Showing Category: Crazy Observations

Typing it Out Old School

It’s extremely refreshing when you unexpectedly stumble upon something that really makes your day.  Recently, my wife and I went on a spontanious “play day” date,  just heading out the door and hitting the road (on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui where we’re now blessed to live).  We ended up in Paia, a small and charming eclectic town, located on Hana Highway on Maui’s north shore.  Paia is lined with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and some very interesting souls.  It’s also the last town just before the long and winding journey on the “Road to Hana.”

Smith-Corona Classic 12

Smith-Corona Classic 12

After a late breakfast at our favorite Paia staple, Charley’s, we strolled the street, jumping in-and-out of cool little boutiques.  As we hit our 4th store, it became apparent to me that the majority of these boutiques cater mostly to women, with maybe a token piece of men’s clothing stuffed on a rack in the corner.  Sure, there are a couple of surf-related shops that specialize in t-shirts, but those are mostly chain stores found all over the islands, and certainly not unique to Paia.

Running is Liberating!

I’m always curious to hear what attracts people to running.  All of us runners have our personal reasons as to why we run.  I met with a good friend of mine this past week to talk to her about her incredible story that I plan to include in my upcoming book, One Foot in Front of the Other.

Running is Liberating!

Running is Liberating!

During our conversation, we were discussing some positive metaphors such as “desire to do it far exceeds the willingness to accept normalcy,” and “if you are truly determined, you can do anything.”  As I was listening to her story and the more we talked about running, another metaphor, “running is liberating” kept resonating through my mind as a mantra all day long.  “Why,” I thought?  Because running really is liberating!

No Slumping in the Running Zone!

There are so many programs, techniques and methods for one to improve their running.  Some are logical, some scientific, and maybe even some personal superstitions that are believed to work.  Others include the Galloway Method, Yasso 800’s, Chi Running, plyometrics, cross fit, yoga, hill repeats, speed work, nutrition, supplements, palm readers and of course, the Ouija Board (google it). Anything imaginable that provides the magic bullet to make one run stronger, longer and faster.  Basically different strokes for different folks. Whatever works right?  All this stuff we try to apply while running in the “running zone” hoping for improvement.

No Slumping in the Running Zone!

No Slumping in the Running Zone!

Completing 91 marathons thus far, I continually seek a better “magic bullet.”  I’m not sure there actually is one, but I have found several techniques that have improved my personal running over the years.  Of course nothing will replace a good solid training plan and sticking to it.  A plan that properly balances your mix of long and short training runs with some other goodies mixed in along the way.  This will pay off tenfold on race day, however, if you slacked during your training, I guarantee you will be punished.  I’m about to be proof of that on May 19th when I run the Denver Colfax Marathon, undertrained.

Dreaming of Being an Elite Runner

I remember last December while I was running the Honolulu Marathon, there was quite a long stretch of out-and-back.  Being a mere mortal, I was at about the 11-mile marker and in the distance quickly approaching on the other side was the first place elite runner, just about to cross the 20-mile marker.   As he approached, I turned to runner next to me and said “if only!”

Being an average runner, I sometimes fantasize what it would be like to just once experience being an elite runner.  As an elite, I could bypass all the traffic in the morning getting to the start line in a limo and be dropped off in the VIP area where I would be isolated from the crowds and even just about have my own port-o-let.  Oh, and I could save a ton of money since my entry fee is waived (actually they’d probably pay me) and my travel expenses and accommodations are also covered.  Plus all the free food! What a deal!

To Be an Elite Runner!

To Be an Elite Runner!

Got Runner’s Burnout?

It’s amazing to me the ups-and-downs and peaks and valleys of running.  The high times are when you feel like you’re on top of the world and your body feels like a well-oiled machine that can run mile-after-mile-after-mile — everything just clicks.  Even when you’re not running, you’re dreaming of running.  All you seem to think about is running, running and running.  It’s the anticipation to lace-up and pound out some miles, and even visualizing your next race.  The low times, however, come out of nowhere; something changes and your running motivation disappears, your times are slower and the floor drops from underneath and then you realize, gee I have a case of “Runners Burnout.”

Runner's Burnout

Runner’s Burnout

Yea, I know, now that the spring marathon and race season is just around the corner, the last thing you want to hear about is Runner’s Burnout!  But with the snow, rain, cold temperatures and flu these past few months, there are probably several normally motivated runners who are right now experiencing a severe case of Runner’s Burnout.  Just the thought of lacing up your running shoes is overwhelming, and forget about going outside.  Also, the dreaded “dreadmill” for a run is not even something you want to deal with.  And that upcoming race even seems impossible.  It sucks, but it does happen to us mere mortal runners every so often.

Post-Run Social Time! A Universal Tradition Among Runners!

In my opinion, running is so much more than just throwing on your running shoes and hitting the road or trails for a few miles.  The benefits of running well exceed the physical, and definitely capture the mental.  Runners use mostly four of the five senses when running — sight, hearing, smell and feel!  Taste, though, is reserved for after the run.

Nothing Like Social Time after a Run!

Whether you’re running with a friend, a group of friends, or an organized running group, there’s a very good chance when you’re finished with your awesome run, there’ll be some social time.  It’s a tradition among runners.

I’m a morning runner, which usually means my social time will involve a place that serves a good cup of joe and some sort of breakfast food (of course, beer and burgers is the food of choice for evening runners).  It’s amazing how many friendships are cemented and incredible stimulating conversations occur during the post-run social time.  This is that special time when you get to know more about the folks you spend so much time running with mile-after-mile.  Post-run social time is sometimes as important as the run itself. It’s the healthy cigarette after sex!  True satisfaction!

MY 2013 RESOLUTION – KEEP RUNNING

Running has been in the fiber of my being for several years, 25 to be exact.  Now, however, when the new year comes around, I don’t even think of resolutions that pertain to running.  Now a days, running is more of an enjoyment than an annual competition with myself, and I like it that way.  I just want to keep running!

Running Resolutions

I no longer get wrapped up in extensive regimented training, but don’t get me wrong, I give every run, training run and race my all.  I still prepare for marathons by doing my long runs, speed and hill work.  However, I no longer get wrapped up in trying to set a personal best or to qualify for Boston.  I’m just happy that I’m still running, especially injury free.  I just want to keep running!

When I’m at the start line of a marathon, I know I will end up at the finish line… eventually.  I also know it won’t be my personal worst.  Believe me, I still have my fierce drive and laser mental focus, and I still get that exhilarating feeling every time I cross the marathon finish line.  I just want to keep running!

A Thank You to Marathon and Race Volunteers!

I just ran my 90th marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii this past Sunday, which I will recap on my next blog, but first things first.  As I was reminiscing about the race while walking (hobbling) through the finishers’ area, and also thinking about it on my walk (crawl) back to the hotel, it hit me; marathon volunteers need a real loud shout out.

Marathon Volunteer

As runners, we simply pay our registration fee and, well, show up at the start line and run the marathon without any worry about the logistics along the way.  Our only job is to run the 26.2 miles, get through the ups and downs, joys and pains and mental roller coaster to cross the finish line and collect our finisher’s medal.  Along the way, everything is supplied to us.  It’s basically that simple–at least for us marathon runners.

The fact is, marathons just don’t magically happen.  It takes a good tireless race director and lots and lots and lots of volunteers–people that could be at home sleeping but instead chose to rise bright and early and give freely of their time to make our race better.  They show up and do whatever job they are assigned and happily perform their volunteer duty.

Running Shoe Confusion!

One thing I have never been, and that is an organized person.  Everything is usually a mess in my home, and my wife is always trying to nail me down to do some “clutter control.”  Besides my driving (getting lost and not wanting to use the GPS), clutter control is usually what we fight about most often.  I’m the type of person that mentally knows where everything is (or so I think), so why should I organize myself?  I’ve gotten through life just fine so far, and probably will until my memory goes completely haywire – and so what, I won’t remember anything anyway, so I won’t really care.

I’ve met some pretty organized runners.  They keep track of everything:  statistics, race results, training plans, the weather during each run, how many times they wash and wear their running shorts and so on.  Me, I just put my shorts on (yes, clean) and go – well, at least I hope I remember to put on my running shorts!  Fortunately for me, I mentally know which route I’m running that day, and sometimes even remember how to get back.  I always laughed at those organized runners.  Ha Ha Ha.  Until now.

Ahhh, The Smell and Feel of Brand New Running Kicks!

Brand New Running Kicks!

 

As I pull into the parking lot and run (not literally) into my local running store, Runners Roost in Denver, it takes me about two minutes to buy my new pair of running shoes (also know as “kicks” to some).   I’ve been buying them so long, I no longer need to even try them on.  My current shoe of choice is the Newton Motus.  The new version is blue with yellow and orange trim.  I just ask for the shoe in my size, and I am in-and-out faster than an In-N-Out Burger drive-thru (my burger of choice when I am in an area that has one).

I really have no idea how many pairs of running shoes I’ve gone through in my life, but the experience is always the same.  When I open the box of my brand new shoes…. ahhhh “smell that smell” – the aroma of brand new running shoes seeps out of the box!  Call me crazy, but to me that  smell is as thrilling as the smell of a new car, only much cheaper!

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