Tim VanOrden’s Running Raw Times – February 1st, 2008
A Huge hello to all my friends and supporters of the Running Raw Project.
In This Issue:
• Running Raw in the Public Eye
• Super Tuesday
• The Race Report
• Savvy Snowshoers
• Garmin Sponsorship
• Those Annoying Google Ads
• Upcoming Events
• Running Raw Website Updates
Running Raw in the Public Eye:
GQ Interview: Eleven years ago, when I moved to Los Angeles to further my acting career, I dreamed of one day being featured in the pages of GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly). As fate would have it, that honor would be bestowed upon me not for my acting talent, but for my ability to run up the stairwells of VERY tall buildings. Last week I was approached by GQ to do an interview for an article on the world’s most grueling sports – Tower Racing had topped their list. What a great honor and what a great interview. The author of the article was so pleased with my input that he approached the London Observer (where he is also a contributor) to run my story – and they said yes. I’ll let you know when both publications come into print.
Wall Street Journal Interview: When it rains, it pours… and chances are, you’re going to get wet. Shortly after the GQ interview I received a call from the Wall Street Journal. They were doing a piece on vegan athletes and wanted my story. Vegan athletes in the Wall Street Journal? I thought they only covered… well… Wall Street. I guess there’s money to be made in the world of veganism these days. So, I gave what I thought was a great interview and then went the extra mile by referring the reporter to several other vegan athletes. A few of the other athletes interviewed had done the same thing and before you know it, we were all cut out of the article and replaced by one of the referrals – NFL pro football player Tony Gonzales (not even vegan, but thinking about it). Our generosity had been our downfall. The upside? The WSJ ran an article on vegan athletics! This is GREAT news for vegan athletes everywhere!
Marpo Kinetics – the makers of the Viper Rope Climber (a machine that simulates climbing a rope with just your arms) recently did an interview with me after seeing my video (Viper Rope Climber video) demonstrating my use of their machine to prepare for the Sears Tower Race. This device was my secret weapon, as it helped me to build the strength necessary to pull hard on the railings for the entire 103 floors of this monster race. You can read the interview here: http://www.marpokinetics.com/lt/lt_xv0801.htm
The race for the presidential primary is not the only event being contested on “Super Tuesday”, February 5th. The crown of the “World’s Fastest Stairclimber” will also be handed out at the 31st Empire State Building Run Up. Athletes from 23 states and 17 countries will race up 86 floors and 1,576 steps to see who is the king of the world’s toughest sport. Not since King Kong has a banana-eating raw vegan dominated the world’s most famous skyscraper. Perhaps it is time yet again. For the past 2 months my training regimen has been a grueling routine of leg and arm strength exercises that have prepared me like never before to take on this iconic tower. I am in the best shape of my life, and come Tuesday, I hope to let out a victory cheer from the highest point in America’s greatest city. A cheer to all of you who believe as I do, that there is a better way.
To watch my video of the INSANE start of last year’s Empire State Building Run Up follow this link: Empire State Building Run Up Start 2007 (in order to effectively read the text, you may have to pause the video or watch it several times).
My strategy this year – muscle my way to the front of the pack and be one of the first people through the door… no more Mr. Nice Guy.
The Race Report:
Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care. Well, I do care, but I’ve been too busy cracking my ankles in snowshoe races to be sympathetic. The Western Mass. Athletic Club winter snowshoe series ( http://runwmac.com/snowshoes/default.html ) is in full swing and so far I’ve been able to attend 4 of the races. In all four of these events I’ve placed in the top 5, which may not seem all that impressive until you look at the talented athletes ahead of me. These races consistently draw the best snowshoe and mountain runners in the country. I’ve raced against national champions, American record holders, Olympic trials qualifiers, national team members and numerous other All-American athletes. It has been a great honor to run neck and neck with these standouts on the American endurance scene.
I’ve only known about snowshoe racing for a little over a month now, but it’s quickly becoming my favorite sport. There is just something different about the people you meet at snowshoe races. They are a special breed. Unfazed by the challenges and rigors of a New England winter, even celebratory on it’s harshest days. So it was no surprise that while surfing the Snowshoe Magazine website, I came across a section on nutrition that advocated eating uncooked, whole fruits and veggies. It seems this community is ahead of the curve when it comes to diet and athletic performance. I’ve found my people. Read the Article here: http://snowshoemagazine.com/view_content.cfm?content_id=351
I am VERY happy to announce that Garmin has come on board as a sponsor of the Running Raw Project and has provided a much needed heart rate monitor for my training. For the past four months I have been training blind, without even a watch to record my workouts and no knowledge of my effort. Heart rate data is crucial to successful long term training. As I gear up for the biggest races of my life over the next six months I’ll have Garmin to thank for keeping me on track.
According to the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to improving as an athlete, this adage also holds true. My gradual increases in training mileage over the last six months have allowed me to safely log more than 70 miles per week for the past four weeks without injury. This time last year, I was running half that distance and only two weeks away from an injury that would sideline me until the end of June. The lesson learned here: follow a well thought out plan, do not follow your heart or ego.
So as I head down the homestretch towards my goals of a sub 4 minute mile and a place at the Olympic Trials, I’m confident that I have the foundation necessary to handle the intensity of training required to meet those goals. My 40th birthday is now only 3 months away. It’s crunch time.
Those Annoying Google Ads:
As much as I hated to put up those pesky little Google ads on the Running Raw site, they have come in handy. No, I’m not making a killing on them, but after three months of your clicks, I have earned enough to replace the camera that I dropped back in December. So you can be looking forward to lots and lots of new videos on the way, and I promise they will be better than ever.
• February 5th – Empire State Building Run Up (86 floors)
• February 7th – Cystic Fibrosis Climb – Albany, NY (42 floors)
• February 10th – Northern Vermont Snowshoe Challenge – Smuggler’s Notch, VT
• February 16th – Camp Saratoga Snowshoe Race – Wilton, NY
• February 23rd – Climb Tampa – Tampa, FL (42 floors)
• March 9th – National Snowshoe Championships – Ogden, UT
Running Raw Website Updates:
• Training Page – http://runningraw.com/training2010.html – Updated each week
• Channels Page – http://runningraw.com/channels.html – Many new pictures and videos
• Blog Page – http://runningraw.com/blog.html – Several new blogs
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 develop it even further. If you’re excited about what we do and would like to be a part of it, 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. No amount is too little, and every dollar is appreciated enormously.
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