Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Running Community

I actually started this post some weeks ago, but didn't know exactly what I was going to write, but I knew it would center around the running community that I now it seems I am a permanent fixture of it.  The reaction to the recent unfortunate event in Boston by the running community did not surprise me at all.  The theme was "Runners Unified to Remember".  But really, we runners have ALWAYS been unified.  There is a strong bond. Maybe its because the majority of us all have common goals and aspirations.  Maybe its because most of us started from ground zero and transformed ourselves into long distance running machines.  Maybe its because of the friendly competition.  We all enter most of the same or similar races and root for each other.  Or maybe its just because of we all understand the 'high' that comes from completing a routine run, completing a race or just reaching a certain level of fitness.  

I started running on my own and trained myself for my first half marathon back in the winter of 2011.  Along the way I signed up on and built online friendships with runners all over the planet as we would post our daily runs and share race experiences while we also encouraged and inspired one another as we achieved our goals.   I quickly figured out that the running community is an unofficial brotherhood and sisterhood.  So I was already somewhat part of the running community even before I officially joined a running club.  That September when I finally decided to show up for the fall training program at the Dallas Running Club that I had signed up for two months before, I walked from my car to the clubhouse and was welcomed with open arms, made part of the family and the rest is history.

The one thing that our training director mentioned earlier this year during a run is that of all his years with the running club, he has never heard of anyone clashing or squabbles or anything of the sort.  I have noticed that as well.  It just doesn't happen.  At least not at my running club. I guess that is why I look forward to the weekends with my running family after having to deal with the everyday stressors from life and work. There is not another place that I know of where you have accountability, motivation, competition, like mind people and just plain good old fashioned fun.  


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My father, the Ultra Marathoner

     As you may know, I recently lost the most important man in my life, my father.  Since the worldwide average expectancy of a male on this planet Earth is 65 years, that means that my father, Clabon Eugene Pleasant, Sr, who lived to be 88 has completed the equivalent an ultra marathon as far as human age is concerned.  Most of my friends when I was growing up, grandparents were around the same age or younger than he was since he fathered me at the age of 43.  Here are some things to put in perspective the time era he experienced:  He lived through the Great Depression, saw World War II (and served in it - What a funny coincidence that his birth date is on veterans day, November 11).  He was around before televisions or computers were invented.    He endured the periods during the twentieth century which when being a black man did not exactly grant you liberty and justice for all. Along the way, he raised seven children and partly raised several other grandchildren while working for the U.S. Postal Service for as long as I can remember and sometimes worked other half jobs that he picked up along the way to support the family.  He provided the opportunity for his offspring to attend fine universities.  He was heavily involved with the church which he had an integral part in building.  And I'm sure there are a lot of other things that I left out.  I am told to be a carbon copy of him and I couldn't receive a better compliment. He led more by example and was somewhat soft spoken, attributes that people tell me that I took from him.  I'm half his age now so I have a long way to go to break his P.R.  I know he is happy now at rest and ready to claim his finishers medal.  As his namesake, I hope to have at least half the quality of life that he had.


In loving memory of Clabon E Pleasant, Sr. 
November 11, 1924- April 31, 2013