The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-308 – Angie – Pregnancy and the Marathon

(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi4308.mp3

Intro Bumper:

Hey, hey, hey my friends.  How we doin?  We’re sliding unceremoniously into spring up here in the northern hemisphere.  Even though Boston broke the annual snowfall record this weekend it’s been melting nicely over the last 2 weeks.  

The snow banks have receded from the roads like sulky, gray, hulking glaciers leaving room for me to run.  The clocks have been changed forward by an hour and the sun doesn’t set until 7:00 PM.  The sidewalks are filled with the hard detritus of winter cast off by the melting mounds.  Pieces of battered cars, piles of sand and salt, tree branches and the bones of small animals all emerge like some post-glacial science project.  

Now the potholes emerge in the roads.  Great, dark, jagged rifts like portals to other, grimier universes.  And if you need hubcaps just run my roads and you’ll have your fill.  We got so much snow the plows didn’t really know where the roads were and ran wiilly-nilly into the margins breaking up curbs and decapitating mailboxes.  It all lies sad and shattered on my routes. 

I got out this weekend for 3 hours in a cold drizzle.  My legs are good but my heart won’t let me push.  It’s a bit frustrating.  I’m working with Rachel again to strip some of the winter weight off as well and making some good progress.  Eating clean has the added benefit of helping me recover and avoid the aches and pains of most marathon training cycles.  

I’m starting to make big plans for big adventures for after I have my AFib zapped in the beginning of May.  I’ll be coming out of that with a serious base fitness and if everything goes well quite a bit lighter as well.  I want to get back on the trails and fall back in love with our sport.  

Breathe the thick spring air and feel the Earth mother under my souls.  

I bought a new truck.  It’s a stripped down Nissan Frontier.  No power anything, no cruise and a manual transmission.  While a manual transmission is not foreign to me, I have driven manual cars before, it did point out how much other stuff I’m doing with my hands while driving.  Like drinking coffee, eating fruit, listening to my iPhone and various other activities that now require me to juggle while I shift.  

The one thing I had to change was the radio.  It had a basic CD player in it with not even an Aux port.  I procured a nice Pioneer radio with Bluetooth and Aux and USB and Pandora interfaces and a removable faceplate.  I listen to a lot of audio on my phone during my commute.  

I was amazed at how easy and cheap car radios are.  I got it from with the installation kit for less than $100.  I probably haven’t looked at car radios for more than 25 years but I remember them being much more expensive and difficult.  I wired it up and stuffed it in the car in an afternoon.  No muss, no fuss. 

Now I have a truck.  I can carry stuff.  Like wood for my fireplace, soil for my garden rocks for my walls and junk away from my house for my sanity. 

Today we have a great and informative interview with Angie from the Marathon Training Academy podcast about running and pregnancy.  I’ve been wanting to find someone to have this conversation with for years.  I ran through pregnancy, but I think an actual woman runner’s insight is probably more valuable.  

In fact, this interview is so well done and full of value I think it’s the gold standard.  60 Minutes called and wanted to use it for one of their segments but I told them; “Look Maury, stick to your overbearing, weighty, world problem pieces and leave the real journalism to the runners.” 

In segment one I’ll talk about how core strength and core flexibility and core balance are all related but different things. 

In the second section I’ll talk about how to approach hard, emotional conversations.  

I’m training away every day to be ready to run Boston in about a month.  I’m not in a position to race it, but I’ll go in and make the best of it.  I think I might default to the ‘don’t die’ strategy that I used successfully at New York this year.  I’ve got the Eastern States 20 Miler on tap two weeks from now and that will tell me what I can expect.  

Thank you to all of you for your support and kind words.  I don’t read or respond in the show but I do appreciate the communications.  I get the feeling that you are all good and decent folks doing the best you can with what you’ve been given, fighting the good fight and making a difference in the world.  

So good on ya for that, pat yourself on the back, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and On with the show. 

On with the Show! 

Section one - Running Tips

Core, Flexibility, Balance and Strength

Voices of reason – the interviews

Angie Spencer is a registered nurse, running coach, and busy mother of

three. She has competed 30 marathons in the last seven years and has built

her fitness back to marathon shape after two pregnancies. She and her

husband Trevor co-host the Marathon Training Academy podcast where they

help runners believe that they have what it takes to run a marathon and

change their lives.



Our website


Our iTunes address

Section Two – Life Lessons

How to approach a hard conversation -


And so it is goodbye… auf widersehen… We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when… 

Trying to create this episode early because I have a business trip to Denver at the end of the week.  We’ll see if the gods and the fates will let me.  Got a lot going on.  A lot of balls in the air, which makes it hard to shift the truck! 

Like I said I’m coming into the final weeks before the Boston Marathon and I’m still collecting for Team Hoyt.  I’ll sweeten the offer.  If you donate to my team Hoyt fund I’ll send you, not just the new MarathonBQ book, but your choice of my other two books of running stories and I’ll even give you access to the audio of them.  

The MarathonBQ book is getting great reviews – all 5-stars so far – for example -> “Even runners with no personal aspirations to qualify for Boston will find this book to be incredibly inspiring, with information that would benefit anyone who is contemplating running a marathon.”

Check it out on Amazon Kindle. 

And finally we’re only weeks out from the Groton Road race and remember you can run virtual this year.  Just go to and look under the ‘races’ link.  

I sure hope you folks are enjoying your lives.  I hope you’re doing something useful.  There are a lot of things I see in our world that we can fix.  I don’t know but maybe we can even fix them just by doing the right, good and honest thing ourselves.  

Sometimes I look at projects in my life and I get discouraged because they are so big and take so much work and they involve having hard conversations with people who will pull with all their might in the direction of the muddy quagmire of the status quo.  We talked about how people tend to think they can’t do things, can’t influence things and can’t make a difference.  

I think you can.  Even if the last 5, 10 or 100 times you tried to have the hard conversation it collapsed in a grand, smoky pile of knee jerk recriminations.  It doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy effort.  It doesn’t mean you’re not making a difference.  Keep trying.  Don’t give up.  All you have is today and what you do today matters so make it count. 

Look at where you are today. Prepare for that hard conversation that will change your life and then have it.

And when the dust settles I’ll see you out there.

Closing comments


Direct download: epi4308.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:47pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-307 – The Continuing Adventures of Wendy Nail

(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi4307.mp3

Intro Bumper:

Well, my friends, here we are, Late Friday afternoon and time to publish another episode of the long running Podcast series RunRunLive…A serial magazine series sponsored by the Cialis and the History Channel about the trials and tribulations of Yaks farming on the north eastern permafrost… No? Ok, It’s not sponsored by anyone except the neurotically charged neurons of my cranial sphere.  And mostly we talk about distance running and endurance sports and we talk to members of our community about their adventures and transformations and epiphanies.  

And at 25 words with 4 conjunctions that, my friends, is a sentence Vladmir Nabokov would be proud of. 

Just got back from running 1:45 outside on the roads.  That’s two outside runs for the week! I’m killing it!  Heh heh… My training is going good and bad.  On the good side I’m getting the miles in.  On the bad side my AFib is really getting annoying.  

Let me ‘splain…I’m not a doctor, so I’m going to dumb it down to my level.  If you look at your heart it’s a big manual pump.  It’s got these four chambers to it.  Each one of these chambers is like a Turkey baster, you squeeze it and it squirts blood out one side, you let go and it reflates and draws blood in the other side.  

There’s a one-way valve on each side of each chamber, just a simple flap valve, like in the back of your toilet. 

Leading into and out of these turkey-basters are four big pipes.  These pipes return blood and carry blood away.  These are the pipes that get clogged up when you hear about people getting ‘bypasses’.  

The thing is, in order to squeeze and release those turkey basters your heart muscles contract and relax.  The trick is that they have to contract and release in the right sequence or the blood doesn’t move around well.   

What’s going on in my Afib is that erroneous electrical signals are cascading down the sheathing material around these pipes and causing my heart muscles to get the turkey basters out of synch.  This is exercise induced and only happens when I push hard and towards the end of my runs.  

What it feels like is a loss of power.  If I look at my heart rate monitor it will read max, like I’m doing wind sprints.  But it’s not really my heart beating too fast or at max, it’s my heart reacting to these bogus electrical signals and doing the funky chicken.  

When I think about it, now that I know what it is, I can trace it back a few years, but it only got noticeable in the last year or so.  

In its current form it’s just sucking the joy out of my running.  What I love about running is that point when you get warmed up, deep into a workout and can push the gas pedal down and transcend the workout.  Right now, when I get to that point, the engine sputters and coughs. It has removed the ‘flow state’ or the ‘runner’s high’ state from my workouts.  Which makes them more like work and less like the flights of fancy that I love. 

But, all is not lost.  I’ve scheduled myself to go in for a procedure called ‘Cryo-ablation’ where they snake a device up the veins through your groin, into your heart and freeze a ring of scar tissue into those four big pipes.  That ring of scaring blocks the spurious signals from getting to your heart and all is well.  They say it works 80% of the time and I’m a perfect candidate.  But, like Mark Twain was fond of saying, “There’s liars, damn liars and statistics.”

The other alternative is that I could just learn to run slow and short.  But I don’t think I’m ready or wired for that.  Let’s face it. In the grand scheme of things I’m a super fortunate, super blessed guy.  I have nothing to complain about and I really mean that.  

Besides, I’ve got you right?  And who’s going to hold off the zombie hoards if I have to take it easy? 

Today on this show of shows we have the continuing adventures of Wendy Nail who we talked to a few episodes back about barefoot running.  This time around we talk about her international adventures and how running is enjoyed all over the world. 

In the first article on running related topics I’m going to share some insight on my experience training for the hills of the Boston Marathon.  In the second article on life lessons I’m going to talk about how to deal with our hard-wired negativity bias.  

I’m not looking for you to give money to squarespace, dollar shave club or audible, and I don’t need any iTunes reviews, but I do still need help with my team Hoyt campaign for the 2015 Boston marathon.  

I don’t have a problem asking for support because Rick and Dick have given more to our community and sport than we could ever return.  These guys have a statue in Hopkinton for heaven’s sake! They’re the real deal.  Help me help them.  Go to my crowdrise page, it’s in the show notes and on the RunRunLive website – or I may let the zombie hoards eat you. 

On with the Show! 

Section one - Running Tips

The Hills of Boston

Voices of reason – the interviews

Wendy Nail 


Section two – Life Skills

Can vs Can’t and the negativity bias.


Well, well, my Campneros, another RunRunLive podcast driven to the ground and put in the pen with the rest of the free-range steers – Episode 4-307 done and dusted. 

I found out that my sister is listening to the podcast.  Which, honestly kinda freaks me out.  I’ve always told you that this avatar is just one of the me’s out there.  But since you’re listening, hey, it must be weird for you to hear Dad’s voice come out of me every so often?  I hear it.  You must too.  And remember: “Russell kids are the smartest and best at everything.” Right? 

Heh, is there anything as weird as shared family history?  I mean weird- good mostly, but it really gets under your skin in a way nothing else can. 

Also this week I had a weird interaction with one of the guys I work with.  I also keep I nice tall wall between this avatar and that work avatar.  But, I was so brimming with pride last week I told him about the new book I released.  I gave him a copy with the understanding that he would spread it around, the last thing I need is to be in a business situation and have someone say “But Chris, you had time to write a book…” 

Anyhow, this gentleman is a creative and he sends me back an email that says, and I quote, 

All I can say is… WOW. What a great book, Chris. I who never run or jog anywhere, salute you!

Not only is your writing style a treat to read, but your whole attitude toward running and the philosophical POV you bring to the subject is outstanding. I think this writing is better than 90% of the pros.

Congratulations on a real achievement!

Then he says to me today, why didn’t you quit your job years ago and become a writer?  Which I answered the same way I always do.  Because I’m smart enough to know the difference between a profession and a hobby.  But, is that my Dad talking?  Am I just afraid?  Probably a rational dose of all those things.  

Yes the MarathonBQ book is up on Kindle for your enjoyment, but any listeners of the show who want an e-copy I’ll give you one if you a) contribute to the Hoyt fund or b) promise to write up a review.  

It’s been on the Times best seller list for two weeks now.  Spielberg, Tarantino and Scorsese are fighting over the move rights.  Harison Ford was going to play the ‘old’ me but he crashed his plane last week so they had to switch to Timothy Robbins.  Of course Ryan Gosling is already under contract to play the young me.  Frankly he’s not as smoldering sexy as the young me, but he might pass. 

In my dreams…

We are coming up on the Groton Road Race on the 26th and everything is coming together.  Got some big changes this year and I’m sure there will be some chaos! I set up a virtual race option if you want to run it remotely.  The shirt is super nice and we’ll ship it to you.  As a matter of fact I’m going to go run a 10K in every shirt before we ship them.  And the women’s smalls chafe quite a bit.  

That bit I did today on can vs can’t really resonated when I posted it up on my site.  I got a storm of positive responses and shares. Which is strange because I sort of hacked it together in a bunch of small time blocks, between things, over the course of the week.   I learned early that you never know what is going to synch with people.  It’s not my responsibility to judge what’s worthy.  It’s my privilege to create, to let muses have their way.  

Folks – get out there.  Wipe those winter blues from your smock and get out there.  Lace ‘em up and go on adventures.  Have some fun.  People are watching you and you can influence the world for the better. 

As you are pursuing your adventures and good works, I’ll be there too, I’ll see you out there.

Closing comments


Direct download: epi4307.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:58am EDT





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