Thursday, December 29, 2011

How it all started!

This might not be the most interesting blog, but I've got to introduce the whole thing somehow!
I've always been active and pretty fit.  Six years ago a friend asked if I wanted to run the Memphis Half Marathon with him, and I said yes!  I 'trained' for a couple of weeks and started in the last corral.  After miles of tripping around slow runners I picked it up a bit and finished strong.  Wow.. I was psyched!  But still not a runner.  Two years later I ran the full marathon there.  I finished in 3:35 feeling incredibly accomplished, and very much in pain.  A year later I ran the New Orleans Marathon (just after my 34th birthday).  Here is where I stopped the cycle of 'gettin back in shape'.  I decided to keep on running (about 30 miles per week) after that run.  After moving back to the Pacific Northwest I ran the beautiful Whidbey Island Marathon.  I ran it as a training run, and actually managed a very satisfying negative split for a 3:13 Boston Qualifier.  What a day!  Here is where I became a 'runner'.  A month later I ran the very challenging Lost Lake 50k.  It is actually more like 33 miles of tough trails, and over 8000 feet of climbing, and really my first trail run ever.  It took me almost 7 hours.  Another awesome run though!  A week or so later, over a couple of beers, and against my wifes concerned advice, I signed up for the White River 50 Mile run in late July (2010).  Training went well (now regularly topping 50 miles per week), and I was able to cover the distance under my goal time of 10 hours.  I was totally worked, but hooked!  What an awesome experience.. I got to run in the mountains, on a beautiful day, with some of the best ultra runners in the business (Anton Krupicka and Scott Jurek were there among many other top names).  My beautiful wife was there to cheer me on, and beers were had after.  I'll never forget it. 
2011 dawned with the resolution to break three hours at Boston, and run a 100 mile race.  Although Boston was an awesome experience, I missed the goal and ran 3:05.  Two weeks later I towed the line at Lost Lake as a training run, two weeks after that I ran the Sun Mountain 50 mile as a trainer, and a month after that I ran the Mohican 100 in Ohio.  That was an absolutely amazing experience that deserves its own chapter!  My brother Tim met me after a 900 mile motorcycle ride.  He was invaluable as a crew, pacer, and a companion.  It meant the world to share that with him.  Running tough through the day and night got me to 3rd place overall, and a 23:09 (only 58 of the 142 starters finished).  After some down time, and road riding in Italy I finally did break the three hour mark for the marathon at Victoria in October 2011.  Now I'm getting ready for the 2012 season, and more adventures on the trails!
As a final note, I should mention that I became a vegan about 3 years ago.  It is a diet that I strongly believe in for health, environment, human compassion to the creatures we share this earth with, and for performance.  I have PR'd every marathon, and continue to improve at every distance, despite being mathematically 'past my prime'!

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