"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tap, tap tap... is this thing on?

Wow, 14 months since my last blog post.

The short update on the 2011 season: After my last post I went on to complete 3 loops at Barkley (the "fun run") before timing out, met some great people there, then got myself out to Colorado for Hardrock for my 2nd finish there in some of the toughest snow conditions they've had (18th, 35:59). Oh! And I won the masters category at the Rundola in Telluride! 

After July 2011 I went into hibernation for about 9 months, running a few times per week just for fun. I signed up for a few races including Mountain Massochist and Uwharrie 20M, but was focused on other aspects of life and just didn't feel like racing. My port side knee was also a little tender during this time and, frankly, I wasn't sure whether I was going to ever return to the mountain ultra genre that I like most.

So, here we are in June of 2012. I signed up for the CCC 100k around Mont Blanc a while back (sister race to UTMB) and now we're 13 weeks out (8/31) and on week 4 of a little base training ramp. Running an easy 12 miles per day right now just to get back in the swing of things. The knee feels fine now that I'm running on it more. Not doing anything fast or long yet. The plan is to pile on some miles and then switch into actual training with some more specificity in July. I'll be out in Colorado for Hardrock again that first week and pacing Adam Byerly from Ouray to Sherman (I think), so that should be pretty ideal training. 

So, that's it. I enjoyed some time away from serious-ish training and focused on some other things. Now feeling recharged and enjoying the structure of a training plan, goals, etc.

Oh, and I made the switch to vegetarian almost a year ago now. Feels great and I haven't been able to discern any impact on training.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Waiting for the Barkley Start

"When your body starts to betray you and you feel totally defeated mentally, remember this: You are not this body. You are not these thoughts. You are a beautiful and perfect soul deeply connected to a much larger universe. And running five loops at Barkley is but a drop in the ocean of all of the Self's potential achievements. So. You will keep going.

Try, as best you can, not to identify with the body or with the thoughts. Get connected to something much, much bigger than the small self. Let the mind empty of everything else."


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Barkley Training Grounds

I think I've found my Barkley training grounds.  Lands End in Duke Forest off of Whitfield Rd in Chapel Hill. Not more than 100 feet of elevation change at a time, but it's steep and overgrown. 2mph is pretty good progress. Wash, Rinse, Repeat...


Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Training Schedule

"Pre-training" in January, then a 9 week cycle for Barkley, 3 weeks REST (i.e. basking in glory, conducting interviews, etc.), then a 9 week cycle for Western States.

 I have some thoughts on what I'd do if I get into Hardrock, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there... Lottery on 2/5.

Appalachian and Bartram Trails 12/31

Had a great New Year's Eve run with Matt Kirk, David Dirito, Carl Laniak, Mohamed Idlibi, and Scott Brockmeier. 27ish snowy, slushy miles starting from Nantahala Lake on the Bartram trail, linking up with the AT and continuing to the Nantahala Outdoor Center in 6 hrs.

Lots of fog and snow...

With David "Balto" Dirito

Barkley "Condolences"

with our sincerest condolences;

we regret to inform you of your great misfortune during the drawing for the 2011 barkley 100 miler. it was your execrable bad luck to be selected to have your hopes painfully dashed on the course (most likely while being miserable, cold, and both mentally and physically damaged.) raw chicken will be served on Friday, april 1, with the conch to sound sometime after midnight for a Saturday april 2 start which will follow an hour later.

personal bugle serenades will begin shortly thereafter.

may your personal choice of deities have mercy on you.

should you come to your senses …
or have the good luck to be provided (or able to manufacture) a plausible excuse for withdrawing now, or at any time prior to the actual running of the event, please inform us at the earliest possible time.
although it defies logic, there is a lengthy weight list of individuals who honestly believe that they want to exchange places with you.

regretfully yours,


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some things to remember

A few things I learned last night while experimenting in cold, dark, Barkley-ish conditions:
  • Loose fitting, fibrous clothing snags on brambles and branches really easily. Hats too. This is bad for the clothing (I ripped a merino wool base layer) and slows you down.
  • I love wearing a headlamp on my waist to see the profile of the trail, but when you're ducking under trees and scampering around the light get's covered up or misdirected. Hands do need to be free, so going back to headlamp on head.
  • I really need to work on flexibility and muscle groups not typically recruited while "running".
  • I don't generate as much heat when moving slowly over/through tough terrain. Need to dress a little warmer than usual.