I ran 331 miles in 12 days.
Not all at one time.
In May I ran 167 miles in 7 days from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In August I ran 164 miles in 6 days from Mahoney City, Pennsylvania to New York City, New York. All for MS Run the US Relay.
I learned a lot about myself and about running.
Want to learn what I learned?
- Getting started. Sometimes when you first wake-up and realize you need to run long, the mind starts telling you all the reasons why you can’t. Leave it to the mind and you’ll stay in bed. I found that getting my feet moving was the key to waking the mind up to what my body could actually do. When the brain gets on board anything can happen.
- Real Food is good. That just seems silly to say, but it’s totally true. I have tired most name brand sports drink, gels and the what-have-yous. Running magazines are full of ads that tells us what products works best. My truth is that sports-aid-items do not work for me. I have found that real food in the form of fruits, oatmeal, raisins, nuts, whole grains, and potato chips (I realize that potato chips might not be considered a real food, but it doesn’t come out of a tube) really works for me. I also like water over sport drinks. And Coke. Nothing like a cold satisfying Coke at 10 miles. Just the right amount of sugar, caffeine and pleasure; which can keep me going for another 10 miles. Add some potato chips and I will run 30 miles. Don’t even get me started on doughnuts.
- Beer – it’s an acceptable post-run beverage. I am a man of rewards and beer is one of those rewards that can keep me moving forward. Knowing that a cold frosty bottle of brew; which has my name on it, makes those last few miles bearable. Oh, there are some nutritional benefits, but who cares. Right?
- Shirtless running. When the sun is out, the temperature warm and the humidity is high I prefer running without a shirt. Please do not give me all that crap about sunburn, sunscreen and skin cancer. We were born to run and we were born to be out in the sun. Period. Give it a try, you’ll find it refreshing. Anton knows. (Disclaimer – local decently laws may apply.)
- Wear the right shoes. The right shoes for you, that is. A good running store, like West Seattle Runner, will have you try various models to help you decide what feels good. Pick the shoes that are going to support you on your adventure. I would have been nuts to pick a lightweight, minimal shoe to run 30 miles on pavement. With broken glass and dead snakes.
- High tech material can make you day. These new tech shirts and shorts will wick (a word a runner never said in 70’s and 80’s) moisture away from your skin. This allows you to stay cool and dry. Easy to pack, carry and dries quickly. Make sure they fit and will not rub you in all the wrong places. If they do rub, get some Body Glide.
- Have a great support person or team to help you. These will be people who care about you and will have your food and gear ready for when you’ll need it. They can also do your thinking for you when you aren’t thinking right. Just remember to be nice to them, especially when your Demon Side appears.
- Know your equipment. The morning of your adventure is not the time to try to figure out your new GPS watch. Or even a headlamp. You need to know how everything works before you even put them in your pack. Read the manual and experiment.
- Know where you are going. External input is nice, but comes with a percentage of error. GPS watches can be off. A nice person may not know what they hell they are talking about. Memory fails. It is your responsibility to know where you are going. Know your route and make notes if needed.
- Have Fun! This adventure is yours. You trained and dreamed to do this. Now, go out and have some fun. And be safe.
On May 30th, Clark Gilbert started on a running journey that would change his life. Leaving Vernal, Utah at 6:00 am, Clark ran 167 miles, along highway 45, to Steamboat Springs, Colorado – all in 7 days. His journey was a part of the MS Run the US Relay which began on April 12 in Los Angeles, California and will finish on September 6 in New York City, New York. The Relay’s purpose is to raise awareness and money to better understand multiple sclerosis and to find a cure. The Relay includes 16 runners who ran a marathon each day of their segment.
Clark is at it again. On August 31 he will leave Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania and run to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Stopping at the shore of the Hudson River, overlooking New York City, on September 4. His total mileage, after 5 days of running, will be close to 150 miles. This will be the last long segment of the Relay before the grand finale, where Ashley Kumlien (MS Run the US Relay organizer) runs while pushing her MS stricken mother, and joined by other relay runners, up and over the Hudson River into downtown New York City.
Clark is doing this to support conquering a disease that affects many people in San Juan County, as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest. “I am running to serve others” said Clark. “There are too many who can’t walk through their homes without some type of aid. These are who I think about when I feel like I can’t run another step.”
Visit www.runhappyrunhard.com for up-to-date information on Clark’s second run as well as his writings from his first adventure.
To donate to help develop an understanding and find a cure for MS, please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/msruntheus/clarkgilbert.
I know. You read the title and chuckled. Everyone does. It’s the Swedish word fartlek. Not fart lick, even though they sound the same. Fartlek means “speed play.” In the running world, any time you mix hard/fast running with a rest period it is considered a fartlek. What makes it different from speed training is that a fartlek is not as structured. I mean, doing speed training on the track might be something like 4 sets of 1 mile with 400m recovery.
A fartlek would be more like running a 7 mile loop, then running for 1 minute at a pace faster than race pace. Next, run for a 1 minute recovery. Or, you could run really hard from one power/telephone pole to the next, then recover. You do that for 5 miles, then run a cool down mile and call the day “good.”
I have found fartleks good in developing both speed and endurance while being a somewhat pleasant experience. Meaning one isn’t just running circles around a track for miles. Fartleks can be a fun way groups can speed train together. For example you have 10 runners running in line and at every minute the runner in the back sprints up to the front and takes the lead. This type of fartlek would be repeated for miles and miles.Not only a great way to build speed and endurance, but a great way to make and develop friendships. My running friends all love me for the crazy ways I come up to train.
Brooks Partners with MapMyFitness to Inspire, Educate and Connect Runners
Seattle – July 16, 2013 – For many, running is about more than just numbers or routes. It’s also about community and connection. Today, Brooks Running Company gives those runners a virtual gathering place: The Run Happy Group, where runners nationwide can find inspiration, education and connection. The digital community lives on MapMyFitness properties, including MapMyRun and MapMyFitness.
The Run Happy Group comes out of a one-of-a-kind partnership between leading running brand Brooks Running Company and innovative social fitness company MapMyFitness and their MapMyRun app. The Run Happy Group is the first fully integrated program between a major consumer sportswear company and MapMyFitness.
Exclusive to the partnership is a “Rate My Run” Brooks-sponsored feature that allows everyone who logs a run through MapMyFitness properties to share (and rate) their experience with options like Crushed Goals, Kicked Butt and Finished with a Smile. The rating system encourages runners to express their fitness progress through multiple social channels, building up the community that the Run Happy group promotes.
“Runners tell us that, after health and fitness, the No. 1 reason they run – and the most common reason they continue to run – is for fun and enjoyment,” said Heather Snavely, Senior Director, Global Brand. “We created the Run Happy Group to give runners a place to share those fun experiences and to be a source of inspiration for each other. As the leading online community of runners, MapMyFitness was the perfect partner to bring this community to life.”
MapMyRun’s current features allow users to easily track, analyze and share running routes, distance, time, pace, calories burned and much more. Brooks’ Run Happy Group adds exclusive new features designed just for runners to the desktop experience. These features include expertise on running and racing, inspirational and motivational content from Brooks and partners, a Run Happy Instagram feed and the ability to “Rate My Run.”
Local groups are another integral part of the Run Happy Group. After joining the nationwide group, runners can sync up with a local group managed by an in-town specialty running store where they’ll discover new routes in their neighborhood, details on local events and runs, store discounts and more. Launching with more than 300 retailers across the country, local groups allow members to run with more than just their phones, they allow them to find and run with friends.
MapMyRun is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry users. Runners can join the Run Happy Group by following the “Rate My Run” prompts after completing a run on the app or by visitingwww.mapmyrun.com/runhappy.
It has been close to a month since I finished my 166 mile segment for MS Run the US Relay. I have spent the past few weeks thinking and reflecting on my experience. I wanted to be really clear with myself before I wrote this summary. To say the least this experience was nothing but awesome.
My last day running for the Relay was a somber day. Rain fell the night before. The west wind was blowing in a storm towards the mountains I was running to. Unlike the six prior days, this day would not be chilly in the morning and hot as the sun rose, but just plain cold. I was to run 26.2, a full marathon. I was totally ready to go. After six days of averaging over 25 miles, another 26.2 miles would be nothing. By the time I finished the distance, due to logistics of finish line preparations, I ended up running 24.2 miles. I was a tad disappointed with the shortness, but seeing my sister Merit at the finish line made-up for any disappointment. Merit drove over from Cheyenne, Wyoming and brought Bill Sinack, the runner who would replace me, with her from Denver. Bill would go on to run 200 miles in 9 days. Bill did a great job. Also at the finish line was Ashley, Relay director and Lucas, our local running host. Thank you all.
As I mentioned my day was somber. I really didn’t want to stop. I would have kept running all the way to New York if I could. The cold storm clouds blowing in added to the sadness I was feeling. Good bye sunshine. Leaving the Relay was a total bummer for me. I was having so much fun – much like a summer camp for crazy adult runners. I missed Shelly. I missed Ammon and his family. I missed my friends. I missed so many aspects of my life, but found such a quiet that my soul really started craving more quiet. My sister, Carla, asked me what I like most about running for 7 days. I needed to think for a moment and then I replied “the quiet of the open road”. Just being on the road, running. Putting one foot in front of the other. That’s all I had to do. My mind thought about so many things and then the quiet seeped in. I began to think of nothing. This was such a cool experience, an experience that I have found to be most hard in explaining. I think this is what meditation is design to do, quiet the mind. I experienced an intense feeling of mental peace. This was what running this long road gave me – a sense of peace.
As I reflect back on my week of running for the Relay I have a huge sense of gratitude. No just for running. For Shelly who re-designed how we ate so I would have the daily energy to run as many training miles as I did, which allowed me to kick some butt. From the very beginning of this project, Shelly’s support was strong and much needed. Thank you Shelly. I have also have much gratitude for Ashley Kumlein, Relay Director and Aaron for their “handling” of me on the road. Their good cheer and dedication to my success help make this experience most special. Thank you Ashley and Mr. Aaron. You made me feel like a Rock Star.
There are sixteen of us running in this Relay from Los Angeles to New York City. These are amazing people who have gone to the road to log their miles for the cause of understanding and finding a cure for MS. I respect all of them. I am grateful for their dedication, not just to running the Relay, but finding a cure. All of their kind words and helpful tips were appreciated.
Finally, I appreciate all of those friends and family who gave to this cause of finding a cure for MS. I appreciate the trust that they had in me to go and run. Thank you for your support.
So many people have been asking me “what’s next.” Don’t really know. I do know that I am getting out the door and logging my miles; partly to keep my fitness up and partly to find that peace.
Wow! After a thousand plus miles of running and countless number of calories eaten and burned I am nearing my time to run for the MS Run the US Relay. In 10 days I will start running from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Some 170 miles. Give or take. May it be the take. I have 7 days to run all this which is very close to running a marathon (26.2 miles) per day for those 7 days. All my training and preparation is coming down to the wire. This is when I put everything on the line and experience what I think will be an epic experience. At least I hope it is an epic experience and not something I put on my “Seemed Like A Good Idea” list. It’s a long list too.
This training journey of mine has been very positive for me. My running has been nothing but pure joy. No aches or pains to speak of. Oh, I had some adjustments to make, but for the most part, everything is going smoothly. Training for the Relay has also given me the opportunity to spend quality time with my running friends. Thank you Susan, Stan, Brendan, Paul, Randy and Brian for your help and support. Shelly, my wife, redesigned our eating to ensure that I had the energy needed to log weekly miles of over 60, 70 and 80 miles per week. Thank you Shelly. Besides eating good food to fuel to my body, I have also dropped over 45 pounds. Thank you J.J. Virgin and a whole lot of running. This whole experience has left me feeling great, much like I did when I was in my 20’s.
With 10 days to go my thoughts move from running to packing to, well, so many things that I need to do. Lists to make. All things to keep me moving forward.
As far as my running for this week is concerned I have 2 goals. (1) to run, but to run with the intention of recovery and relaxation. (2) Not to injure or hurt myself. Just last week while running trails with friends I let myself go and started pushing my pace. Flying over roots, rocks and stumps. Then I realized that I couldn’t afford to trip and hurt myself. I have been cautiously running since.
10 days to go and tomorrow will be 9. Time moves forward and so must I. Stay tuned.
PSS to donate to the cause of finding a cure for MS, visit here.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have given to the cause of MS research and education a very BIG THANK YOU for your donations. I do appreciate it.
Some of you might have seen on my web site (www.runhappyrunhard.com) or on the various social media networks that I have taken on a new challenge in 2013. I have joined forces with MS Run the US to raise awareness and funds to END MS. Read about it here ===> http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/
On May 24, 2013 I will be running the first of my seventh back-to-back marathons starting in Vernal, UT and concluding in Steam Boat Springs, CO on the May 30th.
It’s definitely not for everyone, however, I feel extremely fortunate that I am in excellent health (all though some might wonder about my mental health) and I am running both long and hard to prepare myself for this epic adventure while representing an incredible charity.
Along with my pledge to run 7 marathons I have taken on the challenge of fundraising a minimum of $10,000. (This is where I need your help).
I am asking all of you for the following help:
- Make a Donation Today: http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/ any amount can and will help because 100% of your donation goes to MS Research and Education. Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 3198, FH, WA 98250.
- Share this E-mail: please send this e-mail on to as many of your friends + family as possible. The broader net we can cast the more people we can reach and the stronger we can grow.
- Post on Facebook: “I just donated to, Clark Gilbert, MS Run the US 2013 Relay Runner. Learn more here ===> http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/“. Copy and paste the sentence before into your status update to help spread the word!
- Lend Me Your Network: $10,000 is a large amount of money and I am not expecting my small group of friends and family to donate all of that cash. I am hoping that we can all look inside our hearts, find the one thing we all have in common, compassion. I appeal to all of you to share with me anyone or any company that might be interested in becoming involved with my crazy adventure and MS Run the US.
I am very excited about this new adventure and working with MS Run the US. I can’t wait to share it with all of you as I share my experiences leading up, during and after my run. Any help you can provide to myself and MS Run the US is greatly appreciated. Check out my journey at www.runhappyrunhard.com or www.seattlepirun.com.