An apology to Steve Runner and Dr. George Sheehan.

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

A couple weeks ago, on November 24,  I wrote, “Steve Runner, perhaps this generation’s Dr. George Sheehan…”

Steve Runner, in his typical modest way, tweeted back, “Thank you @Sisu_Runner for the VERY kind words; but I lack the brilliance and style of the good Dr. Sheehan! http://bit.ly/hTVAUo :)”

And, after further review, I want to retract, or at least refine, what I wrote.

I’ll preface this by saying I love Dr. Sheehan‘s writings and thoroughly enjoy Steve Runner’s podcast.  Dr. Sheehan is one of my running heroes.  He is also one of my favorite authors of all time.  I hold Dr. Sheehan in very high regard.  I still have a folder of his articles that I saved from Runner’s World.  I have not felt as connected to any writer the way I have with Dr. Sheehan.

Steve Runner‘s podcast, Phedippidations, is an excellent listen.  Prior to participating in an hour-long commute, I occasionally would catch it an episode but it is now chronically on my mp3 player.  I look forward to the shows–they almost make my commute enjoyable.

So, with a round of praise complete, let me say that in no way is anything else I write intended to demean or criticize either of these mens’ art and/or work.

I think it was unfair of me to compare Steve Runner to Dr. Sheehan and I apologize.  If I making a Mount Rushmore of my running heroes, I would include Dr. Sheehan, Ron Daws, Arthur Lydiard, and Jim Fixx.

If comparing Steve Runner to Dr. Sheehan puts any expectations and/or pressure on Steve (doubtful he will ever know of it or care about it) to live up to that billing, I apologize.  While I do see some commonalities between the two–most notably a passion for running–I think the two are different enough that we (I) should just appreciate each for their own style and contributions.

Dr. Sheehan’s death has left me without a Running Guru for a long time.  Steve Runner is a guy down the block going for a run with 10 of his closest friends. Steve can not completely fill the loss of Dr. Sheehan but he is replacing part of that gap with something different, something enjoyable, and something that it uniquely Steve Runner.  And that’s pretty damn good without trying to recast it as something else.

So thanks, Steve Runner, hope to have a Sam Adams with you sometime.

Peace.

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What would Malcolm run with a shaved head?

July 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

I was just listening to the audio of a speech Malcolm Gladwell, perhaps my favorite living writer, gave in Philly about his book Outliers. I may have suspected it before but this was the first time I heard Gladwell say that he is a runner. I went over to his blog and found this awesome photo from his earlier running career as the latest post. This looks too good to be real–the hair, the expression. Wow!!!

Running with the Buffaloes

May 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I picked Chris Lear’s book about the 1998 Colorado Buffaloes Cross Country season at a used book sale at the Chanhassen Library.  A book I’ve been meaning to read for awhile.  If I remember correctly, a couple years later, the team had a horrific automobile accident in which multiple team members were killed.

One of the reasons I have wanted to read this book is that one of my regrets in life is not going out for Cross Country while at UW-Eau Claire.  I made the mistake of letting someone (UW-Superior’s CC coach) tell me I couldn’t do something–his actual words, and I remember them well, were “if you can run a 30 minute 5 miler, we can work with you”.  My best 5-miler up to that point probably was 32ish.  I took his words to heart and decided if I wasn’t capable at running at lowly UW-Superior then any thought of running CC is college was out.

I can not help but wonder what would have been different had I had the courage to try CC.  I think it would have been a confidence boost.  I actually went back for a fifth year of college, largely to run CC (and also because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life) but ended up injuring myself in the first week of practice.  I was a fool who doubled my mileage over the summer months–going from 100ish in May to over 200 in June, July, and August.

Perhaps the high-light of that summer was running a 29:58 at the Park Point 5-miler in Duluth.

Anyhow, I’m hoping to get a sense of the camaraderie that I have missed since my own high school CC days.

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