Walking Turned to Running
A Conversation with Dan Gleason

update

"Daniel J. Gleason" wrote:
Thank you all so much for the well wishes with the marathon. I did fucking awesome, though now I hurt real bad. That's under a10 minute mile average. And that makes me feel good. Thanks to all my friends who were there and thank the rest of you too. DG Note: forwarded message attached.

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Subject: Congratulations on Finishing The2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon! Date: Mon,10 Oct2005 13828 GMT From: The2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Dear Dan Gleason,
Congratulations on finishing The2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon! You achieved your goal and crossed the Finish Line. We hope you will take the memories of your LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon experience with you forever.
This year's Marathon was a great success with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s.33,2 runners finished this year's marathon, and you were one of them! Your chip time was 419:2 and you placed1572 out of 33,2 finishers. Here are this year's top finishers:
Top 3 Male Finishers: 1. Felix Limo,2:07:22. Benjamin Maiyo, 2:07:093. Daniel Njenga, 2:0714
Top3 Female Finishers:1. Deena Kastor,2:125 2. Constantina Tomescu-Dita,2:130 3. Masako Chiba,226:00
Top Male Masters: 1. Luca Foglia,2:1:3
Top Female Masters: 1. Colleen De Reuck,228:40
Top Male Wheelchair Finisher: 1. Krige Schabort,129:40
Top Female Wheelchair Finisher: 1. Miriam Ladner,2:0527
[then there was a bunch of links for buying video and pictures of yourself crossing the finish line, that I deleted. M]

 

original conversation

M: How many days do you walk home from work a week?
D: Probably 3-4 times.

M: How many miles is that?
D: Its five miles.

M: How long does it take you?
D: An hour and a half.

M: Why do you do it? D: I started doing it to save money for a trip.

M: To where?
D: Spain.

M: Did you go?
D: Uhuh. And it helped to save up the money. Then I continued to do it after that cuz the train, all the crowding on the train. And it gave me time to do my writing stuff, to think about it.

M: Do you think it keeps you calmer?
D: Uhuh. I can't stand people sweating on me on the train. But there's all kinds of moves there that I don't like. Earlier this morning, I do take the train in the morning. A guy was looking over his shoulder at where my leg was positioned and holding onto the back behind somebody's seat and it just was making me kind of nuts. I don't like that kind of thing you know - oh am I invading somebody's space. Or somebody is definitely invading my space, that's usually what it is. I don't really care if I'm invading somebody else's space actually but when they invade my space it drives me nuts.

M: Have you ever gotten violent?
D: No. I've said something a few times and actually somebody was jabbing me with their suitcase today so I almost said something but I didn't.

M: I once told a guy I wasn't a shelf. It was in New York during rush hour. He had folded it into a long column and we were standing there like this and he was resting it on my shoulder. He was surprised that I was bothered by that.

M: How did you go from walking to running marathons? Are they connected?
D: I thought they were connected, in the beginning. I thought of it in the same way, like its time alone.

M: Like a meditation or something?
D: Yeah. But running is so different. Eventually I found out it's the exact opposite. You just feel the physical pain of it. The physicalness of the running. I guess its opposite. I don't really get to think of anything I enjoy while running.

M: Do you hate it?
D: Yeah.

M: But you feel a need to do it anyway?
D: Yeah. (pause) Its macho.
(laughter)
D: It is in a way cuz like me and Erik Sallas did the fast thing a few years ago. We did one of those and I was really interested - he wanted to cleanse himself. For me it was more like, could I not eat for ten days. I made it eight. This is kind of the same thing. I just want to see if I can do it. There is definitely, I feel a great deal of confidence in the fact that I can do it and there is no reason why. There is absolutely no reason why. I can really just see myself falling flat at twenty two miles. And having to walk the last four.

M: What's the longest you've run so far?
D: I did the half marathon last year. So actually next week so I'll be just longer than that. Every week from now on it's the longest I've ever run.

M: So that's what, 2 miles?
D: 3 and 1/2.

M: Do you run in the winter?
D: No. Too cold. Well I do off and on but I can never run regularly in the winter. Too much effort.

M: Do you follow that newscaster lady who tells you how much to run each week?
D: I've seen her. Megan Malachy who's training for the marathon on CBS. Yeah I think I just saw the first week. Those programs, I looked at a bunch of them but I don't like them. They all say, you know, you have to run three times a week. And I don't want this to be like a job. I'm doing it just twice. I do the short one and then the long one, progressive.

M: Is that giving you enough training?
D: I don't know.
(laughter)
I'm gonna find out. I mean I know I'll find out, I'll figure it out.

M: After the marathon are you going to quit running?
D: Yep.
(laughter)
No, no. I don't know - I haven't thought about it. I bet you no. I couldn't say. Actually last year I was supposed to do the marathon. My brother never told me it was the cut off date for signing up. I found out a couple days too late and that's why I ended up doing the half marathon. He had asked me to help in the running in the last half. An I was like well - I'm in better shape than you. I'll just train for the thing and run it with you. But then he never told me when it was.

M: He wanted you to run half of it with him?
D: Yeah I think you can just jump in - you have no number. So you don't count.

M: So you didn't run it with him?
D: No his wife Terri ran it.

M: Are you going to run it together this year?
D: No. He's not doing it again. He did it like six hours or something. He did really bad. So I don't blame him for not doing it again.

M: How was your time on the half marathon?
D: It was good. It was like 8 min mile. Yeah. I'm fast.
(laughter)
D: Mark Jost, my friend I ran it with, he'd run it the year before and I beat him. Really badly. And then I stood, I figured he'd be right behind me, so I stood at the finish line and waited for him to come, and he just never came. So then I walked away and realized I couldn't walk. I'd been standing there for so long and my legs just felt like cement.

M: Do you own a bicycle?
D: Yeah, I almost never ride. I got that big injury there. The bike pedal came off and the metal went into my leg. That was like four years ago. Yeah it hurt really bad.

M: It looks really deep. You were impaled?
D: Yeah I was impaled by the metal of the pedal. I was kind of thinking that its part of the problem of my lower
[his leg aches].
I don't like riding. You get doored. People falling. People don't drive well.

[sound of music from passing car]

D: I hear this song all the time. This is LTD [Love, Tenderness and Devotion] featuring Jeffry Osbourne.