Episode 163 Allen 75 Years Young

The RunRunLive Podcast Episode 163 – Allen 75 Year Old Runner

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi163.mp3|titles=Episode 163 – Allen Leigh]


Show intro by:

Tanya – @tanyamr on Twitter


Hello and welcome to the cerumen podcast, yes that is the Latin medical term for ear-wax…cerumen.  This is the show where we discuss in depth the occlusions of the cartilaginous auditory canal by viscous secretions from sebaceous glands.  No?  Not interested in that? Well ok, this is the RunRunLive podcast, welcome to episode 163 and we’ve got an interesting gig for you to partake in today.

I’m going to chat with Allen who is an active 75 year old age grouper.  I’ve got a guest blog reading by Paula “the Big Green Pen”.  I’ll give you round two of my Injury appreciation series, maybe I’ll call it “Injury Mastery” that sounds so positive…  I’ll talk about my aquajogging, my swimming, my bike and of course my wonderful ear-wax adventure.

What’s new with you?  Working hard?  Getting things done?  Finding love and spiritual fulfillment?  Ahh…Well…  What can you do? Like the ultra-runners; just keep moving forward.

I had a busy week.  I was out on site at a client in New Jersey last week for my real job and my calf is still preventing me from road work.  As soon as I got back I went over and re-joined my club to get access to a real pool.  They were glad to see me.  They know me from the Groton Road Race. See how my good attitude builds good karma?  I signed up for 3 months of membership and they gave me the friends and family discount and even gave me a tennis ball for Buddy.

I like this club because it’s really not very trendy.  It’s mostly tennis players and old people.  As a result, I can always get a lane in the pool and the gym is empty.  Perfect for me.

I went out to Stu’s 30k in western Mass on Sunday.  Not to run but just to say ‘hi’ and be social.  When I got there some ladies from my club needed a body for the relay race, so I borrowed some kit and jogged 4.2 miles with one of my club-mates who is gearing up for Boston.  It was probably stupid and felt my calf tear opening up on the first hill, but after that it numbed out.  Good test, but not ready to race yet.

It was fun to see so many people.  Thanks to Doug for the lightly used Brooks launches that I will put to good use and Buddy loves the new toy Alett – he keeps wacking me with it while I’m trying to watch T.V.

I was also on the front page of a regional newspaper, the Lowell Sun, for the race last week – that was kind of cool – hopefully I didn’t come off as too much of a tool!  Hey that rhymes…

Well – I suppose I should spend a couple paragraphs on where I am with my goals and training.  I suspect there are some of you who are way more concerned with my goals and training than I actually am!  Let me assure you that I am not in the middle of any kind of existential running crisis with this current injury.  I’m ok, I’m actually great, I’m perfect, as usual, but my plans and goals are in flux.  First, I had a goal this year and last year of running a 1:30 half marathon to qualify for the NYC marathon.  Well, I missed that window.  It closed on January 1st.  Gone.  Bye bye.  See you later.  Truthfully I lost interest in that goal in December and you may have sensed that.

Where does this leave me?  It actually leaves me in tremendous shape for a strong race at Boston if the stars align.  I still have 6-8 months of quality road training.  “But Chris, aren’t you injured?” Yeah, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that a couple weeks off my feet will probably just make me stronger.   Plus I’ve been hitting the pool-running hard in stead – so I don’t forecast any significant loss in fitness.

If my calf heals, and I think it’s almost there, and we get a good weather day at Boston, meaning “not hot” I’ll go for it.  You’ll have to wait to find out what ‘go for it’ means!

The other cool development is that I’m getting that multi-sport itch from being in the pool.  I dropped Fuji-san off at the cycle works to get fixed up.  Here’s a tip for you, if you want to get your bike worked on for summer get it into the shop early because the first sunny day everyone else is going to have the same idea.

To summarize: I’m good, Boston is a month away and you’ll probably hear me talking about bikes and pools over the summer!

But, none of that is very interesting, what about you, what are you up to? On with the show!

Audio clips in this episode:

ZenRunner with the Dirty Water Riff.

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

Story time:

Ear wax Story

Let me tell you my earwax story.  This was a new adventure for me.  I woke up Tuesday morning with something in my ear.  I guess the ear plugs that I used for the first time the night before in the pool had re-arranged something in there.

I tried to correct the situation with a Q-tip, which apparently are not supposed to be used to dig things out of your ear and just made it worse.  Now I couldn’t hear out of my left ear.  I knew it wasn’t a ear infection or cold or anything like that, I am super healthy.

I asked on twitter and got many fine home remedies, but more than one person said “go see the doctor, you don’t want to mess with your ears.”  Which seemed like sensible advice.

I called down to the local medical outlet that I use and spoke to the nurse who told me to come in.  When I got there they told me my ears were full o wax.  I was amused.  First time for me.  New experience.  New adventure.

The cure for this condition is to drape you with a large plastic smock and use a giant syringe to squirt a combination of warm water and peroxide. They basically hose out the ear with this fluid until the wax gives up its hold and floats out.

Well – the poor assistant nurse there aggressively hosed me out with 4-5 gallons of water, making sure to show me any time something interesting surfaced in the collection bucket.  Honestly, I would have taken her word for it.  The senior nurse practitioner had to come in and be even more aggressive with some more water and special tools before they were able to rectify the situation.

Apparently I had enough wax in my ears to create several small votive candles, but now I’m squeaky clean.

I’ll leave you with this passage from 2,000 years ago by  Aulus Cornelius Celsus.   One wonders exactly what has changed?

When a man is becoming dull of hearing, which happens most often after prolonged headaches, in the first place, the ear itself should be inspected: for there will be found either a crust such as comes upon the surface ofulcerations, or concretions of wax. If a crust, hot oil is poured in, or verdigris mixed with honey or leek juice or a little soda in honey wine. And when the crust has been separated from the ulceration, the ear is irrigated with tepid water, to make it easier for the crusts now disengaged to be withdrawn by the ear scoop. If it be wax, and if it be soft, it can be extracted in the same way by the ear scoop; but if hard, vinegar containing a little soda[25] is introduced; and when the wax has softened, the ear is washed out and cleared as above. … Further, the ear should be syringed with castoreum mixed with vinegar and laurel oil and the juice of young radish rind, or withcucumber juice, mixed with crushed rose leaves. The dropping in of the juice of unripe grapes mixed with rose oil is also fairly efficacious against deafness.


Guest Blog Reading

Paula Kiger – http://waytenmom.blogspot.com/

@BigGreenPen on Twitter

“Goal Deferred”

Equipment Check:


Injury series

Mastering Injuries Part 2

Welcome to part two of the injury mastery series. Today we are going to talk about mastering the emotional injury cycle.

When you get injured how you react to it emotionally and mentally is as important as any physical treatment if not more important.

What I would like you to do is to understand the emotional cycle that getting injured takes you through.  I want you to understand this because it will help you proactively prepare for an inevitable injury and it will allow you to sidestep some of the more destructive and non-helpful things that come from being injured.

Like all endurance athletes I have been injured many times.  From simple runners’ knee tendonitis to a smashed patella tendon and a broken ankle.  I have had to learn how to deal with injury. I have had to learn how to deal with all my plans and goals coming crashing down around my ears.  I have had to learn to deal with a major part of my life’s motivation terminated abruptly.  You will too.

What you will find is that your emotional response to injury is very similar to the emotional response to any other major loss in your life.  You will go through predictable stages and these stages are very similar to what is known to psychologists as the ‘grief cycle’.  How you deal with this will have a great impact on your mental and physical health as you navigate the injury cycle.

The grief cycle consists of the following steps:

  1. Shock and disbelief
  2. Denial
  3. Anger and guilt
  4. Despair And Depression
  5. Acceptance and Growth.

Once you know this is the cycle you are going to go through you can accelerate your passage through it and save yourself time and energy.

Let’s look at the stages.

Shock and disbelief.  First thing that happens is a sort of deadness where somewhere deep inside you know you may be injured but you are so caught up in your training cycle and busy life that it doesn’t register.

As the injury continues to remind you of its presence this will morph into Denial.  Denial is the dangerous one for us because it is during the denial stage that we do further harm to ourselves.  Yes I ran on a broken knee for a week before getting an X-Ray, yes I raced and trained on a torn Achilles tendon that was swollen to the size of a grapefruit for 2 months before I through in the towel and missed my Boston marathon date.

We will go to great lengths to justify running through an injury.  In the process we will turn a one week rest into a 3 month recovery.  It’s ok to take time off and part of your training cycle should be preparation and planning for injury time.

Anger and guilt – then we get mad.  “How could this happen to me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” And of course we blame ourselves.  “Why didn’t I stretch?” “Why didn’t I get a new pari of shoes – I’m such an idiot!” None of that is useful.  None of that gets you healed faster.

Quickly our anger turns into despair And depression.  Without that daily dose of fresh air and endorphins we get depressed.  Something wonderful has been taken from us and we hate it.  We start yelling at people. We overeat. We give up. It’s not easy.

Eventually, you emerge into Acceptance and Growth. You can get there a lot faster by knowing that this cycle is going to happen and planning for it.  You know you will be in denial but your big brain can override that urge to go for a test run to see if you’re healed yet.  Your big brain can convince you that rest means rest and that this is a part of your journey.

There is no one to blame and injuries happen.  It’s part of the process. How you deal with it is what is important.

When you get injured you will go through the injury grieving cycle.  It is a normal human reaction.  But just by knowing what is going to happen you can take actions to quickly negotiate the cycle and come out the other end stronger, better and happier.

In this series I will offer some tactics for quickly and successfully negotiating the cycle and turning it into a positive experience.


Featured Interview:

Allen Leigh


Quick Tip:


All right my friends that is it, we’re out of time and you have suffered enough, episode 163 of the RunRunLive Podcast in the Can.

I had hoped to share my thoughts about aquajogging – tips, tricks and stuff, but we ran out of time.  Time, the stalker of all men, the only thing we cannot buy or get more of.  What’s your philosophy?  Does time stalk you like a lion or do you float in it like a river?

I have been maintaining my fitness in the pool and feel pretty good about it.  We will see!

Next week I will post the highly interesting interview with Mr. David McGillivary from DMSE event management who is the race director of the Boston Marathon and of course the topic we talk about most is the new standards.  If you are interested in such things.

I have also chatted with Jack Fultz who I met down at Hyannis – he won the 1976 Boston marathon among other things.  I’ve got lots of other interesting folks queued up – at least interesting to me…

It’s funny to look back across 163 episodes, actually more than that because I threw in some unnumbered special episodes.  I had someone tell me I should interview Dean Karnazes, and I said, I already did! Check the archives on RunRunLive.com.  I indexed it too so you can scan the two page index of shows by title.  Some other interesting interviews I have done are Jeff Galloway, Josh Cox, Peter Sagal from NPR, John “the penguin” Bingham …go take a look you’ll be surprised.

Have not gotten a chance to do a lot of website work this week, but it’s on my hit list. Stay tuned. If any of you need anything from me, just drop me a line.

I’ll tell you a couple vignettes from the last couple weeks that wrap around a common theme.

I told you I ended up on the front page of the paper.  This resulted in me actually connecting with some people I otherwise would not have and actually finding some old friends from 30 years ago.

I told you about meeting people, like Jack Fultz down at Hyannis even though I could not run the race.

I also have been getting a steady stream of nice people on FaceBook and Twitter that friend me and say something like “Love your Podcast” – from all over the world.  One young lady went so far to say she was ‘star struck’ to be trading tweets with me.  Which is funny.

I had young men reach out to me and say that they appreciated having a voice from home to help them through tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, my favorite so far over the last week is a friend who frankly scared the hell out of me last year by sending me an email that said “I listened to your podcast about XYZ and you’ve convinced me to quit my job and start my own practice.”  That was a bit of a shocker and made me realize that there are people out on the other end of the wire and they might actually be listening.  The happy ending is he sent me an email last week to tell me that it was the right decision, his new practice was doing well and he’s happy.

At this point I’m not going to go into some false modesty rant, you’re smarter than that. J What’s the lesson for you?  Here’s the lesson.  These wonderful people are in my life.  These positive chunks of sweet karma are in my inbox because one day I decided to pick up the keyboard and write a story, one day I got bored and decided to podcast, one day I got mad a decided not to let a race I loved in my home town die from lack of effort.

When I say “I’ll see you out there” this is not a throw away catch phrase.  This is your homework.  This is how I feel about myself and my credibility and my authenticity.  I am out there.  I am on the roads, I am in the races and I’m in the community as misdirected, and ineffectual as my outreach is I put it out there.

And that, my friends is your homework each week.  To get out there.  To be a joiner.  To be a leader.  To launch into your lives and your communities tiny boats filled with whatever positive karma you can dream up without any expectation or hope that they will come back to you bearing gifts.

Because they will.  You may think that you have nothing to offer.  You may not want to waste your energies on quixotic adventures with no profit for yourself.  You can’t save these gifts. If you keep them to yourself they will dessicate to unusable husks of no use to you or anyone, but if you set them free, take them, put them out there, they will flourish.

And when you do I’ll see you out there, because that is my compact with you.  Wow – that felt good – Thank you.

Here’s a calm song about 3 and a 1.2 minutes long called wax_candle_lady – mindweiser – Get it? See there’s always a pattern to the chaos.



From Podsafe




Standard Links:







Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

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

Mid-Packer’s Lament E-book

Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy E-Book

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

Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com

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