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Saturday, April 30, 2011

VO2 Max & Norms For Testing

VO2 max is a predictor of cardiovascular fitness. There are a variety of tests used to assess VO2 max. The norms and explanation for the tests are http://runnergirltraining.blogspot.com/2011/03/vo2-max-norms-for-testing.html

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Longer the Frumpy Runner

Posted on April 26, 2011 by Ann Brennan

When I started running I wore big baggy shirts to hide my body. My hair was cut so short that didn’t give it a second thought. In short, there was nothing attractive about my running self.

This went on for several years until one day I realized that by looking messy, by not putting thought into what I looked like I was beating up on myself a little bit. I was going back to those days as a child when the family would describe me as the smart nerdy one and my sister as the pretty one. By wearing the asexual clothing and chopping off my hair I was reinforcing the idea that I am not the pretty one. Why bother trying to look attractive?

So slowly I changed the way I dressed. I bought cute running clothes that I looked forward to wearing. I let my hair grow out into a style that was less severe. Instead of starting my runs feeling negative about myself I began standing taller. I began to think of myself as an athletic woman instead of a messy fat girl.

Though I don’t wear make up or do my hair before a run and nobody would ever accuse me of being girly, I do find myself searching out the latest in attractive running gear. I switched from running shorts to running skirts. I buy tops that are cute enough to wear around all day because as a mom I often have to wear my running clothes around all day searching for the moment I will actually have time to run.

It was in this search for pretty athletic wear that I came across Sweaty Bands. To be honest, I first bought them for my tomboy of a daughter. Her bangs were so long she needed to pull them back, but a traditional hair band didn’t work for her because she plays soccer. She needed something that would stay in place and wouldn’t get in the way of heading the ball into the goal. More importantly she wouldn’t wear anything too girly. We started Meg on solid colors and ones that had soccer balls printed across the front. Since that time she has grown to like them so much she has picked them out for herself, each purchase becoming just a little more girly.

After seeing the Sweaty Bands on my daughter I have adopted them for myself. Instead of pulling my hair back into a severe ponytail I add a little flair with a variety of these cute little bands.

I don’t know that any of these things make me the pretty one, but I do know they make me stand taller. Feeling less frumpy gives me just a little boost of confidence and sometimes it’s that little boost that gets me out the door.

Thanks to the wonderful crew working the Sweaty Bands booth at the Boston Marathon Expo, I have two beautiful Sweaty Bands to give away to my readers. The first one is black with 26.2 printed in white running across the band. The second, which I would love to keep for myself but will pass along to one lucky winner, says LIVE – LAUGH – RUN and is blue with pink writing.

To enter my first ever giveaway leave a comment on this post. You can share your thoughts on fashion and running or you can just say I wanna win these cool bands. You can earn up to five extra entries by doing the following –

1. Follow me on Twitter – then come back here and tell me you are following me.

2. Follow my Ann’s Running Commentary on Facebook – then come back here and tell me you are following me.

3. Tweet “I just entered to win a Sweaty Band at www.AnnsRunningCommentary.com” – then (are you seeing a pattern here?) come back here and let me know you did it.

4. Enter the same message on Facebook – and (repeat after me) then come back here and tell me you did it.

5. And just because I am feeling extra generous if you are already a member at Daily Mile put the same message on your Daily Mile profile. If you are not a member join using this link Daily Mile – and come back here and let me know you have done it.

The drawing will take place on Sunday, May 1st.

Athletics: Nearly 7,000 to Compete in Fourth Annual Cox Providence Rhode Races This Weekend

Athletics: Nearly 7,000 to Compete in Fourth Annual Cox Providence Rhode Races This Weekend

 Biggest Losers Mark Kruger & Jay Kruger Among Those to Compete in Cox Sports Marathon & Eident Sports Half Marathon, May 1 in Providence
Providence, RI -- Nearly 7,000 runners are expected to converge in Providence, April 30- May 1 to take part in the 2011 Cox Providence Rhode Races. This weekend long-event features the Cox Sports Marathon, Eident Sports Half Marathon, Shape Up RI 5k and the inaugural Munroe Dairy Kids Race.

"The city of Providence is pleased and honored to host the fourth annual Cox Providence Rhode Races," said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. "Runners who are coming from near and far are sure to enjoy the course, the spirited competition and time well-spent in our state's incredible Capital City."

The fourth annual Cox Providence Rhode Races kicks off on Saturday, April 30 at Roger Williams Park with the Shape Up RI 5k at 7:30 a.m. Then Dora & Diego will be on hand to launch the inaugural Munroe Dairy Kids Marathon at 8:45 a.m.

Cox Providence Rhode Races weekend continues on Sunday, May 1 in Downtown Providence. Runners, ranging in age from 13-78 years-old, are coming from as far away as Austria, Puerto Rico, Canada and Great Britain to compete the the Cox Sports Marathon and Eident Sports Half Marathon on Sunday. Both races showcase Providence and its surrounding communities.

The highlight of the weekend is the Cox Sports Marathon. A 2012 Boston Marathon qualifier, the Cox Sports Marathon runs through the capital city and scenic East Bay.

The 26.2 mile race kicks off at 8 a.m. on Exchange Terrance, next to Burnside Park (adjacent to Kennedy Plaza) in Downtown Providence. The course will wind through downtown and head out to the East Side. Runners will continue to Gano Street, past India Point Park, over the Henderson Bridge and continue on to the East Bay Bike Path. The course continues through Barrington to the YMCA. Runners then head back towards Providence, via the East Bay Bike Path and then continue over the Washington Bridge back through India Point Park towards the Capital City. The marathon concludes on Exchange Terrace in Downtown Providence.

The Cox Sports Marathon and Eident Sports Half Marathon begin at 8 a.m. on Exchange Terrace. Full course descriptions of all races are located at www.coxrhoderaces.com.

Among the notable participants include:

"Biggest Losers" Mark Kruger and Jay Kruger - Season 5 "Biggest Loser" contestants Mark and Jay Kruger will participate in the Cox Providence Rhode Races on Sunday. Mark lost 129 pounds and his brother Jay dropped 103 pounds when they competed on the NBC show in 2008.

Mark, the Season 5 finalist, will appear at the Cox Providence Rhode Races Health & Wellness Expo at the RI Convention Center in Providence on Saturday, April 30, 10-12 p.m. He will compete in the Cox Sports Marathon Sunday. Jay will participate in the Eident Sports half marathon.

Josie Hubschman -- The Brown University senior from Greenwich, CT is running the Eident Sports half marathon in honor of her dad, Henry Hubschman, who lost his 13-year battle with cancer in Jan. A member of Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, Josie has currently raised more than $40,000 -- the most any marathon runner in RI has ever raised for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Chris Geagon -- Once homeless and an abuser of drugs and alcohol, Chris has turned his life around. The owner of Main Street Fitness in Warren, RI, Chris is running the Cox Sports Marathon to raise money for Crossroads RI.
John Gallo -- A teacher at Hope High School, John is running the Cox Sports Marathon in an effort to raise money for one of his students whose mom is battling brain cancer. This initiative is part of the newly launched Hope for Hope, which is designed to support families in need at the high school located on Providence's East Side.

Back on My Feet - Back on My Feet, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.
More than 60 members of the Boston BoMF chapter, which just launched a year ago, will participate in the Cox Providence Rhode Races. http://www.backonmyfeet.org/

One of BoMF resident members, Karl Holen, who is currently serving in the reserves, was the Honor Guard for Dennis Poulin. Back on My Feet has decided to dedicate their participation at the Cox Providence Rhode Races to Spc. Poulin.

Dreamfar High School Marathon Team - The first high school marathon team in New England, the DreamFar Team will bring 80 members to Providence on Sunday to compete in the Cox Providence Rhode Races. The program's mission is to train athletes of all abilities in a variety of sports and help them achieve their dreams.

Carrie Wesolowski -- A member of Team Lung Love, Carrie became a lung cancer advocate after losing her Dad to Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer on May 29, 2009. She will run the Cox Sports Marathon Sunday in her dad's memory. Carrie was one of over 75 advocates from around the country who participated in the Capitol Forum last February to advocate on Capitol Hill on behalf of the recently introduced Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act of 2011.

There is still time to register for the Cox Providence Rhode Races. Runners can register at the Health and Wellness Expo at the RI Convention Center, April 29, 1-7 p.m., Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. On race day, Sunday, May 1, registration will be open from 6:30- 7:30 a.m. at the RI Convention Center.

Cox Communications is the Title sponsor of the Cox Providence Rhode Races. Charitable partners include Cox Charities New England, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training, American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Alliance, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Melanoma Foundation and the March of Dimes.

About Eident Sports Marketing

¨Eident Sports is a full-service event management and sports marketing company based in Providence, Rhode Island. Eident has several properties in the region, ranging from turn-key sporting events to sponsorship sales alliances with key partners. For more information on Eident's events and offerings, please visit www.eidentsports.com.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The truth about our Potential

The truth about our Potential

by Kevin Eikenberry on April 20, 2011

in Developing Others,Leadership,Learning

On April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai broke the Marathon record in Boston (though it doesn’t officially stand yet as the World record, a detail not important of this post – this isn’t a sports blog after all!), running the 26.2 miles in 2:03:02. This record time equates to about 4:43 for every mile for over 26 miles!

Looking at the results from this week’s Boston Marathon showed me something even more interesting than the incredible speed of the world class runners. Here it is:

23.41% of those who started the race were over 50 years old (and their % of finishers roughly matches the overall % of the field).
You have to run a qualifying time to even compete in the Boston Marathon, and over 23% of those people were over fifty years old.

Even as a non-runner these times are amazing to me.

Geoffrey Mutai said after winning the race, “When you trust yourself you can make it.”
Read Mutai’s words again:

“When you trust yourself you can make it.”

If you don’t get it yet, this post isn’t about running.
I wrote it to remind you of the truth about your potential.

It is greater than you think – and your trust in yourself plays a big part in you tapping into, finding and unleashing that potential."

Success in Life

Team Beachbody - Macfit & Friends - Welcome all! - Connect: Message Boards: "I want to remind you that success in life is based on hard slogging. There will be periods when discouragement is great and upsetting, and the antidote for this is calmness and fortitude and a modest yet firm belief in your competence. Be sure that your priorities are in order so that you can proceed in a logical manner, and be ever mindful that nothing will take the place of persistence.

- Publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in a letter to his son"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Excerpted from First Marathons, by Gail Kislevitz

Excerpted from First Marathons, by Gail Kislevitz

Rebel With A Cause

Bill Rodgers

Residence: Sherborn, Massachusetts

Occupation: Athlete

First Marathon: 1973 Boston Marathon

D.O.B.: 12-31-47

Age at first marathon: 25

It is easy to understand how Bill Rodgers captured America’s heart and was a major force in causing the running boom of the late seventies. He greets you with a big smile, is friendly and warm. The press and media loved him. He was the golden boy of American running. Pictures of elite runners and other celebrities now crowd the wall of his office, along with medals, trophies, and race numbers placed haphazardly. The pair of shoes he wore for his first Boston win is there. They hold a special place in Bill’s memory—not just for the win, but because they were owned by Steve Prefontaine, who sent them to him to wear for that race. Rodgers has been called a rebel, an angry young man, and an agitator for being a proponent of awarding prize money to runners without losing their amateur status. He is a four-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons. Rodgers is now retired from the marathon, though not from shorter races. His weekly training is not the two hundred miles it was back in the seventies, but it is still enough to keep him race-fit and able to keep up with his two young daughters.

I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but by age seven we had moved to nearby Newington. My brother, Charlie, our friend, Jason, and I were inseparable. We were very active kids, always hiking, always getting into something, always together. In high school, the three of us ran cross country on a small team, consisting of us and three other kids. The coach was a great motivator. He didn’t overwork us or destroy our love for running, just enhanced it. I do think there are lots of kids out there who have the potential to be great runners if only they have the right coach, someone who shows an interest and cares. I loved cross country right from the start. I loved the open territory and going the distance. I wasn’t too good at track, couldn’t get that initial kick required for short distance. I received feedback about my so-called talent back in high school. I was in the local paper quite a bit and my name would be announced on the P.A. system at school, along with the football players, announcing my wins at the meets.

At Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I continued running cross country. The coach wasn’t a crack-the-whip type and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the other runners. Maybe if I had a hard-nosed coach I would have run faster, but I enjoyed what I was doing and that was more important to me. I only ran during the season and never in the summer. In my junior year I slipped a bit even during the season and my roommate, Amby Burfoot, would return to our room after a weekend to find beer cans and cigarette butts scattered around. He was a more serious runner than I was, more committed to the sport. One Sunday morning, he took me out for a twenty-five-mile run, to punish me, I think. I kept up until the last few miles when he decided to pick up the pace and left me behind. Amby had been coached by John J. Kelley at Fitch High School in Groton, Connecticut, and one weekend he came up to visit and we all went for a run. John was fortyish at the time and I thought to myself, “This guy can run pretty well for an old man.” Amby learned a lot from the older runners and he’d pass the information on to me. I was a firm believer in the L.S.D. method—long, slow distance, which was introduced by Emil Zapotek. I was never interested in the marathon back in college, but Amby was. He dreamed about it. He trained hard for it and won Boston in his senior year, 1968. I had never even seen the Boston Marathon so I wasn’t caught up in its mysticism. And I hate to train in the heat, which is all summer, and I hate to train in the cold, which is all winter. Road racing is a tough sport and I wasn’t committed to it, hadn’t been caught by its lure. Training for a ten-miler was the most I wanted to do. I thought I’d die if I had to train for a marathon.

After college I stopped running and the occasional cigarette grew into a habit. There was no postcollegiate outlet for runners so there was no reason to continue. The Vietnam War was looming over our heads; I was a college graduate with barely passing grades, no job, and no real future. I applied for a Conscientious Objector status with the draft board based on my Roman Catholic beliefs and was granted one along with my brother and Jason. We still did everything together. Having a c.o. kept us out of the draft but it also limited our job opportunities, as we could only apply at nonprofit organizations. Jason and I got job at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. My skills were put to use taking deceased bodies to the morgue. It didn’t pay well and wasn’t that motivating, but at least I was employed. I borrowed money to buy a motorcycle, let my hair grow long, and, basically, let life go by.

I have to say, I probably became a marathoner because I had nothing else in my life. I got fired from my job for trying to organize the non-union employees; my motorcycle was stolen so I had no form of transportation other than running everywhere; I had no money and no immediate positive outlook on life in general. The one positive thing I did was quit smoking. I wheeled too many cancer victims to the morgue.

Jason and I shared an apartment by Symphony Hall in Boston and one day in April 1971, we watched the Boston Marathon for the first time. Huge crowds were everywhere. I was amazed at the spectacle of the event. And then to my amazement and shock, I saw my former cross-country teammates crossing the finish line. I saw Jeff Galloway, my teammate from Wesleyan, and John Vitale, whom I ran against at the University of Connecticut. I thought, “Wait a minute, if they can do it, so can I.”

I still had mixed feelings about running a marathon, but heck, it had to be better than doing nothing and I knew I was just as good a runner as the guys I saw. First, I needed to get back in shape, so I joined a YMCA by our apartment and started running this slanted, tiny track that was boring as hell, but I hadn’t run in two years and needed to start somewhere. I went back to running because it was all I knew, all I had left. I went back to running to bring a sense of order to my life. When I got my endurance back, I started hitting some of the local road races and did well at the 5Ks and 10Ks. In February of 1973 I entered a 30K and ran in blue jeans. I didn’t have any money to buy the proper shoes or clothing, and besides, it was cold. Ironically, Amby also ran that race and ultimately won it. The prize was a pair of car tires, which he had no use for so he offered them to me, but I didn’t even have a car.

I felt like I was on an upswing. It was time to start making big plans and I really thought I was ready for a marathon. Frank Shorter had won the gold in the ’72 Olympics and that was a huge influence on me. I started running twice a day, averaging about 130 miles a week and concentrating on endurance. I ate more because I was also hungry. I’m not a good breakfast eater, but I make up for it the rest of the day. I didn’t do fast intervals like Salazar; I mainly concentrated on distance. My maximum mileage was two hundred a week, split between sixteen miles in the morning and thirteen miles in the afternoon, around Jamaica Plains pond. I could never repeat that now, but at the time I was striving for distance endurance.

By now I had made it public that I was running Boston in 1973. Amby gave me some advice, but I don’t remember what it was. I do remember it was a very hot day and I never felt strong from the very start. Everyone started passing me and finally I dropped out at twenty-one miles at the top of Heartbreak Hill. I couldn’t even go another five miles. I had no interest in finishing. My only thought was how to get home. As I look back to that day, I can’t believe how I miscalculated the field, thinking I would place among the top five. I had no idea just how talented the runners were. I was demoralized. I had always been a winner and now I was humiliated.

The following week, as I analyzed my failed attempt, I decided that the weather had played a major factor in my poor performance because I never trained in the heat. Determined to make a strong comeback, my wife and I made the decision to move to California so I could train in a hot climate. She quit her job, and since I didn’t have one, we packed what small belongings we had and drove cross country to sunny, and hot, California. That trip turned out to be a total fiasco. We stayed five days, turned around, and drove back East. I was too overwhelmed by all the cars, the people, and, yes, the weather, plus we had no money, no place to stay, no contacts, and I guess you could say it was not a well-planned itinerary.

Back in Boston, we lived on food stamps for about six months until I finally landed a job teaching behavior modification to disabled adults, and also started a graduate degree at Boston College. The running boom was beginning to explode and 1974 was a very exciting time for us. I was training hard, but something was missing. Having always been part of a team, I missed the camaraderie and support of teammates. The Greater Boston Track Club had just formed and I became one of its first members. We were a formidable group, winning most of the titles in the area. I loved being part of a team again. We were like the Kenyans of today, practicing the concept and dynamics of team strength. Athletes motivate each other and it’s a wonderful environment to be a part of. Billy Squires came on board as our coach, which was a great asset. I decided to give the Boston Marathon another try in 1974 and placed a respectable fourteenth. I held fourth position for twenty miles and then just dropped back, finishing at 2:19:34. I wanted that win badly, but my training just wasn’t good enough. The top pack at Boston then usually included the same names, give or take a few newcomers: Galloway, Fleming, Vitale, Kelley, Drayton, and me. We were all very competitive, we all wanted to win. Fleming was the most serious. He never shared his training tips with us. Neither did Shorter. They kept to themselves when it came down to winning, but at the same time we were all the best of friends. Heck, we saw each other all the time at other races or training runs. We kidded each other about our wins and losses but it was never malicious. In the ’77 Boston Marathon I shared my water with Drayton, who didn’t have any and there were no water stations in sight. It was a very hot day and once again the heat did me in, but Drayton went on to win.

I did have a few rivals who weren’t so friendly and at one road race when I lost to one of them, he won a bouquet of flowers, which he then proceeded to give to my wife, saying, “Give these to Billy. He could use them.”

By 1975 I was determined to win Boston. After two failed attempts, I needed a win. Once again, the press dismissed my chances of winning. They never took me seriously, but then again, I didn’t take myself seriously. I wasn’t consistent, didn’t have a great marathon record. What they underestimated was my desire and my recent wins. In November of ’74 I won the Philadelphia Marathon and had just returned from the World Cross Country Championships in Morocco, performing exceptionally well, winning a bronze medal. My teammates knew I was poised to win Boston, but the press hadn’t covered the World Championships and quite frankly, they didn’t know much about the sport.

When you want to win Boston, it’s not just a matter of your own training, being in the best possible shape. You had to know your competition, how they ran, how they felt, how they breathed, and you had to pray to Mother Nature for the perfect day. A tailwind or headwind could make or break a winner. And if the field is particularly strong, the competition can be decimating. The weather on the morning of April 19, 1975, was perfect: not too hot, not too cold, the type of morning you pray for. I looked up into the heavens and said a soft, “Thank you, God.”

Wearing a white T-shirt with gbtc hand-painted on front in big, bold letters and a pair of white gardening gloves for the morning chill, I was ready. Tom Fleming gave me a headband to hold my hair out of my eyes. I really was a rogue runner. For the first part of the race, I listened to my competitors’ breathing, trying to determine if they started out too soon, if they were tiring or if they were saving it for a powerful surge at the end. I talked to them, reasoning if they still had enough breath to speak, they could still kick at the end. All of this was very important to me because I planned to go like a bat out of hell and never stop or look back. I did stop once to tie my shoe but only after I knew I was far out in front with no one on my heels. There were no water stations at Boston so I relied on my brother and Jason for my fluids. Everything worked in my favor that year and I set a Boston and an American record of 2:09:55. I went from running a 2:19 to a 2:09. I couldn’t believe it myself, it was such a phenomenal breakthrough.

Fame came my way, but not money. I was still broke. In 1976, Fred Lebow invited me to run his New York City Marathon. Fred was always the promoter and thought it would be a big story having me and Frank Shorter run the race, competing for a win, plus the fact it was the first year his marathon was moving out of the boundaries of Central Park and through New York City. He couldn’t promise me any money but I went anyway, traveling the back roads as I couldn’t pay tolls on the turnpike. Everyone thought Frank, the Olympian, would place first, but I beat him for my first New York win. I didn’t even know the route as it wound its way around the city. I do remember running on the East River Drive Promenade, passing guys fishing or just plain drunk, not even realizing we were running a marathon. It was insane, but I loved it. The crowds were great in New York, and I fed off their energy. I like running for the crowds, hearing them call my name, cheering for me. After that race, I went back to my car, which was parked on the street, and it had been towed. Fred had to take up a collection so I could get it back and drive home.

After my marathon successes, Nike and New Balance offered me five hundred dollars to endorse their athletic line. I thought it sounded low, so while I was thinking about it I flew to Japan for the Fukuoka Marathon and was offered three thousand dollars by Tiger/Asics for a one-year contract. I thought I was rich, had finally hit the jackpot. Things were beginning to look good.

In 1978 I was ready for another victory at Boston and trained harder than ever. I didn’t want to be a one-time winner and also had my sights set on the 1980 Olympics. It was a tough field that year and I knew I had to concentrate, run hard, and not look back. I held the lead for most of the race and just when I thought I was in the clear, a motorcycle cop came alongside me and alerted me that someone was fast on my heels. I panicked, it was like a bad dream. I had been running hard and didn’t have a lot of push left. I surged forward with all I could muster and won by two seconds. It was very nerve racking. The internal pressure to win was incredible. Once you taste a win, you want it again and again. If you don’t win, it is very disappointing.

I won Boston again in ’79 and ’80. I ran to be the best and back in the seventies we were the best. Representing the United States at the Olympics and World Cross Country Championships was a highlight in my life. It was a feeling of patriotism that is missing today, as sports have become diluted with commercialism and million-dollar contracts. We didn’t have that; we ran for the glory of our country. I was very proud to be a member of the U.S. team wherever I competed.

Nowadays I only run in one gear. I can’t shift into surges or kicks. I think of myself as a dependable car: one steady gear and accident free. And I don’t believe mile markers anymore; ten miles seems more like fifteen. In my past life as a marathoner I could never get to the start line injury-free. Now I know better. I take care of the little injuries before they turn into big ones. And once a week I get a deep muscle massage. I still love going to races and being a spokesman for the sport. It brings me in contact with lots of great people and some very interesting situations. I was invited to the state of Washington to officiate a race and was asked to hand out the prizes. Great! I love to do that. However, what the officials didn’t tell me was that the prizes were fresh-caught salmon and the winners received their weight in salmon. A huge scale was at the finish and as the winners weighed in, I had to load the other half of the scale with the salmon. All morning long I pulled huge salmon out of a box of chipped ice and threw the fish on the scale. That was quite an event.

These days, I usually win my age group in the half-marathon. Sometimes I do miss the marathon, especially when I attend the big expositions such as in New York or Boston. When people tell me they are thinking of running a marathon, I tell them to go for it. I give two pieces of advice: Go to a race and watch the crowd. You can learn a lot from just being an observer. Also, when you commit to a race, check out the last two miles of the course. You’ll want to know what it looks like, if there are hills, or curves, or if it’s a straightaway to the finish. Look for potholes, anything that could get in your way. The last two miles is not the time to be thinking about the course.

Anyone who runs a marathon is on a mission, whether it is to win or to finish. It’s a hard race and I respect anyone who runs it. It is a neat achievement, very satisfying. The medal, the T-shirt, the trophy will stay with you always. Every runner is an athlete. It’s a great thrill, a way to turn your life around. Use it to achieve something positive in your life, like quitting smoking. Whatever it takes, it is worth it. It will be with you the rest of your life.

Return to the First Marathons page

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am Boring: Running on Empty Review & Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grandits Bandits Centipede - March 19 & 20, 2011

Grandits Bandits Centipede - March 19 & 20, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 09:21PM
Mike Curry
     The Grandits Bandits Centipede was out in force for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. The first event was the First Ward St. Pat’s Parade held at the Valley Community Center at noon on Saturday, March 19th. It was a nice March day…in the 40’s, overcast with a light breeze. A large, enthusiastic crowd greeted the ten “peders” with a lot of high-fives. Walking the 2 mile course was a lot of fun. This parade has very few rules, so we brought our own beer to keep us motivated.
     The second event was the Lancaster St. Pat’s Parade held at 4:30PM that same day. The route was about a two mile walk. The “Dalmatian” centipede outfit was used by the Lancaster Strider Running Club. They had about 20 “peders”, flag bearers and helpers. Again it was a nice day to be outside, but the crowd was thin. However, there were a lot of current and former Striders along the route. A very large crowd fit into the Elk’s Club afterwards. The centipede even won a $50 prize for the second best costume. The prize was spent at the Elk’s in quick fashion. As you can imagine there were several pictures of the Dalmatian on a fire truck, chasing a mailman and peeing on a hydrant.
     The third event was the large Buffalo St. Pat’s Parade held at 2PM, Sunday, March 20th. The route was slightly uphill and about 2 miles, but we jogged the entire way. It was a gorgeous day…in the 40’s, sunny and calm. The Buffalo News estimated that there were 100,000 people in attendance. The green centipede was used and we even had a couple of extra helpers run with us. Fortunately we were in the 2nd Division out of seven. Tons of kids were along the curbs giving us high-fives and we were able to avoid the “over served” partiers. We met at Dubell’s beforehand and went to the Troop I Post afterwards to complete a wonderful weekend.
     Many thanks go to John and Edie Grandits for the centipedes, Patty Hastreiter for putting the lists together, Joe Hastreiter for transporting them, Paul S. and Mike C. for leading and all those who jumped in to help us out.

Article originally appeared on Doc's Race Reviews (http://mikecurry.squarespace.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.

Kenyan shatters record at Boston

Kenyan shatters record at Boston

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds - a record time for the 26.2-mile distance.
Because Monday's race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course, Mutai's run is not recognized by track's international governing body as a record.
Mutai was almost three minutes better than the course record set last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.
Caroline Kilel won the women's race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outsprinting American Desiree Davila to win by two seconds, in 2:22:36. Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman, five seconds faster than Joan Benoit finished to win in 1983.

Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon Runner, Dies


April 19, 2011

Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon Runner, Dies

Grete Waitz, the splendid Norwegian runner who set a world mark in her first marathon, in New York City in 1978, died of cancer on Tuesday in Oslo. She was 57.
Her death was confirmed by her husband, Jack.
Ms. Waitz was just 18 when she competed in the women’s 1,500-meter race at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. She was eliminated in the first round in Munich but her career as a competitive runner and pioneering athlete was just getting started.
Ms. Waitz set the world record at 3,000 meters in the summer of 1975, but did not make the finals of the 1,500 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Her chance at a third straight Olympics was foiled when Norway joined the American-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Fred Lebow, the director of the New York City marathon, invited Ms. Waitz to compete in the 1978 New York race. It would be her first-ever marathon, and it was understood that she would run as a rabbit, or early pacesetter, for the established and favored women marathoners.
She also planned to use the trip to New York to celebrate her retirement from competitive running, renew her focus on her job as a teacher, and perhaps start a family with Mr. Waitz, whom she had married in 1975.
“But, instead, I quit my job teaching and never had kids,” she said in a 2008 interview with the New York Road Runners club.
Ms. Waitz not only won the 1978 New York race, but also set a world best, finishing in 2 hours 32 minutes 30 seconds — 2 minutes faster than the previous mark.
Over the years she would win the New York event eight more times.

Friday, April 15, 2011

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