Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I Have in Common with Dathan Ritzenhein

                        Photo of Dathan Ritzenhein -AP

Always trying to improve, I occasionally like to make a study of elite runners. Where else should we look to for inspiration, but the best in the field?

Learning from the best is made easier by articles like this feature on Dathan Ritzenhein (Running Times, November 2012). Ritz, who has had multiple injuries and even faced a freakish side-effect, takes determination and work ethic to an extreme.

Below is a simple diagram of comparisons between us. 

Dathan Ritzenhein
Me
Typical training week: 90 land miles
Typical training week: 50 land miles
Strength sessions per week: 3
Strength sessions per week: 2 or 3
5k PR: 12:56.27
Marathon PR: 2:07:47
5k PR: 19:20 *
Marathon PR: 3:17:49
Some other company that clearly doesn’t care about your feelings.
Brooks
“Run Happy”
Hours spent napping per day: 2
Hours spent face-booking per day: 2-12
Uses Jason Hartmann as a pacer
Uses a chicken-head pacer
Lives in Portland
Lives in a town with one gas station
15 Alter-G miles a week
No Alter-G L
Coached by Alberto Salazar
Self-coach
Bedroom simulates altitude
Bedroom simulates a tornado
Uses Galen Rupp’s underwater treadmill
Uses in-law’s elliptical if necessary
Sexy legs
I don’t really want to brag about myself, but…
2 massages a week
No massages for a few months. Boo.
5’8” , 120 lbs
5’8”, NOT 120 lbs
since 1980 something
                                         *UPHILL BOTH WAYS ON BARK!!!

I began making this chart because I thought it would be a funny contrast, but the more I worked on it, the more it makes me appreciate the simplicity of just lacing up my shoes and going out the door. 
I wonder if he ever wishes he could do that. Would he ever feel like he could take a chance to do that?
And,
I wonder if the layoffs make his victories that much sweeter.

Studying Ritzenhein raises these questions in my mind, but one thing is crystal clear: 
Improvement is for the motivated.

What kind of lengths would you go to to see your running dreams/goals realized?  
Have you ever done anything other people would see as crazy for your training?

59 comments:

  1. Dathan has a lower arm swing, Raina has a slightly higher arm swing.
    Dathan leans to the left, Raina leans to the right (even though this is November, we are not referring to elections).
    Dathan and Raina both the best at what they do.

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    1. How do you do those italics?

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    2. Like this and this!

      I'm not very helpful, am I?

      I would read about HTML Text Formatting, if I wanted to know more! Then you could even put fancy links in your comments!!

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  2. Love this post...still lol. Thanks for your comments - I'm not convinced these are the best options either!
    Still laughing,

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    1. Ah- thanks! Go for the toebox....

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  3. I like this! I've done the same with various runners before. I will do specific training for specific conditions if I have some really big goal approaching. I will for instance do excessive heat training for a race like Badwater. I have been called crazy for running 50km on a 1km loop around my neighbourhood while training for 24hour or 6 day circuit races.

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    1. OM GOSH that is a LOT of loops! LOL. Not crazy, just able to block things out :)

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    2. Imagine running a marathon on a 220 yard indoor track...

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  4. Hilarious!You've both got unique names too!

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    1. Oh! Yes...You are correct, but MINE is weirder.

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  5. My favorite part: "Bedroom simulates a tornado". Love it! :)

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  6. Funny! I am feeling a bit like most sessions at the moment might make me appear slightly insane to others in preparation for marathon number 2 :s building to 100 miles week, mile reps, minimum 20 mile long run, etc etc etc. Probably not normal behavior but if you're going to do something give it all you've got......right?! I especially like the note re the 5k PR, my 5k needs a side note too 'but I feel like I ought to be faster than this, I mean this is crap and I just think I'm faster' - something like that :D

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    1. That would make a perfect footnote for a few of my PRs. I am glad we see eye to eye here.
      Wait..100 mile weeks!? PR city for you!

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  7. HAHAAHAHAH!!!! I love this post! Too cute! :)

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  8. Haha, great comparison! The simplicity of just going out the door is certainly what I love about running!

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    1. Oh, me too. (Most of the time)

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    2. That's why Garmin is such a popular company right now, right?

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  9. Love this! And your legs are sexier!!!
    And yes about that PR of yours, both ways up and on bark....can't wait for you to crush it!

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  10. You two are practically twinsies!

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  11. This is a funny post. It looks like you two are clearly twins! Crazy training? My husband thinks any of my training is crazy. Does that count?

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    1. I try not to ask my husband if I am crazy...I know his answer!

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  12. Girl, time for a massage!

    You forgot that you both have unique first names.

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    1. I booked one with MR. Small Town Runner!

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  13. Love this post! But, I bet you're right. I bet he does long to just step out the door to go for a run.

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    1. I bet so too..one day when he's done competing.

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  14. You are by far cuter!!! hands down!

    Intersting way to compare/contrast...no real crazy traiing schedule for me other than sneaking in something I shouldn't be doing, lol! right now I get my tips from people like you!!

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    1. Ha! Thanks..Sneaking? sneaking in a run is the best kind.

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  15. Haha!!! I think Dathan would enjoy reading this! Your 5K PR is uphill both ways on bark?!!! Girl- you've got to find yourself a flat fast course with no dogs allowed. You will be going sub 19 in no time!

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    1. Thanks Tia! If I can get even a few seconds nearer you, I will be quite pleased. :)

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    2. Raina, that was not the real Ritz who just left that comment?

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  16. Love, love, love your post. So funny! What lengths would I go to to see dreams realized? That is a very interesting question that I've actually been pondering lately. The lengths that I COULD go to and that I'm TEMPTED to go to may be very different than the lengths My Savior would want me to go to. My heart is to know what lengths He would want me to go to and find joy within whatever that may be.

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    1. You and I share some common ground here, as I KNOW you are passionate about Jesus and about running. Praying we both can seek and do His will in all matters.

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  17. This is a great post! Love it. :) I am a Ritz fan and thought it was a very good article on him. I am a Raina fan too. :) Thanks for the fun post!

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    1. I have a fan!? Thank you!!!! Love you too. :)

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  18. Great post! It's funny you mention crazy. It's relative, right? My husband tells me I'm crazy every time I tell him about a workout I've run. He runs with me every once in a while, so knows what the paces mean (at least in reference to him), so to him I'm Krazy Katie. ;)

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    1. It's totally relative, Katie! I bet running with your husband is fun and he really can appreciate your awesome race times.

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  19. 2:07 marathon PR ... crazy! A lot of times I mistakenly put a 2 instead of a 3 in front of my predicted finish time for a race. Michael just says ... 2:20 ... I don't think so dude! We can all dream!

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    1. Oops. What's an hour? Haha. Good thing you have Michael!

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  20. Ha ha! Love your sense of humor! This is great! Hmmm 5'8 and 120. I'm also 5'8...I'm thinkin' not 120.....I'm thinkin' not 130 either.....ha! I agree with AM-your legs are sexier:)

    What kind of lengths....Well, right now it's harder for me to answer that question as I'm out of training mode.

    Crazy for my training. Well, that depends on what people you would ask. I've run in some pretty nasty weather that non-runners would think was crazy. I've cut booze which many other people would say was crazy...

    Good to read a post from you!

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    1. I have missed you!
      I am thinking that you are crazy for running in your MN weather, but i LIKE crazy :)) . I am crazy too!

      Hope you are doing good, Jenn, and that work is still FUN!!

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  21. Love this post. I did a similar comparison between me and a giant tree sloth. Identical twins. Who would have thought. However, the sloth has better form than me -- nuts!

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    1. Oh, This made me LAUGH.
      Sloths. They may not be fast, but they know how to rest well.

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  22. You should have included Total Kids at Home in that chart! :^)

    Very enjoyable, and you are right about the crazy things we do....I think my weeks on the recumbent bike might look a little nuts to some people.

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    1. Recumbent bike...yes. But hopefully those days are behind you now!

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  23. What a great comparison. I wonder what the company that clearly doesn't care about your feelings is. Possibly Pearl Izumi because they really don't care. *Shakes fist*.

    I'm sure he wishes he could just lace up his shoes and run without his livelihood depending on it. He probably envies you. =)

    What kind of lengths would I go to to see my running dreams/goals realized?
    Stop running for at least two months. I haven't run since the beginning of November, and probably won't run until sometime in the new year. It's difficult, but not as difficult as I imagined. I'm resting the running muscles, while trying to keep fit (elliptical/bike/swimming), and strengthen muscles (Yoga/strength training). I hope it works. If it doesn't, I may consider something more drastic. These injuries are driving me crazy.

    Have I ever done anything other people would see as crazy for your training?
    I've got up at 3am to make sure I got my run in. I've run for more than 9 hours. I've taken ice baths. I've spent lots of money at a PT. I've run in rain and snow and heat.

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    1. Boy have you seen some ups and downs! I hope your time off takes care of all the niggles and gets you back to healthy running, Keeley. Hugs!

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  24. fun post! I agree the first names should be included!!! that is one skinny guy... :)....and you are way better looking than him so who cares about his 2:07 marathon.... 2:07...crazy fast..... I cannot run a half in that time...ok now this is depressing :)

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    1. LOL You make me laugh! It is either very inspiring, or completely depressing. Ha!

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  25. I love it! You definitely have way better hair!!

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    1. LOL! His facial hair is better, I hope!

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  26. Ah, this was hilarious!! Love the side by side comparison. Our spare bedroom also resembles a tornado.

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  27. Aw, this made me LAUGH! And I'd rather go running with YOU any day.

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  28. OMG this post is so funny! Obviously I am not the only one that thinks this.
    Thank you for the laughs! "Some other company that clearly doesn’t care about your feelings." haha! Awesome!

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  29. I love this comparison. I need to do this too!

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