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May 2010

Meet Expert Jason Karp

Book cover Jason Karp is a nationally recognized speaker, writer and exercise physiologist who coaches recreational Jasonkarp runners to Olympic hopefuls through his company, RunCoachJason.com.  His work has been included in many running journals and publications and we are thrilled to have his expert tips on training and distance running included in the book, The Ultimate Runner.

He shared some insights to his own running to help us better understand his perspective and insights.

Why did you start running?

I was attracted to the purity of the sport and saw that I was good at it as a kid.

Best running advice you ever received?

Train with intention.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

Understanding the physiology of running.  If I knew the science of running when I was younger, like I do now, I would have been a much better runner than I was.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Every workout must have a purpose.

Most read/used running book?

Lore of Running by Dr. Tim Noakes

Favorite running memory, run or race?

Favorite memory: The effortless feel of running and racing when I'm very fit.
Favorite race: Melissa's 10K in Banff, Canada
Favorite run: 9-mile loop around Tiburon, California

Your running dream?

When I was a kid, my dream was to compete in the Olympics.  But as I got older, I realized that the extraordinary talent needed to achieve such lofty dreams is not part of the DNA of my legs.  Now my running dream is to be the best runner I can be and coach someone who does have Olympic-level talent to make it to the Olympics.

What keeps you running?

The desire to accomplish something more.

How can runners contact you

Website: www.RunCoachJason.com
Email: jason@runcoachjason.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/drjasonkarp
Twitter: twitter.com/runcoachjason

Meet Dani Nichols

Book cover Dani offered her story of overcoming the mental challenges of running with the story, "It's All In Your Head", Daninichols1 in the book, The Ultimate Runner.   Dani (on far right) is an everyday writer who is also enjoys running in addition to her husband, good coffee, country music and free museums.

She offers these thoughts behind her running:

Why did you start running?
Because I needed to fit into my wedding dress. ;) No really. I've never been a very good runner, and have always forced myself to do it because of outside reasons, but of course, once I started it became its own therapy.

Best running advice you ever received?
"You can go farther than you think you can," from my husband, who is a great runner and often encourages me to overcome the obstacles I put in front of myself.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Good shoes really do make a difference. They're an investment, and off-brand kicks will not make for happy feet.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Just do it. Trite but true.

Most read/used running book?
It's actually not a running book at all, but Julia Child's memoir, "My Life in France" has encouraged me to take on things I didn't think I could conquer (like running) and to treat life like a giant, beautiful adventure.

Favorite running memory, run or race?
Running my first 5K. It was something I had never imagined doing, but I ran it well and actually enjoyed it! The sense of satisfaction after a race is irreplaceable.

Your running dream?
To get to the point where running is not as hard for me as it is now. It's not as tough as it used to be, but it's not as wonderful as I hope it is someday!

What keeps you running?
My husband's long legs, kicking up dust in front of me. :) And, of course, how it feels to run well. But I'd say keeping up with my man is definitely a priority.

 How can runners contact you

Momentum = Great Running

This week I was flipping through blogs of some of my favorite running friends who have done reviews of The Ultimate Runner.   One house I stopped at was A Viking Running who is also known as Ed H.  Ed was nice enough to post his thoughts of the book but that wasn't what caught my attention. 

It was actually a post after his review which was titled, "Stuff I need to Remember".  I won't give away all his insights, but the gist was he wrote a public note to his private running self to remind him of running knowledge he shouldn't forget. 

Things like, "I feel better when I run.  I feel worse when I don't.  It's so simple; why I do I forget it so quickly?"   (Why do us runners have such short memories...)

Or the reminder than when you run consistently your running gets better, which he sums up in the last line of his post as, "When I run consistently, my brain is freed from guilt-clutter, and I am creative again [with my running]."

I have had similar thoughts (see similar thoughts in this 2008 post on the topic), but not chained together so eloquently over the last few weeks.   Tom has a time honored saying that the key to running is consistency.  Much easier said than done, but nonetheless very true.   I know the more diligent I am with my running, the better my running which then in turn opens new doors in my running.

And the principle is so simple.  Momentum is caused by forward motion.  Energy is transferred forward.

That's why running is so addictive.  Once you find your groove, the momentum keeps carrying you forward-pushing you on to do more, run more, become more of a runner.

This wonderful, natural phenomenon awaits the runner patient enough to last through the "gathering momentum" period.  It is a dark, tough time where runs feel hard.  Even if you have felt the bliss of being in the groove before, when you are not, you wonder why you do it. Cause its not comfortable.  It feels like work.  It is damn hard.

But if you persist, waiting on the other side is a reward for the body and soul.  Free floating, happy running that will keep you going.

So take a lesson from runners who keep forgetting.   Keep running - don't lose your momentum.

Run for those who can't today.

(Postscript:  Today is surgery day in the Van Gundy household. So my priority will rightly be with my husband as he gets through surgery, a week in the hospital and a long recovery.  So, like many of you, I will be trying to figure out keep the momentum in my running while tending to the urgency of everyday life.  One of my other favorite lines from Ed's post was, "I can talk to people, but in the back of my head, I wish I was talking to them about running."  Amen Ed - wish it was all about running...what a happy life it would be.)

Get to Know Janet Hamilton

Book cover You met Janet last year when she joined the Lounge to give us some tips on running long.  She provided Coachjanet some great info in the Expert Tips section of the book, The Ultimate Runner.

We asked her to give us a few tidbits about her running.

Why did you start running? 

Like many, I started running to help keep my weight in a proper range. Prior to that I had been primarily a strength athlete.  I was teaching a weight training for women class at a local University and would go walking with a friend on campus afterwards, we walked for probably a year before we decided that running would get us done sooner!

Best running advice you ever received?

Trail running is a great form of training that enhances strength as well as stamina.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Listen to your body.  If you tune in to the whispers when something is not right, your body will never have to shout at you to get your attention.  Basically if you catch injuries in their earliest stages and simply take a step back and give your body some recovery time, you can usually train fairly consistently and injury-free.

Favorite running memory, run or race?

Crater Lake Half marathon… the scenery is simply breathtaking!  Other memories  include all the trail running I did when I lived in Oregon – the trails in Forest Park are phenomenal.

Your running dream?

What keeps you running? I enjoy it and I’m committed to staying healthy!  I think we all need to take responsibility for our health choices and this is one that I consciously make every day – run to stay healthy, run because it frees my mind, run because I can!

How can runners contact you

My website – http://www.runningstrong.com is probably the easiest way to find me.  E-mail is janet@runningstrong.com

It Feels So Good!

It feels so good to see runners in the news! 

Over the last week, it has been great to see articles about some of the Extra Ordinary runners who contributed to the book, The Ultimate Runner.  Our hope is other runners see their story and it keeps them moving, but even more than that - inspires them to share their stories.  Here are a few of the quick links for your enjoyment!   

Tampa Bay Online - Miriam Hill


Hampton Roads

Life Press

And thanks to the runners who have shared their reviews with their running friends!  Our winner of this week's review giveaway is JillWillRun for her review of The Ultimate Runner.

You Know You Are A Runner When...

You know you are a runner when you stand on seeming endless running trail which stretches on for miles, that you plan to run, and you get tingly goosebumps.

You get excited because you get to run those miles.

You get happy because you know you CAN run that distance.

You get a sense of calm relief because you wouldn't want to be anywhere else at that moment.

You get thoughtful about how maybe in a past life you wouldn't or couldn't run any distance.

But mostly, when you see the road ahead, you feel proud that you are a runner.

It is at that moment you realize, yet again, that you are a runner.

(thoughts brought to you from my long run...) You Know You Are A Runner When...

Share Your Joy For Running

Do you have to run today?

Or, are you lucky enough to run today?

While out on a run, when you meet another runner, do they feel your joy for running?

Or, do they run by with a subtle side glance and return the "just-focus-and-endure" look of the "have to" runner?

Do me a favor and try a little experiment on your next run.

Take 30 seconds before your run and remind yourself why you run, why you are lucky to run, and why you wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

And then, remember your most recent running accomplishment.

Now, wear those feelings on your face.  For the whole run.

When you meet another runner - fast or slow, male or female, young or old, sleek or raggy- look up, look over, smile and say hi.   And behind that "hi!", pass along the "can-you-believe-we-get-to-
come-out-here-and-do-this-today" vibe.  Include a sprinkle of "Wow.  We are lucky."   And a dash of, "All-those-nonrunners-have-no-idea-what-they-are-missing."

An interesting thing will occur.  The other runner will pass the same smile and vibe back - about 90% of the time versus the 25% of the time with the subtle grunt glance.  As runners, our joy for running is always present, but sometimes we keep it hidden.  Bringing it to the surface helps our running and others. 

Not only will you remind other runners of how much fun we are having, your run will feel better!

I have tried this experiment multiple times over the last few months.  I would love to know how your results are the same or different.    Give it a try and let me know your results!

Meet Lee Brown

In the first part of the book, The Ultimate Runner, Lee's picture of his sons running during a race for the Book cover county team of Worcestershire.   The spirit of young runners is so inspiring and we think his picture captured it beautifully.  We wanted to know a little more about Lee so he shared a bit about his running and the picture.

Why did you start running?

I started running because of my sons. They both run for our local Athletics Club HACC (Halesowen Athletics & Cycling Club). Whenever the young club athletes compete, I try to cover each event from a photography point of view. It soon became apparent that I was unable to run from one side of the cross country course to the other in time to get the desired photo........I was simply too unfit & over weight.  Now I combine both my passions, running & photography.

Best running advice you ever received?

Variety. I’m guilty of having a favorite running route but you can run it to death. Change your route, your company, your pace & embrace the mud when it’s here

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

Only wish I’d realized how good it makes you feel earlier in life.

Being 40 something make you appreciate pre & post running stretches & also the importance of a good warm up & down. Spending the whole working week with a pulled muscle isn’t worth the pain.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Listen to experienced runners. They know what they’re talking about!

Most read/used running book?

It has to be “Athletics Weekly” (UK). I’m usually checking results & seeing how many mentions my sons get but it always has the latest advice & excellent tips.

Favorite running memory, run or race?

My favorite memory is the day I was converted to Athletics. I’m a long established football (soccer) fan & both my sons were being taught in the fine arts of the great game.

A talent spotter approached the school my sons attended asking for them to consider joining the athletics club he represented (HACC). I can remember being pretty against it & almost dismissed it as a waste of time but.......agreed to let my eldest son turn out for the club & take part in a Road Relay competition.

The best teams back would then compete in a national event later in the year. I wasn’t really interested & was more focused on a football match my son was playing in later that day.

My son was part of a Relay team. Each team had three runner each having to complete one leg of the race. I’d made a point of making the team manager put my son in the first leg as I wanted to get away to make sure we were not late for his football match.

The 200 boys on the start line would have to run the 3 mile lap passing over to the 2nd leg runners who would run their lap & release the 3rd leg runner. First team to get all three back won.

I watched as my son sped off to the sound of the gun. He vanished in the distance in the huge crowd of boys.......& then I waited. The marshals dotted around the course reported back the race position & they were announced over the PA system........but I wasn’t listening. I was packing up our belongings & getting ready to go. I thought as soon as he’s over the line we would set off on our way to the football match. I really wasn’t interested in the rest of the race.

I stood along the finishing stretch which was a good half a kilometre long. It was all roped off & lined all the way along with people. I remember thinking “Wow........there’s a thousand people here or more.” At his football match later there would only be around 30 spectators!

I thought I’d set my camera to movie & when my son eventually runs past I’ll catch it on film as he passes the crowds. I planned to carry on filming until he crossed the finishing line & then I was going to pan up to the large clock showing the lap times so he would know his time. We could then go to football & leave this running lark behind.

Eleven minutes had passed when the crowd at the beginning of the home straight began cheering. I looked down the long home straight & in the distance I could make out a boy in a yellow vest being chased down by two other boys. I glanced over at the HACC manager, runners & parents who had gathered along the straight........&, they were all looking at me?

They began getting very animated & pointing down the straight. I dawned on then & there that is was my son. He’d out run all 200 boys & was sprinting away from the other two on the home straight. Every hair on my body stood up.......they are now as I retell the story. I stumbled for my camera, pointed it down the straight & pressed record.

The footage goes like this: 3 blurry runners in the distance.......the crowd screaming at them. The closer they get, the shakier the footage. HACC are shouting at my son “GO ON HARVEY.......ALL THE WAY HARVEY” By this time the camera is recording feet jumping up & down & I can be heard screaming at my loudest (think I sworn once or twice too). As he passes me the camera captures his foot & then it films me as I drop everything & begin running to great him.

It’s funny watching it back......but it also make my eyes well as I remember the emotions I went through. That day I was converted to athletics & every race either of my sons are in, I still react the same.

We stayed for the rest of the race that day........almost forget about the football match.

Your running dream?

My dreams revolve around my kids. My eldest, Harvey Brown has already represented England at Cross Country & plans to Represent GB one day

What keeps you running?

My fitness. My boys. Being part of the athletic community, part of the club.........is very rewarding.

How can runners contact you

My flickr Photo page houses my contact details: http://www.flickr.com/people/browner_lee/

My email address is: browner_lee@yahoo.co.uk

Meet the Expert: Shawn Dolan

Shawn is an avid runner and triathlete who has expertise in sport and wellness nutrition, resistance training Book cover program and personal training.  She lent her expertise in resistance training to the book, The Ultimate Runner, to help all runners learn the basics so they can run stronger.

Get to know her a little better through learning about her running:

Why did you start running?
I played soccer growing up and through college. Running was always a part of practice and conditioning for the game. After I  graduated, I decided to train for my 1st 10k, then 1/2 marathon...the rest is history!

Best running advice you ever received?
Run light on your feet

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Resistance train to prevent injuries and run more efficiently

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Some runs are simply for the purpose of enjoyment...no watch, HR monitor, Garmin, music

Most read/used running book?
Lore of running (Tim Noakes)

Favorite running memory, run or race?
My first marathon was the St.George Marathon in UT...everyone talks about the last 8 miles as being steep downhill, I trained running downhill in the canyons in UT, but nothing can prepare you for that damage after 20 something miles

Your running dream?
To be able to continue running throughout my life

What keeps you running?
The ability to explore and enjoy the outdoors as well as explore and learn more about myself

How can runners contact you
Facebook, email shawndoloan@hotmailcom

Ultimate Runner Shout Outs

Congratulations to Erin (aka sunmoonstarz in the Lounge), from the blog Eri-thon, for being our weekly winner Book cover in The Ultimate Book review giveaway.  Erin provided a review of the book to become eligible to win books to giveaway to her running friends. 

We love to hear about the contributing authors being mentioned.  Erin had a comment on her post which mentioned one of contributors, Brian, who shared an interview with us last week.   And this week, we noticed this online story from SeaCoastOnline about Brian's story of losing over 100 pounds by running.

Last week, another contributing author, Felicia Schneiderhan, joined a local TV morning show to share her story.  She contributed the story, Love Is Stronger Than Gu, and joined the anchor to talk about her story.   Very cool to see an ordinary runner telling her story to inspire others!

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