Micah True AKA Caballo Blanco Dies of Cardiomyopathy

Micah True, made famous by Chris McDougall’s Born to Run, was known as a free spirit. It was said that he would just run for days, stopping occasionally to eat, sleep and discuss the comings and goings with people he passed. True had become a celebrity of the ultra-running community, helping to pioneer a return to minimalist running and spear-heading the development of the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon to highlight the running culture of the Tarahumara tribe.

That spirit that made him a giant of the sport followed him to his final days. It was reported several weeks ago that he had disappeared in the mountains of New Mexico. He was ultimately found dead in the New Mexico wilderness. It is now being reported by the Washington Post, Daily Beast and others that he died of a cardiomyopathy while running a 12-miler.

Cardiomyopathy is defined as ” the measurable deterioration of the function of the myocardium (the heart muscle) for any reason, usually leading to heart failure; common symptoms are dyspnea (breathlessness) and peripheral edema (swelling of the legs). People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of dangerous forms of irregular heart beat and sudden cardiac death.”

On the one hand, it is amazing that True was able to run great distances with such regularity while suffering from cardiomyopathy. On the other, it raises the very important point that every person – runner or not – needs to pay very close attention to their body and get regular medical attention for necessary issues.

Everybody should remember True’s free spirit because it propelled him to do amazing things, but please be safe and smart as you take on your running endeavors.

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Running is so Much More Than a Workout

I may not have been writing about running over the last couple of months, but I sure have been doing it. I’ve trained and raced, run on pavement, tracks, treadmills and trails, run in the morning and evening and even run in six different states.

Life has been busy. Work has been taking up 70+ hours a week without fail, I’ve been getting very involved in civic and community efforts and my remaining time is usually spent with my family. I love everything that I’m doing, but my schedule has forced me to keep my head down and just keep moving.

No matter how busy a day or week gets, I have found time to run. Most days I’ve had to wake up at 4:00AM, but I’ve made time for running because of how important it is to me. Pretty simply, this is why it is so important:

  • It balances me emotionally and physically.¬† Running allows me to take my time and think analytically about a situation rather than over or under react.
  • I prove something to myself with every run. Every time I finish a 5 miler, 10 miler, or 20 miler, I feel accomplished because I not only finished a tough run, but I prove that I’ve moved past any limiting heart issues
  • It inspires me. I see other runners, hear their stories, get stories emailed to me and I realize how much people are willing to overcome to complete their first 5K or marathon
  • I know I’m prolonging my life and extending the time I get with my family and friends

I’m sure you have many other reasons to add to the list, but these are the four most critical ones to me.

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Charlotte Heart Walk Recap

The Charlotte Heart Walk has come and gone. With the help of friends and family, I was able to raise just under $1,000. Collectively, the city of Charlotte raised $1,533,185 towards the fight against heart disease and stroke. Thousands of people walked the streets of Charlotte for a cause that is very important to me. It was a great sight to see.

There were companies, family, little kids, dogs, individuals dedicating their walk to others and just people who cared.

It was a great event and one that is replicated in cities throughout the country. If you can, get involved and walk your local heart walk. Here are a few photos from the event:

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Broken Hearted Runner is on Alltop!

Woohoo! My blog is now featured in the running category of Alltop.com. For those that don’t know, Alltop is a site that collects great resources, groups them into categories and makes their content highly searchable for all those people that are seeking out information on that topic. If I want to find a good blog focused on one specific area, that is the first place I go. Alltop refers to themselves as the “online magazine rack.”

My posts now get included in a category with:

Happy Friday!

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I need new running music

This is an open request for any and all song suggestions.

I need new music for my running mixes and would love to hear what everybody else runs to.

I have music made before 2005 pretty well covered, so newer songs are encouraged. That said, if you have any hidden gems from long ago please let me know.

Feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions! Happy running.

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The Dreaded Three H’s of Running

Hills, Heat and Humidity.

Those three obstacles have plagued runners for years. Let’s face it, all of us have succumb to at least one if not all of them at one point in our running lives. There are obviously other obstacles out there (i.e. injury and elevation) but these are the three I deal with on a daily basis from my home in Charlotte, NC.

As of late, one of those H’s has begun to dissipate. The temperature is dropping in Charlotte and it’s amazing. I went for a run this morning and it was 68 degrees. Granted I left the house at 4am, but it was still cooler than it has been by a long shot. As the heat goes down so will the humidity.

We’re rapidly moving into prime running season. I hope everybody is ready!

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Recycle those energy bar wrappers!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Megan over at TerraCycle. I don’t typically write posts based on emails I’ve received from companies, but this one peaked my interests. TerraCycle has done something that I totally support. They have found a way to reuse and recycle certain pieces of trash that would otherwise add to the enourmous amount of waste we put out on a daily basis.

The reason they contacted me and other runners is because they recycle the wrappers of products we consume on a regular basis. They collect the wrappers of:

  • Energy bars
  • Cliff bars
  • Energy gels – like Gu

TerraCycle does something pretty cool with these wrappers. They turn them into usable products like, benches, bags or flower pots.

They don’t charge anything for shipping and you can actually earn money by sending them in.

Since receiving the email from Megan, I’ve collected 26 wrappers that I would have otherwise thrown in my garbage.

You may not eat power bars or it may not appeal to you, but I thought it was a very worthwhile effort and definitely wanted to share. If you do eat power bars or gels, you should think about sending them in rather than throwing them away.

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Post Earthquake

Yesterday was definitely an atypical day. First, I slept in and skipped a run. That’s definitely not normal for me. Second, and more importantly, there was an earthquake. That’s right, an earthquake in the Mid-Atlantic. I can safely say that I never expected to see an earthquake in Washington, DC during my lifetime.

Despite the truly abnormal event, life went on as normal. I still went out with friends for bar trivia in the evening, walked my dogs in when I got back to the house and went to sleep without a worry in the world. I also woke up this morning and had a great run. It was about 65 degrees with cool, clean air. There was a nice breeze coming off the Potomac and the sun was rising over the Washington Monument as I was on the return portion of my run. I ended up doing a mid-distance 11.15 mile run, but it felt like so much less. That’s always a good feeling.

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A Nice Change of Plans

It rained in excess last night, so I woke up this morning with the plan of going to the gym for a treadmill run. I arrived at the gym as it was supposed to open, but discovered that their power went out because of the rain.

Instead of using that as an excuse to skip a morning run, I simply changed course. I drove back to my house quickly and started my run from there. The air was heavy, the ground was a minefield of puddles and branches were sagging into my path with the weight of fresh rain water. It was great!

I had an awesome run that had me thinking more about the weather than my own fatigue. Thinking about it during my post-run stretch, I realized I was pretty happy the gym lost it’s power. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and you may end up liking the results.

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Inspirational Quotes from “Once a Runner”

I started reading “Once a Runner” by John L. Parker the other day. I’m sure most of you have read the book already, but for those who haven’t, it is a story about being a competitive runner. Parker really tries to take you into the mind and spirit of a runner who strives to beat his competition while dedicating everything he can to that very goal.

I’m only a few chapters into the book, but I cheated ahead a little bit with the help of my Kindle. I’m able to look at the most highlighted passages of the book from all people who have read “Once a Runner” via Kindle. I was struck by some of the passages and thought I would share them with you:

  • “A true¬† runner ran even when he didn’t feel like it, and raced when he was supposed to, without excuses and with nothing held back”
  • “Look, runners deal in discomfort. After you get past a certain point, that’s all there really is. There is no finesse here.”
  • “Training was a rite of purification; from it came speed, strength. Racing was a rite of death; from it came knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where you can lean over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and see exactly nothing.”
  • “The key was not how fast he could run, but how fast he could run while tired.

Do any of those resonate with you? Which one do you like the most?

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