Keep your god damned hands off my wife. ~ H.I. McDunnough
Recently, I started visiting a running coach, Janet Runyan, in an effort to see if changing my form could help with my abdominal problems and make me a more efficient (and subsequently less injured) runner. I found out about Janet several weeks ago when she hosted a seminar about “running with injuries”. I liked what I heard and signed up to have her take a stab at improving my steeze.
Janet won a bunch of prestigious ultradistance races including Leadville in 2001, and is the current record-holder for Masters Women in that event with a finishing time of 21:47:44. Pretty amazing. So far, she is really helping me a lot and today’s short run was a huge improvement in the pain department over anything I have experienced since some time in early October. Not pain-free by any means but a marked improvement over the past week’s runs for sure.
She has also helped me run “lighter” and so it feels at least like I am able to go the same speed at a decreased effort. That isn’t to say I am looking like a gazelle out there but I am starting to feel a lot more efficient. Good times.
Today, I took a little time to goof around on the ‘net and looked up Janet’s bio just to see what she had accomplished. Along with her race prowess, she is a music teacher with a performance degree in piano. She also was (or still is) a member of Divine Madness.
For those of you unfamiliar with Boulder running, there is a group of distance runners here called “Divine Madness” that has made quite an impression on the Ultradistance community. Their influence has dimmed a bit of late but in their heyday they were frequent podium finishers in many of the sport’s toughest races. Five-time Leadville champ Steve Peterson comes from the DM camp. They have been likened to a cult by some circles and if one believes the stories, practiced some definitely untraditional methods to achieve their running successes.
Their leader, Marc “Yo” Tizer, is an interesting character (or worse) and has been accused of some pretty heinous behavior. There is quite a bit of information out there that details the DM lifestyle and allegations but this article by Michael Finkel is probably the most thorough. I actually read this several years ago when researching ultradistance running and wondering about Divine Madness and their influence on the sport. Funny how things come full circle.
So anyway, I was meeting with Janet last night and her housemates were cooking dinner. One of them looked suspiciously like Yo. He was wearing a towel. Given what I have read, that sounds just about right.