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As a Runner, the Fire Within Sparks a True Burning Desire!

Do you have the "Fire Within?"

 

Last Tuesday I was watching The Biggest Loser with my wife, not to be misinterpreted that my wife was watching me thinking I was the biggest loser.  This show motivates me, not only due to the physical transformations which happens right before our very eyes, but also the mental transformations.  Seeing people that were overweight, depressed and had no hope in life slowly start to gain belief and confidence in themselves, and completely changing as a person is so inspirational.  This show reveals that, with the help of others, a “Fire Within” can be created, which in turn ignites a burning desire to change as a person.

I’m fortunate I’ve never been severely overweight, nor had life threatening health issues.  However, I’ll be honest, I can recall only a few times during my life that I had a true internal burning desire.  Like most of us, I’ve had the “Fire Within” many times, only for it to be doused.  Burning desire is a very hard feeling to come by but is the most powerful, positive, internal-motivating feeling you may ever have in your life.  If you read enough positive-thinking books, burning desire has a common theme which is, if you have a true burning desire there is nothing or nobody that can stop you from reaching your goal.

A Majestic Run is Good for the Soul!

A Majestic Run is Good for the Soul!

 

In my last blog post, I wrote about when a “Bad Training Run is Good for You.” Well, our running group members from Runners Edge of the Rockies in Denver got a royal treat on Saturday.  A run on a beautiful day on a spectacular, breathtaking course on Rock Creek and Coal Creek trails around Broomfield, Colorado, which is very close to Boulder.

There’s something to be said that beauty can tame the beast.  This was a day that I enjoyed running the first half of my 14-mile run with my pace group, but really wanted to run most of the way back by myself.  I wanted to take in the scenery of the beautiful Rocky Mountains and just get into my own head.  It was actually a “Zen run” for me. Along the way, I even took pictures of a few of our other pace groups.

Bad Training Runs are Good For You!

Bad Training Runs are Good for You!

 

Sounds strange doesn’t it, “Bad Training Runs are Good for You.”  I had one last Saturday and although it was bad, it still was good. Seven miles of ease and then seven miles of hell.  Fatigue, soreness, pain and my mind just saying, “let’s get this over quickly.”  Why was my run so bad?  Our running club coach warned us that the first half of the run was downhill but on the way back, it’d be a 5% hill upgrade… and it was going to get warm.  Amnesia–did I forget what he said?  I guess so since I hammered it on the first seven and paid dearly on the way back. I knew eventually I would have a bad long run since I have had several great long runs recently. Maybe spring fever got the best of me.

In Running – The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Your Mind is the Key to a Successful Race!

 

Spring marathon and half-marathon season is upon us, and there are a slew of them in April and May, including the Super Bowl of all marathons, Boston.

The cold months (in most areas) of physical training, with a combination of long runs, goal pace miles, hill repeats, cross-training and all the other ingredients to prepare you for the big day is not only necessary but mandatory–it gets all your critical body parts and muscles in condition.  However, besides building your body engine, you also need to work very hard on your computer, the critical hard drive–your mind (also known as mental conditioning).  For many seasoned runners, this is all too familiar and to be straight up, the mind is the ultimate make or break component as you work your way through your race.  In my opinion, mental conditioning is even more critical than all the physical training you’ve done to prepare for your race.

If the Running Shoe Fits, Wear It!

Pick the Right Running Shoe for You!

 

Just like most runners that have been running for several years, we have quite a few miles under our feet.  I bet I’ve gone through over 100 pairs of running shoes, if not more.  If you were to ask me what was the first running shoe I ever wore, I couldn’t tell you. Also, If you asked me what shoe I wore in my first marathon, L.A. on March 5, 1989, I’d have no clue.  Not even sure I wore actual running shoes. My brother was a Brooks fan, so maybe I wore Brooks but, again, I’m clueless.

Running was not as popular in 1989 as it is today, although it was gaining legs (no pun intended – well maybe!).  Trying to compare running shoes from then to now, is like comparing the Commodore 64 computer to an Apple MacBook Pro. Astonishing, incredible technical advances.

My Mind Says Go – My Body Says No!

What Happened to my Speed and Endurance?

Like a light switch, the weather in Denver has changed to spring-like temperatures.  Like termites coming out of a soggy piece of wood, people are outside walking, running and bike riding in abundance.  My favorite pre-spring race, Runnin’ of the Green, was held this past Sunday in downtown Denver.  It drew over 5,000 people attempting to complete this 7K event, and the festivities afterward were jam-packed.

So, this brings me to the guts of my blog.  Many runners who were at their peak training level last fall in order to complete a marathon or half-marathon, may have either drastically tapered or altogether stopped running after crossing that fall finish line. Combined with the cold temperatures, winter snow, dangerous ice and decreased daylight, the attitude of “I’ll just start running again in the spring” probably came to many minds.  And, like every year, many runners did just that, only to gain a few pounds and possibly get a little lazy during those off months.  Some may have kept an easy maintenance program or even went to the gym.  But running for many basically came to a grinding halt, or at least a snail’s pace.

Support Your Local Running Store – Buy Local!

As with every month, I highly anticipate receiving my copy of Runners World Magazine.  I usually read it cover-to-cover and get some very valuable information.  I also enjoy reading their inspirational articles and stories. This week, when I went to the mailbox and pulled out my April edition, it looked different. Thicker?  Gasp…horror…it was due to a gigantic 24-page, high-gloss advertising supplement from Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was shocked.

Alright, I know Runners World is in business to make money and so is Dick’s Sporting Goods, and I respect them both.  However, I’m hell bent on supporting my LOCAL RUNNING STORE of choice, specifically Runners Roost.  Let’s look at Dick’s Sporting Goods, they sell guns, ammunition, bikes, camping equipment, stadium chairs, snorkel equipment, baseball gear, weight lifting stuff (yea even the Shake Weight), thigh masters, golf clubs and balls, ski equipment and fishing rods.  Plus much, much more sporting stuff than I will never own.  Yes, they also sell some running clothes and shoes which is apparent from their 24-page, high-gloss advertising supplement.

The Ultimate Running Gesture – The Runners “Thumbs Up!”

I know I’m lucky to live next to a great bike and running trail in Denver.  I’m not sure about you, but on most runs I pass other runners going the opposite direction.  It’s always in my nature to acknowledge a runner as they pass, by saying “good morning,” “hi,” or just giving a nod or a wave.  Most of the time the other runner reciprocates with the same.  However, there are times when I feel like Casper the friendly running ghost, as there’s no response from the other side.  It could be due to many reasons:  a bad day, it takes too much energy to respond, the sun’s not out, their dog ignored them, they’re listening intently to their iPod, or they’re just plain grumpy people.  Fortunately, the majority of runners are friendly.

My Personal Tribute to Davy Jones of “The Monkees”

I would like to divert from my regular topic of running today and dedicate this blog to Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, who passed away this week at the young age of 66.

Music has always been a part of my life.  Many times a song will trigger an old memory, and I find myself going back and re-living it.  In 1966, I was nine years old and I remember every Monday night I would be super comfortable in my pajamas, sitting in front of the TV.  I was anticipating watching The Monkees TV show on NBC.  Once each episode was over, I couldn’t wait for the next one!  The show aired from September of 1966 and the last one actually aired on my 11th birthday, March 25, 1968.  I was such a huge fan that my mom and dad bought me all their vinyl albums, which I played over and over on our console hi-fi stereo.  I even had all their hit songs on 45’s–and those songs were imbedded into my head:  Last Train to Clarksville, I’m a Believer, and of course the theme from The Monkees.  My favorite two songs were (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone and Mary Mary.

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