The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-315 – Gary Allen and I talk running


(Audio: link)






garyallenLink epi4315.mp3


Support my Hood-to-Coast Relay for Cancer Research -


Intro Bumper:


Hey there! This is Chris your steward for today’s ride along the colorful roadway of endurance sport. Practically, this makes for three podcasts in three weeks for you from the RunRunLive headquarters (Located in a dank cave in Western Pennsyvania that at one point in its history housed bandits, velociraptors and coal miners), just kidding, I’m actually in my home office.  I did have a trip to Denver, but it got canceled.


Episodes 4-313, 4-314 & 4-315 should be in your inbox, slightly out of order, due to a disruption in the space-time-chance-&-luck continuum.


mayflower-smallI seem to remember closing Episode 4-315 with the note that I intended to run a ½ marathon in Plymouth.  That would be two weeks ago now, and I did indeed run it.  First actual race for me since the heart procedure so my main goal was, as is my practice now, not to die and have fun.


My top concern was that I might pull something or otherwise hurt myself, given that I have not been doing much road work since Boston.


Coming off of Boston having run 8:30’s I figured that something in that range would be easy enough.  On the top end, if I felt good, sub-8’s would not displease the running gods.


I told coach to NOT taper me for the race, just treat it like a long tempo run.  I kept a nice training load right up to a bike and hard swim workout the day before.


A bunch of us from my club got up and drove down in the morning.  Brian had looked at the course map and said the first half was flat-to-down-hill, with big, long hill at mile 6 and then rolling hills to the end.


This was a first year race, but there were close to 2,000 runners.  The first mile was a bit jammed up, but I broke free and was feeling good enough spinning out the downs and flats, going a bit too fast, like I am wont to do.


I had my Garmin on but wasn’t looking at it, just running, chatting up the pretty girls, thanking the volunteers and having fun.  Looking at the data, those first 5 miles were in the 7:20 range, and that’s a bit fast (right now) with no taper, no training and a wonky heart.  I knew it was non-sustainable going into the hills.  My Heart rate was good – nice zone 4-5 effort but no flipping out into the 180-190 Afib range.


There was a water stop at mile 6 with porta-potties, so I stopped to have a rest, and reset my pace a bit.


There was a mile-plus hill from Mile 6, through the 10k and mile 7.  And it turns out this wasn’t the only one.  What Brian had called ‘rolling hills’ was a set of long steep hills over the last 10k that must have really beat up the back of the packers.


I just geared down and worked the hills, giving back some time but not suffering too much.  My legs weren’t all that peppy from the lack of taper.  I came in, according to the timing chip right on 8 minute miles, and looking at the data, my HR stayed in bounds for the most part, so I’m going to call that a win.


I mean, I could worry myself by remembering that I was trying to break a 1:30 ½ and ran a 3:23 at Boston 4 year’s ago, but that’s another season.  I feel like I’ die for a good run now, pun intended.


We’re done with the ‘happy-see-the warm-sun’ part of summer up here and into the ‘hot-sticky-horsefly-infested’ part of summer.  I was down in Atlanta last week when they were having a mini heat wave.  I got up in the morning to run and it was awful.  There was no oxygen in the air and I ended up coming back to the hotel soaked like I had been swimming.


Which is a pain in the butt, because then I had to pack up and get to work.  First, what you have to do is rinse out your wet stuff in the sink to remove some of the toxic man juice.  Then you roll them up in a couple towels and walk on them.  Then you put them in a plastic bag and pack them.


This worked ok except my Hokas were sweat soaked too.  I put them in a plastic bag and packed them but forgot about them until Tuesday this week and that was a horrible thing to have to put on those still-wet-festering shoes to go for a run. Ewwwww.


Then, after that Tuesday run I was soaked again, even though I exercised my rule of thumb that you can run shirtless under two conditions, 1) you have an attractive body or 2) you’re over 50.  When I got home I put those clothes directly into the washing machine, as a form of hazmat isolation.  But I didn’t run it because I wanted to wait until the morning.


My daughter decides to do some laundry.  She finds the wet clothes in the washing machine and decides that they must have been washed and puts them in the dryer!


Domestic adventures…




Today we have an interview with Gary Allen who we have talked to before in version one or two of the podcast many years ago.  Gary is the race director of the Mount Desert Island Marathon.  But, more relevant is that Gray is a bit of a historian for the local marathon scene having been involved at a near-elite level for many years, and still involved.


I’m hoping it come off as two old guys talking passionately about their sport, not two old guys bitching at the kids to get off their lawn!


In Section one I will continue my series of how to start running from scratch with a piece on how to build your support team that you’ll need as you progress.


In section two I’ll pull some nuggets from the book I read last week called “Happy is the new Healthy, 31 ways to relax and enjoy life now!”



I had a person I was interviewing ask me a question recently.  You know how it goes in an interview, where at the end I smile and say “Do you have any questions for me?”


They asked “Are you happy?”  I think the question was actually are you happy in your choice to work for this company?  Are you happy at the company?


I answered the question the way it was asked.  I said, “Well, first of all, I’m happy because I choose to be happy.  My happiness has nothing to do with where I work or who I work for.:”


Of course your environment does influence your emotions.  I get pissed off at work situations.  I get blind-sided by irrational people.  I have to deal with idiocy on the same scale as everyone else.


But, I try to remember that those are environmental things and really only effect my happiness if I let them.


On with the show!


Section one - Running Tips


newrunnerBuilding a support network -


Voices of reason – the interviews


Gary Allen – Race Director of the Mount Desert Island Marathon


Gary Allen - Team Run MDI

founder & race director


gary at runmdi dot org

Mount Desert Island Marathon • Half • Relay


"Get Real Maine: Run MDI"


The Mount Desert Island Marathon is the premier event of host running club Crow Athletics




The exact origins of Crow Athletics are not that difficult to trace. In the early 1990's a group of Mount Desert Island runners were heading to the now extinct Boston Primer, a 15 mile road race held in Readfield, ME. As they were traveling down I-95 heading south (in a Buick station wagon as big as a house) the car full of runners suddenly thought that running as a team might be fun. The various names thrown out for selection (most of which are not fit to print) ranged from the utterly ridiculous to generic and much over used terms such as roadrunners, striders, racing team, track club and so forth. By the time the crew drove through Newport, (which is incidentally 26 miles from Bangor) someone pointed out how knarly the crows are that line the highway eating dead things that we all seem to run over in our big Buicks. After passing another group of blackbirds that literally wouldn't get out of the road (even with a ton of Detroit's best iron heading for them), the team name for our day of racing at Readfield was born. "Road Crows". We won the team division and the team name was used loosely over the next decade.


Moving all the way forward to winter 2001-2002 another group of Mount Desert Island runners decided our island needed an organized running club. Again, many potential names were proposed and thrown out (most again, not fit to print -- why do runners think up such sick stuff?) Gary Allen, who was in attendance on the Readfield trip told the story of the original "Road Crows", and Crow Athletics as we know it today, was formed.


Our club has since slowly and steadily grown into one of the most forward thinking, fun oriented, outrageous running clubs in the universe! We love to point out to anyone who asks, 'Why crow?', that we runners (like crows) won't get out of the road, we're afraid of nothing, we are found in every state and nearly every corner of the world, and we are impervious to the weather.


Our members are of all abilities and hail from all over the US, Canada, and beyond. Some are among the best runners on the roads, while others run purely for fun! Our namesake mascot has even appeared as a tattoo on several Lifetime Members! We are a happy-healthyrecognized not for profit organization and annual membership dues (only $10 bucks) helps us to further our club and mission.


PS - Roadkill is a friendly little term we like to use in describing what we like to do to our race competition! CAW! CAW! CAW!


Section Two – Life Lessons


Book sample – Happy is the new healthy -




Ok my friends that’s it – the terminus of Episode 4-315of the RunRunLive podcast.  Those who arrive, survive.


One quick technical note:  At one point when I created a new version of RunRunLive a second podcast feed got added to iTunes.  If you search on ITunes for RunRunLive, two shows will pop up.  I’m going to ask Apple to eliminate one of them.  So if you find RRL-Feedthat the podcast disappears or you aren’t getting the fortnightly updates, go to iTunes and search again and subscribe to the other feed.


This is the correct iTunes Feed Link2


I bought new mountain bike for my daughter and last Sunday we went out for a ride.  I know all the trails around my house for miles and decided to take one that cuts behind the local ski hill.  It’s old farm road in the woods that runs behind one of the tubing hills.


I’m flying down this hill and I look up and there’s a rope across the trail about 3 feet of the ground.  I do some split second calculus and decide to lay the bike down and try to slide under it.  My intentions did not translate well and I bounced my noggin off the trail.


IMG_3213I had no idea where I was for a few minutes.  I gave myself a nice concussion.  Turns out I broke my helmet too.  I stopped taking the blood thinners and took it easy but I had a headache for a couple days.


It seems that they are running some sort of trial race over in the trails behind the ski area and had roped off the course.  I started to get a lot of comments on the social media that maybe I should stay out of the trails.  But, you can’t run scared.  You can’t live scared. You take the precautions you can, you wear a helmet and you don’t do anything stupid, but you can’t hide under a rock.


Remember, I’m looking for help with my Hood to Coast run the end of August.  I’m running to support Cancer research, because cancer sucks.  I’ll tell you what I’ll do.  I got a nice Team Hoyt running jacket from the Hoyts.  It’s a large.  It’s still in the wrapper.  Factory sealed. Pristine.


Biggest donation, let’s say $50,  in the next 30 days gets the jacket.


hoytjacketSupport my Hood-to-Coast Relay for Cancer Research -


I’ve got a great trip planned.  I’m going to fly into Rapid City, SD and drive west over the divide to Portland.  I’ve got the flights and hotels booked.  It’s going to be a hoot.  I’m taking my wife with me to give her something to complain about.  Anyone live along that route want to catch a run or have dinner or coffee let me know.


You folks remember Bruce Van Horn from a couple episodes back?  He just launched a new book called ‘Worry no More’ that he’s offering pre-release on the Kindle for 99ø if you like his stuff. amazon link for Bruce's new book


I’m training away and my next race is the Olympic Distance Triathlon up in Winchendon.  I feel pretty good about it.  I’ve gotten a couple swims in the open water of over a mile and as long as they let me wear my wetsuit I’ll be golden.


I bought this wetsuit a couple years ago when I was entertaining doing an ironman.  I hadn’t really used it much because my foot healed and I switched back to marathon racing.  I’m using it now in the open water and oh my goodness it is like having the swim cheat code.  It hold you in a nice balanced position so you can swim straight and easy without any struggle at all.  Wonderful technology.


After that I haven’t signed up yet, but I’m leaning towards riding the Hampshire 100 again.  I have to do some work on my 29er and learn how not to crash so much – but It’s a good challenge and my bike legs are coming back.


The one race I’m realwapackly looking forward to is the Wapack Trail Race on Sept 6th.  This is one of my favorite races.  It’s a hard race.  18 miles of mountain, technical trails.  Not for the 5K crowd.  But if you can run a marathon, you can run the Wapack and you will not find many other races like this one.  Consider it. Try something new.  Have an adventure.  Come run the Mountains with me.


I’ve got two interviews recorded for the next two shows.  One is with Matt, from Manchester England who created a graphic novel around the Steve Prefontaine story and the other is with Tim who used my MarathonBQ plan this spring to qualify for Boston.



Buddy-2015Buddy is sitting in the front yard barking at me through the door as I write this.  He wants me to come outside and play.  He’s old now and his hips bother him.  I don’t take him on long runs or on the road but we still get out in the woods for shorter stuff.


He loves it.  He loves to explore the woods and sniff everything and wallow in the mud holes even if it’s only 2-3 miles.  He’s been a good running partner and a good friend over the last decade.  I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.  It’s going to be hard to celebrate the big part he played in my life without feeling the loss, and the empty space he leaves.


I remember the time in he and I and Brian did a practice run of the Wapack. 20+ miles in the mountains and we had so much fun.  I can picture the way he used to fly through the air to catch a Frisbee.


I’m going to go take him for a walk now.  Because he’s my brother and he deserves the moment no matter how busy I am.


And as you’re walking your dog, I’ll see you out there.


Closing comments


Support my Hood-to-Coast Relay for Cancer Research -



Direct download: epi4315.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:51am EDT





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