One of my apocalypse stories. 

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The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-443 – Chasing Summits with Gary Harrington

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


Hello and welcome to episode 4-443 of the RunRunLive podcast. 

I’m going to apologize in advance. I’ve been having a hard time staying positive these last couple weeks.  I think some of it is seasonal – maybe you have these blue periods as well.  And, of course some of it is the ongoing apocalypse and the level of uncertainty and weirdness in our worlds. 

So – if any of that bleeds through, I apologize in advance.

But, here’s the good news, being who we are, life-long endurance athletes of one form or another we are going to take this as an opportunity.  We are going to flip this on its head.  We, you and I, are going to ask better questions. 

I don’t have all the answers, but we can as the questions and have the conversations with you and potentially together we can find some strategies to do better. 

And at the end of the day, I guess that’s all we can really ask, right?  To do a little bit better. 

So in today’s show we are going to talk to a fellow runner, ultra-runner and a peak bagger extraordinaire Gary Harrington about his book “chasing summits”, which on the surface is about climbing a bunch of mountains, but under the covers is about how Gary went from a divorced, struggling, overweight sports journalist to a guy who created a lifestyle of physical freedom, physical and mental health. 

As is so many times the case in our journey here at RunRunLive, what we find is that the Running, the swimming, the hiking – they weren’t the point, they were they vehicle for the self discovery.

In section one we’ll talk about how to address your sagging enthusiasm for running in the apocalypse.  In section two we’ll talk about strategies for creating freedom in your life.

The last couple weeks have been up and down for me.  I’ve maintained my off-peak training schedule of getting out 3-4 times a week for a run with 2-3 core workouts.  I haven’t been really good at keeping up my yoga.  I’ve really lacked enthusiasm for the workouts. 

Nevertheless, I have gotten some fairly pleasant long runs in the woods with Ollie.  There are a couple of compounding factors here.  First is that my 9-5 job has been mentally stressful and typically is more like 8:00 to 6:00.  By the time I role out of a day I’m exhausted and not feeling the workout. 

And my workout are consistently pushed to the after work hours.  I could get out early but the sun doesn’t rise until after 6:00 so I’m in danger of missing those early calls. 

I know, I know, I am the last person who should be in this position.  I literally wrote the book on how to train with a busy life.  But, there it is.  This is different.  Somehow the current house-arrest version of work combined with nothing to train for, makes working out feel kinda onerous and pointless.

Humans, right?  Just when we need it most, our brain manufactures ways to make it hard. 

The time change and lack of sunlight has been harder this year than previously.  I find that my eyes are really affected by staring at the computer all day and when I’m out in the woods I can’t see enough to manage the technical bits in the dark. 

This leads to having to run constantly on guard, which is stressful, constantly tweaking my feet and ankles on roots and rocks and consistently falling down.  None of this creates the mental relaxation that I go to running and trail running for. 

I can go on the roads, but then I’m dealing with traffic and the dog and it’s not the best.

So, when I got back from running last night I ordered one of those chest-based lighting systems.  I’m hoping if I can light up the trails better it will take some of the stress out of it and open those low-light options up.  My current headlamp and hand held just aren’t cutting the mustard. 

Ollie doesn’t seem to care about any of that.  He’s happy to go on the leash or on the trails.  He’s a year-and-a-half old now and there’s nothing I can do that is going to be beyond his ability.  He’s a horse of a dog and I really have to be careful and present with him on the leash.  If he decides to go ‘Call of the Wild’ on me I have trouble holding him. 

But, I love him dearly.  Even when he ambushes me on the trails and takes a nip at me. 

Last week we had a coyote come in close to the yard and just sit and watch.  Ollie was freaking out. 

Hopefully it’s not a sick animal, they can be unpredictable.  I think Ollie could hold his own in a fight.  As a sheep dog it’s basically what he’s designed for.  But, I’d rather not find out. 

See?  I told you I was in a dark mood.  Let’s turn up the lights a bit, shall we.

Let’s talk about yellow sticky pads.  You know those little pads you can jot notes on and stick on the wall? 

I had a couple days this week where I was walking into full days of calls.  Some with angry customers.  My first thought was “I so don’t want to do this today.” But I realized that I was going to do it no matter what so I might as well set the tone.  And if I was struggling to stay motivated then they were too. 

So I decided to do one thing that was under my control and not worry about all the rest.  I decided to lead with joy.  To show up in each of those calls and demonstrate joy. Smile.  Ask them to smile with me and go about our business after we set that tone. 

Because even if you are totally out of control, you can control how you show up. 

It’s a choice.

I wrote “J O Y !” in big, block letters on a stciky and stuck it to the corner of my monitor to remind me. 

I ask you my friends; what would it take for you to show up with joy today, or tomorrow?

On with the show!

About Zero

ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action.

Link to my ZERO page: (for Donations)

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.


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Section one – 11 ways to rekindle your love for your sport in the apocalypse-


Voices of reason – the conversation

Gary Harrington – Chasing Summits

Garry Harrington hardly recognizes himself in photos any more. Staring down his fortieth birthday, he no longer looks like the collegiate athlete who once loved hiking and running. His dream job as a sports writer no longer holds the same thrill. As his marriage crumbles, he comes to the uncomfortable realization that something has to change before he loses himself entirely…

On the trails of New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, he begins to feel it. Every heart-pounding slog up gets easier; every break on the summit feels freer, until he racks up 1,000 ascents. As he tackles harder trails in more distant locales, he sheds the life he thought he wanted in pursuit of something more. His journey takes him from the familiar peaks of his native New England to the foreign and famous—from the Rockies, to the high peaks of Mexico to Tajumulco Volcano, the highest point in Central America, continuing ever-onwards and upwards to the summit he’d dreamt of climbing since childhood—the Matterhorn. Harrington is in rarified company, completing not only the High Points in the continental U.S. but also one of a handful to have summited all 66 of the accepted 14,000-footers in the Lower 48

Harrington’s journey of self-discovery parallels the peaks and valleys of life and loss as he seeks perspective and purpose on the high points of the Americas and Europe. His path defies all convention and expectations—including his own—rarely leaving unanswered the echoing question: “What if?”


Section two – Van Life-



Ok my friends we have vagabonded around the world chasing mountain tops to the end of Episode 4-443 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  

So another name for the binge listening people is Michael.  I have known him for 5 years but apparently he went back and listened through the original 4 years for the start.  That’s not easy. 

I am getting to the end of another podcast that I binged through while painting the house.  I’ll take any suggestions for something new and interesting in the history space.

In related entertainment news I started watching the Walking Dead again and frankly the last couple seasons are non-interesting.  They always created tension by being willing to kill off main characters, even main characters you really liked.  The challenge there is that you are left with a bunch of secondary characters that just aren’t as interesting. 

In the 2 days between writing the intro to this show and writing the outro my chest lighting system showed up. Along with a pair of winter gloves I ordered.

I have not tried it yet but the lighting system has a white LCD light in the center of your chest with a red warning light on your back.  It is USB chargeable – so no more battery issues.  The waist band goes around your torso like a belt with the two lights, front and back.  There is a single shoulder strap that goes over one shoulder.  It’s a WestLight RunLight 5508 and I’ll et you know if it helps with my old eye in the woods.  It was $20 on Amazon.

The gloves are a thicker winter glove.  My hands get really cold in the winter.  I misplaced the thicker running gloves I had so I ordered some new ones.  They are “Prodigen Outdoor Winter Gloves Touchscreen Running Warm Gloves” which is a keyword rich description.  It’s hard to shop for gloves on-line because you really can’t know how warm they are until you have them.  But these are cycling gloves so at least they’ll block the wind.  I’ll let you know but the feel good. 

I should mention that it seems the number one requirement for gloves is being able to poke at your phone.  I have to confess that I seldom have a desire to poke at my phone in situations where I’m wearing those thicker gloves.  I guess it’s a nice to have. 

And finally I bought some socks.  I am pretty hard on running socks.  I like the thin versions.  Typically my big toe pushes a hole in all but the most aggressive running socks.  I hold out as long as I can.  I put the side with the hole on the other foot or attempt a sew job.  But I was running out.  Again buying socks on the internet is hard because you can’t touch them. 

So I just opted for a multi-pack of Saucony running socks called “Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Bolt Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks” – Again surprisingly keyword rich, but also there doesn’t seem to be a big need to poke at your phone with your toes – but that would not surprise me as the next generation. 

I don’t know what the material is but they slip down inside my shoes when I’m running and I have to either deal with it or stop to pull them up.  They seem functional.  I’ll give it 6 months before I tear toe-holes in them.  But they are super comfy to wear around the office in the apocalypse.  Because no one wears shoes anymore in the apocalypse.

Ollie Wollie is doing well.  He and I get out a couple times a week.  He’s still very energetic.  But, with both my wife and I home a lot he’s also learning to be more cuddly.  It’s hard for him, he’s not a hugger. 

I was just out checking the mail and my neighbor stopped me to complain about barking.  Ollie does bark at the people in the woods a lot.  He’s just doing his job.  The neighbor said it was bothersome at 10 o’clock at night.  Which is impossible because neither Ollie nor I can stay awake past 9. 

Taking a rest day today.  Well, working in the yard. Raking, cutting some wood.  But my knees were rather crunchy after my hill workout yesterday on the road.  I realized that my shoes were getting old.  I went and looked and as near as I can tell I bought those shoes in October of 2019.  So, I ordered some new Hoka Clifton’s. 

I need to find something to train for.  I’d prefer it be something challenging so I could get some of the old fire burning.  Of course all the Thanksgiving races are canceled.  Victims of the apocalypse.  I’m not going to do the Groton Marathon this year.  It’s just another thing to worry about at the end of the year.  I don’t need any more things to worry about.

This would be the perfect time to change routines and take up swimming or lifting but all the gyms are closed too.  I’m going to have to think about it.  I need something to motivate me. 

I’m still plugging away at the apocalypse stories and I will drop them onto the RunRunLive feed randomly as I get them written. 

I guess life right now for all of us is like that scene in the scary movie, maybe the zombie movie, where the protagonists have survived the initial disaster in one piece and are experiencing a relatively calm spot.  But, as we watch them recuperating and rebuilding their energy we know there are more bad guys hiding just around the corner. 

And as the scary, ominous music builds, bah, dum, Bah, Dum!

I’ll see you out there.

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


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Direct download: epi4443.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT





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