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  • Writer's pictureAustin Nastrom

June Newsletter

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." -Haruki Murakami

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Meaning-packed prose from one of Japan's most illustrious writers and a long-distance runner himself! Check out Haruki Murakami, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running." 

What is pain, and what is suffering? Pain is the physical sensations and signals from your body. Suffering is the mental and emotional interpretation of the pain - the thoughts, feelings, judgments, beliefs that go through your head either conscious or unconsciously. Suffering is the narrative that you tell yourself about the pain. 

When running, pain is inevitable (well, ideally the good kind of pain). Suffering might seem inevitable as well. After all, how can you run 6 mile-repeats, and feel pain but not suffer? 

This goes back to the interpretation of the pain. First, observe how you experience it. What exactly does it feel like? When your legs are burning and your lungs are on fire, explore the sensation rather than push it away. Welcome it in. Be curious about. What do your burning quads actually feel like? They might feel like they're on the verge of collapse. They might feel hot. They might feel closer to the sensation of icy rather than hot.

Next, while you're exploring the feeling, pay attention to how your mind receives and interprets the physical signals. Does it actually feel bad, or do you just think it should feel bad? Does your mind automatically push it away and signal you to stop? Examine that moment between stimulus (pain) and response. In that moment, you have a choice. You can choose to stop. Sometimes that is the right decision. Or, you can choose to feel the pain and choose to push harder and run faster. The suffering is optional.

Mind over matter is a skill that you can grow. Get in tune with your body. These are skills that can be practiced while running or while resting. Here's a challenge for you in the coming month: practice a simple Body Scan Meditation and explore the connection between how your body feels and how your brain interprets the information. See if you can simply rest in awareness of the feeling without interpretation. It may positively impacts your running! 

Workout of the Month 100-steps

Do you struggle to motivate yourself to do speedwork? Can't get yourself to commit to intervals? This is one of my favorite workouts to fire up the fast-twitch fibers and rocket your legs into the next level. It's mentally manageable - counting to 100 is easy! But physically challenging - 100 steps gets close to a quarter mile! 

10-15 minute easy warmup run.  Run 10 steps fast, 10 steps easy. 20 steps fast, 20 steps easy. Build your way up to 100 steps fast, 100 steps easy. Work your way back down; 100 steps easy, 100 steps recovery, 90 steps easy, 90 recovery, etc.  10-15 minute easy cooldown.

If you're just venturing into speed work, adjust the workout to max out at 60 steps then back down. 

Focus on turnover. Pretend the ground is LAVA, and you have HOT FEET and you have to pick them up off the ground as quickly as possible! This keeps you entertained as well when you yell at yourself HOT FEET HOT FEET HOT FEET when you're running really fast. 

Fun fact - this workout uses an internal dissociation strategy  with counting your steps as fun little mind game. 

Have fun, run fast! 

Race Results

Thank you Dave Bange for compiling! REMINDER: race results ARE used for end-of-year banquet awards! We keep track of local area race results. If you run a race outside the area and would like your result to be published or go towards award, please submit your result!

June 8, Sparta Stampede, Sparta, WI

5 Miles

                   Tad Peterson                31:33 (2nd Overall)

                  Adan Rivas                  34:19 (1st 45-49)

Rocio Rivas                 40:44

                 Dave Rice                    1:04:45 (1st 65+)

2 Miles

               Darick Bloom              14:20 (2nd 35-39)

Ruben Anderson           17:56

            Judy Schmidt               17:56 (1st 65+)

Casey Anderson           20:27

Larry Schmidt              20:55

Anne Schmidt              22:19

June 17,  Remembering Jesse Parker, Sparta, WI

5 Miles

                           Dave Rice                    59:48 (1st 70+)


                            Ruben Anderson           22:12 (3rd 40-44)

                          Darick Bloom              22:52 (2nd 35-39)

Noah Anderson 30:15

          Casey Anderson           30:57

June 22, Grandma’s Marathon, Duluth, MN

          Jim Stenulson               3:42:07

Sara Strassman 3:44:40

         John Blanchar              3:54:09

         Kristi Shappell             4:02:12

Melissa Nevala 4:09:02

       Kurt Brown                  4:11:33

       Angie Puent                 4:35:51

      Judy Schmidt               4:40:41

       Rocio Rivas                 5:23:14

       Larry Schmidt              6:13:28

 David Schmidt 6:13:29

        Randy Krainock           6:36:34

June 1, Kettle Moraine Endurance Races, La Grange, WI

100 Miles Kurt Brown 25:43:33 100K Amy Perrin 17:59:34 50K David Schmidt 4:48:56 (3rd Overall)


Aid Station Recipe by: No Bake Granola Bars

Print RecipeSave to Meal Plan Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 3 mins Refrigeration 1 hr Total Time 13 mins

Thick and chewy No Bake Granola Bars that wont fall apart. These delicious homemade granola bars are easily adaptable to include your favorite add-ins, like chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, coconut and peanut butter!

Course: Snack Cuisine: American Unit: cup, Tablespoon, teaspoon Servings: 18 Calories: 165 kcal Author: Lauren Allen Ingredients2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)6 Tablespoons butter (*see note)1/3 cup honey3/4 cup light brown sugar , packed1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup mini chocolate chips , or other favorite add-in's Instructions

Line 8 or 9’’ square pan with parchment paper, with paper some overhang. 

In a large mixing bowl stir together oats, rice krispies cereal and flaxseed.

Add butter, brown sugar and honey to a large microwave safe bowl and heat mixture on HIGH power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir mixture until butter has melted. Return to microwave and heat on HIGH power for 1 1/2 minutes. 

Carefully remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. Pour over oats mixture and stir gently until coated evenly. Gently stir in chocolate chips. 

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Lightly grease your hands with cooking spray and press the mixture evenly into the pan. 

Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper over the top of the bars and press extra firmly all around the pan to flatten the bars. This is the most important step to insure they don't crumble when you cut them.

Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top and press them gently onto the tops of the bars. 

Refrigerate for about 1-2 hours before pulling up on the parchment paper to remove them from the pan and cut them.  

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for firmer bars or at room temperature for softer bars). Bars are best enjoyed within 7 days.

Recipe Notes

*You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt in with the butter and sugar mixture.  You could also substitute coconut oil, but only cook for 2 minutes (total) in the microwave, instead of 2 1/2 minutes.

*Substitute the chocolate chips for other favorite mix-ins, like chopped almonds, coconut, or Craisins.

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