Sunday, December 7, 2014

v.4 N. 93 Marilyn Monroe Set an Early Pace for Women's Running

The following piece came from the Penn State Alumni Track Blog written by David Baskwill.
A few days ago I sent him the address of a blog from England with a picture of Marilyn Monroe doing a morning run which apparently was a regular thing with her when she was young.  Since most of our readers know who Marilyn was, I won't go into detail about her life and career.  Many of you probably kept that one issue of her in Playboy between the mattress and the bed frame where your mother would never find it.  It was the first issue of Playboy in 1953.  Mint condition copies are going for $1000.00 on ebay.  Of course if you still have your personal copy, I doubt it is in mint condition.  Somehow David turns the initial idea into a short treatise on two a days and overcoming a genetically challenged high school coach.   I've added a few more pics of Marilyn working out.    I think most of you will find some value.   By the way the Penn State track alum blog should be on all of your reading lists.

 Really great reading by a lot of their alums.  Don't be fooled by the reference to 'golf', it's a cover for their annual track alum golf tournament.

Norma Jean Always Did Her Morning Run

The only reason I ever was allowed to walk on to the Nittany Lion team back in 1977 (Again, "Thanks Coach!") was a decision I made half way through 1975.  I'm not sure where it came from really, as there was little in the way of literature then.  Running World and its authors may have actually stimulated my "unique" idea to get better at running following the collapse of my basketball career.

I'm talking about the decision to do "2-a-days", of course.  I had a somewhat rigid schedule during the school year  of  3 miles at 6:00am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 5 miles at 5:45am on Tuesday and Thursday.  That counted even days with cross country or track races in the afternoon.  Saturdays were usually just one run, but often 2 anyway.  Sundays were long run day in homage to whoever first dreamed that up.  While this only added 19 miles to my weekly totals (60-70 miles being my norm with the mornings, with several 100's thrown in sporadically), it added an edge to my psyche.  I honestly figured this should mean I should beat everyone I came up against, as I knew no one else was doing it. At least in my limited little world.

And it was true.  I did lose a few XC races that Senior year, even to a teammate at first.  But half-way into the season, I made an error by ignoring my coach's orders and setting a course record in winning my first XC race ever.  We had been asked to run as a group, in order to help the slower runners run faster and theoretically score better as a result.  The team had a vote and unanimously voted to suspend me for the next meet, where I had to run as a JV runner, starting a minute after the real race.
I was quite pissed, but realized there was no changing things on a team I alienated during the summer by not smoking marijuana at the Shrine of St. Mary with everyone else at Summer Camp at Mount Saint Mary's. (Still haven't, by the way.  Thank Goodness, I have no need for that kind of stuff.)

The day of the JV race came, and I ran with an abandon I had never had before starting the "2-a-days" and I won the whole race despite starting a minute behind everyone else.  I figured I was running more than anyone, therefore I should be beating those who were running less.  I still say twice a day runs are the most important thing anyone can do to improve at running.  And the "easiest".  Science backs me up.

As did Coach Groves!  (Harry Groves, long time Penn State iconic coach ed.)

Morning runs were a big part of the adjustment to college distance running for everyone at PSU.  Even though I was doing it regularly before I arrived, it was still a big adjustment.  Looking back, it is obvious that those with the best resumes took this seriously.  I refer to the morning routines of my Freshman Captains Bruce Baden andJohn Zeigler especially.

I was still pretty religious about morning runs the first 2 years, and only shirked a little Junior year too.  My "career" happened to mirror my morning ritual.  Take note, youngsters!

So when I was tipped off to a very unique photo by our best Canadian friend and Drone Fuhrer, all of this morning run stuff came pouring back into my consciousness.

Yes, everyone in the PSU Track Alumni Golfing Universe,  Norma Jean once had a morning run ritual to compliment her other health and fitness routine.  The more I learn about her early life, the more I like her.  The lousy bastards that ruined her (including Joe DiMaggio) robbed us of so much more.

Marilyn Monroe on a morning run in 1951.
This picture is from the blog Go Feet.  


This of course may remind you of Ernst Van Aaken's timeless question. 
"Do they run because they are beautiful, or are they beautiful, because they run?"

George: Only thing I have left is MORNING RUNS. after a midnight  midnight snack of trail mix black liquorice and cranberry juice.  Phil Scott

Today I learned that Elvis played the piano then I learned that Marilyn Monroe was a runner.  It's only 3:00 PM 3:00PM , so I feel I have learned enough and could now go to bed.   Bill Schnier

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