General running information and thoughts from a guy who has gone around the track too many times.

Tag Archives: trail running

I know I promised my article – “10 Things I Learned While Running Many Miles Over A Few Days – posted by now. You are just going to have to wait a tad longer. Moving, which we have been doing for the past month, is serious work and takes a lot out of us movers. You could ask any professional mover and they would agree. They would probably hand you their business card as well. I wish that I had been given a mover’s business card. Things could have been much different. Oh, the joys of hindsight. I would rather go run to Texas than have to move again. I am still suffering some sort of trauma from it all. Heavy sigh.

That all said, I am working on the piece and am up to number 4. Please be patient. All good things comes to those who wait. That is what my mom said. I have a sister who likes to say it as well. I must have been a very impatient child if both my mom, and now my sister, are reminding me to be patient

Life in West Seattle is good. There are squirrels living right next door in the vacant house’s attic. They seem like a nice squirrel family. As nice as they come, I think. We didn’t have any squirrels back on the island. Finn and Harper tell me that the house is haunted. Maybe it is. They should know; they’re kids.

I have named one of the squirrels Peppy. I don’t know if it is the male or the female. The art of determining the sex of squirrels is unknown to me. Peppy sits in the apple tree in front of our house. I watch him/her from the large window in my home office. He eats while studying me. Peppy has very small eyes and a very bushy tale. I have seen him hang upside down while eating an apple, which must not be good for his digestion. I have tried to take Peppy’s picture, but he is camera shy. Soon I will outwit him and take his picture. Then I will post it so you can see.

Our cats are freaked out by Peppy and his family. Since they have never seen a squirrel before I think that they think they are odd looking cats. Maybe they are just that. I will need to ask Finn and Harper. They will know and won’t be surprised that I don’t know.

Running has been good for me. I wake up at 4:30 AM and prepare myself for a 5 AM meet-up with son Ammon. We run the streets of West Seattle. He points out things of interest that I won’t remember. I find that there are not all that many cars on the streets at 5; although, I have seen other runners out. I think they are sleepy too. It’s a good time to run, but anytime is a good time to run. Right?

I promise I will have my “10 Things I Learned” piece posted up before the rise of the next full moon. Until then, run happy and run hard.

Clark

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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.

Just finished running my 167 miles.

Just finished running my 167 miles.

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.


This week we are going to look at jogging; what it is and what it is not. The story goes that famed running coach from New Zealand, Arthur Lydiard, made popular the term “jogging”. What Lydiard was doing was promoting a slower than normal running pace that also allowed for socializing. Instead of running mile repeats or intervals, Lydiard encouraged runners to head out onto the roads and run slower. Take it easy. Enjoy the sights. Discuss things. Solve the world problems or debate why liquid soap was invented. Jogging provided these types of experiences; cause discussing the latest Bruce Willis movie during mile repeats is not going to happen.Trust me on that.

US running coach Bill Bowerman brought Lydiard’s thinking to the US in 1966 by publishing the book “Jogging”. I own a copy of said book.

I hate to say it but some faster runners didn’t like the hordes of new and slower runners who were coming on the scene back in the 1970’s. Jamming up the lanes on the track forcing faster runners to the outside. Getting attention cause how they looked, which was more relaxed with nice hairdos. These slower newbies were calling themselves “runners”. Many faster runners, when running slower, were talking smack about all the new joggers on the scene. Newbies were more interested in weight loss/control and health benefits that running can produce than how fast they ran that last mile in. They couldn’t really care less if they were on the path for Olympic gold or not. They met as groups and ran around parks, neighborhoods and city streets. They began to popularize running as a social outlet. Joggers also showed that running could be really fun. Oh my.

Unfortunately the “running” group look down at the “jogging” group as a lesser group. Some runners would cringe if they were ever called a jogger and would quickly correct the term. I have had people introduce themselves to me and then say something like “I’m just a jogger. Not a runner like you.” As though their activity needed validation.

Does it really matter if a person is a runner or a jogger? Do we really need to have a “better than thou” stand for an act that comes to us from our genetic code? I don’t think so.I think we are all runners and joggers. They are one in the same.


I have had this idea for awhile to have a running term of the week. My friend and running buddy, Stan The Wine Man, has a wine term of the day, that he posts on www.blucid.com. By reading his definitions you can really develop an understanding of wine. One thing I do know is that Stan The Wine Man knows his wine.

I know running. Been running for, well, let’s say a while. I have ran on both road and trails, plus many loops around the track. I have also ran every race distance up to 50 miles. I coached others as well. My life’s passion is running. Pure and simple.

In honor of my love and knowledge I bring to you “Running Term of the Week”. Ta-da!

This week our term will be “Running”.

My definition of running is pretty simple – its the motion produced by the rapid movement of the feet. Not to be confused with the Fox Trot or the East Coast Swing, where rapid feet movement is a requirement. In order to really run one does need feet. Most mammals and lizards qualify. Slugs do not. Birds and frogs may hop. Snakes, well they slither.

Rapid movement of one’s feet is purely speculative and personal. Some people, like my old, dear friend Steve. Steve considered himself a runner even though he was slow, by his own omission, as sin. He, in my mind, was more of a plodder. After running with Steve a few times I realized that speed had no bearing on the question if someone is really a runner or not. Like I said it’s personal. Steve considered himself a runner. I was always honored to run with him. Slow speeds and all. Steve is now dead. Lost the battle with prostate cancer.Long may you run, Steve. Long may you run.

It’s like the old saying “as you think you shall become” or as the Bible says, “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you (man or woman) think you are a runner and are spending time every day running, then you are a runner. No mater how fast or how slow. One foot in front of the of the other in rapid motion is running. Pure and simple.

Large creatures lurk in strange places. One needs to be prepared.

People tell me that they could never be a runner. I tell them if they had something very big chasing them they would become a runner pretty quick. They agree. Granted, they would still be lunch or dinner depending on the time of day they were being chased. They would at least be giving running the good ole college try. For a block or two.

Next week we will explore the difference between running and jogging.


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.

Clark

PS Thursday night is Wine Tasting for MS at 5.

PSS to donate to the cause of finding a cure for MS, visit here.


What a week this has been and it’s only Thursday.

Sadness still lingers in my heart over the Boston Marathon Bombing. When I first learned of the bombing I was shocked to tears. This running was the 20th anniversary of my Boston Marathon Experience. Twenty years ago that Boston Marathon had bombs on their minds as the World Trade Center had been bombed a few months earlier  on February 26. The last few blocks of the Marathon course had been boarded up to keep spectators away from the finish line.

My thoughts and good wishes go out to the victims and their families.

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

This past Sunday Susan and I ran 35 miles in preparation for the Mt. Si 50 miler which is on April 28. Leaving at 5:40 am the air was chilly, but the sky looked promising for sunshine. We ended up running 35 miles in 7:01 with a max elevation of 6,724 feet. I forgot how hilly this island is.

Monday night was Monday Night Trail Running out at American Camp. Susan, Brendan and I ran our 10 mile loop at a pretty good clip – the fastest for me this year. It was a great run in spite of my tripping and falling. I have a couple of scrapes on my knee, elbow and hand. Makes for good stories.

Tuesday was a double day workout. Lunch time I ran 6 mile in 56:56, which I am really proud of. After work I ran the Egg Lake Loop which is 12 miles. My time was 2:04. Both runs had sunshine! Felt so good having the warmth of the sun on my face and back.

The last three days I have run 63 miles, an average of 21 miles per day. This is close to what I will need to run when I am running my MSRuntheUS Relay segment, where I will need to average 23 miles a day for 7 days.

My training is paying off for me. The best thing is that I feel so good. Great even. Amazing what this 59 year old body can do.

Clark



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