Sunday, June 23, 2024

It's Coming Along Nicely

Today I was asked this rare question, "How's your running coming?"

I call this a rare question because, for the most part, when you're as slow as I am no one cares about your running. It's boring. AND I have to confess that up until a few weeks ago, I didn't actually care about my running. I did it. I rarely missed a day. But it was without inspiration, without motivation.

What changed?

In all honesty, I don't know. I'm sure there is a multitude of factors including weight-loss, overall better health, clearing my mind to allow real, live me to come through, new shoes, a cool shirt..... who knows. And really, I don't care. I'm riding this baby for as long as I can.

It's been close to six months, like all of this year, that I have been highly motivated to get a more serious attitude about my running. Serious, mind you, does not mean fast. Serious means motivated, serious means committed. In his book, Marty Liquori's Guide For the Elite Runner, Marty wrote, "A commitment to serious Training (I substitute running) means that no matter what else you are in this world - doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief - first of all you are a runner." Marty, I'm in.

When something has been a HUGE part of your (my) identity for close to 58 years, it's very difficult to feel like you (I) should when that thing you do isn't being prioritized. I've been lost for a while now, and to be honest, maybe ten years. Sad, but probably true.

I'm thinking this time back will stick, even though it's really tough to know the future. I'm thinking that this, at 72 years old, might be the last shot to make this a "serious" thing.

Keep in mind, when I say serious, I am referring to the commitment. I have no aspirations of being even remotely semi fast (even for my age). That whole thing of measuring me by how I stack up against someone else left AGES ago. And I'm so blessed that it did. I'm my judge, I'm my jury, I'm my standard. Just the way it should have always been. WAY too many things in life are ruined when keeping up with the Jones' or when the standard is someone else.

Maybe, just maybe, my running has reentered the zen stage (not like Kipchoge Zen). It was there for a long time and then departed that fateful day many moons ago when my knee buckled and running was never the same.

So, my knee is healed? Hardly.

About two weeks ago, there was a shift on the pain scale. Normally the consistent spot on that ten scale was 6-7, sometimes a little lower or higher. Now, it's mostly a 3-4 with the occasional 2. I can take that. And some days, like today, I sat in the 2-3 range until around 4 1/2 miles and then we shot up to 8-9. I backed off, adjusted my foot strike, said some nice words to anyone in the vicinity, and brought it back to 3.

There is so much more to write about this, so much more to say about looking in the mirror and accepting and LIKING the person looking back. All that, for another time.

So, "How's my running coming?"

It's coming along nicely. Thanks for asking. By the way, the funky shirt in the picture was a Christmas gift that I could not even put on on Christmas Eve.

Run on.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Catch Up Blog

When real live people say, "oh, you have a running blog? Doesn't look like you post much." It must be time to post.

At the close of 2023, I wrote this:  "I want to simply feel better: less vulnerable, less fragile. Someday this running thing will end, but not in 2024, and not voluntarily." Luckily, 2024 has gotten gradually, very gradually, better. The weight loss thing is going fairly well (17 pounds so far - still 30+ to go). I'm hoping to have that weight thing accomplished by end of September. We'll see. In my case, lighter is better.

The running part of it has improved as well. I am currently at 690 miles for the year, and probably, unless something drastically changes, will see me around 1700 for the year. Running, of course, can often be somewhat controlled by the condition of my knee. 

January, February, and early March were fairly good from a mileage perspective averaging around 35 miles a week. Late March into April was extremely lame as injury, busy-ness, and apathy hit for three weeks. Logged only 13 miles in those. As I write this, my career total is creeping upward, currently at 122,868. While 123,000 is in the near future, the next landmark is 124, 274.2 ORRRRRR 200,000 kilometers.

Here's what I've noticed: it hurts less and feels considerably more stable. At the same time, it requires constant attention to avoid sprains, twists, pops, buckles, and anything else unsavory. My focus is to get out of slog mode. The slog mode is where it feels more like I am shuffling along as opposed to propelling myself forward. Actually, the intentional forward movement doesn't feel any worse, I've just spent so long slogging around that is more of a mental shift, a discipline thing, than a physical thing. Hopefully the more I work at it, the more natural it will become.

Still working on incorporating the strength and core stuff as well as dusting the cobwebs off my bike. This is the best time of the year to become habitual on those extra goodies as I am in the slow time for work and traveling.

Have set some goals. The first one was the 8 mile trail race at the Greenland Open Space. Unfortunately I missed that one BUT went there Monday and got in the 8 myself. As for the other goals, we'll lay them on the back burner for now.

All in all, life is good (as the t-shirt says). Run on.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Closing Out A Mediocre Year


As 2023 comes to an end, I would love to say it was a banner year. I just can't say that.

For the most part, I struggled to get in any amount of mileage with any sense of consistent motion. Early in the year was gimpy time, and the end of the year was the same. In between, it was a matter of slow going, but going nonetheless. Between mid-May and the end of September I averaged about 40-45 miles a week. I did cross the 121,000 and 122,000 mile thresholds during the year, so that's always good.

With two more days to run, I will end up with 1610 miles, give or take a mile or two. That's not the worst year of my adult life, but certainly does not meet the 2000 mile standard for a "serious" running year. The year was/is split pretty evenly at 746 and 874. It could have been significantly better, but the last 7 weeks have been a mileage disaster. Oh well.....     

Only a single "race" this year. I did the 4 mile Greenland Trail Run. I was supposed to run the 8 mile, but a bad step mishap two days prior, required dropping down to the shorter distance.

Will end the year with 12 pounds of net weight loss. Now, don't get me wrong, that's a good thing. It's just far short of the goal. SO...... I'll do what any red-blooded American would do and move the goal into this next year.

Well, what about the coming year? Well, I hope to drop enough weight to make the running easier than it is presently. With apologies to all of the weight alarmists, lighter, in most every case, is better. So that will be priority #1. Miles? Well, I'd like to get back over 2000. In fact, if I could get to just a hair over 2100, I would hit another major lifetime goal: 200,000 kilometers. We'll see.

I'd like to ride my bike more, cross train more (yoga, pilates, riding, strength training), not to mention more vertical. I had applied for the Mont Blanc Marathon as a means of motivating myself to hit the mountains, but alas, was rejected (maybe old age discrimination - maybe Anti-American bias - maybe unlucky). I have some other wishes for the year. We'll save those for another time.

Mostly, I want to simply feel better: less vulnerable, less fragile. Someday this running thing will end, but not in 2024, and not voluntarily.

Thanks. Run on.


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Just a DAY????? Happy Global Running Day!

So, another Global Running Day has arrived! Global Running DAY???? Why not Global Running Week or Month???? 

According to, about 621 million people in the world run. That's roughly 9% of the earth's population. And all we get is a DAY??? A day is like 1/3rd of 1% of a year. And all we get is a DAY???? Rip off. Moving on.

My own running has had it's ups and downs since we last visited in April. Early May was great, in fact I ran in the Greenland Trail Race in early May. Slow but steady. In fact the first mile and a half which was moderately flat was the worst part. I could barely breathe. Once we made the big turn up the big hill, big differences began. I've mentioned before that my crappy knee seems to like going uphill more than flat, well, it was on the uphill that I finally felt okay. Weird. I tried to blame the altitude, but we were at 6200 feet and I live at 6200 feet.

Post Greenland, my motivation dropped a bit as did the condition of the previously mentioned knee, as did my mileage for a couple of weeks. BUT, it's coming back a bit. 38 last week, about 43 or so this week. I like the longer light and warmer temps (although it is still CHILLY at night and early morning. And the RAIN!!!!! For the last decade, I have been positive that I was somehow transplanted from Colorado to what I will unlovingly call Eastern California. NOW, someone has stuck Seattle in the mix. Seattle, CA.......

I've been ignoring the strength machinery downstairs, as well as that pot of Kale and the protein shake. Despite my unwillingness to become a much better eater (I'm already better, just not MUCH better), I have dropped about 8 pounds since May 1. 50-60 more soon, please.

On the Grandson front, Mason finished his "junior" year at Colorado State University with a 10,000 meter Mountain Conference Championship. He took the lead from a lagging group with 10 laps to go and gradually tightened the screws, getting rid of everyone  but Ryan Johnson from the Air Force Academy, and teammate Lars Mitchell with a lap to go. Then Mason dropped a 57.6 last lap to get the win. Too much fun. 

On the "by the way" addition, his 28:38 at the Stanford Invitational qualified him for the NCAA Regional Championships as well as placing him 3rd on the All-Time CSU 10K list. A good year.

Ryan, my son and his wife Sarah ran the Bolder Boulder together. Sarah's first time. Ryan's first time in a long time.

So that's it. Coming up on the halfway point of the year and will probably land at about 830 miles or so. Then we'll see how the back half goes.

Run on.

Monday, April 24, 2023

So, What's REALLY My Marathon PR in Todays World of Cheater Shoes (errrr, shoe tech)?

Tiger Ohbori

Was on a run this morning listening to a podcast about shoe technology and it got me wondering....... What would my PRs be in today's super shoes?

But wait, first let's catch up. Since my last post and my optimistic return from the ortho Doc, I have slowly gotten back into some running (jogging). The main goal was/is to build slowly, lose some weight, and then explore the world of gel injections for my knee and running without as much discomfort. The 6 weeks since then have logged 23, 31, 34, 39, 36, 36 miles. An 8 mile run yesterday at Waterton Canyon felt really good and is catapulting me to this weeks 40+ mile goal. The last time I ran 40 miles in a week was May of last year. Yikes.

I've registered for three "races," mostly just for the fun. One, however, is a biggie. Maybe more on that another time.

So, shoes...... My first marathon was in 1973. I ran 2:58:24. I died like a dog. Today with a 4% super shoe discount (I wore Tiger Ohbori's at the time - very light and nothing to them), my time might be 2:51:12. Oh, that's better, but let's dig deeper. I ran this time in Gainesville, FL and at the finish the temperature was just a tick under 80, WITH Florida humidity. So, let's knock off another, what, 5 minutes, maybe 10? Then let's factor in bad coaching. The week before my race, I was placed in the Motor City Marathon with the intent to race 20 miles as a test for the marathon. The result was a 1:50:05, 5:30 per mile average, and I felt great when literally pulled off the course by my coaches. I'm assuming I could have held the pace through the end, but let's say I dropped to 5:45. I'm still finishing around 2:26 or so. Instead I pass through 20 in Florida in 2:09 going backwards (BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP). So, I don't know, I think I'm getting hosed here.

NEXT...... my 3:10:33 as a fabulous 49 1/2 year old. Well, first the weather was good, no adjustment there. I ran a negative split, so no stupidity adjustment there. But the shoes, yes the shoes. I get 4% (that's what Nike says). So I'm in as a 3:02:59. I'll take it. Can we update that, please?

You know what, let's do them all..... 5K, 10K Half Marathon...... 

Nah, never mind. Where can I buy some shoes? and a knee.....

Run On!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Hope is Good

About a month ago, I slipped and fell in the Target parking lot and through a variety of contorsionistic moves was diagnosed with "an acute avulsion fracture of the deltoid ligament at the medial malleolus as well as the anterior capsular." Translation: the ligaments in my foot were stretched so far that they tore off some bone chips. I was given the boot and sent on my way. 
My parting gift from the Parker Adventist Hospital was the ortho follow-up with Dr. Alex Romero a few days later and again today. Today was my four week foot follow-up.

So, he had an X-ray taken and found that all is well in the foot world. Just keep adding movement steadily and expect occasional flair up issues for up to 4-6 months. It'll heal completely slowly.

Then, I bravely asked, “can we talk about my knee?” It had been briefly discussed four weeks ago, but mostly tabled for the future.

The last time anyone medical said anything decent about my knee, it was 2015. Today, that changed.

We began reviewing my knee history, quickly made it to the micro fracture surgery that never happened because, as the Doctor (who will remain nameless) said at the time, “WAY too much arthritis in there to do that.” So, she scoped around, charged me a bundle and it hurt within 8 months. 

A few years later came the ortho surgeon guys (who will also remain nameless) in Denver. “There’s a lot of arthritis in there. The best thing you could do is get it replaced.” We actually scheduled that little "procedure" twice, first time cancelled by me, second time by COVID. And I should make this clear: I was NEVER comfortable with the idea of a replaced knee.

Dr Romero then asked, have you had an X-ray lately? Uh, nope. So, he poked and prodded, twisted and played, then sent me off to x-ray. In the end, here is what we discovered today: the italicized stuff is from his notes:

“Examination of the left knee demonstrates that the patient's skin is intact. There is no significant soft tissue swelling or edema. There is negative patellar grind. There is range of motion from 0-125.  There is tenderness to palpation peripatellar medially. There is a ligamentously stable knee and a grossly normal neurologic and vascular examination distally. 

Other than my range being off, supposed to be 0-135, all of that stuff is pretty “normal.”

Then came the biggie: The patient's left knee he has underlying moderate grade osteoarthritis greatest in the medial compartment.  Today we discussed multiple different modalities to help him continue running.  We discussed the option of having an off loader brace utilized.  He has expressing some interest in this but is not ready to commit.  We also discussed the option of viscosupplementation (gel injections) versus PRP.  He would like to wait until he is closer to returning to running after rehabbing his ankle before he makes a decision on injection therapy.”

SOOOOO…… he said that the surgeons I had visited were mostly interested in doing what most surgeons are interested in doing which is surgery. He thought a strength program, along with weight loss (duh?), and then trying the gel injections might lead to a return to pain free running. The early key: cycling. He said it’s the quickest way to build strength in the knee, increase circulation, and help with range of motion. So set up that bike trainer!

I have spent the last, almost, decade, being without any concrete hope. Today, I have some. 

Hope is good.

Run on, maybe?

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Could NOT Have Been Much Worse

2022 is over. AND.... it's taken me 29 days to post on here about what a disaster it was. First, I ran 1730 miles. That's certainly not what I would call a good year, but it isn't the worst. BUT it was.

I have bad running years before. I've been injured before. I've been unmotivated before. But until 2022, I've never just flat out given up before. And that's what I did last year. Somewhere around the end of August all of the moving, ladder climbing, painting, tree planting, and the whole rest of it became too much for my back, my hips, and my knee. It could not have been worse (slight exaggeration). Enough said.

Fortunately it's a new year, filled with new days and new optimism. This cloud of disaster year has lifted and I'm back at it. One realization of the change in the calendar was that two years ago, when I ran 2500+ miles, my knee didn't feel any better than it does today. I simply ran through it. I ran through it because I was motivated to do so. Maybe that's back.

Goals? Well, I have a few, but they're not tied to miles or runs or races. I want to simply get healthy again. I want to feel good in my clothes and not be embarrassed to be in public. I want to turn the health boat before it hits the iceberg. I guess that's a good goal.

Run on..... and lift, and ride, and do yoga, and pilates......

Friday, July 22, 2022

The 120 Day "Something Else Too" Challenge

A bit more than halfway through the year and the news from the RunSpittle world is pretty simple: Still getting in miles - slowly - and wondering what's next in this running thing.

SO, roughly eight weeks ago, we moved. We left the hustle and bustle of Parker Road and Chambers for the hilltop views of Inspiration. Gone are the daily ventures to Tagawa (I guess I could still go there, but the drive is worse), replaced by the concrete, hilly, bike paths of the eastern hinterland. The views are fabulous, the hills are relentless, and the altitude is higher (about 6180 I think).

For roughly five weeks we had been packing one house and moving to the other. Constant manual labor. Sore back, hips, shoulders, and of course, knee. All a challenge, but one that I accepted with joy (HA!). It did take a toll on the running and overall mileage. 

Six months through 2022 and the mileage count was 1020. As you may know, I have two rules: 1) anything less than 3 miles is not a run, and 2) I'm not serious unless I'm getting in 2000 miles for a year. So far, on target.

Two big dates coming up: August 12th, my 56th runnerversary and in a little less than 2 weeks, we will hit 120,000 miles logged. Took long enough - LOL.

So, the new house and the basement setup for fitness has inspired some cross training. While I think of myself as a runner (no matter how slow I might be), I'm looking to expand my repertoire.

We brought over the weight machine (not an easy or inexpensive task), the treadmill, and the elliptical. Added to the mix was a badass pilates machine called the Reformer (and maybe someday, I will lay on that medieval looking contraption - if I can be shown what to do), and a rowing machine. With all that stuff merely 14 downward steps away, I guess there is no excuse. 

SO, I'm beginning my own fitness challenge: "120 Days of Something Else Too." Beginning Monday, July 25th, I will add some kind of Something Else fitness to my daily run trying to utilize these machines before cobwebs set in (on the machines, not me - well, maybe me too).

Also will be re-focusing on content creation in/on my business. You can find relevant real estate/sales content on my website - , video channel - - podcast the Daily RICHual . It's all kind of a refocus for everything.

And finally, my meditation practice has suffered immensely during a timeframe when, perhaps, I needed it the most (sadly that's how it happens many times).

Mondays will be check-in day here at RunSpittle and we'll see how it's going. 

Join me. Summer seems to be coming to a close already and you don't want to miss this opportunity to finely craft your snow body for the coming winter. Unlike beach bodies, only YOU, and select others, will know how ripped your are under that George Costanza Goretex coat.

Feel free to share your own challenge in the comments.

Run on (and Something Else Too).

Friday, February 11, 2022

High and Low Motivation, Hmmmmmm

Almost hitting six weeks into the new year, I'm finding both high and low levels of motivation.

On the high side, I am loving getting out in the morning, capturing that early sunshine in my body and mind, getting in some miles. On the low side, I'm just not interested right now in any significant mileage. Four miles seems nice, six miles seems long. I imagine that will change, at least I hope it does. At this point, I'm sort of in the Easy, Slow Mode.

I blame it all on the Corona Virus. That IS the in thing to do. Companies are doing it, politicians are doing it, everyone is doing it. So I am all in on blaming everything on the pandemic. The truth is that I am finally feeling pretty normal again (whatever that means for an old man - one day great, one day terrible). It was a long haul. The worst of it was getting the breathing back to where it ought to be.

As for those things that lie around the corner? 

Well, I am entered in the Eugene Half Marathon at the end of April. It may be a jog/walk kind of thing but I am moderately enthused about finishing in Hayward Field so that is the real motivation of the journey to Oregon. AND..... I guess I could be excited about being in a new age group (THAT is a stretch). 

Bigger than either, is that Linda and I are moving in early May. We have been in this area of South Aurora since 2007 and I have loved having easy access to the Cherry Creek State Park. Mostly though, I spend my run time near Tagawa Gardens. The new place is up in the Inspiration neighborhood south and east of here and no matter where you go, it's a hillfest. Still a moderately short drive to the Cherry Creek path and the Tagawa area. Anxious to test the new waters, or trails as it were.

The weather has been interesting. Like some of last winter, we seem to be in this pattern where it snows about every 5-7 days. The gap is long enough for the trails to dry up, but the dryness is met with the next "storm of the century." Because this is Colorado, by the way, the cold is balanced with the nice 50-60 degree days (by the way, where is the degree sign on my phone or computer?????).

All in all, I cannot complain much (well, I can ALWAYS complain a little). The quest for the perfect shoe continues. I'm on my third pair of Adidas UltraBoost 20, but while they seem nice, and I LOVE Adidas clothes, I think I'm missing something. It shouldn't be that complicated as I only need a good everyday cushy, supportive shoe. No need for some fancy racing thing. We'll see....

In the end, it's all good. Moved this carcass over 119,000 miles so far. Looking for thousands more.

Run on.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Hello 2022! Good to see you!

As we're just a few days into the new year, it seems like a good time for a recap.

First: races....... none.

Next: LONG runs......none.

Streaks? Yes, had one the lasted about 380 days before being ended by a BAD cold and missing a day. THEN..... came the Corona Virus and missing three weeks.

All in all, however, it was a good mileage year logging 2508 miles which happens to rank fifteenth in the 56 years I have been logging each 5280 feet run. So, I guess that's not so bad.

My knee seems to be holding out. It has good days and bad days. There may be a replacement in my future, but it sure isn't happening anytime soon. As long as I am content to run slow, slow, miles, there is no reason to allow anyone to place foreign objects in my body.

So what about 2022? Well, I think I'd like to hold or raise the past year's mileage. I'd love to not miss a day, BUT, that is always a challenging goal. Mostly, I'd like to get comfortable being just a little bit faster on my runs. Pretty much..... that's it.

What about you?

Run on.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Run Through Corona Virus? Uh, Not Me!

My last run was on Sunday, November 28. I snuck it in as I could foresee the inevitable.

A week earlier, my wife, Linda, went in for a colonoscopy. When the Dr. rolled in she said to him, "Sorry, I'm 5 months late on this, but I've avoided the hospital so I won't catch the Corona Virus." Her words hung out there....... Six days later, I'm sneaking in my run and she's getting a positive test at the local Urgent Care. Her symptoms started Black Friday. Mine two days later.

Neither of us were going to catch this thing, and we had done a pretty damned good job until she got it at A HOSPITAL!!!!!.

Anyway, Monday was a pretty bad day. I will say this: I never really got it as bad as Linda did, and it beat the living shit out of me. Monday late afternoon, we decided to head to the UCHealth emergency room, one of the few places in Colorado where she could get an infusion of the antibodies, something that has allowed some people to snap right out of this thing. Wasn't meant to be.

Four cars ahead on C470 someone slammed on their brakes, so did car 3, 2, 1...... I missed car 1, right in front of me. Unfortunately, the young woman behind me took her eyes off the road for a second and BAM, there she was in the back end of my car. Four hours later, we finally got back home, freezing and sicker than we had been at any time.

The rest has been a blur of taking care of my worsening honey, caring for our 6 month old puppy Winston, and trying to give myself some care as well. Fevers sat between 99.0 and 100.4. Never got much worse, but finally broke. But while the fever lessened, nothing else got any better. The days just went on with little or no improvement.

Finally, we'd had it. We weren't getting better and frankly Linda just wanted to be done (and I mean that in the most serious way). Friday, we got in the car and headed back to Urgent Care to at least get vitals checked. What they discovered was EXTREME dehydration. We'd been conscious that we weren't eating or drinking much, but just weren't doing anything substantial about it. Urgent Care sent us to the ER where they dropped to bags of fluid into my withering wife and sent us on our way promising we'd eat and drink more. 

In the middle of this, by the way, Winston got sick. Nothing like cleaning up after diarrhea dog when you're sick yourself. I digress.

Saturday, I saw progress. Yesterday more. Linda is eating and drinking like a champ and sees a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm feeling better, too, just exhausted. That has been the nature of this whole thing: exhaustion.

Running? don't know about that one. We'll see. I'd like to think that in another week I might feel good enough. For now, taking Winston to the park is good.

The moral is to be strong, healthy, and live your best life. All of the money is being spent promoting vaccinations. No one is much help once you have the thing. So advice from Dr. Rich:

Drink constantly, rest like crazy, monitor fever and blood oxidation, eat however and whatever you can (we had a ton of grocery and restaurant delivery), wash your dishes and your hands constantly, catch up on movies (best thing I did this weekend was watch The Maltese Falcon). If you get scared, call the right people to make you feel better. Last, be patient and kind to your self and DO NOT RUSH IT!!!!!

This Corona Virus thing is an ass kicker.

It's Coming Along Nicely

Today I was asked this rare question, "How's your running coming?" I call this a rare question because, for the most part, whe...