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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<b>1. Why do you run?</b><br><br>
I run because it is who I am and have always been. My lifetime of experiences with running have formed my personality and have made me the person I am today.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Running saved me</span><br>
I have been running for 47 years - virtually my entire life. My mom told me I was running before I could walk. When I was in elementary school, I was the smallest boy in my class. This naturally made me the target of bigger boys. I was feisty and fought back, but trying to fight kids who are literally twice your size doesn’t go far, I don’t care how tough a kid you are. So I ran from them. They chased me. It was quickly determined that I was faster than all my nemeses. In short order, I was free of all harassment ‘cause none of the bullies could ever catch me, anywhere.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Running gave me confidence and self-esteem</span><br>
My attackers soon realized that my speed could be an asset to them; soon I would be asked to be on their baseball, football and street hockey teams. The process repeated itself in middle school and high school. Get picked on for being the smallest; then be desired for being the fastest. I started racing in middle school - 35 years ago - and have been racing ever since. In high school, my speed carried over to skating and I played on the hockey team. I had success in track, always as a sprinter. I won some 100-yard dashes and made it to the semi-finals in the state class championships in the 100. These athletic successes gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself. By senior year, I was in a zone and even dated a sweet (short) cheerleader for a time. It was a fun time in my life; I never forgot that running made it all possible.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Running humbled me and taught me humility</span><br>
After college, I did what adult runners are supposed to do. I took up distance running and stopped sprinting. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t among the fastest around. Indeed, suddenly I found myself an anonymous middle-of the packer. While I was able to improve my 5K and 10K times somewhat through a couple of books and training trial and errors (the Internet hadn’t yet been invented), I was never really any more than middle of the pack, even during my peak years of distance running success back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For someone who had always been successful at racing, running now humbled me and finally, after years and years of finishing in the middle, (despite a pretty good kick for a mid-packer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> ), I learned to accept being an average running joe.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Running enabled me to slow down, accept things and enjoy life</span><br>
After I hit 40, I had been distance racing for almost 20 years. My PR's were ancient history and I grew more and more frustrated at how slow I had become at distance running compared to how fast I used to be. I became a tortured and despairing runner. One day, about 7 years ago, I went for a run and accidentally forgot to wear my running watch. Suddenly, I was free. No more was I tied down to having to do every run at a certain goal pace, ending in certain self-flagellation. I could run for the sake of running, savoring every minute, yet still be aware of when I was running fast or slowly. It was an epiphany. Except for races and track workouts, I have not timed a run since.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">It all comes together</span><br>
Within the last few years, I have discovered the world of Masters sprinting. It has rekindled a spark and latent talent within me. When I sprint, I can actually feel like I’m wicked fast again. It brings back some very happy times. I feel like now I have it all - self-esteem from actually being good at something, humility for being much slower than many, many people at distance running, and the bliss of doing my carefree training runs.<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Nothing is perfect - even running.</span><br>
I do admit it is difficult trying to focus on both sprinting and distance running simultaneously. They are a bad mix physically, not to mention that sprinting is alien for other grown-up runners to relate to, so at times I feel quite different from everyone else in the running community. So I still have these physical and mental conflicts to work out.<br><br>
So, what’s with this ridiculously long-winded answer to a simple question? My point is that my personality is defined by a lifetime of running. It completes me, yet continually challenges me, and it has made me the person I am today.<br><br><b>2. What is your greatest accomplishment?</b><br>
I’m still trying to get on Survivor. Until that happens I’ll have to say my greatest accomplishment hasn’t occurred yet. However, in terms of that which has already transpired, I am most proud of my wonderful children and for having found the perfect wife for me 25 years ago.<br><br><b>3. What is your motto/theme song?</b><br>
“Don’t worry, be happy”. Easier said than done sometimes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><b>4. How do you deal with bad runs?</b><br>
Like many have said, by definition, I don’t believe there is such a thing. If I can run, it is good. For those good runs where maybe I didn’t run so well, like Notey said, it is a learning experience. Maybe I ate something before or during I shouldn’t have. Or maybe I’ve been overdoing it. No matter – if I can run, it is good.<br><br><b>5. Do you reward yourself for good runs?</b><br>
They are all good. I do reward myself if I feel I had a good race, though.<br><b>How?</b><br>
Well at first I was going to answer “Light up a fat one”. But then I decided that, this being a public forum and all, I’ll just say potato chips and beer.<br><br><b>6. Who do you admire most?</b><br>
My Dad. He was playing first trombone in a swing band when he enlisted into the Army for WWII. He was a Private First Class. His job was an advance scout on the front where he would radio back from a foxhole the enemy fire coordinates to our own artillery. He’d see shells and rockets going back and forth over his head. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was part of Patton’s battalion when it occupied Germany after it fell. After the war, he returned home and went back to playing trombone. My Mom was a swing band groupie and that’s how they met.<br><br>
My Dad is 84 now and living in Florida. He still works 2 days a week driving cars for a rental car company. He plays in a big band (and all the old ladies still swoon at him). He is captain of his bowling team and has the highest average in his league. He also golfs occasionally. My Dad is my hero.<br><br><b>7. What is the greatest advice you have ever received?</b><br>
My Dad once said to me that when you have a chance for an adventure or to do something special, you should always go for it. So I do; I’ve never forgotten that.<br><br><b>8. What do wish you had learned younger?</b><br>
To take everything less seriously. Enjoy the journey.<br><br><b>9. What do you wish you could do but can't?</b><br>
Travel back in time to meet my Mom. She died when I was 10; I only knew her as “Mommy”. I wish I could sit down with her as a grown-up and meet her and talk about our lives. I hope she’d be proud of me. We’d have so much to talk about; it would be wonderful.<br><br><b>10. How would your friends describe your personality?</b><br>
Funny, loyal, easy-going. Also great, very likeable, attractive to be around, pompously humble, magnanimous, blithely astute, and awesome.<br><br><b>11. What do you wear running? favorite outfit?</b><br>
I have very strict rules, which depend on the weather:<br><br>
I always wear a running hat (usually the same hat) unless I need a winter hat or I am doing a sprint race (hat won’t stay on).<br><br>
> 80 degrees shirtless (but with shorts, of course. Don’t get any ideas)<br>
> 68-80 singlet and shorts<br>
> 55-68 t-shirt and shorts. Coolmax if running > 4 miles.<br>
> 35-55 long-sleeve shirt plus t-shirt and shorts. I will add gloves when < 40. If its raining, my running jacket substitutes for the long sleeve. One less layer if it is a race.<br>
< 35 I wear my running tights. (DW really likes me in them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> )<br>
< 30 I add a winter hat.<br>
< 20 coolmax t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, running jacket, gloves, hat, tights. Depending on how long I am running for, I will add a jockstrap for the safety of Mr. Happy.<br>
< 10 A second layer of gloves.<br><br>
Races subtract 5-10 degrees to the above ranges, depending on length of race, expected sunshine and wind.<br><br><b>12. What has been your favorite race?</b><br>
Tough question, due to my split running personna. I will never forget running a 10.3 in the 100-yard dash at a high school track meet. It was a wind-aided fluke, considering I never ran faster than 10.6 again, but it got me a lot of local notoriety at the time. OTOH, it’s lame to cite a race from > 30 years ago.<br><br>
Running in the National Masters T&F championships in the 60-meter dash this past March was really, really cool. There’s a race report from me that used to be somewhere deep in the bowels of the Run and Race reports.<br><br>
And finishing 3rd at the New England Masters T&F Championships in the 45-49M 100-meters this past July was a definite favorite as well.<br><br>
But those are hard for folks to relate to since everyone’s a distance runner, so for my distance running favorites:<br><br>
My first a marathon back in ’94 sticks out. It was a big deal for someone who once considered any run > 440 yards to be uncivilized.<br><br>
But probably my favorite distance race is the Reach the Beach relay, which I have done for the past 4 years.<br><br><b>13. Do you have a goal race right now?</b><br>
Again, I am a conflicted runner. Sprinting: In December, I have some 200M races at Boston University. The meets are open to anyone; they are not masters only. You show up and give your projected time and then they put you in a heat with others of your ilk. I am usually sprinting against some of the top local college women. I like college women. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Distance: 10-miler this Sunday. I am also thinking about doing the Fargo Marathon in May, because, well, I’ve never been to Fargo.<br><br><b>14. What makes you happy?</b><br>
Every morning when I wake up and I am still alive and healthy. Everything else is gravy.<br><br><b>15. Tell us one interesting thing about you that you haven't said (at least not often) on this forum in the past.</b><br>
I play the sax, clarinet and piano. I played in some jazz bands when I was younger, and played sax and sang backup vocals for a punk rock band in college. We called ourselves “Head Cheese”.<br><br><b>16. Tell us one interesting thing about another user of this forum that has not been posted (at least not often) on this forum in the past (make sure the other person will not object to posting the info!).</b><br>
High Heat has a large barbecue grill in his backyard. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> torque used to build a big rink in his backyard every winter and we’d compare notes. I’ve slept in a van with both Notey and jensparks (but not at the same time).
 

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Head Cheese!! Awesome! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Knuckle-bump me, fellow clarinet-player. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Great read, Arrojo. Your father sounds just wonderful. And it's interesting to hear about distance running from a sprinter's perspective. I always felt that I was a distance runner because I was slow, and envied the sprinters.
 

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Great read! It's so inspiring to see how you've balanced pure enjoyment of running and your competetive side too. Sprinting does seem like a completely different sport and I enjoyed learning more about it in your post.<br><br>
Of course, you know I wholeheartedly endorse the Fargo Marathon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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♥ to my favorite CH/PRT WICKED FAST masters sprinter and hockey player ♥<br><br>
Thanks for the window into some of your thoughts!<br><br>
~we will need updated backyard hockey rink pix this winter!~<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Couple of then and now photos:<br><br>
I apologize for the many of you who have seen this before - this pic is from my high school yearbook, 1977. I'm 2nd from the right, winning the 100-yard dash (meters hadn't been invented yet).<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c84/Arrojo/track1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Flash forward 30 years. This is from the New England Masters T&F Championships in July. I finished 3rd in the M 45-49 100 meters. I'm 2nd from the right again.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://gfrcrun.org/gallery/other/images/3netf_07.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Wow...that was an awesome and inspiring post. Love the pictures too!
 

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Great pictures, guy. You're pretty cool, in spite of being a Red Sox fan. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Thanks Arrojo. It was great to read your POTD questions/answers.<br><br>
Are you really trying to get on Survivor? And if you got on the show would it really surpass the experience of meeting your wife and raising your children?
 

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That was amazing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers"><br>
Thanks, Arnie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
1. Yes.<br>
2. Probably not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Mad"> Stop trying to make sense. You clearly saw through my attempt slip my Survivor attempts into the post. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/razz.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Razz">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
It really was a pleasure getting to know you a little better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, I'm like an officially sanctioned AW for the day, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Here's a pic of me running a 5K this summer, just because:<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c84/Arrojo/7a.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
This pic is from last winter; DW caught me doing some wind sprints on the backyard rink:<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c84/Arrojo/Picture033-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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ARRRRROOOOOOOOJJJJJJJJOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!<br><br>
You rock beyond rocking!! I loved your post..so so so much!! Thank you for sharing such an awesome running life with us. It makes me proud to know you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Thanks for sharing Arrojo.<br><br>
By the way, if any of you ever have a chance to sit down and chat with Arrojo over a beer at a gathering, take it! He's a lot of fun to chat with!
 

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Arrojo, you are the freakin' man. Seriously.<br><br>
Oh, and we did not sleep in the same van. We made you sleep outside, remember?
 
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