Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

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Who wants to be famous?

Runners World is doing a contest to be on the cover of Runner’s World. But you can be from any state but Arizona. What the hell is wrong with Arizona? wait don’t answer that. Politics aside, what is wrong with Arizona?

Are Arizonans simply too attractive?

Since I won’t be on the cover apparently, I suppose you can be.

Here is the link to sign up.

Seriously, what gives?


Kale and Fruit Salad Recipe

January 30, 2014

Ok, before I start this recipe, why did I initially date this 1.30.98?  Did I just miss six years?  Hmmm

Eric Rutin's Kale Fruit SaladOK, so this is a recipe for a delicious and I think somewhat healthy salad I have been making a lot lately.

The recipe is yummy, easy and quite flexible but here is how I make it.

A bunch of Kale

1 Chicken Breast

1 Small Can of Mandarine Oranges

1 Small Can of Diced Pineapple

10 Fresh Strawberries sliced in half

1 Handful of Chopped Walnuts

1 Handful of Feta Cheese

? Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

1 Brownie A’La Mode

OK, now that you have the ingredients, please follow the preperation steps very carefully.  Grill the chicken breast and season it how you like. I sometimes use garlic, sometimes lemon pepper sometimes others stuff.  Then slice it up. You can also mix up the fruit depending on your mood.  Toss in some different berries, try some sliced apple.

In a bowl toss all the ingredients then add as much dressing as you like.

Eat.Eric Rutin's Brownie A/La Mode

After you eat it, you relax and enjoy a delicious meal then you eat your brownie a’la mode.

Repeat as necessary.

If you need any help with this complex recipe please do not hesitate to reach out and I will do my best to help you through it.

Bon Appetit.



Today’s Boston Marathon

April 15, 2013

largeWell my blog post was supposed to be very different. Carolyn ran in today’s Boston Marathon. She had hurt her hamstring in February and been in PT 3x a week since. She had to scrap her training and was able to do a very minimal program that was void of any twenty milers. She ended up posting 4:04 running on one good leg. This post was supposed to be about the awe of her accomplishment.

But it sadly is not.

As most everyone knows by now there were two bombs planted near the finish line. Reports are still coming in but regardless of the final specific death and injury tolls, it is horrific that it happened at all. Carolyn had just finished a few minutes prior and was working her way through the masses to exit the runner’s area when the first explosion went off. She heard it and saw white smoke. Her initial thought was that white smoke was not too bad. Then the second explosion went off and she knew it was no good.

I had been watching on Boylston and had just walked down to Newbury Street when the first bomb exploded. A slew of people started running at me down Exeter screaming. My initial thought was a bleacher had collapsed. Then the second happened and I knew it was no good.

I immediately called my friend Jeff who had been watching online and asked what the hell was going on. He just knew it was no good.

Today was supposed to be a celebration and sadly it was a tragic day. Carolyn did amazing and I am so proud of her. We were close enough that it has been very unnerving but fortunately far enough that neither was in harm’s way.

24 hours earlier Carolyn and Anne were cheering me on while I ran the B.A.A. 5K in front of the Marathon Sports that was the site of the first explosion. A little too spooky. Had Carolyn walked once more on her gimpy hamstring who knows what the outcome would have been. Had I decided to take Boylston instead of cutting down to Newbury St. who knows…

My heart goes out to all the people affected by this completely senseless tragedy. A marathon is a celebration of all that a human can achieve. Sadly the 2013 Boston Marathon will always be remembered as a demonstration of how evil a human can be.

2013 P.F. Changs Rock and Roll Marathon recap

January 20, 2013


Only 13 more miles to go.

I didn’t run in any of this year’s P.F. Changs Rock and Roll Marathon events, but I did spend most of the day down in Tempe surrounded by the activities.  Carolyn was running in the half as part of her training for Boston so I drove her down to the race. It is pretty nice working two blocks from the start line so we were able to park in my garage and then go to my office to use the bathroom, stay warm and use the bathroom again.

I walked to the corrals with Carolyn as she waited for the starting gun.  A few minutes before she was able to shed her warm clothes and hand them to me.  Then off she went.  I went back to my office and changed for my own run.  Just a short run to kill time until I positioned myself to cheer on the racers.  When I left my office I was amazed they were still sending waves for the 1/2 off.  I ran a little route that had me run past the finish line then around Tempe Town Lake and finally up Mill Avenue and along the finish route.  I discovered that the race now had some bike event included as when I was running over the bridge into downtown Tempe, the bikers were shouting there is a runner, there is a runner.  Yea it was embarrassing for me, but should have been for them as well.  I don’t quite think I look like a sub 45 minute half marathon runner.


Inspired doesn’t even begin to describe it

After my run I camped out along the street, watching the first of the half finishers, as well as runners from another new event – the mini marathon.  I have no idea where the hell a mini marathon came from other than the opportunity to make more money.  1400 runners signed up to run 5.4 miles that promised to capture all the excitement of the marathon.  I don’t begrudge anyone for participating in a race, but come on.  First, 5.4?  Couldn’t they just add another block and make it a 10K?  And secondly, other than getting a medal, and being around people in the marathon, I don’t see how a 5K on steroids or a stunted 10K captures the glory of completing a grueling challenge of endurance and metal fortitude of marathon, but whatever, anything to get more people running.

Carolyn came in just shy of 1:41, right where she wanted.  I then saw the great miler Stevc Scott, owner of 136 sub 4 minute miles, finish a couple of minutes later.  I would love to say Carolyn beat an Olympian, but unfortunately he qualified for the boycotted 1980 games.  Then I saw the winner of the marathon wheelchair division.  If seeing those guys doesn’t inspire you, I think you need to check to see of you have a pulse.

After cheering on the elite, then the really good and then the beginning of the warriors at the half, the leader of the marathon turned the corner.  It wasn’t the usual Kenyon, but a guy wearing a bib in the 50,000’s. Ryan Neely from Berkley, California won in just over 2:30.  I don’t know if he has won any others or how serious of a racer he is, but I know on this day, he beat all the others.  And anyone that can run 2:30 is bad ass regardless of bib number.

Not too much later, Christie Farber with a more appropriate 111 bib won the female race with a time just south of 2:45.  From what I understand she lead from from wire to wire.   This victory came on the heels of winning the Tucson Half last month (her husband won the men’s half).


They may not have won, but they had a good time.

It was a fun day being support for Carolyn and spectator for the thousands of other runners.  Of course watching all of these impressive achievements regardless if it was a sub three hour marathon or a three hour half, made me wish I was out on the course myself.

My Marathon Disasters – Chapter Three

February 8, 2012

Eric Rutin chick bowlYou would think that cracked ribs was enough to make training for the Detroit Marathon tough enough.  But no, that wouldn’t be nearly exciting enough.  You would also think that with all the calamities I would have had a bad race, but as I mentioned in my previous posting, I actually PR’ed .  It just goes to show you that training is way overrated.  But I jest.

OK, so what could have been worse than cracking some ribs?

The Yoshi Run

Not to be too redundant, but training was going well for Detroit. With the October race date, we had the unfortunate task of training through summer. Fortunately I had my Running With Rage group to hold me accountable to waking up at ungodly early hours to get the long runs in every Saturday.  Our goal was pretty simple: try and finish by 7.  For those of you not lucky enough to run in the desert during the summer, it simply never cools off.  Sometimes the lows remain in the 90s, but usually we enjoy a low of around 87.  If we finished by 7 AM not only did we usually escape the triple digits, but also the sun wasn’t too oppressive yet.  I emphasize the too in too oppressive because anyone you slice it, it plain sucked.

So what to do?  Well out solution was to keep pushing our start time earlier and earlier until eventually we were meeting around 3:30 in the morning.  Or is that 3:30 in the night?  This was sorta fine as one benefit was was crawling back into bed before the rest of the house had even woken.

While Jeff and I were sweating out our first 20 miler we had a brilliant epiphany.  Come on, is there really any other kind?

We thought what if instead of waking up really early and trying to beat the sun, we should wait for the sun to go down and enjoy a nice run while others are going to sleep not waking up.  As we worked on the details of our plan the final miles of our run gracefully disappeared.  We had out-thought the weather.  Mother Nature didn’t stand a chance against our brain trust.

The plan was to meet at 9 PM at Mummy Mountain.  Sure the temperature would still be up there but the sun would have set and moon beams are far more gentle than the sun’s repressive rays. The challenge of running at night is you have all day to prepare.  However my usual pre-run strategy was to roll out of bed, brush my teeth, grab a couple of Pop Tarts and drive to the meeting spot in a semi-conscious state.  I decided to just be lazy all day.  I would of course still take a nap.  I bought a couple of bottles of Gatorade and that was about it.  Around 6:30 I decided it was time to eat dinner and opted for a nice mixture of carbs and protein, a teriyaki chicken bowl at Yoshi’s.  A little heavier than my usual Pop Tarts but probably more appropriate.

Mother Nature also decided she wasn’t so keen on being outsmarted, so her pride decided to throw a 116 degree day at us, meaning it only cooled to 110 when we converged into the parking lot at Scottsdale and Lincoln. No biggie as we didn’t have the nasty sun to deal with. I poured one bottle of my fruit punch Gatorade into my Camelback.  Good choice of flavor for tonight’s run.

We flicked on our Garmins and off we went.  Two laps around Mummy Mountain lay ahead.  Running down McDonald on the back of Camelback Mountain we were surprised the heat seemed to be oddly mixed with high humidity. No problem because it  only took two miles until we would break free of the backside of Camelback.

I felt like crap and thought some delicious Gatorade would help.  So I drank some. Then I drank some more.  However it wasn’t working. I was burning up and my stomach started to rumble.  Jeff had his usual break at the tennis courts around mile 3 and I was hoping to quickly recover.  Didn’t happen.  Somewhere around mile 5 I started officially started Yoshi’s Run.

I threw up what I assumed was an entire large chicken teriyaki bowl.  I then felt surprisingly good.  Then I regurgitated.  Ran.  Vomited.  Ran.  Hurled.  Ran.  Heaved.  Ran.  Expectorated. Ran.  If I could come up with 7 more words for puke I could accurately describe the first loop.  All in all I threw up 13 times before we completed the first 10 miles.  Fortunately I chose a flavor of Gatorade that actually tasted almost as good heading north as it did going south.

On our halfway break I refilled my Camelback and begrudgingly started out again for the second loop.  After another five hurls I resigned and took a shortcut back to the parking lot, calling it quits after 13.

No big deal, it wasn’t the end of the world, I still had another 20 mile run in my schedule.  It couldn’t be worse could it?  I mean, come on, what was I going to do, slip in the shower and crack some ribs?

I have to hand it to Jeff, despite the complete and utter disgustingness of our final 8 miles, he hung in there with me trying to believe that I eventually had to stop throwing up. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

We learned two things that night.  The first, you really can’t outsmart Mother Nature.  Secondly, all epiphanies actually are not brilliant.

My Marathon Disasters – Chapter Two

February 2, 2012

Eric rutinFirst let me wish everyone a happy Groundhog Day.  I heard the rodent saw his shadow so another 6 weeks of winter.  Lately winter has been 75 and sunny, so I would gladly take another 52 weeks of winter myself.  However, I also learned that while Punxsutawney Phil gets all the accolades, there are actually several prognosticating sub-terrianians out there from Staten Island Chuck to General Beauregard Lee in Liburn, Ga and even north of the boarder with Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia.  And the kicker each of them predict their own duration.  But we aren’t here to discuss French Creek Freddie’s but to celebrate my marathon misadventures.

Showering at the Bates Motel

In 2005 I was training for my hometown marathon in Detroit. I was excited for this one for the obvious nostalgic reasons or returning to D Town but also Scotty and Jeff were going as well.  This was my first fall marathon so I had to train through the miserable Phoenix summer.  This meant waking up progressively earlier and earlier as my runs became longer and longer.  Carolyn, Marsha and Lorianne were running Chicago, another October marathon so the whole Running with Rage group was all training together.  By the time we got to 16 mile runs we were waking up at 3 am and hitting the canal by 4 am. I was climbing back into bed before the kids were waking up.  Despite these insanely early runs, training was pretty fun and going well.

One morning, a Thursday as a matter of fact, I went out for a weekday pre-work run.  I got home just as Michele (the ex) was finishing a shower and I needed to get going to get to work somewhat on time.  As soon as she got out I quickly hopped in, but just as I set my second foot down, I unfortunately discovered that she had tried a new foot scrub.  Apricot scented. And rather slick.

As my feet slid out from below me I began my perfumed plunge.  I frantically grabbed at the shower curtain and in amazingly slow motion curtain ring by curtain ring snapped off the rod as it aided rather prevented my fall.  Eventually the side of the tub offered an alternative to complete collapse to the floor.  Unfortunately it only reprieved my torso as my head collided with the tiled floor.  As I lay there naked draped over the side of the tub, I started wheezing  “What about my marathon, I need to run?” over and over.  Fortunately I was almost inaudiable otherwise I probably would have sounded as annoyingly whiny as Nancy Kerrigan after she was knee-whacked.

I had finished the first twenty mile run of my program, missed the second (you will read about that in Chapter Three) and my last chance before Detroit was in two days.  I was able to stand up finally, but still was unable to catch my breath.  Michele rushed in speechless as she tried to make sense of my hunched body, half-cloaked in a plastic toga, water spraying everywhere and sounding and probably looking like Gollum.

Finally I was able to somewhat breath, when we decided it was best for me to go to the emergency room. The good news is the hospital was conveniently located about a block and a half away. I slowly walked over and checked myself in. As I sat waiting the customary eternity for an emergency doctor to see me, I realized I was really in pain. I was fully expecting to recover during the wait and just walk home. Bruised but fine.  Sadly, the pain was increasing not decreasing.  I finally saw the doctor and was quickly diagnosed with three cracked ribs but no punctured lung.  I guess that qualified as good news.

The solution for cracked ribs is time and pain management. It is kinda like a broken toe without anything to tape it to.  I got a prescription for 30 Oxycodene tablets.  He told me to take one, if it worked great, if there still was pain, take two.  I gobbled down one tablet and walked home.

30 minutes later and still pain so tablet number two.  Being a male I decided cracked ribs were not going to keep me down.  A sniffle and guy will retreat to his childhood needing complete TLC from his significant other but a chainsaw accident can’t interfere with with the days plans.  I drove myself to work, determined to knock out some media planning.  By this point it was very evident to all my coworkers but not to me that tablet number two was taking effect.  Several of my peers strongly advised me to go back home.  I insisted I was fine.

Then Marsha came in my office really strongly advised me to go home.  I had unbeknowst to myself passed out face down and when my coworker roused me, I tried denying my unconsciousness. However, she pointed out the watch imprint on my forehead and the drool on my chin.  I relented and headed home.

I wasn’t able to run that final 20 mile, or even a mile for that matter that weekend.  I also discovered that narcotics and I didn’t mix as the Oxycodene provided more nausea than relief.  Another thing I discovered that for about 10 days after cracked ribs you feel like you just may die at any moment and then all of a sudden you are better two weeks later.

I was able to run a few 6 mile runs and a couple 3 miles run in the final three weeks before the marathon.  I entered the race with a simple goal of finishing but as Jeff and I started an odd thing happened. I felt great and 3 hours 54 minutes and 55 seconds later I was crossing the 50 yard line of Ford Field laughing at Jeff screaming at a poor girl at the finish.  But that is another story of running with rage.  I had PR’ed somehow despite only running one 2o mile run a month and a half before the race.

Eric Rutin has a GI Jeff!

December 12, 2011

Most boys growing up in my generation had a GI Joe that they played with, imagining this warrior hero was helping good triumph evil.  GI Joe was about a foot tall action figure that was a grizzled solider that was up for any task you assigned him.  He also took a lot of abuse: having many parachuting accidents, surviving multiple encounters with Michigan approved fireworks, and being driven over by almost every vehicle within 6 houses of mine.  He was a tough dude.

Well I am now 44 and haven’t played with a GI Joe for well over a quarter century, but I have a new companion I call GI Jeff.

GI Jeff doesn’t have as many cool gadgets, though he does always seem to be armed with GPS and a heart rate monitor.  GI Jeff is my running buddy that I have logged 1000’s of miles with by now.  He was also Running with Rage’s first follower.  This GI has not spent any time in the military, nor does his GI stand for Government Issued (which really isn’t all that tough if you think about it) but rather his stands for GastroIntestinal.

Because of his frequent need to use bathrooms even on the shortest of runs, Jeff has earned the moniker GI Jeff  from the Running with Ragers.  I think it was Lorianne that came up with the name and it has stuck.  Well last Sunday Jeff and I got together for a 12 mile run on the canal as I continue to train for PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon. We decided to meet at 7:30 and it was FREEZING!  I might as well have stayed in Knoxville as the mercury was a mere 29.  I know all my cold weather friends say I am a wimp, and well I just might be, but 29 is cold.  I arrived at Granada Park and Jeff soon drove by and parked, quickly exiting his truck for his usual pre-race pit stop. I have become accustomed to this and I have to say, and usually it is no big deal since we all know it is going to happen.  Especially since he is fast.  I started to get ready and knowing that Phoenix warms up, I took off my running pants and shed my jacket, deciding to run in on;y shorts and a long sleeve shirt.  Within an hour my core temperature would rise as well as the temp around me, so as long as I was moving, it would be fine.  I got out of my car and waited for Jeff to reappear, shivering and teeth clattering.

Usually no probably, as I said, typically he is fast.  Well this time he wasn’t and I stood there stoically freezing.  Finally he emerged and off we went.  It was so cold that my skin actually hurt on my legs.  Brrr!  Well we hit the gas station at mile 3 and of course, Jeff made his usual pit stop.  By now it had warmed up somewhat so I wasn’t freezing, however being old, I know have aches and pains, especially when running in the cold. So as I waited for him, my knee was throbbing in pain, a wonderful new condition I have developed in my advanced years when it is cold out and I am standing idle.

We were back on the path running, discussing all the things we usually do: holiday shopping, kids, jobs, the usual.  At mile 6 we turned around and started our return.  Then the conversation turned to his impending need for a bathroom again. Now three times on a 12 mile run is a lot, even for GI Jeff.  The bathroom was three miles away.

A mile and half later it was pretty clear he wasn’t going to make it back to the gas station so he started looking for discrete places. He was mocked again and again with what appeared to be alleys only to discover there were just recesses in people’s block walls.  Finally he found a clump of oleander.  Yes, this was his best alternative and he disappeared into the dense shrubbery.  While this is all fine and dandy for privacy, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was wishing he found vegetation with broader leafs.

Fortunately it warmed up now and my aches were gone.  Now I just wanted to finish to go get a bagel.  He soon reappeared and I didn’t want any details and off we went, resuming our usual conversation.  We finished our run without any additional incidents.  Carolyn met us for our final 2 miles and we all went off to get our bagels. I had a nice plain bagel toasted with plain cream cheese.

Jeff had some bizarre bagel that wasn’t round nor had a hole, two prerequisites I thought needed to be considered a bagel, and it was slathered with some schmeer that looked more like regurgitation to me.  I thought to myself, no wonder.



It is Turkey Day

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving finally arrived , signally that 2011 is officially winding down.  Carolyn and I started our Thanksgiving as we usually do with the annual 10 mile Turkey Trot.  We were watching the weather report on the morning news and the forecast predicted a traditional Thanksgiving temperature of 80 degrees.  So we dressed accordingly.  We arrived at the race to a chilly 51.  I guess after the 29 last week in Pittsburgh I really don’t have room to complain. 

The race this year seemed much bigger than in past years.  We lined up together, and as usual by the 1/4 mile mark Carolyn left me in the dust.  The race is one of my favorites.  I am not sure if it is the course, which is actually a pretty boring out and back or if it is the notion I get to eat whatever I want guilt free knowing I already ran 10 miles.  You burn 3000 calories on a 10 miler don’t you?  I hit the 5 mile mark feeling strong and that I was having a good race so I decided to click on the watch to see what my split was.  I ran from mile 5-6 in a solid 8:59, then 6-7 in just under a 10 minute pace.  WTF?  I thought I was running well. I was passing way more people than were passing me, so what was with me being a tortoise on the watch?  I know I am not posting the times I was in a couple of years ago, but I didn’t think I was this slow.  I forgot about it and  settled into a hard pace with two girls; the three of us running stride for stride passing groups of people.  I would like to think I was pushing them to stay up as hard as they were pushing me.

We turned down the final stretch which looped the baseball field at Peoria Sports Complex.  We all turned our kick on.  Unfortunately I quickly discovered that Carolyn isn’t the only girl faster than me.  I ran the final half mile with all I had left in what felt like an all out sprint to finish at 1:22:43.  I was too tired to do math, but I was coherent enough to know I wasn’t running 10 minute miles.  It wasn’t my best time, but I was happy.  Carolyn met me after the finish and made a joke about how far off the mile markers were (I guess that is why she wears a Garmin).  That made me feel better about my splits and just reinforced why I try not to look at my times in a race.  She finished at 1:16:13, another solid race as she gets ready for PF Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon in January.

We got home, took showers and got in our comfy clothes.  I started watching the Lions and she started cooking.  Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that I don’t do the cooking. Not complaining as I like doing the cooking, but this is Carolyn’s big day in the kitchen.  The bird is now officially in the oven.  Half of Detroit is injured, Suh has been tossed and the Lions are down 21-0.  Stafford has 8 interceptions in the past three games. Ugh.  Hmm, as I just typed this, he just threw his 3rd interception.  I guess at this point all I have to look forward to is Carolyn’s delicious candied yams.

Two great commercials during the first half. First was for Shark Attack Experiment on National Geo Channel. SCARY! The second was the NFL Play 60 spot that finally featured the Lions.  And did you see who was driving the bus?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Maybe next year the Lions will finally win a Thanksgiving Day game.  Spoken like a true lifelong Lions fan.

Cold in Pittsburgh

November 18, 2011

Carolyn and I are in Pittsburgh for her parents 50th anniversary.  This is all fine and dandy except we are also training for the upcoming PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon in January.  What does this mean?  It means that we have to run while on vacation.  OK, so what, we all run on vacation.  

Well it is 29 degrees here in Pittsburgh and for us whimpy desert dwellers this is freezing.  Well come to think about it, 29 is technically freezing anywhere provided we are talking Fahrenheit. The other drawback to Pittsburgh, at least out in Fox Chapel, is there isn’t a flat surface to be found.  So off to the track we went.  

I am not used to dressing in layers, but layers it was this morning.  I wore my running tights right up to run time when I shed them and ran in shorts, short sleeve, long sleeve, gloves and a hat. the first two laps were cold, but soon i finally “warmed” up. Two-thirds of the loop were tolerable, but two exposed corners we blistery from the wind.  Fortunately it was just a 4 mile run today, but tomorrow is a ten miler.  Hmmmmm, I will have the choice when I wake up of hills or mundane track for and hour and a half. 

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