Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Running Recap

Well......2011 was a very up and down year for me.

Goals for 2011
1) Run the Lynchburg Ultra Series
2) Run 1,200 miles
3) Break 4hrs 30min in a 50k, probably Bluescruise

How'd I do? Pretty well I think. My hope to break 1,200 miles for the year was realized in September. With 3 months to go I began to start thinking I could make it to 1,600 or 1,700 miles by the end of the year but that didn't happen. I started the year in pretty good shape but with pain in my right knee. The pain was pretty bad but I had already signed up for 3 spring races and couldn't bail on them just yet. I ran Holiday Lake. I was pretty sick for this race and hadn't run in almost 10 days leading up to the race because I was on the couch. Didn't break 5hrs but was happy because I was able to pass 40 people over the second half of the race to finish strong. Terrapin Mountain was about a month after that. This was my first "real" race given that it covered 30+ miles and over 6,000ft of elevation. I loved this race. The views were amazing and I surprised myself by finishing in the top 25. That was a great feeling but all along my knee just kept getting worse and worse. For my 3rd spring race, Promise Land, I was in trouble. My training leading up to this race was nonexistent. I could only run every 4 or 5 days because of my knee and I was not ready for this one. I finished it though but was significantly behind runners I had beaten at Terrapin Mountain. Oh well.

So the first half of my running schedule was out of the way. Now I had to recover and start planning for the fall races. To do so meant fixing my knee. I started icing every day and doing rehab. This didn't do much at first but slowly my knee recovered. I'd have to seriously admit that the biggest adjustment I made in my training was taking stretching seriously. I started stretching for almost 30 minutes a day and magically about 85% of the knee pain went away in less that 24hrs. Gradually my weekly miles increased.

This led to the best running of the year for me. Over the course of 3 months, July, August, and September, I ran just under 600 miles! I was in great shape. I had never put together that many miles in such a short time. I felt fresh and ready to go for the fall! However this momentum would quickly turn. About 2 weeks before Bluescruise I woke up with pain on the bottom of both my feet. NO!!! This immediately ruined my training. I knew that to heal I would have to take time off. However I couldn't take time off until I ran Bluescruise and Mountain Masochist.

Bluescruise was awesome! Ran a 4:30 50k and finished in 8th. I missed my goal of breaking 4:30 but still this was the best race of my short running career so far. However the pain in my feet did not go away. I ignored it and thought I could train through it until MMTR. Not such a bad plan but then about a week after Bluecruise both of my hips began to scream at me every time I tried to run. So now I had a problem. Both feet and both hips in serious pain, need to rest them, but have a 50 miler in just 3 weeks. I decided to cut down my miles and do what I call binge training. This meant that instead of running often and short distances I would run once or twice a week but significant distances. This was the worst training month of the year. Pain every day at work, at soccer practice, and every run. OH well. "It will all be worth it when I finish MMTR."

MMTR was awesome as well. Painful for sure (pain in hips started around mile 3 and never went away). However I finished and was incredibly happy with that. This meant that I had completed LUS. Finished in the top 10 actually! I had planned on the race being painful and requiring a significant amount of recovery time but wasn't sure how bad it would actually be.

It has now been almost 2 months since MMTR and I do not think I've seen hardly any improvement in either my feet or my hips. I haven't seen a doctor yet but that may be the next step. Since MMTR I have only run about 20 miles. That's 20 miles in almost 60days! It's horrible. I have been patient but that's running out. 3 more days of 2011 and it looks like 2012 will start with recovery again. BLEH! Overall though the year was great for me. I realized how much it really takes to become a good runner and I can't wait to start training hard again so I can continue to improve. It's amazing how much you can improve in just one year when you put your mind to it. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. I need to get back on the trails ASAP. I miss them, and the time spent on them with friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Return

Well it's been a long time coming. Since the end of MMTR I've run about 10 miles. That's 10 miles over the course of 24 days. The first week wasn't so bad. I got a significant amount of miles in on the bike at good pace but the pain in my Achilles, the PF and my Hips from ITBS was not going away. That caused me to shut it down for the month. I thought if I gave myself til Dec 1st my body would recover and I'd be able to go back to 150+ months of running. Today marks that new beginning.

With my first real year of Ultrarunning under my belt I cannot wait to see what happens next year. I was able to take 48 minutes off of my 50k PR in just a year and even the thought of taking another 15 to 20 minutes off that this years is incredibly exciting.

The anxiousness however involved with not knowing how my body will respond to running today has me stalling mightily. I keep telling myself I'll go run in 20 minutes or so and it's been almost 4 hours. HA! Well here goes. A 2 mile jaunt today and hopefully a 10 miler tomorrow. I'm not sure how its going to go but I pray for my sanity and my wife's sanity that I can finish the 10 tomorrow with no hip pain. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My First 50 Miler

"Well, I'm in a lot of pain so everything is going according to plan so far"

That was my response to my good friend Chris Palladino when he asked me how I was doing at about mile 9 of the 2011 Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50miler. I had been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis pain in both feet for about 6 weeks and IT Band pain in both hips for almost a month. Both of which had kept me from training as much as I would have liked and I had no idea how much they would be hurting me after 30 miles or so. I wasn't too concerned about the PF. I knew it would just be a dull annoying ache at worst. Of course that would be irritating but I wouldn't anywhere near as painful as the pain my IT Band would unleash on my hips at some point during the race.

After a good night's sleep, who am I kidding we're talking maybe 3 hours here, my wife drove myself and Chris to the Start. We got there in good time and were ready to go well before the start time. Ran into an old friend from college, Tom Cook, aka Tommy Tuff Knuckles, at the start and was excited to see him ready to hit the course. This would be the first 50 miler for both of us so we weren't exactly feeling comfortable at the start line, but excited none the less.

And so it began. 6 miles of road-running before we got to the trail. I made it to about mile 4 before the hip pain started. As usual, a dull ache at first before it became the full blown shooting pain. I was able to stretch it a bit at the aid station and we continued on. Entering the woods was a good feeling. It almost felt like the race started there and the road section was just a warmup.

I had planned on taking the whole race really slow. Running slowly had helped with the hip pain before so I figured it would be a good strategy. Chris kept running just ahead up me up and down the hills. Lots of hiking from the beginning was the plan. This kept my legs fresh which was nice. It was frustrating though to know that I could be running faster...oh well. After 10 miles or so I did get to finally meet Chris Mortenson and Harris Brenner.  These guys are fellow Bucks County PA people that I've heard of numerous times but never met. We ran with them for awhile and eventually ended up losing them on a long downhill. Good guys.

The hills kept coming and coming. The nice part about that meant a lot of speed hiking and frequent aid stations. My wife was at the stations and she was very helpful. She was always taking pictures and encouraging me. The race went on and on. This being my first 50 miler I was not used to being out on the trail for that long. I finished my last 50k in 4:30 and this time I got to 4:30 and still had about 28 miles to go.  One foot in front of the other though. Until the loop.

The loop is where I hit my first really low point. My legs were tired, but they had been tired for a long time. The Terrain was technical, which I would have enjoyed 20 miles ago, but that wasn't was killed me. I didn't think about it at the time but I forgot to really eat anything in the last hour or so. I had a chunk of banana but that's about it. When we reached the top of the loop I was ready to take a nap. Seriously I could have laid down right there and gone to sleep. Thank God I still had a Gel in my handheld and sucking that down helped me make it to the next aid. I ate 3 delicious brownies at the there, put an iceyhot pad on hip hip, kissed me wife, and was ready to go.

At this point I knew that the worst was behind me and it was just going to be a painful run to the finish. I could no longer run on the balls of my feet. My toes and achilles couldn't handle it. I couldn't lift my legs more than 6 inches off the ground or my hips would scream at me. So back to heel striking and very short steps. Always forward. Up more hills, down other and then the final descent. One after the other for a few more hours.

It was during this descent that I got very excited. I had been thinking about completing this race for 14 months and it was about to happen. Not only that but it was going to happen faster than I expected even with all the complications. Suddenly all the tiredness went away and I started joking with Chris. "Where is that 1 mile marker?! I just want to sit down. I've been on my feet for almost 10 hours, it it to much to ask for a chair!?" Around a final corner and there's the finish. Beautiful beautiful finish. Or it was until I could see the clock and noticed we could break 9:40 if we pushed it. So yea the last 40 yards or so were a sprint but it was worth it to see 9:39 on the clock.

What a feeling. A feeling that you cannot understand until you've finished a task like this. The feeling of applying yourself to a goal that at the time of application seems impossible. 14 months ago I could not have done with I did a few days ago. Hours and hours and miles and miles of hard work, ice baths, stretching, rehab, and a better diet all came together in one day for me to complete a task that many think insane. What they don't know is that if they wanted to they could do it too, and the feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish is worth all the time spent slogging up and down hills near your house. The feeling of pushing your body to it's limit and reaping the benefit of it's product. God has given us amazing bodies. There's something about squeezing more and more out of our bodies through our own will and determination that is incredibly satisfying. Now onto my next task. Getting my friends Dave, Wayne, and Scott ready for their first Ultra in March. HAT Run here we come!

All in all Clark Zealand, The Aide Station, and Eco-X sports put on a great race. Good food, good swag, great volunteers. The work they put in to get these races going is hard to imagine and we as runners are incredibly grateful. Running with Chris was a great help, and seeing my wife at all the aide stations was so great and encouraging. I am lucky to have her support and lucky to have such a good friend in Chris that he would spend all the time with me when he could have finished much faster. I am a lucky/happy guy these days.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jesus; The Ultramarathoner

I don't know how often this thought has run through head but so many times I find myself out on the trail and I think, "If Jesus were an athlete he would definitely be an Ultramarathon Runner." Anyone who's spent a significant amount of time running alone knows that a significant amount of random thoughts work their way in an out of you mind during your time on the trail. Personally, when I'm not thinking about the next hill, my thoughts usually go to philosophy, marriage, politics, religion, and soccer. A lot of times the thoughts come in and out before I really get a chance to work them out. My friend and I once spent an entire 15 mile run trying to determine what was the most athletically demanding "sport." We decided it was Water Polo.

But back to the issue at hand; Jesus the Ultrarunner. I guess it started as just another funny thought but honestly I think it has some merit. Obviously it's a silly hypothetical question and probably just an excuse that I'm using to try an add validity to a sport that I've fallen in love with but let's give it a shot huh.

I think the thoughts that pops into my head most often have to do with the beauty of the natural world. I believe that God's created the world and so many times I find myself lost in it's beauty. Be it at the top of a mountain or while crossing a stream, the beauty of creation catches me off guard constantly. Even on days when I'm feeling horrible I find myself incredibly thankful for trees, the trail, rocks, and everything. It just amazes me how all of nature comes together in its own unique and beautiful way. Then when I think about the Son of God cruising the trail, probably barefoot, It just sounds right to me. Why spend your time on football field when you could spend time in the heart of your fathers created beauty.

But there are many sports that have an athlete out in nature for the majority of the time; hunting, fishing, hiking, disc golf just to name a few. Yet these sports, depending on your definition of sport, have barely scraped the surface of what the human body is capable of achieving physically. Robert Harrison, host of the Entitle Opinions podcast out of Stanford, in his show on the human body spoke of the incredible knowledge contained within the human body. Harrison says something like "while human knowledge has been around for only about 6,000 years while the human body has knowledge accumulated over millions of years." Just imagine about that for a second. The human body, like many other forms of carbon based life, has within in it an unimaginable amount of information within in. The human body's ability to feed, heal, and sustain itself is incomprehensible. Human beings don't think much about embodiment and consciousness. I think this is a sad fact. The human body is one of the most incredible gifts God has given us.

When you analyze the human body you find so many physical traits that make it uniquely capable of enduring incredible athletic feats. What you find the it specifically built to excel at seems to be running long distance. Remember what was said earlier about the beauty of the natural world? What better way to appreciate the natural world than to explore it using the energy you can find within yourself. Training for Ultramarathons is a wonderful thing. You get to see first hand what you can bring out of yourself. I think that if Jesus wanted to explore's his father's created world he could find now better way to do it than to do so under the power he's created by conditioning his body to be able to cover those large chunks of land.

So now you have Jesus out on the trail, exploring the wonders of creation, and pushing the his limits. This sounds great in and of itself but there's an element of ultrarunning that we haven't considered yet; the effect of spending that much time alone your thoughts. I've heard it said that you don't really know yourself till you've run a 100 miler. I don't know it that's true but I can tell you that the one thing that I know to be true about training alone on trails is that you can't hide from yourself. I've found that time alone and times with friends running have been incredibly eye-opening. When your running with another person for a few hours you have a heightened sense of what they're saying and how to respond. I'm not sure why that is exactly but I think that it's probably the lack of distraction that aids in the conversation. Running alone produces the same effect. There have be so many times when I've had scattered ideas floating around in my head and after an hour or so alone with myself and my thoughts on the trail they get brought into focus.

Not only does trail running remove distraction so that you can think clearer but it also forces you to pay attention to yourself. On the trail you cannot hide from your thoughts. You're force to confront what's bothering you head on. Whether you're struggling with an existential meltdown, a metaphysical catastrophe, or maybe you just don't like you coworkers and don't know how to deal with them, you can't hide from these issues. There are no distractions,. No Tv, no bills to pay, no internet. It's just you and what's on your mind. When I think about Jesus being the Son of God I can't imagine him missing out on this opportunity to search himself in this fashion. I don't think this kind of self-reflection is something you find in other sports.

I think I could go on for a long time praising Ultrarunning for all it's virtues but simply put I think it speaks for itself. What sports better allows a human being to explore the wonders of nature, the limits of the human body, and depth of self-reflection better than Ultrarunning? I don't think you can find one. Therefore I'm left to think that if Jesus were an athlete he'd probably be an Ultrarunner.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Post Blues Cruise and Pre Masochist

Well, my running post Blues Cruise has been anything but spectacular. Coming off the race I was feeling great. I was able to play soccer the next day, run a bit, and walk normally. This was the first time I was capable of doing this on the day following a race since I got into ultramarathons 2 years ago.  I was so excited I think I tried to run again way to soon. By the 6th day after Blues Cruise I had done 7 miles on a bike, 6 miles on an eliptical, and 25 miles of trail running. Initially I didn't have any problems. My plantars had been bothering me pre-race so that hadn't gone away yet. I tried to ice and massage it but it wouldn't go away. I tried to rest it for 4 days and then did an 18 mile trail run on monday and that night I couldn't even walk without serious pain in my hips. Uh oh.

I had felt this pain before and thought that given a bit of rest it would go away but it didn't. I thought it might just be come weird muscle soreness but that seem too odd. I looked up some info online and yup there is was again. IT band inflammation can cause pain in the outside of hip joint area. This has been a major blow to my moral. I had planned on trying to get 3 60 mile weeks in of training for Mountain Masochist but it looks like I'm only going to get 90 miles total over the 5 weeks in between the 2 races.

I've had IT band pain before. This however is the first time that it's given me pain in my hip that won't go away. I've been foam-rolling, icing, and stretching 24/7. Tomorrow though I need to get in 20+ miles just to get my confidence back that I can actually run this thing.

It's interesting how an injury effects my mental state. I was riding so high after my last race and once the plantars and IT Band started to bug me I've had an incredible lack of motivation. What surprises me is how the lack of motivation to run overlaps into other areas. I've found it so hard to do school work, and stuff around the house. For those who don't run this might sound a bit odd but being injured really messes with you psyche. I know it will go away eventually but it's such a letdown for this to be happening just 2 weeks before the race I've been planning my whole year around. I've never run 50 miles before and this race had over 9,000 feet of elevation gain. I think I can finish. I don't think it will be pretty or easy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blues Cruise 2011!

Where to start.....

So for the first time in my Ultra-Running career I went to a race, the Blues Cruise Ultra in Reading PA, with no crew, and no friends at the race. For the most part this was not a big deal. I didn't really need a crew, but I did miss the comfort of knowing a fresh shirt was waiting for me after 20 miles or that dry pair of shoes would be there if I needed them. These two things I could easily get over though. What I actually missed the most was having friends there to share the experience with. In all of the other races I've run I've had friends at the race either running it with me or crewing. It's really nice to see friends at Aide stations and to share stories from the trail during the post race protein feast, also known as a BBQ. So for this race I would be alone.

The drive out was good, quiet, and uneventful. Got to the race about 40 minutes before the scheduled start time which worked out great. I quickly got registered. Picked up my swag (which in all honesty isn't great and I wish they would go back to a tech shirt, personal preference, i'll just never wear the jacket). Then I got ready for the race to begin.

Miles 1-10 The Flats
The race started in gloomy weather. It was cool, humid, and very cloudy. These trails around Blue Marsh Lake had been under water recently and the rain the night before the race made sure that the trails and bridges were very challenging. Around mile 2 the guy in front of me had his feet go out from under him on a bridge and he slammed pretty hard. No blood though, which he thought was a bummer. Most of this section was flat and wet. I was running pretty fast through this part but in all honesty I felt really good and wanted to cruise the flat stuff. I spent some time talking to a few guys, one of them had hamstring problems and wasn't sure if he was going to be able to finish. Hopefully he did. Anyway, I got to the 3rd aide station, mile 10, at 1hr 19min.

Miles 10-20 The Hills
Basically the flat part of the course was over and the hills began. At mile 10.5 I found "the infamous ski-slope hill." This hill rises about 250 feet in less than 1/3 of a mile. I train on hills steeper than this particular hill but I also don't usually run them after 10 miles, nor do I run 20 miles after them. That being said I ran almost all of this hill and I still felt fresh. I got to the top of the hill and started the decent. Near the bottom of the hill I was caught by a guy named Todd; nice guy, good conversation, former soccer player like myself, and we basically spent the rest of the race no more than 100 or so yards apart. We both wanted to finish around 4hrs and 30min but in all honesty I thought that was a pipe-dream for me. Having the company over the next 10 miles or so was cool.

Basically this section was rolling hills with some nice views. I was not expecting the one view which I come up on right at the midpoint. You make a left turn and run along the side of a big hill, and the view of the valley is really great. Other than that the only major note on this section was the waste-deep creek crossing at mile 19. I loved the cool water but when I got to the other bank I had a significant amount of tiny pebbles in my shoe. Being stubborn, I decided not to take my shoes off to address the problem. This was probably a risky decision on my part but it didn't end up hurting me. After a few miles the irritation was minimal and I practically forgot about it. Got to mile 20 around 2hrs 55min.

Miles 20-31More of the same
At this point I had a few issues. First of all I was on pace to finish around 4:30 or so. While this was a good thing I knew that being so close to my goal would make the final 11 miles or so a "race" instead of the steady plodding along that I had been enjoying. Secondly, my right hamstring felt like it would cramp at any minute. Luckily I had an extra POM energy gel with me and after a few minutes the cramping ceased but it was still an scare for the rest of the race. Couldn't push the hills too much. Came into the last aide station about 200 yards ahead of Todd. I think he just spent more time at aide stations than I did because every time I saw him he was running and he seemed to be faster than I was. This aide station had some crispy bacon! OH that was soooooooo good. Go figure.

Well anyway I left this aide station and about a mile down the course I had an interesting realization; I never asked, at any of the stations all day, what position I was in. Last year I finished in 50th or so and I hadn't thought about it much but figured I was near the top 20 or so. Then I started looking down at the trail and noticed that there weren't many tracks from other runners. This could mean one of two things. Either I was off the trail somehow or I was doing much better than I thought. This got me really excited and I started pushing it. This wasn't a problem initially but then the final 2 miles had a significant amount of hills and for the first time in the race I started to feel tired. The hills seemed to go on and on and because this was a new course I didn't know where the last turn was. I kept looking at my watch and saw the I had 2 minutes to break 4:30 and was about to give up the push but then I heard someone around the corner say "1/3 of a mile to go!" This meant that I would need to run a sub 6' pace for the rest of the course if i was to make it. I thought about not trying for about half a second and then realized that if i didn't try now I would have to wait another year before I could go for it again. So I took off down the road, felt pretty good, and on the final run in I was about 20 yards out when I saw the clock pass 4:30. Oh well, 9 seconds off isn't so bad after all.

Post race
So back to my thoughts on how I placed. I finished and was pretty excited to be able to sit down. The Pagoda Pacers guys were there taking numbers and handing out the finishing awards and I talked to them for a bit. Then I started looking around and  thought to myself "where is everyone?" I had never finished this early before and was used to coming into the finish line when all the crews and families were there waiting for people. I walked over to the ladies at the computer putting in times and asked them how I finished. 8th! I was very surprised! I had never finished in the Top 10 so this was a really cool feeling for me. Not only that but Todd came in only a few minutes behind me in 9th! Top 10 for Todd in his first Ultra, congrats brother! (I'd tag his facebook account but he doesn't have one, which I respect).

Anyway, had some great potato pancakes, and grilled cheese. Talked with a few guys for awhile. It was a good time post race sitting around, talking about the race and how everyone dealt with the conditions differently. Overall it was a a great. The race itself was well-run, had good aide stations,  and moderately cool swag. Took 36 minutes off of my time from last year even though the course this year was much tougher. I think it's because I got almost 300 miles of training in in the last month and a 1/2 this year as oppsed to 90 miles or training last year. Next up the MMTR, and the conclusion of the Lynchuburg Ultra Series. Maybe I can move into the top 10, we'll see.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Homecoming is a very interesting concept, and event. Historically it's served the purpose of reuniting the graduates of a particular college to either celebrate a shared affection for the particular institution, or for the institution itself to promote itself to it's wealthy alumni in the hope of increasing their contribution to the institution.

For athletes, fans of athletics, and coaches, homecoming is an opportunity for a unique experience. At the Division III level you rarely find sporting events, especially soccer, that draw a significant crowd. For the fans, players, and coaches, homecoming means a 3 to 4 fold increase in the # of fans attending your game. Given this increase the importance, the focus, and excitement surrounding these games in significantly increased.

For me, since I graduated, homecoming has been about 2 things. The first is the Soccer alumni game. This is a pickup game played early in the morning where all the old players from past years get together to share stories, discuss differing views on the importance of the maintaining one's particular pant size, and play some disorganized,yet fun, soccer. Since I am running the Blues Cruise 50K tomorrow morning I did not participate in today's alumni game but I do look forward to seeing some familiar faces this afternoon at the Main Event.

Today we play BBC. Better known as the team in Clarks Summit that has been our school's main rival for the past 30 years or so. Over the last 3 years the rivalry has shifted to Lancaster Bible College however given the both PBU and BBC have already beaten LBC this year the BBC/PBU rivalry appears to be the "Clash of Titans" if you will in the NCCAA East region once again. For me I am particularly looking forward to running into BBC's new coach Sean McPhearson. Sean is a former NCCAA II All American goalkeeper and was a Youth Leader at my Church in Scranton in my youth. I'm sure his experience and discipline have played a major part in the resurgence of quality in the BBC soccer program.

For anyone up to date on the PBU soccer team it will come as no uprise to hear that we have had an up and down year. What's been particularly evident is that we play our best soccer when we are down a goal. Today, more than any other day this year season, is the day to come out strong. Hundreds of people will line the hill next to the field in anticipation and I believe the team is ready to deliver a strong performance.

We shall see....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

HAT Run Mania!

About three years ago a now good friend of mine got me into Ultra-running. (Thoughts and information about my own running will probably be the central topics for many of my posts going further fyi but not today) This week I had the pleasure of convincing 3 of my good friends to Sign up for the Hinte Anderson Trail 50k!. I have never run this race but given it's 22 year history, the lack of serious elevation gain/loss, and the location I thought this would be a great race for a first timer. I sent out multiple emails, facebook message, and texts to probably 20 people I thought might be interested in making an impulsive decision that, upon completion of the race, they would never regret.  Some responded with the normal excuses, some legitimate and some not, and a few other seemed very interested. Usually when I start talking about signing up for races with people they are initially onboard but as the date approaches they slowly back away. Having done this myself in the past I can't hold it against them for too long :-). The interesting thing about this particular race is that it's own growing popularity, and the increased attention Ultra-running has been receiving over that last few years, meant that it would probably fill out it's 500 available spots very quickly.   So the wafflers wouldn't be able to waffle very long if they wanted avoid the wait list.

And so Monday Sept. 26th came and at 9pm registration opened on I had invited those who I thought were interested to come over to my house so we could all sign up together, discuss trail shoes, and  other different things associated with running/training for one's first Ultra. I wasn't sure who would shoes up but at about 9:20 Dave Simon, and Wayne Peiffer: two soccer players I have had the pleasure to coach for the last 4 years, walked through the door. These two brave souls were about to make a commitment that I don't think they will ever regret. Not only were these two signing up in my living room but unbeknownst to us Scott Fogarty, the head coach of the PBU men's soccer team, was also signing up.

Over the next hour or so both of these guys signed up and we sat around talking about equipment, managing our training, and texting the chickens who didn't sign up to get on board! I think they would both agree that overall even just the act of signing up was a lot of fun. It reminded me why I enjoy running, and coaching so much. There's something about being out on the trail running with friends that in incredibly rewarding and enriching. I have gotten to know these guys over the last four years and now I'm excited to say that we will get to spend much more time together once there soccer careers are over. Our time on the trail talking and pushing each-other over the next 6 months will no doubt be a wonderful experience. What's even more exciting though is thinking about lining up with them on March 24th to spend the next 6hrs or so racing through the Hinte Anderson Trails, and picking up our finishing awards together. I know that for me crossing the finish line of my first Ultra: The 2010 Holiday Lake 50k++, was a defining moment in my life. I don't know if it will be the same for them but I am certain it will certainly be a day they never forget.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It had to happen some time

So why am I doing this?
          Good question right. Well I guess there are a few reasons.

  1. I have enjoyed reading certain blogs of the last few months and thought I might enjoy creating one for myself. I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about stuff. 
  2. Those of you who know me know that I spend a lot of time thinking about: running, religion, philosophy..etc and quite franks my wife can only handle so many of my thoughts before she needs me to find another outlet. So I'm thinking that maybe this "blogging" thing could be an outlet for my thoughts. 
  3. Shameless self promotion? That's gotta be in there somewhere probably. 
  4. and other reasons.

The bottom line is that I got ideas, "burning through my skull buddy," and I want to share them with people and hopefully have a fun back and forth over thoughts about running, movies, politics, religion, and other senseless crap. So here we go I guess.