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Friday, December 30, 2011

Unsatisfying Last Run of the Year - 2.1 miles

2.101 miles run
0.25 miles walk
total: 2.351 miles
course: home treadmill

Why so little? Very slow too.

Not enough sleep (all week). Didn't hydrate or eat well. Stress. And residual tiredness from the previous run. Not that complicated. It adds up. 

However, as the last run of 2011, this is still good. I didn't skip it when I didn't feel like it.
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See you in 2012!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Canonized and Funky - 4.727 Miles

4.272 miles run (40:15 - 9:25/mile)
0.500 miles walk

total: 4.772 miles
course: home treadmill

I was not as tight as I expected from the previous run, and, in fact, felt very good. Why? I don't really know, but I'm willing to believe it could be because my overall mileage is still low, my recovery time is two days, and my longest run wasn't especially long.

All of this will accrue, and aching, tired days are ahead if all goes well. Strange to say that but it is true. Stranger still is that I look forward to this. It means I'm still at it. Consistency. I thought about my tea drinking friend. His recent post about preaching tea to the choir has flavors of consistency as well. He sticks at it, keeps trying.

In the meanwhile, regarding tonight, things went well. Spotify was treating me well as I sent songs from iTunes to Spotify (iTunes is not available on my phone, and I'm learning to prefer Spotify). Used an old playlist, and got down to Wild Cherry, finished with a walk to Pachelbel's Canon.

A few videos. The last is a funny look at a famous classical piece.

Wild Cherry - Play that Funky Music

Johann Pachelbel - Canon in D Major

Comedian/musician Rob Paravonian - Pachelbel Rant

"Goal?" Asks the Tea Drinker

A friend (see his tea blog, 39 Steeps) I showed my progress and regress of running and weight over the last few years -- I have a long spreadsheet -- he asked what my goal is. Seeing a steady number of runs, he suspected I'm back on track. I'm only back on track if I stick with it, and that's yet to be seen.

But, as far as goals go -- when I began this re-entry into running a few years ago, I boldly proclaimed I would break 20:00 for the 5K. Git as low as 21:35, but still a better than solid minute and a half off. That's a long time. And, I mentioned more than a few times I wanted to run a marathon fast. Not an unreasonable goal if I put the work in, but I didn't.

Lack of steady training was certainly one cause. Other factors might be at play, like age, diet and so forth, but not one matters if I am not consistent.

So, I told him my goal is simply consistency. Naturally, I want those other things, but I don't have much of a right to stake a claim unless I am otherwise getting in regular runs.

For now, regular runs will be every other day. That's on purpose. The next step up is four days a week, per some kind of specific schedule, with two days in a row somewhere in there. If I manage that without getting hurt, then five days.

If I'm good with five days for a while, I expect three months will have passed, and it will be early March. I should begin to see an impact. By then, no matter how weak my runs are, I will have logged some real miles, and enjoy some cardio fitness, and maybe a a pound or two lost.

Consistency, had I applied it in all the major blank spaces in the last year, will have given me so much. If I had run, say, 100 more days at no more than five kilometers on those days, I would have 310 miles behind me, and as much as 10 lbs lost. But -- I didn't.

So, to consistency, and beyond!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Besides Running, I Write Folk Tales: Join the Conversation

Some of you might know in my offline life, I'm a writer. Mostly, speeches and marketing material, but I also have been writing short stories that are regularly published by AOL Patch.

My author page:  Please click, then like the page.
I discuss writing, literature, folk tales, humorists, as well as include updates about writing projects. Plenty of discussion regarding my Bluster County tales project, a series of loosely connected stories told in the manner of Garrison Keillor and Mark Twain. You'll see links to related videos, free books, events and other things that might be interesting to you.

Join the fun.

Monday, December 26, 2011

6.4 Kilometers (I looked it up) - 4 Miles

4.00 miles run (38:43 - 9:41/mile)
0.25 miles walk

total: 4.25 miles
course: home treadmill

I missed yesterday. The goal is to run every other day through New Year's, then evaluate if slipping another day in every seven is a good idea. But yesterday was Christmas. A busy schedule dominated the day. I slow cooked ribs and chicken, with a myriad of Hungarian dishes as well. Celebrating my Lord's birth is more important to me than running. Was a beautiful day for those of you who managed running.

Today, I added 0.90 miles to my longest run. My legs are still getting used to this, and four miles is a genuine workout.

I'll be tight tomorrow. These days between are precious.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ran a 5K an Hour Ago. You? 3.108 Basement Miles

3.108 miles run (29:14 - 9:24/mile)
0.392 miles walk

total: 3.50 miles
course: home treadmill

I sort of ran a 5K today. In my basement, dim lights and laundry piled next to me. Not really, of course. I have no delusions treadmill running is the same as outside running, but it is cold, I wanted to tune out and just get it done. Which I did.

If it were a 5K, I would have not come in last. I'm looking forward to knocking out miles at 8:30/mile and longer, and this, though a minute off, is encouraging. I felt OK on this even of Christmas Eve.

All said, I'm up to just over 17 miles for the month, on pace to finish with 31. I'm satisfied with that even though I can name a few friends with 30 milers as their Saturday run. I can name 100 more who never do squat and are suffering from inactivity. That was me last month. I'm one skipped run due to laziness away from this status.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Machinery? Bah! 2.75 Miles

2.752 miles run
0.248 miles walk

total: 3.00 miles
course: home treadmill
I'm sitting here eating Raisin Bran, feeling the warmth of a workout slide through my body. It is a good feeling.
I have a nice treadmill, and have a comfortable home. There are nicer treadmills in nicer homes, with fitness coaches, massage therapists and all the rest that some people might enjoy. OK, everyone would enjoy. But, not everyone has. My point -- all that doth not fitness make. A good run is not complicated. Better devices, even better shoes won't get it done. Those things can limit injury, or help the run be more enjoyable, or a faster recovery time for hard workouts, but nothing replaces sweat.

I don't begrudge the guy with all that. I too, compared to many, just by merit of having good shoes and the treadmill, have more than so many runners. Just look at the Ethiopians. Or Kenyans? Look how the lack of technical running has impeded their efforts. ;)

I wanted to run longer. That's a good temptation. It means progress, But it is a dangerous temptation. Run too far now, and next month I'm back where I started.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just Under 30 Minutes - 2.5 Miles

2.506 miles run @ 9:42/mile 0.300 miles walk

total: 2.806 miles
course: home treadmill

Today, I actually broke a sweat. I did other days too, but those were over so fast I hardly knew it began.

Sped it up a skosh after the first mile after starting at 10:00/mile. I decided on a new self-rule. If it ever gets so fast from nudging it faster that I must turn the speed down in order to finish, the next run I stay at the intended speed. Not an issue today, but it was close.

My goal needs to remain just getting on the treadmill every other day. After the new year, I reserve the option to add days, but I still have almost two weeks for that. Six more runs until 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Warmup vs Progress - 2 Miles

2.0  miles run
0.25 miles walked
total: 2.0 miles
course: home treadmill
Some might look at my mileage here and see "warmup." I see it and see "progress." As you expect, my speed matched my distance. Something just under 10:00/mile.

Progress? Yes. I ran a mile December 9. Today I did twice that slightly faster, with another quarter mile to ease things down. I have run five times. Today finishes off just over 815 miles. That might be 890 calories, or over a quarter pound lost.

No, no, not a lot, but I ask all of you fatties out there if you did the same thing for a year, what would happen? You'd be thinner, feel better, and smile more often. That's what I'm hoping for.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coffee, Caffeine and Running

In today's New York Times
How Coffee Can Galvanize Your Workout

Can a cup of coffee motivate you to relish your trips to the gym this winter? That question is at the heart of a notable study of caffeine and exercise, one of several new experiments suggesting that, whatever your sport, caffeine may allow you to perform better and enjoy yourself more.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitness Reality Brought Me 1.75(1) Miles

1.751 miles run
0.251 miles walked

total: 2.002 miles
course: home treadmill

There I go again, including minutia. Why? Easy: It is more than I ran all last month. That .001. Will it make a difference? Of course not, but I do wish I had run that 1/1000 mile last month.

I have run four times this week. 5.5 miles run. Strange to know that's the total for the week. Add in the .05/mile walked and I'm still under 6 miles. That's just a reality I gotta face until it is safe to increase.

What's your fitness reality?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why I Keep a Running Blog - 1.25 Miles

1.25 miles run
0.15 miles walked
total: 1.40 miles
course: home treadmill
Yeah, yeah. Why am I including such an insignificant detail -- that I walked 14% of one mile?

Because, simply, this is my blog. Mere self-indulgence isn't the point. I would tell it better then. Pride? I hope not. Kind of embarrassing, if you think about it. Can't brag about running a buck and a quarter.
And that's the point. No, no, not the embarrassing part. I mean the part in which I put it out there. I'm vulnerable. I do keep a private spreadsheet of all of this, but in being out there, two things happen:
1) My pride remains in check.
Instead of my little secret, good or bad, I have things nicely digital. The ups and the downs.

I had one person once tell me to cool it regarding how much I blog about running. That hurt, because they had the impression this was "Look at me, I'm doing well." To the contrary. Look at my last few posts: under 5K. I used to warm up longer than that.

2) It keeps reality in check.
There are a few realities. By logging things publicly, there is a sort of accountability. If, say, I decide to go ultra, what's the cost? Let's say my knees and all survive. Those hours of training whither away at things more important to me, like reading to my boy.
  • Age, knocks and bruises through the years, paying the consequences of bronchitis a few times -- the physical stuff.
  • Time: faith, work, family -- the stuff that isn't running.
Running is a good thing for me, but it needs to be the right amount. I don't buy into the "all things in moderation" myth. The right amount, whatever that is. Not more. Not less. If nothing, then that's the right amount.

Sure, it is good to track progress, or to backtrack a log to analyze an injury. But there's more to life than a PR, isn't there?

If you run, know why. If you invest your time in it, know what's not getting invested in. Simple displacement. Every hour run is not tossing a ball with your boy, or having dinner with your spouse.

Don't lie to yourself and say, "I'm healthier at 80 miles a week." Are you? If you are running quick 6:30 miles, not counting prep and warmdown, you are looking at over 8.5 hours each week. Add in shoe shopping, showers, drinking Gatorade. Nothing wrong with that if the rest of life is in check.

I've been down the road of investing too much. I don't want that to happen again. Yeah, I'm a long way from too much, but it all starts with one mile, doesn't it?

Do the math.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

150% More Than My Last Run - 1.5 Miles

1.50 miles run
total: 1.50 miles
course: home treadmill

Starting is somewhat easy. It really isn't easy, but it is easier than continuing, don't you think? I'm still starting, so I can't say it has become particularly difficult, but it wasn't easy either.

My face is red. My thighs ache a little from the last run, and standing for three hours at an art gallery last night. Standing is easier than running, unless you've just been running. Or, in my case, hadn't been running much at all.

All I can say is I ran. Not fast. Slow, if you think about fast and slow in terms of running. Not far, if you think about short and far in terms of running. Just ran.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One Mile Equals One Mile

1.002 miles run

total: 1.002 miles
course: home treadmill

That's it. A mile. See yesterday's post for context. Basically, trying to do something. Anything. Before New Year's Day.

It hurt. I went slow. Exhausted. Add more out of shape type words.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Years Resolutions - Why, Why Not, What Now?

What attracts us to New Years Resolutions? Unverifiably, I say the desire for improvement matched with psychological permission. That is, for whatever reason, making the needed changes without the ceremony of a year change is otherwise difficult. Why?

Maybe we feel pressure to remain status quo.

All our friends smoke, so we don't want them to be on a health guilt trip when we do what we know we should.

Similarly, if we are tubby and need to lose weight, and know we need to eat better, less of it, and exercise, our chunky friends might feel put off. It won't help when they see evidence of us looking fitter and trimmer, and simply feeling more confident, with more interest in the opposite sex.

What about running? Any regular reader of this blog knows I've been on and off again. And that periodically, I get on one-man bandwagon and say, "Yup, this is the year." As 2011 winds down, and 2012 approaches, I am thinking of all of this again.

Today is December 9, 2011. It is a Friday. I'm drinking coffee, sitting in my home office. Snow is outside, apparently from a gentle sprinkling from early this morning. Enough to sweep. Not enough to shovel.

Do I wait until tomorrow? Do I wait another three weeks, to start on New Year's Day?

If I don't -- if I start again, in three weeks I'll likely have put 25-30 miles behind me. Not much, not even enough to lose a pound. But, the three weeks following, I might be fit enough to have run another 35-40 miles, totalling 60-70 miles. Those last 35 miles will be different than the first, as I will have begun to find a rhythm.

Of course, I also know the danger of early enthusiasm, injuries from starting too quickly, and the realities of a life which would now incorporate the time required to work out.

I have the tools. I know what to do. Shoes, shirt, treadmill - check. Will I?

I don't know yet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Once a Runner - Intriguing Read for the Literate Runner, Average for the Rest (review)

Unfortunately, "Once a Runner," John L Parker's legendary book about the plight of a runner, is ultimately forgettable.

It is a search for self and a search for meaning that drives the book, with an existential nihilistic, or, perhaps less philosophically, humanist gear pacing the reading through the selfish individualism of runner Quenton Cassidy. His goal is to both break the 4:00 barrier (a gold standard among milers) and to compete against the world's best. However, he has broken rules which bar him from racing in the key meet.

In general, it is well written. Occasionally has a literary quality, but then drops into average novel-of-the-moment phrasing. It captures the intensity and mindset of the runner fairly well. Drops a lot of the names of known runners (Pre, Liquori, Shorter, etc.)

As it was published in 1978 originally, that could be a problem. As a runner myself, I'm somewhat of a track nerd, and was reading "Runners World" in the late 1970s and early 1980s while those guys names and some of the running sub-culture was as described. Would the world who follows Hall, Cox, Haile (names, which in a few years, may be forgotten by the less-than-hardcore-runner) on the long distance side, or the crowd who watches Webb and so on -- would they 'get it'? The running boom was just kicking into high gear then. Jim Fixx's book, "The Complete Book of Running" had just come out. Coe, Cram, Ovett hadn't really gotten going. Marathons hadn't blown into mega events yet.

As a book, I wonder if non-runners would enjoy it? I'm not sure. I don't think that it transcends the niche audience/market the way Alan Sillitoe's "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" has.

Runners who read regularly will devour this, as might the endurance sports enthusiast. Its accolades will remain there. For the rest of the reading public, it is average, if not overdone.

Anthony Trendl

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Help Me Win Running Gear - Vote (Often)

The Atlanta Track Club is having a Signage Contest for the Atlanta Marathon.

Whichever witticism receives the most votes wins. So, please, help me win.

Click this link (goes to ATC's Facebook page) and find mine. Look for Anthony Trendl. 

If the link does not work, either the contest will have ended, or, there is a conspiracy against me.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mosop Wins Chicago Marathon

Mosop wins the Chicago Marathon in 2:05:37 (unofficial).

I signed up. I paid. I let things get in the way (including one 'thing' way more important, my newborn). But really, I have no excuses.

I have until late winter to decide for next year. My criteria will not be "I plan to get in racing shape," but to already be in some yet undetermined level of fitness and training.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Usain Bolt 4x100 World Record

Usain Bolt and the Jamaicans blow out the 4x100 WR. Track officials must repair their lane -- smoke is coming from the melted rubber.

37.04 (previous record, also Bolt's, 37.10)

read more

Watch more videos on Flotrack

Thursday, September 1, 2011

PADS Run September 10 (Wheaton, IL 5K)

Race Date: September 10, 2011
Start Time: 8:00am
Location: 703 W. Liberty, Wheaton, IL
Courses: 5K Run (USATF course certified, mostly flat); 5K Walk
Fee: $30/person pre-registration ($35/person race-day registration) *CARA members receive a $5 discount
Click here for registration information

Sunday, August 21, 2011

John J. Kelley is Dead - Boston Marathon Legendary Runner

John J. Kelley
Personal information
Born 1930
John Joseph Kelley (born December 24, 1930 in Norwich, Connecticut, United States was the winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon and the marathon at the 1959 Pan American Games,[1] and a member of two United States Olympic Marathon teams. He is often dubbed John "The Younger" to avoid confusion with John A. "Johnny" Kelley "The Elder", the similarly named winner of the 1935 and 1945 Boston Marathons. (Contrary to popular belief, these two John Kelleys are not related.)
Career SummaryAn excellent competitive runner during his high school years at Bulkeley School in New London, Connecticut, Kelley began racing in marathons during his college years. From 1950 to 1954, he attended Boston University, a Massachusetts school located about a mile from the Boston Marathon finish line. While at Boston University, he would excel in team races and would run his first two Boston Marathons, in 1953 and 1954. He finished fifth in the 1953 race before following up with a 7th place finish the next year. After graduation from college, Kelley would finish 2nd in the 1956 Boston Marathon and made his way onto the U.S. Olympic Marathon team which competed in Melbourne, Australia during the same year. He would go on to win the Boston Marathon outright in 1957 while setting a new course record on the remeasured course. After his win at Boston, Kelley would win several other marathons including eight consecutive wins of the Yonkers Marathon in Yonkers, New York.[1] As a result of his record setting performance at Yonkers in 1960, he again found his way onto the U.S. Olympic Marathon team and competed in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He placed 21st and 19th in the Melbourne and Rome Olympic marathons respectively.

John J. Kelley's Boston Marathons

  • 1953 2:28:19 5th
  • 1954 2:28:51 7th
  • 1956 2:14:33 2nd
  • 1957 2:20:05 1st
  • 1958 2:30:51 2nd
  • 1959 2:23:43 2nd
  • 1960 DNF
  • 1961 2:23:54 2nd
  • 1962 2:28:37 4th
  • 1963 2:21:09 2nd
  • 1964 2:27:23 7th
  • 1965 2:25:23 14th
  • 1967 2:25:25 12th
  • 1968 2:37:03 15th
  • 1969 2:31:36 22nd
  • 1970 2:36:50 63rd
  • 1971 2:44:10 96th
  • 1972 2:40:05 79th
  • 1973 2:41:13 66th
  • 1974 2:32:18 78th
  • 1975 2:34:11 169th
  • 1976 2:46:43 154th
  • 1977 2:46:26 353rd
  • 1980 2:55:45
  • 1982 2:55:50
  • 1983 2:55:30
  • 1984 2:58:35
  • 1986 3:01:40
  • 1987 3:08:46
  • 1988 3:28:53
  • 1989 3:46:50
  • 1992 4:07:32


John J. Kelley is the only runner to ever win both the Boston Marathon and the Mount Washington Road Race, which he won in 1961. He made the ascent in one hour and 8 minutes 54 seconds, nearly seven minutes faster than the winning times in the three previous years the race had been held, 1936-1938.

Life Beyond Running

After the pinnacle of his career as a runner, he went on to a successful career as high school running coach. At Fitch High School in Groton, Connecticut, Kelley coached Amby Burfoot, winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon. In addition to coaching, Kelley would find work over the years as a newspaper columnist, free lance writer, cab driver and running wear store co-owner. John Kelley married Jacintha C. Braga in 1953, and has three children, Julia, Kathleen, and Eileen.

  See also


  1. ^ Colaizzo, Pete; Hauman, Riel; Wilson, Maurice; Civai, Franco (2007-01-19). "Most Wins within a Single Race Series". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2007-01-23.

External links

Read Amby Burfoot's Runner's World tribute:

source: Wikipedia

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    My Keister Has Moved (Mere 1.4 Miles)

    1.4 miles run1.4 miles walked

    total: 2.8 miles

    78°F | °C
    Partly Cloudy
    Wind: S at 2 mph
    Humidity: 71%
    course: neighborhood loop

    With the amazing addition to our family, much has been turned around. Once again, as is the sad saga of my fitness, I am out of shape. For such a short run, I'm tired and sore.

    Any interesting ads on my blog?

    I weighed myself pre-run, and was unimpressed. I'm going to avoid weighing myself for the next month, and, if I stick with just getting my keister out there, expect progress.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    The Runner's Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life's Journey, On and Off the Road

    The Runner's Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life's Journey, On and Off the Road

    I have two vignettes of my running adventures here. Both address things I have learned as a runner, each with a hard example showing how I learned it.

    Take a look, and, let me know if you find my entries.

    Ever wondered if there’s a purpose to your running and what it has to do with your spiritual life? The Runner’s Devotional will inspire you in your faith while encouraging you to excel at the sport you love! This book is for runners of all levels—casual and avid, competitive and recreational—who want to improve their running skills, attain personal running goals, and grow closer to God. Fifty-two devotional readings will keep runners motivated, inspired, and running in the right direction, both on and off the road, through life’s many peaks and valleys. Each devotional includes an inspirational reading, a personal story from a runner, Scripture application, running tips, and questions to consider. Additional features include health and fitness tips, and weekly runner’s logs.

    From the Back Cover
    Find inspiration and meaning while excelling at the sport of running!
    Ever wonder if your running has a purpose and how it connects to your relationship with God? The Runner’s Devotional will inspire you in your faith while encouraging you to excel at the sport you love! This book is for runners of all levels—casual and avid, competitive and recreational—who want to improve their running skills, attain personal running goals, and grow in their faith.
    The Runner’s Devotional features:
    • Weekly devotional readings to keep you motivated and inspired
    • Personal stories of faith, challenge, and victory
    • Scripture explanation to help you apply the Bible to running and your life
    • Health and fitness tips
    • Weekly runner’s logs
    • Race training schedules for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon
    • Journaling pages

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    DuPage PADS Run/Walk Registration is Open

    I'm reposting an e-mail I just received. I have volunteered at this race for a few years, and otherwise, have volunteered with PADS overnight stay.

    As races go, it is well-managed, with the involvement of some of DuPage County's running community's best and brightest (and fastest). It goes through the neighborhoods of Wheaton, in an area with old and beautiful trees, finishing at PADS' HQ next to the Illinois Prairie Path.

    If you can't run or volunteer, please, send them a check or call. Even $20 will help.
    (705 W. Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187 (630)682-3846

    DuPage PADS Run/Walk Registration is Open!
    Join us on Saturday, September 10th at 8am for the DuPage PADS Run/Walk! Our 5K CARA approved course appeals to serious runners, casual joggers, and families alike.
    Whether you're an individual runner, family, group of friends, company, club or congregation, you are invitied to be a part of this FUNdraiser!
    Pre-registered participants receive an official PADS RUN T-shirt (runners receive a "Dri-Fit" shirt, walkers receive a cotton shirt) and goody bag. In addition, we'll have a free drawing for door prizes.
    Take a step to end homelessness today! Register here.

    705 W. Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187 (630)682-3846

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Marathoner Samuel Wanjiru Has Died

    Marathoner Samuel Wanjiru Has Died(more Wikipedia and Universal Sports)

    Samuel Kamau Wanjiru (November 10, 1986 – May 15, 2011) was a Kenyan athlete who specialized in long distance running. He became a professional at a young age and broke the world record in the half marathon when he was 18 years old. In 2007, he broke the 20 km road running record and improved the half marathon record by over twenty seconds.

    He moved up to the full marathon and won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32; becoming the first Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon. The following year, he won both the London Marathon and Chicago Marathon, running the fastest marathons ever recorded in the United Kingdom and United States, respectively. He retained his Chicago title in 2010 in a season fraught with injury.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Running career
    1.1 Early career
    1.2 World records and Olympic gold
    1.3 London and Chicago wins
    2 Personal life
    3 Death
    4 Achievements
    5 Personal bests
    6 References
    7 External links

    [edit] Running career[edit] Early careerWanjiru started running at the age of 15. In 2002, he moved to Japan and went to Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School in Sendai. He had success on the Japanese cross country circuit, where he won the Fukuoka International Cross Country at sixteen years old in 2003. He went on to win in both Fukuoka and at the Chiba International Cross Country consecutively in 2004 and 2005.[1] After graduating in 2005, he joined the Toyota Kyūshū athletics team, coached by 1992 Olympic marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita.[2]

    Wanjiru has a 5000 metres best of 13:12.40, run as a 17 year old in April 2004 in Hiroshima, Japan. At the age of only 18, Wanjiru broke the half marathon world record on September 11, 2005 in the Rotterdam Half Marathon with a time of 59:16 minutes, officially beating Paul Tergat's half-marathon record of 59:17 minutes. This was preceded two weeks earlier by a bettering of the 10,000 meter world junior record by a margin of almost 23 seconds in the IAAF Golden League Van Damme Memorial Race on August 26. His WJR time of 26:41.75 was good enough for third place in the race behind Kenenisa Bekele's world record of 26:17.53 and Boniface Kiprop's 26:39.77. It was Kiprop who held the previous world junior mark (27:04.00 minutes), set at the same meeting the previous year.[3]

    [edit] World records and Olympic goldWanjiru took back the half marathon world record, which Haile Gebrselassie broke in early 2006, with 58:53 minutes on February 9, 2007 at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon[4] and improved it to 58:33 on March 17, 2007 in the City-Pier-City Loop in The Hague, The Netherlands. While improving his own record, he recorded an unofficial time of 55:31 for 20 km, which was faster than Haile Gebrselassie's world record but was never ratified due to the timing methods in the race.[5]

    Wanjiru approaching the finishing line at the 2008 Summer OlympicsWanjiru made his marathon debut at Fukuoka Marathon on December 2, 2007, winning it impressively with a course record of 2:06:39.[6] He started 2008 by winning the Zayed International Half Marathon and receiving a prize of US $300,000.[7] In the 2008 London Marathon, he came in second, breaking 2:06 for the first time. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wanjiru won the marathon gold medal in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32, smashing the previous record of 2:09:21 set by Carlos Lopes of Portugal in the 1984 Olympics.[8] He received the AIMS World Athlete of the Year Award that year in recognition of his performances.[9]

    [edit] London and Chicago winsAt the Granollers Half Marathon in February 2008, in which Wanjiru won, the Kenyan stated his intent for the future, saying, "in five years' time I feel capable of clocking a sub 2 hours time for the marathon."[10] In April 2009, Wanjiru won the London Marathon in a time of 2:05:10, a new personal record and also a new course record. He was pleased with the achievement and stated that he hoped to break Haile Gebrselassie's world record in the near future.[11] At the Rotterdam Half Marathon, Wanjiru clocked a 1:01:08 on 13 September, which was won by Sammy Kitwara with a time of 58:58.[12] In October 2009, Wanjiru won the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:05:41, setting a new course record for the city and the fastest marathon time ever run in the United States.[13] The wins in London and Chicago helped him reach the top of the World Marathon Majors rankings for 2009, earning him a jackpot of US$500,000.[14]

    He signed up to defend his title at the 2010 London Marathon, but he encountered knee trouble at the midway point of the race and decided to drop out to avoid further injury – the first time in six marathons that he had failed to finish.[15] He chose to run at the 2010 Chicago Marathon in October, but a stomach virus before the race had harmed his preparations and he entered the competition with the lesser aim of reaching the top three. Tsegaye Kebede took the opportunity to forge a lead, but Wanjiru (despite a lack of peak physical form) persevered with the pace and caught up with the Ethiopian. He took the lead in the final 400 m to defend his title in Chicago with a time of 2:06:24. "It was the greatest surprise I have ever seen in my life", remarked his coach, Federico Rosa, on the performance.[16][17]

    [edit] Personal lifeHis cousin Joseph Riri is a world-class marathon runner,[18] and Wanjiru's younger brother Simon Njoroge is also a long distance runner. Wanjiru was mentored by Stephen Ndungu, a marathoner and a pace maker.

    He was arrested by Kenyan police at his house in Nyahururu in December 2010 and charged with threatening to kill his wife and illegally possessing an AK-47. He denied both the accusations and claimed that he was being framed.[19][20] Because of these troubles, Wanjiru did not compete in any spring marathons in 2011. Sammy passed away May 15th, 2011.

    [edit] DeathOn May 15, 2011, it was reported that Wanjiru died from a fall after jumping from a balcony at his home.[21]

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Foolish? No, Just Slow and Tired 2.00 Miles

    2.00 miles run
    0.25 miles walk

    total: 2.25 miles
    course: COD track

    What was I thinking? I spent the weekend switching stuff from one room to the other, then, painting one of those rooms. I had help painting, but the ceiling was mostly my job. Michelangelo has more respect from me than ever.

    My legs feel like Jello. My arm begs me for permission to fall off. All I could suffer through today were two very slow miles around College of DuPage's track. Another lap seemed to be a bad idea, so I walked a lap and licked my wounds.

    These are the workouts, in a way, which matter most, the one which are more about mental focus than physical exertion. Back at it tomorrow, rested or not.

    Buy something: Search for iPad 2
    Search for Michelangelo

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    On Racing: I Was Younger, Now I'm Older

    When I was younger, I had a rule for myself, "No one over 60, or under 15 can beat me." If it was a big race, my goal was to finish no worse than behind the 10th female. Most of the time, I managed OK.

    Now I am older. My goal is to finish at least tied wih the guy in last place.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Minimalistic Running: Is Naked Next?

    Barefoot running. No Nike or ASICS on your feet.

    No shirt. No socks. No bandana.

    If the running minimalism religion takes off, who will Runner's World sell ads to? Lady Godiva Running Club? That issue would sell better than the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

    The idea of being free from things contraining a good run is important, but the marketing trend push it as an idealogy seems counter to the point.

    Zola Budd ran without shoes before it was cool: Books: Zola Budd

    The Barefoot Running Book Second Edition: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running Hmm?

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Red Bandana: Get Trained by an Olympian

    Read this week's Red Bandana: A Runner Dies, A Runner Wins, A Runner Runs (to End Homelessness)

    Across the western suburbs, you will find many kinds of running clubs: from hardcore marathoners to "run my first 5K" clubs to pure track clubs. One club, however, is especially unique.
    What would it be like to train with an Olympian? Every Thursday evening at the Wheaton College track, you will find Jim Spivey coaching adult runners looking to improve their speed. The Jim Spivey Running Club has been the home of many age group champions since 1990 and has just started the 2011 season.

    This is not a marathon training club. Though many of the runners do run marathons, and a few race Iron Man triathlons and even ultramarathons (50 kilometers to 100 miles), most are looking to run quicker 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles) races. High school age to runners in their 60s stand toe-to-toe at the line to become better runners.

    What does a workout look like?

    Thursdays, 5:30 pm, Wheaton College Track

    First, there is the warm-up. Runners meet in the Billy Graham Center parking lot on the Wheaton College campus. Find everyone at 5:30 pm on the west side of Chase where the tracks cross. Everyone runs east on the Illinois Prairie Path around a mile, turns around and heads back.

    Back at the parking lot, you can grab a drink of water (it is BYOW – bring your own water), and maybe change shoes from trail-friendly to something better suited for the track. Or not. When I have run there, I wear the same ones to train on all surfaces, as well as race. Presently, I am wearing ASICS 2150 shoes.

    Next, it is off the to the track. Runners congregate at the starting line, found at the northwest side of the track. Coach Spivey arrives and briefly makes an announcement or two, and explains the workout.

    An April workout, a favorite of mine, might look like this:

    2 miles warmup
    6×100 striders
    3 sets of 3×400 (a 200 meter jog between each within a set, and a 400 meter jog between each set]
    600 meters warmdown

    Each 400 meter interval will have a specific, yet relative pace, based on your ability and goals. Try running 400 meter intervals alone, then trying running them with others. Simply put, it is easier to push through the last 100 meters when you have someone next to you.

    Coach Spivey's club slogan is "Stay healthy, have fun, run PRs." In another words, although the workouts are challenging, he keeps an eye on weather conditions, a runner's fitness level and their race goals. The fun part comes from the joy of working out side-by-side with serious runners, enjoying great camaraderie and respect for a good effort. "The social factor is a big reason people join a running club," he said, noting that most clubs get together off track as well.

    After the warmdown, everyone heads out somewhere for a bite to eat or something cold to drink to celebrate friendship and a job well done.

    Who Is Jim Spivey?
    Coach Spivey ran the 1500 meters in 1984 and 1992 Olympics, and the 5000 meters in 1996's Olympics. While a student at Fenton High School, he was the top 880 yards runner nationally, and had the second best mile in the country when he was a senior. He has faced the toughest runners ever to lace up a pair of shoes, including legends Sebastian Coe, Steve Cram, Steve Ovett and Steve Scott.

    In 1984, he won the Olympic Trials for the 1500 meters, and placed fifth in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. His time of 3:36.06 is still the fastest run by an American in the Olympic final. His best mile is a 3:49.80, and he owns the American record in the 2000 meters with a 4:52.44 run in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1987.

    He went on to coach at Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago, as well as has privately trained some of the top high school athletes in the country.

    Whew! Tired yet? He brings all of this experience to the track, benefiting runners of all levels. Check out his running club next week.

    For more information, see

    Are you running with a club I should know about? Drop me a line.

    Running Playlist Song of the Week
    "Bargain" by The Who
    Coach Spivey is a big fan of The Who, so this week it is the hard charging love song from their classic 1971 album "Who's Next." Real love involves getting out of ourselves, and thinking more about the other person. The Who gets this point across loudly, worthy of any running playlist.
    "I sit looking 'round
    I look at my face in the mirror
    I know I'm worth nothing without you
    In life one and one don't make two
    One and one make one
    And I'm looking for that free ride to me
    I'm looking for you

    I'd gladly lose me to find you
    I'd gladly give up all I got
    To catch you I'm gonna run and never stop"

    Writer Anthony Trendl downloaded "The Who: The Ultimate Collection" as his first online music purchase, and thinks classic rock makes the best running playlist fodder. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to promote a road race. See

    Running blog:

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Good-bye Grete Waitz RIP

    Today, cancer took one of the best marathoners in history, Norwegian runner Grete Waitz. She died today. Waitz was only 57.

    Her legacy is not in how many Olympics she won, as her best was a silver medal in Los Angeles. Her legacy, instead, is what she accomplished on the world stage of road racing, like the NYC and London Marathon. She ran hard, she ran well and she did it often.

    Below are her PRs and bio from Wikipedia.

    Personal bests
    1500 metres - 4:00.55 - Prague - 03/09/1978
    One mile - 4:26.90 - Gateshead - 09/07/1978
    3000 metres - 8:31.75 - Oslo (Bislett) - 17/07/1979
    15 kilometres - 47:52 - Tampa, FL - 11/02/1984
    Marathon - 2:24:54 - London - 20/04/1986

    In her teen years, Waitz won national junior titles in Norway in the 400 and 800 meters. At age 17 she set the European junior record for 1,500 meters with a time of 4:17, winning a bronze medal at the European Championships in this event in 1974. In 1975 Waitz broke the 3000 metres world record, running 8:46.6 in Oslo. In Oslo a year later she lowered this record with an 8:45.4 effort, then in 1977 she won a gold medal at this distance at the inaugural IAAF World Cup in Athletics meet in Düsseldorf with a personal best time of 8:31.75. Her 4:00.55 career best in the 1500m, set in Prague on 1978, still stands as the Norwegian national record. Her final track race was a victory at 5,000 meters in Oslo in June 1982 where her 15:08.80 was the 2nd best in history, falling only half a second short of the women's world record set three weeks earlier by Mary Slaney.

    It was in 1978 that her association with the New York City Marathon began; she was invited to run there by race co-founder and director Fred Lebow and in her first marathon effort not only won but took a full two minutes off of the women's world record. She went on to win the race nine times and broke the world record three years in a row. In all, she lowered the women's world record by an astonishing nine minutes, taking the standard from Christa Vahlensieck's 2:34:47 down to 2:32:30 (1978), 2:27:33 (1979), 2:25:41 (1980), and finally to the 2:25:29 that Waitz ran at London in 1983. Besides her marathon victories in New York and the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, Waitz also won the London Marathon in 1983 and 1986 (the latter in a personal best of 2:24:54), as well as the Stockholm Marathon in 1988 with a 2:28:24 (which as of 2011 is still the Stockholm course record for women).

    Waitz enjoyed much success on the road at non-marathon distances as well, including a win at the Falmouth Road Race in 1980, four victories at the prestigious 10K Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, five wins at the L'eggs Mini-Marathon in New York, and world road records at 8K (25:03), twice in the 10K (31:16 in 1979, then later to 30:59), 15K (48:01) and 10 mile distances. Waitz further demonstrated her versatility by successfully competing in cross country, earning two bronze medals (1982, 1984) at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and winning the gold medal five times, (1978-1981 and 1983), tying her with Doris Brown Heritage for most wins in the history of women's International/World Cross Country Championships.

    The only significant award she did not win in her storied career was an Olympic victory. As an up and coming 19 year old in Munich and then a 23 year old running the 1,500 meters in Montreal (the longest event allowed for women in the Olympics up until 1984) she competed but did not medal in an event that was far short of her specialty. In 1980, Norway was one of the countries that decided to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. At the 1984 Summer Olympics she was beaten by Joan Benoit and placed second to win the silver medal in the marathon. In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, a bad knee forced her to drop out of the women's marathon just after passing the 18 mile mark. She did win a gold medal and attained the title of world champion, however, when she won the marathon at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki.

    Waitz completed her final marathon on 1 November 1992 with her good friend Fred Lebow. In celebration of Lebow's 60th birthday, after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in early 1990, they both completed the New York City Marathon with a time of 5:32:35.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    2011 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle Race Results

    2011 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle Race Results

    2011 Top 5
    1. Simon Bairu, Portland, OR, 23:38
    2. Lukas Verzbicas, Orland Hills, IL, 23:55
    3. Kyle Brady, Naperville, IL, 24:07
    4. Andrew Baker, Indianapolis, IN, 24:10
    5. Tyler Sigl, Green Bay, WI, 24:14

    1. Amy Yoder Begley, Beaverton, OR, 26:50
    2. Jean Marinangeli, Schaumburg, IL, 28:11
    3. Erin Moeller, Mt Vernon, IA, 28:23
    4. Jessica Monson, Powers Lake, WI, 28:25
    5. Katie Fenstermaker, South Bend, IN, 28:38

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Red Bandana: A Runner's Dilemma

    read the latest: Red Bandana: Get Trained by an Olympian

    I have been asked, per the title of my running blog, what is "The Runner's Dilemma"? I have on the right side of each page:

    "A runner's dilemma? He must run, no matter what shape or situation he is in. The dilemma is finding a resolution despite being older, fatter, slower than when running was graceful."

    I am 44. I am no longer fast. I can longer run a far way without having to plan for the consequences. I can no longer expect to be near the front in a local 5K.

    There were those great days. Running was graceful. Now, it is not. Then, I ran because of sheer joy. Endorphins flooded my system like a welcome drug amidst my teenage angst-filled years. Ten miles? 15 miles? All felt peaceful.

    There is that impulse to run. The sun is rising here in Chicagoland, the birds are making their first chirps, and the paperboy hasn't yet arrived. I want to run. I want to run now, but today, I have a head cold.

    When I run, part of me is alive that is dormant the rest of the day. Although mostly silent, except for the grunts delivered to passing runners, I am inside myself shouting. Every step is glorious, a return to the childhood games of my youth — as if I am again six years-old, running, laughing with Brian and Duane in my backyard on Meade Avenue — when running was graceful, and bliss was made manifest.

    Endorphins are still around, but I miss those longer of the long runs. There is something that happens with the longer runs that no endorphin can mimic. It is a serenity, found at any pace, having strode long enough to purge whatever ailed me emotionally before the run.

    I sang when I ran. My voice was strong, bold. It was not held back by breathlessness. What beauty its sound lacks I made up for with vigor. Hymns. Old rock tunes. Silly songs from childhood. If I couldn't remember the line, I made it up.

    Now, I remember fewer lines and grasp for air like a drowning man. Instead, words whisper out of me during a run that would make an emphysema patient smile smugly.

    My feet clenched the rolling hills of the Palos Forest Preserves like a mountain goat. Zinging from foothold to foothold, setting only long enough to ricochet to the next bounding point. There, I could see poplars in a hidden grove, willows by a pond only frogs and ducks could approach, and birch known only to deer.

    Today, my ankles worry about turns on the flattest track, my back suggests rest is a better posture, and my knees wince with the slightest provocation.

    The dilemma, now, remains. I'm thinning and faster, and every so often, discover midstride a sense of rhythm and grace. It has yet to all come together. There has been no perfect run – I have on my memory dozens from 20 years ago, but none this year.

    Perfection: when bliss and stride, speed and float, form and rhythm, distance and breath all join to enter me, surround me, push me and lead me.

    Will all things converge? This is not something I can control. All I can do is set in place the possibility. Run hard, run long, run often. Then, maybe. Without the run, it will not, cannot happen.

    But first, getting over a head cold.

    Running Playlist Song of the Week
    La Bamba – Richie Valens
    Los Lobos covered this in 1987, renewing it as a complete classic. Even for those of us who do not speak Spanish, it is a sure sing-along while running. It has a kind of summer, sunny energy that will put more bounce in your stride.

    "Para bailar la bamba
    Para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de gracia
    Una poca de gracia para mí para tí y arriba y arriba
    Y arriba y arriba por tí seré, por tí seré, por tí seré"

    Writer Anthony Trendl loves Monet, impressionism and guitar-driven rock. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to promote a road race. See

    Running blog:

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running

    Read the latest Red Bandana: A Runner's Dilemma

    You have heard of bar hopping. Try ice cream running. Same thing, almost.

    The idea is simple: run a defined route with stops along the way for ice cream. How far, and how many ice cream stops is part-strategy, part-fitness and part-(things can get ugly after one too many scoops).

    In the Wheaton area, we are blessed with more than a few places to imbibe in ice cream.

    Liberally defining things, I am including gelato. Ever have it? Kiosks all over Europe offer amazing flavors (in Hungary, I have even seen poppy seed gelato). Just for kicks, since it is more or less the same snack category, I am also including frozen yogurt.

    First, if there are several of you running, I recommend using one credit card and evening out your accounts afterward. Basically, who has a pocket big enough to hold the card.

    The entire run is around 10.5 miles. Keep stops short. Lactose intolerant people probably should avoid the run, though bathrooms are available at each location. Or, run faster.

    Start in downtown Wheaton at Tates. Go conservative: one scoop of vanilla in a cup. No sprinkles. Enjoy the small town atmosphere, and move onward.

    Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream
    109 East Front Street
    Wheaton, IL 60187

    After you have finished this stop, start slowly. The body is receiving a conflicted message here, so give it time. From Front Street, go east to Main Street, and run south. Cross Roosevelt, and keep going until you get to Farnham. Head east to Naperville Road, and take a right, going south again. Watch the traffic, but stay steady until you get into the Danada Shopping Center

    TCBY The Country's Best Yogurt
    278 Danada Square West
    Wheaton, IL 60187

    Try the chocolate here. This very clean chain yogurt place is a delicious treat for those watching their figure. But, again, one scoop. You have barely begun.

    After a quick exit, work south to Butterfield Road, and run east for a few blocks. Two options abound, with an Oberweis Dairy and Dairy Queen within a half block. My recommendation is Oberweis all the way. Not only is it local, but they have some of the best quality ice cream you will find.

    Oberweis Dairy
    811 E. Butterfield Road
    Wheaton, IL

    Feel free to diversify at this point. Get some fruit in, and try strawberry.

    Stay on Butterfield for your next location. This time, it is the sophisticated European charm of our one Glen Ellyn stop at Park Boulevard and Butterfield Road. No ice cream here. Just gelato (and some amazing pastries).

    Ice Lolly Cafe (my review)
    22W535 Butterfield Road
    Glen Ellyn, IL

    If you are lucky, they will have the tiramisu gelato available. The taste is spot-on. If not, maybe the hazelnut is in stock.

    Work your way north up Park to 22nd Street, and head west to Lorraine Road, and turn north. Keep going, passing Roosevelt until Illinois Street. Turn left, and run west back to Main Street.

    You are almost done.

    Feel free to pick up the pace as you run north on Main into downtown Wheaton. More gelato at the final stop, the very comfortable La Spiaza Coffeehouse. The options for gelato are not as varied as you found at Ice Lolly, but the neighborhood pub sense of the place cannot be outdone.

    La Spiaza
    114 North Main Street
    Wheaton, IL

    Here, have all the gelato you can handle while sitting in a couch, thinking about gluttonary adventure you just enjoyed.

    Running Playlist Song of the Week
    Sugar, Sugar by the Archies (
    What is as sweet as ice cream? Summer romance. While we are not yet even into Spring, we are into ice cream. Like other bubblegum tunes, the lyrics are silly, the beat is happy throughout.

    "Sugar, ah honey honey
    You are my candy girl
    And you've got me wanting you.
    Honey, ah sugar sugar
    You are my candy girls
    And you got me wanting you."

    Writer Anthony Trendl eats too much ice cream, including the bowl of French vanilla seen pictured here. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to promote a road race. See
    Running blog:

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    400 lb Sumo Wrestler Finishes Los Angeles Marathon

    Kelly Gneiting ran 9:48:52 marathon. In just about every other situation, that's slow. However, think of it as three solidly fit, small athletes in one body running 2:56:39s.

    I'd be beyond proud of a sub-3.

    Yeah, I know he walked most of it. He still burned something like 17,670 calories, or something around almost nine days worth of food for me.
    Everything is context.

    Anyone else impressed?

    Read what Erio Skarda in Time said about it:
    From Sumo Wrestling to Running: 400-Pound Man Completes L.A. Marathon

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Red Bandana: Charlie Sheen-free Running (With Excuses)

    Read the latest: Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running

    Charlie Sheen has nothing to do with this article. No tiger blood, nothing about winning, and his favorite drug "Charlie Sheen" will not be suggested as a way to run faster. It would, after all, kill you. And no one wants that.

    This is about running, sort of. It is really about getting things done. What does a runner do?

    A runner runs. Right? But is he coming or going? He runs this way, then turns around and comes right back. Or, he heads to the track and runs in a circle. What goes around, we know, will come around. It is coming around for you?

    Beginning runners often have a corner they try to get to. Or, a certain number of laps around the block. Maybe a lap more than last time. Maybe a few telephone poles farther.

    As I progressed as a runner in high school, this was the case. At first, I was all about distance. Another mile. Another mile.

    Later, it became a glorified version of "touch the stop sign and turn around." My stop sign, so to speak, might be an ice cream shop, hot dog stand or bridge.

    The goal was the thing. It was quantitative. Sure, "to get in shape" is a fine goal, but this is more difficult to ascertain. "Lose weight," is a nifty idea too, but not especially helpful.

    Now, my goals are different. I already know I can run far enough to blow my knees out. Instead, my goal is about consistency. That means I want to run X amount of days per week. My goal is to do the right things. Do the right the things, and right results will follow.

    Things get in the way. Mostly, it is because I let them get in the way.

    The same things in the way this week will be the way next week.

    We can categorize our excuses in three groups. Good excuses., but stopping you from running just the same.

    Solution: Schedule ahead this week when you will run next week. Something will have to give. Less TV. Skip your favorite political rant show. Cut back on playing Bejeweled on Facebook.

    Solution: Watch the reports, schedule longer runs when the weather is primo and days off when there is a blizzard (Don't look at me that way. I'm not the one who makes Chicago weather what it is.)

    Solution: Got big meetings, long days? Same ideas as the weather problem: schedule. One difference is, though, planning to run before you are exhausted.

    Solution: It happens. Take it seriously. Read up on it, treat it yourself if you can. Mostly, all you need to to rest, but, if you must, see a doctor. Do not play around with injuries. Be sure that sore Achilles tendon is OK before pushing through it.

    And there you have it. No Charlie Sheen, but still enough excuses to keep you from running.

    Running Playlist Song of the Week
    Be-Bop a Lula by Gene Vincent

    Pure fun. This will have you in a carefree mood, swaying as you go. Crank it up and run past a few extra telephone poles.

    Well, be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
    Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
    Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
    Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
    Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby love
    My baby love, my baby love

    Writer Anthony Trendl makes more excuses than you can imagine. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to tell me about your road race. See
    Running blog:

    What Spring Races Will You Run?

    Today is March 18. Spring is around the corner. Which races are you running?

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Red Bandana: What Kind of Runner Are You?

    Read the current Red Bandana: Charlie Sheen-free Running (With Excuses)

    A number of readers e-mailed me explaining their views on running. What kind of runner are you? Just for fun, I thought about a few exaggerated kinds of runners. I would love hear which kinds I have missed.

    The Soloist
    This runner quietly runs long and far. He is off on a run, but not with anyone. Other runners know him and, although he is friendly, find him mysterious and give him distance. His gear is likely minimalist, just enough to get from A-Z (Arlington Heights to Zion?). He loves his paperback, dog-eared copy of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," but he would never tell you.

    The Stylist
    The runner is dressed to the nines in perfectly matched running gear. Color-coordinated. Hair is colored, blown dry with strategically sprayed "I'm working out" hairspray. Make-up, though not much (she is running, after all). Everything around her is from this year's fashion line, and is dry cleaned after every run. Runners at the gym choke on her perfume. More likely to read "Cosmopolitan" than "Runner's World." When she heads to the gym, she watches with intensity, "America's Next Top Model."

    The Gearist
    It is only a three-mile run, but he has a utility belt full of energy gels, water bottles, and a first aid kit. He concedes he will not need most of it, but still, carries an extra bottle of Gatorade in his right hand and a granola bar in his left. His job might not involve a shoe store, but he is in there weekly, looking at new gear. Every dime goes to shoes, specialty socks and running magazines. Whenever not running, he watches reruns of MacGyver. The soloist silently laughs at him.

    The Clubbist
    As a complete team player, this runner's entire life is running and where he singularly draws his sense of identity. A short run in the morning, possibly at the gym (just to say hi), and a longer run in the evening with his neighborhood club. Friends, even that extra special person, are from the club, and nowhere else. "Live to run, run to live" is his mantra, and that's what he does. Races on the weekend, and fun runs mid-week. Conversations with non-runners are littered with the sport's vocabulary. For him, a good read is "Daniels' Running Formula" by Jack Daniels. If this runner has an injury, he will still attend club runs cheering on the others.

    The Plannist
    Never actually running, but always planning. He is ready to go, but nothing ever works out. He has good shoes, proper shorts and shirt, but they do not get used. They are in a gym bag, with a towel, by the door. Instead, he tends to reading about running, spending time on discussion boards. Every New Year's Day, he does run a few miles, but, before February hits, things get in the way. Those things include watching Rich Koz host Stoog-apalooza on ME-TV on Saturday nights (Curly-Joe DeRita is his favorite). His favorite book is actually a magazine, "TV Guide Magazine," but he reads it as if it were Scripture.

    The Consumist
    He is part-clubbist, part-soloist (with a little stylist thrown in), but he is all running. He is consumed by speed and PRs. He's sleek, fast, and has the cool sunglasses to prove it. Occasionally shows up at club meetings and is treated like a celebrity, but mostly, trains with alone. Every weekend, he races, but sometimes doesn't pay. He might win the race, but slips away unnoticed into a cool sports car. On the passenger seat, when his trophy girlfriend isn't there, you might notice his Amazon Kindle. He's reading "Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer.

    Running Playlist Song of the Week
    "Leader Of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las

    You know the song. She loves him, but he is a bad boy. Her dad, older and wiser, tells her to break it off. Her boyfriend, that legendary leader of the pack, drives off furiously and crashes. Passionate from start to finish by this street-hardened girl group from the 1960s. Great to sing and run to, especially when you run in a group.

    I met him at the candy store
    He turned around and smiled at me
    You get the picture? (yes, we see)
    That's when I fell for (the leader of the pack)

    Writer Anthony Trendl is rarely a stylist, too often a plannist, and understands the soloist. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to tell me about your road race. See
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