Richard Brody is in training for two of the biggest track events of his life, but he won't be found pounding the pavements in predawn workouts or training on a diet of granola and bean sprouts.
"I'm a regular human being," the Catholic University senior joked when asked if he was among those overrunning the streets near his Catholic University dormitory. "I even eat the same food as everybody else.
"Track is just a hobby to me. I don't take it that seriously. I just run once a day with the team, not 10 or 15 miles a day like some people do.
While track may not be an obsession with Brody, it has provided its moments of glory. Last December, he distinguished himself as the fastest in the nation in the 1,000-meter by clocking 2:24.2 at an indoor meet at the Naval Academy.
"I wouldn't call myself extremely dedicated, but what I do in the afternoon (workouts) is pretty intense. I usually run about six miles a day for distance work and do some (1/4-mile) speed intervals."
A graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Brody, 22, is pacing himself to qualify for the Olympic trials June 21-29 in Eugene, Ore., in his favorite event -- the 800-meter run.
Beyond that, the middle-distance runner is aiming for the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1981, which he'll train for while working toward a master's degree in art education.
Brody said he chose Catholic, which he attends on an athletic scholarship, because of its arts program and track coach, Gerry McGee.
In high school, Brody twice won the state and county championships in cross-country, the indoor and outdoor mile and half-mile and the 1,000-yard run.
His time of 1:48.3 in the 800 meters at the Dogwood Relays at the University of Tennessee last weekend qualified him for the NCAA championships in Austin, Tex., June 5-7. To qualify for the Olympic team in June, he will have to run the 800 in 1:47.4, a time his coach is confident he can achieve.
"His chances are very good," McGee said. "What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in determination. I've had a lot more physically talented people, but he's more determined. I feel confident he'll do it."
Brody is resigned to the fact that there will be no Olympics for him, and agrees that the country should boycott the Moscow Games because of the Soviet military presence in Afghanistan.
Still, he has the Maccabiah Games to look forward to. "I suspect I have the fastest 800-meter time among Jewish boys in the country," Brody said.
By virtue of his performance last weekend, Brody has already qualified for the 800-meter run at the israeli games and expects to qualify for the 1,500 meters.
The 800 meter is his favorite event. "It's a very fast race, where you have to go out and think very quickly about what you are doing."