Chaffee County Running Club

Colorado High Altitude Running Tips and Articles

Food tip: plan and prep your post run meal before you run

Most people are squeezing in runs when they can in their busy lives. Many people finish a run and then rush off to do something else.

Studies have shown that eating quality food within 30 minutes of finishing a run helps you recover better and faster from that run.

A tip is to prepare a meal or healthy snack before you run, so that it is readily available for you to eat when you finish. This will help you get the nutrition you need and also may help you avoid choosing less healthy snack or fast foods right after you run.

So, before you head out the door, plan ahead and fix a healthy sandwich, put leftovers from a meal on a plate, or get all the ingredients assembled and prepared in advance. That way way you finish running, you will have that food ready and waiting to either eat or quickly prepare and eat.

You can also tailor the amount of food to suit your planned workout. Plan on preparing less food and calories to eat after shorter runs, and more for after longer runs.

Habitat Stamp news

There is a bill working its way toward introduction in the Colorado Senate that would reauthorize the Habitat Stamp Program, and include some positive changes. One of these changes is eliminating the requirement to have purchased a Habitat Stamp in order to enter CO State Wildlife areas, (like Sand and Franz Lakes.) We will keep you posted on this.

Have a good nutrition plan, don't expect to always
find food along the trail. Tom enjoys a vegetarian snack of Elk cud.

Eat and Run…

Running and Eating have always had much in common. You are what you eat, you are what you run, you run with what you eat and what you eat determines how you run.
You run…Therefore you eat.
With these truths in mind, here are some

Tips for Good Running, Eating, Cooking and Training.

The CCRC Banquet may be the biggest and best (eating) event of the year, so you want to be at your best and peak at the right time. This is the big event you want to give your all at: you want to really “bring it”!

1) Lay down a good base. Hopefully you have been eating and running on a regular basis. Try to build up to a level that you can maintain, but only increase about 10% each week. You do not want to consistently overeat.

Most people find that 3 meals a day works best long term but some of the elite’s do 4 to 6 each day.

2) Make a meal/training plan and try to stick to it. Tailor your preparation to your plan and desired results. Make sure you stock up on the basic ingredients early in your preparation, and practice. Be specific in your preparation so that there are no surprises on the day of the big event. Try to simulate the conditions you will encounter in your preparations as often as possible. With that said, it is ok to just eat/run totally for the sheer joy of it sometimes.

3) Get the right equipment and ingrediants. Buy what you need early, and test it out frequently so you know how to use it. Don’t scrimp and cut corners for your big event gear. Get the best you can afford. Cheap equipment can result in injuries.

4) It is a good idea to do a simulator 2-3 weeks out from the big event. Treat this like the real deal, only keep the serving dose at ½ to ¾ of the total amount. Simulate event/meal conditions as much as possible for this. Build confidence and adjust and tweak your preparations as needed so you can do it better on the big day.

5) Taper down before the big day. Cut your totals down a bit in the last week. You want to be fresh and “chomping at the bit” and a little hungry on the big day.

6) Assemble, gather and lay out everything the night before. Make sure you have all the essentials all together ahead of time.

7) Presentation and appearance does count. People will treat you and ‘your goods’ more seriously if they look the part. If it looks good it probably is good.

8) Pace yourself. You want to enjoy the whole experience. Think positively. Leave a little something for the end and a big finish.

9) Consistency and dedication are key. You are not going to change your ways with just one meal or run. It takes numerous little meals and runs accumulated over time to be healthy, faster or better. Similarly, one bad meal or run will not change the whole. Immediate gratification is ok, but you have to look at the big picture.

10) You want to vary your meals and runs for good health. Variety is key. Eat and Run fast, slow, long, short, big, small and it is ok to overeat, over run, under eat and under run sometimes.

Mix things up to keep motivation and interest.

11) Leave the workout and the table feeling like you could have done or had a little more. Train don’t strain and eat don’t gorge. Walk away a little hungry for more.

12) Back off if you feel like things are not going right. If you miss a meal or run that is ok. Don’t try to compensate by trying to make it all up later.

If you feel really ill, it is best to not run or eat at all. Let the body focus on healing itself.

13) Everyone is an individual and what is good for one person may not be good for you. Some people thrive on short runs, others on rice. Experiment a bit to find out what works best for you.

14) If you have bigger goals in mind, like getting faster, better or thinner, keeping a daily diary helps. Filling in the blanks is good motivation and helps you plan and focus on the goal. You can review the diary to look for trends and patterns. And you can pass it on to future generations as an interesting heirloom. If you are more precise with what you record, the better it can be repeated by someone else in the future. There are many true classic workouts and recipes (like 10 X 440 with a minute’s rest and Pound cake…) that we would not know about today had it not been recorded for posterity.

15) Supplements can help. They act as good insurance in case you are missing some vital element, and can correct imbalances before they lead to bigger problems.

Local Running and Habitat Stamps

If you visit any Colorado Division of Wildlife Area (like Franz or Sand Lake near Salida or Clear Creek Res.) you are now required to purchase a habitat stamp.

The stamps cost $10.25.  They can be purchased locally at any place that sells hunting/fishing licenses like  hunting fishing oriented outdoor stores, some gas stations, walmart, etc.  You can also purchase over the phone by calling 800-244-5613. Or go to the DOW office on Highway 50.

If you have a hunting/fishing license, you have a stamp already.Money from the stamps will be used to purchase wildlife habitat or easements to this habitat in CO.  The money you spend to purchase a Habitat stamp may be spent anywhere in the state, and there is nothing in place to ensure that your money will be spent locally.The main purpose of the program is not to buy public recreational access to these sites.  Sometimes this is available, but the stamps are for wildlife habitat, and then access to those who wish to harvest the wildlife, and then, if there are no user conflicts, other types of  access.   The other access is tolerated and accepted in places like Franz and Sand Lake, but “if there are user conflicts, fishermen will take precedent”  according to Jim Aragon of the local DOW office.

So non hunting/fishing recreational activities (‘other access’) like walking, dog walking on a leash, running, bicycling, wildlife watching, feeding/watching the ducks, picnicking etc are tolerated for now around Franz/sand lake and other areas, but these will be the first to go if there are problems.  Some fishermen at Franz Lake have already complained about dogs, runners and others passing by…

Also it is interesting to note that there are many areas locally where there are fishing easements along the Arkansas River, but these other above recreational activities are not permitted in most of these easements.  Only fishing is legally permitted in many of these easements (as perhaps it should be, since groups like Trout Unlimited directly contribute to the program, as do all those who buy a fishing license.)

It is also interesting that local rec trails group SPOT (Salida parks open space and trails) did most of the work to get the trails funded and built around and between Franz/Sand lakes.

So the Habitat stamp program is generally a good one and it will preserve open space and places for wildlife.

We generally suggest you buy a stamp for these reasons.  Do not be misled into thinking that your stamp purchase will guarantee that you will have access to any wildlife area now or in the future. Again wildlife areas are primarily for wildlife and then those who wish to harvest the wildlife.  Your purchase is sort of a type of access tax, but is it taxation without representation if you are not a fisherman or hunter?

A few other things: $.25 of the fee goes to the state search and rescue fund, and your name will be included in that.  You must carry the stamp with you when entering any wildlife area.  If you do not have it in your possession, you will be ticketed and will have to take the ticket and your stamp in to a DOW office to clear it up.  The stamp is good until the end of the year.

So…should you buy a stamp???  I have one, but it may not be worth it to you if you do not use the areas that much or do not support the program/concept.

A True Story.  Pittsburgh trails are nice wooded hilly crushed gravel paths…but beware!

By Steven Garand

A lifeless body is draped over the dirt and rocks on a park trail.  Even though it was a tragic running accident, I am still the one responsible.

Heading out on a cool clear Sunday morning, the 16 mile run promised to be a pleasant relaxing jaunt.  A slight wind was blowing wispy clouds under a bright blue sky.   This, I thought to myself was going to be the start of an excellent day.  The route strung together three beautiful Pittsburgh parks, Frick, Schenley, and Highland.  It was the kind of morning that makes you feel great to be alive.

Rounding the bend on the Schenley trail something darted from the underbrush and at the same time I felt a crunch under my left foot.  I was several yards down the trails before I could stop and turn around to see what had happened.  To my horror, behind me lay a chipmunk on it’s side, with legs kicking wildly at the air.  Maybe he was just stunned I thought walking back, hoping to see him pop up and finish his dash across the path.  My stomach sank as the full extent of the situation quickly became apparent.  There was blood pooling out of the poor little guys mouth and his spastic movements were already beginning to slow.

Instinctively my mind raced into action from my emergency medical training. There was two women within earshot and my first reaction was to scream to them and ask if they had a cell phone and could call 911 to get help out here as fast as possible.  How close could a medevac helicopter get to this spot was my next thought.  Then the slower rational part of my brain grabbed and slapped my instinctive brain a few times and said: get a hold of yourself man!  This is a chipmunk.  People don’t medevac rodents out of city parks!

There were some major internal conflicts going on here.  A liberal, tree hugging, hybrid driving, organic eating vegetarian goes out communing with nature and stomps a cute little chipmunk to death.  After moving the now limp body off the trail, I slowly began to continue my run in a daze. There was nothing else I could do.  I started having visions of Alvin’s family (at this point I had named him) waiting for him, but he never comes back.  I tried to distract myself by calculating the probability of squashing an animal mid-stride given the surface area of my feet, my steps per year, the average dimensions of a small rodent, and the estimated darting frequency (yes I am an engineer).  This was to no avail since it seemed all the little critters stopped what they were doing as I ran by and stared at me accusingly.  I guess news travels fast in the park.

If this were a fellow runner I had accidentally flattened I’m sure there would be a government panel set up to investigate exactly how this happened.  The panel would eventually make recommendations on how to prevent such a tragedy in the future.  Runners might be required to wear giant foam training shoes.  At the very least there would be kind words said for the fallen runner fallowing the basic eulogy plot.  So out of respect for Alvin I have prepared his eulogy.

He was a fine upstanding father and friend, a real pillar to the rodent community.  You will be sorely missed.

The viewing will be held next to the trail from Sunday morning up until something drags him away and eats him.

Thank you for listening to my story and if you happen to see someone running around town some day with giant foam shoes you won’t have to wonder why.

How to develop a running habit.

We have noticed a larger than normal number of ‘new’ runners out recently. This could be a sign of spring, the “marathon effect” where runners start after a large race in town, or perhaps we were so bundled up all winter we could not see them. For whatever the reason, we hope these ‘new’ runners keep at it.

Here are some tips for developing a new running habit or sticking with/renewing an old one.

-Set aside and plan a regular time each day to run. Morning works best for many as obligations, fatigue and responsibilities tend to pile up as the day goes on.

-Set a goal, like trying not to miss a day for a week, or training for a race. Make it a little goal you can achieve, like just getting out the door. Have a whole list of goals for each run, starting with getting out the door. Thus, your run will be a double “success” even if all you do is get out the door. (1: you got out the door and 2: you ran another day.)

That said, run for the run itself, not for the results.

-Make a commitment, to yourself, and also tell others about it.

-Get a training partner, human or canine. Come to the Wed night runs.

-Start small. Go slowly, walking is ok, and don’t set distance goals (go for time not distance for runs). Even if you feel bad or have little time, plan to get out the door and just try it for 15-20 minutes. Just getting out the door should be an inviolate rule, unless you have serious injuries or illness.

-View running and each run itself as a new reward. It will be something selfish that you are indulging in just for yourself and your own personal luxurious benefit. Running will be a soothing, empowering thing.

-Reward yourself for meeting intermediate goals. Something on the order of “I will get _____ (a long hot bath, a massage, a new pair of socks, a good exotic healthy meal, a hot spring visit, a new pair of shoes, or etc) if I run _____(every day this week, every day for 2 weeks, for over 2 hours total time during this week, or etc.)”

-Only plan on doing what you can do now. Today is today and it is not where you will be a year from now, or where you were 1,5, 10 or 20 years ago. Don’t expect anything more than just living in the moment and experiencing the run.

-Keep it simple. If you can find an acceptable route to run from your home do it. You are more likely to run if it does not involve a production

-Find out what you like, and do not try to fit into the mold of someone else’s program.

For example, some people thrive on the same place, pace and time/distance each day. Others like to mix things up. Experiment with both.

-Plan to commit to sticking with this new running thing for 21 days. Studies show that this is how long it usually takes to develop a habit. Odds are that you will like it, feel better, and want to continue running long before that.

Don Breece writes:

I had the opportunity to hear a lecture by Dr. Ken Cooper at the Cooper Institute in Dallas recently. As you may know he coined the term "aerobics" in the late 60's and was very influential in promoting running and other aerobic exercise to improve the health of the common man. Although most of Dr. Cooper's research revolves around health and fitness for the average person he has also done a great deal of research with elite athletes over the years.

One thing he shared that I thought might be worth passing on is this: There is more and more evidence that elite endurance athletes put themselves at risk of DNA damage when they train intensely for over 30 miles per week or participate in lengthy endurance events (marathon and up). He cited a long list of athletes who have had various cancers and other life threatening illnesses during...or shortly after their prime. His recommendation for those who train and compete at this level is to increase your anti-oxidant intake when you are training and competing at this level. Marathoners who increased their anti-oxidant intake during build-up and after the event for two weeks show much less damage at the cellular level.

Although supplements may be needed the best source is fruits and vegetables. He warned that athletes need to research their supplements carefully as the vitamin and supplement industry is unregulated and we never really know what is in the pill we are could be sawdust. Another important message was to reduce transfats in your diet to the lowest level possible...even if you are trim and think you are burning them off they are doing you harm.

Summer of Snakes

Runners have noticed more big rattlesnakes than ever before this summer. Another sign of Global Warming? An 18" rattler appeared between the railroad rails after the Spiral Drive Run, directly in the spot people cross the tracks at the end of F St! A 5 foot snake was killed by a car on CR 175 north of Sand Lake. Two runners saw a hawk fly away with a snake in its talons while running on Tenderfoot. Run with care.

Tips to avoid snakes on the Run, if you are concerned

-Run in the early morning when the cooler temperatures make snakes less active.
-Keep your dogs on a leash or leave them home, unless you want them to get bit instead of you. On the other hand their keener senses will detect a snake before you do.
-Observation is crucial. You want to be able to see where you are running to avoid stepping on something that is hidden. Be alert.
-Run on roads a bit away from the edge, so you can see what is ahead. But beware of cars, because they pose a much greater risk than any snake.
-Avoid rocky trails
-Snakes will respond to vibration (i.e. heavy footfalls), and will either move out of the way or coil and rattle (if a rattlesnake) to let you know they feel threatened.
-Listening to music with earphones may prevent you from hearing a rattlesnake or other dangers.
-If you encounter a snake, leave it alone.
-Snakes are not naturally aggressive and will only bite you if they feel threatened.
-Not running for fear of snakes is worse for your health than the extremely remote chance you might have a bad encounter with a snake. Get out there!
-Seeing a live (or dead) snake on a run is an interesting bonus of running here.

Coffee lovers, hoist your cups. Stopping at Starbucks before going out for a long run or bike ride is no longer a no-no, exercise researchers say.

By Jack Cox
Denver Post Staff Writer

Contrary to what many trainers and coaches have maintained over the years, caffeine won't leave you dehydrated and can actually improve your endurance.

"There may be a temporary diuretic effect, but it seems the body deals with this quite well," says Lawrence E. Armstrong, a physiologist with the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut.

At moderate levels of consumption, Armstrong says, there is little difference in fluid retention between caffeinated beverages and plain water. The notion that there is, he adds, appears to have been based on a 1928 study so limited it involved only three subjects whose responses were monitored for less than four hours apiece.

As for coffee's impact on performance, dozens of studies conducted over the past three decades indicate that "the effects of caffeine in prolonged, strenuous exercise have been positive in almost all cases," says Kirk J. Cureton, head of the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia.

While there is great variability depending on the individuals and types of tests used, Cureton says, researchers have found in general that caffeine increases vigor, improves reaction times and staves off exhaustion - at least in doses of up to 200 milligrams, or the quantity contained in two to three average cups of coffee.

Above that level, the effects tend to taper off, and adverse effects such as headaches or "the jitters" begin to appear at levels of 400 mg or above.

One early study, Cureton says, found that competitive cyclists who received just 30 mg of caffeine an hour before starting a two-hour treadmill test could go 15 minutes longer before becoming exhausted than those who took a placebo.

A more recent study, also conducted on cyclists, found that non-caffeine users felt the effects more strongly than regular users, especially when measured six hours after ingestion.

Other research has shown that caffeine has much less effect in high-intensity, short-duration events such as sprints. It also has little or no effect on muscular strength, Cureton adds.

Canadian researcher Lawrence L. Spriet, a professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, says it's unclear how caffeine improves endurance.

One common theory is that it spurs the oxidation of fat early in a workout, thus sparing glycogen in the muscles for use later on.

But there is growing evidence, Spriet says, that caffeine works primarily on the central nervous system, blocking the adenosine receptors that trigger a sense of fatigue, and thus tricking the brain into thinking the body is less tired than it really is.

Not all research on caffeine is as positive as these findings, which were outlined during the recent national meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver.

A study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that the equivalent of two cups of coffee limited the body's ability to boost blood flow to the heart during exercise - particularly at high altitude.

The 18 participants, all young healthy coffee drinkers, were checked after riding a stationary bike with no caffeine in their systems and again after being given one 200-mg tablet of caffeine apiece.

Their blood-flow readings after caffeine were 22 percent lower at normal air pressure and 39 percent lower in a chamber simulating the thin air at 15,000 feet, a level designed to mimic the way heart disease deprives the heart muscle of sufficient oxygen.

The lead author, Dr. Philipp A. Kaufmann of University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, wrote that he would not now recommend that any athlete drink caffeine before sports.

"It may not be as harmless as we thought before," he wrote, "particularly if you suffer from coronary artery disease or if you are in the mountains."

Staff writer Jack Cox can be reached at 303-820-1785 or

Caffeine Content

Caffeine is the most widely used pharmacologically active compound in the world, with coffee consumption averaging 5 cups per week per person around the globe. Following are the caffeine contents for a selection of common beverages.
Starbucks Grande
16 oz. cup: 259mg
Full Throttle
16 oz. can: 144mg
Black coffee
8 oz. cup: 115-175mg drip, 80-135mg brewed, 65-100mg instant
Red Bull
8.2 oz. can: 80mg
Mountain Dew
12 oz. can: 55mg
Diet Coke
12 oz. can: 45mg
Dr Pepper
12 oz. can: 41mg
12 oz. can: 37mg
Classic Coke
12 oz. can: 34mg
Black tea
8 oz. cup: 40-60mg brewed, 30mg instant
Hot cocoa
8 oz. cup: 14mg
Decaf coffee
8 oz. cup: 2-4mg
Sources: American Beverage Association, U.S. Food and Drug Administration,, and others.

Don’t miss a workout.

salida colorado road race training
Salida Track Workout

If the recent snow and ice and cold have you wondering where and how to safely exercise, here are some tips:

Get out of town. The cars pack the snow before plowing in town. Less cars do so out of town, so when the roads are plowed they get down to more pavement. Thus there is less hardpack and ice on plowed roads out of town.

Get to dirt. Plowed roads that are dirt always get dirt/gravel mixed into the snow when plowed, so they melt faster.

Screw your shoes. Get an old pair of shoes and put in some ¼ to 3/8 inch long size 4 or 6 hex head sheet metal screws into the outsoles. At least 4 on the perimeter of the forefoot and at least 2 on the sides of the heel. These bite well into hardpack snow and ice and help prevent falls and slips. (Note: do not wear these inside on your fine floors). These can take sections of pavement also. Do not use on air or gel midsoles. If you get short enough screws and position them on the perimeter they will not poke through into your feet.

Screw the Shoes II. Go xc skiing, snowshoeing or swimming instead of running.

Run for the rough. Avoid putting your foot down on shiny, smooth snow/ice, as these surfaces tend to be much slicker than snow or ice that is not smooth or flat and has been disturbed.

Go up. Cold air sinks, so the air may be markedly warmer at a higher elevation on cold mornings. Running uphill warms you faster, and the air can be warmer at the top of Tenderfoot Mtn. than in town.

Land gently. Slow down and land flat-footed on surfaces you think may be slick. You want to maximize the contact area of your entire sole, instead of landing on the outer edge of your heel or the ball of your foot. Keep your foot under your knee and center of gravity directly over your foot.

Note: Just after the storm, the Tuesday speed work group did fast 800 meter intervals without touching snow on spiral drive using these tips. Four people showed up for the marathon training (at –2 degrees) and used these ideas to survive comfortably.

Dealing with hills/age/altitude

Most runners that live here started running somewhere else. When they get to Chaffee County and start to run (or try to) they notice that it is harder to run here due to the hills and altitude (and also increased age for all but a few).

This can be depressing, but how do you cope?

Some ideas:

*Forget the past. Don’t compare yourself to what you can do then and there. Focus on the here and now, and what you can do to make the future better.

*Slow down (sometimes) It is ok to slow down some, walk some hills( or flats), slack off your normal pace. If you are concerned about time establish a new set of times run for routes or distances up here, and try to work on beating these new pr’s.

*Add more rest. Try to maintain some of your normal speed sometimes by resting more days, so you are fresher when you do run, or by resting in your runs, by slowing down some, walking, or not going as far.

*Run by time. If you were used to doing 6 miles in an hour ‘then and there’ just plan on doing an hour at the same effort ‘here and now’.

*Try to maintain, and try to improve from where you are at now. In reality this is the best anyone, at any level, can expect to do no matter where they are.

18-34 3hrs 10m 3hrs 40
35-39 3hrs 15m 3hrs 45
40-44 3hrs 20m 3hrs 50
45-49 3hrs 30m 4hrs 00
50-54 3hrs 35m 4hrs 05
55-59 3hrs 45m 4hrs 15
60-64 4hrs 00m 4hrs 30
65-69 4hrs 15m 4hrs 45
70-74 4hrs 30m 5hrs 00
75-79 4hrs 45m 5hrs 15
80 and over 5hrs 00m 5hrs 30


Congratulations to Jerry Kemman on qualifying for the 2005 Boston Marathon. For those who have asked about the current qualifying time for your age/gender here they are:

Altitude slowing you Down?

Research has shown that the lower air pressure due to the altitude in Chaffee County (~ 7000' elevation in Salida and ~ 8000' in Buena Vista) will slow performance, due to a drop in your bodies ability to deliver Oxygen to working muscles.

Your times will be about 3.7% slower for a 15 minute race in Salida as compared to sea level (~4.7% for 15 minutes in Buena Vista).

For a 30 minute race, times will be ~4.8% slower in Salida and ~5.8% slower in Buena Vista.

For an hour race, you will be ~ 5.7% slower in Salida and ~6.7% slower in BV.

This assumes a well trained runner that has acclimated to altitude and all other conditions (heat, wind, hills, humidity) being the same. (which they are not…)

What does this mean? One percent of an hour is 36 seconds, which is a big chunk of time in a race!

3.7% of 15 minutes is over 33 seconds.
4.8% of 30 minutes is over one minute 25 seconds.
5.7 % of 60 minutes is 3 minutes 25 seconds.

Your times for races that take you 15, 30 or 60 minutes to finish in Salida will be ~ :33, 1:25 or 3:25 slower than at sea level, respectively and theoretically.

Why We Run by Dan Schmidt

colorado trail running
Trail Run Above Salida

Getting down to the basics of why we run intrigues me. As much as I love the sport, I often become very anxious before big races and question why I’m about to undertake something so rigorous and down right painful. I often hear the prerace talk about having to be tough and to grin and bear it and to face head on the demons out there on the course. And I ask myself "...hmm, and why am I doing this? I’m no masochist. In fact, I can be quite the baby when it comes to pain." Although there is a facet of the sport that is challenging, I believe there is something more we can tap into, something that can take us to another level in ultra running.

There is something mysterious and spiritual in a long trail run. Perhaps it’s the connection between yourself and nature. It could be the endorphins that kick in that put you in a state of euphoria. Or it could be what shamans of old experienced as nirvana. Whatever it is, it is like nothing else you can experience without putting yourself on a long trail with nowhere to go but forward. I'll have to admit, it does not come every time I run.

The last time I recall it coming on was in a race after a period of real struggle. It was at mile 34 after a long time of feeling so bad that I wanted to drop out. All of a sudden the pain and struggle left me. I'm just cruising along. Similar to what I hear about an out of body experience, I look down and see my legs hammering away. It's a very simple and primitive feeling. I feel like I'm very young again with boundless energy, or like a deer or fox bouncing along the trail. Everything comes together and I feel so good. At that moment I realize why I run. It doesn't matter where I place in the race, who's ahead of me or behind me, or anything else. I feel content. There's no place I'd rather be or nothing else I'd rather be doing. I'm by myself in my own little world that is beautiful and serene with no cares, no tension, no noise or distraction.

Life can be a bit crazy in this world in which we live. Things are so competitive and stressful. Unfortunately I often see others bringing the same tension into running. It’s fun to win the race, but not all of us are in that position. But even if we are, I think performance as well as experience can be enhanced with this perspective.