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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Most Interesting Blog Posts of 2007

On the summit of Mt. Whitney

December is the slowest month of the year as far as races are concerned so I don't have a lot to talk about there; I'm just continuing my normal running routine and getting in quite a few miles. Just yesterday I made a new friend at Yoga class and my yoga buddy, Larry, was telling her all about the blog. Rather than sifting through the 80 something posts I told her that I would email her the links to the best ones (of course I forgot to get her email address; not very "smooth" am I). As I was running today I thought this would be something to share with everyone since many of you may have missed some of the earlier stuff. So here they are, the entries that I think are most interesting from this year. Enjoy!

Sylamore 50K Race Report (2/19)
3 Days of Syllamo Race Report (3/19)
Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Race Report (6/4)
Psycho Psummer 50K Race Report (7/16)
Mount Whitney Summit Adventure (8/12)
Great Running and Inspirational Quotes (8/20)
Turkey and Taturs 50K Race Report (9/17)
Arkansas Traveller 100 Mile Race Report (10/8)
Trails and Tribulations Arkansas Traveller 100 Podcast (10/24)
Rock Creek 50K Race Report (10/28)
100 Mile Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (11/10)
Route 66 Marathon Race Report (11/19)
Green Rock 40 Mile "Fun" Run (12/2)

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Running!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Addiction vs. Passion, Number of 100 Mile Finishers in 2007 and My Weekend in Nashville (Yee-haw!)

Image from

Addiction vs. Passion: What's The Difference?
A few weeks ago a friend of mine left me a voicemail suggesting that I focus on Moderation as a resolution for 2008; he felt my running was simply substituting one addiction for another and he was concerned. He is a recreational runner who logs around 25 miles a week in addition to weekly Yoga classes and Personal Training sessions so it's not exercise he's worried about; it's the fact that I run "extreme" distances. From his viewpoint he feels I'm addicted to running whereas I would say I'm passionate about the sport; so what's the difference?

According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary the non-substance definition of ADDICT is to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively and the definition of PASSION is a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. After reading both definitions I think it's easy to see the confusion. For most people running 100 miles is incomprehensible and they cannot understand why anyone would do it; many say, "I don't even like to drive that far!" For me it's about more than just covering the distance, it's embracing the entire experience and savoring each moment as you go from extreme highs to abysmal lows. It's the amazing volunteers you meet along the way and the life-long friendships that are forged while out on the trails (Finishers of the 2006 MMT 100 pictured above). Running ultras is about pushing on when every part of your body and mind is begging you to stop; it's knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to and that when the going gets tough you can handle whatever comes your way.

To me addiction is something negative and "dirty" that takes over your life and controls you whereas being passionate about something means that it is enriching your life and possibly the lives of others; there is a very fine line. I say I am passionate about running but can it be an addiction? Absolutely! When you are hobbling so bad you can barely walk due to shin splints but you still "have to get your run in," when you neglect your loved ones and make running the most important thing in your life, when you're physically and mentally beat and need rest but head out anyway because you "have to hit your weekly mileage goal," THEN you may be addicted and need to take a step back to evaluate whether you control your running or running controls you. Have I been this way in the past? Admittedly, yes. Today? No, but it is something that I am keenly aware of and ensure I keep in check. What are your thoughts on the difference between Passion and Addiction?

2007 Finishers of 100+ Mile Events
Ever wondered how many people finish 100 miler's in a year? Well I actually have and apparently others have too because Ultralister Jason Walz crunched the numbers to give us the answer.

Number of 100s finished in 2007:
11 (1): Dan Brendan (Pictured right at Across The Years)
9 (3): David Goggins, Dennis Drey, Hans-Dieter
8 (1): Phil Rosenstein
7 (3): Andy Kumeda, Gilles Barbeau, Jamshid Khajavi
6 (3): Jack Meyer, Karl Meltzer, Rob Apple
5 (9)
4 (31)
3 (66)
2 (283)
1 (1641)
2679 total finishes; 2053 ultrarunners; 80% of hundred+ milers run only one race, and 94% of hundred+ milers run 1 or 2 ultras.

And Kevin Stroud added that considering the population of the U.S. is currently estimated at 303,559,949 that makes each of the 2,053 100-mile finishers "one out of 147,861 people."

And now I'm sure you all will sleep better at night knowing this bit of trivia :-)

My Weekend In Nashville, TN (Yee-Haw!)
I flew down to Nashville Friday evening to visit my friend Shannon and have a low key weekend. Shannon and her friend, Michelle, picked me up at the airport and we headed down near Vanderbilt to meet their friend, Janet, at the Red Door. After sipping on a Diet Coke we headed to Park Cafe for an amazing dinner (highly recommended)! Saturday was a bit dreary and foggy so we slept in quite late and then headed down to get in some miles along the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. This is a paved path that runs along the Cumberland River and will eventually connect with other greenways all over Nashville; I calculated that there will be around 89 miles when the project is completed. Shannon and Michelle stayed strong in the cold, damp weather pushing themselves even though their bodies wanted to quit and I got in some speedwork along the flat, paved paths.

Saturday night Michelle had invited some people over for a delicious, homemade dinner. As Shannon and I were out exploring Nashville on Saturday afternoon Michelle was busy baking pies, marinating the meat, whipping up some fresh mango salsa and preparing the salad. We got home around 6:00 pm and were blown away by everything she had accomplished. We were joined for dinner by Rusty and Jenn and all chatted as Michelle grilled up the meat; we offered to help but being that she tunes into the Food Network 24 hours a day she declined and said she had it all under control. As we sat down there was silence as we all dug into the feast; everyone cleaned their plate and most of us went back for seconds!

Sunday morning we had a bit of a food hangover and slept in again before Shannon and I headed to a nearby park for a run. It was overcast but warm and humid; after 7 miles I ditched the shirt. Sunday afternoon the temperature reached into the upper 70's as we played "tourist" and hit all the spots downtown including 2nd Avenue and Broadway. The highlight was the Charlie Daniels Museum where Shannon picked up a Charlie Daniels Santa Bobblehead as a gag gift for my parents; they love it by the way! We headed out to the Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas lights before dropping me off at the airport for my 6:50 pm flight.

I am so blessed to have friends like Shannon in my life and continue to meet kind, generous and friendly people every where I go. Shannon was the perfect host treating me to delicious food, fun times and great company and Michelle, who I didn't know before the trip, made me feel welcome at her home and filled my belly with home cook'in. To view all of the pictures from my weekend trip to Nashville click HERE.

Hope all of you are well and staying upright in these icy conditions!
Happy Running (or sliding),

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Green Rock 40 Mile "Fun" Run

Stuart, Me and Jerry arriving at the Middle Aid Station (Photo by Travis Liles)

Yesterday, a group of us ran a Green Rock Trail "Double" fully supported by Lee Hess and a crew of volunteers. This trail is 10 miles one way and begins about 2 miles west of the Allenton exit near Six Flags and ends at Rockwoods Reservation. Green Rock is very rocky (hence the name) and hilly; it is known as the toughest trail in the St. Louis area and one of the most strenuous in the entire state. To our knowledge no one had ever accomplished a Green Rock Double in a single day so we were heading into uncharted territory.

Lee (pictured at right giving me a pep talk at the AT 100) is a fellow SLUG and had been planning this event for some time as a practice run for a race he would like to direct on the GR Trail sometime in the near future. There were aid stations set up at the start/finish, the middle and the turnaround just like there would be in an actual race with full ultra-aid station fare including Turkey Soup, Breakfast Burritos, M&M's, Coke, cookies, pretzels and PB&J sandwiches. About 15 runners were participating but not all were planning on doing the double. At 6:00 am we stood around the trailhead listening to some last minute instructions from Lee and around 6:07 am we headed off into the darkness with flashlights in hand. The temperature at the start was around 30 degrees with partly cloudy skies and the forecast called for sleet in the morning turning into rain around mid-day as the temperature increased; we were all mentally prepared for a long, wet day. After the first few miles the group split up and I was running with Stuart Johnson, Jerry Frost, David Stores and future SLUG member, Steve McKee. This was to be the longest run for both David and Steve so they were excited about the challenge; David commented that he only slept about 3 hours mostly due to nervousness about the gloomy weather forecast. There was a lot of chatter throughout the day (mostly from yours truly) which helped pass the time as we talked about running and life. Jerry was the first SLUG I ever met back at the Berryman training run in 2005 and is someone who has inspired me and taught me a lot about the sport of ultra-running; we don't get to run together very often so it was nice to spend the day with him.

When we arrived at the turn they were cooking up some yummy looking breakfast burritos but I stuck with my usual Coke, M&M's and cookies. In fact Jerry and Stuart were teasing me that I should do a Coke commercial; "Want to be a front-middle of the pack ultra-runner and finish in the top 10-30% but never win? Then drink COKE, that's what I do. Strive to be just a bit better than average!" Whatever works, right? We cruised back to the start/finish where David and I both changed into shorts; besides a few sprinkles early on it was dry, partly cloudy and in the mid-40's which is ideal running weather. I had been joking about how tempting it would be to quit at the turn and head to Starbuck's to enjoy a hot latte and a book but really always intended to go back out for a second loop. I told Jerry and Stuart this so they would stick around and not head off without me but when I returned from the truck they were gone. Lee and Andrew said, "Jerry and Stuart told us not to let you go to Starbucks!" Thanks guys, way to pass the buck. I stuffed my face with cookies and M&M's, downed some Coke and quickly caught up to them. I ribbed them a bit about there not being an "I" in Team; I'd have to remind Stuart of this again later.

David and Steve caught up to us and as we entered the middle aid station Steve told us he was planning on turning around. This was his furthest run beyond a marathon and he was happy to accomplish his first trail 50K; we all congratulated him and headed on to the turnaround. Around 1:40 pm we reached the turn and ate some of the best Turkey and Rice Soup I've ever had. We thanked everyone for their hard work volunteering and then started our way back for the last 10 miles of the day. Stuart (the "Old Punk" is pictured above with me at the Rock Creek 50K) wasn't wasting any time and quickly took off ahead of us as I heckled him about not being a team player; "No 'I' in Team, remember Stuart!?!" I think this made him go even faster because he was out of sight within the first few miles heading back. As we passed the 1 mile marker Jerry told David and I to savor every step since we were on the home stretch; he seemed a bit disappointed that the day would soon be ending. This kind of attitude is what makes him such a great ultra-runner; he embraces every minute of a run and truly enjoys the process.

We soon came up on Ted Gruener (pictured at left with me, photo by Travis Liles) and Jon Whiting who said Stuart had passed them like a man possessed flying right by. This was to be Jon's longest run ever and Ted had been running with him most of the day helping to support him in this challenge. We met up with Carol Izadi and Deb Johnson who were heading out to the turn as Carol said she just had to have another burrito; I run for Coke and M&M's and she runs for burritos. Once again, whatever works! We reached the middle aid station around 3:15 pm and both David and John were fading a bit. We all fueled up and made sure they would be OK to continue on together as Jerry, Ted and I picked up the pace; as we headed off Jerry exclaimed "Let's Get'er Done!" We reached the 9 mile marker and could hear the sound of cars speeding along I-44; Ted remarked what a sweet sound it was as it signaled the end of a long and grueling day. At 4:16 pm, 10 hours and 9 minutes after we had started, we reached Fox Creek road and were welcomed and congratulated by Lee and Stuart. About 20 minutes later we heard David (pictured right at Flatlanders) and Jon coming down the trail on the way to finishing their longest run yet on the most difficult trail in St. Louis. What an accomplishment, congrats to you both! At the end of the day 6 people completed the Double: Stuart Johnson, Jerry Frost, Ted Gruener, David Stores, Jon Whiting and myself. Carol and Deb ended up completing 34 miles and finished around 6:10 pm; job well done! Once everyone had arrived we all stood around reminiscing about the day and mowing down on the birthday cake Stuart, Deb and Carol had brought for Lee; I also run for cake :-)

Once again thanks to all who helped out and made this day possible including David, Travis, Randy, Andrew, Michelle, Dan, Jeff, Mike, Charlie and the rest of their Hasher Family; we couldn't have done it without you. Most of all thanks to Lee for coordinating such a great event; it was organized better than many "official" races! To view all of the pictures taken by Travis Liles click HERE.

Any of you have recent running adventures to share? If so, please do. How about some stories from the Tecumseh Trail Marathon yesterday?

Hope all is well and Happy Running,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Go'in Back to Cali" and Staying Fit During the Holidays

"Go'in Back To Cali"
Last week I headed out to Los Angeles to visit my good friend, Erik, for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The plan was to catch up with Erik on life, eat (of course), run along the beach, make some new friends and get in some hiking up near Malibu. I'm happy to say I did all of that and then some and the weather was perfect; sunny from the moment I stepped off the plane until I left yesterday with highs hovering around 70 degrees and lows dipping into the 50's. Erik owns a beautiful house in Venice about a mile from the beach so every morning I ran along the boardwalk towards Santa Monica Pier and ventured as far as Pacific Palisades a few times. I would then jump on the bike for a bagel and peanut butter from Main Street Bagels in Santa Monica and a No Sugar Added Mocha Latte from the Coffee Bean. Mmmmm... delicious!

We spent Thanksgiving at Erik's house and the meal was excellent; it was all organic and everyone brought a homemade dish. The dinner guests were great and all very interesting; they included Janella (works for Brushfire Records), Elizabeth (a local artist), Mike (a professional BMX rider and owner of Lavar Brand), Frank (owner of Natural High Lifestyle), Jason (an account exec for Outside Magazine), Brittany (a Director at Quiksilver) and Erik (SVP Merchandising and Design at Quiksilver). Frank advised us all to have an eating strategy so we had dinner and desert while taking regularly scheduled breaks to rest and let everything settle; eating can be hard work! With such a diverse group of people the conversations were very thought provoking; I enjoyed soaking it all in as we discussed everything from the environment to how to make the perfect cup of french press coffee.

Friday I woke up with a sugar hangover thanks to Brittany's homemade pies and ran it off with my own personal half marathon along the beach. After my bagel and coffee Erik and I headed up to Leo Carillo for some hiking and grabbed a bite at Malibu Seafood on our way back home. Friday night was mellow with dinner at Primitivo on Abbott Kinney and Saturday I spent most of the day just riding my bike around Venice exploring and people watching. I thought I was supposed to fly out Sunday afternoon so Erik took me to the airport around 10:00 am but when I tried to check-in I figured out that my flight was actually booked for Monday. I took a cab back to his house and enjoyed the rest of my bonus day; OK with me! Erik and his friends were so kind and really made me feel welcome during my stay. Part of the reason for the trip was to figure out what's next for me in my career and where I want to live; I can definitely see myself returning to the sunny beaches and warm people of Southern California and know that the right door will open if that is where I'm supposed to be. To check out all of the pictures from the trip click HERE.

I definitely ate my fair share but made sure to get plenty of exercise during my vacation to burn off the excess calories. I logged over 60 miles of running along the beach and a ton of miles on the bike exploring Venice; it's OK to indulge a bit but it's imperative to maintain your workout routine especially during this busy season. I was reading the article, "You're Invited For The Holidays," in the LA Times on Sunday and it talked about how important it is to make time for exercise so you can start 2008 feeling fit and healthy. The article had some really good tips and you can check it out in its entirety by clicking HERE. Of course my recommendation is to just lace-up the sneakers, throw on some layers and head out the door!

This weekend is the Green Rock 40 Mile Fun Run out on the trails behind Six Flags. My good friend, Deanna, is heading down from Columbia Friday afternoon to crash at my parents house and we're going to roast up some SMOREs in the backyard; Good Times! The run starts at 6:00 am Saturday morning and I figure it will probably take us around 9-10 hours. The weather is looking ideal, partly cloudy with a high of 40 degrees and no chance of rain; PERFECT! I'll have pictures and a full report next week.

Hope your Holiday was good and Happy Running,

Monday, November 19, 2007

I "Got My Kicks" At The Route 66 Marathon

Me, Dan, LaDonna and Brian

I headed down to Tulsa this past weekend to run the Route 66 Marathon with my second cousins, Dan and Brian. It was to be the first marathon for both of them and we thought it would be a great experience to run it together. My Dad and I left around 5:00 am Sunday morning from my Grandparent's lake house near Grove to drive to the Southern Hills Marriot where we were meeting up with Dan, Brian and their families. We arrived at about 6:45 am and I headed into the lobby to find all of them waiting. I quickly ran to the restroom and then we jumped into our cars to make our way to the start line downtown.

I expected a lot more traffic considering it was a marathon morning but we had no problems finding a parking space and getting to the start area. The weather was ideal with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees and an overcast sky; there was a slight mist in the air and a cool breeze from the south. For a marathon it doesn't get any better! As we stood around waiting we caught up a bit on life, since I haven't seen either of them in about 12 years, and chatted about the race. They were both very excited and well prepared for the 26.2 mile distance. I saw my good friend, Matt Bickhard, along with TATUR founder, Brian Hoover, who were also running the marathon; it seems that no matter where I race I always see familiar faces. Around 7:50 am we were directed into the starting corral and promptly at 8:00 am we were off.

Brian and Dan's goal was to maintain a 10:00 min/mile pace throughout the race and finish somewhere near 4 hours and 30 minutes. We began the race a bit fast (go figure) and were consistently running a 9:00 minute mile pace through the first 10 miles. They both were feeling good but I could tell Dan was a bit concerned about going out too fast and I should have listened better; instead of backing off we just continued cruising along. I kept reminding them to relax their shoulders, take electrolyte capsules and listen to their bodies; if they felt lactic acid building up or that we were pushing it too much just speak up and we would slow down. Around mile 10 I saw fellow SLUG Tom Whalen running back towards downtown in 4th place and shouted over words of encouragement; man that guy can fly! He ended up placing 4th overall and taking 1st place Master's Male; congrats Tom! We hit the halfway mark at 10:00 am and were pacing ahead of our 4:30 goal but a lot can happen during those last 13 miles.

As we left Jenks on our way back towards downtown, Dan said his hamstrings were beginning to cramp and I reminded him to take some more electrolyte caps and down some GU. We also stopped so he could stretch his legs out a bit and decided to let Brian go on without us. Around the 15 mile point I saw my Dad and asked him to bring my bag out to me at the next stop as I had forgotten S-Caps and Hammer Gels. Up until this point I had been borrowing electrolyte caps from Dan but they weren't S-Caps and had less sodium; I suspected that may be why he was having some issues as he wasn't replacing the salt he was losing through his sweat. About a mile later my trusty "Crew Chief" came to the rescue delivering the much needed S-Caps which I shared with Dan as he was complaining of severe cramping in his hamstrings and calves.

Around mile 17 we began taking walk breaks as we waited for the cramps to subside but they never quite did and by mile 22 Dan was hurting pretty badly as the cramps had now moved into his quads. It was also at this point that he hit the "Wall" and as he weaved back and forth he told me that he was so tired he could fall asleep right there in the road. Fortunately an aid station was near, he downed some Accelerade and GU and within minutes he was back and alert; close call! He pushed on despite the fatigue and pain reminding himself that the more he ran the quicker he'd reach the finish line. Around the 25.5 mile mark we saw Matt Bickhard who was walking back up (he had already finished) looking for his friend. Matt told us that it was all downhill from here which put the spring back in Dan's step as we coasted and rounded the last turn towards the finish line. We crossed the tape in 4:36:37 and Dan now officially has the first of what will be many marathon finishes under his belt. Brian finished about 15 minutes ahead of us in 4:22:34 and Brian's wife, LaDonna, ran the Half Marathon in 2:25:18. They dug deep and finished strong; congrats to all three of you!

As we stood around munching food and talking with our families I was reminded of how I felt after I finished my first marathon back in December, 2005. I was physically exhausted, emotionally drained but very proud; I could see that same look in their eyes and it made me smile. I think most of us ultra-runners tend to just shrug off the marathon distance as no big deal but watching Dan and Brian push on as they battled cramps and fatigue made me respect the distance again. Both Dan and Brian started out running back in January of this year not with the intention of completing a marathon but simply to lose weight and live a healthier life. After many months of training and hard work they accomplished something that most people never will; everyone CAN finish a marathon but few have the discipline and dedication to actually do it. Way to go Dan, Brian and all of the other First Time Finishers at the Route 66 Marathon!

To view the full results of the Route 66 Marathon click HERE and to view all of the pictures from the race click HERE.

I leave for LA Wednesday morning to visit my good friend and former colleague, Erik, for the Thanksgiving holiday. He actually lives in Venice so we plan to get in some beach running, yoga and hiking over the long weekend as we catch up on old times and discuss what lies ahead in the future.

Wishing all of you a great holiday and Happy Running!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Race Day Tips for a Marathon and Beyond

Recently Runner's World Magazine published an article by Amby Burfoot on how to run a "smart" marathon titled, appropriately enough, "Marathon Smarts". This Sunday I'll be running the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa with my second cousins Dan and Brian and have been thinking about some tips to give them before the marathon. Much of this information is not new and is mentioned in the article but what I have done is to describe my own personal race routine whether I'm running a marathon or a 100 miler.

1. Stick With the Tried and True - I never try out new things on race day. This weekend I'll be wearing my New Balance 902's which have about 60 miles on them along with Injinji socks, my "signature" yellow SLUG jersey, favorite North Face shorts and a Headsweats hat. I've worn all of these items 100's of miles and know that they're comfortable and don't cause any chafing or blisters. For nutrition I'll bring along a few pouches of Hammer Gel and 10 S-Caps both of which I've used many times in training and I'll stick with water only for hydration.

2. Rise and Shine and EAT - The minute I wake up I'll eat a bowl of Nature's Path Optimum Power Cereal and add some raisins of my own; this is a staple for me as I eat it every morning. I usually eat about 2 servings so total with milk and raisins it's around 550 calories; plenty to fuel me for a while. Since we're leaving for Tulsa at 5:00 am (3 hours before the race starts) I'll also eat an Odwalla Bar at about 7:00 am; my favorite kinds are Berries Go Mega and Chocolate Chip Peanut.

3. You May Be Cold Now But You'll Be Hot Before You Know It - Unless the projected high during the race is below 40 degrees I'll wear a short sleeve shirt and shorts. Sometimes I bring along a throwaway sweatshirt to wear up until the last minute and either toss it or hand it off to my crew. If you wear a throwaway and toss it you won't get it back; most races donate the clothes to charity. I pick up my throwaway shirts at Goodwill for $2; can't go wrong there.

4. No Bloody Nips - I use Body Glide under my arms and on my inner thighs and Nip Guards or band aids (much cheaper) to protect my nipples; this is IMPERATIVE if you are a male. Make sure that you've worn your clothing, shoes and socks before in long training runs so you know they don't cause you any problems; goes back to rule #1.

5. Keep Your Number On Your Shorts (and your shorts on your rear end) - I actually just started this at Kettle since I planned on changing shirts at some point and have been doing it for every race since. It gives you flexibility so you can change on the fly and not worry about transferring the number; I'm assuming that most of you plan on keeping your shorts on for the entire race :-)

6. Perk It Up - I don't drink coffee before a race as it messes with my stomach but I do grab a Soy Latte if there is a Starbucks around. Many people, including my friends Gabe and Deanna, won't run a race without there caffeine fix; personally I can take it or leave it.

7. Save Your Energy For The Race - For distances longer than a marathon I don't warm up at all and this weekend at Tulsa I won't either given the leisurely pace we'll be running. If I'm really going after it in a marathon (which I rarely do anymore) then I'll jog just a bit before and do some light stretches after my muscles are warm; not too much but just enough so that when I start at a 7:00 min./mile pace my body is ready for it. For ultra's there is plenty of time to warm up when the race begins.

8. They Have Water At the Aid Stations - I may sip on water before a race but usually am plenty hydrated going into it; I see a lot of people downing liquids until the last minute and I used to be one of them. Perhaps I am just more lax now but I don't really worry about it; if I'm thirsty I drink but I don't go out of my way to hyper-hydrate. It's not like you're heading into the Sahara; in most marathons water is available every 1-2 miles.

9. Steady Does It - I never do this in marathons but am getting better; I always start out too fast and fade at the end. This is the opposite of how it's supposed to be done as it's better to get faster towards the end (negative split) or at least run an even pace throughout (even split). Most elite marathoners run negative splits as Ryan Hall did in his recent victory at the Olympic Trials.

10. Don't Let Mole Hills Become Mountains - Don't wait to get the rock out of your shoe or adjust your shirt if it's rubbing you in a weird way; these things will only get worse. Catch them before they cause any real problems!

11. Something To Drink? Yes, Please! - I drink from the beginning of the race until the end but be careful not to overhydrate; take S-Caps to keep your electrolytes in balance. Hyponatremia is very dangerous (potentially deadly) and can occur if you drink too much without replacing lost salt.

12. Love To Eat - In a marathon I'll stick to Gels only (GU or Hammer Gels) but in longer distances I will eat more "real" food. Whether it's M&M's, Coke or PB&J, if it looks good I'm eat'in it! You must replace the carbs you are burning otherwise you most likely will hit the infamous "Wall" when your body has depleted all of its glycogen stores. The body can only store about 2,000 calories as glycogen and most people burn an average of 100 calories per mile; that's why the Wall suddenly appears around the 20 mile mark when your body runs out of fuel.

So that's my own personal spin on the tips from Runner's World and you can read the article in its entirety by clicking HERE. Please email me or comment if you have any questions or an interesting pre-race ritual you'd like to share with everyone.

I'm off to the Lake Friday and then Tulsa Sunday morning; look for a full race report to be posted late Monday night.

Happy Running,

Saturday, November 10, 2007


UltraLister Davy Crockett recently published a list of 100 Mile FAQs (frequently asked questions) on his blog which I found very interesting. Although I'm a "Newbie" at this distance I do get quite a few questions from runners and non-runners alike when they find out that I've completed two 100 milers in my short running career (2007 Kettle Moraine and 2007 Arkansas Traveller). Following Mr. Crockett's lead I decided to post my responses to some of the 100 mile FAQs.

1. Do You Sleep During The Run? No, personally I do not. Since these are races my goal is to finish the distance as quickly as I can; also there is a 30 hour time limit for most 100 milers leaving little time for naps.

2. Do You Walk? Yes, I would say that I walk about 30% of the total distance (30 miles). The "plan" is to walk the uphills, jog the flats and run the downs; of course if the race is relatively flat then you must include scheduled walk breaks. At Arkansas Traveller I didn't follow this plan and ran everything for the first 16 miles which almost caused me to DNF early in the race due to the heat and humidity.

3. Do You Eat While You Run? Yes, you're supposed to. In a 100 mile race I'll burn around 15,000 calories so it is essential that I replace these calories during the run. For me I have a hard time eating as I tend to have no appetite and an unsettled stomach; I force myself to eat whatever "looks" good or something I can just gulp down. At Arkansas Traveller I lived on Coke and Soup during the last 60 miles but typical aid station fare includes Soda, M&Ms, Gels, Sports Drink, candy, chips, cookies, PB and Jelly sandwiches, boiled potatoes and about anything else you can imagine (pancakes, sausage, bacon, hamburgers, etc.). You must also replace your electrolytes during the race by either consuming salt or electrolyte capsules. Personally I take Succeed Caps and in hot weather consume about 3-4 an hour; during the AT100 I took over 60 S-Caps throughout the 24 hours I was running.

4. Do You Stop To Rest? There are aid stations about every 4-5 miles where we fill our water bottles, grab something to eat and see our crew if the station is accessible to them. My rule is to get in and out of an aid station in 2 minutes or less as I take food out with me to eat while I'm walking. My crew usually walks along side refilling me with Hammer Gels, S-Caps, Woerther's Candies, Starlight Mints, Clip 2 and Tums. I almost NEVER sit; as the old ultra saying goes "Beware of the chair!" It has been the cause of many DNF's (Did Not Finish) for other runners.

5. How Long Does It Take To Run 100 Miles? As Davy says in his response it really depends on the course. Kettle was my first 100 miler and I finished in 27 hours and 11 minutes due to the fact that I walked the entire last 38 miles. At Arkansas I finished in 24 hours and 35 minutes as I was better prepared both mentally and physically for the night portion; I practically ran an even split (1st 50 miles in 12:09 and last 50 miles in 12:26). In February I plan to run Rocky Raccoon which is considered "easy" for a 100 miler; my goal is to run a sub-24 but my "stretch" goal is to beat 22 hours.

6. Why Do You Like To Run 100 Miles? That's the Million Dollar question that I get all the time! First and foremost I like to push myself to see exactly what I'm capable of; the feeling of accomplishment when you finish is unsurpassed by anything else I've ever experienced. I love the people I meet during the journey and the beautiful places I get to see. I've learned a lot about myself; I can achieve anything I set my mind to and when the going gets tough I'm able to handle the stress in a calm manner (something I try to apply in everyday life). I enjoy reflecting back on the race and going through the "play by play" with family and friends; it's like reliving the excitement all over again! Lastly, you can't truly appreciate "rest" or a shower until you've run a 100 miler.

7. How Long Does It Take You To Recover? I'm usually running again by the next weekend although I stick to trails and go no further than 7 miles. Typically I do a "reverse taper" and am back to my average weekly mileage by about 3-4 weeks after the race. I ran the Rock Creek 50K three weeks after Traveller and missed my 50K PR by 3 minutes placing 7th overall; my recovery time is getting shorter and shorter as I get more miles on my body.

8. What Do You Think About As You Run? When running a race of this distance you focus on how you're feeling (body scan from head to toe and internally), keeping your hydration/electrolytes in balance, following your fueling strategy and what you're going to need at upcoming aid stations. When you scan and something isn't right you then move into a solution oriented mode to figure out what you need to do to fix the problem before it gets any worse. If you are at a REALLY LOW POINT you start thinking about why you're doing this as you search for meaning and inspiration to push on.

9. How Much Do You Have To Train? I average about 50 miles per week and a typical week consists of 4-5 runs of 6 to 10 miles and one long run over 15 miles. The Long Run is really the key as it primarily trains the endocrine system to handle the stress you will encounter during a 100 miler. I ran at least one race of 50K or longer practically every month this year.

10. Doesn't It Hurt? Yes! There are times when the pain seems unbearable; you must know the difference between "safe" pain and pain which signifies a problem so serious that you must quit. By about mile 50 everything hurts to some extent so it simply becomes varying degrees of pain. At Arkansas I actually started feeling better as the race progressed during the last 50 miles; I've found that for me late in a race it is less painful when I'm running than when I'm walking or standing still. As Davy said, after the race the pain subsides but the memories and sense of accomplishment last a lifetime!

11. Do You Get Blisters? I am blessed in that I have very few foot problems and rarely get blisters. If I do they are small and relatively insignificant; I usually don't even notice them until the race is over.

12. What Kind Of Shoes Do You Run In? I run in trail running shoes and love the Asics Gel Trabucos; I've tried others but keep coming back to these. I also wear Injinji Socks, use Sole orthotic insoles and Dirty Girl Gaiters. During Arkansas Traveller I ran in the same pair of shoes the entire race, never changed my socks and my feet felt great (it's all relative).

13. How Many Miles Do You Run In A Year? I just started running in September, 2005 so:
2005 - 492 Miles, 2006 - 2454 Miles, 2007 - 2305 Miles (through 11/11)

14. How Often Do You Run 100 Miles? I've only run two 100 milers and completed both of them in 2007. This year I also ran races of all distances including one marathon, six 50K's, one 6 Hour Timed Event and one 50 miler. I will be running one more marathon this month and a 40 mile "fun run" in December which will complete my events for 2007. Next year I will run fewer races and plan to participate in four 100 milers; I will run less 50k's and no marathons.

15. Do You Win? Not Yet :-) I am relatively young and early in my ultra career; the highest I've placed in a 100 miler was 20th at Arkansas. My running times in general have improved quite dramatically this year and I do think that someday I'll be able to run a sub-20 hour 100 miler. Is that good enough to win? Depends who shows up that year.

Are there any questions I've missed? If so please shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.

I may be back later this week with another post before I leave for the Route 66 Marathon on Friday. As you probably have gathered I didn't travel to California as my trip got postponed; I'll be heading out there for the Thanksgiving Holiday which actually works out much better anyway.

Hope all is well and Happy Running,

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Day After The Marathon

This video was created by the Flora London Marathon as a commercial for the event. I saw it a few months ago but forgot about it until I was checking out Kelly's Blog today and she had it posted. Something most of us can relate to; enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ryan Shay Collapsed and Died Saturday During the Olympic Trials

Ryan Shay: Photo from

A tragic story as Ryan Shay died during the Olympic Trials this past Saturday in Central Park, NYC. According to sources, the 28 year old marathoner collapsed about 5 1/2 miles into the race and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. To read the November 8th NY Times article, "Small Town Mourns a Running Marvel," please click HERE.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Alicia, his family and his friends. Let this serve as a reminder to us all that life is precious and that you never know when your time will come; enjoy every breath!

For more information please click HERE.

The Ryan Shay Memorial Fund
5873 Leisure Lane
East Jordan, MI 49727

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Hit The Wall: My Endocrine System said Enough is Enough!

Major Endocrine Glands: 1. Pineal Gland 2. Pituitary Gland 3. Thyroid Gland 4. Thymus 5. Adrenal Gland 6. Pancreas 7. Ovary 8. Testes

As most of you know I've run quite a few races lately with the Flatlanders 6 Hour on September 2nd, the Turkey and Taturs 50K on September 16th, the Arkansas Traveller 100 on October 7th and the Rock Creek 50K this past weekend. I returned from the 50K this past Sunday and was feeling pretty good; physically I was a bit stiff and sore but mentally I was better than ever energized from a weekend of trail running and spending time with friends. I took Sunday and Monday as rest days to recuperate and then planned on a run Tuesday. Then, yesterday, I noticed a sharp decrease in my appetite and was feeling a bit off in general but headed out for my scheduled run anyway after work. The weather was so perfect that instead of running 6 miles I ended up doing 12 miles which put me over the edge. Today I awoke feeling queasy, with no appetite, no energy and emotionally depressed opting to call in to work and spend the day resting; I ended up sleeping 17 hours! So after a bit of research and consulting the "Ultra Bible" I figured out that my endocrine system was stressed to its max; it simply couldn't take anymore and things went a bit haywire (commonly diagnosed as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome). Here's what A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning says about the endocrine system:

"Most runners have no idea what the endocrine system is, nor its significance to ultrarunning. An ultra places tremendous stress on the body. The endocrine system reacts to enable the body to respond to the stress. WIthout proper endocrine system function, completion of an ultra would be virtually impossible. That system is trained by repeated exposure to stress. Mutltiple glands (pituitary, hypothalamus, adrenal) are active and they secrete multiple chemicals (aldosteroone, vasopressin, glucagon, insulin, adrenaline, cortisol, endorphins-just to name a few) that affect how we get through these long, stressful runs. The endocrine system can strengthen with moderate training, but can also be pushed to the point of fatigue and collapse by too much stress. That is really what overtraining is all about. Muscles recover rapidly from an ultra, but the endocrine system takes many weeks to fully recover. Too many long runs in too short a time will push a runner into an overtrained state that will force rest, not so much for the muscles, but for the endocrine system... And make no mistake, ultrarunning does exact a cumulative effect on most of us. It takes extraordinary effort to push your body through the demands of 50 miles, 100 or even longer distances. You are "borrowing" on your body's reserves. Just how long it will take to "repay the debt," varies among runners. But if the debt is not repaid in full, there may be foreclosure down the road."

Click HERE to read an article on endocrine system depletion by Jay Hodde and the owner of Succeed Products, Karl King.

What I learned today was that I definitely have limits; I have come to think that I can just keep going like the Energizer Bunny but that is not the case. I am human and not powered by batteries that you can just swap out when they're depleted. This feeling of invincibility has led me to do too much, too soon and today it all came crashing down. You must give your body (muscles and endocrine system) enough time to recover after events or it WILL SHUT DOWN. I wanted all of you to know about my experience so you can learn from my mistakes and know that it is OK to rest; if you don't do it on your own your body will do it for you.

Hope all is well and Happy Resting,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Cousin Dan: From Couch Potato to Marathon Runner

The above picture is Dan at his 182 lb. "fighting" weight

I wanted to share my second cousin's story with all of you as he is a real inspiration! Dan and our other cousin, Brian, will be running their first marathon at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, OK on November 18th. I will be joining the two of them and am honored and proud to share in this life changing experience and celebration of their hard work and dedication. Here is Dan's story:

"Starting in high school, I had always been very fit, played football, lived in the weight room, and ate a healthy diet (on a teenager scale). During college my weight, like many other people, started to climb. I continued off and on to lift weights but as my weight room experience tapered my food consumption increased. At the age of 30 my weight had reached a new all-time high at 270lbs and 5’10”.

Ironically, it is not the person in the mirror that wakes us up to our weight it is a photograph that makes us think, “I don’t recognize this person!” It was that last picture that made me say enough is enough! I began to run and hated it! A half mile was torture! I started gradually, slowing building up to a mile, then a mile and half and so on. Now, I can’t wait to get out there.

I am now training for my first marathon. Running has helped me shed the weight fairly quickly along with eating sensibly. I didn’t follow any fad diet. I just ate sensibly. Many people get caught up in the diet scene and are more worried about points than what their brain is telling them. I now weigh 182lbs and the rewards are too numerous to count. For starters, I have more energy to keep up with my five year old daughter now! Running has transformed my life, one from obese and low energy to, “I can not wait to take that long run this weekend!” Your self-confidence will soar along with a boost in self-esteem. The worst thing about running is that I have had to buy a new wardrobe twice!"

Absolutely AMAZING! Dan followed the 4 steps of the Running4Recovery program by:

CLAIMING OWNERSHIP: He took an honest look at himself at the age of 30 and knew he had to change his habits. He took responsibility for his obesity and made a plan to do something about it.

ASK FOR HELP: He asked his family and friends to support him in his new lifestyle by helping him to make healthier choices in his diet. He also consulted books and online resources to help him reach his goal of running a marathon.

RUN FOR RECOVERY: He hit the streets religiously following his training plan and grew to love running; now he's a regular Forrest Gump!

ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM: On November 18th he's going to enjoy the benefits of being leaner and healthier by running his first marathon. This will be a celebration of his tremendous achievement!

Congratulations Dan; I am so proud of you. I can't wait to run with you and Brian in Tulsa and know that the two of you will do great!

This is my second post this week so if you missed the first one continue down the page to read my race report from the Rock Creek 50K this past weekend in Lake Perry, KS.

Hope all is well and Happy Running,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rock Creek Trail Series 50K: Good Friends, Good Trails and GREAT TIMES!

As you can see from the title above I had another awesome ultra-running experience this weekend at the Rock Creek Trail Series 50K near Topeka, Kansas. I left St. Louis around 1:00 pm Friday and headed over to Columbia to meet up with my good friend Deanna Stoppler and then we continued on to Lake Perry for a fun-filled night of camping before the race. Deanna's friend, Jeff Wells, had headed over a little earlier to get a camping space as he would be joining in the festivities too. Deanna and I arrived around 6:30 pm, found Jeff and our camping spot and hurried to get our tents up before it was dark. Once we were situated Jeff got the fire started and we made dinner; Deanna and I had some pasta with chicken while Jeff mowed down on a big, juicy steak. We then sat around the campfire swapping adventure stories and cooking up SMORE's. I hadn't made SMORE's in over 15 years and Deanna had never had them so we were in for quite a treat (she's Canadian, eh; do they even have marshmallows up there?). They were just as awesome as I remembered although Deanna had some trouble when her stick broke off inside the marshmallows; she had to perform a bit of surgery using Jeff's Leatherman. After a few laughs we all retired around 10:30 pm to get some rest before the race; Deanna came back from the bathroom and said there were a lot of barking spiders around. Still not sure what she meant; is that some sort of species I haven't heard of? Anyway...

We woke up the next morning around 5:45 am, ate breakfast, broke down our camp site and headed off to the race; the morning air was cool and crisp as the temperature hovered around 40 degrees. Perfect running weather! We arrived at the race and immediately I saw my good friend Dave Wakefield and talked with him a bit before checking in. He had made a running skirt out of his shorts; he's quite an interesting dude (in a good way :-) Deanna and I headed back to the car to begin getting ready and saw a TON of our friends; Rick Mayo, John King, "Bad Ben" Holmes, Stuart Johnson, Pat Perry and Paul Schoenlaub were running in the race and I was stoked to see them. We all chatted before heading over for the pre-race spiel and at 8:06 am we were off.

Before the race I was a bit worried as I had a weird pain in my right knee that started flaring up on Wednesday; I had done some research online and still suspect I may have a torn meniscus. I began running with Deanna and could feel the slight, sharp pain with each step; I told her that it was definitely real and I was worried. I figured that if it started bothering me too badly I'd just drop at the turn but hoped it wouldn't come to that. Deanna and I continued running together in silence for the first 6 miles before coming up on fellow SLUG's Stuart Johnson and Paul Schoenlaub. We politely passed them and in return were called "Young Punks" by Stuart; them sound like fighting words to me! That would be the last I saw of the two of them during the race but not the last I heard out of them; Paul's voice carries for miles! As we entered the 8.5 mile aid station I decided to let Deanna go; she was really book'in and I was still a bit worn from the AT 100. I continued on by myself hitting the turn in 2 hours, 30 minutes and feeling good. I talked a bit with Rick and John as I filled my water bottles and gulped down the Hammer Gel that Jessica Wakefield handed me. They had both signed up for the 25K race since they each have a busy racing schedule coming up and had just run at Arkansas Traveller a few weeks ago (Rick ran the entire race and John paced Gabe for the last 52 miles). Perhaps they had the right idea but I was having so much fun I figured I'd head back out for a 2nd loop :-)

Once back on the trail I was greeted with views of Lake Perry; the constant lapping of the waves against the shore served to relax my mind. As I ran along the bluff the cool wind swept across the lake sending a much welcomed chill throughout my body reminding me how lucky I was to be out enjoying the beauty and serenity of the trail. Then I heard it, this moment of peace and tranquility was interrupted by the voice of Paul Schoenlaub carrying through the forest! Stuart and Paul were closing in and I pushed on as there was no way I'd give Stuart the satisfaction of passing this "Young Punk." I found out later that they were gunning for me the entire second loop but I always knew exactly where they were; it was impossible for Paul to keep quiet long enough for them to sneak up on me (I'm just kidding with you Paul; OK, not really). As I entered the 28.2 mile Aid Station I was encouraged by the young volunteers to pick it up as there was a gentleman just up ahead walking, "He's only 2 minutes out just around the corner, he's yours!", they said. I humored them and accepted their challenge as I filled my water bottles and grabbed a Jolly Rancher. About a mile down the trail I spotted him; he politely moved aside and exclaimed in a thick British accent "I'm beat and tired as Hell, plum out of gas!" "I hear what you're saying, Brother," I replied as I passed him and continued running up the hill; there would be no more walking for me this close to the end. I spotted the blue Trail Head signs and knew the finish was near; minutes later I was greeted by the familiar hum of the generator as I rounded the corner for one last sprint finishing in 5:16:07 and placing 7th overall. Dave Wakefield took 1st place overall with a strong 4:41:50 finish and Deanna was a ROCK STAR taking 1st place female with a 4:56:57 finish placing 3rd overall; CONGRATS to both of you! I think "Bad Ben" sums up the race perfectly in saying:

"This race was a wonderful first-year production by Willie Lambert, the race director. And what a course...probably the most perfect 50K course that I've ever run on. Singletrack in the woods, with occasional views of beautiful Lake Perry. Just enough technically-rocky sections, broken-up by faster sections. There was good aid station placement and great volunteers."

I couldn't agree with him more! The post-race festivities were AWESOME with a live band, chocolate milk from a local dairy, baked potatoes, chili, soup and some great giveaways from the sponsors and Great Plains Running Company. Deanna cleaned up taking home a beautiful 1st place trophy, a pair of Montrail shoes, a Suunto T3 Watch, a Montrail Beanie and a Nathan Waistpack; must be nice to be a winner! We hung out for a few hours chatting with all of our friends before heading back to Colulmbia.

We got back to Columbia around 9:00 pm, picked up my car from Deanna's work and discovered about a mile down the road that I had a flat tire. I hadn't changed a tire in about 15 years (that's what AAA's for, right?) so Deanna took the lead. Although we were both tired, hungry and dirty she exclaimed "You may think I'm a bit crazy but this is great. The weather's perfect and it's a real team building experience!" She's right, I do think she is crazy but you got to love her attitude! Deanna and her boyfriend Dave were kind enough to invite me to stay the night at their place and I took them up on the offer. They live on a farm about 15 miles south of Columbia and it is absolutely beautiful. I awoke this morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and homemade pecan pancakes with real maple syrup; YUM!!! With a full belly I headed back to St. Louis around 10:00 am energized from another amazing adventure! To check out all of the pictures from the weekend click HERE and for the full Rock Creek Trail Race Series 25K and 50K results click HERE.

I'm often asked why I run ultra's and my response is first and foremost that I love the people. The ultra-community is one big family and we are excited to share our lives and experiences with each other. Today my closest friends are ultra-runners and although I've only known them for a short while it feels like we go back a lifetime. They are some of the kindest, warmest and friendliest people I've ever known and I'm thankful each and every day for this sport and the joy it has brought into my life.

Hope all of you are doing well and Happy Running,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Trails and Tribulations Arkansas Traveller 100 Interview Now Available

I wanted to let all of you know that the Trails and Tribulations Podcast Interview is now available. As I mentioned in a previous post Kim and Andrew approached me a few weeks back about doing an interview about the Arkansas Traveller race and I thought this would be a great chance to add a 3rd dimension to my AT 100 Race Report. I also speak in length about how I got into running in the first place, the Running4Recovery Program and how ultrarunning has changed my life. Click HERE to visit the Trails and Tribulations website and at the bottom of the "Show Notes" you will have a choice to either download and listen to the interview on your computer or subscribe to the bi-weekly podcast. Thank you Kim and Andrew for all of your hard work and giving me the opportunity to share my experience with you and all of your listeners. I hope that through my story others realize that in ultras, as in life, things can change in an instant for the better; don't give up because you may miss out on something extraordinary!

Happy Running,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Marathon Challenge" on NOVA, Diet as a Lifestyle, Re-evalute Your Footwear Needs and Upcoming "Adventures"

Vermont Foliage: Photo by Matt Ramos

Running - 39.01 Miles, 5:40:19, 8:43 Pace
Yoga - 3 Hours
Elliptical Machine - 1.5 Hours

This is my favorite time of the year; the mornings are crisp, the humidity is low and the beauty of the changing forest is breathtaking. Fall is definitely here! Just this morning I was running with a group of SLUGs out on Chubb trail and the golden glow from the leaves was practically blinding; what a day to be a runner! If you'd like please share some comments or pictures of the fall foliage from your area; I'd love to hear about your experiences during what I think is the best season of them all.

I thought this program would be of interest to many of you as it definitely is to me; I love to hear about others pushing their limits to achieve a goal which they once thought was impossible. These individuals and many of you are living proof that we are all capable of anything we put our minds to through hard work and discipline. Following is a description of the program:

"In cooperation with the Boston Athletic Association and Tufts University, NOVA was granted unprecedented access to the Boston Marathon course. In the summer of 2006, we began following 13 hopeful novices as they took the first step toward completing the 26.2-mile race in April 2007. The participants come from diverse backgrounds - a young woman running in memory of her mother, who died in a tragic car accident; a working single mom; even a former NFL linebacker. The one unifying element is that none of them is currently a runner. Over the nine-month training period, exercise and nutrition scientists and doctors at Tufts University use sophisticated technology to monitor the physical transformations that the participants have undergone. The experience demands a transformation of mind and body, and NOVA cameras are there, following every step of the way. Who was able to finish the race and what type of changes did the runners experience? You'll have to tune in to find out. "Marathon Challenge" will premiere Tuesday, October 30 at 8:00 pm on most PBS stations. For more information you can visit the Nova Website. You can also view a short promo of the show on Youtube by clicking HERE.


Many of you know that I once weighed in at 230 lbs. and was approaching a 40 inch waist; most of the people I meet today have a hard time believing that but it's definitely true. Runner's World recently had an article about how to maintain a healthy weight and not always be on a diet; diet's don't work. You must adopt habits and a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain indefinitely. By no means does that mean depriving yourself, as runners we can get by with a few more calories than the average Joe, but it does mean being aware of what you are consuming and burning. Here are a few tips from the article:

1. Keep Up the Carbs
You won't find NWCR folks on a high-protein diet. Most successful losers get about 49 percent or more of the calories from carbs, about 29 percent from fat, and the remainder from protein. This makes sense for runners, as you need the carbs to fuel your workouts. The key is selecting the right carbs-foods rich in fiber, like grains, beans, fruits, and veggies. Fiber helps dieters by providing a sense of fullness. Even better, research shows that a diet that includes 34 or more grams of fiber daily actually drops the number of calories your body takes up from your food. Over a year's time, this could equal a 10-pound weight loss.
2. Become a Morning Person
In one study, 78 percent of NWCR participants reported eating breakfast every day-a habit that may help curb appetite later in the day. Research shows that breakfast eaters, especially those who start the day with cereals (a natural for fiber), have a lower body mass index than those who skip the morning meal. Plus, protein often appears in breakfast foods in its proper proportion for sating appetite. Eating in the a.m. is particularly important for runners who work out in the morning, since it helps restock drained glycogen stores, along with supplying a variety of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed for recovery and good health.
3. Keep Moving
You know as a runner that burning calories tips the scales in your favor. So it comes as no surprise that NWCR participants are steadfast with their exercise. "The average person in the registry is burning about 2,800 calories a week in activity," says Wing. Last year, the USDA established 60 to 90 minutes as the recommended daily physical activity for those trying to maintain weight loss. Research shows that people who exercise daily on average weigh less than sedentary folks but eat more.

You can read the article in its entirety by clicking HERE.

I've been running in Asics Kayano's for almost 2 years now; they have quite a bit of support, are a bit heavy and just generally a lot of shoe. In the past 2 years I've logged thousands of miles and my running stride is much more efficient now than when I started. I used to be a heel striker, slight overpronator and a somewhat heavy plodder; now I have a mid-foot strike, a relatively neutral gait and when running on road you can barely here me coming. Friday I realized that I needed to visit the running store to get into a shoe that fits the runner I am today rather than just sticking with the same old standby. I went to Big River Running Company and discussed my needs with Matt and Ben and walked out of there with a pair of New Balance 902's. I had always said I was an Asics guy but after running in them yesterday I may have found a new brand; plus the wild Orange color makes me look really fast! Key word here is LOOK fast :-) You are constantly evolving and improving as a runner; it's OK to re-evaluate your footwear needs and perhaps make a change. You may find out that is exactly what you need to get that spring back into your step.

So I told you last week that I have a lot of things going on between now and Thanksgiving; I have to keep my life interesting so that all of you will keep tuning in to the blog. OK, maybe that's not exactly true, but sounds like a good excuse for weekly adventures to me! I've been having a great time lately traveling to races and making new friends from all over the country. Of course there will be pictures and recaps up on the blog but I wanted to give all of you a quick preview:

This Weekend (10/26 - 10/28) - My good friend Deanna Stoppler and I are heading over to Topeka, Kansas to camp out, eat some SMORE's and run the Rock Creek 50K. There will be a TON of my friends either running or volunteering at this race; here are a few that I know will be there, Dave Wakefield, "Bad Ben" Holmes, Paul Schoenlaub, Stuart Johnson and we could see an appearance (at least as spectators) from fellow Arkansas Traveller finishers Rick Mayo and Gabe Bevan.

November 1 to 4 - Heading out to Western Nebraska (via Denver) to meet up with Running4Recovery founder and co-owner Brad Holzworth and the rest of the team. We plan on spending a few days out at his condo discussing our plans for the future of the program and just really getting to know each other better. We'll be hitting the trails out there and putting in some miles as we're brainstorming through our ideas. I'm really looking forward to the trip and the chance to connect with Brad, the team and to explore a bit of Nebraska (uncharted territory for me).

November 7 to 11 - I will be going out to Los Angeles for a few days to spend some time with a good friend and former colleague, Erik Joule. I worked for Erik at Guess and he has always been someone who stood by me and helped me through some of the darkest moments in my life. As many of you know I'm in "hover mode" right now as I figure out what is next for me in life; Erik and I have quite a bit of catching up to do as I am very different today than I was during my LA days. He is someone I greatly admire and respect and I know he will have some great advice and insight. We plan on doing a lot of hiking up near Ojai, running along the beach and Yoga (of course!). It will be my first time in LA since 2003 and it is nice to be going back to visit someone I can trust to support me in my new, sober lifestyle.

November 16 to 18 - I am running the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, OK, on November 18th with my second cousins Dan and Brian. They both recently started running and it will be their first marathon; I am so excited to be supporting them through to the finish and sharing in this life changing moment with the two of them! Dan has quite a story as he has lost almost 100 lbs. through running. He is in the process of putting the finishing touches on his testimonial and I will be posting it up on the Running4Recovery website soon.

So what have all of you been up to? Any recent adventures you'd like to share or some exciting events that you have coming up? I encourage you to post your thoughts and news in the comments section as I'm always interested in what is going on in your lives.

Hope all is well and Happy Running,