Learning From Longevity: an interview with Dick (Running and Weight Loss)

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I know I’ve been a little obsessed with Dick in my last few posts. I’ve teased you with Dick but not actually given you any real substance. So here it is: an interview with Dick, a man almost 70 years old who has been running for 50 years.

(Dick will list his favorite books on running and strength training at the end of this blog).

DS: Welcome to my Blog Dick.

Dick: Thanks for having me Diane.

DS: First off, how did it all start?

Dick: Back when I was nineteen, my baseball coach in #Texas told me I needed to run a mile before breakfast every morning to be a better #baseball player. Since then, running has evolved like so many other things. It turned into 2 miles on the track, then in the late 60’s and early 70’s during the running boom it turned into racing 10K’s.

DS: You’ve been running for 50 years, why do you run?

Dick: I get asked that question a lot and I ask that question a lot. I hear good answers: lose, weight, get in shape, feel good, etc. But there is only one correct answers, it’s “Because I enjoy it, it’s fun”.

DS: How do you avoid getting bored, and breaking down?

Dick: I always tell people the same thing: Never run the same distance, in the same place, at the same pace two days in a row. Change it up. This keeps you from getting bored AND hitting a plateau in your fitness.

Choose beautiful places to run, that helps too.

I used to run every day, but now that I’m 69, I run about 4 days a week. The other days I am in the gym. I am huge believer in weights and resistance training. All of my exercises involve my core (The core involves all muscles that attach to your hips, pelvis and lower back). Everything we do in life requires a strong core- running, lifting, bending, even sex.

DS: Thanks for mentioning sex Dick. If you were losing any of my readers, they are back now. I should mention that you have run 31 marathons since October 2001 (before that you had only run 3). What is a typical week for Dick?

Dick: Monday: 7-10 miles with 5-miles of intervals (my intervals are from repeat 400’s through repeat 1.2 miles)
Tuesday: 5-6 easy miles
Thursday: Hills 8-10 miles with a 5 mile tempo run in the middle
Saturday: Long run- Hills- 15-23 miles

DS: People always ask me if I’m scared running on these remote and narrow roads here in Kentucky. What about you, do you worry about getting hit by a car?

Dick: No, and here is why: 1) I don’t listen to music or wear a headset while I run. I can hear a car at least a mile away. 2) I wear bright clothing. 3) I run low-traffic roads. 4) I get off the road if necessary. Run smart.

DS: What is your advice for dealing with the highs and lows in temperature when running?

Dick: Dress appropriately, know your route, and prepare with water. Wear good high-tech clothing in layers that you can take off as needed. Know your roads, know the houses you can go to for help, the barns you can dive into if there is lightning. Plant water bottles along your route before your run if it’s really hot. Freeze them the night before if you need to. You can even drop some dry clothing mid-way in your run if you think you will be sweating a lot. I change right on the side of the road (see limited traffic roads above).

DS: A lot of people out there run to stay trim or get trim. Do you have any advice on losing weight?

Dick: Many people want to lose weight and think that if they run/jog that’s all they have to do. NOT so simple. My thoughts are:
First, don’t be concerned about “weight”. To me, body shape is much more important. How do you get on appealing body shape? Two ways: Diet and Exercise

Diet: Stay away from fad diets. Use basic common sense.
a) No fried foods
b) cut out/reduce simple carbs like sugar; candy, cereals, ice cream, etc.
c) EAT BROWN: brown rice, brown (whole wheat) pasta, brown (whole grain) breads
d) limit processed foods
e) very, very, limited fast foods
f) very, very limited soft drinks (see b above)
g) eat lots of fiber
h) eat beans
i) eat lots of fruits and vegetables

All of this must be in moderation. Limit your calorie intake.

DS: Now for some random questions. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while running?

Dick: Once on a run at 5:30pm, about 50 yards from a main highway I ran up on a couple screwing in a pick-up truck. Boy were they surprised.

DS: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened?

Dick: One early morning, when it was completely black out, no moon, I ran head to head into another runner! I was so surprised, I thought I was the only one crazy enough to run at that time on my road. We both suffered black eyes, but other than that we were fine.

DS: What is the longest running stretch you’ve ever had?

Dick: Back in the 70’s I went 34 months without missing a day of running at least one mile.

DS: I know you have a list of books that you swear by. Let’s list them for people who want to still be running at age 70?


Books on weight management: The Okinawa Program by Willcox, Willcox and Suzki
Dr. Bob Arnot’s Revolutionary Weight Control Program by Dr. Bob Arnot

Training: Power Training by Robert dos Remedios (A must read for weight training
The New Rules For Lifting for Abs by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove

Running article: The Life of A Runner by Amby Burfoot in Runners World

#Running #training #weightloss #fitness #marathon #racing

This is an old blog but since I have new followers I thought it would be worth repeating. That and I will be kicking off some more serious (yeah right) running blogs in the near future. Why do you run?

The Running Commentary

ImageWhy I Run

Occasionally I am asked why I run.  I have been accused of being a little obsessive about it.  The answer is simple: to make me appreciate walking.

In a sentence; running makes my life more intense.  While many people seek a numbness, to block out the routine of life, I run to make it more meaningful.

The slightly uncomfortable feeling of running just a little faster than your body would like to, makes the act of walking seem a little more heavenly.  And the sense of accomplishment lingers long after the run has stopped.  So as silly as it sounds, running makes you appreciate walking. 

It also makes you appreciate bathing.  There is nothing like a shower after a long run.  There are no routine showers in a runner’s life.  We don’t jump in and rinse off in order to wake up.  We actually need a shower. …

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John Dolan Meets Dick

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My guest today on The Running Commentary is John Dolan, author of ‘Everyone Burns’, a novel and ‘Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim’, a short story. Welcome, John. What? What the heck is that look for?

JD: I don’t think this is a good idea; you’re going to kill me.

DS: Here’s the deal John, not everyone who reads my blog wants to hear about books. Some of them come here because they like to hear about running, and rescuing dead animals, and Dick. I need to entertain them too while I interview you.

JD: I look ridiculous.

DS: Oh, suck it up John. Look, I put on a black leather cat suit (for that interview click here), and it was at least a size too small by the way, for your
blog. The least you can do for me is to join me for a simple run.

JD: But I’m not a runner, Diane.

DS: I’m not a pussy-cat, John.

JD: Hey, you put on the cat suit to sell books, not for me.

DS: (glares directly into his eyes.)

JD: Fine. I’ll go for your silly run but I’m not wearing this stuff (pulling running tights and a thermal shirt out of a paper bag). What the hell are these?

DS: Grandpa’s man panties. My husband swears by them. Don’t you read my blog?

JD: I’m not wearing these, they look like a cotton Speedo.

(An older, extremely fit gentleman walks up wearing running tights and a florescent running jacket)

DS: Dick! You’ve come! I’m so glad you came.

Dick: What the heck, Diane. I told you men need to wear a running brief. He can’t run in cotton man panties.

DS: No you didn’t. Well, maybe I misunderstood you a little, but I swear I saw vinyl running man panties when you flashed me. Anyway, enough about that. I’m glad you came to help John on his first run.

JD: (hand over mouth in talking into my ear) Who is this Dick?

DS: You don’t read my blog, do you? Dick is almost 70 years old, my running mentor and he is here to offer good advice to you and any other new runner out there.

(John puts on the running clothes after Diane threatens to tweet spoilers on his book if he doesn’t)

DS: You look great, John. Let’s start out with a brisk walk and we can talk a little about your books. I’ve read them both and loved them both. I don’t give 5 stars easily, but I did to both of your books. You are the master of twists. But first, ‘Everyone Burns’ takes place in Thailand, why?

Dick: Walk tall and use your core son, it’s all about using and strengthening your core.

JD: Strengthen my what? My ‘core’? What on earth is that? I’m not an apple. Oh, never mind. I’m walking. It’s right foot after left, isn’t it? Or is it left after right? Give me a minute. I’m not used to walking and talking at the same time. OK, got it. What did you ask me? Oh, ‘Everyone Burns’, yes. It’s set in Thailand because it’s got lots of Thai characters in it. I thought they might be a bit out of place in Kentucky.

DS: Careful. We Americans don’t take kindly to sarcasm.

JD: That was irony, actually, but don’t worry about it.
The book is the first in a series – ‘The Time, Blood and Karma Series’ – and the story will move backward and forward between Europe and South East Asia over an extended period of time. Although the novels can be tagged as mystery/crime, each book is really about a bigger theme of interconnection, a premise I set up in ‘Everyone Burns’.

DS: What do you mean by ‘interconnection’?

JD: It’s like the idea that when you throw a stone in a pond, you never know how far the ripples will spread or what they will touch. In the case of my series, this is tied firmly to the Buddhist notion of ‘karma’; that all our actions have consequences and sooner or later those will come back to us.
But the short answer to your question is that I write about the places I know, and I hope the exotic location and culture of Thailand will appeal to readers. It felt like the right place to start the series.
Hey, there’s a hill ahead. You never told me we were going up hills.

DS: Stop whining. So … you’re from England and your wife is from? Do you have kids? Because Reason to Run #68 is to set a good example for your kids.

JD: My wife is also from England. She’s also a blonde who tells me to stop whining, but in an English accent. I have two sons and one daughter, two grandsons and three step-daughters. I’m not entirely sure how all that happened, but there you go. I also have a cat and a Jack Russell. I like to think my non-exercising is setting a good example for the cat.

Dick: Let’s run, you’ve had enough of a warm-up. Let’s just run to that pole over there. Start with a short distance and build up from there.

DS: You haven’t always been a writer, or have you?

JD: I … can’t … talk and … run… Wait, I must have run 100 meters. That’s nearly a mile, isn’t it? Let me walk while I answer. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been scribbling one way or another: poetry, plays, short stories, sketches, songs. But I’ve only recently started writing full-length books. The time seemed right somehow.

DS: Are you going to walk every time I ask you a question? How about we run while I talk, and walk while you talk?

JD: That works for me.

DS: Your bio says you make a living by traveling. I have to say, I hate you. I am so jealous. How do you do it and is it as awesome as it sounds?

JD: Well the aeroplane does most of the work and I tend to sit and drink a lot of coffee, poured for me by a stewardess. But seriously, I’ve been in the power business for over 20 years, and been fortunate enough to look after projects as far apart as Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Bangladesh and Malaysia. I’ve been to every continent apart from Antarctica. It’s great working and interacting with people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, but as for the travelling bit itself … well, one airport lounge is pretty much like another. And with all the visa stamps I get through passports pretty quickly. In fact I have two of them. Sometimes when people ask me where I live I say I live in a pressurized steel tube at 35,000 feet.

DS: I notice your answers area getting longer. You’re cheating yourself, John. Your body wants to be a runner.

JD: No, my body wants to be in a pub.

DS: (sighs) Your stories contain a lot of sex, drinking and stripping. Do you live vicariously through your characters or are they an extension of your current life?

JD: Yeah, I spend a lot of my leisure time shagging policemen’s wives and bargirls. What sort of a question is that, Mrs Strong? Actually, like most – or perhaps all – writers, I base my characters on people I’ve encountered, and then I mix them up a bit. It’s true that my anti-hero, David Braddock, does think rather a lot about the fairer sex, but I don’t suppose he’s remarkable in that. He also likes a drink, which I don’t. The last time I was drunk was the night before my first wedding and that was about 400 years ago. And as for the stripping, the closest I get to that is stripping the paint off walls.
So are we done running yet? How far have we gone? I think I have chaffing.

Dick: It’s those darn cotton man panties.

DS: They’re grandpa’s man panties, my step-father in-law gave them to us. Hey John, where can we find your book exactly?

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JD: ‘Everyone Burns’ is available in paperback and Kindle formats. You can go to Amazon and take a look at the book by clicking HERE.


Oh and by the way, ‘Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim’ is also on Amazon, but you can pick up a free copy on Smashwords by clicking HERE.

Dick: You’re coming with us tomorrow right John?

JD: Coming?

Dick: Yes, on a run. But tomorrow it will be a different road, at a different pace for a different distance. That’s my advice to all runners, change it up, it will keep you running for 50 years just like me.

JD: That’s great advice Dick, but I think I’m going to go back to torturing people on my blog GALERICULATE. Or maybe just tweeting some nonsense @JohnDolanAuthor. I’ll try to run a few laps around the Dubai Dungeon each day though, I promise.

DS: You did a great job today John, but I’m a little concerned about the way you are walking. Is it the chaffing? Oh, tell me, is there another book in the making?

JD: I’m currently working on the second book in the series, ‘Hungry Ghosts’, which will be out later this year.

DS: I’m pretty excited for that. Come on John, let me get you something for that chaffing, want some alcohol?

JD: A beer would be good, but at this point I think a gentleman’s support girdle and some painkillers would be of more use to me.

#Running #books #free #Thialand #mystery #crim