The Legghead Chronicle

I am an SRDR (pronounced "Sir Doctor"), i.e., a serious recreational distance runner. I usually run six to seven days a week. When I am training for a marathon, my weekly mileage is 70 - 100 miles. When not, it is 45 - 60 miles. Most of my profound philosophical cogitation takes place during my training runs, especially long hilly runs, and during other times.

The milestones of my "possible world"-class running career:

1978 Summer, Princeton, NJ

1979 March 18, Great Road Race 10 km, Princeton, NJ

1980 April 20, Penn Relay Marathon, Philadelphia, PA

This was my first marathon. My time was 3:16:27. The course was hilly and I almost didn’t finish. I vowed to conquer hills.

1983 May 15, Revco Cleveland Marathon, Cleveland, OH

This was my breakthrough marathon. I finished in 2:40:17. The course was flat and it felt easy. The perogies I had consumed in great quantity while carbo-loading and the polka music on the course helped.

1986 June 8, Portugal Day 10 Km, Newark, NJ

I ran my P.R. (Personal Record) for 10 Km, 33:35, which will stand forever. The course was flat but the morning was hot and humid.

1986 November 23, Greensboro Marathon, Greensboro, NC

My first marathon win came with the finishing time of 2:39:02. The course was rolling, but cool weather with drizzle helped. The entire race felt easy. I was beginning to like hills. Living and running in Chapel Hill gave me no choice.

1988 February 7, Half Marathon, Lakewood, CA

I ran my half-marathon P.R., 1:14:58, which will stand forever. The course was pancake flat but I struggled to finish. Perhaps I should have eaten more pancakes in preparation.

1988 March 6, Los Angeles Marathon, Los Angeles, CA

I ran my marathon P.R., 2:37:15, which will stand forever. The pace was exactly 6 minutes per mile. The course was rolling but to my liking (I had conquered hills, thanks to Chapel Hill). The current L.A. Marathon course is different and should be avoided by all analytic philosophers.

1999 June 5, Palos Verdes Marathon, Rolling Hills Estates, CA

My second marathon win, in 2:54:37. The course was hilly but I felt in complete control throughout the race. My margin of victory was 5 minutes. I was king.

21st Century

I am still running, sometimes (but not often) up to 100 miles a week, and racing. My racing results in this century have been stagnant. One glaring exception was the 1:18:37 finish at the Ventura Half Marathon on March 23, 2003. I ran an even 6-mpm pace on a flat course on a pleasant sunny and somewhat breezy day. Soon thereafter I injured my calves, one right after the other. As one ages, the calf becomes especially vulnerable to fast running. I have had minor calf injuries in my youth but this time I couldn't shake the problems for two years. Calf problems are notorious for popping up periodically once you have them. After DNFing the same marathon two years in a row, I changed my running form drastically in the spring of 2005. It took me four months to overcome the initial awkwardness and I am still getting used to the new form, but it is paying off. Running as opposed to jogging has bocome easier and fun again. I have run four marathons with the new form so far: All times are chip times. Judging from these results and the way I felt after each race, the new form is working and I expect to stay injury free.

Update in 2011: I have slowed down a bit in recent years and been running marathon races in the 3:05-3:15 range. I have also decreased the number of races to participate in, as I find it increasingly more enjoyable to run long and hard on my own without the formality of a race.

Update in 2014: I have slowed down further. I have stopped timing myself but my spits are probaly around 7:30 a mile on good days and around 10:00 on bad days. I have lost my appetite for races entirely and not raced at any distance for a couple of years. I, however, do run almost everyday, early in the moring, ususally for about an hour, and occasionally for two.

What It Is Like To Be A Legghead: Qualia-filled first-person accounts of some races.

Last Revised: February 24, 2014

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