serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Archive for February, 2009

XTERRA Georgia Trail Race Series: Thrills in the Hills

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Courtesy of Defiant Photography of Atlanta

Courtesy of Defiant Photography of Atlanta

I ran the XTERRA Georgia Trail Race Series Race Thrills in the Hills today and it was just an extremely sloppy event…because it had rained for 24 hours prior.  It was wet out.  I’ll go ahead right now and just tell you; I loved it.  After watching 24 hours of rain and waking up at 6 am, I wasn’t very motivated to run this morning but that soon changed when I got out on the course and started running.

The trail is used for mountain biking and is highly trafficked so the trail floor was good ole’ Georgia red clay.  I love it.  It made the course a little more technical with the abundance of standing water.  Let’s see you do that Pacific Northwest soil!  The start was wide enough to allow for runner’s to space out for the first 800 meters, then it’s 95% singletracks…dot com. The only points that weren’t singletrack were the longer hills traveling up the power lines which worked great for the course on this wet morning.  These hills had grass on the sides of the double-track trail which made going up the hills a little more bearable.  This is where I made my moves.  Three water and Gatorade stations spread out enough that you we still able to get your time in by yourself on the trail.  Overall, the best thing about the course was that it was rolling, allowing you to keep a fast, rhythmical pace.

The race was also very well organized.  It looked like the 400-500 people who registered, showed up for the race even in such harsh conditions!  Race registration was the smoothest I have ever seen it.  I was a race day entry and they got me an ankle chip and a number within 7 minutes of me getting there…and this was less than an hour until the race start!  They probably could have used a couple more porta-potties but I’ve never been to a race that didn’t have a long line to use the restroom.  I pay attention to porta-potty levels because I go to the bathroom before every race I run…maybe you didn’t need to know that.  However, there was an abundance of woods if you had an emergency.  Interesting huh?  My favorite thing about the race organization was how quickly they printed out unofficial results.  I hate having to wait, sometimes until the next day on the Internet, to find out if I broke into the top three in my age group, what place I got overall, and what my official time was.  Everyone you see after the race is going to ask you how you did.  I hate having to say, “I don’t know.”  I know everything.  At Thrills in the Hills they had the times posted about 30 minutes after the first finisher!  Just enough time to enjoy some fruit and Gatorade and talk to other runners.  Mixed crowd, all types of runners; all had extremely dirty calves.  The front of my body was pretty dirty too.  So yes.  I was behind somebody at some point in the race.  Well, about 17 somebodys.  I know this because I saw the results before leaving the race!

Overall, this is a great race and trail to run.  I drove an hour to the race this morning but I would travel at least 2 to run this race!  If you live in Georgia and don’t run this next year you are lame.  I’m cool.  I ran it.

Hash Running: Do You Have A Running Problem?

Friday, February 27th, 2009

beer-after-marathon-resize-2Lately when talking about running, many people have asked me if I do hashes.  It usually is a reasonable question since the running discussion is shared over a beer.  Hashers, properly called Hash House Harriers, or if you’re into the whole brevity thing, H3s or HHHs (not to be confused with the long-haired wrestler Triple H).  They describe themselves as a “drinking club with a running problem.”  Lovely.  I hashed a couple of years ago and it was a lot of fun.  I’ve been planning on participating in some more hashes but haven’t found a way to make time for them on the weekends between races and training.  I really need to make more time for beer.  Sorry beer, I promise I’ll spend more time with you.  Beer can be so demanding sometimes can’t it?

Hashing started in 1938 by a group of British expatriates living in Malaysia seeking to cure their hangovers and clean out their bodies from weekend activities.  I agree, there’s nothing that can clean out your insides better than a good sweat from running.  Hashing resurfaced and started gaining popularity in the early 1980s as a protest to the rapid growth of the Atari game system in American homes.  Not really.  But hashing has grown exponentially since the early 1980s with approximately 2000 Hashes worldwide.  Find your local Hash, called “kennels” by going to the World Hash House Harriers Directory and searching from over 1879 Hashes worldwide!  You don’t have to deal with your running problem alone, there are others out there just like you.

H3s say that hashing is a state of mind.  They aim to relive their childhood and fraternity days (sorority days too I assume…minus the underwear pillow fights), as well as release the tensions of everyday life.  Even though there is a Hash House Harriers Bible with specific rules that H3s must follow, hashing is typically a laid-back affair, giving people another opportunity to act foolish on the weekends.  Being serious on the weekend sucks…serious running is always cool.  H3s give each other nicknames, originally because officers and enlisted people in the military wanted to be able to hash with each other on the weekends without it being considered fraternization.  I wonder if I can pick my H3 nickname to be my old military call sign, Red Bull 6.  I should have gotten sponsored.

Hashing starts with the “hare” running ahead of the “pack,” leaving directional markings along the route.  The runners chasing the hare must determine the correct directions to take.  Hashes are typically run over 3-6 miles, traversing some sort of trail run or sticky route.  H3s feel best when they are dirty.  There are typically stops along the route that involve drinking beer to replenish carbs used during the run.  Doesn’t this counteract the “cleansing of the body from the weekend” concept of hashing?  Whatever.  Who wants to be clean anyways?  At the end of the hash all of the runners gather in a group for some ritualistic activities that aim to facilitate more foolishness.  Just what the doctor ordered.

As I do some more hashes I’ll let you know more about hashing.  But until then you can go to The World Hash House Harriers to learn more.  Do something about your running problem and start drinking!

Breathing Techniques While Running

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

generic-runners-breathing-tech-blog-resizeI know, you’ve been breathing your whole life, what do you need to know about breathing?  You usually don’t even think about it, you just breathe…all the time.  Guess what?  We all breath without thinking, it’s involuntary.  I bet you beat your heart without thinking too.  Come on.  Nobody likes a show off.

While breathing may be involuntary, it is still very important to your running.  Plus, if you don’t do it, you’ll die.  I tried to see if this was true once, but I took a breath before I could find out.  Apparently I’m not as mentally tough as I thought I was.  Seriously though, poor breathing techniques can have an adverse effect on your work-outs and runs.  Poor breathing leads to a quicker loss of breath and puts a great stress on your body.  Remember, you are running to relieve stress, not create more.

Not everyone agrees, but most running experts suggest breathing from both your mouth and your nose, allowing your body to get the most oxygen possible.  The most optimal style is to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.  One reason for this is that when you inhale through your nose, you expand your lungs more than when breathing through your mouth.  Another reason to breathe through your nose is because it is able to filter the impurities in the air.  The more nose hair you have the better!  Finally!

You know you are breathing well when you can feel it in your belly.  Or in layman’s terms, your gut.  Lay down on some grass and breathe deeply, you’ll see your belly expand and then retract.  That’s what you want to see when you are running.  If you are breathing improperly while running you will feel the strain on your shoulders and your upper body tighten.  Tell the oxygen to get in your belly.

Also try to prepare yourself for your run by concentrating on your breathing during your warm-up routine.  Do a slow jog, concentrating on a steady rhythm.  Inhale, take a full pause, exhale, and then top it off with an empty pause.  This will help increase your oxygen and get you ready for that strenuous run.  Or you can just stretch before you run like everyone else.  Follower.

Like usual, every runner is different so do what feels best to you.  I’m a mouth breather.  When I was younger I had a lot of allergies and often had a stuffy nose, so I just breathed through my mouth.  Solved that problem.  Now I’m a 100% mouth breather and very proud of it.  Develop a breathing technique you can be proud of.  Go and do some heavy breathing!  Just try not to be creepy about it.

Trying Out the New, New Balance 769s for Free!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

big-peach-new-balance-fat-tuesday-event-resizeSo I’m blogging twice in one day.  I had a busy day yesterday trying new things and I want to tell you about them.  Looks like you win!

Last night I went to an event hosted at Big Peach Running Company and sponsored by New Balance. It was a really fun event with a lot of great giveaways.  They had New Balance towels, playing cards, bottle openers, and scratch off giveaway cards.  I won $5 off my next New Balance purchase.  I’m pretty proud of that.  As well, they offered a 15% discount on any shoes bought in the store that night.  In addition, there was a raffle for a free entry to the ING Georgia Marathon and a free pair of New Balance running shoes!  That’s what this poor economy needs, not big corporate bonuses, more free corporate giveaways to customers!  The event was to celebrate Fat Tuesday, having a King Cake shipped straight from New Orleans, Mardi Gras beads (without having to earn them…other than running), burritos with chips and salsa, and of course Abita beer.  They also had Gatorades and water if you’re into hydrating.  It was a real fun event, a great way to socialize with fellow runners, and recieve some cool, free stuff.  What else would you do on a Tuesday night?  Probably watch American Idol.   Lame.

The best part of this event was being able to try out the brand new New Balance 769s. The New Balance rep, Marcy, had a plethora of shoe sizes and was very knowledgeable about the shoes.  Makes sense, she works for New Balance. After fitting in the perfect pair of running shoes per customers’ requests, all participants went on a 2-6 mile run to try them out.  The shoes were brand new and perfectly white, so sorry brah, no trail running.  I did 4 miles because my training schedule called for it…plus I didn’t want to show off in front of everyone.  Yup.  I’m that awesome.  At any rate, it was great being able to try the New Balance 769s over such a long distance.  I feel like you really need a couple of miles to be able to legitimately determine how a shoe fits to your running style.  The New Balance 769s provide a moderate level of stability which gives a smoother run for those who don’t tend to overpronate.  I liked the transition from heal to toe along with the snug fit in my heal.  There also seemed to be more cushioning in the heal than I am accustomed to.  We all could use a little more cushioning in our heals.  However, the most innovative thing that I saw (there’s probably a lot more innovative things in the guts of the shoe) was the anti-untie shoe laces.  We’ve all had our shoe laces untie at the worst times, like in the middle of a race surrounded by 10,000 people, and this technology answers that need.  The laces had a “bubbling” technique that allows them to hug each other tightly at the knot.  No more triple tying!

This event was a very cool way to learn more about running shoes, socialize with fellow runners, and get your run in.  Did I mention all the free stuff too?  I guess the best things in life are free:  running, socializing, and of course…beer.

The Search for the Perfect Running Shoe Continues: Big Peach Running Company

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

bprc-resize2I ran 15 miles this past weekend and my knees and shins told me it’s time to get some new running shoes…stat.  I’ve done a lot of research on the Internet and talked to fellow runners but I’m still not “sold” on any particular running shoe.  I figured it was finally time to go to the running shoe and apparel store to decide once and for all.

I went to Big Peach Running Company in Atlanta.  I actually bought my last pair of running shoes here and was really impressed with the experience.  In order to help customers find the perfect running shoe, Big Peach Running Company (BPRC) takes you through a 4 step fit process. First, they ask about you.  Finally…someone wants to hear you talk about you.  The BPRC associate asks you what your intended purposes are for the running shoes.  Do you need them for trail running, 10Ks, triathlons, speed-walking, jazzercise, or just being awesome?  Whatever it is they’ve got you covered; however, they can’t guaranteed the awesomeness of a pair of shoes, that has to come from within the shoe wearer.

They then put some white suction cups on your chest and nipples and make you run on a treadmill for the Video Gait Analysis.  There’s really no suction cups involved but I felt like I needed some since someone was analyzing me run on a treadmill.  Kind of like the Russian guy in Rocky.  While on the treadmill they videotape you running to determine what level of stability you need.  You don’t have to take their word for it though, they play the video back to you, frame-by-frame, in slow motion.  You may be surprised by what you see, but don’t be too concerned; you don’t chose to pronate, God just made you that way and that’s perfectly fine.  Click here to learn more about your pronation problems.  Just know that there are other people out there just like you.  You don’t have to deal with this alone.  Seek help from professionals; like the ones at BPRC.

The technology doesn’t stop there, you then have your foot digitalized.  They analyze this data looking at the width and arch of your feet.  They also ask about any injuries, bunions, or if you wear foot inserts; which I equate to stuffing your bra.  Not that I’ve ever worn a bra…or stuffed one for that matter.

After collecting and analyzing all of this information, the associate determines about four different pairs of running shoes that fit your needs.  Then its time to go old school and simply run in the shoes.  Like a car, they let you take the running shoes out for a test drive.  The shoes you run in aren’t “test pairs” either.  They’re brand new and are the exact pair you will be purchasing.  By running (they let you run up to 2 miles in them!) you will be able to tell the differences between the shoes.  You need to find the perfect running shoe for you.  We all have different running styles and/or shoe colors but one thing is for certain; we’re still the same…just runners.  Let’s hold hands in a circle.

When I went to the Decatur BPRC store I was helped by an associate named Luis.  This guy blew me away with his running shoe knowledge.  I’ve never been a “gear head” but I am very knowledgeable about running equipment; however, Luis told me about things I had never even thought about.  We’ve got to always keep learning.  Even the associates keep learning by testing out new products and shoes themselves.  With all the technology in the foot process analysis I think you have to have an engineering or science degree to sell running shoes there.  The associates at BPRC are experts.  No doubt about it.  Honestly, I haven’t seen service like this since “full service” gas stations went away.  With competitive prices and uber customer service I don’t know how BPRC makes a profit, but that’s for them to worry about and me to take full advantage of.

I ended up trying on about 10 to 12 pairs of running shoes.  I started out with the same version of the Brooks Adrenaline 8 that I currently wear and found no other shoe that compared…expect maybe the Brooks Infiniti 2s. I really want to try a different pair of running shoes than what I have right now but I haven’t found any that I like better.  I’m still holding out for something better to come along but maybe I should just love the one I’m with.  Who knows?

The point is, whether you live in the Atlanta area or not, you need to do your research to find the shoe that fits best.  Make sure you try out different running shoes to compare before making your purchase.  If you are going to a shoe store, then visit a running specific shoe store that offers some of the same features BPRC does.  The expert advice is a service worth paying for…even in this economy.

XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

This Saturday I’ll be doing a half-marathon trail run in Winder, GA, the Xterra Georgia Trail Run Series “Thrill In The Hills XDURO.” It should be a lot of fun.  I haven’t trained for it necessarily but I am in the middle of a half-marathon training schedule so I should be fine.  Not that that really matters though.  I once had an argument with a buddy about how at any time, no matter if we had been training or not, we could run a half-marathon.  Well, I said I could run a half-marathon at anytime; he said that he could do a full marathon “wheneves.”  That’s what the argument was about.  I still don’t think you could do it bro-seph.

Back to the trail run.  I haven’t been trail running as much as I should lately and can’t wait to get out there in the woods.  I should be getting some new trail running shoes in the mail this week.  I think I’m going to run in them this race.  I’ve always thought the best way to break in new shoes is with a long run.  Breaking in new shoes is like pulling a band-aid off:  all at once!  On the Dirty Spokes website they say about this race, “This is great single and double track off-road running experience. The race will start on the powerlines (required for spacing) but will soon lead into the woods. The terrain is made up of a little bit of everything, rolling hills, climbs, single track, double track, roots with some technical sections. The course is beautiful and offers something for every runner truly wishing to ‘ditch the city’. Nestled in the woods of suburban Atlanta lies a true gem. Well groomed system of trails with gentle slopes and beautiful scenery will leave you breathless (if that doesn’t, the 13.1 miles will). Once you descend into the woods, you will forget your in the city. As a matter of fact, you will come to know why we follow the creed ‘Ditch the City’.”  It looks like they still have spots available.  Go check it out if you are in the area.  I’ll be the guy wearing a hip SeriousRunning T-shirt.  I’m awesome.

What is it about trail running that inspires us so much?  Is it being out with nature?  Is it feeling like you are the only one around for miles?  I personally like the extra challenge running on trails elicits.  I don’t find too many things “extreme” unless it involves a cliff and a parachute or something like that.  That’s pretty gnarly.  But when trail running I get the challenge of a technical course and the feeling of pushing my body to its limits.  Dehydration is extreme…that’s why I drink Mountain Dew.

I hope you get out to do some trail runs this weekend.  Bring Tony, two chicken salad sandwiches and turn your hat backwards if you want to be really extreme.  Just make sure to be cool or Tony may tell you to “step off.”

(If you did not recognize the last two sentences of this blog as a references to a Seinfeld episode about being extreme I am sorry.  I owe you two sentences…well, 4 now)

Sight-Seeing Running

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

sight-seeing-runningI recently heard about sight-seeing running tours.  I personally have been doing this for the past 25 years but didn’t know it had become so popular.  I first did it on a family trip to Disney World when I was about 5 years old.  One morning my family got to the park to be the first ones in line for the ride Space Mountain; however, we were not the only family to have this idea.  As soon as the park opened, they lifted a rope and families went sprinting to be first in line for the ride.  This task reminded my competitive father of his cross-country and track hurdling days as he slashed through and hurdled over families and children; and drug me along for the ride.  I think I lost a shoe along the way, I probably cried at one point, and my feet weren’t moving eventually.  Imagine being tied to a car bumper and not being able to run as fast as the car.  That was me.  My father’s tight grip was the rope and he was the car…and I was like the dog on the Chevy Chase movie “Vacation.”  Thanks pops.

But I’m past that…mainly because I’m faster than him now.  Sight-seeing running sounds very interesting to me.  I’ve done it all over the world, exploring the areas around where I was visiting.  I even do it where I live now, finding neat restaurants and places to visit on my runs.   When I was younger, my family would even do it while on vacation; but there usually wasn’t much to see around side-of-the-highway motels.

I did some more research on the internet and found a bunch of organizations offering sight-seeing running tours, mainly in Europe.  I suppose this is because their cities are usually more compacted than American ones.  Runners of all types are encouraged to join these tours that they say they will run at your pace.  The prices range depending on the amount of time of the tour and the amount of runners.  On average the price is 30 US dollars for a 2 hour run.  All of the tours seem very unique from each other.  It makes sense, you’re running, you can cater the route however you want.  There were some sight-seeing running tours in smaller towns that had some trail running incorporated, but most of the guided tours were in urban areas.  Sightjogging Berlin boasts taking you on an “oxygen-shower.”  Water’s been bottled, why not sell oxygen?  Brilliant!  They also state that if you are a celebrity you can bring your bodygaurds.  Sight-seeing running is a great way for the time sensitive travelers who need to get some exercise and relieve stress outside instead of  in the dingy hotel treadmill.  I also found a New York Times article that listed some great sight-seeing routes in some US cities.  Check it out if your traveling.

So whether you are a celebrity, health concious person, a business traveler learning a new area to conquer, or a leisure traveler looking for a great place to have a meal or a drink later; check out sight-seeing running the next place you visit.  Just don’t bring your kids along with you.  Sight-seeing running can become dangerous.

Always Have A Flexible Running Training Plan

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

So from the Running Down a Dream blog series, the first comment I received from someone was that I should talk about my training and about the different work-outs that I do.  Which is pretty much the one thing that I said I wouldn’t write about.  Well, you want to hear about it, you got it.  Maybe it will help someone in their training.  Maybe it will motivate some people.  Maybe it will help keep me accountable in my own training schedule.  Or, or, maybe it’s some sort of cool training plan that you’ve never even heard about.  What?  We’re not in the tree?  Don’t worry.  We are in the tree.

I’m training to run a half-marathon below 1:25.  I’ve never raced a half but ran a 3:24 marathon about a year ago on only 6 weeks of training.  It was back in my “I can do anything” post-Iraq phase.  I did it though.  I’m on week 4 of a 9 week training schedule.  I really like this schedule because it loads a lot of the miles on the weekends and keeps the miles during the week down.  That is why I’m running a half, I just don’t have the training time it takes for a full right now.  I’m doing the “expert half-marathon” training plan posted on this website under training plans.  We’re working on this feature in the website but here you can see what training plan I am following by strolling down to “expert.”

I’m not religious about my running training schedule.  I do every planned run but sometimes find the need to switch rest days and long runs around to fit my social life.  I know the schedule is made up to give me the optimal build and recovery periods but it is not necessarily optimal for my life.  Maybe I’ll rest, not run the 6 miles Saturday calls for and make it up on my Monday rest day.  That is what I’m going to do this weekend.  I hung out with some friends unexpectedly on Saturday and decided to switch my schedule around a bit.  I mean, I know that’s not the best for me going into Tuesday’s intervals, but I’ll still hit my interval times.  It just may hurt a bit more but it is worth it.  I think that while you can be serious about running, you can also maintain a healthy social schedule around your early Saturday morning races and long training run Sundays.  You have to live a flexible schedule where you can socialize, work, and train in unison.  Yeah, you probably won’t be on the couch/tv scene too much, but it is worth it to keep all of those things at optimal levels.  You just have to be flexible.  So do the butterfly stretch and get limber!

I’m also doing a half marathon trail run this weekend at Thrills and Hills XTERRA trail race series and substituting it for a 16 mile run.  Depending on how tough it is I may add a couple of miles to my Sunday run.  Keep it loose.  Have a flexible lifestyle.  Trust me, everyone around you will appreciate it.

NYC Marathon Race Entry Fees Increase: Running is Recession Proof

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

recission-running_boston-marathonSo I read in a New York Times Article this morning that the NYC Marathon is raising its registration fees about 17 dollars per entry.  That’s about a 10% increase.  The New York City marathon is a non-profit organization who says they are just trying to break even this year with the entry fee increases.  I guess the entry fees received from participants who apply, but do not get awarded a race number in the lottery system, doesn’t generate enough revenue to cover the cost of them NOT being able to run the race.  The Disney marathon in Orlando also increased their entry fees by 20 dollars this year.  If it’s a poor economy, wouldn’t they decrease race entry fees to entice more price conscious runners to participate?

Nope.  So far this year, marathon and half-marathon races are seeing record race entrants in places like Miami, Houston, and Phoenix, but race promoters are gaining less revenue. One problem is that race entries do not cover the cost of putting on a race; a large portion of the revenue comes from corporate sponsors.   For instance, the NYC Marathon’s race sponsor through 2010 is the embattled Dutch financial services company ING (who sponsor a number of other large races).  Poor preforming or bankrupt corporate sponsors don’t seem to bring in very solid revenue to race promoters.  Weird.

But race promoters are also saying their expensives have gone up.  I had a phrase when I had just returned home from Iraq and was trying to finish separating from the Army, while also applying to grade schools and find a job.  When people would ask me to hang out or do something for them I would say to myself, “Everyone just wants a piece of me.”  I have found in these poor economic times everyone seems to want a piece of us, the consumers.  Gas prices are rising because OPEC isn’t getting enough revenue from our decreased consumption.  Universities are increasing tuition because they aren’t getting the alumni donations they were used to.  Sports players still demand lucrative contracts so  sports ticket prices have had to increase to cover the loss of the amount of fans at games.  When times get tough, everyone wants a piece.  Possibly vendors and service providers now want a piece of marathon promoters.  Why are they going after marathon’s?  Because the amount of race entrants seems to be recession proof.

Why are marathons recession proof?  Well first off, the only cost to a participant is running shoes and an entry fee.  Possibly more people are goal driven in poor economic times.  I imagine a lot of people have more time to train now that they do not have jobs or are working less because the economy is slow.  What a perfect time to attain that goal you’ve always wanted to do.  Marathon runners usually have high annual household income so they aren’t as price sensitive.  I may look further into whether or not marathons are recession proof.  The allure of accomplishing difficult goals will always be demanded.  Plus, it impresses people at job interviews when you put on your resume “marathon running” under interests.  However, in one interview I had the interviewer begin to talk about his extensive marathon running and training.  But when my PR was a good bit faster than his was he kind of got “over” the interview.  I guess it’s like the Army, you always want to be able to out run those you are in charge of.

Let’s pull this country out of its economic slump one marathon mile at a time!  Yes, we ran!

Running Down a Dream (Part 3 of 3)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

strip-show-at-marathon-resize…to work at a small firm.  I learned a lot about the whole real estate development process and feel that  I am more knowledgeable than many of my peers.  The risk was that a slow down in the market affects the smaller firm more than a larger, diversified firm.  Honestly though, in this market and economy, I don’t know if it really matters where you work.  I may have taken another offer at a larger firm and had been laid off recently since I was the newest hire.  Who knows?  I enjoy real estate development and continue to be somewhat involved in it, but it doesn’t excite me as much as running and working on this website does.  I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life and enjoying it.  I am excited to learn, build, facilitate, and create.  And continue to do something that I love…running.

But honestly, even though this post is about me, it’s not about me.  It’s about creating something that may inspire people to become more mentally and physically healthy.  To motivate people to push themselves to their limits in accomplishing anything in life.  Running is what brought clarity to my post-Army life.  While I had to come back and resume my life with so many changes in it, running slowed things down and put the world in perspective for me.  It simplified it.  Made it clear.  It has lead me to overcome, grow, mature, and understand myself and my surroundings better than ever before.

So I’ve been writing this blog for about a month and a half now and I can tell you what I tend to write about.  I usually analyze the psychology of running.  Sometimes I equate running to some sort of social issue.  Sometimes I write a review on a shoe.  Maybe I’ll tell you about something we’ve added to the website.  A lot of the times I’ll talk about the medical side of running, like nutrition, injury prevention, how to make a turni-kit out of sticks, whatever.  I talk about my military experiences and how they relate to running.  I don’t write anything political.  I try to motivate.  I make suggestions.  I tell you about cool new running gadgets that I try.  I add humor whenever possible.  I find I make a lot of references to movie or TV show quotes.  I think that is because humor in the written form is different than in person, the readers have to understand your intent to humor.  I discuss the economy and how running relates to it.  I run races and tell you about them.  I run trail runs and tell you about them as well.  I won’t give you updates on my training schedule or PRs.  I don’t find doing this is very useful and quite frankly, boring.  Unless you ask me to do it.  Then I’ll talk about it.  This blog is whatever you want, I’m here for you.  One thing you can count on is  I will always talk about one thing:…running…seriously….I’m serious.

So that’s it.  That’s me.  I’m an open book and open to any suggestions about what you want to hear about or how much my grammar sucks.  Whateves.  I’m just Running Down a Dream.  Workin’ on a mystery; goin wherever it leads.  Thanks TP.

I’d also like to thank my brother Jeff who actually created the concept for this website and began building it using an awesome software program he developed:   review app. Check out his other websites too: and  Very smart guy; not as good of a runner.  And he’s not as good looking, but you would already know that if you read the blog yesterday.

Alright that’s enough about me.  Now you know who I am.  I’m actually tired of talking about myself and look forward to getting back to my normal blogging.  I recently read in Chris Brogran’s blog that the smartest, most successful people in the world are those who always want to know more about you rather than tell you about themselves.  I think that is true.  I’m going to try to do that from now on.  And yes, I was reading someone else’s blog.  I guess I’m a blogger now, but it’s not official because I haven’t added it to my “interests” on Facebook yet.


Chris Barber