On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A new PR to be, and more on my love for Frank Shorter

In 1987, my dad ran New York.  He and my mom went to NYC for vacation (this was a Very Big Thing for us midwestern, provincial types), he ran a 4:20:39, and he brought me back an autographed Frank Shorter poster.  It was a few years still before I would start running, and a few years more before I would amass my own collection of signed Frank Shorter stuff and Frank Shorter would accuse me jokingly of stalking him.  (Dude: I know you went to Yale and then on to law school because of the internet.)  I guess he's not used to having a Superfan.  Because I am one.  Because I love Frank Shorter.

Anyway: 4:20:39.  That won't happen for me this year, but I have a new goal.  My dad's old times are going DOWN.  Tricky thing is that he did most of his running before the advent of chip timing, so I probably have to err wide to make sure that I beat him.  Luckily there were fewer people running in those days, so I won't go for straight up clock time.  His PR, at Chicago, was 4:10:11, so once I smash his 4:20, I can move onto smashing his PR.  Mwah ha ha ha.

I told him about this plan, hoping to incite some friendly rivalry, and he laughed and said, "You know, Tracy, you should really have higher goals than that."

(I hope I don't have to tell you that the photo is Frank Shorter and not my father.)


  1. You dad is sweet for telling you that you should have higher goals than smashing his times. :)

    And why not try and smash the 4:20? You might surpise yourself! :)

  2. Can you tell Frank that his wicking tank top that I bought at the pre-race expo left me with a 1-inch abrasion on my chest? hahaha it looks like a rug burn...I won't swear off Frank Shorter clothing just yet...because of you :)

  3. 4:20 sounds amazing :) frank shorter's picture makes me smile!

  4. Annie, on behalf of Frank Shorter, let me apologize for his tank top. BUT, you had a great race, didn't you? Even a PR?

    And 4:20 does sound amazing... Someday. Someday.

  5. yes you are correct...i guess i should have actually thanked Frank Shorter for helping me with my PR..haha