Pure Fit Radio Launches

A while back an elite runner and Facebook friend asked if I was interested in being part of a new website and podcast. It sounded like a great concept and next thing I knew, I was a part of the team at Pure Fit Radio. It is a website set up to inform people about upcoming events, injury prevention, sports rehabilitation and to provide motivation and inspiration for runners, triathletes to anyone looking to be active in their daily lives. Each week there will be a podcast featuring a wide range of athletes, event directors, injury specialists and wait for it... wait for it...

Bart Yasso! As the Chief Running Officer for Runner's World, an accomplished endurance athlete, author and one of the few people to have completed races on all seven continents it is real exciting to have a running ambassador of the sport participate in the weekly podcast.

The website will also have pages where you can view events taking place in each state and (this is where I come in) a weekly 2-3 minute recording about competitive events and happenings in each state. That's right, I'll be doing the recording for the state of California. I did my first recording last weekend and don't worry, it will get better. I guess you could say I have to get my podcast legs warm. But seriously, each week a representative in each state (called an Endurance State Reporter or E.S.R) will keep you up to date on events happening in your state. A broad spectrum of events will be covered from various running distances, triathlons, biking, swimming, walking, mountain climbing, trail running... you get the idea and if you are looking for something to do on the weekend or an event to strive for, the site will have the information for you broken down individually for each state on the podcast page.

The weekly podcast will be hosted by Jimi Minnema and Kattie Carpenter-Rosa. Each are accomplished endurance athletes in their own right and will provide news and features on running, swimming biking and other competitive sports along with health advice from leading professionals and interviews with elite runners to race directors to simply inspiring individuals such as Jerry (interviewed on this week's podcast). Jerry is currently stationed in Eastern Afghanistan and will be running 26 marathons and an Iron Man in 53 weeks to raise money for charity to support fallen soldiers and disabled veterans. Frequent appearances will also be made by an Injury/Prevention Specialist Terence Reuben, Athletic gear specialist Ben Pickel and others to help you improve or maintain your healthy lifestyle.

The site was launched this past weekend and the very first podcast was recorded; I'm listening to it right now actually and Diana Bertsch, the race director for the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is being interviewed. So if you are looking for a start to your weekend or motivation, check out Pure Fit Radio online or on Facebook. I'm excited to be a part of it and will be keeping you posted for upcoming events in the state of California. While you're there, check out events happening in your state. Enjoy!


CIM Marathon Recap

With over a week to process my last marathon of 2009, I am still up in the air on how I feel about it. Going into the race I knew that my recent training was not at the level it should have been. After taking three weeks off from running a month and a half before the race, I wasn't comfortable with the mileage I had built up leading into the race. It was a quick 4-week build up to 22 miles and it was leaving me nervous about the race.

My PR in San Francisco (a much tougher course) was 4:45. Thinking if I ran a similar race on an (advertised) faster course, my goal was to come in between 4:30-4:39. Still, in the back of my mind I knew I was ill-prepared for such a run... but as I have said often, we runners are stubborn and sometimes (read most times) logic takes a back seat to determination.

The day started off with a late connection with fellow runners at their hotel adding a sense of urgency before the race. The morning was extremely cold and I was glad to have my gloves and head/ear warmer with me. (they wouldn't be removed until mile 24 when I needed a change of mind set).

The plan was to run 10 min. miles until mile 18 — evaluate how I felt over the next 4 miles, then make a decision at mile 22 to pick up the pace if I had it in me. The course had rolling hills the majority of the first 10 miles and less frequent the rest of the way. Translation: rolling hills for the first half, less frequent, but smaller rolling hills the rest of the course. Luckily I was prepared for the course layout via a link a fellow runner sent me that described every mile of the course by a long-distance champion, Tim Twietmeyer. That put me in the right frame of mind and the course layout was not a surprise race day.

At the halfway mark, I was at 2:18 which was on pace for my goal. Especially considering I had a bathroom break mixed in there (which was the first time I have had to stop in a race, what a complete waste of time). Seeing family and friends along the course at miles 10, 17 and 20 was a big pick up as usual. Familiar faces can really get those legs moving.

Around 17-20, I could feel the legs getting tight, but my focus was to get to mile 22 knowing that was a distance I had recently run and could get there safely. Sadly, mile 21 ate me up and chewed me up quite a bit. About halfway thru the mile, I had a severe cramp in my left calf and to top things off the minute I stopped to stretch it, the Black Eyed Peas song "Meet me Halfway" came on. Which is fine, I put it on my iPod, but the second you are cramping and are forced to stop, the first words of the song you don't want to hear are: "I can't go any further than this. I want you so badly, it's my biggest wish." LOL. How horrible is that? I've been shooting for 4:30 for half the year and I'm 5 miles away on pace from getting it. It killed me.

After stretching it out and having to plod along to work it out over the next half-mile it felt good. I decided to run it out and kept running at a decent pace all things considered and was maintaining a sub 11 min mile. I kept looking at my watch thinking that if I can keep this pace and sneak in some low 10 min miles I could come in around the high 4:30s. Hope creeps in.

Before I get to this, allow me to lay some context: All of my marathons start off with a steady pace until around mile 18, then get progressively worse until the end. I have never been able to maintain my pace the entire way. So to still be running 10-11 min miles over miles 20-26 was huge for me. Knowing how badly I wanted to break into 4:30, even if it was 4:39:55 I decided that now was my time. I gave myself some extra motivation by talking to myself and asking if I really wanted this. I'm sure you can relate. A lot of telling the legs to “pick it up” and “keep moving.” For those readers under age, close your eyes — there was some swearing, but it was used as a motivational technique, so I feel it was justified. At mile 24, I clocked a sub 10 min. mile, my fourth fastest mile for the entire race. But the success was short lived; at mile 25, both legs seized up and I knew it was over. I needed another sub 10 min and a strong finish for the .2 to make the goal and I could feel my time slip away with each agonizing step. But those steps kept coming and I ran the last mile with both legs cramped and it felt as if the finish line would never come. I saw my family at the final stretch, looked at my watch and saw it turn from 4:39 to 4:40. I crossed the line at 4:40:41. A PR by 5 minutes.

It was very emotional to be that close, but finishing with family and friends (we had 16 total runners participate from our training team, 2 relay teams of 4 and 8 people doing the full). The encouragement and mutual “congrats” made the day a success. All in all, I am walking away knowing that it is the best marathon (in terms of pace) that I have ran to date and the sub 10 min mile that late in the game is glimmer of hope. However, I am still left with mixed emotions because I demand so much of myself and am my very own harshest critique, but it keeps me motivated as I continue to strive for glory (read sub 4 hr. marathon).


An Easy 10 with Michael Ryan

As I continue to recover from this weekends marathon, I would like to introduce you to our very first An Easy 10 with... a pure trail runner... allow me to introduce Michael Ryan.

Michael Ryan
Location: Rochester, New York
Race History : 45 races since 10/06
5k PR: 22:23
10K PR: 48:09
1 Road Half Marathon: 1:56:07
3 Trail Half Marathons,
1 Trail 25K

I started running... in 2006. My girlfriend (now my wife) had been a pretty good high school runner and started back up running while we were dating. I really had no interest in running, but would go to support her. I clearly remember one race cheering for her, and all of these strangers, feeling a rush of emotion and thinking how I'd like for people to cheer for me too!!! Once I started running with her it gave us a common activity and now we inspire and push each other. It definitely made us closer.

When I'm not running, I... am keeping busy with something. I have a part time job at a specialty running store, so am there a few nights a week. I enjoy reading, playing cards, and working out. I am a big sports fan — I love the Yankees and Buffalo Bills. I love a few TV shows too, so I’m probably trying to catch up on LOST, House, 24,or Heroes

One time when I was on a long run... my wife and I along with another friend were in a 6 hour snowshoe relay race in the trails of a park. In NY during the winter it is completely dark by 4:30, and the race starts at 2, so you are wearing headlamps for the 2nd half of the race. When you are out there in the middle of the woods it is beautiful because it is pitch black on either side of the trail in the trees, but the white snow is so bright with the moon providing light as well as your headlamp. I was all alone running along and looked over into the woods and saw all of these sets of eyes looking back at me!!! There were all these deer, raccoon, and other animals just watching me go running by. So awesome.

I choose to run without... music. When I started running I couldn't walk out the door without my MP3 player. A dead battery was cause for a total meltdown! As I began running more trails, where not having both hands free to climb and grab onto trees and branches could be a problem, and cords for headphones can catch on things, I learned to run without music. Also you learn to listen to your body and appreciate your surroundings more. I also believe it makes you mentally stronger, there is no escape from inside your head, you need to hear yourself say that you won't quit.

The question I am asked most about running is... Why? You can try to explain, but it never works. No one in my family history has ever run. I come from a line of shorter stocky men, so I am not your stereotypical build for a runner. When I tell people that I am a runner they don't believe it at first. So my answer these days is: "Because, I am a Runner"

After an event or tough run, I... to be truthful, have some beer. It is actually part of the culture of trail running. After spending 2-4 hours of running up and down trails, gorges, ski resorts, through creeks and swamps, shin deep mud, covered in scrapes, mud, and sludge, with soaking wet feet and mud in your mouth and smiles on our faces ,everyone will often go to their cars, grab their coolers and camping chairs and hang out for a while. There is a different camaraderie in trail runners than road runners.

Running is... part of me. I can't imagine not doing it anymore. Those New Balance commercials got it perfect. I am in a relationship with running. If you take too many days off your body will yell at you "Hey, we need to go running!"
When I'm on the road... because I don't listen to music I am constantly thinking, singing, talking to myself, keeping myself entertained.

I wish other runners would... constantly try something new. Even if it is something small such as volunteering at a race or hanging around to see the slower runners finish. I try to stay and cheer them on, they may actually be slower or just having a bad day, but it was being the supporter that got me into running, and I feel that it is important. I also think that everyone should try to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. Leave your watch at home for a training run, or even a race! Go on feeling. Try running on the trails, or snowshoeing. They are both great workouts and will build strength and cardio in runners.

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Well I'd like to spend the whole weekend with the guy, but I'll take 3 miles. Lance Armstrong. Inspiration. Enough said.

Here is a website for a taste of what kind of running I am into. 

* * * * * *

Thank you Michael. I would have to agree with you that running sans watch, music and restrictions can be very "freeing." Although I am most often reliant upon those things. I also got into running by being a volunteer for a friend while she was training with the San Francisco AIDS marathon training program. I signed up next year. Great recommendation for everyone to experience cheering and supporting others.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


NY Times Article: Plodders Have a Place

In case you haven't read it, the New York Times published a story featured around the opinion of Adrienne Wald, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, regarding "plodders" finishing marathons. I will not try to summarize her words so that I do not mis-speak for her, but simply allow you to read the article written by Juliet Macur. The link is below:

Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

Today, US Olympian and running icon Jeff Galloway posted his response on his blog and I would like to share it:

My response to the NY Times article: Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

I'm simply placing both opinions out there and will elaborate on my stance later in the week. Please feel free to share any thoughts in the comments section on the blog or as many of you like to, on Facebook.


Turkey Trot

This year I will be competing in my very first Turkey Trot... and it is in my very own city's backyard. How close you might ask? Well I need to be there at 7:30 and will leave the house at 7:15. Yes, it is that close.

I registered Monday after a fellow running friend was telling me about it on last Saturday. It sounded like fun and I was thinking about finding a local Turkey Trot to participate in, so it worked out perfectly. Unfortunately, with my full marathon less than 2 weeks away, I wont be setting any land speed records and will be running and a semi-medium pace. My ideal 10k race pace would be 8 to sub 8 min miles. My ideal marathon pace is 10 min miles, so for this 10k race I will look to cruise at 9 to 9:30 min miles. If I can finish in under an hour, that would be great. The last thing I want to do is injure myself 12 days before a marathon where I will try to PR.

Event: 17th Annual Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness Turkey Trot
Distance: 5K, 10K and Kids' Fun Run
Beneficiary: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and good luck to all you Turkey Trot-ers out there. Trot Strong!


Fun With Numbers

Start time:
6:30 a.m.
Hours of sleep: 2
Distance: 21.5 mi.
Hours Running: 4:01:52
Calories Burned: 3,051
Elevation Gain: 5,543 ft.
Avg. Pace: 11:02 per mile
Fastest Mile: 8:51 (mile 10)
Slowest Mile: 12:28 (mile 16)
Songs Listened to: 0
Gatorades finished: 1.5
Chocolate Gu's: 4
Pretzels and Almonds: 1 handful
Bathroom stops: 1
Running with great friends: Priceless. :)

That's what it looks like. The two hours of sleep is normally not there. A good 8-10 hours of sleep before a long run is ideal, but I was celebrating two birthdays with friends and family. I was strong enough to be on water and orange juice the whole night, but a 3:00 a.m. bed time with a 5:00 a.m. alarm set is never kind.
But who can turn down Midnight Cosmic Bowling on a Friday night?

Thankfully, I was running with a supportive team and without them I would have bonked out before 21. I suppose the hardest thing was getting up and committing to the run. Once I was on the road it wasn't bad. I did run about a min per mile slower than my projected race pace, but getting in the distance was the goal.


An Easy 10 with Diana Pacheco

Going into the weekend, many of you may have long runs. Me, I have a 21+ on Saturday, so I figured the best way to prepare was with An Easy 10 with...

Name: Diana Pacheco
Location: Norwalk, Ca.
Race History:
5k: 19(?) 22:37 @ 34 y/o
10k: PR 39:00 @ 17; 46:22 @ 34
Half Marathon: PR 1:36 @ 17; 1:43.07 @ 35
Full Marathon: 5 (6 in December) PR adult 4:15:14 (I ran my first marathon at age 15 in 1989 and my 2nd in 1990. I didn’t run another marathon until 2007 — at the end of this year, I will have completed 3 in one year!)
Duathalon 1
HS Track:
400 M 59.
800 M 2:19
1600 5:30
300M hurdles 44.4

I started running... when I was in elementary school. I loved racing around the playground sprinting as fast as I could go. In 4th grade, I was the fastest girl in my school. I have always loved running. I have run pretty much most of my life although from 1992 - 1998 I wasn’t able to run — in Dec. of 1991, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is a digestive disease. In 1 month I dropped from a healthy 135 pounds to an enfeebled 93 pounds all on my 5’5 frame. I barely felt like eating and had no energy to do anything, I also had severe anemia and required quite a few blood transfusions over the years. I was miserable not being able to run and during one of my hospital stays after 2 weeks in bed, my muscles began to atrophy. I had my mom help me up and decided I would take a lap around the nurse’s station. It was the hardest lap I would ever take. I was so exhausted and weak, but as slow as I was I made it around and back into bed. I think back on those times now and know the hard road it took to become healthy again and how hard it was to first walk before I could run again. Running has always been in my blood and despite my roller coaster health issues I continue to run because I do, I just love it!

When I'm not running... I spend time with my 12 year old son Anthony — although he does train with me by riding alongside me on his bike on long training runs. We love to go to movies and go on day trips to San Diego or Santa Barbara. I also love working Sudoku puzzles, cryptograms and crossword puzzles.

One time when I was on a long run... in Mammoth, I saw a family of bears — a mama and cubs, they were so cute… but not cute enough to get too close!

I choose to run without... drama. I like to leave it all behind and enjoy being outdoors without work or home issues bogging me down.

The question I am asked most about running is... why do you run so much?

After an event or tough run... I love to eat a nice big meal with friends, shower and take a long nap!

Running is... like air.

When I'm on the road... I wish that I were out on the trails instead! Nothing beats trail running!

I wish other runners would... not always wear their iPods so they can hear me when I say, “Hi!” and say, “hi” back.

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Edward Norton. I heard he just ran the New York Marathon for charity, also because he is an amazing actor! And it doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome!

* * * * * *
Thank you Diana. Your road (or trail) that you have taken to and from running is truly amazing and inspiring. We hope you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and if you pass me out there and I do have my iPod on, I'll be sure to throw a "Hi!" your way with a nod. :) And yes, Edward Norton did recently run the NY Marathon (3:48). Here is a link for the charity he is running for: Massai Marathon.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Two Bridges to Somewhere

Marina to the Golden Gate Bridge, across and back, return through the Marina and head out along the Embarcadero, past the Ferry Building and Market St., continue under the Bay Bridge (photo below) then circle back to the Marina. Hello Sports Basement. That was my 18 mile route that started at 6:45 am and lasted a little over 3 hours.

It's been awhile since 18 miles has been this tough. Don't get me wrong, 18 miles is always challenging, but afterwards I felt like I had run over 20 at race pace. I was taking it nice and easy cruising with 9-10 min. miles through 15 with a couple sub 9's squeezed in the mix, but my legs still weren't ready for that distance yet. With my full marathon a couple weekends away, I have a 20+ next weekend, a taper the following weekend, then the race, so my legs better get it
together. This past weekend felt better than the previous which means I am progressing nicely. Thankfully, I had great company through 10 miles of Saturday's run. The miles always seem to fly by when you are running with friends.

I'm still realizing my vacation and semi-low mileage (nothing over 16) over most of Sept. and Oct. has taken quite a hit on what I had built up over spring and summer. But I'm confident I am getting back into it and with a full marathon next month and another in January, I'll be back to my normal self fairly quickly.

I'm recovering nicely with yesterday being a rest day and tonight a 3-mile run that may be at 10k pace depending on how my legs feel. The remainder of the week will most likely include another 3-5 mile run with some yoga and weights mixed in for preparation for my 20+ this  weekend. That will be the true gauge of my readiness for CIM and determine my race goal. Have a great week.


An Easy 10 with Liz Weed

After being back from vacation (post coming soon) it is time to get in "An Easy 10." Allow me to introduce: Liz Weed.

Liz Weed
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Race History for 2009:
January: Phoenix Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon
March: Shamrock Run (4 mile race)
May: Indianapolis 500 Mini Half-Marathon, San Diego Rock-N-Roll Marathon — I ran the marathon injured and well... now I am trying to heal up for a half marathon in November.

I started running... when I was 8yrs old. I did my first 5K at that time and was hooked.

When I'm not running, I... am taking care of my three children and my disabled mother. I am an RN and volunteer my time in this area as well. I also help coach middle school track. I love to travel and plan some of my trips around races.

One time when I was on a long run... I got lost. I decided to run from my home and then through the next town using back country roads. I didn't check my Garmin for battery power and it died mid run. Being stubborn I just kept running but realized I was pretty lost after an hour of running and not recognizing any of the roads. Thankfully I had a working cell phone. I have no idea how many miles I ran that day. My best guess was 20 miles. Lesson learned.

I choose to run without... people. I prefer to run alone. I will on occasion run with one friend but she knows I am not a talk and run type of person. I like to run with her because she can set the pace faster and I help her maintain that pace.

The question I am asked most about running is... "Where do you run?" Indianapolis is not known for having great trails. I usually run on the roads. I live outside the city and in an area that has a lot of country roads that are quite hilly. I also run at a state park near me called Eagle Creek State Park. I actually run to it and then hop on a trail and eventually run home. In the winter I run at my health club. I am not a winter running girl. I do not like the cold and it is too dark in the mornings to run outside. Did I mention the cold???

After an event or tough run, I... usually try and walk a few miles. It always helps. After San Diego we walked through downtown. The next day we went hiking at Torrey Pines. Seems to be a faster recovery for me that way. I also get a massage.

Running is... my Therapy. No doubt I have solved many of my dilemma's through running. If I had a problem in high school I would put on my shoes and go for a run. In College, if I was tired from studying I would go on a run and feel refreshed. For me it isn't about how fast I go or how far. I run to clear my mind.

When I'm on the road... I put on my iPod and tune everything out around me.

I wish other runners would... I really don't wish other runners would do anything different. I can attest that the running community is far more compassionate then any group of people I have come across. When my mom had her accident the most supportive group was and still is her running group. She has a group called the ladies of the morning. They give me respite breaks and call and write her consistently. One of them, 75 years young, is coming in November to do a half marathon with me. So maybe I wish their attitudes would rub off on others.

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... I think it would be fun to run with a sitting president. I want to know what he or she (someday right?) is thinking and how they plan to direct the country. My mom had this happen when I was around 9 years old. She was at a metro park in Ohio. All of a sudden a group of men surrounded her on the trail. She ended up running with senior Bush. In our small town (Milbury,Ohio) it was big news. I think he was V.P at the time campaigning for president.

Liz is also on Facebook and can be found on the link or via search: Liz Weed.

* * * * * *
Thank you Liz. Hope you are recovering well from your injury and we look forward to your continued success out there on the road... just remember to charge your Garmin the night before. :)

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Back in the Saddle... or in the shoes

With a month to go before my last marathon of 2009 and after two weeks on vacation, it was Back in the Saddle Again with a 15 mile jaunt to "ease" back into it.

15 was an aggressive return considering mile 13 would be my longest run in 3 weeks. It was a tiring experience to be in the road for 2.5 hours even though 15 would typically be a semi-easy distance during my typical training schedule. But I had to throw myself back into it with little time to build back up to marathon distance.

I'll be looking to break near 4:30 which would be 15 min. off my PR of 4:45. It will be the CIM in Sacramento Dec. 6. Our training group will be sending two 4-people relay teams and (as far as I know) 5 people running the full. So it will be a packed house which should add needed motivation and incentive to "bring what I got."

Training Schedule looks like:

Nov. 12 - 18-19
Nov. 19 - 22
Nov. 26 - 13
Dec. 6 - Race

With mid-weekly maintenance runs of 5 miles and speed training worked in with track work and tempo runs. 

So there it is. Out in the open which means I have to commit to it. I'm looking for success at CIM and hopefully using it as a great way to end my 2009 event schedule. This year has been phenomenal for me and would love to end my full distance events on a positive note.


Returning in Early November

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks in Nicaragua and will have extremely limited access to Facebook, MySpace and the Blog, so please allow me to direct you to some blogs that I frequent and enjoy. Until I return: Run Strong, Finish Stronger.

Marathon Mama: An extremely talented (and fast) runner. Her blog has been featured on the Rock N Roll Marathon Newsletters, specifically the recent San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon. She has a huge following, and rightfully so.

In Steph's Shoes: The Road to 26.2: Recently completed her first full marathon in Detroit. An avid runner and a great writing style. If you are looking on how to prepare for your first full distance, her past posts will help. Heck, if you are looking to complete any distance, they will help... she debuted with a sub 4-hour time. 

Between the Miles: The thing I enjoy about this blogger is the efficiency in the posts. I tend to ramble, I know. But this one is perfect — quick and to the point, but with the right amount of useful information.

Run Faster Mommy: You would think I am a mother with the blogs I read. This site is packed with useful information and a touch of day-to-day humor. Great site with another huge following. be sure to check out the comments section for each post, there is some great insight from the community.

Girl Who Loves to Run: She hasn't been posting as much lately, but when she does, I enjoy them. A recognized author and excellent blogger. A blend of family and running. The balance we all try to reach.

Runnrgrrl's Blog: Fresh off a Boston Qualifier, with no Garmin, and the Pace Bunny passing her... Great blog, Great accomplishment.

Dean Karnazes Blog on Runner's World: Dean Karnazes... enough said. Ok, for those of you looking for more. This man is a running icon. He is known as the Ultramarathon Man for a reason. I highly recommend reading the blog and learning more on his website.

There is a short list of what I read online. Of course there is more, but maybe I'll save those for my next vacation. If you have a blog and want to share, be sure to put a link in the comments section for others to enjoy.

I'll see you in two weeks and good luck to all runners in events coming up.  New York is coming up. GOOD LUCK PATRICK, LORI AND CHRIS. You guys are going to do great!


Recent Runner's Deaths

After participating in the San Jose Marathon it was troubling to find out two people had died during the race. The news is now covering yesterday's Detroit Marathon where three people died. We all know that running a marathon tests your strength, will power, endurance and physical prowess. But are you putting your life at risk? I'm not here to tell you that running a race will cause you to die, but at the same time, you are not 100% risk free. It's a physical endurance sport and should not be taken lightly.

Although statistically, you are safer running a marathon than driving a car, you should always listen to your body when running. There is a difference in running through fatigue or pain and continuing to run when you are doing physical harm to yourself. It's a fine line and it may be de difficult to tell the difference. This being said, we runners are stubborn: 

"We can run through it." 
"We've done it in the past." 
"We didn't train for 3 months to give up at mile 18." 

These may be the thoughts we want to think... but we need to know that there is always another race to finish and another day to run. Every runner should get an annual physical from your doctor or a routine check up to help prevent forseeable tragedy. But understand this: DOING THIS DOES NOT MEAN THIS CANNOT HAPPEN TO YOU. This can happen to any runner. The three runners that died in Detroit yesterday were described as "healthy" and were avid runners.

I've seen numbers that say deaths occur 0.8 per 100,000 in marathons... Those are pretty good numbers, all things considered, but that also (again) states you are not 100% risk free.

Runner's deaths during races always seem to be reported (and rightfully so), but let's not forget the accomplishments that are reached out there. In a given race, you are looking at 5,000 plus runners and larger races such as New York, up to 37,000. If a quarter of those people are finishing their first marathon and another couple thousand PR, those are amazing feats. Individual achievements cannot be reported or receive National coverage, but accomplishments are reached by thousands of people at every race. First timers, PRs, sub 4 hours, Boston Qualifiers, placing in your age group, marathon number 10, alphabet marathon series, 50 state marathon club, etc.

When you take a moment of silence to acknowledge the loss of a fellow runner, remember that runners support each other and although we all feel the loss of an individual, we must celebrate and encourage each others feats and continue to strive for greatness for ourselves and those that can no longer run with us.


An Easy 10 with Brandi Rubio

Fresh off a PR last weekend at the Chicago Marathon, I would like to introduce Brandi Rubio.

Name: Brandi Rubio
Location: San Antonio, TX
Race History: 10k: hmmmm... I don't know if I've ever completed an official 10k but I've done a few 5Ks
Marathon Relays: Corpus Christi 2006 and 2007
Half Marathon: 6 (PR 1:44:13) Austin, Houston, Helotes (2), San Antonio, Carraba's
Full Marathon: 7 (PR 3:35:15) Blackhorse Marathon, Austin (2), Boston, SA Rock n' Roll, Houston, Ft Collins Colorado and Chicago. I'm registered for SA Rock n' Roll in November, and then Houston again in January and that will make 10!!!!
Triathlon: It's on my life list
Ultra marathon: I want to do a 50 miler someday but nothing more than that... ugh!
I started running... in high school. I fell in love with Cross Country and just found my "chi" running... It was and still is my way of feeling good about myself. I've always struggled with self esteem issues and running gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment and gives my sweet tooth a justification... Running makes me feel thin.
When I'm not running, I... am playing around with my 6 year old daughter Angelina, working at a fitness center teaching cycling, step aerobics, kickboxing, or strength training, hanging out with good friends, or painting. Oh and I also think about running when I'm not running too...

One time when I was on a long run... I really had to go to the bathroom... So I squatted behind some trees... I was so scared someone would see me... but I was all by myself. A friend of mine told me that I wasn't a "true runner" until I went to the bathroom outside... I pulled up my pants and felt victorious, I wanted to yell out: "I AM A RUNNER"!!!!!

I choose to run without... a buddy. Well, most of the time. I like to run alone. Maybe it's because I'm selfish or maybe it's because I don't get a lot of "me" time.. but it's nice being just me and I'm usually just competing against myself anyways. I want to be better, faster, stronger.. And it's also nice to not have to run someone else's pace... I get to run mine.
The question I am asked most about running is... Why do you do that to yourself? People tell me that I'm going to be crippled when I'm 50 if I keep running... and I say well at least I'll be crippled and fit and hot too!!! You never know what will happen. Why should I let fear of hurting myself keep me from doing something I love. I could also become crippled by driving my car or walking down the street. You never know... but Running is how I live.

After an event or tough run, I... get really sleepy... I need to take a long nap. and most of the time I'm sick to my stomach... it sure is lovely.
Running is... one of my best friends...Challenges me, supports me, makes me a better person, and is always there when I need him or her.

When I'm on the road... I daydream.
I wish other runners would... get in their right pace corral at the start of the race... It's those darn people who are so anxious to get started with the wrong pace group and then they start walking right in front of you and then you almost trip and then so does the person behind you... and it makes me wanna scream!!!

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be...Deena Kastor, cuz Damn she's fast and if I could keep up with her for 3 miles than damn I would be fast too!!!!

* * * * * *
Thank you Brandi. Great job last weekend in Chicago and congrats on the new PR. Recover strong.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Smooth Runner

When I realized that I wasn't going to do the San Jose Half Marathon for time, the idea of running in a costume came to mind. Most races, I'm so focused or obsessed with a goal time that I rarely get to truly enjoy the race. Don't get me wrong, I love race day and look forward to the distance, but to run an event free of care was a different experience.

With the passing of Michael Jackson earlier this year and his music being a huge part of my childhood I thought it would be an opportune time to pay homage to the King of Pop. I was able to piece together the costume fairly quickly and reasonably cost friendly. The only purchases I had to make were spray paint glitter for an old black shirt I had, a black hat, silver aviator glasses, $1 white glove and sequins to decorate it. Everything else I already had in my closet.

This was my third time running the San Jose half and in the early miles, no one really said much. There was a guy on the sidelines around mile 2 that said "Go Michael Jackson" but it stayed reasonably calm until mile 5. After that I think people eased into their pace and relaxed from early anxiousness. After that it was "Nice Costume," "That's awesome!," high fives and lots of "MICHAEL JACKSON!" yells. What was interesting was seeing the look of kids faces on the sidelines — I don't know if they were confused that I looked so different or intrigued to see MJ running. Some parents pointed m out to their kids with a "Look! It's Michael Jackson."

With this being part of the Rock N Roll series, there were stages for bands every mile and if the song was right, I would slow my pace and 'bust a move' (ha). Around mile 11 there was a volunteer dancing, so I stopped and danced with her. She was around her mid 40s, had white gloves on and was enjoying herself. It was fun. I did have one person ask to take a picture of me mid-run. I hope it came out OK since we were both still running.

Anytime someone shouted something at me or cheered me on, I would let out a "hee hee" or an "owwww." Everyone in the general vicinity would laugh. That was a good feeling. How often do you get to laugh, smile and have a childhood memory mid-run during a race? Good times.

I finished at 2:17 (within 20 seconds of my time in last years race when I was recovering from IT issues, weird). I didn't moonwalk across the finish line for a couple reasons:

1. I can't moonwalk and even if I could, in running shoes on a road over a time chip bump didn't seem like a good idea. 

And 2. I didn't want to stop turn around and go slow and inhibit a runner behind me from PR'ing or have them run into me. But I would have loved to if I could. I did put my head down and spread my arms (see photo) across the finish line.

Overall, I had a blast. It wasn't that difficult to run since most of it was running clothes already. My head got warm from the hat and I'm used to running in glasses, so that wasn't too bad. I did have glitter all over me from the shirt, but what's a glitter to the King of Pop?

More pictures to be posted as they become available.

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An Easy 10 with Annie Shannon Burke

Let's start Monday off with an excellent runner among us... She has Chicago coming up this weekend, so let's all wish her luck...

Name: Annie Shannon Burke
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Race History: 
Full Marathons:
Palm Beach Marathon, ING Georgia Marathon, Chicago Marathon (Boston qualifier) this weekend
Half Marathons: (I know I am forgetting a couple here)
Miami Tropical 3X's, Palm Beach Marathon, 2X's, Boca Pal Marathon (PR: 1:50), Ft Lauderdale A1A Marathon, Disney Marathon (half)
Several local races, approx 18 in the last year alone.
Long Island 5K - 3rd place, Fit2Run 4 miler, 2nd Place

I started running... in 1985 to lose weight so I could qualify for the police academy. I weighed nearly 180 lbs at 5'2" and I did not pass the height to weight requirement. I changed my diet to vegetarian (which I still practice today) and worked to running 5 miles per day. I lost 60 pounds in approx 6 months, qualified for the police academy and performed at the top of my class.

Since then, I have run off an on sporadically over the course of 24 years. In early 1998, I endured some traumatic experiences in my life and returned to the sport I loved that never failed me: running! I began to seriously run again in May 2008. I decided I wanted to run a full marathon and joined the Palm Beach Roadrunners, a running group located centrally in West Palm Beach. I met some amazing runners who carried me through the tough times - when I dropped down to 88 pounds from the stress and anxiety brought upon be professionally and personally. They were there for me. I have since gained back 15 pounds and feel great!

Months later, I took second place in the Fit2Run 4 Miler (in mid August in West Palm Beach) with PR of 31:15. I was so excited that I jumped into every local race I could find, including the Boca Pal Half Marathon. My time was around 1:51, but I knew I could improve, and I did. Since then, I have had an incredible running year!

When I'm not running... I am currently running approx 45 - 50 miles per week, which leaves me little time for recreation.

When I do find time, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend Sarah  (pictured below), my grandson James (yes, I had a grandson and another on the way!), resting, and reading on average one book per week. Oh, yeah - I also work ;)

Next year I plan to go back to school to complete a PhD in Business Administration.

Currently, Sarah and I thoroughly enjoy wine tasting events and food shows, whenever we can find them locally.

One time when I was on a long run... Where do I begin? I have the strangest running adventures !!!!!

Most recently, on a short 6 miler, I chose to run a path that lined the roadway for about a mile. A guy in his 20's driving a black pickup truck in the opposite direction, turned his head to look at me (several times), drove off the road, over the concrete median, into a tree. We were both stunned for a moment. As I ran over to check on him, he backed from the tree and sped away, appropriately embarrassed, I hope.

A few months back I was running and texting (always a bad idea) and ran straight into a concrete light pole. That was classy as well.

I choose to run without... Because it is hell fire hot in South Florida most of the year, I usually run wearing just a sports bra and shorts. So, I choose to run without regard for what others think as many drive by and yell out the window or lean on their car horns. I listen to my music or an audio book, especially on the 2 to 3 hour long runs, and I disappear into my own world. Running for me in sanctimonious and the only thing I do for me and only me.

The question I am asked most about running is... I am asked this question on a daily basis over Facebook and locally: "How do I get started" or "How can you run for 3 hours?"

The answer to both questions is slowly, with dedication and patience.

After an event or tough run, I... ALWAYS fuel properly. Post run fueling is the key to recovery and running success. I will consume a protein drink, usually no more than 20 grams of whey protein, hydrate and eat a quality meal with carbohydrates. So important..........

Running is... my sanctity, cathartic in every way.

When I'm on the road... I ALWAYS take my running shoes, several changes of running clothes, my iPod, a couple tubes of Glide and a course in my head :)

I wish other runners would... There are two behaviors that really tend to irritate me every race I run: #1 is screamers. I LOVE that people are excited to run. Holla! Okay, now get over it, get serious and don't stop to SCREAM at people you know along the way, over other runners. This also applies to the runners (usually women) who run in packs and for some reason need to yell their conversation back and forth - usually about make-up and how their running shorts tend to "ride-up." We all don't need to hear this, people!

#2 is people who SPIT! This is usually men, I must admit. I have been spat on so many times I've lost count. I understand that when you are running and working hard fluid tends to come out of everywhere, usually undesirably. But, if you MUST expel it, do it by the curb or at least look around you!!! Yuk!

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Kara Goucher (left) or Lolo Jones (right)

* * * * * *
Thank you Annie. Good Luck this weekend in Chicago... in honor of the windy city, may your feet be as light as air. 

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


An Easy 10 with Frank Tingley

I'm pleased to bring you our second "An Easy 10 with..." Frank will be running his fifth full Marathon this weekend at the St. George Marathon in Utah, let's all wish him luck. I suppose this easy 10 may be a taper for him. :)

Name: Frank Tingley
Location: Hayward, CA
Race History:
Half Marathon: San Jose '08 (PR 2:09)
Full Marathon: Las Vegas '07, San Francisco '08 (PR 4:39), CIM '08, Seattle '09 
Next up: St. George Marathon, Utah 10/3/09
After that: There is a big world out there to be explored. I'll be up for the next big race.

I started running... in high school. I took it up again at the age of 59. I started my first two trainings with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program which is a great program. I am now training with some runners I met in the program. I am in best the best shape of my life and there is no stopping me now. 62 and proud!

When I'm not running... I work with my brother in a family business. I am the the main caregiver for my mom who is 88. She has been such an inspiration in my life. I maintain my home and garden, cook up some great meals, share good times with family and friends, and work on my self so I may become the best version of myself.

One time when I was on a long run... one mile from the finish line of a marathon I locked eyes with an older woman who was having a hard time running the last challenging hill as was I. We struck up a conversation and shared our running experiences which made the hill much easier. When we got to the top we picked up speed and she suggested we sprint in and pass as may runners as possible. We did exactly that. We gave each other the boost of energy we both needed to finish strong. Her name was Carmen and she was from DC. I will never forget her. People in the running world are simply the best!

I choose to run without... judgment.

The question I am asked most about running is... how do you keep going. I have been called The Energizer Bunny.

After an event or tough run I... hang out with friends, share great food, go home or to my hotel room and put on my big old sweats and chill out.

Running is... life. Running is meditation for me.

When I'm on the road I... tune into the energy of the landscape, share my thoughts with my co-runners, observe the other runners, walkers, cyclers, and pets. It is also a time to clear my head and focus on what is really important in life.

I wish other runners would... look straight ahead and observe what is coming up as opposed to looking on the ground. On small trails keep it in a 2 x 2 formation. A little smile and wave would be great. Most all runners I encounter are pretty good about everything.

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Sting. He is in great shape, has a great voice, and a true person of the world. A not so famous person but my hero would be my older brother Steve who was high school and junior college champion runner. At 55 he decided to get back into running again and was trying to qualify for Boston. He had a massive heart attack on a heavy training day. His dream came to end. The doctors told told him no more running so he took up golf. He was a natural runner and me not so much. He was really inspired when I decided to start training for marathons. My dream and his dream is for me to qualify for Boston. The future is bright.

* * * * * *

Thank you Frank. We all wish you luck in Utah and appreciate you sharing an easy 10 with us. Run Strong.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Dear Summer,

It seems like every year around this time we must part ways. Please don't take it personal. We had some good times. In every relationship, there are struggles and set backs, but let's remember the finer moments. Those are the times that I will choose to focus on.

You know what they say: If you love something, you have to let it go... and if it comes back it's meant to be. You gotta let me go... and that's what needs to happen. I'm at a point in the year where I need to shift my focus into the fall season and get ready for racing season. I know. I know we raced together and we PR'd in San Francisco. Don't think that I'll forget that, but I feel like I can build upon it and you have to let me try. Sure I'll miss the early sunrises you sent my way and all the times you kept the sun out just a little bit longer so that I could run in the early evenings. But let's not forget about the heat you threw my way and how you even shared some sun burn... Look, I don't want to point fingers or play the blame game. There were definitely more highs, especially the weekend we ran 30 miles in three days. You turned 2009 this year and I think it was a good experience for the both of us.

I guess it's that time, the time when we say goodbye to each other and hope to cross paths again. I know there is a sharp hint of new tears, but we both new this moment was coming.

You will be missed. The short sleeves, the shade under the trees and the cool water on your hot days. I think my hat may miss you the most. You made me stronger, faster and ready to enter the next chapter of this year. I'll look back on our time together and smile... I hope you do the same.

Goodbye Summer,



An Easy 10 with Hannah Davis

Since I'm not able to run an easy 10 miles with most of you, I figured the next best way to get to know you is with an easy 10 questions. Here is the first of (hopefully) many short interviews.

Name: Hannah Davis
Location: San Francisco, CA
Race History:
10k: 3 (Peachtree Road Race, Atlanta, GA.)
Half Marathon: 5 (2 in Carlsbad, CA and 3 in San Francisco, CA)

I started running... for REAL when I moved to San Francisco! It is SO beautiful, and the weather is always perfect for running! Also, seeing all the other runners really inspired me to want to get out and try it too!
When I'm not running... I am working in the emergency room as an RN. I love my job 99.9% of the time! When I'm not working OR running... I'm probably at The Grove drinking a latte. :)

One time when I was on a long run... I was in the Presidio and ran right under a tree branch. A huge owl hooted directly above my head, then flapped its way into the sky. Definitely got my adrenaline pumping! Scared me to death, and I'm sure I leaped a few feet in the air myself!

I choose to run without... sleeves — almost always. Even when it is blustery, I like to be cool. Really don't like to sweat.

The question I am asked most about running is... "But doesn't it hurt your knees?? How far do you go?"

After an event or tough run, I... feel just fine about whining about my sore body for a couple of days! I will totally pamper myself too.... massage, latte, mani/pedi... eat whatEVER!

Running is... so therapeutic. I LOVE IT! Makes me feel proud and look muscular. It also helps get out aggression in a healthy way and gives me time to sort out my thoughts.

When I'm on the road... I try to breathe deeply (love the smell of the eucalyptus), and I definitely take time to fully enjoy the scenery. Makes me thankful to be alive and healthy.

I wish other runners would... smile and nod, if not wave, when they run by. Makes you feel like you're all in this together.

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Well, he's not famous -but I'd rather run 3 miles with my very own Dad than with anybody else, famous or not!

* * * * * * * * *

Thank you Hannah. If I ever see you on the road, I'll be sure to throw a wave your way.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.