Tag Archives: United States

Why do you Run?

Sanctuary of Oropa from Flickr

We all have different reasons for our running, but many of us run to get away from life for a short moment.  Maybe it is the routines of our life that we are trying to get away from.  When you run maybe you become a different person, soaring above the ground as a super hero or something…  Maybe when you run you can’t stop, Forest Gump style! What do all of these have in common?


Keep reading, what was the first thing that popped into your mind? Most likely it was the image of a church sanctuary or maybe a wildlife sanctuary.  What is a sanctuary? Webster gives it several definitions, but the ones I like and are the most relevant are a consecrated place or a place of refuge.

Continuing with my reading of Running – the Sacred Art, Warren Kay shares the story of Henri Nouwen, a Roman Catholic Priest and spiritual writer.  Nouwen took some time away from work deadlines to find rest at a monastery.  As his time there was ending he realized that nothing would have changed when he left so he talked to the head monk about it.  Their solution was that Nouwen needed to spend time in prayer every day (a lot of time actually, 90 minutes).  This would allow him to “create his own sanctuary in the midst of his everyday life” (pg 52).

Warren shares this story because well-known runner and author George Sheehan uses this story as an example of how running can be like finding your own sanctuary amidst the crowds and the hustle and bustle of daily life.  Running…

… is a place

… takes you out of the often mind-numbing cycle of everyday routine

… is a place you can go to regardless of where you are

… can be your sanctuary.

Kay says that “our runs can also be our sanctuary if we intentionally incorporate ritual into our routine” (pg 56). He suggests taking one run a week and making it a “sanctuary run”, do something a little different and truly focus on getting away.  He suggest making it a ritual and including these elements:

  • A special time
  • A special place
  • Music (before, during, or after)
  • Other activities (such as reading scripture, praying, or meditating)
  • Reading your journal
  • Finding a good pace (I’d call it a cruising pace)
  • Focus (on a poem, song, scripture, etc)
  • Write (after the run take some time to reflect)

That is a lot of elements to include in any given workout but I like the idea of trying to create a focused time to get away.  The biggest draw back that I see is that this might become just another routine or rut that you’ll fall into.  Running is a great form of sanctuary, but for me it is more important to occasionally shake things up and not run with my mp3 player or watch and just relax and enjoy it.

Some of my best “sanctuary runs” were unplanned and just kind of happened.  I don’t think Kay would say there is anything wrong with that but he is just offering some tips to make it easier or more likely to happen.

What do you think about “sanctuary runs”?  Or running for sanctuary??

[tags] Sacred Art, Running, Spiritual, Warren Kay, Sanctuary [/tags]

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Finish Line in Sight – Go Vote!

After what has really become a marathon election season – the finish line is finally in sight.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on metaphors or make any profound policy statements, but who will make the best president for runners?  I haven’t heard anything about their policies in relationship to my running.  Will my times improve under a McCain presidency or an Obama one?

My guess is that since Obama is part Kenyan, that he’d be more inclined to support runners and help improve my time.  Or maybe McCain’s small government conservatism would reduce some of the beaurcratic weight off my shoulders and I could knock off a few minutes…

But seriously… make sure that you get out and vote today (unless you already did, then stay home and don’t vote 2x’s).  We each have personal convictions and beliefs that guide our decision and we are so fortunate to be able to vote that everyone should stand in line and make their choices.

If you vote your convictions and have a rational reason for your choice than we can be friends still, even if our votes differ.  Just don’t be a hater and be mean towards those who disagree.

One last time – GO VOTE!

[tags] 2008 Election [/tags]

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Week in Review

Lake Superior - Landsat image

Image via Wikipedia

Happy Monday! As I write this I’m relaxing at home after a fun-filled weekend of camping along Wisconsin’s “North Coast”.  That’s Lake Superior for most of us.  We wanted to get a last fall camping trip in before the really cold weather hit.  It got cold but our campsite was right on the lake which was perfect!  The campground we stayed at was primitive and Lake Superior was cold back in the summer time… so I didn’t run at all over the weekend but we did bike 17 miles and hike around a little bit.

On the running side, I doubled my mileage from last week… all the way up to 7 whole miles!

On Wednesday I did an easy 3.5 miles around Powderhorn Park.  The weather was pretty near perfect, just at 40 degrees.  It was a nice relaxing run.  On Thursday morning before we left I ran just over 4 miles while I ran some errands downtown.  I had left my YWCA membership card at the downtown desk, so I ran there and picked it up.  Then I ran to the AAA office to see if they had any information about Bayfield, Wisconsin or the area in general.  I then had the interesting task of running home while carrying a Tourbook.  It was another beautiful morning and a nice run.  I probably got some weird looks while running home and I know the lady at AAA was wondering why I was sweating.

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 7.5 miles

Biking – 24 miles

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Race Review: Twin Cities Marathon

So here is a more traditional race review.  It won’t be as long since I’ve already talked about most of the race yesterday: Grading the Race Plan.


I was going to jog/walk the mile to the start but when I awoke to rain, I scratched that idea and had Christy drop me off at the Metrodome. I dropped my bag and hung out with my fellow MDRA classmates.  Nathan and I did a short jog before getting into the corrals.  I would agree with his assessment that the corral was really narrow and oddly laid out.  The Star Spangled Banner started playing as we were walking through the narrow area.  Some people had stopped to respect the song while others barged past.  I think there was a little confusion because I heard several people ask what was happening.  I don’t think people realized that the wheelchair event started 10 minutes before the marathon.


I won’t go over too much more since I covered most of it yesterday.  But here are my splits.

Here is the official data:

bib number: 430
age: 27
gender: M
location: Minneapolis, MN
overall place: 728 out of 7966
division place: 188 out of 977
gender place: 631 out of 4803
time: 3:25:54
pace: 7:51
chip time: 3:25:42
5k: 22:48
10k: 44:53
half: 1:34:58
30k: 2:16:42
20 mile: 2:27:26

Now here are my splits from my Garmin uploaded into various software Sportstracks on the left Motion Based in the middle and Garmin Training Center on the right (more on this at a later date):

Mile Sporttrack MotionBased Garmin TC
1 7:11 7:27 7:27
2 7:28 7:29 7:29
3 6:55 6:53 6:53
4 7:30 7:30 7:30
5 7:00 7:00 7:00
6 7:03 7:03 7:03
7 7:11 7:10 7:10
8 7:11 7:11 7:11
9 7:16 7:18 7:18
10 & 11 14:19 14:21 14:02
12 7:30 7:29 7:29
13 7:17 7:17 7:17
14 7:25 7:25 7:25
15 7:19 7:20 7:20
16 7:29 7:29 7:29
17 7:28 7:28 7:28
18 7:41 7:42 7:42
19 7:50 7:50 7:50
20 7:56 7:56 7:56
21 9:28 9:31 9:31
22 9:05 9:04 9:04
23 10:17 10:17 10:17
24 & 25 19:37 19:32 19:32
26 8:16 8:15 8:15
26.2 1:49 1:36 1:36
3:25:43 3:25:43 3:25:42

I’m sure some disparities jumped out at you.But overall it gives you a good idea of how things went.  I’m not sure if I missed the mile markers or if I pushed the button, but not hard enough.  It was cold enough that I had trouble getting my hands to function!

I was amazed at the crowd support all morning – even through the torrential downpours.  I caught up to the 3:10 pace group right around the mile 7 water stop.  This was a narrow area on the trail and it was a huge walls of people cheering and lining the course and then bam into the back of the pace group.  It felt really crowded and almost claustrophobic. This was the only time that I really felt the largeness of the marathon.

I think the loneliest parts were around Nokomis, which is around the 1/2 point.  I think that is also the point that I started realizing that I was in a little pain.  Summit Ave was agony, but I expected that! I also wasn’t expecting how much pain I would be in at the very end. I thought the adrenaline rush of the final hill and straight stretch would carry me… everything hurt and every inch of me wanted to stop running – except for the finish banner up ahead.

A friend suggested that I say a prayer at every mile and since I am running in honor of my African friends that I say a prayer for them.  It was a good idea and I did pray off and on at different mile markers.  I should have done more in the second half when I was in pain and hurting – but that didn’t come to mind then.  It may have helped some, if nothing else it would have reminded me that my pain is temporary and in a few days I’ll feel no ill effects of the marathon.  But the pain that my friends feel each day is real with no end in sight.  An interesting thought…

Post Race

After crossing the finish line I remember getting my medal and foil blanket before shuffling around towards the food.  I grabbed a bunch of the random and good food that they had.  I talked with Steve who had finished 20 minutes before me but was still standing around talking to people in the finish chute.  He recommended the hot chicken broth to reheat and re-salt me a little bit.  I felt pretty terrible but was pleased that I must have looked good enough that the thousands of medical staff weren’t that interested in me! Many people looked a lot worse than I felt.  I kept wanting to sit down but knew that was bad and kept shuffling… got my finisher’s shirt and picked up my clothes.

Changing into a dry shirt and getting pants on was a little bit of a chore, but it felt oh so good.  I wore my Teva sandels after struggling to get my shoes and socks off!  I finally got everything together and meandered out to find my wife and friends.  They were all excited to see me and we slowly made our way to the cars – which were in the Sears lot.  That seemed like a pretty long little journey as I shuffled around trying not to make any sudden moves!

So I guess that is the review.  TCM did a great job all around making sure there was plenty of support along the course and at the finish line.  The people of the Twin Cities really came out in full force to make sure we felt the love.  I missed much of the beauty of the course due to rain or tiredness, but it is pretty dang pretty!

[tags] Minneapolis, Twin Cities, St Paul, Twin Cities Marathon, Marathon, Race Review[/tags]

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Can You Run Across America?

Do you have what it takes to run across the entire country? Probably not for most of us.  But Charlie Engle and Marshall Ulrich are planning to run across our great country from San Francisco to New York City while filming a documentary called Running America. It sounds like a great project as Engle and Ulrich make the long journey they will be running with running celebrities and average runners from every walk of life.

That’s right if you live near or are able to drive to their route across the country you might be able to be apart of their documentary.  I went through some of the initial steps, but they aren’t coming near Minnesota at all.  They will be going through Indiana and Ohio though.   You can see their full route which has a lot of Super 8 hotels on it!  Super 8 is one of their main sponsors. The route tends to skip around major metro areas, but gets pretty close. The run begins on Sept 12 and finishes on Oct 27.

If you are interested in being a part of the documentary go to the Screentest website where you can “audition”.  It is basically filling out a questionarrie and submitting your application.  If you have trouble finding it you can click here to be taken to the Running America Screentest page. It does appear there is a $3.95 charge to submit your application to be reviewed (not really sure where it goes).

Here are the bios of the two main characters:

Charlie Engle

has run through some of the most forbidding terrain on the planet and has learned many lessons about life along the sway. With a lot of determination and the ability to endure hardships in every way, Charlie has moved from a life of drugs and alcohol to a life of understanding and learning to live with himself. After many years of sobriety, he has become a top athlete, spokesperson and philanthropist.

Marshall Ulrich

is the only person in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Extreme Sports: world class ultra runner, record setting adventure racer, and Seven Summits mountaineer. His specialty is competing in extreme conditions including desert and adventure racing, as well as mountaineering. Marshall has: * Completed over 116 ultra marathons averaging over 100 miles each. * Completed 12 expedition length adventure races, including all nine Eco Challenge adventure races – something only two other people in the world have done. * Reached the summit of each of the Seven Summits, including Mount Everest, all on first attempts.

Are you going to or have you already signed up to join the documentary? Let us know.

[tags] Running America, documentary, Marshall Ulrich, Charlie Engle [/tags]

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