Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

3 years without a miss

passed 3 yrs. without missing a day of running

Monday, September 7, 2015

Closing In . . .

Closing in on 2 yrs. of running without missing a single day . . . also closing in on 5 yrs. without a running injury . . .

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm back to 40% of my running being barefoot . . .

Here's an explanation, based on your body's proprioceptive abilities–that is, the way it can communicate up and down all pathways. When you run barefoot, your body precisely engages your vision, your brain, the soles of your feet, and all the muscles, bones, tendons, and supporting structures of your feet and legs. They leap to red alert, and give you a high degree of protection from the varied pressures and forces of running.

On the other hand, when you run in socks, shoes, inserts, midsoles and outsoles, your body's proprioceptive system loses a lot of input. "This has been called 'the perceptual illusion' of running shoes," says Warburton. "With shoes, your body switches off to a degree, and your reaction time decreases."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Finding the Right Formula

Ok, I stole this post title "Finding the Right Formula" from Matt Fitzgerald's book "Running by Feel," but it's right on point to answer a question I've been asked recently which is "How have I been able to run 5 yrs. without injury?"  Well, it's because I found the "Right Formula."  On my way to finding the right formula, I had to answer a key question why is "Why do I run?"  The answer was pretty easy, "I run to stay healthy.  I run because of the way it makes me feel.  I run to talk to myself.  I run because it level sets my entire being."

My first answer takes a bit more analysis.  I run to "stay healthy" so that eliminated the types of running done by most runners.  I don't run to race.  I don't run for a specific time or pace.  Maybe because I'm a former Division I collegiate athlete, I've competed my whole life for big prizes and the idea of killing myself for a cheap medal doesn't interest me.  I know, I know, the response is people do it for the accomplishment but I can reach the same accomplishment on my own, on my own terms and in my own way.  This also allows me to stay injury free because I don't run according to some crazy plan or schedule.  This also eliminates ultra-type running.  Yes, I've run one (1) 50k but I soon realized, the ultra distance isn't about staying healthy or in shape.  That's about something else and in fact, it can enter a zone that is counter productive to staying healthy.  I see no reason to run those types of distances.  One can stay extremely healthy running anything from a 5k to half marathon distance.  It's more about consistency and repetition at that point.  I'm healthier today averaging 40 miles per week than I was back when I was in the 60+ mile per week range.  The reduced mileage allows me to run 7 days per week (there's the consistency and repetition) yet stay injury free without putting unnecessary load on my body.  I do one (1) hard workout per week in the 8-10 mile range with half of it in the 6:30 pace range but otherwise I do 90% of my running in the 9-10:00 pace range.

The second part of the answer, is if I run to feel good, then I don't need gadgets like Garmin watches.  I don't need to monitor everything related to my running.  Some of the data available is absolutely ridiculous.  Now, I do need my body and since my body is my gadget, it took many years to understand what it was telling me.  Once I understood what it was telling me, it took years to understand how to respond.  The only way to understand what it was telling me was to remove anything blocking communication paths and that started with the modern shoe.  The modern shoe blocks the messages from my feet to my brain and that's very dangerous.  Garmin-like watches also block the ability to hear the body because the brain focuses on stupid things like distance, pace and/or some pre-determined running plan or schedule.  The funny thing about running plans is your body will customize its own running schedule if you let it.  As I've run injury for 5 years, I compared this current year to the first year I ran injury free because the enjoyment I felt from 1 year of injury free running was so awesome and it's how I feel right now.  Low and behold, my running schedule, as set by my body, is almost the same.  I run 7 days per week.  I average about 40 minutes per run Monday through Friday and two (2) of those days, I run closer to 30 minutes and I refer to those runs as "rest day runs" and they are essentially physical and mental recovery days.  Then, I do one hard workout, generally on Saturday, averaging 60-80 minutes, half of which is at tempo to race pace (anything in the 5:55 - 6:55 pace range).  Sunday is generally 45-60 min. run, at an easy pace, usually on trails (I do 75% of all my running on trails).  As for the expensive and worthless Garmin, I know what pace I'm running by feel.  Based on effort, turn over and feel, I'm within :10 sec. per mile of what any watch would tell me.

Now for the part no one really likes to discuss because we are culture of gullible idiots when it comes to believing marketing hype.  The modern running shoe is one of the most destructive inventions of the modern times . . . the basic running shoe of the 1960's and early 1970's is all we really needed but we love to take it too far, then so far we lose control and perspective . . . welcome to the modern running shoe.  If you believe the natural design of the human body is flawed and broken then stop now and read no further otherwise you cannot, under any circumstances defend or support the design of the modern running shoe.  An elevated heel to put the body off balance . . . down right stupid and makes no sense.  Excessive cushioning to eliminate proprioception . . . incredibly dangerous as you have no control over your body and ultimately your stride.  Inflexibility with motion control and other designs to create stiff shoes . . . oh yea, the natural foot is flexible so if you want to run with braces on your feet, enjoy developing very weak feet which ultimately will result in injury and burning money on all types of gadgets to make your feet even weaker.  Lastly, our bare feet . . . my god, our bare feet are ingenious but we love to dumb it down.  Remember the sheer joy of running barefoot as a kid . . . well, how did we do it?  Because we were young?  Crap!!! It's because that's exactly how we were designed.  Now, I'm not saying the foot doesn't need minimal protection from the modern elements in the world but that's all it needs.  Of course, shoe companies can't allow this to become status quo because the revenue impact would be tremendous.  Imagine someone like me who pays $45 for a pair of running shoes that last 18-24 months . . . I'm a shoe companies nightmare.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Next Shoe Purchase, 2026-2030

Just hit me this morning during my run.  When will I buy another pair of running shoes?  I basically run 100% in the Puma H-Street and I have 11 new pair in the basement.  Each pair lasts over 1 yr. and in many cases I push toward 18 months per pair.  Then, add the fact that my body has all but fully adjusted to a barefoot-like style after 8 years of running combined with a neutral foot strike, my current pair is coming up on 18 months and could last 2 years . . . with a forefoot strike and landing lightly, I have very little wear & tear on the soles of my shoes (sole or upper).  I'm definitely a major shoe manufacturer's worse nightmare.  The average price per pair of Puma H-Streets was $45.

On the other hand, thank god for having 11 new pair as it's clear the major shoe companies have won the war (the minimalist movement put up a good fight albeit brief) and, as an industry, they are reverting back to overly designed, cushioned and support ridden shoe designs.  That will guarantee one trend . . . a high percentage of injured runners on a yearly basis.  At this point, it's not about the poorly designed shoes . . . it's about the running public that won't contest what is so obvious . . . just a basic level of common sense would lead one to question the design of running shoes when compared to the natural human foot.  Couple that with the fact that the vast majority of runners do not want to make the sacrifice required to correct all the bad habits . . . bad form, weak muscle, weak tendons, misalignment, imbalance, etc.  It's a long process, at least it was for me . . . about 8 years of blood, sweat and tears but oh my god was it worth it . . . I've learned it's one of those things where I just need to be thankful and humbled that I was able to figure it out . . . it doesn't require one to be a rocket scientist but it requires avoiding the easy road and traveling the hard road to find the answer . . . . what is the saying?  need to go through hell to get to heaven :)


Monday, September 29, 2014

Nothing more to say . . .

"Ironically, the closest we have ever come to an "ideal" shoe was the original lightweight, soft-sole, heel-less, simple moccasin, which dates back more than 14,000 years. It consisted of a piece of crudely tanned but soft leather wrapped around the foot and held on with rawhide thongs. Presto! custom fit, perfect in biomechanical function, and no encumbrances to the foot or gait."

"It took four million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot. We have converted a beautiful thoroughbred into a plodding plowhorse."

Nothing more to say . . . there is, unfortunately, no perfectly designed running shoe (yet).  The closest for me is the Puma H-Street.  The VivoBarefoot Evo has the most potential but they continue to miss the boat as it's too heavy and causes blisters.  If someone ever combined the best attributes of the H-Street and Evo, it would be a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last evolution phase?

I know, it has been forever since I posted but better late than never, right.  Well, I am in the last phase of the 10 yr. running cycle I've referred to constantly being years 8-10 (a runner friend of mine refers to this as the "smooth it out" phase when the body makes some final last tweaks as you truly become an efficient runner).  I've been running injury free for the last 5 years but now I can feel my body take the next step to become even a more efficient and productive runner and my body feels absolutely amazing.

To this point, I was tested again and long and behold my foot strike has changed slightly from slight under-pronation to a neutral foot strike.  Of course, with a neutral foot strike you still pronate but the fine line between pronating and under-pronating is an important and critical distinction.  So what has changed?  It's simple and I know what it is.  It's "Relaxation," plain and simple.  I run completely relaxed and that has resulted in the slight change in foot strike.  In fact, there's hardly any wear and tear on the soles of my shoes in the spots that would indicate under or over-pronation . . . the wear and tear is that of a neutral foot striker.

I'm not sure how I arrived here but within the past 3-4 months, I've been thinking more about being relaxed, regardless of the pace, whether warm-up or race pace.  I've also been thinking about Fred Rohe and his writing "The Zen of Running" and how he preaches about always being relaxed and never running with stress or pushing too hard.  For me, it's about comfortably hard running but also being totally relaxed and if I need to push too hard which, by the way, results in a dramatic increase in impact forces, I find that relaxed mode and I run as hard as I can provided I'm relaxed . . . anything faster that results in me not being relaxed is something I don't do anymore . . . if I feel the impact forces are too high, my arms are tight, breathing not controlled, etc., then I re-focused and find that relaxed rhythm and stay in that zone.  By the way, the more relaxed, the faster I run comfortably, however, there's a limit how fast you can run relaxed . . . if I have to push off harder then that's the zone I do not enter anymore.  As a result, I feel tremendous and every muscle and tendon feels great (for example, I can squeeze and pinch both achilles tendons with no pain or discomfort whatsoever . . . that's what I'm talking about).

I'm all about Running Relaxed.

Happy trails.


Thursday, February 6, 2014


It's interesting as I reflect back on the last 8 years since I started running regularly.  I've averaged about 50 miles per week during this time, however, as with many runners, I've had highs, lows, ups and downs.  I remember vividly the first week I started running in 1995 when, as luck would have it, I ran into an elite runner and had a conversation that shaped my running life.  That runner was so smooth and fluid, I mean, just a beautiful runner.  I told him I wanted to run like him and he said it was possible (of course, I didn't say as fast as him) but I had to commit for 10 years.  I looked at him with confusion and said why 10 years . . . why so long.  He said it would take 10 years to become an efficient and seasoned runner and furthermore, I had to commit to the 3 phases in the 10 year cycle.

I asked him to continue and he explained the 3 phases:

- Phase 1 (Years 1-3), he called it the "Adaption and Hell Phase."  Now, 3 years is a long time in hell.  He said it was hell because I would suffer every injury known to a runner during this 3 year period . . . achilles tendonitis, plantar  tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, runners knee, top of the foot pain, sciatic pain, back pain, calf pulls, strains, tears, and the list goes on and on.  The point was it would take 3 years for every tendon and muscle to adapt to running regularly.  The question was whether I was committed to push through this 3 years of hell.  He said 95% of runners will not commit to continuing through this painful time but if I did, the reward down the road would be great . . . little did I know how right he was.
- Phase 2 (Years 4-7), he called it the "Discovery Phase" because it was during this phase that a runner discover his/her body, researches everything in the world about running and starts to place running as one of the more important things in their lives.  This is when you join every online group, runner's club, etc., and you and running start to become one.  This is also when you try everything from barefoot running (at least for me) and you focus on every single aspect of running whether it's landing lightly, high turnover, short stride, claw back, Pose, Chi, and then there's shoes, oh my god, there's shoes.   Flexible or rigid, support or no support, heel deviation or zero drop, light or heavy, road vs. trail vs. mountain surfaces (and don't let me get started on diet).  The point here is you discover and mold yourself into a runner.  You set PR's, finish your first marathon . . . for me, the most memorable was at the age of 43, I ran my first sub 18:00 5k (17:42) . . . that was last year.  Of course, the best part for me was after Year 4, I didn't suffer another significant injury . . . nothing that stopped me from running every day . . . no pain that impacted my running (that's always the #1 goal) and that runner told me if I made it through Phase 1, that day would come.
- Phase 3 (Years 8-10), he called it the "Refinement Phase."  My friends this is where I'm at.  He said this is when you are ready to understand the subtleties of running and you make slight tweaks that make all the difference in the world.   I'm in the midst of this right now and after all these years of a short quick stride, my turnover has decreased slightly and my stride length has increased, all while landing correctly.  I know understand what the paw back is and it makes all the difference in the world especially with respect to performance, speed and efficiency.  I understand the placement of my arms, hips, etc.  I've learned to run by feel and control my paces without the aid of a Garmin watch.  After all these years, I'm finally starting to get it.  I've learned to not counsel other runners as they must go on this journey alone (of course, I answer questions if asked).

So why did I share this?  Well, just to say, anyone can do it but the question is "Are you willing to go through hell to get to heaven."  Ultimately, it's about commitment . . . remember motivation is EASY, habit is HARD . . . all champions have HABIT.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Wow, forgot about my blog

It has been forever since I posted . . . just too busy but all is good.  I'm still averaging 50-60 miles per week, entering my 5th year without injury.  Nothing at all for me to complain about.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Recognize mental fatigue

Just some quick and obvious advice.  Don't ignore mental fatigue because if you do, it can lead to a long host of problems.  The first step is recognizing when you are mentally fatigued and, in fact, you may be physically fine and that's why folks ignore the mental side but it's a mistake.  I bring this up because I'm suffering from it right now but I'm addressing it.

After 97 consecutive days of running, I noticed that it was "mentally" tough to run for just 40-45 minutes.  I took note of this and also took into account external factors, including the bad weather (5 straight days of snow and below 10F temperatures), inability to run outdoors and especially on the trails I love, being regulated to the treadmill due to bad weather, heavy load of work, and early morning kids activities.  My body felt fine but not my mind.  So, I've dedicated this week as a "back off week," or call it a "recovery week."  This week, all my runs will be 20-30 minutes (likely on the treadmill, barefoot) . . . heck, maybe just a 1 mile run (we'll see how it goes).

It's time to recover and heal, more mentally than physically.  When you suffer mentally, it can turn into a physical thing and you can even get sloppy with your focus which can directly or indirectly lead to bad form and technique and ultimately injury.  I have friends who don't see the connection between mental fatigue and potential injury, but it's real . . .

Trust me . . . when you feel off, start to take literal notes of what's going on inside and outside . . . don't ignore the signals . . . acknowledge and address it!!!


Monday, January 7, 2013

The role barefoot plays . . .

I was recently asked how much barefoot running I actually do and what role in plays in my running program. Well, barefoot accounts for about 25% of my overall running which is a good chunk.  Over the past 4-5 yrs., I gone back and forth from doing a lot of barefoot running to no barefoot running to a few miles, here and there.  However, when I'm running my best and feeling my strongest, two (2) things occur.  First, I do more pace workout and less overall weekly mileage.  I'm a fast twitch runner so doing heavy mileage doesn't fit my make-up.  Second, I do a good amount barefoot running because it's critical in enabling me to maintain good form, technique, balance, turnover and just keeping a good stride (basically, barefoot running allows me to be able to run in shoes, albeit minimalist shoes).

My favorite surface for barefoot running is the treadmill or an astro-turf football field.  I tend to have a 4-6 stride per minute delta between unshod and shod, that is, I have a quicker turnover while barefoot which is pretty normal but the key is that barefoot running allows me to maintain a healthy turnover while in shoes and, as importantly, it keeps my stride controlled to avoid over-striding.  I don't believe in the super short stride that folks talk about with barefoot running because you can under-stride just as much as over-stride and both are damaging although over-striding is more problematic.  I true barefoot runner actually has a healthy stride length yet still lands balance, controlled and with a good center of gravity (just watch Zola Budd).

Best of all, when you really have tired legs and need a true recovery run, there's nothing easier than barefoot running, nothing lighter than your barefoot and nothing as light and easy as barefoot running.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

In case you doubt the impact of running shoes . . .

What do Orthotics and shoes actually do? Looking at data from a professional runner (click here if you can't read this post)

Often times in research we focus on norms.  We look at the average effect of different
interventions and then apply them to everybody.  In this way, as a whole we get what 
the effects are for most people.  By doing this, sometimes we miss the individual effects.  
So in today’s first blog of 2013, I want to share with you some data on the effects 
of running shoes on data with one  individual athlete, Jackie Areson, who runs 
professionally for Nike.

In this data, what we did was stick her on a treadmill running at the same speed 
for every trial and set up my poor man’s high speed video analysis system 
(Casio Exilim + free motion analysis software), and took side and back views 
of her running.  What I was looking at was a comparison of shoes impacts on 
her mechanics.  Using barefoot as the “normal” and comparing from there.  We
 looked at all sorts of different Nike shoes (because that’s her sponsor), 
her old shoes she trained in in college (Brooks Ravena) and then just for the 
heck of it, each shoe with custom orthotics and without custom orthotics
 (she does NOT wear them) to see the effects orthotics had on her mechanics.

 So what you'll find below is a chart comparing I’ve included pictures below 
for you guys to take a look at that give a good indicator of things and includes
a few other shoes not included in the chart (because remember, this data is 
analyzed the old fashioned way so it takes a while to analyze it all!).

Orthotics?changeChange (deg)Degree    Ground ContactFlight TimeFootstrikeHeel-toe drop
Lunar FlyNO
Lunar FlyYES
Lunar RacersNo
Lunar RacersYES


 Footstrike degree- 90deg= knee and ankle of foot are at 90deg angle. So 
greater the degree, means further out ankle is in front of knee at footstrike.
(Heel toe drop is using data from outside sources, not measured)

Pictures of shoes at footstrike- NO Orthotic on left.  Orthotic on right  
(except for Nike free, Katana, and streak XC- NO Orthotics on those)

What did we find with Jackie. 
 1. Orthotics almost always switch to a more pronounced heel 
strike (probably for a few reasons- They add weight, bulk, and increase 
the heel to toe drop.

2. Orthotics don't decrease pronation really, and don't have a uniform 
effect across shoes.  They tend to change things in different degress.

3. Footstrike is greatly influenced by shoe type.  It's hard to pick out 
definite trends, but the less heel-toe drop the more likely she lands forefoot 
or mid/whole foot.  Additionally, the lighter the shoe the more so.  Interestingly 
(and the data isn't up there) but for some reason she lands more whole foot with 
the Brooks Ravena then with comparable shoes in terms of heel/toe drop and 
weight.  My guess is because of the high toe spring changes her loading/landing 
pattern (because at this period of time, she protected her past foot injuries by not 
"pushing off" her big toe.) Also, the contrast between flats and shoes is remarkable.

4.  Using the simple measure of ground contact time tells you how minimal a 
shoe is.  It's a kind of "duh, that's obvious" conclusion, but a simple measure of 
comparing barefoot ground contact time versus shoe GC might be a useful measure.  
The difference (at the same speed) could give an indicator of how much the shoe 
"interferes".  So maybe a simple yet effective measure might be change in GC with 
each shoe?  (Just hypothesizing but how cool would it be to go to a shoe store and 
run barefoot, get a GC, then compare shoes effects on it, instead of doing pronation junk?)

5. Pronation- It varies.  And having junk in your shoe to stop it really didn't do much 
at all for Jackie. (and yes, pronation is natural, I just included in this analyse because 
it's easy to measure, everyone measures it, and I wanted to show the effects shoes 
had on it...)

Hopefully this data makes you think a little bit and gets you to see the individual 
differences that shoes create.

Thoughts, comments????  Mr. Magness always has good stuff to share 

. . . great job Steve!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

180 stride rate test

So it was too cold to run outside, so I headed for the treadmill for an easy run and decided to calculate my stride rate (for the heck of it).  This wasn't a race pace workout so my fastest pace was 6:42:

Pace     Stride Rate (average)
10:00    156-158
9:00      164-166
8:00      172-174
7:00      176
6:42      178-180

You'll hear may folks say that 180 strides per minute so stay consistent regardless of pace.  This is largely a lie and inaccurate.  I'm sure a few runners do but many runners will increase stride rate (and length) as they increase pace.  As reported by Steve Magness, here's some date from top NCAA runners at UTEP:

Pace     Stride Rate
7:40      175.68
6:43      181.76
5:58      185.82
5:22      191.83
4:58      196.93

Given that, I'm quite satisfied with my 178-180 strides per minute at 6:42 pace.  My 5k race pace is slightly sub 6:00 pace so it's safe to say, I would be over the 180 threshold.  Even Steve Magness (very accomplished runner in his own right) reported the following after testing himself:

Pace     Stride Rate
7:30      166
5:00      192-198

So why is there such a focus on the "180 stride rate?"  Well, because many recreational runner over-stride and that causes many problems and ultimately injuries.  However, after you achieve a certain level of competence with respect to your stride, you can start to focus on strength length and becoming an even more efficient runner.  Remember, the "180" comes from analysis provided by legendary coach Jack Daniels but he was analyzing elite level runners at tempo pace.  Many elite Kenyan runners has been measured as low as the mid 160's while warming up but they are all largely over 180 "at tempo pace," and that's the key.

There's nothing wrong with forcing shorter and quicker strides while learning to run but you'll hit a level of competence where a baby steps not only feel wrong but are inefficient and instead of over-striding, you will under-stride and that can also causes issues.

Remember, keep it in perspective.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What a typical speed day looks like for me . . .

I've had a few inquires as to what a speed day workout looks like for me.  So, today, I did a 5k trial run with a few folks on dirt.  Here's what my workout looks like:

1.  Wake up at 5:45am and do 5-10 min. of foot exercises consisting of towel crunches and rolling over a golf ball, both feet.

2.  Massage my calves with a tennis ball and hard form roller over the IT band

3.  Walk around the house for 5-10 min.

4.  45 min. of barefoot running on the treadmill.  I break it up in phases which helps mentally with running on the treadmill.  First 20 minutes is the warm-up, then I start to steadily increase pace.

5.  1 mile warm-up outdoors, running to the location for the 5k run on the trails

6.  5k run checking my form, feel and pace every 400 meters.  Completed the 5k in 18:39.  My goal was sub 19:00 so mission accomplished.

7.  .5 mile easy run back to the house

8.  15 min. of barefoot running on the treadmill as the cool down.

9.  10 min. of light stretching, mostly the quads and hamstrings + balancing exercises.

That's about it.  A lot of stuff just to run a 5k, huh?   Well, speed and hard runs are not to be messed with.  If you approach them wrong, the only guarantee is a guaranteed injury.  I basically had to run easy for more than 1 hr. in order to prepare for a hard 5k run.  As a masters runner, I have to pay even closer attention to properly prepare my body for hard workouts.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The journey to be what I want to be . . .

My 7+ years of dedicated running has been an amazing journey and I look forward to where it will take me next.  However, I've had to veer off in different directions to learn what I like and what works for me.  Recently, for the 2nd time in 7 yrs., I significantly increased my weekly mileage from 40-45 miles per week ("mpw") to 60-70 mpw and I learned (yet again) a few things about myself.

1.  The heavier mileage is very time consuming (well, that's obvious :) and I tend to shed another 5-7 lbs. which sounds great but I'm already thin and it really is the threshold between to types of bodies for different purposes.  When I'm at the lower mileage range, I do a lot more race pace training and I tend to do a lot more upper, lower and core training . . . long story short, I'm stronger at the lower mileage range although I don't have the level of endurance I have at the higher mileage range.  At the high mileage range, my body looks like a marathoner as opposed to more of the 800 meter to 1 mile runners who tend to be slightly heavier with more muscle and definition.   Well,  I like the latter.  I don't like the feel of the marathon body, plus I like speed so I'm returning to what I call my "5k body" vs. the "marathon body."

2.  Running is an important "part" of my life but not my life.  The more you push toward 100 mile weeks, running become more than just a part, especially for us folks with spouses and kids.  I run to be more fit, happier and a better person but running is something I do and weave into my life and not the reverse where I weave life into running.  So, in my world, that's the difference between a 5-6 mile weekly day run vs. a 8-10 mile weekly day run.  The former allows me to see my kids in the morning and watch them head out the door.  The latter requires me to leave before they get up and return after they've left for school.  I choose the former.

3.  I'm ultra competitive which is just in my DNA from being a high school and collegiate athlete so I admit I need something I can excel at and I can do very well at the 5k and still have a normal life vs. the time and training required to excel at the marathon.

4.  I don't like being injured and less miles reduces my chances for injury as well as it eliminates having to constantly run in a fatigued state.  That isn't fun.  I've gone months where I run every day in a fatigued state and I don't like it.

5.  I like running every day and with this approach, I'm stronger and it allows me to absorb workouts on a 7 day a week basis without overloading my body to maintain a level of fitness for the longer distances.

I've been reminded that you clearly need to answer, for yourself, "why do you run and what makes you smile"  While I try different things with my running, my answer tends to be the same.


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