An 18-Minute Mile Never Felt So Good


I’ve wanted to write a piece on embracing slow for a while. When it comes to running, I define slow. Do I care that I’m slow? No, I embrace slow. I am just blessed to be moving. That’s a gift for me.

For those who don’t know, I was disabled for most of my life from a motocross racing injury when I was young. For years I lived with bone on bone pain in my ankle because I was too scared to do a brutal fusion surgery. My situation was not going to get any better, and the difficult surgery would only get harder as I got older. Ultimately, I got the guts to do it.

My wife started hanging out with people from Runners Lane, a local running shoe store. She invited me to come for their Thursday FUN Run. At this point in my life, I never would equate running with fun. It turns out that everyone; at any fitness level is welcome, including walkers. That was the start for me.

I discovered that this is a nice group and they are very encouraging to people at all fitness levels. Anyone who is in the Santa Clarita, CA area should consider joining us for any of the scheduled events, which are noted on the Runners Lane Facebook page.

Walking ultimately led to me “running” although most people walk faster than I run. Walking is nice, but for me, the motion of running feels very freeing…even if I am slow.

My Santa Clarita Marathon journey started with the Mayors Walk, followed by the 5K and two Half Marathons. I’ve not done the full marathon and probably never will. At this stage of my life, a marathon is not on my bucket list, kudos to those who do 26.2 miles. I’m happy to support my running friends on these long runs.

In the few years, I have been “running” I’ve found there is serenity to the motion of running. I’ve been at business conferences and enjoyed starting the day, or ending the day with a run.

Fortunately, I have stayed pretty healthy for the most part. A calf injury sidelined me for a while, but I recovered. Lately, however, I’ve been struggling with multiple, nagging injuries, which of course are common for runners. I won’t take valuable space in this commentary to whine about all my pains, but suffice it say, what I can do for the moment is somewhat limited.

After a stressful day, I decided to do the Thursday Team Runners Lane FUN Run. Due to travel and these injuries, I hadn’t been there for a while. I missed the people and the Thursday experience that I always look forward to.

ONE of my injuries is that nasty plantar fasciitis. Those are two dirty words for many runners. I’m not sure if that was a good idea or a bad idea, but I did it.

An 18-minute mile never felt so good, at least at the start. Everything people love about running was there for me. It was freeing to be out and my dog Kona loved it as well. After a while, the pain seemingly got the better of me, but I still enjoyed doing the run…slow as it was, and it was SLOW. That’s OK. I embrace slow. An 18-minute mile! Yeah! It’s awesome.

As I look ahead to the next Santa Clarita Marathon, the Half is off the table for me. In the past, I have enjoyed the rigors of training and the reward of accomplishing a significant goal of completing 13.1 miles.

Reflecting on my running experiences, my goal is just to get well and stay moving. My own personal life’s journey birthed a program I’ve dubbed SuccessFit4Life! At its core, the goal is to encourage people on their wellness journey…wherever they want to go. Being a business guy, I developed a wellness program concept for businesses and organizations. There also is a fundraising component to raise money for worthy causes.

My life has changed from running. Many people’s lives have changed. I find myself bit surprised that I have become a champion for our biggest local race, the Santa Clarita Marathon. Stranger still is that I’ve participated in it for a few years.

I believe anyone at any age can get moving on some level. We may not be the 80-year-old who has done marathons all their life, but we can accomplish the goals we define.


By: Jeff Solomon

Jeff Solomon is the President of All American Marketing Group, a promotional marketing agency and publishes an award-winning business resource for his industry. Jeff’s life changed as he met a welcoming group of people who encouraged him on his running journey. These experiences led to the creation of SuccessFit4Life!, a program that is impacting lives around the country. 

Runners Lane Facebook Group links to:

SuccessFit4Life!  links to:

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