still not running, so have to read about it instead.. turns out I tore up the L knee cartilage while performing a stupid canoe trick last summer, and cartilage doesn't heal. Hm.
this is a book recommendation, The Happy Runner, by David and Megan Roche. Dave's been one of my imaginary internet friends for some time, so when they came to the LRS Runner's Roost for a book launch, I had to go. If anyone is looking for a coach I can unreservedly recommend their coaching service, SWAP (some work all play) - smart, based on the latest science and research, and compassionate. Dave used to be an environmental defense lawyer, degree from Duke where Megan was a runner. Megan has a medical degree from Stanford. They both have raced on Team USA in mountain running. Also they have the best consultant, Addie dog,
Here's my dog Artie, I think they must be cousins..
The Happy Runner ? as Bob Dylan used to sing, no no no it ain't me babe.. though I prefer the Baez version. I'm more of the melancholy gloom-based runner, though it is true running brings me considerable happiness.
The book launch was preceded by a run across the Bluffs in the dark, our usual Thursday route. I ran with Laura, a friend of Megan's from school and current SWAP runner. She didn't have a headlamp so relied on mine, which went out. I was very embarrassed. We ran in the dark.. luckily there was a bit of a moon and we didn't twist any ankles.
David told stories of how they got to be running coaches from law and medicine. He said the first three weeks of law school, his heart rate stayed over 150 constantly. It was only after he met and started running with Megan that he calmed down.
Megan as a kid used to bolt from primary school, run the 1.5 miles home, staying ahead of the school principal all the way. Her parents wore out their book 'Raising your difficult child'. When David started coaching her competition, she had some issues to work through about that.. ha.
Addie dog taught them that love and enthusiasm are renewable resources.
There were several other SWAP athletes there in support - Ashley Brasovan, Clare Gallagher, Abby Levene. Abby used to be a pro triathlete apparently but I didn't recognize her, though I follow triathlon the way some people do football. A quick internet stalk revealed her background - Philips Academy, Princeton runner with school 10k record and magna cum laude, CO Boulder masters in environmental journalism. I'm tired just reading about it.
Clare ran the second fastest women's Leadville 100 ever, behind only the legendary Ann Trason's time. She is just a firecracker, full of energy. After Western States disappointment and injuries last year, started doing lots of environmental activism. She is sponsored by Patagonia who are quite happy to keep sponsoring her even while not running, a good company.
Ashley beat Jordan Hasay to win Footlocker XC in high school, but was injured most of college (Duke). Currently recovering from a fifth femoral stress fracture. Ow.
The Hoka One One shoe rep was there, also a SWAP runner. He used to run X-C at Augsburg College in Minnesota. I was wearing my St. Olaf Swim Team supporter t-neck. He said they used to call St Olaf, Hogwarts, because the campus is so very old-stone-building handsome.
One of the Roost staffers Shannon, also a longtime Roche friend, had suggested adding to their coaching interview a question, "any demons ?" Dave said this completely changed their coaching business and approach.. "...If you don’t zoom out now, a running life will do it for you when you least expect it. Whether it’s slowing down with age, getting injured, or simply hitting the wall in a race or training run, being a lifelong runner means making friends with your own fragility. As a 25-year-old, you can get drunk on the trails or roads without a care in the world. But eventually, running makes you sober up rapidly through aging, injury, or weak performances. The morbid truth becomes suddenly apparent—as the high wears off, you realize you’re a sack of bones and gristle, stardust with delusions of grandeur. Your finish line is the same as everyone else’s. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. What does the ultimate finish line have to do with being a happy runner?"
-Excerpt from "The Happy Runner"