Add to Technorati Favorites "Going the Distance!": Spartathlon 07, Running as Therapy and 9/17 - 9/23 Weekly Recap

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spartathlon 07, Running as Therapy and 9/17 - 9/23 Weekly Recap

39.71 Miles, 5:47:54, 8:45 Pace
3 Hours of Yoga and 25 Minutes Elliptical Crosstraining

The 2007 Spartathlon will begin this Friday in Athens, Greece ending 245.3 Kilometers (152.4 Miles) away in Sparta. Scott Jurek (pictured above) was last year's winner in under 23 hours and became the second fastest person and recorded the fifth fastest time behind legendary Greek/Australian runner, Yiannis Kouros, who holds the four faster times. Here is a brief history of the race from the Spartathlon website:

"For twenty four consecutive years, the Spartathlon athletes have followed the route John Foden and his team defined in 1982 when they experimented in running from Athens to Sparta. It is based on Herodotus’ description of the Athenian ‘Imerodromou’ or messenger who arrived in Sparta the day after he departed from Athens and also on well known historical events of that time. It has, therefore, been considered the nearest route to that which Pheidippides must have followed.

Briefly, Miltiades’ messenger started out of Athens on the ancient Iera Odos, or “sacred road,” up to Elefsis. From there he followed Skyronia Odos, a military road on the slopes of the Gerania mountains, and traveled through Isthmia, Examilia and Ancient Corinth. He went on to Ancient Nemea, thus avoiding the Epicratea of Argos, as it wasn’t in alliance with Athens, and he continued along the mountains between Argolida and Arcadia. He climbed the Parthenio mountain (1200 meters), where he encountered the God Pan. Descending the mountain, he continued in the direction of historical Tegea, one of the locations mentioned by Herodotus in his account about Pheidippides. He proceeded south toward Sparta. Upon his arrival in Sparta, he completed 1140 “stadia,” which equaled 246 kilometers."

Jurek will be back to defend his title along with a very impressive field of athletes from all over the world. To view the list of competitors click HERE and for live coverage of Spartathlon 2007 click HERE.

There has been a lot of talk recently about the benefits of running for treating depression, stress and anger. This is the foundation on which Running4Recovery was founded as both Brad and I have experienced these benefits first hand on our own personal roads to recovery. Recently Runner's World Magazine published an article about "Motion Therapy" and I thought you might be interested in learning more; here's a bit from the article:

"Some people work through issues lying down, feet propped up on a leather couch. Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D., however, finds problem-solving most effective when he and his clients are in running shoes. Gontang, a psychotherapist, marathoner, and director of the San Diego Marathon Clinic, has been hitting the streets with his patients for the past 30 years. "Getting out and talking with others while you run or walk can help change your thoughts and give you a different perspective on how you choose to deal with anger, grief, or trauma," he says.

You don't need to be clinically depressed or severely troubled to benefit from "motion therapy." In fact, Gontang says many people run out their problems, perhaps unknowingly, on a regular basis. "Your therapy might come from your running group, your running buddy, the Saturday morning bunch," he says. "When you run sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles together, you trust each other, bare your souls to each other, and help each other heal."

Numerous studies have shown that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and beta-endorphin, all of which elevate mood and reduce depression and anxiety. Research is showing what runners have known all along: In this state of mind, they are more likely to disclose thoughts and feelings--whether it's to a training partner or licensed therapist--when they are logging miles. Gontang strongly believes in motion therapy and offers discounted rates to those who will see him on the road. About 75 percent of his clientele do--to his delight. "It's a healthy outlet for me as well," he says."

Sure beats lying on a couch; what a great idea! Brad and I also realize the value of having a support group and are in Phase 2 of the Running4Recovery Program which includes starting regional running clubs all over the country. Currently I am working on getting the first one started here in St. Louis which will serve as a model for the other groups across the nation. Spread the word and if you're interested in helping out please Email Me for more information. To read the Runner's World article in its entirety click HERE.

So I am now officially in taper mode logging in almost 40 miles this week along with 3 hours of Yoga; still loving that Yoga! Unfortunately Jeremy Gulley will not be able to pace me at Arkansas Traveller so Andrew Karandjeff is stepping up to the plate to help me in my sub-24 hour attempt. We got together this past Saturday at Chubb Trail to get in some miles and discuss our plans; thanks Andrew, you're a real lifesaver! My ankle is still pretty sore from the wicked sprain a few weeks ago at Hawn and it seems that every time I go out for a trail run I turn it again. I'm going to have to be REALLY careful at AT but figure everything will be hurting by about mile 70 so my ankle will be the least of my worries. This week I'll get in about 25-30 miles of running along with 3 hours of Yoga and some crosstraining on the Elliptical Machine. I don't really have much prepartion to do for AT as I've already got my list from Kettle and the AT Website has all the resources I'll need. Next weekend I'll be putting together my drop bags and picking up last minute necessities since I won't have any long runs scheduled. Nothing left to do now but rest up and get myself mentally ready for the challenge; the keys to a sub-24 hour finish are Relentless Forward Motion, maintain a Positive Mental Attitude, and EMBRACE the experience!

Hope all is well and Happy Running,

1 comment:

Deanna Stoppler said...

Carey, I'm sorry to hear about your ankle! Sounds like you are very organized for the upcoming race. Way to go, dude. You'll do awesome, as usual. And it sounds like you have great support, which helps big time.

I'll post about my "Hobo" experience sometime this week. Overall, it was groovy and I did well. What a fun event.