Episode 136 Marshall Ulrich UltraRunner

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi136.mp3|titles=Episode 136 – Marshall Ulrich UltraMarathoner]


Show intro by:

Frank Salerno? Nope – D2 – www.runrunlive.com


Hello and welcome to the 136th episode of the world famous, nay…galactic and universally famous RunRunLive podcast – that’s right, the three-footed tripod race on alpha centuri has turned their antennae exclusively in our direction – or so I’ve been told by credible sources over at the Shock of the News podcast.

This is Chris, your host and I’ll keep it brief because we have a great show for you today with a lot of content to squeeze in.  Rich, chewy content.

I’m ok – I’ve been training under coach PRS for the last few weeks and he is kicking my tired old butt.  It was in the 90’s this week and I had some brutal workouts.  I’m not good in the heat.  My people are designed to dig ditches in the rain, in peat bogs, not run in the sun.

I ran today, it was close to 100 degrees and it darn near killed me to jog 8 miles.  I’m hoping for a break through in the next couple weeks. Waiting for the training effect to kick in.

Today we will speak with Marshal Ulrich who is a legend in the ultr-running world.  I think you’ll enjoy that.  We’ll also discuss a couple things that I was requested to discourse on.  How to mentally get through the BQ training and what’s up with orthodics?

Time is going to be tight – so I’ll keep things moving along. On with the show!

Audio clips in this episode:

What the hell is 5k pace?

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

“Run a Marathon”  by resurrected Runner.


Story time:

Text here

Equipment Check:


I have a confession to make.  You want the truth?!?  You can’t handle the truth!

Yeah – my name is Chris and I’m a heel striker.  And I supponate mildly when I transition.

And – I know I shouldn’t, but I like shoes.  There, I’ve said it. Don’t hate me.  By the way 80% of the population is the same as me so you can come out of the closet now.

So – anyhow… I’ve been wearing orthotics in my shoes since I tore both achilles tendons in the 2002-3003 season.   I know my body.  I stretch I watch my form, but when I get up over 40 miles a week on the road, especially with hard long efforts, like the coach has me doing now, my achilles flair up.

So in other words my achilles are a-killin-me. The one was for Charlie.

So this week I went and got new orthotics.  My old ones wore out and I haven’t really been wearing them since the early spring.  I was seeing what would happen.  Now I know!

So – if you are having chronic foot or leg pain you can move to Chihuahua to run with caballo blanco and the tiramisu Indians or you could consider seeing an orthopedist and get some orthotics.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Find an orthopedist with the word “Sports” in his title.  Don’t go to the Dr. who treats little old ladies.  My guy treats the Boston Celtics.
  2. Bring a couple old pair of running shoes with you so the Dr. can see the wear patterns.
  3. Have him or her write you a prescription of orthotics. It may be covered by your health insurance, but even if it isn’t, it’s worth the $200.
  4. They take a couple weeks to break in and don’t hesitate to bring them back for adjustment if they don’t feel right.
  5. Remember that your feet and your mechanics change over time so you can periodically go in and get checked by the orthopedist to make sure everything is still good.

The tech will heat up some foam, have you stand in it – that makes an impression of your foot and then sculpt it to the specifications in the Dr’s prescription.

That’s what orthotics are.  Might be worth considering, after you get back from Mexico.

Featured Interview:

Marshall Ulrich http://www.marshallulrich.com/

Marshall Ulrich, 59, is an accomplished speaker, author, trainer, and guide who provides his services through Dreams in Action (DNA), encouraging others to discover what they’re made of. 

Called an “Endurance King” by Outside magazine, in 2008 he completed a 3,063-mile run across America, equal to 117 marathons in 52.5 days, breaking the Masters and Grand Masters records.

Marshall is the only person in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Extreme Sports:

  • 122 ultra marathons averaging over 100 miles each;
  • the Seven Summits, including Mount Everest, all on first attempts; and
  • 12 expedition-length adventure races.

Marshall has crossed Death Valley a record 22 times, including a 586-mile quad crossing and a self-contained, unaided solo. He won the Badwater 146-mile race from minus 282 feet to the 14,494-foot summit of Mount Whitney a record 4 times—and still holds the record to the summit.

Marshall has raised over $850,000 for various charities, including the Religious Teachers Filippini, a small order of Sisters that do the real work of peace and justice in the world by fulfilling their mission to “Go and Teach.”

For more information, view or download Marshall’s bio or resume.
Marshall’s Bio

Marshall’s Resume


Quick Tip:

I had a friend ambush me on Google chat today asking about how to mentally get through his Boston qualifying campaign.  He said he knows he can do it but struggles to keep the negative thoughts out when the training gets tough.  He said don’t just tell me not to think about it.  Give me some strategies to get through it.

When I ran my first marathon, it kicked my …well it crushed me.  I was demoralized for a couple days, but then I got mad.  Because I knew I could do it and I was mad I didn’t give it my best shot.  My failure did not fit into my self-image as a runner.  It caused mental pressure.  And that mental pressure, whether you want to call it negative or positive pressure made me take action towards going back and qualifying.

My question to you is how do you get that mental pressure?  How do you get that leverage on yourself?

If you can’t find it, perhaps you can manufacture it.  You can perform a little classic neuro-lingustic programming on yourself.  Basically make a list of all the good stuff your will get when you accomplish the goal and a list of all the bad stuff that you will feel if you give up on the goal.  Put yourself emotionally in these lists to create the positive and negative pressure that will force you to move away from the pain and towards the pleasure.  There are plenty of books on how to do this. But it wears off so you have to reinforce it over time.

But before you jump into a qualifying campaign I think it is worthwhile to address any self doubt or self esteem issues you may have.  Your big brain can make you do something but if subconsciusly you don’t believe you can do it you may sabotage your own efforts.   You want to make sure you’re bringing you’re a game.

You know that if you force yourslef to do something you won’t get the best results.  You know this.  When I force my kids to do something, like clean their room, when I invoke the “because I said so” clause…they may do it but they’ll do it slowly and not do it well.  But, when it’s something they want to do, they are entirely different, and whatever it is gets done quickly and well.

It’s the same with you.  When you force yourself to do something that you aren’t 100% commmitted to you will invoke physical and mental resistance – some might call this the evolutionary prey response – you won’t bring you’re a game because you’ll be subconsciously holding back or sabotaging.

But if you can voluntarily commit to a goal you recruit a whole other set of positive and creative resources.  You manifest success in that belief, in that goal.

So before you launch into that training program, that goal pursuit, make sure you’ve gotten out of your own way.  You have to commit.  You have to believe.  You have to generate that passion that will allow you to set your fears aside and bring those positive resources to bear when it gets hard.

There is an interesting mental trick some people use called the 100% rule.  It works like this; when you make your decision you commit 100%.  Like a marriage.  You put all other possibilities aside.  There is only one reality.  This is a way to keep your subconscious from trying to renegotiate the deal.

Hope that helps.  And I’m neither a psychiatrist or a philosopher poet – so do your own research hopefully you can use some of these leads to find your specific solution for you.


Ok – that’s it you’ve stumbled through the heat and battled the darkening sun of another RunRunLive podcast – episode 136 in the can.  I know we’ve ranged far afield today – and I’m not done yet – but hopefully there is some pearl of value that you can pry from this audio mud.

Next week we have an interview with a chiropractor from Brooklyn who works with professional boxers.  I haven’t edited the audio yet – but it should be interesting.

As I was driving around today I got to thinking about the relationship between order and chaos in our lives.

I tweeted a Taoist maxim that a fulfilling life may only be lived on the border between order and chaos.

I think this is relevant to our running lives, because for many of us running brings order.  The rhythm and discipline of training sorts our minds and bodies and sets things right.  Some of our community have come to running as a valid replacement for drugs, alcohol, depression and eating disorders.  It brings order to their chaos.  I have been known to say that my running turns my daemons into muses.

If you look closely at the symbol of the ying and the yang and how it balances chaos and order, you can see the white paisley has a black dot in it and the black paisley has a white dot because the philosophers knew that within order there is the seed of chaos and vice versa.

One of the truly thrilling things about our humanity is our ability to manifest patterns into apparent chaos and, as well to manifest chaos into previously inert, ordered systems and structures.  It’s cool.

The mistake people make is to strive for a life that has no chaos.  A life without any chaos is boring.  It leads to no growth and no personal innovation.

This is why some of us move beyond the order of running and training and move into the adventurous chaos of ultras and ironman events.  Each race has the seeds of the unknown in it.  We set it into orderly motion with our training and then release it into chaos with our events and it is thrilling! It brings that growth, that unknown, that seed of chaos.

So, A life well lived is on the border of chaos and order. Once you inderstand this, and stop fearing chaos you can use it and embrace it as part of your plans. You can order the chaos to your advantage and growth.  You can cage the dragon.

A life well lived is cognizant of chaos, astride the border, one foot in the known and one in the unknown. And the cool part is that you, my friends get to draw that line.  And when you do go hunting dragons, you’ll see me out there!


Podsafe Music Network:  http://www.musicalley.com/





Standard Links:






Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook

Chris’ book on Amazon – > http://www.amazon.com/Mid-Packers-Lament-collection-running-stories/dp/141961584X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228687012&sr=8-1

Dial in number for RunRunLive is – 206-339-7804

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field