Taming the Beast.

Daven Oskvig, en route to victory Photo Credit: Ron Heerkens Jr.

Daven Oskvig, en route to victory
Photo Credit: Ron Heerkens Jr.

Earlier this week, I mentioned the [Winter] Beast of Burden Ultramarathon.

I’ve had a chance to go through the results, and I wanted to give a shout-out to Daven Oskvig. In the conditions pictured above, Daven ran 5:51:29 (7:01/mile) to win the 50-mile race. He took the victory by more than an hour.

Daven has been rocking the western/central New York ultra scene for several years now. He has many impressive performances, but in my opinion, this takes the cake. Sure, it was on a towpath, but it was partially covered in snow. And it was freezing!

Full results of the Winter Beast are available here.

What do you think? What, in your opinion, makes a performance impressive?

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(this is me trying to make a decision)

(this is me trying to make a decision)

I’m currently in the process of picking out a waterproof running jacket. I am not very good at making this type of decision. In fact, I’m terrible at it. So I’m enlisting your help!

These are the two jackets I’m deciding between:



This waterproof jacket weighs approximately 16 ounces. It includes a pocket on each side, a chest pocket and a small arm pocket. There is an adjustable hood and some very soft material to protect from zipper irritation. It is a somewhat heavier material that provides 3L weather protection. The jacket also includes pit zips for ventilation.



This waterproof jacket weighs approximately 10 ounces. It includes a pocket on each side, as well as a chest pocket. Once again, there is an adjustable hood, and a bit of soft material to protect from zipper irritation. It is a lighter material and would not provide as much warmth. This jacket also includes pit zips for ventilation.

Now it’s your turn! Vote “Yellow” or “Red” in the comments section and give me a reason why.

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The Winter Beast.


The News

As I mentioned last week, the Dubai Marathon was on Friday. Lemi Berhanu won the men’s race in 2:05:02 and Aselefech Mergia won the women’s race in 2:20:02 (she only won by one second). Notably, Kenenisa Bekele dropped out around 30k with an Achilles tendon injury. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious.

The Beast of Burden ultramarathon was Saturday/Sunday in Lockport, New York. The race was run on snow with very chilly temps. Not only that, but it’s a late morning start, so the majority of the race is run in the dark. Steve Parke was the overall winner in 17:09:05.

If cold weather (and I mean cold!) isn’t your thing, the summer Beast is scheduled for August 8, 2015.

Full results of the winter Beast are available here.


As a kid, I collected baseball cards. I don’t buy them very often anymore, but I will definitely be adding Meb to my collection! Believe it or not, this is not Meb’s first baseball card. He was also included in the 2010 Allen and Ginter series. And now you know… I’m a dork.


Do you have any sports collectibles or memorabilia?

I also enjoyed this story from the other day in Runner’s World. You often hear about tragedies at races – runners who collapse and die. Greg Wolpert collapsed at the Naples Half Marathon on January 18th within yards of the finish line. He was clinically dead, but thanks to the proper administration of CPR and a quick response by EMS (who used an advanced life support defibrillator), Greg is okay. In fact, he was home from the hospital just a couple of days later.

My Upcoming Races

I enjoyed the last indoor track meet that I did so I’m considering another meet on February 15. Stay tuned.

My Training

Training is going well! I went over 200 miles for the year yesterday, which is a nice total. At this time last year, I was at 191 miles – so I’ve done about 7% more mileage. I’ve also incorporated a lot more speedwork than last year. It’s going to be cold this week – really cold! Hopefully, I can keep it up.

Keep running!

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What’s News?

photo credit: Michael Steele

photo credit: Michael Steele

The News

Paula Radcliffe announced that she will be running the London Marathon as her final marathon. At this point, she is not on the list of elite entrants. I am hoping that she will join the list at some point. However, there is the possibility that she will participate in the race for charity – a so-called victory lap, if you will.

In related news, the London field is stacked on both the men’s and women’s sides. I’ll get into that more as the race approaches.

Kenenisa Bekele will be racing in the Dubai Marathon on Friday. It will be his third marathon. His biggest challenge will probably come from Lelisa Desisa. The winners in Dubai take home $200,000, with another $100,000 possible if there is a world record. Bekele has now run a pair of 2:05s. I know he can go faster. You know he can go faster. He knows he can go faster… but will he go faster?

UTMB had its annual lottery. The results of it can be found here. Sage Canaday will be making his 100-mile debut, which will be interesting to watch.

My Results

On Saturday, I saw there was an indoor track meet at Manley Field House, which is really close to where I live. I decided to jump into the 3000m for a good speed workout.

The indoor track at Manley is 3 lanes, 257m and circular. It’s different. I ran 9:49 for 3000m (5:16/mile). Considering it’s January and I’ve done very little speed work, I’m happy with that performance!

My Upcoming Races

No changes here. I’m still about three months out from my first road race of the year (CNY Springtime 10k).

My Training

My training is going okay. I cut back a tiny bit last week. Every winter I get heel fissures that are actually quite painful. Anyhow, I’m working on getting that straightened out, and I look forward to increasing my mileage soon.

Also, it’s been cold. Really cold. While I have no problem going out when it’s 0 degrees, I usually limit my runs to about an hour. Better safe than sorry!

Keep running!

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Surviving/Thriving on Fruit: Week One

photo credit: Fully Raw

photo credit: Fully Raw

I’ve nearly finished week one of fruits and veggies. Below, I have included a sample of the last few days.

I’ve also cut back to one cup of coffee per day!! Prior to this, I was drinking about 38 cups per day (only slight hyperbole).

Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to judge the effect, if any, on my running, because the ground is covered in snow and ice. I’ve been spending more time trying to stay upright than anything else.

I’ll continue to keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m getting lots of great food advice from Fully Raw and The Fruitarian.

smoothie – mixed fruit
1 banana
2 apples/3 oranges
1 banana
tomato, spinach, avocado
1 apple
smoothie – peaches
1 banana, 2 apples
3 oranges
1 banana
vegetables – mixed
smoothie – berries
1 apple
2 pears, 2 bananas
1 pineapple
3 kiwis, 1 banana
1 portabella “pizza”


1 banana
1 lb of carrots, 3 oranges
1 banana
tomato, spinach, avocado
1 cucumber
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Running in Extreme Cold.


Today’s post is about running in the cold – specifically, the extreme cold. Obviously, “extreme cold” means different things to different people. For purposes of this post, it means temperature/wind that would give you frostbite in 30 minutes or less.

This post was prompted by my run yesterday. It was a balmy 0 degrees fahrenheit with a light breeze. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of days like that every winter (I can hear Canadians and Minnesotans snickering at me).

What to Wear

Layers. I usually wear pants, a thin shirt, a mid-layer shirt and a decent-quality running jacket. I wear a hat and gloves. If the temperature is hovering around zero, or if it’s really windy, I’ll use a neck warmer and a second pair of gloves.

Things to Remember

Don’t get your feet wet. Wet feet are definitely a recipe for frostbite.

Stay close to home. When the chill starts to set in, you don’t want to be several miles out.

Bring your phone and keep it out of the cold. You never know when you will need that emergency contact.

Focus. It is easy to get distracted when it’s that cold and you don’t want to fall on a snowy/icy patch.


Running in the cold is not dangerous, per se.

Your lungs will not freeze! That is an old myth, and a rather silly one at that!

Be smart.


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Tough As Nails.


This story has been floating around the news the last few days (pun intended).

Last Wednesday, Rob Konrad (former Syracuse University star and Miami Dolphin) was on his 31-foot fishing boat when a large wave hit and he was thrown into the ocean 9 miles from shore (there was a small-craft advisory at the time). His boat was on autopilot and headed east. There were no other boats in sight. Konrad was not wearing a life preserver at the time.

“I realized I was in some real trouble.”

It was 12:30pm. Konrad decided to swim toward shore, estimating it would take more than 10 hours. He began alternating between breaststroke and backstroke.

“Five or six hours in, I realized, ‘Maybe I can do this.'”

Konrad followed the sun during the day and the lights on shore at night.

“I have two beautiful daughters. I was hitting that shore.”

Konrad hit the shore at 4:40am. He had hypothermia, severe dehydration and rhabdo (which can cause renal failure and death).

Diana Nyad described it best:

“At some point, he decides, I could float around here and wait to be saved or I could take action and start the heck swimming. Look at the sun, gauge where east is, and get the freak to shore… that’s what saved him. He took action.”

She added, “That guy had to be tough as nails.”

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