Monday, March 17, 2014

Ultrarunning culture: we need this growth.

There's been a great deal of buzz lately about changes to trail and ultrarunning culture, and most of that buzz has been negative.  Many people are complaining that new ultrarunners are somehow ruining the culture, and that we are in jeopardy of "losing something".  Most outspoken about this is Bob Crowley, who has gone on several podcasts with a call to arms for preserving the supportive nature of trail and ultra culture through new runners learning from and listening to the older runners.  You can find some of his podcasts here and here.  I don't mean to pick on Bob Crowley, as he's done amazing things for our sport, and he correctly identified some wonderful things about the supportive ultra community.  I've heard the same sentiments from people other than Bob, so the ideas are knocking around all over.  But I disagree that it is changing for the worse, and I disagree with what needs to be done to preserve the best parts. 

Wonderful though it is, the ultrarunning community isn't perfect and could use improvement.  I don't think that the way to improve it is through impressing some ideology on newcomers, though.  I think we need to work on some of our problems from the inside, and make the newcomers feel more welcome.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Will winter ever end? (2014 edition)

How's winter treating you?  Winter sure is something in Worcester, and I always feel transformed at the end of it.

I really do love running in the winter, and I'm very capable of staying comfortable in the cold.  I spoke about this recently with Richard Diaz from the Natural Running Network and Vanessa Runs on the Natural Running Network Live Podcast.  You can find the episode here.

But by March,   I simply cannot take any more single digit runs.  I wake up to run, look at the pile of clothes, look at the thermometer saying -2, and I just.... can't.  Speed doesn't happen on the ice and the snow, and I'm done with the anxiety about falling on it.  I only fell once this year, and happily, only hurt my arm.  My eyelids are chafed and my hands are raw.

On the other hand,  in winter there is this: