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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What a great day of running I had yesterday (Thursday, April 11); which was a twice-a-day workout. Morning was cold, I mean I don’t think my gloved fingers ever did warm up. 7 easy miles which took me up and around the airport, out through Fox Hall then a short out and back towards Shipyard cove. Lunch time the sun had come out and I was itching to bag another 6 miles. Warmer temperatures made this run fun and quick. 6 miles for a total of 13 miles total. I am very happy about that.
Friday is planned as an easy day, probably another 6. The sun will probably won’t be my companion. (I am crossing my fingers that the sun beats back the clouds).
Saturday or Sunday will be my extra long run. 32 miles is the plan. I will bring my running pack with water and goodies to eat. Lately I have been experimenting with Saquito energy mix. This long run will be the first time I will have Saquito to munch on. I’ll let you know how they work for me.
If I run on Saturday, then Sunday will be my rest day. Or reversed.
I am doing all this training to prepare myself for the MS Run the US Relay segment, which I start on May 24. I sill have miles to go.
Good running to you!
Last week, which ended on Sunday March 31, was a positive week for me. Here are my stats:
Weekly Miles: 68
Time Ran: 13:57
Calories Burned while running: 14,136
Longest Run: 30 miles
I changed my training this week to a more traditional short/long method. I run a short or recovery run of six miles on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday I ran longer for 12 miles. On Saturday I ran the Gorge Waterfall 50K, which was a tad short. I figured I still ran around 30 miles.
This type of training is similar to my approach to how I plan to run 163 miles in 7 days, the length of my MS Run the US Relaysegment. My plan is to run 30 miles (spilt into two runs) on the odd days and 17 miles on the even days an average of 23 daily miles over 7 days. I am hoping that the shorter days will provide me with adequate recovery.
This past week of running short/long days was a good thing. The shorter, recovery days provided relief of both body and spirit, which is really important. If my spirits aren’t up, then it’s harder to get out the door.
- Finished the Gorge Waterfall 50K. My goal was to finish in the 6 to 7 hour range, but missed by 25 minutes. Still, the experience was positive. I was also able to experiment with my eating plan. I am still looking for something that will work with my stomach on these longer runs, while replenishing my energy.
- Weight loss continues with my new way of eating, which started on March 1. Part of my reasoning to participate in the Relay was that this would force me to deal with my weight issues. So far so good. I am down 26 pounds since January 1. I feel better and have more energy. I feel like my eating is supporting my running rather than my running keeping my eating in check.
- Every Monday night is running American Camp Trails with my running buddies, who are all younger and faster than me. For the past couple of years I have needed to walk up the steep backside trail to Mt. Finlayson. This has been frustrating for me as I use to run up with no problem. This week was my third week in a row of running up this steep trail. I am happy about that.
Running Schedule for April 1 – 7th.
Monday – 7 miles on trails
Tuesday – 14 miles
Wednesday – 7 miles
Thursday – 14 miles
Friday – 7 miles
Saturday – Rest/Recover Day
Sunday – 30 miles
Total: 79 miles.
I would like to thank all those who have given to help me reach my goal of running $10,000. It seems like a long way to go, but . . . so is 163 miles, but it can be done.
Hope you all have a great week!
Donate Today I would appreciate it as well as those suffering from the effects of MS.