The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-393 – Gary and the Tao of Running

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Link epi4393.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-393. 

Today’s show is about resilience.  That’s the theme.  It’s more than just stubbornness, or courage, or grit, (which is the popular term now).  It is about all those things and more. 

As endurance athletes and runners we have a front row seat to the practice of resilience across the arc of our lives.

Today we talk with Gary who I met at the Burning River 100.  He was selling copies of his book “the Tao of Running”.  I took his card, and we connected this past week to chat about how to practice this courage, and enjoy it, in our training and racing.

In section one I’ll talk about resilience in our running.  You can tell by now that I ‘v been thinking about this a lot.  Resilience is one of the keys to living a successful life, right?  In section two I’ll talk about an example of how to use resilience at work.

I am running the Wapack Trail 18 miler this weekend.  I’m looking forward to it.  I think I can carry the fitness I built up this summer into the race and do well.  It’s a funny thing when you look at an 18 mile technical mountain race as an easy race! 

Other than that I’ve been training away, trying to get some speed back.  Not that I ever had any real speed, it’s all relative. 

I registered for my 21st Boston Marathon this week.  I used my Baystate time from last year of 3:33:33, which would probably get me in under the cutoff.  I’m guessing the cutoff is going to creep again this year and move closer to 5 minutes under the standard.  But, since I have 10+ years in I get to register early and cut the line.  Technically I could get in with a 3:39:59. 

I can’t believe summer is almost over.  I hope yours has been splendid.  Mines been pretty good. 

I got to ride my motorcycle more than I have in years. I have a back-road route that I take to work and back.  I sometimes think that maybe an old guy like me should not be riding the motorcycle so much.  My reaction times probably aren’t what they used to be.  Getting into an accident with a car on a motorcycle typically doesn’t end well for the motorcyclist.

I’m basically a giant engine with a gas tank strapped to it traveling at high velocity. 

As anyone who rides a motorcycle knows, the first thing people do when they learn that you ride is tell you their worst motorcycle story.  That friend who got obliterated on the highway by a distracted driver.  Here’s a tip; that’s not the least bit helpful.  Don’t do that. 

On the back roads I’ve got different challenges than on the highway.  On a typical ride to or from work I’ll have one or two cars try to kill me.  But, I’m pretty good at seeing it coming so I avoid these inelastic interactions with the other commuters. As a bonus I get to shake my head at them and give them the ‘WTF” body language. 

Mostly it’s people pulling out.  They just don’t see bikes.  There’s also a fair amount of running stop signs and not using signals.  You scan the landscape ahead of you and watch you the oncoming traffic.  You can read the ‘body language’ of the cars.  You get good at predictive analytics. You see a situation developing and make sure you’re not there when they do that stupid thing.  It’s like a video game. 

One thing I’m seeing more of this year is people crossing the lines.  I know in Asia and certain metropolitan areas the lane lines are optional, but out where I live you’re supposed to stay on your side of the line.  I don’t know why you need to drive on my side of the road.  I see this behavior as a biker and runner too.  It’s probably distracted driving.  People are drifting all over the road. 

So, my friends, look twice, save a life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.  Relax.  There is no need to run that stop sign.  Tighten it up a bit and keep to your own side of the road.  We appreciate the effort.  Spread the love.

I’m going to keep riding my bike.  I always figured that’s how I’d meet my maker.  Being distracted by a pretty girl on the sidewalk and burying myself in the back of a stopped truck. 

But, I’m resilient.  Are you?

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

  • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!

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Section one – Resilience -


Voices of reason – the conversation

GARY DUDNEY, Ultra Runner & Author,

Thank you for the great podcast experience. The book is The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running and of course is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble as a paperback, Kindle, or Audible version. The new book, coming out in November, is The Mindful Runner, Finding Your Inner Focus, which can be pre-ordered through Amazon right now.

I have a website,, which has a lot of information for runners including all my past columns from Ultrarunning magazine and all my race reports from the past 20 years.

Bio Blurb:

GARY DUDNEY has been publishing articles on running, trail running, and ultrarunning for the past 20 years. His work has appeared in all the major running magazines, such as Runner’s World, Running Times, Trailrunner,and Marathon & Beyond. For Ultrarunning magazine, considered the “voice of the sport” of ultra long distance running, he’s served as a regular columnist since 2008, and he has additionally supplied the magazine with dozens of uniquely quirky race reports.  Ideas for The Tao of Running were shaped by the 65 one hundred mile races he’s participated in and the almost two hundred other long distance races he’s completed. He holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas in English Literature and his fiction credentials include stories in Boy’s Life magazine and in numerous literary magazines and one published novel, Cries-at-Moon of the Kitchi-Kit.

Book Blurb:

The Tao of Running offers a fresh perspective on the mental side of running while entertaining with vivid tales of running adventures. Going well beyond the standard training and racing advice found in most running books, it guides runners to a wider understanding of how running fits into their own aspirations, goals, and life philosophy, and how running can transform their lives.

The Tao of Running answers questions, such as:  How does running evoke mindfulness and lead to stress reduction? How is running a transformative existential experience? How does running teach fundamental lessons about goals, self-awareness, and self-improvement? How does running promote special friendships and new perspectives on life?

No other book offers readers these multiple frameworks for understanding their running experiences along with lots of practical advice on getting the most out of running. Readers are guaranteed to gain a greater appreciation for the rewards and possibilities inherent in running.


Section two – One More Call -



I managed to get down to Cape Cod last week.  I got a 2:30 long run in on the beach.  I wanted to go up to Coast Guard Beach which has a long, unbroken, straight line of a beach.  But the logistics proved a bit of a hassle.  Instead I went out to the Coast Guard Light Beach in Chatham.

I’ve been running there for years but It has become challenging to get enough distance.  The beach used to run for miles but now it has been washed away and you can only get out for a mile or so before you run out of beach.  I was standing there looking across the harbor opening trying to decide if I should swim across the 50 feet to the other side.  A girl in a boat offered me a lift.  I demurred. 

Luckily it was low tide and I was able to cross the mud flats and cut through the old port over to the private beaches on the other side.  In Massachusetts you have access to any ocean beach, private or public, below the high tide mark.  I finally ran out of beach about an hour in, but was able to cobble together enough turns and crenulations to get 2:24 in before I made it back to my truck. 

There were lots of families out and people walking.  It was quite busy.  There were old guys in dirty rubber coveralls working the low tide clam flats with rakes.  The families got ferried out in skiffs for these excursions.  The clammers had their own flat bottomed aluminum boats bobbing in the shallows. 

The thought in the back of my mind was if it’s low tide now, am I going to be able to get back when I turn around?  Am I going to be able to beat the tide?  Sure enough when I got back to the Old Port the tide had erased the mud flats.  I figured I was almost back I could just run through the water.  I already knew the bottom was hard and it was shallow. 

I had un-retired an old pair of Brooks Launch for the weekend and I could justify getting those wet.  But, I found a trail off through the bush that circumnavigated the mud flats and got me back to the other beach without have to take the plunge.  It added a little distance, which I needed anyhow.  I was quite pleased with how things worked out.

Step into the trails and the beaches and all you adventures.  It will work out. 

Speaking of Cape Cod.  I found a home for my Spaulding Boys Wagon Tongue Baseball Bat from the 1800’s. 

Yvonne and I went to a bar in Harwich Port to watch the Patriot’s game and grab some dinner.  It is named the Hot Stove Café.  It is baseball themed.  I was chatting with the owner.  It occurred to me that I was surrounded by ancient baseball memorabilia.  I told him I had something in my truck he might be able to use. 

When I dropped it the next day he wasn’t around.  Which is perfect, because he couldn’t say he didn’t want it!. 

Just goes to show you.  Everything works out.  Patience.  Mindfulness.  Practice. 

I’ll see you out there.

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


Direct download: epi4393.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT





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