Run Joyfully; Run Like A Child

Running Streak Day 586
YTD Mileage: 1216 miles

The days of August are here, with the full force of heat and humidity that wilts one’s

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Barton Creek Greenway, ATX (this area accessed by Hill of Life trailhead)

resolve to keep up with training as surely as it wilts the vitality of every living creature and plant that exists in a somewhat harsh environment such as ours in South Texas. With an October race (Oregon Coast 50k) looming large, my training schedule at this point includes ever increasing weekend long runs. The problem is that along with those ever increasing long runs is my ever increasing summer season fatigue. Motivation to run is difficult to muster when I knows that within minutes I’ll be soaked to the skin, clothes as wet and sticking to skin as if I’ve been swimming, and my breathing labored in the heat. When the temperature is cold, I know I will warm up pleasantly shortly after I begin the run; however, when the temperature outside is near triple digits, I know I will just continue to heat up as my run progresses. Continue reading “Run Joyfully; Run Like A Child”

Yoga Sandals Meet Trail Running

Inexpensive, comfortable, and minimalist, yoga sandals double as minimalist trail running footwear.

Running Streak: Day 525IMG_3753YTD Running Mileage: 883
YTD Biking Mileage: 20

A couple of weeks ago, Phillip and I wanted to explore the Canyonlands trails in Lakeway, a small community on the outskirts of Austin. We had never run in this area before, but I had heard that it is hilly and beautiful; I definitely wanted to take advantage of the long Memorial Day  weekend to finally try out those trails. I had a bit of a trail running dilemma that weekend, however. Even though I can run barefoot on just about every type of surface, I’ve yet to master barefoot running on the rocky, technical Central and South Texas trails. Luna Leadville huaraches have been my trail running footwear of choice for the past few years, and although not perfect, they worked better for me than any other huarache / sandal-type footwear I’ve tried in my nearly ten years of barefoot running. A few weeks after running the BB50 in April, while running some singletrack along the Leon Creek Greenway in San Antonio, one of my huaraches suddenly broke. My friends and I were nearly finished with our run, so I just took off the unbroken huarache and carried both while I finished the last .5 mile barefoot.  Continue reading “Yoga Sandals Meet Trail Running”

Streak Running: No Need To Fear

Meet Jon Sutherland:

jon sutherland streaker
Image from the www.latimes.com

This guy is my hero. He has the longest current running streak in America. As of February 25, 2016, the United States Running Streak Association reports the length of Sutherland’s running streak as 17077 days (46.75 years). In addition to his amazing running streak, Jon has had a pretty colorful life. According to this article on ESPN, after running in college (at which time he began his running streak), Sutherland has worked in the rock and roll music industry, he’s been a writer, and he’s been a high school track coach. He has kept his running streak going through hectic schedules, broke bones, and torn muscles. Throughout all these 17077 days, Jon has run at least a mile a day, every day. Continue reading “Streak Running: No Need To Fear”

“What Would Meghan Arbogast Do?” Age is No Excuse for Diminished Running Performance

“Our plan had been to run together for hopefully a couple of hours. Amy and I are similarly enough paced that it made sense to stay together as

Meghan Arbogast - Picture from sacramentorunning.com
Meghan Arbogast – Picture from sacramentorunning.com

long as possible. Working with someone on a flat paved long straight road has a lot of appeal, especially if there is any wind involved. Before long we were clicking of 7:07 miles. We didn’t need to run that fast, but we were comfortable, and I use my heart rate monitor during races to keep myself in control. For the first couple of hours it was 155 or lower, which was right on target for a sub-8 hour day.” (Meghan Arbogast, “Tokyo Shibamata 100k 2013,” Racing Through My Life)

“Even leading senior athletes can be subject to some of the fallibilities of age. At the New Zealand masters championships, I listened to a vigorous discussion between two upper age-group 10,000m contenders, tough runner talk about how hard and tactical their race had been. They sounded just like two competitive 25-year-olds – except that they couldn’t remember the names of any of the other runners. “ (Roger Robinson, “New Research on Older Runners,” Running Times, March 20,2013)

Perhaps the most worrisome thing about aging is the forgetfulness that creeps up time and again. These days Phillip and I will sit down to watch a movie that we think we’ve never watched. Partway through the movie, something will seem familiar; one of us will ask the other if perhaps we have seen the movie before. A few scenes more, and we’ll realize that yes, we have watched the movie before. Between the two of us, we’ll start to piece together the movie, remembering something or other that will come up in later scenes. Then one of us will ask the other how the movie ends, and neither of us will be able to remember the ending, so we forge ahead through the entire film just so we can see once again how it ends! Other smaller memory lapses are nuisances, such as those times I walk into a room to get something, but forget what I went into the room to retrieve. I listen to radio shows and read articles that cover issues such as recognizing the difference between normal age-related forgetfulness and more serious causes of forgetfulness such as Alzheimer’s disease. I carefully note the symptoms of each and measure my (or Phillip’s!) moments of forgetfulness against the list just to reassure myself that we’re merely dealing with the natural progress of aging. Continue reading ““What Would Meghan Arbogast Do?” Age is No Excuse for Diminished Running Performance”

When the Runner’s Mind Balks: Failure as “Temporary Unsuccess”

“The pain is the reality but your mind can inspire you past it. I look to the countryside, music, and art, to help inspire me.” (Yannis Kouros, “On the Trail with Yannis Kouros,” Running Times)

“Fail, it’s not in my dictionary. I’ve got a good dictionary up there and the words ‘fail’ and ‘failure’ have been ruled out for years. I don’t know what people are talking about who use that word. All I do know is temporary non-success, even if I’ve got to wait another 20 years for what I’m after, and I try to put that into people, no matter what their object in life.” (Percy Cerutty, qtd in “Herb Elliot on Percy Cerutty,” interview on Radio National, 5 Jan 2001)

The weather has turned hot, already. I missed the best of the late spring cool weather that always seems to surprise those of us who live in South IMG_0865Texas. Every year, March offers South – Central Texas runners cooler, more comfortable running weather than November does. Without exception, the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon, held mid-November, is a hot, uncomfortable race to run, even to the point where the announcer warns participants pre-race that it’s not a day for a PR. Runners, while waiting in their corrals, are warned to hydrate well and pace accordingly in the humidity and heat. Race volunteers stand just inside the finisher’s area, handing out cold, wet towels to over-heated race finishers. Yet every year, March ushers in cool, breezy weather so much more pleasant that of November that my runner friends and I wonder (repeatedly) why that big race cannot be moved to March.

March in San Antonio / Austin is a lovely month, and the temperate weather usually holds out until mid-May, with only a day here or there to remind us of the brutal summer conditions that lay ahead. This year I was rehabbing my calf tear during the temperate months. I made my slow, deliberate return to running in May, but at that point my running was still rather restricted. The increasingly warm, muggy weather wasn’t an issue until this week, when my longer distance runs coincided with our first temperatures in the mid to upper nineties. Continue reading “When the Runner’s Mind Balks: Failure as “Temporary Unsuccess””