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. 

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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.