There is magic today.

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Sometimes running can only be described as magical.

Moments like the one pictured above – when I’m on top of a mountain with other mountains, the big blue sky, and big fluffy clouds all around. But, I can also feel the magic when I’m climbing that mountain in the rain with more mountains and miles ahead of me.

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The mountains don’t even have to be there. I feel the magic when I’m deep in the dark green woods, following the dusty singletrack for miles and miles.

I live for this magic. The moments that last in my mind forever.

While running in the mountains and forests are the most fulfilling for me, I begin the majority of my runs by going out my front door and turning either left or right – and I don’t live near mountains or in the forest. When I’m grinding out the miles on the roads around my neighborhood during the week, it can be difficult to find the magic.

And, if I’m being perfectly honest, those weekday miles can really be a drag.

But, while they may not always be magical, those weekday runs are probably the most important. Without solid weekday miles, the long runs on the weekends and the adventure runs in the mountains would not be possible. It’s a simple equation. Much like I work during the day at my job so I can afford to do the things I love, I run during the week to have the ability to go on the adventures I love.

Just because my weekday runs don’t have the obvious makings of a magical adventure, that doesn’t mean that they don’t hold some type of magic of their own.

So, starting today, I’ve committed to finding the magic in every run.

I’m not going to force it, but I’m going to look for it. There is magic today; I just need to be open to it.

I’ll share my experiences on Instagram – so if you don’t already follow me there, you should! I’ll post a picture from every one of my runs that shows some of the beautiful places I get to run in town and in the woods.

I also want to challenge you to look for the magic in your own life. You’re in your life’s adventure today. Some day you’ll think back to now and say “Remember when…?” Make sure you appreciate it while you’re living it.

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2017: The year of…

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I hope next year is epic. I’m already  planning for it to be. I have an A race in mind, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever attempted. But, it won’t be the farthest I’ve run. It’s “only” a marathon. It’s a marathon that one guy described as “a pissed off 50k.” It’s the marathon Trail Runner magazine calls “The toughest marathon you’ve never heard of.”

I call it my A race – for 2018.

I like planning. I like big goals. This race will require big goals, strategic planning, hard work, and dedication. It like the perfect puzzle piece in my lifestyle.

It’s the Athens Big Fork Trail Marathon. The course follows a 100-year-old horse postal trail through the mountains. It’s an out-and-back trail that goes up and over eight mountains – then back over those eight mountains, finishing right where it started after 9200 feet of mountain running.

Ever since I heard about it, I’ve been wanting to do it. The one thing that has been holding me back is that I don’t think I’m ready for that. That race is too hard, too much.

But then I realized that too hard and too much has never stopped me before.

Getting ready.

The running.

In order to run a race like the Big Fork, I’ll need to be really ready. There are cutoff times to think about, so I’m not going to be able to just meander the mountains hoping for the best. As a result, I’m treating all of 2017 as training for BF.

Here are the key races I’m planning to run:

  • Yamacraw 50k (April)
  • Gnaw Bone 50 mile (May)
  • Shawnee Hills 50k (August)
  • Rough Trails Ultra 50k (November)

Training for four ultramarathons will help give me a massive endurance base. Plus all four of those races are pretty hilly, so I’ll build climbing legs and develop more efficiency on the hills, which will be so important for Big Fork.

The working out.

But, as I know for a fact, and as I am not good at compensating for, merely running does not a good runner make. In 2016, I did a run streak: I ran at least one mile every day for the entire year – but what I’ve learned (and I’ll get into more in a different post) is that a run streak really doesn’t have a ton of actual benefits – aside from forcing very consistent running routine, of course. I definitely didn’t become a stronger runner because of it.

But, I did really like the consistency it brought to my training, and that got me thinking. I could do a different daily challenge that would bring more benefits to my running and goals. So, in 2017, I’ll be doing a core workout challenge. Every day, I’ll do a 10-minute workout including leg, arms, and core strengthening exercises. This will go a lot further toward making me a stronger, leaner runner. Which should get me up and over eight mountains – twice.

No excuses.

2016 was my year of discipline. Even with each day anchored by a run, I’m still not quite sure I really achieved the level of discipline I wanted to achieve. It’s illusive and it’s hard to say exactly what I’m looking for, but know that I’m not quite there.

One of my weaknesses is that I give in to my excuses too often. While I do get my runs done, I don’t do them when I really want to (i.e., in the morning), and I don’t get my cross training done as consistently as I should.

So, in 2017, I’m going to dive into all the clichés. No excuses. Just do it. The daily workout challenge is going to be a big part of that. It’s going to have a big, positive effect, but I know it’s going to be a challenge to  do it every day without fail.

But I suppose that’s what makes it appealing.

What are your 2017 goals?

 

 

Fiddy.

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Not mine yet – but soon!

My goal for 2016 was to cultivate discipline. That has proven to be as difficult as I expected.

When I was 20 miles into my 30-mile run a few weeks ago, things started to get difficult. Of course, putting one foot in front of the other is not a difficult process – but it becomes difficult when those feet are sore, and there’s really no reason to think they won’t be sore anymore. Also, knowing that I’ve run such a long way, but still have a considerable distance to cover is not easy. The only thing I had was what I had all day: Water, Tailwind, sweet potatoes, and dates. No magic pill, no rocket-powered scooter.

I felt myself sinking into that familiar dark place where pain is hard to ignore and running isn’t fun anymore. Trees, birds, rivers, big bridges over a dizzying expanse…none of it was doing anything for me.

But, I knew this was what I was looking for. I knew that this is why I train. Sure, I need a strong body and heart to be able to run ultramarathons, but perhaps more importantly, I need a strong mind. What can I do to keep myself from focusing on everything that’s bad and everything that’s left?

I suddenly thought to myself: Don’t think about what’s in front of you. Think about what’s behind you. The miles of this run that are over and done with… The miles (1,500+) of training I’ve done to prepare for this day… The hours spent in the gym – or perhaps more accurately in the grass outside of the gym… The support of my wife. I have so much more behind me – pushing me forward – than I do in front of me.

So, that’s my plan for Saturday. When the going gets tough, I’ll avoid thinking about what I have in front of me. There’s so much more behind me, and the miles to come will be a part of that soon enough.


In a few short days, I will no longer be a person who has never run 50 miles, and I’m incredibly excited about that. Many hours of hard work has gone into preparing for this, and I am ready to cross that finish line.

But first – the start line. See you on the other side!

Living la vida ultra

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On November 12, I’ll be running my first 50-mile ultramarathon. I’m excited and nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve been training since May for a 50-mile race, and I’m ready to get this thing done.

Since I haven’t updated in a long time, I thought it would be nice to answer some FAQs regarding ultrarunning, and in particular my 50-mile race and the way I will be running it.

Most of the people in my various social circles know that I run, and that I run a lot. So, one of the common questions I get is: “When is your next race?” or something along those lines. Here are the answers!

1. When is your next race?

Tunnel Hill 100/50. I’ll run the 50-mile race!

The Tunnel Hill course is a crushed-limestone multi-use trail in Vienna, Illinois. It’s part of the rails-to-trails conservancy project. The trail was built on an old railroad bed. They took out the tracks and threw down some crushed limestone. It has virtually no hills, lots of bridges, and a notable 543-foot long tunnel. Through a hill.

2. 50 miles????

Yep!

3. How long will that take you? Is it all in one day?

I’m estimating it will take me between 10 and 12 hours. My goal is to finish in 10. Yes, it’s all in one day, technically. All runners (of both the 100 and 50-mile races) have to finish in 30 hours.

4. What will you eat?

Throughout this summer, I’ve been working on perfecting my nutrition plan for this race, and I’ve gotten it down pretty well now.

  • Roasted sweet potato wedges
  • Medjool dates
  • Tailwind

So it goes like this: I eat throughout the whole race beginning at 45 minutes to an hour in. It’s super important to keep fueling the whole time, not just when I get hungry or when I crash. It’s really hard to bounce back after totally depleting resources.

At about 45 minutes in, I’ll eat my first date. Then a little later, I’ll have some Tailwind. Then a little later, I’ll have some potato wedges. Repeat for the rest of the day. This is my main source of fuel.

I also like to have some Chex Mix (salty, crunchy, lovely), and it’s really nice to have a soda in those later miles. Occasional Gin-Gins to help settle a crazy stomach.

And of course I’ll drink plenty of water.

Why would you do this to yourself?

I love the challenge. It feels so good to set a crazy goal, work really hard, and eventually achieve that goal. There’s nothing like it. I know that no matter what happens in other areas of my life, running is a constant. And if I work super hard, no one can take away the progress I make, and no one can tell me that I can’t finish my ultramarathon. It’s all up to me.

But what about…

Do you have any questions about trail and ultra running that I didn’t answer? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and I’ll answer it!

Shoot for the moon!

If you’ve been around the Internet these last few years, you’ve likely noticed the following inspirational quote:

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I suppose this could put you on some type of trajectory. But, really, how terrifying would it be to completely miss your target of the moon, and just end up somehow floating “among the stars,” which are unfathomably and increasingly distant from one another?

I will never be content simply landing near my target.

I plan a lot and work hard to make my dreams come true, whether running or otherwise. I won’t throw my rocket toward the moon without knowing exactly how much power it will take to get there. If I fire one and miss the moon – then I’m coming back and trying again. I want that moon, dammit.

I’m currently 500 miles into training to “shoot the moon” in the form of a 50 mile trail run. It’s a big, hairy, audacious goal. I’m trying to work as hard as I can to make sure that when that rocket launches on November 12, I’ll hit the moon right where I’m aiming.

So, I say – don’t be content with missing your target. If you miss, then it means get back to the drawing board. It means the challenge of trying to achieve your dreams isn’t over. It doesn’t mean you’re not strong enough or good enough. I means you’re going to be stronger and better soon.

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My dog is the most inspirational dog.

Can’t? – or won’t.

Hey, so, I haven’t updated in a month.

Mainly because not much has been going on. After Yamacraw, I was between training. I really enjoyed three or four weeks of running outside of a training plan. I still ran every day, but I didn’t have any set mileage, so I just did what I felt like. But, that playground style of exercise has ended. I just started a new training plan for my first 50 miler. More on that later!

It has been raining a lot here lately. This makes trail running a bit difficult. As a trail runner, staying off the trails because they’re muddy is really frustrating. I’ve missed two (TWO!) Transcendent Tuesday trails runs because of rain. Now I’m doing a training plan, and the first long run was intended to be done on the race course, which is a trail. Not only is it a trail, but it’s a notoriously muddy trail. Any little bit of rain leaves standing water and terribly sloppy conditions.

With the all-day rain we’ve been having for the last several weeks, I decided my first long run of the plan would be done on the road. Sad, frustrating, but acceptable.

But then I remembered last weekend.

Gnaw

Last weekend, Ashley and I volunteered at an aid station for the Dances with Dirt trail races at Gnaw Bone. Our station was at an intersection where all distances went through twice. Once four miles into the race, and then again five miles before the finish line. We gave water and food to runners doing 13.1 , 26.2, 50k, and 50 mile distances(including a couple friends doing their first trail half).

All the rain we’ve been having made a wreck of the trails, and about 1,000 sets of feet churned them into miles-long mud pits.

As the runners reached my aid station at mile four, I couldn’t see their shoes, and their legs were caked with mud. They had just climbed up four miles of muddy trail and continued through to get back on the trails before returning to my station.

Some of the runners were in good spirits, enjoying the new challenge of running in these conditions. Some people were broken down, sore, and tired. Whether they stayed at the aid station for a few minutes to rest and recover, or whether they downed a quick cup of water and sped back down the trail – they all kept going.

Can’t? – or won’t.

With a head full of last week’s incredible runners, I went out to Angel Mounds yesterday and slogged through the mud for 10 miles. It was filthy, but I got it done, and I’m proud I didn’t give up on that detail of the run. It was actually pretty enjoyable.

It’s one of those times that the lessons I learn or the determination I cultivate as a runner can carry over into my “real” life. That one I live where I don’t smell like a yeti. There are many times when I don’t do something because I can’t. But I think, in most cases, it’s really only because I won’t.

I’m not saying that I’ll always be able to find the motivation to do a chore or complete a project, or even run 10 muddy miles on a trail because that’s what my training plan says. What I am saying is that I’ll dig deeper no matter what. I’ll pick up my pen, lace up my shoes, or grab a sponge or paint scraper, and get it done. Because I’m an ultrarunner. Ain’t nothing gonna stop me.

mud

The bad run.

Though I run quite a lot, I seldom have a truly bad run. Wednesday threw a bad-run kink in an otherwise stellar streak.

At mile 3 of a 7-mile run, I was going through the cemetery when nature called. I really had no option but to find some seclusion. Luckily, there is a stand of trees behind some large mounds of dirt well away from the burial area of the cemetery. Don’t worry, no desecration going on here.

Unfortunately, in order to get there, I had to go through an area that had some aggressive burrs, which got all over my legs, shoes, socks, and shorts. Four miles left in my run, and I had been attacked by burrs. I did my best to clean off as many as I could, but my attempt would prove to be fruitless. There were burrs inside and outside my shorts, including in the liner, and all over my legs, feet, socks, and shoes.

Between the unscheduled bathroom stop and the burrs, I was feeling pretty disheartened. At first I thought, “This is going to be a long 4 miles.” Then I admitted that I couldn’t possibly finish my 7 miles with burrs all over my body, causing all sorts of discomfort. So I compromised. At this point in my run, I could go home the long way or the short way. I chose the long way, thinking that if the burrs didn’t cause too much trouble, I’d keep running to get the whole 7 miles.

As the miles came, the burrs as a collective weren’t a huge issue. Most of them were tangled in the hair on my calves, and in my shoes and socks. Not much friction going on there. However, there was a good amount in the liner of my shorts and, therefore, around my inner thighs. These burrs were not very gracious passengers. I ended up with large red scratches on my inner left thigh and on my outer left hip. This red hot rubbing combined with general soreness and lack of sunny disposition brought my pace down and deadened my run into an uncomfortable plod. Nevertheless, as I neared home, I went a couple extra blocks, trying to maximize my miles for the day knowing that what I didn’t get Wednesday, I would transfer to Thursday’s run.

I ended up only 1.2 miles short, but I was exhausted and in a decent amount of uncomfortable pain from the burrs. I got right in the shower, which only made the raw wounds burn worse.

Not my favorite run by a long shot. What makes a bad run worse, though, is the effects that carry over to the next run. “Will this happen on my next run? Will tomorrow’s run suck, too?”

The only way to know is to pull the burrs off my shoes, lace them up, and hit the road again.

Update: As it turns out, like most bad runs, Wednesday’s was a standalone. Thursday’s run was outstanding.

The varieties of trailrunning experiences.

But first…
I went to the doctor because of some lingering soreness in my hip. Nothing serious, also not something I wanted to become serious. So now I’m on some medication for reducing inflammation, and I’m not supposed to run for at least three days, possibly six. It’s not really a big deal, but it’s a bummer. I have some great momentum going with my training, and I’m beginning to come in to some serious mileage, which I’ve been looking forward to. Tuesday was supposed to be a 7-mile run – on a beautiful day, nonetheless – and I had to skip it.

Coach says it’s a bummer, but it’s not the end of the world. I have some solid training behind me, and it’s early enough that we’ll be able to bounce back pretty easily after a break.

I’ll be able to run again soon, maybe in as few as three days. Quit complaining, right? Right. Lemme just take my bedtime dose of Prednisone and tell you about last Saturday.


The mud and the muck.
This past weekend was beautiful. The first we’ve had in a few weeks. The sun was shining, and the temperatures reached an unseasonable low 50s. It was great, and I had a 12-mile long run in the schedule, so we went out to Harmonie State Park, which seems to have become my go-to for long runs for now. Great trails, great mileage, and free entry for the season.

But the prior weeks of freezing temperatures mixed with the sudden warmth and sunshine caused the trails to become unsavory. I didn’t think about it before I got out there, but I quickly found out that the trails were nearly impassible due to the mud. It was almost impossible to get any traction. I slid around corners, surfed down hills, and face-planted a few times. Luckily I was wearing the GoPro, so you could join me!

At times, I ran directly into trees because I’d lost control of my speed and couldn’t make any sharp turns (aim directly for the tree, and put your hands up!). A few times, I had to grab hold of roots and other anchors to get myself up slick hills. It was frustrating and tiresome, not as much physically as mentally. I knew I needed to get 12 miles, but the stop and go of running in this mud was grating. It would take me all weekend to finish!

It ended up not being that bad. I did need to run a big loop on the road through the park, but it had a few nice hills, and I was still in the woods for the most part, so it was vastly superior than being in town.


Hill conditioning in a hill-less world.
I’d love to be able to run hills all week long. Not only would it be more beneficial for my training, but it’s way more fun. I like hills a lot. So the challenge is creating hills in an area that resembles an ironed shirt.

It's flat here. I don't know how well this metaphor works.
It’s flat here. I don’t know how well this metaphor works.

Last week, I arranged my short runs to go into the soccer stadium at UE so I could run up and down the stairs. It’s not much, but it feels good. I even did a three-mile track run (suuuper boring), doing the stadium stairs whenever I passed them. Garmin didn’t register any elevation change, but my calves did. They were pretty sore the next day. That means it worked! More of that, says I.


Gnaw Bone is going to be a pretty serious event for a number of reasons.
1. I’ll be running 31 miles. This alone would make it a big deal.
2. The race is run on trails. Trails introduce variables – some that can be anticipated (hills), others that cannot (trail conditions).
3. The hills, the hills…the hills. Last week, I printed out the map and some detailed descriptions of the course. I’ll be studying those pretty closely leading up to this event. 90% of the race is mental. If I know what’s coming up at any point on this course, it will help me prepare for it and not be surprised on that day.

Shoe talk.

“A runner’s two greatest loyalties are not to any shoe company or model, but to the left foot and the right.”

– Joe Henderson

Shoes

When I started running, it wasn’t too long before I figured out that going to the store and picking out just any shoe that looked athletic or said “running” on the side wasn’t really going to cut it. Then the more I learned, the more I found out that it’s wise to have different kinds of shoes for different kinds of running. This is compounded by the fact that I do two totally different types of running. Road and trail running have different needs, and my feet thank me for the variety of terrain and shoe. Here are my four pairs and what I use them for!

Roadies
Dyad

When I first realized I needed a good pair of running shoes, I went to a local shoe store and talked to the sales people about my feet. They didn’t just want to get my money and put me in a high-tech, high-dollar shoe. They wanted to make sure they provided me with the shoe that would take me many miles with little to no pain, and with no serious injury.

They analyzed my gait, looked at my giant, paddle-like feet, and brought out several shoes they thought I might like. When I put on the Brooks Dyads, I felt like Cinderella. They fit like clouds. For the road, I’ve found nothing better. I use them with more frequency and to cover more miles than any of my other shoes.

Trail
Brooks Cascadia came into my life from the clearance rack. I’m noCascadia fool, I never pay retail price. These green bad boys were priced to move, and I was glad to be the one to move them. I had been wanting Cascadias for the trail for a long time, and here they were, staring at me with their lizard-like glow.

Owing to my aforementioned paddle-like feet, they’re a tad narrow, as are almost every trail shoe. They just don’t come in wides. The Cascadias do well enough, except for when I need to run further than 5 miles. After a while, my sorry little toes start to get hot spots and blisters. I deal with it because these are the shoes I have – but I’ve been searching long, and especially wide, for shoes that will generously encompass my wounded toes.

(These shoes aren’t always this dirty; I try to clean them occasionally. But it does make for a more dramatic photo.)

Merrell Ascend
This is another shoe that came from the clearance rack. Merrell Ashley found them on closeout for next to nothing, and I took a gamble that they would fit. They do, and nicely. The toe box is so wide my toes feel like they’re floating in midair.

If you want a shoe with virtually no support but with a strong sole to protect your feet from rocks, twigs, and what-have-you, then these are absolutely the shoe for you. Slipping them on is like putting on socks. I barely notice they’re there. Most of the time I spend in them is spent in the gym – they are great cross-training shoes, but they’re even better on the trails. I haven’t taken them to any technical trails, but I’m excited to do so. With their lack of support, though, it would not be wise to take them on the long mileage runs I’ve been doing. I’m going to pack them along on my next long run so I can switch shoes to do some drills and speed work with these lighter shoes.

Altra OlympusThe Newbies

Altra
I’ve only known about Altras for a short time, but it seems like they’re getting a lot of attention, especially in the ultra and trail running communities. These are my newest shoes, and I’m super excited about trying them out on the trails. They have cloud-like cushion similar to my Dyads, but with an even wider toe box. The company touts them as being “foot-shaped,” which seems like a no-brainer to me. I plan to get them out on the trails this weekend and see what they do to me. I’m hoping they hug my feet like long lost brothers. We shall see.

Do you have a favorite pair of running shoes or running gear in general, especially as it relates to the weather where you are? Let me know in the comments below!


The weather here has taken a strong stance on what it means to be winter. Mild, dry temperatures turned into pouring rain, which turned into freezing cold.

Thanks wind. (via hint.fm/wind)
Thanks wind. (via hint.fm/wind)

But I’ve got my training to do, and the fitness center at work isn’t open yet (cuz holiday), so I do the stuff outside. Unfortunately, the weather foretold of unfavorable conditions for last weekend, and I wasn’t really stoked about hitting the trails to run 9 miles in rain and chill, so I shifted my long run from Saturday to Friday. Not too big of a deal, and I can do whatever I want, you ain’t the boss o’ me.

Ashley, Sadie, and I left in the morning of the last weekday of Christmas/New Year holiday and drove out to Harmonie State Park where Ashley and Sadie would hike, and I would run.

At around mile 7, I decided to do hill repeats to both ensure I got the rest of my miles and to do hill repeats, which I had never done before. I knew there were 6 decent hills, one right after the other, between me and the end of my run, and I decided to go up each one twice, which ended up being 2 miles of hills, approximately. I kind of thought of it more as basin repeats: I ran down one hill, up the next, turned around to go down the second and back up the first (up each hill twice). It’s difficult to explain, sort of. Therefore, I bring to you my first personal video of this blog! This time lapse shows two of the hills and me doing basin repeats. (If the video doesn’t show, try a different browser)

This was a tough exercise, especially on top of 7 rough miles I had already run. Each time I turned back to run up a hill, I had to battle the excuses. I didn’t have to do the repeats, no one told me I had to. But I always ran the repeats, each hill twice before heading to the next hill because I knew that if I bailed on the hard stuff this early on, I’d never build up the endurance to tackle the really hard stuff later on. I’ve got what it takes, but it’s going to take all I’ve got.


I hope the holiday break brought you all good things and great ambition for the new year! I’m currently listening to a podcast about making new habits to set oneself up for better success in reaching new or recurring goals. Perhaps a future blog post? Perhaps.

2014 in Review

I have always found great closure in a sort of review of what I’ve done over the last year. I try to avoid falling into nostalgia as long as I can, but some days when I think back to the sweaty trail runs and 100 mile bike rides, my eyes glaze, and I get a stupid look on my face. I love my fitness hobby and the places it takes me – the sights I get to see and the miles I cover on foot or on two skinny wheels.

The Year of the Beast(y)
Miles ran: 549.17
Miles biked: 683.72

It has been a heck of a year.

I started it off by running 4.5 miles to Oak Hill Cemetery, a beautiful, quiet location. My last run of the year mirrored that, only I looped around inside the cemetery to get a good hill workout. Ashley also joined me for what would become a 6-mile run.

Here are some highlights between my first run of the year on January 2 to my last run on December 31:

Bobs February 22: Competed in my first duathlon (run, bike, run), Bob’s Indoor Duathlon. I won first place in my age category! (pictured left)

photo[5] copyApril 12: Undertook the Kentucky Century Challenge, beginning with the Redbud Ride Century in London, Kentucky, for the second year in a row. Redbud is one of my absolute favorite rides. The course goes through Daniel Boone National Forest. The most-discussed portion of the century route is the 22% grade Tussey Hill at mile 50 (pictured right). Approaching a hill sloped at 22% is akin to approaching a wall. I would ride 2 more Kentucky centuries in 2014, cycling quite a bit less than in 2013, focusing instead on running. I plan to bring my cycling mileage back up in 2015.

April 19: Finished my second half marathon at the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville. In 2013, this was my first half marathon. In 2014, I beat that time by 8 minutes and 32 seconds.

April 23: While running my regular 5k route from home, I found out that the water at the little park was turned on – signaling the beginning of spring! I noted it when I uploaded the run to Garmin. Thank goodness that seemingly endless winter was over.

IMG_2118May 10: I graduated with my master’s degree and immediately drove 26 straight hours to stay in a cabin in Maine for a week. (pictured left)

 

June 9: I began training for my second marathon.

July 3: I started this blog.

“This year, I’ve learned a lot about strength training, fueling, and strategy for these types of events, so I’m hitting the road with fresh legs and determination.”  – Welcome!

July 12: Arena Challenge: 1,000 stairs, dozens of obstacles, Ford Center in Downtown Evansville.

“They also, graciously, provided us with five exercise stations between sets of stairs…” – Running: A Full Body Workout.

 

IMG_2481On September 6, I ran the inaugural Rugged Red Trail Half Marathon in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. My first trail half, my first time in the gorge. It is one of the most grueling events I’ve done.

“…all the energy in my body was gone. I’ve never felt so depleted where the only option is to sit, which I did.” – Race Report: Rugged Red

IMG_20141004_170638October 4: I ran the Evansville Half Marathon, besting my (road) 13.1 PR by another 6 minutes, finishing in under two hours. This was followed a few hours later by the Dog ‘n’ Suds 5k, where Sadie, Ashley, and I won 3rd place trophies. (Sadie and I pictured left – click for a larger image where you can actually see Sadie.)

 

IMG_2510October 19: I ran my second marathon, setting a marathon PR by beating my first marathon by nearly 10 minutes. (pictured right)

“I raced down the road, my eye on the clock. I crossed the finish line strong and elated.” – #RNRStL


I’m a few days into training for Gnaw Bone, and I can see the challenges lining up. I also feel like this year is going to be a big one for reasons not connected to Gnaw Bone or even to running. There’s an entire year ahead, with all the clichés attached to give us pause and adrenaline.

I’m excited to share it with you all, as well as I am excited to hear about your adventures and plans.

Cemetery