Category Archives: Running Posts

The GOAT

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My buddy is a huge baseball fan. He is quick to pull out a statistic from a player that died well before he was born, and talk at length about why he is better than whatever current player is leading off SportsCenter these days. Statistics and numbers are so important in baseball and there is always talk about who is the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). Could The Babe hit off today’s pitchers or if Ty Cobb would make it out of today’s game without being booed like John Rocker? He’ll make mock GOAT fielders teams and hitters lineups at certain parks based on where the outfield is positioned. I am a baseball fan, but not at that level. One day he asked me if runners debate the same minutia about who is the best runner of all time. I explained that yes, we do talk at nausea about certain runners from certain eras and about how many gold metals Pre would have run and yada yada yada. However, when it comes to the GOAT, most everyone who is in the know doesn’t really need to debate it; It’s Emil Zatopec. What I think interesting is that most people have never even heard of him.

Zatopec was a Czechoslovakian born runner who turned the running world on its head during the late 1940’s to the mid-1950’s. During the height of his running he set world records in the 5k, 10k, 20k, Hour Run, 25k and 30k. He also had the greatest Olympics of all time (sorry to any swimmers reading this). At the 1952 games in Helsinki, Zatopec looked to improve on his 1948 Olympics where he won gold in the 10k and silver in the 5k. During the first 6 days of the games he won gold in both the 5k and 10k and setting Olympic records in both events. Instead of celebrating and watching his fiancé compete in the javelin, he decided to go ahead and jump in another race. Why not, right? So despite having never competed in a marathon in his entire life and only two days after setting an Olympic record in the 5k, he found himself on the starting line of the marathon. He ran next to Jim Peters, the current world record holder, through the first 10 miles as they ran at breakneck speed.

Having never run a marathon and not knowing the type of pace they should be running, Emil innocently asked Jim if they were in fact going too slow. Jim, in an effort to trick Zatopec into running too hard early and dying off, told him that they were indeed running too easy and that Emil should make a move. The good natured Czech did just that and ran the rest of the way alone, winning the gold and setting a third Olympic record. He is the only runner in history to win the 5k, 10k and marathon in a single game.

Emil was known not only for his loud breathing, unorthodox form, and pained facial expression (which garnered him the nickname the Czech Locomotive), but his intense and brutal training techniques. He competed while serving in the army and often did his training while running in place in his army boots. He would run up to three hours in a large laundry tub full of the army’s dirty clothes for resistance training. His favorite workout was 400’s and he would often do up to 100 before his bigger races. When it snowed, he would run while carrying his wife on his back up hills to build leg strength. The stories of his training are legendary and often amusing. He was always regarded as respectful, polite, upbeat, and hilarious. A classic example of his temperament and naiveté occurred during his gold medal debut in the marathon. Emil went past every aid station and water stop without indulging in anything from a sip of water to a quarter of an orange offered along the route. Asked after the race if that was a strategy, a confused Zatopec answered it was not a strategy – he did not run with his wallet and did not know those items were free for runners.

There are so many interesting and amazing stories about Emil Zatopec . I sometimes feel like not enough people study or appreciate the older generations of runners who paved the way for the Ritzes or Flannigans of today. Runner’s World used to do a great section on a historical runner or race but even they have stopped sharing those wonderful stories. Next time you are looking for a good book, pick up a copy of Running with the Legends, Duel in the Sun, or The Four-Minute Mile and learn about and appreciate some of the heroes in our sport.

Even Stephen

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Even Stephen

  By Steve Moore

              Next week I am turning the ripe old age of 36, and in my time here on Earth, I have been very consistent in my inability to keep an even keel. I have a very hard time not letting my emotions get the best of me and it’s something that I struggle with in everything from my family, running, and business. The past few weeks I have experienced some amazing highs and lows and I am trying my best to keep everything in perspective (especially with what is currently going on around the world). I swear this will get to a point, so just bear with me.

A few weeks back I was involved with a local race that, in my opinion, went very well. I spent way more time preparing for it than I’d care to mention and after the race we received a lot of great feedback from runners and the race director. The day after the race I received an email from one unhappy runner out of a thousand participants. He went into tremendous detail telling me what an awful job we did and called me some very harsh names and attacked my personal character. I received this email during a cookout that I put on for my staff as a thank you for the extra hours and work to make the race go so smoothly. I was beyond upset and I stayed up all night over it. I went from being on top of the world to down in the dumps despite all the positive feedback, I could not let the one negative comment go.

Just this past week I had a follow up appointment with a manufacturer who I have been trying to build a relationship with since April of 2014. I have been given every reason in the world as to why they will not allow us the chance to buy and sell their products, and despite knowing better, I had high hopes that this would be the day we would be granted permission to hand them thousands of dollars to represent their brand. Once again, I was told no and not to plan on it anytime soon. This brand is not interested in working with any more independently owned stores in the United States. They are only selling to newly opened chains stores like Dicks or Kohls. I was totally crestfallen afterwards and spent the whole day in a serious funk and since I am currently dealing with bronchitis, I could not take my frustration out on the track.

Then on Thursday night, I got to post something on Facebook that made me smile from ear to ear and it brought me back out of my malaise – I got to post a picture of a giant Peep display. Not just any Peep display, but a Peep display of my logo. I got the most flattering request from two customers to turn my logo into a submission for the world famous Peep Show. They did an amazing job and it reminded me that we have so much love and support here that if one out of a thousand racers does not like me, or if one brand hates small businesses, that I need to move on and enjoy the positive things. I need to look at all the good around me and let it carry me through the down times.

I have always done the same with my running as well. I tend to dwell way too long on the bad race and not enjoy the good ones. We should all try to enjoy each day that we can get out and run instead of beating ourselves up for missing that 5k PR by a mere five seconds. I hope in this coming year that I can slow down and appreciate all the little good things in my day and allow the bad stuff to roll off my back.

Be safe out there everyone and hopefully I’ll see you out pounding the town soon.

 

Nothing Says I Love You Like Running Accessories

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February is the month for love. Nothing says, “I love you” like running accessories. Below are my top five picks for the runner you love:

1. Flip Belt – This item has been a game changer for me. It can hold the things that you normally take with you on a run. It also has a reflective quality. This is a great alternative to the bulkier belts that stick out. The FlipBelt is very low profile and it stays in place for your entire run. One of the things I love about this product is the key clip. You can clip your keys and not worry about losing them. Money, iPhones, ID, and so much more can fit into a FlipBelt.

flipbelt

 2. Swiftwick Socks – I never thought socks mattered when you were running… until I wore these! These socks are thin, light, and leave your feet feeling amazing. These socks blow regular cotton socks out of the water and when you buy three, you get one free.

3. TomTom GPS Watch – I cannot say enough about these watches. I have tried various GPS watches and this one is still my very favorite. It is simple to use, uploads effortlessly to your phone, and it is very user friendly. This watch also has the lowest profile design that I’ve experienced, which makes it a great everyday watch.

tomtomreview

 

4. The Run Moore Under Armour shirt – This long-sleeved shirt is the perfect way to say, “I love you” to your sweetheart. The ladies’ shirt comes in a great pink color and the men’s is in gray. This shirt is great for running in cold or warm weather. It is functional and fashionable.

5. Mace – Nothing says I love you like mace. Run Moore has you covered with mace that fits comfortably in your hand while you run. Now you can give your loved one safety in the palm of their hand.

I hope your February is full of love! Don’t forget to lace up and head out!

Happy Trails!

Why Low Drop Doesn’t Have to Mean a Minimalist Running Shoe – By Adam Gerard

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I started getting serious about my running around two years ago. I guess I really do enjoy the actual running aspect of running, but if I’m being honest, one of the things I love most are the shoes. Pretty early on, I became obsessed with reading running shoe reviews and trying to find the perfect shoe for me.

As I was doing research, I started reading more and more about “the drop” or “offset” of shoes. 12mm, 8mm, 4mm, Zero Drop. What did these numbers mean and why did I find myself scoffing at the larger ones?

What is Running Shoe Drop?

Think about a man’s dress shoe. There generally is a small heel that keeps the back higher than the front. If you rest your foot flat on the ground in a man’s dress shoe, your actual foot heel will be a tiny bit further off the ground than the ball of your feet. The difference between that distance (heel height minus forefoot height) is the shoes “drop” or “offset.”

Even though running shoes don’t have a heel as prominent as a dress shoe — I mean, they generally look flat — it’s still there. How much heel there is (called the “heel stack height”) tends to be a signifier of how much cushion a shoe has. The more height, the more cushion.

In most running shoes, that heel stack height tends to be higher than the forefoot height, and again, we have a “drop.” The measurement of that difference is so small that it’s done in millimeters (usually ranging from 0 to 16mm, often somewhere in between).

Born to Run Changes Things

All of this “drop” and “stack height” existed before 2009, but most people didn’t care all that much. Then the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall came out. In the book, McGougall writes about a lot of things: Our natural running gait, a native Mexican tribe that runs hundreds of miles in sandals, Caballo Blanco, Vibram 5-finger shoes, Nike, shoeless running, ultramarathons, Scott Jurek, oh and running shoe drop.

The running shoe minimalist craze was born from there. People started being OK looking ridiculous in their Vibram 5-finger shoes, and those that weren’t instead looked for shoes with as little cushioning as possible. These shoes with minimal cushioning tend to have a very low drop (4mm or less) and, somehow, the drop became a signifier for minimalist shoes.

You’re Wrong About the Drop

But here’s the thing: minimalist shoes are low to the ground. The running shoe drop tells you nothing about that. In fact, running shoes have changed A LOT since 2009. And from the minimalist craze has sprung a maximalist rebellion. I mean, have you seen HOKAs?

Here’s what we can do. Let’s look at two shoes on opposite ends of the spectrum, both with 4mm drop.

Saucony Kinvaras

Kinvaras

These are super popular among road runners who want just a little cushioning during training runs. The bottom of these things are almost all foam with just a little strategically-placed rubber.  The Stats  Heel Stack Height: 22mm  Forefoot Stack Height: 18mm  Offset: 4mm

VS.

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi

Bondi

My goodness that is a tall shoe, and I don’t think pictures do it justice. If Kinvaras are verging on minimalist, HOKAs are the definition of maximalist. And yet…  The Stats Heel Stack Height: 33mm  Forefoot Stack Height: 29mm Offset: 4mm

And we can go even lower! Altra (my shoe brand of choice) only makes shoes with a zero drop. Sure, they have a minimalist shoe like the One 2.5 that has a 23mm stack height and nothing but soft foam on the bottom. But they also have the Paradigm 1.5, which has a height of 34mm (similar to HOKAs) and is still completely flat across the bottom.

Fine, But I Have a Question

“OK, OK, I get it, Adam. Low drop doesn’t mean a minimalist shoe. But a minimalist shoe is always going to have a low drop, right?” Well…Let’s look at one more shoe.

adidas adizero adios Boost 2

Adidas

That name is “adiotic.” Still, it is the shoe worn during the fastest marathons ever run, including Dennis Kimetto’s world record marathon at Berlin 2014. The shoe is kind of a soft racing flat. Is it minimalist? Kinda. Is it low drop? No.  The Stats Heel Stack Height: 23mm  Forefoot Stack Height: 13mm  Offset:10mm

Compared to the numbers we were looking at above, that drop is huge! Yet this shoe is still pretty low to the ground. Maybe not “minimalist,” but certainly in the same neighborhood as the Kinvara.

So what does all this mean?

It’s Just a Number

At the start of the minimalist shoe trend, running shoe drop was probably a significant number that told you a lot about the shoe. Now it’s just one of many numbers to keep in mind when selecting a shoe, and on its own doesn’t really tell you much at all.

 

Back to Basics

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                 So I had a column for this month’s blog all ready to go but something happened this weekend that is forcing me sit down and put together a whole new piece. As some of you may know I am currently getting prepared for a marathon. I had a race that I wanted to do but due to an injury I had to reassess my goals for the year and now I am hopping in a different race later this year. Anyway, that’s not all that important to the story but I wanted to disclose my current headspace.

                On Saturday I was scheduled to run 15 miles and as anyone who has run and trained for a longer race there are plenty of days you wake up and just don’t want to go run. The idea of going out by myself and running 15 did not sound like a great time. I got up early and headed out feeling sluggish and not very motivated. I parked at the Tahoma Farms parking lot and started my run up to the newly opened Wakefield Valley Golf trail. This is the old golf course here in town that closed last year and is now open to the public as a running and walking trail. My original plan was to do a few miles on the trail and then add a 12 mile loop around town. As soon as got out to the trail and did one loop around on the old cart path something changed.

                I guess I should back up a second and talk about what the Wakefield Valley Golf Trail. The golf course closed down a year or so ago and is now owned by The City of Westminster. They locked up all the buildings on the course, cut the grass and made loops connecting the cart path around the course. So now when you show up there is a big map on the old starters shed with color coded loops with a few different distances. You can now pick a distance you want to run and just follow the marked lines that are all around the path.

I had plans just to do the outside loop, which is about 2.5 miles around. It was so peaceful and pretty running around the course I had no choice but to stay out and keep running. To have a place like this that allows you to run or walk for miles without seeing a single car is pretty fantastic. When I was on my first loop I saw what I thought was a pterodactyl (turns out it was a heron) as well as other smaller furrier animals. I saw the morning mist coming off Lake Moore and Moore’s Pond (pretty sure that’s what they are called). I honestly felt as if I could run out there all day if not for the fact I needed to come back and get ready for work.

It felt like it had been a long time when I just ran to run. When you are training for a race or even just training to get in shape there are a lot of times when it just feels like work. This run totally rejuvenated me and I’ve been back out there a few times since. We talk a lot about keeping fresh, healthy, hydrated and all kinds of physical parts of running. Sometimes it’s important to take care of yourself mentally and this run helped me get back to feeling like a young newbie who was running out for the simple joy of running.

So I am challenging anyone who is feeling in a running rut to head over and get back to the basics of what we do. Leave the watch in the car if you need to and just run. I hope to see you out there!

Wakefield Valley Golf

Cross Country

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cross country image

 

When I sat down to write an article for this month I drew a blank. Should I talk about the 1 Year Anniversary or maybe our upcoming radio show? Then it hit me, Cross Country. This month student after student came in with their (usually indifferent/confused) parents to purchase their first pair of training shoes and sometimes their first pair of spikes. I found myself getting giddy when I had a newbie here who was taking the plunge into the wonderful sport of cross country. I was so happy to get to show a new runner how to use a cross country wrench and about why such a shoe even exists. I have mentioned my old high school coach before but it goes without saying that without Mr. Link I don’t know what direction my life would have taken.

When I was in high school in the mid 90’s every Summer involved a trip to our local running shop, Racket and Jog (now called R&J) to pick out my new cross country shoes. I would wait until the Fall Shoe Buyers Guide from Runners World would come out and I’d have the shoes I wanted to try all picked out before we left the house. I would bring my magazine to the shop and attempt to talk running with the staff. Once I was equipped with my new gear our unsanctioned summer practices commenced at a hilly state park near my school. My mornings and evenings were spent running with friends. Friends that I still talk to and friends that I shared 100 degree days charging up dirt trails all summer long. We would run twice a day and spend all the time between the runs hanging out or watching the Olympics in Atlanta before heading out for more running followed by more hanging out.

It makes me so happy to know these Summer rituals still exist and that year after year kids are out doing virtually the same thing I was doing 20 years ago. Runners are a different breed of student athlete and I remember at times feeling like an outsider and being involved in a sport “where you just run around.” My coach taught us to embrace our niche lifestyle and feel proud to be runners. He made running feel cool and mainstream sports like football and lacrosse to feel lame. One of my favorite things my coach did was run to the main office every time there was bad weather and other sports were canceled to make sure they knew cross country practice was still on. I remember awful storms outside or even snow during indoor track and during last period someone would come over the loud speaker to announce that football, soccer, cheerleading, golf and every other sport practices were canceled for the day due to inclement weather. Then there would be a pause followed by “cross country…still on.” It made us tough and formed strong bonds as we went out and ran in awful weather and helped us develop the mindset that there are no days off in running. It also helped us learn to not make excuses for anything come race day.

Those lessons still live on in many of us adults and not just from my school. I love seeing people out running during bad weather or on big holidays. I feel like runners in general have a giant chip on their shoulder and we can channel it when we need to when it comes to everyday running and then into life. We are breed to believe that if you work hard, every day, that you will see improvement. I carry that with me and I know it comes from my summers running cross country.

So this Fall thousands of kids will start their own journey of discovery in fields and woods all over and I hope they can carve out their own sense of pride and learn a little about themselves in the process. Joining and sticking with cross country was the best thing I ever did. Without it I would never have made it to college which lead me to Baltimore which lead me to my old job which lead me to my wife which lead me to start a family which lead me here to Run Moore. Good luck this season and don’t forget: it’s rude to count the people you pass. Out loud.

TomTom GPS Watch Review – By Michele Pearson

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TomTom GPS Watch Review – Michele Pearson

TomTom2

I love when I find a product that I LOVE. The TomTom GPS watch is exactly that. I was looking for something that was simple, comfortable, and that could be worn all day. This watch is all of those things tied into one. For starters, I found the TomTom watch easy to navigate. It was very intuitive as far as getting started and finding the GPS signal. Turning on the backlight is a cinch; you just tap the watch face in the space indicated by three small dots. This is a very easy and useful feature for night or early morning runs. The light is very bright and turns off automatically.

The next great feature is how light it is. This is definitely a watch you can wear all day and not feel like it’s bulky. It feels very similar to a regular sports watch. The TomTom watch is light and easygoing. The band is flexible and does not get caught on things (shirts, shorts, etc.…). That was a huge problem with previous watches. The band would come undone or the watchband excess would constantly get caught on my shirt or shorts, which was extremely annoying.

The next point that I love is that the TomTom watch easily connects to the computer via a USB cord that connects to the watch portion. You can remove the watch part from its band and charge it, or just leave it attached. This watch charges in no time at all. It also holds a charge for a long time. On average, I use the watch five days a week as a GPS watch. The first time I had to charge it was 10 days into owning it. It is very easy to check the battery life and to charge it.

There is a square panel below the watch part that controls the watch. Push the button once (on the right), and you are given the option to use the watch for a run, treadmill, or stopwatch. If you want to run, make sure that Run is highlighted and push the right hand side again and the watch begins to find the GPS signal. This is perhaps the best selling point for me. The watch finds the GPS signal within a couple of seconds. Other watches I’ve owned have taken several minutes to find the GPS signal. This watch tells you when it’s ready by displaying “Go” with a runner. Once you tap the right hand side of the control panel, you are ready to start timing your run and distance.

If you’re like me and you’re a little picky about your running gear and perhaps a little technologically incapacitated, then this is the watch for you. It is versatile, not too large, and easy to use. I think you’ll fall in love with the TomTom watch just like I did!

New running gear always provides more motivation for me to get out and get going! Hopefully it does the same for you! I definitely recommend checking out the TomTom GPS watch.

Lace up and head out!

Happy Trails!

 

 

Run Moore is Turning 1!

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Since this is a year in review blog you have to excuse my lack of brevity in my post. As I type this it is still hard to believe it’s been a year since we opened our doors. Some days it feels much longer and some days it feels much shorter. Time has a way of doing that I suppose. A 4 mile run sometimes feels longer than a frisky 10 miler if you are not in the right head space. This past year has been filled with so many ups and downs on a professional and personal level but at the end of the day one thing has stayed the same – I love coming into the store every day. The sense of pride and joy this place gives me has not waned one iota since day 1. There have of course been days that are harder than others but it still has yet to feel like work to me. I get to come in and talk about running. I get to search out items that I think are beneficial and bring them in to be available to the community. How fun is that!

A few highlights of the last year I’d like to mention before I get into the hoopla that will be occurring at our anniversary party. First was the time I went into daycare with my son and he told his teacher that his daddy owned Run Moore and she should come buy shoes. That made me chuckle and he was excited to tell her about it. Second was my experience with the Carroll Biz Challenge. When I entered I thought we had zero chance of even placing but I thought at the minimum it would be a way to introduce the store to new people while we got trounced by the field. I got so much out of that contest and not just because we won. I am very happy that I get to be a gold sponsor of this year’s event and I can’t wait to get up and share my experience with the audience at the final. Last highlight I want to mention was my little beginning running group from the fall. While it was not the largest group we certainly had fun and the progress that we made was outstanding. The group all ran the Burke Memorial 5k in November and everyone finished. There were even a few tears shed at the end watching everyone cross. That’s what running is all about!

With the anniversary coming up on August 22nd I wanted to do something as a thank you to everyone who has helped us get here. So, we are going to have a daylong celebration! We are going to have a group run at 10:00am, a cookout in the parking lot, demo shoes to try from Newton Shoes, cupcakes from a local bakery, free prizes and more. The coolest thing we are doing is our Run Moore balloons. What’s a Run Moore balloon you ask? Great question! We have partnered with over 20 local businesses to provide gifts for our customers as thanks for the support. So, let’s say you buy a pair of shoes on the anniversary. Not only will the shoes be on sale that day but you will get to pop a balloon and inside will be a gift certificate for at least $50 to a business around town. Maybe it’s to a restaurant in town, or a massage or even for a tattoo at the famous Little Vinnies. PLUS every purchase of shoes comes with a pair of socks from one of our sock vendors. You also don’t have to buy shoes to be able to play. If you spend at least $50 you’ll get to pop a balloon for at least $25 gift certificate somewhere. I think it will be a lot of fun. Imagine buying a pair of shoes that retails for $120 but on our anniversary sale you can buy it for $102 plus a free $13 pair of Swiftwick socks and then you pop a balloon and walk away with $50 gift certificate to Johannons? What a day!

So, what do we have planned for year two? We are going to be doing more events. Not only in store runs and such but we are involved with a ton of races already this fall in both the planning and timing. I hope that we are doing something each week to help increase our footprint in the market. It still frustrates me when people stop in that live in the same area code as us but they did not know we were here and just found us by happenstance. Year two we want to be synonymies with all needs running. One way beyond the races we are hoping to achieve this is the creation of The Run Around. The Run Around is a weekly health and wellness show that will be airing on WTTR beginning in September. It’s a half hour show that will of course feature running related information but also just overall health. We have a bunch of guest’s lined up already ranging from personal trainers, physical therapists, masseuses, nutritionists and coaches. There is so much information out on the internet about what is right and wrong and it seems like what you read today that you should be doing will be backtracked tomorrow. We hope to steer our audience toward what we believe based on our experiences is the correct path. We will also be able to take questions that get sent in to us prior to the taping of the show.

Thank you for subscribing to the newsletter. I enjoy putting these out each month and I am always shocked and thrilled when I talk to someone who mentions something they read here. I know my contributors are as well. We put a lot of time and energy into these and it’s awesome knowing people are consuming it. Thanks for making the last year so amazing and see you out around town.

 

Running with the Buffaloes

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Buff Pic

With Cross Country season approaching I wanted to recommend a good summer book, (which is coincidentally available at Run Moore!), that I’ve read many times over the years. Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear, follows the 1998 University of Colorado cross country team from the first day they report to summer practice, all the way through Nationals.

The 1998 team, and focal point of the book, featured Adam Goucher and was coached by the legendary Mark Wetmore. Written as daily journal entries, the book offers unmatched insight into what elite young men and women at the highest collegiate level are doing. The author, a local and friend of Goucher, thought it would be interesting to follow an elite team around for an entire season to see what makes them tick, and maybe ascertain some novel training secrets. As readers, we find ourselves lucky that Chris came from this area, at this moment in history. Nothing could have prepared him, or the team, for what transpired over that season.

The book took me back to my own days of running cross country and illuminates many of the idiosyncrasies of distance runners. I had quite a few LOL’s, as well as a few gazes in the mirror to realize that, in hindsight, I trained like a wimp. Running with the Buffaloes has helped motivate me when I needed a kick in the butt, and helped me better appreciate what I was a part of all those years back. It also makes me appreciate the bonds I have with the brothers I pounded the town with, as we trained for cross country. I am blessed to have maintained friendships with my high school and college cross country teammates. Nothing brings people together like the blood, sweat and tears of cross country running. Reading this book you can feel the bonds that are formed between these teammates.

I hope you can appreciate my being so vague, but I really don’t want to give too much away. This book takes you on a journey through a range of emotions and I hope everyone who reads it approaches it with an unbiased perspective going in. I advise you to skip the acknowledgments and foreword, so as not to know any of the events that take place in the book. Go to page 1, turn off your phone, kick your feet back and take a trip to Bolder Colorado and go Running with the Buffaloes.

Flying Feet

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Dave G

As we are getting into June I wanted to share my personal experience with Flying Feet in hopes to help grow this amazing program. For those of you who don’t know I am not a native to Westminster. I moved here five years ago from Fells Point. When I arrived I did not know anyone up here and was in the middle of training for my first marathon. I did all of my runs by myself had no plan other than run a lot and occasionally running fast. Despite running in college I had no idea what to do with myself without having a coach to help guide me. I had a good marathon and ended up doing a second one the following year and managed to shave a little time off with the same approach of heavy miles with some fast runs mixed in.

I enjoyed the races but training by myself and never having a clear direction made me question if I wanted to do another one. I stumbled into Flying Feet through the Westminster Road Runners Club and after reading about the format and the team goals I was immediately interested. I signed up and on a Saturday morning I showed up for the first practice of the season by myself and quickly became friends with a few new teammates. For those who don’t know, Flying Feet is a local running group that is headed by Dave Griffin. Dave is a running legend to anyone who is has lived in Carroll County for any length of time. He is a fierce competitor, an amazing runner and a talented writer. What’s most admirable about Dave is his patience and ability to help people meet their running potential. He always amazes me the way he can relate a running related experience into a teachable life moment that will resonate with you well after the run has finished. A lot of what he teaches revolves around using your running experiences and applying them to life moments. If you can get yourself to run without excuses throughout all the life, weather and personal excuses then what in life can stop you? When you sign up Flying Feet you are asked to submit a goal race and time. For me it was a third marathon and I wanted to drop 8 minutes off my best. Dave then sculpts a training plan around your target race. We practice on Saturday morning and Tuesday evening. Saturday is typically a distance day and Tuesday’s are typically a speed day. He provides specific workouts and pace goals for each run designed around your specific goals. For me to be able to show up twice a week and have a course and workout all laid out was fantastic. I was able to just show up and focus on running what was expected of me and not the minutia of where, when and how. I could just run. He even goes out on long runs with water stops so even the hydration concern was alleviated. Within a few months I found myself in the best shape since I graduated college. I was a lean, mean, running machine and on my way to a marathon PR. Unfortunately I reinjured an old calf tear and had to skip my race but when I go back through my log I know that had I done a better job of caring for my calf I no doubt would have run a heck of a race. I have not missed a season since joining and I am pumped for this summer season to start on June 30th. Dave and I are back committed to a strong Fall marathon. I have no doubts that if my body holds up its end of the bargain I can achieve my goals with the help of Dave and Flying Feet. I know that anyone who commits to the program can too. Hope to see you all out there soon!