Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Following is an excerpt from my latest book about running, "Personal Best." The book is available on my website: http://www.muldowneyrunning.com, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lulu.com, and in eBook form.

Check out my Amazon Author page at: http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Muldowney/e/B00PHI7ZG2

On my website, I can offer my books, both "Running Shorts," and "Personal Best," at the lowest price of $9.99+Shipping and Handling. I'll sign a copy for you and get it out to you immediately.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from the chapter of "Personal Best entitled, 'What Are You Running From?'

     " My post-snowstorm schedule begins with shoveling and sweeping the snow from my property, followed by lunch and a warm beverage, such as hot chocolate. Then, after a brief rest, I don my winter running gear and prepare for a few slow, dangerous miles on snow-covered roads, narrowed by the newly created snow piles. I personally resent the “You should be doing THIS” comment as somehow suggesting that my vast personal wealth allows me to hire a team of snow clearing professionals, who perform the task for me.

     The winter of 1993 featured a number of storms that kept us buried throughout most of the season. At the time, I served as mayor of the City of Pottsville and its 16,000 residents. It was not a pleasant time to be a long distance runner. Ice and snow covered most outside surfaces for most of the months of January, February, and March. Conditions were so bad that many Pennsylvania schools cancelled classes for an entire week.

     During one late afternoon run, an older gentleman stood, digging out his car, which sat buried beneath a dome of heavy snow. He dug frantically, hurling the snow into a huge pile in front of the vehicle. He appeared to be tired, cold, and frustrated. My running partner Mike Dicello and I had just embarked on a 7-mile run. The sight of two runners, clad in tights, chatting as they loped along the slippery surfaces was apparently too much for man to bear. And when he recognized one runner as the mayor, he exploded, “Hey you.” I ignored his rudeness and continued to run. Relentless, he continued, “Hey you. I’m talking to you. Get back here.” The final statement caused me to reach MY breaking point. I spun 180 degrees on the slick, snow covered road, confronting the gentleman face to face. He proceeded to instruct me on the proper snow plowing and removal techniques that the professionals of Pottsville’s Department of Streets clearly had not mastered. Irritated, I asked him when he had last driven a snow plow, and he did not reply. After a heated discussion, in which I am sure I forfeited his future vote, I continued, to his dismay, on my training run.

     More recently, a much more pleasant gentleman, shoveling a less voluminous snowfall, observed my presence as I ran by. In a jovial manner he asked, “What are you running from?”

     Normally, I would reply with a sarcastic or an irreverent reply, but instead I shrugged my shoulders and pondered his question as I continued.

     So what ARE we running from?

     Ben Franklin once said that the only things we can be sure of in life are death and taxes. Runners remain a few steps ahead of the Grim Reaper. He’ll eventually get us, but he’ll have to catch us first. Unfortunately, however, we can’t run from the IRS.

     Our lives have become so complex these days that, sometimes, it seems as though we have very little control over them."