The (Not So) Raging Bull plus the INKnBURN Winner

And the winner is...

I picked a random comment from the 35 that were submitted on the INKnBURN Giveaway post and the winner of the arm sleeves is lucky number 7 (I'll spare you the screen capture from So, Matt, please email me and I'll put you in touch with the nice people at INKnBURN.

The running is going great. It's starting to get harder with more volume and some tough tempo work, but that can be fun, too. Part of the fun has been mixing it up, altering the workouts a bit, and letting others share in the pain. I ran an interval session Wednesday morning with the San Elijo group, and as the "anyone running?" email got tossed around the night before, I mentioned I needed to do some speed work and they could join in if they wanted. We set out at 6 AM and after a 15 minute warm-up, which I took really easy, trailing the others because I knew the workout and they didn't, we set out on 15 sets of 1 minute at 6:45 to 7:00 pace followed by 2 minutes at 7:30 pace. Not slow enough to recover fully, so by the end I was suffering a little. In the past, I would have saved this run for a flat, coastal stretch and tried to dial in the paces to the exact second. Instead, we stuck to one of our normal trail routes and I went by feel instead of pace. I didn't have a Garmin on, but I did keep track of the time, and judging by the usual time it takes us to do this loop, I'm pretty sure we hit the paces, probably a little slower on the uphills, but making up for it on the flats and downhills. It was a tough session, but the terrain made it much more fun that a flat stretch of road, and the shared suffering always helps.

I was also supposed to do a core workout after the run, so instead of the usual planks/push-ups/pull-ups/weights, I wrapped my hands and went to the garage to hit the heavy bag. There really is no other feeling like hitting something hard, and it had been a while since I had hit the bag. It felt great. I set my timer for one minute, and would alternate between hitting the bag for a minute and doing other exercises for a minute (planks, one-legged jumprope, pull-ups, pistol squats and Romanian deadlifts). The whole workout lasted about ten minutes, but it was a really good one, and it was a lot of fun. I was messing around with my camera and shot some video of the bag work (my form is terrible and my garage is a mess, so save the comments. I'm a wimpy runner, not a MMArtist). I call it the "(Not So) Raging Bull Core Workout."

I just finished reading the first chapter of Killian's book translated into English and his Skyrunner Manifesto is so good (I'm not sure if he wrote it, or someone else did, so I'm not sure who to credit). If you have a few minutes, it's a great read. This was my favorite part...

The secret is not in the legs. It is to find enough courage to go out and run when it's raining, windy, when it's snowing. When flashes of lightning hit the trees. When snowballs or ice rain hit your legs, your body and make you cry. To continue, you have to dry the tears from your face to be able to see the stones, the obstacles, the sky. Forget some hours of party, face tens of reproaches, say no to a girl, to the warmth of the blanket covering your face...send everything to hell and go out in the rain until your legs bleed after having fallen down and risen again to keep running up...until your legs shout: ENOUGH! And leave you alone in the middle of a storm in unknown mountains...until death.
Yeah, my wife is probably not going to like that last part.

What's great about running is that everyone has access to this feeling. I can't dunk a basketball, hit a home run, or throw a 70 yard pass for a touchdown, but I can push myself as hard as I can for as long as I can, and experience the same thrill of running down a steep, rocky trail, and the same rush from running up mountains that Killian describes, albeit at a much slower pace. All runners can feel that, and it has nothing to do with pace, it has to do with pushing your own limits, finding a new trail, getting lost, and occasionally breaking down and crying from the pain, the torture, and the beauty that comes when you reach that limit.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Hey...your form isn't that bad. It looks like you've had some training.

  2. So I'm thinking MMA Trail Running is the next big thing - at every support station you have to defeat another runner to be able to continue on. That will give the slower but stronger runners a better chance.

    1. I think that is where the Spartan/Tough Mudder races are headed. I'm all for giving slower but stronger runners a better chance. I think I could take Meb in a boxing match.

    2. What? No "Eye of the Tiger" soundtrack? Weak!


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