The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-436 – Farm to Fork Fondo

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4435.mp3

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


Hellos and welcome to the badly delayed episode 4-436 of the RunRunLive podcast. 

Today’s show is about farming.  It’s about growing things.  It’s about the late summer harvest of ideas and endurance. 

We have a chat with retired professional cyclist Tyler Wren who has started a post-pro life around supporting local farms in Vermont called farm to fork fitness.  I ran into him because I’ve been doing a long bike ride at least once a week and thinking about the impact that the current apocalypse has had on these local farms and families. 

With the restaurants closed it impact specialized growers adversely.  The specialized stuff, the local stuff, is the good for you stuff.  I’d hate to see even more of them disappear.  To see even more beautiful tracks of rural land turned into vacation condos. 

In section one I’m going to muse on what my running has taught me in the month of July as I push through the heat and humidity. 

In section two I’m going to talk about the history of agriculture.   Because, that’s our theme. 

I’m doing fine, just busy with work and training and my wife needing me to do pointless man-things like paint the house.  It all stacks up and, you, my unfortunate friends are made to suffer the vacuum of my attentions. 

I’m healthy.  Ollie is healthy.  We’ve been getting in a lot of miles in the trails.  I’m starting to move into some fairly good volume as I target running the Wapack and back with Eric and anyone else who wants to come next month.  More about that in the outro.

My own garden is hit and miss this year. 

I planted a lot of squash but it seems to have gotten a late start and I’m only getting a few.  Whereas in other years I’ve gotten piles of zucchini and summer squash, this year only a few have battled through.  The root borers are into the stalks now and that usually kills anything left.

My berry patch has been less than spectacular as well.  I have a very mature and robust patch of red raspberries.  These are hybrids and have multiple sets of large berries.  But I’ve also got a bunch of the native black raspberry canes that are muscling their way into my garden like unwanted ruffians at a genteel social event. 

Both of these typically overwhelm me with berries. Not this year. 

We seem to have a boom in wildlife.  Something ate most of my red raspberries. I think it’s the birds.  I’m getting the Black ones now but they are getting poached as well.  In other years I would pull several pints a week out of the patch. This year I have salvaged barely enough to flavor 2 bowls of oatmeal.

My tomatoes are just coming on now.  A few weeks late.  I’m keeping an eye on them because I have a chipmunk problem as well.  The chipmunks won’t necessarily eat your tomatoes and squash but they will bite into them.  The rodents also burrow around a bit as well.  Ripping up the plants in general. 

They got my curly parsley.  I had it growing in a pot in my garden and something burrowed into the pot and ate the root.  Left the parsley.  Ate the root.  Then the next day they came back and ate the parsley.  Not sure whether that was the chipmunk or some other kind of rodent.  It was a very precisely executed crime.  I suspect on orders of the rodent syndicate.

Understand that my garden is heavily fortified.  This isn’t my first rodent rodeo.  I’ve got a 4-foot fence with chicken wire buried into the ground.  That keeps the Woodchucks and rabbits out.  Speaking of rabbits and woodchucks, I’ve given up on trying to trap the woodchucks and rabbits in the yard this year.  There are so many of them. 

There’s only one reasonable solution. I’m going to have to get a falcon.  Yup.  I’ll stand out there like an angry old god, whisper something to my hooded assassin and let my falcon swoop down and rain terror from above on all the various and sundry critters that impede my green thumb. 

I will be the raptor rodent apocalypse.

I’ve got some cucumbers coming, but those are late as well.  I have some pepper plants that seem to be doing well.  I replanted some beans that never came up and should have some of those to eat at the end of the month. 

The only successful plant in my garden is the kale.  Successful in the sense that I’ve got enough if I want to eat kale for lunch. The challenge with the kale is that it gets the cabbage worms on it and you can either spray them of try to pick them off.  It’s a battle that is currently about a tie.  Each day I go out and pick off and squish as many as I can find but each day the kale is full of holes like Swiss cheese.

So that’s it.  Hours of gardening to produce a handful of berries and some buggy kale.  If I was farming for a living I would have starved to death years ago. 

Each day I go out, because I’m working from home int eh apocalypse, and gather what ever seems to be ripe enough for my lunch salad.  I try to scrub the worms off the kale, but I know I’m eating a lot of bugs in my salads. It’s probably good for me. 

They recently re-examined human coprolites from the Paisley Caves in Oregon.  These had been dated to more than 14,000 years old.  The great glaciers were beating a hasty retreat.  The trouble was that everyone though homo sapiens only arrived 13,000 years ago.  They wrote these coprolites off as animal scat that was tainted by human handling. 

After reexamining them recently they discovered that this was indeed human poop from 14,000 years ago.  They were able to section that poop and see what we were eating as hunters and gatherers.  Turns out there wasn’t a lot of mastodon and buffalo.  Sure, there was the occasional bit of mammoth, but it was mostly plants and seeds and rodents with a fair number of insect carapaces. 

It would seem I haven’t progressed too far from  therewith my own garden. 

Think about that today as we talk about farming.  I have the advantage of water and modern seeds and I probably pulling 180 calories of vegetable out of that garden on a given day.  Think about the early farmers who had to grow enough calories to last a whole year, and that after giving 30% to some tyrant.

It’s not an easy job.  But there is something worthy about it.  There is something basic about getting your hands into the hot, wet soil and creating, nurturing the green things.  Weeding is contemplative.  Picking the perfect heirloom tomato warm from the vine is an act of fulfillment.

To be one of those self-important jerks who like to quote people, Kahil Gilbrainsaid

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ”

On with the show.

About Zero

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Section one – What I heard this week -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Tyler Wren - Farm to Fork

Farm to Fork Mission

To highlight and support the symbiotic relationship between everyday athletes, farmers, and beautiful landscapes




Tyler Wren here, founder of Wrenegade Sports. When I retired from my 13 years of professional cycling I wanted to do something meaningful, something that would allow me to share some of the best parts of my fitness career with the world in way that could have a positive social impact, while still being just plain fun. I've run and ridden my bike thousands and thousands of miles over the world and I've learned to cherish the days when I find myself rolling along on beautiful, quiet country roads. Sadly, as many who love these charming places, I've realized that peaceful rural landscapes and lonely country roads are endangered species.

As athletes, it is natural for us to support land owners who are able to preserve the open space that we enjoy so much on our bicycles and in our fitness adventures. These landowners use that land to grow food that can make us better athletes and healthier people. With the Farm to Fork Fitness Adventure series, I want people to experience beautiful iconic farmland through exercise, meet the hardworking farmers who are fighting the good fight, learn about the pressures that these farms face, and have a great time in the process.

All of the funds raised by the Wrenegade Foundation’s Farm to Fork Healthy Communities Program is donated to local farms and community organizations. That means at the end of each Farm to Fork event, Wrenegade Foundation will be cutting checks to help local farmers with projects like building a new farm stand or creating a new website, and to help local organizations advance their causes like preserving the area’s beautiful pastoral open space. 

At Wrenegade Sports, we strive to whip up the perfect combinations of health, social good, community and fun into unique and awesome events. Find out more at the Wrenegade Sports website.





In 2019, Wrenegade Foundation donated more than $40,000 to local organizations in our host communities via our Farm to Fork Volunteer Competitions. In 2020 we'll be giving away even more, and your votes help decide which groups get the biggest donations.

At each Farm to Fork event, all the volunteers will be assigned to teams that each represent a different area farm or charitable organization. From the registration tent to the last aid station, you will be greeted and cheered on by volunteers who are competing to bring the most spirit to the day. Ask questions of the volunteer teams to get to know them, their missions, and what makes the event host community unique. At the end of your ride, you will vote for your favorite team and help determine the size of the cash donations we give.

The Volunteer Competition is supported by tax-deductible participant donations to Wrenegade Foundation, sponsors, and 100% of all raffle ticket sales. 


Section two – Agriculture  –


Ok my friends we have planted and weeded and harvested Episode 4-436 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

I’m still working from home.  I’ve pushed my mileage up a notch by adding a long run into Sundays.  This weekend I’ll do 3 hours.  But, this is at the end of a hard workout on Friday and a long bike ride on Saturday – so it’s significant, for me. 

I feel strong.  I’ve been having some fatigue and I need to watch my dehydration at times but I feel strong.  Ollie has been getting out with me on most runs.  He’s still crazy but he’s good with people and other dogs in the woods so I can let him off leash.  His longest run so far is 14 miles.  He’s lost all the baby fat and he’s lean ad hard.  A real athlete. 

My plan to run the Wapack and back on September 7th has been finalized.  It’s 43 mile s of technical mountain running.  Eric is coming up from Missouri.  I plan to log the firs 26.2 as my 2020 Boston Marathon.  That will be my 21st Boston.  We’ve had the storms, the heat and the bombs.  Now we get the trails. 

I went out with my buddy Paul a couple weekends back and we did 13 miles of the Wapack.  It was a beautiful, bright July day.  We were out for just under 4 hours but I felt fine.  Eric, make sure to bring your camera and we’ll make one of those cool race movies!

I’ve been reading a lot and working a lot.  I read my way through a 5 book SciFi series called “The Lost Fleet”.  Who knows when I’ll need to know how to maneuver a space fleet in battle at near relativistic speeds, but when I do, I’ll be ready. 

After Wapack, I don’t know what I’ll train for.  Maybe I’ll treat the Groton Marathon as a real race and train for it?  Who knows.  I’m out of qualification and I’m going to be 58 this fall.  That means I still have to qualify at the harder standard if I want to keep running Boston.  Some little voice inside is whispering that it just isn’t that important anymore. 

I read Rickey Gate’s book about running across America last night.  It was mostly photos.  I still think I’d like to do that.  It seems so real and so visceral.  I’m talking to him about having a chat. 

I’ve been wearing my old two-bottle slant pack on my trail runs.  I don’t need the bottles but I use the pack to carry my old iPhone so I can listen to podcasts without having to carry the phone. 

That’s my kit. 

A bottle in one hand, the dogs leash wrapped around the other, my JayBird Tarah Bluetooth headphones and the old two-bottle waist pack to carry the phone. 

It occurred to me that it gives me two empty bottle slots which I use to pickup litter.  I keep an eye out on my road sections for cans and bottles that have been thrown out the windows of passing cars.  I’ve made a game out of trying to pick up my 2-can quota on my runs.  Most of them I can return for a nickel with my other recyclables.

We play these games, don’t we.  We tell these stories.  Each run, each set of runs is its own narrative.  The run is an empty envelope that we fill with our stories.  In this isolated world of apocalypse we create stories to fill the void.  To find meaning. To keep sane. 

I read a great article on not having enough time to do everything you want.  I’ll link to it here.  The author, Kira Newman, explains how that feeling of never having enough time works.

If the work you do gives you a sense of accomplishment you don’t see it as wasted time.  Instead of being the 100 things you have to do before you can do what you want it is the list of things you accomplish.  There’s a subtle difference and it makes a difference on how we perceive time spent.

When we see our activities as in conflict with each other we feel more stress about time scarcity.  I can either do this or do that.  They compete for the same time resource.  People who see those competing activities as additive and congruent don’t feel the time stress.  It’s ‘this or that’ in their minds it’s ‘this and that’.  Again, a subtle difference, but a big one in terms of perception.

What it really comes down to is a sense of control.  If you feel like you’re in control of your time you won’t feel time stress for the same amount of activity.  That’s why planning helps sometimes.  Until it doesn’t’ help.  Right now I’m having one of those days where my plan had me finished my workout and the podcast and on my way to the Cape an hour ago.  That didn’t happen and now I’m throwing things out of the boat to try to keep up. 

It turns out that money doesn’t’ help either.  There is a direct correlation between how much money you have and how much time stress you have.  It’s not the correlation you’d expect.  Rich people see their time as more valuable and they have more time stress. 

What can you do?  Why do you care?  You can’t do everything.  Choose a comfortable mix of things you want to do and things you need to do.  Don’t stress about it.  You can workout when you get to the Cape.  You don’t really need to clean the chain on your bike.  Do what you can.  Let the rest go. 

It turns out that time stress has nothing to do with how much time you have because we all have the same amount of time.  Time stress is caused by the way you value your time and its use.  

Make your decisions and find comfort in that control.  You have the control over your choice and nobody is goin g to care in 14,000 years whether you cleaned the toilets today.

And I’ll see you out there.

(Outro bumper)

To take you out is Track number 14 from Brian Sheff The Rock Opera by The Nays - Called "Bobby LeFavre” – which I thought I put into the last show but I thin I missed it – because, hey, yah know, I was behind schedule and in a rush!


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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4436.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT





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