The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-275 Mark Robert Sands 366

(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi3275.mp3

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<Introductory Comments:

Hey folks.  It’s nice to be visiting with you again.  Since we last talked I ran the Denver Rock & Roll marathon.  I’ll give you a report on that at some point.  It went pretty much as I had strategized.  I went out and held it in heart rate zone 2 and ran even splits – no muss no fuss - like a long training run.  I’ve been struggling to find time to write this last week or so but I’m sure that will resolve itself!  

It was a long week. I flew in on Saturday morning, met coach at the expo and we went out for dinner and a couple strong IPA’s.  Drinking beer the night before a race is another way for me to reinforce the fact that I I’m not racing.  Then I had to stay up for the Red Sox game, so I ended up going into the race with 4-5 hours of sleep.  

In the end the race was a non-event.  I mean, it was hard, it’s always hard to run 26.2 miles, but it wasn’t an outlier or anything epic.  It was just a long training run. 

Now I’m tapering into Ft Myers and it’s time for me to put up or shut up.  Of course, either way, I probably won’t shut up.  

I did meet the famous Joe Bears at the start.  (Congrats on your new baby Joe.)  Which is funny, because people always say, “I’ll meet you at the start.” And I say “Sure”, but I know there is a snowball’s chance in Phoenix of ‘bumping’ into someone at the start of a 10,000 person race.  

I had never met Joe in person.  I had spoken with Joe before and, for those who remember RunRunLive edition 1.0, Joe used to be my go-to guy for the sketch comedy parodies we used to do in the show.  I think he did a credible Captain Kirk for me once.  I’m walking to my corral and he pops up in front of me and says ‘Chris?’ 

I had a trade show up the street in the Denver Convention Center and it was a bit dicey setting up the trade show booth.  It required some kneeling and squatting that I was a bit creaky for.  But, it was probably better for me to stay active all day.  It was a long day having gotten up at the crack o’ dawn to run a marathon and then set up the booth and then staff a reception – but nothing abnormal in my world.  

I like Denver.  The people are nice and outdoorsy.  The beer is good.  The elevation and dryness messes me up, but I’m sure you get used to it.  

Today we talk with our of our ‘regular Joe’ friends Mark Robert Sands about his project to run 366 days in a row and how endurance sports transformed his life.  I’ll stick in an article I wrote for my work blog called “Thinking Big on the Erie Canal” and I’ll break down what a Fartlek run is for you. 

The dead leaves are deep on the trails, the days are short, and the first hard frost has bitten my vegetables away.  The cold winds blow and the hearth fires are kindled as we hide under blankets and quilts that we have pulled from the depths of our closets.  The dry tree limbs rattle like bags full of old bones. 

Pumpkins squat happily on the stoop and the full moon rises clear and crisp in the hallowing night.  The wild turkeys waddle through my yard in satisfied gaggles.  The coyotes are sleek and well fed in their new winter furs that would make a Manhattan socialite jealous. 

The cold moon rises and you can see your breath like a ghost on the wind. 

On with the Show!

Section one:

Thinking Big on the Erie Canal -

Featured Interview:

Mark Robert Sands

Hey Chris. Here's the links you asked for:

My name is Mark Sands. I'm a 40 year old distance runner from upstate NY & have been seriously running since late 2001. As a young boy I was more than a tad overweight topping the scales at 220 lbs. with a 42 inch waistline. Through my teenage & adult life I developed a love for fitness & long-distance running. Over the years I've managed to lose more than 60 lbs., taken more than 12 inches off my waistline & have proudly run races from the 5K distance to marathon. At the end of 2012 I succeeded in reaching my goal of running a sub four hour marathon. I wanted to try something new for 2013 & that's why I created the 366 Project. My goal is to run at least a mile a day for 366 days in a row & document that amazing experience through my blog & video podcast. Through endurance sports I've transformed my life. Endurance running is not for the superheroes of the world. It's for anyone who has the desire to make themselves better than they were the day before by simply putting one foot in front of the other. Please join me as I travel this journey one step at a time, learn more about myself, what I'm capable of & have one hell of a time doing it!


Section two:

Anatomy of a Fartlek -


That’s Episode 3-275 in the bucket with the rest of the forgotten detritus of youth.  Can you believe it’s been 25 episodes since we changed format to 3.0?  By the way everyonce in awhile I’ll get one of you suggesting to me that I should interview someone famous, like Hal Higdon, or Jeff Galloway or Dean Karnazes.  Then I have to tell them that I already did interview all those guys and Jack Fultz and Josh Cox and others.  All of those shows are posted on my site  Just go look at the tab called index and it will list all the shows by title.  

Only the last 25 or so shows will be on iTunes because of a technical limitation of FeedBurner. But you can go to the post on my site and right-click, save as to download the audio file to your computer.  Then you can listen to it at your leisure by importing it into your favorite mp3 player, like iTunes for instance.  No catch.  There’s 275 shows out there for free.  Some good, some bad, some interesting, some banal to the point of cringe-worthy-ness.  But, we love our children no matter their faults, aye? 

I read a book called StrengthsFinder2.0 last week and took the online evaluation that came with it.  This is a methodology that profiles you and tells you what your strengths are.  Turns out I’m a strategic thinker, who see patterns in things, loves new ideas, likes input, tends to communicate and express my ideas.  Go figure? 

I always wondered why I could see what was going to happen next when others could not.  I always annoy my wife by walking by when she’s watching some cop drama, or lawyer show.  I’ll watch a few seconds of it and tell her who’s guilty and how it’s going to end.  

While I’m on the subject – what’s with the Lifetime Channel?  This is a cable TV channel we have in the States that is targeted at women.  All it shows is women getting abused by psycho husbands and just a wide variety of awful things happening to women?  I’m sorry ladies, but how is that empowering?  I guess I don’t get it because it’s that empathy thing that is not one of my strengths. 

I’m in my taper for Ft Myers on November 10th.  I’ve looked at my calendar and decided to race it.  I’ve consulted with coach and have a good taper plan.  I took a deep breath and refocused.  I’m going to keep my nutrition clean and lay off the beer and chips until after the race.  I’m going to get sleep where I can.  

It hit me that when I walk into that race I’ll be the same athlete that walked into all those other qualifying races.  I have it in me and I need to get out of my own way and put myself in a position to succeed.  I’m going to dial it in and execute with the ferocity that I’m capable of.  Enough pussy footing around.  Sure, I’m over training and over racing but that doesn’t change who I am and what I bring.  

I bought some new trail shoes.  The Brooks PureFlow.  The Cascadia were just too stiff and heavy for me and were tweaking my ankles and knees, especially with the thick leaf cover on the trails right now.  The PureFlow are lighter and more flexible but still have an aggressive outsole for traction.  I’ll try them out tomorrow. 

I’ve got three authors lined up for interviews.  Two of them I’m pretty sure are insane.  This one dude is the ‘trainer to the stars’ from Hollywood and I’m really sure I would hide from him in real life but it should be an entertaining conversation!  

The other is an ultra-runner from deep, dark Texas with, as far as I can tell, a serious drinking problem.  My kind of guys.  I guess the RunRunLive 4.0 format is going to be Geraldo-epic in nature? 

Thanks for all the great emails – you know who you are – and it’s on my list to respond to you!  

I’ll leave you with a story from my travels this morning.  I was in Logan airport for a flight out, not too early, mid morning. Somewhere between coffee and salad.  I was expecting all the people to be excited from winning the world series in Fenway park the night before.  But, even though there was a fair preponderance of Red Sox logo wear being sported everyone just looked awful and sleep deprived and mean and grumpy.  

Bostonians as a rule are a grumpy lot.  They tend to expect the worst and are usually happiest when they have something to complain about.  You could see it in game six.  We were up by 5 runs in the 9th inning and the fans were still stressed out and waiting for the other shoe to drop like it always has in the past. 

These are the genetically selected immigrants who got starved out of their old countries and didn’t have the imagination or optimism to keep going west.  They got off the boat and stuck.  Hunkered down and expected the worst.  

I must be a mutation, like Wolverine!  

Happy Halloween. 

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 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. 


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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  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 


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Direct download: epi3275.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT





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