Free Gifts For Running Dads - Compliments of You!

Each year we salute running moms and dads on their special days each year.   The ultimate runner dad award

This year we need some help! 

We are looking for a few great running bloggers who love running dads as much as we do.   If you believe dads who run deserve an extra pat on the back, a day of recognition, and a gift as a small way to remind them how special they are, then you just might be the help we need.

Book cover We will provide 5 copies of The Ultimate Runner for you to use as giveaways, prizes, gifts or bribery for The Ultimate Running Dads that you honor.

Here is what you need to do for the five copies.  Leave a comment below and....

  • Tell us the creative way that you would involve your running, blogging friends in your salute to running dads.  
  • We love stories and photos about runners so plans which involve sharing or telling the stories of running dads may get noticed.   And if you can find a way to have them posted into the Lounge in the Inspirational Story category...well, that might sweeten your chances.
  • Twist this idea and find a quirky theme or fun way to salute running dads.  Your imagination is your only limit.  We just ask that it does somehow honor, salute, or celebrate the runners in your contest.
  • Contests must start by Tuesday, June 15 and announce winners by Fathers Day on June 20.
Act Fast!  We will choose the running bloggers on Monday!

Meet An Expert: Lisa Dorfman

Lisa Dorfoman has been a sports nutritionist, an adjunct professor in the exercise and sport sciences and Book cover is the director of sports nutrition and performance.   She offers her advice in many running and fitness publications as well as her website at  She provided expert advice to ordinary runners on the topic of nutrition for training, competition and recovery in the book, The Ultimate Runner.

We caught up with her to find out more about her running as a former pro triathlete and competitor in more than 30 marathons (PR 2:52:32).

Why did you start running?
I came out of the womb and didnt know what else to do...I have been running my whole life--49 years!
In my adult years, my racing began at 24 first race was a 10k...I was hooked!

Best running advice you ever received?
From the US 5k record holder a few decades back--told me to give myself a break every once in a while--drink, eat bad foods, whatever....I never thought about it, but doing whatever every once in a while is fun.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Learn how to taper best--I think I could have qualified for the US Olympic Trials numerous times but never learned how to actively taper..

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Nutrition is 90% of good running...everyone should see a sports nutrition expert (RD,CSSD) at least once in their running careers to get the food part right--its more than getting enough carbs, everyone has their own personal formula that is required and works for training competition and recovery.

Most read/used running book? 

Noakes--Lure of Running
Favorite running memory, run or race?

Grand Bahama 5000...the best in the world would join Marva Munroe, Race Director at her beautiful home for a weekend each year--Amby Burfoot, Greta Waitz, Jeff Galloway and the list goes on...It was like a reunion each year and the race was one of the fastest...The awards were waterford crystal...I still have my winner's crystals.
Also waiting for the 100th Boston Marathon to start, elites were bunkered down in a basement for 3 hours...met and bonded with the best runners around the world ad ran a 2:53 that day...

Your running dream?
To be the fastest 50 year old at at least 1 distance (Feb 2011), & finally qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials 2012

What keeps you running?
I LOVVVVVEEEEE everything about it. the feeling, sweat, friends, high

How can runners contact you,

Meet Jeff Pickett

Jeff Pickett, father of six and advocate for health, has a passion for running and fitness. He enjoys eating Book cover well, playing hard and laughing often.   He shared a story of his Chicago Marathon race in the book, The Ultimate Runner.   It is a great example of the funny things you see while racing.

We asked him to share more about himself and running to learn more about the man behind the story.

Why did you start running?
I started running about 10 years ago.  I went one mile at a time and then in my first year got the marathon bug and just went for it.  Let's say I finished and left plenty of margin to do better the next time.

Best running advice you ever received?
The best running advice I ever received was to breathe.  Sounds simple, but it incorporates so much.  Listening to music is one thing, but going au naturale and focusing on your breathing is a different experience altogether. 

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
I wish I had discovered the world of Vibram Five Fingers or minimalist running sooner.  As an overpronator, running heel to toe has caused me so many problems.  Landing on the balls of my feet/midfoot in my VFF's has made running so much more enjoyable.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Don't wear cotton t-shirts on long runs.  Especially guys.  Those chafed nipples are painful!

Most read/used running book?
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - a must read for everyone, non-runners, too!

Favorite running memory, run or race?
My favorite memory is the one I wrote on at the Chicago marathon - gotta read the book to hear more!

Your running dream?
My running dream is to complete one more marathon with my daughters one day. 

What keeps you running?
My daughters are young - 3 and 5.  I'm 42, so I run and stay active so that I can stay in shape and keep up with them.  I want to savor life for as long as I can so that I can be around for them as long as possible.

How can runners contact you
My contact info is varied:  blog:; @primalchat, Jeff Pickett on Facebook, email is

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,  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


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 – is probably the easiest way to find me.  E-mail is

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!

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