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

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

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

dick 2 (480x640)

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

Clammy Possum, The untold story


The newspaper editor swears he ran this story, but I never saw it.  So here it is, just for you…one of my favorites.


Clammy Possum

(Fourth of Animal Antics Series)

If you wonder what compels me to ride my bike 100 miles a week, it is not just for the social outlet, it is also because I am a triathlete.  My long therapy rides with Mary are also training rides.  

My most proud/embarrassing animal-rescue-bike-ride involves a 30 mile solo ride.  Mary couldn’t ride on this virtuous morning so I set out alone.  This loop goes through sections of Fayette and Bourbon County and tends to have more commuter traffic than our more remote routes in Scott County.  I was on a mission, I wanted to average over 17 miles an hours.  So I assumed a nice tuck whenever possible and focused on speed.  

As I headed down the road, surrounded by thoroughbred farms, I passed a dead possum.   This is not unusual as you know; they are common road kill in these parts.  But as I glanced back I noticed this dead possum was different, something wasn’t right.  I hesitantly came to a stop, risking a sub 17 mile per hour ride, and pedaled back to the not yet bloated carcass.

I was right, it was dead.  But on its tummy, squirming in and out of its pouch were half a dozen or so little pink bodies.  Her babies were still alive…   (insert your favorite sound effect here…eek! Ew! Blahh!Hmmm?)

Lucky for me, she was hit next to a driveway.  I pulled my bike off the road and began unloading my under-the-seat-flat-repair-pouch, shoving its contents into my behind-the-handlebars-bento box.  Then I glanced at the dead possum.  Blunt trauma to the head.  She didn’t suffer.  

I reached down, shoved my hand into the cold pouch of the dead beast and grasped the slightly wet and sticky body of the pink possum baby.  I pulled and much to my surprise, the thing was attached and refused to let go of its mother.   “Come on!  Let go!  She’s dead already.  I’m trying to save you!”  I decided to get tough and yanked.  It let go of the nipple and I shoved it into my newly emptied bike pouch/bag.  As I reached down to grab another one I heard the sound of an oncoming car.  Instantly I let go, turned away from the dead animal and begin to pretend I was tying my shoe.

At this point, I am assuming most motorist are not aware that bike shoes do not have laces, they have Velcro and they don’t become untied while biking.  I am also pretending that it is not strange that I chose to ‘tie my shoe’ right next to the carcass of a possum.  The truck passed, I resumed my rescue.  Another one goes into the bike pouch.  Each time a car passed I would ‘tie my shoe’, then resume.

Eventually I had seven live babies.  I felt around deep into the dead animals pouch, searching for another moving baby, but the rest were cold and dead.  It was time to zip up the bike pouch and go.

With a sad farewell to the dead possum mommy, I hit start on my wrist Garmin again and set out for home.  The adrenaline of the rescue carried me.  I averaged 18 miles an hour when I got to my driveway, a personal record!

Once in the house I greeted my family with a smirk.  They knew instantly that I was up to my antics. I showed them my find and they followed orders like nurses in a surgery room.  They brought me a heating pad, some baby blankets, the kitten milk replacer.  My kids watched with excitement as the little pink possums slowly came back to life.  I discouraged the kids from getting too attached, as they couldn’t stay with us, I am not licensed to rehab wild animals (believe it or not).

Once they were warm and fed, I found the number of a local licensed rehabber and delivered the little guys to her.  The rehabber promised to send pictures of the little buggers as they grow.  I am anxiously awaiting their arrival.