“Let your eyes look directly in front of you and let your gaze look straight before you” –Proverbs 4:25
There is nothing like running on great trails while being surrounded by His amazing creation. This was my experience as I ran in Maui earlier this year. As I was descending down some gnarly trails in Haleakalā National Park, I was constantly challenged to keep my eyes on the path rather than by the beauty all around. A wrong step could result in being sliced open by the treacherous lava rock or worse.
Eventually I let my mind drift and eyes wonder off the task at hand. I let my body relax and BAM! My ankle rolled, I began to stumble, but fortunately I remained vertical and on the ledge. Immediately, after thanking the good Lord for saving me, I thought of my yoga class! Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Hebrews, Proverbs
Tagged Faith, fitness, God, Jesus, running, Ultra, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning, yoga
Running right to sleep!
One of the battles I have struggled with during my previous 100 mile races, before the Cruel Jewel, was the debilitating and relentless sleep monsters that would attack as darkness descended. The desire to close your eyes for just a quick nap can be so overwhelming. It can lull you into the crazy idea to stop on the side of a cold, wet trail in the middle of the night for just a few minutes of rest despite the inherent danger in doing so. Continue reading
Ran approximately 115 Miles in 34 hours and 42 minutes
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
It was my 7th 100 mile race and I thought I knew what to expect from the course, my body, and from my mind. However, I was challenged and learned more about myself in the mountains of northern Georgia than any other race.
The Cruel Jewel is a name that is well deserved. The website boast that this is a “108 mile foot race deep within the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest…It consists of 96 miles of trails, 12 miles of mountain roads, and 20 aid stations. Along your journey…you will experience tough, and sometimes technical, single track trails, ferns and old growth poplar trees, steep ascents and even steeper descents, a historic steel bridge spanning the Toccoa River, the Dragon’s Spine, lush green hardwood forests, rocks, roots and ridge lines … all of which will be passed before you reach your final destination. And as a bonus we have thrown in 33,000 feet of gain and 33,000 feet of loss just to keep it interesting”.
If this description wasn’t scary enough, throw in a little humidity for a guy who spent most of the winter running in single digits (I know it could have been much worse) and add an extra 6-7 miles as I did… but that’s for later. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Goals, Matthew, Nutrition, Prayer
Tagged Christ, Faith, fitness, Prayer, running, ultra running, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning
Bob on Devil’s Path
Nearly five months later and in the middle of Lent, I am ready to tell my story. On November 19th in 2014, I set out on what I thought would be an epic run. I enjoy running and run races of 100+ miles so for me to use “epic” in a description, it does not come flippantly. So please allow me to humbly tell my story.
The character, me, is a family man with a continual desire to grow his Faith and a conviction to help others. This commitment to make a difference in the world had accelerated to such a pace that maintaining my perspective on Faith and Family were the only areas I was able to preserve, based on a professional opportunities I had chosen in the past two years. Then abruptly I was given a great gift to hit the reset button with my family, invest more time with my Faith, and plot a new path professionally while enjoying a supportive transition.
This personal and professional time provided a unique opportunity for me to seek clarity. The source of this clarity was from myself (not always a reliable source) and more importantly from God. The gift of running has taught me that the miles/time on my feet distills my thoughts and welcomes God into all of my being in a way that I cannot gain at any other time.
I sought my clarity in the form of a solo run on The Devils Path located in the Catskill Mountains in New York. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Matthew, Prayer
Tagged Catskill Mountains, Christ, Devils Path, Faith, fitness, God, running, ultra running, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning
It is disappointing when I reflect on the fact that my last post was in 2014. It has been a struggle to find the time to write and run as much as I’d like given how busy the first 2 months were. The priority I place on my family and faith has not changed but the demands of my professional life have thrown off a healthy balance I try to maintain overall.
I had planned to start the year of logging lots of miles, fitting in some cross-training,
It may be beautiful but its time for spring!
eating healthy, and getting ready for an insane 100+ Mile race in May called the Cruel Jewel.
I like to train hard and push my body to create the types of challenges and stress I will face on the course without crossing that fine line that results in injury.
This type of stress, unlike the kind we create by worrying about things outside of our control, can be beneficial but is not easy. To make matter worse, this winter has made it all the more difficult. It has involved hill repeats where my lungs burn, screaming quads from running in deep snow, and being bored beyond belief doing mile repeats on a treadmill. I know that all these things help prepare me physically and mentally for May but Continue reading
While things may not have always gone as planned in 2014, I do believe I have grown from each positive and negative experience this past year. This applies to my personal, running, and professional lives as there have been many reasons to celebrate as well as times where quiet reflection was needed.
As I look forward to 2015, I believe there are many lessons learned that I will apply as I encounter new opportunities or challenges. One is the idea that what I want may require a different approach or greater focus than in recent years.
Getting “Faster” in an Ultra Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Luke, Nervous and Trust, Prayer
Tagged Faith, fitness, Goals, God, Prayer, Ultra, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning
What is Foolish?
We all run for different reasons. For many it is a way to stay healthy, others crave the excitement of competition, and some raise money or awareness for a specific cause to name a few. However, I know that when I say that I enjoy running 100 mile races, none of these responses will work for most people. The responses I receive would suggest that to them, running that far is foolish.
Part of the struggle I have in trying to explain why running distances people don’t like to drive (which is probably the #1 response ultra-runners get) is that it doesn’t always make sense to me either. Continue reading