Q&A with Colleen Milliman

Colleen Milliman, born 8/21/26, 5 feet, 1/2 inch, 105 pounds, is the first woman over 90 to record a time for the track mile (indoors or out) at the 2017 Hayward Masters Classic, clocking 13:26.46. (Please pause and reflect on that historic, astonishing accomplishment.) That was also a personal record for the mile, having started her track career in 2017. Born and raised at altitude (6000′) in Utah, Colleen moved to Oregon in 1950. Raised two sons, Greg and Roger, Greg now living in Oregon and Roger in Washington. When 75, Colleen decided she needed more exercise and joined the Obsidian walking club, and loved the hiking, in town and in the Cascades. But what is life if not continuing to improve, master new challenges, have more fun…?

1. Can you walk (or run) us through the experiences and thought process that got you racing at age 90?

Always active, and loving to walk and hike, my grandson Carl noted I walked faster than most older folks could run. So we checked it out at a high school track in Springfield, and he was right. A few months later I ran the mile at the Hayward Classic. On the last lap I was dead last, and hugely disappointed, embarrassed that I was holding up the meet, until people started clapping…

2. Your second race, a few months later in Portland, is another fascinating story. What happened, and what is your next race?

I ran a world record in the 800, 6:16.55, but it was not accepted because the race was not clocked to a thousandth of second. I will race the 800 again, this time at the Hayward Classic on May 6th.

3. Any other coaches besides Vin Lananna and Ian Dobson at the Sunday morning hour at Hayward Field? Do we need coaching?

My personal coach is Megan Patronelli. I’m also learning a lot from Vin Lananna and Ian Dobson about form, techniques and interval training at the Sunday morning Tracktown sessions at Hayward Field. …We all need coaching, a second opinion.

4. What is your workout schedule? Any diet tips for the younger crowd, that is, the rest of us?

I’m at the In Shape Gym thrice weekly. In addition I ride a stationary bike four times a week, do 75 squats daily, and walk 2-3 mile a day, sometimes with son Greg’s leashed Akita (95lb) dog who tries to run as often I allow her to do so …Eat moderately. No junk.

5. You run on a replaced knee and with a post surgical back. Thoughts and advice on strenuous activity by seniors?

Be careful. Know your body and heed its warnings. Resting and healing as necessary. Icing is good. I take no medications.

6. Future race plans?

400, 800, and the mile. As long as I can. I plan to live to age 125.

7. What are some of the tough choices you’ve made that made you who you are?

Deciding to work through arthritic pain and to always keep moving no matter what.

8. Best decision you’ve made in your running career?

Joining the Tracktown USA community and receiving all the support and enthusiasm.

9. Advice to your younger self at age 75?

You’re never to old to try and pursue new adventures. I started climbing mountains, McLaughlin at 75. Diamond Peak at 77, and the Santos in the Swiss Alps at 80.

10. Quotes you live by, or quote often?

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. Laughing at yourself is therapuetic. Laughing is my medication.

11. What coaching advice/routine you believe in that most would think crazy?

10 minutes every day on the Noblerex K1 whole body vibrator. Used by the Soviet cosmonauts. And works for me. Google it. Or just say I’m crazy.

12. Things that make you grumpy?

Negative thoughts. Negative people.

13. Books on your night table?

Out of Nowhere by Jeff Hollister (first Nike employee, now deceased). Kenny Moore’s Bowerman And The Men of Oregon. By the way, I knew Bowerman. My employer was his personal physician and friend. Bowerman would come in whenever he wanted, without an appointment, and almost always got in quickly to see his friend and otherwise upset the schedule. He was an amazing, very strong personality, and knew how to treat his athletes, with kindness or toughness, whatever it took.

Thursday, 3/8/18

Russia facing permanent athletics ban

Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football

Dorm living for professionals in San Francisco

National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year

Just finished Life Is A Wheel. Got it because I like stories of people going cross country on foot, bike, car, whatever, and because the author, an obituary writer for the New York Times, must be good. Bought the book at a thrift store on Saturday. 12 hours later, Sunday at Hayward Field, Ian Dobson tells us about Bannister’s death. Later that day I see Weber’s co-authored obit on Bannister in the New York Times. Later I learned Weber took the NYT buyout in 2016. Anyway, it’s a good read.

Should Teachers Be Allowed to Touch Students? …The answer is yes. I was touched plenty of times, as I had (still have) trouble keeping my mouth shut. Also spent time (outs) in the cloakroom. …Cloakroom, you ask?

Reminds me. Back when, Bill Bowerman hazed his new runners by urinating on them in the shower and branding them with a hot set of keys…

Ken Goe writes: IAAF doesn’t seem interested in marketing track to U.S. fans

Jordan Hasay Will Outrun You. While Smiling.

Wednesday, 3/7/18

Russia Faces Track and Field Expulsion Over Doping Denials

New world record in Dubai. Watch

Bannister: Everest on the Track. Watch

Enough with the Podium Girls Already. OK. But most ladies I know spend way-more time than guys to look their very best. And dare I say, most fetching? Burkas anyone?

Steve Magness: Running Mechanics: Are you optimizing for efficiency or power? …Vin Lananna and Ian Dobson (Vin coached Ian at Stanford) on efficiency: Run tall. Butt in. Land on mid foot. Arm swing straight ahead, wrist to waist. Every motion straight ahead. During practice at Stanford, Vin prowled the track, watching like hawk, whispering form admonitions.

Swimmer, 99, ‘breaks world record’ in Australia. Looks great, eh? …Today I’m interviewing Colleen Milliman. Now 91, she started her running and racing career at age 90.

Why Runners Need Strong Arms

It’s official. UO Football Trumps World (and sport of) Track & Field

Today in Facebook.

Five of America’s Great Milers Remember Sir Roger Bannister

Tuesday, 3/6/18

the morning shakeout

Jane Brody’s Personal Secrets to Lasting Weight Loss

Alex Hutchinson: What We Can Learn from Roger Bannister

Ultra Running Through China’s ‘Beastly’ Mountains

Enough with the Helmet Shaming Already. …Ditto for fat shaming and all the other stuff we do to put down others not at our level of perfection.

His first summer job was changing sprinkler pipes, seven days a week, in the vast grazing pastures and alfalfa fields nearby… David Ribich shows that no place is ‘too small’ to succeed.

Monday, 3/5/18

Roger Robinson on Roger Bannister. …Yes, I admired the fellow. Before the present Rufus, our last cat was named Roger.

Is it wrong to be blunt about obesity?

How Your Brief High School Track/XC Career Can Change Your Life Forever

Phogging? Try it. You’ll feel better about yourself and your town.

The performance enhancing effects of Tylenol. It’s legal. But is it moral? What would you think about your coach if he/she suggested you take it before a race?

Weekend, 3/3-4/18

ONLY RUNNERS CAN SAVE THE WORLD!!!!

How Pro Runner Katie Mackey Got Out of Her Head

Your Outdoor Pursuits Make You Better at Your Job

Why We Ride

Good reads on Christian Coleman and Chris O’Hare, with his Oklahoma posse, coached by Terrence Mahon

NYT Running: Beachy Keen Runs, Weighted Blankets and 8,000 Calories

Trevor Habberstad Invitational results

Skyler Mikesell, an All American runner at Masters University, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Help Skyler Pay His Medical Bills

Roger Bannister, RIP

Do read the Bannister autobiography. Twin Tracks. Such a superlatively productive life after his brief track career, while a leading neurologist, he kept taking on unpaid assignments and duties because no else was equipped to do them so well. A great family man, thinker, writer, leader, moral authority…

Friday, 3/2/18

Snow day yesterday at No. 1 son’s place in Mt. Shasta City. …Can you see the cat?

Raw Dorsey High Schooler Jumps 7 Feet

Dick Fosbury chosen for National High School Hall of Fame. Finally. …Watch.

The secrets of the 40 yard dash. Has your favorite cross country team lost because one finisher didn’t finish with their best possible effort? Did the team coach, or someone, coach the finishing kick?

Bob Coomber Wants to Cross the Sierra in a Wheelchair. …Must see video.

In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed how much Warren (Buffett) reads – and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out. ~Charlie Munger

Steve Magness: Recommended Reads.

Coach Vern Gambetta recommends

Gene Blankenship owns 1500 books on running.

Steve Martin & Robin Williams Riff on Math, Physics, Einstein & Picasso

Turkey at the Eugene Whole Foods Market

No One Wins When the FBI Doubles as the NCAA’s Enforcement Arm

Thursday, 3/1/18

The Scientific Case for a Big Breakfast

Winter Olympics. Too Much?

March, 2018 Oregon Track Club Newsletter

World Indoor schedule and results

Gangster turkeys overwhelm Eugene

Two years ago today at a park down by the river in Eugene, OR. Photo. Live chickens in the cage on the top of the bus.

Wednesday, 2/28/18

The Week That Was

Why Cross-Country Skiers Collapse And Barf After Races

Video: How a Drone Helps One Veteran Deal with PTSD

Amazing lady: Colleen Milliman. First 90+ female on the planet to race a mile. We’re doing a Q&A.

Tuesday, 2/27/18

College football is as crooked as college basketball

The Triumphant Tragedy of Marathoner Kokichi Tsuburaya

I have forgotten how to read. …A friend in Nevada writes, “I have a library card, and I’m not afraid to use it.”

Why don’t Kenyans run ultramarathons?