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Murray Resinski – Certified ChiRunning Instructor |







Running with a headlamp is good for getting immediate feedback on how much my head is moving around when I run. However, a headlamp does not always make sense in all situations. Sometimes you have to improvise.

Recently at the “24 Hours of Moab – The Run,” I ran 13 hours from 6pm to 7am. Only the first two laps were in the light. I planned on taking a headlamp. When I actually started using it, I noticed that a headlamp was not going to work. The trail was over quite a bit of slick-rock and required constant scanning to find the next painted blaze or glow-tag. With the headlamp, I had to be moving my head back and forth, up and down, in order to stay on trail. I took the headlamp off and considered using my hand-held flashlight. The problem with hand-flashlights is that you have hold your wrist at a rather odd angle to shine the light. It was not relaxing and I did not want to alter my arm technique that much.

So, I decided to try and use the headlamp in my hand.

This actually worked pretty well. The hand and arm position is not PERFECT from a Chi Running perspective, but it is better than a flashlight. I was able to keep my arm straight and with the head-strap wrapped around my wrist I could relax my grip a little without having to worry about dropping it. Also, headlamps usually swivel, so I was able to change the direction of the beam to allow me to maintain my arm position. Try it. Let me know what you think.


Shoulders and Breathing

Shoulders are tough. Just when I think I have them relaxed, it seems I can relax them even more. Striking the balance between a bent elbow, arm swing, and relaxed shoulders is rather difficult. It is not as easy as just telling myself, “relax your shoulders.” I like to find actual methods or tricks to help me get to where I want to be. One of the benefits of being a run-commuter and an endurance runner is that I have PLENTY of time to experiment and discover. Recently, I have been trying to work on my shoulder relaxation and my breathing. I realized that I can use shoulder relaxation to help my breathing and use my breathing to help relax my shoulders. Now that’s efficiency.







One of my goals has been to use more belly-breathing instead of all thoracic-breathing. I also want to keep my shoulders relaxed. The higher my breathing is in my chest the more tense my shoulders get.

Here is my solution: Various yoga “flavors” suggest the use of breathing to deepen a posture. They use the exhale as the moment of relaxation. Inhale. When you exhale, relax. If I inhale into my belly, there is less tension in my upper chest. Follow?

I breathe into my belly
I exhale comfortably.
I relax the shoulders during the exhale.

My shoulders actually respond well to the idea of relaxation if there is less “going on” in my upper chest. Instead of “checking-in” with my shoulders and separately “checking-in” with my breathing. I now do both at the same time. The results. Both get better. The components of my running become more integrated.

“Putting it all together.”


Real body-sensing is the start, but the issue is bigger than that. It all comes down to “self-honesty.” Not just in running, but in balanced life as well. In running, it’s good to ask ourselves questions. “How does my body feel today?” “Am I being efficient?” “Do I hurt?” “Am I having fun?” “Am I really leaning correctly?” Those are all critical questions. We have to answer these questions. We have to answer these questions HONESTLY to ourselves. Really take time to evaluate what is happening. Answers driven by anything other than honesty will cause trouble. Next step after honest evaluation…make a decision on a course of action. Only then can we execute and evolve as trail-runners, road-runners, and life-runners.


Run-commuting: One less car. One less bike.

It’s been a year now.  I’ve been a run commuter since March of 2011.  I have not owned a car for several years now.  I was using bicycles a lot, but now I only ride the mountain bikes on trails for fun.  I no longer use the bike for general transportation.  I Chi Run or Chi Walk everywhere.  Everyday.  Work.  Grocery store.  Shopping.  Library.  Concerts.  Pretty much everything.  Happy to say that I have had no over-use or running related injuries.


Weekend in NYC


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This weekend I had the opportunity to assist Danny with the two workshops in NYC.


Running With Music


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Should I run with music?

It’s all about being happy.  If music AND running both provide happiness, do it!  Double the happiness.  It all comes down to WHY.  Listening to music as a distraction from pain is dangerous?  Addressing the source of the pain is essential.   Check in with your local instructor. Listening to music to avoid boredom is probably deflecting the issues. Perhaps a change is in order.  Run a new route.  Switching from road to trail (or vice versa).  Is music a way to “zone-out”?  Awareness and “being present” along with the music should be the goal.

When should I run with music?

Only run with music when you FEEL like it.  Don’t put yourself on a schedule that Monday is always your “music run” or something like that.  Some Mondays you may not be into it.  Listen to music when it feels right and DON’T listen to music when it doesn’t feel right.  Pay attention while running.  How is the music making you feel?…that’s the key.

What kind of music should I listen to?

There is no single style of music that is best for running.  Run to music that you like.  Seriously.  Listening to music that you are only mildly excited about can be a bummer.  Make sure the music on the player is all stuff that is wanted.  Many of us keep extra music on our players.  Take the time and get rid of it.  I bought a smaller-capacity player recently in order to avoid over-filling it with garbage.

Should I listen to yoga music?

Listen to music that allows relaxation.  This does not mean that we should all be listening to spacey-ambient-meditation music.  Different people are relaxed by different styles of music.  Listen to what is relaxing.  The trick to is pay attention to how your body and brain responds and BE AWARE if you are relaxed or not.  Check-in.  ”Am I relaxed?”  If  grindcore or thrash metal is relaxing, GO WITH IT.

What kind of portable player / earphones should I use?

I’ve tried a number of different players.  I don’t think that there is a “best” player for running.  The key is to find a player and earphone combination that does not get in the way of running form.  If it is too heavy or the cord is in a strange location in relation to your arms, try something different.  If you find that you are adjusting your arm swing to avoid the cord, try a different player, earphones, or method of carrying.

Shouldn’t I be listening to my body?

Listen to your body with your body.

Should I try to match the beat with cadence?

Sometimes it is fun to run to the beat, but I wouldn’t make it a requirement.  To ALWAYS have music that fits the right beat for your cadence could be really tough.  Especially music that you like.

Is it dangerous to run with music?

We all learn to drive defensively.  The same is true of running.  Run defensively.



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The Deseret News Marathon is run every year in Salt Lake City on the same day as Pioneer Day, a Utah celebration and holiday, complete with fireworks, a killer parade, and all kinds of insanity.  It starts at the top of Big Mountain at the top of East Canyon.  It comes down and links in with Emigration Canyon and then down into the City.  It ends at Liberty Park which is about a block from my house.  I wanted to do the double with this one…for SURE.

I started at about 9:30pm from the Park and began to run the course backwards.  It follows roads that I know well and then heads up the Canyons.  I took a big bladder full of water because of the heat.  I am so glad that I did.  I took plenty of food, including the dates and Maya Gold chocolate that worked so well at Utah Valley.  It was a much lighter pack than last time.

My running felt…smooth…from the beginning.  This was an indicator of what was to come.  I felt a little slow over the first 10 miles and kicked up the pace when I got to the Canyon.  I FLEW up.  I felt so strong, so “on top,” so relaxed.  It set the stage for what would be a fantastic run.  The moon was full and I ended up not needing my flashlight or my headlamp.  The Canyons were amazing at night.  Beautiful.  I loved every minute of it.  The last three miles to the top are killer, but I ran the whole way.  Either I went too fast or left too early, but I ended up at the top at 3am…the start of the race was not until 5:30am.

It was windy and a little cold at the top. 55 degrees.  I took shelter in the Park Service restroom for a bit, sitting on a turned-over garbage can.  I needed to get off my feet and stay warm.  It was the only option.  The shuttles of racers started to arrive and hanging out with them kept me awake and warm.  I think I got about 40 minutes of sleep.

I ate some chocolate and dates and got into place for the start of the organized race.  As the sun came up, we headed down that Canyon.  Again, fantastic views and I got chills from just how PERFECT everything was.  Talk about high quality of experience.  This was a runner’s dream.  I got into my groove and just stayed there.

As we got toward the bottom, the sun started to get really strong and by the time I turned on to Foothill Drive, my body was a little freaked out.  I walked a few steps and had some additional dates and chocolate.  It FIXED everything.  I strapped my back back on and continued.  Running through town was both familiar and new.  Same stuff but different conditions.  It was like running some of these roads for the first time.

Seeing the parade and all the spectators gave me an additional thrill and a little boost.  I finished in good shape at 4:29 and change.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together.

Oh yeah.  I had two songs in my head the whole time:

1) The Price Of A Mile by Swedish Progressive Metal band Sabaton and

2) Keep It Greasy So It’ll Go Down Easy by Frank Zappa.



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As a ChiRunning Certified Instructor, I get asked very frequently what I think about “Born To Run” and barefoot running. My immediate response is “I like my shoes.” Instead of discussing the relative merits or barefoot running with which I have only minimal experience, I would rather write about why I like my shoes.

My shoes of choice are the UK Gear PT-03 DESERT Hot Environment Running Shoe. I discovered them during preparation for “Racing The Planet’s 4deserts Sahara” multi-day stage run. I discovered that they worked for me as an all-around shoe.

1) They fit.
I did the research. I bought a ton of shoes. Zappos loves me. I tried them on various terrain and over different durations. I did not go into the experiment with preconceived notions about brand. I did not do a review of running magazine rating charts. I bought a bunch and tried them all. I found a much better pair this way. I found a better pair than if I went to a running store and took a salesperson’s opinion. I believe I found a much better pair that if I simply looked at what the “Pros” were using. The questions is “What does a shoe that fits feel like?” Do we really know? Perhaps barefoot feels better for some people because they have been running in shoes that didn’t really fit.

2) My form is already good.
My form is pretty “dialed in.” I don’t need to run barefoot to force me into good running form. This should happen in this order. We should establish good running form and THEN reduce the amount of shoe. Not vice-versa. Running barefoot with the hope that we develop good running form is a recipe for injury and generally un-fun running.

3) I go anywhere.
In my shoes I can run road, trail, uphill, downhill, through stores, into bars, through rain, mud, dirt, rocks. I can ride my bike and do really cool bricks.

4) It is a ritual.
My shoes have become like vestments, ceremonial garb, or armor. They are part of my routine of running. I find the right clothes, put on the right socks, gather the necessary gear, and slip on the shoes. Correct gear preparation is very satisfying as is the completion of a run with the correct gear.

5) I feel the road AND I feel my feet.
My shoes have the right about of construction and room. I have “road sensitivity” and the ability to “body sense” my feet. “Are my feet relaxed?” “Am I gripping with my toes?” “Are my ankles relaxed to the point where I can effectively lean from them?”

6) My shoes allow me to run long.
I can do 3 hours. I can do 5 hours. I can do 12 hours. Not that I HAVE to, but I WANT to. I WANT to be out there for a long time. I WANT to run and listen to an entire opera.

In short, my running shoes help establish the entire running experience for me. Running is a magical thing. It alters reality. It allows suffering. It allows transcendence. My shoes are a critical aspect of this magical experience. My shoes are magic items. (That’s a D&D joke.)

I do continue to experiment with barefoot running and with minimal shoe running. I like Nike Free. I have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers that I wear periodically. I have a pair of Terra Plana EVOs arriving this week.

I am not closing the book on barefoot running or minimal shoe running, but I do not want to compromise my fantastic running experiences. I want to continue to run happy.



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The day started out pretty crazy. I worked from home so that I could pick up my rental car and my “ChiRunning in Salt Lake City” poster at Kinkos.  As an added bonus, I was able to stop by City Dogs and have two chili cheese dogs for lunch. It’s not important to this race report, but I just want to write about it because I love them sooooo much. He he he.

So, it was a whirlwind of a day. Work, race prep, presentation prep, directions, everything. There is nothing like a crazy day to kick off a crazy event weekend. I was able to pack up everything I needed, but in the insanity forgot to pack GLOVES. Stupid. Oh well.

I made it to the Expo, set up, and went into “business self-promotion” mode. “Have you heard of ChiRunning? Would you like to run faster or longer? Any injuries?”  I passed out a ton of cards and talked to a wide range of runners. I love runners. Such a mixture of types of people. Fantastic. As the night went on, discussion and chatter about race-day weather became more common. The forecast was calling for cold rain and generally tough weather. No gloves. Hmmmmm. I got a tip from the guy in the next booth that there was a “Sportsman’s Outfitters” across the street. After I packed up from the Expo, I drove over. While in the car, it became evident that YES, it was going to be a nasty night and a nasty race. A fantastic woman at the Outfitters hooked me up with a new heavy fleece hat, killer Gortex gloves, hand warmers, and a nice new warm base layer. Thanks to her, wherever she is. She saved me.

So put on all my clothes and packed up my bag while in the parking lot and BLASTING Peter Maxwell Davies’ Resurrection opera. I drove back over to the mall, locked up, and went out to start. I walked over the the Finish line area where there were some folks setting up. I walked up and asked, “If someone wanted to run the course backwards, which way would you tell them to head out?”  They looked at me like I had three heads and eventually passed on the info. Unfortunately, I had not had the time to really study the course and took their word for it. Later, I would find that they left out a critical turn in the course description. So, off I went. Bundled up and running through Provo in the rain. The adrenaline kicked in and I was loving it. Tough rain, a pack full of overnight gear, and perfect running form. Ahhhh. This is going to be GREAT. Yeah. OK.

I finally made it to the mouth of Provo Canyon and had a few moments of “the sublime.” The formations and mountains, looming ominous as huge “shapes” in the dark, were amazing to run beneath. I was still stoked and still in good shape. I was a little wet, but I was drinking, eating, and loving life. What a great night this was going to be.

Well. It turned pretty quickly. The weather in the Canyon got really nasty really fast. Next thing I knew, I was running through stinging, cold rain. The winds kicked up, and the temperature dropped. All of a sudden, I started to question the decision to do this in the first place. “What the F have I gotten myself into?” I was not even at mile 13 yet and it was getting brutal. Suffering set in. The roads got hard and the hills got steeper. My mode shifted from pure running to pure survival. Were all my zippers set just right? Where were possible areas of leakage. Were the insides of my gloves getting too wet? How can I optimize “gloves-off” time to make sure I didn’t get my fingers too cold? Were the feet in good shape? Was my hat working well? Is my water bladder going to freeze? Every little aspect started to get really important. I had to consider every little thing to make sure that I could get through the first 26.2 AND a possibly miserable second 26.2. More adrenaline kicked in…this time from general fear. I had to change my running to sweat less in order to avoid hypothermia. This meant going a little slower…this meant being out longer. WOW. Within the blink of an eye, everything I learned last year in Scotland, Tahoe, and Egypt started to pay off.

Luckily, they had already started to prepare for the race. Porta-johns were out and they were beginning to barricade the race lane on the highway. I took refuge in a porta-john for a quick adjustment of food and gear. One of those wild moments. I’m in a cold, plastic, portable out-house. I’m freezing. I’m wet. I’m a little freaked out. The porta-john actually had a small mirror in it. I caught my reflection…and…WOW. Not good. I went back out into the rain and continued on. I really don’t remember the next few miles. Just pure adrenaline and worry. I made it to mile 13 where there is a tunnel in the mountain. I walked through the tunnel and considered turning around. Then…I came out the other side of the tunnel. OH…MY…GOD. There was a totally different weather pattern on the other side. No rain. The air was warmer. The wind was “easy.” I couldn’t believe it. How does THIS happen? You hear about mountain “micro-climates,” but this was really interesting. Seriously, a TOTALLY different weather pattern. This is just what I needed. Onwards.

I started to relax. Almost too much. It was getting late. I had been up and active since about 4am Friday morning. Here we go again. Falling asleep while running. Cool. Happened to me at Vermont and a little at Tahoe. Crazy. I can actually fall asleep for brief moments WHILE running. Holy smokes. Most of the aid-station tables and water were already set out for the race and the mile markers were all up. Luckily, I started to count down the miles. I don’t usually do this, but it turned out to be really important. I also started to hallucinate as part of my sleepiness. The reflective barricade signs became robots. The construction equipment around the dam became prehistoric monsters. The mud became feces. The mind is a peculiar thing. Truck traffic became strangely heavy and I spent a lot of time stepping on and off the road to be as safe as possible. At one point a car came down the highway at an accelerated rate of speed. The driver was doing “serpentine” in and out of the barricade barrels, entering the race land and then back to the travel lane. Luckily I noticed it at the last minute and jumped out of the way, avoiding getting hit by only a few feet. Never a dull moment.

After running past a beautiful lake, I realized that I had not seen a mile marker in a while. I ran a little further and then recalled the race course description from the folks at the Finish line. They didn’t mention any turns. From what they said, I just had to stay on this road. I had looked at the course map at one point and remember there being at least one major turn. I stopped. Made a decision, and doubled back. Good thing I did. There was a turn and there WAS a race sign. Close call. I ended up only running an extra mile or so. Could have turned out to be a disaster. Had I kept going, I would have ended up in Heber City. Not good.

The hallucinations and sleepiness continued. Cows and horses started appearing by the roadside. My headlamp was catching their eyes. The only thing I could think of…”mountain farm monsters.” That’s what they were…”mountain farm monsters.” Cool. I mooooooed back to them. Cool. When I did my race food shopping, I picked up a bar of Maya Gold chocolate. The prospect of getting to the starting line and digging into it really gave me a nice boost. Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. This bar of chocolate became the most important thing in the world. The last 5 miles through mountain farm country was really tough. It got cold again and actually started to snow. Luckily the road surface was asphalt and a little easier on the feet. No traffic. Just me. The road, and the mountain farm monsters.

In the distance, I saw big lights…like the kind they set up for night road work. This HAD to be it. Sure enough. Ahhh…..the end…I mean…ahhh…the Start…whatever. I walked up to the people that were there. They were blowing up a big race start arch. I asked them, “Is this the Starting Line?” They thought I was a volunteer and one guy actually said, “Here…give me a hand with this.” I just walked away. Sorry. Not going to pitch in this morning. I found the porta-johns and did a little gear management. Then…THE CHOCOLATE…and dried dates. Like a gourmet meal. It was that one thing that I had packed that really paid off. Maya Gold. Maya Gold.

Soon. A minivan of more volunteers arrived to set up the check-in table. I asked them if I could sit down in the minivan for a while. I explained what I was doing and they were more than willing to allow me to relax, sleep, etc. They gave me a nice blanket. I got about 40 minutes of sleep. I got back up, changed my base layer, refilled my water, and went to wait at the start line. Everyone looked so fresh. Everyone looked so rested. I just stood there, swaying back and forth. Eventually…not sure how much time passed…the canon went off and we started to run. Here we go…part TWO.

It started to rain again. Everyone around me was running in the usual modified marathon garbage-bag. I got into my cadence and began the food and water routine. Soon, pain set in. The bottoms of my feet were starting to feel the effects of running on the hard, concrete highway. This was really annoying. My legs were fine. My hydration was good. My food intake was good. My temperature was good. Just the pain in the feet. Every stride was painful. I was at mile 6 or 7 or so. This meant another 20 miles of this. It took everything I had to keep going. I did stop and walk a little, but that really didn’t help. The bottoms of my feet still hurt while walking. I figured the only thing that was going to stop the pain would be to STOP. This is NOT something that I wanted to do. So…I just kept plodding along. No alteration in running form changed things. Running on the shoulder didn’t change anything. No way to avoid it. Pain with every stride. It became a total mental challenge. How do you take the next stride KNOWING it is going to end in pain? I took a few Advil. It didn’t help. Pain. Pain. Pain. I’ll say it again. PAIN. (That a DM joke.)

The rain stopped and the skies started to clear. I came out of the Canyon. The roads got really boring. Just a road. Just a road. Just pain…and a road. My saving grace…PEOPLE…talking to PEOPLE. The pain became manageable. I talked to PEOPLE. I met one woman who was in her 60s and doing here 80th marathon. I talked to her the whole way to the finish. Italy. Family. Running. Utah. Work. Jobs. Just good solid conversation. We approached the finish line. We thanked each other. I think it made the final miles doable for BOTH of us. It was a pretty PURE moment. Thanks.

I crossed the finish line, got my medal, let them clip off my chip, and went in search of a banana. A race finish with out a banana is like a day without sunshine. They had boxes. Bonus. I found a chair. I sat down. I drank some water. I ate my banana.

What a great race. What a great experience. I am so glad I did it. Probably do it again in July up and down Emigration Canyon for the Desert News Marathon.  Anyone want to join me?



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I’m going to be at the Utah Valley Marathon Expo on Friday at the Provo Towne Centre Mall.   Stop down and meet me.  Ask questions.  Sign up for newsletter.  Meet your local instructor.  I’m a really nice guy.

After the Expo, I will be packing away my stuff, slipping on my shoes, and strapping on my backpack.  I’m going to start from the Finish line late at night and run the Marathon BACKWARDS…that’s UP Provo Canyon.  When I get to the top, I’ll join the rest of the field and run it back down to the Finish line.  I’ll try and post updates during the night.  That is if the iPhone continues to get coverage.  Here is the profile. (he he he he he)