Friday, July 25, 2014

FMM Interrupted - Mike Rouse Was In The House!

I met a famous runner Tuesday evening!  OK, I'd never heard of him, but honestly, in the running world, there's a few big names and then, unless you're really involved with a certain distance, there's others who are known, but not known known, you know?  Anyway, as it turns out, one of the owners of our running store goes way back with this guy, and he happened to be in Texas for a couple of days, so little meet and greet event was set up at the store.
 Andi, Amy, Mike Rouse, me, Julia

So who was this famous runner?  His name is Mike Rouse, and he was entertaining, engaging, witty, and passionate - about running, about how his life had a dramatic turnaround when he spent some time in prison nearly 30 years ago, and about the program he started to help other prisoners have success in life when they are released from jail; Mike also got involved with helping Kurdish refugees in the Dallas area...let's just say his willingness to help has led to a lot of life adventures!

Mike is an endurance athlete who runs marathons, 50 milers, 100 milers, 24-hour races, triathlons, Ironmans, and Ultramans (which is a double Ironman).  He's won many of these events and told us some great stories about participating in them.  We could ask questions, so naturally, I asked him what he ate during these super long runs.  His answer surprised dogs.  Yes, HOT DOGS.  This came from a grueling 100 miler where he felt really terrible for most of the race, but once he had a hot dog (around mile 70, I think)(that number blows my mind), he felt better.  He had another...and ended up passing nearly 150 people before the finish.  So hot dogs became his go-to fuel for these long distance runs!

Mike runs a lot.  I mean, A LOT (like 80-90 miles weekly).  I believe he said he's had one injury in his nearly 30 year running career, and he does attribute that to genetics, yes - and I agree with him on that, because some people seem to be really lucky in that arena, while others (moi, for example) end up with the dumbest random running injuries - but he also said he listens to his body (and not an iPod).  For example, if his hamstring starts to act funny, he immediately takes a couple of days off.  No question, no worries about keeping up with a schedule - just BAM.  Take care of it right away.  He likes to recover after a long run by resting with his legs raised up against a wall, which produces a similar effect as wearing compression leg sleeves -  it helps to push blood flow out of the legs and stop it from pooling there.

He recommends having several pairs of running shoes, and for them to not be all the same.  For example, if you use a neutral shoe in the Brooks line, get a comparable shoe in some other lines as well, because the subtle differences in them will work different muscles each time you run - and yes, wear a different pair of shoes every time you run.  Now, of course, that is a little challenging to those of us with shoe budgets, but I can understand his reasoning, and speaking as someone who falls into a shoe rut and ends up wearing the same pair for each run, I'm willing to try this - I have enough shoes with different mileage on them that I can make this work.  While I'm not ever going to be a long-distance runner like Mike Rouse, I'd love to stave off any more running injuries.

Guess what Mike is doing today?  He's running for 24 hours, in honor of a Navy Seal friend and 30 others who died in a 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan, while serving our country.  Toward the end of his 24 hour run, the Joggin' for Frogman 5K race will begin, and Mike will run the last 3.1 miles with all of the participants.  I'd not heard of Mike Rouse until a few days ago, but I'm so glad to know he's out there, making such a positive impact on so many running!
Mike recently wrote a book:  Zero to 60...At the Speed of Life.  I bought a copy and started reading it that night, and had a hard time putting it down.  Not only does he have a very interesting life story, but he's also a good writer.  If you're interested, you can get a copy here - it's not available on Amazon.  Of course we all had to have him sign our books:
This will be going right next to my signed copy of Bart Yasso's book!

Here's Amy waiting for her copy:
Gleeful anticipation!  Love it.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow, learned a lot from this even though there is NO WAY IN HELL I'm every thinking about running a marathon, let alone an ultra of any species.

    But interesting about the care he takes around injuries and the shoe advice! I'm guessing really, buying more shoes and spreading the mileage around would not ultimately be more expensive, but it does seem a bit daunting to get the initial inventory going.

    Thanks for introducing this guy! If I ever get back to running (injuries, curse them!) I will definitely consider his advice.

  2. It's so nice that your running store brought him in - great inspiration for the beginning of your training season!

    We have a lot of "semi"-famous runners in this area. I've been really, really lucky to meet several of them including Amby Burfoot, and Julia Chase-Brand. There is something so cool about these people - they almost make you feel as if you, too, could do what they have done! Whereas when I met Greta Weitz, Dick Beardsley, Bart Yasso, John Bingham and Bill Rodgers, I just sort of felt awed.

    Believe it or not, when I was regularly training for and running marathons, I really wanted to try a 50 miler. I actually do better the more I run... but once I got out of that pattern,it's hard to get back in to.

    1. I've seen Meb at an expo but was too shy to approach him. I caught the tail end of Jeff Galloway's talk at Big Sur, and heard Bart Yasso talk there, and while he had adventures I'd never attempt, I remember feeling like I was part of his group, if that makes sense. I do love how running is such an inclusive community, for the most part.

      BTW, Mike Rouse said he was much better at longer distances (over a 5K, say) - interesting! Again, I think it's part of knowing and accepting what your body likes best.

  3. Interesting! I have never heard of this guy before either but it's pretty impressive what he did. Almost makes me want to put on my running shoes and go for a run .... almost :)

  4. Wow, I can't even imagine WALKING those distances, let alone running them! So exciting to meet someone like that though!

    Never heard about switching up shoes - interesting. I loves me some hot dogs, but don't think my 5k distance warrants eating them though! Have a great weekend Shelley!

    1. Yeah, he mentioned the hot dogs don't come into play until many, many miles have been run.

  5. Loved hearing this guy's story--really inspirational!

    And the shoe thing--I had a friend who was a PE teacher and she swore by changing shoes even halfway through the day. Once in a while I try that. Of course I am not even walking long distances these days, so don't know how much that applies to me. I like having multiple pairs of shoes though : )

    1. You know, I can see how switching your shoes partway through the day, if you're on your feet a lot, would feel really refreshing.

  6. Amy's face cracked me right up LOL!


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