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
After successfully completing 5-100mile races, I finally achieved my first DNF (Did not finish). Now that I can be honest with myself, I am not surprised after spending time reflecting on the events of 2014 and the days leading up to the Grindstone 100.
Course Elevation Profile or Jaws of a Monster!
2014 In Review
Unlike 2010 when it seemed like everything went perfectly when it came to running for me, I have faced numerous challenges this year. Despite starting 2014 with a new 5k personal best in March, I ran my slowest marathon since my first one over 8 years ago. This wasn’t a surprise since I had been diagnosed with pneumonia just weeks before the Boston Marathon. However, skipping this historic race wasn’t an option given the importance of this race after the bombings of the year before.
Weeks later I lined up for the Dirty German 50 miler and after going out too fast, the wheels came off and my breathing once again was a challenge. I dropped from 3rd place after the first loop to finish 24th and wondered if this new pattern of not being able to finish strong would continue.
At the end of June (7 weeks later) I lined up for the most iconic ultra in the world, the Western States Endurance Run. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Goals, Psalm
Tagged Boston Marathon, CS Lewis, Eastern States, Faith, fitness, grindstone 100, leadville 100, running, Ultra, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning, western states
Eastern States 100 Offers a Beautiful and Challenging Course!
Awesome! Running a race its inaugural year can sometimes be a gamble as the kinks are worked out and lessons are learned. Fortunately the Eastern States race directors and volunteers did an incredible job hosting a premier event.
The transformation of the trails in the “Grand Canyon” of Pennsylvania over the last several weeks was absolutely amazing. I had run the last 70 miles over the last couple of months and on race day the Stinging Nettle and other shrubs were completely removed from the trails. The course was well-marked and the support from the aid stations was world-class. Fortunately they left plenty of roots, tons of rocks, and enough stream crossings to keep us crazy runners busy on our journey. It is a great course with over 20,000 feet of elevation gain and a couple of extra miles for no additional cost.
Images from the course thanks to David Walker (FB)
I am convinced that the combination of a great name with a beautiful and VERY challenging course has the potential to have this race draw some of the worlds greatest runners in the future. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Doing our best, Goals, Hebrews
Tagged Eastern States, Faith, fitness, God, running, ultra running, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning, western states
“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” – Psalm 31:3
Awesome views on the ES100 course (Photo thanks to the ES100 FB page)
It has been over a month since the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. It was an amazing experience but one which I had hoped would have had a better result. Since then I have been preparing mentally and physically for my next major race in 2 weeks, the inaugural running of the Eastern States 100 (ES100).
My primary goal for the weeks between these races was to get out on the ES100 course. I have made a couple of trips out there in recent weeks and covered most of the last 70 miles of the course. It is the first time I have done this before a race but was motivated by fear based on what I had heard about this unknown course. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Nervous and Trust, Nutrition, Prayer, Psalm
Tagged Eastern States, Faith, fitness, God, running, Training, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
The Western States Endurance Run (WS100) is like no other Ultra-marathon for so many reasons. In addition to being the oldest 100-mile race in the world, it offers amazing views and follows trails steeped in American history. The race attracts the best runners from all over the world on a course which offers a challenging mix of altitude, heat, water crossing and various types of terrain. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Doing our best, Goals, Romans
Tagged Faith, fitness, Jesus, ulcerative Colitis, Ultra, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning, western states
“Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go” Joshua 1:9
Amazing View from the WS Course
Since December of last year I have been focused on one race, Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (WS100) scheduled for June 28th. It is the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile race in the world. The course is beautiful and challenging as you climb 19,000’ through the snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada and descend 23,000’ through the America River where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees. The last 6 weeks have been challenging and exciting as the race quickly approaches. Continue reading
Posted in Challenging, Goals, Joshua, Prayer
Tagged Faith, fitness, God, running, Ultra, Ultramarathon, Ultrarunning, western states