Folks, I am re-releasing episode 4-310 where I interviewed Bryan Lions so we could all hear his voice and listen to his story.




The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-310 – Bryan Lyons on Pushing Rick in 2015

(Audio: link)


Chris-Bryan-Dick-RickLink epi4310.mp3

Intro Bumper:

Hello my friends, this is Chris your host and this is the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-310.  Welcome.  We are in our final days of taper leading into the Boston Marathon.  I’m ready.  I’m right on my target race weight, I’m strong in the legs and I’ve done it a few times before.
I’m starting from the back this year in the last charity corral.  It will take me awhile to get to the starting line and it will be crowded.  Looks like we’re getting decent weather, cool and rainy.  That’s actually my favorite racing weather.

Chris-b4-Boston-2015One of my friends from the running club is getting a limo to take a bunch of us out to Hopkinton on Monday morning.  There’s no checked bags from Hopkinton anymore so we’ll have to navigate the cool, wet weather on the morning with some throw away stuff.  There will be a wind.  I don’t know yet if it’s a head wind on not but as far back in the pack as I am there’s lots of shelter if you know what I mean.

I don’t know if I’ll be carrying my phone or not.  I’d love to be unplugged but I don’t know how to get it into Boston otherwise without being separated from it for a day.  It turns out this new iPhone6 fits perfectly into one of those ½ size snack baggies and you can use the phone through the plastic.

Today we have the great privilege to speak with Bryon Lyons who is taking over for Dick Hoyt in Pushing Rick this year.  It’s a long one, but’s that’s ok.  I think we cover some good ground.

In the first section I’m going to muse on this year’s Boston from my perspective, as is my annual tradition.

In the second section we’ll talk about how to use an external brain to get important stuff done.

Buddy-2015I’m good to go for Monday.  I have a red Team Hoyt singlet that I’ll probably put a long sleeve shirt on underneath because of the weather.  It’s also got some rough bits that I’d like to keep off my nipples!

I still need to swing by Whole Foods and pick up some Hammer Gels for the race.  I tried to cook up my own energy gels from organic peanut butter and cocoa powder but it was a disaster.  It was like when you give a dog a spoonful of peanut butter and their mouth gets all stuck.  I’ll have to keep working on that.  Damn near choked me to death on my last couple long runs.

We might go long today, but I’ll keep my comments short.

On with the Show!

it-all-starts-hereSection one - Running Tips

Tapering into Boston

Voices of reason – the interviews

bryanlyonsandhoyts_500Bryan Lyons

From Runners World

“Team Hoyt Racing at Boston With a Different Look

For the first time since 1980, Dick Hoyt won’t run behind his son. But Bryan Lyons, a longtime supporter and runner, takes up the cause.

By Liam Boylan-Pett;

April 9, 2015

Rick and Dick Hoyt with Bryan Lyons

Bryan Lyons (left, bib number 33864) at the 2014 Boston Marathon with Dick and Rick Hoyt.

In 2014, Dick Hoyt completed the Boston Marathon for the 32nd time—each year pushing his son Rick, who’s a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, in a custom-racing wheelchair. After last year’s race, Dick wanted to retire. Rick, however, wanted to cover the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston again.

He’s going to—this year with a new running partner. Dr. Bryan Lyons, a dentist in Billerica, Massachusetts, and a family friend of the Hoyts, will push Rick in the 119th running of Boston.

“It was sort of shocking for [Dick] to ask me,” Lyons told the Lowell Sun. "My friends told me [the Hoyts] don't want the big name, they want the big heart. If that's the least that I can provide, I'm happy."

This will be the seventh Boston Marathon for Lyons, 44, who has run for the Hoyt Foundation marathon team since 2008, with a best of 4:15:29, which he ran in 2010.

Lyons does have some experience running with Rick, 53. Since January, the two have completed a few shorter local road races and gone on training runs together, according to the Lowell Sun. If Rick isn’t available, Lyons puts sandbags into the wheelchair to simulate his weight.

Although Dick Hoyt, 74, won’t be running, he won’t absent from the marathon. He’s the race’s grand marshal, and will ride in a pace car ahead of the lead runners.

The Hoyt’s story, chronicled by Runner’s World in 2007, has inspired many. Since 1977 when Rick asked Dick to push him through a 5-mile race, the father-son duo has completed more than 1,100 races, including Ironman triathlons.

“Dick will continue to be at the head of the field, leading 30,000 runners on their trek to Boston,” Tom Grilk, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, said in a press release. “Dick and Rick Hoyt will forever be synonymous with the Boston Marathon and the sport of running.”

Now, Lyons’ name will be attached, too. Once Dick decided not to run, Lyons was an easy choice for the Hoyts.

"Bryan will be out there, and he'll do his best, we know that," Dick Hoyt told the Lowell Sun. "He's a great athlete, a great person, and the type of person that we want to be pushing Rick. And Rick wants Bryan to be the one to do it."

Section Two – Life Lessons

External BrainUsing an External Brain –


palmtressThat’s it my friends.  Episode 4-310 in the can.  We’ll see what happens over the weekend.  I may do a race report or not.  It’s a lot of work to write something that I am proud of.  You don’t really know the appropriate theme until the race has been run, so you can’t prepare that much.

I’ve got the Groton Road Race coming up on the 26th and we’ve still got shirts if you want to register.  We’d love to have you.  Then I’m going in to get my heart fixed.  Then…it will be summer time and the living will be easy.

I was out in California this past week.  I flew out Saturday and came back on the redeye Tuesday night.  I was in Huntington Beach.  You may or may not know that Huntington Beach is known as Surf City USA. This is one of the centers of the surfing culture from Southern California.

There are surf shops and beach cruiser bikes and classic cars cruising in circles.   It’s a surfer vibe.

Sunday I was wandering around the resort, killing some time before dinner and ended up going into a surf shop, where they sell shirts, baggy shorts and flip flops to the tourists.  There were a couple young guys lounging behind the counter.  They were your surfer dude types.  Being me, I figured I’d chat them up.

I say “You guys look tired and bored.”

To which the one guy replies, “Yeah, we’re the surf instructors but they make us work in here.”

And the other dude says, “Yeah, man, Long night, ya know?”

I nod, as if I can commiserate.

He thinks I don’t understand.  “I was up all night man, you know those Spanish girls…”

I try to act like that’s something I can relate to as I stand there in my business suit and mid-life crisis look.

He still thinks I don’t get it and says, “Ya know, man? The 6-2?”

I agree and move on, wondering what the hell ‘the 6-2’ means.

I tell the story to the guys I’m with and we come up with all sorts of theories around body type ratios and start-stop times.  We Google it but the urban dictionary, while having some fairly unsettling definitions, doesn’t quite fit.

We spend the next couple days asking people and not getting any good answers.  I go back to the shop but the dudes aren’t working.

At dinner that night I can see that the busboy is clearly a surfer dude cut from the same cloth.  I call him over and tell him my story in a conspiratorial and hushed way, finishing with the big question.  “What does ‘the 6-2’ mean?

He says “Well bro, it’s kinda hard to explain…”

I say “Just give it your best shot…”

He continues. “Well it just mean he was tappin that shit all night long…”

The mystery was solved.  That’s all it meant. There were not ratios or timing or measurements involved.

Now you know.  You’ve got early access to some surf slang. I can see the ultra runners using this one.  How was the middle 50 miles?  “It was the 6-2, bro, all trail, all night…”

With that I will leave you to your own adventures.  Don’t wait.  Step put the door and do it today.  There will never be a good or convenient time to do epic stuff.

Enjoy your race.

I’ll see you out there.

Closing comments


Direct download: Bryan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-425 – John and Tom Chat about Cancer

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4425.mp3

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

Hello and welcome to episode 4-425 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   

Well, here we are again, it’s a beautiful, sunny, single-digit, February morning and I’m talking to you! Ollie the collie is being a pain in the butt.  I was on a trip all week so he didn’t get his runs in and he’s very stressed out.  He’s being the toddler-terror today. 

He’s already chewed on a couple socks and the channel changer and is harassing me with a toy as I try to write.  That’s dog life. 

Today, I have a very special and personal conversation with John and Tom, who are both prostate cancer experienced and members of our running circle.  Both of them are friends of mine and I’m honored that they were kind enough to share their stories. 

In section one I’ll talk about the non-linearity of the mileage curve.  In section two I’ll give you a write up of a book I read on the plane this week that I really liked called “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it.” 

All links, including the one where you donate to my prostate cancer campaign for Boston (wink wink nudge nudge) are in the show notes, which, by the way, you should be able to access on your phone or other listening device, as part of the episode meta-data. 

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)

Busy couple of weeks.  My training has been going well.  I knocked out a nice 13.8 mile step up run last week and I’m starting to transition into more long tempo as we are getting closer to Patriots Day. 

It’s been relatively mild this winter but getting a wee bit colder.  My long run last week started at 14 degrees.  I forgot my thick gloves and was worried I might have to knock on someone’s door to warm up during that first hour.  It used to be I’d just run harder to warm up but that’s not a great strategy for me anymore in a multi-hour run. 

My bottle froze and my headphones failed.  But, hey, it was sunny and windless, so it wasn’t too bad and I was able to do some thinking and focus on my run.  There is no good or bad run there is only the ‘is’.  I swung by and picked up a couple of my running club buddies for the second loop who I hadn’t seen for a while and had a good catch up. 

Was able to close out the last 30 minutes at close to race pace.  All in all a solid outing. 

Monday morning I was off to Vegas.  I always forget that Vegas is in the Western time zone.  It feels like it should be in Mountain time.  That puts it 3 hours ahead of me, which helps for those morning workouts because you’re up anyhow.

I knocked out a 30-minute time trial on the treadmill Monday morning.  I showed up at the gym in the casino at 5:00AM when it opened, and it was already ¾ full.  There was a line for the equipment when I stepped off an hour later.  All those East Coasters. 

I got a kick out of it though.  I just imagine them thinking “Who’s this old guy knocking out 7-minute miles at 5 AM?”  I’ve turned the corner a bit on worrying about being slower and I’m quite grateful to be getting at it still at all and to be able to do anything a bit quicker makes me happy. 

I got out on the strip during the last day before I headed to the airport.  Always fun to get out and take a look around.  It was mid-60’ss and sunny.  Good to see the sun.

I always like running up and down the strip.  You can do the whole thing in 6 miles.  You have to run up and down the pedestrian bridges. It’s not optimized for running.  It’s optimized to get you into a casino. 

The air is dry there in the desert but misty with the sadness of self-loathing and empty wallets in the mornings.  But, that’s not my 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 – The Mileage Curve -

Voices of reason – the conversation

John Vaughn and Tom Penny - article from Tom on exercise and cancer treatment - Tom’s Blog

Section two – Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it  –



Well, my friends, we have run past the pyramids in the desert to the end of Episode 4-425.

I’m going to continue to be busy here as I ramp up my specificity for the Boston Marathon.  You can go to to contribute to my cause, I’d appreciate it.

I’m going to wrap this up so I can get out and take Ollie for a walk before he chews through the walls.  I’m pained to say that he has totally not taken any training. In fact he’s reverted. When I say ‘Come’ he runs in the other direction.  When I say “Leave it!” he laughs and plays keep away. 

Nothing is safe in the house.  Last night he brought me a nickel.  I told him to come back with at least a $20.  If I try to watch TV or sit at all he bites me until I stand up.  After the nickel he stole my wife’s hat and chewed the pom-pom off the top.  He’s got demons. 

I didn’t want to go for a walk this morning because it was only 3 degrees out and I wanted to get some writing done.  I was planning to write on the plane but I was too tired and ended up watching the last season of Silicon Valley instead.  That’s a funny show.  I don’t get HBO at the house and can only get certain shows on planes ironically.  

I’m also watching my way through pretty bad scifi series called FarScape on Prime.  Kind of a low-budget Lost in Space meets cosplay. 

 Now that it’s warmed up a bit I’ll take Ollie for a walk and get my errands in.

One of the speakers this week was an author from Stanford named Amy Wilkinson who writes and speaks about the The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. One of her points was “Small Gifts”.  This resonated with my current practices of gratitude, kindness and empathy.

Her point was to make a practice of giving people small gifts to build trust and reciprocity in relationships.  Not physical gifts, although that’s ok too, but the unexpected gifts of small kindnesses and thankfulness. 

And I’ll leave you with that – who today can you make appoint of thanking for something they did to help you see the world differently? 

And I’ll thank you for letting me think and talk with you on this endurance journey. 

I’ll see you out there. 

(Outro bumper)

To continue my music series I give you track #2 from Brian Scheff, the Rock Opera by The Nays.

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


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4425.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT

The 2018 Boston Marathon

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast– Boston 2018

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link Boston2018


We are near the ‘one-mile-to-go’ marker.  Eric says something about one more hill. 

The crowds are thicker and more enthusiastic than they should be, but this is Boston.  The spectators take it as seriously as the runners.  A multi-colored sea of umbrellas lines the road and the encouragement is loud enough to rise above the storm.  Because it is the Boston Marathon, and this is our race. 

I am slowed but not walking.  Eric has those ultra-marathon legs and is pulling me.  If he wasn’t there I might, I just might, take a walk break.  But I don’t.  And we grind on. 

This race has ground me down but has not beaten me.  The rain continues to come in sheets and stand-you-up blasts of cold wind.  It is a din of squishing footfalls and the wet-plastic scrunching of ponchos, trash bags and rain coats.  All cadenced by the constant buffet and roar of wind-driven rain smashing into humans. 

That one more hill Eric is talking about is not really a hill.  But I know what he means.  It’s Eric’s 10th Boston and he has decided to run it in with me even though my pace has deteriorated in these last 2 miles as my legs lose the battle to this Boston course. 

I will not stop. 

It’s my 20th Boston so I remember when they added this underpass to avoid a road crossing many years ago.  I remember the old days of looking ahead and wishing with all my heart to see the runners disappearing to the right onto Hereford Street.  Now we looked ahead to see the moving tide of storm shattered humans jog left and dip under and out the other side. 

We don’t walk or slow our grimly purposed grind through the storm.  We rise out of the underpass.  Shifting to avoid the walkers or stumblers, or just having to jostle through yet another weaving, wet, exhausted, human-trash-bag blasted into our personal space by the gusty rain. 

There is not much antipathy left for these wayward castaways.  An elbow, a shoulder, a tired shove and we all keep moving. It’s like being inside a washing machine filled with ponchos and rain gear with a cold firehose turned on you at the same time. 

We all just want to finish.  

Ironically I feel a tail wind slap me on the back as we grind up Hereford.  The only tail wind on the course.  Maybe a bit insulting. Too little, too late.

Eric says his family is in the crowd somewhere up by the turn onto Bolyston and I grudgingly grind a wide tangent as he searches the crowd.  Nothing against his family but I don’t think I’d stop here to see God if he were behind the barrier.  The pull of that finish line is too strong, and I’m exhausted from 3-plus hours of pummeling rain and wind and cold. 

Typically, in a rainy race people will strip out of their protective clothing in the first few miles as they warm up.  Not today.  They never warmed up.  But now, as they approach the finish line and the anticipated succor of hotel rooms and hot showers they begin to shed their rain carapaces en masse. 

For the last 10 miles I have been looking out the 6-inch circle of my found poncho’s hood.  Now as I pull it back and look down Bolyston it is an apocalyptic scene. 

Usually in high wind situations the discarded rain ponchos and trash bags will blow across the course like dangerous plastic tumbleweeds to tangle the runners’ legs or lodge in the fencing.  Not today.  The cold rain is so heavy that it plasters the detritus to the pavement like so many giant spit balls. 

Through this apocalyptic landscape we grind out the last ¼ mile of this storied course.  There is not much of a sprint in my stride as we push through the timing mats.  I pull up the found poncho so the timers can see my number.  I’m still clutching my bottle in one cold-cramped claw.  I never finished my drink. I’m not sure I could let go of it if I wanted to.  My hands ceased to function as hands more than an hour ago. 

Grimacing we finish.  Around us runners throw their arms up in celebration.  The look on their faces is a combination of triumph, relief and disbelief.  They have survived the worst weather that Boston has ever offered up.  They got it done on a day that was at once horrible and at the same time the most epic journey in a marathon most will ever experience.

And not just any marathon. 

The Boston Marathon. 

They lived to tell the tales, and this one will be talked about for decades.

I was wrong. 

I thought I had seen everything and raced in every type of weather.  I have never seen anything like this.  The closest I have come was the last leg of the Hood to Coast Relay in 2016.  I had the same 30 mph head wind with the same driving rain.  But the difference that day in Oregon was that the rain was a few degrees warmer and I wasn’t going 26.2 miles on one of the hardest marathon courses.

I have experience. 

I ran my Boston PR in ’98 in a cold drizzle.  I rather enjoyed the Nor’easter of ’07. I had a fine day in the rain of 2015. 

Friday , as the race was approaching, when we knew what the weather was shaping up to be I wrote a blog post to calm people down.  In that post I said not to worry too much, it’s never as bad on the course as the hype makes it out to be. 

I said that the cooler temps were good for racing if you could stay out of the wind.  I mollified the nervous by noting that in the mid-pack there are thousands of people to draft with.  I cautioned against wearing too much rain gear as it would catch the wind and slow you down.  Instead, I recommended, wear a few layers to trap the heat.

I was wrong. 

I have never seen anything like this.

Most races would have canceled or delayed in the face of this type of weather.  Not Boston.  This type of weather at Chicago would have resulted in a humanitarian crises on the scale of an ill-timed tsunami rising out of Lake Michigan.  This weather at New York would have driven the runners and spectators into emergency shelters.

Not the Boston Marathon. 

This old dame of a foot race has been continuously pitting the best runners in the world against each other for  122 years.  This race is part of our cultural fabric.  It’s special.  We don’t stop for weather.  It’s too important to us to stop for anything. 

I remember emailing Dave McGillivray from a business trip in the days before the 2007 race as the Nor’easter bore down on New England.  I asked him if the reports were true, that they were considering canceling the race?  He responded matter of factly that he didn’t know about anybody else but he was going to be there. 

It’s not bravado or false courage.  It’s a mindset that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. 

The organization, the athletes, the cities and towns and the spectators are all in it together.  Together, on Monday, we all screwed up our grit and ran our race despite what wrath nature decided to unpack for us.

The athletes who run Boston are not the type to give up.  They have earned the right to be there.  Either by qualifying or working to raise thousands of dollars.  This is not the one-and-done bucket list crowd.  This is a cohort of seasoned endurance athletes who have trained hard and long over many years to get here.  If they skipped runs for bad weather they would never have made it to the start in Hopkinton. 

For the first time ever I decided to skip the Athlete’s village in Hopkinton.  From past experience I knew it was going to be a mess.  Based on the reports I have from other runners it was like a medieval battlefield scene.  The athletic fields turned into ankle deep mud under the marching of 30,000 runners.  Athletes struggled to find shelter under the tents.  Some crawled under vehicles in the parking lot in an attempt to get out of the elements. 

It was already raining and blowing hard as the day broke in Hopkinton.  The temperatures struggled to find 40 degrees.  There was no good place to be.  It was a mess.  There was no way to stay dry.  Waiting around to be called to the corrals runners started to accumulate a core temperature loss that would haunt them throughout the race.  The organization did the best they could but it was miserable and chaotic. 

I avoided it. 

My youngest daughter offered to drop me off in Hopkinton and I took the spectator bus downtown (instead of the athlete bus to the Village).  Seeing what the conditions would be, I took Eric’s offer of safe harbor at Betty’s place. 

It’s a long story, a Boston story, and it goes like this…  A long time ago, a family from St. Louis owned a home in Hopkinton.  They started a tradition of hosting the visiting Missouri runners in that home.  Eventually that family from St. Louis sold the home to Betty’s Family.  They continued the tradition and this is where Eric, one of my running buddies, who is from St. Louis, has been sheltering before his Boston Marathons. 

This year, Betty has sold the house and moved into a senior center, right next to the start.  She arranged to have the center’s hall open to the Missouri runners.  I joined a dozen or so gathered there in the warmth, replete with food and drink and good nature to wait for the start.  We didn’t know how lucky we were to have this safe harbor. 

Around 10:30 Eric, another runner and I made our goodbyes and started walking to the corrals.  We walked out into the storm.  We were ostensibly in wave 3 corral 3 but were soon to find out that much of the rigorous Boston starting procedure had been blown out the window. 

I made them stop at the big porta-potty farm on Main Street.  I took my dry race shoes, socks and hat out of their bag and wiggled into them in the cramped plastic box. 

Ready to race.  I tossed the sweat pants, old shoes and ski hat to the volunteer who was stuffing soggy cast offs frantically into a rattling plastic bag.

I have raced and run in all kinds of weather.  I generally know what to do and how to dress. 
Monday I dressed for racing in a 35-40 degree rainy day.  I had trained in much colder weather.  I wasn’t expecting this day to be too cold, especially once we started racing and warmed up.  The only real risk was at the end of the race.  If we were forced to walk or slow down we might get chilled.  I dressed based on my experience from 19 previous Boston Marathons and 60+ marathons over the last 25 years. 

And I was wrong.

I wore a new pair of high-cut race shorts that I bought at the expo.  I have a rule of thumb, especially after a winter training campaign, 35 and above is shorts weather.  We were close to but above that line.  I slipped on a thin pair of calf sleeves in deference to possible wind chill and rain.  Calf sleeves are good compromise between shorts and tights if the weather is on the line and add additional protection against cramping on cold days. 

For the top I added a layer to what I would usually wear.  I had a thin tech tee shirt that I had made into a tank by cutting off the sleeves as my base layer.  On top of that I wore a high-quality long sleeve tech tee I got from Asics for the 2014 NYC race and on top of that my Squannacook singlet with the bib number.  People forget that the bib number is waterproof and wind proof and helps keep your core warm.  Three layers plus the oversized bib should keep the core warm. 

I wore a pair of tech gloves that were designed for this in-between type weather.  You wouldn’t want to wear these when the temps got below freezing but they usually work well in the in-between temps.  I topped it off with a simple Boston race hat from 2017.  That’s the same scheme I’ve used in countless 35-40 degree rainy runs.

I was wrong.

Mentally I was prepared.  I’ve been doing this too long to worry about things I can’t change.  I was happy to not have another hot year.  I had had a decent training cycle and my fitness was good.  I had avoided injury except for a minor niggle in my high left hamstring.  I was ready to race.  I slept well.  I was ready to respect Boston.

I was wrong.  This was a different thing.  This was different than anything I had ever raced in. 

65 seconds.  That’s how long Eric said it took me to poop at mile 9.  I knew those porta-potties were there in the parking lot across from the reservoir.  I have used them in previous years.  I told Eric I wanted to stop. 

We had come to the conclusion that today wasn’t the best racing weather by that point.  We had been holding race pace fairly consistently up to that point down out of Hopkinton and into the flats of Ashland and Natick.  I didn’t feel horrible, but I didn’t feel great either. 

I was worried about spending too much and getting caught at the end.  My effort level was good, but a little high.  My heart rate was good.  But I weirdly felt like I was burning energy faster than normal.  I could feel the energy I was expending fighting the storm. 

Our ability to draft had been minimalized.  With the gusting wind and driving rain runners were having trouble staying in their lanes.  Even if you could get on someone’s shoulder that just meant you were in the wettest part of the road.  The runners you were trying to draft stuck to the dry crown of the road and in order to get into their shadow you had to run in the water filled wheel paths. 

Even a veteran like me, who knows the course, couldn’t make good tangent decisions as runners weaved and wobbled in the storm.  My watch says I ran an extra ¼ mile. 

People were running in all kinds of rain gear in an attempt to stay the effect of the tempest.  Shoes wrapped in bags tied at the ankles, runners clutching space blanket fragments, trash bags, ponchos and even shower caps that they had stolen from their hotels.  All bets were off.

I wanted to slow down and drop off of race pace to conserve energy I knew a forced break was a good psychological way of doing this.  Anyone who has raced with me knows that I will keep repeating things like “we have to back it off” but for some reason struggle to put this sentiment into execution.  A potty break would be a good reset.

Once we had the race monkey off our backs Eric and I settled into a reasonable pace and looked up ahead to anticipate the girls and the hills.  I wasn’t feeling great but it wasn’t critical.  I didn’t really know if I needed to be drinking more or how nutrition should work in this weather.  I told Eric it was now a fun run and he said “Anything under four hours is good”.

We ran on through Natick and Framingham.  Eric turned to me and asked, was that the ½?  I said I think it was.  They hadn’t put up the arch that has been there in recent years due to the wind and we almost missed it. 

Eric kept marveling at the spectators.  He kept repeating ‘these people are the real story’.  He was amazed that they were still out in force lining the course and cheering. 

The spectators at Boston take it as seriously as the runners.  If I could turn my head in the final miles I would see the incongruent, multi-colored sea of umbrellas lining the. route  The spectators at Boston are not spectators, they are partners, or rather part owners, with the athletes. 

Coming down the hill out of Hopkinton there were a couple of kids in bathing suits frolicking in a front yard.  One guy was wearing a mask and snorkel.  There are countless stories of spectators tying shoes and helping runners with food and nutrition when the athletes hands were too cold to work anymore. 

One out of town runner, in a fit of hypothermia went to the crowd looking for a spare rain poncho and got the nice LL Bean rain coat freely off a mans back so he could finish the race.  In some ways it reminded me of 2013 when the people of Boston came together to help each other overcome adversity. 

It’s been five years but our spirit is still Boston Strong. 

We ran on through to Wellesley staying on a good pace but trying to recover enough for the hills.  Other years you can hear the girls at Wellesley College screaming from a mile away.  This year the hard rain damped the sound until we were almost on top pf them. 

They were out there.  They were hanging over their fence imploring the shivering runners with kisses and high-fives.  Eric and I ran through smiling as always.  Even though my energy was low I drifted over and slapped as many wet hands as I could. 

Coming into mile 15 some combination of our slower pace and the increasing ferocity of the storm started to get the better of me.  I could feel my core temperature dropping.  I was working but I couldn’t keep up. 

How did this happen?  How could someone with my experience get it wrong?  Why was this different from any other cold rain run? 

It was, in a sense, the perfect storm.  The perfect combination of physics, fluid dynamics and temperature conspired to create a near perfect heat sink for the runners.  The wind, on its own, was just a strong wind.  The rain on its own was just a hard rain.  The temperature on its own was just another spring day.  But the combination pulled heat out of your body faster than you could make more.

The volume of rain driven by the winds penetrated through my hat and washed the heat from my head.  The same cold rain drove through the three layers of my shirts and washed the heat from my core.  My gloves filled with cold water and my hands went numb.  When I made a fist water would pour out like squeezing a wet sponge. 

The rain and wind was constant but would also come in big waves.  We’d be running along and a surge in the storm would knock us sideways or backwards like being surprised by a maniac with a water cannon.  I would stumble and lean into it and mutter “Holy shit storm!” or “Holy Cow Bells!” Really just to recognize and put words on the abuse. 

The wind was directly in our faces.  The rain was directly in our faces.  The whole time.  We never got out of it.  There would be lulls but then it would return with one of those smack-you-in-the-face hose downs.  My shoulder and back muscles were sore from leaning into it. 

I was having difficulty drinking from my bottle because I couldn’t squeeze my hand hard enough.  I resorted to holding it between two hands and pushing together between them.  People reported not having the hand strength to take their nutrition or even pull their shorts up after a potty stop. 

I was starting to go hypothermic and my mind searched for a plan.  Eric knew I was struggling. 

I started scanning the road for discarded gear I could use.  The entire length of the course was strewn with gear.  I saw expensive gloves and hats and coats of all descriptions.  We passed by an expensive fuel belt at one point that someone had given up on.  Eric knew I was suffering and I told him I was going to grab a discarded poncho if I could find one. 

As if on cue a crumpled orange poncho came into view on the sidewalk to our left and I stopped to retrieve it.  Eric helped me wriggle into it.  It was rather tight, and that was a good thing.  It was probably a woman’s.  It clung tightly to my torso and had a small hood that captured my head and hat without much luffing in the wind. 

It's at this point that Eric says I was a new man.  I may not have been a new man but the poncho trapped enough heat to reverse the hypothermia and we got back to work.  By now we were running down into Newton Lower Falls and looking up, over the highway at the Hills. 

Eric said, “We’re not walking the hills.”

I said, “OK” and we were all business. 

We slowed down but we kept moving through the first hill.  I focused not on running but on falling. Falling forward and catching myself with my feet.  Hips forward.  Lift and place the foot.  Not running just falling.

The hood of the poncho was narrow.  I had an enforced tunnel vision, but it was somehow comforting, like a blinders on a race horse.  I could see Eric’s blue shoes appear now and then on my right, or on my left.  I settled into my own, little, six-inch oval of reality and worked through the hills. 

Other runners would cross my field of vision and I’d bump through them.  I was in the groove.  I don’t know why but people’s pacing was all over the place during the race.  It might have been the wind or the hypothermia addled brains but they were weaving all over the road.  I had to slam on my brakes for random stoppages the entire race. 

Eventually I just ran through them as best I could.  I didn’t have the energy to stop.  This kind of behavior is unusual at Boston in the seeded corrals, but the whole day was unusual. I think the relative chaos of the start may have had something to do with it.

When we got to the corrals they had ceased worrying about protocol and were just waving runners through.  If you wanted to bandit Boston this year or cheat, Monday would have been the day to do it.  But you also might have died in the process, so there’s that. 

We got through the chutes and over the start mats without any formal starting ceremony.  The flood gates were open, so to speak.  Because of this I think the pacing was a bit strange at the start and we passed a lot of people. 

I was racing and Eric was doing his best to hold me back.  We chewed through the downhill section of the course with gusto.  Given the conditions we were probably too fast, but not suicidal.  Both of us have run Boston enough times to be smart every once in a while.  We were holding a qualifying pace fairly well and trying to draft where we could.  Eric had to pull off and have someone tie his shoe but I stayed in my lane and he caught up. 

We rolled through the storm this way until I realized this was not a day to race and we had to conserve our energy if we wanted to finish.  We metered our efforts and this budgeting process culminated in the voluntary pit stop at mile 9.

In Newton between the hills we’d focus on pulling back and recovering enough for the next one.  Eric had a friend volunteering at mile 19 who we stopped to say ‘hi’ to.  We were slow but we were moving forward.  We reached a point of stasis. 

Every now and then Eric would pull out his video camera and try to capture the moment.  I was thinking sarcastically to myself how wonderful it would be to have video of my tired, wet self hunched inside the poncho like a soggy Quasimodo.

I had brought a bottle of a new electrolyte drink called F2C with me.  It was ok but because of the cold I wasn’t drinking much.  I knew my hands couldn’t get to the Endurolytes in my shorts pocket.  I had enough sense to worry about keeping the cramps away.  I managed to choke down a few of the Cliff Gels they had on the course just to get some calories, and hopefully some electrolytes. 

Eric and I continued to drive through the hills.  I miss-counted and thought we’d missed HeartBreak in the Bedlam.  With the thinner crowds I could see the contours of the course and knew we had one more big one before the ride down into Boston. 

We successfully navigated through the rain up Heartbreak and Eric made a joke about there being no inspirational chalk drawings on the road this year.  Eric was happy.  He had wrecked himself on the hills in previous races and my slow, steady progress had helped him meter himself.  With those ultra-marathon trained legs he was now ready to celebrate and took off down the hill. 

I tried my best to stay with him but the hamstring pull in my left leg constrained my leg extension and it hurt a bit.  I was happy to jog it in but he still had juice.  I told him to run his race, I’d be ok, secretly wishing he’d go so I could take some walk breaks without a witness, but he refused.  He said “We started this together and we’re going to finish together.” 

OK Buddy, but I’m not running any faster.  I watched his tall yellow frame pull ahead a few meters though the last 10K, but he would always pull up and wait for me to grind on through. And so we ground out against the storm and into the rain and wind blasts through the final miles. 

In my mind I never once thought, “This is terrible!” or “This bad weather is ruining my race!”  All I was thinking is how great it was to get to be a part of something so epic that we would be talking about for years to come.  The glory points we notched for running this one, for surviving it and for doing decently well considering – that far outweighed any whining about the weather.

This type of thing brings out the best in people.  It brought out the grit in me and the other finishers.  It brought out the challenges for those 2700 or so people who were forced to seek medical treatment.  That’s about 10% of those who started. 

It brought out the best in Desi Linden who gutted out a 2:39 to be the first American winner 33 years.  In fact it brought out the best in the next 5 female finishers, all of whom were relative unkowns.  The top 7 women were 6 Americans and one 41 year old Canadian who came in 3rd.  No East Africans to be seen. 

The day brought out the best in Yuki Kawauchi from Japan who ground past Kenyan champ Geoffrey Kirui in the final miles. 

It was an epic day for epic athletes and I am glad to have been a part of it.  I am grateful that this sport continues to surprise me and teach me and humble me.  I am full of gratitude to be part of this race that pushes us so hard to be better athletes, to earn the right to join our heroes on this course.  I am humbled to have friends in this community, like Eric, who can be my wing men (and wing-ladies) when the storms come.

I am thankful for that day in 1997 when a high school buddy said, “Hey, why don’t we run the marathon?”  Those 524 miles of Boston over the last 20 years hold a lot of memories.  This race has changed me for the better and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

Direct download: Boston2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-378 – End of Season Contemplation with my Coach

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4378.mp3

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


Hello, and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-378, This is your dear friend Chris.  How is everything going?  I’m trying very hard to get back on my publishing schedule.  To get back in balance.  Not just because I believe consistency is a big part of quality in the product you consume here. 

I do appreciate your attention and I’m grossly aware of my duty!

I also need to keep writing to keep my own creative furnace fueled – which is why I started doing this in the first place – partly to help people, and myself, become better versions of themselves by sharing some of the tribal knowledge I’ve accumulated over the eons that I’ve been a practicing amateur endurance athlete.  But also to keep my communication skills tuned up – writing as well as reading this copy to you with as much gusto as I can recruit!

Well maybe not gusto, but at least enviable sincerity. 

Today we catch up with my coach, Jeff.  He and I talk through the ups and downs of my 2017 training season.  I like to use myself as a test subject to see what worked and what didn’t.

It’s always important to look back at your training, your successes and your failures, to see if you can learn anything.  You’re never too old to learn. 

We talked for a long time.  I’m going to edit it down to a reasonable size, but I’ll post the raw interview on the members feed.

In Section One we will talk about over-training.  How to realize when you’re getting over-trained, what the symptoms are and how to avoid it. 

In Section Two I’ll tell you 10 things you don’t know about me.  Like one of those Facebook posts. 

It’s cold up here in New England now.  We are in full on Winter.  We’ve had some good snow to make everything festive.  It’s below zero Fahrenheit this week. 

More importantly how is Buddy the old wonder dog?  Well, he just turned 14 years old.  Which is pretty damn old for a border collie. He’s and old man!  His hips don’t work so well and he’s deaf but he’s still mentally sharp. 

He gets skinnier every day.  Skinny old man.  The kids dress him in sweaters this time of year.  They use him as a blanket to stay warm when they’re watching TV.  He is very warm.  He is well loved.

He barks a lot.  Just like an old man, he wants to be heard and doesn’t have time for niceties.  He’ll stand in the front yard and bark at the woods at night.  Picture it as a 98 year old man in his underwear yelling at the coyotes to stay off his lawn. 

“…when I was a boy… we had real coyotes, not these namby pamby city coyotes they got now…”

I ran out of podcasts to listen to last week.  I’ve been changing phones a lot and have lost some of the regular ones I used to listen to.  Some house cleaning and some pruning.  Podcasts come and go.  It’s an industry now and the old amateurs like myself are the anomaly.

I opened the app and was looking around and went to see what Steve was doing over at Phedippidations.  The app sorted with oldest first, and I downloaded a couple of his marathon race reports from 2005.  The BayState Marathon and the Cape Cod Marathon.

Steve did a great job with those old podcasts.  Compelling and interesting stuff.  Really well produced.  Entertaining.  You can hear how much in love he is with his training and racing and the newness of the sport and the community. 

If you listen to the Baystate race episode you’ll hear my buddy Frank calling out Steve’s name at one of the first water stops, the one with the rock music playing.  That’s the same Frank who ironically qualified at Baystate with me a few weeks ago.  I wasn’t at the water stop in 2005.  I was running the race.  I think I ran both those races and came up short in both.  I think that year I ran a race in Maryland around Thanksgiving to finally get my qualification. 

That was a year and a half before I started podcasting but I would have been in the process of publishing my first book of running stories, The Mid-Packer’s Lament, (which is still available on Amazon). 

I love that about the podcasting thing.  Being able to capture a moment of time.  Being able to freeze the river of time and that person you were.  It’s a slice of self-awareness.  That Steve didn’t know what the future would hold.  That Chris didn’t know either.  In our hopeful narratives we saw that moment as a waypoint on an upward slope into the future. 

I think the one important take away for me is to understand that today, this race, this fitness, this Chris is a unique thing and may very well be as good as it gets. 

Think about that.  How would you run your race?  How would you live your life if today was as good as it gets? 

Seize the day.  Savor that day.  Today is all you have.  The past is a old movie spinning sepia images across time.  The future is nobody’s business.  Today is your day.  Use it.  Enjoy 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!

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Section one – The Symptoms of over-training -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Coach Jeff Kline

“Coach” as he is referred to by athletes has been training runners and triathletes globally for 20 years. The Coach is the founder and designer of Daily Fit Book. Although he is fully committed to the development and growth of DFB he will take on athletes of all levels that show a commitment and a strong desire to achieve new dreams and goals.

@dailyfitbook (twitter)

fitbook2 (instagram)

Section two – 10 things about me -


Ok my friends you have wound down your training season to the end of 2017 and to the end of episode 4-378 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Well done.

What have we got going in the new year?  Actually, big things! 

I decided I needed to set myself up with a running goal that was a challenge.  I signed up for the Burning River 100 in July and will chronicle my training for the race.  Yeah, I know I said I’d never do it, but you hear in my conversation with coach that turning point. 

Why not?  I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life but I don’t have a belt buckle.  And, there’s a good chance I’ll fail spectacularly either in my training or in the race itself.  If so are going to set BHAGs you have to have a good chance of failure.  That failure is the stuff that teaches you and forces you out of your comfort zone and forces you to grow.

So, calling all my ultra friends, I’m going to need advice, support and pacers!  Here’s your chance VeganRunningMom, DirtDawg, Cooker, Leadfoot and all the others.  Once in a lifetime opportunity to watch Chris Maddog Russell cry like a baby and soli himself.

In addition to this I’ll be running my 20th Boston marathon.  And, yes, I am qualified.  We’ll have to schedule something fun for that. 

Oh, and I committed to finishing my zombie novel. 

There are some personal and professional goals that you don’t care about that I’ll be chasing as well.  2018 is going to be epic!  (one way or the other)

But, that’s all in the future.  I’ll be wrapping up my 2017 season with the Groton Marathon.  I’ve got 5 folks who said they were running with me.  We’ll see who shows up because it’s going to be single-digit cold.  But, you know my theory…If you do something truly stupid people will show up.

On the first of the year I’ll run the Hangover Classic with Teresa and then jump into the Atlantic Ocean, because that’s what you do, right? 

And last but not least, I’m kicking off a 30 day Diet reboot on January first with my nutrition coach Rachel.  I’ll be logging my food and stats and blogging about it every day.  I’ll catch up with Rachel each week to review progress.  I’ll probably record those weekly chats and put them up on the podcast feed.  I thought it would be useful for people to hear my/our point of view on clean eating for endurance athletes. 

Think that’s enough?  Another one of my theories is when you have too much to do, schedule more stuff and it will sort itself out!

I’ve been listening to a meditation podcast on the train in the morning called the Meditation Minis podcast.  Episode 2 is about using meditation to clarify your vision, i.e figure out what you want to do.  This is a great exercise to create goals for the new year. 

She walks you into a meditative state.  Then brings you into the future so that you are looking back on your life.  And asks the simple question “What are three things that you wish you had done?” 

I found that context very helpful to sort out the things I’m working on and what is important and what will make a difference. 

Try it.  Don’t put off your dreams.  Put them down on paper and find a way to get them done in 2018.

And I’ll see you out there.



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


Direct download: epi4378.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast - Interludes 2017 – Priorities

 (Audio: link) audio: Interludes2017-Priorities.mp3]
Link  Interludes2017-Priorities.mp3

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


Hey Folks, This is Chris.  I am dropping you a quick note so that you can stop worrying about me! That’s right, you can stop checking the morges and the hospitals and the retirement homes.  I’m ok, I’m just busy and as much as I’m committed to producing the podcast, it is not, and you may be shocked to hear this, my highest priority!  It’s up there and I take consistency of delivery and quality seriously, but that should give you an idea of how tactically strapped I am.

Anyhow, I do have a half-written show for you coming and I will keep working on the fun scheduling and priority tetris that allows me to talk to you, but I beg for your patience.  I’m also feeling that we’re in a rut and I need to change the format in the new year.  It’s been a couple years so I’m willing to take suggestions for anything that you think we could do that would be useful, new and exciting in a RunRunLive Version 5. 

Also A quick note – I am running my personal festival of races called “The Groton Marathon” on December 31st in West Groton Massachusetts at 9:00AM if anyone wants to come up and join.  We have people show up who run all different distances at all different speeds.  Myself and some veterans jog the full 26.2 in 4-5 hours and we have some cheer. Shoot me a note at cyktrussell with any thoughts, comments, questions and suggestions.

And just for fun I’ll share a journal entry from a early morning train ride where I was trying to noodle out how to work my priorities to get everything done.  It’s a bit of navel gazing and has nothing to do with running, but hey, why not?

Scheduling for me is about priorities. On the one hand I think my priorities are good and normal.  I prioritize my career, the work that puts bread on my table, my family and my health.  Those are my drop dead items on my todo list.  Everything else is negotiable.  The challenge is when these top-of-list items crowd out the creative things; pursuits that I get a juice out of – a joie du vivre.

Career means work.  It means putting in the hours.  It means learning fast and acting faster.  It means having a change mindset and looking around corners.  It means having hard change conversations with people who’s support you need to be successful.  It means all these things and more.  I don’t just show up and hang off the back of the pack.  I set the pace and the tone and I lead.

Career is a daily heavy lifting that starts early, ends late and burns hot the mental torch.  Career is exhausting intellectually and emotionally.  Sometimes in a good way.  Sometimes in a long-term capacity building way that training always is. 

Those are the good days when you are building roads and changing lives.

The challenging days are when the hordes pour over the wall and daylight to dusk is spent swinging swords and thrusting pilum with your back up against the sortie gate.

Could walk away from the world of business and spend my days on the farm?  I think I could, but I don’t pine for it.  I’m not bewitched by some retirement fantasy where everything is unicorns and rainbows and candy.  That would kill me in short order.

What about Family?  Family is the rock upon which my church is built.  This foundation allows us to venture forth into the world with some sort of hearth secured.  It gives us comfort and purpose. 

This foundation, even with its human cracks and mold in the mortices gives us the confidence and strength to do battle. We know our flanks are held and solid.  The baggage train is safe and we can sortie out into the world with some peace of mind. 

And Health.  Health for me, in this context is both physical and mental. It takes the form of training for things that challenge me. The challenge me enough to make me grow.  That challenge me enough to keep me mobile and strong.  That allows me the physical confidence in life.

These three areas of my life are an essential balance, but they sometimes become tactical and rote.  They miss a purely creative, purely unbounded and joyous act of creation.  This is when I become unbalanced.  When the mind is not fed on the creative mana – that food of the goods.  Underfed, the creative mind shrinks back in upon itself, meager and miserly and protecting. 

And I find myself unbalanced.  It’s easy to say that you are too busy.  It’s easy to say that just for today you will push the plow and tomorrow you will learn or grow. But, urgency aside, it is a trap.  As we all know from experience, today turns into tomorrow and tomorrow plows into next year and the years folds into a life.

And that, whether we know it or not, is a prioritization decision. 

It is true that you can’t do everything.  No one can.  And your life will shift out of balance occasionally as you embrace change and move.  But, you can be aware of balance and priority.  You can do a lot. 

Balance is a combination of time, place and priority. It is an outgrowth of process.  You create the places and the times that support the process.  Any amount of planning, (placing things in places bounded by time), creates process and process is the key to unlock a treasure chest of productivity – and creativity.

Priority is tricky.  When one of your top three life areas expands to pull so much energy and time it erodes your ability to reach those life areas that are important but not urgent.

The question becomes “Is it important?”

Is it adding value to you and yours and ours?

If it is important then you will find the time in the cracks to get it done. 

The fruit hangs heavy on your trees.  The frost is coming. Find the time to harvest.  Find the time to prune.  Find the time to allow bounty. 

Find the time to live.



Direct download: Interludes2017-Priorities.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-294 – Jaquie Millet – Late Bloomer Success


(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi3294.mp3

Support RunRunLive; Purchase an audio book of running stories.  Written and performed with love by Chris Russell  ------------->>>>>>><<<<<<<-----------

Introductory Comments:

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 3-294 of the RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast.  We’re here today to continue our convivial conversations around the efficacy and transformational power of endurance sports.  Welcome.  This is Chris, your transient poet laureate here to drop some smahts on yah about training and work and life in general.  

I got some great feedback from my 5 core listeners from last week’s show with the essays on work and the dark place.  Obviously I was in the throes of a hard week when I scribbled those missives.  It pleases me mightily that they helped you or resonated somehow harmoniously within the universe. 

I’m on a plane across the country as I speak to you and I was trying to figure out what I could eat here that wouldn’t blow up my training diet.  Delta has something called “All Natural Cran-Blueberry Crunch” – so I got a bag of that.  I read the nutritional information and it says 172 calories per serving – that’s not too bad.  Servings per container 5! Damn! That’s 860 calories !  

I know in the past I have happily eaten a whole bag of these. I guess it’s not a bad choice if you could just make it into 5 snacks.  110 of those 172 calories are from the fat in the nuts.  Which proves that you shouldn’t read the labels because it will only make you unhappy. 

I’m seeing some life in my training.  I barely survived that last dark week I was in when we last talked.  But I hung in there and it’s starting to suck a little less and my confidence is building.  I’m going to talk about that process in Section Two with “The Big Bounce”.  

In Section One I’m going to give you my take on the classic self help advice of affirmations.  And in today’s featured interview I have a great chat with Jaquie Millet who started running later in life – a couple years ago actually – and just won her age group at Comrades.  She is a super nice person and give some great insight into what’s possible. 

We have to thank Alex, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Residential Life in the UK Division of the RunRunLive Corporate Enterprises for chatting her up at Boston and making the introduction. 

As I was getting into the dark place in my training a couple weeks ago, I really had to narrow my focus and remove the variables.  I took my long step up run onto the treadmill to avoid the heat and the hills. I took my tough long interval workout down to the track so I could measure the effort without variability. This really helped me get my head wrapped around these hard workouts.  Control the variability so I could focus on the form, the effort and the pace. 

I’ve also started getting serious about my weight.  Traditionally, historically, as I get into these hard weeks of the training cycle my weight adjusts down naturally to race weight.  I Figure it’s ok to go into the first couple build cycles a little chunky because it’s like weight training for the strength building phase.  

This cycle it wasn’t working.  I got through my first hard cycle and didn’t lose a gram.  This is a problem because due to the injuries and the time off and the beer I’ve managed to grow the bottom line up to around 196+ pounds.  This is way too heavy to be doing speed work.  This is beyond heavy and squarely in ‘Jiggly’ territory. 

I don’t stand a chance of running my goal pace if I’m over 185 and I’m only 6-7 weeks out from my goal race – corrective action was required. 

I connected with Rachel, one of my PRSFit teammates who does nutritional counseling.  I asked her to look at my diet and help me, not just slim down, but optimize my nutrition for training.  Obviously if what I’ve been doing isn’t working it’s time for a bit of intervention.  

I started logging all my food in MyFitnessPal again – (and if you care I have no problem friending you and giving you access to my log) She looked at it for the week and said “You eat really clean”.  Of course she wasn’t looking at the previous weeks where I had Chinese food, Mexican Food and an entire pizza as my meal plan 3 days in a row and a 12 pack of wonderfully full-bodied craft ales with potato chips and cheese on top! 

When we get a few weeks into it I’ll write it up for you.  The biggest challenge she has given me is when she said, “Do you really drink 6-8 cups of coffee a day?”  That’s like when you spouse says “Are you really going to put that there?”  Sell your coffee futures – Mad Dog is cutting back.

After a week of clean eating I’m down under 187 pounds and training feels so much easier.  If I can keep up this focused nutrition for the next 5-6 weeks I’ll walk into the target race lean and mean.  No Jiggles.  Like Maverick said, “I feel the need for speed.” 

I’ve got heavy travel over the next few weeks so we’ll see if I can stay away from the 1,000 calorie snack bags and keep it focused while rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn to push that rock up the hill.  At least an eagle isn’t eating my liver while I sleep.  

(Come on, I know you folks are all well read and will get my obtuse Greek mythology references.)  

When life gives you lemons…give ‘em back and get some limes, limes are better and they cure scurvy. 

On with the Show. 

You should really sign on to my email list.  Rather than basking in safe obscurity you can declare your allegiance to RunRunLive and get my drivel directly in your inbox.  I mean, really, you’ve made it to 294 episodes and sucked the vital life force out of my narrative for 5+ years you should subscribe or at least join the RunRunLive Facebook group. or just search FaceBook for “RunRunLive”. 

On with the show!

Section one:

Affirmations -

Featured Interview:

Jaquie Millett - Marathon runner with freedom pass - late start! Lots to fit in 2014. Boston & Comrades btb done. Berlin, SVP100k, progress towards 100 club. LFC YNWA! Have fun!a

Section two: 

The Big Bounce -


Cheers, or just search FaceBook for “RunRunLive”. 

Outro Bumper

Alrighty then, pump those brakes and let’s move it to the exit of Episode 3-294.  

To summarize, everything is going pretty well.  I’m busy as heck, especially when you throw in travel and two-hour workouts!  There is much more I want to do.  I have to work on my ability to not do some things so I can wrestle more of the ideas in my head into existence.  

One of the key things about this training cycle is my ankle pain, Achilles pain and general achiness is getting much better.  It’s probably the less inflammatory diet combined with a lot of self massage early in the training cycle.  Isn’t it nice to talk when things are going well? 

I’ll tell you a couple stories since we last talked.  

First are my track stories.  I do my track work down at the local middle school. They recently re-finished the track and it’s beautiful.  I’ve been training on this track for 18 years and I see many of the same people down there who walk in the early evenings.  

I suppose I might be a bit of a strange presence when I’m down there running 1600’s at tempo pace.  I know I probably look like I’m giving birth to a cow as I’m trying to hang on and relax into the effort.  I’m a runner.  I’m at the running track and I’m running.  I think that’s as close to the intended purpose of the track as you can get – but I still have, not issues, per se, but situations. 

I’ve told you before about how the soccer Moms used to yell at me for trying to run in lane 1 while they were setting up their lawn chairs to watch practice.  “Why can’t you run in the other lanes?”  

I guess I could run in the other lanes but then my 1600’s are no longer 1600’s. they are 1650’s or some other mathematical construct that I’m unable and unwilling to fathom as I’m dipping deep into the dark place.  I have enough trouble holding it together to get my butt around the oval without having to swerve around people and do simple geometry.  

Last week I was doing a set of 400’s at faster than 5K pace, so pushing it fairly hard.  Some folks came out to walk.  This one guy insisted on walking in the middle of lane 1.  Why?  I don’t even need all of lane 1. Just give me 12 inches to squeeze by on the inside when you hear me coming, because believe me, you’re going to hear me coming.  

But, no, Mr. Fitness walker-guy would give an inch.  I had to step off the track into the grass to pass him.  I’m thinking to myself, “Great, all this work and I’m going to roll an ankle trying to get around this dude”. 

After a few 400’s in the set I was doing I changed direction to keep my leg muscles balanced in the work.  Now I’m running straight at this guy in lane 1.  I had one of those ‘aha’ moments and just aimed straight for his chest.  It woke him up to see my 190+ pounds of sweaty meat baring down on him and he did flinch and give way a bit, but he never moved over. 

Then one night I was down there and I guy comes in while I’m doing my workout.  He’s got one leg and he’s on crutches.  Guess where he insists on crutching around the track?  Yup, Lane 1. Just inserts himself into my workout and crutches away, glaring at me every time a pass.  I mean, the guys got one leg so I guess he gets the right of way but what is it about me that pisses these people off? 

I’m going to choose to celebrate the fact that I’m down their doing the work, but these are the kind of things that are going through my head as I struggle through the dark place.  

On the lighter side, during one of my 1:30 step-up runs that I chose to do on the treadmill at the gym a lady with a nice bum got on the elliptical machine directly in front of me.  She could have gotten on any of those machines and I’d just like to publicly thank her for choosing the one in front of me.   

Frankly that should be a service that the club offers – and I’m sure the women would it too – attractive athlete inspiration and incentive program – unfortunately I have nothing to trade with in this regard.  

Ce’st la vie,  

As we get closer to episode 300 I’m looking for guest blog posts to read and I’m also going to experiment with other voices doing interviews.  So if you’d like to conduct some interviews either with some of my guests or people you know and you think will be educational and inspirational – let me know – we’ll set it up.  

Have a great week, 

I’ll see you out there. 


Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 


Happy Song – Super Hero -

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author) –

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:



Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube


Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 

Tags -> Running  Podcast, podcasts for running, podcast for runners, free podcast for runners, Running Blog, marathon, triathlon, mileage, sprinting, run, track, training, running clubs, running groups, running shoes, exercise, health, 5k, running, swimming, sports, injuries, stretching, eating, jogging, biking, trail race, 5K, 10K, Ultramarathon, jogging a good exercise, road runner, jogging tips, benefits of jogging, free running, running shoes, marathon training, running, jogging, health and fitness, runners, runner, Boston qualification, Marathon BQ, Boston marathon



Direct download: epi3294.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-276 – Vinnie Tortorich America’s Angriest Trainer

(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi3276.mp3

Support RunRunLive; Purchase an audio book of running stories.  Written and performed with love by Chris Russell  ------------->>>>>>><<<<<<<-----------

<Introductory Comments:

Hello folks, this is Chris, your host and this is the RunRunLive Podcast.  Today we will have a longish chat with Vinnie Tortorich – “America’s Angriest Trainer” about his new book “Fitness Confidential”.  

In Section One I’ll talk about Strengthsfinder 2.0 and what we can learn from these types of exercises.  

In Sections Two I’ll talk about tapering.   

Both the interview with Vinnie and the Denver write up are fairly long so I’ll keep the intro brief. 

I was out in Chicago last week at a conference.  It was, coincidently my birthday and I had dinner with old friend Ray King and listener Royce.  I came home Friday night, turned around and went back to the airport Saturday morning and flew to Ft Myers. 

I spent the weekend with the ZenRunner in the Zen Condo and ran the Ft Myers Marathon on Sunday.  Things did not go well for me at the race.  I thought I was a good position to race but I knew early that it wasn’t my day.  My heart rate was redlining and I felt like I was running in cement. 

I’ll have to have a conversation with coach about what the hell is going on and see if I can come up with a strategy.  He’ll probably tell me I’m a dumbass for trying to run a marathon a month and race well.  But, hey, it’s on the edges where we learn about ourselves, yeah? 

On with the Show!

Section one:

StrengthsFinder 2.0 -

Featured Interview:

America’s Angriest Trainer – “Fitness Confidential” – 

Vinnine Tortorich

Here is Vinnie's information as well as a couple of links.

Vinnie Tortorich has been a personal trainer to people from all walks of life for thirty years. He's trained Hollywood celebrities, captains of industry, stay at home moms, working moms, pregnant moms, ultra athletes, Ironman triathletes, injured and post surgical clients and even children with the beginnings of a weight problem.

Vinnie is a cancer survivor and a successful author of the book "Fitness Confidential".  You can purchase the book by clicking on the following link:

Vinnie also has a successful podcast.  He and Anna discuss all things fitness and diet.  You can listen to the podcast by downloading it in iTunes or by going to the following link:

Section two:

Tapering for a marathon -


Alright my friends that was episode 3-276.  

By the way I was on Vinnie’s show too.  Podcasting is making a resurgent as a way to create and market people’s online brands.   Most of these folks are doing talk show format and pushing out 2-3 shows a week and the end game for them is to build brand and audience so they can build a business around it.  Good for them.  Nothing wrong with a little capitalism. 

Next up for me is a trail marathon outside of Bloomington Indiana.  My sisters live in Indy so we’re going to make an adventure out of it. 

When I get a chance I’ll write up Ft Myers for you.  It had some interesting bits.  Not sure what I can learn from it other than sometimes you don’t have a good day – but that’s 8 marathons in 8 months. 

I’m in Negotiations with a friend of mine to see if we can pull off an adventure to Waco TX for a marathon at the end of January.  That would give me a bigger gap to get a decent cycle in and would be my last chance to qualify to adjust my seeding in this year’s Boston.  We’ll see. 

Have a great week. 


Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 


Happy Song – Super Hero -

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author) –

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:



Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube


Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 

Tags -> Running  Podcast, podcasts for running, podcast for runners, free podcast for runners, Running Blog, marathon, triathlon, mileage, sprinting, run, track, training, running clubs, running groups, running shoes, exercise, health, 5k, running, swimming, sports, injuries, stretching, eating, jogging, biking, trail race, 5K, 10K, Ultramarathon, jogging a good exercise, road runner, jogging tips, benefits of jogging, free running, running shoes, marathon training, running, jogging, health and fitness, runners, runner, Boston qualification, Marathon BQ, Boston marathon

Direct download: epi3276.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49am EDT





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