The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-346 – Joe De Sena on the Spartan Movement

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Link epi4346.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-346 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Thank you for listening.  Sometimes I don’t hear from you for a while and I get lonely.  I wonder if anyone is listening.  I thought it might due to a lack of positive feedback.  I grew up in the 70’s and we were all about positive feedback.  That’s why baby boomers are so needy. 

The topic of today’s show is Spartan.  I interview Joe De Sena the owner of Spartan Races.  He’s a tightly wrapped dude with one of those clear, focused minds and the work ethic to support it. 

In the first section I’m going to talk through my initial impressions of the Spartan race and its training.  I have one coming up in September and I’m starting to worry about my fitness level.  I expressed my concerns about things like not being able to do more than 2 pullups to coach.  He says I’m taking it too seriously and, I quote, “A Kardashian could do that race.”  Except he’s not the one running it!

In the second section I’ll think a bit on our fascination with Sparta and what it says about us. 

My training is focused on strength and biking right now.  I gave my Achilles a week off after the trail marathon but not really because I was down on the Cape over the next weekend walking the beach and riding for hours.  It was great to spend some time with myself but I think I may have overdone it. 

I tried to do a 1:30 run on the roads when I got back and I ended up walking back the last mile.  It was the heat and my Achilles.  Now I’m giving some more time to heal.  I’m stretching and massaging and rehabbing.  I’m spending time on the bike and working on my core. 

It is a good time of year to be taking a break from running.  It’s still super hot and humid.  

Speaking of hot and humid I watched the Women’s Olympic Marathon and I though Amy, Shalane and Desi did a really good job of running their plans.  They hung with the best runners in the world and all finished in the top 10.  They inspired me and I’m sure they’ll inspire the next generation of American women. 

Buddy the old wonder dog is doing well.  He’s almost all recovered from his lump surgery.  That should make him more comfortable in the short run.  It’s too hot for him.  He hasn’t been running except for what he normally does when we go for walks off-leash in the woods.  This time of year we get a lot of thunderstorms rolling through at nighttime with all the energy in the atmosphere. 

Katie brought his crate up to the living room and when it gets really bad we can put him in there so he doesn’t hurt himself.  Thunderstorms make him mental.  He’ll go into the tub in the girl’s bathroom or into one of the closets and start digging.  We cage him up for his own protection.

By the way, I went for the follow up visit with my heart doctor and there’s nothing wrong with me that they can see.  Which is good.  That leads me to conclude that my issues earlier in the summer were due to the heat, jet lag and the case of pneumonia with the course of antibiotics.  Basically my body, mind and soul were out of synch!

Which is why I’m focusing on doing a bit of foundational bio-reengineering this month.

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My reengineering project is a 30 day 5AM project.  The anchor of this project is that I’m getting up early every day, as close to 5 AM as I can manage.  The other attributes of it are:

  • No alcohol
  • Work on my nutrition plan to get stronger, rebuild my healthy biome and get leaner.
  • Work on my next book
  • Post a daily accountability video to YouTube to keep the project going.

It’s been going well.  I haven’t hit the 5 AM every day but I’ve been close enough to be within the spirit of the exercise.  I have eliminated alcohol and have been eating clean and focusing on foods that will have a positive impact on my insides.  This weekend I made Kvass, which is a fermented beet juice and pickles using the cucumbers from my garden.  I’m such a home body. 

The work on the book has been doing a lot of circling the work and not actually doing the work, but I’m positive.  My creativity tends to come in bursts.  I’ve gotten the videos up each day consistently and you can see them if you’re interested in that sort of thing at my YouTube channel which is Cyktrussell. (Chris yellow king tom – Russell with two esses and two ells…)

I’ve really learned or relearned some valuable lessons from this project.  First thing is that when you’re dealing with a stable system, like your body, even if it is stable in a place you don’t like, you have to be careful with the quantity and magnitude of changes.  Any change you make is going to cause the system to oscillate. 

A stable system is stable because it has inertia.  It doesn’t want to change.  A stable system resists change and it has memory.  It’s like a rubber band.  The more you pull the more it resists and it always pulls in an effort to return to the stable state.

Biological/mental systems are not digital. You can’t just expect to insert a stimulus and to leap to a different state.  When you insert a stimuli the system won’t change digitally or even linearly.  It will wobble as the opposing forces push and pull.  The more things you try to change the more random the wobbling feels.

In my project I was trying to change sleep patterns and nutrition and my coffee intake and my alcohol consumption all at the same time.  In the first 10 days my system wobbled.  There were days that I was starving.  There were days where I was so tired I couldn’t think or function.  There were days when I felt depressed and defeated. 

When you want to make changes in anything.  When you want to innovate in your life.  You have to be prepared to suffer through an adjustment period. 

I have shared with you before the metaphor that says all projects follow a U-shaped curve.  When you first start the project it’s all unicorns and rainbows and enthusiasm.  When you get to the middle of the project it turns into an endless-seeming, hopeless, slog of work.  As you get closer to the finish it becomes hopeful again.

Another useful metaphor I heard recently is to picture yourself standing on a mountain top.  You have climbed successfully to the top of this mountain but now you want to innovate or improve to a new state.  Picture that new state as another, higher mountain top that you can see across the valley.  You know how to get there. 

You have to go down into the valley and work your way to climb up the other side to get to this new peak.  That’s what innovation is like. 

Identify that next peak.  Keep the vision of that new and next peak in your mind’s eye, even as, especially when, you lose sight of it in the tangled underbrush of the valley. 

On with the show.

Section one –

The Spartan Race and Training for it -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Joe De Sena

Spartan Fit!: 30 Days. Transform Your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit. Joe De Sena

Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, is also a living legend in endurance and adventure racing circles — he completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, raced the 140.6 miles of Lake Placid Ironman, and finished a 100-mile trail run in Vermont, all within one week.

In 2014, De Sena authored Spartan Up!, A New York Times Bestseller, that changed countless lives and revealed the secrets to developing the resourcefulness and mental determination needed to become a true Spartan.

Section two

About Spartans and Stoics -


Well my friends you have carried, climbed and crawled through a mud pit to the end of Episode 4-346 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

I have a knock knock joke you can tell your kids.  Ready? 

Knock knock…

Who’d there?

Old Lady

Old Lady who?

Hey, I didn’t know you could yodel!

One of the great cultural advantages to being at my stage of life is that I can tell Dad jokes. 

Next up for me is the Wapack trail race.  Have you signed up yet?  Even though I’m rehabbing my Achilles right now I am looking forward to Wapack. It’s my favorite kind of trail race.  It’s long enough to be interesting at 18 miles but not long enough to worry about.  It’s technical enough to be interesting with lots of single path and roots and rocks and mountains but that same technical nature keeps you from getting too serious.  And, it’s nice and small with good people. 

I’ll just try to get in under 4 hours and use the Spartan core strength I’m developing to manage it. 

The weekend after is the Spartan race.  I haven’t figured out the logistics for that yet.  Then in October I signed up for the Portland Marathon.  And in December the 4th Annual Groton Marathon if we can pull it off.  

I’m staying busy.  Life has its seasons. 

One thing I’m wondering about is the Boston Marathon.  After training well and not getting my time last year I honestly don’t know if I want to or deserve to run it in 2017.  I do still believe I can run a qualifying time.  It’s a question of when to fit that into my life.  I’m certainly not going to run a qualifying time before September when the times are due. 

I jump an age group in 2018.  I’d like to have at least 20 Bostons but I’d like to earn them.  I don’t know.  I truly do not know.  It’s probably time for a change. 

A bit of learning I can give you kids, and I’ll write more on this at some point is about how you age athletically.  When you look at the literature you see the ability of an athlete tailing off in a nice shallow straight curve.  It shows athletes slowly losing their abilities, measured in finishing times, as they age. The curve drops a couple percentage points at a time.

In my experience that is not how it works.  Like everything else in the human experience this process is non-linear, it is unpredictable and it is specific to the individual.  What I’ve found is that I have lost my speed in chunks, mostly as the result of injuries.  The line is more like a series of waves.  Where after 50 or so each subsequent wave crests a bit lower than the last one.

The real question is not the performance line.  The real question is the fulfillment line, the challenge line and the happiness line.  The tricky task at hand is how to continue to, as our friend Peter says, “Run with joy” as the performance line trends down and the waves of aging break relentlessly against the breakwaters of youth. 

The answer I think is to remember to be grateful.  Grateful for the victories, grateful for challenges and grateful for the chance to get up today and breathe the deep humid air of this good earth. 

Take a deep breath right now, my friends. That is life in your lungs. 


And I’ll see you out there.


MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4346.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:28pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-345 – Wilson Horrell – Lift Heavy Run Long

 Wilson(Audio: link)




Link epi4345.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-345 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  We’ve got a full agenda for today – so I won’t babble on too much.  I’ve got an interview for you with Wilson Horrell from lift heavy-run-long who has a fascinating and educational back story.

I had done an interview with Josh LaJunie who is an ultra running vegan from New Orleans – but I messed up the recording and I figured we just had a vegan last episode.  The eat vegan on $4 a day got a lot of feedback.  Some folks were very enthusiastic about Ellen’s message, some were less enthusiastic and wanted me to balance that out with some fat-adaptive athletes.  Which I will at some point.

My personal opinion is that nutrition is quite specific to the individual and you need to find what works for you.  That process may involve some coaching but keep an open mind.  As athletes we have the added wrinkle of our performance to think about.

I’m also going to treat you to my Eagle Creek Marathon race report, but true to form it came out so long that’s all I’m going to be able to fit into this episode.  So I’ll put the interview up front and the race report on the back and we’ll call it a day!

Since I’m pretty sure I’m going to run long I’ll cut my comments short.

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Just a quick sentiment …

preikestolen-918955_640On Plateaus…

One of the interesting asides in the book I read last week about memory was a short bit on what to do when you practice something but hit a plateau.  I think we all know this works.  Initially when you learn a new discipline, whether an exercise routine or really, anything new it your learning follows the same basic arc.

Initially it’s hard and you learn slowly.  Then you hit a stretch of rapid improvement. Eventually you plateau.  And then you’re stuck.  You push harder, you practice more hours, but you’re stuck.

The example they use is typing.  Most typists get to a certain point and don’t get any faster.  They get to the ‘good enough’ plateau.

How do you get unstuck?  How do you get through the plateau?

Science shows 3 things that you can do, or at least try.  Mindset, discomfort and approach. .”

The first one is mindset.  When you reach that ‘good-enough’ plateau you self-talk yourself into being as good as you’re going to get.  Your mind says, “Well, since I’m not getting better anymore I must be at the top end of my ability.”  Like everything else once we let our minds tell that story, we internalize it and it manifests.

Like your parents and coaches always told you “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right!”  You have to fix your mindset.  The people who break through performance plateaus essentially don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

I’ll give you an example from my book on how to qualify for the Boston marathon.  When I talk to runners about running a qualifying time they will invariably say “I could never do that!”  I always ask a dumb question – “Why not?”  If you reframe your mindset then the question becomes “How do I?” instead of “I can’t” – sometimes it’s as simple as making that mental switch.

The next that has proved to be effective in breaking through plateaus is to force yourself you’re your discomfort zone.  In the typing example this would mean forcing yourself to type at a faster rate even though you are making more mistakes.  Even if you fail a lot – you assume the higher level of performance and hang in there until the plateau is broken.

The key here is you have to really push to spend time in a place where you will most certainly fail consistently at first.  Embracing the failure is part of the key to breaking the plateau.  Starting at a higher level of performance and sticking with it until you catch up is the other part.  Both are very uncomfortable.

The marathon qualification example is to start with the training paces you need to run to qualify.  Even though at first you won’t be able to maintain them.  It will hurt and you will fail.  If you stick with it you can find a new level of performance.

Getting yourself to perform above the comfort zone (plateau) works hand in hand with the mindset of believing you can do it.

Lastly, when you think you can do it, and you force yourself out of your comfort zone into the failure zone you will be forced to find new approaches.  In a sense you can’t operate at that level and it forces you to abandon your existing approach and try approaches that support that higher level of performance.

You will find the consistent areas where you are making mistakes – the failure points.  Just like lowering the water level reveals the rocks, upping your forced performance reveals your weaknesses.  Then you can devise focused practice to fix these failure points and enable the new level.  It’s a virtuous cycle.

When you get to the point of re-evaluating your approach a coach or an expert can be a big plus. They have seen those mistake patterns before and can help you fix them faster.

In the typing example, maybe you find that when you speed up you consistently miss the ‘b’ key or the semi-colon.  You can devise exercises that focus on those.  Or maybe switch to a Dvorak keyboard layout to totally change the approach.

In the qualification example forcing yourself to run those faster-than-comfortable 1600 repeats will reveal flaws in your form and mechanics.  A coach might quickly help you fix it.  Either way you’ll quickly realize you can’t run on your heels and hold those paces.

There you go – simple way to break through a plateau.  Give it a try.

On with the show.

Section one –


Voices of reason – the conversation

Wilson “BeefCake” Horrell

Lift Heavy Run Long Website

LHRL Youtube Channel 

Twitter: @liftrunlong

IG: @liftrunlong

LHRLHey Chris,

My name is Wilson Horrell, sometimes referred to as “Beefcake”, and I am a 39 year old, married, father of 2 children (ages 10 & 7). I am a raging drug addict and alcoholic, who after years of living and unhealthy life and blowing through a $2 million dollar windfall, found running, CrossFit, and people to be my new addiction, as I sobered up and began the process of picking up the pieces. 


I started running 5k’s as an effort to stop smoking and lose some weight. I found a community of trail runners who welcomed, not only me as a person, but were also open to my slow pace. My love of the trail came about immediately, as I enjoyed the lack of pounding that the soft dirt placed on my over-sized body. I heard about Lift Heavy Run Long’s 50mile &400 Deadlift club. I set my sights on this, and ran various distances until this goal was achieved. Since I started on my fitness journey in 2013, I have participated in numerous CrossFit events, some obstacle races, a couple of marathons, a handful of 50k’s, and a 50-miler last November. I am registered for the Tour D’ Spirit 24-Hour Race in Memphis, TN on Sept 30-Oct. 1
I am an incredibly average runner, as well as average athlete. I enjoy the endurance sports, as I like spending long periods of time in introspection. I like the slower paced events, and enjoy listening to the internal struggle that exists between the body and the brain.


I do not take for granted the role that people in the running community, combined with the CrossFit community, played in saving my life, and providing me with happiness. I became a partner in Lift Heavy Run Long, LLC last December because I wanted a challenge and purpose. Our goal is to build as large and strong of a community as possible for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. We want to encourage the people in the fitness community, but also welcome the people who are struggling to make the decision to change their life through fitness. I know first-hand, how scary and intimidating it can be to sign up for that first race, or first fitness class. We want to help people who are struggling to take that first step.


I love positivity, and I love being inspired. I have found that running and lifting provides a multitude of opportunities to connect with other people and be of service. 


I have a blog, which started as fitness journal, but has since turned into an almost daily rambling of all of the craziness that goes through my oddly designed brain. Von and I also started a podcast, where we are trying to find some of the world’s most inspirational people, who are leading lives of fulfillment through following their bliss.

Back Squat 325lbs

Push Press 250lbs

Front Squat 240lbs

Deadlift 415lbs

Fastest 5k 26:20

Fastest 10k 54:36

Sylamore 50K 2015. Finished Dead Last, but was robbed of this title because they grouped the final three of us in alphabetical order 10:22

Stanky Creek 50K 2015 7:30

Tunnel Hill 50miler 14:52 Didn’t finish dead last, but with enough perseverance, I can get there.

Section two

Eagle Creek Trail Marathon -


blingectr-smWell my friends you pulled the one arm bandit’s handle, hit the progressive jackpot, won the car and wheelbarrows full of shiny golden coins that are at the end of Episode 4-345 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  (Really had to work that one didn’t I?)

I’ll keep this quick.  I’ve got a lot of projects going on in parallel this month.

Next up is the Wapack Trail race on September 4th.  I expect some of you to come up and run this with me.  Or just come up and volunteer.  It’s an out-and-back course so you can do as much or as little as you like.

Then in September I’ll be doing that Spartan race and if all goes well I’ll be interviewing Joe the owner for the next episode.

Then I’ll be gunning for the Portland Marathon in October with coach – which actually has some significance because I am aging up another 10 minutes for my Boston Qualification time for 2018.

Then of course we have to decide if we’re going to do the Groton Marathon at Christmas again.  This would be our fourth outing and I was thinking about opening it up to the 50-staters and the Marathon Maniacs.

In the meantime I’m working on my next book and speaking project. And, oh yeah, working full time, traveling and now that my kids are out of college, seeing if we can fix up the house, consolidate our finances and, what the heck, work on my marriage.

In order to support this swarm of ill-conceived projects I’m going to have to get healthy and find some creative time.  So I’ve kicked off a project in August to get healthy.  This includes cleaning up my nutrition, no more alcohol and getting up a 5:00AM every day.  I’m two days into it.

I’m going to make a short video every day when I get up to document it and I’ll see if I can get those up on my YouTube Channel ‘cyktrussell’and on the RunRunLive website.  I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see my burry-eyed, discombobulated 5AM apparition, but I’m doing it for accountability.

When I was hanging out with my sister Lou this weekend she was telling me about a crime data study she had seen.  Basically all the crime data for cities is publically available so institutions have taken to turning the methods of big data loose on it to see if they can learn anything.

It seems one of the things they found, not unexpectedly, was that certain areas of the cities were hot zones for crime.  But they also saw something that they couldn’t explain.  Within these hot spots were small bubbles that were crime free.  There were oases of peace in the worst parts of the city.

When they looked to see why and what caused these bubbles they consistently found that it was due to one person in that neighborhood.  That person ran a gym or a business and kept the kids off the street.  That single person created a clearing for peace to manifest.

One person made that happen.

One person made a difference in their neighborhood.

One person created a bubble of love in the rip tide of hate.

You can be that person.

Be the person your dog thinks you are and I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4345.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 11:50am EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-344 – Ellen Jaffe Jones – Eat Vegan on $4 a Day!

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4344.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-344 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we talk with a fascinating and successful woman – Ellen Jaffe Jones – about how to eat healthy on the cheap!  . 

I connected to Ellen because my daughter brought home Ellen’s book How to Eat Vegan on $4 a Day. I started looking at it and saw that Ellen had a cool back story and was now a practicing endurance sports addict as well as a vegan and an author. 

She has escaped from being a broadcast news personality on a fast track to an unhealthy and early demise by eating better and living a healthier life.  Whether you are vegan or not you can pick up some tips on how to shoehorn some healthier food into your busy life.

She’s also one of those people that we talk to a lot who take control of their story and change directions mid-life.  That should give all of us hope that the only thing stopping any of us is the decision and action to make the change we want and start telling a different narrative about our lives.

I am not vegan but I do like to eat clean-ish.  I get a lot of fruits and vegetables and nuts in my diet.  The thing is, I like fruits and vegetables and nuts.  You have to make these decisions for yourself but there are simple ways to eat a bit healthier.  One is to get your fruit and veg and nuts.  Another is to ease into eating less of the bad stuff. 

It has been consistently shown that there are a small set of lifestyle inputs that have an outsized impact on your health, quality of life and longevity.  Going all the way back to episode 97 in 2010 with Dr. Monte we talked about this:

In no particular order:

Number one:  Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables nuts (fiber). 

Number two:  Don’t smoke.

Number three:  Exercise consistently. 

If you’re listening to my voice here on the RunRunLive Podcast you probably have most of these covered.  All three is great.  If you can’t do all three, two is good and even just one of these is better than nothing.  It’s not black and white.  We’d all like to be perfect but just remember your goal is progress not perfection. 

This is just for your physical health.  There’s probably a similar list that includes cultivating a positive attitude, working on your self-awareness and having an attitude of abundance. 

There’s no winning the game.  We all end up in the same place. What you get is a few more good years.  A better life and a better legacy, maybe. 

Anyhow – in summary – Eat Kale!  Heh…I actually see that bumper sticker when I’m commuting.  “Eat more Kale!” like it’s some sort of political protest.

I do have some Kale in my garden.  And some chard.  My squash were making a wonderful display of prolificness this week but, much to my ire, Mr. Woodchuck has dug a burrow directly under my squash bed and is browsing his way through the plants. 

And so another battle is pitched.  Man vs nature in a dance played out each summer season for the last 8,000 years.  Chaos want to have its way with our taming of the world.

And this is 100 feet from where Buddy hangs out in the front yard! Brazen woodchucks and bunnies and squirrels!

I guess Buddy is more of an observer than an interventionist.  A Laissez-faire border collie.

He had a big week this week.  He had surgery to remove a couple of the large lumps that were accumulating.  He’s an old dog, but there was one under his back leg that seemed to be restricting his range of motion.  He made it through the surgery fine and is now recovering.  He went out for a quick run in the woods with me yesterday and seems no worse for wear.

I’ve been trail running like a maniac.  I signed up for a trail marathon in Indianapolis July 30th – yes next Saturday.  This past Sunday I did a 20 mile trail tempo run that I was pretty proud of.  My runs have been crappy in the heat and humidity so far this summer.  So that one was a confidence builder.  Come up and join me next weekend! It’s called the Eagle Creek Trail Marathon.  There’s a half and a 10k too I think. 

One Interesting thing that is bugging me is that my pace has slowed to the point where the deer flies can catch me now.  I never had a problem with the bugs because I could stay in front of them.  But now I’ve reached an inflection point where they can catch me and it’s quite bothersome.  On a couple of these trail runs in the heat I’d have what felt like hundreds of deer flies swarming me in the woods.  50 would hold me down while the other 50 bit me.  I feel so violated.

In section one today I’m going to talk about beginner trail running – now that I’ve made it sound so sexy.  In section two we’re going to talk about understand the narratives that other people are listening to. 

Have you watched the new Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix?  It’s fascinating.  He does these live intervention things with people where you can see him reading the people.  He watches their physical cues and asks them questions, almost like a psychic would.  It’s an amazing example of how good or at least practiced he is at reading people.  It’s fascinating. 

I guess we’re lucky he’s not using those skills for anything overtly evil.  He could make these people do anything in these seminars.  It’s like the old religious camp meetings.

There are a lot of the things we recognize as familiar behavioral tricks.  Like getting people to change their state – i.e. breaking their frame.  Getting people to lean in – to buy in – a little bit at a time until they are totally susceptible to suggestions and instructions.  Asking good questions that get around the façade.  Getting past the perceived problem to the deeper self-awareness.  And then, using the power of a shared experience to reinforce behavior. 

So really it’s just another version of the group run!

On with the show!

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Section one –

Trail running for beginners -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Bio: Ellen Jaffe Jones won 2 Emmys and the National Press Club Award during 18 years in TV news as an investigative reporter in St. Louis and Miami.

She is the only female in her adult family without breast cancer, and has placed in 101 5K or longer races since 2006 "just" on plants.

She placed 7th in her age group in the National Senior Games in the 1500 meters, 10th in the 400.

She is a certified personal trainer and running coach.

She is the author of 3 vegan cookbooks, "Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," "Kitchen Divided," "Paleo Vegan," and a 4th on the way, "Vegan Fitness for Mortals."

She co-hosts "Dr. Don's The Vegan Myth Busters Radio Show" on KAAA-AM.


Section two

Other peoples’ narratives -


Well my friends time to put down that fist full of raw kale and get on with your lives. You have grazed your way through to the end of Episode 4-344 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   Next week I have a cool interview with a guy who hit the slot machines for a couple million bucks, it ruined his life then he became an ultra-runner…of course.

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access To Exclusive Members Only audio

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I finished my stint wearing the heart monitor for my doctor.  I ended up running out of electrodes.  If you’re working out every day and it’s summer time you take a lot of showers – and that chews up a lot of electrodes if you replace them every time. Going in to see them in August but I don’t think they saw anything. 

I think it was the heat and jet leg and just getting old!  I also think the few rounds I went with pneumonia in May and then the antibiotics that nuked my biome knocked me down a couple pegs.  Not much I can do about that.  Just put the head down and muddle through.  One of my mantras is to wake up every day and do the best I can with what I have – or as Schwarzkopf said – “You fight with the army you have.”

I do have a new project that I’m working on. And part of this project is to put it out there, share it broadly and ask for feedback. 

I’m writing a new book.  Specifically I think I will write about how to create a powerful personal narrative to drive your life.  I believe this ability to create a powerful narrative has enabled me to be successful, but more importantly to be at peace with myself and my choices.

I would like to share this keystone ability with the world.  I know there are millions of people like me who are in a place where they don’t know what to do next or don’t have a purpose or reason in life and are struggling.  By walking them through the process of documenting their past narrative, identifying the negative narratives in their life, re-writing and internalizing a powerful, positive self-narrative I can change their lives. 

The difference this time, or differences are:

  • It will be a self-help styled book with simple exercises and such to specifically walk you through the process.
  • It will be designed to be saleable.
  • It will be designed to support speaking engagements around those themes.
  • It will be designed with publishers, publicists and media as the target audience.

There you go.  It’s out there.  No turning back!

If you want to help.  I’d love to get feedback as I create this project and its content.  If any of you have ideas or people I should talk to feel free. 

I’ve always been a go-it-alone, do-it-myself guy but this time I’m aiming to break that bad habit and learn something new.

Because at the end of the day if you’re not scaring yourself you’re not growing.

Keep growing with me and I’ll be out there seeing you do it.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4344.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-343 – Susie Chan – Endurance Runner

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4343.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-343 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we talk with author UK Ultra-runner Susie Chan, and by ‘we’ I mean Alex.  Alex caught up with her and I did the editing. 

Susie’s story has all the elements that we see when we talk about the transformational power of endurance sports.  She was living her life,not in a good place physically or mentally.  She ran a race, caught the bug and then dove quickly into the deep end with ultras and stage races – reporting it all on social media (as is often the case these days). 

I love the story she tells about not having even run a marathon yet and signing up for the Marathon de Sables – Which is a 7-day ultra stage race across the Sahara.  We’ve talked to people who have run this on the show – like Ray Zahab – it’s definitely not for an amateur.  They lost two guys there one year in a sand storm. 

There you go! If you take Susie as your data point then all you have to do is wake up one morning and start running ultras.  Easy peasy. 

In section one I’m going to talk about what to do when you are struggling in a run.  Because I’ve been struggling recently.  In section two we’ll chat a bit about telling a story into the future and using that to create a different outcome. 

Happy 4th of July!  I stayed home over the long weekend here in the states. Didn’t do much. Got a couple runs in and a long bike ride.  Hung out with my family. Unclogged a couple drains in the house.  Yes, I have basic plumbing skills.  I might be the last generation of men who can do a little plumbing, a little carpentry, a little forestry and whatever else needs to be done.  That being said, the stuff we used to learn from our fathers’ you can now get from YouTube. 

Monday, on the fourth of July itself Teresa and I dug out my old canoe (see what I did there?) and took it out onto the Concord River.  We put in in Bedford and paddled up to the Old North Bridge in Concord. That’s where Minuteman National Park is.  That whole section of the river is park so it’s quite arboreal. 

It was nice.  We talked about Thoreau.  One of his books was “A Week on the Concord and Merimack Rivers” and other stuff.  Not as hard as running down the Grand Canyon but a very nice few hours in the sun. 

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access To Exclusive Members Only audio

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
  • Exclusive Access to Individual Audio Segments from all Shows
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Why don’t I take the cheaters way out and instead of thinking up my own salient content to ease you into the episode proper I’ll quote that crazy old philosophe Thoreau hisself…

“It is worth the while to make a voyage up this stream, if you go no farther than Sudbury, only to see how much country there is in the rear of us : great hills, and a hundred brooks, and farmhouses, and barns, and haystacks, you never saw before, and men everywhere ; Sudbury, that is Southborough men, and Wayland, and Nine-Acre-Corner men, and Bound Rock, where four towns bound on a rock in the river, Lincoln, Wayland, Sudbury, Concord . Many waves are there agitated by the wind, keeping nature fresh, the spray blowing in your face, reeds and rushes waving ; ducks by the hundred, all uneasy in the surf, in the raw wind, just ready to rise, and now going off with a clatter and a whistling like riggers straight for Labrador, flying against the stiff gale with reefed wings, or else circling round first, with all their paddles briskly moving, just over the surf, to reconnoitre you before they leave these parts ; gulls wheeling overhead, muskrats swimming for dear life, wet and cold, with no fire to warm them by that you know of, their labored homes rising here and there like haystacks ; and countless mice and moles and winged titmice along the sunny, windy shore; cranberries tossed on the waves and heaving up on the beach, their little red skiffs beating about among the alders ; - such healthy natural tumult as proves the last day is not yet at hand.” HDT

On with the show.

Section one –

When easy runs are hard -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Susie Chan!blog/c1rpo

Hi I'm Susie and I like to run.

I have run races from 1 mile to 100 miles.

I began running quite late in life to get a bit healthier. Since stumbling over my first finish line in a race in 2010 I have gone on to run thousands of miles in training and in races.  My favourite races are multistage ultras, these are races over multiple days and miles.

Highlights of my races have included two Marathon des Sables (setting off with the elites in 2015) Thames Path 100 and Boston Marathon.

I do the odd bit of cycling and swimming too.

I'm happiest running with my friends on the trails.

Contact me for public speaking, kit chat and any questions!


  • Beyond the Ultimate's Jungle Ultra
  • Gevena Marathon 2016
  • Sierra Leone Marathon 2016
  • Pacer at London Marathon 2016
  • North Downs Way 50
  • New York Marathon 2016
  • Winter Wonderland

Section two

Telling your story out into the future -


Well my friends you decided to get up off the couch and run across the Sahara Desert to the end of Episode 4-343 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Hope you’re enjoying your summers.  Or your winter if you’re in the other side of the planet.  If you were on Jupiter where NASA just successfully dropped the Juno probe into orbit your summer would be 1083 days long.  And the Europeans would still take most of it off. 

I’m close to pulling the trigger on a trail marathon in Indianapolis for July 31st.  Even though I’ve been feeling less-than-awesome in my running lately I figure I can just casually run it for fun.  I don’t have an Indy Marathon yet and both my sisters live there.   We have an office there too.  I need to get out! Do something!

Then I’m going to do the Wapack Trail race.  That’s Labor Day weekend.  You should come up and do it.  It’s 18 miles on technical mountain trails.  A real hoot.  I guarantee it’s different than anything else you’ve ever run!

Then I have the Spartan Beast.  Which I’m not excited about but I’ll do it.  And finally I told coach I’d run the Portland marathon with him in October.  I did the Hood to Coast relay out there last year but I don’t think that counts as a state marathon?

So, like I said I’ve really felt like crap in my runs.  Basically since I had pneumonia in May.  I’m tired and my paces are off.  I noticed my HR spiking a bit at the end of runs.  I called my cardiologist and they asked me to wear a 24 hour monitor.  I’ve been wearing it for a couple weeks now. 

It’s a giant pain in the …  It consists of three electrodes that you stick to your chest.  One above your left breast and then another two, one under each breast.  I’d post a picture but no one needs to see that.  Oh, the horror. 

Then the three wires run down to a small pendant that you keep in your pocket or clip to your belt.  It’s like the size of a pager.  (For you millennials, pagers were texting devices before we had cell phones. In old movies from the 80’s and 90’s you’ll see doctors wearing them.)

The companion piece is an android cell phone. The pendant track smy heart and sends any weirdness to the cell phone via Bluetooth.  The cell phone then shoots that data off to the main office – where someone is watching. 

This is all well and good but I don’t think the designers had me in mind when they designed the rig.  When I’m trail running this time of year I sweat.  A lot.  I’ve managed to sweat off the electrodes in a few of my runs.  Which is unfortunate because if there is anything nefarious going on with my heart it’s going to be at the end of a run. 

I’m working with it.  I found a way to run the wires up through the neck of my shirt and clip them to my camelback for yesterday’s 2-hour sweat fest and that kept the electrodes in place for the whole outing. 

I don’t think they are seeing anything.  Which is good news and bad news.  Good news may be it’s not the heart.  Bad news is now I have to figure out what it is!

I got a couple new pair of shoes too.  I bought a new pair of trail Mizunos.  I’ve never owned a pair of mizunos.  They are basic neutral cushion shoes with an aggressive tread.  The toebox was a little tight but my foot usually wins that battle. 

I bought a pair of Hoka Challenger 2’s for the road.  I was trying to break in a pair of New Balance that I had picked up dirt cheap at the outlet store but they just weren’t working.  They were New Balances version of a Hoka-like shoe.  Light and responsive but I couldn’t get used to the heel drop.  I got the Hokas which are last year’s model for $84 and I know they work for me. Like running on clouds!

Because no matter how crappy your training is going, you can always use a new pair of shoes, right?

Susie is a great example of someone seizing control of her life. She became the captain of her ship.  We all have that capability.  No matter whether we are 20 or 60.  Whether your boat is a cloth coracle or a party yacht.  It’s all good. Thoreau in his canoe.  You and I in our dinghies. 

Grab an oar or a paddle and I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4343.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 4:37pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-342 – Matt Fitzgerald – How bad do you want it?

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4342.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-342 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we talk with author Matt Fitzgerald, mostly about his new book “How bad do you want it?”  You may know Matt’s name from Runner’s World, Competitor and Men’s Fitness among other publications.  His 2014 book “80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower” made a big splash. 

Matt and I geek out about the mental aspects of racing to your limits, both physical and psychological.

In section one I’m going to report on my lessons learned from the Boston marathon this year.  (I must be a slow learner because I keep having to learn some lessons over and over!)

In Section two I’m going to give you my takeaways from a book I read on conversation tactics.

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    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
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    • Intro’s, Outro’s, Section One running tips, Section Two life hacks and Featured Interviews – all available as stand-alone MP3’s you can download and listen to at any time.

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Well my friends we’ve made it to the summer solstice.  That time that is the official, astronomical beginning of summer.  The longest day up here in the northern hemisphere where the earth wobbles precariously, catches itself and begins the long, drunken careen back to winter.  If you’re in the southern hemisphere you can just switch all the words with their opposites. 

For all the pagan sun worshippers out there you need to build some stone circles and do a little dance.  Maybe sacrifice something – like a six pack of lager. 

If you don’t believe the earth is round, well there’s no hope for you. 

If you want to have some fun ask random people basic astronomy questions, like “Does the earth orbit the sun or does the sun orbit the earth?”  Or “Name the planets?”  Then sit back and be surprised with the answers.

It is getting warm up in my neck of the woods.  The deer flies are out. I’m adjusting to it as always.  For everything there is a season – Turn, Turn, Turn.  Mostly I’m just trying to get all my runs in and trying to keep all the balls in the air.

I’m doing a lot of trail running and some mountain biking.  It’s all good. 

Friday I hit the ski area next to my house and did some reps on my bike up the tubing hill.  It’s just about right for me to get to max effort at the top without blowing up or falling over. 

Sunday I did 2 hours in the trails before going to have a father’s Day lunch with my Mom and brother.

I’m a bit tired today.  We had one of those summer thunderstorm fronts role through at 3 in the morning.  Thunder and lightning cause Buddy the old wonder dog a lot of personal stress and he needs to share his unhappiness with me. 

Sometimes he goes and hides in the bath tub.  Sometimes we’ll open the basement door and let him hide down there.  But usually he just wanders the house being miserable like last night.

It’s summer.  What are you going to do?  I don’t mind running in the heat as long as I’m acclimated and kitted out for it.  I love running in a warm summer rain. 

I was down in Atlanta last week all week.  It was a series of all-hands type meetings where the whole company comes in.  I was on stage for some of it.  It’s a tiring week.  There’s the travel, the preparation, getting up to get my workouts in, being engaged all day and then socializing at night. 

I did manage to get enough sleep to execute.  I did manage to get some sort of workouts in in the morning.  It was super-hot in Atlanta.  High 90’s with humidity.  Even in the morning I was soaked from running outside.  I told them the only thing keeping me from bursting into flames was the humidity. 

We were down near Georgia Tech this time so I got to explore the tech campus on one run – which was fun.  I also got to go to a Braves game one night.

Matt and I are going to talk a lot about mental training today in the interview.  Your mental engagement in the training and racing is as important as the physical engagement.  You can’t be successful unless you have both. 

It’s that perfect combination of mental engagement and physical capabilities that makes you successful.  I think you can draw a parallel to your career.  If you hate what you’re doing and are not mentally engaged it doesn’t matter how good you are at it, you will still struggle.  The inverse is true as well.  If you are mentally engaged but don’t know what you’re doing it won’t work either. 

One of the telltale signs that you aren’t mentally engaged in what you’re doing is whether the doing of it saps your energy or energizes you.  If you are fully, mentally bought in to a job you will have inexhaustible energy to pour into it.  Doing the work will give you energy. 

If you’re in a position where doing the work exhausts you while you are doing the work then either the work or the people you’re working with are not for you.  There is a disconnect there.  Pay attention and see which way your energy meter runs when you’re doing the work.

When I was jogging around the Tech campus I was listening to DirtDawg talk about the difference between a job, a career and a calling.  One of those differences is in the way your energy flows.

On with the show.

Section one –

Lessons Learned from the Boston Marathon -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Matt Fitzgerald

“The mind is the athlete.”

—Bryce Courtenay

Matt Fitzgerald is an acclaimed endurance sports writer and authority. His many previous books include the best-selling Racing Weight; RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel; Brain Training for Runners; and Diet Cults. His book Iron War was long-listed for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year. Matt is a regular contributor to Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Outside, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, Women’s Running, and other sports and fitness publications. He lives and trains in California

Matt Fitzgerald is an award-winning endurance sports journalist and bestselling author of more than 20 books on running, triathlon, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss, including How Bad Do You Want It? and 80/20 Running. He contributes regularly to magazines and websites such as Women's Running and An experienced running and triathlon coach and certified sports nutritionist, Matt serves as a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports and as a coach for Team Iron Cowboy.

Section two

Conversation Tactics -


Well my friends you were able to stay mentally strong, and I know it was hard, to the end of Episode 4-342 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Happy 9-year anniversary! Happy Father’s Day. 

Does everyone have their summer plans?  Are you ready?  Have you filled your kiddie pool in the backyard up with ice?

4th of July in the States is on a Monday this year.  I don’t have any plans.  I guess I’ll have to venture down and see if my Cape house is still standing.  Maybe I’ll recreate Thoreau’s walk up the outer Cape to Provincetown?  That might be epic. 

We’re coming into that time where the Europeans take the whole summer off.  Work tends to slow down as people head out to vacation. 

I’ll keep it short today because I don’t have a lot to say. 

Please consider becoming a member – It’s how I justify the time and money it takes to pull off this podcast.  Also if you are looking at a Fall race you might want to check out my book MarathonBQ.  If you want to get faster, or want to try some speedwork, this is the book where I lay out my speedwork secrets that I used to take 40 minutes off my marathon time and qualify for Boston.  It’s on Amazon Kindle and also in Audio on Audible.  Links in the show notes and on my website.

Coming into last week’s trip to Atlanta I had a couple amusing challenges. 

I was out trail running with Ryan, caught a toe and did the classic tuck and roll to keep from face planting.  But when I stopped rolling I was right in the middle of a giant poison ivy patch.  I’m super allergic to poison ivy.  It was a hot day.  We were miles from the trail head.  I had to get on a plane later in the day.

When we were coming back we passed a garage where I guy was hosing out school buses with a high-pressure water hose.  So, we went over and got him to hose me down. It was very refreshing!  I scrubbed off as well as I could when I got home before heading for the airport. 

Then I’m sitting in the airport and a crown comes loose on one of my molars. 

So here I am, getting ready to go to Atlanta to be on stage and engaged.  I’m losing a tooth and there’s a good chance I’m going to swell up into a giant, puss-y rash in front of the whole company!

Thankfully the bus wash and quick shower were able to mitigate an uncontrolled dermatological explosion.  I got a couple itchy bits but nothing compared to what could have been.  Dodged a bullet there.  My tooth stayed put until Wednesday when I found it in a piece of pizza at lunch, but it didn’t hurt and I was able to get it patched up when I got back. 

See?  Things never turn out as bad as we imagine they will!

I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4342.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-341 – John “The Hammer” Young

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4341.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-341 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we have a great chat with John “The Hammer” Young.  John is a proud father, husband, teacher triathlete and marathoner.  I hunted John down to get an interview when I passed him in the Boston Marathon this year.  It was one of those flashes in time during the marathon.  One of those ‘moments’ in the disjointed flow of images as you fade in and out of race consciousness.

I remember looking at John, seeing his kit and thinking, “Jeez, that guy’s a stud.  I bet he has a great story.” Then I saw him hamming for a picture with Bryan Lyons who pushes Rick Hoyt in the marathon now. I enquired.  We connected and today you and I get to share the fruit of that conversation.

As you listen to our conversation you’ll hear me circling around the subject at hand because, frankly we’ve got ourselves a bit of a Catch 22 situation.  The reason I wanted to pick John’s brain is that he competes, is an athlete, with Dwarfism.  And I don’t say ‘suffers from’ or ‘is afflicted by’ on purpose because John is way more than you or I or anyone could pigeon hole as a ‘little person’.  

In fact he’s just a great guy, a committed endurance athlete and we could all learn something from him.  But, the fact that I wanted to talk to him about it is a bit at odds with John’s narrative of being an athlete.  As with so many of us John doesn’t want to change the world or intrude a message into the conversation. Like all of us he just wants to pursue his sport; to swim bike and run.  To test himself and set an example for his family and community.

In section one I’m going to talk you through a speed workout that coach has me given me a couple times.  I’ll talk through the execution and the purpose and hopefully give you another tool for your box. 

In section two I’ll give you a working example of some of the tricks and tools of writing a compelling speech or talk. 

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access To Exclusive Members Only audio

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
  • Exclusive Access to Individual Audio Segments from all Shows
    • Intro’s, Outro’s, Section One running tips, Section Two life hacks and Featured Interviews – all available as stand-alone MP3’s you can download and listen to at any time.

Currently on the members feed is my Eastern States 20 miler race report and the 3rd installment of a 3 part series on the podcasts that I listen to. 

For the cost of a used DVD on Ebay of the Movie “Francesco” a 2:35 dramatic recreation of the story of the life of Saint Francis Assisi Made in 1998 staring a young Mickey Rourke before he got all weird and creepy and Hellen Bonam Carter, as, I guess the Saint’s teenage love interest? – Well – you can either have that or you can be a member of the runrunlive support crew. Links are in the show notes and at

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I had a bit of a scare coming off that crazy May that I had with the travel and being under the weather.  I had a couple easy long runs when I got back where my heart rate flipped on me in the 2nd half and I thought the AFIB might be back.  But, everything seems to be cool now. 

I did call my heart doctor and they freaked out a bit.  I just casually mentioned that I had a follow up appointment coming and, oh, by the way, it’s probably nothing, but I got a couple anomalous heart rate readings… And they freaked out.  They wanted me to wear one of those 24 hour a day heart rate monitors. 

Luckily they seem to have lost their enthusiasm in their bureaucracy and I haven’t heard from them in a week.  I’ll probably get a bill for the phone call.  If you stop getting podcasts you may want to drive up to Massachusetts and start looking for me in the trails behind my house.

I’ve been doing a lot of long trail runs.  I’ve related to you before how in a span of 2-3 weeks where I live the forest explodes into verdancy. My woods ae all fairly mature trees and when they leaf out there is a dense canopy over and around the trail.  It’s like running through green, living, soft and womb-like tunnels – or ‘Green Mansions’ as William Henry Hudson put it.   The forest becomes a living entity and a nurturing character in my life play. 

I’ve got a new system where I take Buddy, the old Wonder Dog, out for the first 2 mile loop. Then I drop him at the house and head back out for the meat of my run.  That’s enough for him to get a little freedom and pride of accomplishment without tweaking his hips. 

I even got my first mountain bike ride of the season in.  I forgot how much fun it is to hit the trails on my 29er, Mr. Moto.  And when I say ‘hit the trails’ I do usually end up face down in the mud bleeding at some point.  But, I’m always surprised by how quickly the technique comes back…it’s like…well…wait for it…riding a bike.  Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t do another mountain bike ultra this fall. 

I had a great run this past Sunday out in the trails.  I did maybe 10 miles or so for a bit over 1:35 at a casual Z2 pace.  It was overcast and sprinkling when I dropped Buddy and headed back out.  It advanced to a steady rain and then to a downpour.  But in the woods the rain is filtered through the canopy so it coagulates into these big, warm dollups of water that drain from the trees onto you.  It’s glorious. 

When I got back I was totally soaked.  Like wet t-shirt contest, just went swimming, soaked.  I went upstairs to the master bath to strip off my wet stuff.  I noticed that the gutter outside the window over the hot tub was clogged and not draining at all.  I opened the window to see if I could reach up and get the leaves out of it.  It’s still pouring buckets of rain that is cascading out of the clogged gutter down me and the house. 

I finally was able to tease it out with an appropriately MacGyver-ed coat hanger. 

Here’s the picture you won’t be able to get out of your mind.  Stark naked, soaking wet man, hanging out a second story window in a driving rain storm fiddling at the gutter with a bent coat hanger.

You’re welcome.

On with the show.

Section one –

Change of pace speed workout -

Voices of reason – the conversation

John Young – The Hammer

Twitter & Instagram @dwarfparatri

Facebook John Young - The Hammer

Run for TODAY: How running changed the life of a man with dwarfism



Run for TODAY: How running changed the life of a man with dwarfism

As the More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon in New York, hosted by TODAY’s Natalie Morales and Erica Hill, approache...

John Young Is Blazing A Trail For Triathletes With Dwarfism


John Young Is Blazing A Trail For Triathletes With Dwarfism

Since 2008, John Young has crossed the finish line of more than 30 triathlons, including four half-iron-distance...


The Replacement Run – Video of John’s 2013 / 2014 Boston experiences.

Photo from start of marathon by WBUR and the other one is by Matthew Muise

"Triathlon has become life in microcosm, a metaphor that gives truth to the wisdom passed from each generation to the next: work hard and you will be rewarded, have faith in yourself and you will excel; do not falter when an ill wind blows your way." Ashley Halsey

Section two

Telling a better story workshop -


Well my friends Your stride may be not be as long as mine and it may have taken you more steps but you have managed to make to the end of Episode 4-341 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Next episode will be our 9 year anniversary.  Who would have imagined that? 

That first piece, for the first episode I remember recording in my old truck after running the Mount Washington Road Race and then running back down, which ironically is the just about the same as the Grand Canyon, just in reverses.  Quite a ride. 

I signed up for a Spartan Beast in September.  Hopefully we can get Joe on to talk about his new book at some point.  The Beast is around a ½ marathon distance with 30+ obstacles in it.  They have told me it takes people in decent shape 2 and a half hours.  I can run 12 miles in an hour and a half so I don’t know what these Spartan people are doing with their extra hour J - must be a lot of standing around involved, right?  Hey, I’ve been training hard and I can do almost 3 pullups now!  They make you buy insurance when you sign up. This might not end well. 

But, that’s not until September so I have to find something else to train for.  I’m thinking a nice technical trail 50K. I’ve never run the 50K distance officially so it’s an automatic PR for me!  And, it will be good base training if I want to try to race a marathon in the fall.  Let me know if you have an interesting trail 50K I can run in late July or August.

I’m still trying to catch up from my May Madness.  I feel good.  I like the way the strength training makes you feel strong.  I guess it’s probably a guy thing to like the feel of your new found muscles in your clothes as you walk around. 

I have not traveled the last couple weeks which has allowed me to catch up on sleep and get my diet and biorhythms back to normal.  Whatever normal is.  Running in my trails.  Working in my garden.  Mowing the lawn. 

The pollen has been really bad this year.  When you come out in the morning the cars are covered in yellow dust.  It’s given me a runny nose and headache but it’s ok. 

We talked a bit about telling a good story today and being aware of your inner narrative.  I had to learn this lesson again over the last couple weeks myself.  I was in a situation where another person was asking me for details about some project I was working on. 

My inner narrative went nuts and I got really defensive.  Why are they questioning me? Why do they care about what I’m doing?  This is my responsibility. I’ll handle it. Why question me?  Do you think I can’t do my job?  Are you trying to make me look bad? 

I was really wrapped around the axle.  I talked myself into being quite angry.  I made up several scenarios in my head where I would wait for the next time this person asked for detail on something I was doing and I would call them out on it in front of our peers and put them in their place with a show of force. 

Luckily for me I had a chance to bounce the issue off a friend and quickly realized that I was letting someone else influence my inner narrative.  What I do or don’t do is under my control.  What other people do or don’t do isn’t. 

The solution is to keep doing what you think is right.  Keep going on the path that is your path.  At some point it might come to me saying something like ‘no, I’m not going to do that because it’s not a priority for me’ or ‘I’m doing this because I believe it’s the best path’ or whatever to keep someone from co-opting my agenda. 

But I’m not going to let someone else’s narrative intrude on my own or cause me to go on the defensive or change my approach.  If I’m doing what I believe is the right thing, then I’ve got nothing to worry about.  I can sleep at night.

It’s your ship.  You’re the captain.  You can’t control the world.  You can’t control other people.  But you can control your own inner narrative and the way you react to the world and other people. 

Choose to tell a better story.

And I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4341.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-340 – Becca Pizzi – 7 marathons, 7 continents, 7 days

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4340.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-340 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend this weekend in the States! It’s officially summer!  Wow! I had a May to remember! I’m telling you, you will never hear me say “I’m overwhelmed” but these past weeks came close!  I was back down in Atlanta this week and I caught some sort of stomach bug for a few days that sapped my energy – but this morning – Friday – I feel great! 

Let me summarize my May adventures for you…

Came in Friday night from Atlanta.  Was the second trip of the week having been in New Orleans earlier.  Rented a car and drove up to Teresa’s graduation Saturday night for all day Sunday.  Packed her up and drove back Sunday night.  About 500 miles each way. 

Repacked and headed out to Phoenix Monday, took Teresa with me.  Had a conference at the JW Desert Inn Tuesday and Wednesday – Up at 7:00 AM east coast time, (4:00 AM local time) for calls, in the conference all day, getting my workouts in. 

Meanwhile she slept late and floated around in the pool.

Grabbed a rental car Wednesday night and headed up to Flagstaff.  Crashed out for the night, up early, drive up to the Canyon.  Into the trail head at Bright Angel by 7:00 AM – Down to Phantom Ranch in about 3 ½ hours, turn around and push back up and out in around 8 ½ - 9 hours.

Jumped in the car and drove to Sedona for dinner and crashed.  Up Friday morning for 7:00 AM east coast (4AM local time) for 3 hours of calls. Breakfast, short trail hike up Oak Creek, some yoga to loosen the creeky bodies up, shower and off again. 

Sightseeing around Camp Verde and Montezuma’s Castle, an early barbeque dinner and off to the airport for a 10:30 redeye back to Boston Saturday morning. 

Back on a plane Monday morning to Atlanta, suffered with a sore tummy and no energy all week.

And now it’s Memorial Day weekend! Made it! Didn’t drop too many things in the process except sleep, health most of my RunRunLive ToDo list.  That’s why this show is all me! Didn’t have time to get any outside editing as I fell behind on my production schedule. 

Did I mention you people are great?  Did I mention I had a crazy spring?

But – as crazy as all that sounds, my life is nothing compared to what our guest today did.  Becca Pizzi was the first American woman to do the 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days last year and we have a great conversation about it. 

I’m going to give you the Becca interview right up front and then give you my overly-long Grand Canyon adventure summary.  I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to go over my time limit again!

Our Grand Canyon experience was pretty tough and totally cool.  I’m so happy I was able to spend these days doing something interesting and worthy with my baby! We had a blast. 

I’m fun to travel with because I’m a 30 year travel veteran.  I have status and get treated really well.  This gives me a certain chill fluidity in the chaos of the travel world.  I just skate right through like a ghost, having a grand old time.

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Sometimes the universe seems to be against you.  In all religions there is a universal trickster that trie to unravel your well made plans – Coyote, Loki, Shiva. 

There was a lot of counter pressure that was trying to keep me from running the canyon.  I had to schedule the skeleton of the trip a couple months ahead of time.  I don’t know about your life but mine doesn’t lend itself to planning 2+ months out. 

As soon as you put something like this on the calendar the world begins conspiring to make you regret it by coming up with far more important things that you should be doing on exactly that day.

You have to just bite the bullet, commit to something and then hold fast to the buffeting winds of circumstance. 

Teresa and I had a great Father-Daughter moment.  Running the canyon was a hard thing to do and that gives us that shared legacy of conquering hard things that is one of the most important aspects of an endurance sports lifestyle. 

Life isn’t easy all the time.  You get tired and you get knocked around.  You show up and do the best you can with what you have.  You try to be grateful for what you can squeeze free of the vortex of time and hold those moments and shared, sacred things close as something timeless.

On with the show.

Section one -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Becca Pizzi – 7 marathons, 7 continents, 7 days…

Running is in my DNA. My Dad is a runner and inspired me to start running when I was a 6 years old. I ran my first race when I was 7 . I have never stopped, competing through college and running 44 marathons, including 15 Boston Marathons, qualifying for all of them and marathons in 24 USA states. I love running and share my passion with others, volunteering as a coach, coaching with Team In Training and Boston Fit, I'm a pace setter for Beast Pacing. I am an ambassador for Orange Mud trail running gear. Running permeates every aspect of my life - I’m a Mom… my daughter is seven and ran her first race in 2014. I’m a sister…my twin sisters are also accomplished runners. I’m a Bostonian…I have run 15 Boston marathons and wont ever stop. I’m a friend…I have built lifelong friendship over miles of training. I’m a business owner… I own a day care and manage an ice cream shop, both in my hometown Belmont MA!! I’m every runner…a real person that faces the challenges of everyday life, while making time for my the sport that I am so passionate about. 

When I learned about the World Marathon Challenge, I immediately wanted to compete in this event in 2016. This event is 7 marathons, 7 days, 7 continents. The physical and mental demands of this race will be an awesome test of endurance. I will be the first American woman to complete the challenge and attempt to break women’s record time of 40:22:25. 
The race director, Richard Donovan accepted my application and saved me a spot while I get organized!

This race and representing USA as the first American female runner to run this, means everything to me.  But above all, I am doing this to inspire people!
I have the drive to complete this race, and I have the best resources in the world (cardiologist, nutritionist, coaches etc). It would be incredible to have you support me on this journey in which I have already been training for since January. I am committed to giving 200 percent. It would be my honor to represent the USA and become the first American female to run this race. Thank you to my friends who have heard me talk about this race for countless hours and to Joe and my family, this would not be possible without your support. Im truly very lucky to have so much love in my life. This is for my daughter Taylor told me I can so this, so it must be true.

View my complete profile

Section two

Grand Canyon- In and Out in a Day -


Well my friends that’s it – you may have been listening to 7 podcasts in 7 days on 7 continents but you have finished episode 4-340 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s getting hot up here in New England.  Summer has arrived.  Buddy the old wonder dog has a full thick coat of black fur and isn’t really designed for the heat.  He’s not running much anymore.  The girls take him for walks in the woods and I bring him for the first 20 minute loop if I’m doing a slow trail run in the woods. 

He gets out on the weekends with me to run errands and visit.  He gets a lot of cuddling with the girls at night when they force him to sit with them on the couch while they watch TV.  But, his distance running career is pretty much over.  His hips hurt him too much for the long stuff and he never liked to run in the heat. 

I can still remember him running all those miles with me that summer I trained for the Vermont 50.  Buddy has a big heart.  He’s a good dog. I’ll have to work in some swimming trips down to the pond for him this summer. 

I have to tell you that I’m pretty beat up this week.  I flew down to Atlanta as scheduled on Monday but have felt awful all week.  I’ve got a sore stomach for some reason and have been really low energy.  Some sort of stomach bug taking advantage of my biome being weak from the antibiotics onslaught a couple weeks ago. 

All of this travel and weirdness makes working out a challenge.  I was in such good shape for Boston and I feel like I’ve lost a lot of that.  I’m definitely not going to run the Vermont marathon on Memorial Day.  I’m instead going shift my training to focus on the Spartan Race at the end of July.

I’ve been looking into it and I do believe I’m in for a ‘learning experience’.  I was a wrestler in high school but it’s been a long time since I’ve been in that kind of ‘total body’ shape.  The first couple workouts have been comically challenging for me as I try to do just one chin up.  But, that’s why we do these things, to learn something new and to be challenged.

I’ve been doing some research on the obstacles in the race and I think I can simulate some of them.  There’s a lot of climbing, carrying, crawling and even some throwing.  And hundreds of burpees – which we used to call squat thrusts.  It’s like boot camp.  Should be fun. 

I’m burnt out.  With the travel, the pneumonia, the canyon and now some sort of stomach bug I’m feeling like I need to lay down for a couple days.  But, I won’t.  These kind of challenges are part of life.  They are temporary setbacks.  It’s important to position them in your plans as temporary setbacks.

There are small setbacks like these and big setbacks.  You can’t use them as excuses to turn away from your course.  The danger when you give in to setbacks is that it permanently changes your path.  When you let those setbacks dictate to you what you can do it changes your velocity and your direction. 

There are always going to be setbacks and challenges and they are always going to be poorly timed, inconvenient and unwanted.  You have to accept that they are part of life.  You keep moving and do what you can to recover and continue on your path.  That’s grit, when you keep going even when it sucks. 

If you keep moving, keep pushing, hold your course eventually the universe will bend back around to meet you in success.

So keep pushing – and I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4340.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-339 – The World Walk – Tony Mangan

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4339.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-339 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s been an interesting week but we managed to rise above and pull off an interesting and compelling show for you.  This week I’ve got an interview with Tony Mangan who, last time I checked facebook,.was in Russia some 2000 odd kilometers into his walk around the world. 

Tony is/was an accomplished ultra runner and then decided to run around the world.  He did.  It took him 4 years.  But when he got home he was still restless so he has set off again, this time at a slower pace and on an alternate route.  This is basically his life now.  Perambulation of the globe.

I was asked last week what I’d do if I didn’t have to work.  My answer was probably just start running.  Run across the US or something.  There’s something about it that appeals to me.  Not the effort or the accomplishment or the challenge.  What appeals to me is the monastic clarity of it.

How’s my running going?  Well I actually took 7 days off.  What? Shocked? Yeah, I said it had been an interesting week. 

It started 2 weeks ago.  On that Thursday I got a cold sore and a slight fever.  I thought ‘Ok, it’s some of those seasonal allergy symptoms’ and really didn’t think more about it because, as you know, I don’t get sick.  Big waste of time getting sick.  No reason for it.

It didn’t get any worse and Saturday I spent a fabulous long day working on my yard and got so much done.  I was on a roll.  Sunday I woke up to get my long run in and noticed that my heart rate was pretty high and I didn’t feel so hot.  I went out and knocked out a couple low-energy hours anyhow but knew something was going on. 

I felt progressively worse all day Sunday and when the early alarm went off to jump on a plane Monday morning I couldn’t do it.  I was too sick.  Which kills me.  I usually go to work if I can still fog a mirror.  I ended up sitting in on 3 days of 10 hour-long meetings by phone.  It was the right decision.

Monday night I had the chills and fever sweats.  I was awake coughing all night most nights. I slept on the couch all week sitting up to let the rest of my family get some sleep.   

By the end of the week it had moved into my sinus and I was in some discomfort.  My wife and daughter told me to go see the doctor.  I hesitated because, hey it’s just a cold, all they’re going to do is tell me to go home, sleep and take fluids.  Why waste my time and theirs?

I relented Saturday morning – more than a week into it by then.  The nice nurse practitioner Duncan took my vitals and was giggly at how good shape I’m in for an old guy. But, he said, “Given your baseline this is totally out of whack.  You either have acute sinusitis or pneumonia and we need to get you on antibiotics.”

Oh, ok…So I’m 4 days into the drugs and it’s clearing up. 

Meanwhile I’m supposed to be speaking at a conference in New Orleans on Monday.  I was speaking as a favor to an old friend of mine Dan who lives in Chicago.  We chewed some dirt together back in the 90’s career-wise and always got along.  I ghost wrote some of his first book.  We were peers from the same cadre, he was about my age.

Last time I talked to Dan he was pretty sick.  He had some problems with Diabetes and had to get a couple toes removed.  I asked him, “Jeez Buddy, how does something like that happen?” and he joked back to me “Too much rich food.  Bad lifestyle decisions.”

Much to my shock last week, I got a note from the conference Friday morning that Dan had passed away.  This week, while I was speaking at his conference in New Orleans they were having services for him in Chicago.

So summary: Weird couple weeks.

I’m going to give you something a bit different today format-wise.  We’ll drop right into the chat with Tony and then I’ll lay my Boston Marathon story on the backside of that. I’ll hit you with some closing comments on the back end.  Fair warning, last time I checked my Boston story was over 5,000 words.  I recorded a draft of it last week, but I’ll re-record because my voice was just painful to listen to.

Remember there is now a membership option for the RunRunLive podcast with special members only content.  My goal is to get one piece of unique audio every week.  This past week members were treated to my uncomfortably contorted sick voice rendition of the business podcasts that I listen to and why.

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When you have a weird week like the one I had it can cause you to take pause.  If you’ve got unfinished business to attend to in your life, for heaven’s sake get to it.  Don’t put it off.  Don’t put off the things you need to do and the things you need to say. 

The small decisions you make on your healthy lifestyle add up over time.  Don’t put those off either.

I’ll share a less dramatic story from a couple weeks ago after Boston.

I’m in my office the week after the marathon.  Coach has me not running much but has me doing yoga.  I work out of a remote office and many times I’m the only one in there.  I have a real, old style office with walls and a solid door that locks.  I’m an executive!

I decided to do the yoga in my office.  No one is there and it saves me from having to walk over to the gym and I can use the WiFi in the office to play Bonnie’s videos on my tablet.  It’s all good.  So I change into my workout stuff which just happens to be short shorts and a singlet. 

I’m sitting on the floor in my approximation of the lotus position and there’s a knock on the door.  It’s some unfortunate young guy who has come to service our water cooler.  There I am like some strange half-naked yogi on the floor of my office. I explained to him what was going on and he got a kick out of it and was interested in all my hardware and running paraphernalia. 

All in good fun. 

Oh, yeah, I shaved my beard last week too. 

On with the show.


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Voices of reason – the conversation

Tony Mangan – the World Walk

On Saturday February 27th, 2016 I began a walk around the world!

I will be walking the world with a cancer awareness message;

        Life is precious, early checking saves lives.

Starting from Run Logic's running store in Dublin’s Temple Bar, we will meet at two pm February 27th, 2016 and leave at three pm. Please follow my new blog for the walk ( Click Here )  or my Facebookpage!

After I first got the idea to run around the world I didn’t see how I could do it without a support vehicle. As running is more problematic than walking I decided instead of running the world that I would walk it! In 1998, I was living in Lake City, Colorado.  I returned to Ireland  I decided that one day I would find a way to live my ultimate dream, to run around the world ( As many of you know I achieved that in Oct 2014)

So, this world walk is my other long cherished dream  :-)

Last Monday I was welcomed by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, this is becoming a habit! Thank you Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh for my latest Magic Letter! I will be walking the world with a cancer awareness message; life is precious, early checking saves lives.

In 1977 I read Dervla Murphys book Full Tilt: Ireland to India on a bicycle. I put the book down and read it again immediately. I was gobsmacked. She cycled across Europe in winter continued across the Turkish mountains,across Afghanistan,Pakistan and into India on terrible roads and with a 3 speed bicycle. So I started planning my own trip to India. I bought a 5 speed Raleigh Corsa bicycle and told everyone in work what my plans were..I got in so deep there was no way out! Then someone asked me what I was going to do when I got to India! Cycle back Tony? It occured to me in a flash..No of course not...I'm going to just keep going.

In August '78 I set out to cycle around the world. I couldn't even fix a puncture. My heavily laden bicycle got about 8 in the 160km to Rosslare Harbor. I had to cycle late into the night to catch the ferry to France.I ditched some of my baggage and cycled myself fit. I returned 15 months later severely bitten by the travel bug. For the next 15 years I continued taking extended vacations often on my bicycle in (at that time) exotic locations such as Iceland, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Egypt, as well as hitch-hiking around the middle-east and taking a year out in 1983 to cycle and hitch in South America.

Other than kicking a football around Dublin's streets I don't think I would consider myself from a sporting background. It just kinda grew on me.I used to run to football training and then run home later to improve my stamina.The penny dropped when I got a very bad ankle injury and missed running more than football.That was almost 25 years ago and I haven't kicked a competitive ball since.

I was going out with a girl whose boss was on my now running club's committee.She suggested I join MSB A.C. I ran the marathon within 5 weeks of first serious lacing of my running shoes.I I did my one and only long run of 35km just 7 days before. In the marathon I ran 3.09 and was hooked. Gradually I got my time down to 2.38.

In 1994 I obtained a green card and emigrated to Colorado,USA. There I discovered the wonders of mountain ultra running.I more or less drifted away from the cycling at this stage..Gradually I progressed to running 24 hour races...I was obsessed by 24's and in an attempt to try to make them 'shorter in my mind' I entered a few 48 hour races only to find I was more competitive with these! In 2002 I returned to Ireland after getting a bad foot injury. Around this time world record attempts were very popular on treadmills. I had a couple of shots and in 2003 managed to get both the 24 and 48 hour world records at the Dublin marathon expo.

I was working in construction as a snagger and used to run in and out of work.Everyone used to sneer and say I musn't be working hard if I still had the energy to run home after a long hard day on my feet. I used to say that it was my running training that made me fitter to work hard and when I stepped in the door I was well warmed up! I always found construction work to be an excellent way to maintain exceptional fitness,especially when I was injured and couldn't train,I rarely lost any. I don't think the dust helped me much though.

I used to run everywhere.I had a small blue satchel and if I needed a magazine in the city or needed to post a letter I usually just ran. I made a few appearances for Ireland for 100km and 24 hours and seemed to be able to run a very consistently reliable 24 hour distance.

In March 2007 I booked a Ryanair flight to Brno,Czech Rep. for a 48 hour indoor race.I really had no expectations as I was just going for the experience. I was wearing my race shoes on the plane and was traveling with just a small amount of carry on baggage.I didn't even bother bringing much race food..During that race I ate the candy I had bought for my niece and nephews..It seemed to hit the spot...I ran like a man possessed and often wonder if I received some form of divine intervention as I broke the world indoor 48 hour record with 426.178km running for 47 of the hours and walked just 750 meters.

This was also the first occasion that a runner ran 2 consecutive days of 200km plus.. Three years later a committee of ultra running researchers and ultra running historians awarded me with a world first for 48 hour running. My splits were 223 and 203km...I was staggered and shocked by this race of my life. Due to this performance I received an invitation to run the prestigious invite only Surgeres 48 hour race in France.

Before accepting I thought long and hard about competing as clearly 8 weeks would not be enough time to recover from a world record performance in Brno. I went against the advice I was given and in Surgeres I surprised myself again by running 401km to finish second. Those 8 weeks were the greatest weeks of my running life. I have never reached those lofty heights since,save for a 405km to regain my world 48 hour treadmill record in Longford Ireland. Getting that record back was so important to me..I was injured having not run much in the previous two months. it was pure determination running through the pain and fatigue barriers that won me that record back.You see the man who took it off me skirted the rules and was holding the treadmill bars as he was running...Yes amazingly its not against the rules to run on a treadmill while holding the bars! Just try it in your gym...If you hold hard enough you can even almost fly above the this running?? No athlete worth his salt would 'run' in this chicken fashion!He actually has records for coach surfing watching mind-boggling daytime tv watching Judge Judy and Seinfeld for weeks on end and thinks running on a treadmill should allow him to hang onto the rails like he was holding onto a zimmer frame for dear life!

So because of cock-ups I do not recognize the authority of a so called record compiler. I endeavor to put my efforts under the the even greater scrutiny of my fellow athletes and a newly formed committee made up of experienced athletes because they understand athletes and athletics. I ran a couple of 3 day races in Arizona,winning one and finishing second in the other. I am now officially retired from competitive athletics and will only compete for fun in the future..I have had a great time.Thanks for the memories,wonderful help and encouragement...

I now look forward to a new career as a journey runner.

Section two

Boston 2016 -


Well my friends that’s it you have done the painful death shuffle to the end of Episode 4-339 of the RunRunLive podcast.  Hope you enjoyed that.  Feel free to send me feedback.  All this stuff is posted on my website and you can leave comments.  If you dig what we’re doing here, feel free to repost the show post or share with a friend.

Well.  I’ve decided to pivot.  I was going to go up and double down at the Vermont City race.  I signed up for it.  But, I think I’ve lost too much fitness.  The sick kept me from training and it will probably take a couple weeks to totally get over it.  I’m basically out of runway for a May 30 race.  I’ll probably just skip it.

I got a new project though.  (Like I don’t have a new project every week…) but seriously, the people from Spartan races contacted me.  I’m angling to interview Joe the owner.  I didn’t know they were based out of Boston, which is cool.  In general I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to racing but these guys actually keep score unlike a lot of the other obstacle events. 

If I do it I’m going to take it seriously and compete. 

They gave me a freebie.  I figure it will take some time to beat my skinny-ass runner upper body into something that can compete at flipping tires and climbing walls, but it will be good for me.  It’s just what I need.  There are two races at the end of July.  One south of Montreal that is only a 3-4 hour drive for me and one in Edinburg which is an interesting thought. 

Then maybe spin up a serious race in the fall. 

I’m out to Phoenix next week and I’m dragging my newly minted college grad with me and we’re going to sneak off and do the canyon at the end of the week. 

Closing comments

It’s strange my life.  While I was writing that Boston report I looked back through the inventory of life events over the past 5 years and it’s really amazing.  I always feel like I’m falling behind and not doing enough but when you lay it all end to end it’s something. 

I’m happy I’ve been able to make choices and decisions that have brought me adventure and challenge and health.  I think about the roads not taken and I wonder how much different my life, the quality of my life and the quality of life for those in my life might be on a different path. 

I’m not one to preach, but like my coach says, “Die with great stories, not regrets.”

Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow.  Don’t sacrifice your now for some unfortunate future and thanks to antibiotics and clean living I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4339.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-338 – Sandra the Organic Runner Mom

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4338.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-338 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  In today’s episode we are going to have a chat with Sandra the Organic Runner Mom.  I met her up at the ES20 and decided to have her on the talk about some of the goings on in the organic farming space she habituates.  It’s a good chat. 

In section one talk about how to roll your fitness into a B race when you’re a race goes sideways. In section two I have another piece I wrote for one of my work related blogs when they asked me what my advice to my 22 year old self would be. 

Ironically I saw her at the Boston marathon.  She tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘hi’ as she was cruising past me late in the race.  That wasn’t hard to do at the pace I was going at that point!

I’m tired.  This time of year is super busy for me – as I’m sure it is for you as well.  I have just rolled out of a 7 –day stretch that include getting my ass kicked at the Boston Marathon, a quick trip to Atlanta on business then pulling off the 25th annual Groton Road Race over the weekend. 

I had to drop my little one off at the airport at the crack of dawn Monday morning and get back to my home office for a 3 hours of conference calls starting at 7:00 AM with Europe.  My wife pulled a bit of a fast one on me by announcing Sunday night, after I was already well into my celebratory cups at the race wrap-up cookout, that I’d be taking my daughter to the airport in the morning. 

I’ve got this week to catch up on some things and then I’m into 6 weeks of travel and it won’t let up until the middle of June, if ever.  It’s good to be needed. 

Yes, as you have guessed, we had a tough day at Boston.  It was a little warm for me, there was a bit of a head wind, but I went for it anyhow and ended up sprinting right into the wall with a classic, textbook, Boston-bonk.  I couldn’t recover and ended up doing the death shuffle in for a 20 minute positive split. 

But, as painful as it was I was not terribly disappointed.  I trained very well.  I respected the race. It just won this time, as it has done many times before.  It’s a tough, unforgiving race.  I’ll try to write up a full race report this week.

We had awesome weather for Groton.  We had a good year which no major crises.  Great for me to ‘go out on top’.  It really is something when you see how organized we are and how well we pull off an event of that size with a dozen or so volunteer directors. 

We got some new members this week for our RunRunLive members only feed where I produce some extra audio content. 

Last week, based on member feedback I started working on a series about the podcasts that I listen to.  I don’t know why anyone would want to listen to that, but since they are members they get to tell me what to do!

I also worked with one of my virtual assistants to add an annual membership option and that should be working now.  You asked for an annual option, so I got it added.

I’m doing this membership option so I don’t have to bug you with commercials, sponsors and ads.

Access To Exclusive Members Only audio

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
  • Exclusive Access to Individual Audio Segments from all Shows
    • Intro’s, Outro’s, Section One running tips, Section Two life hacks and Featured Interviews – all available as stand-alone MP3’s you can download and listen to at any time.

(I’ve got episodes 4329 – 4335 up – in pieces - already)

  • We will consider other benefits as they are requested by you, because when you’re a member it’s all about you!

Become a member

I’d like to welcome new members Duane, Cheryl and Bill.  

For the Groton Road Race we set up on Saturday.  We have the party rental stuff delivered and we set up the field with fencing and such.  We pick up the water and the ice.  We do a lot of miscellaneous running around. 

We set up the gym and sort through the shirts for registration. 

Sunday morning is race day.  I host a 6:00AM run of the course.  This I can keep my streak going.  A trick I learned from Dave McGillivray.  I actual register and pay.  Sometimes I’ll wear my number.  Usually it’s a half dozen or so of the race directors who show up.  We walk over to the starting line say a few words and go run the course. 

This weekend it was beautiful.  With the sun just coming up over the hills and meadows of spring time Groton it was stunning.  My friend Brian and I led the pack and just had an easy run of the course.  It’s so peaceful and serene in the crisp morning air. 

Then we get changed up and go to work to pull of the race.  I keep my time so I can be entered into the official results.  I stopped my watch at 49:36 for the 10K run. 

One of our RunRunLive members Duane came up from PA to run the race and say ‘hi’.  I was checking the results online this morning and his time is posted as… you guessed it… 49:36!  How about that? 


I am blessed and lucky.

On with the Show!

Section one - Running Tips

Rolling your Fitness Forward to your B race -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Sandra LaFlamme –

Meet Organic Runner Mom

Hi! I’m Organic Runner Mom!

I found running back in high school when I used to run before crew practice. It was common for us to have to run from boathouse row in Philadelphia to “The Three Angels” and back as a warm-up before getting into our shells for the real workout. Someone once called me “gazelle” during one of these runs perhaps because of my ridiculously awkward, skinny long legs but perhaps more so because they could see how freeing running could be for me. I rowed all through high school and college at Colby College in Maine and then met my husband, a rower too at Bates College! I used to be a rower but when my husband and I moved back to New Hampshire so he could join the family business, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs in 2000 running became my new passion!

Being a runner has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and made me a stronger individual both inside and out. As a runner I am inspired and motivated by all of the amazing endurance athletes that I meet. Since I discovered my love for running I have met many new friends and have continued to set new goals for myself. I always have big dreams and love a new challenge. I am now a half marathon runner, marathon runner (2 time Boston Marathon Finisher, soon to be 3 time finisher!), trail runner, and mountain runner. Several injuries (tendonitis and a back injury) have led me to discover triathlons. Most recently I completed my first Half Ironman and the Timberman Ironman 70.3.

I love sharing my athletic pursuits with you as well as training tips, nutrition tips, recipes, and lots of motivation. I hope you will join me often on my blog here and that you will share your stories and inspirations too.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. –Rachel Carson

Section two

Advice to my 22-year-old self -


That’s it friends, members, we have made it to the end of yet another fully certified organic RunRunLive Podcast.  Thanks for being along for the ride.  Thanks for being a friend. 

Next week we’ll chat with John Mangan the Irish ultra runner who ran around the world and he’s now walking around the world.  Interesting dude.

I had issued a public service announcement about the RunRunLive podcast feed.  I wasn’t getting updates on my podcruncher app.  I called Libsyn and they said everything was cool but “did you know you have two instances of RunRunLive on iTunes?” Yes, I know – the second one is an older feed that goes through Feedburner that I’ve been telling people to switch off of for a year now.  I could tell you again, but if you’re hearing my voice you figured it out.  I went in and deleted that feed and permanently redirected it – (That sounds painful).  The Duh! Moment for me was when I realized that I was pointing to the wrong feed in iTunes with my PodCruncher app! Doh!

You can get the show from iTunes, from the Libsyn feed directly or just download the files from my website. All roads lead to RunRunLive. Except Feedburner. That turns in on itself like a snake eating its tail. 

With the marathon over and the road race done - what now?  What am I going to focus on?  I’m thinking about running the Vermont City Marathon on Memorial Day – May 30th.  I hate to let my fitness go to waste.  I felt really strong going into Boston and I think I have a decent performance in me, I just need the right venue. 

I’ve been at this for a long time.  I think I’ve found some balance but the tradeoff is that I’m not as manically focused on my running goals anymore.  I just want to feel that joy that we get on those crisp mornings with the sun peaking over the hills and birds chirping.  You know, the peaceful epiphany stuff that I love, out on the trails thinking about stuff and thangs.

Closing comments

That’s 10 years, or maybe 11 that I was the race director of the Groton road races.  That’s close to 20,000 runners of all ages I helped give an opportunity to get over our courses and across our finish line. To put that in perspective, that’s about how many men Hannibal crossed the Alps with to conquer Rome.  But he also had 40 war elephants.  We don’t have any elephants. 

But, still, that’s a generation of runners I had some small impact on.  That’s pretty cool.  I’m a grateful guy. 

We had all 25 T-shirts strung up across registration.  That is impressive.  Now you’re talking 2-3 generations of local runners we’ve touched.  We are all very fortunate.

Many times we look at these things and we fret over what we could have done.  We wring our hands over the opportunities lost.  We beat ourselves up because we didn’t make some goal or achieve some thing to make our mark higher.  We are a chronically unsatisfied bunch. 

It’s really all in the value of the action taken, whatever that action was, the movement that starts a person.  Because each movement has the opportunity to take hold and create compound movement both physical and metaphysical.  That snowball effect is how our small actions can win the world in the balance. 

It’s the butterfly’s wingbeat each time we move.

So keep moving my friends, and I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4338.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

iTunes upload issues 4-15-2016

(Audio: link) [audio:]
Link  upload-problems.mp3


Apologies folks – I did manage to drop Episode 4-337 on Friday but for some reason it’s not making it to iTunes.  We’ll keep working on it.  Until then you can download the show mp3 or listen directly on my website



Music by Tim Timebomb and Friends -


Direct download: upload-problem.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:48am EDT





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