The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-422 – Robert Moore Boston Back in the Day

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Link epi4422.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-422 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukah and happy New Year.  I hope you’re having a great holiday season, if that’s part of your story.

Today we talk with Bob Moore who is a guy who raced back in the 70’s, coming in 5th and 7th and 7th at Boston back when it was an entirely different thing to run a marathon.  With folks like Bob I just ask a couple open ended questions and let them go. 

I think that’s something we can practice during these holidays when you might be speaking with people you’ve haven’t seen for a while.  Remember, how much joy they get from telling their story and practice active listening.  It’s a gift for them and for you. 

In section one I’m going to counsel you on how to cheap out on your winter running gear because anyone who has run with me knows how cheap I am! 

In section two I’m going to talk about how to turn worry about a big event or deadline into a positive force. 

My running has been going well.  I’m still in hibernation mode.  I try to get out for a mile or so walk with Ollie as part of my morning routine and find that helps him and me start the day well. 

I’m still running 4 days a week.  Tuesday and Thursday I get out for 8-9 road miles at a zone 2 effort.  I’ve got a nice, mostly back-road loop that I can run at night with getting run over and I find it quite comforting.  Then on Friday I try to get out during the day with Ollie in the trails for another 10k or.  The trails are frozen and you can’t go fast, but again it is good for him and I to get out. 

I mix up it up.  Mostly off leash, even though he’s very jumpy and exuberant with people.  He won’t attack or be mean, but he can be overwhelmingly friendly.   I’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting him to come when called to get back on leash. 

I also run him on leash and he’s pretty good with that.  Once he tires out a bit and stopped trying to pull me like it’s the Iditarod.  Sometimes I’ll drop the leash and let it drag.  Buddy figured how to run with the leash dragging between his legs and not step on it.  Ollie hasn’t figured that out.  When I drop the leash he picks it up in his mouth and runs with it.  It’s super cute. 

He’s still growing like a weed.  I’ve found a new trainer and I’m going to do some focused work over the next couple weeks before I start my new job. 

My wife bought a bunch of stuff from Sears because she had a gift card she needed to use up before they go out of business.  It all showed up at the house in packages and boxes.  I was wrapping presents for Christmas and offered to wrap all these for her as well.

She of course, said yes, and even had me wrapping my own presents. 

Since I now was in charge I wrapped and labeled the gifts appropriately with the recipients name.  But for my own gifts, that she had bought for me, and now was having me wrap for her I didn’t put my name on them.  I labeled them “Sexy”. 

So on Christmas morning when my kids were passing sorting through the gifts they had to ask, “Who’s Sexy?” To which I replied “I am!” 

And there you have it.  You are responsible for your own narrative.  When someone gives you a chance to tell your own story, make it a good story.   

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Winter running gear for cheapskate -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Robert Moore

Dear Chris Russell,

                                I apologize for taking so long to get in touch. The last while has been hectic with six hours of teaching at the Chiroproactic College, seven hours of teaching at the Homeopathic College and preparation of webinars for the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists and the Naturopaths.

                                 At Boston I was 5th, 7th, 7th and 7th. My best time was 2 hours 16 minutes and 45 seconds in 1974. Jerome Drayton and I are in the same club. I still compete. I am up to 1904 races of record.

                                  I knew Ed Whitlock for decades. At first I was a lot faster than him but at the end he was faster. I never did formal research on him but a woman that I have heard of at McGill University may have done so.

Best wishes,

                      Robert Moore.

Section two – On worrying about big events and deadlines –



Well, my friends, you have made it, with great gusto, to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-422.   

This weekend I’m going to host the 7th edition of the Groton Marathon.  Which is a made up series of races that I started after the Boston incident in 2013.  My club and anyone else who wants to show’s up and runs whatever distance they want on the last Sunday of December.  I’m going the distance.  Looks like I’ll have a ½ dozen or so for company. 

Looks like good weather. 

I’m not in shape for a marathon, but I can fake it.  We’ll go slow and stop a lot.  At least I’m not sick this year. 

After that I’m formulating my next season plans.  I don’t know if I’m running Boston or not this year.  If I get in I’ll run for charity.  I’ll train hard enough to respect it but won’t try to requalify.  But, I am going to look for a race to focus on in May or June to requalify at.

I called coach and threw myself on his mercy.  After the Groton Marathon we’ll get busy.  I did volunteer to pace a marathon in May out on Martha’s Vineyard.  If that sounds like fun for you, come on up and join me. 

I’m thinking a 100K later in the summer would be cool.  I’ve never run a 100K race – so Bam! Built in PR!

I’ll tell you a funny story from last week.  Like I alluded to, I’m going to start a new job in January.  And yes, this is where the advice in section two today came from. I wrote that as I was flying down to Dallas for an interview. 

At one point the hiring manager asked me, “So, you have all this experience and these skills but what new thing are you learning right now?”  I thought about this for a beat, the interview was going well, so I had a bit of good will to risk.  I answered, “Well, I’m currently learning how to run across the United States.”  I swear that lady’s head near exploded. 

That was pretty funny. I haven’t seen a comic doble take and an audible “Wow!” in an interview before. 

More to the point, because you all know I’m a different kind of animal by now, what they were trying to get at is am I still able to learn?  Do I have a growth mindset?  Do I have an attitude of abundance? 

Being the smartest guy in the room isn’t necessarily a useful thing if you can’t learn. 

So don’t forget to learn new things and push your limits no matter who you are or where you are in your story.  You get to create that narrative. 

To take you out I may append a piece of holiday music from Eric’s wife Tammy.  They do a holiday CD every year.  She’s a pianist. 

I’ll put a link to the whole CD if you’re interested in the show notes. 

Going forward we are going start working in more music.

Because life is better with music. Consider it music therapy.

I’ll see you out there. 


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


Rachel ->

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Direct download: epi4422.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-421 – Coach Talk About the Off Season

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Link epi4421.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-421 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   

Today we have a good show for you – I talk to the coach about how to manage the off-season which is what most athletes treat this time of year as.  Good practical stuff.

In section one I’m going to review the science / opinion on fasting and how it interacts with endurance sports. 

In section two I’m going to talk about how to actively cultivate peacefulness – because I think it’s a message we need to hear this time of year. 

We are also going to talk about testicles or the lack thereof.  Because that’s just where I am in the never-ending carnival that is daily life. 

Ollie the collie is doing well.  He had surgery on Monday and is officially neutered.  You would think that would slow him down.  It did for about a day but he is quickly back to his maniac ways. 

I’ve been hunting around now for our next training opportunity.  He’s a great, smart, athletic boy but I need him to learn some simple stuff – like come when called or we are both going to get in trouble.  He also loves to destroy anything laying around the house if we’re not watching.  And, he’s very mouthy.  He loves the taste of human flesh.  I mean, who doesn’t?  But it can get annoying, especially in mixed company. 

When I was at the vet this week for the ‘adjustment’ I asked for recommendations on training.  They gave me a contact that they highly recommended.  I conversed with this trainer.  Their program was to take the dog for 3 weeks and deliver him back fully trained.  No muss, no fuss. 

Sounds good, right?   They just show up 3 weeks later and hand you the keys to the car.  The only problem I had was that they want $3500 for the process, which I’m sure is quite reasonable, but above my price bracket.  Clearly, I’m becoming that old guy who expects everything to cost a quarter. 

We are going to another consultation with a trainer today and we’ll see where that goes. 

Another funny story is when I try to do yoga or core work Ollie thinks this is a great opportunity to wrestle on the floor with me.  It’s impossible. It’s funny, but it’s impossible.  Again, who doesn’t’ love a good wrestle on the floor? 

Continuing our theme of testicles, I had a fairly hilarious sponsorship opportunity this week.  I got an email from one of those outfits that is trying to make money off podcasts by aggregating niche shows like mine and selling them as a package to sponsors. 

This story might be considered a bit PG-13 so you’ve been warned. 

Now, I don’t do sponsorship in general, because a) I hate commercials in my podcasts with the burning hate of a thousand suns and b) I just don’t have enough downloads to move the needle money wise.  I mean it would be hatefully annoying to you folks, a big hassle for me all for something like $20 a month. 

But the example sponsor they held out to me as attractive commercial bait was a company called Manscaped.  Intrigued I looked them up and yes, they are a new company offering everything you need to create lovely topiaries in your nether regions. 

Which is a bit amusing, but the names of their products had both my wife and I howling with laughter. 

Their main product is an electric shaver called, wait for it, ‘The Lawn Mower’.   A body wash called ‘The Crop Cleanser’, a hydrating toner called ‘Crop Reviver’ , subtitled ‘Ball Toner’ and an anti-chafing product called ‘Ball Deodorant’. 

And the website copy is just a delight to read.

So there you go.  A gift for the man who has everything… and they didn’t even have to pay me. 

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Fasting and endurance athletes -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Coach Jeff Kline

Team PRSFit

Support ZERO for Prostate Cancer

What I bring to the individual is 25 years of experience.

My  approach to training is individual focused and comprehensive. I believe that coaching is about educating my athletes not just giving you a schedule. Communication, structure, guidance and motivation is the complete package that I offer to everyone I work with.

I limit the number of athletes I work with to 20. This ensures you get the attention and high quality coaching you need to achieve your goals.

“No individual is too big, too small, or too slow not to be coached.”.

  • Ironman U Certified
  • Lydyard Level II Certified
  • Certified Natural Running Coach
  • Certified Total Immersion Swim Coach
  • Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach
  • Certified Personal Trainer

In addition the coach completed his studies in nursing with a specialty in orthopedics and nutrition. He was published by the Colorado Nurses Association.

The Coach only works with 20 athletes.

Section two – Peace and Action –



Well, my friends, you have made it, hopefully without any undo chafing or stinkiness, to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-421.   

Peace be with you.  Go in Peace.    

I’m still in my down phase.  Running 2-4 days a week.  Keeping my miles in the mid-30’s a week.  Started working some core work and yoga back in on the off days and boy it is amazing how fast you lose your fitness when you take a couple weeks off.  For those first couple of core workouts I was sore as heck afterwards. 

I raced the Mill Cities Relay last week.  I took the first leg.  It’s about 5 ½ miles.  The challenge was that we woke up to very cold weather.  It was about 1-2 degrees F when my leg kicked off.   It was sunny and there was no wind, so it was not uncomfortably cold.  But the air was super dry and hard to breathe.

As is my habit I went out too fast and struggled a bit in the middle miles.  Not my best race ever.  But, I just kept reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to get out and do this.  How there are plenty of people in my age group who would kill to be able to do it. 

My team ended up averaging 7:07’s across the 27 miles, which is respectable for our over-50 crew but still only put us 5th in our age group.  Most importantly we had a blast and it was a beautiful day.  Really a privilege to be able to run with those guys. 

Next up for me is the Groton Marathon, an entirely made up race on the morning of the last Sunday in December.  The story is that when I was running my marathon a month in 2013/2014 in response to the Boston Marathon incident that year, my December marathon got canceled due to weather.  So I made up my own marathon, grabbed some running buddies and just did it myself.  My life, my rules. 

Now we’re 7 years in and still doing it.  I’ve got a handful of folks signed up.  It’s a casual run around the towns on back roads with no fuss.  I’m not in any kind of shape this year so it will be slow.  But, we’ll have some good cheer, some good conversations, take some pictures and celebrate that we live in a world where you can make up your own marathon and have people show up.

And with that, Ollie and I will see you out there. 


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4421.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-420 – Kicksology

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Link epi4420.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-420 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   

It is the week of Thanksgiving up here in New England.  We haven’t gotten any snow yet at my house.  The trails are very runnable. Ollie the Collie and I are getting out 2-3 times a week.  He’s still a menace.  I won’t be able to get away with the ‘Oh, sorry, he’s just a puppy…’ line much longer. 

He’ll knock out 8 to 10 miles easy with me in the trails.  I like to let him off leash so he can burn some energy.  It’s takes about 4 ½ miles for him to settle down.  Until that point he’s sprinting up and down the trail.  It’s a challenge because he has no manners and won’t come when he’s called and just loves to meet and greet people we run into. 

He’s got another gear now and when he goes, I can’t catch him.  I’ve started referring to him as the ‘monochrome menace’.  But he’s a good runner and he minds well when he’s on leash.  He’ll be a good partner but I’m going to have to break him, like a wild stallion.  He’ll be my Bucephalus.  

(Editor’s note: all classical references will be linked to Wikipedia in the show notes)

Today we have a good show for you.  Yeah you.  You know who you are. 

But first an advertisement for a new cologne that I’m producing for the holidays.  It’s called RunRunLive and it is the pleasing scent of sweat and dog ass.  Buy yours today at the RunRunLive web store.  Comes in a 16-ounce pop-top tall boy. 

Today we chat with Brian Metzler about his new book Kicksology which is all about the evolution and lore of the running shoe.  Brian is a veteran running journalist.  Chances are you’ve read something that Brian has created or touched.  He has been a frequent contributor and started or edited a few of your favorite running publications.    

What I liked about the book was that it was a trip down memory lane for me.  We love our shoes.  We have an irrational passion for a good pair of shoes.   Brian does a good job of tapping into that.

In section one we are going to talk about breathing. 

In section two we’re going to talk about memory and redemption. 

Since we last talked, you and I, I went for my annual check up.  Apparently, I’m still healthy.  I’ve been working hard on overeating and drinking too much beer for a couple months.  I’m up 8-10 pounds, but it’s part of my natural cycle.  I can already feel the tug of the pendulum in the other direction.

I have some good news for you men.  They have determined that the manual test for prostate problems has no efficacy.  No more fingers up the poop chute.  My doctor was reflective.  He said of all the hundreds of these tests he’s done he only ever found 6 anomalies and none of those turned out to be actual problems. 

Thanks again to Peter for reading that piriformis bit into audio last episode.  I got some great feedback on that. 

I told you I’m trying to make November the month of gratitude.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I’ve been trying to get my morning routine in line by meditating a bit. 

I’m going to share a technique I learned that might help you in this season of thanks giving. This is apropos given that we will be talking about breathing next.  Here’s the technique, and you can do this while you’re meditating, or running or sitting in the car. 

Inhale gratitude. 

Exhale that gratitude out into the world. 

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Breathing and running -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Brian Metzler


Brian Metzler is a freelance journalist who covers running, running gear, and related sports.

A running shoe geek since his prepubescent cross-country team days, Metzler has run more than 75,000 miles in his life, tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes, run focus groups for several running shoe brands, raced every distance from 50 yards to 100 miles, raced to the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, run a marathon on top of the Great Wall of China, completed two high-altitude 100-mile ultraruns, completed four Ironman triathlons, and regularly races with donkeys in Colorado.

Metzler was the founding editor and associate publisher of Trail Runner and Adventure Sports magazines and was a senior editor at Running Times as well as Editor-in-Chief of Competitor magazine and He has written about endurance sports for OutsideRunner’s WorldTriathleteInside TriathlonMen’s Health, and Men’s Journal. He is the author of Running Colorado’s Front Range and co-author of Natural Running with Danny Abshire and Run Like a Champion with Alan Culpepper.


Section two – Memories and Redemption –



Well, my friends, you have made it with gratitude to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-420 in those brand new running shoes that you are thankful for. 

Like I said I’m just doing 2-4 runs a week right now with Ollie.  Not training for anything specific. 

I ran the local Thanksgiving 5k with my running club friend yesterday.   I had planned to walk it with Teresa but her foot was too hurt still.  That put me in a bit of a bind because I wasn’t planning on running Thursday and I definitely wasn’t planning on racing a 5K.  I ran with Ollie in the woods on Monday and Wednesday.

It worked out ok.  I just lined up in the 8:00 min mile section and eased into it.  I ran easy and got pulled along by the crowd.   Ended up being surprised to average a 7:26 pace.  Since I wasn’t hammering it I was being chatty with the other runners.  I’m a new level of annoying when you are running all out and I pull up beside you and start chatting.

Next up, next weekend is the Mill Cities Relay.  I’ve got a good Men’s 50+ team and we’re going to have fun. 

Then of course since I choose to live in a world where you can make up your own marathon and just show up without training on the last Sunday of December, we will be holding the 7th edition of the Groton Marathon.  I’ve got a handful of loonies signed up.  All are welcome. 

Like I said earlier I’ve been putting in a lot of miles with Ollie.  Thursday was a long day for Ollie.  We had a lovely long walk in the Shaker conservation land in the bright, cold morning.  I was able to let him off leash so that he could sprint about through the swampy underbrush.  We were out for almost 2 hours. 

Then we worked all day at Katie’s new house painting the walls and ceilings.  Ollie’s role in this is supervisorial.  He tests the quality of the painting by licking the freshly painted walls.  He enforces a schedule of mandatory puppy wrestling breaks. In this way we all stay limber for the work at hand.

Later in the day he and I managed to beat the setting sun to a nice trail run.  We ambled through the soggy leaves for 6.5 more miles. 

I was tired too.  My body was heavy from the unaccustomed time on my feet all day and the strange angles and dangles of honest work.

We stood there steaming in the winter leaves and watching the sun melt into the trees. 

I asked Ollie, “How you feeling?  Is this too much work, too much training?”

He turned to me with his sharp brown eyes, considered me for a few long moments and responded, “No, Old-one, it is right that we train long.  For we must be prepared.  The day is coming when we will need to fight.  We will need our aerobic capacity and strength.”

“Really”, I said, “How so?”

He suppressed a small growl and pawed at the soft leaves and continued, “Grey-one, the time is coming soon when all will be ruin.  When the last remaining humans will be confined to carpeted cubicles and forced to ‘cuddle’ (here he seemed to sneer the word) and scratch behind ears and speak baby talk…We must be prepared.  We few remaining working dogs and humans for the Doodle Apocalypse.”

And with that he trotted off up the trail with a seriousness and purpose no 6 month old dog should be forced to carry.


I will see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4420.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-419 – Dawn’s Wisdom

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4419.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-419 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

So – I’m a week late with this one, but it’s great show.  Think about it this way – we gave it an additional week to marinate, to grow, to rise like rustic bread or age like fine wine. 

Last week I was all lined up to get the show out for Friday. Thursday was my birthday.  I took Thursday and Friday off from work to recuperate a bit and was working on the show.   Then, ironically as I was writing the hero’s journey piece that is in section two, that talks about how life is not a straight line, and it seldom goes as you expect it to, my old computer ceased to turn on. 

I’ve had this Microsoft surface since at least 2015 and it’s been the best computer I ever.  It was powerful enough to do all the audio editing for the show, it has a great form factor for traveling.  Just a great machine that matches my need. 

End of this story is that I spent all day Friday in the Microsoft store and ended up buying a new surface that I am happily tapping away on now.  I didn’t loose any data, just some time – and oh by the way – I’m about $2,000 lighter so you might want to consider becoming a member of the RunRunLive Podcast to help defray unexpected expenses. 

So with that excuse out of the way let me take you back to the primordial jungles of North America where strange and dangerous beasts roam dark, dank forests….

(Fade in Jungle music)

Our old friend Peter Herridge everyone with that excellent dramatic reading. 

That piece of writing has been kicking around in my head or a few years.  Probably since I first heard the word ‘piriformis’ and thought, that sounds like the name of a nasty dinosaur.  I immediately thought of Peter who has such a great voice.  Peter was a good runner in his day and one of the original podcasters from a decade ago when we all got online and met each other. 

Peter does a podcast every once in a while called ‘spikes’.

Today we have a really good, timely chat with Dawn.  I have been following Dawn for a few years but never had her on the show.  She is a heavy social media poster and for some reason I see her posts on LinkedIn a lot.  I have always treated LinkedIn as a professional network and haven’t let this ‘hobby’ side of my life bleed over into it.  She stands out, because you’ve got all these businesspeople talking about business stuff and then there’s Dawn talking about empowerment and Joy. 

This time of year, in the northern hemisphere anyhow, we all get stressed out.  The weather turns.  The days get shorter.  If you have kids their schedule ramps up.  It’s budget-setting time and trade show season at your work.  The end of the year is approaching with holidays and deadlines and sales quotas.  It tends to push people into anxiety and depression. 

I was there myself this month.  With my work having challenges, me getting older and an unruly puppy to train.  Things just felt awful and closed in and trapped.  My mind started repeating a scarcity narrative of how much I don’t have and how much I’ve lost.  Which, I know is ridiculous, because I’m one of the most blessed and lucky people you’ll ever meet, but that’s how your brain works, especially this time of year.

Then I stumbled across one of Dawn’s posts talking about gratitude and abundance.  By the way, one of the symptoms of this downward-spiraling mental malaise is you start trying to distract yourself online.  Whether it’s FB scrolling or too much news or video games.  That’s a bad way to avoid life.  Anyhow, I took a deep breath and declared November a month of gratitude. 

In section one I’m going to suggest two useful ways you can use your off-season training to learn some new skills and add to your running assets. 

In section two we are going to take the hero’s journey together.  Because one of the most effective way to contextualize your experience in this world is to see it as a journey.  Tell your narrative as a journey. 

And that is what we are going to talk about today.  Gratitude and journeys. 

Because, my friends, no matter how low or shitty it gets the hero in you always knows the way.  Without the shitty parts there can be no hero.  I saw a great post this week that said ‘failure is like stepping in manure, it stinks when you do it but it makes for great fertilizer!”

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Using your in-between time -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Dawn Ciccone

Make your day a new & exciting adventure! Discover your incredible life.

Dawn Ciccone

A marathoner, writer, personal trainer, nutrition and running coach, Dawn offers methodologies learned from experience!  Her passion is to help people face challenges, dIscover the gifts they bring and trust themselves as the beautifully powerful person you’re meant to be.


Dawn has conquered abusive relationships, addiction, disordered eating and came through a tragic accident that left her helpless. Dawn has been where you’re at and knows how to turn challenges into opportunities!



Certified RRCA &


USTAF coach


American Red Cross Health & Safety Instructor


Certified Nutritional Health Educator and Personal Fitness Trainer


Certified Master Reiki Practitioner, intuitive, empath, lightworker, transformational speak.


Section two – Your Hero’s Journey–


Well, my friends, you have Made it with gratitude to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-419. 

Okey – Dokey – I’m in a down phase in my training.  Which is another, kinder way of saying I’m not training much.  Much for me that is.  I’m just doing 3 days a week in the trails with Ollie the Collie and then a longer run with the boys on Sundays – somewhere in the 20-30 miles a week.  I’ve fattened myself back up with some poor nutritional choices as well, but I think we need to take these breaks to rebalance the humors every once in a while. 

I know discipline is power but that can burn you out and I’ve got a lot going on right now.  I’m noticing that I’m starting to get the bug again to do something epic.  Got any suggestions?  I’m not sure if I’ll get into Boston this year.  If I don’t that opens up the spring for something. 

Coming up is our traditional Thanksgiving 5k.  But, Teresa hurt her foot, so I’m going to walk it with her.  Maybe we’ll start early and take the dog. 

After that the first week of December is the Mill Cities Relay.  I was running with my buddies Brian and Frank and we came up with a the bright idea of entering our own team.  You only need 5 people and we already had 3 so how hard could it be?  As I started reaching out to some of our old running friends, (in our age group), I found that many of them were no longer running at all due to age-related injuries. 

In a weird Schadenfreude way they made me feel pretty good about the fact that I’m still getting out there.  It also reminded me to be kinder to myself.

Finally, I am planning to run the Groton Marathon, and organize it, for the 7th edition on December 29th this year – please come up and run with us.  It’s fun. 

What about Ollie the collie?

We were asked not to come back to puppy training. 

It started as we were sitting patiently, waiting for class to start.  Ollie the border collie puppy and myself in the big box pet store.  It was our 3rd class.  Ollie was doing well, learning quickly.  The dopey brown doodle came in with it’s handler all stupid and goofy, doh do doh.  The dopy doodle’s exuberance overruled the owners’ ability to control it and it pulled its way over into our space to check out Ollie.

Ollie was not happy about this. 

He turned to look at me and said  “Dad, what is this madness?   These doodles and snoodles and snickerdoodle caboodles?  What right do they have to play with the canine DNA of pure breeds for their own amusement?  These freaks!  These aberrations! This cannot stand! I draw the line here! I must stop this madness!  Foul abomination I strike at thee! I will blot your aberration from this world!”

At least that’s what I thought he said, because it was at this point he went berserk and tried to murder the doodle.  But, since I was holding him by the collar he turned and sunk his teeth into my hand.  As I was bleeding and shaking with fear, that’s when the nice lady said maybe we should leave and not come back. 

On the one hand Ollie is mental and that has its challenges.  But, on the other hand, I’m kinda jealous because that’s exactly the kind of punk-rock, hard core mental many of us tried to be as teenagers!

He’s just coming up on 6 months old and he’s already 31 pounds of muscular athlete with a big brain to boot.  He’s running 20 – 30 miles with me off leash in the woods each week and he’s scary fast and strong.  He’s not much on cuddling, but as they say, he’s someone you’d want to share a fox-hole with.

I just have to train him up.  He’s going to be a great dog. 

And remember, as Ollie says, Death to Doodles!

I will see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4419.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-418 – Matt’s Long Ride

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4418.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-418 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since we last talked.  I did jump on the Ferry out of Hyannis to Nantucket for that half marathon.  It was kind of fun but also a bit of a struggle.  When I first signed up for it, I thought it would be a fun outing.  Maybe take my wife along or some of my running buddies. 

In the end it was just me.  I met up with the other pacers on the ferry and met some nice people in the race.  It was a nice sunny day.  It was a pretty big race considering it was out on an island. 

This race fell a week before my target race, the BayState Marathon, and I planned to use it just as a final easy run.  That was the plan.  With how inconsistent my training has been this summer I wasn’t feeling very excited about it.  I offered to run the 2:00 pace group, but they had a greater need for the 1:50 and I acquiesced. 

I don’t run a lot of ½ marathons, and my math gets fuzzy.  A 1:50 half is the equivalent of a 3:40ish full marathon, and while not super challenging for where I am right now, it wouldn’t be the lark that a 2:00 would.  It works out to a 8:23 ish pace versus a 9:09 pace. 

I went in tired.  My week was weird and my tempo run slipped to Friday, which was probably too close to the race.  My whatever-it-is pain in my butt wasn’t helped by the long ride down to the Cape.  I made the morning ferry with no issues and had no issues finding the pace team at the start.

I lost my pace group early.  The first part of the course is a lot of sand roads.  They had had a storm for the previous couple days before the race that dumped a lot of rain and left numerous large puddles straddling the road side-to-side.  It turned those early sections into a bit of a steeplechase.  As a pacer I’m supposed to maintain pace no matter what – so I did and lost everyone who was trying to keep up with me. 

I was trying to run by the overall average pace on my watch.  Which was a mistake.  I figured if my overall average was an 8:22 – 8:23 I’d be right on that 1:50 finishing time.  I ended up right on an 8:23.  I slowed down a little at the end because I was all alone and thought I might be a bit too fast.  That turned out to be the mistake and I crossed about 30 seconds too slow – which is a cardinal sin in the pacing biz.  I’ll probably get excommunicated. 

Pacing isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

Even though my average pace was exactly where it needed to be based on my watch, I missed the clock time.  It’s a bit befuddling.  My watch is always off a little on the distance and I guess that could be worth 30 seconds.  It looks like the only strategy that works is to have your mile splits written out, hard copy and check every mile – old school pacing.  And then plan to be a minute early on top of that to make up for variability. 

I got it done, but I didn’t feel great.  Another small racing failure in what has been several months of disconsolate results and discontent.  My whatever-it-is pain in my butt was screaming in the car-ride home.  I was in a bit of a blue mood rolling into the last week of taper for BayState. 

And that, my friends is what we will talk about in section one! 

In our interview today we talk with Matt about his recent experience of riding his bike unsupported across the TransAm route and then writing about it. 

In section two I’m going to rant a little on the current ‘hustle’ culture. 

As I was lined up in the starting corral in Lowell, the city of my birth, a city that I have some history with.  I had one of those pure moments that I love about racing. 

When you are there, on race morning, all the waiting is over.  The decisions have all been made.  It’s a pure moment.  The expectations and worrying are washed away by the rising sun.  The volunteer singing the national anthem fills your soul and dampens your eyes.  It is a pure place without affectation, without choice and filled with the energy of being set free onto the course.  

How many pure moments like that are left in our world?

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – BayState 2019 -

Voices of reason – the conversation


Hi Chris,

 I’ve been a listener to your podcast for years now. You’ve been a constant source of entertainment and motivation in my life. I really enjoyed your Marathon BQ book, and used it for my marathon. Though most of my training has been more in the ultra-cycling world, geared towards 24 hour cycling events, and last year I raced Trans AM, a 4200 mile ride from Astoria Oregon to Yorktown Virginia. One of the things that saw me through those 16 hours of riding every day was listening to your podcasts.

 Riding across country was a profound enough experience that I wrote a book about my journey “As Fast As You Can: How I Biked Across The U.S. In Duct-Taped Shoes” and there’s a quote from you in there from the podcast when you were talking about your 100 mile race “Here’s the uncomfortable truth.  There is no strategy that is going to allow you to stretch the effort over the distance to make things sunshine rainbows and unicorns.  You are going to be uncomfortable.  At some point, things are going to suck.  And not just for a few minutes like a 5K or 10K.  It’s going to suck for hours on end.  Your goal is to acclimate to the suck.  You can keep going with raw bleeding patches of skin.  It just sucks.”

~ Chris, from the “Run Run Live” Podcast.

That was one of my favorite things that you’ve said, and it helped keep me going.
If you’re interested, I’d love to work with you, maybe talk with you on your podcast. I have a modest facebook following and would do everything in my power to help promote your show, to add what support I can.

Let me know if you’re interested. And thank you for being an inspiration.


Matt Kovacic


Section two – Hustle–


Well, my friends, you have peddled non-stop across the country to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-418.  Time to put some nut-butter on those saddle sores. 

I was flying back from Miami this week and looking out the window when the following words bubbled to the top of my brain: “Clouds boil up out of the southeast humidity escaping from the cauldron of the world.”

That’s how my brain works sometimes.  It paints pictures with words. 

But, let’s talk about something important.  Ollie the Collie. 

Last week we started puppy class.  Which is a very good thing because he is a wild man.  Technically I could just train him myself without class but this, as in all things, is better with a coach.  Going in I was pretty sure Ollie would be the crazy, uncontrollable puppy in puppy class.  He’s got so much energy and he’s really busy. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ollie was the smartest, calmest puppy in class.  It’s a border collie thing.  When it’s time to work they fall in line.  He picked up the commands right away and he didn’t cause any trouble.  He’s going to be a good dog.

I forgot to mention last show that I met up with Tim when I was in Chattanooga a couple weeks ago and we went for a trail run up on Signal Mountain.  It was good to see him.  He’s retired now and is planning to through-hike the Appalachian Trail next summer. 

These long endurance events like the AT and Matt’s Trans AM can be game changers.  Matt’s a great example of just deciding to do something and doing it in a way that changes your life.  It’s one of those things that will become a fulcrum for his life journey. 

If you think about your life’s trajectory, we tend to fall into a path and either consciously or unconsciously build the conditions that keep us on that path.  One of these big events is a great lever, to pry yourself out of that rut. 

I’ve got a funny story about Matt’s interview.  As you may or may not know I have an editor for these interviews.  One of the most time-consuming and hard to automate parts of the podcasting process is the audio editing of the interviews.  The process is that you have to play the interview and cut out the bad bits. 

By definition it’s a hard thing.  You have to understand what is being said to know whether it is pertinent or not.  I do my best to be consistent, but some interviewees are harder than others.  Sometimes we go down non-value-added (re: boring) rat holes that need to be ferreted out.  Sometimes I get a real talker or I lose track of time and the interview has to be significantly shortened. 

I have had many good interview editors over the last many years that we’ve been in business.  Currently I work with Dimitry who live in Moscow.  He does a good job and seems to have learned my method well enough to make these tricky edits.  I pay him for each show – and that is one of the things I use subscription money for. 

It doesn’t seem to bore him too badly.  I have had other editors quit on me, basically saying “I can’t take any more of this!”  Sometimes he’ll comment on what he thought was an interesting topic or person. 

With Matt’s interview, Dimitry was very enthusiastic.  He said that he, himself, was a “Bike-Packer” as well and wondered how he could get a copy of Matt’s book. 

So here’s a guy I work with every week.  That knows a shitload about my life.  That I’ve never met.  In Moscow.  That’s the world we live in today! 

And as weird as that sounds, this conversation with Matt resonated and made a connection.  Think about that.  You never know which conversation or which thing you do is going to make a connection.

So keep doing epic stuff and keep having conversations and

I will see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4418.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-416 – Nate Does Form

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4416.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-416 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Yes, I did that thing where I published two episodes out of order.  Last week was episode 417 and next week will be episode 418.

Today we wrap up our series on running form. We talk with Nate who commands the Run Experience in California and is an expert of form. 

You may hear some odd noises in the background towards the end of the interview.  I was trying to do too much and was walking the puppy in the woods behind my house at the same time I was interviewing Nate.  We got going a bit later than planned and I realized I had to get back to my house for another call.  I went off trail to take a shortcut. 

Anyhow. How are you folks doing.  Got some new members. In the last couple weeks.  When I ask them what I can do for them they say ‘just keep doing the podcast’ – I guess I can handle that.  Set’s the bar pretty low. 

I am sitting in my Cape Cod house.  In the morning I’m going to get up and drive over to Hyannis, catch the 6:10 highspeed ferry to Nantucket where I will pace the 1:50 pace group at the Nantucket half marathon. 

They were having trouble finding pacers.  1:50 is a little quicker than I would usually volunteer for, but they needed that more.  It shouldn’t be a problem.  It’s only a 8:23ish pace, and it’s only a ½ marathon distance.  Meh.  We’ll see if we have anyone looking for that pace. 

I’m not feeling great.  I took a couple weeks off after Beantown, but it didn’t help my sore butt at all.  It really hurts when I sit for a long while, which is basically the definition of my life.  I have Baystate next week but at this point I’m thinking about switching to the half because I have serious doubts about my fitness and ability to race.

I feel like my body is telling me to stop running for a while.  My thinking is to switch to some other fitness routine for the rest of the year and try to get my flexibility and core strength back.  I’m also loath to lose the fitness I’ve built up. 

I’d need to find something aerobic to replace the running.  When I took those two weeks off I did do a medium effort bike workout on the Peleton in the gym.  That still aggravated the whatever it is.  I guess I could swim but logistically that is such a pain.  I’d have to join a club, rebuy all the stuff, etc. 

I’d love to get into some sort of class that could give me the core strength and flexibility but I’m not confident I’d be able to find anything that fit me.  Cross fit?  Yoga classes?  I don’t know but I need to find something different.  I’m a bit rudderless. 

In section one we’ll wrap up our form discussion.  In section two I’m going to talk about brown rice.  Yeah, why not? 

Let me share a story I forgot to share last time from the Beantown marathon…

Late in the race, after I had crashed and was limping home I had something amusing happen.  It was a loop course so later in the race I was lapping the slower runners.

I passed a lady pushing a double stroller with two toddlers in it.  Good for her pushing two kids, I’m assuming her kids, for a marathon distance. 

As I pass the stroller and pull ahead one of the kids yells out “Dadda!” 

That gave me a chuckle.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Finishing up on form -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Nate Helming


Co-Founded The Run Experience in 2014 with the goal of reaching a broader audience of runners and outdoor enthusiasts who want to be able to run and enjoy the outdoors and remain injury-free. He has helped athletes finish their first races, conquer new distances, overcome pre-existing injuries, set new PRs, reach the podium, and qualify for national and world level events.

New Training App: (just launched this August)

Youtube Channel:

Section two – On Brown Rice–


Well, my friends, you have used that perfect form to stroll nonchalantly to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-416. 

I read a couple books this week.  I finished the David Goggins book, “Can’t Hurt Me”.  It was a decent read.  Very inspirational made you feel like you could do anything.  I didn’t see him, but he was out at Leadville.  He likes the ultra-running.  Likes to suffer. 

One of the things he talked about that I found useful was using your past successes as proof that you can do whatever new thing you’re attempting.  You make an invent tory of those times when you broke through and when you succeeded and you pull those out when things get hard.

I’m not in a great place in any of the aspects of my journey right now.  And it is useful for me to be able to go back through the inventory of all the amazing things I’ve been able to do in my life.  It gives me patience, and gratitude and even a bit of courage.  We all need courage.

The other book I read last week was “Flow my tears the policeman said” by Philip K Dick.  I found it in Starbucks.  They have a little basket of books that people leave and take.

If you’re listening to me you probably already know who Phillip K Dick is.  He was one of the most unique science fiction writers of our time.  You’ve seen his stories in the movies.  Most famously his story, “Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep” became the cult classic “Blade Runner” with Harrison Ford.  But also, “The man in the high castle”, “A Scanner Darkly”, “Minority Report”, “Total Recall” and “The Adjustment Bureau”. 

It’s hard to describe a PKD book.  They are all richly tailored alternate universes.  But, close enough to our own reality to make us uncomfortable.  I would recommend you read through his notable works.  This one won the Campbell award.  It was hilariously set in 1988 – which was 15 years in the future from where Dick was writing. 

The thing with PKD is that the themes are science fiction-y, but it’s more philosophical fiction.  It’s not all spaceships, ray guns and beautiful women.  The alternate universes are abstractions for him to ask very reasonable questions about unreasonable things and things that matter.

Nantucket in the morning.  BayState next weekend then slow things down for the winter months and try to get my kinks straightened out. 

Ollie the border collie is doing great. He’s still a terror.  He’s turning into a teenage.  He’s learning how to chase the ball and sometimes even bring it back.  He loves to run on the trails with me.  I run and he zooms around. 

He’s a good dog but he has way more energy than any of us do.  I take him to work with me sometimes and let him bother me there.  I have to go up and down 3 flights of stairs to walk through the basement to the loading dock to get him outside.  I suppose it’s god for both of us.  He’s making friends with the ladies in the smoking area. 

When I went to the dump this morning the lady there was asking where he was.  He’s such a cutie pie and loves everyone so much he draws a crowd wherever he goes.

That’s it for me.  I’m cooked and have to get up super early. 

Reach into that cookie jar of past achievements that you are proud of and

I will see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4416.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:55pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-417 – Robert Owen Hamilton – Beyond Average

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4417.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-417 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Welcome to all my endurance friends as the summer winds down up here in the northern hemisphere.  Maybe you’re wrapping up your season or deep into training for that last fall marathon. 

The September weather we’ve been having is more like August weather.  It’s been warm this week and dry for quite a while.  The days are getting precipitously short, it’s dark in the morning and dark in the afternoon and soon it will be dark all the time here in New England like the bottom of some deep, cold well with a small circle of sunlight at the top peeking in to signal the long lonesome memory of sunny days past and the long winter ahead. 

In the old, farming days this would be the time of plenty.  The crops are in the larders are full and the new beer and wine are fermenting.  This is the time of Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest.  Before the slow march into the winter solstice.  The ancients saw it, literally, as the death of the world. 

I have just started running again after taking two weeks off.  I came out of that last marathon really beat up and decided to give it a bit of a rest.  I looked back over the Spring and Summer and realized that I’ve run 10 races over the last few months.  It was what I wanted to do after spending so much time heads down training.  But it does leave you a bit beat up

I’ve been getting OllieDog the border collie puppy out with me more often as well.  He’s going to be a big dog.

Today we have an interview with Robert Hamilton Owens who reached out to me to talk about aging and fitness.  Robert is one of those guys with an agenda or passion.  His passion is convincing people that age is no excuse to not do stuff.  You can do more than you think. 

Robert has written a book and speaks on this topic.  He’s circulates in that hard core ‘we can do anything group’ with Joe DeSena from Spartan and David Goggins.  He is a retired Special Ops Pararescue guy.  He’s an ironman.  He’s had a TV show and been a minister.  He did that 7 marathons in 7 days thing with McGillivray last year.  He is known as ‘the fittest 66 year old in the world’. 

Most recently he went through the equivalent of the BUDS SEAL training Hell Week.  That’s the thing you see with them shivering in the surf and carrying logs around.  Interesting guy.  A bit of a force of nature.  The kind of guy you want on your side in a fight. 

One thing you may or may not notice is me getting a bit less interactive towards the end on the interview.  I had set myself up in a conference room to take the call and someone found me towards the end and was sitting there waiting for me to finish which kinda cramped my style.  That whole separating work from hobby thing again.

Today I decided to wrap the whole episode around the concepts of aging and what we are really capable of.  In section one I talk about what the current thinking is on age and fitness.  In section two we delve into that ‘giving more than you think you are capable of’ topic and try to weed out truth from magical thinking.  

That’s the question my friends.  How much more can you get out of yourself and why aren’t you getting it?  Can you live up to or beyond your potential?  Do you even want to?

Let’s find out.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – The effect of age on fitness -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Robert Hamilton Owens


Robert Hamilton Owens is a man of many hats. He’s been and done a lot – mountain climbing, radio and TV personality, keynote speaker, minister, Ironman, philanthropist, triathlete, Special Ops Pararescueman, and father of five – to name a few. But of all the pursuits he’s undertaken, there’s one title that best describes this literal force of nature: Robert is The Fittest 66-Year-Old in the World. Period.

Robert was born and raised in Orange County, California without ever having met his parents. Adopted by a California judge, Robert was raised as a special-needs child who was unable to play kickball with his classmate due to the corrective shoes he was required to wear through sixth grade.

In high school, Robert trained under legendary US Olympic swim coach Jon Urbanchek in Anaheim, and later raced outrigger canoes from Long Beach to Catalina with the Dana Point Outrigger Club on his off time from lifeguarding in San Clemente. 

In 1973, he entered the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School with a class of 157 men to train as a Pararescueman, the Air Force equivalent of a Navy SEAL. Of those 157, only seven made the through and graduated, one of which was Robert, who was designated Team Leader.

As an Air Force Pararescueman, Robert was routinely called upon to risk his life to rescue those in perilous situations, such as climbers stranded on Denali, the highest mountain in North America. As a climber himself, Robert later attempted a winter ascent up the mountain, making it nearly three quarters of the way up before being blown off by 80-mile-per-hour, -100-degree winds. But to his credit, and to Robert’s understanding to this day, no one has ever made it to the top in those conditions. After Robert left the military, he began smuggling literature into the old Soviet Union, and smuggling official documents back out. The documents were violations of the Helsinki Peace Accords under the Carter administration.

Robert Hamilton Owens

In total, Robert has completed 12 Ironman Triathlons – from Florida to Oahu to South Africa – and is one of the few Ironmen to complete both Honolulu in 1980 as well as Kona in 2003. “My goal is to be the longest active Ironman in the world,” he says. The 140.6-mile Ironman (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.3-mile run, all done without a break) is among the shorter competitions Robert’s put himself through. At age 65 he embarked on the 238 mile “300 of Sparta Endurance Race,” an eight-day endurance race in Greece to help raise over $315,000 for the families of fallen Navy SEAL contractors who died at Benghazi. A mere four days before his 66th birthday, Robert took on the SEALFIT’s Kokoro 50-Hour Challenge, originally created to train Special Operations Candidates. He was the oldest of the group by 25 years to finish, and at the same time became the oldest to ever complete the challenge, for which he was awarded the “Most Advanced Age Ever Award” by SEALFIT. And then without any training, he took on the Ironman Mexico – his 12th Ironman. And in January, 2018, Robert took on and completed "The World Marathon Challenge – 7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days.”

But for Robert, a father of five, none of this is done for self-aggrandizement. While he loves the challenge, he derives his greatest pleasure from helping others – motivating, educating, and inspiring them. He does it for one, such as helping a ready-to-quit Ironman competitor and cancer survivor to continue and finish the race, and he does it for many.

For more than 25 years, Robert has been speaking before audiences as large as 50,000, from San Diego to Moscow on motivational and leadership topics. His past clients include the Navy SEALs, New York Jets, The Baltimore Ravens, The Philadelphia Eagles, South African Parliament, the Vietnamese Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Philippines Joint Chiefs of Staff. He’s been invited to address the South African Parliament, and has made five trips teaching officials in the Vietnamese Department of Foreign Affairs. During 22 of those years, he hosted the regional Fox network television program “Leadership for Changing Times” in Reno, Nevada where, by two separate Governor’s appointments, he also served for eight years on the Nevada State Judicial Ethics Committee.

While it takes extraordinary physical condition to be in the Air Force Special Ops or to best the many Ironmans he’s bested, Robert will readily affirm that success in these physical endeavors – and in life in general – is as much a matter of will and mental attitude as it is physical conditioning. When most have long since slowed as they approach their golden years, The Fittest 66-Year-Old in the World continues to routinely take on unprecedented challenges, and to help others see what can be achieved in their own lives.


Section two – 40% more–


Well, my friends, You have used your willpower to rise above the limitations of age and poor thinking to strive valiantly, giving 140% to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-417. 

Since we talked I took some time off.  I was really beat up after that BeanTown marathon try.  I shut it down for the better part of two weeks.  I started up again this week.  The tendonitis in my butt still hurts but I feel relatively fit. 

I’ve only got a couple weeks of training before I have to taper for BayState.  We’ll see what I can do but I’m not mortgaging the house on this one.  I counted up the races I ran this summer and it turns out there were somewhere around 10.  That’s a lot for an old boy. 

They released the statistics for Boston today.  Even with making the cutoffs 5 minutes faster you would have needed to beat the qualification standard by 1:39 to get in for 2020, or about 3200 runner who qualified and didn’t get in.  It’s a brave new world. 

I’ll tell you a couple Ollie dog stories to take you out.  I’m getting tried and I need to wrap this up. 

First, I had him out yesterday on a trail run with me.  My day got hosed so I couldn’t get out until it was almost dark and it was pissing rain.  There’s a point, about 3 miles in where it opens up and you can get to the pond off of the trail.  There’s an opening.  I usually stop here to let the dog drink or swim, not this dog, the last dog, Buddy. 

I pulled out to the opening and told Ollie to go get a drink.  Now, this late in the day, with a full heavy rain going, the surface of the pond looked solid as a cement floor.  He went running into it as if he wa going to run out onto this floor pretty much full tilt scamper…and went right under.  He was quite surprised and managed to dog paddle himself back to dry land. 

This morning I got up and he had been sick.  He left me a fairly disgusting mess in his crate.  I toweled him off and took his blanket out.  I carried the hard-plastic liner out and hosed it off outside.  I went upstairs and through the towel and blanket in the washer and turned it on.  That’s how my day started. 

Then my wife gets up and starts yelling at me for running the washing machine at 6:00 AM!  I explained the situation and she asks me one of those questions that I can’t answer.  “Did he eat anything he wasn’t supposed to?”  He’s a 4-month old, high-energy, border collie pup.  If he’s awake he’s trying to eat something and it’s usually something he’s not supposed to. 

That’s it.  I’ve reverted to being a beginner parent again.  My life is wrapped around picking up bodily fluids and trying to keep my young friend from killing himself.  I’m not sure I’m equipped for it anymore!

May the gods lend me patience.

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4417.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-415 – Kate Williams – Yaks and the Planet

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4415.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-415 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we have a great conversation with Kate who is the CEO of 1% for the planet.  I owe you a bit of backstory here, so try to keep up.  When I first started the podcast 11 years or so ago I was a bit worried about mixing my professional world with my running world.  I’m a pragmatist.  I made the decision early on that if the podcast ever caused conflict with my regular career the regular career would win.  I had this nightmare scenario of sitting in a board meeting and someone saying “You had time to do this stupid marathon race report, explain to us why you missed your numbers again?”

As an insider to our endurance lifestyles I get it.  I know what we do is additive to our careers.  What we do doesn’t make us worse at our day jobs it makes us better.  I believe that.  But my beliefs weren’t what I was worried about.  It’s like the old joke about marriage; “Would you rather be right, or be happy?”  I would rather be able to pay my bills than be sanctimonious.

I was never that guy.  Because no one at work gives a crap about your training or your marathon times. 

I built a wall between what I did for a living and my podcast adventures.  Which confused and intrigued my listeners.  Here I am talking about airplanes and board meetings and hotel stays and clients, and never sharing what I actually did for a living. 

I would get questions.  What do you do for a living?  So, I made something up that fit the evidence.  I told everyone that I was a contract killer (that explained all the travel), but that my cover job was a yak farmer.  And if you have the patience to go back and listen to those early episodes you’ll find all the yak farming jokes. 

Here’s the thing, I have never even seen a live yak.  I just randomly picked the most absurd profession I could think of. 

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I was in LinkedIn doing whatever it is you do in LinkedIn and I came across Kate’s profile.  Here is this out-doorsy, masters runner person with an ivy league education and one of the jobs on her resume is “Yak Farmer”. 

I could not resist.  I reached out to her and got her on for this interview.  Which turned out to be apropos and extremely beneficial because she leads an organization that addresses the intersection of business and the environment – a topic that I have done much rumination on. 

Why can’t we be business friendly and environmentally friendly at the same time?  Why are those two things antithetical? 

I think you’ll like our conversation and I’m grateful that this silly podcast thing has led me to engage with another outstanding individual who I would have never otherwise had the opportunity to meet. 

In section one I’m going to ruminate on the Boston Marathon some more. In section two I’m going to ruminate about rumination. 

And, I hope you enjoyed my attempt to be funny with the Leadville race report.  Sorry for the salty language.  Hope the kids weren’t listening. 

To make up for it I’ll give you a Dad joke.  What kind of animal do you need to take with you on a trip to the Himalayas? 

A Yak of all trades…

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – The Boston Problem -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Kate Williams, CEO

Kate Williams is CEO of 1% for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental nonprofit solutions, through annual membership and everyday actions. Last year, the network of 1800 members in more than 40 countries gave $24+million to environmental nonprofits.

Kate stepped into her role at 1% for the Planet in May 2015 bringing a strong track record as a leader:  Professionally, Kate served as Executive Director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and as founder and owner of the Vermont Yak Company prior to starting at 1% for the Planet. In addition, Kate served on the Board of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for eleven years, two as chair. Kate has also served on the boards of the Northern Forest Center and Shelburne Farms (current), and served as an elected member of the Town of Waitsfield Select Board, serving three years a chair of that board.

Kate earned a BA at Princeton University where she majored in history, and an MS at the MIT Sloan School of Management where she focused on organizational systems. Kate is a master’s distance runner and kitchen gardener. Kate lives in Waitsfield with her husband and two children.

Links would be to our website:


We bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving


Ever wonder how 1% for the Planet began?

It all started when two businessmen met and bonded over their shared love for the outdoors. Realizing their responsibility to protect our planet, they decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment—whether or not they were profitable.


In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created 1% for the Planet and started a global movement.


 “The intent of 1% for the Planet is to help fund these diverse environmental organizations so that collectively they can be a more powerful source in solving the world’s problems.”



Soon after our inception, 1% for the Planet’s mission began to resonate across the globe. The idea was simple: because companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should protect those resources. Realizing their responsibility, brands such as Brushfire Records, Klean Kanteen, New Belgium Brewing, Honest Tea, Caudalie and many more followed suit to join the movement.


Our network is global and diverse, proving that anyone can make a difference. From the individual members who give back by donating to and volunteering with local environmental nonprofits to singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, who joined our network in 2004 to protect the shores of his home state of Hawaii—everyone has a 1%.


We connect our members with high-impact nonprofit partners that align with their values and add to their brand story. In doing so, we take the time to get to know what’s really important to our members. Through our partnership advising process, we learned that member, Klean Kanteen cares deeply about a myriad causes, which include connecting young people to the wonder and science of our world through environmental education. Beginning in 2008, Klean Kanteen's support of NatureBridge is one of our longest-standing partnerships.


Today, we have more than 2,000 members, in over 45 countries, coming together to protect the future of our planet.


Section two – The Ruminating Brain–


Well, my friends, ruminated to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-415, which is a small miracle. 

Two weeks after Leadville I went ahead and ran the Wapack Trail 18 miler.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I had a perfectly reasonable plan.  I would do a couple hard weeks with speedwork and then treat Wapack as a long training run. 

This was a wonderful idea on paper, but not so much in execution.  What I had not considered is that going into a technical trail mountain race like Wapack with tired legs result in spending a lot of time with your face in the dirt.  Yeah, If you don’t lift your toes you eat dirt.  I probably fell 7 times.

Then I shut it down hoping for a big bounce for the BeanTown Marathon last weekend. 

I felt pretty fit and strong for the race but I only had 18 miles in me. I raced hard and hung in as long as I could but I just didn’t have the legs.  Duh.  It was a 6 loop course in a park, by the ocean in southern Mass.  Pretty course with some gravel roads and a little hill in each loop.  That little hill started really getting to me by the 4th loop and I just couldn’t hold the pace.

Another classic Chris Russell 15 minute positive split. 18 miles at race pace and 8 more at a stumble.  I’m not terribly upset about it because I felt like I was close.  These last few cycles I haven’t made my time but every one of them felt like they could have gone either way.

Next up for me is Baystate.  I’m chilling this week to recover.  I was super beat up after this race. I’ve got a very sore hip and still have that tendonitis in my butt.  If I can get healthy I’ll load up on the long runs for a couple weeks and get some speedwork in.  The challenge is going to be staying healthy. I can tell I’m a bit over trained. 

And, now, I’m officially out of qualification.  If I want to run Boston this year I’ll need a waver bib.

Oh, and I signed up to pace another half marathon.  I’m going down to Nantucket with Gary two weeks before Baystate to pace the 1:50 group with him.  Should be pretty. And that’s a good two-weeks-out workout for a marathon. 

As usual, I’m hopeful and still plugging away, but I’m only in my first year of this age group so I’ve got to qualify 3 more times at this level before I age up 10 minutes.

And what about Ollie-dog?  He is growing like a weed.  As I was writing this he was crying to go out.  I just came back in so I figured he was just bored. But, as all good puppies do, he proceeded to march into the living room and show the rug that he did indeed really need to go out.  Good thing we haven’t got around to changing the carpet yet. 

He’s a maniac.  When he’s not chewing on you he’s stealing something of yours to chew on.  He like ice cubes and anything he is not supposed to have.  He’s going to be a great dog if I can ever break him.  Right now he’s a wild animal. 

It’s nice to have the pitter patter of little hooves in the house again.  

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4415.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT

Leadville, 2019

Call me a schadenfreude asshole but the moment that stands out from this adventure was watching Eric throw up for the first time in his ultra career, just after we left the Hopeless aid station.  That’s the first point where I thought I was actually adding value.  Until that point I felt like a bit of a third wheel, maybe some poorly chosen window dressing for Eric’s 8th LT100. 

But, right then as he tried to yawn a toxic combination of noodles and electrolyte drink into the bushes, I felt like I was needed, like there was work to be done.

And who doesn’t like to be needed?

Chapter One: Anticipation

Eric asked me to pace him at the Leadville Trail 100 some time around the beginning of the year, 6 -7 months ago.  He caught me at a low point.  That ebb in activity where the fall race season is behind you and the spring training hasn’t started yet.  A time when summer is as far off as old age used to be. That mid-winter blue period. The doldrums of the year.  A time when I wallow in manic depression without the so much of themania. 

He knew I’d be weak. 

You may have heard of the Leadville Trail 100 ultra-marathon.  “The race across the sky”.  It was established in the early 1980’s as a secret government program to harness the psychic energy of ex-drug addicts, by making them suffer at altitude for hours on end.  Then the iron curtain rusted, the wall fell, and Vladimir Putin started posing for romance novel covers.  They had to make up a cover story about saving the town of Leadville from imminent demise from the abrupt closure of the Climax mine. 

The fun thing about Leadville, and here I use the term ‘fun’ to mean ‘awful’, is that it sits at an altitude approximately 200 meters south of the moon’s orbit.  It’s a place where only a few thimble fulls of oxygen reach and those few thimbles have to be shared among everyone in town and a few dozen shaggy mountain goats.  It’s known for its rough Western setting, it’s panoramic scenic mountain vistas and spontaneous nosebleeds … right before you pass out. 

As we came into the summer and the event started getting closer it began to dawn on me that maybe this wasn’t a good idea.  It’s one of those things that seems like a really good idea 6 months in the future where it can’t harm you but starts to get gnarly looking as it comes into focus in time. 

Eric casually mentioned that one of his pacers was in Europe for a wedding and the other one was hurt, so, hey, I’m going to need you for 39 miles.  Wait, what?  39 miles, at altitude, in the middle of the night?  That’s terrifying.

So I did what I usually do and didn’t train for it.  Well, I mean I was just rolling out of a stout effort at Boston, and in general maintain a pretty solid level of fitness, but 39 miles at altitude is an ultra-marathon. 

I live at about 250 feet above sea level.  Hope Pass is 12,600 feet above sea level.  You do the math, unless you’re actually on Hope Pass because you won’t be able to do math at that altitude, but, yeah that’s two miles straight up. 

The highest I’ve ever been is Denver and that’s 1 mile up.  Hope Pass is 2 miles up.  Again, math-wise, twice as up.  Here’s the thing they don’t tell you, until you get there and it’s too late, then they tell you because they think it’s funny, the oxygen content in the air is not linear.

At sea level, where I (and all the bright people) live, the oxygen content is 20.9%.  Where we were running it was in the 12-13% range.  42% less oxygen.  Just a reminder, humans need oxygen to do things, like breathe, run, and stay alive. 

I had visions of me bent over coughing up blood by the side of the trail while Eric ran on. 

I read a race report from the Leadville trail Mountain bike 100 held a couple weeks previously from a guy my age.  He had a small stroke at the top of one of the passes and the mean old race officials made him stop racing when he was slurring his words.  He was pretty sure his racing days were over. 

On the minus side of the ledger:

  • I had not trained well
  • I had never been at this altitude, let alone run at this altitude
  • My head might explode
  • I might give out on my runner – which is very bad form

On the plus side

  • I have a lot of trail running and mountain racing experience
  • I was picking him up at 50 miles so he was already cooked when I got him
  • I’m pretty good at suffering when I need to be
  • This is just the sort of stupid shit that turns my crank, so to speak…

Chapter Two: Getting there

I flew from Boston to Denver on Thursday afternoon.  The race is on, well it’s one of those stupid ultra things, the runners start on Saturday Morning at 4:00 AM and have to finish by 10:00 Am on Sunday.  It’s a 30 hour cut off.  Which sounds generous but less than 50% of the people who start this race finish.  A majority of those miss the cutoffs at some point on the course. 

Flying into Denver is unique.  I’ve done a lot of flying.  When you fly into Orlando it’s all screaming kids with mouse ears.  When you fly into Vegas it’s all drunk people in cowboy hats.  When you fly into LaGuardia it’s all close-talking loud people shouting at cell phones. 

On most flights through the Midwest I get squeezed between corn-fed mid westerners who take up most of my personal space with their MAGA hats and over-stretched golf shirts.  Or, perhaps a California flight with that crazy woman that wants to talk to me about her vitamin regime. 

Not the flight into Denver. 

Everyone on the plane is an endurance athlete of some form.  Even the children.  On the one hand it’s quite spacious with all the skinny people, but on the other hand if I had to resort to cannibalism, they looked a bit gristly.  But, if I did have to resort to cannibalism I’d start with the vegans, because I think that would be ironic. 

If we did crash, I’d be all set.  You could not hope for better seat mates.  I’m sure they could carry me out of the plane and up a mountain while devising intricate splints and tourniquets from spare tent pieces and technical fabric scrounged from those North Face backpack carry ons.  Maybe shoot some rapids in a kayak assembled from air sickness bags on the way back to civilization. 

Eric and crew fetched me at the airport.  I felt like an adopted child being picked up by the new parents.I have hung out with this crew before and they are a blast to do an event with.  We did the New Orleans marathon in 20014 and it’s one of my favorite race memories. 

Eric, his wife, Dan his best friend and other pacer, and Dan’s wife.  We would round up the crew with Eric’s son, Eric’s son’s wife, who was also pacing and one of Eric’s son’s friends, who was the other pacer.

To formalize his relationship (sort of an indentured servitude type of relationship) with the Leadville Trail 100 Eric bought a house in Breckenridge, which would be race HQ for the weekend.  I had a room at a Breck hotel a mile away. 

Breckinridge is a nice town in a Stepford Wives sort of way.  You sort of feel like you’re on a movie set and it’s all not quite real.  But that could have been the total lack of usable oxygen making it to my cerebral cortex. 

At the hotel I was on the 6th floor.  I’ll tell you a Colorado story.  I was walking to the elevator and there was a young dad behind me with a 5 or six year old.  I was going to let that kid press the button in the elevator. But they marched right be me and into the stairwell. I figured they must be on the next floor up or something. 

When I was existing the elevator, they were trooping down the hallway in front of me.  Really? It’s Colorado! We don’t need elevators!  We don’t’ need stairs!  Just put in a climbing wall and we’ll belay our luggage up from base camp.

Pass me a piton.  Belay on! 

Chapter Three: Camp Foreshadow

As a walked over to the base camp house early Friday morning I passed a guy out on the sidewalk having a morning smoke.  As we exchanged pleasantries about the beautiful morning, I thought to myself that this guy is going to get mugged by a gang of high-altitude hipsters.  I figured he’d be pilloried on an extra mountain bike frame when I came back by.  If Smokie the Bear didn’t get him first. 

I consciously chose to walk the less-then-a-mile through the bad streets of Breckenridge just to see how the altitude felt.  Would I be gasping for breath?  Would my muscles be screaming for oxygen?  Would my head explode?

Turns out the answer to all this hyperbole was, “No.”  I felt fine.  Well I felt altitude fine.  Which from my time in Denver feels a bit like a three-beer hangover combined with a bit of an allergy. 

We collected the tribe and drove over to Leadville, through Frisco and a valley where the headwaters of the Arkansas River begins, to eventually empty into the Mississippi. 

The whole place is drop dead scenic.  The Rocky Mountains rise up on all sides with their 13,000 and 14.000 peaks.  There was still snow in places.  With the thin air the mountains pop out at you like some ultra-real Instagram filter, their crags and points crisp and sharp in the lasering sun. 

It’s just an interesting place, Leadville.  There was an apocalyptic novel written in 2008 where Leadville becomes the new capital of the United States called “Plague Years”. It’s got a ton of history and character.  You take all that and pour several hundred near-psychotic ultra-runners on top and you’ve got a party. 

It turns out that, after his 7 straight Leadville finishes Eric is pretty much the Mayor of Leadville.  Everywhere we went he would be embraced by emaciated trail ghosts.  There was much back slapping, handshaking and hugging.  I think he has a good chance in the upcoming election.

We attended the pre-race briefing which is a bit of theatre.  The long-time race directors all standup and give inspirational talks.  It’s a wonderful, feel-good, almost family reunion feel.  The Ultra-running community is very close.  Almost everyone has a backstory.  There are recovering addicts and abuse victims.  All those lost souls who can only find peace deep in the dark place out on the trails. 

Made me wonder what dark secrets Eric was harboring to drive him into this carnival of lost souls.  I’m going to go with dressing up in women’s underwear and dancing around, just because the visual cracks me up.

From the briefing we wandered over to the expo, which was a small, open-air affair. They had everything you would expect at an event like Leadville; commemorative shirts, extra nutrition, handmade backpacks crafted from organically harvested Koala foreskins.  And as much CBD as you could carry. 

Eric and his son grabbed their stuff, more hugs, more selfies and we commuted back to the ranch. 

Wonderful news for me was that Dan’s knee was feeling better and he’d pick up Eric a bit earlier on the course. Instead of 39 miles, I’d only have to survive 27. Piece of cake. 

We had a nice dinner, a couple beers and everyone got an early bedtime.  They would be getting up early to be there for the 4:00 AM start.  The rest of us would sleep in and head over to catch them as they came through Twin Lakes in the early afternoon, then pop over to the turnaround, 50-mile mark at Winfield.

Chapter Four: Wait for it.

Much of Friday was spent by the runners running the Leadville course.  Much of the day for us was spent waiting. Waiting for them to come through Twin Lakes.  Waiting in line for the buses over to Winfield.  Then lying around in the sun at Winfield waiting some more. 

The weather was wonderful for waiting.  A little warm for running.  I ended up with a bit of a sunburn before the day was over.  While I was getting ready, I realized my water pack had sprung a leak and had to do a quick tape-job on my bladder to fix it. I’ve had that pack for a long time and it’s starting to show.

I would pick him up at the Winfield aid station which is the turnaround point for the out and back, about 50 miles in. 

Dan, Eric’s best friend and long-time pacer had the last 7 of Eric’s races in a big spreadsheet.  We partially knew what to expect.  Eric has a history of falling down early in this race. Last year he broke his nose.  He decided this year to go out slower in the early sections to avoid rolling in the dirt so much and keep the blood inside his body.

Because of this go out slower strategy and the warmer day he was late coming into Winfield.  Now Eric is as calm as a cucumber on a cool day.  A real machine.  The whole time I was with him he was lucid, forming whole sentences and moving well.  Which is not an easy thing to do after 60-70 miles at altitude. 

I on the other hand was still a bit terrified.  I still didn’t know if I’d be able to perform at altitude.  I knew we were close to the cutoffs.  And my equipment was acting up.  But, on the plus side I had my runner and the game was on.  I had a job.  Eric knew what he was doing but I was there to make sure he stayed on track and drag him through any rough spots.

Chapter Five: Up and Over.

And so, it began.  At 5:25 PM Eric and I fast walked out of the Winfield Aid station and made our way towards Hope pass.  This is a mountain pass, which is a saddle between two mountains, that tops out at 12,600 feet.  Eric had already been up and over once.  Now we were going back.

This is a tough climb at a tough point in the race.  The runners are already 50+ miles in and they already know what they are up against, having just done it.  It’s a psychologically hard place for the runners.  On the bright side, they get to pick up a pacer for the return trip.  Eric had me. 

My plan was to just try to keep up.  Keep him engaged as much as possible.  Keep an eye on him.  And periodically remind him to eat and drink.  I bit like a mother hen or a border collie.

Our approach out of Winfield towards the pass was a beautiful single path through an Aspen grove.  Not easy running, but nothing out of the ordinary.  We passed through places where avalanches had cleared the slopes of trees and piled things up.  The single path hugged the side of the mountain with precipitous drops off the side of the trail.  It was a delightful afternoon. 

The whole time we were climbing towards the pass runners were passing us coming in the other direction.  We would tell them “Good Work!” and such but we knew they were ‘dead men (and women) walking’.  We were tight on the cutoff there was not much chance these stragglers were going to see the finish line.  

I believe the race intentionally makes the cutoffs tight early to sort people out before they get hurt.  There is a lot of attrition after the first trip over Hope Pass and even more on the way back.  It doesn’t seem hard on paper.  You’re only trying to hit 3 miles an hour, but the pass and the altitude mess with people.  It get’s into their heads.  Especially the second trip up and over. 

As we began to climb, I pulled my phone and turned on some Grateful Dead to pass the time.  I had this fantasy vision that my music would attract a van-load of old hippies who had been hiding in the woods since the 60’s.  They’d come out smoking joints and dancing and they’d joined us on the trail. 

That didn’t happen.  When we got to a flat or a down, we’d run a few strides, but for most of that climb Eric was just grinding away trying to hike as best he could.

I was feeling good.  The altitude scare passed, and I was able to keep up and even get out front and pace a bit.  We were grinding out maybe 2 miles an hour.  It was single path, rocky trail at 15 – 20 % grade.  Just putting your head down and pushing those quads up one step at a time.

I remembered from the Burning River last year when Kevin was pacing me, and I was pretty shot at the end.  He would stay ahead of me like a carrot on a stick and make me keep up.  I tried to do that with Eric.  I could hear his hiking sticks clacking on the rocks behind me so I knew where he was and tried to stay just out of reach. 

It took us awhile to clear the tree line.  Then we could see the pass.  And all around us the mountains rose like gods.  It was stunningly gorgeous in the late afternoon sun. 

As we got into the switch backs on the final push the temperature started to drop.  I had been super comfortable in the 65-degree, dry sunny afternoon, but now the wind kicked up above the tree line and we stopped to fish out some gear. I remember saying to Eric as we climbed the pass “It had better get cold because I’m going to be pissed if I had to carry all this winter gear and don’t use it.”

I got my gloves on and a fleece beanie for the summit.  I was wearing my Brooks baggie shorts with a pair of Zensa Calf sleeves for added protection and a tech T shirt with my water backpack.  I brought with me a running jacket. 

As we approached the summit, I got Eric’s video camera and scrambled ahead to take some video of him crossing the pass.  I felt the altitude.  Not so much in my legs and lungs, but in my head.  My red blood cells were holding an emergency impeachment meeting to vote my brain out of office. 

The whole time at altitude for me is like a combination of a 3-4 beer hangover and a spring pollen allergy.  A fuzzy head, dry sinuses, a little cough.  I brought a bit of an airplane cough with me but the dry altitude seemed to dry it up.  One thing I loved was no chaffing.  With the lack of humidity I never got sticky enough to lose any skin. 

And just like after about a couple hours of climbing we were up and over. 

Eric went blowing by me not pausing long at the pass.  I had my pack off putting on my jacket and finding my lights.  No time to waste.  I’d have to catch up.  He was on a mission.  In the same way that having the pass in front of you messes with your mind, having it behind you give you wings.

Eric was a machine. That’s why he’s finished this race 8 times now.  He just keeps moving.

This was to be his modus operandi. It didn’t matter what was going on around him he kept moving.  At one point we passed a guy who was down and out on the trail with people gathered around tending to him.  Eric didn’t even pause we just went chugging by like this poor bastard roadkill was a rock or branch.  I think they ended up helicoptering that guy out. 

While I was on the pass struggling into my jacket the sun was setting.  It was even worse now because we were on the other side of the mountain from the sun.  It got dark in a hurry. 

As I was fishing out my headlamp and flashlight in the dusk there a guy asked me if I had an extra light?  I said, well I have my runner’s extra light but that’s for my runner…  He says, “I’ll give you $100 for it.”  I don’t think he actually had $100 on him; I think he just wanted me to understand the urgency of the situation.  I relented and gave him Eric’s extra headlamp. He put Eric’s bib number into his phone.  Far as I know that headlamp hasn’t shown up again. 

Now I had to catch Eric who had taken off running down the mountain.  I put some coal in the boiler and started making way, happy to be done with the whole Hope Pass thing without incident.  We actually had to run through a patch of snow, left over from the previous winter.  No kidding.  Slipping and sliding through the snow at 12,000 feet in the feeble, failing dusk, trying not to superman as I was trying to catch Eric. 

One thing you have to know about Eric.  He’s very tall.  Probably 8 inches taller than me with legs to match. He eats up a lot of ground.  When we were hiking, I’d have to run a little to keep up with him. 70 miles in he’s walking faster than I can walk.  He thought I was trying to get him to run.  I was just trying to keep up. 

Chapter Six: All Night Long.

Coming out of the pass the first landmark is the Hopeless aid station.  We paused there to refill our tanks.  I was wearing a pack and carrying a bottle.  We’d shoot Gu’s every so often on the trail and then browse what was on offer at the aid stations.  I made sure to be aggressive with the Enduroyltes under the unsupported theory that the electrolytes would help my head in the thin air. 

We grabbed some hot broth and noodles.  Eric remixed his backpack with the Sword energy stuff he was using.  We pressed on. 

Next thing I know he’s retching off the trail behind me.  I guess the Sword didn’t mix well and he got a super strong mouthful of it on top of the noodles, and, 15 hours of running, and it wanted to come back up. 

I told him keep moving.  If you’re going to throw up, throw up and we’ll keep moving.  You’re going to feel shitty either way, so keep moving.  He managed to get the offending admixture up and out and we forged on.  We had the downhill now and could make some time.  We had to be back into Twin Lakes by 10:00 PM and it was tight.

We were good time on the back side of the pass.  By this time, with the dry air and the hundreds of runners the trail was super dusty.  You could see the dust in your headlamp and taste the grit in your mouth.  I was coughing a lot and losing my voice.

Which did not keep me from singing. 

We were see-sawing with another runner and his pacer. I started singing West Texas Cowboys (because of the one line about dusty dirt) and the other pacer knew the words and was belting out the song with me. I felt great.  We were having fun and Eric was keeping up.  I don’t know if it was my imagination but I felt like there was palpably more oxygen as we descended that dusty trail, dancing through the occasional rock garden.

I’d try to hold my flashlight beam on anything that looked treacherous so Eric could get a good fix on it coming down behind me.  I’ll call out the obstacles when I could, “Toe Grabbers!”, “Rock Garden”.

At one point off the side of the trail the moon was rising over the lakes and it was blood red.  An awesome sight.  Dripping that blood red reflection into the lake between the mountains. 

This is also where we passed Eric’s son Zach and his wife.  Zach was having some sort of stomach issue and had stopped running.  We tried to get him to come with us, but his head wasn’t in it, so we forged on. 

Coming into Twin Lakes there were 5 – 7 open water crossings. They had a wet year so there was more water. We splashed through these.  Some were cold and knee-deep. Some were disturbingly warmer and muddy and knee deep.  I only had one pair of shoes with me, but they were trail shoes and I was pretty sure they’d drain out and be ok.

Eric knew where we were and could smell the barn, so to speak.  He started to hammer through the water obstacles and was running hard through the fields to the Aid Station.  I pulled in behind him and let him drag me in. 

As we got close there was a lot of foot traffic. It was a bit confusing and crowded and dark.  Dan met us as we were coming in and told us to hustle to the timing mat because we were tight on time.  The three of us pushed through the crowd in the dark.

I was accidently body slamming people in the trail because, they were wandering in crowding the course, I was trying to keep one eye on Eric, it was dark and I was trying to figure out where the finish line was with some urgency. 

We made the cutoff by 8 minutes.  Which was a good thing, but also got me to worrying about the next cutoff and making up some time with my athlete being 60+ miles in.

The crew got Eric into a chair took care of his needs while I tried to clean all the sand and gravel out of my shoes from the water crossings. 

We topped off our tanks and got back on the trail.  We had work to do.  It was just after 10:00PM local time and midnight on Boston clock.  Eric had been going for 17 hours and I had had him for 5 of those.  We had to get to the next cutoff at Half Pipe by 1:15 AM.  Less than 10 miles but on this course you never know.

There was lot of fire road and a lot of climbing up out of twin lakes.  Everyone talks about Hope Pass but not so much about how there is another mountain to climb out of Twin Lakes. We worked it.  We were making time and catching runners.  Eric continued to be a machine.  It was all work now.  Deep into the night.

This was where I decided Eric was a robot.  He kept telling details about the course as we were coming up on them. “There’s a little hill here, then a downhill switch backs with rocks.” We’re coming up on 70 miles for him and he knows exactly where he is, he’s lucid, and he’s moving well. Definitely a robot.

We got into a nice rhythm on the downhills and flats.  I stayed out in front and set the cadence.  It’s an old ultra-running trick.  You count out 12 strides at a run, then count out 12 strides at a hike.  It keeps you focused on moving without over working anything.  I kept just far enough ahead to keep him engaged and moving. 

We made it into Half Pipe with time to spare. Frankly I wasn’t looking at my watch much anymore, we were just focused on moving and letting the course take care of itself.  We had 3hours and 15 minutes to get there, we did it in 2:42 and picked up 20 minutes on the cutoff.

I was getting tired coming into Half Pipe.  I had some waves of Nausea on the trail and was totally disappointed that it was only gas.  I thought for sure I was going to get dropped.  I figured I should it the porta john at Half Pipe just to be sure. 

They had them helpfully rigged with lights inside and not so helpfully absent any toilet paper, but we make do.  When I took my pack off I realized that I had worked up a good sweat coming down the mountain and the cold air on my wet body sent me quickly into chills.  It was cold!  I got some hot broth in the tent and cuddled up to the gas heater for a few minutes.

Eric was ready to go again and told him we’d have to keep moving because I was on the edge of hypothermia. With only 8 ½ more miles to Outbound where I would hand him off to Dan I figured I could tough it out.  I was suffering a bit, nothing awful, but with the altitude and the cold I was at the edge of my training.

The course was relatively easy in this section and we just kept up a good cadence and kept moving.  We were still passing a lot of runners. Eric was asking for the time. I didn’t want to roll up my sleeve to look at my watch because I didn’t want to lose the heat so I just told him to never mind and keep moving.

We got that good, steady run-hike cadence going again and were making good time.  I had to drop him by 3:00 AM local time, which would be 5:00 AM my time. All good.

With about 5K left we were cutting through a farm field and were treated to a wonderful visual, a bit of true performance art.  A runner was reliving himself in a great golden arc by the spotlight of his head lamp. It was like a water feature you’d expect to see in a Venetian fountain. We congratulated and applauded.

And that was it for me.  We pushed down a section of open road and across a field that seemed to go on forever.  My lights were dying and I was having trouble staying on the trail on the field.  We pushed into the outbound aid station and I tagged off to Dan. I gave him the update.  Eric was doing great.  He was eating and drinking and performing other bodily functions with reassuring regularity. 

Duty done I collapsed into a chair with my teeth chattering from the cold and tried to disappear into a space blanket.  We had picked up some more time and Eric and Dan had a good 40+ minute cushion to work with. 

My watch said I had run almost exactly 27 miles in almost exactly 9 hours for almost exactly 3 miles an hour.  Eric’s crew bundled me into the car with the heat on to give me ride back to the hotel for a hot shower couple hours of napping. 

Eric and Dan pressed on into the morning.

Chapter Seven: Aftermath.

I got a couple hours sleep and then headed back over to base camp to join the rest of the crew.  We drove over to Leadville trying to figure out from Dan’s text messages how close Eric was to the 30-hour cut off.  It looked like it was going to be close and we prepared for the worst.

I got some hot coffee and oatmeal and we waited by the road on a warm, sunny Leadville morning watching the happy parade of exhausted runners come up the street wit their crews in celebration.

And sure enough, with 20 minutes left on the clock Eric and Dan came up the street and there was much rejoicing. We all ran him in.  He was like a happy drunk.  He just finished his 8th Leadville Trail 100 Race on his 59th birthday on a day where only 42% of the people who started made it home. 

It’s a beautiful, terrible race that gives back to its runners more than it takes in the end.  It fills them with a satisfaction of having faced this terrible, beautiful course across the sky and walked away, sometimes with a belt buckle, always with a bucket of memories. 

Thank you, Eric. 

That was something to be part of.  If memories and experiences are the currency of our lives then I am a very rich man. 

Direct download: Leadville2019.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:59pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-414 – Matt Part 2 – The Ironman

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4414.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-414 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   I’m trying to get this one out early this week because this weekend is the Leadville 100 Trial race – “The race across the sky”.  I’ll be flying out Thursday night to pace Eric over the weekend. 

Truly, this has all the earmarks of an adventure (with a capital A).  This is the thing I really dig about longer endurance events.  Whether a marathon, multi-day relay or and ultra, you really have no idea what’s going to happen when you toe the line. 

There os that middle road, the one you are planning for, or more appropriately guessing at, that travels a clean but relatively uninteresting path, where everything stays within expectations.  That middle road where nothing weird or memorable happens.   You just run your miles and bask in the warm glow of an expected job well done.  You trained.  You showed up.  You ran.  You finished.  You wipe your hands, note the effort in your log, check the box and move on. 

That is the less interesting path without much adventure. 

But there is always a chance, I’d say better than 50/50 that something goes sideways. 

There are those glowing, multi-colored traces that arc off of the main path at crazy angles into the unknown.  This is where the good stuff happens.

Adventure is when you show up for a 12-person relay and there are only 8 runners.  Adventure is when you start throwing up 75 miles in.  Adventure is when you roll that ankle or crash your bike in the early miles.  Adventure is when that storm blows in with its driving wind and hail. 

Adventure steps in and tears up your well-made plans. Adventure wipes the slate and resets the score. It strips you of your smug comfort and your middle of the road expectations. 

But, my friends, adventure is not catastrophe.  Adventure is not some evil, beady-eyed thug stepping out of a side alley to blacken your eyes and steal your money.

No, my friends, adventure is an opportunity.  Adventure strips away our silly human thoughts of predetermination and let’s us draw on deeper pools of resource and strength that we didn’t know we had.  Adventure, you see, leads to fulfillment. 

Adventure is where the “Epic” lies.  Adventure to the shores of new worlds, and to the walls of Troy. Adventure is a tool to flush out the human spirit.  We, endurance athletes, we hardy few, we celebrate Adventure.

“You are better than you think you are, and can do more than you think you can.” – Ken Chlouber

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.

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Section one – Form series Chapter Three -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Matt Schorer

Matt is father, husband and triathlete from upstate NY who recently made the successful move to reclaim his health. 

Matt is currently training for the Lake Placid IronMan in Late June of this year.



Section two – Thoughts on Seneca’s Letters–


Well, my friends, you fixed your form and fixed your sites on the new horizon, which, by the way, was the name of a NASA probe that made a flyby of poor old demoted king of the kuiper belt but no longer a planet Pluto, and then, even more astoundingly cool, Ultima Thule which turned out to be two big chunks of accreted dust bunnies from the birth of the solar system 4 billion years ago, to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-414, which is in some small way astounding in itself.

For me the weirdness that is my life continues.  I try to not struggle against the current so much.  I try the choose, as much as I cah the rocks to bump against on the way. 

I will be pacing Eric this weekend at Leadville.  And, don’t anyone tell him, but I’m terrified.  My training has been shyte (it’s not really bad language if I use a non-U.S. dialect).  I’ve still got that damn rattle in my lungs from whatever that airplane cold was, I’m thinking consumption, or maybe grippe, or apoplexy – but I’m no doctor.  And I have the great personal responsibility to guide a dear friend through 38 miles of dusty Colorado trail, at night, over a pass that tops out at 12,600 feet. 

I may die.  I would rather die than not support a friend who needs me.  People often over estimate my ability, but, thankfully they also underestimate my insanity – so it balances out. 

Assuming I survive this adventure I am actually registered for a series of hard races, that I’m also not prepared for. 

Screw it. Why change my approach now and do the smart thing?  That might work but it’s a boring narrative. 

I’m going to call this a training run.  A nice long hike in the woods.  Good for building strength and base aerobic fitness, right? 

Then in a couple weeks I’ll run the Wapack trail race and that’s another nice strength builder.   Which is stupid because a week after that I’m signed up for a marathon to see if I can’t get a qualification time before the Boston registration window closes. 

Ya never know.  It’s happened before.  Remember when I rolled out of that 6-hour Spartan race in 2017 and requalified at Portland?  Or when I turned my training for an Olympic tri into a qualifier at Baystate in 2018?  It happens.  I have a history of doing better when I’m not focused.

I’m also signed up for the Baystate Marathon in October which would give me 6-7 weeks of training to make another good show. 

I still have some tendonitis in my ass.  My knee is still crunchy from crashing in June.  The machete injury healed fully, so at least I have that going for me.  Maybe the $1,000 emergency room visit was worth it.  Although my wife is of the opinion that I should have gone to the Redi-clinic or stitched it up myself.  And I may be patient zero for some new form of zombie plague that starts as a juicy night cough you can’t shake. 

So – everything is status quo over here at the RunRunLive HQ. 

And honestly I’m happy to be alive. 

But, I can hear you scream, “Chris, no one cares a wit about your constant stream of whinging about running.  What about the puppy?”

As we speak Ollie the border collie is what? 10-11 weeks old?  He’s growing like a weed.  He bites everything and everybody.  If it exists it goes in the mouth.  He’s sleeping through the night mostly in his crate, but usually sleep in the couch in the vicinity and that calms him down.  He’s a random poop and pee machine, but we’re working on it.  He is teaching us patience. 

I’ve realized how much older I am since I last had a puppy or a baby in the house.  They have two speeds – all ahead full and sleep. 

He likes to destroy Yvonne’s perennials. He like to chew on rocks.  He likes to steal my socks.  The other day I walked out to my garden with him.  I picked a pile of produce.  Tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers.  He stole one of my cucumbers and gleefully kept it away from me as I grumbled and fumed and chased.  He capered away with a sparkle in his eye.

I ended up freezing that cucumber so he could use it as a chew toy. 

He’s probably a month ahead of where Buddy was at this age.  Buddy was the runt of the litter, a sad little dog that grew into his wonder.  Ollie is the class clown, full of energy, bravado and clever impishness.

Does he run? Yes, he does.  He’s traversed the mile-ish trail with me at a trot a couple times now.  He’s not quite sure what we’re doing but he hangs with me and has plenty of juice left over at the end. 

At the end of the day I’m happy to have this little, warm ball of fur weaving around my legs and trying to knock me down so he can bite my face.  I need that.  I miss that.

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4414.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:20am EDT

Let’s talk about form

Part 2 in a series on form

Ok Bubbah, you’ve been patient .  Now I want to fill in the details .

Before I start out, let me say one thing; if you’re getting out and running and enjoying yourself then don’t obsess about form.  If it’s working for you, hey, that’s perfect.  I don’t mean to form-shame anyone.  I certainly don’t have perfect form. 

But, if you want to learn more form.  Let’s talk. 

I always worry about this because it is so holistic.  There are so many moving pieces – it s like juggling octopi. 

But – we will progress.  The other point worth mentioning is there are a bunch of interconnected movements here and there is really no precedence in what sequence to work them.  Most coaches start with foot strike and posture, so that’s where we are going to start. 

Foot strike – This is when, where and how often your foot hits the ground.  Let’s talk about ‘how often’.

Cadence: In your running form there is a certain frequency to your foot strike.  It is 180 hits per minute.  That’s the magic number.  That’s the cadence.  Plus or minus 2 hits per minute. 

Like everything else that may vary slightly from runner to runner, but overall this number is pretty solid.  When I count my cadence it is usually a bit low, in the 170’s.  When I’m doing speed work it might be a bit fast.  Uphill, downhill, it varies, but somewhere around 180 is a good number.

Bump   Bump    Bump   That’s the cadence.  Burn it in.  Bump   Bump   Bump

There are different ways to count your cadence.  Newer GPS watches come with a foot-pod accessory that you can stick in your shoe and it will count your cadence for you as part of the data. 

The easy way is to just look at your watch, or phone, note the time and count each time your right or left foot hits the ground. At the end of the minute multiply that by 2. There’s your cadence.

There is also a ton of music you can get, and even a metronome app that will give you a 180 count you can practice with. 

When you first time your cadence you’ll typically find that you are too slow.  It’s seldom too fast. The reason your cadence is too slow is because you are over-striding. What does that mean?  It means you’re reaching out too far in front with your leading foot and dwelling too long in the transition.

Which is a nice segue into next bit of running form in the foot strike itself.  

You want to pull your form upright and forward so that your center of gravity is slightly forward of your foot strike. 

Your center of gravity should be slightly forward of your foot strike. 

Where is your center of gravity? It’s in your core.   In your torso.  You want to push that center of gravity out in front of you so that you are falling forward.  You are falling and you are catching yourself as you are falling. 

The way you push your center of gravity forward is by pushing your hips forward.    Imagine that there is a rope tied to your belly button and it is pulling you forward.  Push those hips forward.   Move that torso so it is falling forward. 

Then your feet have to keep up with that forward fall.  This almost forces you to land on the forefoot.  That space right behind the toes.  You feel the foot hit the ground, but since you are falling you flow through that foot strike and kick it up behind.

Fast, hot feet.  Bump bump  bump.

No lingering on the foot strike.  Bump bump bump.

A great mantra here is “Light Feet” or “Run Lightly” this will remind you to loosen up, run tall and maintain fast cadence.

Fall through the foot strike.  

Push those hips forward. 

Move those feet quickly. 

Bump bump bump.

Think about your torso.   When your hips are pushed forward that automatically straightens up your posture.

You should be, in the words of running coaches “Running tall”. 

Don’t slump forward. Straighten up your shoulders.  High and square.  Light and relaxed. 

Let all that tension release out of your back and shoulders. 

It’s all being pulled along by the hips. 

Bring your head up.  Look forward.  Relax your chin.  Smile.   Breathe.  In through the nose.  Out through the mouth.  

What do you do with your hands?

Bring your hands up lightly to your chest.  Elbows at 90 degrees and slightly pushed back behind you.  Straight back and forward in rhythm with your quick stride. 

Hold your hands lightly and open, high and close to your chest. 

Quiet your arms and hands. 

Don’t swing or pump.  Just quiet.  High and quiet.  light and quiet.

Bump Bump Bump. 

In your mind imagine a string that runs down your spine and pulls you upright.  Though the top of your head.  Run tall.  Hips forward.

Bump Bump bump. 

Forefoot strike.

Hot feet.

Bump Bump Bump. 

Light feet.

Fast feet. 

Tall and strong. 

Relax into this form. 

Tall and strong. 

When you get into the right spot there is no wasted energy.  There is no pushing off.  You are falling easily down the trails with you light, fast, feet catching you. 

That’s good running form. 

Next time we’ll talk about some of the “Why do you care?” moments for running form.  Like in races. 

Last time I asked you to look at the form of good runners and make a mental note of what that looks like.  I also asked you to have someone video your own form so you can see the difference. 

This week I’m going to ask you to pay attention when you’re out running with other people.  If you have a running group take a look at the various ways people run. 

Better yet, if you are in or watching a race watch what happens to people’s form at the end. When they get tired what happens?

This is fun right?


Direct download: 4413-Form.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-413 – Morgan Writes in the Wilderness

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4413.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-413 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   We’ve got a great show for you-all today.

A couple weeks ago I interviewed Morgan.   I really enjoyed the interview.  You’ll hear the story in the conversation, but the brief version is that I get the privilege to read a lot of books by athletes, and seldom does the writing do justice to the story.

In most cases there is just too much exposition and too much linear narrative.  Morgan’s book, “Outlandish” is the exception.  She is good at her craft. And I dig that. 

Also, note that about 17 minutes into the interview my phone crapped out and we had to reconnect to finish it.

In section one I’ll give you a nice stand-alone audio on good running form.  I’ll also post it as a separate file so that you can have it to listen to independently when you’re out and about on your feet.

In section two I’m going to finish talking through the “Happiness Curve” which I completed last week while traveling. 

It has been an action-packed couple weeks since we last talked. 

I knocked off 16 miles with my Sunday-Morning Buddies on that one Sunday that was really hot and humid.  It was pretty awful.  I got home, took a shower and immediately napped for 2 hours.  I fought through it though and that was a good confidence builder.

I was down in Memphis at a client last week, (the week of the 21st of July 2019 – for those of you who are time traveling – or are interested aliens from another dimension and need a way-point). 

I got a couple decent runs in on the sidewalks.  

Had some dicey travel coming back and didn’t end up getting to bed until 4:00 AM on Friday morning. But, of course I was still at work at 9:00!  

Then Saturday, Yvonne and I drove out to North Central PA to meet up with Greg to pace the Conquer the Canyon ½ marathon.

I know what you’re saying, “this is normal Chris stuff”, but wait for it…

The big news is that we stopped to see a puppy litter on our way and came home with a new puppy! 

Yup, an eight-week border collie. 

I don’t know what I was thinking.  It’s like having a new baby in the house.  He’s starting to settle in now, but he’s a terror.   God help us.  As I am editing this sitting on the steps in my front yard he wasthrowing up some grass he just ate, now he’s rolling in it.  And...managing to be cute as hell in the process…

Oh, and I picked up a cold traveling.  So I lost some more training time and the continuous sleep deprivation doesn’t help at all!

I’m still a bit of a train wreck in my training…or should that be ‘training wreck’.

I’ll give you a story.  I posted a workout to Instagram.  One of my runs down in Memphis.  Nothing special just a sidewalk 8 miler out and back.  And one of the comments was that’s a pretty good pace and distance…wait for it… for a guy your age!  That’s it.  I’ve entered the “for a guy your age” club! 

And, because my expectations are exceeding low, I’m happy with that.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Form series Chapter Two -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Morgan Sjogren

Morgan Sjogren (“SHOW gren”) is a writer, adventurer, and former elite track athlete turned avid trail runner. A lifelong competitive runner, Morgan has raced sprints on the track to ultramarathons in the mountains, yet she prefers using running as a vehicle to explore wild places.

Her writing focuses on human-powered adventure, public lands, conservation, history, travel and food. Find her writing and photography published by REI, Runner’s World, Trail Runner, Patagonia, Archaeology Southwest, Sidetracked, Gear Junkie, Snowsports Industries America (SIA), The Gulch and Adventure Pro.

Sjogren is the author of three books. The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes, the first guidebook devoted to the National Monument. Her forthcoming guidebook, The Best Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Hikes releases this year. Both are focused on educating the public to visit their lands with a conservation mindset.

Outlandish is a sun-soaked starter manual to fueling your own epic. Through her riveting ersonal stories, flavorful recipes, and the book’s gotta-go-there photographs, Sjogren shares her advice and lessons learned from years exploring the desert Southwest while living out of her canary-yellow Jeep Wrangler. Outlandish is a gorgeous guide to a more adventurous life.

Section two – The Happiness Curve Final cut–




Well, my friends, you packed your jeep with burritos and set out into the wastes for a long, soul searching, run and found yourself at the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-413,

Was it cathartic?

For the conquer the canyon ½ marathon,  I met Greg and was official alternate pacer for the 2:00 hour group.  It was fun to be able to coach people along and help them get through the race. 

The key difference when you’re pacing is that you aren’t going very hard, so you can help others.  That’s good, right?  That’s sharing some of that wisdom.  If you’re heads down racing you don’t have the bandwidth to help other runners. 

It was a pretty, wooded course along a packed gravel rail trail that follows a river through a canyon.  No hills.  Kind footing.  Decent scenery.  We had a bald eagle watching us at one point.

I think the best part about pacing is that people come up to you afterwards and thank you for helping them.  That’s cool, when someone thanks you for getting them through the rough spot and thanks you for getting them a PR. 

And there you go, one of the keys to happiness: helping others. 

My mileage has been pretty low.  I’m getting out 3 days a week.  I still feel that mountain bike dinger in my knee.  I rehabbed the hamstring pull I gave myself in that 5k a couple weeks ago.  And I’m just about through the other side of the airplane cold I caught traveling last week. 

I’ve been doing 3 sessions a week of high-hamstring tendinosis exercises.  Trying to get my glutes and hips strong.  It’s a couple sets of hip bridges, a couple sets of clamshells, and a couple sets of planks.  In between sets I do pushups and incline situps – so I’m keeping a bit of core strength.  I figure if I can still do a hundred pushups and 200 situps I can’t be that out of shape, right?

Next up for me is pacing Eric at Leadville in a couple weeks. Good thing I’m picking him up at 50 miles!  I have no doubt I can muscle through some Rocky Mountain High miles at 3.5 miles per hour. 

I did a night run last night over to the ski area next to my house.  I ran over and did the ski hill, hike up, run down, hike up, run down – ended up with 10+ miles and about 2,00 feet of climbing.  At this ski area they have a tiki bar in the summer months with bad cover bands and the like.  

The bouncers rode over on a golf cart to see what I was up to.  They could see my lights going up and down the mountain.  Told them I was training.  They weren’t happy but they went away.  I guess it might not make sense to see and old guy humping up and down the double diamond late at night.

Then I got up early this morning and ran part of the Wapack with Paul.   That was perfect.  Doing those technical mountains on tired legs was just the ticket.    

I’ll tell you a couple more stories to take you out. 

First, was on the plane flying back.  I sit next to this guy, maybe a couple years younger than me.  Looks a bit squirrely, a bit nervous, so I ask him where he’s going.  Turns out he’s going to Boston to meet his daughter who he hasn’t seen in 21 years, since she was 4 years old. 

Felt like I had stumbled into a reality TV show!

His story was that he had a drinking problem, left them and moved to California. Now he’s cleaned up and the ex-wife had orchestrated the reunion.  No wonder he was nervous.

I told him to not worry about the past and just be in the moment and this isn’t about him, and he’s going to do great.   Wish I could be a fly on that wall. 

Then, final story, I’m at this brewery with Tim and Frank, two of my running buddies, in Lowell, catching up.  They let people bring their dogs in to this brewery.  It’s all very Bohemian.  Bit of a hole in the wall.  I dig it. 

I’m at the bar saying hi to this big goofy pit bull and there’s a guy there, bit older than me.

He leans down to pet the dog, turns to me and says “A lot of times they’re afraid of me because they can smell the cancer.” 

How do you respond to something like that? 

Luckily, I happen to know everything, so I said, “You know, I’ve heard about that.”

People are funny.  I was out at the race last week and no one said “Hey, you’re that guy!” and no one asked me how many marathons I’d done. I didn’t wear any Boston gear.  I was basically anonymous. 

It was a different crowd. It wasn’t about me. 

If you want to be popular at a race, ask people about their accomplishments, ask them about their stories, listen intently, and then congratulate them when they tell you.

Everybody has stories. 

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4413.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-411 – Katy Sheratt – CEO Back on my Feet

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4411.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-411 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   Like I mentioned last week 411 and 412 are out of order due to the forecasted recording sequence being different than the actual recording sequence and me not wanting to go move files around. 

But, I know you, you don’t care about such things.  You care about important things like running past your house at the end of a long run to pick up that last .003 miles because you’ll be damned if you enter 6.97 miles into your log.

Today we have a very good interview with Katy Sherratt who is the front person, the leader, for Back on My Feet.  This is the organization that helps homeless individuals by leveraging the transformational power of running. 

We have spoken with this organization before.  We have history.  I was so fascinated by their program that I chased down the initial leadership team for an interview back in episode 89, which would have been 10 years ago, and then interviewed one of their recovering addicts in episode 167.  So, if your interested we’ve got sample points in the life cycle curve of this program from its birth to where it is now. 

It’s a testament to how effective and resonant the program is that it grew from that nascent good idea of one runner in Baltimore to the professionally managed, multi-city, international manifestation of today.  And, I was interested to ask Katy about that progression.  Katy is a professional and you can hear the media coaching in her responses, but I think I did a good job of asking the questions that I truly wanted to understand. 

My training is not going great.  I’ve still got this troublesome high-hamstring tendinosis that is really curtailing my ability to push the pace or climb hills at pace.  It’s fine until I load it then it screams back at me.  I’m currently working through the best way to re-hab it. 

That being said I have been getting some good volume in.  I’m trying to get 2 longer runs of 8 – 10 miles in during the week, then get a bike ride in on Saturday, then go longer on Sunday on the tired legs.  But, it’s a bit unstructured and I a feel a bit adrift.

It’s getting hot and humid up here and the bugs are out.  This makes trail running a bit less enjoyable.

I tweaked it Tuesday night and I’m limping around a bit right now.  It was a hot night.  There is a summer race series that many folks from my club run in near my office so I decided I’d run over to the race, run the 5k with them, then run back.

Jogged over, it was about 4 miles away.  That was ok, a nice easy warm up.  Then I lined up for the 5K.  No big deal.  I just kicked it off at a solid tempo pace and felt pretty good.  Clicked off the first mile at around a 7 minute mile, working hard but not killing myself, it had a lot of downhill.  Then the course climbs a little hill over a bridge, over the river, and as I was leaning into the hill something tweaked in my left hamstring.

I didn’t stop running but I slowed down to a pace where I wasn’t loading the hamstring and limped it in.   Got passed by a lot of people in the 2nd mile!  Had to get a ride back to my office.  2 days later and it is still noticeable sore.  So, looks like I have a new project.

I listen to a lot of history podcasts.  And when I find a new one, I typically start at the beginning and listen through until I’m caught up.  The interesting thing about this to me, is the pattern.  There’s this arc to a successful podcast. 

They start out as tentative and unsure of themselves. Then they start to get positive feedback and they find their stride.  They comment with amazement on the 100 listeners, then the 1,000 listeners and the 10,000 listeners. 

Then they start to think that this could be a fulltime job for them and they start to look for revenue.  The audible ads, the Patrion page, the iTunes reviews.

At some point they become quite pleased with their progress and start having Q&A session about “Why they got into the podcast and where they got the theme music and some even quit their jobs. You can do that if you’re a history major.

It’s fun to watch.  I’m not sure what part of that cycle I’m in.  I decided quite early on that this was a labor of love and I was primarily doing it as an exercise in self-preservation and improvement for myself, not for any practical or commercial concern.  I talked to sponsors, but to be honest, I hate commercials and there just isn’t enough money in ads to move my needle.   

I stopped paying attention to numbers but, weirdly to imagine, we’ve had multi-millions of downloads from around the world.  I don’t even know how to containerize that number.  Each of those might be some individual, you for instance, at some point in their lives, looking for some combination of information, entertainment or inspiration, I get that personal touch point, but I can’t wrap my brain around the abstract of ‘millions’.

I do get a bit of a satisfied feeling about the 400+ hours of content we have available for you now.  That’s a goodly chunk body of work and by my calculations represents about a million words of content.  That’s 4-5 goodly books worth of material.

So, thank you all, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whenever you are, for facilitating my personal journey of creation.  I appreciate it. 

I think the lesson here, is that you, yes you, as an individual can start something for no apparent reason and it can be the proverbial snowball that creates an avalanche. 

For me it’s bee the personal connection and friends and opportunities for connection that are the best part.  For you it might be fame and fortune. 

Put yourself in the running shoes of Anne Mahlum.  You are running in Philly at 5 o’clock in the morning and you keep running by the homeless shelter. You think to yourself, “Ya know what would be a good idea?  If someone were to invite these folks out for a run and potentially transform their lives.” 

And so she started Back on my Feet with that one small thought and that one kick of the snowball.

What’s your snowball?

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Form series Chapter One -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Katy Sherratt

Katy Sherratt leads Back on My Feet as Chief Executive Officer. An award-winning social innovation leader, Katy has been instrumental in increasing Back on My Feet’s programmatic impact by over 75% and introduced new and important measures to demonstrate the holistic impact of the program. Under her tenure, Back on My Feet has gone from early stage startup to sustainable organization and is now a leader in the homelessness services space nationwide. Funding has increased by over 50% thanks to the growth of existing, and cultivation of new, partnerships and fundraising streams and the geographic expansion of operations along the East and West coasts.

Katy has been recognized across multiple media and news outlets including by The Economist’s Philanthrocapitalism program as a leader in social innovation and cutting edge non-profit management. In 2016 she was also named among Women’s Running Magazine’s “Top 20 Gamechangers” and most recently a winner at the Philadelphia Social Innovation Awards.

Katy brings over 15 years of leadership experience across both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining Back on My Feet, Katy led global projects for Accenture in their UK and US-based Strategy Practices working with corporate clients, NGOs and nonprofits with clients ranging from leading Financial Institutions to the United Nations. “I’m honored to lead such a unique, dynamic and growing organization,” said Katy. “You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a 5K runner, to feel the power of what we do on the morning runs – the community we build for individuals experiencing homelessness is the critical missing link and the reason why we’ve had such huge success in enabling our members to transition out of homelessness and maintain that transition.”


Section two – The Happiness Curve – navigating the cliff -




Well, my friends, that was fun, huh?  You got up at 5:00 AM and ended up at the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-411, you are amazing.

I have no idea whether or not I’m going to survive this summer with the sore but and sore knee and hot weather, I’m a hot mess!  But it is the season I’m in, yeah? 

I’ll give you a couple tips. 

The first tip, which I haven’t tested yet, bt seems to be corroborated from multiple sources is how to make a DIY der fly trap.  The deer flies are awful this time of year. I got chased out of the woods by them last week.  Even if you have the big hat on and the bug spray they still harass you in their multitudes.

You can buy the deer fly patches which are a sticky patch that you put on the back of your hat that they get stuck on.  Or, you can make them.  The instructions are to take some blue tape (apparently the flies like blue and that painters tape works great) and create a 2X6 inch patch on the back of your hat.  Then apply a layer of an off the shelf product called “Tanglefoot” which is sticky goop that you apply to tree trunks to keep bugs from climbing up.

That’s it. This will trap the flies, or enough of them, to solve the problem. 

The second tip is for your bottles.  If you carry water bottles on your run, either in your hand or in a belt, you may notice that they start to taste a bit moldy as they age.  Especially if you have been putting sports drink concoctions in them. 

It just can’t be helped.  The sugars get turned into wildlife.  You can wash them out.  You can rinse them with a bleach solution.  You can put them in the dishwasher.  But once those beasties get in there it’s a losing battle. 

I don’t want to gross you out but the problem is typically hiding in your nipples.  That rubber bit that sticks out of the top of the bottle has crevices that you can’t get to. 

But guess what?  If you pull on that nipple you can usually get it to pop off.  Once you pop it off you’ll see all the black stuff in there and you can scrub it out.   Then you can pop it back in. Good to go.

So that’s it.  We went from form to homelessness to old age to moldy nipples – such are the seasons of life.


And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4411.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-412 – Maryro does Comrades

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4412.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-412 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  You’ll have to forgive me an episode incongruity here, a non-linear scrap of publishing.  I had a couple interviews stack on top of each other, like the way you stack your hips in a yoga pose, and, apparently, in the race to you ears, episode 4-412 won out over episode 4-411. 

Confused?  Don’t be.  It will be fine. 

Today, this week, you will get episode 4-412, an interview by my friend Alex, long time participant of the RunRunLive podcast experience, of another long-time friend of the show Maryro Mendez, who ran Comrades this year. 

I’m always fascinated with Comrades.  It seems such a foreign place, an extreme adventure.  Both Alex and Maryro are world travelers.  I have yet to make it to Africa.  Except, maybe through enjoying a good read of “The Heart of Darkness”. 

In section one I’m going to give you the run-down on the cow-pasture race.  I got some positive feedback on the uncertainty essay from last show, thank you for that.  I certainly appreciate it. 

I struggled to write that last episode.  I felt too jacked up about other things.  I need a certain amount of alone time and contemplation to get the creative juices flowing and I couldn’t get settled. 

That has been solved!  I am took Vacation!  Yes, just my wife and I down on Cape Cod enjoying the beautiful weather.  Soaking up the sea breezes.  Very peaceful.  No internet.  Just reading and relaxing.

In section two I’m going to piece together a vacation story for you. 

I took 5 days off from running and riding due to a sore knee.  It was one of those things where I probably tried to do too much too fast.  In this case the too much part had to do with going mountain bike riding with Anthony. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Anthony. Anthony has taught me an un-repayable number of useful things about bikes and riding over the last decade.  But, for my second ride in the woods in two years he overestimates my ability.  And, I on my part feel compelled to keep up, like a boy trying to please his Dad. 

I ended up bleeding from 4 different wounds at the end of the night.  Nothing life threatening.  Just those slow speed, slow motion crashes that stalk you when you haven’t got the miles in yet. That little bit of uncertainty, that spoonful of tentativeness as you go into an obstacle those few millimeters off your line that find you wide in the turns and stuck in the bad spots. 

You might call it ‘anti-flow’ 

On one of these slow speed crashes I couldn’t clip out and took the full weight of mass times acceleration (due to the force of gravity) on a pointy rock with my left knee.  It hurt but didn’t feel consequential at the time. 

Over the next week it just ached a bit as I kept up my running and cycling.  Finally, with the race in the cow pasture Wednesday night,  going hard on uneven ground and the knee seemed to be more sore than it should be after a week, so I did the smart thing and took a few days off. 

I was a bit worried I might lose fitness, but I managed to get over myself, and do a little core work and yoga instead.  Still a little sore, but I think it’s on the mend.  We’ll see.  I guess I don’t heal as fast as I used to. 

But, I feel pretty good and it’s summer time, and the days are long and what can be wrong with that?

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Lonely Cows -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Alex Cooke Interviews Maryro Mendez

Comrades Marathon 2019(up run): The other big 5

People always come to Africa wanting to see the big 5, Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo, but I came here with the mission of not just seeing but conquering the other big 5. The nerve wracking 5 famous hills along the Comrades route, Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha’s Hill, Inchanga and Polly shorts. What ever people can say about this race, they would be falling short but I will just describe my own experience here.

On our way to Durban, Andrey had a packed itinerary. We spent 2 days in Johannesburg and 5 days in Kruger National Park, chasing the animals and we were rewarded with amazing sightings. That on its own is worth a different write up.

We arrived in Durban on Friday afternoon, went straight to the expo, picked up my race pack and wonder around a bit just to feel the vibe but not too long. 

The city was filled with incredible energy. The people were amazing from day one.

There is no hiding that I was scared, scared of failure, of not finishing. I knew I had put it a lot of work but also knew I had not been feeling quite right, mentally and physically. I also knew even when I was creative trying to do hill work, living in Rotterdam, NL I lacked that part.

I felt excitement, fear and pure joy to be there. It was the fact that I was stepping in to the unknown but actually knowing that it was going to be the hardest race I had ever done that made this so especial. It was actually being part of a race that it is so important to a nation and you can feel it as soon as you land in Durban. Less than 10% of the 25000 runners are international runners, the rest are South Africans whom are very proud of their race. Only 20% are women.

On Saturday Andrey went hiking up Royal Natal Park and also drove on the route while I stayed in the hotel resting. When he got back, he said “if you see those hills, the first 40km are the most difficult, you have never done anything like it. Even by car they look horrible” ok that scared me even more.

“I got the belief, I will embrace the experience that I have earned after 5 months of hard training when conditions weren’t ideal. I got the belief that I am enough, good enough to be here but I will be patient and cautious because no medal will come easy tomorrow” I said to myself on Saturday. 

I woke up at 3:15, had some Ucan and almond butter, had a shower and we left for the start at 4:30 for a 5:30 start. Luckily our hotel was just in front so I was in my corral before 5. The atmosphere was incredible. I was next to a South African guy doing his 11th comrades. He started talking to me with a very zen like tone. He told me to be patient, that his first was also the up run and he did it in 10h15min. Even when my ultimate goal was to finish, on a good day I thought I could do 10h (A goal), my B goal was to finish under 10:30 but I thought “maybe my first can be close to this guy’s 10:15”. I also wanted to finish before sun set (5:15 pm)

The start is just amazing, very emotional no point describing because you have to be there to live it. Never felt such an emotional start in a race.

I started my watch as soon as the gun went off because this race is gun time and all the cut offs and different medals are awarded by gun time. I was seeded in corral C so took me a few minutes to cross but not too long. I had my watch in overall time and average pace, this time I didn’t want to get distracted  by mile splits that made no sense. It was very humid and I was sweating like crazy even when the sun was not out yet and I started to worry but tried to just keep it together. The sea of people in front and behind was incredible to see thinking we had 87 km to go. I followed Bruce Fordyce’s advice and ignored the distance markers that go in count down mode. 

I was running by feel and just checking my total time and average pace every now and again specially when I passed the cut off points (there are 7 in total) that would give a good idea of how much I was slowing down or not. I realised very early on that running up the hills in such a slow pace felt very inefficient, just didn’t feel natural to me so I decided to power hike up the hills. This was not a walking break this was very intense walking. I was passing people running while I walked up the hills, felt just like Killian Jornet  . However I did not train my body to do this so every time I was changing from walking to running my calves would rebel against me. I could feel my lower back too. But I just when over the initial transition discomfort and continue and as soon as I was in running mode it felt good again.

“do not stop” that was my other strategy, no matter what, I was not stopping for anything. And I didn’t.

There is no doubt as to when you are going up the big hills, they are relentlessly brutal. I was scared to ask anyone if we were at any of those hills in case I got NO for an answer.

All along the route the atmosphere is delightful, the locals set up tents full of aid for people apart from the official 43 water stations and they do it every year. People singing, dancing, bbqing. Going pass the wall of honour was neat, thinking my name could be there once I finished. When I reached Arthur’s seat I touched it out is respect and moved on. When I reached half way at 43km to go I knew I had just done the hardest marathon (a bit over a marathon) I had ever done in my life and I still had more than a marathon to go. I was supposed to see Andrey there but nothing. I struggled a little, but I said The only way you are not finishing this is if you do not make any the cut off point and you are forced to stop and get on a bus. 

The 10h bus passed me. They are amazing to watch. You can hear them coming, it is like a pack of horses trotting and singing. I felt a little disappointed that there would be no sub 10 for me but I was clear by that point I had underestimated the course so I just continued with my mission.

Suddenly with like 37km to go a familiar voice when I was not expecting “Moni, Moni” it was Andrey. That was my only stop. Maybe for just a minute or two. I grabbed a ucan bar and the hotshot anti cramp, which saved me because my calves were alive and kicking. My lower back was sore again for the power walking I am guessing. That gave me a second wind. 

The10:30h bus passed me and I was between 1h30- 1h20 ahead of the cut off time at the check points every time. I caught up with the 10:30 bus again. I was going to stay with them but I felt good so left them behind. 

The Coca Cola station is amazing and this kid starting calling, “my lady get a coke my lady” I grabbed a coke (never ever I drink real full sugar coke) and boy that felt good, it was iced cold. He said “I knew you wanted a coke my lady push on continue” and that my friends is reason 1568 I loved Comrades. With 20km to go I decided it was time to start counting down the km and noticed every km board. A runner with a green number that had done 13 Comrades started talking to me, he asked about my shoes, he congratulated me for my first comrades finish to which I thanked them but said that there was still 20 km to go. He said you will finish I know.

With 17 km to go I saw Andrey up on a bridge after I went under it, again great surprise, I waved and continued.

I reached little pollys, she is like The hiena, not part of the big 5 but her presence doesn’t go unnoticed in the wilderness. When I hit the 10km to go mark, I started feeling for the first time that I had it in the bag. Now my aim was to go sub 10:15. Then Polly shorts shoes up, and there is no need to ask anyone, I knew this is the famous mighty one that stretches along for 2km. 

Last 7 km I felt strong and full of joy. The down hills were hard, my toes were completely wrecked or so they felt. And the uphills even though shorter in comparison really sneaked up on you.

5 km to go and there he was again, I saw Andrey and I said “see you at the finish” saying that felt so good. I have say the performance of the day goes to him. Driving around with road closures it was messy.

4 km to go I kept checking my watch, 3 km to go and suddenly I felt it was taking too long for the 2k mark but then I saw 1km to go!!! I had missed the 2 km mark. 

I was there, I got chills. Yeah and because it is Comrades there is one final mini climb a few meters to the finish.

I crossed the line 10h 13 minutes and 55 seconds after the gun went off and got my bronze medal. 

The different colour bibs depending on if you are national or international, the number of medals on your bib, the different medals depending on your finish time, the people oh the people and how passionate they are, all that make this race extra especial.

With regards to nutrition I had 2 chia gels(low carb) and almond butter during the first third of the race. Then I started taking maurten gels I had 5 in total. I also had half a bar of ucan and some coke (I still can’t believe I drank full sugar coke but the even had ice cubes!) in the second half. I think probably consumed about 1000-1200 cals. I never felt I needed to eat but I forced myself to have something every 30 mins or so. I also had high5 zero electrolyte tablets. I grabbed 2 water poaches in maybe 40 out of the 43 water station, they were always cold so one to drink and one for my head and neck. All races should have those.

I realised now why this race was unique for me. I normally enjoy the training, the process more that the races themselves. Races are always an excuse for me to train. This time for the first time was the other way around, I enjoyed the race more than the training, the race was a whole process in itself that was changing me for the better as I went through. The race was a whole new experience. 

From a performance standpoint I could say I am a little sad I didn’t get a sub 10 but I am actually very happy my splits were consistent, I finished strong and I learned a lot. In the end it is only running so the time itself is nothing in comparison to what you gain as a person through running. But the type A person I am is already looking at what to improve 

Comrades you are much more that people say, I will be back for the down run but next summer is already committed for other adventures so will be tight. If not in 2020 I will be back for the 100th Comrades in 2021 which will be another down run as it was the original...and maybe for my second I can properly aim for a better time 

I am a runner because I run, I run because I am a runner 

We carry with us, deep inside, the knowledge that we have faced our fears and conquered challenges, and with that brings confidence, peace of mind and self-belief.

Section two – Puzzle Pieces -



Well, my friends you run the uphill course to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-412, see you in Paradise City.

Got a couple nice long runs and rides in this week down the Cape.  I did my traditional long run on the beach in Chatham.  I went on the 4th itself and it was jammed with people.  Usually once I get a mile or so down the beach I’m pretty much alone, but on the 4ht of July people come out by boat and hang out all over the place. 

At one point there was a seal on the beach injured, probably by a Great White Shark.  Some guy was yelling at me to, I guess, not run by it.  Chill out there Ranger Rick, it’s a seal, not a unicorn.  When I came back the other way they had the seal EMT’s there working on it.  There are a lot of seals and a lot of sharks now on the Cape. 

I ran out of beach almost exactly at 5 miles.  Which gave me a nice tidy 10 for the outing.  I timed it well too.  I got out just after high tide. That means the tide is going out and you get a nice strip of hard sand.

I got out this weekend for an 18+ mile trail run.  Felt ok.  It was a little hard at the end, but it’s supposed to be.  I have to bring my volume up for the races I’m running this summer. 

All in all I got a good mental rest.  I read a couple books.  The best one was a Bradbury collection of short stories from the 70’s.  Great writer Bradbury.  The better read among you will smell a bit of Bradbury in my writing this week.

One of the books I’m working my way through is ‘the happiness curve’ by Jonathan Rauch.  He basically says that the science shows everyone’s life arc is about the same.  You’re happy when your young, you’re miserable when you’re in the prime of your life for the most part and then, in the last bit, the middle age forward, you get happy again, because, I guess you just don’t really care anymore? 

A couple things you can take form that.  One is that your happiness is different depending on what phase of life you’re in.  Another is that it’s, on average, the same experience for everybody. 

There ya go.  Hang in there and it gets better. 

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4412.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-410 – Tim Vedder Qualifies

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4410.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-410 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s been an interesting and, I’ll admit challenging, beginning to the summer.  It’s been a few weeks since the Vermont Cities Marathon race.  I’ve spent that time trying to navigate the inevitable emotional trough and working how and what to do next. 

Even as well worn an athlete as myself is not immune to the post-training cycle slump.  And, as is my habit, one of the ways I work through these things is by talking to you about them.  It’s hard to see when you’re in the Sargasso Sea of a slump, but it is a learning opportunity like anything else. 

In the spirit of this I’m going to talk about some straight-on, tactical solutions to getting out of the blue doldrums in section one and talk a bit about balance in section two.

Our interviewee today is Tim Vedder who goes into what it took in his Boston Marathon quest.  When I started this podcast a dozen or so years ago one of the things I wanted to do was expose every-day, average joe runners to the community, because that’s who we are.  Average Joe and Jill’s who occasionally roll out of bed at 5:00 AM to do hill charges in the freezing rain.

What have I been up to?  Basically taking my own advice and letting loose of the tight grip I had on the wheel of life a bit.  I’ve been trail running, Mountain biking and lifting weights.  And I’ve been eating!  I felt a bit out of sorts being too skinny so I’m letting myself put a few pounds on.  Basically, I’m doing what I want to do, while still staying in good enough shape to be within reach of a race. 

We’ll talk more about what I’ve got on the race calendar at the end.

I got great feedback on my iPhone tips from episode 4409.  It seems I was not the only one getting annoyingly treated to the first song on my list every time I turned the truck on. 

For more detail, the audio I found was a very peaceful and meek morning meditation routine from YouTube.  You can search in YouTube for “Peaceful Morning Meditation” and it will find something to fit the bill.  

To get it off of YouTube and onto your computer Google “YouTube to Mp3”.  This will show you on-line apps that will convert the video to an audio and allow you to download it to your computer.  Then rename the Mp3 file aaaaaaaaaaaa.mp3 – this will cause it to be that default first song in your music library. 

To get it into your iPhone go into iTunes and do “Add File to Library”.  Then, while your phone is connected to the computer you should be able to select this file to be synched, either by name, genre or artist.  (there’s a icon of your phone in iTunes when it is connected and you click on that to set the sync rules).  Then you sync and the mp3 should be on the phone.

There has been a lot of talk recently about digital diets and addiction to the phone apps.  You can track how much time you spend on social media or news and there are ways to set limits. The friends I have who have gone cold-turkey report that they have about a week of withdrawal, but by the second week they feel more in control and have more time. 

Failing that I have some middle of the road tips for you around social.  I don’t use Facebook that much, nor Twitter anymore just because I naturally don’t find it all that interesting.  I do like Instagram.  But, here’s my tip.  Only allow social apps to be used when you are connected to WiFi.  This means you can’t use them randomly as you’re out an about. 

It removes the knee-jerk reaction to check your feeds.  It’s a setting on your phone.  Go into the app and set it to NOT use mobile data connection.  It will keep you from looking at it in the car.  It’s a good compromise. 

Second tip is to turn on the Do Not Disturb while driving.  There’s no reason to be checking you phone while you’re driving.  Turning this on adds a barrier to phone use in the car.  Might save your life. 

Third tip is to turn on a generous quiet time at night.  There is a Do-Not-Disturb setting that you can set your phone to silent between the hours of X and Y.  I set mine to 9:00PM to 6:00AM.  This keeps me from hearing or seeing anything you text to me at 10:00PM when I’ve nodded off. 

Psychologists will always talk about setting boundaries.  The real risk with the technology is that it takes our boundaries away, and that is not good for your mental health.  You have the ability to take some of those personal boundaries back. 

So, take them back. 

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.

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Section one – Practical Slump Advice -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Tim Vedder

Bio: Timm Vedder is a neonatologist in St. Cloud, Minnesota who also serves as a physician in the National Guard. He is married, with two awesome kids. His other athletic pursuits include trail running, triathlon, tennis, and CrossFit.

Section two – Balance -



Well, my friends you Successfully trained and qualified for the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-410, see you in Boston. 

On the calendar I’ve got the ½ marathon pacing duty at the end of July. Then I’ve got Pacing duties at Leadville in mid-August.  I also signed up for a local “last chance to qualify” type marathon for September 8th.  We’ll have to see if I run Wapack on Labor Day.  Then BayState in October.  I don’t think with the weird assortment of races and training this summer I’ll be fit to qualify, but I’m starting to doubt whether I have a clue about my own fitness. 

The first 14 days of June I ran 5 miles a day as one of those slump-busting tactics.  My plantar fasciitis was acting up so I pivoted to bike riding, weight lifting and trail running.  My club had an ice-cream social over in Groton yesterday so I rode Fuji-san over, had a bowl of ice cream, chatted for a bit and rode back. 26 or so miles of road riding separated by ice cream eating.  You won’t find that on your coaches training plan. 

Then I rolled out early this morning for a 15 mile run with my buddies.  My theory is that I for Leadville I have to run on tired legs, so I bike ride on Saturday and long run Sunday.  I’m trying to get 3-4 longish trail runs in a week with a couple rides. 

I’m toying with organizing an overnight run out in July.  This would be a 10 hour trail run where we start at 10:00 PM and run through to 8:00 AM for me that’s probably 50K or more.  This falls under the category of if you do something stupid enough people will join you. 

I did a similar 12 hour run last year as part of my 100 training and it was cool.  It’s quite surrealistic.  Time goes by weirdly fast. 

Enough random training talk.  I hope you are doing well as we move into official summer.  Thanks for bearing with me as some of these episodes come in a couple days late.  I do enjoy the writing, but I am in a place where balance has been hard to find. 

I watched my way through the Netflix original zombie series “Black Summer”.  As much as I appreciate a good zombie show, being a professional zombie hunter myself, this one had a lot of holes in it. They used every zombie trope and seemed to have a very small budget. 

So remember, cardio and double tap and…

I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4410.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

VT 2019 – The French Farce

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link Vermont.mp3


A farce is a comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, and thus improbable. Farce is also characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances.

Covered in dirt, sweat and sawdust.  There I was, laying on the table in the emergency room at my local hospital.  A nice thick maroon swell of blood blobbing out of the gash on my shin.  Waiting for the doctor-lady to come back.  You might think this would make me cranky.  But, on the contrary I was having a pretty good day.

It was, ironically, Memorial Day.  A long weekend and I had gotten a lot done, including running the marathon in Vermont.  I was relieved to have that off my agenda, be done training and back to working on other stuff.  Like cutting up the trees I had felled in the yard. 

Then the machete glanced off a branch and I whacked myself square on the shin bone with that long, heavy, sharp blade designed for slicing. Right on the shin bone.  Nothing serious just a bit of a rent on the protective covering of skin that keeps the red stuff in. 

Editor’s note: “Rent”, to divide, usually violently or abruptly from the middle English Renden and Old English Rendan.

I staunched it with a rag from my chainsaw box and hobbled inside for some awkward first aid.  I flushed it out with Bactine and taped a bunch of gauze to it, wrapping the tape around my calf, ending up with something that you might see in an old war film or maybe an even earlier mummy movie. 

That held it in place long enough for me move enough trees out of the driveway to get my truck out.  I drove to the emergency room.

I wasn’t looking forward to the emergency room.  On a major holiday it was sure to be filled with drunken yahoos, with “hold my beer” accidents.  I brought along a book and was going to start working on this report for you in the hours of waiting that I anticipated. 

But, I was positively thrilled with service.  I barely had a chance to sit down in the squeaky, vinyl, institutional seat when I was called.  I was attended to by no less than 4 or 5 charming, enthusiastic and competent medical professionals.  It turned out that the doctor-lady on duty’s favorite thing was stitches. 

We had a great chat and I was in and out in 45 minutes!  They were impressed that I could tell them exactly how much I weighed.  They were almost as impressed with me having run a marathon in Vermont the day before as I was impressed with myself for, well…just being me.  It’s a curse.  I drove home and finished chopping up my trees. 

The next night I went to the local Red Cross and tried to give blood.  I see you rolling your eyes.  Chris, what the hell?  You run a race Sunday, your put yourself in the Emergency room Monday, why are you trying to give blood on Tuesday?  In my defence they really want my blood.  They are on me serval phone calls and emails a day about how much they want my blood.  But, I’m usually in the middle of a training cycle and can’t really afford to tapped of my basic circulatory life essence. 

Consequently, I try to schedule blood donations for after my target events.  The nerve of them.  After begging me for weeks and putting me through all the preliminaries, they turned me away when I told them of my recent forestry mishap.  Apparently there is have some silly rule about ‘no open wounds’.

I mean, you’re after my blood, wouldn’t this be a positive proof point that I’ve got some to spare?

No worries.  On to my next thing.  I like to be tightly scheduled.  I’m happiest when I have a nice pile of tasks in my que.  That’s how my weekends go in the spring and summer.  A yellow sticky pad list of chores in my pocket that I try to get done to have that warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment from washing the car or folding the laundry or … maybe even running a race. 

Teresa had come home from the City to pick up some stuff Friday.  We had to do a bike swap. I had procured a new city bike for her.  A city bike is a bicycle that is perfectly functional but has a low value and low probability of being stolen.  The 40-year-old Schwin I had previously procured was broken.  She had managed to crank out the bearing, which is not something I’m going to fix on a bike where the tires are worth more than the bike. 

I procured a ‘new’ old bike, cleaned it up, got most of the gears working, and transferred the rack from the old-old bike Saturday morning.  As we are all destined to do, I have turned into my father. 

I had to drive her back into the city on Saturday.  I had to be in Vermont Saturday night as well.

I had packed up my race stuff.  Since I was driving, I didn’t need to be picky.  A little of this, a little of that.  I opted to go back to my old Brooks baggie shorts with the bike short liner, because they have enough pockets to carry all my standard race stuff. A couple gels, a baggie of Endurolytes, a small thing of lube.

I was trying to make the 7:00PM deadline to pick up my bib in Vermont.  Burlington is about 3 hours and change from my house.  After the side trip to the city it was going to be tight. 

The weather forecast called for clear skies Saturday slowly changing to rain in the evening, then into thunderstorms through the morning.  I try not to think too much about the weather when I’m approaching a race.  There really isn’t much you can do about it. No sense wasting your energy fretting.

It was starting to drizzle when I pulled into the race expo hotel in South Burlington with 8 minutes to spare.  I was able to get my bib and pick up a couple Expresso Love Gu’s – old-school nutrition.  In a change of pace, I got a medium shirt, instead of a large due to my current waifish deportment. 

Then I wandered off in the strengthening showers to find my campground.  My comfy rustic home to pitch my lonely tent for the evening. 

To get to my camp I was routed right by the race start/finish area. Which was nice.  The college town of Burlington sits on the edge of Lake Champlain.  The race course for the marathon is a sort of figure 8 that goes out north of the city, turns around and runs back through the city, turns again and comes back by the park again to go north, again, then comes back south along a bike trail at the edge of the lake to the finish. 

Eyeballing it on the map I thought I might be able to walk to the race start in the morning from my camp.  The bike trail that the race finishes on runs right by the edge of the campground.  I measured it to be over a mile by the road. I figured I probably wouldn’t want to hike that, especially in a storm, in the morning, and definitely wouldn’t want to hike back after the race. 

I called Brian to see what his plans were. He told me he wasn’t racing. He was running with his son Chris.  Good for him.  That completes something special for him.  Running a marathon with every one of his kids.  But, for me, I wouldn’t be able to pace with him.

Did I mention I was racing?  Yeah, I had a goal.  I was trying to spin that fitness from my Boston training cycle into a qualifying race.  I thought it would be a no-brainer.  I was in good shape.  This was supposed to be a more reasonable course.  I’d just hang on to the back of the nearest pace group to 3:30 and be done with that.  Piece of cake. 

Checking in to my camp site it was raining fairly hard now, and of course, as I unrolled my tent it started pouring.  I was trying to hurry but that just made things slower.  The way these tents work is that there isn’t a real roof.  The roof part is a screen, a mesh, to I suppose, let your foul camping breath and farts out.  But that let the rain come right through.  The way you make it watertight is to string another bit, called a fly, over the open part, which was giving me trouble in the wind. 

Picture ma trying to do all this in the pouring rain and wind.  I must’ve looked incredibly pitiful.  Hold that picture in your head next time you think hiking the Appalachian trail is a good idea.  Some guy even ran over from a neighboring camp site to help me.  At least it wasn’t dark out yet.

The good news was that I was right next to the shower & bathroom facilities buulding. The bad news was that I was right next to the shower & bathroom facilities building.  Lots of traffic. Lots of lights.  People wandering around.  I took a few minutes to pump up my mattress.

This all seemed like a great idea when I set it up last month.  Not so much now.  Soaking wet.  Pumping away in my little tent with the rain beating on the sides.

Now I’m thinking I should have some sort of meal before I crash out in my soggy hidey hole.  I did what any sentient 21st century droid would do and asked Siri for a grocery store nearby.  I was thinking maybe a Wholefoods or something similar.  But, Burlington, being an old New England Town, is filled with corner grocery stores. Basically, one room affairs with beer, chips and lottery tickets.

I was getting tired at this point, so I gave up and bought a turkey sandwich and a beer. I returned to my campground and sat in my truck, thinking how sad a spectacle I was soggy, in my truck with the rain pouring down, chewing on a gas-station sandwich.  Having paddled my canoe through these types of adventures before and thought to myself, smiling a bit, ‘this will make a great story’. 

I was worrying a bit about logistics for the morning.  I didn’t want to hike the mile plus to the start in a rainstorm.  I decided I would drive in early and find a place to park. They said there was municipal parking, but after my ‘grocery store’ adventure I wondered what that would be like, or if it even existed. 

Ce’st la vie.  Time for beddy-by. 

In normal conditions my tent, mattress and sleeping bag are pretty darn comfy.  These weren’t exactly ‘normal’. It was storming hard, with blowing wind and driving rain. I could hear the waves crashing down on the lake shore with a steady roar. The spotlights on the facilities lit up my tent like an operating theatre.

I crawled into my tent, dragging mud and water with me.  Crawled into my sleeping bag and wrapped my throw away shirt around my head like a bandage to block the light, put my phone on airplane mode and set the alarm for 5 AM. That should give me plenty of time to get ready and find a parking spot.

Now, on a normal night, in the campground, hard up against the communal bathroom, I probably would have been kept awake by the noise of the park denizens coming and going and recreating.

This was not a normal night. I considered my good fortune. The roar of the waves and the wind and the steady drum of a hard rain was like a meditation track, right?  White noise.  The song “The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was running slyly through my head.

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called 'gitche gumee'

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy”

That’s when I realize that I had to pee.  At the same time I realized I would rather have my bladder explode and die of sepsis than go out int o this storm.  Then I fell asleep. 

A couple hours later I woke up to an eerie, (no pun intended), silence.  I was woken up by pause in storms.  It was a bit before 11:00 and I thought, now would be an excellent time to make a run for the facilities next door.  As I started moving around I realized that there was a fair amount of water inside my tent.  Whether it was from me bumping the sides or the rain coming sideways under the fly, I don’t know. My sleeping bag was wet. 

As I extracted myself and went to the rest room I thought that this might be a problem if the storms returned and temperature dropped a bit more.  Woke by quiet after 10.  Goodtime to pee.  Sleeping bag wet.  So, we held an executive meeting in my head and decided to sleep in the truck for the rest of the night.  It was surprisingly comfortable with my sleeping bag and the seat all the way back.  I slept great. 

My 5 AM alarm woke me to a humid, cool morning with scattered, pudgy clouds.  I was still worried about parking so I got my stuff on and drove into town.  Not only was the parking garage available and deserted, I’m pretty sure it was free.  The gate was open and the display had some sort of non-descriptive announcement. 

I didn’t have too many options for breakfast so I ate one of the SpringEnergy gels I had brought.  They’re more like baby food than race gels.  My next mission would be to find a cup of coffee somewhere. 

I took $5 with me and went out to walk around the start area. 

After a few laps I found a gas station with some coffee and checked that box.  That left me with another problem.  Now I had $3 left over that I didn’t know what to do with.  I could just drop it on the ground.  I could try to carry it.  In the end I just handed to some guy in a Bruins shirt.  He was confused.  He was pretty sure I was up to something nefarious. 

Then I just hung out in the park and stretched and relaxed.  It was partially sunny, very humid with a bit of wind and lots of puddles.  The race starts at 7:00 now, ever since the heat incident of 2 years ago.  Looking out over the lake there were towers of blackish clouds. 

As I wandered about someone called my name and it was Brian and his son.  I was glad to see them.  Glad to have someone to chat with.  We hung out and listened to the race announcements.  Bart Yasso was saying something to the assembled throng. 

There were maybe 3,000 people in the race.  Lots of 50 staters.  A nice size for a race. 

About 15 minutes before the start the announcers came on and told everyone to leave the park and take shelter in the parking garages.  Apparently one of those black clouds out over the race had us in its sites.  

The crowd filed out of the park across the street and down the road.  Brian, his son and I went into the Courtyard Hotel lobby.  We chatted with some of the folks in there, but basically stood around for 45 minutes while another small storm cell passed over. 

That’s a first for me. 

They let us go back to the race start after the danger had passed.  Speaking of passing, I got passed by Bart Yasso leaving the hotel.  I said hi but he was in a hurry to get back to the announcing. 

We found our corrals.  I hunted down the 3:30 pace leaders.  And we were off and running about 7:45.  It was a bit humid but nothing terrible.  I hung close to the pace leader and we were quickly up to pace. 

There were two pacers for 3:30.  They did a good job. They kept us within 5 seconds of the pace even with the rolling hills, the hard lefts and rights, and the slight wind.  They did something really useful.  Instead of running together one guy ran about 50 to 100 feet behind the other guy.  I started out with the lead guy but then filtered back to the second pack.  

The effort was steady but not hard.  I felt fine. 

It was hillier than I had surmised from Brian’s description.  There was one long hill back into the city that wasn’t steep but was a nice long pull.  There was a pretty good head wind in one direction.  It was useful to be in the pack and I was able to draft the pacer. 

There were some good crowds in the city but not much as you got out of town.  When the sun came through the clouds it was a little hot. 

I was staying on my nutrition, taking enough water and sipping from my bottle of F2C.  The gels they had on course were maple syrup gels.  Which is fitting for Vermont, but basically, you’re drinking pancake syrup. 

I knew the “big hill” was coming up at mile 15ish.  As we turned back towards that hill I put a little extra fuel in the fire and dropped the pace a bit.  I knew, from my training I had some faster miles in me.  I figured I’d put a little buffer between me and the pace group in case I struggled on the hill.  I thought that once I got over the hill, I could relax into the rocking chair and just glide home. 

Up to this point I was pacing well.  Not easy but not hard either.  Race pace.

The hill was a monster.  For some reason it really knocked me back on my heels.  I had to grind it out.  I lost some time but stayed ahead of the pace group.  I was suffering badly as I neared the top, but I got over it. 

On the back side of the hill I was trashed and focused on finding a recovery pace. 

My hips were tight.  My stride was painful.  That high hamstring tendonitis was biting me in the ass. 

Remember when I said I “had some good training runs and some not so good since Boston”?  Remember how I said I had somehow managed to give myself tendonitis in the ass?  Well, one of those workouts was a 20+ mile tempo run.  And what happened on that run was I got to about 16 miles and this tendonitis flared up.  It hurts.  Like some monster biting your ass.  It makes it hard to lift your legs and makes running up hills really hard.  It makes it hard to keep your stride length.  I ended up doing a fair amount of walking at the end of that workout. 

This showed up again at Vermont after the big hill about 16-17 mile in.  It wasn’t the ‘wall’ I had plenty of calories.  It wasn’t cramps, I had plenty of salt.  It was this pain in my ass that kept me from holing my pace. 

And that’s where I stopped racing and started limping in. 

In a few minutes the 3:30 pacers went by me. I said “That hill was a bitch.” 

He said, “Yeah, but it’s done now.”

I said, “Yeah, but so are my legs.”

At this point I still had about a 2-1/2 minute cushion but I could race anymore and had 8-9 miles to go.

There were still some rolling hills and each of those little rises hurt like hell. 

I threw in the towel and started walking and jogging, just to get it done. 

I ran by my camp ground a couple more times and thought about just leaving, but my truck wasn’t there, it was downtown. 

I was depressed and having dark thoughts.  I thought to myself “Now I know why those people cheat.  You can put in the work and do all the right things and what do you get?  Nothin.  That’s why they cheat.:”

I might even have had a thought or two about how I’m just getting slower and what’s the point of staying in a world that’s just a constant loss of ability? 

Such is the death march. 

When you get into the death march late in a race you notice there are people there doing the same death march pace you are.  You see them walking, stumbling, summoning the strength to run a bit, walking some more.  The comradery of zombies. 

It wasn’t awful physically.  I was fit enough to not be physically suffering.  Not like a calorie crash.  Not physical exhaustion.  My HR was fine.  I just couldn’t get my legs to turn.  And my mind had left the building.  I was done.  Done with training.  Don’t with chasing unicorns.  Done with it all.

At one point the course cuts through a wooded section in the high miles.  Just a short bit of trail to connect to road sections.  With the rain and the runners it had turned into a mud hole.  I felt bad for the runners who were still racing. 

Also, late in the race, in one of the neighborhood sections, there was a bunch of people, a couple neighborhood families handing our Budweiser pony cans.  I had no desire for a can of beer but one of the guys in front of me took one, took a sip and immediately dropped it in a big splash of foam.  The guys handing out the beers yelled at him for dropping it.  It was a bit surreal. 

Finally we found our way onto the bike path for the last couple miles back to the finish.  I came upon a guy clutch his calf, hopping around and screaming with a cramp.  I dug out the rest of my Endurolytes, gave him two and said “chew these, to get the salt into your system.”  Hope he had some water with him. 

With the late start it was pretty hot and really humid.  It didn’t impact me.  I was out of the fight before any of that would have hit me. 

As I was pulling into the finish, I was trading places with an older, grey haired woman wearing a singlet from one of the regional running clubs I know.  I thought to myself, ‘great, my finishing photo is me being out kicked by this lady!”  I wasn’t in a good place mentally. 

I managed to find a pretty fast last mile heading into the finish.  It didn’t matter.  I had turned a 2-1/2 minute buffer into a 12 minute hole with a 3:47 finish.  I got my medal and a bottle of water.  I stood around waiting to see if maybe Brian and his son weren’t close behind me since I lost so much ground.  I had passed his daughter out on the bike path and she hadn’t seen them yet. 

I saw the club singlet and congratulated her.  She turned around and said “Chris?” Turns out it was Linda one of the Goon Squad runners.  We had a long talk catching up.  She was coming off AFib surgery and starting her recovery.  The doctors had told her to quit running and it took her a long time to find a doctor who could give her a correct diagnosis and fix it. Now she’s on her way back. 

I got my truck and made my way back to the campground.  I didn’t see any reason to sleep over another night, so I broke it down and loaded up.  I stopped to tell the kid I was leaving early and he insisted on giving me my $36 back. Good Karma. 

I drove the sunny, warm day home to get back onto my list of chores. 

I must tell you I was relieved to get this race over with.  But, now I’m out of qualification and I don’t have the time or the energy for another campaign this summer.  Maybe I can’t make the standard? I don’t know.  I kills me to give up, but I’m not having fun anymore and my body is talking to me. 

I need some time off. 

It took me a few days to come to grips with not running Boston.  I’m not making any proclamations.  But, I’m ok with letting it go after 21 years.  I’m not saying I am.  I’m saying I’m ok with it. 

That’s the best I can give you coming out the back of this farce of a long weekend. 

I’m ok with it. 

“To be alive: not just the carcass / But the spark. / That’s crudely put, but … / If we’re not supposed to dance, / Why all this music?” – Gregory Orr

Direct download: Vermont2019.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-409 – Julie the Marathon Goddess

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4409.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-409 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

With any luck I’ll be able to publish this before I jump in my truck and drive up to Burlington VT for my next marathon.  It’s go time and I’m stressed out about it.  I’ve held my weight and conditioning and am coming into the race in good shape, on paper anyhow.  It’s a 3.5 hour drive from my house.

Vermont Cities, I’m told, is a much more reasonable course than Boston.  Fewer hills.  My training buddies tell me that it has always been a good race for them.  It still stresses me out.  Age graded, for my goal, I’m targeting times that are faster than I ever ran when I was younger – if you believe age grading.

Looks like the weather is going to be dicey.  The race starts at 7:00 AM so I shouldn’t have to worry about heat.  But, they are calling for thunder storms and a stiff wind in the morning.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m committed.  I’ll fight it all the way down.

It’s a figure 8 course.  I’m not sure how sheltered it is, but that should mean I’ll have as much head wind as tail wind and side wind.  I’m going to find a pace group and stick with it.  Stay in the shadow of the pace group.

I need a 3:35 to requalify and it looks like they have a 3:30 pace group.  I’ll have to decide whether I want to hang with them or freewheel.  10 seconds a mile could be significant and I’d much rather negative split than burn out.  We’ll see.

I’m camping in a park on the lake front.  Like I said it’s a trick I learned in my mountain bike racing days.  Frankly, I don’t think those hard-core mountain bikers are house-trained.  I’ve got a tent, a mattress and a mattress pump in the back of my truck.  You don’t sleep much the night before a race anyhow.  Eyeballing the map, it looks like I can walk to the start from where I’m camped.

Brian is going to be up there with his son.  I’m going to stay over Sunday night probably.  We’ll see.

I can’t wait to have this over with.  I’m pretty sick of road racing and training.  Not sure what I’m going to do if I miss my time.  I might hang it up.  Move on.  What would you do?  Do you think 21 Boston marathons is enough?  Or will my life totally unravel if I remove this prop from the infrastructure?

Today we have a great interview with Julie the Marathon Goddess.  You know Julie.  She’s the California Girl from the move “The Spirit of the Marathon 2”.  Which isn’t an awful movie.  The reason it’s not awful is that it has a cast of characters and Julie is one of those characters.

In section one I’m going to talk about some new things I learned in this last training cycle.  In section two I’m going to talk about the wild and whacky English Language.

And, since we’re talking about the English language and the Boston Marathon I have a question for you?  What is another perfectly good word for ‘unicorn’?  Monocerous!  Isn’t that a great word.  Monocerous!

Here’s another one.  Did you know that the word Cadence comes from the same Indo-European root as Cadaver?  Same Latin root meaning, loosely to fall.  The cadence is the foot fall.  The cadaver is a fallen one, so to speak.  So next time you can’t keep up your cadence and you feel like a cadaver, you’ll know why.

Oh, I have a redaction from last show.  My childhood friend Dave didn’t die.  He’s living in Seattle I think.  His older brother Eric, who I went to school with passed.  Rest in Peace Eric.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – LEssons from this long training cycle.

Voices of reason – the conversation

Julie Weiss

Author/Runner/Marathon Goddess


Available now on Amazon:

52 Weeks, 52 Marathons: The Miles and Trials of a Marathon Goddess by Julie Weiss with John Hanc and Ali Nolan (Tender Fire/Enhanced Communications)


Do you ever wonder, or have a burning desire to be more than what you have aspired to be? I always knew there was more to life, and I found it through my joy of running.

Before I started running I was overweight, on antidepressants and I could barely run around the block. I was a young mom and had battled some very dark moments. Since I started running I am no longer taking any medication and I have lost 20 pounds. Running saved my life. On March 2, 2008, I ran my first marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon. I had made all the beginner mistakes. Ouch! Pretty much sums it up. I had not trained properly, and swore I would stick only to 10K’s after that. But it was not long, two months in fact, until I ran another marathon and then another. My father became my biggest fan. We had a goal, that goal was that I would qualify for the Boston marathon where he would go to see me run. I attempted to qualify for Boston 19 times. Every time I completed a marathon I would call my father and let him know how I did. He was still proud of me, even if it was my slowest time. He always encouraged me to keep going and so I did. In October of 2010, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I was devastated, but my father urged me to continue to train, to work and go on with life as usual. It was hard, but I did as he wished. On December 5, 2010 I finally did qualify for the Boston marathon and made it in 3:47, sadly it was 1 week after my father passed away, just 35 days after his diagnosis. I know he was there with me, he was the wind at my back and had the best seat in the house, my heart. After I ran the Boston marathon in 2011 I looked deeply into the disease that had taken my father. I found that pancreatic cancer was the 4th leading cause of cancer death and the least funded for research. This was unacceptable to me. I knew had to something dramatic to raise awareness and that it should be centered around my passion for running and the love for my father. So I set out to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise $1,000,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I recently completed marathon#52 on March 17, 2013 at the ASICS L.A. Marathon. I did all of this while holding down a full time job. I work 9-5 as an accountant. I would leave my office on a Friday or Saturday, travel to a different city, state or even country, run a marathon on Sunday and fly back home to get to work Monday morning. Almost every weekend waking up at 3:30 in the morning to get to the starting line. Not even Super Storm Sandy could stop me. I dedicated each of my marathons to someone affected by pancreatic cancer because my fight was nothing compared to what theses people had to go through. They are my heroes. I am now 42, have two amazing kids, who are 20 and 24, my wonderful fiance, and of course my first running partner ever, my dog Jessie. I have found my purpose in life. Now, I invite you to join me in the light, embrace your highest self and start being the person you were put on this earth to be. If it speaks to you, I also invite you to join me in the fight against pancreatic cancer. The disease that took the life of my number 1 fan, my father, and so many others. I am so grateful that we have completed this amazing journey, but we are not done yet.  I am currently on a journey to finish 100 marathons ending at the 2016 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon and hope to reach my 1 Million dollar fundraising goal by then. When you do what you love, for those you love, that is when the miracles happen. The joy comes from the heart. If your love is running, I have learned that it’s not about how many miles you go, or even how fast. The heart does not have a clock, it has beats. My mission is to make sure those beats are spent on pursuing your dreams, your passions and having fun. Marathon Goddess is about embracing the God or Goddess within us all. Now I am running with a purpose, to fight the good fight against pancreatic cancer. It has become my mission, and I will not stop until we have found a cure. Find your passion, bring out your spirit and let it shine. We got this!!

Section two – The Wonderful, Wacky, English Language -



Well, my friends you did that thing where you strike the Goddess pose in your underwear in front of the bathroom mirror and though tno one was watching, but we won’t judge and you have come to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-409, Keep up the good work.

We’ve been having a cold and rainy spring in New England.  Every time I hit one of those long hard tempo runs in a 45 degree drizzle I mutter a little curse to the gods.  Why couldn’t we have this weather at one of my target marathons?

I’ve been working in my garden for the last couple weeks.  I started some seeds earlier but the weather has been so cold they are quite stunted.  I got some tomatoes and beans and squash in.  We’ll see what come up.  Nothing like a warm, garden fresh tomato on a warm August afternoon.

Part of the rhythm of life.

I should be able to execute a decent race at Vermont.  I’m still light – hovering around 170 pounds – I’m still hitting my tempo paces in the mid-7’s.  Like, I said, on paper it’s a lock.  We’ll see.  Wish me luck. Send me whatever universal Karma you can.

I accepted an invitation to pace a ½ marathon in PA at the end of July.  It’s the Conquer the Canyon marathon and half marathon.  I’ll be the alternate pacer for the 2 hour ½ with Greg.  Light duty.

It looks like a pretty course on a rail trail that winds through a river valley.  6-hour drive for me.  This pacing outfit is called Beast Pacers.  If you want to be a pacer they have races all over the country.  They comp you the entry.  Would be a great way to pick up your 50 states.

One more of my favorite old-English words for you before you go.  The old/middle English word for window or opening was ‘thirl’.  You may be familiar with a compound word we still use this in.  It combines the word for ‘nose’ and that word for window ‘thirl’ – and you may have guessed – that compound word is ‘nostril’ – literally ‘nose-window’.  Isn’t that great?  Nose window?

Julie’s story is a good one.  On the one hand it’s familiar to us.  It’s the classic hero’s journey.  Over coming challenges to become the champion.  On the other I think it verifies a useful truth: if you just decide to do something you can change the world, at least your little part of the world.  You don’t need permission.  You just do it and let the details figure themselves out.

It’s not goal setting.  It’s not achievement.  It’s more like directing, or freeing the universal energy that is in each of us.

Looking inside yourself, how do you let that energy free?

I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4409.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-408 – Bill Endures

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4408.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-408 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Well, folks it’s been almost a month since Boston, so let’s get back on track, back in the saddle and do some serious podcasting!  Grr…

I’m sitting in the Starbucks, one of the two Starbucks that is on my work commute route.  My hands are a bit cold.  I road my motorcycle this morning.  It’s in the low 40’s but sunny.  I like to stop and write for small patched of time in the morning at these oases of warmth and humanity. 

I’ve got some calls that I’ll take from here and then I’ll wander into my office later.  

Today we’ve got a great chat with Bill who is one of those crunchy, old ultra-runners who have done everything.  I was interested in how he did his cross country run and he definitely has a view point on it!

In section one we’ll talk about working through a post event funk.  In section two I’ll keep pounding away on the big, navel-gazing topics of Eckhart Tolle’s book. 

I’m training, actually in my taper for Vermont.  I have had some good workouts and some not-so great workouts.  In general I’ve kept the weight off and my training paces are good.  I’ve got some high-hamstring-attach point challenges that I’m trying to rehab through. 

The challenge with extended training cycles on the road is that they tend to get very specific and make you fragile.  Somehow this long cycle has made my hips and glutes a bit weak and they go on me in the high miles.  It’s the same old story, lower the water level and you find new rocks.  Keep training and you’ll find new weak points. 

So I’m working through that. 

We talked for awhile, but I’ll save the updates for the Outro. 

I will tell one story.  It’s a story about a giant, half-eaten catfish.  When I was in elementary school, so 8, 9, 10 years old I had a best friend whose name was Dave. 

We built a fort in the rafters of my Dad’s garage one summer and decorated it with stickers from Mad Magazine.  I can remember listening to “Ricky Don’t Loose That Number” by Steely Dan on the pop station, which would make it 1975ish. 

I’d go over to Dave’s house on the weekends and we’d disappear into the woods and roads around his house to go exploring.  We would wander over to the train tracks and put pennies on the tracks for the trains to smoosh, things like that. 

One time we were out on the power lines behind his house, the same power lines that I ride my mountain bike on and do long trail runs on now.  It was this time of year – spring in New England. 

What happens in spring is we get the melt and a lot of rain and the ponds, rivers and swamps all fill up with water.  For instance, I have a little pond in my back yard, right now that only exists this time of year. 

Anyhow we were wandering through this patch of swamp that had recently been a pond and we came across a giant catfish, high a dry, with a bit missing from the scavengers.  Too bad we didn’t’ have Instagram back then.  Here was this enormous fish, as if dropped form the sky by aliens into the middle of a field.  That’s a 50-60 year-old fish that took a wrong turn somewhere. 

I’ll always remember that image in my internal Instagram, which is probably much better than the actual picture anyhow.

I tell this story because my Mom called to tell me Dave died this week.  I hadn’t spoken to him in decades.  BNot to be morbid, but I want you to understand and appreciate today as a gift.  We’re all winning.  We are all in extra innings and you and I are blessed.  Don’t waste it. 

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Warning Lights -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Bill Schultz

Not sure what you're looking for as far as links and articles, but I've included a few below.

I started running in 1978 and ran my 1st ultra in 1979.  Ran my 1st 24Hr around 1982 and my 1st 6 Day race in 1984.  My best was in 1989 when I won with 475 miles. The next year, 1990, I took a sabbatical from teaching and ran a US Trascon water to water in 95 days. (Huntington Beach, CA to Atlantic City, NJ.  I've been Co-RD for the Dawn To Dusk To Dawn Track Ultras (D3) since 1984. This year's race will be the 24th edition.  Along with my own running, I've been helping Mike Melton time ultras from 100K to 6 Days around the country (13 last year).


Attached are some Articles that came out back in 1989 and 1990 regarding my Transcon and my best 6 Day race.

Here are a few links.


Section two – No-Mind -



Well, my friends you called ahead, made your plans and safely ran across the nation in record time to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-408, nmaybe it’s tome to retire?  Don’t get caught in a funk!

Enochs results

Like I said I am in a short training cycle for the Vermont City Marathon.  There’s just no way I’m going to walk away without my qualifying time this spring.  I’m in too good shape. 

If you’re going to be up there let me know and we’ll say high.  I’m going to pitch a tent in the park there for a couple nights.  It’s something I learned from mountain bike racing.  Just pitch a tent you’ll be fine!

I got a new Garmin, a 235.  I’ll give you a write up at some point.  I’m still figuring it out, but I like it so far. 

One quick story / iPhone tip for you to take you out. 

I have an iPhone 6s.  like it.  I listen to podcasts and music on it.  When I drive to work I tend to listen to podcasts.  Now, for some reason, when I plug in the phone to the radio I put in my truck, it decides to start playing the first song, alphabetically in the song list on my phone. 

The first song alphabetically in the song list on my phone was a really aggressive punk rock number called “Already Dead” by Rancid. 

The challenge I had was that some of the podcasters I listen to, and I won’t name any names, haven’t figured out how to level their audio.  You have to turn them way up to hear them. 

The result, as you may have guessed by now, was that I’d get blown out of my seat a couple times a week when I plugged in my phone for the ride to work.  It was like having an audio bomb go off in the truck! 

Eventually I was moved to engineer a solution.  I downloaded a really mild morning meditation and renamed it lower case aaaaaaa-filename…. Now I am greeted by a lovely, low and soothing voice encouraging me to embrace the day.  It’s much better.  And if someone is in the car with me I get to tell this story. 

As a corollary, I also changed the my alarm to wake up in the morning on my iPhone to be an compilation of inspirational “seize the day!” type speeches. 

If you want me to walk you through the how to’s just shoot me a note.

And I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4408.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Boston 2019

All in – my  21st Boston Marathon

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link  Boston2019.mp3

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

I didn’t sleep great the night before.  Part of it was the driving rain and the thunder and lightning that shook the house.  Part of it was my ruminating brain. 

You might think that having such a great training cycle would allow me to rest easy. But, no, it somehow raised the stakes.  My trusty subconscious was chattering away.  What if after all this work I managed to screw up the race? What if the weather was bad? 

Of course I tied to let my big brain take over and talk myself down from the window ledge.  I am grateful to be here. Yeah.  I am happy to still be doing this 20+ years in?  Yeah.  I am blessed?  Yeah. 

Blah, blah, blah…

After 20 years you’d think I’d be able to rationalize.  Repetition doesn’t lower the stakes.  This is the Boston Marathon.  It matters to me.  I put in the work.  I qualify.  It matters. 

It matters to me.

I rolled out of bed reasonably refreshed and put on my throw-away clothes.  With the lingering rain I didn’t want to wear my race stuff, especially my shoes.  Stay dry as long as possible.  I had time to take a nice shower and have a bit of breakfast.  A normal day at the Russell house. 

My wife dropped me off at the local Starbucks where I caught a ride with some of the folks from my running club out to Hopkinton. 

Without incident I hopped the spectator bus to downtown Hopkinton and made my way over to the senior center to join Eric and the St. Louis runners.  My second year of avoiding Athletes’ Village. Call me soft, but warm and dry with a bathroom beats ankle deep mud and a 45 minute porta-john line. 

I stretched and rubbed and pre-gamed.  Got my race gear on and lubed up really well.  With the humidity and warmer temps I figured chaffing might be an issue. 

I ran in my old Hoka Cliftons, split shorts and a race singlet.  Nothing fancy.  I wore the Boston Strong hat I had bought at the expo.  I felt like that was an appropriate message for my training cycle and my race plan. 

Like Coach said in his pep talk to me;  it didn’t matter if it was 100 degrees or if there were 80 mile an hour winds.  I was not going to waste this training cycle.  No matter what happened I was committed.  I wasn’t giving myself any option to give up or to ease off.  No matter what I was all in.  I would control the only thing any of us really controls; my commitment to fight – to be strong. 

We watched the early waves start on TV.  We saw the wheelchair finish, which seemed a bit strange to see people finish a race you are an hour away from starting.  In the room were several faster, red-bib, wave 2 runners.  That seemed to be the demographic in general.  Lots of fit, young, fast runners in Nike Vapor Fly’s and a handful of us old war horses. 

Eric and I were in the same wave and corral.  3/3, which put us up the hill not far from the start line. Without hurry we made our way over when the time was right.

It’s an electric time.  Walking to the start of the Boston marathon.  If you could somehow drop an emotional energy meter into the center of Hopkinton Massachusetts it would be bouncing off the rails and maxing out. 

Thousands of qualified athletes stepping into the culmination of their training cycles.  Each one a story of dedication and perseverance and, right now, in this very moment, at their emotional peak.  This is it.  The big test.  The qualification effort is well in the past.  The months of training and sacrifice all leading in an inevitable emotional march to this day and this moment. 

The atmosphere buzzes like an electric field. 

Eric and I made our way out of the senior center in the misty, post-rain, cool, overcast morning.  The sun was struggling to break through the remnants of the storms that had passed.  We walked the short trek to Main Street and the bottom of the hill where the first half of the corrals take a turn back towards athletes’ village.

As we cleared security to access the melee of runners trying to find corrals I ran straight into Alett.  This is one of the alternate universe characteristics of Boston.  If you are trying to meet people on purpose, you can’t find them.  But, you randomly run into people you know, for no predictable or probable reason in the crowd of 30,000 athletes.  I gave her a hug.  We had a few words. 

Eric and I continued our hike up the hill towards the start line to find our apportioned 3rd corral.  Corral 3 is close to the actual start line.  We got to the opening just before our wave start time and ended up in the back of the corral just as they pulled the ropes and the corral 4 runners flooded in to fill the gap. 

And like that we were off again, bounding down the steep hill out of Hopkinton, heading towards another date with destiny. 

I went into my training cycle angry.  It was mid-October and I had just jogged off the course at Baystate after one lap.  I thought I would have the legs after that big training cycle volume over the summer training for the Burning River 100 mile ultra.  But, I could not hold the pace at Baystate and gave up. 

There wasn’t a lot of urgency in that race.  I was already qualified.  I could run another if I wanted to.  I let my big brain rationalize me off the course. 

Ultra-training was all about multi-hour runs in the trails.  Great for fitness, great for peace of mind, but not great for racing marathons.  While putting in those 90+ mile long training weeks I didn’t pay much attention to nutrition or flexibility.  I paid no attention to speed and tempo work. 

Coming into the late summer I was tipping the scales in the mid-180’s.  That’s not obese for me, but it is some extra weight.  I have discovered that as I age, I’m losing body mass in general so my old race weights aren’t something I can compare against.  Instead I look at body fat % as a decent proxy for excess.  Late summer I was up in the 12-13% body fat. 

The extra weight doesn’t matter when you’re ambling around in the woods, in fact it’s probably an advantage, but it sucks to carry when you’re trying to run fast circles on a track or hard charges up a hill. 

Trying to tune up for that race in the fall I noticed that I really struggled with speed and tempo.  My legs weren’t cooperating.  My turnover was pathetic, and I had no pop. 

That’s when I got a bit angry.  I knew I had work to do. 

Talking with Coach, after the race, he convinced me to not try to race again and to focus on Boston, still 5 months in the future.  I committed, to get lean, to get healthy and to go into my 2019 Boston training cycle with a higher level of commitment.  To see what I could do. 

Running a qualifying time has never been easy for me. I’m not that naturally talented athlete who glides by the standards.  I struggle and work to barely scrape by.  The BAA has helpfully lowered the standard by 10 minutes over the last few years and that struggle to scrape by is even more scrapier.  I need to meet the same standard today as I did two age groups ago. 

And so it began…I worked my diet and worked my plan through the holidays.  Dropping those first 10 pounds and working daily on my tight hamstrings and quads.  I came into this training cycle lean and fit.  By the end of this cycle I was hovering around 170 pounds and 9% body fat.  I was getting good sleep and I was healthy. 

Bringing this health into my training cycle enabled me to hit paces I haven’t seen in 10 years. It enabled me to attack workouts that I would have walked away from in previous cycles.  I had the quality, if not the volume, I needed to do well. 

Like I said.  I’m quite proud of this training cycle.  I feel like it was a major lifestyle change for me.  I’m also cognizant of the fact that I’m not a 20-year-old (or a 30-year-old…or a 40-year-old) anymore and this kind of intensity may not be the best choice for longevity in this sport. 

I was dead set on sticking to my plan.  I was not going to go out too fast.  I was going to stick to 8 minute miles or slower.  My strategy was to make it through the hills with enough juice left to close the race.

Maybe it was because we started at the back of the corral, but it seemed very crowded in the beginning.  We crossed the first mile mark at somewhere around an 8:24 pace, successfully resisting the pull of the hills. 

Again, from the random encounter files, Frank, one of my training partners tapped me on the shoulder and congratulated me for not going out too fast.  I was glad to see him, but I turned around and he was gone, running his own race. 

I say ‘somewhere around an 8:24 pace’ because my Garmin was off the mile marks from the start and got worse as the race progressed.  I ended up off my 3 tenths of a mile.  Which is a lot.  It’s close to 3 minutes discrepancy at the finish. 

The next few miles brought our average down to right around 8:03 official at the first 5Kmark.  Which was right where I wanted to be.  We were running smart.  According to the official BAA timers we were right on our target splits. At 5K and at 10K.

My legs didn’t feel great.  There have been times at Boston that early in the race I can feel that ‘pop’ in my legs.  This wasn’t one of those.  I knew it was going to be a work day, but I was committed to the work.  I wasn’t going to waste this training.  No matter what I was going to work my plan – all the way. 

The race felt very crowded this year, especially in the water stops.  People were bumping and pushing and getting knocked off pace in those early tables.  

Eric started grumbling about it ‘not being his day’ but I pushed back and said all we have to do is hold this pace and get to the top of that hill.  Hold this pace and make it to the top of Heartbreak.  That’s the plan and I was working my plan – come hell or high water – all in. 

We were taking water at every aid station because it was a bit warmer than it should have been and we wanted to stay ahead of it.  I got a couple endurolytes down at around the 10K point.  It was still overcast and wasn’t uncomfortable. 

I had a couple gels with me that I had tried to pin to the waistline of my shorts.  I had no ither way to carry them, except in my hands.  I was going to tuck them inside my shorts but that didn’t feel right so I let them hang outside and flop around.  At one point I had a guy say “You’re going to lose those gels” and one did break free, but I got the other one through the first hour and choked it down. 

With the warmer weather I was a bit concerned about my gut.  I knew I had to stay on top of the water and fuel but by doing so also risked nausea from too much.  Again, when you’re racing at your threshold pace your body doesn’t like to digest stuff too. 

Some where before the 10-mile mark I turned around and Eric was gone.  Off to run his own race.  Now I had to pace myself and execute my plan. 

Through the half I was right on pace, with even a couple faster miles.  According to my watch I was a bit faster than the race splits and that difference would end up being significant.  My watch splits were probably 5 seconds a mile off my race clock splits. 

We pulled through Wellesley and the scream tunnel.  I stayed to the middle of the road to not get tangled up.  I remember seeing some young men mixed in with the Coeds and hoping this wasn’t a trend.  I was pacing a couple guys around my age who looked like they were on the same mission.  But, one of them had this annoying habit of going much faster on the downhills and I moved on. 

Somewhere around Wellesley the clouds cleared and the full sun came out.  Not terribly warm, but full sun, calm and around 70. 

The weather was a big story this year at Boston as it usually is.  It wasn’t a major issue, but it was a big story.  A week out it was forecast to be raging thunderstorms, rain and wind like we had last year.  The race officials moved up the wave 4 start to get people out of athletes’ village and onto the course a bit sooner. 

As the race got closer the forecast changed to 60’s, rain and significant tailwind.  This forecast held right up to the race.  The only thing that changed as the days clicked by was that the temperatures were predicted to creep up to close to 70. 

Still, drizzly with a stiff tail wind sounded pretty good to me. 

The dynamic was, as it usually is, that Boston is the last stop for any storm train that rolls across the country.  Typically, these come through in waves, or fronts.  When you look at a weather forecast for New England it really depends on where these storm fronts are, how fast they are moving and what’s on either side. 

That’s why this year was so squirrely.  We had two energetic systems sweeping across the country and as good as our weather technology is it’s a guess as to when the fronts show up and when they leave.  The first traveler was a warm front with tropical downpours.  Then on the heels of that one was a cold front with another line of rain and high winds.  This is all in the same 24 hour period. 

Depending on a couple hours or a shift in the storm path you could get rain, wind, warm, cold or sunny skies and/or calm.  That’s why you’ll hear people say they got all 4 seasons during the race this year.  That’s why, even the night before, we didn’t know what we were getting. 

What we ended up getting was the tropical storm early with lots of rain, warm temps and wind.  That’s what woke me up the night before. 

As the out of town runners made their way out on the buses to Athetes’ village they had to deal with these tropical downpours, thunder and lightning. 

As the waves started to go off this weather calmed and it was overcast, wet and calm.  Still this early rain turned the Hopkinton Highschool fields in athletes’ village into a medieval mud bath again for the waiting athletes.  By the time my wave, wave 3 went off it was overcast, warmish and humid with very little wind. 

As I started the race in corral 3 wave 3 it was mid-60’s, calm, overcast and humid – not bad racing weather.  But, as we got into Wellesely and the hills in Newton the sun came out.  It was 70, full sun and no wind.  A bit warm for us but not horrible. 

Ironically, after all the storms and dire forecasts, all the New Englanders got a touch of sunburn on their virgin skin.  Those poor people from out of town who packed their winter gear in anticipation of Armageddon got a nice, warm and sunny New England day. 

Then that second front, the one with the rain and tailwinds, came through right after we finished.

By the time I finished the clouds were coming in again.  It started raining and gusting walking to the hotel.  When I left for the train a couple hours later (after a shower and rehydrating) the temperature had dropped and there was a biting wind in the city. 

All four seasons in one day. 

The net result was, at least for we wave 2-3 runners, we hit the gap exactly between storm fronts and ran on a clear, windless, slightly too warm, spring day. 

Did it impact my race?  I don’t know.  It was a bit warmer than I like and there was no tail wind.  It certainly didn’t help, and I’ve heard a lot of people blaming it, for poor performances, but it wasn’t awful.  Probably more of a convenient excuse than a causative factor.

That’s Boston. 

After the sun came out and we passed through the scream tunnel the next major landmark is the drop down into Newton Lower Falls and the start of the hills, with ‘hill zero’ climbing up over 128. 

It was in this section where I started to feel a bit funky.  I had a classic power loss moment and it freaked me out.  This is too early in the race to be having power loss.  All those negative thoughts started swirling.  I shut them off and recommitted to fighting it all the way. 

I took another gel and that did the trick.  I felt human again.  Just in time for the hills.  I worked my downhill form down the steep hill into Newton Lower Falls and refocused on getting to the top of Heartbreak. 

I did great job of reeling my mind in.  Each time my head started to go sideways I would refocus on what I was doing right now.  My mantra became “Run the mile you’re in”.  And I kept working. 

I lost 10 seconds or so on that slow mile but according to my watch I had a couple minutes in the bank for the hills so I wasn’t going to let up. 

And that’s the trick at Boston.  How do you go fast enough in the beginning that you don’t fall behind your pace and have a bit of buffer for the hills, while at the same time not burning out your legs in the process? 

I was right on my plan.  It was a work day but I was on my plan.  According to my watch I could give a couple minutes back and still make my time.  Maybe not my A goal but certainly my B goal.

Hill zero was hard but manageable.  After you get over the highway they are handing our gels again so I grabbed on of those for later.  I was keeping my water intake up, but not really drinking much of the F2C I was carrying in my bottle.  Mostly because it was warm by now and my stomach was a bit nasty.  I couldn’t summon the energy to dig my Endurolytes out but figured I was getting enough from the gels and occasional sip from my bottle. 

We turned by the Fire House and I was grinding away, staying on pace.  The uphills didn’t feel great but my downhill pace was nice a strong.  It was still work and I wasn’t having a great day but I thought I was managing it well.  I was running the mile I was in and focused on getting to the top of Heartbreak.

Hill one wasn’t bad and I ran really well off the back of it to recover.  This was very positive for me because many years this is the spot where the race completely unravels.  Around 18 miles in before you even get to Heartbreak. 

Hill 2 was a bit harder, but again I recovered well and ran smoothly on the back side.  Then we were into Heartbreak  I wasn’t looking at my watch anymore.  I was all in, working as well as I could and staying as close to pace as I could, looking to get to the top of that hill and reap the benefits of the downhills and flats into the finish. 

I took a quick walk of the water table before entering the hill to get my head right and started to climb. 

I raised my head and looked up that ½ mile climb and I got back to work.

My training and preparation were excellent.  The only blip was that I had a business conference in Chicago the final week of my taper going into the race.  I ate too much and drank too much beer, got bad sleep and spent way too much time on my feet.  That shouldn’t have been enough to unravel the total quality of my training, but it may have been one of the small factors influencing my race.

My legs were a bit tight and I was a bit jetlagged and heavy as I rested out the weekend before the race. 

Since I was flying back from Chicago Friday morning anyhow, I figured I’d swing by the expo and pick up my bib.  I usually go in Saturday, but this seemed convenient and I really wanted to get off my feet and rest for the remainder of the time I had left. 

I dragged my travel bags onto the train and made my way over to the Hynes at the Pru for the expo.  There was no line at the bib pickup.  I cruised right through without breaking stride.  When I turned into the shirt pickup room there was a long line. Luckily, instead of just joining the line I asked someone what the line was for.  Apparently, it was for people to take a photo of themselves in front of a particular wall banner. 

I skipped that line and cruised through shirt pickup without breaking stride. 

There were people and family groups taking pictures all around with their bibs and shirts. There were people immediately taking the shirts out and trying them on for fit so they could exchange if necessary. 

All these people were just so excited to be there.  They were clutching and fawning in the symbols and idolatry of the moment.  So many stories, all different, but all the same too.  They worked so hard to get here and now they were celebrating and in awe of the moment

I made my way over to the expo.  This is where the crowds were. There was a veritable feeding frenzy at the Adidas official gear booth.  Crowds of runners pawing through the over-priced merch and a line to check out that would make Disney proud. 

I didn’t see anything I liked.  I usually buy a hat, but all the racing hats had the logo as a stuck-on chunk of plastic, not stitched in, so I passed.  None of the shorts looked like anything I’d want to wear either, so I skipped that line too and moved on. 

The Expo seemed smaller than usual.  A bit underwhelming and disappointing. There were the usual big shoe companies and such.  There was the theater showing the race course run through video which is always popular.   On the negative side there seemed to be a lot of ancillary, what I might call, “late night TV products”.  Various potions and devices guaranteed by someone to do something. 

On the good side there were two beer booths.  The Sam Adams guys had a large presence and runners were happily consuming the 26.2 brew specially made for the race.  And Zelus, the beer for runners out of western Mass had a booth.

I might suggest that they consider the expo at Boston as part of the character of the race and find a way to do better.  Maybe get people and products in that fit our lifestyle.  I’m sure it’s just a financial thing, they fill the space with whoever is willing to pay.  How about setting aside booth space for something more intrinsic to our demographic? How about authors?  Important charities? Or maybe to good races? Or maybe some science-based products?  Maybe I’m over thinking it.

My legs were pretty shitty at as I went into the ascent of Heartbreak.  Even after all those awesome sets of hill repeats I had donei n training I couldn’t find that gear, that energy and strength, so instead of slowing to a shuffle I switched to a fast-hike, run cadence, an ultra-running trick, to save my legs and not lose too much time. 

My legs were really heavy and refused to climb well but I worked through to the top of the hill.  I figured that was my time buffer.  Now I had to hang on to close to race pace to have any chance of making my time. 

Coming off the hill I relaxed and again had good downhill form and effort.  I felt comfortable.  I figured I was really close to my goal pace and just had to keep hitting it. I kept running the mile I was in.  I thought I carried a couple minute buffer at least into the hills, so even if I lost a minute or two, I would still be close. 

The course started to take its toll on the runners.  The pack was looser here but runners would be stopping or weaving or sitting on the side of the road and you had to watch out or bump your way through.  I saw two runners being packed onto stretchers by EMTs.  I pushed on.

In my head I thought I could just stay close.  All in.  keep fighting.  It was work.  I wasn’t terribly uncomfortable.  I was able to maintain close to goal pace on the downs and flats in the that last 10K.  I felt strong rolling down that hill with the train tracks into Cleveland Circle. 

Then, I looked up to see the 24 mile sign, and, out of habit, looked at my watch.  My Garmin said almost exactly 3:20.  Even with my addled brain I could do the math.  I would have to run the last 2.21 miles in 15 minutes to get my time.  I had been battling to hold on to 8:10’s in these last miles, thinking I had some buffer.  But, battling as I was, there was no way I was going to lay down a couple sub-7:30’s at that point. 

The wind came out of my sails.  I let my foot off the gas.  I reminded myself to lift my head up and look around.  The screaming crowds, the Citgo sign, the mile to go, the right on Herford, the left on Boylston.  The crowd on Boylston like a living, screaming animal pulling you in to the finish. 

I let myself be in that moment.  I finished easy in 3:40:19 according to the BAA timer.  A full five minutes off my B goal time.  As near as I can figure, with my watch being so far off the race splits I did not have that 2-3 minute buffer going into the hills.  I probably only had 45 seconds to a minute. 

When I lost those 2-3 minutes in the hills, combined with a couple slower miles where I was 5 or 10 seconds off pace at the end I was in the hole coming off Heartbreak.  I didn’t have the juice to negative split it in.  In those final miles where I was working to stay close to race pace I really needed to be negative splitting.  Of those 5 minutes I missed by, ½ of that is real and half of that is me taking my time to enjoy the last 2miles of the race.


In these last few days since the race I struggle with how to write and talk about it.  I suppose that’s the defining characteristic of this race – that it refuses to play along and be categorized.  On the one hand I feel blessed and awed to be able to be part of this great thing.  On the other I have mixed feelings about how I haven’t had a great race there in almost a decade. 

That’s why I like to let these things sit a bit before I try to write it up.  Let something that makes sense congeal into narrative and form.  Come to some sort of conclusion.  Some sort of tidy summary to stamp a smiley face on the report before turning it in for grading. 

This week, since the race, I’ve been waking up early.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the early rising sun of late spring.  Maybe it’s the damage in my legs.  Maybe it’s my unsettled mind.  I’m typically blessed with clarity in mornings so why not work on this report for you?  Let’s see if we can’t benefit from an early release of green, fresh thoughts still weeping sap from the fresh cuts.

The summary statement, if one can ever summarize a Boston Marathon race, is I’m happy with my training effort, I’m happy with my racing effort, I think I executed my plan well, but I’m a bit disappointed with my results. 

Here are the two sides of that coin; I missed my A goal by 10 minutes, and I missed my B goal by 5 minutes.  Now I’m out of qualification.  Flip that over and you find that I trained well, executed my plan, worked hard and didn’t give up.  Relatively I did very well.  But, relatively doesn’t get you entry into next year’s race. 

How can I say that relatively I did well?  That’s quite simple.  Since Boston is a seeded race all you need to do is to look at how you performed vis-à-vis your bib number.  For every finishing spot you beat your bib number by you finished better than someone who qualified with a better time than you did. 

I beat my bib number by 6,595 places.  Even if you throw out the outliers it’s obvious I had a much better day than many of my cohort.  It was my training, my execution and my pure stubbornness that enabled me to do so. 

Part of me wonders just what I have to do to have a break out race at Boston.  Part of me wonders if I have anything left I can do.  Part of me wonders if maybe I just don’t have the ability to pull it off anymore.  And, of course, part of me wonders why I care so much?  Really? What is it about this race that turns me into a neurotic mess once a year?

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a terrible race. I’m not jumping out the window with remorse.  I’m just stressed out, because I controlled everything I could, I did everything I could, and it still wasn’t enough for Boston. 

Based on my training paces I should have hit my A goal of breaking 3:30 and should have easily hit my B goal of 3:35.  But that didn’t happen.  I crossed that line with a hard fought 3:40:19.  I am beat up and sore.  I executed my plan but those training paces and that training fitness weren’t enough for Boston.

I worked hard.  I worked my plan.  And I never gave up.  I’m proud of the effort. There were times in this race where I was struggling and I was able to pull myself together, focus on the mile I was in, and keep racing. 

It was probably the depth and quality of my training that allowed me to fight back.  A positive spin on it might be that without that training and execution it would have been a real train wreck. 

So here we are, Dear Reader, out of qualification.  As my training buddies and I joke there is not way to gracefully disengage from Boston. If you have a good race, you’re qualified and might as well run.  If you don’t you’re pissed off and don’t want to end on a down note.  Either way you’re back on the neurotic Boston horse for another round.

I signed up for the Vermont Cities Marathon at the end of May.  I’m going to take this training and go up there and get my qualification on a reasonable course that doesn’t feel the need to demonstrate its dominance and extract its pound of flesh. 

And, I’ll see you out there.

Direct download: Boston2019.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-407 – Enoch Builds a Life of Running

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4407.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to episode 4-407 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

The first paragraph comes to you from Chicago where I am sipping coffee at in an airBNB getting ready to go work a convention all week.  It’s not perfect, having to stand around on my feet and act like an adult all week, but at least it gives me something to do to take my mind off where I’ll be in 7 days – and that would be driving to Hopkinton Massachusetts to join 30,000 other friends to run the 2019 Boston Marathon. 

Bear with me. There will be some time jumps in the narrative this episode as I work through the week in the snippets of time available to me.  I’ll try to give the updates as they pass through my big, dense brain.  It may cause us to time shift a bit as we progress but should eventually coalesce into some sort of thematic narrative. 

As for today, I feel good.  I’m very happy with my fitness.  The only thing left to do is execute a good, conservative race plan.  Which sounds easy enough, but has always been a challenge for me, especially at Boston.  I’m known as that guy who trains well and then has a bad race.  When you see that pattern consistently in an athlete it’s usually mental. 

Today we chat with Enoch who is also running Boston and we have a good conversations around coaching, training and running that I think you’ll get some value out of. 

I don’t know what section one is going to be, but you can bet it will be some sort of rumination on the upcoming race or the just-ended training cycle. 

I capped off my training since the last time we talked with a 23ish mile long run.  My buddies joined me for the first 2 hours and we ran a fair bit of it at a tempo pace.  When I dropped them I slowed it down.  I didn’t want to practice going out too fast and crashing.  I don’t need any more practice on that front!

I finished up the distance fine.  I was pretty tired for a few days as I recovered from it.  I managed to tweak something in my left foot on that run but nothing that will keep me from racing. 

I finished off the first week of taper, cutting way back on the volume.  My last tune up was 10 miles with the middle 7 at faster than race pace – no problem.  I’m fit and I have good pop. 

I went into this week of travel under 170 pounds, which is 15-20 pounds lighter than I usually race at.  I stopped thinking about dieting this week at the conference and have probably put 5 pounds back but I’ll eat clean this weekend to cap it all off,  I’ll line up light enough and I’ve stopped focusing on it. 

It looks like the weather is going to be good old Boston Marathon weather again this year.  Some sort of rain and wind.  I don’t really care.  I’ve got enough fitness to overcome most anything and I’ll take cold and rainy over hot any day. 

We’ll see how it plays out but it can’t be a s bad as last year.  Even if it is I’ll be ready both mentally and physically to adapt to it. 

I’ve run Boston 20 times.  This will be my 21st.  It still motivates me but it doesn’t hold the dread or make me crazy like it used to.  We are two old soldiers grappling our friendly match over a shared past that resonates with gratefulness for the opportunity. 

I am blessed.   

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.

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Section one – Prelude – Boston 2019 -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Coach Enoch

Thanks for having me on Chris, I really enjoyed it!

My Journey to the Olympic Trials:

Istagram: Team_FTC

See you in Boston,

Over the past 15 years, Coach Enoch (pronounced e-knock) has worked with countless runners of all ages and abilities. He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge of the sport with all of his runners. Enoch loves helping runners achieve their goals and dreams.

Coach Enoch first found his love for running in the 9th grade at Keystone Heights High School. As a member of the cross country and track team, Enoch took it upon himself to learn all that he could about running. He would go on to coach himself to multiple top five state championship finishes, and under his guidance, help his cross country team finish with its highest place in school history at the state meet. Upon graduation, Enoch was awarded a cross country/track scholarship to the University of Florida. During Enoch's freshman year at UF, he coached local High School Senior, Jeremy Criscione. Under Enoch's coaching Jeremy won the Cross Country state championship and set a State Record for the 5K and a 2-mile State Track championship. At UF, Enoch was a multiple All-SEC Conference and South Region Honoree. He was the captain of his Cross Country team and won numerous invitationals around the southeast.

Enoch still holds top 10 time records at UF in the 8k and Steeple Chase. During Enoch's time at UF, he worked closely with the coaches and gained much of his running knowledge from some of the top minds in the sport.

After College, Enoch stepped away from running to pursue other passions but he knew he would return back to his first love one day. In 2012, Enoch moved to Dallas and began coaching himself again. From 2012 to 2014, Enoch coached himself and qualified for 2016 Olympic Trials in the Marathon event. He trained 85 - 100miles a week and competed in both national and local track meets and road races. Enoch also took it upon himself to coach numerous local athletes in the area and helped elevate the local Dallas running scene to a new level. In 2014, Enoch and his wife Angela took a travel sabbatical living abroad for 15 months. They traveled 5 continents before returning home to Florida to settle down and be closer to friends and family in November 2015.

Upon moving home, Enoch began volunteering with the local non-profit, Youth Combine and competed on the Youth Combine's record breaking relay team at the Five Points of Life Marathon. In August 2016, Enoch began coaching with the Florida Track Club and fell in love with the team coaching aspect. Soon after, Enoch and the Florida Track Club formed a partnership, and thus, Team Florida Track Club was born! TeamFTC offers runners an exciting team atmosphere, organized group runs, customized training plans and one on one training sessions.

Enoch continues to race often and can be seen fighting for the win with other local elite athletes. Enoch debuted in the Marathon in 2017 running 2:18:17 to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Look for Coach Enoch and his Team Florida Track Club at your next local race or join today and become part of the team!

Enoch's Personal Records:

  • Distance Time
  • 1 Mile 4:08
  • 2 Mile 8:45
  • 5k 14:05
  • 8k XC 23:46
  • 10k (split in 1/2 Marathon) 30:02
  • 15k (split in 1/2 Marathon)  45:01
  • 10 Mile (split in 1/2 Marathon) 48:20
  • Half Marathon  1:03:54
  • Marathon 2:18:17

Athlinks race results

Section two – Now and the Body -


Well, my friends you probably have trained hard and are ready to race after listening to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-407, now you just have to execute.  

Here we are on Saturday morning.  I’m pretty tired after a week of hard business travel.  Got up early to get to the airport Friday morning, quarter of 5 Chicago time.  My flight got into Boston around noon and I navigated the public transport, dragging my bags, over to the Hynes to get my bib. 

Walked the expo.  It was packed but smaller than previous years.  Lots of useless crap.  I wish they’d let more races in.  Who needs more crap?  I’m particularly disappointed with the official gear.  Seems like the Adidas folks are designing for a different audience – not me.  I don’t need shorts with an abstract picture and the unicorn on the ass.  Who wants to look at my ass?  Get off my lawn!

I bought a Boston Strong hat at the Marathon Sports booth. 

Took me forever to get home.  By the time I got out of the expo it was rush hour do I couldn’t get on any of the inbound Green Line trains at the Pru.  I had to drag my bags down to Park street, about a mile walk and then jump on the Red Line.  Lots and lots of time on my feet and walking this week.  I need get the heck off them!

I am avoiding getting on the scale!  Too late now anyhow!

Checked the weather this morning.  Understanding that it changes every day and there is no guarantee that the weather predicted today will have any resemblance to the weather on race day.  Earlier in the week they were saying it was going to be like last year.  The BAA sent out an email saying they would smoosh wave 4 into the back of wave 3 to get folks out of Hopkinton sooner. 

But as of this morning it looks, actually, like great racing weather.  Yes, it will be raining and windy.  But the key difference from last year is that it will be 20 degrees warmer and there will be a stiff tail wind for most of it. 

So, my friends it looks like we will be buffeted, but we will set the sails, rig the flying jib and point our small but rugged craft downwind. 

And I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4407.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 12:18pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-406 – Dave McGilvary - How to Run Across the Country

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4405.mp3

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

Hello, my endurance compatriots, companions and comrades and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-405. 

Had a bit of a scare or a potential set back in my training after the last episode.  You could hear it in my voice that I was had a little something going on and sure enough I woke up that Sunday sick as heck!

I was really looking forward to my long run that day.  It was just a plane Jane 3-hour and 15 minute surge run that would get me 21-22 miles.  Nothing complicated.  And I woke up with a fever headache.  After a few seconds of indecision, (you know me), I said ‘you’ll hate yourself if you don’t go try’. 

I met my buddy Tim who was only doing 2 hours and we got out.  I could tell I was hurting so I called it at 2 hours.  Got a solid 13miles in.  Went home.  Took a shower and laid in bed the rest of the day. 

I was concerned because I had a busy week with a 2-day road trip.  I figured I’d be out on the road, sick in airplane - you get the visual. 

It turned out better than I thought.  Coach had me scheduled for a recovery week anyhow.  There weren’t any monster workouts to add to being sick and traveling.  I was able to drug myself up and made the travel and meetings look easy.  And, most importantly it didn’t turn into something awful. 

You always run into some blips in your training cycle.  My training cycle has been going so well that I was due.  A couple more big weeks would be good for my confidence, but for the most part ‘the hay is in the barn’.  

Today I called up our old friend Dave McGilvary, head of DMSE sports and race director for the Boston Marathon.  I had a simple question to pick his brain about.  “What does it take to run across the country?”  We also chat a little about that other race…

Section one – the hay is in the barn… What to do when you have late-cycle training issues.

Section two – continuing homilies on being

Speaking of the Boston Marathon, they released the bib number assignments.  If you want to track me I’m 18,543. 

Think about that.  As hard as I train, with my finishing time around a 3:30 I’m nowhere near the mid-pack of this race.  There’s 30,000 runners in the race but only around 25,000 are qualified.  That means close to ¾ of the pack is in front of me.  You’d have to run my old Boston PR of 3:06 just to make it into the first wave. 

When they changed the standards by 10 minutes people wondered if the runners could keep up.  There’s your answer.  They certainly can.  The entire curve just shifted by 10 minutes and the race is still over-subscribed.  Amazing. 

This will be my 21st running of the race and I pulled out all the stops for this one.  I think I’m going to have a good race.  Regardless of what happens it is and has been an honor to be part of this thing, this slice of local history.  On April 15th this year, Patriot’s Day in Boston, my buddies and I have done the work and earned the right to play – and play we will!

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – The Hay is in the Barn! -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Dave McGillivray, Founder DMSE


From his extraordinary 1978 run across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to serving as technical director then race director of the BAA Boston Marathon since the 1980s, McGillivray has helped organize more than 900 mass participatory events since founding DMSE Sports in 1981, while raising millions for worthy causes close to his heart.

Here are a few of his many career highlights:

In 1978 and over the course of 80 consecutive days, McGillivray ran across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, covering a total distance of 3,452 miles. He finished to a standing ovation of 32,000 fans in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. His effort raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund, a charity that supports research toward eliminating cancer in children.

The 1980 East Coast Run to benefit the Jimmy Fund consisted of 1,520 miles from Winter Haven, Florida, to Boston, Massachusetts. McGillivray was joined by Bob Hall, one of the pioneers of wheelchair marathoning, and raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund. He also met with then-President Jimmy Carter at the White House during the trek through Washington, D.C.

In 1980, McGillivray competed in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, the premier individual endurance event in the world. He finished 14th overall and was only the 30th person to have ever competed in an Ironman. The Ironman consists of three back-to-back distance events: a 2.4 mile rough, open ocean water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike race, and finally finishing up with a 26.2-mile marathon run. He completed the event again in 1983-1989 and 2014, for a total of nine times.

The Wrentham State School 24-Hour Run was designated as the "Run for Our Dreams Marathon." In 1980, this run traversed 120 miles in 24 hours throughout 31 cities within southeastern Massachusetts, ending in Foxboro Stadium during half-time of a New England Patriots football game. Held to benefit the Wrentham State School for the Mentally Retarded, this particular run raised more than $10,000 for the handicapped.

1981 brought an invitation to participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up. The course consists of 86 stories, 1,575 steps, 1050 feet in elevation, 40" stair height. Finished 10th place overall in a time of 13 minutes, 27 seconds.

His 1981 New England Run was a triathlon (running, cycling, and swimming) of 1,522 miles throughout the six New England states. He raised $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund. Unusual segments included running up and down Mount Washington and swimming two miles across Lake Winneapesaukee, both in New Hampshire. In addition, highlights included swimming one mile from Woods Hole toward Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and running three miles with inmates inside Walpole State Prison.

Officially completed his New England Run by swimming more than seven miles from Martha’s Vineyard to Falmouth, Massachusetts, again raising more money for the Jimmy Fund. McGillivray was greeted by thousands on shore including some of the world’s greatest runners, including Alberto Salazar.

In 1982, McGillivray ran the Boston Marathon in 3:14 while blindfolded and escorted by two guides to raise more than $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts..

He traded his running shoes for swimming shorts in 1983 for the Jimmy Fund 24-Hour Swim. He swam for 24 consecutive hours in the Olympic-size Medford High School pool, swimming a total of 1,884 lengths and covering 26.2 miles (distance of Boston Marathon), again raising funds for the Jimmy Fund.

Over the course of 14 days in 1983, he bicycled more than 1,000 miles throughout six New England states to raise money for a scholarship fund for McGillivray's alma mater, Merrimack College.

In 1986, he formed the first sanctioned running club inside a maximum security institution at Walpole State Prison. He also conducted and ran in numerous distance races inside the prison yard, including completing and winning a full 26.2 mile marathon against inmates.

Also in 1986, he biked for 24 consecutive hours around a five-mile loop course in Medford while simultaneously directing the annual Bay State Triathlon, which was being held on the same course at the same time. He covered a total of 385 miles, again raising money for the Jimmy Fund.

Since 1988, he has been the Technical and Race Director of the Boston Marathon. He manages and oversees all technical and operational aspects of the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world.

McGillivray’s many endurance events for charity are legendary, including running 120 miles in 24 hours thru 31 Massachusetts cities; an 86-story, 1,575-step run up Empire State Building in 13 minutes and 27 seconds; and running, cycling and swimming 1,522 miles thru six New England states while raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund.

In 2000, he was chosen as Race Director of the Year by Road Race Management/Running Times Magazine.

That same year, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award by Competitor Magazine for more than 30 years of service to the sport of road racing and triathlons.

In 2003, McGillivray created the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation to support non-profit organizations that use running to promote physical fitness in children and help solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.

In 2004, McGillivray and a team of veteran marathon runners journeyed across the country following the same path he took in 1978. Trek USA raised more than $300,000 for five charities benefiting children.

The race director of the Boston Marathon as well as an accomplished runner, McGillivray has run the marathon each year since 1973. For 16 years he ran it with all the other runners and since he began working with the race in 1988 he has run the course afterwards.

His 2006 book, The Last Pick, which he co-wrote with Linda Glass Fechter, chronicles his childhood and career as the last pick for team sports because of his small stature, motivating readers to never underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals. Order here on Amazon.

In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious “Jimmy Award” from the Jimmy Fund of Boston for his 30-year association and his work with helping to raise money to fund cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

A skilled motivational speaker, McGillivray has displayed his signature ability to engage and inspire listeners to more than 1,600 audiences from corporate executives to high school students.

McGillivray has received numerous awards –  valedictorian at both his high school and college, 2005 Running USA Hall of Champions, 2007 Runner’s World Heroes of Running Award, the 2010 Fleet Feet Lifetime Commitment to Running Award, 2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award, the 2011 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's 2011 100 list, inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2011 and also received the prestigious "Jimmy Award" by the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for 30 years of contributing time and expertise to help raise millions for cancer research and treatment. In 2015, he received the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named One of the 50 Most Influential People in Running by Runner's World - tied for 6th place.

In 2017 he was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Long Distance Running Hall of Fame, joined by Ryan Hall, Desiree Linden, and George Hirsch.

In 2018, he completed the World Marathon Challenge: seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

McGillivray has logged more than 150,000 miles, most for charity, raising millions for worthy causes.  He’s completed 155 marathons, which include 46 consecutive Boston Marathons (with 31 run at night after his race director duties are fulfilled).

In 2018 he published his first children's book, Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination, co-authored with Nancy Feehrer. The illustrated book is based on his 2006 autobiography, The Last Pick. Dream Big may be ordered here on Amazon.

His personal bests? Marathon: 2:29:58 and for the Ironman: 10:36:42.

Each year he runs his birthday age in miles, starting when he was 12, and has not missed one yet. He was born on August 22, 1954 – you can do the math.

McGillivray, DMSE Sports and his DMSE Children’s Foundation have raised more than $50 million for various charities, including: The Jimmy Fund, Carroll Center for the Blind, Cystic Fibrosis, Lazarus House, Massachusetts Dietetic Association, Massachusetts Special Olympics, Moth- ers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sports Museum of New England, Wrentham State School.


Section two – Future, Past and Now -


Well, my friends you probably have not run 3000+ miles across the country to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-406, but maybe you will some day.  

One thing I would encourage you to do is to look at Dave’s resume.  He has accomplished so much in his life.  But, that’s not what’s special about Dave. What’s special is that most of his accomplishments are focused on helping others, he lives his life in service to the greater good.  And even with all he’s done he’s extremely approachable and humble. A good role model for us.   

I’ve had a great couple weeks since we last spoke.  I did get that quick fever/flu/cold whatever it was but I got through it in a week.  I had a bit of a anxiety spot when I bailed on that long run. 

As you may remember I did most of my long runs on the treadmill in February and early March.  I was hitting my paces but in the back of my mind I was always cognizant of the fact that the treadmill is not the road.  Until I road tested some of those paces I was going to be tentative. 

Last week was a rest week but coach gave me a nice long tempo run for Saturday.  And of course, the weather didn’t cooperate.  We had 20 MPH gusting, swirling winds and I was almost ready to drive into work and knock it out on the treadmill again, especially coming off that cold. 

But, I stuck my head outside and it wasn’t too bad so I suited up and hit the workout.  The workout was to warm up for 20 minutes then run 50 minutes at faster than race pace. The out and back I run these on starts out as a rolling downhill.  This means that when you make the turn-around, the second half of the run is a rolling uphill.  Which, in theory is a great workout, but in practice sucks as you climb those hills at the end of the tempo session. 

It turned out that the wind was a tail wind on the way out and a head wind on the way back.  I don’t really look at real-time splits as I’m doing these workouts.  I try to run them by feel.  When I hit that tempo I try to ease into what I think feels like, in this case a 7:50 mile.  I get feedback on my pace every mile. 

I was a bit horrified when the first mile split was a 7:30.  Too fast.  I tried to ease off a bit and the second split came in at 7:30 again.  Going into the turn around I really tried to ease up and managed a 7:45.

The challenge here is now I was turning back into the wind and up the hill.  In previous training cycles this is where my legs would have gone on me.  But I was able to hold the pace at a 7:39 a 7:49 and a 7:58 up the hill into a stiff headwind without my legs failing at all.  And when I made the turn to be running with the wind for the last half mile I averaged a 7:25.

A number of positives.  I was able to go out too fast and recover without failing.  I was able to do the hard work up hill and into the wind and my legs felt great.  I was able to close it hard.  All good signs. 

And I followed up this week on Tuesday with a similar step up run, on the same route without the wind, with 30 minutes at 7:50’s and closing with 30 minutes at 7:30’s. 

Last night I knocked out a set of 200-meter hill repeats at sub-7 pace and it felt easy. 

How is this possible?  Am I just lucky or gifted to be able to pull this kind of speed out of my butt at the ripe old age of 56 going on 57? 

No, I mean, yeah of course there is some underlying DNA involved, but this is the result of 20 years of consistent effort over the long run and 6 months of focused effort on this cycle.

What have I done differently this cycle to get such great results?  Near as I can figure it comes down to the following:

  • Consistency – I do the work with consistent focus and effort over time. This isn’t different from previous cycles, but it’s the baseline. 
  • Nutrition – I have dropped close to 20 pounds over the last 6 months. I usually shed 10 pounds in a marathon cycle. The last few cycles I haven’t really focused on going the extra 10 pounds.  The combination of less weight and cleaner eating early in the cycle allowed me to have higher quality training and faster paces.
  • Stretching and core – Another difference in this cycle is an early focus on daily flexibility stretches. This allowed me to train harder and probably kept the injuries at bay. 
  • Finally – good sleep – I haven’t been traveling as much and my commute isn’t bad. I’ve been getting that full 8-9 hours of sleep every night and I’m sure that contributes to my ability to execute.

Turns out the secrets to success are no secrets.  You just have to do it! Which is the hardest thing, right? It’s easy to say these things, it’s another to actually do them. But, if you do, I guarantee you’ll see the results.

Next time we talk will be the weekend before the Boston Marathon.  I’ve got one more long run and I’m into my taper.  Remember, my number is 18543, If you want to steal it you need to be able to run a sub-3:30 marathon. 

Your etymology for the week is the word “compass”.  This is a combination of two Latin words.  ‘Com’ meaning with and ‘passus’, which means pace or steps. 

So following your compass means bringing together your paces.

And I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4406.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-405 – Julia and the Path Taken

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4405.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-405. 

Today we are going to talk to Julia.  Here’s the funny story.  About a year ago my friend introduced me to Julia and I interviewed her here in episode 4-368.  Then recently he introduced us again and I interviewed her again for this show. 

But here’s the thing.  None of us remembered the fact that we had already done it less than a year ago! It’s ok – she’s got a great story.  This stands alone.   And what I want you to take away from this is how she chose a special path for her life.  It involved a lot of marathons and twists and turns but it also involves a lot of love and fulfillment. 

We all make choices and those choices determine our paths.  Don’t assume you can’t choose a different path.  Don’t be afraid to try. 

So we’ve got the interview with Julia.  Also, in this episode I’m going to talk about one of my favorite topics, speed work.   Then I’m going to preach a bit about a new work I’m digesting by Eckhart Tolle.

My training is going great.  I’m super lean.  I’m strong.  I have no injuries. 

I’ve got a couple more big weeks left before I taper in to Boston. 

I knocked out a 20 miler with 18 of those at race pace on the treadmill last weekend.  I’ve been hitting all my workouts well.  I’ve got a 20+ outing tomorrow. 

The thing that really has me optimistic is that I feel a good ‘pop’ in my legs.  That feeling of strength and energy that I haven’t felt in a long time.  That last few cycles for Boston I’ve just been grinding through, hoping for a marathon miracle when I get to the race.  But this cycle feels different.  I’ve got pop. 


And Spring is here in New England!

I had my shorts on yesterday.  You can feel the Earth awakening.  You can hear the birds and smell the fecundity in the ground. 

And as the snow melts, let me share with you my favorite old-English word of the week.  Because it has to do with snow.  At some point I’ll tell the whole story of why English is such a greatly diverse language, but for now, the original Old-English brought over by the Anglo Saxons was a Germanic variety. 

In the old Germanic languages, they had ‘strong’ verbs.  About 300 of those strong verbs came into English and about 70 of them survived into modern English.  A strong verb is when the vowel sound changes to indicate the tense of the verb.  For example, a surviving strong verb is Sing, Sang, Sung.   So instead of adding an -ed or -s ending like ‘walked’ or ‘walks’ we change the vowel sound to indicate tense. 

With me so far?  Here’s the punchline.  The verb ‘to snow’ was originally a strong verb.  So my favorite Old-English word of the week is the strong verb past tense of snow.  Snew.  Isn’t that great?  Instead of ‘it snowed’ you can say ‘it snew’. 

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – My current nutrition -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Colin – Run Romsdal

Run Romsdal is a guided trail and mountain running company set up by Colin Thornton & Hélène Hubert. Through our love of running in wild, remote and spectacular places we discovered the Romsdal region in Norway and decided we could not think of a better place to bring like minded people to come and enjoy the outstanding beauty of the place in the safe hands of people who know it the best.

Instagram -

Twitter -

Facebook - runromsdal

I have attached a few photos as I can never decide what to use! 

Section two – Feel the Fear (and do it anyway) -


Well, my friends you have chosen a path through this world even though it may have rained and snew along the way, you’re still going to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-405. 

Things are getting busy for me now for a few weeks.  I have some travel and some more big weeks in the lead up to Boston.  But I’m already looking beyond Boston.  I’ve signed up to pace Eric at Leadville late in the summer so it looks like another trail-running ultra summer for me.  I’m ok with that.  Very peaceful. 

I’ll probably look to work in a 100K race somewhere because it’s a distance I haven’t run.  Or maybe a 24 hour race or some other event that gets gives me a point on the horizon to point my coracle towards and steadies my hand on the tiller.

I’ve found a few new podcasts that I can recommend to you.  By the way, have you seen all the venture capital that is being poured into podcast content?  Hundreds of millions of dollars.  Maybe my ship is coming in after a dozen years of doing this? 

The first podcast is called “The Dropout” by ABC News.  It’s an investigative journalism piece about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.  This was big news for awhile.  She was a 19 year old Stanford dropout that had a billion-dollar startup, but turns out there wasn’t an actual product that worked and the whole thing was a bit of Ponzi scheme. It’s a great window on, and indictment of, the whole Silicon Valley zeitgeist and how it can go horribly wrong.  It’s only 6 episodes and you can power right through the narrative in a week. 

The second is and NPR podcast called “Throughline” that explores historical events that you may not have known about.  Like how Sam Adams was the original conspiracy theorist, the almost impeachment of Andrew Johnson after the civil war and how we engineered the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1955.  Good stuff.  Fun, but also food for thought. 

Finally, another NPR show called “Invisibilia” that “explores the unseen forces that shape how we act and who we are”.   Very interesting.  I listened to a show last night titled “how to be Batman” about how the way we treat blind people prevents them from ‘seeing’. 

They talk to a man who uses echolocation to see.  He can ride a bike and hike in the mountains.  He believes that it is because no one ever told him he couldn’t.  When they tested his brain to see what was going on, sure enough the same place that sighted people use lights up the same way when he echolocates.  

The images he sees are the same images I see. The input mechanism is just a little different.

The links for all of these are in the post and in the show notes.

What are your beliefs keeping you from seeing?  Maybe your thinker is too busy thinking for you to be able to see?  Maybe there is another path?

When you find it…

And I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4405.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-404 – Fjords and Mountains – Run Romsdal

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4404.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-404. 

This is the point where I frantically try to remember all those great stories, amusing anecdotes and funny things that I had ready to go when I was running but now retreat into the fog of my memory like scared children confronted by the full, blank whiteness of the empty page and blinking cursor.

Bam! Right out of the gate a 54-word sentence!  Yeah! Homeric in its epicness.  I am a prose god!

(Editor’s note: Word wants to change ‘epicness’ to epicenes, which is an entirely different thing. That is a Greek word meaning containing both sexes – so androgynous or hermaphroditic and if I wanted to use either of those words I would!  So, get out of my hair Bill Gates!) 

Now I am picturing the poor, confused new listener who though they were tuning into a running podcast and instead are getting a crazed etymology tantrum.  Welcome to the inside of the RunRunLive hive mind my friends – sometimes it’s a bit fractal in here.

But yes, we do talk about endurance sports.  I have been easing myself back into Twitter after a couple years off and there is a group called #RunChat that is nice. 

That’s where I found today’s guest. 

I like cool places to run and explore and these folks have gone off to the edge of the map in Scandinavia to set up a running adventure company in the Fjords and mountains. 

The photos are spectacular.  Real Viking land stuff.

Which causes me to remember one of those amusing anecdotes.  Have you ever heard of Ragnar Lodbrok?  The infamous Viking chieftain who plundered around Frankia and Anglo-Saxon Britain in the late 700’s?  Lodbrok is a compound of two Germanic words.  And literally translated means “Hairy Breaches” or “Hairy Pants”. 

You can kind of see some English words in there think ‘Locks” as in ‘flowing locks of hair’ and ‘Breach’ – so Lod-Brok.  Because Old English and Old Norse both came from a common Indo-European root language. 

In section one I’ll talk about what my nutrition and diet looks like this cycle that is getting me lean and in section two I’ll talk about a little book I read about fear. 

And yes, as we speak I’m about 6 weeks away from the Boston marathon, which in runner-speak means 4 weeks of big miles and 2 weeks of taper. 

My training is going really well.  I’m still quite lean and have been sticking to my diet plan for the most part.  I am battling the weather though.  Every time I have a hard workout it seems like it’s snowing or raining or in a deep freeze. 

I’ve been spending a ton of time on the treadmill.  Which is good and bad.  It’s good because I can cleanly set the paces I want and hold them.  It’s bad because the treadmill does not translate 100% to road training. 

For instance, I knocked off 18 miles on the treadmill last Sunday with the middle 14 at target race pace minus 7.  If I did that outside in the freezing rain storm we were having my pace would be all over the place and I’m not sure I’d get the benefits of the workout.  I need the confidence of knowing I can hold those paces. 

Now over the next 4 weeks we’ll throw in some 20 milers and some race specific stuff.  But, all else being equal I feel great.  Light, fast, strong and healthy. 


One of my habit changes that has been successful in this nutrition cycle is how I’m making my suppers now.  In an ideal world I would eat anything late in the evening, but when I get home from work I’m starving. 

What I’ve been doing is using my cast-iron skillet to sauté up some vegetables when I come through the door.  This gives me something to do and takes maybe 20-30 minutes to prepare.  The resulting dinners are healthy and fill me up.  They are nutrition dense and calorie reasonable.

Take your big cast iron skillet.  Put it over medium heat.  Pour a glug of olive oil in.  Dice up a garlic clove or two.  Dice up a small onion.  Dice up a teaspoon-sized chunk of ginger.  Put all this into the pan and stir it around in the oil until the onions are clear.  2-3 minutes.

While that’s cooking cut up your veg.  It can be mushrooms, cabbage, squash, broccoli – whatever you have.  Fill up the skillet because the veg shrinks as it cooks.  Sauté that while mixing it so it doesn’t burn. Maybe another 5 minutes. 

Pour in a half a cup of stock to get the steaming going.  You can cover it and it will cook faster but will get soggy.  Alternately you have to keep mixing it so it cooks evenly. 

Serve over rice or anything else you have.  The key ingredient is the ginger.  The ginger makes it taste like restaurant food. 

That will fill you up and while you’re waiting for it to cook you can clean the kitchen up a bit and kill two birds with one stone.  Actually, PETA doesn’t want us to use those animal threatening phrases anymore.  They want us to modify our speech to be animal friendly.

So – instead I’ll say – you can feed two birds with one scone.

Birds like scones.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – My current nutrition -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Colin – Run Romsdal

Run Romsdal is a guided trail and mountain running company set up by Colin Thornton & Hélène Hubert. Through our love of running in wild, remote and spectacular places we discovered the Romsdal region in Norway and decided we could not think of a better place to bring like minded people to come and enjoy the outstanding beauty of the place in the safe hands of people who know it the best.

Instagram -

Twitter -

Facebook - runromsdal

I have attached a few photos as I can never decide what to use! 

Section two – Feel the Fear (and do it anyway) -


Well, my friends you have traversed the dangerous, naked spine of a rocky mountain to the Fjord at the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-404.  Careful you don’t twist an ankle.

Next time we are going to talk with Julia who has a great story and a passion for telling it. 

I hope you noticed I’m trying to re-energize the podcast.  Baby steps!  I am working on a lot of projects and life gets weird sometimes, but it’s all good.  I’m thankful for your company and the opportunity for us to connect.

So – Thank you.

My training is hard, but boringly predictable.  I’m getting in 50ish miles on 5 days of hard work on my big weeks.  I’m typically doing 3 hard workouts a week.  I have been doing more speed work this cycle which I really feel like I needed.  I have knocked off 10 Yasso 800’s at my target race time which supposedly is a positive predictor!

I had a great workout on Tuesday this week.  On the treadmill again (because the weather was awful) It was a 1 hour step up run, which is actually an ‘easy’ tempo session for me because this is a step back week.  On a build week that would be a 1:30 step up run or even more.

For an hour step up you warm up for 20 minutes.  Run at tempo pace for 30 minutes then cool down for 10.  At first I was struggling a little, breathing hard, battling the workout.  But at 20 minutes into the tempo (40 minutes into the workout) it was like a switch flipped and I felt great. 

I dropped the pace to 30 seconds per mile faster than my goal marathon pace and held that for the last 10 minutes of the step. 

I somehow got into flow state and was just flying and feeling great.  It was effortless.  It was great.  That’s why we do it right?  Every once in a while, it feels effortless and that’s a beautiful thing.

I’m going to leave you with more word play from my current fascination with the history of English.  My favorite Old English word so far is ‘Gongawiver’ which translates to “Going Weaver”, Gongawiver.  That’s the old English word for spider.  Isn’t’ that great?

You can use it in a sentence… Like, “The epicene server at Starbucks was frightened by a scary gongawiver.

And I’ll see you out there.


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4404.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-403 – Marnie’s Art Adventures

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4403.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-403. 

How is everyone doing?  Reinvigorated for this new year?  No?  Feeling the cold winter doldrums? 

Well snap out of it!  Put on your big pants! Suck it up Buttercup! 

There are roads to be run, there are adventures to be had, there are people to see, people like Marnie, who we talk to today, who did what we all want to do – she took two of her passions – running and art and mixed them together with community to form a little tribe, a little business. 

And that was a 56-word long sentence! Vladmir Nabokov would be proud.  Who needs grammar?  It just slows the creative flow.  The first written languages had no grammar.  They were just strings of words. That’s why you need priests to read them and interpret them.  I suppose not unlike our current internet…

Anyhow – back to our story.  And what a story it is!

I am neck deep and two months out from my 21st Boston Marathon.  My training is going as well as can be expected.  I’m getting all the workouts in.  I’m light and strong.  Weighed in at 172.8 pounds this morning with 9.9% body fat. 

Those are random numbers without some context.   What’s the baseline here?  When I raced my PR’s Decades ago the lightest I ever got was the low 180’s.  But as you get old you lose muscle mass.  Just looking at my body composition now at 173 versus then at 185 – they are close to equivalent.  Meaning I’ve lost about 10 pounds of body mass over 20 years.  Some is muscle mass, some is fat storage, some is the shrinking of my brain. 

Because we all know that people start losing their minds as they get older, right?  Kurt Vonnegut referred to the 6 pounds of brain in the human skull dismissively as nothing more than “A dog’s Breakfast”. 

As for body fat %, a healthy male is not going to get much leaner than 3-6%.  5% is often quoted as the apex of physical, lean, fitness, - the gold standard - for men.  6-10% is considered ‘athletic’ for men.  Women are designed differently and normally (key word there ladies) ‘normally’ are 7-9% higher in fat percentage across the board on all these numbers.

In section one I will talk about listening to your bodies.  And in section two I’ll talk about a book I read called “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*CK” 

What I love about Marnie’s story is that she took a personal adventure, running around her neighborhood, and turned it into a ‘thing’.  You don’t have to get on an aeroplane or cross an ocean to have a fulfilling adventure.  Adventures are all around you.  You just have to reach out and grab them. 

You might even say; the adventure is inside 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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – Listening to your body -

Voices of reason – the conversation


Thank you so much for the interview! I am excited about this. To answer your questions:


  1. A short bio for the notes:

Marnie Kunz is a running coach, writer, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Runstreet Art Runs, which fuse running and street art to bring people together to learn about art in their communities while getting in a fun workout.


  1. a good picture for the episode art - Please see attached. Photo by Filles Garcons Photography.
  2. Any links you want to include. Sure!


Runstreet Art Runs

Runstreet Instagram

Runstreet Twitter

Runstreet Facebook

Marnie's writing on Runstreet and on Medium


Let me know if you need anything else. Thank you!!





Section two – Life sucks, then you die… -


Well, my friends you have taken a small adventure to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-403.  It’s a rough stretch for me.  I’ve got Valentines Day, my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary all in the same 3 week period. 

It is a dark time where the alpha male must stick to the shadows and hunt carefully. A time fraught with peril. 

Like I said we are 2 months out from Boston.  I’ve been doing some daily blogging of my workouts and other tidbits on my website if anyone is interested.  The challenge I have is that I’m usually writing those posts at night, after my workout, when I’m half asleep and brain dead. 

I do a lot of monosyllabic grunting – and that doesn’t translate into prose well. 

I’ve been challenged to keep up with the podcast for a few reasons.  Primarily I don’t have a good place to record.  I used to work from home on Fridays and that was  good, but my wife has decided to take Fridays off – so she’s podcast-blocking all of you. 

I’m actually in a conference room right now in the building I work at.  The space that the company has is designed into an old manufacturing space.  I don’t have a real office with a door and the acoustics are terrible.  So, we’ll test this out and see how it works.  I may have to build a studio somewhere. 

Another podcast prohibitor is that coach has been scheduling big workouts for me on Fridays.  I came in early this morning to hit the treadmill. He gave me a 7 by 7 minutes at 5K pace. Which is not an easy workout.  With the warm up and cool down and shower you are at over an hour and a half, close to two hours. 

Having these long, hard workouts hanging over my head on a Friday screws up my schedule and my head. 

I had a video shoot in the office today so I had to get cleaned up.  Of course, no matter how much time you spend wandering around the house preparing stuff for work and the gym you always forget something. 

This morning was a belt, which was a problem because I’m so lean my pants are falling off me.  I had to have my wife run a belt over.  Good thing it was her day off! 

With Sunday’s 2:30 long run this will give me another 50ish mile week.  So far, so good. 

You may have thought the message of the don’t give a F book was a bit depressing.  But the power of that message is a reset to reality and critical thinking.  When you are forced to confront the fact that life is suffering, you’re not all that special and none of it is going to matter in 100 years anyway it frees you. 

It frees you to not take yourself so damn seriously.  It frees you to choose what makes you happy. It frees you to execute with detachment and that enables you to get stuff done, important stuff, that will, at the end of the day make a difference and ease your own and other peoples’ suffering. 

So – detaching, helps you to find and to own your own journey. 

At least that’s what my dog’s breakfast is telling me. 

I’ll see you out there,

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4403.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-402 – A Narcissistic Interviewee

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4402.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-402. 

First of all let me apologize for causing so much mid-workout vision issues last week for many of you.  I got multiple letters that many of you had some dust in your eyes when I talked about the passing of my friend Buddy.  Or as my sister put it, “Thanks for making me ugly-cry in the gym!”

Twas no my intention.  I just wrote what came to me in that moment on that day when I knew we were going to have to make that last trip to the vet and my old friend would need to bring some change to pay the ferryman. 

Let’s not be all sack cloth and ashes here, rolling in the mud, tearing at our hair and wailing.  Let’s celebrate today, this moment and the friends we have to share it with.  If a dog teaches you anything it is how to live in and enjoy the moment. 

The sun came up today.  The reaper hasn’t caught us yet and we, you and I, are going to fight that asshole all the way down.  We are not going to sit around and wait to be caught. We are going to get out there and live and love and have adventures and make that sonnabitch work hard to catch us. 


Sorry for the shows being a bit less predictable in cadence recently.  Life happens.  Even to me!

Today we interview some narcissistic knucklehead about pretty much nothing.  In section one I’ll talk about committing, really committing to this marathon cycle.  And in section two I’ll give you the draft introduction to a new book I’m writing on startup sales. 

I’ll give you a couple useful tips for the season.  First, this time of year we end up having to hit the gym a lot.  One of the things I do during my warm up, because whether you’re running or lifting or whatever you should do a little 5 minute warm up, what I do is get on the treadmill in my socks for 5 minutes.  I set it at a slow pace, (for me), like 12-15 min miles and just let my feet relax and spread out a bit.  Really helps get everything warm and relaxed. 

Second tip is about consistency.  One of the things I’ve been challenged with over the last couple cycles, especially since the 100 miler, is my legs are super tight.  What I’ve done is to work a simple 5-6 minute stretching routine into every day regardless of what my workout is.  It’s not the stretching per se but the consistency of doing it every day that makes a difference. It has really helped my running this cycle.  Small things done consistently have a huge impact.

I’ve got a new podcast for you.  The History of The English Language.  If you love words and language like me, you will find this fascinating.  This is for all you closet Philologists and Lexicologists.  If you don’t like these things it’s going to be like a freshman English lecture. 

For example, I learned that there is a root language known as Indo-European that influenced Latin, Greek and Germanic.  Those languages borrowed from each other, but were all decedents of the Indo European. 

And, today I learned that the original Indo-European word for ‘host’ had a dual meaning of both the host and the guest.  Same word.  This root word gives us both ‘host’ and ‘guest’ as well as house, hospital, hospitality, etc.  It also means that the word Ghost is literally a guest in your house.

Ok.  Get your hankies out. One last Buddy story from last week.  I stayed home with him Thursday and even though we had a rough night he rallied during the day and was up tottering around the house.  At some point in the afternoon my wife came home so I took the opportunity to jump out the door for a run in the woods. 

As I’m standing in the open doorway in my running kit talking to me wife the old dog stumbles over and sticks his head between me and the door.  The dog can barely stand but he’s decided he’s ready to head out into the woods with me on a run. 

A gamer and a wonder dog to the very end.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – A new training cycle-

Voices of reason – the conversation

Chris Russell

Chris is the product of suburban entitlement and over-education.  I promise I’ll find real guests in the future.  😊

Section two – Startup Sales -


Well, my friends you have looked at your reflection and fallen in love through to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-402.  Wake up.  We’ve got work to do.  And miles to go before we sleep. 

My training is going very well.  My strategy of losing weight and eating clean is paying off with some great workouts.  I feel lean and strong.  At least this week. 

I’ve been holding steady at around 173 pounds, which is somewhere around 10 pounds lighter than I normally would be at this point.  The first 10 are easy.  I want to see if I can get down to 165ish and go into Boston at 170ish.  My paces ae better and my staying power in my legs is better.  We’ll see how it goes. 

I don’t have any races planned for the spring besides Boston.  This is good and bad.  It’s good because I won’t waste energy and risk over-training by racing too hard.  It’s bad because I like to use those races as practice runs to give me confidence.  So much of racing well is confidence.

I’m in the midst of thinking thorough what I want to do with the podcast going forward.  I think this current format has run its course.  I like the format but I want to bring the quality up and be more consistent on the cadence and the themes.

Went out into the trails today.  It was Sunny and just below the freezing mark.  We had a deep freeze, followed by a heavy rain, followed by another freeze.  The trails are nice and firm but there is a lot of ice.  It’s slow going.  Buddy would not have liked it.  He didn’t like the ice. 

I ran into a guy ‘walking’ some sort of cattle dog cross that was wildly exuberant, running in circles and giving me friendly full-body hip checks.  Fun times.  Nice to see the people using those trails.  Buddy and I made those trails. 

It’s good for the soul.  Getting out in the woods.  Wending your way through the ice and snow.  Splitting the horizon where winter sun meets frozen ground.  That’s life.

I’ll see you out there,

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4402.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT

A life Well Lived

(Audio: link) audio: buddy-Eulogy.output.mp3]
Link buddy-Eulogy.output.mp3

A life well lived.

I’m standing in the front yard in my pajamas.  It’s 18 degrees and everything is frozen hard with that late January freeze that penetrates deep into the earth.  I’m holding Buddy’s emaciated body up to see if maybe he wants to pee.  He’s warm as he leans against me. 

He hangs his head and collapses on weak legs.  I pick him up.  So light now.  Just a warm bag of bones.  Nothing left of that strong dog that would sprint laps in this yard or launch himself 10 feet in the air to grab a frisbee in this yard or steal the soccer ball off my foot in our yard.  His yard. 

I have a photograph that I gifted to my wife one year, many years ago.  It’s an aerial photograph of the yard some outfit was peddling in our neighborhood.  The photo is late summer.  There in the green of the grass sits Buddy, ever watchful, surveying the land from his perch on the hill.  Always at the ready.

I stayed home with him yesterday.  I slept in the chair next to his bed the night before.  It was a long night.  I was woken every hour or so by the grinding of his teeth and the spasming of his body from long, violent seizures.  I put my hands on him and tell him it’s ok as he rides them out. 

Oddly it was a comfort to me.  To be able to spend this time close with him.  I stayed home from work and built a fire in the fireplace.  I sat on the couch and read while he stumbled around or slept. 

It brought back memories of a parallel time when my oldest daughter Katie was born.  I was in transition between jobs and took a couple weeks off to stay home with the newborn.  I quickly discovered that all I could do was hold that warm infant on my chest and read.  And we spent that time together.  And I was grateful for it. 

After this long night I thought this was the day, but he perked up.  He was stumbling around the house.  He was eating some treats.  I figured I’d give him another night.  He earned it.  But today is that day. 

He was doing fine a month ago on his 16th birthday, but something happened.  Some sort of system failure.  He lost 15 pounds in less than a month.  The seizures.  This morning he could not stand.  It happens quickly.  He’s exhausted. 

It’s a difficult puzzle to unravel with a pet.  How much of this is me trying to avoid my own pain and how much of it for them?  How do you make that decision or more importantly, when do you make that decision?  We can’t fathom their thoughts and emotions. As close as they are to us, they are still an alien mind.  Most of the narrative our own egomaniacal anthropomorphizing.

It’s a weighty thing to have to decide the time of death for a friend. 

These last couple days he hasn’t been eating his food, but he has been more than willing to eat our food.  As sick and weak as he is, even when we have to hold him up, he’ll inhale that hamburger and chicken and chees with a pepperoni chaser.  Good for him.  Getting the last laugh.

Most people have many pets in their lives, but there is always that one.  The one that grew up with your kids.  That one that was your best friend.  Buddy was that pet for us. 

He was not without neuroses.  He was irrationally afraid of thunder and fireworks.  He was hard-wired to chase anything that moved, no matter what your opinion on the appropriateness of that chasing was.

But he was the best dog I have ever known.  He was my running partner.  He shared thousands of miles of road a trail at my side, stride for stride.  He was incredibly smart, incredibly athletic and the kindest, gentlest guileless soul to his pack. 

How many spiritual moments did we share in the trails?  Hundreds.  Thousands.  Uncountable.  Truly shared, because he an I had this resonance in the woods, this shared joy of the joyous bounty of nature beneath our feet and around us.  We celebrated together.  We were a pack of two, brothers, and single-minded on the hunt. 

As men and dogs have been for eons.  Filled and vibrating with the perfectness of the forest.  Permeated with that primeval joy. 

I’ll miss that.  But, I’ll also celebrate it.  Because how lucky am I to have intersected with this soul in this time and place?  How much fuller am I?  He gave me more than I can ever give.  He was an example of kindness and joy.  He was my friend and his passing will leave a big hole in all our lives. 

It was a life well lived. 


Direct download: buddy-Eulogy.output.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:48pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-400 – Matt makes it stick

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4401.mp3

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

Hello, my friends and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-401. 

Nice to be back in the saddle from the holidays.  I feel like I’ve had a good couple months.  I took an extra week on my cadence for this one because It was the holidays and, frankly, I had a lot going on.  Plus I was sick.  I got whatever cold is going around.  Not the flu.  Not pneumonia. Just a cough that hung around for the better part of 2 weeks. 

I managed to hold the line on my diet through the holidays.  I did not lose a bunch of weight, but I did eat relatively cleanly and avoided most of the sweets and adult beverages of the season.  This was my plan, so well done me.  This puts me in a healthy spot to hit my Boston training hard and lose 10-15 pounds. Because I think that’s what I’m going to need to do to have any shot of requalifying. 

People think ‘Hey, Boston is in the spring! You’ve got plenty of time!” But that’s not really true.  When you turn the corner to a new year on January 1st you are only 3 and ½ months away, which in broad strokes means 14 weeks.  A typical hard training cycle for me is 12 weeks with a 2 week taper, so it’s game on. 

I’m not starting from scratch and I’m healthy and I’m mentally enthusiastic.  The dark times will come, but as of now I’m in a good spot. 

Today we chat with Matt who is a team mate of mine.  He’s got a great story.  And it’s a timely story as we ease into the ‘resolution season’.  Listen to what it took for Matt to find the courage to switch the momentum and begin his transformation. 

In section 1 I’ll give you a wrap up on the Groton Marathon, which, against the odds we managed to pull off successfully last Sunday.  Thinking about it, if I include that in my week, I’m over 50 miles for week one of my training!  Feel pretty good for that.

In section 2 I’ll perambulate about goals and stuff, because, hey, it’s that time of year.

When I was out running the Groton Marathon with my buddies I told them I had two topics that I wanted to discuss.  The first was the ending of the movie Road House and the second was the Boston Marathon of Sex.   Now, this being a family friendly show I’ll reserve the latter explanation for my members feed. I’m writing that as we speak and I crack myself up.

But, I was watching, or more to the point being forced to watch the movie Road House with Patrick Swazey, may he rest in piece, and like so many of the movies from that era, the ending didn’t make any sense. 

So he rips the one bad guy’s throat out.  Then he goes after the big bad guy.  Kills 4 of his henchmen and then has the final fight with the big bad guy.  In the end he decides not to rip that guy’s throat out but the friendly villagers kill the bad guy with shotguns. 

Shortly after the police show up.  Now we have been told that the police are in the back pocket of the bad guy.  The police ask, ‘What happened?’ and everyone says “We didn’t see anything…”  And that’s it.  Cut to the final seen of Swazey skinny dipping with the love interest. 

So, let me get this straight… There’s 6 dead bodies, one of which has Patrick Swazey’s knife sticking out of his chest, and the police just shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Well, I guess since no one saw anything…it’s all good… nothin to see here…”?

I’ve seen enough episodes of Law and Order to know they’re not getting off that easy! It’s ok, I ripped his throat out in self-defense…

Plus, they shot this guy with old shotguns.  He probably wouldn’t be dead yet when the police come in.  If it was bird shot he’d just be uncomfortable.   Maybe he had a heart attack from the shock. 

But think about all the movies you’ve seen where the end is a big pile of dead guys and it’s ok. 

That will give you something to talk about on your next long run.

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!

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one – 2018 Groton Marathon-

Voices of reason – the conversation

Matt Schorer

Matt is father, husband and triathlete from upstate NY who recently made the successful move to reclaim his health.  He trains with Jeff Kline at

Matt is currently training for the Lake Placid IronMan in Late June of this year.

Section two – Your Best Self -


Well, my friends kicked off your new year with a thorough listening to of  the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-401.  Check that off your list.  

Next up for me is a whole lot of training.  I’m going deep.  I can’t control the weather but I can control whether or not I show up and whether or not I consistently do the work.   I’ve got a good jump start on this cycle.  I’ve been working on my core a stretching daily. 

I skipped the Hangover Classic this year. I was still fighting a cold and didn’t think jumping in the Atlantic Ocean was such a good idea. 

I did finally start working on the startup sales book.  I pushed the introduction out to LinkedIn.  If anyone is interested in being a proof reader or a friendly critical eye I welcome the help.  One of the things I’m trying to do better is to ask for help.  I tend to want to do everything myself and that has a built in ceiling to it.

I see the people in my community starting to complain about all the people showing up at the gym this week.  My experience is that they tend to peter out after 10 days or so. 

I’ve got a couple suggestions for this first of the year gym bottleneck. 

First, if it really bugs you go early or late.  I don’t care what time of year it is, you’ll have plenty of elbow room at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. 

Second, as we heard from Matt today, some of those out of breath people ARE going to stick it out.  Let’s try to lean in and encourage them.  Be that person that is the tipping point in that emerging healthy person’s life. 

Take this as an opportunity to spread the good news and set a good example.  This is a good way for you to practice abundance in the new year.

And, if you see Patrick Swazey, run because he’s been dead for a decade so the zombie apocalypse will be under way. 

And I’ll see you out there.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->

Direct download: epi4401.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT





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