The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-469 – Russ and the Running Life

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4469.mp3


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Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-469 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today’s show almost did not happen.  I’m pretty busy and I didn’t have an interview so I was going to let it slide. 

But then I got an email from Russ.  So grabbed him for a conversation. 

Russ is a man full of wisdom even if he may not know it. 

When I listen to him talking about the things he gets from the podcast, I don’t think I’m telling him anything he doesn’t know already.  I think I’m just helping him uncover what he already knows. 

I’m the catalyst to free his innate wisdom, and maybe contextualize it for him by telling a story. 

But that catalyst has value, right?

I’ll give you my updates for the week.  I actually didn’t do much this week.  I had a business trip for the first time in almost 2 years and let my PT slack a bit.

But, I’m getting fat and I don’t like it. 

In section one I step up to the rostrum and preach a sermon on how to incorporate running into the span of your life.  In section two I’m going to talk about King Tut, because I can.

We’re deep into the early winter here in New England, it’s cold.  It drives the mice into the house looking for heat and warmth.  You can’t blame them. 

But there is always that one mouse that ruins it for all the rest.  That one mouse that has to climb up on my counter and take a bite out of an apple and poop.  That mouse goes too far and ruins it for all the other mice. 

By the time you see the bite out of the apple, you have more than one mouse.  You’ve probably got ten or more living with you.   By the way what do you call a group of mice?  It is commonly ‘a nest’ of mice but more whimsically you can refer to them as ‘a mischief’ of mice.  Isn’t that great?  A mischief of mice.

By the time you see the bite out of the apple you have a mischief of mice.

And there may be some sort of moral to that story, I don’t know, but I clear my house of mice every year in November.

I did travel this week.  I flew to Dallas for a meeting with the executives of one of my customers.

I read a post by Peter Shankman, who by the way we did have oon the podcast back in the day about why travel is so important. 

Peter is a very kinetic person and he said travel cures everything.  When you’re bored, depressed, anxious, confused with life – climbing on an airplane and going somewhere cures all that.  It’s the movement.  It’s the feel of the going that lights you up. 

And I feel the same way.

I think, all though the insides of our heads are quite complex and rich, it is the influence and addition of outside experiential data that feeds the fire.  Without that life becomes stale and cold.

Just walking through a major airport and observing the people, the travelers and imagining their stories makes my life richer. 

 I know we live in interesting times, but we always have, get out of your house and see something.

On with the show!

About Zero

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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 – The Life -


Russ Porter

Russ Porter refers to himself as an ‘adult-onset’ athlete, having only started taking running seriously in his late 20s.  Since then, he’s run 12 marathons, an ultra, almost 30 half marathons, and competed in several triathlons, including two half-Ironman races.  If he can do that, maybe anyone can.


When he’s not working out, Russ is the CFO for a professional accounting organization, parent to two college aged children, and husband to a woman who consistently outpaces him in every sport they do together.


A disgraced Knight Templar, Russ was wandering the roads of Connecticut looking for redemption in the dark mornings of the deep winter.  After Jedi training and Buddhist monastic practices disappointed him, he converted to endurance sports as a path to enlightenment.  He’s says he’s not there yet.


Section Two – Tut Ankh Amun -


Ok my friends we have journeyed to the west to the wisdom of the old gods through to the end of episode 4-469 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Anubis, the jackal headed god of the underworld awaits. 

I came through my turkey trot on thanksgiving a couple weeks back unscathed.  I ran the whole 5K and the knee was fine.  I’m still doing my PT exercises when I can. 

This weekend is the Mill City Relay.  It’s a 5-leg relay race at the end of the fall season that all the local running clubs participate in. My local club, the Squannacook River Runners had been doing it for decades.  I think I ran my first in 1995. 

I’ve got a great over-50 team of my running buddies and we’re going to have a blast. I’ve got the short leg, 2.5 miles and I’ll do my best to complete it without hurting myself!

So yeah, I traveled this week.  I was actually pretty nervous about it.  Not because of the virus.  More because I haven’t done it in so long would I have lost the habit? 

And, no, it was like old times and I fell right back into my routines. 

Like I said I had a meeting in Dallas. 

Big on-site meeting where all the client execs and our execs were there.  They have a new C-level exec and this was a bit of a coup by our team to get their executive team to visit us. 

I’ve been working with this customer for 2 years.  And in that time, we have had a series of challenging projects.  It’s been a battle. 

It’s not my role or responsibility to deliver the work or the support, but at the end of the day I end up owning whatever the customer and our company does because I own the relationship.

For this meeting, besides all the high-level strategic stuff, they asked for a couple things that were terrifying.   

Things like update us on the project status.  What are we going to do about this under-performing partner that you recommended?  What is the “Corrective Action”.

And, frankly, I had no answers.  I would just have to go in, tap dance and take the beating.  It put me in a bad spot.  I’m being held accountable for the execution of the Client’s team and our team all of which are out of my control. 

What to do?  Just go and say ‘sorry’ and take the lumps? 

Then I was reading a book that one of my workmates recommended called Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

And as always happened it was the message, I needed to hear, at exactly the right time. 

The universe provides. 

One of the leaders from the customer in attendance had been kicking our team for 2 years.  They would say things to me in meetings like ‘Can you skip the niceties and get to the real challenges?’  I knew they were going to tear me a new orifice in front of their new boss, in front of my peers and bosses. 

But, reading about extreme ownership, I knew what I had to do. 

I had to stand up there and say ‘these are the things we’ve done to get better’ but it’s not good enough.  We’ve got to do better.  We as a team have to work together for our mutual mission success. 

You’ve got great, hardworking, caring people – we’ve got great, hardworking, caring people – and we’re still not succeeding – so that tells me we either have a process problem or a leadership problem – and I’m going to commit, I’m going to take ownership, right here, right now to work with you to figure it out and get better. 

I wrote it all out. 

The details of everything we’d accomplished together and the reasons we keep failing and I was prepared. 

My teammates were antsy.  

The rest of the agenda was great, but this was the dark spot. 

My part of the agenda was where the 4 hour meeting would come off the tracks. 

What do you think happened? 

The meeting ran long with great conversations.  When we got to my part of the agenda everyone was exhausted and ready for dinner. 

I put up my slide. 

The customer leader who had been kicking me for two years stood up and began presenting for me.  They explained to the new boss all the challenges and how we were going to address them and how we obviously had a process problem and how we should address it, and how they’d been working with this troublesome partner…

What did I do? 

I shut the hell up and watched the stuff I’d been worried about evaporate with me having to say a word. 

Did it matter that I didn’t get to give my powerful, Seal Team inspired speech? 

Not at all.

Was it a waste of my time to prepare? 

No, not at all.

Mission accomplished.

You do the best you can and the universe will take care of itself. 

I’ll see you out there.

My Apocalypse show ->

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Direct download: epi4469.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 12:33pm EDT





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