Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Self-Promoter

David Goggins is apparently taking Dean's lead.

[added later 12/15]
So, a big discussion started over on Scott's blog about this. David Goggins actually replied and clarified a lot of things. I thought it was appropriate to print that here:

Since this is about me, I think that it is good for me to say some things. First, I want to thank the people who have actually met me and came to my defense. For everybody else, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I haven't earned 1 dime from Ultrarunning. As a matter of fact, my family has spent thousands of dollars trying to raise money for this foundation. The 100 Mile man is not who I am,,, So I am not the self proclaimed 100mileman. The 100 Mile man is actually a foundation that was started by a man who wanted to raise a million dollars by running running a 24 hour race. His goal was to run a 100 miles in 24 hours. This man called me because he heard about what I was doing. He asked if I would help support thier foundation. As you can see I said yes. If you have looked on the 100mileman website, you have seen a lot of information about me that I myself did not put on the website. By the way,,,, I do not have a website, nor did I start a facebook page on myself. I do not have an ego. Compairing me to Dean K is just plain funny. They guy makes a living off of running and writing books. I make a living in the military. Being in the military, you can not be sponsored by anyone and except money from sponsors. By the way.... I'm sorry that me getting 3 hours of sleep offends people. In order for me to do my job and train for these events, that is what I have to do. I do not run for the military. They ask me at times to do things for them and I do, but it is not my job to be an athlete for them and I do not trian during work hours. When I go to races, I must take leave and pay for it out of my pocket. When I raise money for the foundations, I also race on my dime. The 100 mile man foundation has been supportive of me raising awareness and raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foudnation. It truely amazes me that grown people have the time to put this kind of crap on line about someone they have never met. I choose running 100 mile races to raise money because it was a hard thing to do and because it was a sport where people just did their own thing. That is the best thing about this sport, you are on your own. Sorry to have to explain myself, but I want people to at least have the correct facts when they decide that I'm a bad guy or a self promoter for my own personal gain. The 100 mile man foundation put that I was one of the top 20 ultra runners because ultra running magazine listed me in the top 20 last year. I'm not saying it to kiss my ass. I know how they pick the top athletes and I raced a lot in 2007. I by no means have ever said that about myself. It is true that I don't like to run. I weighed 280 lbs in 2005. You will see how much I enjoy running when you stop seeing my name in the results when I reach my personal goal of the amount of money I would like to raise. I didn't see it fit to have a bake sale when 11 fellow SEAL's were killed in the war. So, I decided to pick something hard to honor the hard men that they were. And the hard time their families would be going through. Once again I want to thank those of you who support my efforts and no me for who I am, not what they read.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

NGM: Ozarks Highlands Trail

I'm a little behind on my National Geographic reading, but the October 2008 issue has a really interesting article on the Ozarks Highlands Trail. I drove through the Ozarks as I trekked across the United States last summer, but unfortunately did not have any time to stop.

Anyways, the article talks about how the trail was built by a volunteer group, and how it came about in general. There are also some fun facts about trails in general:
  • 92% of the US population lives within 35 miles of a trail (up from 16% in 1970!!)
  • This year marks (only) the 40th anniversary of the national trails system, which incorporates 1,077 trails totaling more than 66,000 miles (I'm getting tired just reading that).
Definitely check it out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Streaking Again...

So there you have it. I'm streaking again. It's public now, which means that I'm committed (I wouldn't lie to you :)). Not sure whether I can reach my previous record of 282 days, a streak cut short by big root last year. (It turns out that one tendon is not enough to run on; you need four in each foot).

For those of you who don't know what streaking is, it refers to running at least one consecutive mile for as many days in a row as you can. There is even an official club. Some people have streaks going that are decades old, which is nearly impossible to comprehend for me.

Right now, my streak is nothing to write home about. It stands at thirteen. However, it really changed my body last year, especially its ability to recover quickly. That helps in ultras. Which is something else I want to get back into. See you out on the trails!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun in the Sun at the Stinson Beach 20k

This past Saturday it happened: I finally got to put on a race number again! The sheer joy of prepping for a race (over-analyzing the race profile, printing out the Google map directions to the race start, etc.) has been missing from my life lately. So, I was happy to drive out to Stinson Beach with my lady this past Saturday to join 500 other runners at the Stinson Beach 12k/20k/30k/50k.

From the Dipsea Trail looking back towards Stinson Beach (photo credit PCTR)

As usual, PC Trail Runs is not skimping on the availability of race distances (rumor has it they're going up to six per race next year and nine per race by 2010), and I was happy to choose the 20k option. My training hasn't taken me past 9 miles since the Redwook 30k over two months ago and this course looked pretty challenging. A 1,500 ft. climb right out of the gates: Good morning!

The green and blue stripes make this appear to be a much easier course than it actually is.

Stinson Beach is at least as beautiful as it sounds. Picture a California beach town and you're probably thinking of Stinson. On my way to check-in, I ran into the always smiling Scott Dunlap, otherwise known as the trail running 'blogfather.' Ok, I just made that up, but it's true. Actually, Scott is one of my heroes. The man continues to improve on the race course year in and year out, is a successful CEO in Silicon Valley, writes the most widely read blog on trail running and, to top it all off, is the father to a beautiful two-year old. And here I am complaining about my crazy schedule in grad school...

Once checked in, I got to say hello to my friend Beat whose girlfriend is actually in my program. Beat is from Switzerland, so he and I share the funky German accent. There were a lot of those (accents) around actually...and that actually didn't surprise me. Lots of Germans take to the trails and compete quite well at the ultra-distances.

After completing pre-race procedures at what might very well be the most scenically located bathroom in the country, someone said my name. And it was Leslie from the Banff Trail Trash blog. (If you haven't checked that one out, you're missing out. It's one of my absolute favorites!) Leslie and her husband Keith were in California for week celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary....running. Yes, they ran all over. Check it out on their blog.

Keith and I (and, yes, I'm still representing GUTS) credit to BTT

Going up the Dipsea credit to BTT

Leslie, Keith and I would start the race together charging up the mythical Dipsea Trail like three little school girls, singing, bouncing and simply just enjoying ourselves. What a day it was! Blue skies, 70 degrees, a light breeze from the ocean. While I sometimes miss my hometrails in Atlanta, I am not going to lie: I feel so very lucky to live in the Bay Area! I LOVE it here!!

The trail was a bit crowded at first, but all the more time to take in the sweeping views, talk to people and breathe the wonderful fall air. Soon enough we were on top of the first hill and the different races went their separate ways.

Some really slippery ladder on the way Jane with the pic

It took me a while to get to the top (starting from the back can set you back quite a bit) and now it was time to just let it fly! I charged the downhill like there was no tomorrow. Boy, it's been too long! It wasn't my lungs or legs propelling me forward but pure joy!

I would later pay the price for going too fast during the middle section on the final four mile descent, but, oh well, more time to take in the views. Sometimes, I would just stop and stare: can a place really be this beautiful? Trails, ocean and blue skies. Stinson Beach, I'll be back for sure!

As always my thanks go out to the race organizers, Sarah (sorry, I missed you again!) and Wendell, as well as all the great volunteers!

(Any 'rumors' mentioned in this blog entry are, of course, not true)

(I broke yet another camera...butterfingers...hence the 'borrowing' from the internets)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Upcoming Races

It looks like I'll be able to squeeze in at least two more races before the end of the year. Unfortunately, I need to focus on some shorter distances for now. First up, the Stinson Beach 20k. The course profile looks similar to what my local training runs are here in Berkeley. Hopefully, that'll be an advantage.

Looks just like my runs up to Grizzly or Wildcat Peaks

I will close out the year with the Muir Beach 33k on December 13.

Next spring, I'm already signed up for the Santa Cruz Half-Marathon and I'm eyeing a couple of 50ks as well.