Category Archives: MARCH 2016

All posts created in March 2016

Interview with Meredith Rennie, by Dale Peterson

This month we interview Meredith Rennie,  a Sonoma County  native who graduated from Casa Grande High School, attended Sonoma State, and now calls Windsor home.

MR 2014 MS walk

How did you get into running?  What was the initial appeal and what keeps you interested?

Meredith: I started getting into running as an adult doing charity run/walks.  The Avon Walk for breast cancer was my first big event. 39.3 miles in two days.  Then MS Walk, Heart Walk, Autism Speaks etc. etc. Then I tried running an actual race. My first timed 5k I ever did was in May 2010, Windsor Green Half-10K-5K.  I had not recently even run more than a mile and I thought I’d give it a try.  I wasn’t even sure I could finish.  I ran the route the week before solo… run/walked it in 40 mins.  My goal was to finish in 30 mins.  I got 30:51, close but didn’t get it, but excited for finishing my first race.  Then it was a challenge for me to beat my time… I got under 30 mins a few months later.  PR is now 24:56 (2015 Windsor Green Half-10K-5K) and I am working on getting under 24 mins.

The appeal to me is the challenge for self-improvement.  I do look to see what times I need to hit the podium, but for me it’s about beating my time from the last race or the same race from the year before.  I set a personal goal for every race and try pretty darn hard to get it!

What is better than beating mom? Winning the $5 bet!
What is better than beating mom? Winning the $5 bet!

I see you have signed up for Run the Year 2016 – –  Tell us what that is all about.

Meredith: Run the Year 2016 is an international virtual run group, with a goal of run/walking 2,106 miles in 2016.  This is my second year, I joined as a team in the 2,015 challenge with family members.  This time I am going solo.  I find it to be a very inspiring group of people, it’s really all about getting out there. Great support and really fun!

MR 2015 Vineman Monte Rio

Assuming you started on your journey to run 2,016 miles on January 1st you will have to average over 38 miles a week all year.  While not a huge number for most serious runners it is not insignificant by any means, and leaves little margin for injury or other unforeseen disruptions.  How are you planning to approach hitting your goal?  What is your contingency plan in case of injury?

Meredith: All I can do is my best every day.  I have a desk job, so just staying consistent with low miles in winter is my goal until I ramp up in the spring and summer months.  I have hit injuries from time to time, and I will tackle them as they come. I have a number of cheerleaders following me and encouraging me and that really helps a lot.

After following you on Facebook for a few weeks I can see that you are a savvy user of social media and applications.  Just this morning I saw a Map My Run post from you that included a goal time and your chip time (you beat your goal!) – I assume these tools help with your motivation and training.  Tell us how.

Meredith: I’m an accountant… so the data is appealing.  I track everything!  I use mapmyrun, myfitnesspal and my Fitbit to track my daily activities.  I also use the 2,016 challenge run tracker to log my miles for the challenge. Runs To Go is another app that tracks a countdown to my goal.  It is fun to watch it get closer.

MR 2015 water to wine volunteering

Sonoma County has a nice network of running specialty stores now ranging from Athletic Soles in Petaluma to Fleet Feet Sports and Heart and Sole in Santa Rosa and now the Healdsburg Running Company  serving the north county.  Tell our readers what kind of support and weekly runs are available from the Healdsburg Running Company. 

Meredith: I really love being a part of the running community throughout Sonoma County.  Healdsburg Running Company is just one of the many groups I enjoy. HRC hosts regular group runs, often times it includes some sort of education piece… whether I am trying out a new show on a demo run, learning yoga stretches for runners or even how to select the best sports bra, it is always a great time with great people!  Like HRC and ERC I love the regular activities to get out there.  We even started a run group at my office (Moss Adams) twice a week. I especially like that it is something I can do with my kids and share with other youth.  I’ve been a GOTR  (Girls on the Run) running buddy several times, inspiring young girls through their first 5k.  Last spring I got to chair my son’s school 3k color run Spartan Stampede, inspiring the whole school to get moving!  The local running community inspires me every day!

MR 2015 ERC summer track series

What is your favorite hard work out?

Meredith: I like to double up my workouts to really turn on the burn.  5k or 10k followed by a soccer game.  Running and soccer are quite complimentary.  The regular runs help with my endurance on the field.  On the field I am constantly moving, sprinting hard, jogging it out… excellent interval training and helps with improving speed on my runs.

What is your favorite easy run?

Meredith: I LOVE our community parks, anything through Foothills, Shiloh, Riverside or Annadel is awesome!  I feel so lucky to have such a great park system close by!

You seem like such a positive person.  Given all of the negativity in both the traditional and web-based media, where do you continue to find good things to share?  Does your running factor into this positive outlook?  If so, how?

Meredith: I really do surround myself with awesome people.  A positive attitude is quite infectious.    Some of my dearest friends I have met through running and for that I am quite grateful.

At some point runners and all athletes of every level must deal with setbacks and disappointments.  Tell us about a time when you were not able to achieve some running goal for whatever reason and how you dealt with it from both a short-term and long-term perspective.

Meredith: I have had two torn ACL’s reconstructed. I’ve broken toes, sprained ankles etc etc…  I am not as fast as I used to be, but I feel very fortunate to still be able to get out there.  I have friends with MS and severe asthma who can’t run at all.  If you ask me why I run, it’s simply because I CAN.  Whether I meet my goals or not, I am going to keep on running!

MR 2015 spartan stampede

Is there some question you wish we had asked you here that you would like to answer?  Or something you would like to share with the rest of the Empire Runners, the greater running community or people in general?

Meredith: I like to mix in a few other things with my running.  In 2011, while volunteering for the Vineman Triathlon, another athlete asked me why I wasn’t out there competing. I was embarrassed to admit I didn’t know how to swim.  They had suggested I try out a sprint triathlon.  I went home and signed up for one!  I had just about 6 weeks to learn how to swim ½ mile.   I did it!  The message of course, is it is not too late to try something new. You can start from zero miles, and with a little determination and a lot of effort you can really accomplish anything!

Advice from Empire Runners: Staying Motivated Through Injuries

Empire Members answer the question, “How do you stay motivated during times of injury, and how do you motivate yourself to start up regular training again?”

March2016Advice001Catherine DuBay:  How to stay motivated during an injury is a good question and can only be answered by asking yourself, “How do I stay motivated when I’m NOT injured?” Motivation is a very interesting concept and every runner or wannabe runner needs to recognize what motivates them. Is it to lose weight? Look good for my class reunion? Make my ex jealous? Beat my training partner at Kenwood? PR? Etc.

Then you have to decide what type of running you like to do so you can give yourself a fighting chance to be successful. If you like nature, then try trails. If you like to run with others, then join a club or running group. If competition or traveling is your thing, then sign up for a race near or far. The key is to set yourself up for success by finding something that makes running tolerable, because, let’s face it—it is not easy day after day after day.

Once these two questions are answered (why you want to run and what type of running gets you excited), then you can apply these motivators to anything you do. Even for injured runners. What is your motivator for exercising while injured? What kind of exercise (besides running) can I tolerate? Indoor cycling classes are the best for injured competitive runners. Indoor cycling produces the closest thing I have found to that post-run feeling.

March2016Advice002Bill Cusworth: This will probably come as a surprise, but I’ve never suffered an injury that required an extended layoff from running. I’ve had injuries, of course, but none that lasted more than 3-5 days or so, and the short break from running was welcome and likely beneficial. I’ve also had nagging issues such as bruised feet that lasted for a month or more, but I was always able to run through them. My longest periods of not running have been due to sickness or weather. When I start back up, I do low mileage and build back up to where I was. If you try to get back to previous mileage levels too soon, soreness may result, which negatively impacts motivation. If I ever did have an extended layoff, I would try to concentrate on upper body and core exercises as I generally don’t do enough of them and I would try to use the opportunity to develop new good habits.

March2016Advice003Sarah Hallas: During my 2+ decades of experience with countless injuries, I think the biggest motivator carrying me through my time-off stints has been just looking forward to my next event. I try to find a race that is far enough out that I don’t start stressing over not being able to run. I also try to remember that being injured is usually the body’s way of telling us to TONE IT DOWN, which is hard for most runners since we are mostly wired the same. Usually during this time, I swim lots of laps, do lots of core, get lots of massage/rehab work done, and enjoy the mornings of sleeping in.

March2016Advice004Michael Wortman:  When confronted with an injury, the best advice for staying motivated that I can give is to find what motivated you to begin with. If there was a race that you were training for, a goal you were trying to achieve, figure out what it was that was driving you in the first place. Even if you’re injured, the endgame is still there—you just need to find a new route to get there. This means if you can’t run, find some form of comparable cross training to fill the training session. Using your original motivation can help you through drudging pool workouts or extended bike sessions. If done right, cross training can keep you fit and get you healthy quicker, so when you return to running, you haven’t lost much training in effect.

March2016Advice005Tori Meredith: I totally agree with Mike Wortman. I have had my share of injuries in the last couple of years. My motivation is to be able to feel good about myself, sleep well and be alert.  I find that when I don’t exercise I am very sluggish and I don’t accomplish anything. Since I don’t drink coffee my get-up and go has always been to exercise. Depending upon my injury,  if I could not run then I  would do more swimming, run in the pool or ride my bike but I find that nothing takes the place of running.  Running keeps my weight in check, my system working,  and I feel energized.

March2016Advice006Alex Wolf-Root:


Now hear me out. There are more rational reasons to keep at the cross-training (it’ll be easier to transition back to running, you’ll rehab faster, you’ll be mentally more sane, etc.), but we all know that. So if you need motivational advice beyond that advice, what should you do? Say “#@##, injury!”

Look, you’re pissed that you’re hurt, and rightfully so (even if it was your own stubbornness that got you hurt…). So use that anger. Channel that passion into cross-training. That cross-training is how you get back at the injury, how you get back at the shitty hand that life dealt you. In spite of whatever happens, you’re going to come out stronger and better than ever.

Spite is not a way to live your life generally, but if things are in a dark place, and rational reasons to work hard are failing, channel that anger, say “#@##” to your injury, and go get in the darn pool!

March2016Advice007Mike Fanelli:

Now in my 47th consecutive year of training and racing, I look back on said time spent in sport as a series of careers between injuries. Thankfully, some of those careers lasted longer than others. It is an inevitable part of red line running “on the edge” that, in order to achieve one’s maximum potential, there shall be periods of “brokenness.” How long these periods last is a function of how quickly one is willing to accept the bitter pill of down time, and how aggressively one pursues healing solutions. One thing is for sure—the body is an amazingly adaptive machine. Our recuperative powers are nothing short of astounding.

What to do when injured is a competitive runner’s ongoing dilemma. My counsel to athletes that I have coached over the years (including myself) is to absolutely bombard the area with care. In addition to all the normal modalities, extra sleep, hyper-hydration, anti-inflammatory resources, nutritional supplementation, and a wide array of ancillary bodywork protocols can help expedite recovery.

If possible, non-weight-bearing activities like pool running, Elliptigo, and workouts on stationery gym equipment can assist in maintenance. Push-ups (oft referred to as the most perfect form of calisthenics) and an ongoing focus on core work are a must. Using the fallow period to pinpoint weaknesses not normally addressed while fit, and then improving upon them, can produce a long term benefit when once again healthy.

Rather than removing oneself from the sport, staying engaged by volunteering and spectating at races in which you’d normally compete lends both perspective and appreciation. Gratitude has remarkable healing powers.

I also recommend deep reading and learning. There are so many great written works that inspire and foster the “dare to dream” instinct. The list is endless.

Whatever you do, keep a detailed daily log, chart progress with appropriate metrics, and most importantly, embrace the notion that said shut-down is merely temporary.

Here’s to your health.

March2016Advice008Lori Barekman:  As a physical therapist, I have frequent reminders of how lucky we are to enjoy running when things are going smoothly. Running is freeing; it takes us to places where we can be awestruck by the things we encounter. And we can learn so many things about the people around us as we share some time together on our run. However, running can be demanding on our bodies, and it takes work to make sure that our bodies are ready for these demands. We are in a high-risk sport if you look at the statistics for injuries.

What keeps me moving when I am recovering from some type of injury is the opportunity to work on other aspects of fitness. I enjoy having my daughter direct our morning workout of jumping jacks, planks, and pushups, and it sets a good tone for the day. Having time to walk my non-running dog (she refuses to do more than trot) with other family members gives us the chance to talk about what’s going on in our lives. I also like going to meet a non-running friend at the gym for the same reason. At other times, going to a yoga class “alone” is just the ticket for some relatively quiet time. Since rest is also an important aspect of any training routine, I like having down time to relax or get chores accomplished. My New Year’s resolution every year is “lower your standards,” which sounds silly, but honestly sometimes I have to remind myself to just do what I can and let the rest go. I have learned that I will never be in the perfect shape for the events that seem to attract me…but “good enough” allows me to stay motivated and keeps me from driving myself (and those around me) crazy when I wish I could do more to get in ideal condition. We have to listen to our bodies, and pushing through an injury is not the answer for the best long-term health. I am in this literally and figuratively for the long run.

Steve Agar:  I usually just rely on cigars and whiskey to get me through.


Brad Zanetti: In dealing with an injury that stops one from training and racing it is imperative that recovery is undertaken with the same passion that one has for training and racing.  In fact, it could be more appropriate to bring more passion, education, and new understanding to recovery. Then with this renewed passion and new found stregnth inject yourself back into the sport and lifestyle you love.


Val Sell: We can all relate. Haha…


Tell it to me straight, Doc. Can I still run this weekend?

Empire Party in Retrospect! by Shirley Fee

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.The Empire Runners end-of-year Award Party started off with a few refreshing beverages and some socializing. It was fun seeing everyone all cleaned up and shiny.

As we crowded around the raffle prize tables, trying to decide what items we hoped to win, I think a little competition developed over the prizes. Quite a few tickets were purchased and good-humored discussions as to who was going to win the coveted items abounded. We had some great prizes donated by generous businesses and individuals.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

The dinner, catered by Tagliaferri’s Deli, was (as usual) very good, with a nice variety of dishes served by Empire Runner helpers Val Sell, Lisa Isabeau, and Tori Meredith.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.Member Emily Fisher entertained us by singing and playing guitar. Who knew we had such a great talent in the club! I heard comments like “She sounds like Joan Baez,” and “She reminds me a little of Emmy Lou Harris.”

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.Bill Browne was honored for his long-time service to the club and got a big round of applause plus a standing shout-out from his wife, Jeannie, who, in turn, got her own round of applause and laughter. We should all be so lucky to have such a fan in our corner.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.Peter Kirk showed off his speaking skills as he honored newsletter editors over the past 20 years. His presentation included a slide show that illustrated how the newsletters have evolved over time. It was interesting to see what was and now what is. Larry Meredith, in his usual humorous manner, gave a short cross country talk and kept the mood upbeat.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.Throughout the evening, raffle tickets were pulled and winning numbers announced amid some happy yippees and some disappointed groans.

The Grand Prix awards went by fast, the last tickets were pulled, and it was time to go. It was a lively party and it was great to see new and old members enjoy the evening.

Stay tuned…. I hope to make next year fun and surprising.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.

ERC Annual Party, Feb 6th 2015, at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa, California.


Who Was Peter Norman? By Brad Zanetti

March2015Zanetti021968 was a very special year—an Olympic Year. By the time the Olympic Games started, I was 14 years old and ready to begin high school. Steve Prefontaine was entering the University of Oregon, although the nation’s #1-ranked high school runner had yet to captivate the attention of the running world. Pre’s coach, Bill Bowerman, had a nickname for him—“the Rube.” In many ways that was me. I did not have a world-wide view or much real life experience. I was raised by first generation Italian-American immigrants who had fully immersed themselves in American culture. My naiveté was further enhanced by the fact that I lived in the lily-white town of San Carlos, midway between San Francisco and San Jose.

To this 14-year-old boy, the Olympics epitomized the purity of sport. I knew nothing of how politics could enter the world of athletics. Certainly I was aware of the free speech movement across the Bay in Berkeley, the atrocities of the war in Vietnam, Communism and the Cold War, apartheid in South Africa, and the Watts riots, but there was no connection between politics and the Olympics, or so I thought. Maybe I just wanted life to remain simple. The Fundamental Principles of Olympism themselves state that “Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”



And Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states that “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” You could understand my confusion. The Olympic ideal didn’t match reality. In 1968 my simplified world view had been rocked; but it wouldn’t be until 1972, my first month of college, that I finally started to piece together the politics of our nation and our place in the world.

Sports have always been my way of separating myself from the realities of life. It was sports and the excitement of the Olympics that I hoped would give me a respite in 1968. All that was going on that year—student protests in Europe and Mexico, USSR invasion of Czechoslovakia, war in Vietnam, the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King—left me needing an escape. I dreamed about how the US team would perform. I was confident in their talent—especially in the sprints, jumps, and middle distances. Many of our best came from San Jose State University (“Speed City”) just down Highway 101 from my home. I was fortunate to have seen these runners during the indoor season. By the early summer, the outdoor season was in full swing and excitement was building thanks to some excellent early season times. In June 1968, the US Olympic Committee staged a pre-Olympic Trial meet in Los Angeles, the results of which confused athletes and fans alike. They served not to give the winners a spot on the Olympic team, but rather to exclude certain runners. After this meet, the possibility of a boycott by black athletes was becoming more likely, most notably by sprinter John Carlos, who was not allowed to run the 100 m by the Olympic Committee.

The real Olympic Trials were run in September on a specially built track up on Echo Summit off Highway 50, above South Lake Tahoe. The track was built at altitude to mimic the conditions found in Mexico City (sans the poor air quality). The track was literally cut into the forest and was the Disneyesque backdrop to one of the greatest meets attended by arguably the best Track & Field team of all time. This Olympic training camp galvanized the team amid the swirling tensions of political unrest. The Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), led by Dr. Harry Edwards, was formed in order to protest the reinstatement of South Africa to the Olympics by IOC president Avery Brundage (the man who also delivered the 1936 Olympics to Hitler’s Germany in Berlin) as well as the conditions in the United States for black Americans. Despite all of this, the results of the Trials were unprecedented, with four pending world records produced. Unfortunately, they were not all ratified due to some question about the spikes being worn (specifically Puma’s “brush spike” technology). Even as a 14-year old, I began to smell a rat—how could shoes alone make you so fast? Still, I couldn’t wait for the Olympics to finally begin to see how well we would run.


Meanwhile, over in Australia, another young man was preparing for the Olympics. By his own account, Peter Norman came to track quite by accident, but then continued to improve through juniors and then up to the national level. By the time of the 1968 Australian Games (their Olympic Trials), Norman was his country’s top 100 m – 200 m runner. In the 200 m especially, Peter had improved to near-world-class status with a time of 20.6 seconds, and was known for a very strong finish. World- wide, though, he remained a virtual unknown and wasn’t on anyone’s list as a possible winner.

At the 1968 Olympics, the sprinters and jumpers were benefitting from Mexico City’s relatively thin air (witness Bob Beamon, long jump) and Norman was ripping through the preliminary heats, winning the first heat in 20.16, a new Olympic record (though short-lived). He won his quarterfinal and scorched out a 20.06 to place second to American John Carlos. (He yelled across to Carlos, “You can have this one,” whereupon John waved him off. “The gall of this guy…” per JC). This was the fastest time he would ever run—a new Australian national record and one that still stands today.

Coming into the finals on October 16th, just four days into the Games, the US was building up their medal count and Peter Norman recalls that he was already tired of hearing our National Anthem. He was driven to try and change that. Prior to the start of the 200 m race, he had tried to get into the heads of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, but at the gun, it was Norman who got out slowly. Tommie Smith had been nursing a sore groin and also (by his own admission) got out poorly. It was John Carlos who answered the gun, blazing out of the blocks and around the corner to the lead for the stretch drive. At this point, Smith extended down the backstretch, catching and passing Carlos about halfway down the stretch and finishing in 19.83—a gold medal, a new National, Olympic, and a World Record. Carlos, looking to his left as Smith flew by, eased up in the final 40 meters. Suddenly, out of the bottom of the TV screen, came Norman. He flew past Carlos, who was unable to respond after shutting it down. Final result: Peter Norman, the silver medal in 20.06; John Carlos, the bronze medal in 20.10. I remember being totally upset at Carlos for letting that Australian guy get the silver. I was like a starving lion in front of a 10-lb T-bone for medals. I wanted total dominance and “we” gave one away only four days into it. I couldn’t possibly know what was to come.


I don’t think I need to go into great detail about the award ceremony. The picture of Tommie Smith, Peter Norman, and John Carlos on the podium—Smith and Carlos shoeless, with their black-gloved fists raised in a black power salute—remains perhaps the most celebrated photo in Olympic history. It came at a time when a gesture for Human Rights in front of the world was necessary. I was stunned and didn’t understand it. I was swayed by the commentators’ explanation. But most importantly, what would the officials do to them?

Unbeknownst to me and most of the world, Peter Norman was part of the demonstration. He was wearing the OPHR patch on his chest in solidarity with Smith and Carlos. (He remained in solidarity with them until his death in 2006.) The Australian Olympic Committee and IOC asked—no demanded—that he rescind his solidarity, but he would not. The three athletes’ lives were forever entwined. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were kicked off the team, removed from the Olympic Village, and barely survived death threats as they were flown back to the US. Once home, their lives were not much better. Neither man could find gainful employment at a time when a gold medal was the only realistic way to get a windfall during the “amateur” days of track and field. (See Wheaties Box). Money and glory were not theirs, nor was the adulation of the sporting community for simply being the best in the world. They traded this reward for a more important message.

For my part, I was mad that they were not available for any relay duties. It didn’t matter; the US got gold in both relays. It was at this point I was beginning to understand that there might be something bigger than the Olympics as I struggled with THEIR explanation of the shoeless entry, the black gloves, and raised fists.

There will be a Part II to this article, but until April, here is a list of videos/articles of interest:


Peter Norman 1968 Olympics


  • Peter Norman Australian for Human Rights
  • The story behind the white guy in this historic photo


  • The forgotten story of Australian Olympian Peter Norman


The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World by John Carlos and Dave Zirin (book)


Technology Overload in Running? by Mike Wortman

Back in December I remember reading a list of “Popular Trends in Exercise and Fitness for 2016,” and at the #1 spot was “Wearable Technology.” At first I was kind of excited because I’m a bit of a numbers junkie; my thesis was a meta-analysis (I got to run statistics on other peoples statistics!!). But then I started to think about it more and more. As much as some of this data, if used correctly, can be helpful to improve: training, running technique, shoe design, etc. I realized it can also have a negative effect on individuals as well.

We’re getting to a point where technology is getting so advanced and so cheap that there is some pretty advanced stuff getting out to the general population. As I talk to more people I’m realizing that many of them are in a bit of a state of data overload. Some of the crazy products out there include things like: wearable lactate analyzers, foot strike analyzers built into the sole of shoes, or running shirts that analyze your gait. Someone will tell me their watch told them their vertical oscillation is 4 inches. Then you ask them if that was good, and you get the response “I don’t know.” Then the next question is what are you going to do with that data/what are you going to do to improve that number, and you again get the response “I don’t know.” It’s really cool to have some of those numbers and look at them, but if you don’t know what those numbers are or what to do with them, then why waste your time? True some numbers are pretty easy to wrap your head around and utilize, but now some of these numbers are getting more abstract. I think part of the problem is that in the era we’re in now people just want the newest best thing out there regardless of what it is.


I want everyone to realize that I’m not saying technology is bad in running, but we may be a little overwhelmed with it from time to time. Running is such a simple sport, sometimes we just need to embrace that a little more. With the increase in GPS watches and everyone knowing exactly what pace they’re running every step of the run, we start to lose touch with the internal pacing mechanisms runners had to hone into even a decade ago. The issue with relying on GPS is it tends to hinder your ability to race. When all you’re focused on is time and pace you tend to forget to just race and try and beat people. That’s one of the reasons I like to include workouts that work on making moves and covering moves like you do in a race; as well as workouts where I don’t give a pace to run, I just give an effort (i.e. 5k race effort) so that they can still stay in tune with those internal pacing mechanisms.

I want you all to know that this is coming from someone who runs with a GPS watch, has a Strava account, and enjoys indulging in some training numbers. But it’s nice to go “naked” and run without a watch from time to time. The idea of this blog it to realize that sometimes we just need to take a step back and enjoy running for the sake of running.

Like always leave comments or questions in the comments below, and let me know what you think and if you have any topics you want me to talk about in future posts.


Heel Strike – New Fiction Novel by Empire Runner Bruce Koepp

March2015HeelStrikeLocal medical professional, Bruce Koepp, has published his first fiction novel: Heel Strike. Set on Oahu, the story is a compelling thriller/mystery involving two veteran trail runners whose lives are tethered together in a tense story of deadly deceit. Caught between them is the devoted wife and mother not willing to wait at the Finish line any longer. Koepp explains: “For those of us beset with this sport, it’s much like a descent into an addictive love affair that constantly tests personal relationships where the expectations don’t always equal the outcomes. Our need to personally compete is way beyond the need to participate.” Bruce invites fiction path finders to share the visual escape and pick up the narrative at Reader’s Books in Sonoma. “It’s not a lite jog around the Plaza,” he adds.



A Novel by Bruce Koepp

Eminent tropical storms are lining up off the Oahu shores like anxious runners awaiting the starter’s pistol. The competiveness of trail racing draws them together while a desperate love triangle tears them apart. Both visual and metaphorical, the suspense builds with each treacherous step toward the Finish line. Not a niche story, but rather a surprising cornerstone chase into survival.








Cost:               $17.00   /      Number of Books Requested:

Total Due:                            $ _________________

Money Order or Check, payable to:  Bruce Koepp

Mail to: 17651 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476