Why I Run Marathons

I will be running the Boston Marathon 30 days from now. I am proud to have run my last 10 straight marathons in 10 states fast enough to qualify for the 2010 Boston Marathon, achieving my goal of “10 in 10 for ’10.”

I got asked these questions by nonrunners:

1. How far is a marathon? It is 26.2 miles long. That is the distance from downtown Fort Worth almost to downtown Dallas or 106 times around a track! And you run it as fast as you can and without stopping.

2. How fast do you run them? My average age adjusted time for the 10 races was 3:04.

3. How fast is that? It’s running at the 7.5 setting on a treadmill, and usually up and down hills, in crowds, and in all kinds of weather. My fastest time in St. Louis, for example, was on a hilly course in a rain storm with about 8,000 people.

4. Where did you run? Washington, D.C. (Marine Corps), New Orleans (Mardi Gras), Little Rock, St. Louis, Burlington, Vermont, Missoula, Montana, Minneapolis to St. Paul, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa. I traveled over 20,000 miles in the process.

4. Why do you do it? For some crazy reason, I love the challenge. Maybe it’s because I push myself to do the best job in whatever I do. I run three days a week, lift weights, at TCU or at home three days, and and mix in other training, especially yoga. I love that I am in the best shape of my life at the age of 55, am healthier, and only weigh a few pounds more than I did in college. My resting heart rate, for example, is 42.

I am certain that this discipline makes me a better lawyer. I have the physical endurance and mental toughness to stand up to any attorney or insurance company to make sure that my client is fairly compensated for his injuries. I can go the distance, whether it is a long trial, an intense deposition, or a hard day at my office, for the last 28 years in the same location in the River Plaza Tower on University (overlooking the Cowtown Marathon course, where else, and downtown).

And just to make my running even more challenging, I decided to run a marathon in each state last year. I have 18 knocked out so far.

I ran my first marathon, the San Diego Rock and Roll, in 2004 as I was turning 50 and was looking for a unique, life affirming way to celebrate this milestone. I ran New York City and Boston after that, and Chicago in the oppressive heat of 2007 where a man died and they had to cancel the marathon, completing my goal of running the three U. S. Major Marathons.

I plan to add eight new states in 2010 (plus Boston, Massachusetts, which will be a repeat) and at this rate will achieve my new goal of “50 by 60.” And then I want to go “5 for 5” by running London and Berlin to complete the world’s five Majors.

Boston, the oldest and most famous marathon in the world, is the only one that requires its racers to qualify, and the cut off times are intense.

My 10th Boston qualifying race was two weeks ago in Tampa, where I was delighted to finish #2 out of the almost 100 in my age group with a time of 3:32:02.

Here is a picture of me at the finishing area in Tampa. Hook ’em Horns! (I graduated from UT in 1976, Plan II Honors Program).

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Before Tampa, I had a good time running the Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon six weeks before that, and the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon six weeks before that.

I also volunteer for the Cowtown Marathon’s CALF (Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness) Council to help our kids run and learn healthy habits.

I also adopted the Rufino Mendoza Elementary School five years ago and especially support its running club, I am going to the school this afternoon to run with the kids and see how they enjoyed running and walking in the Cowtown 5K race.

Here’s to a healthier, happier world!

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