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

Tag Archives: winter running

I know. You read the title and chuckled. Everyone does. It’s the Swedish word fartlek. Not fart lick, even though they sound the same. Fartlek means “speed play.” In the running world, any time you mix hard/fast running with a rest period it is considered a fartlek. What makes it different from speed training is that a fartlek is not as structured. I mean, doing speed training on the track might be something like 4 sets of 1 mile with 400m recovery.

A fartlek would be more like running a 7 mile loop, then running for 1 minute at a pace faster than race pace. Next, run for a 1 minute recovery. Or, you could run really hard from one power/telephone pole to the next, then recover. You do that for 5 miles, then run a cool down mile and call the day “good.”

I have found fartleks good in developing both speed and endurance while being a somewhat pleasant experience. Meaning one isn’t just running circles around a track for miles. Fartleks can be a fun way groups can speed train together. For example you have 10 runners running in line and at every minute the runner in the back sprints up to the front and takes the lead. This type of fartlek would be repeated for miles and miles.Not only a great way to build speed and endurance, but a great way to make and develop friendships. My running friends all love me for the crazy ways I come up to train.


I have had this idea for awhile to have a running term of the week. My friend and running buddy, Stan The Wine Man, has a wine term of the day, that he posts on www.blucid.com. By reading his definitions you can really develop an understanding of wine. One thing I do know is that Stan The Wine Man knows his wine.

I know running. Been running for, well, let’s say a while. I have ran on both road and trails, plus many loops around the track. I have also ran every race distance up to 50 miles. I coached others as well. My life’s passion is running. Pure and simple.

In honor of my love and knowledge I bring to you “Running Term of the Week”. Ta-da!

This week our term will be “Running”.

My definition of running is pretty simple – its the motion produced by the rapid movement of the feet. Not to be confused with the Fox Trot or the East Coast Swing, where rapid feet movement is a requirement. In order to really run one does need feet. Most mammals and lizards qualify. Slugs do not. Birds and frogs may hop. Snakes, well they slither.

Rapid movement of one’s feet is purely speculative and personal. Some people, like my old, dear friend Steve. Steve considered himself a runner even though he was slow, by his own omission, as sin. He, in my mind, was more of a plodder. After running with Steve a few times I realized that speed had no bearing on the question if someone is really a runner or not. Like I said it’s personal. Steve considered himself a runner. I was always honored to run with him. Slow speeds and all. Steve is now dead. Lost the battle with prostate cancer.Long may you run, Steve. Long may you run.

It’s like the old saying “as you think you shall become” or as the Bible says, “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you (man or woman) think you are a runner and are spending time every day running, then you are a runner. No mater how fast or how slow. One foot in front of the of the other in rapid motion is running. Pure and simple.

Large creatures lurk in strange places. One needs to be prepared.

People tell me that they could never be a runner. I tell them if they had something very big chasing them they would become a runner pretty quick. They agree. Granted, they would still be lunch or dinner depending on the time of day they were being chased. They would at least be giving running the good ole college try. For a block or two.

Next week we will explore the difference between running and jogging.


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.


And ran 15 miles yesterday.

It’s part of my training for the MS Run the US Relay. During the relay I will be running 24 miles days for 7 days. I have many miles to run until May 24 the day that I will start running in Vernal, UT heading to Steamboat Springs, CO.

I have a new buddy, Bill Sinak. He ran 21 miles yesterday. He lives in St. Louis, MO. I have not actually met him, but have gotten to know him through social media and emails. He seems like a cool guy. Here is a nice article about him – Heros. When my Relay segment ends, his begins. I will meet him then. He promises to have a cold beer ready for me. How cool is that? Bill is running 200 miles. In 9 days. Now, how cool is that???

I admire Bill Sinak. Not for the fact that he promises me a beer or that he will be running 200 miles. I admire him for his training and his commitment to participate in this Relay. Bill has MS so he understands things on a deeper level than I do.

Bill Sinak also inspires me. He and I are probably the oldest runners participating. I am 59 and Bill is a youngster at 49. You would think we would have more sense. I keep an eye on Bill’s training. When I don’t feel like running I think of what Bill is doing or has done.

Looking forward to meeting you Bill.

There are 16 of us runners who are participating in the MS Run The US Relay. I have not met any of them. I do know they are all very cool people and they inspire me. I will tell you more about them over the next few weeks.

Our Fearless Leader for the MS Run the US is Ashley Kumlien. Fearless is actually a weak descriptor. Ashley is awesome. Ashley founded the MS Run the US as a way to fund-raise for MS research and education. Ashley’s mom, Jill, has MS.

Ashley inspires me as well. A few years ago she ran the entire distance from Los Angeles, CA to New York City, NY as away to increase awareness of MS. Rumor is she wanted to continue to England, but the Atlantic Ocean became an issue.

Ashley has all this positive energy and puts smiley faces in her Tweets and emails. She is very cool. I admire her as well. I also like to give her a hard time. Comes with the territory of being a Fearless Leader.

Looking forward to meeting you Ashley.

I started this piece telling you that I ran 11 miles today. It seems I wandered off my course, so to speak. While I was running, about mile 8, my feet began to feel tender. Not painful, but just that tenderness that says “us feet down here are doing all this work for you”. My feet are good workers. I reward them by wearing Brooks PureFlow shoes. My feet likes Brooks. This tenderness started me thinking about the people I know or know of who are dealing with MS. Some can’t walk with out a cane or a walker. Some are in wheelchairs. They all share the fact that they live with pain. I can put up with a little tenderness.

These most wonderful people inspire me. This is the reason I am doing what I am doing – preparing to run for this cause. Running for them and for myself. Long May We Run!

You can help by donating towards MS Education and Research. We all appreciate any help you can offer.

Clark Gilbert

March 3, 2013


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


Four weeks of dealing with this cold, which caused my running to come to a near halt.  Well, I did stop for a couple of weeks to put this thing to rest.

This week I have run three days.  Slow and easy.  I feel the effects of having my training interrupted.  Very happy that I was able to get out and run.  Normally I can run through a cold, but this cold was an other beast.

What do you do?  Keep running or take the time in rest?

Clark


I realize that I used the “W” word – Winter.  I am dragging and kicking against the changing seasons.  Soon Winter will be here.  Here are my time tested Winter Tips.

  • Dress warm, but not over dress as you don’t want the sweaty clothes to cool you down.
  • Always wear a hat.
  • Don’t forget to drink liquids.
  • When running on the roads, always run towards the traffic and run as close to the edge of the road that you can. The footing is, mostly, better there than anywhere else on the roads, except for dry pavement or a good sanded road.
  • Run slower and keep your foot striking light.
  • Land on the center of the foot and move forward. Landing on the heels will lead to a bad slip, as your center of gravity is behind you. Landing mid-foot will keep your center of gravity over your feet, which is the best for traction.
  • Running down steep declines should be run with the “toe jamming” technique. Toe jamming is where you point your toes downhill and put your weight forward, which keeps the center of gravity over the foot. This is a great downhill running technique for trail running as well.
  • Wear clothes that will make you visible to oncoming traffic.
  • Always keep aware of oncoming traffic and realize they might not control of their automobile.
  • No, these temperatures will not freeze your lungs (I have spent too many miles running in 20 below temps), though the air is drier than what we are use to, which means you might feel a raspy throat and dry sinuses. You can combat this by wearing a mask, scarf or bandanna over your mouth and nose. This will help you get moisture, from the breath, in your in-breath.


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