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RUNNER'S NICHE

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Vol. 2 No. 8 August, 1997

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

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The World Championships of Track and Field begin on Saturday,

August 2 in Athens. This should be a runner's celebration. We

get to see the world's best going after a medal that

indicates he or she is the best on the entire planet. I urge

you to watch this event with the enthusiasm of a child. Try

to ignore the American media that whines when US athletes

"fail" to win a medal. Please try to put all the politics out

of your mind. Think about the athletes who are attending the

championships, and don't worry that some top athletes will

not attend. Enjoy this gathering of fantastic athletic talent

and let it inspire you.

- WG

**************

MISSING RUNNER

**************

Amy Wroe Bechtel, a marathon runner, is lost and was last

seen in Wyoming on a training run. Amy was last seen

Thursday, July 24, in the Wind River Mountains, on the Loop

Road, between Lander, Wyoming and South Pass where she was

training for a marathon! She was wearing a yellow tank top,

black shorts or leggings and Adidas Trail Response running

shoes, a Timex Iron Man Triathlon watch and a small double

wedding band!

Amy is 24 years old, 5'6", 110 lbs., and has blonde shoulder

length hair and blue eyes.

A picture and the previous information can be found at the

following web address:

<http://WWW.YELLOWSTONEPARK.COM/AMY.HTML>

or

<http://WWW.ASPENTREE.COM>

Please take a moment to look at Amy's picture at one of these

sights!

Anyone who has seen Amy or has any information, call the

Fremont County

Sheriff's office at (307) 332-5611 or your local law

inforcement agency.

You can also send email to <sbechtel@wyoming.com>

 

*********************

INTERVIEW: DAVE ELGER

*********************

Interview By Woody Green

Dave Elger has accomplished a great deal since he began

running competitively in the late 60's while in high school.

He has run 26 marathons and has a PR of 2:25 from the first

Chicago Marathon, then called the Mayor Daley Marathon. He

managed a 2:34 at the 1994 Boston Marathon at age 40, and

most recently he won the masters division in the Disney

Marathon in January.

He has a professional interest in running as well, having

studied with Dr Dave Costill at the Ball State Human

Performance lab from 1977 - 79.

A Florida resident until recently, he has moved to Okinawa to

do work for the Department of Defense at Kadena Air Base.

RUNNER'S NICHE: You have been running strong for quite a

number of years. At age 43 how have you managed to stay

healthy?

DAVE ELGER: Good question. My last 2 years of college, and

first year following were crazy. I really did some

unbelievable training striving for that next level and ended

up with a chronic case of plantar fascitis. After battling

with it for nearly 2 years, I had surgery in 1979 and haven't

had a problem with it since, although I do wear orthotics for

training. That injury was due to just plain stupidity-

massive doses of high quality miles all on roads with poor

shoes, then continuing to train using tape, injections, etc.

once I was injured.

The other major problem I have had since the late 70s is a

chronic tight muscle in my hamstring that affects my

biomechanics when fatigued. I never have been able to figure

this one out, but over the years I have learned to deal with

it. 5 Ks are okay but 10 Ks are uncomfortable for me. I

estimate my marathons are 3 to 5 minutes slower than what I

could run if healthy.

RN: How has your training changed as you have aged?

DE: In my early 20s, the core of my training was one and a

half hour runs, which I did probably four times per week. I

ran them as I felt. Some days very, very hard, and other days

easy if I was not recovered. I had no structured hard, easy

program and other than in cross country, seldom, if ever did

any formal interval training.

As a master I have had great success by finding a consistent

groove encompassing speed workouts, long runs, and fast paced

45 to 60 minute runs. A key difference now is that I usually

know ahead of time when I am going to be ready to run hard.

RN: What do you think is the key to training for the marathon

as a master?

DE: There are three keys to my success as a master in the

marathon.

First, following a good base of 4 to 6 weeks of 2 x 17 mile

runs per week, usually 48-72 hrs apart. I believe and

research supports, that recovery is too long for any distance

20 miles and beyond, and that should be saved for race day

only.

I find that I can recover quickly from 17 miles run at 6:45

to 7:00 pace, and two per week gives me the endurance to

finish the last 6 miles very strong. My last several

marathons I have maintained 6 minute pace the last 6 miles.

Second, I do one run a week at race pace - for me 6 minutes

per mile - or faster for 7 to 10 miles. This run is nearly

all out.

And third, two weeks prior to race day I make a point to

start throwing in several shorter 5 to 6 mile runs at race

pace or slightly faster. My last 17 miler is two weeks

before the marathon.

I Also include things in my training that are not as crucial.

For instance, in training for Disney my long run was 80-85

percent on trails and grass. I think this speeds recovery.

I do one interval session a week - usually 4-6 x 800 meters

in 2:30 or a little under done on a straight road.

Also a 5 k race on the weekend or a short, hard substitute.

Using a program like this I have run the following:

Disney '94 2:38

Boston '94 2:34

Disney '95 2:38

Fox Cities '96 2:37

Disney '97 2:39

At Disney in '97 (Ed: In which he won the masters division.)

I was 1:19:30 at the half, so ran the most even paced

marathon I have ever done. I was in the top 30 and moved up

to finish 7th overall.

RN: What's your next marathon?

DE: I think my serious marathon days are about over. Right

now I am still adjusting to hills in Okinawa, and the age

factor is slowing me down. This is the first year that I have

not been able to break 16:00 for a 5 K. I think I am losing

flexibility in my hips, which is affecting stride length, so

I am trying to work on that, although not as consistently as

I should be.

RN: What kind of racing opportunities are there in your new

home of Okinawa?

DE: There are two marathons here. One is in December, I may

be in the states for that one, and one in February. Once it

cools off a bit I'll see how I feel. I may just train to

break 3 hours. Long runs are tough right now with this heat.

It's a similar climate to Florida where I lived the last 10

years.

RN: Of all the races you have run, which one is your

favorite?

DE: I've run easily over 500 races, and my favorite is

probably the 7 mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida. I enjoy

the Florida Keys and I have always run well there.

RN: What are your all time best performances?

DE: I competed for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

from 1971 to 76, and was NAIA marathon champ in 1976 with a

time of 2:28 in the hills and heat of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

I ran a 9:25 indoor 2 mile with little or no speed work and

30:13 for 6 miles.

*****************

MY FIRST MARATHON

*****************

By Chris Amaker

I chose to attend Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota as

my first marathon with the Leukemia Society Team in Training.

I was already moderately fit but in no condition to run 26.2

miles. The Team in Training folks gave me a choice of

marathons. I could have chosen the Mayor's Midnight marathon

in Anchorage, Alaska too. However, all the stories about

running trails and the hills scared me away from that

marathon. No, I thought it best to go with the paved roads

for my first marathon. After all, moving this 6' 1", 240

pound, ex-football player body that distance was bound to be

painful.

My wife and I decided to stay at the Black Bear Casino/Hotel.

It was about fifteen minutes south of Duluth and the finish

line. Besides, all the hotel rooms in Duluth were booked

solid during the marathon days, imagine that!

Many of my pre-marathon dreams consisted of me completing the

run and coming back to the Casino and winning big on the

Blackjack table. That was until I reached mile 20 during the

run. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me take you

back a little bit.

The morning of the marathon we had an uncle drive us to the

start. The traffic was not too bad and we managed to get

there with thirty minutes to spare before the race began. The

pre-race jitters sent a sudden urgency to my belly. I had to

use the bathroom really bad. The day before we had taken the

tour of the route and noticed about 50-100 "Port-A-Potty"

bathrooms set up for the marathon about 300 feet from the

start line. As I snaked my way through the crowd over to the

Port-a potty I noticed that of the 7500 runners that day,

6000 had the same idea. The lines were long and they weren't

moving. I thought back to my group leader with the Team in

Training crew. She told us, "Head to the tree line." I had

said to myself using the tree line was barbaric and I could

exhibit enough control to avoid such disgrace. But, on your

training runs you have the bathroom at a supermarket or donut

shop on the route to let you avoid certain doom. I was stuck

now and had to answer the call of nature so, I headed for the

tree line. As I approached I noticed several "squatters,"

male and female all using nature's bathroom. I found a spot

and joined in, a little embarrassed but definitely

enlightened. I now knew what "head to the trees" meant. The

wisdom of my group leader surprised me and I was grateful I

remembered.

I managed to make it back to the start line with plenty of

minutes to spare. I did notice back where we were standing

how talkative all the runners were. Near the front people

were quieter.I attribute this to the back of the pack being

those runners with

"penguinness" qualities. Whereas, the front of the pack, the

elite runners, were concentrating on hearing the starter's

pistol and getting off to a good start. The slow runners,

like me, were in it for the T-shirt or just to finish. We did

not need to hear the starter's pistol. We would start when

the crowd moved ahead. That is how it started for me. Three

and one-half minutes

after the pistol I came rumbling across the start line.

I was off and feeling great. I had trained the last 5 months

and was ready to prove to the world I could run a marathon.

The spectators and volunteers that lined the race were great.

Each had a special thing to offer us. Many had radios or

"boom boxes" blaring as we came running by. The spectators

really enjoyed us as much as we did them. After all, if it

weren't for us slower runners the spectator's participation

would be about 10 seconds. Those elite runners come whipping

by and don't even have time to listen to the music. I, on the

other hand, had plenty of time. I soaked in each person and

the scenery (Lake Superior). Where else but a marathon can

you get a, "Achy Breaky Heart" with Billy Ray Cirrus, "Push

It" with Salt 'n' Pepper and dance the "Macarena" better than

any democrat at a convention. My first 20 miles were filled

with joyous people and activities to divert my attention.

They were shouting, "Go Chris, You look great!"

Sewing my name on the front of my shirt made that possible.

My group leader struck again. She was really wise about this

marathon stuff. The course was described as flat with a few

"rolling hills." This description was probably done by one of

those elite runners. To regular runners like me they were not

rolling they were just "HILLS!" There was always an incline

except for the last 6 miles.

Miles 20 - 26 were hell for me. I could barely hear the

crowds. Not because they were thinning but because my ears

decided to shut down to conserve energy for my legs. The

cheers from the crowd had turned into muffled noises to me. I

could read the lips when I looked up from the road.

"Yeah, Chris only a little further!" They were clueless. A

little further seemed like 100 miles and I was not moving

that fast. Yet, I kept plugging along somehow. I could not

make it to the mile markers fast enough. The toughest part of

the run for me was at mile 24. There was an overly zealous

group of guys sitting in lawn chairs drinking beer. They were

watching the runners come by and cheering them on. They

decided to offer me a beer. They reassured me that I had it

made, why not stop for a beer? They had no idea how much I

gave up to run this marathon. My beer intake had dramatically

decreased during my training period because it could have

possibly affected my run the next day. I thanked them all and

told them that I would return but for now I had to struggle

on to the finish. I never made it back to them.

My wife finished thirty minutes ahead of me. She came back

about 400 meters from the finish line to look for me. I

noticed her mouth moving and from what I could lip read she

was saying, "Yeah, Chris I am so proud of you!" I normally

listen to her, (except during Pro Basketball games) but this

time I could not hear a word she was saying. I told her I

would meet her at the end.

At mile 26 I could see the finish line. I had a mere 200

meters left, so I stopped, raised my hands to the crowd, high

fived someone and looked around to cherish the moment. I

crossed the finish line and announced to the world, "I did

it!!" The marathon took me awhile (5 hours, 39 minutes) but I

did it.

Not everyone can say that. It was the most physically

demanding thing I had ever done. I got my medal and T-shirt

for completing the marathon. My wife and I hugged at the end

and began to plan our next run. We are going to run in the

Honolulu, Hawaii marathon in December.

The Leukemia Society Team in Training program trained me to

reach this goal. My group leader said I could do it and she

made sure to train me to achieve the goal.

I did go back to the casino. I lost 20 dollars in the slot

machines and called it quits, so much for the dream. The Hot

tub in the hotel was calling my name like the spectators,

"Chris, Chris, the water is good." This time I heard the

call.

Once in the hot tub I was the one to shout, "Yeah, Chris you

did it! You really did it!"

 

*******************

ANAEROBICS: STRIDES

*******************

By Woody Green

Most of the time we think of interval workouts as being

pretty tough. We go out and do several tough repetitions with

a short jog in between for recovery. At the end we are bent

over gasping for breath. For an anaerobic workout to be

worthwhile, you might think you really have to hammer and

leave yourself dead.

There is no doubt that this type of workout needs to be a

part of your normal, pre-race workout scheme. But, it isn't a

bad idea to add some easy, quick anaerobic workouts to your

training plan, as well.

Easy interval training? Sure. To help your nervous system get

used to running fast, to help with running form, to make you

more comfortable running at a quick tempo and to strengthen

your legs, think about adding some strides to your weekly

workouts.

Strides are short runs of about 100 meters or so done at an

accelerated pace. Many of you probably do three or four

strides before a race as part of your warm-up. When you run a

short distance at a pace much faster than your race pace, you

make more complete use of all your leg muscles and you use

them at a greater intensity.

The best way to begin doing strides is to add them to the end

of a run. This way you are good and warmed-up, and you should

be able to run fast without fear of "pulling something."

Find a football field, a flat section of a park, or the

straightaway on a track and try doing four to six strides. Do

the first ones relatively easy and build the speed with each

repetition. This isn't meant to be an all-out sprint, but

rather a controlled, quick tempo run.

Think about running with good form, not letting yourself get

tight in the arms or shoulders. Flow with the effort and

don't try to fight your way through it. Take plenty of rest

between strides. You can jog or walk in between, just don't

sit or stand in one place since the blood will pool in your

legs and make it hard to get going again.

By doing just a few strides each week you can often see a

dramatic improvement in your running. Much like a car that is

driven at the same speed in traffic all the time, you can

benefit by "blowing the carbon out" and revving up the RPMs a

bit!

 

******

ON ON!

******

Reader Matt Rhoads got the following information on "Hashing"

in a flyer attached to his windshield after a race. He

thought we might find it interesting.

 

The usual description of a Hash club is: "A drinking club

with a running problem." Originally started in 1938 Kuala

Lumpur, Malaysia, Hashing is a sport loosely molded after the

old English schoolboy game "Hares and Hounds." Back in 1938

Kuala Lumpur, the "Hash House" was the mildly derogative

nickname given to the Selangor Club by the British Civil

Servants who lived, dined, and ran there. They named their

running club after it. After World War II hashing spread to

the rest of the world. There are now more than 1500 clubs in

over 135 countries."

Here's the explanation of "Hashing" as found on the flyer:

One or more hares set up a trail, marked with flour. The

hounds then follow the trail. Trail markings consist of the

following:

1.A trail mark indicating you are on the right trail (usually

a dot or splotch of flour.)

2.A "check" (usually an X) indicating that the trail now

branches in any number of directions.

3.A false (marked with an F) indicating that you've just

followed a false trail, and should go back to the previous

check.

Hounds follow the trail because:

1.There might be beer along the way.

2.They don't know any better.

3.There might be beer at the end.

4.It might go interesting places (see items 1 and 3).

Some hash clubs exclusively use "live" hares, meaning that

the hares start marking the trail and fifteen minutes later

the pack takes off after them. There's a kind of honor

associated with catching the hares (usually the hare loses

his/her pants). However, most hashes have elaborate trails

set up hours in advance.

The running is cooperative, with the pack working together to

find the trail. Physical fitness varies greatly; some people

run ultra-marathons, and the only exercise others get is the

slow jog between checks. The length and difficulty of the

trail varies ranging from a half mile to fifteen miles (with

full sag wagons). Usually you can count on the run to be four

to six miles.

The course itself may traverse any or all of the following:

City Streets

Dense Briar Patches

Woods

Swamps

Jungles

Rivers

College Dormitories

Hotels

Urban Shopping Malls

Building Tops

Cemeteries

Waterfalls

Storm Drains

There is usually a beer check somewhere during the run. Some

hashes just have a cooler of beer and soda at the end of the

trail, with a six-pack or two along the way, while others

have multiple kegs at the end. After the run there is food,

ceremony, beer drinking, singing, rejoicing and merry making.

And OF COURSE the usual pissing and moaning of runners after

a run. Sometimes there is a party at a bar or restaurant,

with everyone kicking in a few bucks.

 

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WEB SITES OF INTEREST

*********************

*The First Air Force Marathon*

Get info on the U.S. Air Force Marathon this October 20 at

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

<http://afmarathon.wpafb.af.mil/>

*On On!*

Hash House Harriers Web Links and Info:

<http://www.lm.com/~floppy/wwwlinks.html>

 

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READER'S MAIL

*************

*Laughing and Grateful*

Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,

Just a note from a subscriber thanking you for your unique

combination of useful, amusing and just plain good "stuff"

related to running. I find myself both laughing and grateful

for the runner I am all over again when your newsletter

arrives. Thanks.

- Trish Gaffney

*Elites Aloof?*

Ed: In response to a letter from <Jgracetri@aol.com> last

month stating that running is alive and well in Pensacola,

Florida and that elite runners are too aloof, one reader

writes:

...I think that it easy to tag our athletes with this quality

of being aloof, but really when is the last time that you got

all excited for the USTAF championship. How many times have

you flipped on the tube to watch 12 AMERICANS battling it out

in a mile race on AMERICAN soil. Our runners have to spend

time in Europe in order to stay off the roads. Road racing IS

the only other option. It is sad to say that our athletes are

forced to travel away from their families and we call them

"aloof."

It is simply not enough to have all of these road races. We

have solved the smallest problem, inclusion. The biggest

problem is high quality competition. We need races that will

fine tune our elite athletes.

Who knows, one day we may have the Golden Three (Grand Prix

track meets) here in the states -- Oregon, Maine,

and...uh...Pensacola?

HAGD :)

Jeremy Huffman

********************

RUNNING PERSONAL ADS

********************

By Thomas David Kehoe

We need personal ads in the back of running magazines.

Dating hasn't gone well for me since I started running 3

years ago. If a woman has more than 17% body fat, or wears

shoes she can't walk in, or wants to spend a perfectly good

Saturday afternoon sitting around at a concert or something,

I lose interest. One woman, when I said that I was going

running at 8am Sunday morning, asked if I'd lost a bet!

Only an obsessive runner would date us. I tried dating an

obsessive skier, and then an obsessive rock climber, and then

an obsessive triathlete, but these didn't work out. The

triathlete looked promising, until I took her for an easy run

with my club, and she couldn't keep up with the 70 year-olds.

She never went out on another date with me.

I've set up a running personal ads page on my website. It's

free and easy to use, allowing you to directly e-mail any ad.

Even if you're not "available," leave us an amusing story

about running and dating. The URL is

<http://www.casafuturatech.com/Personal/Running/running_toc.h

tml>

There's a further problem: runners' personal ads, if written

honestly, wouldn't be interesting. After listing your PR's,

you'd have to list your hobbies and interests, i.e., your

Life Outside Running (LOR). Most of us don't have one! If I

wrote an honest personal ad, it would look like this:

SWM, Boulder, Colorado, 35, 6'0", 145 lbs, VO2-max 71, 17:17

5K, 36:39 10K, likes ultradistance trail runs. LOR (life

outside running): uh, let's see, I eat a lot of

carbohydrates, is that a hobby? :-) I have a job, I

volunteer organizing running club events, oh, that's not

outside running?...my dad calls me every weekend, but mostly

he asks how my running is going, I have friends, but I guess

they're all runners, wait, I've thought of something, I've

taken a couple rock climbing classes, of course I ran 10

miles to the classes, but I had fun climbing.

***********************

COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE

***********************

There is a new sister publication to RUNNER'S NICHE called

COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE. Unlike this cyberspace magazine, the

COLORADO NICHE is a regular print publication. If you live on

the front range, look for it at Runner's Roost in Ft. Collins

and Boulder, the Boulder Running Company, Mongoose Runner's

Den (Westminster) or Runner's Choice (Boulder). We hope to

expand or circulation in the future.

You can visit the COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE PAGE AT:

<http://home.netone.com/~woodyg3/crn.html>

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RUNNER'S NICHE IS ON THE WEB!

*****************************

RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and

past issues can be downloaded there. Also, we have a

Macintosh training log program for free download. Features

are continuously being added. If you'd like to visit, the URL

is:

<http://home.netone.com/~woodyg3/runiche.html>

Pass the address on to your friends!

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