Friday, May 29, 2015

BOGO-BIG!

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff of the summer season has passed, and now it's time to train, race, and relax in a big way.

If you're heading to the beach, the mountains, or to your favorite vacation spot, you could probably use some good reading material.

In a few weeks we'll celebrate Father's Day. Not sure what to get for dad?

Well, I have just begun the biggest sale and savings ever on my two books, Personal Best, and Running Shorts.

Go to www.muldowneyrunning.com, where you can buy one of the books, and receive the other ABSOLUTELY FREE. That's right. You can buy one for you and give the other to dad. Or keep both for yourself. Give one to the person who inspired you to begin training. Give one to your spouse, your son or daughter...well, you get the picture.

My first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, published in 2011, is a compilation of my experiences as competitive runner for 39 years, but many of these tales reflect experiences YOU have had during your years as a runner. As one of the Amazon reviewers stated, "It will make you laugh and it will make you cry." amazon.com/author/joemuldowney

Traveling the country, promoting my first book, prompted me to write, Personal Best, my second book, published in September 2014.

Runners told me what they wanted in a running book, and I tried to respond by writing a book that is instructive to runners of all ages and abilities.

Personal Best took a tragic turn in April 2013, soon after I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I devoted my first chapter, entitled "Was That Thunder," to the events, and my experiences of that day. I guarantee you, it is worth the read, and it is my fervent hope that I was able to capture the emotions of that fateful day in a manner in which every runner can relate.

I will personally sign the books for you, and I will guarantee that the books will inspire and help you become a better runner.

The offer will continue only while supplies last, so order your books now.

Here's to a great summer to all.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TRAIN FASTER...BE FASTER

You've run your first marathon, or 5K, or even the 1600 meters (mile). You like this running stuff. After a couple of races, your times get faster, but then you level off, become stagnant, or, God-forbid, your times get slower.

If you want to get faster, you need to train faster.

Grinding out long runs are a necessity for a marathon, but they are not an absolute necessity if you're concentrating strictly on 5K events. And once you've gotten that first marathon in the books,speed is essential if you want your time to come down.

Last summer, I was contacted by the father of a young man who runs on a local high school track team. The boy was a sophomore with terrific desire and a great deal of running potential. His coach seemed insistent on steering him toward the 3200 meters (2 miles), but he appeared to me to be ideally suited to the 1600 meter race. In addition, the coach seemed to stress slow runs of 5 to 7 miles, with few speed workouts.His best time for the 1600 meters was 4:54. Beginning last summer, I placed him on a steady diet of a weekly speed workout. Distances ranged from 200 meters to 1600 meters, with plenty of repeats. He was diligent and dedicated. Two weeks ago, he completed his junior season at the district track meet by turning in a time of 4:33 for the 1600 meters, a personal best, and some 20 seconds faster than a year ago.

On the other end of the running spectrum, good friend and one of the featured runners in the chapter entitled, 'Extraordinary,' in my latest book, Personal Best, Father Chris Zelonis, began his marathon career by running a 3:36 in September 2013. Together, we designed a program that would bring his time down. It featured a weekly long run at a faster pace as well as a weekly speed workout. He followed the plan religiously. (sorry) In November, he brought his marathon time down to 3:08, qualifying him for the 2016 Boston Marathon Two weeks ago, despite tropical conditions at the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon in Pennsylvania, he lowered his personal best further, crossing the finish line in 3:03:12

In order to run faster races, you have to train faster. It's just that simple. If you need help with a training program, I can write one for you. (I've written hundreds of them) Go to my website: www.muldowneyrunning.com and check out the personal training option. Or, you can check out my gigs on Fiverr, www.fiverr.com, Look for me under, 'Runnin Shorts.'

Train faster, cut down on 'junk miles,' do your speed workouts, and your times will plummet..




Monday, May 25, 2015

SUMMER SAFE

Following is an article I wrote for this month's edition of Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand Running Club's (GSRC) May newsletter. Check them out at: www.grandstrandrunner.com

The summer season has arrived. Stay safe out there!

They dubbed it, "The Duel in the Sun." Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley, America's top marathon runners, battled for 26.1 miles, in 85-degree, mid-April heat at the 1982 Boston Marathon. Salazar prevailed, edging Beardsley in the final tenth of a mile. But Salazar paid a steep price. His body was severely dehydrated, and his core temperature soared to a near-death 105 degrees. He was plunged into an ice bath, and intravenous fluids were pumped into his arms. By his own admission, he was never the same runner after that race.
Make no mistake: running in the heat can produce potentially deadly results. If proper measures are taken, however, blast furnace temperatures and tropical humidity can be dealt with safely.
First and foremost, be sure you are properly hydrated. It is nearly impossible to drink too much during hot conditions. Water, the principal component of our bodies, is the best form of hydration. Drink plenty of it, before and after you run. Be sure to plant water along your route if you plan on doing a long run. Many of us enjoy the refreshment of a cold beer after a summer run. Keep in mind, however, that alcohol will dehydrate you, as will caffeine. Be cautious with both if the temperature is hot.
Seek shade, which can drop the temperature by as much as ten degrees. Try to run early or late, when the rays of the sun are not as direct, and apply a sunscreen that is designed for athletes.
Get to the nearest pool, hose, or ocean when you complete your run, as water will drop your body temperature quickly. Spraying cold water from a garden hose on your legs will refresh them for your next run.
Take advantage of the many quick-drying fabrics available for runners these days, and wear light colored clothing that reflects, rather than absorbs the sun.
Finally, summer is a time to go short and fast. Take a few weeks off from long runs, and concentrate on short, fast workouts.
And, if you feel dizzy, disoriented, or if your body stops producing sweat, these are signs of severe dehydration. Stop immediately, cool down, and drink water.
Summer is a great time of year for runners. By taking a few simple precautions, you can keep your summer running both safe and enjoyable.

**Joe Muldowney has been a competitive runner since 1976, owning a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54. He is a veteran of 54 marathons, 48 under the 3:00 mark, and 12 under 2:30. At age 57, he turned in a marathon time of 2:58:54. Joe has run the Boston Marathon 16 times, and in Personal Best, he writes his account of the events at the tragic 2013 race. Check out his website www.muldowneyrunning.com


Sunday, May 24, 2015

MEMORIAL DAY

Happy Memorial Day to all.

Thanks to all who have served and who currently serve. And to those who have paid the ultimate price to keep us free, no words can express the gratitude of a nation. 

Special thanks to both my late dad, Joe Sr., a World War II veteran,who served in London during the German blitzkrieg and my son, Logan,who served honorably in the United States Marine Corps, for their service to our country.




Friday, May 22, 2015

They Really DO Run This Beach!

My family has vacationed at Myrtle Beach since 1990.

From my first visit, I was impressed by the warm, Gulf Stream-fueled water, the wide pristine beach, the people and their legendary Southern hospitality. My daughter, Kelly, was so impressed with the state that she attended and graduated with a Master's Degree from the University of South Carolina in 2001.

After a few years, an annual vacation to Myrtle Beach didn't seem like enough. My wife and I grew weary of nearly six months of winter in Pennsylvania, it's colorful grays and browns from November to May, snow and ice storms, polar vortexes, and potholes, potholes, potholes.

Last December we achieved our dream of owning our own slice of Myrtle Beach. We purchased a condo along an area north of the city known as the "Golden Mile."

We have taken every opportunity to occupy our condo since.

Back in 1992, a running rival, who has become one of my oldest and dearest friends, John Ausherman, randomly ran into me as our families visited a local Myrtle Beach attraction. It turned out he was staying at the condo next to mine. For years, we met at 8:00 a.m. sharp, in order to avoid the July heat, training on a 7-mile course we called, "The Arcadian Loop."

So, in February, on a visit to our condo, I reached out to the Grand Strand Running Club. I had always enjoyed running at the beach, and I wanted to find some like-minded individuals here in Myrtle.

I received emails from the club president, Roscoe Griffin. Roscoe is a knowledgeable, veteran runner, and is the ideal ambassador for the club. Everyone knows Roscoe, and if you know him, you instantly like him.

At the packet pick-up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I met some terrific club members, and it was a no-brainer for my wife and I to sign up as members as members ourselves.

Each month, club members get together for a run and a club social. In March, we ran, then dined at a local Mexican restaurant. This week, we ran along the beach, then attended a pizza party.

At the party, the club awarded scholarships to two young men from the area, who ran track and cross country and now plan to further their education. The GSRC is paying it forward to young runners.

Next month, the club social features a run followed by a Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball game.

The GSRC sponsors many local races, and, well, I'm sure to miss many of the great things they do,  so visit their website, http://www.grandstrandrunner.com/ to learn more about the club.

The GSRC has made my wife and I feel at home here in Myrtle Beach. I would highly encourage any runner who lives or visits the area to join this fine running club.

Their slogan is, "We run this beach," and they do.

To borrow from Darius Rucker, they embrace running "Southern Style."



www.muldowneyrunning.com


Monday, May 18, 2015

BEACH DAY

Winter's icy grip continued to clutch the eastern seaboard into the green month of May. Chilling temperatures, hovering in the low 50s, when the average temperature should hit 70, continued through last week.

Sunday, however, was a great day to go to the beach. Tropical conditions prevailed, with high humidity and temperatures finally reaching the 80s.

A great day to watch a marathon is a bad day to run a marathon.

Two dedicated runners, both of whom I have great admiration and am proud to call my friends, dedicated  the last three months or so to training for yesterday's Run for the Red Marathon, held in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. They had largely good weather for marathon training, with a few warm days sprinkled in. They could hardly be acclimatized for weather more suited to tanning than to running a marathon.

Samantha Snukis, a former high school state champion in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, and Father Chris Zelonis, a novice runner, who has quickly excelled in the sport and has qualified for the 2016 Boston Marathon, had turned in some of their best training for the race, but yesterday they knew that the 26.2 mile road to the finish was going to be a torrid trek.

Few things are more difficult than running a marathon under hot conditions. Heat produces devastating effects as body core temperatures can rise to near-death levels. World-class runner, Alberto Salazar's body temperature reached 105 degrees at the end of the hot 1982 Boston Marathon. He was immediately plunged into an ice bath to bring his temperature down.

It is very easy to mentally shut down during a hot marathon race. The mind literally asks, "What's the point of this?"

Amid the heat and humidity of yesterday's race, Snukis and Zelonis, who happen to hail from the same small town of Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, (Is there something in the water, or is it the Yuengling beer?) emerged as champions.

Samantha Snukis earned $500 by placing third in the women's division, smashing her personal best marathon time by clocking a 2:55:18.

Father Chris lopped a full five minutes off his best marathon time by hitting the finish line in 3:03:12, placing 4th in his age division.
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The intense heat drove him to the medical tent where he received an IV cocktail, but he quickly recovered.

Sometimes runners make excuses when weather conditions are poor.

Often, competitors pack it in, drop out and run another day.

These two gritty competitors faced the heat and conquered.

They earned complete admiration and praise.

I think it's time for them to go to the beach.


Friday, May 15, 2015

THE SIXTH AMENDMENT

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights

Twenty five months ago, after months of careful, calculated planning, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, calmly placed their backpacks filled with instruments of death, next to innocent spectators,children among them, detonated the explosive devices, pressure cookers filled with gunpowder, BBs, and nails, killing three, and injuring nearly 300 more. Many of those injured will never fully recover.

After finding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts, today, a jury of his peers, following the constitution of the greatest democracy the world has ever known, sentenced him to death by lethal injection.

A young man whose family fled political strife in his own country, came to America, enjoying all the benefits this country has to offer, and chose to commit a senseless, brutal act of terror at a sporting event which celebrates human achievement.

In his country, justice would have been swift and equally as brutal. Those who he claims America "persecutes," treat women as second-class citizens, and behead innocent victims.

Tsarnaev was afforded due process of law, and was represented by attorney.

He will spend the rest of his days in a supermax prison, of course there will be endless appeals, but, in the end, he will die.

The Richard family will not get their 8-year old son, Richard, back. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack bomb killed him.

Seventeen people will never get their limbs back. His bomb made sure of that as well.

George Patton once said, "God may forgive you, but I won't.

Justice has been served.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will die for his hideous crimes.
                    8-year old Martin Richard