Thursday, December 1, 2011

Launching Chasing Taj

Wow1.

This is a blog (mostly) about running. How unoriginal.

There are at least a million blogs on the web (mostly) about running, I am sure. This one will not be the most interesting blog about running, nor the most eloquent; it certainly won't be the funniest, or even have the best pictures. In fact, I bet some of you stopped reading after the second sentence -- the 99% of the worldwide web that doesn't understand why "we" put ourselves through what seems like misery on a regular and completely voluntary basis. How many runners have really ever been chased by anything other than the occasional unleashed dog? Or actually ever had to chase anyone down? The remaining 1% of you... well you might not care for this self-aggrandizing verbal diarrhea much either.

I couldn't sleep tonight, so I wanted to see how easy it would be to do this. As it turns out, pretty easy. The hard part is coming up with something interesting to say.

So if you are still reading... let's get to the basic introductions... I imagine this is how I would kick things off in a "Runners Anonymous" type of meeting.

My name is Brian Tajlili. I am a runner. You can call me "Taj".

Sign directing the real athletes on where to go, me standing the way

I live in Durham, NC. I've been a "runner" for 16 years. Or as of this point in time, since 9th grade...

I fell into this sport turned hobby because my friends at the time were doing it (typical 13 year old mentality) and I hated riding the bus home, although I did hear a number of (interesting at the time) stories from kids sniffing glue or harvesting hallucinogenic mushrooms.

I had never run more than a mile. My first workout was supposed to be a 4x400m. It turned out to be a 3x400m and I left practice to vomit and pass out in the back of my friends' car. I should have stayed on the bus with the kids sniffing glue. Wouldn't I have ended up in the same spot?

Eventually I went back to the track and ran the last 400m. The inability to never completely quit something is one of my greatest flaws, but as it turns out a pretty good quality for a "runner". I was the slowest guy on the team, even most of the girls could beat me, which at the time was devastating toward my teenage ego (now losing to a female is a foregone conclusion in just about every large race I do -- running teaches humility).

My first race was an indoor 1000m at Eddie Smith Fieldhouse in Chapel Hill. I was in the last (i.e. slowest) heat of a meet with about 100 schools. It was probably past midnight before I even ran. I didn't even break 4 minutes. That awful 1000m in an asbestos filled building became my gateway to other awful ideas -- the 1600m, the 3200m, 5k cross country courses, 8K and 10K road races... and before I even dabbled in a half... yes, even a marathon (the shock! the horror!).

4 marathons, 1 Krispy Kreme Challenge, and about 32 pairs of running shoes later I am still running without being chased.

Me in tall red socks, marathon #4, Mile 22, somehow not dead yet

Running is not too dissimilar from other addictions... as soon as you say "I'll never do that" you find yourself in really short shorts on the street corner taking Clif Shot Bloks from total strangers... or signing up for the next weird trail race in the middle of nowhere.

Speaking of which, I'm going to have a busy winter as I enter the "trail racing" phasing of my running career. 2010 was a great road racing year for me, this year started strong, but I've gotten a bit bored with the roads. So here's what I have coming up...

12/3 - Run at the Rock 14M (Cedarock Park, Burlington)
1/14 - Little River 10M (somewhere north of Durham)
2/4 - Uwharrie 20M (somewhere in Uwharrie Natl. Park near Asheboro, NC)

Then Tobacco Road Marathon in Mid-March. I'll keep you all posted on how this all goes...

In the meantime, here are some more obligatory pictures from runs I did in the fall here in the Triangle. These are shot at Umstead Park or just off UNC's campus at Battle Creek Park in Chapel Hill. I'll get more pictures up later, but I'm tired from all this blogging.

Umstead Park, haven for the local endurance runner and coyote (neither pictured here)


Fall in North Carolina: best time of year for running

1 - I am on the Internets!




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