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RUNNER'S NICHE

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Vol. 3 No. 5 June, 1998

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

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If God came down today and announced to you that you had a

decision to make, either give up your career or give up

running, which would you pick? Be honest, now. If you are

reading this at work, you don't have to answer out loud.

The fact is, it is fairly incredible how important running

can become in a person's life, and how much a person can

tie their identity to running.

Don't be too embarrassed if you catch yourself thinking

about your next workout during an important meeting at

work, or if you are more interested in saving money to get

a new pair of running shoes than to buy a new set of

curtains for the living room. All that says is that you

have a real passion in your life.

Don't be afraid to admit that running is more important to

you than many of the things that "normal" people consider

uppermost in their priorities. Instead, pity those folks

who just don't understand. They are the one's that will

never get it. When you are out running in the wet, cold

sleet and they are eating chips in front of the TV, who is

really living their life and experiencing everything it has

to offer? Are you really sacrificing when you go to bed

early, then get up an hour before the rest of the city to

do your morning run, or is everyone else just sleeping

their life away?

Face it, a running life is a better life!

- WG

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FASTER THAN CARLSBAD CORRECTION

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The Newport 5,000, a super-fast race described in last

month's NICHE has been canceled for this year. Sorry!

 

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THIS AND THAT

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;-) When asked recently how she enjoyed her first visit to

a World Championship Track Meet, 5,000 meter runner Melody

Fairchild had this to say about her trip to Athens last

year: "I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw-up

all over the place!"

<OK!> The Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, to be run on June

21 in San Diego, will have the largest field ever for a

debut marathon. No more entries were accepted once the

field reached 18,000!

:-o The Strapped Jock, a running specialty store in

Phoenix, Arizona blew up recently due to a gas leak.

Fortunately nobody was in the store at the time.

/#1\ An American best for four miles was set at the Michael

Forbes Trolley Run in Kansas City. Ryan Wilson, a senior at

Arkansas University, blazed a time of 17:27 and won by a

full 18 seconds.

 

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SNOOZERS AREN'T LOSERS

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By Woody Green

We often hear about how hard elite runners train. That is

an important key to success in running, of course, but

elite runners do something else that may be just as

important. They have learned how to rest and relax between

workouts. Most of the top Kenyan runners, for instance,

train two or even three times a day, but between workouts

they do little besides reading, rehydrating, eating and

sleeping.

Most top runners are just as serious and dedicated to their

rest as they are to their training. When she was doing

serious training, World Champion marathoner Rosa Mota had a

set time each afternoon for her nap. This downtime was

strictly adhered to each day and she reportedly even got

into her pajamas for this afternoon ritual.

Libbie Hickman says that she averages ten hours sleep a

night, and additionally she naps during the day. To do the

kind of training she does, and to stay healthy and injury

free, she has to have that kind of sleep. Frank Shorter

used to say the same thing. He slept a lot so that he could

train a lot.

You might be surprised at how much better you'd feel with

just a little more sleep. The little aches and pains in

your legs may actually get better or even disappear. Your

long runs might be easier and your legs might feel bouncy

and fresh for your track sessions. Remember, the body uses

sleep time to repair and rejuvenate itself. If you don't

get enough sleep, you can't expect to recover fully between

workouts.

Late running author George Sheehan used to relate that if

he felt overly run-down and tired, he would replace his

afternoon run with a nap. He found that this kept him in

better physical condition than pushing through the workout,

blind to his fatigue.

We all take a good deal of interest in our training. We

track our mileage, plan our interval workouts and long runs

carefully. We might add weight training or cross-training

as we feel necessary to reach our potential. We don't all

have time in our busy lives for a daily afternoon nap, but

maybe one of the best things we could do is remember to set

aside time to slow down and catch a few extra Zs when we

can!

 

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AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION RUNNING CLUB

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A club well worth joining just to get their informative

newsletter, the American Lung Association Running Club also

sponsors group trips to marathons such as Grandma's, New

York and across the pond to London. Based in Minneapolis,

Minnesota, you can contact the club at: 4220 Old Shakopee

Road, #101, Minneapolis, MN 55437-2974.

Thanks to club officer Ted Esau for sending me back issues

of the newsletter and club information! (You can contact

Ted via e-mail at <tedesau@hotmail.com>.)

 

 

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RUNNING IS THE CANVAS, WRITING IS THE COLORS

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By Michael Selman

Who has ever been able to adequately answer the question of

why a runner runs? A singular answer cannot do the query

justice, because everybody runs for different reasons.

Even the same individual runs for different reasons

throughout his or her running career, if, indeed, running

is to endure.

I first started to run primarily for the T-shirts. That's

the honest truth. I was always an avid T-shirt collector to

begin with, and earning the coveted cloak, as opposed to

buying it, added an emotional element to this passion. The

race name, distance and date prominently displayed amongst

the sponsors screamed of a personal victory by its very

proclamation.

Although the connection is still there, a T-shirt alone has

not been enough to endure through these past 15 years on

the roads. The next passion element to this running life

was to better my times. PR's were easily achieved when I

was a rookie. In fact, I could count on lowering the bar

just about every time I raced, for the first few months.

After a few years, PR's faded into memories of faster

times. There still had to be a passion to drive me to

continue. Running had to take on a new meaning for me.

Running became my canvas. A sacred time for me and me

alone, to think about whatever I wanted to think about. I

also discovered, at about the same time, that I could write

about my running thoughts and people would appreciate the

thoughts I was thinking. If running was my canvas, then

the written words that followed must then be my colors.

Funny how I never thought myself the artist, but there was

one, fighting to break out of a linear mold.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a week off from work, so I

could spend time with my daughter, who had flown down from

her home in North Carolina for a visit. She was once

Daddy's little girl, but now, she has grown into quite the

beautiful young woman of 13. As she has matured, we have

grown more distant, which, I suppose is to be expected.

The things that go through a 13-year old girl's mind are

not easily shared with her father.

We planned several things for the week she was here. We

went shopping, which is a passion of hers right now, but we

didn't talk too much. Neither one of us knew quite what

our common ground was any more. We went to Stone Mountain,

and checked out a rock where everybody sticks their gum on

the way up or down the granite trail. Her name, which had

been scrawled with a piece of Juicy Fruit last year when

she was living with me, was still etched in the rock, for

all to see. We laughed at its endurance, but we didn't

talk about anything too important that day. After about

five minutes of walking around the top of the mountain, she

was ready to go. She had seen what she had come for, and

the trip to Stone Mountain was complete. As we drove home,

I was thinking that we should have spent more time there,

and was a little frustrated. We didn't talk much on the

way home.

The next day was opening day for Six Flags, so we went.

Everyone else in the Southeastern United States went, too.

It took us an hour and a half to get off the exit to the

park, another half-hour to park the car, and about 45

minutes to purchase our tickets.

Up until the incident I'm about to tell you about, I used

to have a couple of other passions. Waiting in traffic and

waiting in lines. I hated them both with a similar

passion. My daughter and I had already waited in one or

the other for three hours this day, just for the privilege

of entering the park. My daughter, who was bored after five

minutes at Stone Mountain, seemed to be pretty accepting of

this chain of events. I was already fit to be tied.

One inside the park, we got in the first line we saw, which

was for the "Scream Machine." Just as we nudged to the end

of the line an official from the park stated that the wait

from this point in the line was approximately three hours.

Even having already forked over the money, I would have

left in an instant. But I looked at my daughter, and her

eyes told me she wanted to wait. I smiled, and asked her

the one question, which created the most meaningful dialog

that took place between us that week. It was an exchange

which has impacted me greatly since then I asked a simple

question, she gave a simple answer, and my life has

somewhat changed as a result.

My question was simply this. "Why were you ready to leave

Stone Mountain after five minutes, but you are willing to

tolerate traffic and lines for six hours just to ride a

roller coaster?" Her answer was simple, but poignant.

"Because," she said, "There is a reward at the end."

Wow, I thought. All of a sudden, I didn't mind the wait

any more. I was watching my daughter enjoying a passion.

A good, wholesome, gratifying passion. She loves roller

coasters. I always knew that, but I never understood the

passion behind it. From that point on, we talked, we

laughed, and we enjoyed each other's company for the rest

of the day. I could care less about the lines.

I have the same type of passion for running and writing. I

get up at ungodly hours on weekends to drive to places I

never even heard of, just so I can run a race. I plan each

day around when I am going to energize myself with my run.

And then, while I am out there, I absorb every element of

what is out there in the world through all of my senses. I

think about what I can learn from my run, and how I might

be able to look at something differently than I ever have

before. It is all there for me to absorb, every time out.

And then, I write about them.

I thought about my daughter's observation, about the reward

at the end of the line. When I tucked her in to bed that

night, exhausted from our day at Six Flags, she hugged my

neck and said "Dad, I had a great day. Thank you." Was

that my reward at the end of the line? It could have been,

but my reward came long before that. I want to share with

you what my 13-year-old taught me that day.

She taught me not to hate lines so much. Even a marathon

runner does not look at the medal around his or her neck as

the sole reward of a hard fought battle. The prize is

inclusive of so much more than that. The months of

training, and the sacrifices it entails are a big part of

the victory, in reflection. The race itself, from the

starting line to the carrot dangling 26.2 miles away, is,

in essence, " the line." But it's not just a vehicle to an

end. The line, any line, is something to be savored every

step of the way. It's camaraderie with others who are

struggling and hurting every bit as much as you are. Their

reasons for being in the line may be different, but the

pain is shared.

Oh, sweet daughter, I have something to tell you. That day

at Six Flags was much like a marathon. We were on the line

for different reasons. I would not have even been in the

line if not for you. But I got my reward before you did

that day. Just spending those six hours with you before we

ever hopped on the "Scream Machine" has changed the way I

look at lines. I came to understand one of your passions

that day. From that point on, for me, that line was my

whole reason for being there that day. When we finally got

on the roller coaster, you got your reward, too.

And when you hugged me that night, and slowly closed your

eyes with a look of complete contentment, you provided me

with another reward. You had given me the realization that

lines is only a bad thing if you view them that way.

Depending on the angle you choose to observe from, you can

find something positive in anything you encounter. Whether

the reward is at the end of the line, or somewhere within,

you will find it if you look hard enough. Why do I run

these days? Because I choose to view it as a time for

introspection. I take that time to find the positive

elements of a negative situation. I use it as a time to

think about how I can be a better husband, a better father,

a better friend, a better person. I find closure to things

in my running, and I also create new thoughts. I run

because there is always something to learn while you are

running, if you go in to it with an opened mind. I run

because it is a passion.

Why do I write? Because I have an ability to do so in a

way that people can relate to. I like to elaborate on my

thoughts through the words I create. I always learn

something about myself when I write. If I can touch and

enrich someone else with my writing, then I have been a

successful writer. I write because it is a passion.

My running is my canvas. The words I write are my colors.

I hope you enjoy the pictures I draw.

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MARATHON AND BEYOND

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Review by Woody Green

I know by the letters I get from readers that a very large

percentage of you are interested in running marathons, and

even ultras. Not surprisingly, people getting ready to run

a marathon are eager for information. Making a commitment

to do the kind of training necessary to complete a marathon

means investing a good deal of time and effort, so runners

naturally want to make sure they are preparing wisely.

MARATHON AND BEYOND is a bimonthly publication that is

dedicated to marathon and ultra runners. This may be the

information source many of you are looking for.

A nice monthly feature is an overview of one particular

race. All vital information about the course, weather,

local accommodations and the "highs" and "lows" of the race

are covered.

Other stories cover everything from training techniques to

the history of the sport. The authors range from scientists

to coaches to athletes, and the writing is always top

notch.

The May / June issue was particularly interesting to

Western States Endurance Run fans, since there was a

twenty-fifth anniversary special feature. Several articles

covered every aspect of the race from history to personal

accounts of completing the race.

Afraid of another glossy magazine promising your fastest

times ever with a new training program each month? There is

none of that here. In fact, there are fewer photos and much

less color than you might expect. The publication comes in

a sort of paperback book format, as well. I find these to

be attractive features; some people might miss the glitz.

I highly recommend MARATHON AND BEYOND to anyone interested

in the long end of the sport. They are published by Human

Kinetics, and you can contact them by phone at 1-800-747-

4457. Their web site is :

http://www.marathonandbeyond.com/

RUNNER'S NICHE MAGAZINE RATING: 4 and one-half out of a

possible five winged feet.

 

 

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YANKTON RIVERRUN

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This year, the Yankton Riverrun 3-mile and 5-mile races

will be held on June 20. A new dimension to this year's

race - all profit will go to the local chapter of the

American Cancer Society.

More Info:

The Riverrun Directors:

Dave Carlson (riverrun@hotmail.com)

Jake Stewart (runn@hotmail.com)

 

 

 

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WEB SITES OF INTEREST

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---On Line Running Log---

Track your training:

http://www.i-run.com

---Joe Henderson's Running Commentary---

A great site by running author Joe Henderson with info on

his newsletter, his books, and his travels. Each month

there is a new "sample" column from his newsletter, and

there are plans for a links section in the future.

http://www.joehenderson.com/

 

---Peak Running Performance---

A great journal with scientific information on training:

http://www.peakrun.com

 

---Western New York Running---

Info on Western NY running scene:

http://www.wnyrunner.com

 

---Sacramento Running---

Regional Info:

http://www.jps.net/runinfo/welcome.html

 

AND AS ALWAYS:

RUNNER’S NICHE at:

Home.netone.com/~woodyg3/runiche.html

 

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I'M TREADMILL MAN, HEAR THE HUM

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By Robert Schwartz

I've run in the Rocky Mountains as the blue skies welcomed

a radiant orange sunrise. I've felt the misty water from

the Oregon coast as I ran along the beach. I've enjoyed

leaf-laden paths through the woods of northern Michigan and

snow packed cross-country ski trails.

I shunned indoor running even through frigid winter winds

and ice storms. I saw myself as a running purist. An

elitist, I needed to breathe the fresh air, experience the

natural ground beneath my feet, feel the light snow

flurries upon my face. But now I must confess. I've

defected.

I've broken my daily rendezvous with Mother Nature and now

have a regular tryst with my basement. I've become a

treadmill junkie. I'm slave to the revolving belt,

mesmerized by the flashing numbers and beeps, enchanted by

the random hill profile program. I've traded the sweet

smell of spring for the stagnant cellar air; the great

outdoors for the great four walls; the warm feel of

sunshine for Oprah on my television.

You can have your golden mountain majesties. Just let me

run viewing ESPN Sportscenter with my remote control giving

me quick musical visits to VH1 in a climate controlled

environment. Blasphemous? I say sensible. I've even got

immediate bathroom access. No more racing my bladder to the

nearest gas station.

My old running buddies implore me to join them outdoors for

a leisurely seven miler. I stick my head beyond the screen

door and see the lovely autumn colors and hear the sounds

of birds chirping. I'm not swayed. The beep, beep of my

electronic treadmill beckons me with a loving call. I must

go. The sunlight is beginning to hurt my eyes. My manual

speed program waits. I warn my running friends not to trip

on uneven sidewalk as I retreat inside. When I was one

of the many who actually left their house for a run, I

could only estimate the distance I had traveled. Now if I'm

asked how far I ran I can conclusively say, "Nine point six

miles in total with three miles at a 6:25 pace with a 1%

grade followed by two miles at a six minute pace with no

grade concluding with four miles at 6:50 on a 2% grade and

a cool down of .30 miles at 8:00." My inquisitor will look

at me with no real recollection of the question they had

previously asked while I'm just about to give my caloric

expenditure per hour.

Oh, I'd experienced the elusive runner's high churning

through a ten-mile trail run with the lovely sights of

autumn decorating the landscape. Now, however, it's a

magical feeling to be finishing twenty miles on the

treadmill, George Sheehan quotes decorating the walls, a

refreshment stand within reach and the VCR showing Rocky

knocking down Apollo Creed and earning victory. I'm the

king of the revolving terrain. I am treadmill man, hear the

hum.

Previously, when planning a vacation, I'd make certain

there were plenty of scenic running routes available. Now

my inquiries center on "Does the hotel have treadmills?

Incline abilities? Can you send me a picture of it?" I'll

take a stay at home vacation with treadmill access over

Jamaica without it.

My t- shirt collection has diminished as I've missed the

last year of 10K races and marathons. However, my PR's have

improved. If only anyone knew. I can't seem to get the

local running store to post my times.

I know my obsession is going a bit too far. I'm just one

power outage or motor malfunction away from being forced

back to the roads. I've actually come up with some gradual

steps to get me reintroduced to running outside again.

First, I figure I'll bring the treadmill and TV up to the

garage. I'll turn on a sunlamp. Eventually I'll even open

the garage door to let some of that exterior air in.

Ultimately, I'll intersperse some quick jaunts around the

block within the treadmill workout. Perhaps I can even

coordinate them with the commercials on Regis and Kathy

Lee.

One step at a time to literally find the road to recovery.

I'm suddenly feeling nostalgic for open space. I hear James

Taylor singing, "I guess my feet know where to take

me...down a country road." I think maybe, but then I pause.

What's the temperature outside?

 

 

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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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---More on the Nike / Tiger Cortez---

Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,

BRS (Blue Ribbon Sports), Phil Knight's Company, and

Onitsuka Tiger once had a partnership. BRS became Nike,

Inc. in 1978 and Onitsuka Tiger became ASICS Corporation

Japan in 1977 with its U.S. subsidiary being ASICS TIGER

Corporation. Incidentally, ASICS stands for "Anima Sana In

Corpore Sano" which means "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body" in

Latin.

BRS actually sold Tiger shoes as early as December of 1963.

Bill Bowerman designed the shoes for Tiger. The Marathon,

Cortez and Boston are all his designs -- the Marathon in

'67 and the Boston in '68. Later on they all became Nike

models as well.

So actually, BRS had the "Nike Cortez" in 1972 and Onitsuka

Tiger had the "Tiger Cortez" in 1968. The name Nike was

not used until 1971, the same year the swoosh came out.

That is why you saw the Tiger logo on the Tiger Cortez and

the Swoosh on the Nike Cortez. I'm not sure what happened

in '69,'70 and '71 but I'm sure Tiger made the Cortez,

Marathon and Boston. They were all made in Japan and sent

here to be sold at BRS stores.

-John Wallace

ED: Interested in shoe trivia? For more on the Cortez, and

all Nike shoes, see John's Swoosh web site at:

http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~jhwiii/nike.html

 

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