I’m a bit behind the ball on this post, but I wanted to let you know that Running Raw has been featured in this month’s (March/April) issue of VegNews Magazine!! The issue focuses on vegan men. Check it out!
When it comes to being properly prepared for a race, one of the most important factors that’s usually overlooked is your stress level. Stress affects metabolism and bodily energy stores and needs to be considered when prepping for a race.
There seem to be a whole lot of ‘gurus’ out there in the alternative health world that have THE truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But many of them disagree. So how could they all have THE truth?
Here are my thoughts on the subject of truth and the dangers of dogma.
December 5th, 2011 St. Louis, MO
Every December, USA Track and Field holds it’s annual convention to celebrate the year gone by and to plan for the year to come. Among the celebrations are the handing out of the USA Runner of the Year awards. This year two Vermonters made the list.
After a year of stellar performances, Tim Van Orden, 43 of Bennington, Vermont was for the second year in a row named the USA Masters Mountain Runner of the Year. But the committee didn’t stop there. They also named Van Orden as the 2011 USA Masters Trail Runner of the Year. Van Orden stood on the podium in every National Championship he entered this year, winning four of them. In addition, Van Orden finished 10th at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships held in Italy in September.
Kasie Enman of Huntington, Vermont also made the list. She was named the 2011 USA Mountain Runner of the Year after an exceptional season. Enman ran away from the field to easily win the US Mountain Running Championships and then went on to be the first American woman to win the World Mountain Running Championships in Albania.
USATF holds regional mountain races throughout the country all year long, which culminate in the US Mountain Running Championships held each June in New Hampshire. The top six men and top four women at this event are invited to the World Mountain Running Championships. The USATF trail racing scene offers more opportunities for victory. They hold a US Trail Championship for four different distances; 10 Kilometers, 15 Kilometers, Half Marathon and Marathon. Van Orden has been US Masters Champion at all four of these distances.
“This is a great honor” said Van Orden. “It’s one thing to put in the hours, train hard and be rewarded with a victory. But to be recognized by your peers and the governing body of the sport. That’s something else. It’s incredibly exciting and humbling at the same time.”
It’s that time of year again. Yes, THAT time of year. The time when the days are short, the afternoons dark and the temperature sinks well below the “it’s a nice day for a run” mark. As I type this the radio is chammering on about a low of 10 degrees tonight… We may still have another month of Fall remaining, but here in the north country Winter makes an early appearance.
So how do you get out on these dark cold days and keep your running schedule alive and healthy? With some simple steps. How do I know they work? Because they were created by someone that really doesn’t like the cold and who has a hard time running even when the weather is nice – ME.
Step 1: Make it a surprise. Don’t tell yourself that you’re going for a run. Simply jump right to step two without any conversation of a run in your head.
Step 2: Get dressed. This may sound silly, but I’ve found that the act of getting properly dressed for the cold makes the idea of going out into it much less frightening. Don’t consider going outside until you are fully dressed to go outside. A little brain trickery goes a long way towards getting difficult things done.
Step 3: Listen and learn. Become a sponge for information. I’ve become an audiobook junkie over the past few years. I listen to no less than 3 (educational) books a week. But I only allow myself to listen to them while running. So even though I may not want to go outside or run, I really can’t wait to get back into the book. This is a big incentive to get out there for me.
Step 4: Just walk outside… Fully dressed… With something exciting to listen to.
Step 5: Walk to the street and take a single step… and then another and another and another.
Post some comments below on how you get yourself out the door on days when you’d rather not 🙂
Here’s a video I made about how to dress for cold weather running to give you some tips and ideas.
It’s been a long and expensive year of racing. My goal this year was to compete in all five of the U.S. Trail Running Series races, and with any luck, come in the top 5 overall. The series consists of the four U.S. Trail Championships at 10k, 15k, Half Marathon and Marathon, as well as the U.S. Mountain Running Championships. This involved a trip to Washington state, North Carolina, New Hampshire and two trips to Oregon. Needless to say it was a pretty exhausting racing season… But it all paid off brilliantly. My performances in each of the events added up to being named the 2011 USA Trail Series Champion – Not just masters, but overall!
It’s been a big year for the Running Raw Project and I look forward to an even bigger year in 2012.
There are many things that I am thankful for. But at this moment one opportunity stands out in my mind. It was November of 2006. I was in Chicago to coach the fledgling Run Raw Team in their first raw Chicago Marathon. As far as we knew at the time, no team of raw, vegan athletes had ever been assembled to compete in an event. For us it was a momentous occurrence. We were breaking new ground. We were ushering in the dawning of a new era in sport. We were running raw. Well, I should say that THEY were running raw. I was sidelined with a knee injury and my role of coach, although gladly accepted, was not my first choice. Needless to say, I was rather blue.
The race was quite an undertaking. Our athletes would not be able to fuel at the normal race water stops, which were serving up some kind of sports goo, water, pretzels and candy. We would somehow have to be on course at several key locations with specially designed concoctions in hand to pass out to our raw heroes en route. The mixture that we tested was coconut water blended with dates, dulse and agave nectar (in hindsight, this was a horrible mixture). Late into the evening the night before the race Ariane Glazer, the wife of runner Rob Speros, myself and co Run Raw Team founder Krista Mikulski prepared these drinks as well as breakfasts and post race meals. We were like an assembly line in a raw restaurant cranking out wholesome goodness. During this prep period, Ariane, Krista and I bonded over shared raw experiences and anecdotes. Ariane was the main organizer for the large Chicago Raw Community Thanksgiving Dinner which was going to be held the following week and she had the idea that I come and speak at the event. I had never spoken to a group of people about raw foods or anything for that matter. It was a great opportunity to share the message, but I will admit that I was very nervous. My understanding of physiology, nutrition and biochemistry were quite miniscule at that point in time, but I had a great story to share and Ari thought that it might inspire some people to change their diets.
So I stood in front of a packed room and shared from the heart… I had no script or outline… I simply talked about my experience. I’m sure my information was far from accurate, but my intentions were good. As scary as the experience was, I found new meaning for myself in that kind of sharing. I felt a value that I had not experienced before. I felt like I was home. I found my calling. Had I not been injured, I might have been in bed sleeping and missed out on that connection. Sometimes the frailty of our bodies and minds yield our greatest rewards.
A lot has changed since that fateful night. I’ve been back as the speaker at the Chicago Raw Community Thanksgiving every year since. My knowledge has increased one hundred fold and my desire to help and educate has grown along with it. For this I am grateful. My path has not been an easy one, but I cannot imagine a more rewarding experience.
It is with great sadness and gratitude that I write this blog in honor of all those amazing people in Chicago who bring this event together every year… and who helped me find my purpose and calling in life. For the first time in six years, I will not be in attendance. My investment in race travel has left me bare and it’s time to lay low… But tomorrow, my thoughts and smiles will be in Chicago 🙂