Tim VanOrden’s Running Raw Times September 16th, 2008

A Huge hello to all my friends and supporters of the Running Raw Project.

In This Issue:
• All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front
• Forté at Forty
• Olympic Trials and Tribulations
• Food Networking
• The Running Raw Buzz
• The Race Report
• The Training Log
• Upcoming Events
• Running Raw Website Updates

All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front:
A clean, simple, plant-based diet/lifestyle is only one piece in the puzzle of true health. A potentially larger and more important factor in truly thriving is emotional well-being. Over the last six months it has become increasingly clear to me that I have a great deal to learn about my emotions and how they impact my life and my health. I have been myopically focused on diet and exercise alone at the expense of my joy and happiness. I have been afraid to let you down. I’ve been afraid that if I didn’t achieve my goals you would stop believing in the possibility of this lifestyle I put forth. I became anxious and overwhelmed, and forgot how to receive your support. I became isolated and quiet and yet at the same time I developed a codependent relationship with you, my supporters. I have been doing this for you and not for me. It has been you that has gotten me out of bed to train hard when I didn’t want to. It has been my need to keep you inspired that has kept me going. It has been my need to be an example for all of you that has kept this project alive. All the while I was neglecting me, and falling apart. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to show us what we cannot see on the inside. I have been blessed recently to have such a person come into my life and to wake me up to me and my truth and my fulfillment.

Standing in my own power and in my own desire, I recommit to this project and to it’s brilliant success. For me… For you… For us.

Forté at Forty:
Like the summer in Vermont, my 40th birthday has come and gone. Time does not stand still, nor does it give value to the numbers that we hold so dear and fear. It cares not for our plans nor our dreams. It simply does a brilliant job of moving ever forward with open arms if we ever choose to accept it’s course.

For almost three years now all of my plans and goals for this project revolved around my 40th year. It was to be the defining moment of Running Raw. My time to shine. Our time to shine. In the beginning it seemed like an eternity until that glorious day would arrive. I had all the time in the World. Time to fill with action. Time to fill with inaction. I did both.

That time has come and gone and the bulk of my goals were not achieved. They say that time heals all wounds… and perhaps that’s true. I have now come to terms with the realization that the richness of life’s moments almost never sync up with the grandeur of our dreams. But those moments are rich none the less. For in these moments lies truth and being and beauty and peace and contribution and love. I have no regrets. I continue forth as I am, starting where I am, with one goal in my heart and mind – To see what’s possible… To be what’s possible.

Olympic Trials and Tribulations:
Many of you have been emailing me about the Olympics in Bejing. The short answer is that I was not in attendance. I am not deterred, but even more determined. The Running Raw Project is refocusing, repackaging and recreating a brilliant future for everyone involved. Stay tuned.

Food Networking:
The story goes that an actor usually gets their big break when they decide to quit acting and leave town. That’s when the phone rings. Well, two years after I quit acting and seven months after I left L.A., the phone finally rang. But it wasn’t Speilberg, or Scorcese. This call was even more important. It was a producer for Al Roker Productions and The Food Network. They wanted to do a documentary style show about the Running Raw Project and air it this fall in a prime time slot – 8pm Saturday night.

I met the producers for dinner at Pure Food and Wine in lower Manhattan. Neither of them had ever tried “raw food” and they were quite skeptical. By the time the “thin mint sundae” had arrived for dessert their apprehension was replaced with curiosity and delight. They shared with me that up until this point, the Food Network would not touch raw food with a 10 foot pole. My approach to raw foods had a general appeal they told me, and they were willing to take a chance on me and this project. I am grateful.

We began filming in early June and will continue shooting through late September. I am so thankful for this incredible opportunity to get the word out to mainstream America. Although I will not be getting paid for my work on this show, I’m hoping that it opens doors which allow the Running Raw Project to grow to new levels and reach a larger audience.

When the show gets near to it’s air date, I’ll let you know.

The Running Raw Buzz:
XTERRA Trail Mix Newsletter – May 13th 2008 http://www.xterraplanet.com/trailmix/51308.html
London Guardian – June 3rd 2008 http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,2283483,00.html
Bite Back Article – April 2008 http://www.biteback.be/news/detail.php?news_id=4303
Tony Fletcher’s Blog: (scroll 2/3rds Down) http://www.ijamming.net/?cat=21
Gone Raw Forum – WOW!! http://goneraw.com/forums/8/topics/5765
Bennington Banner Youtube Interview – http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=6jjIfvLLeCM&feature=related
La Sportiva Northfield Mtn. Race Coverage – http://www.mountainrunning.com/item.php?id=76

The Race Report:
It was a very busy summer of racing for the Running Raw Project. I raced at least once a week, and at one point had raced 8 times in 15 days. Quite a few victory notches were added to the Running Raw belt, and several new course records now belong to the raw vegan movement. But more importantly, I had dozens of opportunities to plant the seed of health.

Highlights:

Climb California – Aon Center Stair Climb – 62 Storeys – Los Angeles, CA
With the top US stair climbers in attendance, I managed a 2nd place finish only two seconds behind one of the World’s best – Tommy Coleman.

Kids for Kids 5k – Los Angeles, CA

After a slow start, and temps in the high 80’s, I managed to best the field in this star studded L.A. event. For my efforts I garnered my first sub 16:00 performance of the year.

Whiteface Mountain Foot Race – Wilmington, NY

As a warm up for Mt. Washington, I took on some of the country’s best athletes on this Olympic mountain. When the wind had died and the fog had cleared at the summit, I found myself in 3rd place.
The top two spots went to a two-time Olympian and a two time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier.

High Chair Run Up – Palenville, NY
1,200 feet of climbing in only 2.25 miles. The rugged Catskill Mountains of upstate NY served as the proving ground for this challenging vertical trail race. We were warned of possible bear encounters at the start, but little did I know that I would be chasing a black bear to the finish, thinking it was a spectator dressed in black. Another victory and another course record for Running Raw.

New England Trail Running Championships at Northfield Mtn. – Northfield, MA
New England’s top trail runners converged on Northfield Mtn. to compete in the trail running championships. After a grueling 6.5 mile race I was crowned the New England Masters Trail Running Champion, and broke the Masters course record by 57 seconds.

Whipple City 5k – Greenwich, NY
The dog days of summer couldn’t stop the Running Raw Project from breaking the course record in this hilly and hot 5k.

US Mtn. Running Championships – Mt. Washington, NH
What do you get when you combine two days of intense travel, little sleep, extreme stress, undereating, and a camera in your face at all times? My worst race performance to date. After a promising start, I ran out of blood sugar halfway through the race and hit the proverbial wall at 60 mph. Had it not been for the microphone strapped to my chest, and the cameras filming my pathetic shuffle and stumble, I would have just passed out on the side of the road and called it quits long before I reached the finish. It was pride that kept my body moving forward for those last few brutal miles. There was no way in hell that I was going to give up on national television. When I crossed the line, I was immediately jumped by two EMT’s who promptly injected me with a glucose solution. The camera kept rolling, as did my eyes… into the back of my head. They tell me it will make for great television and give my character a dramatic arc… There is nothing like being Reality TV fodder 🙂

Now it’s time for the hero to rise up in act III.

Mt. Cranmore Hill Climb – North Conway, NH
I needed a strong performance at Mt. Cranmore to heal the wounds incurred on Mt. Washington. This race had broken me the year before and my confidence was now at an all-time low. I dug deep inside and pulled out a 5th place overall finish and took home the masters title.

Loon Mtn. Race – Lincoln, NH

With 4 of the 6 New England Mtn. Running Circuit races behind us, I was ranked 3rd overall and top master in the series. Loon Mtn. would be the ultimate test of my physical and mental endurance. With well over 3,000 feet of climbing at grades of up to 45%, this is one of the toughest races on the planet. I gutted out a 7th place overall finish, besting several of the top runners in the Mt. Washington Race. Mountain running legend Dave Dunham had a phenomenal race and placed 3rd. This allowed him to edge ahead of me in the Master’s points race by 4/10ths of a point, and moved him into the 3rd place spot in the overall series.

Mt. Ascutney Run to the Summit – Brownsville, VT
The sixth and final race in the N.E. Mtn. Running Circuit was a relentless grind of a climb up Mt. Ascutney in South Eastern Vermont. After Dave Dunham’s stellar race at Loon Mtn., I now trailed him by a just 10 seconds going into this race. The pressure was on. Apparently the producers from the Food Network could smell the heat, because they were there to film me as I dueled with Dave. A 2,200 foot climb over 3.8 miles of paved road would be the proving ground. Again, Dave showed his strength for long grinding climbs and easily eclipsed me for a 3rd place finish. I gave it my all to the line for a 10th place finish. The series ended with Dave taking the 3rd spot overall and 1st master. I completed the series 4th overall and 2nd master.

The Training Log – What goes up must keep going up:
The past two months have been focused on getting ready for the upcoming US Bank Tower Stair Climb in Los Angeles on September 26th. This is one of the top 3 stair climb races in the country, and always attracts an incredible elite field. Last year I narrowly defeated Jesse Berg (Sears Tower winner) by 3 seconds to claim victory in this 76 storey climb. I was informed that stair climbing superstar and Australian expatriat Terry Purcell will be on hand for this race. Terry holds the record at the Sears Tower and has never been beaten in the United States – he is one of the World’s best.

Knowing full well the new level of fitness that I must achieve to retain my title in this year’s event, I have undertaken a most rigorous training regimen. The high mileage that helped me on the roads and mountains this summer has been replaced by weeks of 45 to 60 miles with 3 hard days per week. These hard efforts include races, leg strength at the gym, running up stone steps on the Appalachian Trail to failure, 10 minute all-out bursts on the elliptical machine and stepmill, an intensive core regimen, and 10 minute “sprints” on a rowing machine to build rail pulling strength and endurance. My hard days include a hard morning and hard afternoon workout, and occasionally a hard late evening workout. I have never felt or looked stronger in my life. I have improved significantly in ALL my fitness tests.

During this intense training, I have had to increase my caloric and protein intake to keep up with the demands of my healing body… I’ll have details soon.

Upcoming Events:
September 25th – Presentation – Thriving on Raw Foods – Leaf Cuisine, Culver City, CA
September 26th – US Bank Tower Stair Climb – Los Angeles, CA
September 27th – Presentation – Thriving on Raw Foods & Potluck – Altadena, CA
September 29th – XTERRA Pt. Mugu 20K Trail Race – Malibu, CA
October 12th – US Masters Cross Country Championships – Greensboro, NC
November 9th – Sears Tower – Go Vertical Chicago Stair Climb – Chicago, IL

A Brand New Website:
After 8 months of working on a new site I’ve finally polished my skills enough to create a Running Raw experience that I’m happy with. I’d love to get your feedback on the new site. If there are features that you’d like to see please let me know.

Paying it Back and Forward:
Please support my sponsors Larabar, Blendtec, Nutiva, Garmin, Excalibur, West Coast Labels, and Supercharge Me

Your Support:
Your donations help us more than you can imagine. Even very small contributions help to pay for event registrations, travel, etc.! Thank you in advance for your support. This is what allows me to do what I do and touch the lives I touch. You can make your donation through http://paypal.com to the address donate@runningraw.com. No amount is too little, and every dollar is appreciated enormously.

In Conclusion:
The Running Raw Project is taking off like never before. The stories you share of how Running Raw has made a difference in your lives inspires me to continually expand this project. If you’re excited about what we do and would like to be a part of the team, please get in touch with us. We’re always looking for new contributors, sponsorship and enthusiastic athletes to help make this project all it can be.

Please pass this newsletter along to anyone that you think might be interested in this journey. If you have any suggestions on how to make runningraw.com better, please pass them along. If there is anything you’d like me to try or blog about, send it my way, it may become a part of this journey.

Thank you for your continued support.
With Love and gratitude

Tim VanOrden

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