Podcast Episode 4-312 – Randy Pierce – Mountains, Dogs and Inspiration

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-312 – Randy Pierce – Mountains, Dogs and Inspiration

(Audio: link) [audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi4312.mp3]

Link epi4312.mp3

Intro Bumper:

Chris Russell, a man barely alive…Heh, heh.  Yes I am old enough to have watched the 6 million dollar man when it premiered in 1977.  

Well Hello my friends.  Welcome to Episode 4-312 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  This is Chris, your host, and I’m glad to see you.  Won’t you come in, grab a towel and sit with me for a bit while you cool down from your exertions of the week?

It’s been a busy spring for me.  At the end of April I capped a worthy training cycle by running my 17th Boston Marathon.  6 Days later I fulfilled my role as titular figurehead (i.e. Race Director) at the 24th annual Groton Road Race.  Last week I spent a couple days in the hospital to have a special bionic powers installed.  

I prefer to think of it as an upgrade rather than a patch.  They didn’t fix a bug in my heart, they upgraded me to Chris 3.0.  Now I’ve got super powers, similar to Peter Parker, or Steve Austin.  

This week I rolled out to Phoenix at the crack of dawn Monday for a conference, bopped over to Denver to meet a guy for dinner last night and grabbed the Red Eye back to Boston.  (It was on the way). 

As I write this I realize how ridiculously busy that sounds, and I was a bit tired this week, but it’s not unusual for me, as you know by now, I run pretty fast in my life, so to speak.  There’s nothing here that coffee, running, meditation and denial can’t fix. 

I don’t want to make this about me, but I guess some of you might be interested in the exercise induced A-fib that I have/had and the procedure to have it fixed.  From what I’ve learned this condition, or this related family of conditions, where athletes develop anomalies in their heart beats, is very common.  

Typically they treat it with drugs and tell you to stop being such a type A butt-head, but there’s a whole range of pharmacological and surgical solutions as well.  

In my particular case the A-fib manifested when I went long or hard, basically any time I loaded my heart.  It developed over the course of 2-3 years and got worse enough for me to figure out something was up and I got a real diagnosis in January.  

It manifests as an irregular heart beat in my case and in exercise this means you lose efficiency and power.  The worst case scenario is that your blood pools in the heart chamber causing clots and stroke.  

It is caused by anomalous electrical signals that originate in the sheathing of the pipes of the upper right chamber of the heart, in my case. 

The procedure that I had is known as cryoablation.  They snake a catheter up through the big arteries in your groin into that chamber of your heart.  I suppose it’s a bit invasive but they don’t crack your chest open, which is a plus.  

When they get the catheter into that chamber of the heart they use a balloon with liquid nitrogen in it to ‘ablate’, in this case freeze the tissue where the pipes come in.  In this way they create a dam of scare tissue that block the signals from getting into the heart muscles and, best case scenario, cure the A-fib. 

So…yeah…that’s what I did last week.  They did all the blood tests, ekg and Catscan on Monday and then I went in Thursday morning for the procedure.  I was a bit of an anomaly myself in the hospital.  Those hospitals, as it turns out, are chock full of sick people.  

The nice nurses got me naked and shaved me up.  My wife finally got to have my back hair shaved like she’s been trying to get me to do for years.  I don’t remember it, but when I woke up they had given me the personal manscape as well.  

I know in the mens’ magazines this is sexy, but on me it’s like Golum on a bad hair day.  The entire area where they went into the groin artery was shaved up leaving Mr.s Happy with cute little Furor mustache.  

I was under for the procedure.  Out like a light switch.  I woke up in the afternoon, a bit groggy, but apparently successfully upgraded.  They said everything went well except that I was a bit fibrous in the core and they had trouble feeding the catheter up.  My abdomen is still sore a week later. 

I had to spend the night in the hospital.  I had my wits about me and was up and about by early Thursday afternoon so I was left trapped in a room in a hospital full of sick people with really bad food options and a lot of free time on my hands!  I cleared all my email and got caught up on work stuff and watched Netflix.  I can put up with anything as long as there is good Wi-Fi. 

Meanwhile a parade of smiling nurses came into my room and asked “Do you mind if I look at your groin?”  To which I’d reply, “Knock yourself out!”  It’s the most attention my groin has gotten in decades. 

Friday Morning they processed me out.  They told me not to run for a week or to lift anything heavy.  The concern is not for the heart but for the insertion site.  They don’t want you rupturing that groin artery because it will bleed a lot.  

They also put me on blood thinners.  The good news is that I won’t get a clot but I could very well die in a messy shaving accident. 

What’s the punch line?  I held off running until Thursday morning because my abdomen was still sore and I didn’t want to push it.  I walked a bunch through the week.  

Thursday morning in Phoenix I put my heart rate strap on and set out with not a small amount of trepidation (that’s a big word that means ‘fear’).  Yeah, I was, as much as I ever am, afraid of what might happen.  How would my heart react?  Would I pop my groin and bleed out in the gutter? I know it’s silly but you have these crazy thoughts, right?  Fear isn’t rational.  

I walked a 5 minute war up then brought my HR up into Z2 for 15 minutes and it was quite comfortable.  After 20 minutes in I threw in a little Z3/Z4 surge and the heart didn’t flip.  I was able to bring it up and bring it down without anything weird happening.  

Very encouraging data.  We won’t really know until I go long or do a significant long tempo run.  But, all in good time.  

To quote the late, great Hunter Thompson, “It got pretty weird, but it never got weird enough for me!” 

We have a great show for you today.  I have a great chat with Randy who is a blind runner from my area who talks about his inspirational summiting of all the peaks above 4,000 feet in the NH White Mountains with his guide dog, some of it in the winter!  He also ran Boston this year and we have a number of mutual friends in the local running community.  

In section one I tackled the question “What would I do if I had to create a good runner from scratch?”  The script I wrote for this piece is in outline form and I recorded it in a hotel room in Phoenix so it is a bit more conversational than my usual prose. 

The second section is a rant about why I can’t get a decent salad conveniently in the world. 

But – of course I’ve got my vegetable garden in too. And it is springtime in New England.  I built a new raised bed and used my compost in it.  The soil is a bit ‘young’ but I’m going to try growing beans in it.  Beans will grow in anything.  

I also built a potato box, which should prove an interesting experiment.  And I’ve moved my raspberries around and should have a bumper berry crop.  I managed to prune my fruit trees so we’ll see if I can actually get some fruit this year.  

The hops are up and going crazy already.  I’ve got some lettuce and cabbagy things in and some herbs seeded.  And I’ve got my chipmunk traps up.  With any luck I’ll be having fruit and veg from my own garden a month or so from now. 

On with the show!

Section one - Running Tips

How to create a runner from scratch - 


Voices of reason – the interviews

Randy Pierce

As for links well our website is a pretty solid overview of many of the accomplishments and undertakings:


The In the media highlights plenty of reference material on Running, Tough Mudders, hiking and beyond. Meanwhile a couple of video clips on our documentary link will highlight still more for you. If you wish to understand more reference from the year long progression to the Boston marathon then I’ll call out a few specific links.Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my running my first Marathon (Cox Providence 2014) and in that year I’ve had quite the journey including a national Championship in my division (B1) and most recently Boston.

Post Boston Reflection:


Pre-Boston Celebration with links to key past articles like “Qualifying for Quinn”


That probably will flood you with photos and information aplenty to be ready but let me know if you would like more still.

Section Two – Life Lessons

I just want a decent salad! - 



Alright my friends, it’s Friday, I’m working on 3 hours of sleep and losing altitude fast, but we have made it to the conclusion of episode 4-312. Congratulations. Now let’s move it to the exit before I fall asleep on you. 

Now that I’ve got the green light I have to figure out how to spin up my running again.  My next event is a ½ marathon in the middle of June called the Mayflower Brewery Half Marathon in Plymouth Mass.  

And then the Hood to Coast Relay at the end of the summer.  If anyone wants to join that we still have legs available – it’s relay and it will be an adventure.   I’ll be setting up a fundraising page for that and looking for help.

As you may have figured out I read a lot.  And I don’t just read within my areas of expertise.  Yes, I read business books and running books but I also read fiction, biographies, science fiction, short stories and any other topic that I find interesting in the moment. 

I would offer this up to you as a life lesson.  Study things you know nothing about.  I’m always pleased by the connections I can make between topics that are on the surface not related. But, my friends, everything is related.  Feed your brain a varied diet and you will see the connections. 

So…Watch what I do next…I am going to draw a connection between picking up beautiful women, sales processes and tantric sex.  How about that.  And I’m going to do it without garnering an explicit rating. Feel’s a bit like a dangerous high-wire act but what’s life without risks?

I should note, not that you’re going to believe me, but, this is all an academic exercise for me, I’m not in the middle of some bizarre midlife crisis where I jet off to the Caribbean with my secretary.  I don’t actually even have a secretary.  Although I do dig the Caribbean. Great SCUBA diving. 

The connection between sales process and pick up technique should be obvious.  In both cases you have to have a methodology to approach the target, get their interest by demonstrating high social (or professional) value, build attraction through a push-pull process of demonstrating interest but also challenging.  When you build enough trust you can test compliance and naturally move towards a close. 

Simple right?  It is amazing how much a sales cycle and a pickup cycle have in common.  But how do I tie in tantric sex? Here we go.  

In all three examples the first thing that you are told to focus on is letting go of the result.  If you are focused on the end result of the process it clouds your ability to execute the process and it prevents you from being in the present moment.  

For a sales cycle this means you have to let go of the desire to close the business.  For the pickup artist this means you have to let go of your desire to get the woman.  And for the Tantric sex you likewise reset your focus on the ‘now’ and not any particular climactic event.  

If you think about it there is an underlying life lesson here.  The ability to live in the present moment and be present to your partners, whether business or social, is your ability to add value and connect. But you can only do that if you are willing to let go of the end result. 

My friends, we spend so much time in our lives rushing from one thing to the next, from one goal to the next, from one result to the next that we forget that every moment in itself is truth and purity.  Are you free-wheeling peripatetically downhill to a frenzied end?  

Maybe you need to take the time to be present, especially in your interactions with the people in your life?  Don’t forget about right now, this moment, and appreciate it.  

And If I happen to run into you I will be sure to appreciate it and see you out there. 

Closing comments




Direct download: epi4312.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT





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