Jen A. Miller is the running columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and she is chronicling her training for the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City. She’s a long-distance runner, and she explains the challenges of the shorter distance.

As promised, the fatigue and pain set in quickly. By the first quarter-mile, my upper chest burned. I tried not to think about it – or about anything, but I couldn’t hit that zen state I usually go to in longer races.

At the half mile mark, my mind and body flagged. I need to do this all over again? I thought. I tried to tell myself that the pain would be short but then my legs started to let me know they weren’t happy, and my right calf twinged.

The third quarter mile was my slowest, but after I crossed that mark, I knew that I was almost done. All I had to do was run a distance equal to one lap around the track as I had done dozens of times this summer.

Miller’s description is poetic when compared with my own experience running the mile (or 1500 meters). My track experience in 2009 was harrowing and probably the most pain I have ever been in after a race. Somehow the memory faded enough for me to run the Front Street Mile in Maui the same year, crossing the puke threshold for the first and only time.

We distance runners tend to think we’re tough for the hours of running we put in. Try a competitive mile race and you’ll feel agony you never knew existed. I’ll take a leisurely five-miler every time.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - September 4, 2015 at 08:22

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Crimes and Mousedemeanors

Mouseplanet has a rundown of various incidents of runners cheating during Disney races. But cheaters never prosper, and sometimes the backlash is severe. One woman lost her bib and found it the next day gracing the front of another runner.

I posted a comment in my group that said “So… I found my bib! Too bad I’m not the one wearing it.” From there, my very passionate friends and fellow runners did some investigating and found the woman’s name, Twitter handle, and employer. They tweeted her and (in some cases) her employer to let her know she’d been caught. One member of the group works near runDisney and made sure the information made it to them.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - September 2, 2015 at 09:53

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Running to Conclusions?

If you saw this coming at you it would certainly be scary.

The photo was taken by a woman in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who claimed the jogger pounded dents into her car and broke her antenna. She said the man threatened to kill her. She posted the photo on her Facebook page in the hope he would be identified. Police were searching for the man yesterday.

But when they located him, he also had a story to tell. He said the woman almost hit him with her car.

He said he yelled at her, and that she stopped and immediately began snapping photos of him while cursing at him. He said she “tried to reverse into” him, so he pounded on her trunk and grabbed her antenna.

He said he ran up a hill to try to get away from the woman, but that she circled the park to come at him again while laughing at him.

The man said he didn’t want the woman taking photos of him, so he covered his face and flipped her off. He said he demanded her phone and charged toward her at the mansion, but only because she threatened to hit him with her car.

The man denied reaching into the woman’s car. He said he waved his arms after the initial near collision but did not stick them into her car. He also denied using a racial slur or grabbing the woman. Further, he said she did not slam his arm in the mansion door.

The man said he believes he was the victim of harassment and assault with a vehicle in this case but that he didn’t call police to report the incident, because he had planned to just “let it go.”

Now, the man said he plans to fight the case in court, if it comes to that.

Harrisburg police released the man, but said they planned to charge him with criminal mischief and harassment.

Local citizens chimed in. “Perhaps charges against him can be dropped if he promises to never appear in public without a shirt again,” wrote one commenter.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - September 1, 2015 at 10:35

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Usain Bolt Is Literally Flying


The BBC wanted to know “How does Usain Bolt run so fast?” so it went to Dr. Sam Allen of Loughborough University for the answer. And it’s not what you think.

“Elite sprinters don’t swing their legs any faster than recreational runners,” he says.

Amateur runners require between 50 and 55 strides to cover 100 meters, but elites only need about 45. Bolt typically needs 41.

Dr. Allen says the fastest sprinters spend only about 40% of the time in contact with the ground. For amateur athletes it’s about 50%.

For me it’s about 95%, otherwise my face makes contact with the ground.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - August 31, 2015 at 09:42

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Fleet Felix Flourishes in 400

Usain Bolt got all the headlines at the World Championships, and not just for running, but take a look at Allyson Felix’s wire-to-wire destruction of the field in the 400 meters.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - August 28, 2015 at 08:23

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Someone Finally Gains on Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt, who won gold in the World Championships in both the 100 and 200 meters, isn’t used to looking behind him.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - August 27, 2015 at 07:55

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Beer Mile World Classic Roundup

Here at Running Is Funny, the Beer Mile has been a staple since 2009, though we’re still waiting for The Bicentennial (100 beers, 100 miles, any order) to break into the mainstream.

But nothing says widespread acceptance in the sports world like a feature on ESPN of the Beer Mile World Classic.

But we can’t let these latecomers to the party snag all the attention. Check out the report of The Beer Runner, who competed in a sub-elite heat and finished in 6:53. This photo essay in SFist is also worth reading.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - August 26, 2015 at 11:42

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