Unconventional wisdoms interview, part 3 of 4: Patrick Sweeney

Patrick Sweeney Running Chicago marathon’s a noble achievement.

Running New York marathon in the same year, a life time achievement maybe…

Running both and the distance between the two?  

Patrick Sweeney reckons pretty much any of us can do this.  It’s just a matter of getting into the rhythm of things.

Me (M)- What are you up to tomorrow?

Patrick (P)- Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Chicago to meet with a friend “Barefoot Alex” then onto the Kenyan Embassy to meet some top Kenyan marathoners.  Alex and I’ll then pick up a torch and run from Chicago to New York and then run the New York Marathon.

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Unconventional Wisdoms: Interview 1/4: Maria Walton

Maria Walton
Maria Walton

In 2009 Maria Walton, a marathon coach from Arizona, was gifted with a copy of “Born to Run” by a friend. Shortly after reading it, Maria sent Micah True (the elusive and reluctant hero of the book) a Facebook message for some advice on ultra-marathons.

He responded almost immediately,

“It’s not my book. If it’s an autograph you are after, you’re asking the wrong guy.”

Maria replied: “No, no, I’m not a fan. I just want some advice on how to run an ultra.”

“Oh,” he wrote back. “You are going to run a little slower, run a bit longer.  And that’s it really. I don’t train, I eat some oatmeal, grab a coffee, get out the door and run.”

Micah, an American ex-boxer who gave away everything he owned, moved to the mysterious Barrancas del Cobre of Mexico to emulate the methods of the Raramuri, and ran ultra distances there carrying no gear, just a plastic water bottle and a $8 timex watch. (more…)

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The course of true love never did run smooth: Minimalism to Maximalism: pt1

Sorry guys, a new post has been long overdue! I have had a wicked summer so far! Mainly packed with entertaining the little ones.  However, now I sit in France alone in a beautiful huge Chalet, I have three days to catch up on some writing before I head to Chamonix for the UTMB festivities, so here goes.

On to the title of this post; I love running.  I know many don’t, and I felt that way for 19 years.  I would miss a bus rather than run for one, honestly.  Then something clicked after that first half-marathon I hadn’t trained for.  Ali and Hannah, the unlikely athletesI knew I could push beyond discomfort, and actually find pleasure in doing so, and this forever changed me.  The comfort zone is a trap, and true happiness lies beyond this.  This is a valuable lesson which changes the way one lives, a lesson I hope my kids will grow to understand.

 

I never intended to be a minimalist purist in terms of running shoe.  I hadn’t read Born to Run (the book that started the minimalist trend) when I started running in sandals.  

 This is a story about how I ran in sandals for 3 and a bit years, how I found it and where my thoughts lie now.  (I hope this story is useful).

PS- those nike cortez ‘fashion’ trainers stood me well for running for years until someone told me I needed a ‘proper’ running shoe ->

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Funny goings on I could not help but notice…

I’m not saying this stuff didn’t exist in my early running days, but when I returned to my life after 4 years of having my head down in Peppa-Pig land and being a place for my children to stick the stickers off their bananas, I re-surfaced and noticed a few weird things about running.

 

  1. Everyone’s wearing compression everything? Calf-sleeves, arm-sleeves, I’ve got some but not even entirely sure I completely know why?

    Seriously under-geared for the 2014 Hellfire half-marathon. I even argued as I didn’t have anywhere to carry my brick of a mobile phone :/
  2. Food? When I trained for New York marathon, I never ate anything.  I took a gel during the event at mile 19 and regretted it immediately. Why am I seeing people taking gels, jelly beans, chocolate-covered-coffee-beans on less than 20k runs?  Should I be doing this too?  Is it necessary, or just a nifty excuse to snack? Also valid ;)
  3. The range of SHOES!  Barefoot, to all different kinda drops, to hokas… Back then I swear it was just, er, trainers?  Even I’m running in sandals mostly, what’s that all about?
  4. Buffs and head-gear stuff.  Now, buffs are awesome.  But they are leaving me with the naggin’ wonder of how I ever lived without them?
  5. Hydration gear!  Back in the early 00’s I was stashing plastic bottles in strategic places and looping back on runs to try and find the correct bush.  I didn’t even know there were other options!
  6. Garmins.  I was very reluctant to buy any gear  (especially after I asked a friend his running plans for the week and he told me he didn’t know, as the Garmin site was down). I wanted to be a low-tech runner, but last week I got me a Garmin, succumbing after the millionth person recommended one to me.  After an embarrassing couple of days where I couldn’t even work out how to plug the thing in to charge, I decided that, charged, the thing is more demanding than a child.  It bleeps at me all hours of the day and night and is constantly asking me questions I don’t know how to answer.  I also have literally no idea how to even get to the stage that the manual starts instructions from.  I am going to wear it tonight anyway, as everyone else has got one :)

    more gear more fear
    More gear more fear

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I ran all the 30k in my Luna sandals and felt great! Gozo 21k trail next weekend!

annie mummy shay night run
Looking somewhat knackered :)

Call it backwards, but I ran a 30k race at 2am this morning  in preparation for Gozo Half marathon next weekend…..

I was not properly trained for this.  If you read this here you will have seen that two months ago I was finding walking pretty tricky.

I have long been interested in ultra-running, but was putting it off til I felt ready.   I decided about 6.5 weeks ago to enter Gozo 55k next year, as ‘ready’ may never come.  Then I decided it would be a good idea to try the 21k version of that race this year, to see the course.

As this race is at the tail end of school Easter holidays, when no childcare means running is harder to fit in, I decided I would do the Puttinu’s care 30k night walk* as training, and run as much of it as I can.

Previous to this morning, I had ran only 15k (since having my kids 4 years ago and running in Luna sandals) . (more…)

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Barefoot Ted, Luna Sandals

I love this article.  http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/interview/interview-barefoot-ted/9813.html

A great snippet from the article-

What are the fundamental principles of barefoot running?

The fundamental principles have to do with being able to reconnect with the basic information of the body that is available to us. The ability to be able to reconnect literally to the feeling of the foot, the impact of landing, what one quickly figures out from this experience is how to change the form to reduce the impact, making those adjustments one ends up creating what I like to refer to as an energetic wheel. Learning how to make smooth and beautiful energetic wheels you are rewarded with endocannabinoids [runner’s high], the research on this is that long distance runners produce it, non long distance animals don’t.

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(Weird, that is exactly what I thought yesterday after around 8 k and a Yoga session).  Only long-runs or long-exertion gives me that feeling.  That ‘Rocky Balbao’ feeling, like I can conquer the world and everything is amazing.  I get a satisfaction from short or easier exercise, undeniable benefits, but not that great feeling of accomplishment I get when I go til I can go no more; or endocannabinoids

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