From the Back Cover
After nearly four decades of running, more than 100,000 miles logged and something like 12,000 separate entries in my training journals, I have three favorite days: one, the day I won the Boston Marathon (of course); two, the day i got married (of course); and three, the day I got married again (hey, no one's perfect, and the second time around was particularly sweet).
Here, in short, is what I wrote in each of those three log entries.
April 19, 1968: "27 miles, including 26.2 miles in Boston Marathon. I won! Felt great the whole way until side stitch the last 2 miles. But I struggled through it."
November 1, 1970: "20 miles, really hard, with a bunch of my running friends who are here for the wedding. The last 5 miles, we were practically racing. What a competitive group!"
July 4, 1995: "3-mile jog in the Groton Long Point July 4th fun run with Cristina, Gary, Dan, Laura, Bill and Jeff. A gorgeous sunny, dry day. We couldn't have hoped for anything better." [Note--The names mentioned, in order: the woman I would marry several hours later; my brother, who performed the ceremony; my two teenage kids; my brother-in-law; my nephew.]
My changing priorities are clear. Once I ran for speed and distance. Now I run for health and friendship and release--to enjoy 30 or 40 minutes away from the phone and the computer. I still seek challenge on occasion, and still enter races when they appeal to me. But mostly I run to clear my head of the day's swirling activities and to enjoy the wondrous thoughts and images that rush in to fill the void.
I hate to admit it, but I've never been any good at keeping a journal--one of those personal diaries that chronicles all the highs and lows of a life. Instead, my best efforts have gone into my training logs. There's no screeplay or Pulitzer Prize int he dozens of these logs I've kept over the years, arranged a bit haphazardly across the bottom tier of a bookcase, but they're good friends, and that counts for a lot.
Thumbing through the pages, I'm carried instantly to the places I've run and the people who have sweated at my side. In high school, we ran through