I ran 331 miles in 12 days.
Not all at one time.
In May I ran 167 miles in 7 days from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In August I ran 164 miles in 6 days from Mahoney City, Pennsylvania to New York City, New York. All for MS Run the US Relay.
I learned a lot about myself and about running.
Want to learn what I learned?
- Getting started. Sometimes when you first wake-up and realize you need to run long, the mind starts telling you all the reasons why you can’t. Leave it to the mind and you’ll stay in bed. I found that getting my feet moving was the key to waking the mind up to what my body could actually do. When the brain gets on board anything can happen.
- Real Food is good. That just seems silly to say, but it’s totally true. I have tired most name brand sports drink, gels and the what-have-yous. Running magazines are full of ads that tells us what products works best. My truth is that sports-aid-items do not work for me. I have found that real food in the form of fruits, oatmeal, raisins, nuts, whole grains, and potato chips (I realize that potato chips might not be considered a real food, but it doesn’t come out of a tube) really works for me. I also like water over sport drinks. And Coke. Nothing like a cold satisfying Coke at 10 miles. Just the right amount of sugar, caffeine and pleasure; which can keep me going for another 10 miles. Add some potato chips and I will run 30 miles. Don’t even get me started on doughnuts.
- Beer – it’s an acceptable post-run beverage. I am a man of rewards and beer is one of those rewards that can keep me moving forward. Knowing that a cold frosty bottle of brew; which has my name on it, makes those last few miles bearable. Oh, there are some nutritional benefits, but who cares. Right?
- Shirtless running. When the sun is out, the temperature warm and the humidity is high I prefer running without a shirt. Please do not give me all that crap about sunburn, sunscreen and skin cancer. We were born to run and we were born to be out in the sun. Period. Give it a try, you’ll find it refreshing. Anton knows. (Disclaimer – local decently laws may apply.)
- Wear the right shoes. The right shoes for you, that is. A good running store, like West Seattle Runner, will have you try various models to help you decide what feels good. Pick the shoes that are going to support you on your adventure. I would have been nuts to pick a lightweight, minimal shoe to run 30 miles on pavement. With broken glass and dead snakes.
- High tech material can make you day. These new tech shirts and shorts will wick (a word a runner never said in 70’s and 80’s) moisture away from your skin. This allows you to stay cool and dry. Easy to pack, carry and dries quickly. Make sure they fit and will not rub you in all the wrong places. If they do rub, get some Body Glide.
- Have a great support person or team to help you. These will be people who care about you and will have your food and gear ready for when you’ll need it. They can also do your thinking for you when you aren’t thinking right. Just remember to be nice to them, especially when your Demon Side appears.
- Know your equipment. The morning of your adventure is not the time to try to figure out your new GPS watch. Or even a headlamp. You need to know how everything works before you even put them in your pack. Read the manual and experiment.
- Know where you are going. External input is nice, but comes with a percentage of error. GPS watches can be off. A nice person may not know what they hell they are talking about. Memory fails. It is your responsibility to know where you are going. Know your route and make notes if needed.
- Have Fun! This adventure is yours. You trained and dreamed to do this. Now, go out and have some fun. And be safe.
I know I promised my article – “10 Things I Learned While Running Many Miles Over A Few Days – posted by now. You are just going to have to wait a tad longer. Moving, which we have been doing for the past month, is serious work and takes a lot out of us movers. You could ask any professional mover and they would agree. They would probably hand you their business card as well. I wish that I had been given a mover’s business card. Things could have been much different. Oh, the joys of hindsight. I would rather go run to Texas than have to move again. I am still suffering some sort of trauma from it all. Heavy sigh.
That all said, I am working on the piece and am up to number 4. Please be patient. All good things comes to those who wait. That is what my mom said. I have a sister who likes to say it as well. I must have been a very impatient child if both my mom, and now my sister, are reminding me to be patient
Life in West Seattle is good. There are squirrels living right next door in the vacant house’s attic. They seem like a nice squirrel family. As nice as they come, I think. We didn’t have any squirrels back on the island. Finn and Harper tell me that the house is haunted. Maybe it is. They should know; they’re kids.
I have named one of the squirrels Peppy. I don’t know if it is the male or the female. The art of determining the sex of squirrels is unknown to me. Peppy sits in the apple tree in front of our house. I watch him/her from the large window in my home office. He eats while studying me. Peppy has very small eyes and a very bushy tale. I have seen him hang upside down while eating an apple, which must not be good for his digestion. I have tried to take Peppy’s picture, but he is camera shy. Soon I will outwit him and take his picture. Then I will post it so you can see.
Our cats are freaked out by Peppy and his family. Since they have never seen a squirrel before I think that they think they are odd looking cats. Maybe they are just that. I will need to ask Finn and Harper. They will know and won’t be surprised that I don’t know.
Running has been good for me. I wake up at 4:30 AM and prepare myself for a 5 AM meet-up with son Ammon. We run the streets of West Seattle. He points out things of interest that I won’t remember. I find that there are not all that many cars on the streets at 5; although, I have seen other runners out. I think they are sleepy too. It’s a good time to run, but anytime is a good time to run. Right?
I promise I will have my “10 Things I Learned” piece posted up before the rise of the next full moon. Until then, run happy and run hard.
This week my focus will be on moving into our new place in West Seattle; although I am running. At 5 fracking o’clock in the morning with Son Ammon.
Ammon is showing me West Seattle and pointing out some very cool places to check out. The problem is I quickly forget them, which I am blaming on the early morning hour.
I have been thinking about the similarities of moving and running. I realized that they share a very important principle – when you drop your baggage and excess weight your moving and running will be much better.
Ok, I know it’s a stretch.
This week I have been in Seattle finishing up on an house rental agreement. Oh, if you didn’t know, Shelly and I are moving to West Seattle to be closer to family and enjoy the comforts of the big city – like
cheap inexpensive beer.
On Monday, Shelly started a new position with the Seattle School District and me, well, I have been scoping out the local landscape, which has required me to drink a few beers. Bartenders are a great community resources. They know the haps.
On Wednesday, Son Ammon took me on a running tour of West Seattle at 5:00 am. We had a good run inspite of my sore foot from running 162 miles last week. Learn some things concerning the layout of West Seattle, which is a good thing.
Next on the list is to move our stuff down from Friday Harbor and into the new house. Might happen this weekend.
Hummm, there’s something else I am suppose to do besides running, drinking and playing with grandchildren (not in that order though) – oh,
loo k find a job. Best move that up on the list some. (Resumes are available for viewing if interested. Contact me.)
Next week I will be posting – “What I learned from running a butt load of miles in a few days.” This article will have all those cool things I learned while on the road, like all snakes laying still on the road are not actually dead.
You won’t want to miss out on that one.
I have been thinking, lately, about the the direction of http://www.runhappyrunhard.com. Historically this site has been an informational site for running activities in and around San Juan Island mixed with some technical information. I have also thrown in stuff about my own running.
Working on this website has been fun. Maybe even fulfilling. A little fulfilling. Not a whole bunch. My current issue is that the site seems to be stuffy, stale and dry. Like the stuff one reads to help them fall asleep. This is not how I want to write. Besides, I am a funny guy and I want to throw humor into my work. The type of humor that makes one giggle or even blow beer out of noses.
So here is what I am going to do. I’m changing the direction of the present site to a more funny and insightful one. I want writing for this site to be fun for me and produce some inspiration to the reader to go out and run.
For the more technical aspects about running I am going to use http://www.seattlepirun.com. Here you will find shoe reviews, race updates and interviews. Stuff like that.
Run Happy Run Hard will be more about my running and how I use running to help me get through this journey called life. It will make for some interesting reading. Really.
On May 30th, Clark Gilbert started on a running journey that would change his life. Leaving Vernal, Utah at 6:00 am, Clark ran 167 miles, along highway 45, to Steamboat Springs, Colorado – all in 7 days. His journey was a part of the MS Run the US Relay which began on April 12 in Los Angeles, California and will finish on September 6 in New York City, New York. The Relay’s purpose is to raise awareness and money to better understand multiple sclerosis and to find a cure. The Relay includes 16 runners who ran a marathon each day of their segment.
Clark is at it again. On August 31 he will leave Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania and run to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Stopping at the shore of the Hudson River, overlooking New York City, on September 4. His total mileage, after 5 days of running, will be close to 150 miles. This will be the last long segment of the Relay before the grand finale, where Ashley Kumlien (MS Run the US Relay organizer) runs while pushing her MS stricken mother, and joined by other relay runners, up and over the Hudson River into downtown New York City.
Clark is doing this to support conquering a disease that affects many people in San Juan County, as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest. “I am running to serve others” said Clark. “There are too many who can’t walk through their homes without some type of aid. These are who I think about when I feel like I can’t run another step.”
Visit www.runhappyrunhard.com for up-to-date information on Clark’s second run as well as his writings from his first adventure.
To donate to help develop an understanding and find a cure for MS, please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/msruntheus/clarkgilbert.