Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Power of FB--Awesome Adventure Today!

6:30am June 7, 2011---New Orleans

I awake form a deep sleep and see the early morning sunrise peeking thru the wooden slats on the window shades. As I pour my 1st cup of morning joe I look out over the might Mississippi and see the rising sun cast a fiery shadow across the river. A river barge is slowly slicing thru the high muddy water.

I immediately know that this was a good photo opportunity. Blackberry Bold in hand I catch the moment as it happens. Unbeknownst to me some else had just done exactly the same thing of exactly the same scene but from a different hotel room—in a different hotel.

I knew I need to share the pic with my family & friends on Facebook. A few clicks of my thumb & forefinger had the picture added for all to see on FB. I then proceeded to go about my morning routine preparing my body & soul for the day ahead.

It didn’t take long for the Berry to beep as it notified of me friends who like the picture. I soon received a message from a FB friend Natalie B. who informed me that her Dad, John B. had sent her the almost identical pic of the same scene.

Now a bit of history. When LuLu & moi moved to Winston-Salem some 20 years ago John B. was one of the very 1st serious runners I met. He and others introduced me to the great group of runners in the Twin City Track Club. We ended up buying a home in the historic Ardmore section of W-S. John & his wife Jodie along with their 1st born Natalie lived a few streets over. Heck I baby sat Natalie when they son Jack was born!

Suffice it to say, we all enjoyed a great ten years of running, partying, and travelling with the other crazies who made up a wonderful collection of TCTC people who enjoyed life to the fullest. Great years!

So after all of that John secures a wonderful new job in Spruce Pine, NC. He & the family move to Mars Hill, NC to start a new chapter in life. Between then & now we share a few phone calls & emails but distance & time take a toll on updates and sharing of smiles & beers. Paths go in divergent ways and sometimes never are to connect again. And yet sometimes they do!

I quickly fired off a response to Natalie asking her exactly when her Dad had sent the picture. She replied that was this morning within a short time of my posting. She informed me that her Dad was in New Orleans for a conference. Well hold the dam phone! I couldn’t believe it.

I quickly searched the Berry for his cell number and called. John B answered and began laughing this incredulous laugh as we discovered we are only two blocks again from each other. He told me that he was having breakfast at his hotel when he saw the sun rising over the river and snapped the pic with his cell phone & sent it to his family. Natalie soon realized that we were in the same place! Outrageous!

At 4:30 this afternoon John B and I will meet at the bar at the Sheraton hotel. We will laugh—we will howl---we will break bread & share wine together as we fill in ALL of the blanks on the most recent 10 years. Ok—so what are the odds—a gazillion to one--Outrageous!

It's 11:00pm and our day has ended---yet not ended at all---a new moment in time has happened & very special indeed!

So many things came together in the crazy Cajun cosmos this morning that allows two dear friends to cross paths again! Would never have happened without FB.

At times.. social media rocks!!

John B & Natalie----You both--Make Dust!

Let me forget Jenn at Brigtsen’s—you rock!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

36 Mountain Miler Today......

Monday, April 18, 2011

Longevity---Yours & Mine.......

The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24, 902 miles. As of today I have run/cycled over 58, 998 miles. Twice done….working on the third.

My very 1st step took place in February, 1979. My very next step will be tomorrow…..somewhere in California. As I write these words I am in North Carolina.

I ran my very 1st marathon, the 4th Annual Marine Corps Marathon in November, 1979. I ran my last marathon on July 14, 2007…the Grandfather Mountain Marathon in Boone, NC. In between my 1st & my last I ran & completed 48 other marathons.

My marathon PR is: 2:58:17…..2nd Annual Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, MN. I ran the very 1st TCM as well as the next 19 in a row.

Having stated all of the above, my point is that I have been blessed with a fair amount of running longevity. However, all of that was not by accident.

I weigh 215 pounds. I run in the Clydesdale divisions. I am over 6 feet tall. I am not a small & svelte 145 pounder. I pound….I plod….as I move forward with great effort. Gravity is not my friend.

I have worn sport orthotics to correct a natural leg imbalance. Yet that in itself was not the remedy that has allowed me to cincture plodding along all these years.

The sport podiatrist I saw many years ago suggested that the good majority of all leg injuries emanate from an unstable ankle and cause not only ankle injuries but knee as well as hip problems. He suggested that a stable ankle was the most effective way to run injury free. I have over 20 different pairs off running shoes. The same doctor suggested that we should not run on the same platform day-after-day. Not good--reinforces injuries! We also should not run exactly the same training course day in and day out. But we do as we are, for the most part, creatures of habit. Not good.

My feet do not see the same pair of shoes for at least two weeks time. I normally run six days a week. I also have a several pairs of shoes that I wear to work. Again, same concept. None of my shoes are high heeled shoes. My good friend the doctor again suggested that women did great harm to their Achilles tendons through wearing high heel shoes on a regular basis. Studies have shown that Achilles tendon shrinks & contracts when high heels are worn on a regular basis.

Bottom line on high heels: only wear for show & not go! Stop being a slave to fashionable trends.

After each of my runs I religiously stretch for at least 5 minutes. I stretch my hamstrings and Achilles tendons. Stretch while they are warm and they will not shrink & shorten. Good common sense.

Remember: you are what you eat. I read some good research a long time ago that suggested that eating a good portion of yogurt at breakfast each day made your bones stronger & increased longevity.

I prepare my cup with sliced fresh fruit, a topping of wheat germ and local honey on top. Local honey helps with your allergies. Think about that. What do bees do: pollinate. Gotta be local honey from local bees. It works. Tastes good too!

I also drink red wine in the evening as I believe that helps with longevity as well. Plus you tend to forget how hard your workout was after the second glass.

So there, in just over 500 words I shared a few things that have kept this very large model moving mile-after-mile for a long time now. Might work for you & might not. Point is that it might be worth a try if what you are doing now isn’t going so well.

With that I must end…..as it is time to visit with my good friend Dr. Zinfandel.

Run well my friends.... Runners Make Dust.....

Monday, February 28, 2011

A New Season--A New Reason.....

A New Season---A New Reason-----

February 28th—on this noontime run I soon realize that I am soon upon a new season. I must now leave the winter cave.

As I pushed through pre-March winds on my run I found myself suddenly aware of the early warmth surrounding me like a warm towel after a razor shave. I looked to the side of a nearby field and saw early green blades of “daffodils to come” peaking into the Carolina blue sky. For whatever unknown reason at this particular moment my spring awakening had arrived. I was really going to leave the cave.

Through the cold & dreary winter months I, as many others do, let myself slip into so sort of winter retreat from hard training miles by foot or bike. Great excuses abound as ice & snow cake the highways, byways & paths normally traveled. The notion of a low level of, “maintenance exercise” quickly sets in place. What also sets in place in the notion that while my legs have stopped pedaling or running great amounts of miles, the knife-fork-and spoon continue at a higher anaerobic pace. Thus, well you know the results: just look in your mirror.

Some suggest that pure & unadulterated vanity leads us to get serious about our training programs soon after the frivolities of St. Patrick’s Day have ended. The winter wardrobe is set aside as we look to our spring & summer attire. That is when we realize how we have changed in the months since that clothing was put away. Surely there was an evil spirit in that closet that caused those jeans or slacks to shrink!

But why so much? Don’t think for one moment that all of this happens due to some New Year’s resolution. Nah----vanity!

In years past I always looked to a spring marathon as a great reason to set my plan to work on distance & speed. March miles usually translated into June smiles. Since I’m not planning to run another marathon anytime soon, 50 was/is enough, I now will look to cross training to help me reach my immediate goals. That means: 2 inches off my waist! Yes the place—my waist--where all the glorious wine I drink goes to. Thank God my butt is forever small.....and yours?

I loaded my trusty metal steed into my truck this morning and drove over to see my cycling guru’s Charles & Jay Cox at Mock Orange bike shop. As I plan to get back on the horse, as they say, I know that my Tomasso ride sorely needed some TLC from the bike experts. While they handle the relatively easy part of tuning up my ride, the next chapter & verse is up to me. I must promise not to apply my brakes as I go by the Hot & Now sign at the Krispy Kreme shop! Now talk about true sacrifice!

I have also set my goal for this exercise year on learning how to kayak. Having seen so many folks enjoying themselves kayaking on the New River I decided that this must simply be next item on my bucket list to be taken care of. In years past I have competed in canoe events, but not ever in a kayak. At least there is an absence of Krispy Kreme shops along the river!

So that is it for me—for now. Plans do change. Yet I am pleased that this new, “season” has finally arrived. It is time for blood—sweat--& beers!

Have you left your cave? Will you “Make Dust” in your new season? Rock on…….:)

Sunday, January 30, 2011



As I ran this morning on this drop dead gorgeous North Carolina 60 degree winter day, I was passed by two guys who were running really well. I could tell that the older runner was giving guidance to the young stud he was running with. As I listened and watched it reminded me of a time past when I leaned so much from a running legend.

I first met him when I moved to Minnesota in the early 1980’s. We moved into a new house in Plymouth and I went out for my first run soon after moving in. One morning I met my new neighbor after he returned from his morning run. I introduced myself and looked at this pencil thin flyweight and only wondered what he might be thinking of my Clydesdale 210 pound round mound of flesh. We agreed to meet the next morning for a run.

The next morning he informed me as we started that we would run a nine mile route around Medicine Lake near our house with a, “three mile pick-up” in the middle. We started real slow as he told me that he was a teacher at Hopkins High in Hopkins, MN and coached cross-country and some track. I soon realized that he was very mild mannered and polite.

We soon approached the starting point of, “pick-up” and he told me to run as fast as I could for the next three miles. He told me that he would wait three minutes and then start to run. He then suggested that he would try and catch me. I wondered what he was smoking?

I took off and quickly picked up a head of steam. Figured to be rolling at a 6:30 pace. Cruising! This guy was dead meat. All of a sudden I hear this faint pidder padder coming up on me quickly. Before I could say oh shit he passed me in a flash. I watched him disappear into another zip code. When I reached the end of the, “pick-up” he was waiting for me with a smile on his skinny little face. I knew I was in for some serious training!

I spent the next several years leaning from the Master. He taught how to run fast. He suggested that I think small and think fast. I suggested liposuction. Easy for him to say. He wasn’t carrying 200 plus pounds on his skinny frame. He convinced me to train hard and train smart. Through it all I tried to teach him something---how to curse. Couldn’t do it. He was also very thankful that he was never close enough to hear me curse as I tried to catch up.

I watched him train and race with gusto unmatched by many. Some tried but few succeeded to keep up or beat him. He set many US and Minnesota Masters age group records. A sample of his best times were:

10K---31:10 Age 44 15K---48-45 Age 44 5 miles---23:54 Age 44 10 Miles---50:49 Age 44
Marathon---2:29:29 Age 45 20K---1:06:02 Age 43 25K---1:22 Age 43

He also gave back as much as he took out of running. He often talked of the kids he coached in high school. One was Bob Kempainen how rose to Olympic fame. I spoke to Joe Henderson about my friend and Joe captured it best when he suggested that my friend was one of the most unheralded, talented, and prolific runners who had ever laced them up. And we know that Joe knows a runner or two.

My friend’s name is Paul Noreen. I was blessed to have him as a mentor over those years when I lived in Minnesota. I listened to him and carried my 200 pound Clydesdale frame to some decent PR’s when I ran a 10K in 36:30-----10 miles in 1:03-----and my best marathon at 2:58:17.

So do give thanks to all who have helped you run along your many paths. Consider sharing your own talents and experiences with others who may benefit. You never know when so little a thing you do may help another to a better running place.

Paul is still running on some cold Minnesota road. As for me…..happy to be under my Carolina blue sky!

Paul Noreen Makes Dust!