Sunday, December 4, 2011

UNBREAKABLE Review; 2010 Western States 100 Miler Documentary

I was fortunate enough (and smart enough to buy a ticket early) to attend the world premier screening of Unbreakable, the documentary of the 2010 Western States Endurance Run. Unbreakable follows (literally) 4 of the worlds top Ultrarunners during what turned out to be one of the most epic ultrarunning races we've seen yet; the 2010 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

In 2010, Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka, Killian Jornet and Hal Koerner were the talk of the ultrarunning community for their individual accomplishments. Geoff Roes was crushing 100 milers like they were half marathons including the Hurt 100 and Wasatch Front 100. Anton Krupicka was becoming the "poster-runner" of ultrarunning and was undefeated in all of his races including the Leadville 100 and the Miwok 100K. Hal Koerner was the two time defending champ of the race, long time ultrarunner and well known as the owner of Rogue Valley Runners in Ashland, OR. Killian Jornet at the time, was emerging as somewhat of an urban legend type of runner (at least in the US). He had won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc twice but hadn't made much of a mark in the US... yet. He was known for being young and fast, really really fast. I think he seemed to be the scariest competitor because he was somewhat of an unknown. If you followed ultrarunning at the time, you knew these guys were going to push themselves to their breaking points. I remember staying home that day and following the race updates online.

I'm grateful that the Director, JB Benna decided to make this film and I hope there will be more films and live coverage of these ultramarathon races in the future. At the screening on Friday, JB had a great quote, he said he made this film because he wanted to see it. The screening was sold out and packed with 300 people, a keg of sierra nevada, a nice crew of recognizable ultrarunners many of whom were competing in the North Face Endurance Challenge Championship the next day and 3 of the four featured runners in the film, Geoff, Anton and Hal who did a Q&A with JB at the end.

The film was excellent. It captured the emotions, high points, low points and beauty of ultrarunning. JB and his crew did a great job of showing how these guys live day-to-day which was interesting as most of us just know them as the guys who are winning races. The cinematography of the race was a fantastic composition of long range shots, running along with the runners (which was surprisingly smooth) and scenic shots which painted a portrait of the environment of the race. The story of Gordy Ainsleigh, the founder of the race, as told by Gordy himself while standing shirtless over the American River Canyon, was woven throughout the film and provided a great background to the race and it's grueling conditions.

Check out the trailer! Here's a link to the screening SCHEDULE.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Running to Strained Calf to Biking to Swimming to Triathlons

Since pulling my calf in June I have sadly not been able to run much. I am somewhat of a (well actually a big) self "diagnoser" and I definitely made my strain worse than it was when it happened. Numerous times I thought it was healed and I tried to run it out only to limp back home. I tried to find respite in heavy rides on the spin bike and strength training, including my legs, figuring that I could rehab the injury as long as I wasn't running... another bad idea. Finally, I dove into some reading and found that compression and rest would be the best options. So for two solid weeks, I wrapped my calf very tightly and did nothing. That sucked. BUT it worked. Now I am wearing a compression sleeve, swimming and and just started doing some light rehab leg exercises. The unintentional additional exposure to swimming and biking has helped me build a training base to take on some triathlons. I have always had my eye on the Ironman.  

Being a runner, triathlons have long been on my radar. My endurance on the bike is pretty solid (for a non-cyclist) and the only struggle is usually with comfort after being on the bike for a long time. So, biking basics, check! ...Meaning, I feel that I have a solid base on the bike from which I can train up from. Since I have been (effectively) rehabbing my calf, I have found swimming... I've been in the pool a few times before but was never able to put the pieces together and really enjoy or get into it. Swimming has always been difficult... most likely because I have never done it consistently until now. Just breathing was tough let alone coordinate the strokes and feeling like I was actually moving properly through the water. Being a self-diagnoser, I am also a self-teacher, so naturally I just struggled my way through the water for the first couple weeks and learned by trial and error and watching others. A few days ago, I found this video:     
That video helped me tremendously and now I have the feeling as though I am gliding through the water. I am now more focused than ever on maintaining my swimming and biking endurance and building up to an ironman.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Running On Empty" by Marshall Ulrich; Book Review

Do you ever feel like you cannot get enough of running? Try running 3,096 miles over the course of 52 days. That is what running (ultrarunning) legend Marhsall Ulrich did at age 57. He recounts the experience in his book "Running On Empty".

"Running on Empty" is a pretty good read. He gives you a solid look into his life; from losing his first wife to cancer to crying about not being able to find socks, Marshall shares quite a bit with us. For me, these details about his life, vignettes of other running feats and the intense training regimen for this "transcon" are the best parts of the book. As you might guess, most of the book recounts the epic journey across the country but after reaching Utah (more or less) it starts to sound somewhat repetitive. If you're a runner (especially a longer distance runner) you know what it's like to be out there, on the road, feeling the ups and downs with no end in sight. The book finishes strong with and an emotional run through New York City. He made it.... it is truly an epic journey.

Alas, there's more! One of the great features of this book are the stats, training regimen and other details of the journey in list form (more or less) at the end of the book. Enjoy!    

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Devon Crosby-Helms Interview.

I'm feeling pretty good about my running these days because I was able to catch up with the ever speedy DEVON CROSBY-HELMS ("DCH") for an Interview. Devon is an elite endurance runner. She is a 3 time member of the USA 100K Team (has competed in 3 World Championships) and a recent qualifier for the Olympic Marathon Trials. Although, 50 milers are her favorite. Devon is also a certified personal chef; If you ever want some running inspiration and/or to work up an appetite, check her out on Twitter.  Here is the Devon Crosby Helms and Undefeated Running Interview...

UR: Devon. What Up?
DCH: Hey Adam. Not much, how are you?
UR: Cool. Chillin'... Getting ready to go for a run this afternoon. Thanks for asking.
UR: Chicked any dudes lately? 
DCH: Of course. I consider it my part-time job.
UR: What are you up to right now in your training schedule (besides chicking dudes)? What's your next big race? 
DCH: Currently, I have a dual focus for my training. One is to continue to build my speed base that I built from my marathon trials qualifier, so I am doing 1-2 workouts a week focused on that. My other focus is getting fit to pace my boyfriend Nathan at Hardrock. I have been doing a good amount of hard mountain training. From that fitness (mountain fitness), I plan to run TRT50mile if I am not too trashed after Hardrock pacing. My real next big race is the WC100k, running for Team USA in the Netherlands.
UR: What is your advice to a dude who is about to get chicked? 
DCH: Be gracious. It is nothing personal and it certainly shouldn't get you off your game. 
UR: What is your advice to a chick who wants to chick more dudes?
DCH: Negative split. I often chick a lot of guys because I am speeding up in the later miles. I think it is smart race strategy (for anyone) to go out a bit slower and have energy to pick it up later.
UR: Seen any good movies lately?     
DCH: Heck yeah, Kung Fu Panda 2 (in 3D).
UR: HYDRAPAK. How have their products benefited you in running? Specific examples? 
DCH: Gel-bots really help me because I can get my calories and water and not have to fuss with opening gels, etc. When I recently ran the R2R2R [Grand Canyon; Rim to Rim to Rim] and set the FKT [Fastest Known Time; (9:12:29] for the route with my friend Krissy [Moehl], I carried two gels bots. In the later miles, I just focused on slurping down the calories from my bottle. If I had had to open gel after gel after gel, I wouldn't have likely been taking in the necessary calories.
UR: That's what's up. 
DCH: lol
UR: Here's a video from Devon and Krissy's Grand Canyon R2R2R (note the dope tunes which i think Devon picked, Young MC... this is what's up): 

UR: Let's talk about "Redlining" (physically)... Through your BLOG I learned that you started focusing on finding your redline zone. What was the biggest element of your training that helped you realize your redline zone? How has exploring that zone affected your running?  
DCH: Harder specific workouts. Leading up to my marathon trials qualifier, I ran my key workouts harder than I have ever run before. I didn't shy away from the tough workouts. I tried to break myself. When you go out for a workout you don't know if you can do, it is intimidating, but then when you face the challenge and get through it or conquer it, you find how deep you can go. I remember before Houston doing a 10x1 mile set of repeats at sub 6 minute pace. It was probably the hardest running I've done. But when I was done, I knew I was ready.    
UR: Qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon was a goal of yours for 2011. You ran a fast but painful Houston Marathon where you missed the qualifying time by a few minutes. You wrote a great blog post about it HERE. Then you came back and conquered in the LA Marathon with a blazing fast 2:43:28!! That is AWESOME! You wrote another excellent blog post about the VICTORY where you also chicked 15,000 dudes in one race and 9 fast ones in the last 4.5 miles. How are you feeling now? Are you pumped for the trials?
DCH: Awesome. It was a fantastic experience and I am super pumped to have achieved my goal, especially after Houston going so poorly. The trials are going to be an amazing opportunity. I plan to have a lot of fun with it. It is a big honor in my opinion.
UR: Does the Nike Womens Marathon seem boring because there are no dudes to chick? 
DCH: Ha. I ran Nike Women's Marathon as my second marathon (way back in 2005). It is a fun course and good race environment, but it is not super competitive (with or without dudes).
UR: Why do you love the 100K and 50 Mile ultramarathon distance? 
DCH: To me those are distances that are still very runnable fast. I also like running an epic distance like that but being done in time for dinner. 
UR: If you had to pick either ultramarathoning or "regular" marathoning which would it be?
DCH: ultras. Ultimately, the community surrounding ultra running make it a very easy decision.
UR: Which Ultrarunning dude is in your crosshairs to get chicked? 
DCH: I have a few in mind, but won't say. I like the element of surprise.
UR: Want to give any shout outs? 
DCH: What up my ninjas!
UR: Thanks Devon! We'll see you on the roads... paved or not. Peace out.   

Thursday, June 2, 2011

North Face Endurance Challenge Road Race... KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

On August 27th and 28th in Kansas City, Missouri The North Face Endurance Challenge will be hosting it's first road race. Up until now "TNF Endurance Challenge" consisted of only trail races which culminate with the championship right here in the Marin Headlands (San Francisco). The North Face, besides being a bad-ass brand, has been putting together this Endurance Challenge for a few years now. I have never ran it but I have heard good things and it is definitely on my list of races to do. Check out this video...

They offer everything from a 5K to a 50 Miler... and now a road race in Kansas City, MO! If you have never been to Kansas City, MO this would be a great opportunity to check it out and do a little or a lot of running while you're there. I have been there once while driving across the country and it is a very cool city. There is great food (bbq!), the architecture is interesting and quite a bit of history surrounds the city especially with music.

The race attracts some of the best runners from around the world. Here's a cool video of the 50 mile Championship from 2010:

And Click HERE for Geoff Roes recap, the 2nd place winner that year. Dean Karnazes, who just finished Running Across America, will be onsite to support and hand out medals at the finish. Diane Van Deren, who has become somewhat of an ultra-marathoning legend because she had surgery to help her seizures which altered her perception of time will be competing in the 50K on Sunday.

Click Here to Register for The North Face Endurance Challenge

Friday, May 27, 2011


...and recovering from an ultramarathon. Sometimes the best way to improve is by taking a break, for a bit. Taking a step away, letting something heal, letting something get stronger or gaining perspective can give you the advantage you've been in need of.  In running, this might mean sleeping more, walking more, working on core strength, upper body or doing some lower body rehab and maintenance exercises. During my recovery from the American River 50 Miler I have experienced a side of running that I normally have not focused on too much which is resting and healing without becoming or feeling out of shape. Being my first 50 Miler, my body was particularly shocked by the distance covered in one day and it has been taking longer than I anticipated to heal. Shortly after the race, I was running again but not feeling as if I was making any gains.  The running during the first two weeks after the 50 miler solidified my running endurance and fitness gained from the 50.  However, I still felt sluggish because I was experiencing aches and pains around my knees. These were tendon, ligament and maybe cartilage related issues. Things that required rest to rejuvenate.
I forced myself to take a week off from running and all exercise.  I still took some nice walks though. The first thing I noticed after a couple days of rest was that I felt strong. After that week, I started small and began running again. I also incorporated more strength/weight training into my routine. The combination of rest, strengthening muscles that I hadn't used much and easing back into running with shorter and mid-range runs has been effective in my recovery process from the ultramarathon (the American River 50 Mile).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BAY to BREAKERS 2011; the 100th Running!

aaahhhh Bay to Breakers.... I love Bay to Breakers! (Wikipedia link: B2B)Many people are against it because of all the partying that accompanies it but I think it's awesome. It is a side of running that is rarely seen and a side of San Francisco that is unique to our city and needs to be shared with the world. The important part of Bay to Breakers is the part that falls somewhere in between the elite racers and the back of the pack "party-ers". It is the part made up of real runners dressed up as super-heroes, hot dogs, genies, gorillas, Obama, Jesus, men dressed as women, women as men, men naked, women naked, roman soldiers...
This year I ran it with my friend Jesse. We decided a little late to run it so it was sold out by time we went to register. Being San Francisco Natives we both love the race and wouldn't dream of doing it without dressing up a bit. We are part of the "middle-of-the-packers" that I was referring to. We ran it in a respectable 1:02:and some change. I felt pretty good about our time considering we were carrying swords, wearing plastic helmets and yelling motivating Roman Army cheers along the way... "Onward!!"... "Seize the Hill!!!" (referring to the Hayes Street Hill) ..."Seize the Park!!! (referring to Golden Gate Park) and of course "VICTORY!!!!" as we crossed the finish line. We also posed for a few pics at the requests of fellow runners along the way.

Bay to Breakers is about running (and yes, it has lost some sight of that over the past 10 years), freedom, peace, and celebrating life. It is an awesome expression of life for 70,000 people to come together peacefully, early on a Sunday morning to have an annual tortilla fight at the starting line, then run, hoot, holler, scream, party and celebrate through the streets of San Francisco all the way to the other side of the city. A lot of people in SF only see the partying side of Bay to Breakers, either from the side lines, the news, or from the party itself. They overlook the elite racing (for the most part)... it's not much more special than any other race with regards to the elites. What they miss are the people in the middle. The real runners who dress up and can throw down 7.5 miles at a 7 minute pace in a gorilla suit. That's the beauty of Bay to Breakers.
Get your costume here! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

American River 50 Mile Endurance Run 2011 Review, Report, Advice and Knowledge from the Road Less Traveled...

Last weekend (April 9, 2011) I ran the AMERICAN RIVER 50 MILE ENDURANCE RUN. It was my first 50 miler and my first "ultramarathon". It was awesome. I loved it. I barely slept the night before. We stayed at the Larkspur Hotel in Sacramento which was a 2 minute drive from the starting line. It was clean, quiet and a great place to stay. My girlfriend/crew was yelling at me all night to sleep (i think i was making her nervous!) but i couldn't stop tossing and turning with anticipation. The unknown of whether or not I could run 50 miles in one go was keeping me awake. My alarm finally went off at 5am. I was a little nervous. I knew i could run 26.2 on little sleep but 50!? Well, I guess we were about to find out. I ate a Core "Warrior" Bar, half of a "Think Thin" protein bar, some brazil nuts and a banana. I chugged about 20oz of H2O as soon as I got outta bed and another 15-20 by the time I arrived at the start; 5:55am. The race started at 6am.

The temperature was in the mid 40's during the start of the race. There was frost on the grass as the sun came up and the river had this beautiful and eerie low fog hovering just above. I decided to keep everything simple for this race. I started out in what I planned on wearing for the whole thing; sleeveless running shirt, shorts, and a bottle with Perpetuem by Hammer Nutrition. No hat, no gloves, no sleeves... looking back, i probably could've gone with a hat or some throw-away gloves but it wasn't too bad.

The first part of the race up until Beale's Point which is about Mile 27 is along a bike path. For the most part, it looks like that (to the right) but there are more runners (pic was taken the day before) and some awesome river views that pop up between the trees as well as some beautiful meadows that happened to be covered in frost that morning (click the pics for larger versions). You definitely feel like you're in civilization throughout this part of the race and I was looking forward to getting to the more "cutty" single track I had been hearing about that winds its way through the bluffs above the river to bring you into Auburn. I felt pretty good throughout the first half of the race. I had little twinges of pain in my knee but nothing too bad and I had flurries of thoughts like, "will I make it 50 miles?" I was able to shake these things off, stick to my fueling plan, and just keep on moving forward. Mile 6 was a tough point when I realized I had 44! more miles to go. My fueling plan was greatly aided by my crew who is my girlfriend, Chrissy Lynn! THANK YOU!!! She met me at all (but the third aid station! It was her first time crewing) the aid stations where I traded the two bottles I was running with for the two bottles she had refilled for me. She is also a PHOTOGRAPHER and took all of these pics! I was running with one 12oz bottle of Perpeteum and one 12oz bottle of H2O the whole time. I am a coffee drinker but held off on drinking any that morning so I could pop some Espresso Clif Shots later in the race (100mg of caffeine!). In addition to the Perpeteum I had an additional GU/hr and some bananas/oranges from the aid stations when it felt appropriate. This plan seemed to work pretty good except I could've used some salt caps. A fellow runner/pacer handed me a couple late in the race and they really wiped out the minor cramping I was experiencing.  I cruised through the marathon mark in 4:28... about where I thought I wanted to be. 

After Beal's Point, the amount of runner's that I was sharing the trails with seemed to really thin out. This was nice. We hit some fun single track and were starting to "get out there" on the trail and in the race. I had an emotional moment around mile 30/31 where I realized I was going to make it! I actually got a little choked up. After this point in the run I settled into a groove of pushing onward, having highs and lows, running with familiar faces, having some alone time on the trails, and was truly able to just sink into the occasion and enjoy the environment and experience. I was hurting but feeling great. Here's a pic from the Rattlesnake aid station at mile 41 (which I hit in 8:11). It would take me another 2:10 to go the last 9 miles!   
Leaving Rattlesnake I felt great and tried to push onward quickly to break 10hrs but the hills were too much for me this late in the race. I was still happy though knowing even if I had to walk it in I would finish my first ultra! The terrain really began to transition during this part of the race from the central valley of California to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's. The American River was flowing strong from all of the rain and snow we've had which also left some pretty good muddy patches on the trails. Check out the Elevation Chart
This is where I really learned what it means to pace yourself in an ultra. If I had gone out at a solid 10:45 or 11min pace I would have had the juice left to power through the second half and easily broken10hrs and probably be even closer to 9hr 30min. I'm looking forward to testing out my pacing discipline at my next Ultramarathon. For a city boy, this all day adventure through the woods was awesome. One of the things that has been motivating me lately is the desire to explore my physical connection with nature. There is something very "stripped down" about being way out there on a run with not much besides yourself to keep you pressing on (I did not run with a pacer). When we got back to the city, Chrissy remarked, "Wow, everything is covered in concrete." After running 50 miles through the country side along a beautiful river I couldn't agree more. 100 Miles through the Sierra Nevada's started to sound like a treat. Here's a finish line crossing I will always remember: 
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cascadia 6 Break-In Session and Review

Aaahhhhh, the Brooks Cascadia's. If there was a running shoe hall of fame (and there definitely should be one! Contact me if you're interested in starting it.) the Brooks Cascadia's would be in there, no doubt. There is something about this shoe that is simple, rugged, durable, and makes you want to cover some serious distance. My Cascadia 4's were getting old

and I've been eyeing the new Cascadia 6's. I skipped the Cascadia 5's because they were basically the same shoe as the 4's. I was lucky to find some great deals on the 4's after they had released the 5's. Anyway, I scooped up a pair of the 6's during an impromptu visit to one of my favorite sporting good stores (The Sports Basement) right before a long run last weekend. With my "homeboy discount" I was out the door with these bad boys for $85! At first I wasn't going to wear them because you know the age old knowledge that you need to break in shoes before running any significant distances in them. Well, as I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands the shiny blue Brooks logo kept on flirting with my eye and the new treads kept flexing their trail biting muscles at me... The next thing I knew I was out of the car heading up the trail with the new Cascadia 6 on my feet. Stoked.

Needless to say, they are awesome and needless to say you should break in your shoes before you go for a long run in them. A few minor blisters/irritations on my feet, some mud stylistically splattered on the Cascadias and about 20 miles later I was feeling great and happy that I scooped up the shoes. Brooks didn't really change much, as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke don't fix it"! They are slightly lighter (i think 1oz) and the tread is different which I thought overall gave a little more of a responsive feel but lost a little of that trail grip that the older Cascadia's had. Maybe I was just so happy to be running in the new shoes or maybe it was really that 1oz difference but I could've sworn that my feet felt a little lighter that day. Here's a few more pics from the run and an after the first run pic of the Cascadia's... They were so shiny and new just a few hours before!?!!

I almost took off for the Oregon border but decided Muir Beach was a lot more interesting. I also almost got eaten by a bobcat but luckily I saw him first just behind that bush and I was wearing my new Cascadia 6's so there is no way he could've caught me.

I took a breather and tried out my new panoramic photo app on the trail.... pretty cool.

Here's Muir Beach and an old bridge that had a sign which read "No Horses".  After 2 running steps on it the bridge was bouncing around like a rubber band.... They should probably change the sign to "No Horses or Runners." 

Mt Tamalpais (looking North from the Miwok trail)

After pic of the Cascadia 6... Neva been betta!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Marin Headlands 22.5 Miler

I have the fortune to live in one of the best running regions in the world, the San Francisco Bay Area. On Saturday (2/26/11) I went for a 22.5 Miler through the Marin Headlands which included about 4,500' elevation gain and an equal amount of descent (I think I was on flat ground for only about a half mile total!). It was a great training run for the American River 50 Miler and it also covered some of the Miwok 100K Race Route. My legs are burning today and I feel great. I brought my iPhone 4 with me and captured some of the views. The Marin Headlands (like most of the Bay Area) is a great place to run and hike because of the exceptional views and dynamic terrain. I covered ground from the beach up thru coastal trails, down through lush stream riddled switch backs, through a zen center and farm (Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm) and through some horse stables. I also ran down one coastal trail following a mountain biking unicyclist... luckily we hit some flat ground and I was able to catch a pic of him before he took off (see image below). Hope you enjoy the images (click on them for larger versions!).  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Running and Blogging

I used to think that even though I write a running blog, running and blogging really did not have any similarities. When I first started this blog, I thought that the writing and time for it would always come easily. Recently I have learned what running and blogging have in common. Writing a blog is like being on a really long run with no finish line. You face adversity, you feel great highs, explore deep lows and best of all, overcome the adversity and find a way to keep going. That is when you realize that you have become a stronger runner or blogger. Since late fall 2010 my blogging muscles have been cramping, i've run out of my favorite electrolyte drink and it's temperature has risen in my "blog-o-sphere" and for reasons you do not care about (well maybe except for one) the time for blogging has been scarce.

Training for a 50 Miler (American River 50) is time consuming. No way around it. Particularly in the Winter. I have been religiously sticking to my long run schedule in whatever weather mother nature throws at me. Bloody nipples? Yup. Headlamp? Yup. General Uncomfortableness? Yup. But you know what? I feel great... Except, I feel like my creative drive for Undefeated Running has been shut down. It's like when you're telling your legs to keep running then they override the control center and slow to a walk.

I've been looking for that spark that will ignite the fire that burns down my writer's block. If I were running I could just grab a potato and a little caffeine and be on my way. What's the saying? "It's all mental?" I guess that explains why it might be tougher to convince your mind to do something that your body. Generally, I'll read a couple running mags/books in my spare time, or get an idea while on a run, or just be hanging out thinking about life and running and voila! I will have an idea! But with a bonked writer's brain comes no blogging, no inspirational facebook quotes, etc. Work has been oddly busy during the winter months (good for wallet bad for running), Running for 7-10 hours out the weekend, moving, and everything else life includes has left me little time to think while not running.

But here I am punching the keys again and it feels good. The only reason I'm writing this post is self serving. I had the idea on my long run last weekend that if I write about my writer's block then it will go away.

Monday, January 24, 2011


2011 will be running's biggest year yet. The streets are flooded with runners, the parks are littered with us and on most trails you're almost guaranteed to see at least one person to throw a runner's wave at. Races are selling out well in advance and the Elite's are pushing the pace to new lows. Barefoot runners and Minimalist shoes are EVERYWHERE. I even see people with backpacks commuting to work via their feet moving rapidly under their bodies more and more often (Thanks BORN TO RUN!).

So why has running grown so rapidly over the past few years? How did running become cool (again)? I believe it is has to do with a relatively recent, small but significant shift in the general consciousness of our population. People are becoming (slightly) less materialistic and getting (slightly) more in touch with fundamental humanity; being more in touch with our environment, our bodies, and our minds. In this era of global warming and big explosions too close to everyone's home maybe we are realizing our own mortality as a species. Running is a natural way for a human to reconnect with their wild (as in animal) side. Running is Freedom. It is a pure exploration of your being as well as your physical surroundings. Barefoot and Minimalist Running are examples of us runners pushing running closer to nature, figuratively and literally. Running unites us with nature, our evolution, the earth, then to the creation of the World, Universe, Big Bang Theory, and the mystery of what exists without all of those familiar things. Apparently these naked runners are taking it to the next level! Not sure if that would increase or decrease my race times???

What are your running goals for 2011? Are you pushing your limits? Why are you pushing your limits? Are you helping running culture to grow? Inspiring others? I started writing this post last night and woke up to news of Jack Lalanne's passing. Dedicate your next run to Jack and inspire someone who does not run to start running.

All the best for 2011!