|Posted by [email protected] on November 13, 2015 at 9:10 AM||comments (7)|
Liz Norris, battling stage four bone cancer, ran the Rimrock Marathon, her 100th.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 31, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (2)|
What I Learned from Being Injured by Andy Winnifeld
I have been running now for 30 years! I still remember that cold day in 1985 when I decided to run for the Rootstown Middle School Track Team. I never thought the run would last this long, in fact, I wanted to quit after the first week. A coach told me to stay with it, even though I was the last kid on the track. I am so grateful to that coach. (He is still a facebook friend.) Anyway, I have had many great running moments since then, and some not so great. December 16, 2014 falls into the not so great category. One moment I was running as hard as I could, and the next moment I was limping to the car. Life happens fast sometimes.
It was a Tuesday morning in December. I was running with my usual Tuesday morning friends. Tuesday morning is when we run fartleks. I remember feeling a slight pull in my thigh just before it happened. My thought was to run harder to get rid of it. For a few feet it was great and then there was this sudden, ripping, tearing sensation between my upper leg and buttocks. It was followed with intense pain. This was something that never happened to me while running before. I knew that running was immediately out of the question. Walking was a challenge and sitting was almost intolerable. You never realize how much you sit, until it hurts to sit. (You can use this phrase for any body part that hurts. For example, you don't realize how much you use your finger, until it is broken.)
I did not even consider running for a week, and then I thought I could go back as fast as ever. I had never really been seriously injured before, so I did not know what to expect. (Oh sure, I had bumps, bruises, stitches, strains, sprains, sore muscles, etc., but all of these things never stopped me running for more than a few days.) When I started running again, every left foot step hurt. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the upper leg/buttocks area. I decided I could outrun the pain. I had run marathons, and I was not going to let a stabbing pain stop me. Well, I could run a mile or 2 with that philosophy and that was about it.
Finally, after 3 or 4 weeks of this, I went to see a Sports Medicine doctor. He told me that I had a torn hamstring tendon. It had severe inflammation. I needed therapy, ice and rest. Rest meant NO RUNNING! What? No, I can't stop running. That goes against my lifestyle! Anyway, for 2 weeks I didn't run. The elliptical machine became my friend, along with ibuprofen and ice.
During this time, I became incredibly jealous of everyone who was running. Whether it was a running story of an elite, or someone jogging down the road on my way to work, it bothered me. I couldn't even look at my running shoes. Stress bothered me like it never did before. My kids and wife told me I was crabby. Life was no longer exciting, and I was tired all the time. Also, I gained weight.
Then, finally, I was able to start running again. Not a lot of miles at first, and I was very slow. Also the hamstring still hurt a little, but it was manageable pain. I gradually increased the distance and continued to ice and stretch. Now, 9 weeks after the injury, I have resumed my normal miles. The hamstring still lets me know when it hasn't been stretched before running, and there is an occasional tweak, but mostly I run without pain. This is an amazing experience!
Now back to running, although a little slower than usual, I feel alive again. The sun is brighter. The flowers smell better, and life is no longer as stressful. Also, I haven't been told I was crabby by my family lately. Yesterday, I ran 12 miles and couldn't help but smile most of the way.
I learned never to take the ability to run for granted! This is truly a magical gift that we are given. Even runners with 30 years of experience without ever being injured, can become injured. Also, major injuries do not heal in 1 week, even if you think you are tough. I am not completely back to my usual speed, but I think that will take awhile. The day may come again when I can't run, but the day will never come where I don't want to run. Happy trails my friends!
|Posted by [email protected] on March 31, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Solidarity - The Tale of Two Marys by Liz Norris
Everything changed for me last summer when I received the diagnosis of an unexpected health problem -- two different forms of the same disease. They cannot cure it either. I remember when I was a kid I did not like the attention I got for being sick so being healthy and strong was the way I defined myself. I worked really hard to become healthy and strong. So naturally I did not want my illness to be common knowledge. I wanted people to see me as me and not as a sick person.
Something happened in February that made me relax on the idea of keeping it all a secret. I went to the Fruita Sweetheart Run. I met a person much younger that I who recognized as having the same health problem. She was wearing a wig and shirt that mentioned the type of illness she had (there are many different forms of it ). We became instant friends and began relating to one another real well. She earned an award for her costume -- complete with tutu. When she received her award she took off her wig exposing a bare (bald) head. I somehow was able to earn second in my age group although it was one of my slowest times. I took off my hat and exposed a bald head as well in an act of solidarity. I also allowed myself to be photographed with a bald head. A few months ago it would have been like "streaking" because I was embarrassed and still am to some extent.
There was another woman there who was also to be admired. She was older and running well. Two special women were at that race. One was an older woman who I have admired for years. Her husband runs as well and their grandson ran the Downhill to get an idea of how to finish Rim Rock later that year - the Downhill was his first race. Of course he has some good role models and it seems to run in the family.
Both of these special women have inspired me -- one old and one young, one defying age and the other defying illness. They are both named Mary and they are both such inspirational people. One showed me that age is just a number and the other gave me the courage to expose my weakness (an illness) in an act of solidarity.
These two give hope to others. I have found that to be a common trait in runners especially. My life is better that those two Marys crossed my path. This is what running and life is all about.
The Massacre Run was a fun follow up. I somehow broke thirty in the Massacre -- I did not expect to ever do that again. I think running is more fun but I do both biking and running. I am looking forward to some more runs with the many inspirational runners that I know (most of whom are Striders)You are all a great bunch of people and I am grateful for your friendship -
Happy running all
|Posted by [email protected] on September 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
by Keith Frates
I used to think of a champion as someone like Steve Prefontaine or Alberto Salazar: racers whose competitive spirits were so intense that like Prefontaine they'd try to run the mojo out of everyone else right from the gun no matter how excruciating the effort or, in Salazar's case, literally wreck his own long term health to win a race. That was before I met Kirk Apt 23 years ago. At the time, Kirk had run one 100 mile race, the Leadville 100. Kirk and I have been partners since 1992 and in that time I've learned that there is more than one way to be a champion.
This summer, Kirk reached two important milestones in his running career. He finished both his 20th Hardrock 100 and his 20th Leadville 100 trail races . The Hardrock 100, based in Silverton, CO. loops through the San Juans, rewarding runners with some of the most spectacular alpine vistas and difficult terrain in the world. There are almost 34,000 vertical feet of ascent and descent each in the event. On July 12, 2014, Kirk was the first person to finish the race 20 times. He was given special recognition and a standing ovation for this feat at the awards ceremony. For Apt it was his proudest moment, more important to him than his win at the race in 2000 when he set a course record.
Not only is Kirk a former Hardrock champion, he is the 1995 Leadville champion as well. Kirk is considered by many runners and volunteers to embody the spirit of ultrarunning and is widely admired in the sport. What is it that attracts such admiration? Is it his fierce competitiveness? Is it his killer instinct driving him to cross the finish line first, ruthlessly picking off other runners? Well, not exactly. As Kirk told Matt Hart in an interview for Outside magazine online this summer, "I'm really not very competitive by nature, so I had to convince myself to go for it because it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance." It is known to many that one of the first things he said after winning Hardrock in 2000 was, "The flowers were amazing!" As he was running the last mile of Leadville in '95, he found himself thinking," I can't believe I'm going to win this damn thing!" As he approached the finish line he high fived a "local bar guy" who ran out on the course waving a cigarette around, yelling "You're awesome, man! Let me buy you a drink!"
Now I'm one of those runners whose self esteem has depended entirely too much on the outcomes of my races. Over the years I have marveled at the grace and humility of Kirk Apt. I have never seen him envy or begrudge another runner. I have never seen him disappointed in a finish time. Two years after his win, I was crewing Kirk at mile 82 of Hardrock. Concerned that another runner, Randy Isler, might pass him, I warned Kirk, " You'd better get going. Randy is gaining on you." Kirk looked at me and said, "Good for Randy!" What?! Good for Randy? I have to admit that this stunned me a bit. I thought that, having won Hardrock, Kirk would feel a pressing need to win again, to prove himself, but Kirk's not in it for the glory. He's in it because he loves to run far in the mountains, in the flowers, in the thunderstorms. He loves to share his wonderment with the volunteers and his compatriots out on the trails; to encourage and be encouraged; to suffer and to rally. He loves the ultramarathon, and those wins were bonuses like icing on the cake, but they definitely were not the cake.
Kirk plans to keep running Hardrock for as long as possible and then to volunteer there. As for Leadville, he says that once he finished 17, he figured he might as well go for 20, but he is ready to try some different 100s now. Kirk has also run the Mountain Grand Slam, finishing the Bighorn, Hardrock, Leadville and Bear 100s in the span of four months. He has participated in many local events including the Rimrock Marathon, the Desert Rats double marathon and the Kokopelli Classic. He is a regular at the Thursday night fun runs.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
by Bryan Baroffio
Our family has always enjoyed going to Walt Disney World in Florida and the marathon in January allows a nice break from the cold in Grand Junction. I’ve run it five times previously with varying weather ranging from heat and humidity to sleet. Their first marathon was in 1994 and the first half was in 1998, both on Sunday. In 2006 they changed the half to Saturday which allowed runners to try the Goofy Challenge. By running the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday, finishers would receive three medals which included the prestigious Goofy medal. Disney races are always known for their nice medals and included running portions of the races through their theme parks, although very early in the morning. A few years ago, Disney added a family fun run 5k to the larger events and some runners attempted all three and called it the Dopey. Disney picked up on this for 2014 and added an inaugural 10k to go along with the 5k, half, and full to become the official Dopey Challenge. Registration for 7000 Dopey runners began in April 2013 and was sure to sell out quickly. The price was…don’t ask. I was counting upcoming marathons and I wanted Boston 2014 to be #100 for me. If I got frisky, maybe #100 could be at Disney World and my family would be present so I registered while at #86. The rest of the year went well except that work commitments put #100 for January in doubt. On the way back from a business trip in December I was able to get #99 at a small marathon near San Antonio, Texas. I tried to stay in marathon shape for the Dopey, figuring that would take care of itself. I just made sure to try to get a number of running four days in a row of increasing mileage which is what the Thursday 5k, Friday 10k, Saturday half, and Sunday full would be like. I also knew that getting up four days in a row at 3 AM to run would be part of the challenge.
We arrived in Orlando on Tuesday evening to make sure that I picked up all of my Dopey stuff at the expo on Wednesday. This included two B-tag bibs. The first (green) was for the 5k and 10k. The second (gray) was for the half and full. I got a 5k wrist band that would be exchanged for a 10k one. I’d later get a half band that would be exchanged for the other medals. (A little more involved than Paul’s desert races.) I also got six long-sleeved tech shirts. One for each race plus a Goofy shirt plus a Dopey shirt. After the expo, it was off to the parks for rides and walking around. I said that I was going to take it easy and I probably did a little more than usual but I still wanted to enjoy the vacation. I tried to get to sleep before 10 PM to be up around 3 AM for the 5k the next day.
Thursday, 5k run Day. Up before the alarms, three on my watch, one for my wife, a travel alarm, and a wake-up call. You couldn’t sleep in because if you missed one race then no Dopey! We stayed on Disney property and took their bus to the start. They herded us into corrals based on submitted past marathon or other race times. It was easy to be awake with all of the lights and loud music. The 5k was not a big deal for me in terms of the whole Dopey thing because I would probably be running 5k that day anyway. We started off with Disney characters and fireworks on a cool morning in the low 50s. I finished with a faster pace each mile to get ready and coast through the next two days. Pluto was the host for the 5k and I got a picture with him and my Pluto medal after the race. I got back to the room and since my family was still sleeping it was easy for me to take a half hour nap before heading to Epcot for the day. I tried to get to bed by 10 PM again and my wife had to be ready too since she was also running the 10k the next day.
Friday, 10k run day. Up at 3 AM, just before the alarms again. Same deal as yesterday by catching a bus to the start. I wanted to go a little slower today to start saving something for the marathon on Sunday. It was nice to have Sue with me to watch her reaction to all of the pre-race activities. More characters and fireworks and the inaugural Minnie 10k was underway with temps in the low 60s. Still running in the dark but talking with other runners made it go quickly. No, Sue and I did not run together. I think she insisted on running at our own pace or maybe it was me. Finished, got my Minnie medal and a picture with Minnie before the line got too long. There were about 9200 10k finishers. I waited a little bit later for Sue and we took the bus back. Sleeping kids (they stay up texting until 2AM) so we took a half hour nap before going to Animal Kingdom. Trying for a 10 PM bedtime again.
Saturday, Half marathon Day. This race would be the biggest challenge. It wasn’t short and I usually don’t run the day before a marathon and the third 3 AM wakeup. It was also going to be the warmest morning of the week with high 60s and high humidity for the start. I was going to try and take it at long-training run pace. Lather, rinse, repeat with the bus, characters, fireworks except that the half was much more crowded than the previous two races. I felt fine at about an 8:30 pace and picked it up a little for the last 5k. Got my Donald Duck medal and a picture with him. Just over 20000 finishers in the half. Mega-marathoner/ultra marathoner Michael Wardian was also running the Dopey and for the third day was congratulating runners at the finish. Back to nap for a half hour, maybe a little more, and then we were off to the Disney Studios park. Again, trying to get to sleep before 10 PM.
Sunday, Marathon Day. I’m in the routine now but glad that it’s the last day. I wanted to finish at about 3:30 which is an 8:00 min/mile pace. I had planned on going just over 8:00 for the first ten miles and just under 8:00 for the next ten miles and then use what was left and try to bring it in for the last 10k. It was a great morning for Florida running. Low humidity and about 55 degrees. Dopey was even at the start. We finally started the last race at about 5:30 AM. A similar course to the half with the start near Epcot and off to the Magic Kingdom and through the castle at about mile 5.5. After leaving the Magic Kingdom it was off to Animal Kingdom near the halfway point. I was on pace but I started to tire a little near that park. I started thinking about finishing, the medals, my 100th, and enjoying the parks and dinner with my family. I started to feel better and actually started pushing sub 8:00 at around mile 15. In fact, I was running closer to 7:40 pace for the rest of the race. My daughter noticed the quicker pace on the text alerts that she was getting when we crossed timing mats along the way. We ran through the Studios and on to Epcot to finish. When running the Disney World marathon and finishing at Epcot, DO NOT LOOK AT THE EPCOT BALL. You can see it from over a mile away and you know that you have to finish near it. Last 0.2 with a gospel chorus greeting and you can hear the crowd at the finish. I heard something about my 100th marathon and I knew that my family was there and had said something to the announcer. I crossed the finish line at 3:26:58 with a high five from Donald Duck. I saw my wife and daughter in the crowd (son wasn’t feeling well and slept in). I did not see Michael Wardian today. He was probably showered and on his way to the airport with a 2:35 finish. Dopey wasn’t there either but we got some pictures with other characters. I exchanged my wrist band to get my Goofy medal and my Dopey medal in addition to the marathon medal. Disney races tend to have a lot of runners doing it for fun or their first race so I was able to place third in my age group out of about 500. No nap today, just shower and on to the parks. I wore my medals after the race as the rest of the runners did. Lots of clanging Dopey medalists. We had a great meal at Shula’s steakhouse that night to celebrate.
We would leave on Tuesday morning so we really hit the parks on Monday, and we were able to get at least three rides at all four parks. I don’t know about Dopey next year but they’ll have a special medal for the 10th anniversary Goofy in 2015. We’ll see. Results and more at http://www.rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon/
|Posted by [email protected] on October 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM||comments (0)|
Kirk Apt and I ran the St. George marathon on Sat. 10/5. I ran 3:21:40 and Kirk
didn't wake up until halfway, running a TWELVE minute negative split to finish in
3:39:09. The weather was perfect and the course was gorgeous and it was hard! I always
forget how hard a road marathon is: so much of it is mental.
The reason I find the road marathon so hard is it's a much steadier effort than a
trail marathon, there are no distractions like tricky footing and continuous change ups,
and I basically train a lot harder for a road marathon as, for some reason, I place more
importance on the time I run. The hardest part of all is the mental. Without the
distractions it's all about being with myself for three plus hours and trying not to get
down on myself when the going is rough and trying to rally that extra effort at the end
when just finishing seems good enough.
Anyway, the most important thing is to respect the marathon. A great friend of
mine said that after finishing St George in 3:06 instead of her usual sub-3:00 . I
remembered to do that, and the marathon kept reminding me as I ran! I hope this wasn't
too long an explanation of why I find the marathon so tough. It's a BEAR.
|Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted by [email protected] on July 24, 2013 at 12:45 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by [email protected] on July 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted by [email protected] on July 14, 2013 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|