The midday sun shined its summer heat down on Frank Seffrood’s back as he ran through the eastern portions of Copperas Cove on Wednesday.
Dripping in sweat, the neighborhood streets served as his running trail, as he passed blocks and blocks of homes and the construction of the U.S. Highway 190 Bypass.
The 2 p.m. run is routine for Seffrood, a 74-year-old Copperas Cove councilman, six days a week.
“It started out as a health issue and then at the back of your mind you get this ‘Rocky’ syndrome or an ‘Ironman’ syndrome, where you are always trying to do better and out-do yourself,” said Seffrood about why he runs during the hottest part of the day. “It is an ‘Ironman’ thing. I can do it. I will defy all odds.”
Seffrood dedicated himself to running about 20 years ago. The challenge now is the summer heat.
“It is a nice challenge for me, and I have a nice route to run without competing with traffic,” he said.
On Wednesday, he timed himself at about 54 minutes for 4.25 miles.
There were a few walks in the run and he makes sure not to over exert himself.
“You have common sense, too,” Seffrood said. “I am not going to go out and run a 4-minute mile because I know I can’t.”
Running was never Seffrood’s thing when he was younger, he said.
In high school, he was the football player who moved only as much as he had to.
“I was one of the big linemen that could move two miles per hour and push people out of the way,” he said.
When Seffrood joined the Army, he continued to run only the amount he was ordered.
But as he got older, his weight continued to fluctuate, and he decided running was the best way to regulate it.
“A good way to pack weight on is to sit around and do nothing,” he said, admitting he used to think standing up at his job was enough of a workout.
“I decided that it was a way that I could control my weight without killing myself.”
Another benefit is the tranquility of running, he said.
“It is solitary,” Seffrood said. “Meaning, if you are thinking about something, you don’t have any interference with that. You run it through your mind, then that is it. It is so peaceful.”
In the past several years, Seffrood has encouraged several of his friends to start running, and he said all those who have kept it up have gotten healthier.
“Age is not a problem, it is dedication, because there are people who are 20 who don’t take care of themselves, but you start to care more about your health later on in life,” he said.
“My advice is to start early and continue on a sensible program.”