Category: Running

Apr 28 2020

Run A Virtual 5k With Me On Sunday May 3rd

The Second Wind Fund of Boulder County is hosting a Virtual 5k run on Sunday.

Second Wind Fund of Boulder County has a mission to decrease the incidence of suicide in children and youth by removing the financial and social barriers to treatment.

We are dealing with three crises right now: health, financial, and mental health. The first two are getting most of the attention, but I anticipate an increasing societal focus on the third, which results from the first two.

Amy and I are supporting a number of organizations doing things around mental health. I especially like supporting events like the Virtual Emerge Family 5k since they combine a bunch of things:

  • Financial support for a non-profit addressing mental health issues – in this case raising money to prevent youth suicide
  • Physical exercise in a virtual event that we can participate in – separately and together
  • Something different over the weekend that resembles something I might have done in the non-Covid world, but adapted for the Covid world

I haven’t been running much lately so I’ll use this week to train for my first 5k in a while. Join me!

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Mar 2 2020

The Amazing Molly Seidel

Her first Marathon. Second place in the Olympic Trials. She’s now heading to the Olympics as part of Team USA.

I don’t know Molly. I first heard about her yesterday when watching a video of the US Olympic Marathon Trials. As I watched her run, I could see both joy and grit on her face.

This is what sportsmanship looks like (Aliphine Tuliamuk cheering on Molly Seidel a few moments after crossing the finish line in first place.)

Molly is incredibly inspirational, not only in this performance but in her return to competitive running. Since I’d never heard of her, the internets helped me learn a lot more about how The Olympic Marathon Trials Are Just the Start of Molly Seidel’s Comeback.

Injuries. Disorded eating. Obsessive compulsive disorder. Two jobs while training. A sacral stress fracture after an event that caused a teammate to say:

“You look like you’re dying,” Seidel remembers her friend saying. “You need to get help.”

The quote from the NYT article that made me smile over and over with inspiration was:

In the hours after her performance, she repeated the same thing a handful of times. “What is happening?” she said, looking upward, shaking her head, struggling to contain the smile stretched across her face.

Molly – count me as a new fan.

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Oct 24 2019

Charles River Scooter AI Video Game

I had a nice run this morning around the Charles River. It’s a version of a run I’ve done many times in the past when I used to live here.

There was one “category” of problem, which I’ll refer to as the Scooter-Bike challenge.

I started at 8:52am, which was at the absolute peak of the “rush to get to work/class/wherever” experience. I didn’t think much about it as I often run at this time in Colorado and rarely notice any humans.

I started at the Charles Hotel, turned right, and headed toward the Charles River zone. 30 years ago, I would have noticed the cars, but not thought much about anything else.

I hit a wall of scooters coming at me with humanoids on them. There were a few bikes, but most were in the street. But the scooters were on the sidewalk. Going 20+ miles per hour. Right at me. In a wall.

I immediately realized that I was in an AI video game called Scooter Bike Runner Survivor. Kind of like rock paper scissors, but involving actual humans. The AIs were controlling us from a parallel universe, kind of the way I used to play Defender or Tempest.

The first fifteen minutes of the run were nuts. I figured that when I got over the bridge onto the Charles River loop paralleling Storrow Drive it would calm down. Nope.

When I crossed the BU Bridge at the halfway point, I hit another wall of treachery. This time it was cyclists who decided that the bridge, sidewalk, and path was a lot more fun to be on than Memorial Drive. There were a few stretches of human-created single track next to the sidewalk that regularly ended abruptly with big orange cones blocking them.

I’m safely back in my room having survived Scooter Bike Runner Survivor, but I’ve recalibrated my expectation around a casual bridge loop around 9am.

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Oct 14 2019

The Roger Federer of Marathoning

Eliud Kipchoge runs on his way to break the historic two hour barrier for a marathon in Vienna, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although it will not count as a world record. The Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt. (Jed Leicester/The INEOS 1:59 Challenge via AP)

I love the idea that Eliud Kipchoge is the “Roger Federer of Marathon Running.”

If you are a marathoner or a fan of the marathon, you likely know how amazing Kipchoge is. If you don’t, following is his marathon performance history.

The performance level – both time and place – is almost unfathomable in contemporary sports. It’s reflective of Roger Federer in general, or Rafa Nadal, especially on clay.

While I don’t know Kipchoge, I’ve been hearing for a while about how wonderful he is as a human. This New Yorker profile prior to him running the INEOS 1:59 Challenge was beautifully written and included the line:

He is, perhaps, the sport’s Roger Federer

If you are a tennis fan, you know what this means.

Simply put, in addition to being an extraordinary athlete, he is a human that wants to use his success to make a substantial positive impact on the life of other humans on this planet.

The hashtag that he uses on Twitter is #NoHumanIsLimited. I have deep appreciation for that.

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Mar 29 2019

Going Home Without A Medal

Sunday is the Knoxville Marathon. My plan was to run it, collect the finisher medal that has become part of the marathon ritual, eat whatever I wanted for dinner on Sunday night, and head home Monday morning.

Amy and I are heading home today. While some aspects of our week in Knoxville have been good, I came down with a nasty cold early in the week. I hoped it would only last a day or so, but each day has been worse than the previous day so we decided to bail yesterday.

Knoxville is a neat town. We stayed downtown and mostly wandered between the hotel and the area at Market and Gay. I was heads down all week working, writing with Ian, procrastinating from writing with Ian, and sleeping, so we didn’t explore much, other than a day trip to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

The deep nerd in me enjoyed seeing the fastest computer in the world. MDF was 3D printer experimentation heaven. Everyone in Knoxville was super friendly and accommodating. There’s a burgeoning foodie scene here and even though my taste buds stopped working on Tuesday, Amy and Ian said the food was delicious.

My favorite moment of the trip was when someone asked me if I was running the Covenant or the Barkley.

In the category of “try again next year”, I may be back in Knoxville in 2020.

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Dec 17 2018

Ramping Up For A March 2019 Marathon

My running is going well so I’ve decided to do the Knoxville Marathon on 3/31/19.

I’m putting a running team together for this, so if you are interested in being part of it, the only requirement is that you commit to doing the Knoxville Marathon. If you are interested, email me.

2018 was a tough running year for me. I was injured in the spring (calf injury) and then again in the summer through the fall (bone bruise). I’ve only managed 290 miles for the year (I’ll break 300, but that’s less than 30% of my norm for a year.)

However, the last four weeks of running have been solid:

  • miles / week: 11.5, 11.5, 12.4, 17.6
  • TSS / week 147, 154, 203 478

Distance is improving and pace is improving.

I love running at the time of the year, especially when it’s 50 degrees and sunny in Boulder.

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Mar 4 2018

Roger Bannister’s Sub-Four-Minute Mile

If you are a runner, then I expect Sir Roger Bannister is one of your heroic figures (as he is one of mine.) He died today at 88.

Enjoy his narration of the video of him running the first sub-four-minute mile. It’s delightful.

I love his number (41) – a prime, and somehow signaling something about the first sub-four-minute mile, along with Chataway’s 42 (the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.)

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Oct 8 2017

Marathon #25: Run Crazy Horse in South Dakota

I finished marathon #25 today and checked South Dakota off the list. I ran it with ten friends (nine of us did the marathon, two did the half) who were all part of my Chorus team that I started in June.

While this was one of the most enjoyable marathon weekends that I’ve had, it was a rough marathon for me. I finished it in a personal worst of 5:58:26 (gun time right at 6:00:00 – the clock said 5:59:59, but the website says 6:00:00.)

Things went wrong almost from the beginning. The weather was in the low 30s so I couldn’t decide whether to wear pants or just run in shorts. I was hot in the first mile and my stomach was rumbling. At mile three, we looped back around to the start so I went into the Crazy Horse Visitor Center, took my pants off, and took a five-minute bathroom break to make sure I was empty. The Visitor Center was warm, so when I went outside to start running again I immediately stiffened up. At least my gut felt better.

I caught up with my friend Mahendra (co-author with me of Startup Boards). I had planned to run the race alone, but I settled into a nice pace with him as we comfortably cruised through a long downhill section (that we knew we’d have to turn around and come back up later, but well – that was later.)

Around mile 8 I had a sharp pain in my left calf. I never get cramps, so this startled me and I limped on it for fifteen or so seconds. When I realized that it was seizing up, I stopped to stretch it out, but the damage was done. I didn’t have a pain free step on my left leg for the rest of the marathon.

Mahendra was awesome. Instead of going ahead, he waited with me for a minute while the cramp subsided. We walked for a few minutes until I felt like I could run again. We then ran side by side for the remaining 18 miles. A marathon typically gets difficult for me between mile 15 and 20. Today’s was hard for the last 18 miles. That’s a long way to be uncomfortable.

The downhill segment went from mile 4 to mile 10, where there was a turnaround point. Amy was at the turnaround and as she saw me coming she asked if I was ok. Apparently, my gait was off enough that it was noticeable.

For a moment, I thought about calling it quits. I’ve finished every marathon I’ve started and given the Chorus team activity, I quickly got over my doubt about staying on the course. Mahendra (standing to the right of me) and I said goodbye to Amy and started back uphill.

After seven miles, we crested the hill. By mile 17 we were both pretty done and were just shuffling through each mile. The course was extremely well crewed, which was great, but the snow started around mile 17 and by the end we were cold, wet, and mildly manic. When we turned the last corner and saw 5:59:00 on the clock, I told Mahendra to get moving since I didn’t want the clock to hit 6:00 (even though we had 90 seconds or so banked from the start.) We crossed the line right at 5:59:59.

The amazing thing was the performance of Team Chorus in this race. The marathon winner, Jason Burke, was on our team, as were #5 (Winter Mead) and #6 (Gary Ditsch – my coach). On the women’s side, one of our teammates Lou Anderson came in 14th.

Everyone else turned in impressive times. Ryan Martens finished (his first marathon!) in 4:14:37 (with Lou). Christina Sollenberger also finished her first marathon in 4:35:02. And Donna Miller finished her first marathon in 5:04:52. Bryan Oki finished his first half marathon in 2:00:02 and Davis Godbout got his first half marathon done in in 1:47:11.

As we had a post-race meal and told race stories, we all agreed how much Chorus had helped us on both our training and motivating us for the race. I have some new friends for life. While not a great marathon for me, it was a great weekend.

And Amy – you are the most awesome marathon sherpa ever!

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Sep 2 2017

Running From Aspen to Basalt

I’m running my 25th marathon in South Dakota on 10/8/17. My training has been going well and I’m now in a zone of 30+ miles a week with a long run once a week in the high teens.

Today’s run from Aspen to Basalt was the best run I’ve had in over a year.

Just under a year ago, I did this same run in 4 hours. So, I’m in significantly better shape, which makes me happy since my October 2016 Marathon in Portland, Oregon was a debacle.

A three and a half hour run gives my brain plenty of roaming around time. I like to run naked (no headphones, no music) so the thoughts just drift around. My friend Matt Bencke was in my head a lot on this run. Houston and Hurricane Harvey floated around. The red mountains that I was surrounded by frequently caught my attention. I said hello to a bunch of cyclists and a few horses. Random company stuff made its way to the surface. I noticed lots of crawling bugs and scurrying animals. A bunch of jets flew overhead delivering people to Aspen for the weekend. I thought of Amy a lot.

On a run like this, I need more than two water bottles. I’ve been trying different running backpacks and finally found one I like – the Nathan VaporAir Race Vest. Yup – I’ve got a pile of others (from Camelback, Osprey, and Patagonia) all collecting dust in various closets. The Nathan VaporAir is a keeper.

In the photo above you can see Amy, in her Range Rover, waiting patiently for me at the end of my run (just after the bridge that crosses over 82.) She’s an amazing sherpa for my running, always bringing me a clean shirt, stuff to eat and drink, and transportation back to wherever I started. We went and got a pizza at New York Pizza in El Jebel before heading home. We’re on the couch watching Nadal vs. Mayer, Amy is knitting, and I’m typing.

Today is a day to treasure. Just like all of them, no matter what is going on.

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Jun 20 2017

Join My Chorus Marathon Team

I’m going to run my next marathon in October. I haven’t chosen it yet, but I’m getting close to deciding which one I want to do. And – I’m looking for some help on my training.

Early this year, we invested in Dick Costolo’s new company, Chorus. Some of you know Dick from Twitter, where he was CEO for four years. But you may not remember that before he was at Twitter, he was at Google, and before that, he was the CEO / co-founder of Feedburner, where we were one of the investors and I was on the board.

I loved working with Dick at Feedburner. When he joined Twitter as COO (and then CEO), I was happy for Twitter but sad that I didn’t get to work with him on a regular basis. If you are connecting the dots, you’ll remember that Twitter bought Gnip, where Chris Moody was CEO. Moody worked for Dick for a year before Dick left Twitter and now Moody and Dick get to work again since Moody has joined Foundry Group.

It’s a delightfully small world.

But – back to the help I’m looking for. I’m interested in having up to 24 people join my marathon team on Chorus. If you are a regular runner who is game to get on a training plan with a goal of running a marathon in October, you qualify. You’ll get to be an early pre-beta Chorus user (it’s somewhere between alpha and beta right now), give feedback on it, and be part of my next marathon gang. Oh, and you need to have an iPhone, as it’s iOS only for now.

If you are interested in being part of my Chorus Marathon Team, email me.

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