The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-418 – Matt’s Long Ride

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4418.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-418 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since we last talked.  I did jump on the Ferry out of Hyannis to Nantucket for that half marathon.  It was kind of fun but also a bit of a struggle.  When I first signed up for it, I thought it would be a fun outing.  Maybe take my wife along or some of my running buddies. 

In the end it was just me.  I met up with the other pacers on the ferry and met some nice people in the race.  It was a nice sunny day.  It was a pretty big race considering it was out on an island. 

This race fell a week before my target race, the BayState Marathon, and I planned to use it just as a final easy run.  That was the plan.  With how inconsistent my training has been this summer I wasn’t feeling very excited about it.  I offered to run the 2:00 pace group, but they had a greater need for the 1:50 and I acquiesced. 

I don’t run a lot of ½ marathons, and my math gets fuzzy.  A 1:50 half is the equivalent of a 3:40ish full marathon, and while not super challenging for where I am right now, it wouldn’t be the lark that a 2:00 would.  It works out to a 8:23 ish pace versus a 9:09 pace. 

I went in tired.  My week was weird and my tempo run slipped to Friday, which was probably too close to the race.  My whatever-it-is pain in my butt wasn’t helped by the long ride down to the Cape.  I made the morning ferry with no issues and had no issues finding the pace team at the start.

I lost my pace group early.  The first part of the course is a lot of sand roads.  They had had a storm for the previous couple days before the race that dumped a lot of rain and left numerous large puddles straddling the road side-to-side.  It turned those early sections into a bit of a steeplechase.  As a pacer I’m supposed to maintain pace no matter what – so I did and lost everyone who was trying to keep up with me. 

I was trying to run by the overall average pace on my watch.  Which was a mistake.  I figured if my overall average was an 8:22 – 8:23 I’d be right on that 1:50 finishing time.  I ended up right on an 8:23.  I slowed down a little at the end because I was all alone and thought I might be a bit too fast.  That turned out to be the mistake and I crossed about 30 seconds too slow – which is a cardinal sin in the pacing biz.  I’ll probably get excommunicated. 

Pacing isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

Even though my average pace was exactly where it needed to be based on my watch, I missed the clock time.  It’s a bit befuddling.  My watch is always off a little on the distance and I guess that could be worth 30 seconds.  It looks like the only strategy that works is to have your mile splits written out, hard copy and check every mile – old school pacing.  And then plan to be a minute early on top of that to make up for variability. 

I got it done, but I didn’t feel great.  Another small racing failure in what has been several months of disconsolate results and discontent.  My whatever-it-is pain in my butt was screaming in the car-ride home.  I was in a bit of a blue mood rolling into the last week of taper for BayState. 

And that, my friends is what we will talk about in section one! 

In our interview today we talk with Matt about his recent experience of riding his bike unsupported across the TransAm route and then writing about it. 

In section two I’m going to rant a little on the current ‘hustle’ culture. 

As I was lined up in the starting corral in Lowell, the city of my birth, a city that I have some history with.  I had one of those pure moments that I love about racing. 

When you are there, on race morning, all the waiting is over.  The decisions have all been made.  It’s a pure moment.  The expectations and worrying are washed away by the rising sun.  The volunteer singing the national anthem fills your soul and dampens your eyes.  It is a pure place without affectation, without choice and filled with the energy of being set free onto the course.  

How many pure moments like that are left in our world?

On with the show.

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


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Section one – BayState 2019 -

Voices of reason – the conversation


Hi Chris,

 I’ve been a listener to your podcast for years now. You’ve been a constant source of entertainment and motivation in my life. I really enjoyed your Marathon BQ book, and used it for my marathon. Though most of my training has been more in the ultra-cycling world, geared towards 24 hour cycling events, and last year I raced Trans AM, a 4200 mile ride from Astoria Oregon to Yorktown Virginia. One of the things that saw me through those 16 hours of riding every day was listening to your podcasts.

 Riding across country was a profound enough experience that I wrote a book about my journey “As Fast As You Can: How I Biked Across The U.S. In Duct-Taped Shoes” and there’s a quote from you in there from the podcast when you were talking about your 100 mile race “Here’s the uncomfortable truth.  There is no strategy that is going to allow you to stretch the effort over the distance to make things sunshine rainbows and unicorns.  You are going to be uncomfortable.  At some point, things are going to suck.  And not just for a few minutes like a 5K or 10K.  It’s going to suck for hours on end.  Your goal is to acclimate to the suck.  You can keep going with raw bleeding patches of skin.  It just sucks.”

~ Chris, from the “Run Run Live” Podcast.

That was one of my favorite things that you’ve said, and it helped keep me going.
If you’re interested, I’d love to work with you, maybe talk with you on your podcast. I have a modest facebook following and would do everything in my power to help promote your show, to add what support I can.

Let me know if you’re interested. And thank you for being an inspiration.


Matt Kovacic


Section two – Hustle–


Well, my friends, you have peddled non-stop across the country to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-418.  Time to put some nut-butter on those saddle sores. 

I was flying back from Miami this week and looking out the window when the following words bubbled to the top of my brain: “Clouds boil up out of the southeast humidity escaping from the cauldron of the world.”

That’s how my brain works sometimes.  It paints pictures with words. 

But, let’s talk about something important.  Ollie the Collie. 

Last week we started puppy class.  Which is a very good thing because he is a wild man.  Technically I could just train him myself without class but this, as in all things, is better with a coach.  Going in I was pretty sure Ollie would be the crazy, uncontrollable puppy in puppy class.  He’s got so much energy and he’s really busy. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ollie was the smartest, calmest puppy in class.  It’s a border collie thing.  When it’s time to work they fall in line.  He picked up the commands right away and he didn’t cause any trouble.  He’s going to be a good dog.

I forgot to mention last show that I met up with Tim when I was in Chattanooga a couple weeks ago and we went for a trail run up on Signal Mountain.  It was good to see him.  He’s retired now and is planning to through-hike the Appalachian Trail next summer. 

These long endurance events like the AT and Matt’s Trans AM can be game changers.  Matt’s a great example of just deciding to do something and doing it in a way that changes your life.  It’s one of those things that will become a fulcrum for his life journey. 

If you think about your life’s trajectory, we tend to fall into a path and either consciously or unconsciously build the conditions that keep us on that path.  One of these big events is a great lever, to pry yourself out of that rut. 

I’ve got a funny story about Matt’s interview.  As you may or may not know I have an editor for these interviews.  One of the most time-consuming and hard to automate parts of the podcasting process is the audio editing of the interviews.  The process is that you have to play the interview and cut out the bad bits. 

By definition it’s a hard thing.  You have to understand what is being said to know whether it is pertinent or not.  I do my best to be consistent, but some interviewees are harder than others.  Sometimes we go down non-value-added (re: boring) rat holes that need to be ferreted out.  Sometimes I get a real talker or I lose track of time and the interview has to be significantly shortened. 

I have had many good interview editors over the last many years that we’ve been in business.  Currently I work with Dimitry who live in Moscow.  He does a good job and seems to have learned my method well enough to make these tricky edits.  I pay him for each show – and that is one of the things I use subscription money for. 

It doesn’t seem to bore him too badly.  I have had other editors quit on me, basically saying “I can’t take any more of this!”  Sometimes he’ll comment on what he thought was an interesting topic or person. 

With Matt’s interview, Dimitry was very enthusiastic.  He said that he, himself, was a “Bike-Packer” as well and wondered how he could get a copy of Matt’s book. 

So here’s a guy I work with every week.  That knows a shitload about my life.  That I’ve never met.  In Moscow.  That’s the world we live in today! 

And as weird as that sounds, this conversation with Matt resonated and made a connection.  Think about that.  You never know which conversation or which thing you do is going to make a connection.

So keep doing epic stuff and keep having conversations and

I will see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4418.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT





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