Friday, April 29, 2011

No Runner Is An Island

No runner is an island.   We all need help along the way-the help I often need is a port-a-potty and emergency TP, but some need help with what to eat, training advice, encouragement, or news on whats going on.  HAVE NO FEAR! I have compiled a list of great things that help me and many others along our running way. 

Daily Plate is a great tool for logging the food you eat.  It allows you to search a massive database of store bought as well as many restaurants' items and easily log them.  Daily Plate has a ton of great visuals and charts that make it easy to keep track of daily, weekly and monthly caloric goals (as well as keeping track of fiber, protein, fat, sodium and others).  Best of all-its free!

Training Logs:
I can’t say enough about how wonderful mapmyrun is.  It is a site that allows you to map out how far you ran using interactive google maps.  The site has an incredible training log section which I have been using for the past 5 years to keep track of my mileage.  Once again there are a large amount of interactive graphs that you can access making it easy and fun to see your weekly, monthly and yearly mileage.  The site is undergoing a new look/additional features so it is currently quite glitchy (use to access the “old” site which is awesome).  I pay a monthy fee for extra stuff but the free version is super awesome too. 

Social Media:
This has been described as the “facebook” of running and won best running site a couple years ago.  Dailymile is similar to mapmyrun in that you log how far/fast you ran and then post it.  The difference is that you have a profile and “friends” who are notified whenever you log a workout.  This site is heavily focused on encouragement and has built in comments sections that have smiley graphics and “keep doing great!” type built in responses if you would so choose.  I found the nicest running group in New Jersey and befriended all of them and they constantly say nice things about all of my runs.

Message Boards:
Lets run is a hardcore message board site where you can find the latest up to date news on what’s going on in professional and collegiate running.  The site is renowned for having the nastiest and most unforgiving members who will naysay the best of runners for the smallest things.  The boards are really fun to read and will easily get you upset if you have a favorite professional runner (i.e. Ryan Hall, my favorite, who they constantly hate on). 

Magazines:  Runner’s World, Running Times 
Runner’s World is far different from Running Times.  Personally, I find Runner’s World to be a much more enjoyable magazine.  It is geared towards beginners as well as seasoned runners and features articles that contain; wise words, humor, celebrity runners, recent racing news as well as recurring specials that help you pick out the perfect shoe and other gear.  One of the best days of each month is when I get my Runner’s World Mag in the mail.

Running Times on the other hand is a magazine that is geared towards veteran runners.  It’s articles are much more technical and do not lend themselves well to the beginner (i.e. a few months ago they had an article explaining how to best run a 100 mile week-give me a break!)  However it does have great information about who is running fast in the competitive world as well as college level up and comers.

The Short List A nice site with some running news and a decent message board forum Good place to find out what is going on with the US national runners.  A nice selection of running gear with some decent sales usually. All the training, articles and latest news you need to keep track of those crazy ultra distance runners. 

These are just a few great things I wanted to share-please let me know of others you use so I can enjoy them with you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Amazing Things

I want to do something amazing and I want do something amazing with my running.  It is in the runner’s DNA that something incredibly fantastic is happening during every run and they want to show it in an incredibly fantastic way.  This is not new to humanity and this is not new to runners.  For Example:
Dean Karnazes: Currently running from California to New York in 75 days to raise money for kids.
Joe D’Amico:  Trained for the Los Angeles Marathon eating ONLY McDonalds’ food and placed 29th.  (He has GOT to be a Toilet Runner!!)
Noah Coughlin: Currently running from California to Florida to raise money for little known Batten’s Disease
Mark Covert: Has run every single day since 2002 (over 12,480 days in a row without rest)
These are amazing things.  These are the kinds of things I want to do. Sure I have my ideas-maybe run a race while eating an entire 3 course meal (and place 1st), maybe run every street in Wichita (borrrrring), how about run while knitting sweaters for homeless kittens (too many needles) . 
Either way-I know my running is amazing.  I can tell every time I finish a run that I have just done something incredible and it feels great-and I know I want everyone to do this and feel the way I feel.  So for now, I will continue to run my same old amazing runs at the gym and around the block.  But the day is coming when something truly amazing and superbly cool will be done through my running.  

P.S.-please leave ideas

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Awesome Runners

The following is a list of totally awesome runners. 
Ryan Hall

This dude is by far my favorite distance runner.  His first ever half-marathon he set the American Record.  He then went on to win the Olympic Trials and represent the USA in Beijing.  Yesterday he ran the Boston marathon, got fourth place and ran the fastest American Marathon ever.  Hall is sponsored by the best shoe company ever-Asics.  The best part is he runs for the Lord and acknowledges that Jesus is his strength every step of the way.

Geoff Roes
If you think running a marathon (26.2 miles) is nuts-then Geoff Roes is really going to make you dizzy.  He is currently the best ultra-runner in competition.  The races he has won include the Western States Endurance run (100 miles) which he set the course record last year (15 hours and change).  He has a long list of other wins (American River 50 mile, Susitna 100 mile, and just two days ago he won the Zane Grey 50 in 8 hoursish).  I like to think of Roes as an unofficial Toilet-Runner because he often crosses the finish line and proceeds to throw up 3 or 4 times.

Ryan Sandes
Sandes is a South African beast of a runner.  He is currently the only person in the world to have won every race in the grueling 4 deserts racing series.  4 Deserts consists of four races through the worst desert conditions on the planet (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara and Antarctic deserts).  At each race you run for 7 days and have to carry all of the food and water you need and are only allowed a tent to sleep in.  Sandes won every desert last year by a gigantic margin easily crowning himself the 4 deserts champion.  Not even Dean Karnazes (who only won 3 of the deserts) was able to do what Ryan Sandes did.

“Retired” Runners of Note
Scott Jurek-Easily the greatest Ultra Marathoner of all time (won Western States 7 years in a row)and countless other Ultra Marathons.
Hunter Kemper-3 time Olympic Triathlete: upon investigation I learned he is NOT retired-and won Gold 2 days ago at a World Cup Triatholon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things Runners DON'T Get

A follow-up to last weeks highly popular list.

1. To Sleep In  Most mornings the alarm clocks goes off well before 5 a.m.  The running shorts have been slept in, the socks and shoes are waiting by the door and off we go.  This is not a must for runners-but after working all day and then pretending to have a life in the evenings one must run in the morning if it is to  fit in our schedule.  The same goes for resting during vacation-when we Toilet Runners travel we bring emergency TP and our running shoes.  A week without running is a week not worth enjoying.  So if you see a sleepy looking runner around 10 P.M. cut them some slack, they are just hours away from waking up to a beautiful run. 

2Pretty Feet    I don't wear flip-flops.  For one thing-I'm a man, for another my running has ripped apart my feet and left them looking like they belong on a hobbit.  Currently, I have two calluses on top of my toes, a toenail that is presently in the process of falling off, there is a strange perma-blister that I fear may never go away and where my toes rub against my shoes the skin is left looking quite nasty.  It's safe to say you will not find my feet in a flip-flop commercial anytime soon. 

3.  To Stretch Around Other Runners  This point may sound strange to some of you "not-yet runners,"  but the toilet runners out there know exactly what I am talking about.  Stretching is as hot button an issue as barefoot running or the budget crisis.  One amazing runner will tell you to NEVER stretch before you run-as this will slow you down and injure you.  Standing next to this amazing runner-is an equally amazing runner who will tell you to never NOT stretch before you run-as this will slow you down and injure you.  Then add in the fact that there are static and ballistic types of stretching and before you run and after you run ways of stretching and you have all of the ingredients of getting nasty runner looks, no matter when and how you stretch. 

4Painless Days  The other day I was thinking-"when was the last morning I woke up and my legs did not hurt?"  The answer was "I can't."  Most likely-I am doing something wrong and I should not be so sore all the time, but for the last 5 years I have awoken and been sore. It is a badge of honor.  It makes me feel like I am truly a real runner-but in actuality it means that I am doing something wrong-either not stretching enough, not warming up enough not cooling down enough, or my form is completely off.  Whichever is is-bring on the Ibuprofen and ice baths for I will not let a little pain keep me from my running. 

5.  Media Attention  Besides "Chariots of Fire" and "Pre" (which are both over 20 years old) there are ZERO good running movies that are released.  Nearly every other sport has at least 3 blockbuster movies that are awesome-even the lesser popular types i.e. "Seabiscuit"-horse racing, "Pride"-swimming, "Over the Top"-arm wrestling.  Aside from movies-runners also get very little attention in the news (besides Usain Bolt how many top runners can you name).  So any of you who are looking for eternal fame and glory should look to a sport besides running; perhaps if you become a world champ arm wrestler you will forever be immortalized by Sylvester Stallone.

Runner-Ups  Heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, a run without an emergency potty break (toilet runners only), big buff muscles, enough gizmos and gadgets (they are all so awesome and I want them all!), friendly talks from dermatologists, a chance to be a contestant on Biggest Loser, enough Carbohydrates, more than 2 beers, etc etc etc

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things Runners Get

A lovely list of things runners get to enjoy that not-yet runners do not:

1.  Runners High      Yes, running feels good.  really good. especially when it hurts.  like Sunday-when i was running head on into 50mph wind.  When I finished-I was thoroughly high, way better than opium-and twice as legal.

2.  Ugly "Free" T-shirts    These come in the form of a 50 dollar race entry fee and usually feature a gimmicky race logo, bright neon colors, and unsightly advertisements on the back.  They also quickly become wardrobe favorites. 

3.  Calf muscles   

4.   Guilt Free Buffet    This is something you not-yet runners couldn't afford with all of the money in the world!  A guilt free trip to that local KFC, Pizza Hut, Golden Corral buffet.  Not all runners feast on these high fat, all butter, cholesterol flavored monstrosities-but Toilet Runners-oh boy, we feast and we feast often.

5.  Running Playlists   Whether hand carved by Austrailian Aboriginees, fine crafted in the Swiss Alps or  carefully painted by Aleutian Artisans-a running playlist is a work of art.  Every runner's playlist is different yet all are the same.  Start with some upbeat pop.  Move into a ballad at the halfway point.  Dig deep and include that classic-rock epic.  Finish it off with a blood pumper and you've got the makings of a Toilet Runner eargasm. 

6. Running Shoes  A runner forms a strong bond with his or her shoes.  I love my shoes.  They are the prettiest, fastest, strongest, most wonderful shoes on the planet.  No shoe will ever take the place of my Asics GT 2150's-until of course Asics releases the GT 2160 and the 2150 are no longer availible in stores. 

Runner-ups:  Runner's World magazine, fancy watches, snobby local running shops, carbs, mid-run "nitro boosts" (gas), Personal Records, leg soreness, smokin hot bods, making fun of spandex-clad bicyclists, Training logs (,, bystander honks and whistles, that one runner we know who is constantly 10 seconds faster or runs 2 miles longer (bastard), GU gel, Ibuprofen, stinky stinky running clothes, tripped by rocks, uneven pavement, and small children, and the list goes on and on.

I beg all of you who have not experienced these joys to lace up, head out and get your run on!