This is part of the memoir meme started by Mrs. Fever! The cover photo was taken by Ian Maddox–hopefully he’s is ok with my using it here.
One thing I could always do was run! I don’t really do it much anymore because my knees tend to say, “are you crazy?” The fact remains that I was lucky to be both a very good sprinter and a very good distance runner. Definitely not great but very good. The first time I knew I was fast was in grade 7. My PE teacher had every student he taught run the 100 metres. When I finished, he said “damn” and told me I would have to run it again. He thought he had made an error with the stopwatch. Turns out I was the fastest kid in the school. In grade eight, he took me to an invitational track meet. He wanted me to run the 400, but I told him I wouldn’t run more than the 200. Weirdly when we arrived at the meet, there was no 200 and I had to run the 400. It was my first time doing this distance and I acquitted myself well. Running against older bigger kids, I ran a sub 60 seconds and finished 2nd in my heat. I then promptly threw up as I felt like crap. Thankfully I missed the final by one place and didn’t have to run it again. My career was now set. Coaches wanted me to run the 400 and I wanted to run the 200. Some years I ran the 200 and also the anchor leg of the 4 X 400. I had some pretty good times. I usually made the provincials but didn’t usually do to well there. Still my best times were a bit over 21 seconds (21.12??) for the 200 and a tiny bit under 49 seconds (48.89) for the 400. Good but not great. Somewhere I have my times written down. One day I’ll look for them. I always had my best races when it didn’t count as much.
I also ran cross country. This morphed into road races when I went to university. The 10 km road race became a big deal around then and I did a few. Again I was good but not great. My best 10 k time was 29:42 or 29:29. Something like that. Again it’s written down someplace in a box! lol
I was always in the vanguard of finishers but never close to winning. Still the endurance helped a great deal in the other sports I played. The speed really helped in rugby. The explosive power helped in basketball. I could run all day!
In university I ended up volunteering for maxVO2 tests. I did them on bicycles and also on the treadmill. I did a lot of these tests! I always got higher scores on the treadmill and I figure that was because my strength let me down on the bikes. My results were very consistent though. On the bike I got 68 ml of O2/kg body weight. On the treadmill I got 74 ml/kg body weight. These are very good scores–again they are not great! But I did better when running.
A few experiments required me to have muscle biopsies taken. It was interesting to note that my quads seemed to be 51% fast twitch fibres and 49% slow twitch fibres. Perhaps this explains why I was good at both sprinting and distance events.
One of the things my Queen and I did early in our relationship was run together. We would get up really early and run along the waterfront. We would usually be finished by 5:30 am. She actually started to have me run without pants, but that is another story. lol I do remember kneeling to “pretend” to tie my shoes when cars would come by. Crouched down like that, it was difficult for the driver to see that I was without pants or to see Angus.
There were a few notable times when I was caught running this way, but laughter can ease any tensions! I believe I may have mentioned one or two of them in my exhibitionist post…or maybe not! 😜😜