Zen Running

by Todd Mahoney

Some of my earliest childhood memories involve (seemingly) endless waiting at finish lines at various running events.  So boring when you’re 7.

My dad was a running fanatic, he joined “the cult” shortly after getting out of the Marine Corps. Growing up, I remember stacks of running magazines and the endless fascination with shoes.  From 1979-1987 he ran this crazy race every year called The Race to Robie Creek – his favorite.  Occasionally we would have tailgate picnics on Shaw mtn road while we waited on Dad to finish a training run. We (my mom, younger sister and I) all thought he was certifiably nuts.  I tried some running in middle school but I found going in circles around a track uninspiring.

Karate was my thing.

Todd running the 2017 Race to Robie Creek.

From age 10 to 18 I would get sweaty and bruised every week in a karate gi. Because of that,  I developed a healthy interest in some of the eastern philosophies our Sensei incorporated in our class.  It helped me pin down this connection between my physical self and nature I’ve felt. I’ve always found being in the great outdoors a spiritual connection – part of my youth was spent growing up in the Ketchum/ Sun Valley area.  My version of “church” involves mountains, trails, rivers and pine trees. 

Fast forward to 2014.  After a year of suffering through the run-three-miles-nonstop obstacle, I had just completed my first “race” – the FitOne 5k.  It was fun. I was hooked.  As I was recovering (you would think I just ran 12 miles!) I came across this group of runners hanging out under this canopy with “The Boise Area Runners” logo on it.  One of them introduced herself to me and we chatted briefly.  She handed me a card and told me about their group runs.  From day one I found this group to be welcoming and friendly.  They are a valuable resource of running knowledge and encouragement.  It’s nice to have people you can share your victories and failures with over a beer. People who “get it”. Over the years some of the faces have changed but the vibe is always the same. 

Todd and Andre after the Turkey Day Run.

Every runner has their reasons for lacing up and heading out.  I actually don’t do it for fitness, though it is a nice side effect.  I’m not into medals and the only person I compete with is myself.  I run for this zen like experience I get out on the trails with the critters and trees.  Sometimes I might catch a glimpse of the ghost of my younger self when I’m running up Rocky Canyon.  I love that I have a great location and a  great group of people to do this with.  



May Monthly Mile

We had a great run last week for the Monthly Mile. We had six runners log their first BAR Monthly Mile time and five other set new PRs. Additionally, one of the new PRs was the fastest time we’ve seen on the track, 4:40! Great job to all the new and returning runners.

If you’re interested in tracking your improvements in running, we run a timed mile the first Tuesday of every month at the Boise High track. Details and a list of times is available on our Monthly Mile page.

BAR Ambassadors

We’ve been going through some behind-the-scenes changes recently within the club. We’ve now adopted our first set of official by-laws and are in the process of becoming a member of the Road Runners Club of America. Most of the time, this won’t change how the runs have been happening. What it will do is help provide guidelines for the club as well as a structure for everyone’s voice to be heard.

More details will be coming soon, but for now, if you’re interested in becoming a BAR Ambassador (voting member of BAR), check out our Membership Page.

The other change we made was to set up a Square account so we can now take credit card payments. It’s set up for donations currently, but we’ll be adding the option to purchase BAR swag soon. No more need to carry paper money on the run just to buy a T-shirt at the end.

These may be little things, but I’m still excited to see it happening.

Run a Day

Apparently Mark Zuckerberg has encouraged people to run a mile a day. He feels it will improve people’s overall health, which is probably true. Looking into it, there’s a group that tracks people who have run at least a mile a day for at least one year! The numbers on the Running Streak page are crazy. Some runners have been going for over 30 years without missing a single day. I’ve been running for years and that still seems like a lot of running. I’m interested in seeing how long I can go without missing a day (or more  likely doing too many miles and getting injured).

Anyone interested in starting a BAR Running Streak club?

Broadway Bridge Detour

So a central part of the Greenbelt is closed until Fall 2016 because of construction on the Broadway Bridge. This will impact many of our Greenbelt runs. There is a detour around the construction which is mapped out here. This extra section adds about 0.5 miles to any Greenbelt loop (unless you were planning to go across the Broadway Bridge, of course).

On the north side of the river (through Julia Davis park), take the last driveway out of the park to Myrtle St. Stay on Myrtle past the Ram as it becomes Park and take the first road on the right, Ferguson St. This will lead you back to the Greenbelt.

Going back, get off the Greenbelt just after the small wooden foot bridge and follow Leadville Ave south for one block. Turn right on Belmont St then right on Longmont Ave. This takes you behind Chili’s and brings you to Broadway just outside the construction area. Cross Broadway and stay on Cesar Chavez Ln until you can get back on the Greenbelt.

The whole detour should be well signposted but if you have any questions about where to go, grab one of the regular runners at the next Greenbelt run and they’ll make sure you don’t get lost.

One thing to note about the map is that Google doesn’t seem to know about the stairs up to the W Parkcenter Bridge which adds a larger loop than you need to run.

Warm, icy track

What better way to start the new year than with a timed mile? We had 9 people participate in the Monthly Mile this week and are now looking at improving their times throughout the year.

Although it was above freezing for the first time in several weeks, not all the ice had melted from the track. There were still a few spots where footing was less than ideal. That said, we had some good mile times posted. For the complete list, check out the Monthly Mile page and better still, join us next month. See you then.