Episode 167 Back on my Feet Boston using running to beat addiction

The RunRunLive Podcast Episode 167 – Recovering from Addiction with Running Back on my Feet

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi167.mp3|titles=Episode 167 Back on my Feet Boston using running to beat addiction]


Show intro by:



Hello and welcome to the…well I could go a lot of directions with this one…we could do the new baseball season theme, we could do the Groton Road Race theme, we could even start our Boston Marathon vibe… But whatever this podcast could be about it is about running and the endurance elixir that bonds our beautiful community together.

This is Chris your host and this is the RunRunLive Podcast and we have a great show for you today.  I have a conversation with one of the local members of the Back on my Feet program, Steve who I talk to about recovering from addiction through running.

We also continue with our injury series and our friend Carrie, who does the excellent podcast “What the runner saw” over at Redhairedgirl.com.  Carrie has a lot of energy and a great personality.  Check her out.

We’ll also have the normal dancing cows, talking horses and barking dogs…

I’ve had a good but busy week since the last time you and I spoke.  I went out tried to run some tempo on the Boston course with my Goon friends but had a bad day.  I could only manage 5 miles at pace and had to take a knee at 13 miles, which is ok for distance two weeks out, but I could use better quality.  A combination of being a little leg weary from a hill workout on Friday and those guys taking me out too fast got to me.  But it was fun to see the course.

I’ve had an achy left hip since coming back off of the injury and it had me limping a bit.  But, as I like to say, It only hurts when I walk; it’s not an issue when I run!  I had a pretty good tempo run on Tuesday, got on the massage table on Wednesday and had a fabulous hill workout today so I think it’s all coming together at the right time if I can hold the pieces together with chewing gum and bailing wire.

Yes I have the Groton Road Race this weekend.  We’ll start setting up the field Friday Afternoon.  We’ll be out there with registration open all day Saturday.  We’ll get up Sunday and run the 10k course early and then the event will be all day long.  I love this part because it’s a lot of smiling and shaking hands for me!

Then next week is Boston.  My taper is going strong and I’ve dropped a few pounds this week – hope we get decent weather.

Let me tell you a story about my Tuesday run.  I went out after lunch to do a long tempo. Warm up, 7  miles at tempo and cool down.  It was in the mid 40’s Fahrenheit, with a cold drizzle.  Pretty good running weather.

On my way out I noticed some nylon twine in the road.  It’s not uncommon to find stuff in the road, especially this time of year when the snow melts.  But as I ran along this twine was lain out in a straight line right along the white strip of the shoulder.  And it kept going like that.  Like somehow it had gotten caught on something and unrolled perfectly straight from a spool.  And it kept going and going.  Finally it terminated after about 800 meters.   It was really a strange thing to see this green and white string laid out perfectly for a ½ mile along my route.

This was during my warm up.  On the way back, during my cool down, I decided I should try to wind it up because if it got caught in a car or a bicycle it could decapitate a pedestrian or garrote a cyclist.  It was fairly heavy duty – probably a tensile strength of a ton or more.

I started winding and winding.  I had chosen not to consider how much twine would be involved in 800 meters of linear twine.  It took me a good 15 – 20 minutes, in the drizzling rain, by the side of the road, covered in grit from my tempo run, endlessly winding up this twine.  I ended up with a beach-ball sized ball of twine that I had no choice but to run home with under my arm.

Picture that apparition.  Me all bedraggled from a hard run in the rain running down the road with a big ball of twine under my arm…It was a bit surreal.

And I have wandered in the rain too long – so On with the Show!





Audio clips in this episode:

“Take me out the Ballgame” – Baseball  Take Me Out to The Ball Game  (1908)

Dan and Nik from 4feetrunning…

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

Story time:


Guest Blog Reading

Equipment Check:

Using Pandora on my blackberry

This year I lost my ipod and all the other MP3 players that I had.  I took it as a sign from God that I should just not have one.

Recently I have been using my Blackberry as the device I use to listen to stuff on.  The form factor is a bit big, it’s a blackberry World, (I used to have the Curve which was smaller), but it’s very sturdy and it’s working out quite well.

It’s only got 8 meg of space – so I have to be selective and it won’t play MP4’s.  I bought a belt from Buy.com for $4.99 that had the belt, an arm band and a hand held.  With a little modification the hand held works fairly well and I can wrap my phone in plastic to keep the sweat out.

I use the standard Blackberry sync software to read playlists out of my ITunes.  This way I can still manage Podcasts in ITunes and still sync.  It’s good for podcasts and limited playlists, but there’s not enough memory for a lot of random music.  That is until I discovered Pandora.

Pandora is an internet radio service and has a Blackberry App.  Now, of course, you need unlimited data usage to stream internet radio over your blackberry, but I use it sparingly and it goes against my work plan – so we’ll see if I get knuckle slapped or not!

You can set up a Pandora station around an artist or a genre.  I’ve been using what they call the FaceBook station.  It reads all the bands my friends and I have liked on FaceBook and plays them for me.

I’ve been blown away by the stuff they dig up.  Lots of B-track and live stuff from the back of the closet that I didn’t even know existed in digital format.

You can get Pandora on your computer too.  The streaming is flawless.  It doesn’t hiccup at all.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it until the IT guys show up and take the blackberry away.

Injury series

Mastering Injuries Part 6

Carrie – www.redhairedgirl.com

About Carrie:

Many journal writers refuse to do a biographical page, saying they don’t know what to write, or that a few paragraphs can’t begin to capture satisfactorily their essence.Some people just hate bios – don’t read them, don’t write them. Well, I like them.

My name is Carrie. I’m currently spending my days as full-time mom to first-grader Sam and preschooler Gabe and as housewife to husband Eric. Plop the whole gang of us into an old house in the Midwest, and you’ve got a super-duper recipe for the doldrums. I can already hear the clicks of mouse buttons as readers flee in anticipation of their own death by boredom.

Everybody’s got a story, though, and the steps that shaped us and placed us can be even more important than who or what we are in the here and now.

One year ago, I weighed eighty-five pounds more than I do now, and I was nowhere near making any changes about that.
Four years ago, I was being uprooted and moved seven hours northwest, to a place where I knew nobody.
Five years ago, I was working as a music instructor at a community college, unaware that career plans would soon be derailed by an unexpected pregnancy and a job transfer out of state.
Seven years ago, I was winning a battle with infertility.
Nine years ago, I was a graduate student, learning and living for the music that was my core.
Eleven years ago, I was modeling nude for art students.
Thirteen years ago, I was making boat steering assemblies by day and addicted to on-line games by night.
Sixteen years ago, I was learning to wear a cheerful grin to hide the fact that I was a child of abuse.

Am I a typical Midwestern housewife? Perhaps we need a redefinition of “typical.”

Mastering Injuries Series Part Six – Replacement therapy.

Hello my friends. Today I ‘m going to share with you what I feel is one of the most important things I have learned in dealing with injuries.  Today’s topic is ‘Replacement Therapy’.  This is important in both short term and chronic injuries.   This one thing will keep you in the game both mentally and physically as you deal proactively with your injury.

What is replacement therapy?

In the case of disease it has to do with giving the body something that it has lost the ability to produce on its own, like insulin or hormones.

In the case of addiction it has to do with replacing the harmful drug with one of lesser evil, for instance the use of methadone to wean someone off of Heroin.

In the case of running, and I like the metaphor because it has many of the same attributes of addiction, it has to do with replacing that running with something that will fill the mental, physical, temporal and chemical void left in the wake of an injury.

If you have been running maybe 5 times a week for an hour, your body has become used to the physical activity.  It has become a habit.  Your body and your mind have grown to expect this activity.

What happens when your body and your mind is abruptly snapped out of this natural rhythm?  Physically you will experience actual withdrawal symptoms, but worse, mentally you will go through all the loss and anger that we spoke of in a previous episode.  It is quite wrenching.

If you add in the possibility of lost goals and a canceled training campaign it can be mentally devastating.

Unless we do something proactive to counter this withdrawal we can fall into a trap of depression and physical lassitude.  It’s not hard.  Especially if you are in the hard part of your training cycle.  You may actually feel a guilty sense of relief that you don’t have to get those hard workouts in and you get a chance to rest this week.

That is a trap.  That is how habits are formed.  You will quickly start forming a new habit of inactivity and weight gain and depression.  Therefore you must take proactive steps to replace the running activity in your life.

Replacement therapy for an injured runner does many positive things.  First, it maintains the positive habit of having that activity on your weekly calendar and in your daily thoughts.  Second, it maintains some calorie burn so you will not put on the quick ten pounds.  (remember eating can become a replacement for activity, especially if you are a little depressed).  It will generate the same dose of happy chemicals and keep your brain on a positive even keel.

I am not a doctor and I do not know the chemistry of it, but I do know that consistent, habitual endurance athletics create some sort of happy chemical soup for our brains.  I know this from experience.  The sudden removal of this soup can cause a deleterious downgrading of your attitude.

That is why replacement therapy is important, but tactically what is it and how do we do it?  The basic requirement is to find an activity that a) fills the empty time slot, b) generates some physical fitness activity and c) fills the mental void.

Much depends on the type of injury.  For runners many of our injuries are lower leg related.  Even so, sometimes you can replace running with a non-weight bearing aerobic activity like cycling, elliptical or stair-master.  This is only appropriate if it will not aggravate the injury – there is no sense making it worse.

If the injury is such that even these activities can’t be managed and you have access to a pool you can aquajog or swim.

You can also begin a weightlifting or other lean muscle building routine.  These routines can be structured such that they not only work around the injury, but strengthen supporting core muscles to make you stronger when you come back.

Physical therapy is also an option if you are badly damaged, but personally, I would rather be self directed in my stretching and strengthening.  What I will do, when I am referred to physical therapy is take the first appointment.  In this first appointment I can assess the therapist and determine if they have anything useful to offer.  I take notes and build myself a self-therapy plan based on their consultation.

One last activity I have mixed into my injury replacement therapy is walking.  Many times we may not be able to run, but we can still walk.  This doesn’t generate the intensity of running, but does fill the holes left in your schedule and is pleasantly contemplative.

One challenge in this replacement therapy process is the transition.  If you have been training at a high level you are not going to be able to transfer that high level of training directly to the replacement activity.  You’re going to have to give your body and mind a chance to phase in.

This may be frustrating in the first week or so because you just won’t get the same ‘buzz’ from the workout until you get used to the new activity.  Have patience and relax into it.  It does you no good to get another injury trying to do too much too fast in the replacement activity!

This is why it is important to start the replacement therapy as soon as you can after getting injured.  In the same vein, when you transition out of the injury you can replace the replacement therapy with running thereby easing back into training seamlessly.

It is in your best interest to think about and plan for replacement therapy before you get injured so you can phase in and phase out of the injury cycle without losing your fitness or losing your mind.

Thank you for listening and good luck in your training and competing this year.


Featured Interview:

Steve and Bridget from Back on my feet.


Quick Tip:


OK my friends that is it – you have followed the long line of twine to the end of yet another RunRunLive Podcast – Episode 167 in the can.

Next week I have Carrie from Monster Dog Walkers and The Philly PAWS organization with a great chat about matching homeless dogs with runners.  I’m a dog guy so it was a fun chat.

I’ve got a few good chats in the bank.  I talked to one of our friend Ashby who is on a weight loss and fitness journey that started with severe type II diabetes and 410 pounds.  And I chatted with Nahila a Cuban-Mexican female ultra-runner who is out to run the 4 deserts series.

I’m running out of time so I’ll give you this week’s honor role of folks who contributed to my Diabetes Team campaign that I’m running for The Chicago Marathon and Eddie’s mom.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how responsive everyone has been.   I’m humbled.

Remember, if you want to contribute to my cause I’m going to record the race and dedicate a mile to the first 26.2 people who give.  There is still space. Just go to RunRunLive.com and click on the picture of me on the right.  Gracias.  We are up to 14 team members.

Thank you to…

Mark – great to have you – We’ll see you at Boston, Appreciate the help.

Gustavo – you are a rock star.

Our long time friend Bridget – great stuff.

And Barb – you know who you are – thanks a bunch.

Our friend Abel from Hollywood – run strong man – thanks for keeping it real.

Deborah – muchas Gracias muchacha.

Amy – you rock too!

And those are my eight heroes for the week.

How about another travel story?  Sick of them yet?  This one came to mind because I shaved my beard off this week.  My trimmer got set to the wrong length and I was groggy in the early morning.  I had a nice bare patch before I noticed, so I figured I’d take it all off since it’s spring anyhow.

I remember traveling to India.  I was still young at the time, in my 20’s.  I had grown my first beard.  I really couldn’t grow a decent beard until I got into my 30’s, but when I was younger my beard was almost all red, and I didn’t really trim it.  You have to picture me with a scraggly, un trimmed red beard.

I went out for a run one morning in Bangelore.  I had a t shirt and a pair of baggy swim trunks.  These trunks were bright yellow, with palms trees and happy alligators doing the hula on them.  It was winter in India and most of the locals were in sweaters and caps.

I remember running down the sidewalk and having a bus pass me.  A bus full of people.  And I remember the looks on their faces as everyone of them turned and stared at me.  The look wasn’t “Who is that?” it was “What is that?”  I was this pigment challenged, red-bearded, apparition with the alligator swim trunks.  I might as well have been a being from another planet with six heads.

What’s your take away?  I guess that I’m a big dope.  Really, that’s all I have.

I will give you some useful advice.  A couple of social tactics if you will.  Simple tactics that anyone can use to make people feel better and maybe in that way make the world a little happier.

Try this.  When you meet people, whether in person or even online ask the following simple question, and mean it.  “How are you?”  You will be amazed at the responses you get and the value of the interaction you produce.  We are all so wrapped up in ourselves that this simple tactic can be a big boost.

Another one that I use is “What can I do for you?” and, yes, you have to mean it.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You have to say ‘no’ to some outrageous request?  I’ve never had that happen but I have found cool ways to help people.  Pay it forward.

A last one, which sometimes we forget when we are rushing around and trying to get things done is “I appreciate what you have done”  Try ending your email with that.  And mean it.  That sincerity will come through and people who feel appreciated feel valuable and are more likely to help you in return.

So help me this week by practicing this simple social tactics and together we will push the big karma wheel and I‘ll see you out there.

Music tonight is a fast punk-pop number about 3 ½ minutes long – perfect for a little tempo surge – It’s called the_ballad_of_st_marks_place by the brady_bastards, so straighten up your form, nice and tight, hands loose and high, shoulders straight, chin up, hips forward, focus on fast feet, hot feet, high cadence.  Focus on those feet spending as little time as possible in contact with the road, bap bap bap …



From Podsafe





About the RunRunLive Podcast

Each Podcast we’re going to have a full agenda.  We’ve got some inspiration and tips to keep you moving forward.  And In our featured segment we will be speaking with interesting members of our sport to share their accumulated knowledge with us.

We know that you like to listen to your iPod while you work out, so…We’ve planned the Run-Run-Live Podcast to last about 40 minutes – perfect for your daily jog or your commute to work.

There are millions of normal, everyday folks like us who use running as a way to lead a balanced, happy and challenging lifestyle.  Would you like to learn from them?

I have had the privilege to have kicked around the mid-pack of the sport for some time.  I’ve learned a ton about myself and running.  I’ve met a whole bunch of incredible, and sometimes odd, always interesting people.  We’re going to share all this with you.

Listen to the RunRunLive podcast and learn from experts and regular Joe’s – get that inspiration and affirmation you need.   All you have to do is go to the Itunes store – search on “Running” and subscribe to the RunRunLive Podcast – it’s free and it will be autmagically loaded onto your iPod as new episodes become available.

Also visit the RunRunLive website (at runrunlive.com)  to get back episodes and show notes, check out the Runnerati blog and other interesting, cool and compelling bits of stuff!

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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