt in many of my photos, does not mean any endorsement by the Coast Guard for anything that I do or say. Just wanted to make sure that disclaimer is in here to keep the legal beagles happy.
Ayuh – I am from Maine and instead of “er” we often say “ah” thus the term Runnah.
Hence the blog’s name “A Veteran Runnah”.
There have been great days, bad days, injuries and the like, but running has been the one mostly positive constant in my “interesting” life. It is something that I have done pretty much when I wanted, at least until February 2010 when I injured my right knee.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to start running again until after surgery in May 2011 - (I tried in June/July – but it was more like October 2011 when I actually started running again.
I am now running 13+ mile long runs and over 30 (usually more) miles a week and loving it!
The best part is that I am mostly pain-free.
However, this getting older thing does have a habit of smacking me upside of the head every once in a while, when one of those old injuries or especially thinking that I am still 25 gets me in trouble.
Marine Corps Marathon and the Boston Marathon Goals
Over the next year I am preparing to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) and hopefully qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2015 (positive thinking).
Running the Boston Marathon has been a goal of mine since 1969 when my grandfather and I were sitting around listening to the radio broadcast or news report (I can’t remember which it was) of Yshiaki Unetani winning that year. When I told my Grandfather that I was going to run the Boston Marathon someday he just chuckled and gave me his “yeah right” look.
Fast forward to 1982, I had arrived to Coast Guard Headquarters that July. I was running everyday and was being
encouraged pushed by a bunch of other runners to run the Marine Corps Marathon. I did, but did not finish due to my knee not cooperating, but looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I didn’t really train correctly for that race.
The 1982 DNF motivated me to train differently for the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon and yes I thought I could qualify for Boston at the same time. During the race I was cruising along and went through 20 miles just over 02:15:00 according to my watch (you have to add over 3:00 minutes to everything for my official time – it took me that long to get to the starting line, there wasn’t chip timing back then), I stepped in a pothole wrong, which screwed up my knee. I struggled to finish in 3:45:46 (my watch time) and my official time was 3:48:-something. Needless to say I didn’t come close to qualifying for Boston that year, which was and continues to be a disappointment to me.
Due to life getting in the way and a variety of injuries, I haven’t run a marathon since that finish. I have started to train for another one several times and even paid the entry fees for a couple, but never got to the starting line of another marathon since 1983.
To me this is a piece of unfinished business in my life, that I want to take care of in 2013 and 2015. It is also the 30 year anniversary of my finish at the Marine Corps Marathon. Which seems appropriate to have it be the next marathon that I finish and at the same go for a Boston qualifying time – to fulfill that other dream that I had so many years ago.
What can you expect from Veteran Runnah?
I plan to write about my experiences, the people I meet along the way and gear I use while going after my goal of running a sub 3:30 Marine Corps Marathon in 2013. Then when I accomplish that goal (being positive here), my continuing training to run Boston in 2015.
Does this mean after I eventually run Boston that I will stop running – of course not. Running is going to be a part of my life for as long as I can put one foot in front of the other.
- Bennie Bean and me in Spring 2009
Three things that I believe in very much are:
All traits that you need to be a runner for a long time. It also means that I believe that we can do more than we tend to think we can, sometimes we just have to do it.
What did I do for work?
It is a question that everyone likes to know the answer to. I was a paper-pusher in the Coast Guard for 21 years, before retiring as a CWO3 – Personnel Administration. Then became a Special Education Teacher for 8 years and for 15 months was the State of Maine AmeriCorps Grants & Program Officer. I found out that I wasn’t enjoying being a bean counter and I went back to teaching for a couple more years.
I am now what I call sort of retired, doing some contract writing, enjoying my active lifestyle and blogging here at A Veteran Runnah.