Fri, 29 January 2010
Today’s episode is the first to talk about the phenomenon of Ultra Marathons. There is obviously a lot more to this topic than I can fit in a single goofy little podcast, and as a homework assignment to you and myself, I recommend that we pick up a copy of the book “Ultra-Marathoning: The Next Challenge” by Tom Osler and Ed Dodd published by World Publications. The book appears to be out of print, but you can still pick up a few used copies over at Amazon.com.
I’m intrigued about training for and running an ultra someday. This seems like a much different kind of race than I’m familiar with, and the idea of running 50 to 100 miles or kilometers seems to be an amazing test of the human spirit, and an accomplishment that: as a distance runner, I’d like to try.
Human beings are evolved to be long distance runners; and an ultra-marathon seems like the natural next step progression for anyone who has conquered the marathon and is looking for a new adventure and challenge…out there, on the road.
“Still Walking” by Michael Gaither http://www.michaelgaither.com
Fri, 22 January 2010
In his essay, IS RUNNING A RELIGION, Dr. George Sheehan makes that point that running is a place, not a system of belief. Running gives us an opportunity to renew ourselves while we’re out there on the road: both psychologically and spiritually.
I’ve heard that phrase before: “Running is your religion” and it makes about as much sense as the phrases “cooking is your politics” or “singing is your manifesto”.
Every time you go out for a run, you are given an opportunity to commune with yourself, with your thoughts and with your God. The sins of yesterday are forgiven on the roads; that extra slice of pizza you couldn’t help inhale; the frustration turned outward anger you expressed at someone who didn’t deserve the outlash is suppressed, your soul is made calm, your body serves it’s good purpose…running takes you to a place that cannot be defined by latitude and longitude.
As you run, you develop the deepest commitment; the most serious mind…your mind begins to focus on “where you are and what you are doing”.
And it does you no good to visit this physical monastery only a few times in your life, or on random occasions when you have the time. You have to visit this place called “running” often; almost everyday if you can.
In other words: If you want to take with you, through the course of your life, the positive benefits of our sport: you have to constantly renew yourself out there on the road.
For those of us who believe in God, running is an opportunity for prayer. You don’t have to always pray in quiet places or on Holy Ground. When you’re out there, running at the perfect pace, feeling the sweat coat your body and moving with the breeze in your face…you are being the good animal you were meant to be; but more than that: you’re performing an act that your body was evolved to perform.
This is the perfect place to have a conversation with God.
When you run, you are acting more human; and as a homo sapian, or thinking man: you are in community both with God, the creator of heaven and earth and with nature and the universe all around you.
Dr. Sheehan makes this point very clearly: Running is a place to commune with God and yourself, it’s a place for psychological and spiritual renewal.
Running is NOT a religion. It is in its very essence: a place.
** WARNING **
This episode ends with another angry (some might say “psychotic”) diatribe as I lash out against the babbling hate-speak of a self righteous bigot who has the audacity to call himself a Christian.
As far as I’m concerned, Pat Robertson can go to hell.
Please pray for the people of Haiti.
The song “Hey Kate” by The Fire Apes http://www.myspace.com/fireapes
Fri, 15 January 2010
I know I’ve said this before, but I want you to understand that I read all of your email. This problem I have with answering email is somewhat embarrassing for me; and when I starting having these problems…I considered not saying anything about it here on the show.
I thought that for me to tell you that my inbox was overflowing, and that I couldn’t possibly answer every email I received would be a fairly vain, narcissistic thing to do. But then, I realized that for me NOT to say anything about it, and still being unable to dedicate myself to the task of responding to every message sent to me: would be kind of arrogant and untruthful.
My Grandmother, Helena Viola Walker, daughter of James and Mary MacDonald…taught me the importance of being truthful. It doesn’t matter if your filling out a job application, speaking with friends or typing something on Facebook…you have to be truthful; especially with friends: because they will always be able to see through you, and if you’re dishonest, few will ever trust what you say.
So, the truth is that I won’t be able to answer all of your emails; I wish I could: but with only 118 or so waking hours available to me each week, minus 50 or so for work, 14 or so for producing this podcast, 5 or so for my running, another 5 to prepare for and document the results of my running, that leaves me with only 44 hours every week, or 6 hours a day to drive to and from work, cook dinner, walk the dog, spend time with my family…look, you get the idea because you’re in the same situation…and you probably have even less time each week to fit in the things you wish you could make a priority.
So, when an opportunity arises for me to multitask, to perform more than one activity at the same time: such as producing a podcast and answering email as I’m out there getting my run in…I am going to get it done…because it’s not so much how much time we have to do the things we want to do, it’s how we use it.
“A Little Time” by Amy Ayres http://www.myspace.com/amyayresmusic
Fri, 8 January 2010
This episode begins with another ice cold swim in Boston Harbor with friends, and a stated theory that will become my “law of thermodynamic refreshment”.
Because athletes prefer to run distance races in more comfortable temperatures; the Spring and Fall are often preferred seasons for marathons. Today, in January, we’re getting a couple of inches of snow, and the air temperature wind chill is 10 degrees below zero F, or minutes 23 degrees C; making it a bad day to schedule 114th running of the Boston Marathon or any other 26.2 mile road race.
But come Spring, when the flora and fauna of the Northern Hemisphere begins again to flourish: marathoners around the world will toe the line at their races and run in relative comfort, for the most part.
Today I want to list for some of the Spring Marathons, scheduled for the spring time: and while this will not be an all inclusive list, it should give you some ideas for races you might want to run as the March equinox draws nigh.
“Tickle Cove Pond” by Great Big Sea http://www.greatbigsea.com
Fri, 1 January 2010
This is my first podcast episode of 2010, and my second episode regarding my intentions for running a sub Four Hour Marathon in the Autumn of this year.
Endurance training and Aerobic development are critical elements in good marathon training program. You have to put in the time without worried about the mileage, and you have to develop a base from which to launch yourself at your goal.
This is the year I’m going to break 4 hours in a marathon NOT because I’ll be physically fit to do so, but because I’ll have trained carefully, with patience and dedication: when my friend John Ellis tells me to go out and run for an hour up and down the hills of Oxford: I’ll do it…I may not enjoy it at first but once I’ve got a good and healthy base, once my endurance is up to the point where running 26.2 miles non-stop isn’t such a big deal anymore: I can work on my stamina and then go into a taper period in preparation for the day that I’ll run a marathon in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds; or less.
“Run Away” by Natalie Brown http://www.natalie-brown.com