Run! A Memoir

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! 😜😜


      • 😂🤣😂 when I ran with my Queen, I did wear shirts, socks and shoes. She usually carried my shorts! lol. I didn’t consider it running on the beach. Toronto has a waterfront trail that is paved. At times you have to leave it and run on city streets until you can get back on it. I pretended to tie my shoes there when I saw a car! On the trails, I would just cup my hands over Angus if we came upon others. That did happen but not often. I would excuse myself with a comment about a bet.

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  1. Naked running?! Pretend to tie your shoes, indeed… 😉

    One weekend my hubby and I stayed at a nudist resort, where they had a court available for one of the sports we play. We attempted it naked but after the first bout of run-stop-run-stop action, we both put clothes on. It was too uncomfortable to run without something holding in our wobbly bits! 😛

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  2. Great post Michael – I should have saved my run like the wind one for this prompt 😉
    It does seem you were rather good and how funny – Angus having to jiggle about while you ran 😉

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  3. So many amazing memories. Your “good but not great” times and VO2max are immense. It just goes to show that one person’s “meh” is another person’s “wow”

    I’m using current restrictions to work on speed. But from the perspective of being less slow and avoiding cut offs.

    Great read, I’ve really enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL. Love how you weren’t gonna run the 200 but there was no other option.
    I so feel you on not wanting to do the 400. Short and fast are more my forte lol.

    Wtf man, below 30 min for the 10k! Goooo you. Was it frustrating to never be close to winning? I find it so much harder I guess in these individual sports? It’s much nicer to play with a team!

    I love reading about your sporty life

    Liked by 1 person

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