2017 Foothill Bests
Inquisitive women in the outdoors, on the road, and besides. She Explores. ...Hey, take a hike.
Real talk from female track and field reporters on their experience covering the sport
A baseball player hits a double, and it launches the career of Haruki Murakami
Silicon Valley's Quest to Live Longer. ...Why not better than longer?
Steve Jobs told New York Times journalist Nick Bilton that his children had never used the iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use in the home.” More.
CAS is an obsessive-compulsive disorder, AKA Chainsaw Addiction Syndrome. Those afflicted covet, collect, and love their chainsaws. Hang out at Mr. Chainsaw showroom, store, and repair shop like alcoholics at that dark, dank bar in the bad part of town. Even my PCP, who is otherwise the zenith of prudence and wisdom, has CAS. He refused to tell me how many chainsaws he owns, but did confess he's on the shelf after his post ice storm frenzy, his back being very sore. ...My most recent CAS affliction lasted about four months, out on the town collecting wood, hauling it home, cutting and stacking. 368 cubic feet. Almost three cords, that is, 374 cubic feet. See Comments.
And we're worried, majorly depressed about some running injury? Consider The Unstoppable Duck.
Reminds me/just finished: A Long Way Home
Even better: Hole in the Sky: A Memoir
Lexi Fernandez update
NYT: Well Running
Oklahoma prep jumps 7'5" Check the 10 best prep jumpers. What happened to them? Sic transit gloria.
Rod Dixon, Olympic 1500 bronze medalist, winner of the New York City Marathon, reminds young runners that "finishing is winning"
Video: Stoicism-On The Shortness of Life by Seneca/Animated Book Review. ...A good, modern translation for the Kindle available here.
NYT: How to Lower Your Heart Rate
Nike's Empire is Built on Air
Fuggedabout Nike Air. Let's do the Blue Jean Mile. The poster child for same is, of course, Bret Farve.
IAAF World Cross Country Championships results.
Signal report on Foothill Track & Field
Paul Broneer provides Canyon vs. Valencia results and photos. ...Alan Garcia produces more photos.
The Holy Grail of sports nutrition, the Sub-2/your PR here.
The Secrets to Dating a Non-Runner
NYT: Best Exercise for Aging Muscles? Probably intervals. ...Mmmm, no mention of daily hours of work in the yard.
Fun Friday facts. Smartphone, etc. dirtier than toilet
10 ideal summits for first time mountaineering. Or not. Those are tough climbs. ...Mt. Whitney, South Sister. Check. ...Hoping to do Shasta soon.
Go For It!
How Totally Average Runner Broke the Sub-Five-Minute Mile. ...And why you should include interval training to race a faster mile.
Video rant: Life is not a highlight film
Today’s American men are weaker than their dads.
The Week That Was
NYT: Should 15,000 Steps a Day Be Our New Exercise Target?
How You Can Get Every U.S. Topo Map for Free
Running is repetition: A poem
Flotrack video: Scott Fauble & Steph Bruce 10x800m . Nailing prescribed rest interval is almost as important as the pace.
March 1967, Doris Brown became the first women’s international cross-country champion. ...Her dog is named Deena Kastor.
Nepal’s 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan set to summit Mt Everest. Story.
Master's @ Irwin Invitational photos.
Don't be stupid. What Runners Need to Know About Prostate Cancer. ...Just yesterday I was talking to a Santa Clarita Runner who recently learned he has prostate cancer, and plans to have the surgery soon. Smart guy, had annual checkups and PSA testing.
Craig Godwin, 49, 5-10, 140, a five year veteran on the OTC Masters board, arrived in Eugene in 2003. Previously, he attended Channel Island High School in Oxnard, CA, and obtained his college degree at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, "a not particularly distinguished runner at either," he admits. Got a great job, but Los Angeles was driving him crazy. He quit his job to move to Eugene, but on his last day the boss asks if he would continue as a remote employee, working at home in a man loft.
Good work if you can get it, we think.
1. Soon to be 50, you are licking your chops over some old, somewhat soft American age group records, such as the 25,000 meter on the track. See http://www.usatf.org/statistics/records/masters_trackLDR.asp
This is definitely a case of cherry picking some relatively easy records. Long distance track races used to be fairly common, with guys like Bill Rogers and Dick Beardsley still holding some of the American records, and Moses Mosop breaking the world records for 25K and 30K on the track at the Pre Classic in 2011. But now even 10,000m track races are rare, and finding a record-legal track race longer than that is nearly impossible. That means I have to stage my own race specifically as a record attempt, making sure all the USATF rules are followed exactly. The race will need a number of volunteers and officials to do lap counting and timing. And of course a few other people crazy enough to race 62 ½ laps! Right now I’m working on finding a track we can use and setting a date. Details will be on the www.OTCMasters.org website as they come together.
2. Almost as important, you nearly died about six years ago, though just weeks before, at 43, you had just raced an impressive 33:11 track 10K. Details, please. Including that call to USATF from your near-death bed.
As a relatively young, fit, distance runner with no significant family history of heart problems, having a major heart attack was completely unexpected. But I was a high stress guy, burning the candle at both ends and the middle. I was at the on the road at the tail-end of a business trip when it happened. I got a stent placed in my heart and spent 4 days in a hospital before I was allowed to return to Oregon. If I hadn’t been a lifelong runner, the heart attack likely would have killed me. At the time I was pretty certain my running days were over, but being fanatical about being anti-PED’s, I called the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from my hospital bed just to make sure all the drugs they were giving me were okay. Physically I bounced back surprisingly quickly from the heart attack, and was running well enough to be national 10,000m champion in my age group a little over a year later in 2012. My three foot surgeries in 2013, 2014, and 2015 were actually much harder to recover from and I’m only now getting back to full strength.
3. Of course runners are often strange, obsessive, compulsive, weird, quirky, and invariably funny people. You have some stories.
I think all runners have some great stories! What I enjoy most about the OTC social events is people sharing the interesting things they have experienced over the years. I have enough after all these years to fill a book - but many I probably wouldn’t want to put in writing!
4. Proudly, you reported, you were drug tested for the first time in the past month. The story, please.
After over 600 races I had never been drug tested. But I ran 4 national championship races in 2 weeks and won 3 medals, so that greatly increased my odds of being picked. Right at the finish of the USATF indoor mile a group of testers and escorts pulled me aside. It was a long, interesting, and sometimes uncomfortable process. It was the exact same process and officials who test the top athletes across many sports, so it was actually kind of cool to experience and feel like an elite runner briefly.
5. As it happens, Craig and Don were both in the Santa Clarita Runners (in California), and after that we became Oregon Track Club members. Board members at each. Compare and contrast, please.
The Santa Clarita Runners is very much a traditional running club with training runs and road races. Especially back in 2003 when I arrived in Eugene, the OTC was mostly a booster club supporting U of O track and field - something that has changed somewhat in recent years. In the era around when I moved, Southern California was much more of a hotbed of elite track and field athletes than Eugene - again something that has changed. But the difference was that in Eugene track and field permeates everyday life, and there are actual fans here. The first meet I attended at Hayward Field was an emotional experience for me. I had never seen anything like it before.
6. Personal daily exercise routine?
I run 7 days a week, usually twice a day. First thing in the morning I’ll do any easy run, at least partially with my dog. At noon I’ll do a second run, either easy or hard depending on the day. I rarely do any stretching, cross training, or weights. I almost always train alone, which keeps me from overtraining, but also because it is hard to fit a group run into my schedule. I just keep it simple and run what I want, when I can.
7. Advice to your younger self at 20 years?
I’ve often wondered how good I could have been if I trained more seriously when I was younger. Through high school and college, 35 miles was a really good week for me and I often did a lot less. Age 20 would have been the perfect time to work up to the level of training other college runners were doing. But I didn’t have the right mindset back then to dedicate myself to running, and I was busy having other adventures. I think I was always destined to be more competitive as a masters runner.
8. Quotes you live by, or quote often?
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” I’ve followed that advice many times.
9. What special moment or insight caused your devotion to running?
I wasn’t an obviously talented runner. I was born with both feet twisted 90 degrees to the left, and wore braces as child to twist them back to something approaching normal. That explains my unusual running form, which actually used to be much worse than it is now.
Going into high school, I wanted to play football but I wasn’t any good and I had bad knees. I didn’t know what cross country was. I incorrectly assumed the races were like what we did in PE class - run to the playground fence and back for maybe a minute total distance. But being an unpopular sport, all you had to do was show up and you were on the varsity XC team, so that is what I did. I was terrible, so by track season I tried unsuccessfully to be a pole vaulter instead. The breakthrough for me was a 2 mile race where I accidentally went out much faster than I ever had before and kept going taking over a minute and half off my PR. It was then I realized how hard I could push myself, and I made the jump in one step to actually being competitive. Learning to love training and running in natural was a more gradual process, but I always loved to compete.
10. How do you coach mental toughness?
I think that is the hardest thing I try to do as a coach. It is especially difficult with the runners I coach remotely. Some people have it naturally and as a coach the struggle instead is to get those athletes to hold back and save it for the race. But many people just aren’t wired to embrace the extreme discomfort that comes with getting the absolute maximum out of their body. I do a lot of work on getting the athlete in the right mental state before a big race. There needs to be a healthy dose of an “I’m either going to win this race or get carted off in an ambulance” mentality. I also assign a lot of race simulation workouts - not as hard as a race, but long grinding efforts to develop a feel and a tolerance for what the race itself will be like.
11. In your recent years, what has become more important and less important?
I’ve learned to slow down (in life - not in running!), relax, and take things less seriously. Having a largely stress relate heart attack certainly caused me to reset how I approach life.
I left my hat in San Francisco. Perhaps you remember... Had it for at least ten years, a black ball cap with a Nike swoosh. Kept forgetting it here and there. It's there, in San Francisco, I swear.
70% of the San Francisco hip/tourist population (my people) wear black.
'Healthiest hearts in the world' found. ...Minimal furring in the blood vessels.
the morning shakeout
Q&A later today with Craig Godwin.
The rise of the hipster bird-watcher
Meb nears the end of the road
Russ Sidles died on Sunday, pioneer member and two time president of the Santa Clarita Runners. Together with wife Christa, he completed every Los Angeles Marathon from 1986 through 2015. Great guy.
Ross Tucker/Science of Sports argues...Ban the Nike Vaporfly & other carbon fiber devices for future performance credibility
Signal story on Foothill track & field
More Smoothies, Less Soda. Link noticed between nutrition and performance. ...“What if I don’t like it?” Howard asked. He sniffed it and put it down.
Steve and Brad: How to Turn It Off
Wanna go faster? Alex Hutchinson says it "involves sticking two electrodes to your head and connecting them to a voltage source (a 9-volt battery, say) to run a very weak current through your brain." ...Story.
Iowa strength coach enjoys a $625,000 base salary
Champion mountain biker is Hittin' the Gym
Brad and Steve: How To Turn It Off
We're in San Francisco. Walking. Walking. Walking. Especially in the 90s, I used to come here on business, usually visiting the client at the Transamerica Pyramid, 600 Montgomery Street. Always dressed my very best because S.F. was more stuffy than L.A. No more. Mostly, women don't wear dresses and men don't wear suits or ties. It wasn't until we went into the financial district that we saw the suits. But not many, in the single digits. And then we walked by a restaurant and it's stuffed with last century suits, including former mayor Willie Brown at a window seat next to the sidewalk. ...Berkeley today with No. 1 son and family. ...Golden Gate Park tomorrow. ...Walking. Walking. Walking.
Before Berkeley, before No. 1 son, we walked up Nob Hill (historically and presently upper, upper crust), Lombard Street, and Coit Tower/Telegraph Hill.
Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley is more run-down, trashy than ever. All the good book stores are gone.
Ultrasonic waves activate cells near a bone fracture to stimulate the healing process. More.
What Runners Need to Know About the New Food Labels
The Parrots of Telegraph Hill. We read the book. We saw the movie. And yesterday we saw the parrots on Lombard Street, a mile away (as the parrot flies) from Telegraph Hill. Mostly, they've moved to a better zip code.
Lowering the men’s marathon world record to below two hours (and your marathon PR) could be easier than some experts have predicted. Story.
Eric Boal/Signal previews Foothill Track & Field
Kathryn Martin sped to a 5:51.74 mile, the fastest ever run by a woman age 65 or over, indoors or out. Story
There Will Never Be Another Ed Whitlock
Why we still play the game. Some guy we know, 77, plays 2-3 hours most days when he's not substitute teaching or traveling the world. At the Y. Mornings and afternoons, at no particular time, a rag-tag bunch of geezers just show up and play an endless game.
Fun rant: We're screwed. Thanks, internet. ...More.
The Week That Was
NYT obit on Ed Whitlock
Best Anti-Ageing Exercise is High Intensity Interval Training. Science sez. I know, Ed didn't do that.
Why I Started Doing Long Runs With Other People. ...If in Milton, would Ed have allowed us to lope with him in the cemetery?
The mountains, the books, a place of rest and reading... “I think people see their own story in it." ...When you visit Eugene, or when I'm next in Santa Clarita, I want to catch up on in your story.
Why You Should Not Be Running. Who knew?
Training and the Benefit of Self Belief
Looks good. 1 Mile to You Official Trailer ...More.
Brad Stulberg: Biohacks for Life
Brad again. Keys to Aging Well as an Athlete
Tim Ferriss is the supreme biohacker. Just finished Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
Hilarious. Alexander and the V Bad, FML Day ...FML is "F*** My Life" ...I had to look it up.
How Complacent Are You? Take the Quiz! I did. Results indicated I'm a "Striver."
Complacent? Surely not as a runner. See how you rank in the world.
Damn! Being thin doesn’t guarantee good health.
World Indoor Marathon records, men and women, are being tested at the New York Armory
Runner's World: 6 Drinks You Should Stop Buying Right Now. Don't worry. Be happy. Wine and beer not mentioned.