Monday, June 23, 2008


On the road to recovery I am in the middle of two week break of running. I have not run a foot since last Saturday. I am doing yoga, active isolated stretching, lifting light weights and rowing.

By doing this, I notice a few things.

One: Running is an addiction albeit a not so bad one. The endorphin rush is second to none. I feel like an addict being slowly weened off of some substance.

Two: Running can really pound the body like nothing else. Rowing and cycling have their issues but they are muscular rather that bone/joint jarring impact ones. So, for the first time in a long time, my legs feel really fresh and many aches and strains are subsiding.

Three: I am enjoying other sports rather than just doing them to support my running.

Four: When I come back I will be better than ever.


On side note, I noticed that Chris Raabe(who is so quiet I did not know he was running the Grandmas Marathon), ran it in 2:17ish. At the moment, Chris is right up there with Wardian as the best marathoner in our Nation's Capital.


havegoats said...

hmm... I don't think Wardian has ever been under 2:20. Chris has... and he beat Wardian pretty handidly at the trials. So, in terms of marathoner, chris is superior. In terms of 50/100 milers... it remains for chris to run one.

Chris and Wilson both finish in the to 20, and Chris is the only american in the top 10, and maybe one of two americans in the top 20. and Chris's foot was not feeling so hot going into it.

MAX said...

Hey Jason, I agree with you if we are looking only at times. I factored into the equation that Mike Wardian has run more sub 2:30 marathons over a shorter period of time than anyone in this area bar none. This does not included the millions of other races he does.

I am not knocking Chris in any way, but simply saying that Wardian must be considered a top marathoning force if you consider # of high quality marathons, age(he is 34), years of running hard without injury, etc.

KLIM said...

"Best" marathoner = "fastest" marathoner, NOT durability/number of marathons run.

The "best" marathoner in the DC area during the past year or two is Chris Raabe or Jacob Frey.

Wardian is definitely "one of the top" marathoners in the area but certainly not the best. Raabe and Frey have Wardian by about 5 mins.

I am pretty sure Wardian is tops at anything over 26.2.

Also, Raabe is one hell of a racer. When he goes to the line he usually runs incredible.

Peter said...

Quality trumps quantity in training and in racing.

MAX said...

Everything is subjective. You need to look at what people's obejctives are, etc. Chris is a heck of a runner and is totally disciplined about his running. His goals and objectives are different than Wardian's. Mike likes to go to the races wherever and whenever. He enjoys the whole gamet. Its part of his personality. I am sure that if he ran two marathons a year, one
8k and one 10k and one half like Chris, his times would be faster. Jacob Frey is in the same category as Chris. I am thinking outside of traditional running rules on this one. Lets put it this way, there are lots of elite runners who have run a few 2:17 marathons. As far as I can tell/recollect there is nobody who has and is doing what Wardian has and or does. FYI---He is running the Great Western States 100 mile coming up.

KLIM said...


No one will likely disagree with your last comment, but initially we were discussing "the best". The best, as Dr. Silverman notes, is measured in quality/time not quantity of races.

Additionally, few people (as you have noted) are as durable as Mike Wardian. Some runners simply can race a lot (and race well) without getting hurt/breaking down. He is extremely consistent too (almost always runs 31:40s for 10k, 2:25ish for marathon).

Steve Scott is rumored to have run 50 minute 10 milers for morning runs and ran up to 30 races between his indoor and outdoor track seasons. How many races do you think Alan Webb et al run? Maybe 10? Scott was one of those guys who rarely got banged up and could handle the intense training/racing schedule.

The Muppet Show was a great show back in the '80s, but now I too am getting off topic...

MAX said...

Bottom line is nobody I know of can run one marathon one day in 2:24 or whatever and then fly in a plane to another state and run one in 2:30 or whatever the next morning and then recover to run other marathons in subsequent weeks. This is prolific. I will say that Wardian is the strongest all around runner and yes, there will always be some young guy to outrun him in particular races. I attribute this to his running too many races and just being tired.

I think we might be debating apples and oranges?

The muppet show-------where did that come from???

havegoats said...

Actually, the bottom line is that the only impartial determination is the clock. To argue wardian is better takes to much speculation and explanation, which you have tried valliantly to make, but have ultimately left us unswayed.

With equal speculation and explanation, I could make a case that if Chris reset his goals on ultras, he could beat wardian. The fact is that he has no time to prove this, just as wardian does not have a faster time to prove he is better. To argue that he could run faster, if he made it his sole goal requires the subjunctive "could" inherently expressing potential, and not fact.

MAX said...

My point is based on the notion that faster does not equate to better. This is what I have been trying to say all along. Chris and Mike are totally different animals. I have been watching runners in this area for a long time. Nobody comes close to Wardian for # of quality races over such a long time without breaking down. He is a machine. Remaining healthy is very much part to the "great runner" criteria/mystique.

I am not trying to convince any of you that I am right or you are wrong but simply try and explore the topic. Why is everyone so fixed on the time=better concept? time just equals faster.

Wardian ran the and won the JFK 50miler one week and the next week ran some 10K in 31something and then ran a marathon and so on and on. Its hard to believe you or anyone does not see that this ia unprecedented.

I am not putting Mike on the Mount Olympus stool or anything but, if he stays healthy for a few more years, he will go down in history as the most talented all around distance runner this area has ever produced.

FYI--Just a few years ago I can remember Erik Kean, Chris Banks, Aaron Church, Gramsky, Wardian, and some others running fast marathons. Kean and Banks were great runners and posted faster 10k times than Crane or others running in this area today.

At present, the only one who has remained constant and even gotten stronger and more diversified with his running is Wardian.

KLIM said...

You are wrong.

Faster DOES equate to better...especially in the sport of running.

It is very easy to measure success and determine who is better than who - simply look at the clock.

If I went out each weekend and ran 16:05-16:17 for 5k over and over again, week and week out, would I be considered "better" than the guy who ran 15:30 just because I can string a bunch of races together? Of course not.

Again, no one is arguing that Wardian isn't a great runner or not one of the best runners around...he simply isn't THE best because he frankly isn't the fastest and that is what counts.

MAX said...

why does faster equate to better? faster just means faster. I bet that someday a book will be written about Wardian's accomplishments as a runner. Nobody in this area could or will do what he is doing(at least not now)

When I look at other sports such as Baseball, Basketball, Football, Tennis, etc. they are all comprised of many sprints(many little races within the big game-a season). In Basketball, the more explosive jumper, faster runner, tallest player might win out in the moment and take a game or two, but during the course of an entire season, its the team with the most overall victories, durability and long term strength and intelligence that previals.

I think it is reasonable to disagree or agree to disagree and leave it at that. I am not one to ever come out and just discount someone else's opinion with a "you are wrong" An opinion is just that an opinion.

Or, perhaps someone who is nutty enough to try running marathons every week at a 2:25 pace and then run a 10k on the off days in 32 minutes and so on should try it and see if they can sustain it over a year or so should try it and see if they can keep running at that pace(ala Wardian).

Billy said...

Well Max, I suppose that running needs some sort of Grand Prix series to test out the seasonal strength of runners (I know the IAAF has the Golden League, etc.). I'd have to agree with the majority, that faster does equal better. How many of us would prefer to run a 2:17 vs. running 2:25's many times a year? What's admirable about Wardian is that he can keep reeling off those runs. But I also wouldn't put Raabe, et. al (as an example) as a one-hit wonder, since he's now run 2:17 and change twice (and those are just the two races I know of).

havegoats said...

Max, you're shifting your statement around. you initially said: "Chris is right up there with Wardian as the best marathoner in our Nation's Capital." The key word you said was marathoner, not ultra or even top distance runner. Chris is the best marathoner. Time is the objective, cold, official determination. not subjective rationalization.

Someone could run 6 marathons at 2:20 and another guy could run one marathon at 2:19. The 2:19 guy goes to the trials. The 2:20 guy can't lobby by saying he's more proven over time and a is a better marathoner. They would say, tough cookies, get under 2:20 and we'll talk."

2FNslo said...

This seems like a rather heated exchange for what began as sort of an afterthought.

MAX said...

this is starting to become a poor man's version of the Lets Run site.

My original intention on my initial post was simply to commend Chris for running a great race.

I stand by this original intention and leave it at that.

Scott said...

Muppet Christmas Carol is a great movie. Light the lamp not the rat, light the lamp not the rat....

Melissa said...

Movin' right along, foot-loose and fancy-free...

2FNslo said...

While I'll grant you that Muppet Christmas Carol is pretty great as far as Christmas specials go, John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together comes in at 50 minutes to MCC's 85, and therefore is better (i.e., faster).

Anonymous said...

To 2fnslo: I don't know about that. Everytime I watch Muppet Christmas Carol it is good, consistently good, and I have watched it many times, sometimes one day after the other and it's always good, therfore I think better than JD and the Muppets. I'm not sure you are using the right criteria to judge good. Please don't view this as a personal attack.

havegoats said...

The specials are too fickle and both are slow and inconsistant when compared to the TV shows which clock in at 22 minutes and performed day in and day out- without the benefit of pace setting ringers like John Denver.

havegoats said...
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