Monthly Archives: May 2019

Running is… Marathon – Ultramarathon – Running – Fitness

Running is…

Runners come to this lifestyle from different paths.  We all eventually pick up a pair of shoes, slide our feet in them and lace them up distinct reasons with varying goals and expectations.  For most the destination of our run becomes more than simply the miles we log or the trails we explore.  Our true destination may not be known for many miles or seasons down the road and in turn each one of us will define what running is.

(At the start of Eastern Divide 50K)

Running is an adventure –  More so than a single workout, standalone miles or a collection of miles that becomes a race.  Running is an opportunity to explore new worlds, new trails, new environments and to seek out and find new parts of yourself that may lie unexposed otherwise.  There is nothing more “alive” than exploring our world on foot whether it be the deserts of the South West, the mountains of the Rockies, or the big cities along the East Coast.  Running opens new doors to the marvels of the very world we live in.

 (Among the sand-dunes of the Graveyard 100-Miler)

Running has taken me to locations I only previously saw on postcards or if in person from the worn-out vantage points of tourist.  Running has taken me on adventures to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the top of the Rockies, the City Center of Miami, along the sandy coastline of the Outer Banks and a perimeter run around Key West just to name a few.

[Tweet “Brian, @cledawgs explains what RUNNING is to him. Come join the conversation, what is RUNNING to you?”]

Running is a community –  Few things are more powerful than a group of like-minded people.  A solo sport by nature but performed within a larger community that is welcoming, and encouraging.  One doesn’t have to look long before you’ll find a running club, a workout or racing group that is looking to link up with you.  Runners more so than any other community want to connect, lift up, encourage and help you succeed.  In the day to day world, it easy to get caught up in the solidity of your own run, but when you look around you’ll see an entire community that your part of once you go for a run.

 (Taking on the JFK 50-Miler)

I started my running life as a lone-wolf, and that lasted until I wasn’t.  My running journey started on a cold dark morning, logging miles alone before I went to work.  It stayed that way for a few years until I choose to look beyond my miles, my goals and my next race.  With a view beyond my run, my running world slowly grew into a collection of new friends, clubs, and social circles that became my running world, and my community of like-minded people.  A single lonely mile transformed into relay teams, training partnerships, run clubs, race teams, and community relationships all built on the same desires and passions.

Running is inspiring –  The winner standing on the podium, the first finisher to break the tape or the one who travels the furthest distance are often propelled by the accomplishments of others.  At times, it’s hard to see the future while locked in the very personal struggle of trying to overcome doubt, limits or misconceptions the world has placed on you.  Through examples of others, one can see that goals can be reached, barriers can be removed and desired results achieved.

 (1st 100-mile finish with Blake Norwood at Umstead 100)

Standing among the finishing crowd at an awards ceremony I’ve often thought, if that person could do it, there is no reason that I can’t.  Granted for some world-class performance goals it may come down to genetics or God-given talent, but through the victory of others, I have been able to see that I am capable of some much more.

What is Running to you…...(post a comment below)

Running – Racing – Marathons – Ultramarathons

They say the first step of running recovery is to admit you have a racing problem.  I guess you must believe you have a problem to begin with.  Most runners I know do not see a issue with running a race nearly every month, two times a month or just about every weekend.  Whether you’re a hard-core racer, part-timer or just dipping your toe into the racing pool you’ll fall into the five stages of looking for a race sooner or later.

1.  Look at all those pretty races.  At times, I feel like a squirrel in the middle of the road facing a slew of oncoming traffic.  Which way do I go?  Which way do I run?  Oh, crap look at that big truck with its Ultra Signup license plate on the front.  Everywhere I look there are all these races to run, marathons, 5ks, Ultramarathons and oh WOW over there…a 100-miler in a little mountain town called Leadville.

[Tweet “Brian, @cledawgs outlines the five stages of looking for a race, either 5k, 10k, Marathon or Ultramarathon”]

2.  The bling, oh the bling…I’ve got to have the B L I N G.  There is a reason the awards are shiny, filled with pretty colors and rhinestones.  Race directors understand the addiction, they feed the addiction and they use the bling addiction to lure you in.  And I love it…  I’m looking for the race that features an operational Light Saber, keys to the Millennium Falcon or a pet Yoda.  Whether it be a live dragon or a medal the size of a hubcap I’m signing up for that bad boy!

3.  Is that a hill, oh I don’t want to run on a course with hills.  Soon to be followed by, where are the hills, I need me some vert…vert. Vert. Vert.  Vertical…give me the mountains, Leadville, Hardrock…Western States!  In my early days once I found a race that fit into my schedule, was close to home and at a distance that I could run.  I would scour the course maps, elevation profile and race reports looking for any signs of a vertical challenge.  If I found more than a small bump in the road that race was out.  Flat as a pancake was high on my race selection criteria.  Then I must have hit my head, finally suffered from the effects of the lack of oxygen to the brain or the after effect of too many Mikes Hard Lemonades kicked in.  Vert baby…give me the vert.

4.  The Info Superhighway with sites like Ultra signup and I’ve lost all control.  I’ve found over the years it has gotten so much easier to sign up for a race.  Gone are the days of collecting race flyers, handwritten entry forms, licking stamps and trips to the local USPS office.  Today, it’s almost too easy.  With a few scrolls and multiple clicks of my mouse and I’m signed up to race in three new venues at distances varying from 10k, marathon, and a 50-miler…Oh honey, pls don’t look at the credit card.

5.  This was a good idea 6-months ago.  The excitement of signing up for a race is just about as powerful as the adrenaline rush of crossing the finish line.  The in-between time…well, sometimes that gets scary.  The commitment of race day keeps me training, motivated and gets me to the starting line.  But I’ll admit…sometimes I think I’m better at signing up for races then actually running them.

I’ve been at this racing game for 19+ years…and I’ve figured how to run a faster race without running any faster.  I share all my racing tips with you in my book 26.2 Tips to Run Your Best Marathon (or any race for that matter) available on Amazon and my blog.

You don’t have to be a racer, to be a runner.  Some folks have long and satisfying running careers without ever running a race.  I had conversations with some serious runners who question why I pay an entry fee to run 26.2 miles when I could do it on my own for free.  Whatever you choose to race or not if you run you’re a runner.  If you do decide to try your hand on the racing stage enjoy the ride, embrace the moment and remember why you’re standing there…to race yourself or maybe others, to collect all the pretty medals, to conquer the hills, to run on a new stage and to meet the commitment you set so many months ago.

Let me know do you race?  If so how often and what is your favorite distance?  Drop a comment below.