On the Road with the past prez

EDITOR'S NOTE: Davy Insell, our 2012 club president, feeds his running addiction at half marathons and directs the Boring as Crap Half and Half as Boring 10K. Club secretary Suzy Taylor Oakley notes that she is of an age where the family might easily have recruited her to whup the impish Davy's butt as his babysitter (cousins a couple of times removed) but she now has to pay race entry fees for the chance.

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Check out our archive for previous travels On the Road, and remember we invite you to share your own story, cause or advice with our members.

By DAVY INSELL
Roadrunners Past President

I wish I was a good runner.

I have cousins who are naturals. My cousin Laura has several course records in the area. They never train and still put up 5ks in the low 20s.

Me, I'm a grinder. I plug along in the middle to back of the pack.

My story is much like many others. I had put on weight as I aged. I was still active, mostly golf and softball, but I was fat. I distinctly remember playing basketball one night and being completely gassed after one game. At the age of 26, that was ridiculous.

I remember driving home and deciding to do something about it. At the time, I lived in Westside, just a block off of the current 4 Mile Classic route. I mapped out a mile loop in our neighborhood and began running it.

Just pure misery. It was awful. I guess I ran around my neighborhood off and on for a year or two. Might do 8-10 miles in a week. That was hardcore right there.

One day, while at the gym, I saw a flier for a 5k in Eagle Mountain. For whatever reason, it caught my attention. I had been running some and was getting better. Sure, I'll go run a 5k. So on April 15, 2006, I ran my very first official race. I put up a time of 28:05.

That was kinda fun.

Didn't really know anyone there, but I decided to do another. I signed up for Pioneer Days three weeks later. Knocked two minutes off my time.

At that point, I was hooked. And in typical Insell fashion, I went all out with my new hobby. By the end of my first year of running, I ran three 5ks, the 4 Mile Classic, a half marathon and a full marathon. Pure insanity. Frankly, I'm lucky my legs didn't fall off.

While running the Little Rock Marathon, I would have felt better if someone HAD shot me.

For anyone new to running, listen to this keen advice: Take your time and build up your distance slowly. Running is an addiction, and with addiction, you convince yourself you can do things you probably shouldn't.

I'm now in my seventh year of running. I've been very fortunate that I've not had any injuries that have shut me down. In all of that time, I've run three marathons and 32 half marathons. Running has taken me to run half marathons in eight different states.

But the thing I've gained most from running is the community of people that I have come to know. I would never have met the vast majority of you without running. Some of you can BLAME running for getting to know me, but this addiction has given me far more than I could have imagined.

So if you find yourself new in this game, stop by and say hello to someone at a race. You never know if that person might turn into someone you get to spend lots of sweaty time with running down a road.