General running information and thoughts from a guy who has gone around the track too many times.

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Wow! After a thousand plus miles of running and countless number of calories eaten and burned I am nearing my time to run for the MS Run the US Relay. In 10 days I will start running from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Some 170 miles. Give or take. May it be the take. I have 7 days to run all this which is very close to running a marathon (26.2 miles) per day for those 7 days. All my training and preparation is coming down to the wire. This is when I put everything on the line and experience what I think will be an epic experience. At least I hope it is an epic experience and not something I put on my “Seemed Like A Good Idea” list. It’s a long list too.

This training journey of mine has been very positive for me. My running has been nothing but pure joy. No aches or pains to speak of. Oh, I had some adjustments to make, but for the most part, everything is going smoothly. Training for the Relay has also given me the opportunity to spend quality time with my running friends. Thank you Susan, Stan, Brendan, Paul, Randy and Brian for your help and support. Shelly, my wife, redesigned our eating to ensure that I had the energy needed to log weekly miles of over 60, 70 and 80 miles per week. Thank you Shelly. Besides eating good food to fuel to my body, I have also dropped over 45 pounds. Thank you J.J. Virgin and a whole lot of running. This whole experience has left me feeling great, much like I did when I was in my 20′s.

With 10 days to go my thoughts move from running to packing to, well, so many things that I need to do. Lists to make. All things to keep me moving forward.

As far as my running for this week is concerned I have 2 goals. (1) to run, but to run with the intention of recovery and relaxation. (2) Not to injure or hurt myself. Just last week while running trails with friends I let myself go and started pushing my pace. Flying over roots, rocks and stumps. Then I realized that I couldn’t afford to trip and hurt myself. I have been cautiously running since.

10 days to go and tomorrow will be 9. Time moves forward and so must I. Stay tuned.

Clark

PS Thursday night is Wine Tasting for MS at 5.

PSS to donate to the cause of finding a cure for MS, visit here.


First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have given to the cause of MS research and education a very BIG THANK YOU for your donations. I do appreciate it.

What a week this has been in the world of running and life here in our country. The bombs at the Boston Marathon were so shocking to me. I was shocked to tears. My heart goes out to all those and their families who have been directly affected by such violence. To add to that, West, Texas is dealing with their own sadness and disbief from the explosion that rocked their town. My heart goes out to them as well.
Here on San Juan Island live has been quiet. Seems all I do is to run, go to work and run some more. Shelly is most wonderful in her support and ensuring that I am getting my nutritional needs met.
The past two weeks I have logged over 80 per week. 87 last with week, which was done with help of a 35 mile run last Sunday. My training partner, Susan, and I logged the distance in 7 hours. Thank you Susan for your help and support on these extra long distances. Today Susan, Brendan and I ran a good solid 20 miles what gave me 81 weekly miles. Nice to have some sunshine in the process. Nice to have nice running buddies as well.
Yesterday I had a brief panic attack as I was counting the weeks until I start my Relay segment. Basically I have 4.5 weeks until I start my 163 miles journey in Vernal, Utah. Wow, that’s not all that far off. This coming week my mileage will move up over 100. I plan on running 100 plus miles every week until I reach Vernal. I am very happy with how my training has gone thus far. The next 4 weeks of running should be the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Next Sunday, April 28, Susan and I will be running the Mt. Si 50 Miler. This will be good training as well. Any time running is going to be very beneficial for me.
Want to look at a map that explains my route from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, take a peak here.
Well, that’s about it. Stay tuned to more fun and games.
Clark
ps If you are wondering what in the world I am doing, please see below.

Image

Clark Gilbert 

Segment 6 

 Some of you might have seen on my web site (www.runhappyrunhard.com) or on the various social media networks that I have taken on a new challenge in 2013.  I have joined forces with MS Run the US to raise awareness and funds to END MS.  Read about it here ===>  http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/

 On May 24, 2013 I will be running the first of my seventh back-to-back marathons starting in Vernal, UT and concluding in Steam Boat Springs, CO on the  May 30th.

 Crazy right?

 I know.

 It’s definitely not for everyone, however, I feel extremely fortunate that I am in excellent health (all though some might wonder about my mental health) and I am running both long and hard to prepare myself for this epic adventure while representing an incredible charity.

 Along with my pledge to run 7 marathons I have taken on the challenge of fundraising a minimum of $10,000.   (This is where I need your help).

 I am asking all of you for the following help:

  1. Make a Donation Today: http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/ any amount can and will help because 100% of your donation goes to MS Research and Education.  Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 3198, FH, WA 98250.
  2. Share this E-mail: please send this e-mail on to as many of your friends + family as possible.  The broader net we can cast the more people we can reach and the stronger we can grow.
  3. Post on Facebook: “I just donated to, Clark Gilbert, MS Run the US 2013 Relay Runner. Learn more here ===> http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/“.  Copy and paste the sentence before into your status update to help spread the word!
  1. Lend Me Your Network: $10,000 is a large amount of money and I am not expecting my small group of friends and family to donate all of that cash.  I am hoping that we can all look inside our hearts, find the one thing we all have in common, compassion. I appeal to all of you to share with me anyone or any company that might be interested in becoming involved with my crazy adventure and MS Run the US.

I am very excited about this new adventure and working with MS Run the US. I can’t wait to share it with all of you as I share my experiences leading up, during and after my run.  Any help you can provide to myself and MS Run the US is greatly appreciated. Check out my journey at www.runhappyrunhard.com or www.seattlepirun.com.


What a week this has been and it’s only Thursday.

Sadness still lingers in my heart over the Boston Marathon Bombing. When I first learned of the bombing I was shocked to tears. This running was the 20th anniversary of my Boston Marathon Experience. Twenty years ago that Boston Marathon had bombs on their minds as the World Trade Center had been bombed a few months earlier  on February 26. The last few blocks of the Marathon course had been boarded up to keep spectators away from the finish line.

My thoughts and good wishes go out to the victims and their families.

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

This past Sunday Susan and I ran 35 miles in preparation for the Mt. Si 50 miler which is on April 28. Leaving at 5:40 am the air was chilly, but the sky looked promising for sunshine. We ended up running 35 miles in 7:01 with a max elevation of 6,724 feet. I forgot how hilly this island is.

Monday night was Monday Night Trail Running out at American Camp. Susan, Brendan and I ran our 10 mile loop at a pretty good clip – the fastest for me this year. It was a great run in spite of my tripping and falling. I have a couple of scrapes on my knee, elbow and hand. Makes for good stories.

Tuesday was a double day workout. Lunch time I ran 6 mile in 56:56, which I am really proud of. After work I ran the Egg Lake Loop which is 12 miles. My time was 2:04. Both runs had sunshine! Felt so good having the warmth of the sun on my face and back.

The last three days I have run 63 miles, an average of 21 miles per day. This is close to what I will need to run when I am running my MSRuntheUS Relay segment, where I will need to average 23 miles a day for 7 days.

My training is paying off for me. The best thing is that I feel so good. Great even. Amazing what this 59 year old body can do.

Clark


What a great day of running I had yesterday (Thursday, April 11); which was a twice-a-day workout. Morning was cold, I mean I don’t think my gloved fingers ever did warm up. 7 easy miles which took me up and around the airport, out through Fox Hall then a short out and back towards Shipyard cove. Lunch time the sun had come out and I was itching to bag another 6 miles. Warmer temperatures made this run fun and quick. 6 miles for a total of 13 miles total. I am very happy about that.

Friday is planned as an easy day, probably another 6. The sun will probably won’t be my companion. (I am crossing my fingers that the sun beats back the clouds).

Saturday or Sunday will be my extra long run. 32 miles is the plan. I will bring my running pack with water and goodies to eat. Lately I have been experimenting with Saquito energy mix. This long run will be the first time I will have Saquito to munch on. I’ll let you know how they work for me.

If I run on Saturday, then Sunday will be my rest day. Or reversed.

I am doing all this training to prepare myself for the MS Run the US Relay segment, which I start on May 24. I sill have miles to go.

Good running to you!

Clark

 


Since the first of the year I have been training to participate in the MS Run the US Relay. This relay starts in a few weeks and travels from Los Angeles to New York City. Runners like myself run various segments along the coast to coast course. My segment starts on May 24 and ends on May 30. In those seven days I will run from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A total of 163 miles. That’s twenty-three miles per day for seven days.
The goal of MS Run the US Relay is to raise funds for building awareness and research for multiple sclerosis. This disease has stricken so many of our friends and neighbors. To do my part in fighting MS I have set a goal to raise $10,000 by the end of the Relay in September. Running 163 miles in 7 days and raising $10,000 seems like a huge undertaking. It’s an undertaking that I know I can accomplish with your help. I’ll do the running, but I need you to donate.
Please know that your donation does not support any aspect of my run or the running of the Relay. Your donation goes directly to research and educational programs through the National MS Society.
Please take a moment to visit my fund raising page and donate $200.00 or $100.00. Any help given will be appreciated  If you like, please mail me a check, made out to MS Run the US, at P.O. Box 3198, Friday Harbor, WA, 98250.
With your help we can help others who are battling this dreadful disease. You and I can make a huge difference. Please donate!
Over the next 7 weeks I will be posting weekly updates as to how my training is going. This year alone I have run 600 miles!
Take care!
Clark
For more information on the Relay please visit:  MS Run the US.


In a few days we will be celebrating the birth of another year.  Oh Joy!  I like New Years, I really do.  I set all these cool goals and aspirations that I want to focus on and then, after a few weeks, give up on them.  I return to my normal way of life.  For example one goal has been to get up at 5:00 am every morning and running for two hours.  Sounds good to me, until 5:00 am and then nothing sounds good except staying in bed.  Normal people do that; stay in bed that is.

I always start the year with goals of races/events I want to participate in.  How many pounds I want to lose (same pounds each and every year).  I write down how I want to be a better person by not walking slowly across the street when I know a car and driver are in a hurry.  I vow not to place any regular apples in the Organic produce section.  Oh yeah.  I can be evil.

Just last week I was in West Seattle to spend an early Christmas weekend with my son and his family.  I was about to share some great thought of mine, when I received that “don’t say it” look from my daughter-in-law.  The mother of my three grandchildren.   Apparently, last summer, I told my 4 year old grandson a story about how I was trapped in an elevator.  (I thought the story very funny).  Apparently he, until last Sunday, wouldn’t step foot in any elevator, even if his most wonderful mother was trying to handle three kids and numerous sacks of groceries.  Last Sunday we took him with us up and down an elevator to ease his mind.  Thank God we didn’t get stuck.  That would have been bad.  Really bad.

I promise to watch what I say around my grandchildren.  Like that is going to happen.

Back to the New Year.

I have some things that are on my list, like running some type of adventure event once a month.  Yes, getting up at 5:00 am to run does count.  I want to run Nookachamps in January, Orcas Island 25K in February.  March is up in the air.  April will be the Yakima River Skyline 50K – like last year’s spanking wasn’t enough.  May will be the Sun Mountain 50 miler -my goal is to finish in daylight.  Also in May I will be participating in the MS Run Across the US – more on that later.  I also want to run around Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Rainer.  Of course, there will be many Doughnut Runs.

What are you planning on running?

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe.

Have a great New Year!

Clark

ps – meet at 11:30 on New Years Eve at San Juan Fitness for a Run In The New Year Fun.  No fee.


I used to have a yearly tradition of running on New Year’s Eve while the clock struck Midnight.  I always felt that running in the New Year was a good omen for how the year would go; at least in my running world.

My first New Year’s Eve Run happend in 1978 while I was living in Seattle.  The Snohomish Track Club hosted.  We enjoyed each other company while we ran during the late night.  The experience was fun.

Over the years I have done my own New Year’s Eve Run.  Sometimes solo, sometimes with a running buddy or group.  I have had some interesting experiences while doing this.  One year while running by Jensen Shipyard, a couple of boaters, anchored out in the the bay, fired off a few emergency flares.  The sights of these flares parachuting down with the sound of fireworks and gunfire gave the appearance of a scene out of the movie Apocalypse Now.

This New Year’s Eve I will be hosting a small gathering where we will run either four or six miles.  The plan is to leave San Juan Island Fitness at 11:30 pm.  Let me know if you want to join along.


Brooks Running PureFlow 2 (in green).  PureFlow1 in background.

Brooks Running PureFlow 2 (in green). PureFlow1 in background.

I just received my new PureFlow2 from Brooks Running.  Right out of the box they have a nice feel with some nice changes for this version.  Check back in a week for full review.

Clark


Often, I am asked how to improve as a runner.  I give a simple response; run and run more.  That’s all it takes is a daily practice of running.  Running and more running.  Slow running, fast running.  Running up and down hills.

Years ago I use to listen to motivational tapes (yes tapes) by Bob Richards.  Richards is an Olympian Pole Vaulter who earned the gold medal in 1952 and 1956.  For those of us who where born in the 50′s, know Richards as he man selling Wheaties Cereal on TV.   In one of his talks he said something like “if you want to be good at something do it eight hours a day.  If you want to pole vault, then pole vault.  Whatever you want to become spend the time doing it”.   Good wisdom.

Today, go practice those things you want to be good at.

 


Triple Ripple is just fun to say.  Makes the mouth feel good.  Try saying Triple Ripple, Triple Ripple, Triple Ripple really fast and a smile will surely form on your mouth.  Go ahead, try it.

The Triple Ripple isn’t a mouth exercise.  It’s short for Orcas Island Triple Ripple Trail Running Festival, a two day running experience starting on October 13th and ending on the 14th.  Kind of like Woodstock, but much, much, much smaller, less music and more running.  Childhood friends Susanna Beck and Jen Volmer, both living on Orcas Island, came up with the idea as a great way to promote fun and different running events on Orcas Island.  Beck isn’t a stranger to trail running having heaped some whoop ass on many a trail during her elite running career.  Volmer is a grace full runner herself, she just doesn’t know it.  Together they blended their creativity and talents to come up with a two day running festival that looks and sounds more like a running camp.  All centered on Orcas Island.

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If you know me, you would know that I have been a Doughnut Runner for some time.  Running for doughnuts all started as a reward for getting our weekend runs in.  From Friday Harbor the distance to Roche Harbor, where our doughnuts are baked fresh, is a tad over 11 miles.  Bingo, made a good mid-distance run motivation.  Over the years we have added miles, encouraged people to come run with us and have run for doughnuts in rain, sunshine and snow fall.

For the next few months, Paul Hopkins and myself, will be hosting a Sunday morning Doughnut Run, from San Juan Fitness to Roche Harbor.  See the details below and schedule some time for a run.

Clark

Doughnut Run Details

What: 11.2 mile run from San Juan Island Fitness to Roche Harbor Resort.  Open to all levels of runners.

When: Every Sunday morning, starting August 5 at 8:00 a.m. from San Juan Island Fitness

Why: For the love of donuts. And these aren’t just any donuts, these are Roche Harbor doughnuts!

Bring: Water/electrolyes. Some cash for dooughnuts and coffee.Ride back: There are no formal rides back to town.

Entry fee: Free.


Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle is this weekend.  How very cool is that?  I am running the marathon, thanks to Brooks Running and the Inspire Daily Program.  This will be my first RnR Seattle and my second RnR event.  I ran Denver in 2010.  Looks like we will have perfect running weather.

This year’s course looks fun and interesting.  An out-and-back to Mercer Island, around Seward Park, along the waterfront – boy, one will see the sights of Seattle.  If you are planning on attending, I would encourage you to check out the latest web information and see what is new.

If you happen to see me running in my blue Brooks Running “I love running shirt” and Green Silence Shoes, don’t forget to say “hi”.

Run Happy, Run Hard

Clark


Taper.  I really don’t like taper weeks.  I feel like I should be running a ton of miles, but the voice of reason is to rest, avoid injuries and attend to the fine details of the plan.  Come to think of it, I need to order some GU.

Last week I was having an issue with my feet; soreness on the pad behind the big toes on both feet.  I think I have a handle on that and have run over 10 miles with mild tenderness.  Last week there was a point where I thought it best that I not run the 50 miler.  As of May 10, the 50 miler is still my goal and target.

I chatted with James Varner, Race Director of Sun Mountain, and he described the course in more detail which took away some of my stress.  (Yes, this is the same guy who said the Yakima Skyline Rim 50K was “a little rocky”.)  He explained that I need to  conserve energy by walking the hills and then run everything else.  This seems like a good idea to me, but my in my training I ran all my hills, even the steep ones.  Ok, maybe I did walk a couple of really steep hills, but not very often.

The thing about this 50 miler is:  I have never ran this type of event before.  The training approach is so outside my knowledge and experience.  I feel like a child starting first grade.  What do I do and how do I do it?  One could go on-line and find a million training programs for marathon distances and below.  Try to find a training program for a Ultra and you’ll find a picture of a tumbleweed blowing across the wasteland.  I have been training as I see best, but, truth is, I really don’t know what in the hell I am doing.  Long runs, yes.  Time on my feet, yes.  Speed running, yes.  Eating on the run, yes.  Setting a broken arm while continuing to run, still working on that one.  I only have two arms.  This 50 mile run is such a different beast; you train different and you have to think different in order to finish.

Ultramarathon Champion, Scott Jurek, has written ” Listen to and manage the body (hydrate, eat, technique, etc.), and when you think you have nothing left, dig deeper!”  I suppose you could rephrase this to “eat, drink and be merry”, but I don’t think that is the message.  Jurek’s simple statement is ultramarathoning.  It’s all about managing who we are and what we are truly capable of.  Putting one foot ahead of the other and giving the body what it needs to hydrate and nourish it’s self.

Now, let me see if I can do all that in a rapid motion.

 


I have 30 days until Sun Mountain 50 miler is here.

After this Saturday’s event, Yakima Skyline Rim 50K, I will be back to running twice a week long runs.  Plus stretching my weekend longest run up to 35 or 40 miles from it’s 31 miles.  This is the plan I have  been following since I made the mental commitment to run 50 miles.  Since February 28 I have run a total of 10 runs of over 20 miles in length, 3 over 31.  I think I am heading in the right direction.

Shoes have been on my mind recently.  In determining which trail shoes I would wear, I have been alternating being Brooks Pure Grits and Brooks Cascadias.  Both are excellent shoes; although different in build.

The Pure Grits are a most favorite shoe of mine.  In a nutshell they are lightweight, have a 4mm heel to toe drop and have a wider toe box.  Running through the water is not an issue with these shoes as they quickly drain.  Not that I think I will have puddles on the Sun Mountain course, but . . . . one never knows.  Pure Grits just seem to fit me and understand my feet, well, I suppose as much understanding as a pair of shoes can understand.

The Cascadias were my number one trail shoe, until the Pure Grits landed on my feet.  These shoes have a higher, 11mm, heel to toe drop and a much more aggressive sole than the Grits.  They are a tad heavier and seem to have a snugger (not sure this is a true word or not) fit.  They feel fine, but, there is just something that bothers me.    The problem is, I just can’t put my finger or toe on it.

Ultramarathoner and champion, Scott Jurek (who helped develop both shoes for Brooks) spoke last Saturday in Seattle at the REI store.  I was not able to attend, but Laura Houston, Chi Running Instructor, was and asked Scott which shoe he would recommend.  His answer – the Cascadias.  His main point was that it takes time for the calf’s to adjust to running in a lower profile shoe, which I totally agree with.  The calfs need time to adjust for the lower heel drop or else it’s going to strain.  For me I have been running in the Grits since December.  I also have run in the Green Silence, which is a low profiled shoe, without any issues.  I’m not sure if Scott words of wisdom are for me; although, to be safe, I could just wear the Cascadias.

But, I am thinking of going with the Grits – because they are so darn comfortable.  My main worry is that they won’t be a shoe for the long haul of a 50 miler.  For this Saturday’s 50K, I am planning on running for 8 hours and wearing my Pure Grits.  We’ll see how they do.

Run Happy, Run Hard

Clark

ps:  The first running of the Boston Marathon was on April 19, 1897.  Happy Birthday Boston!


Last night Brian G., Susan S., Brendan C., Nick and myself met out at the Y in the road on Roche Harbor Road for some good old trail running.

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