The Power of Visualization

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus always played a course in his mind before actually beginning a game. In his own words: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. First I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I see the ball going there; its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”

Rarely is high performance achievable and sustainable without some level of proficiency in visualization.  Author Shakti Gawain says “Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life.”  The literature is full of content and examples of athletes and others who incorporate visualization into their performance rituals.  Please read on for some powerful information related to this performance-enhancing tool.  Whatever your field of endeavor

Why are comprehensive lower extremity biomechanical evaluations important to athletes over 30?

A comprehensive biomechanical examination/evaluation is very important for athlete over thirty as this will help identify any biomechanical “faults” that may lead to injury.  As we age, our bodies undergo several changes including such things as muscle tightness and inflexibility.  This is especially true if you haven’t been active for a while or are returning to activity after a lengthy layoff.  Understanding what your biomechanical challenges are, may help selecting the proper shoe or other type of equipment that you may need.  By indentifying these potential problems, steps can be taken to help with injury prevention, such as stretching the proper muscles, strengthening weak muscle groups or maybe orthotic intervention.  You should be evaluated by a professional who is trained in biomechanics.

The Beauty of British Columbia Doesn’t Disappoint

Sekyen and I flew from Sarasota, FL to Seattle, WA, picked up a rental car and drove across the border to Canada, drove to Horseshoe Bay, and then took a ferry to the Sunshine Coast for the Sea Cavalcade Mile. It was a long day of travel as we finally went to bed around 4:00am eastern time.

Gibsons, B.C. hosts the “Sea Cavalcade,” a three-day festival with fireworks, talent shows, various sports competitions, a parade with a three-plane flyover beforehand, and kids activities. Part of the festival is the Sea Cavalcade Mile which takes place just before the parade. The Sea Cavalcade Mile was my smallest mile event with a small group of competitors, but the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people more than made up for the lack of participants.

The Sea Cavalcade Mile is a point to point race (mostly following the parade route). The race begins at 11am just prior to the parade. The course begins with an incline in the first quarter, then goes slightly downhill. I ran a 4:49 coming in second place. Here is a photo of the race directors Larry and Teresa Nightingale, and mens’ and womens’ winner, Neil Holm and Kim Boskov.

It was nice to meet people that wanted to come out and say hello and tell me about their various stories with track and field. Here is a photo with Mark Benson, who participates in the mens’ pentathlon in Canada along with his 75-year old father. Mark got his Dad involved with the pentathlon a few years back and his Dad fell in love with the competition. These are wonderful stories how the love of sports competitions brings families together.

The parade that followed the mile race had a variety of themes. Here is a photo of Japanese exchange students who we met while sampling some fine Asian food at a Thai restaurant the previous evening. There is a strong Asian-Pacific influence in British Columbia which makes me feel right at home after all my years of living in southeast Asia. I can eat Asian food at every meal and never tire of the cuisine. Here in Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia, I had a large selections of restaurants.

We are traveling to Amarillo, TX on Wednesday. The race in Amarillo will be at 3500 feet altitude, so it will be very different than the race here in Gibsons, B.C. in Canada. We look forward to Race #14 in Amarillo and the challenges that come along with it!  

New Additions and Schedule Changes

Please visit the new section on the blog entitled “As Seen On TV.” This section shows the interviews with various television affiliates and also has the newly updated video which features the Ceremonial First Mile from Tarpon Springs, FL. It has me racing through Tarpon Springs to the jazz music of Bob McCarroll who has a new album coming out called “Crisis.” Bob’s music can be found at

There have been a few scheduled races that were altered in the second half of the 20/20/20<5@45. As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, The Don Bowden Mile in California was canceled on 7/12. This not only affected that race on 7/12, but also my scheduled race in Alaska on 7/19. Since I was not going to be in California, we felt that Alaska had to be changed as well. So that is why I changed the schedule to participate in Chambersburg,PA and Harrisburg, PA on 7/12 and 7/16.

After much discussion, we also felt to pass on the 1500 meters event in Spokane, WA at the National Masters Outdoor Championships. At the beginning of this journey in May, I said I was going to Spokane and make the 1500 meters into an unofficial time mile time (as I was going to continue another 109 meters). At, we have decided to maintain the theme of our summer race schedule by selecting “featured” one mile road races around North America without one mile “fun runs” or track events. I will miss not seeing the other competitors at Outdoor Nationals, but I will see them at the Indoor National Master Championships in Maryland next March.

Hope to see you in my upcoming events in Gibsons, B.C., Amarillo, TX, or Springfield, MO!

NBC Channel 8 Harrisburg, PA

Here is a video featuring my finish at the Harrisburg Mile on 7/16, then it follows me to an interview with NBC Channel 8 of Harrisburg directly after coming through the finishing chute – sorry that audio is difficult to pick up as it was very noisy around the finish area:

Back Into Form At The Harrisburg Mile

The 27th Annual Smith Barney Harrisburg Mile took place along the water on Front Street Wednesday evening with 13 different heats. The course is point to point flat course with approximately 150 yards of slight incline at the finish. The money raised for the event benefits the newly renovated Harrisburg YMCA. This was my third race in twelve days and it was the race I finally found the mechanics that I have been searching for in the past.

As runners, there are times that we lose our form, speed, or technique. In the last few races I was feeling that I was working too hard at times and not feeling any flow with my running. I thought it might be my arms, legs, or extensive travel. Before the Harrisburg Mile, I had the awareness that my difficulties had to do with my body position when I was running. The best way to actually see my running style when I feel strong, fast, and bounce can be seen in the logo. Notice the torso of my body slightly forward with my chest leading me down the road. The last month or so I have been feeling my chest falling behind my hips affecting my stride, arms, and foot plant. This would happen most often when I was feeling tired during a race or workout. I remember coach Ray Helsing telling me, “David you are leaning back.” 

So at Harrisburg I had three aspirations: Start off with a strong 1/8th of a mile, keep my torso in the same position the entire race, and then trust this form will work. Two moments in the race I felt my torso lean back to this passive, slower, and easier position. Both times I corrected the position in order to maintain my strong form. It felt great running like this. For the first time in weeks, I flowed. There was not a lot of effort to feel speed and bounce. I finished in 4:49 and gained the confidence to use this in future races. I hope to run a lower time now in the next few races. Check out the video at  

Here is a photo with Anne Aufiero, President of AdAbility, Inc. in Harrisburg who set up the television interviews and handles the marketing of the event for Smith Barney.

Then I am here with the winner of the Elite heat, John Butler, who ran the Harrisburg Mile in honor and in memory of his grandmother who passed away recently. John ran a 4:15 and has been the winner of the event each of the last three years.

It was fun to be back in Pennsylvania for two races. Sekyen and I returned to Florida for a few days before we fly to Vancouver for race #13. This is my only race outside of the USA this summer. We are both looking forward to spending time in Vancouver and running the event in Gibsons, B.C. on the 26th. Here is a clip from the local NBC station in Harrisburg.

High School Runners Show Their Class in Chambersburg

At the 5th Annual Tim and Susan Cook Memorial Chambersfest One-Mile Race, participants came out to support the former coach of the girls cross country and track team for 27 years at Chambersburg High School – Tim Cook. The one-mile race is in honor of Tim and his wife Susan, who were killed in an automobile accident in December of 2002. The money raised from the race benefits the Tim and Susan Cook Memorial Scholarship Fund which awards two Chambersburg Area High School senior runners each year. Athletes came out and ran as a tribute to their former coach or in memory of a coach that came before their time in high school.

In my travels around North America this summer, it is very special for me to also interact with the youth at the races. The high school students in Chambersburg, who I had the pleasure in meeting last year as well, really are great people. They respect the coaches at the high school (past and present), they compete to the best of their abilities at the race, and they aspire to make a difference. I had the opportunity to not only race against them, but also “cool down” with them on their cross country course. It was my pleasure to get to know them a bit more this year. Thanks for making me feel welcome on my brief visit to Chambersburg.

The race course is from the middle school to the high school – point to point. I finished in 4th place overall in 4:49 as a few of the high schoolers, especially David Eubanks – who will be going on to run at the a Divsion 1 school in 2010, took the pace out and beat me to the finish. It was also great to see again race director and coach, Chris Monheim along with the communications director for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Kathy Leedy.

Sekyen and I visited Gettysburg on our way to Philadelphia for the weekend. When we flew into Harrisburg on Friday, I had to film a TV spot for ABC 27 to help promote the Harisburg Mile on July 16th. When we arrive back into Harrisburg on Tuesday the 15th, we will help Smith Barney and the YMCA try to make the Harrisburg Mile a memorable event.

Half Way Point at the Boom Box Mile in Connecticut

The Boom Box Mile in Willimantic, CT marked the 10th race in the 20/20/20<5@45 – half way to 20! July 4th began as a rainy day on our ride down to Connecticut, but it cleared by the start of the parade. The Boom Box Mile is run by the exuberant and well-versed Willimantic resident, Charlie Olbrias. The Boom Box Mile happens just before the famous Boom Box Fourth of July Parade.

Back in 1986, The Boom Box Parade began because the Windham, CT area could not find a band for their Memorial Day parade. The late Kathy Clark brought the idea to play patriotic music on the WILI-AM (1400) radio station. The request was too short for the Memorial Day parade, but WILI agreed to sponsor and play the patriotic music on their radio station for the Fourth of July parade 22 years ago. The host of Connecticut’s longest running morning radio show and the grand marshal for 2008, Wayne Norman, was there at the parade’s inception and it has been going ever since. It is such a unique parade with the only requirement for participants is to tune their boom box radios to WILI’s marching band music and try to wear red, white, and blue. Many of the floats are made by individuals and families in the community. It is the a chance for the community to show off their creative side. 

Charlie Olbrias, the race director and the head of, put on a great race on a limited budget. The deceiving race course is your typical New England small town road with and up and down, up and down feel to the race. I was surprised that I ran the uphill first quarter mile faster than the slight downhill second quarter, so I was not at the time I wanted before the most difficult uphill third quarter mile. I kicked in the last quarter mile in 68 seconds and finished at 4:53. My brother and Nutrition Consultant for the, Marc, wanted to break 6 minutes, but just missed in 6:02. My nephew Jonathan had aspirations of breaking 9 minutes and did it easily in 8:23. We had a wonderful time at the race and the very original parade before heading into Boston for the July 4th festivities.

With the postponement of the Don Bowden Mile in Stockton, CA, I had to scramble to find another race schedule the next two weeks. I decided to run two races in Pennsylvania: one in Chambersburg on the 12th and the other in Harrisburg on the 16th. That will make three races in 12 days. I also wanted to keep with the race theme that have the road mile as its featured race. Please view the race changes on my race and events page on the website. See you in PA!