Unicorns-1.4

Introductory Comments:

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/unicorns14.mp3]

Unicorns14.mp3

Hello and welcome my friends.  This is Chris and this is the fourth in my series of personal podcasts that I am doing, to air out my brain and deal with my father’s cancer and gear up to run for the Liver Foundation at the Boston Marathon this year. 

Note:  Even though this is on the RunRunLive Podcast feed, this is NOT the RunRunLive podcast.  You have fair warning to skip now because I’m not talking about running.  Standard RunRunLive episodes will be labeled as such. 

As part of this project, whatever this project is, I’m collecting donations for the American Liver Foundation for my running of the Boston Marathon this year.  I wanted to layer on some purpose for the event and make it more personal.  

The donation links are in the show notes and at http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

My story is that I already had a number for this year’s race.  I Didn’t need to fundraise, but with my Dad’s health declining I thought it would be a decent thing to do to dedicate this to him and my family. 

Today I’m going to read you a couple short pieces to mark my Dad’s passing this week.  Our extended family got together to celebrate my Dad’s life. 

http://www.dolanfuneralhome.com/node/854

Earl D. Russell - “Russ”, Husband, Father, Grandfather, WR1Y

Earl David Russell passed away on March 24, 2014 in Groton, MA. Russ was the beloved husband of Margaret (Peggy Connors) Russell, to whom he was married for over 58 years. He was the son of David C. Russell and Corrine Russell and grew up in Chelmsford, MA, graduating from CHS with the Class of 1946.

Following service in the Air Force during the Korean War, he completed his Electrical Engineering degree at UNH, Class of 1957 and was President of Tau Beta Phi, the Engineering Honor Society.

Professionally, he was employed by Adams Russell Corp, Sanders Associates, MA/COM and was President and Founder of Russell Engineering Services (Lowell and Waltham, MA) for 25 years.

In retirement, Russ was actively involved with the CHS Alumni organization, aviation, antique cars, Town of Groton audio/communications events, the Groton Emergency Management Team and the Groton Senior Center. He founded the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club.

The Russells enjoyed many years of Square and Round dancing. Ballroom dancing was their special “sport,” Big Band was their era, and they shared their love of dance with many wonderful friends and fellow dancing enthusiasts.

Russ is survived by two sons; David and Jill Russell, Christopher and Yvonne Russell, and two daughters; Mary Lou and Doug Martin, Joanne “Jody” and Dan Dobson of Indiana, and ten grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Phyllis (Russell) Quintin of Groton.

I’m going to include an interview I did with my Dad on his 80th birthday back in 2008 as episode 25 of the original RunRunLive podcast. 

We are a close family.  My Dad’s death leaves a big hole in our lives, in the lives of our friends and in the community.  

I learned a lot from my Father.  Much of who I am today I owe to him.  

He will live on in me and all of us. 

We are here today; this week, to mourn a passing but also to celebrate a life well lived.  

Featured Interview:

Earl D. “Russ” Russell

Summary Article: 

Thank you for joining me in my Journey.  This week I surpassed my $2,000 fundraising goal and I’m grateful for the friends that have supported me. 

The Prayer of St. Francis.

Go to: 

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

Thank you for joining me on my journey with purpose. 

Chris,

Music by Bridge Underwater - “sad song”

Direct download: unicorns14.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:28pm EST

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-285 – Akshay Nanavati – Epic Running

(Audio: link) [audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi3285.mp3]

Link epi3285.mp3

To donate to my liver foundation fund for the Boston Marathon -> http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

Support RunRunLive; Purchase an audio book of running stories.  Written and performed with love by Chris Russell  ------------->>>>>>>http://bit.ly/1cH2Fr7<<<<<<<-----------

Introductory Comments:

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 3-285 of the RunRunLive podcast.  

Well, it’s been a relatively boring couple of weeks since we last chatted.  I haven’t run any races or done anything stupid.  Since the Umstead marathon I’ve been focusing on getting less fragile.  Umstead was a wakeup call for my fitness level.  It wasn’t horrible but it certainly was more ‘show up and suffer’ than I would like.  

But, out of disillusionment springs commitment and focus.  I may not be able to train as hard as I’d like, but there’s no reason I should be just sitting around letting myself go to pieces.  The week after Umstead I was traveling but I managed to do a few core workouts and spend some time on the stationary bike.  

I sat down and wrote out a workout plan to take me through to Boston that focuses on getting less fragile.  My ankle is still a bit sore and I’m overweight but I think I can coax out 3 runs a week and that’s what I’ve been doing.  I did a 13 miler with some folks from my club the Sunday after Umstead and the last 3 miles were a struggle.  I wasn’t recovered yet, but I’ve been sticking with it and I’m feeling ok. 

For my plan I want to get 7 days a week in.  Sunday is a long run. Monday is a core workout with focus on abs and upper body.  Tuesday is a mid distance run of 1 hour plus.  Wednesday is a leg strength workout. Thursday is a slightly longer mid-distance run of 1:30 or so. Friday is an hour plus of cycling with some pushups and crunches thrown in.  Saturday is a swim. 

That’s a nice mix of activity that won’t get me a qualifying marathon but will burn some calories and get me much less fragile by the time Boston rolls around.  On top of this I’m trying to stretch.  My visits with Eric and the chiro pointed out that I need to get some mobility.  My hamstrings, my quads and psoas are all supre constricted and contributing to my injuries. 

The first swim was interesting.  I haven’t been in the pool for over a year.  I started with just 500 meters and it felt like I had never swum before in my life!  Working in some biking is very complimentary as well but I’d much rather do it outside.  The bikes at the gym cause my undercarriage to fall asleep and it’s quite uncomfortable.  Unfortunately it’s still cold and snowy here.  We’re mid-march and the morning temps are still in the teens and there is still a couple feet of snow on the ground. 

My kids came home from college and blessed me with a cold.  It’s not bad enough to chase me into bed but it is enough to make me feel crappy and struggle with everything.  I’ve got a busy March and April with a bunch of travel, the Boston Marathon and the Groton Road Race.  

For those of you who still get Runner’s World magazine you may have noticed that the Groton Road Race was featured in the Races and Places section of the March issue.  I guess we’re in the big time now.  We’ll see if it causes a bump in registration.  

I tried to go out for a long run Sunday but made it to the end of the road and decide I couldn’t do it.  With the head cold, the frigid weather and the dicey ankle it was too much.  Instead I went over to the pool and did a long pool run.  Once I got started I felt ok and it was very peaceful in the pool so kept going and ended up pool running for 3 hours.  

I listened to a podcast on the history of the crusades.  I like queuing up history podcasts and binge listening to them. It gives you a good continuous story of events and story arc.  

People have been acting stupidly for the entire arc of history.  They still are today.  We like to think that we can choose strong men and women to fix our problems.  That’s just another form of entitlement.  We are the only ones who can fix our problems.  It starts with us.  You and I, the common men and women of this world are the ones who are in charge.  

We are blessed with the opportunity and we are cursed with the responsibility of pulling continuously against the drag of stupidness, away from the brink.  Do something that changes the world for the better today.  It starts with you. 

Today we chat with Akshay Nanavati about lots of stuff including his project to run across every country in the world.  In section one we’ll talk about the importance of white space in your life.  In section two we’ll talk about optimization of food and time!

On with the show!

Section one:

White Spaces - http://www.runrunlive.com/the-importance-of-white-space-in-your-life

Featured Interview:

Akshay Nanavati

Here is a bio about me and some of my adventures:

After recovering from a life of drugs that killed two of my friends in high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps despite two doctors telling me that boot camp would kill me because of a blood condition I have called Thallasemia. But I survived and since then I have served 7 months in Iraq, been mountaineering all over the world, glacier caving in the Himalayas, cave diving, ice diving, skydiving, rock climbing with and without the safety of a rope, and in 2012 I quit a corporate job to spend one month dragging a 190 pound sled 350 miles across the second largest icecap in the world in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. I returned from the icecap after spending 15,000 dollars and built up my company Human Potential Development LLC. from the ground up. 

Today by using neuroscience and psychology, I help people get out of their own way mentally in order to live a limitless lifestyle. In service of this mission, I am now on a multi-year journey to cross every country in the world on foot and raise 1 million dollars for the organization Create Global Healing. (http://www.createglobalhealing.org/) So far I have crossed 2 countries: 350 miles across Greenland and 33 miles across Singapore. 

The goal of this expedition is to unite the human family that is currently torn apart with strife through the the realization that despite all the unique qualities within every single human being, we are all one and our experience of life is essentially the same no matter what our background, nationality or religion.

You can also find a little bit more about me and my adventures on my website:

www.existing2living.com/about

Section two:

Salads and smoothies - http://www.runrunlive.com/optimization-of-foodtime

Outro:

It’s interesting talking to a chap like Akshay who is obviously on the front end of many adventures.  I think he’s doing it as much from an inner restlessness as he is for a success strategy.  

It’s so common, especially among young people to have an inner restlessness, a sense that this can’t be it, there must be something more.  I think the wrong thing is to tell them to get in line, to suck it up and get in line.  How many times have you heard some crotchety old a-hole like me say “Life is hard, deal with it!” 

Life has its hard points, for sure but how you deal with it is the rub.  Akshay has figured out how to deal with the restlessness, chaos and hardness of life by setting himself on an epic path.  He doesn’t know where he’s going but he’s smart enough to get moving and figure out as he goes.  When your boats are burnt you have to learn fast.  

Remember what I said.  There is always going to be conflict.  But there is good conflict and constructive conflict.  The creative tension should be between what is and what is possible.  That is constructive discomfort.  It forces you to move towards something.  

If you are uncomfortable with something, whether at work, in your family or in a social setting there is a reason.  There is conflict there.  If you’re Canadian you can internalize that conflict and act passive aggressive, if you’re from New York you can tell everyone how you feel and why.  Just kidding – but regardless of what the appropriate cultural response is if you have conflict don’t run away from it.  Turn it over in your mind and figure out how it can be made constructive.  

If you feel tension or restlessness then there is a disconnect between your expectations and reality and you need to figure out how to close that gap.  Instead of recoiling, move towards the tension.  Leverage that tension to learn and grow.  Help others to do likewise and all of us will be better off. 

I was able to weasel an entry into the Eastern States 20 miler at the end of March.  It’s funny how all the ‘fringe’ races I’ve historically done are now selling out.  This will give me one last quality long run before Boston if I can stay healthy and run it.  

A couple notes for those of you who may have not been paying attention; I’m running Boston for the Liver Foundation this year and would appreciate anything you can do to help –I’ll put the donate link in the show notes.  I also have a couple books I’ve compiled from all these interesting thoughts flitting about in my unsettled mind and you can get them, physical, e-book or audio on my site at RunRunLive.com

Also, one last note.  I do have a RunRunLive group on Facebook that I have never given much love but I post the shows and the articles there and would love to see some conversation around some of these topics we mull over.  So if you’re a Facebooky person just search for the RunRunLive Group and I’ll add you. 

And I’ll see you out there, 

Cheers, 

Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is http://www.runrunlive.com and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 

Ciao

Happy Song – Super Hero - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Superhero

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author) – http://www.runrunlive.com

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:

http://www.runrunlive.com

http://www.runeratti.com

Http://www.coolrunning.com

http://www.Grotonroadrace.com

http://www.SQRR.org

www.midpackerslament.com

Contact:

Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

Bio

Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 

Tags -> Running  Podcast, podcasts for running, podcast for runners, free podcast for runners, Running Blog, marathon, triathlon, mileage, sprinting, run, track, training, running clubs, running groups, running shoes, exercise, health, 5k, running, swimming, sports, injuries, stretching, eating, jogging, biking, trail race, 5K, 10K, Ultramarathon, jogging a good exercise, road runner, jogging tips, benefits of jogging, free running, running shoes, marathon training, running, jogging, health and fitness, runners, runner, Boston qualification, Marathon BQ, Boston marathon

Direct download: epi3285.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:59pm EST

Unicorns-1.3

Me-and-DadIntroductory Comments:

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/unicorns13.mp3]

unicorns13.mp3

Hello and welcome my friends.  This is Chris and this is the third in my series of personal podcasts that I am doing, to air out my brain and deal with my father’s cancer and gear up to run for the Liver Foundation at the Boston Marathon this year.

Note:  Even though this is on the RunRunLive Podcast feed, this is NOT the RunRunLive podcast.  You have fair warning to skip now because I’m not talking about running.  Standard RunRunLive episodes will be labeled as such.

As part of this project, whatever this project is, I’m collecting donations for the American Liver Foundation for my running of the Boston Marathon this year.  I wanted to layer on some purpose for the event and make it more personal.

The donation links are in the show notes and at http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

My story is that I already had a number for this year’s race.  I Didn’t need to fundraise, but with my Dad’s health declining I thought it would be a decent thing to do to dedicate this to him and my family.

I’m the youngest of 4.  I have two older sisters and an older brother.  We didn’t always get along with each other as siblings do but we are close and working through my Dad’s cancer has given us the opportunity to spend more time together.  It’s been fun to talk through shared family experiences and memories.

As the youngest I don’t have the depth of memories as my brother and sisters, but they are there and as we spend time together they are unearthed like the quite turnings of some dusty album.  There’s nothing bad there.  There is some funny stuff.  Mostly it is bits and pieces and vignettes that we can compare notes on.

I remember my Dad coming home from work one day with a full size electric organ for the living room.  My sisters were both taking piano lessons and I guess he thought this would give them some additional enablement.

At some point we acquired a full size piano as well at some point.  My Mom taught my girls how to play songs on it when they went for visits.

My Dad designed a built a giant two story car garage out of pre-stressed concrete beams and I can remember helping shingle the roof with cedar shakes.  Snapping the chalk lines, as a kid, and knocking the shingle nails true, row by row, all day long.

He and my brother would work on cars together in that garage.  They had every tool and machine needed to do anything.  I remember one time in the 80’s I dropped my car off at the house.  It needed a universal joint in the front end. I was going to help them replace it (which for me meant handing them tools).  I went for an errand and by the time I came back they had it done already.

My Dad and I would go for walks in the woods in New England.  I don’t remember the walks so much as the trees. I still can identify every tree in New England by its leaves and bark.  If pressed I could make a serviceable whistle from a young willow sapling with a jackknife – which was one of our spring rituals.

The red oak, the white pine, the ash – used for axe handles and hockey sticks – the poplar, the white and grey birch, the pignuts and shagbark hickories – whose bounty we would collect in the fall for fireside cracking and snacking – the hawthorn and elderberry.  My connection to the natural world that I treasure so dearly was born in those New England summers.

My Dad loved to chop wood to feed the wood stove all winter long.  He taught me how to swing an axe.  His favorite axe was a light, thin-bladed axe for limbing the felled trees, and he would grind the cheeks of splitting axes to create the perfect tool.

He taught me how to swing a maul to split the green hard wood and how to stack the split logs so that they would dry.  He showed me that you could split any log with a sledge hammer and wedges.

The wedges in my garage came from his collection.  I use them every year as I relive the pure visceral joy of bringing the heavy maul down on the yielding log in the sultry autumn afternoons.  There is nothing I enjoy more than becoming lost in a large woodpile with my axe, maul, hammer and wedges.

And that’s the lesson here.  There is peace and honor in a job well done.  It doesn’t matter that you can pay someone $100 bucks to mow your lawn or drop a cord of presplit wood in your driveway.  That takes the honor out of it.  The pride and honor of reducing a pile of logs to a neatly stacked and tarped pile of BTU’s for the coming winter is a feeling of intellectual freedom that I am thankful for.

Today I’m going to share with you a chat I had with a friend of mine and fellow Goon Squad runner Michael Robertson about running for charity.

After that I’m going to read a story my brother wrote recently about something funny from our childhood.  I never realized how good a writer my brother was until he began to comment on the Caringbridge site my sister set up for my Dad’s friends to check in.  He was always the best story teller in our family.  He could spin the tallest tales with a straight face and get away with almost anything.

Cheers,

Featured Interview:

Michael Robertson

shots of whiskey for the plow drivers

Written Feb 13, 2014 3:46pm by Dave Russell

Being that it is a cold and snowy day today, I thought I would relate a story of how our Father (Russ) attacked problems head on with simple and imaginative solutions.

Shots of whiskey for the plow drivers

The Russells were the original Skyfields Drive hilltop residents of Groton. When we moved in, no other residents shared the top of the hill and during heavy snow we were pretty much on our own. This was the mid sixties; a time long before the advent of DSS when kids were considered free labor for the menial physical tasks. For example “Adults run the chainsaw and split logs. Kids carry wood and drag brush”.

To shorten the response time of the town plow crews, Dad came up with the brilliant but elegantly simple plan to bribe the plow drivers with hot coffee or shots of whiskey to encourage them to come by our neighborhood first. It was this type of imaginative thinking and direct approach that made him a legend and our “go to guy”.

We would usually see the plows start up the hill from 119 through the windows off the deck and have about 5 minutes to prepare.

Since Mary Lou was the oldest but couldn’t go out alone, she and I usually got the nod. We had to wear dark clothing to contrast with the snow and flag down the plows without getting plowed into a snow bank ourselves. Over time, we learned that it was best to stand across the street and approach from the driver’s side door as the plow traveled slowly up the hill. Each driver usually downed one on the way up and stopped for a second on his way back down.

As expected, the shots of whiskey were far more popular than the hot coffee. In fact, if we tried to offer only coffee, the drivers would ask if the whiskey was already “in there”. It did not take the DPW long to learn that there was free whiskey available up on Skyfields Drive and there was not a quicker or better plowed road in town.

Often, we had to service a whole line of snow removal vehicles waiting for their whiskey and make multiple trips back to the house for re-fills. Mom would count the trucks by looking down towards 119 and have our resupply ready. I think this serving experience prepared both of us for work later on at Johnson's

We were also expected to keep track of repeat clients and inform them that “Our parents say you’re shut off” when they reached their 3-shot limit..

One morning years later, my friend Jason and I decided to surprise the paper delivery man with a free shot of whiskey around 5:00AM. When he saw us coming, he drove away in terror. By that time, life in Groton had changed forever.

Dave R

Summary Article:

Thanks for listening if you have been.  I know this is entirely self serving but too often we seal off the past and look to the future.  As we get older we begin to unwrap those packages.

Last time I checked I’m at about $1700 of my $2000 goal.  The Boston Marathon looks like it is going to be crazy this year.  Thank you for all my friends who have helped.

Go to:

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

Thank you for joining me on my journey with purpose.

Chris,

Music by Bridge Underwater - “sad song”

Direct download: unicorns13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-284 – David Mills and the Average Joe Ironman

(Audio: link) [audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi3284.mp3]

Link epi3284.mp3

Support RunRunLive; Purchase an audio book of running stories.  Written and performed with love by Chris Russell  ------------->>>>>>>http://bit.ly/1cH2Fr7<<<<<<<-----------

Introductory Comments:

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 3-284 of the RunRunLive podcast. The two bell tone means that the captain has started his approach into Boston’s Logan International airport.  Please return all seats and tray tables to their full and upright position and pass any service items to the stewardesses as they come down the aisle…

How have you been? 

I managed to finish the Umstead Trail Marathon last weekend to give me my 12 marathon in 12 months.  That’s something isn’t it?  Nothing left except taking back the Boston Marathon Finish line.  It was a very pretty course with the first 8 miles or so being single track and then rolling dirt roads for the rest of it.  Great course, great organization, a real treat.   

The park itself abuts the Raleigh Durham Airport, so it’s super easy to get in and out of.  

My goal was to beat the cutoff and finish and I did that.  The first 18 miles were great but the last 8-10 were a bit of a slog.  I’m just not fit.  Let me tell you my tale of woe.  I’ve been kinda bummed out that I can’t race these marathons, or at least handle them with style, but looking back on the year I’m frankly amazed that I was able to run as well as I did for as long as I did.  

Those last three were three marathons in just a couple days longer than a calendar month.  

I was feeling reasonably fit after doing some quality zone 2 training in December.  My ankle was a little sore but nothing I couldn’t run through.  I felt really strong in the self supported Groton Marathon that we did after Christmas.  Things were looking up.  

Then I did what coach always tells me not to.  I raced.  I went with my family up to the New Year’s Day Hangover Classic (with the Ocean plunge) as is our tradition.  I felt reasonably fit so I laid down a reasonable 7:17 pace for the 10k.  But when I got home the ankle was swollen and I had to have my daughter tape it so I could put my boots on to clear the snow! 

I couldn’t train and I had 2 marathons coming due on back to back weekends.  What to do?  So I signed back up for a pool membership in January and commenced to pool run to see if I could retain enough fitness to jog these two marathons and come out the other side vertical. 

I was a bit worried.  You can fake one marathon but what if I came up injured in the first one?  If I hurt myself on the hills in Waco how would I toe the line in New Orleans the following weekend? 

So it was with a big mental sigh of relief that I came out of New Orleans in one piece.  I had to fly to Europe that week directly from New Orleans and I took the week off.  No running.  

The Saturday I came back I tweaked my back shoveling snow.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  This sort of thing lasts for a couple days then goes away.  But no, I was unable to train at all for the whole next week.  No core, no bike, no nuthin.  Now I’m looking at a trail marathon in two weeks and I can barely walk with the pain in my back.  And it didn’t go away.  

Getting into my car, any chair or airplane seat was torture.  I was walking around leaning to the left.  I was bent.  Another week passed.  Now I lost a week to Europe travel and two weeks to back pain and I’m starting to freak out a bit.  I’m seven days out from a hard trail marathon and all I’ve been able to do is some light pool running for 2 months,  (except for a couple marathons).  I’ve gained at least 10 pounds and I’m  a big, fat, unfit mess. 

I went in to see Eric for a massage but that didn’t help the back. 

In a fit of desperation I schedule a visit with the doctor.  I don’t mind running in pain but I wanted to make sure this back pain was not something structural that was going to leave me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life if I ran the marathon. 

My GP, who I only see for physicals every couple years is Dr. Schleemak.  He replaced my previous GP, Dr. Wong, who retired.  I’ve only seen Dr. Schleemak once before and he had his finger in my ass which is not a basis for a trusting relationship, but he was great this time around.  He said, “You should go to see a Chiropractor” And he said “Activity is good for it.”  

As soon as I got out of the office I sent an SOS to the local running community to find a chiropractor that I could trust.  I had never been to the chiropractor and basically classified them with palm reader and witch doctors.  I was not disappointed.  Several members of my running club gave glowing recommendations of one local guy.  

Now it’s the week before the Umstead marathon and I’m still walking around listing to the left about 10 degrees and my back muscles are in spasm mode.  

Friday morning.  The day before the race I get an appointment with the Chiro.  Dr. Terry starts by sticking me in an exam room and making me watch a video.  It’s like Thomas the Tank Engine for Chiropractic.  I am not amused and I am considering making a break for it.  

The Dr. pokes my back a bit and explains to me that my 4th and 5th vertebra are stuck together.  He does some contortions and pops them apart.  

I have to tell you, your mileage may vary, but I was instantaneously relieved.  I stood up straight for the first time since the injury. It was like the clouds had parted and the sun came out.  It was amazing.  The back muscles were still sore but the tension was gone.  

And he told me activity was good.  Of course I didn’t mention to either of them that I was planning a marathon the next day…

So I got on a plane and flew to North Carolnia for my 43rd marathon in my 19th state.  I can’t say that cracking my back got me any fitter but my back feels great this week and I’m back to doing core and stretching and working out.

There was no back pain in the race.  My legs, well that’s another story, but hey, you can’t have everything! 

One thing that I discovered is that when I started to get injured I began to give up a little, to embrace the inability.  But, your body can do anything if your mind is on board.  The flip side is true as well; if you lose the mental game your body can’t carry you.  

This whole 12 marathons in 12 months or even 3 marathons in 35 days ended up being a bit anti-climatic.  I was disappointed in myself.  After all, anyone can show up and suffer through an event, there’s nothing special there. 

But looking back at the trials and tribulations of the last couple years and my journey through a marathon a month this year I see it as something of cumulative worthiness.  The way I hung in there and didn’t give up stirs some pride.  Didn’t someone famous say “Showing up is half the battle?”

Now it’s back on the training bus because I’ve got a very important marathon finish line to visit on April 21st this year.  

Today we are going to talk to David Mills who was nice enough to share with me his book on how to be an Average Joe iron man. 

In section one I have an enjoyable inspirational piece on being epic.  And in section two we’ll talk about some strategies to finish your marathon when you’re not fit and the wheels come off. 

On with the show!

Section one:

Pattern breaking with Epic - http://www.runrunlive.com/innovation-and-breaking-patterns-with-epicness

Featured Interview:

David Mills – http://www.thedistancebook.com

An Average Joe’s Path to Balancing Family, Work, and Triathlon

The Distance is not just another “how-to” book about triathlon training. It is the passionate and inspiring path for all of us “Average Joe’s” who have big dreams. It’s about how to balance those big dreams with real life. This is my story of biting off way more than I could chew when I registered for the craziest ultra-endurance triathlon on the planet, and how I balanced family, work, God and training to cross that finish line. But it’s more than just my story – it’s a training path to get you across that finish line too!

theaverageironman@gmail.com

Fellow Endurance Junkies,

In just the 2 short years since my book was published it's been amazing to see the lives that is has affected!  People have set new goals for themselves, they've gotten off the couch, and they've finished Ironman Triathlons! 

When I was first writing my book, The Distance: An Average Joe's Path to Balancing Family, Work & Triathlon, I said that if just one person became an Ironman due to reading The Distance, then I would consider it to be a success.  By that measure, I could not be more happy!  There's nothing I love more than hearing from someone that my book helped to stretch themselves to accomplish something they never thought possible!  Whether it's a 140.6, a 70.3, or a 5K, I love it when I actually get feedback from a reader.  It's not always that we email authors of books that helped us, so whenever I get one, I really value it.

Cheers,

Dave

Section two:

How to manage a crash - http://www.runrunlive.com/how-to-manage-the-crash-at-the-end-of-a-long-race

Outro:

So long episode 3-284, and thanks for the fish!

I am a collector of the metal arcane.  I have a curious mind that likes shiny objects. My brain is a jumbled place of old odd things like a deranged estate sale or the attic of a well used Victorian house.  

I amazed one of my colleagues this week by telling her the story of the Bronze Age Caucasian mummies that they discovered in Western China.  

The Chinese didn’t want to believe that there were red-haired mummies buried in their desert on the wrong side of the mountains and tried to explain it as a trick of the weathering and aging process.  But, these days, you can’t escape DNA and they were proven to be Celtic tribe closely related to the Scotts.  

She didn’t believe me.  But, these days, I have Google to back me up.  The man they discovered was 6 foot 6 with a ginger beard.  The women were redheads.  They were living in Western China 3-4,000 years ago presumably along some trade route. 

The Celts had a thriving Bronze Age warrior civilization that spanned Europe.  They didn’t write much down and their culture was trampled by an ascendant Rome so we don’t know as much about them as we should.  

Here’s another Google moment for you.  Search for a picture of the Roman statue called “The Dying Gaul”.  It shows the Celts as the Romans knew them; tall, athletic warriors who ran naked into battle.  Which, in hindsight, was probably not the best tactic to use against the legionaries. 

Like most Americans I’m a racial mutt, but I like to think I’ve got Celtic genes from these great mystic warriors. 

Bringing this circuitous discussion all the way back to endurance sports – the Celts had a concept of ‘thin places”.  Thin places were physical locations or mental states where the physical world was close to the metaphysical world.  

Thin places were where the residents of one plane of existence could communicate with those from others.  Where you could converse with your dead ancestors.  Where you could see things beyond the physical.  Think along the lines of; “I saw God” or “My life flashed before my eyes.”

I think late in a long race is a thin place where we move beyond the physical and rub up against the unknown.  I think this is why we put ourselves in these states of exhaustion and deprivation.  Like a fasting monk we push the physical out of the way so that we can commune with something beyond this place.  We are rubbing thin the skin between life and infinity. 

I listened to a podcast this week where the author wrote a piece on how running, by any standard definition is a religion.  I’d go further than that.  I’d say endurance sport is a spiritual endeavor.  When you get to a certain point it ceases to be a physical act and becomes a metaphysical act. 

Don’t be afraid to take it to the edge my friends, because when you get there you’ll find me with my feet dangled over the edge grinning like a madman into the abyss. 

Cheers, 

parasitic worm and begins to eat away at your resolve from the inside.  Your body is in pain.  You system is exhausted.  Your dinosaur brain is sending you messages of despair and hopelessness. 

This is the point where you can pull your shoulders up right.  Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Look your fear in its beady devil eyes and smile.  That smile, that small curl of the lips will set you free.  Because when you smile you have made a decision to be content with your situation.  You have accepted it and with that acceptance come serenity.  

In that moment you are stronger than you have ever been.  In that moment you are indestructible. 

I will be taking my indestructible mind and body down to Raleigh to try and make the 6 hour cutoff at the Umstead Trail marathon.  Should be fun.  A nice easy stroll in the woods with a couple hundred friends.  I wish Buddy could come. 

And that will be 12 marathons in 12 months.  If you’re in the area come on by and let me but you dinner on Saturday.  I’ll be stag again.  My wife didn’t want to join me, even though it’s her birthday.  I mean what could be more fun than celebrating your birthday at a trail marathon?  I’ll never understand women. 

Thanks for the written encouragement over the last few weeks.  I think you folks give me too much credit.  You are the strong ones.  I’m just the noise in your head.  Thanks for letting me kill some time with you.  

I’m going to change format again at Episode 300.  I’ve got a hankering to do some more comedy pieces or something a bit more creative.  I guess we’ll find out when we get there. 

As you know if you downloaded the Unicorns episode I’m running Boston for the Liver Foundation.  My Dad is losing his battle to cancer and it is what it is.  I’m going to try to do Unicorns episodes in the off weeks between the RunRunLive core episodes.  If you don’t want to listen to them, just delete them.  I won’t be offended.  My Liver page is http://www.go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell if you want to pitch in. 

But, enough about me, what about you?  What are you going to do today to make it your masterpiece?  What are you going to do this year that is epic. 

The snow is going to melt over the next few weeks and you’ll have to crawl out of your hole and look for your shadow.  When that happens you’ll have to commit to 4 more weeks of epic-ness. 

And I will, maybe with a limp and a grimace, see you out there. 

Cheers,

Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is http://www.runrunlive.com and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 

Ciao

Happy Song – Super Hero - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Superhero

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author) – http://www.runrunlive.com

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:

http://www.runrunlive.com

http://www.runeratti.com

Http://www.coolrunning.com

http://www.Grotonroadrace.com

http://www.SQRR.org

www.midpackerslament.com

Contact:

Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

Bio

Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 

Tags -> Running  Podcast, podcasts for running, podcast for runners, free podcast for runners, Running Blog, marathon, triathlon, mileage, sprinting, run, track, training, running clubs, running groups, running shoes, exercise, health, 5k, running, swimming, sports, injuries, stretching, eating, jogging, biking, trail race, 5K, 10K, Ultramarathon, jogging a good exercise, road runner, jogging tips, benefits of jogging, free running, running shoes, marathon training, running, jogging, health and fitness, runners, runner, Boston qualification, Marathon BQ, Boston marathon

Direct download: epi3284.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

Unicorns-1.2

Introductory Comments:

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/Unicorns12.mp3]

Unicorns12.mp3

Hello and welcome my friends.  This is Chris and this is the second in my series of personal podcasts that I am doing, essentially to air out my brain as I deal with my father’s cancer and gear up to run for the Liver Foundation at Boston. 

Note:  Even though this is on the RunRunLive Podcast feed, this is NOT the RunRunLive podcast.  You have fair warning to skip now because I’m not talking about running.  Standard RunRunLive episodes will be labeled as such. 

As part of this project, whatever this project is, I’m collecting donations for the American Liver Foundation for my running of the Boston Marathon this year.  I wanted to layer on some purpose for the event and make it more personal.  

The donation links are in the show notes and at http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

My story is that I already had a number for this year’s race.  I Didn’t need to fundraise, but with my Dad’s health declining I thought it would be a decent thing to do to dedicate this to him and my family. 

I’ll tell you my fundraising experience so far – it’s a funny story. 

As I came out of back to back marathons in January and February it became obvious to me that I wouldn’t be racing Boston this year. My body was too beat up to put the necessary quality training in to run competitively. (I’m sure it was obvious to everyone else but I have a knack for obstinacy and denial when it comes to my running).

I looked around for a Boston sanctioned charity to lend my energy to.  The Liver foundation was the closest thing to my Dad’s cancer that I found.  

I sent them a nice letter (actually a form letter through the ‘contact us’ form on their website) that basically said; “Is it ok if I give you money?  I don’t need anything from you. I’ve run Boston 15 times and I have an existing network that makes reasonable fundraising relatively painless.”

To which they replied with a hearty and cheery form letter asking me to sign a contract, pay a $75 admin fee, commit to at least $1,000 and give them a signed credit card slip. 

I let out a small mental sigh and embarked on the paperwork.  I signed all the forms, sent them $75 and planned my campaign launch.  I know these poor folks have to deal with a lot of crazies so I’m not surprised by the barriers they put up.  I think actual members of their charity team have to raise over $7,000 to get a bib number for Boston. 

Then, after I registered they sent me 37 emails. These were all the new member information things and week’s worth of newsletters that I had missed.  The other fundraisers had been going at it hard for months. 

Here’s my punch line.  I covered their $1,000 minimum in less than 24 hours after my launch.  I know some excellent, high-quality, decent people in our running community. 

And I did allow myself one, small, passive aggressive ‘I told you so’ email to the director of the charity team. 

Why am I running for charity?  Why does anyone? You’d be tempted to say we do it for, or in memery of a loved one.  I don’t think that’s really why. I think we do it for ourselves.  It’s a selfish act with positive social overtones and consequences. 

We do it because our brains are screaming and we need a physical and emotional release.  We need a physical channel for the demonstration of the chaos, grief, sadness and fear in our lives as things happen that we cannot control, cannot understand and are not understandable. 

That’s what the whole charity thing is.  It’s not to help a cause, that’s a symptom.  It’s to keep us from running screaming into the wilderness to hide. It’s to keep us from punching our co-workers and clients. It’s a valve, a salve and a release.

But, perhaps it’s more.  Perhaps it matures into an altruism to our fellow humans.  Perhaps it is a selfish act that chrysalises into an act that enriches our souls. 

Look at the person next to you.  What do you see?  Is it a calm or placid countenance?  You have no idea what spinning chaos is in their minds behind that façade. 

It is through charity, this physical manifestation, that turns thought into action.  This is how we get a glimpse into the inner workings of the human’s mind.  It is through charity that we look into the black box of their soul.  

And we shall know them through their acts. 

I don’t have an interview for you this time around show I’ll just share a piece I did on fundraising tips.  I’m a rookie fundraiser compared to the other ‘official’ Liver people.  They are throwing parties and holding auctions and robbing bank and raising thousands of dollars.   

I do know some things about building a social network though so maybe there is some value in my words. 

Featured Interview:

Raising funds for Charity - http://www.runrunlive.com/thoughts-on-collecting-for-charity

Summary Article: 

I think this will be my last Boston Marathon.  I will make up excuses to justify my decision and many of them will be valid, but I think it just a question of moving on.  I’ve gotten whatever grace that it can give me and it’s time for other adventures.  

All things have a beginning and an end.  We cannot deny that.  We cannot slavishly cling to things from the past.  In fact we need to clean things out of our closets to make room for other things.  It is neither good, nor bad.  It just is.  

The risk of hanging on is the sin of desire.  We want stability in our lives.  We get to a good spot and we want things to stay the same.  The longer we have these things the more we own them and the more they own us.  

At some point this becomes desire and, as the Buddha tells us, desire corrodes our freedom.  Make a habit of letting things go, of cleaning your closets.  This prepares fertile ground for the adventures to come.  Next year I will not run the Boston Marathon.  Not because I can’t.  Not because I don’t want to. Simply because it is time. 

When we deal with loss, the loss of a parent for example we can’t understand the impact it will have on us.  That’s what I have realized.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  I have no experience in these things.  In response I’m letting go.  I don’t own the process.  I’m just a rider, caught in the flow.  

Instead of trying to control, which is my intellectual default, I’m going to try to just be present and aware.  

One of the best ways to give up control is to share.  And that my friends is why we are having this conversation.  

Thank you for your prayers and support. 

Speak to you again in a fortnight or so. 

Chris,

Go to: 

http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/cyktrussell

Thank you for joining me on my journey with purpose. 

Chris,

Music by Bridge Underwater - “sad song”

Direct download: unicorns12.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 11:14pm EST



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