Coming back from an injury: When to run?

Out and Back | November 4th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala Thursday morning felt like Christmas. I woke up with eager anticipation, curious about what Santa had left me. The first step out of bed would tell me if I’d been gifted a BB gun or a stocking full of coal. The night before, I did my first track workout in six weeks. […]

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No shortcuts to healing

Out and Back | October 15th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala The milkshakes at the Fairlane Grill are too good to pass on. Yet, on most visits, when my wife and I steal some time for a late weekday breakfast, I manage to refrain. In the thick of heavy distance training, where I might be running 12 miles a day, the 400 or […]

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Missing the big picture

Out and Back | September 30th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala I am running through Zion National Park, quickly approaching Emerald Pools. I’m locked in on the rocky terrain in front of me even as I am glancing up at the TV screens to catch coverage of the Pope. I’m fully immersed in a fake world, trying to ignore the only real thing […]

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Overcoming the pain

Out and Back | September 2nd, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala Ten minutes into an hour-long run, I was bent over and wheezing. I hadn’t been running hard at all. In fact, I was going as slow as I could. But I had spent those ten minutes grunting and grimacing nonetheless. The day before, atop the waterslide at the Flourtown Swim Club, I […]

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Seizing the moment

Out and Back | August 20th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala “I’ll show you my hill if you show me yours.” That was the gist of the conversation Alfredo and I had as we embarked on our run. We had a loose framework for the mileage we wanted to put in, but, otherwise, we had no plan. Human civilization could be defined by […]

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Getting past the numbers

Out and Back | July 30th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala On his 9th birthday, my oldest son spent the afternoon in the cool of our basement watching the Minions, giggling and reciting the lines with a well-tuned affect. I asked him what it was like to be older. He said he felt like he was still 8. He consistently shows those flashes […]

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Trying to break 16

Out and Back | July 22nd, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala The nomadic thunderstorms of the weeks before had failed to bring relief in their wake. It took ten hours of steady rain to finally erase the humidity. Twilight ended abruptly. The clouds cut to black. I looped the infield at SCH’s track, shirtless, inviting a chill, still thinking about yesterday. It would […]

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Out and Back: Learning how to prepare

Out and Back | July 16th, 2015 | Leave a comment

by Dante Zappala I started running when I was 13 and only now have I mastered pre-race preparation. This was no feat of genius but one of fortunate timing. The 4th of July fell on a weekend, just a few days before Germantown Academy’s All-Comers meet where I planned to race the 3,000 meters. I […]

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