Joan Benoit Samuelson Has No Finish Line

imagesIt was August 5, 1984.  The Los Angeles Coliseum. Her mother hugged her and whispered, “Now you can stop.”  Other friends and supporters echoed the theme:  You have made your mark on history, now you can move on.    You have won the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon.  Now you can settle down. Relax.  Rest on your laurels.  Get a life. (more…)

Cross Country: Part 2

jan-walker-finish-ocean-city-mdIn our last post we introduced Jan Walker and her impressive journey from the couch to run-walking across the United States. We shared a summary of her progress, beginning with a 100-yard run out the front door and climaxing with more than 3000 miles and seven months of sustained effort. Today we are exploring elements of mind, heart and spirit that deepened the experience. (more…)

Cross Country: Part 1

jan-walker-california-1st-week

Just the Facts

It was July of 2011, and at the age of 52 I was sitting on the couch, fat as a tick and so out of shape that I got winded walking to the mailbox.

I departed Oceanside, CA on March 1, 2016. I would be 57 in a month. I was by myself and unsupported, pulling a small cart with all my provisions.

I arrived at Ocean City, Maryland on October 8. (more…)

Heroes and Role Models: Doing Yassos

bart-yasso-croppedI first encountered the name of Bart Yasso in 2001, the year I trained for my first marathon.  As a midlife running convert, I was new to the concept of systematic training. I scoured the pages of Runner’s World magazine for advice. Most training plans left me cross-eyed, with spreadsheets full of numbers: goal race distance, pace, heart rate, repeats, intervals, tempo pace, race pace, and the like.

I pretty much blew them off until one training approach caught my eye:  Yasso 800s.  (Check it out; the article is still available online.)  The formula was both simple and mysterious. (How could such an arbitrary calculation work?)  Begin with target marathon time in hours.  Run 800-meter repeats, converting marathon hours to minutes. For a 5-hour target marathon, run 5-minute, 800-meter repeats.  Yassos were fun and I wove them into my training, but knew very little about the man behind the method. (more…)