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Fat Dog 70

There were a lot of mountains I had to climb to complete this one.

The biggest ones occurred before the race even started.

Lately I've been dealing with a lot of mental health issues. During the work week I'll be sitting next to an upper level manager and start to feel lightheaded, disassociated, and sometimes I'll come down with symptoms that mimic influenza: I'll vomit, have diarrhea, get achy, and otherwise be unable to stay at work. Sometimes it's a day or two stuck at home, sometimes I overcome it and get on with my day.

On the drive up to Fat Dog 70 race in British Columbia these symptoms were brought on by the perception that I was stuck in traffic with no way out. Soon after the border crossing I became increasingly anxious. Unfamiliar with the roads in the region I didn't know where I could go to feel safe. As these feelings set in I increasingly felt I'd need to go to the bathroom to unload a major bowel movement. I suddenly became sensiti…
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Wy'East Wonder 50k "Fun Run"

I'm writing this more as a reminder to myself than anything else. I want to record that I'm proud of myself for what I accomplished in even starting this race. So without further ado here is the tale:Wy'East was to be my final distance push in training for this summer's 70 miler at FatDog in August. I did expect to be able to finish it was it profiled as an "easy" 50 mile course with buttery trail and a net elevation loss. And as expected the trail was beautiful and buttery, the climbs not too steep and the downhills all runnable and not too steep. What I didn't expect was to get the flu or something like it on the drive down to Hood River and be put in the position to ask my wife (who was already supporting both myself logistics wise and our toddler) to support me in my newfound illness. The last 60 miles from Vancouver, WA to Hood River OR felt like 200. This was the most unsatisfying of flu/food poisoning experiences I've ever had. Having evacuated…

Injuries, babies, and running

Let's be honest here. I have very little expectation that many will read this blog. But these days it seems there is very little besides social media like FB, Instagram, and Twitter to chronicle a history of our lives. I wonder what we've lost when all we have are pictures on platforms that are mobile and perhaps impermanent. But then again what things about being a human have ever been permanent? It's all chaff in the wind.

Jesus that was deep. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. It's been a minute since I've written in this blog and in that time I've had a platelet rich injection into my left heel after overtraining had left me with a serious case of bursitis. It was I suppose a blessing in disguise that made me rethink my orientation toward training. I've never been the 100 mile a week kind of person and this injury only underlined the fact that I may never be. And now I don't want to be. I've come to realize that at least for me qu…

Where Dreams go to Die.

Just watched the Ginger Runner's feature length film that he dropped on YouTube yesterday: Where Dreams Go to Die. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I enjoy being in a position of saying, "yeah, I never want to do that." It's a position I enjoy because all to frequently it ends up not being true. Not only do I want to do that I'm often driven to find out how much of that I can actually do. It's amazing feeling to be both grateful to be alive and able to attempt these feats as it is to be surprised at what the human body can actually do. Ultra marathons push the boundaries of what we expect we can accomplish. This is why I keep running, this is why I keep trying for more, this is why running teaches me so much about what it means to be alive.

There are lots of hard things in life. Having a difficult conversation with my wife can at times easily outstrip the difficulty of running an ultra marathon with a nasty cold. Now with a toddler running around in my daily…

76 Miles and 28.5 Hours

This was my contribution to the Bigfoot 120. It also represents possibly the most fun I've had yet at an ultra race despite the epic weather. Despite a lot of things. I'm super proud of my 78 miles and 28 plus hours of running as well as my first ever all night running achievement. These and flashes of apocalyptic scenery from what little was illuminated by sun and LED are what I'll take with me into the dark recesses of my memory. But for all the fun I had this race review is full of rant, controversy, bliss, and a side of my very first hallucination. Yey!

Pics From the Weekend.

First the rant. My God! what have we allowed to be done to our public lands? From the google satellite view there appears to be, all around the first 40 miles of Bigfoot, the squared off clear-cuts of Washington State
s 'sustainable' logging operations. Jesus. No, really, Jesus help us. I used to be not totally against logging but it's just so spiritually ugly I just can't…

Poop-Moss and a 50% Fugly White River 50

...On the Path to Bigfoot 120.
If the White River 50 were ever in need of a refresh, the time would be now. White River was my first ultra, and the race that for me inspired many more ultras. It was here I was introduced to the runners high, where a race director named Scott showed me how runner comradery could result in a type of youthful optimism that infused every racer and volunteer at White River with a 24 hour natural-high. It was as if this well-established ultra-community seemed to be hopped up on some uppers which may or may not have been snuck into the pasta feed the night before. Above all, White River showed me running was fun, no matter how much personal torture I might be going through. And ever since I’ve told everyone who’ll listen that it’s the people and the smiles that make the race more than anything else.

Fast forward to July 25th, 2015, give yourself the cloudiest wettest weekend in Seattle so far this year, half a course v-shaped with the rutted after-though…

Yakima Skyline Rim 50k Race Review

It was beautiful. It was hot. It was hard. Enough said?

Right at the start it was sunny. As a portent of things to come James Varner of Rainshadow Racing had schooled us on carrying a lot of water and that there would be no shade for nearly the entire course. Then on a count of ten he sent us packing with the promise of IPA and wood-fire pizza for our reward. And sure enough there was no more than 5-10 minutes of shade right there in the bottom of Umtanum Canyon near the start of the race. I was hot by minute 15. I lost my first liter in sweat by minute 20.

Two miles in we were greeted with this:

The very first views off the ridge-line were that of the Yakima Canyon and the seemingly not-so-distant Stewart Range. Ten minutes down the ridge we were greeted with sweeping views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, nearby Selah, Yakima, Manastash Ridge and I-82, and our very own Umtanum Ridge and Canyon stretching into the heart of the nearby Cascades. Yeah, it was a good day to run. A…