The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-324 – Josh – Overcoming Challenge to Qualify

(Audio: link)




Josh1Link epi4324.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Good morning, afternoon and evening my friends.  This is Chris your co-pilot on this particular audio escapade.  This is the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-324 and today we’ve got an interview today with Josh who has gone through a bit of a hero’s journey.  He has had personal challenges and come back with the help of some friends to qualify for Boston recently.

The other interesting thing is that I don’t do the interview.  We got one of our friends of the show, Alex, to do the interviewing.  Alex is one of the folks who edits interviews for me, just because he is a friend of the show.  Today the tables are turned and I have to edit his interview!

In section one I am going to give you a piece on how to come back from a big injury.  In section 2 I’m going to talk about trying to fix my obsession with the scarcity of time.

My training is going well.  I got through the first 3-week cycle of my MarathonBQ plan.  I’m finding I don’t have the willpower or fitness yet to do the speedwork at a full 1600 meters and I’ve been doing 800’s instead.  My speed and strength are coming back nicely.  I did a long run of 15 last weekend and felt fine the whole way through.  I even felt strong enough to kick at the end.

I’ve been doing my speedwork on the treadmill at work, which has its pro’s and con’s.  It’s convenient and you can make the workout very structured.  On the other hand I’m always concerned about the real-to-life equivalency.  And I don’t just mean the effort levels are different. I mean there is a certain specificity to being outside in the elements that is beneficial.

I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m not struggling like I was when my heart was all wonky last year.  Very hopeful.  I haven’t scheduled any goal races yet but I have my eye on a few.

My next scheduled race is the Ayer Fire Dept. 5K on American Thanksgiving morning.  This will be a good test of how much I’ve managed to move my race pace set point.  I’ll treat it as a tempo workout.  I’ll go over and run the course before the race to warm up, then I’ll race it hard to see what pace I can hold.  It will be a good indicator.

I’m eyeballing a ½ in Atlanta on Dec 13th which would work well as a marathon pace run.

You have to trust your training plan but it can be useful to pick up some directional data points along the way.  I have the Groton Marathon on December 27th – which is a self-supported 26.2 mile run that me and some buddies from my running club put on each year.   If I treat that as a last long run that points to a qualifying try somewhere around January 10th.

If I screw the pooch on that one I could regroup and try again in February.  I don’t have a number for Boston, but these things have a way of working out for me.

In the spring my company upgraded me to the iPhone 6, which was nice.  But I kept dropping it and breaking it.  They made me buy a better case and I bought the LifeLock case.

It’s quite bulky. It reminds me of something that the Soviets would have designed.  But, supposedly it is 100% waterproof and it has kept me from breaking the phone again.

One challenge is that the hole for the headphones is now rather deep and has a screw-in feature that makes it impossible to use most headphones – especially the Bose headphones I run with and the big noise canceling headphone I use mowing the lawn and using the chainsaw etc.

As a result I had to either not listen to my phone when I was doing stuff, which kills me because I love to double task, or take it out of the case, which totally defeats the purpose of having a case in the first place.

But, fear not, there is a cable adapter that is about 4 inches of cable with the screw-in tip that you can theoretically buy.  Except you can’t buy it in any of the stores I went to.  They’d all say the same thing to me “you can buy that on line for a dollar”.  Which is not so helpful.

I went on-line to buy it from Amazon and was a bit flummoxed that the .97$ adapter was going to cost me $10 in shipping.  I ordered it anyhow.  This was in the beginning of August.  After a few weeks it hadn’t shown up.  I checked the order status and it appeared to make it as far as a distribution center in Worcester and then disappeared.

I sent an email to the company to tell them I never got it and they agreed with me.  But nothing else happened.  It’s nice to be agreed with, but I still needed a cable adapter and we’re going on more than a month.

I ordered another one.  Just this past week I got it.  It’s quite useful.  Because not only can I listen to punk rock while I’m doing speedwork, which is quite helpful, but I can run in the pouring rain with it.  It’s waterproof.  Seriously, like, throw in the toilet and let it sink to the bottom, waterproof.

There’s no moral or life lesson here.  I’m just happy that it appears I’ve finally found a piece of audio technology that I can’t kill with toxic Chris juice.

On with the show!

injury-backSection one - Running Tips

Conming back from a big injury -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Josh – The hero’s journey from challenge through resolution to BQ

Josh Butler - @Butler_Live2Run

Hi Chris,

I've been meaning to send you an email for some time, but felt like I needed to accomplish something of merit before I did (mid-packer merit anyway). Here is a much too long summary of my journey to qualify for Boston this past weekend. I know you are very busy and If you want to skip all my drivel, I have contact info at the end and we can discuss this in a call.

A bit of backstory...

I ran cross country and track in high school and ran a bit in the army after high school. When started college, along with my studies, I found other more "interesting" things to occupy time. Youth allowed me to still look fit regardless of my lifestyle.

It all caught up with me when I injured my back in graduate school. In a research lab of all places. It turned out to be a herniated disc. I went with a conservative approach for treatment for several years until it became debilitating. During this period, I was unable to do anything active and gained 40 pounds. Ultimately, I ended up having a surgery in 2005 to replace the degenerated disc with an artificial disc (titanium hardware). The surgery went well and I started running again after a few months. I dropped a bit of the weight but began to have problems again after a year.

All this time, my activity was non-existent and a gained the original 40 lbs back, plus another 20. I was a fat, pitiful slug. I went through several cycles of trying to reduce the medications and get more exercise (they recommend walking, "...running is bad for your knees"). I would get a little better, but would always get a flare up from pushing a little too much. In 2012, I started a new job and was referred to a physical therapist by a coworker that had suffer with back pain but had recovered. I never had luck with any physical therapist in the past, but was willing to try anything. On our first meeting, she asked what my goals were. I told her that I wanted to be able to exercise, specifically run. To my surprise, and unlike all the other medical professionals in the past, she told me she could get me there. It was nearly a 2 year process, but through a multifaceted approach including strengthening, dry needling, and yoga. I was given the green light for running.

My first run was a bit of a disappointment; I struggled to maintain a jog for the 0.8 mile jog around our block. I kept at it for several months until I was able to run up to 6 miles at a 8:00 to 8:30 pace. I did a few 5k's and started to look for a new goal. I signed up for a half-marathon in November 2014 and found a training plan online. While all of this was happening, I found I needed less and less pain medication to function and I could mentally manage the pain I was having. I'm not sure if this was a result of relearning natural pain management through running, getting in better overall condition, dropping 50 lbs, or a combination of all three.

My first half was a success and I came in with a respectable 1:29:22. In less than a year, I went from a overweight, pain med slug, to a half-marathoner. I heard you mention "keystone habits" on several occasions in your podcasts, and I would animatedly agree the endurance running is a great one. Things started to fall in to place in my life. I felt better physically and mentally, and as an added bonus, all of my interpersonally relationships improved as a result. I was accomplishing things I thought I could never do as a runner, which in turn carried over to my career. Nothing seemed impossible anymore.

With a successful half under my belt, I began the search for the next BHAG. THE BOSTON MARATHON!!! I did some research and found out what the qualification standards were, signed up for a race, and began my next training cycle.

As a side note, I have 3 daughters (ages 1,2, and 9), a wife that works full-time, and I have a job that requires long hours and fairly frequent domestic/international travel (80-125 days/year). I really struggled with the training plan. The plan was so complex that I had a very hard time doing the workouts during my travels. Another complication was that I did all of my workouts at home after 9:30pm when we got the kids to bed. Complex track workouts are made even more complex by headlamp (as you know, not being a stranger to night runs). Coming face-to-face with a badger at night also adds complexity.

I did my best to stick to the training plan and ran my first marathon in May  2015. The first 16 miles felt great, so great that I decided to increase my pace to 7:05 miles. I slowed down to goal pace for miles 16-21, but it was already to late. I seized up in my arms and legs and did the Robocop death shuffle to finish at 3:44. I was crushed. In the week following, I started doing some more research on marathon training. This is when I found this "new thing" called a podcast (I used to be an early adopter of tech and social media...not sure what happened the past few years). I promptly subscribed to every running podcast I could find and listened to them at every available moment. After the first week of this, yours was a clear winner. It was like having Master Yoda in my ear. I listened to every episode on iTunes, and then went back to listen to all of the episodes in the archives. Not only were you informative and motivational for running, but also in you segments on life, change, and dealing with people. You really do a great job of illustrating the interconnection of all things in life.

When you mentioned your books, I quickly purchased every one for my Kindle an read them whenever I had a free moment.

I enjoyed every one of your books, and MarathonBQ was a great fit for what I wanted to accomplish. The plan was tough, an at 40 I thought I may be too old for such an aggressive approach, but in the final month of my preparation for The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon I knew I had made a ton of progress since my last marathon campaign.

I loved the simplicity of the speed/tempo work, but hated doing the workouts in the beginning. I definitely ended up in the dark place during the training period. Your writings and your spoken words helped me through it all. You gave me the insight to stay positive and motivated through the training cycle. Now I have more of a love/hate relationship with the track work.

Come race day, I was ready. The BQ time for 40-44 is 3:15. I trained and did all of my speed work to qualify with 3:12:30. After qualifying, I didn't want the disappointment of qualifying and not making the cut to register.

I traveled from home in Fort Collins, CO to Milwaukee last Friday, along with my 2 year old daughter, and stayed with my parents in a nearby town. We had a family gathering on Saturday and I worried that I jeopardized my race by being on my feet all day, but race morning I was ready to give all I had. I stuck with the 3:15 pace group for the first few miles to keep my adrenaline in check. I bumped it up a bit to come in at a 7:20 avg pace at the half. I continued to mile 16 and felt the race unfolding in my favor and clocked a 7:18 avg pace for miles 13.1-20. Then the race was on, I dug deep. It was my day to get it done. I finished the final 6.2 miles with a 7:13 avg pace. My final time was 3:11:07; BQ with 3:53 to spare.

It was amazing how much you were in my head during the race. "Let the race come to you...", "spin up the hills...", "keep it under control until mile 20, then the race begins...". Most of all, it is painful in the later miles. You have talked about this in your podcast and how to embrace the pain. Your words were most important at this point in the race. They helped keep me positive and prevented me from giving up. I think this is a function of your plan as well. In the other plans I have tried, I didn't get to practice "pain and fatigue" as much as I did with yours. Furthermore, I thought about that last cycle of training tempo runs in the final 6 miles of the race. I remembered how I thought I could never get through that many mile repeats, but in the end I did. I also feel very strongly that the speed/tempo work has greatly improved my form and running economy. I don't see wear marks on my heels anymore. All in all, it was a great journey, and a great beginning to the next chapter in my life.

What have I learned from all of this?

1) Anything is possible. There is nothing that cannot be accomplished with the right resources allocated to it. It's really about prioritization and how badly you want it. I have a demanding full-time job that requires travel, young children, and a multitude of other things that demand my time. Not to mention a bunch of hardware in my lower back. If I can do it, anyone can.

2) Pain is manageable/controllable without medication. You just need to teach your brain how to manage it. This, like all crafts that you attempt to master, requires training. I believe this is a big component of the transformational power of endurance sports. This was a big part of my journey and I largely credit running with getting completely off of pain medication for the past 18 months. This is the skill that also allowed me to ride the knife edge to run a BQ.

3) You never know where you may find knowledge to help you on your journey. In the past, I never understood the appeal of podcasts. I never imagined I would find one that felt like it was made just for me. When you find inspiration and sage advice, grab hold and use it to its' full advantage.

4) Most importantly, positivity is always the answer, regardless of the question or challenge.

Thanks Chris. You have been like a life coach. I know this podcast endeavor requires a lot of your time and I really appreciate that there are people like you in the world that share their knowledge and inspiration.

I would still love to have a chat with you about all of this. I know you have a busy schedule, but if you give me a couple of available time slots, I would be happy to call.


Joshua Butler

Fort Collins, CO 80524

coveySection two – On the abundance of time -

Outro - Closing comments

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Ok Folks, that was episode 4-324.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Halloween.  At our house we practice Satanic rituals year round – so there’s really no novelty to Halloween.

Hey, so, Buddy the old Wonder Dog is doing awesome.  These new supplements we’ve got him on called GlycoFlex from VetriScience really help him from getting sore.  He’s doing 2-3 runs a week with me out in the woods and he’s doing well.  The combination of the cold weather and the supplements have made a new man out of him.

Running in the trails makes my ankles stronger which is the key to surviving the zombie apocalypse.  I mean seriously, doesn’t someone always sprain their ankle when they are getting chased by the undead?  Weak ankles are the number one cause of being eaten by zombies.

A little house keeping:  There are two feeds in Itunes for the RunRunLive Podcast.  I’m going to kill off the old feed at the end of the year.  I’m going to repeat this message every episode until then.

If you subscribe through FeedBurner, that is going away.  Go to and search for RunRunLive and subscribe to that RSS or go to my website and subscribe to that RSS feed.  Either way you’ll have a direct pipe to everything I publish and you can still avoid iTunes.

If you subscribe through Libsyn or my site already then you’re all set, nothing will happen.

Now, the majority of you subscribe through iTunes.  If you go into the iTunes store, type RunRunLive into the search box in the upper right and hit enter.  You will see two shows.

You can tell the old one two ways.  One is by the picture.  It is fatter.  The other is by the description.  The old one will say “Welcome to the Run-Run-Live Podcast…”  The new feed will say “Welcome to the RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast…”

If you are subscribed to the old one it is going away eventually.  Subscribe to the new one.

And when, two months from now, you have totally ignored this message, well I guess we can’t be friends any more.  Seriously – I’m going to put all this into a post with pictures for you just go to my website and search on “I’m a lazy dumb-ass who doesn’t take direction well”.  Just kidding.  There’s a search box on my blog just search of ‘Feed’ and you should find it.  I’ll put it up tonight when I post the show and drop a link in the show notes ->


I’m going to kill this feed ->

This is the new one ->

Now that I’ve insulted you thoroughly…the other thing I’m going to do is to convert my main site to a membership site at the end of the year.  I don’t know what form that will take, I’m still working on it and I’m open to suggestions.

Reading through the comments in iTunes I get the impression that some of you are more invested in the show than I am!  Don’t worry, it’s all good.  We’ll figure it out.  I’m not in this as a career, more as a way to sweep the cobwebs around in my head with the added benefit of helping someone find something interesting by the side of their path once in a while.


I’ll let you off easy this week.  Even though our time together is abundant I find that the things I want to do are more abundant!

I’ll leave you with a funny story.  Not the one that I told my sister Jody last night about wandering into the woman’s room in the mall after my eye appointment – that’s a funny story, but I may have to wait for the statute of limitations before I can tell it.

The funny story is how I found another year I didn’t know I had.

Here’s what happened.  I went in to get my colonoscopy that they could give me last year because of the heart, you may remember that episode, but anyhow… The nurse was checking me in.  She said ‘look over these forms and make sure all the information is right’.  And, me, being literal, looked over the forms for mistakes. I said, “The age is wrong, it says here I’m 52. I was born in ’62 and it’s 2015. Five minus 2 is 3, I’m 53 going on 54. “  She looks at the form and gives me that ‘you’re a dumbass’ look that nurses are particularly good at and says, “Your birthday in is November.”

So, yeah I had convinced myself that I was going to be 54 this year.  Somehow I feel much younger now!

But, as you know, I have an abundance of time.

I’ll see you out there – and for another 12 months evidently...

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4324.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-323 – Adam – Running with a Heart Transplant

(Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4323.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello there my friends, this is Chris your host and this is the RunRunLive Podcast Episode 4-323. 

Got a calculator?  What’s 323 X 60?  That’s 19,380 minutes, 323 hours, 8.075 straight work weeks, 40+ straight 8 hour work days.  That’s a big pile of narrative.   Isn’t that funny?  How you can just start doing something, a session at a time and pretty soon it adds up? 

And that’s without any compounding of the interest.

Try this experiment.  Every time you go for a run put a penny in a bowl.  Or maybe pick up a rock and put it on a pile at the trail head.   See what it looks like at the end of the year. 

That’s the power of practice. That little bit adds up.  That little handful of sand becomes a mountain to your perseverance.

It’s the same concept with time and money.  Anything can be done through daily or frequent little bits of practice.  I’m working through a book right now.  I don’t find the book particularly entertaining but I feel I need to know the content.  I’m trying to give it 20 minutes a day. 

I did the same thing when I wrote the MarathonBQ book last year.  I laid out the chapters in a table of contents format and worked on a chapter every day for a month – and just like that it was done. It took another 5 months of futzing around and editing, but I got it done. 

Some people call this ‘chunking’.  Take something that seems overwhelming and chunking it down into bite size bits that you can chew off every day. 

My training has been going very well.  I’m working in some consistent speedwork and tempo and building up my distance.  It’s not perfect and I’m still feeling out the paces but it’s progress and I feel strong. 

We love the cool, dry fall weather, Buddy and I.  Even though we’ve lost the sun it’s ok.  I’m no stranger to running with a head lamp in the woods.  It’s a bit hard to stay on the trail when all the leaves fall and obscure the ground.  But that’s why I have Buddy.  He knows the way and can see in the dark better than I can. 

He’s doing very well.  The cooler weather helps.  I’ve also started him on a regimen of joint supplements which seem to be surprisingly effective.  He used to barely be able to get up the day after a 6 miler in the trails but now he shows no sign of stiffness at all.  The product is called GlycoFlex by a company called VetriScience.

I met the guy that runs their supply chain at a conference.  We got to talking and it turns out he’s a veteran marathoner from Vermont.  I sent him a copy of my book and he sent me a bag of supplements for Buddy.  See how this networking thing works out?

Today have an awesome interview with Adam the @transplant runner.  I met Adam on twitter.  I saw his twitter handle and asked a simple question “Are you really running with a heart transplant?” When he said ‘yes’ I had to get him on the show.  Super cool - Super inspirational.  I love this guy and his attitude.  Reminds us that we really shouldn’t be whining and that you can really do anything if you have the right attitude. 

In the first section I’m going to rant about speedwork again.  Just because I’ve been doing more of it and remembering all the benefits first hand.  In the second section I’ll give you some random advice on Blogging. 

Little things every day.  They count. 

I’ve been in the office the last couple weeks.  I don’t have to go to the office but I like the structure and the privacy of an office.  When I use the common rest room outside my office I notice the paper towels.  Specifically I notice the paper towels on the ground next to the trash receptacle.

I think the scenario is that some guy before me washed his hands, (always a good habit) after using the rest room, then took a length of paper towel, dried his hands and tossed it towards the trash.  However in this case the used wad of toweling was off the mark and ended up on the floor. 

In my head I wonder why they didn’t pick it up?  Is their norm such that the effort to get it into the trash is the same as actually getting it in the trash?  Is this their way of ‘sticking it to the man’?  “I may have a crappy life but at least I have the power to throw paper on the ground!”

Seems odd.  But I don’t know what other people are thinking.  I’m in no position to judge. 

I’m not saying this because it somehow makes me mad, but it does make me curious.  Curious as to the thought process.  Are they too rushed?  Is it somehow a health hazard to pick it up and try again?  Would they leave it there if there was someone else in the rest room to witness? I don’t know. 

Going back to our opening thought, if everyone left one towel on the ground we would all be up to our knickers in damp paper towels before long.  And it seems to be contagious.  As soon as there is one on the floor that seems to lower the threshold and then there are many.  The paper on the floor becomes a negative social proof. 

This is the classic broken window syndrome.

You can probably guess what I do.  I pick up all the paper towels on the floor and put them in the trash.  It’s no extra effort for me and I feel like I’m giving some sort of gift to civil society in the process. 

Do you know what else I do?  When I see the janitors I say hello and I thank them for doing what they do.  

Because the way I see it when I pick up those towels and lay down those thank yous I’m putting bricks into a castle.  A castle of karma.  I don’t want anything back.  It’s my gift to those aim-challenged office workers and underappreciated sanitation engineers.

It’s karma.

How’s your aim?

On with the show!

Section one - Running Tips

Speedwork saves the world -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Adam – The Transplant Runner

A Brief History Of Me

Hello Readers!
Follow me on Twitter @xplantrunner

Most people reading this will have probably followed me here from Twitter, where I have somehow amassed a brilliant troupe of followers! So this first blog is basically going to introduce me in a more in depth way, give an insight into my history, and a look at what running means to me! So let's go!!

My heart transplant is obviously a big part of my life, so i'll start here, and how I came to need a heart transplant!

When I was born, it was pretty obvious I was going to be trouble, I wasn't screaming and I was a strange shade of blue, I was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot , in simple terms, oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood were mixing in the heart, and then being pumped around my body.

At 9 months old I underwent my first surgery, a Waterman Shunt. They took arteries from my right arm and used them to 'fix' the defects in my heart. This was a stop-gap surgery, carried out purely to give me a chance to grow a bit and become strong enough for further, more complex surgery.

At 2 years old I went under the knife for a 'full fix' to complete repairs to the heart and give me a normal lease of life. The surgery was initially successful, but 6/7 days later my natural pacemaker stopped working, deemed to be from the surgery. So I went under the knife again that week and had an Artificial Pacemaker fitted.

Surprisingly I was pretty well for 5 years! growing and developing normally as a child should. Just before my 8th birthday, on a routine hospital check up, the pacemaker needed replaced. It is effectively a battery, and it was out of juice! So the next day they fitted me a new pacemaker and I was good to go!

All Going Wrong

Shortly after my 9th birthday, it became apparent that things weren't quite right. I had no energy, very little appetite and basically wasn't myself. After a particularly lacklustre summer holiday my parents took me to our GP, who had me admitted to the local hospital. After 3 days in hospital, they decided nothing was wrong, perhaps I had a virus.

Not trusting the diagnosis, my parents took me to The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle (where all my surgeries took place) I was immediately poked, prodded and x-rayed, and then the bad news came.

My heart was 3 times larger than it should have been, and was operating at about 3% (pro athletes run at about 40% - its an odd measurement!) what they didn't know, was why.

They assumed that the pacemaker had malfunctioned, and determined it was its proximity to my heart. That the signals had somehow become 'confused' and gone awry! I underwent another pacemaker replacement, and it was placed in the now common place of beneath the skin in the front of the left shoulder.

Sadly the replacement didn't solve any problems, my heart was done, I was dying.


The choice to undergo a heart transplant was mine. The Dr's told me the facts, I had less than 12 months without it, and possibly an extra 5-8 years if I had one. The choice was simple, and in my head, it was just another surgery! So I was assessed and placed at the top of the transplant list, I was the worst case on the list, so I would get first dibs on any heart that became available.

1 week later the phone rang - they had a viable heart. Cue mad panic and lots of tears! An ambulance arrived and off we shot on the 90 mile journey to the hospital. On the way there however, the call came in that the heart had died on route, and they wouldn't be able to restart it.

Another 6 weeks passed and then the phone rang again, they had another viable heart. We made it to the hospital and started the pre op routine. By midnight I was being wheeled into the theatre, very drowsy, but still awake.

8 hours later I woke up in intensive care, the op was a success and the heart had restarted first time. I was the 21st child recipient in the UK

A massive amount of thanks goes to the donor family, the donor was only 12 years old and I wouldn't even know how to imagine how harrowing that would be, to then allow the organs to be used for transplantation defies understanding, all I know is that I am eternally grateful to them. (In all, 8 people received organs from this donor - truly amazing)

And Now?

Fast forward almost 21 years to now, and its 2012! The 5-8 years I might have got from the transplant have turned into something more than anyone at the time would have thought possible! Obviously I am not the longest post op transplant recipient, there are people who are almost 30 years post transplant but it still feels pretty good to be this far out!

Pretty much since my transplant i've tried to live a life that would hopefully make my donor and his family proud that I was the recipient. Nowadays, I use my running to help with that!

I started running properly in April 2011, 7.5 miles (bearing in mind I ran maybe 2 miles once a month before hand!) over 3 local mountains. It took me about 4 hours, I was covered in cuts and bruises from slips and falls on the trails, I was caked in mud, ridiculously dehydrated and fairly peckish! I had no idea what I was doing! That same night I experienced DOMS for the first time in my entire life! Every time I sat down, I struggled to stand up again! And staircases were a massive no-no!

So that's a fair old chunk of what makes my internal engine tick! In future blogs i will delve into my running more, and how living with a transplant affects me and what i've done since that night in 1992...

Section two – Getting going with a blogging habit!

Outro - Closing comments

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Well, my friends, thank you for your continued attendance.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.  We have been transplanted to the end of episode 4-323 (see what I did there?)

My training has been going well.  I laid low for the month of September with all the travel but I started working in some speedwork.  I let coach have a break – and just to squelch any rumors – I’m not fighting with coach or anything dramatic like that – I’m just experimenting with some more intensity to see how my body responds. 

If we add up the plantar fasciitis vacation and the Afib episodes I haven’t been able to get a decent training cycle in since 2011! 

The first thing I noticed is that my paces are off by a full 30 seconds a mile from where I used to be – some of that is due to age, but a lot of it is just being out of practice.  The speedwork feels hard and foreign to my body.  I’m like 3 weeks in now and I’m starting to see the results. 

I started with 5 days a week to see if my body would be able to recover.  Sunday long, Monday recovery spin, Tuesday speed, Wednesday recovery run, Thursday Tempo, Friday recovery run and Saturday off to do house chores.  

This put me in the mid-30’s in terms of mileage.  I made sure to really focus on doing the stretching, warm-up, cool-down and maintenance core work. 

Nothing really hurt, except the plantar fasciitis flared up at the end of the first hard week.  I thought I was toast.  (this was last week).  It was super sore after Friday’s run.  So – I got the splint on for sleeping, I took my Saturday off, I taped the foot for Sunday’s run and I got it under control… so far. 

I think I isolated the problem.  I was wearing an old pair of ASICs E33’s (basic neutral cushion shoes) to get a better feel of the track for speed work.  I don’t keep very good track of mileage in shoes but I remember I wore these for two marathons a year ago – so they are probably toast. 

We’ll keep an eye on it.  I can always swap out the Friday recovery run with a recovery spin instead. 

This Sunday I’ll be volunteering at two local races. The Baystate marathon in the morning and the Groton Town Forest Trail Race in the afternoon.  If you’re running either of those say ‘hi’. We’ll be at the 7 mile water stop at Baystate – just before the bridge. 

I was coming back from getting tires on my Camry this past weekend.  I was sitting in a long line of cars at a red light.  I did what we all do at red lights.  I checked my phone.  Of course the next thing I know there’s the blaring of a horn and the guy behind me is freaking out because I let a 20 foot gap expand in front of me. 

I look in the review mirror and this guy is swearing at me and waving his hands – he’s quite apoplectic.  My first reaction is to give him a big passive aggressive smile and wave.  I also feel that drip of adrenaline as my dinosaur brain prepares for a fight.  Can’t help it. 

As I think about it I wonder what is so wrong with this guy’s life that he has gone off the deep end over 20 feet of pavement?  I just want to say “It’s ok.” 

I’m as guilty as the next guy.  It makes me super stressed out to get stuck in traffic.  Even though I know it has nothing to do with the traffic – it’s me getting me stressed out because of the way I think about time.

I think time is scarce.  In my mind I can only be successful if I get stuff done in the time I have.  How often do we think about time in this way?  I don’t have enough time.  I don’t want to waste time.  Is it worth my time? 

My revelation is that this is all scarcity thinking.  As much as I talk about abundance I think in terms of scarce time.  That is a disconnect between thoughts and beliefs.  That’s an incongruence between a belief in abundance and thought of scarcity.

I wonder if you’re not doing the same thing?  What if we thought of time as abundant? How would that change the way we approached adversity?  What abundance cold that bring into our lives?

And the next time you’re running late and you lean on that horn, I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4323.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-322 – Geoff Smith -1984 & 85 Boston Marathon Champ
(Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4322.mp3
MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -
Hello there my strange running friends. How are you? I’m great. Fantastic. Nothing to complain about. Full of joy and abundance. Which, if I’m honest with you, takes a lot of work.
It’s officially the end of summer in New England. The nights are clear and cold. The mornings are crisp like a fresh, clean blanket. The sun sets later and comes up later, noticeably each day.
When I was a youth in school I would hate this time of year. School starting meant the end of a summers’ long and languid lethargy. The weather would turn but not enough to be interesting. There wouldn’t be any snow to sled on or build with for weeks. The days would be short, dim, cold, windy, rainy and filled with work.
Now, Buddy and I, in, perhaps the autumn of our own times feel somehow reborn into the crispness of fall. He roams the house wild eyed and vocal beseeching me to get up, get out and seize the leaf covered forest trails - for that is where we live if only for another year, another day, another fine afternoon or another run.
We pad through the fall forests with the leaves crunching underfoot on the dry trail. The underbrush and weeds spent and brown hanging with their last offering of seeds to be blown on the wind to settle another generation.
Only the wild asters weighed down by their purple froth brighten the trail. The bees harry them with suicidal intensity and a lack of humor that is to be avoided by the cautious runner.
We run, man and dog, weaving through the trees with the sharp afternoon sun lancing through at us from an acute angle like a photgrapher’s darkroom light. The motes of dust swirling in our mists and settling in our wake. The tang of wild grapes bites at the air and brings a smile to my heart. The apple trees in the orchard hang thick with fruit.
Man and dog. Brothers on the road and trail.
Buddy still gets along fairly well for an 80 year old. Like all of us he thinks he can do more than he can. He talks me into it and then he regrets it the next day. With the cool weather he feels a need to get out and play and move. What I often hear when I check in from on the road is “Your dog is crazy!”
It’s been a long autumn. I’ve traveled every week that I can remember. I’m doing ok. I’m getting my runs in for the most part and feel fairly strong. I’ve started to play with speed work and I’ll talk about that a bit today. You can’t just throw the switch. You have to build into the speed work when you’ve been away for a while.
I’ve got a long chat with Geoff Smith today. Geoff won the 1984 and the 1985 Boston Marathon. If you know about the history of the race you may know that these were hard times for the Boston Marathon. It was founded by the BAA in 1896 as an amateur race. The prize was always a simple olive wreath.
It was serious race, for serious runners and serious runners were thought to be the amateurs who ran for the love of the race. Geoff was the last person to win the Boston Marathon before there was prize money. He did it for love.
The pressure of other big-city races offering prize money threatened to relegate Boston to a quaint artifact of the 19th century. A local financial institution stepped in and kept the race alive as they transitioned to a prize money structure.
I didn’t know Geoff was living locally until I got a tweet from him asking me to retweet one of his races. This chat gave me a chance to talk about what is for me, the golden age of US marathoning.
I’ll also chat a bit about the power of self-awareness.
I’ve been feeling a bit pressed these last few weeks with the level of travel and the amount of stuff I’m trying to do. I also am thinking of mortality as I see my running partner struggle with age.
This time of year is a bit of a whirlwind for all of us. The leisure of the summer passes abruptly into the intensity of the school year. Work gets crazy. Personal commitments pile up. People get over-tired. The kids bring home the first good crop of viruses to mix into the social fray.
And so we find ourselves in October tired and sick and bubbling with stress. We have strategies to cope but our armor gets dinged from the continuous hits. The car needs work, the house needs repair the kids need new equipment and a ride to practice.
We feel out of control and driven mad, losing that grip we thought we had on life.
But, my friends, you are not alone. Don’t let circumstance drive you crazy. There is nothing in the environment that you can’t choose to live with and work with and, yes, even enjoy.
Just take that time to close your eyes and take one long, deep breath. Exhale the stress and smile at the next person you see. They may need it more than you do.
On with the show!
Section one - Running Tips
Easing into Speed Work -
Voices of reason – the conversation
Geoff Smith
Boston Marathon Winner 1984 & 1985
1980 and 1984 British Olympian.
1980 British 10K Track Champion.
1982 Providence College Athlete of the Year.
1984 and 1985 Boston Marathon Champion.

Personal Records
800 meters 1.51
1500 meters 3.40
1 Mile 3.55
2 Mile 8.23
5K 13.22
10K 27.42
Half Marathon 61.39
Marathon 2.09.08

• Smith's best time in the marathon was 2:09:08, when he finished 2nd to Rod Dixon in the New York City Marathon in 1983. Smith only lost by nine seconds.
• Smith was a senior at Providence College when he won the 1984 Boston Marathon.
• Both of Smith's wins at Boston were by strong margins. His 1984 win was by over four minutes.
• Competed in the Olympics for Great Britain in the 1980 10000m race and the 1984 marathon
• Works as a middle school teacher and lives in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts as of 2004.[1]
• Has not run at the Boston Marathon since 1990
• Worked as a firefighter for ten years in the United Kingdom after his high school graduation. Entered Providence College in 1980 at the age of 26.
• Ran a 3:55 mile in Wales in 1982
• Was the last person to win the Boston Marathon before the race organizers began giving out prize money to the winners.[2]
• Stopped running in the early 1990s having suffered hip problems since birth. Had both hips replaced and has started running again in June 2013. Is coaching local runners South of Boston.
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing United Kingdom
1980 Olympic Games
Moscow, Soviet Union
7th (Q) 10000 m 30:00.01
1983 New York City Marathon
New York, United States
2nd Marathon 2:09:08
1984 Boston Marathon
Boston, United States
1st Marathon 2:10:34
1984 Olympic Games
Los Angeles, United States
— Marathon DNF
1985 Boston Marathon
Boston, United States
1st Marathon 2:14:05
1987 World Championships
Rome, Italy
— Marathon DNF


Well summer is over. Now it is time to think of fall running. We have a great new event on Shrewsbury street. Worcester. An Oktoberfest 5k October 11th Our main charity is “Genesis Club an Accredited Mental Health program that provides education, employment, housing and wellness services to those in recovery
Join me and let's make Shrewsbury Street rock.
Date: Saturday December 12, 2015
Youth Run Start: 12:30 p.m. for ages 14 and under.
Santa Run 5K Start: 1:00 p.m.
Start Location: TBD (Near Union Street)

Geoff Smith

Section two – Self-awareness – the smartest person in the room
Outro - Closing comments
MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -
Feeling faster? Feeling more self-aware? Feeling like you have made it to the end of episode 4-322? Yes you have.
If you’re in the New England area consider Geoff’s Santa run. That sounds like fun. And you get a Santa suit.
Believe it or not we had our first Groton Road Race meeting. April is just around the corner. It will be our 25th anniversary. Wow. This old dog has run every one. It’s my swan song race too. I’ll be passing the baton over to another race director. I’ve learned a lot in my tenure. I’m grateful for the tribe that kept this race a grand and glorious spring ritual for my old home town.
I’m testing myself a bit with some speed work. But I feel strong. I think my plan of a January qualification race with the Groton Marathon as a last long run is a pretty good idea.
I’d love to get some of you out for the Groton Marathon. This is a self-supported 26.2 mile run that we invented for December because there weren’t any good races around the holidays and we wanted to get a marathon in. Let me think on that some more. I’d prefer not to have to spend any money on it but maybe I can put up a web-page and make it official enough to have it recognized by the Maniacs or something.
I’ll probably run Boston. I’m not qualified but these things have a way of working out for me. If I get the privilege of running it again this year, and God help me, I can’t how many I’ve run, I’m going to use my talents to do something really big for the charity and the community and the sport.
The more I work through my self-awareness process, the more I find myself thinking that I’ve been playing a small game. I know people see me form the outside and maybe see untapped intellect and wonder why I haven’t done more. At least that’s what I wonder.
I think that we all can do more than we think. I read a book by fellow runner Bill Dowis this week and his narrative is similar to my own and so many others and maybe yours.
The narrative is that we are muddling along with our lives, doing ok, and somehow, somewhere, sometime find endurance sports. It catches us by surprise. It catches us by the shirt collar, slaps us in the face, stares deeply into our souls and says “you are capable of more than you think!”
I think YOU are capable of more than YOU think. I beginning to know I am. I’m not talking about running a marathon. I’m talking about finding something in your life that you don’t think you can do and going after it with ferocity and hard work. Not being afraid to fail and not being afraid to succeed.
Go into that thing with only one object – to learn about yourself and what you’re capable of.
And maybe you’ll be surprised.
And I’ll see you out there.
MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Direct download: epi4322.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT





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