Let's hit the road together

Welcome to Paschal’s Pace, my new blog for beginning runners and those who are interested in information and inspiration for helping to improve their health and fitness.


First off, thanks to Donna Wasden Smith for coming up with the name for this blog, and thanks to the folks who helped talk me into it. Donna wins a $10 gift card from Starbucks, the official fuel of overcaffeinated couch-surfers and runners alike.


Many of those who know me probably think, "Gee, Barry is going to give fitness advice? Isn’t that sort of like Homer Simpson promoting a proper diet?"


Well, not really. I’ve been on a personal journey for a little more than a year to improve my own health since being diagnosed with high blood pressure and general slovenliness. I’d enjoyed running when I was in college and loved playing ultimate Frisbee – an incredible cardio workout – but since then had lapsed in middle age into bad habits, too little exercise and too much unhealthy eating.


Inspired by Dr. Paul Fischer, who told me I was headed to early death, and by Bill Kirby, who runs each year in Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race despite being a few (OK, many) years older than me, I started running. My first goal: To be able to run in the Run for Aimee 5K for Aimee Copeland, who lost multiple limbs to an infect.


I did it, and I was hooked. I made it a habit to run on a weekly schedule, sometimes almost to the point of obsessiveness. Several 5K races and a couple of 10Ks later, my health is better and I’m constantly looking for the next race. I no longer hope to just finish without collapsing, like I did with that first 5K; now I try to beat my time from the previous race, and to finish well in my over-50 age group.


Let me tell you: Even for a slow running like me, there are few things more satisfying that huffing past a 20-something straining to make it to the finish line.


My intent here (after today, that is) isn’t to talk about me, but instead to pass along running tips and occasional fitness information. Help me out in that regard: If you’ve found a particular program or regimen or resource useful, send me a note and I’ll share it.


I’ll also provide information on upcoming races so veteran runners can plan for their next victory, and beginners can set their next goal.


Let’s hit the road!


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MTBer 02/20/13 - 05:36 pm
Looking forward to following

Looking forward to following this. I am, like you, a relatively new runner, although I have been a cyclist nearly my whole life (at 50yo). My wife is a lifelong runner, but I picked it up a few years ago. Have been to Chas. to run the CRBR three times now, ran the Augusta HM last year and look forward to trying my first full this year (Savannah). I am still not over the fear of not finishing a race (no matter the length!), but they are all fun challenges. Frightened of this coming Sunday! Off to do 4M now...

Riverman1 02/20/13 - 07:27 pm
Great name for your blog.

Great name for your blog. Good luck. I gave up running years ago because of a bad knee and went to a recumbent bike machine in my den with occasion rides on my real bike down the canal road.

Connor Threlkeld
Connor Threlkeld 02/20/13 - 08:40 pm
Blog looks great, Barry, keep

Blog looks great, Barry, keep up the good work!

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 02/20/13 - 09:22 pm
This looks like fun.

This looks like fun.

oldredneckman96 02/21/13 - 09:30 pm
Barry, it is great to promote

Barry, it is great to promote fitness at any age or condition. I hope you will promote safety with fitness. Just because you can fit in a size regular coffin is no reason to do so too soon. Just like bicyclers, I see many joggers running with their back to traffic when there is a sidewalk two feet over! Pedal Pushers are too militant a group to save but you may have a chance with joggers to save a few. Promote the use the sidewalks, facing traffic if you have to use public roads and for God’s sake if you see a car heading at you for whatever reason, get the heck out of the way.

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