Go Fucking Live!

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(Taken during a sunrise hike)

Lately, I’ve reluctantly been getting up early to squeeze my run in for the day. But once I get moving, the warm bed stops calling my name and today as I crested the steep hill, I was greeted with a brilliant sunrise and herds of antelope and cow grazing in the morning glow.

This was why I came here. Running dead east into the sun, there was no other place I’d rather be running. Moments like that made me wish I had a camera at hand, but having the experience unique to myself makes it all the better.

When I just finished my run, a waitress on the ranch ran by me asking if I knew where the hospital in town was. She said a guest was having chest pains and needs to go right away. I ran in my cabin and took my running jacket off (yeah it’s still pretty cold in the morning here) and put on a dry hoodie. Then ran to a ranch car and rushed to the cabin the guest is staying in.

The ranch is about 16 miles away from town and up into the mountains. So just before we left, someone called the hospital and made plans to have us meet the ambulance half way.

The guy in pain was helped in the front seat by his wife and one of the ranch owners. And then the wife got in the back seat with a few bags packed, in case they had to stay over night at the hospital.

Surprisingly we talked almost like nothing was going on. Other than the concerned look on the wife’s face and her leaning forward and holding onto her husbands arms, it seemed like a normal ride.

Less than half way down, the ambulance made great time, we stopped on a pull off on the side of the road. He was put on a stretcher and loaded into the back. His wife got in as well and I followed them down to the hospital.

As I was driving down, I was thinking how precious life actually is. We get this one shot at it and it can be gone at any moment. We live day to day without even thinking about that fact. We take this wonderful opportunity of simply just being alive for granted and spend so much time wasting what limited time we have.

So go fucking live the life you want!

Do what you’ve always wanted to do. Travel to New Zealand, skydive, swim with sharks, climb mountains, write your book, dance your ass off, crank your music, quit your job, run with the bulls, sleep under the stars, open a restaurant, fall in love, go on a road trip, and most importantly have the biggest smile on your face. Whatever you constantly think about doing, do it.

Turn off the tv, your phone and get the hell away from the computer and go do something worth telling people about! There is no such thing as forever here on Earth.

Follow your heart and follow your passions. It will take you to wonderful places and you’ll meet some awesome people along the way. I believe that if you wait for the perfect time, you might end up waiting the rest of your life. So go for it! Go live!

(The guy is doing fine now. He was at the hospital for just a few hours before returning to the ranch so he can rest.)

Next Steps

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This morning I was watching the sunrise in Key West, FL. Now, as I’m writing this, I’m in Atlanta for the moment. And early tomorrow morning I’ll be on the road to Wyoming to spend the summer as a hiking guide.

Though it has been three days since I finished the 100 miler, I still feel absolutely beat. My head feels extremely tired and I’ll a want to do is sleep! Since I will be on the move tomorrow, I am not sure when I’ll have time to write my race report. The first moment I get some down time, I’ll put my words to paper.

The long drive will give me plenty of time to collect my thoughts too! I’m still replaying the race in my head and feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. I’m almost speechless as to how to describe the race as a whole. It was such an incredible, humbling, difficult and exhilarating experience.

When I crossed the finish line, I was greeted with a champagne shower, birthday cake and my first beer in 6 months.

I want to thank everyone that has been part of this. Even though we never physically have met, it still means a lot to have people with you along the way. We all have our different goals and it’s wonderful we have such a cool community of runners. You guys are awesome! Thanks for all of the kind words and support!

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(About mile 45. Eating watermelon. And this was the first shade I got of the day.)

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(After finishing. About to chow on some cake.)

Go Time

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I’m not sure what my internet situation will be after the race, but if you’re at all interested, here is the link that you can track runners. HERE. The updates are only at miles 25, 50, 75 and the finish.

Anyone else bunch up their numbers before a race? Not sure how I got into doing that, but I do it every time now.

About to munch on my favorite pre-race meal now, quinoa and beans. Then I’ll just try and zone out for a while.

It’s go time boys and girls!

Almost Race Day

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I’ve made it to Key Largo in Florida! This is where the race will start Saturday morning and we will head 100 miles to Key West.

Right now, it’s pretty humid, as thunder rumbles above. Looks like a rain storm will be here shortly. On the bright side though, the weather looks like it will be in favor of the runners for Saturday. The forecast is calling for temps in the low 80s and winds from 15-20 mph. I believe in the past it has been in the 90s for the race, so we are lucking out.

I’m feeling calm and collected at the moment. Yesterday and even this morning I was freaking out about this colossal challenge. I told a friend that I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around 100 miles. He told me that I cannot think like that. I have to keep my mind in the moment and to break the race up into little pieces. Eventually the miles will be covered, I just can’t think of the big picture or else I’ll just make myself nervous.

Usually it’s me that’s speaking the words of insights, but sometimes I need to be reminded of these valuable lessons.

I am happy and absolutely relieved I’m finally here! Just need to stay off my feet until Saturday and keep my thoughts in the present.

100 Mile Taper

I have finally reached the official taper phase of my 100 mile training. It seems like not long ago I started training for this. And 6 months later, here I am.

I have had some awesome long runs this past month. I took what I learned about nutrition from my last 50 mile race and applied it to my training runs and it has helped out tremendously. Instead of only doing about 200 calories an hour, which is what I was doing before, I have aimed to intake about 300 calories an hour.

Since my last race I have done a handful of long runs. 28, 32, 26, 27 milers. Some of those were fast finish long runs and the 32 and 26 were back to back. Not once did I have a bad moment or “bonk.” And I think that all had to do with my new nutrition goal.

This was the first time I trained with solid food this past month, finding what works and maybe finding what does not work with me. I’m not sure if I was fortunate or unfortunate that I didn’t find something that didn’t work with me. I guess we will find out on race day…

My favorite thing I tried on the long runs were bean burritos. I used canned refried beans and small flour tortillas. They made my stomach feel full and satisfied. And the canned beans were high of sodium which helped with replenishing from so much sweat. I also really enjoyed PB&Js, Oreos, trail mix and pretzels. This was also the first time I used a sports drink too during a long run.

Another thing that I’ve added this past month is an extra off day. Fridays has always been my off day from running. So I can feel fresh going into long runs. And Mondays I have used as short 30 minute recovery runs up until recently. The last Monday I ran, I never felt “that” feeling when all the stiffness and soreness from the weekend runs melt away after about 15-20 minutes of super easy jogging. It actually felt like the recovery run took me back a step, bringing up a few niggles that could have possibility turned into something serious.

With the extra off day, I have felt more recovered. Which I believe has made me even stronger as a runner. And it has aided me finishing up my training feeling healthy and rested. Meaning I’m not injured and not burned out. I’m excited for this race!

Fingers are crossed that my successful streak of long runs continues on into my race. I feel I am in the best shape and my confidence is as high as can be right now. But anything can happen in 100 miles. After the half way point, I will be in unknown territory for myself.

All my long runs are done. I still have a track workout and tempo run to do in the next week. Other than that, just some easy runs for me. I’m so damn ready to run this 100 miler in Key West!

My Next Adventure

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At the end of May, and right after my 100 mile race, I will be taking off to spend the summer in Wyoming! I will be a hiking guide in the Big Horn mountains for Paradise Guest Ranch. I’ll be close to Buffalo, WY, which is north central of the state.

For the past 4 or 5 years I have really wanted to move out West. The two times that I’ve made the attempt to move, they ended up being long road trips. And any visit in between was just enough to satisfy my desire for the time being.

Most days I spend daydreaming about being in the mountains. And on days where the weather is absolutely perfect, I wish nothing but to be outside rather than in, working and looking out the windows.

Not only am I excited to be living in the mountains but also that I’ll get to hike almost daily. Before I got into running, hiking was a big hobby of mine. Running in the morning then hiking all day seems like best day for me.

The Big Horn 100 course is out my back door. Maybe that will be my next big race I’ll train for…

“To my mind, voyaging through wildernesses, be they full of woods or waves, is essential to the growth and maturity of the human spirit. It is in the wilderness that you really learn who you are. It is facing the challenges of the wilderness that the thickness of your wallet becomes irrelevant and your capabilities become your truer measure of your value.” -Steven Callahan from Adrift