Cactus Rose is a special kind of hell. Evil rocks go there to die. They torment runners’ feet and toes. Evil plants also join in. Some itch, others scratch. The Sotol crowd the trail like they own it and scrape cuts into runners’ legs. The evil rocks line up on one side of the trail, and the evil plants on the other. While unavoidable, which particular torment you suffer is your choice. The choice of … read more
Sometimes you have to go backward to move forward.
I’m going to try something a bit different. I usually put a lot of pressure on myself to write something others find compelling. I really like how my friend Kelly writes for herself. So, I’m going to write for myself. There’s much I’d like to tell my future self about running 100 milers. Here goes.
Clearly, the biggest lesson logistically is my shoes. My minimalist New Balance MT110’s … read more
Climbing Mt Rainier was truly the adventure of a lifetime. Despite lacking extreme altitude (from a global perspective), Rainier offers incredible big mountain experience. It’s home to 26 glaciers and has 36 square miles of permanent ice and snowfields. The standard route (Disappointment Cleaver) is 18 miles round trip and includes 18,000 feet of total elevation change. It’s considered the most challenging endurance climb in the lower 48 states. Of course, I didn’t know most … read more
Last week was a huge week for me. I summited Mt. Rainier (climb report coming soon), I completed my first solid month of streaking for good, and I … accidentally broke the run streak. I slept in Friday morning and put off my easy one-miler for Friday night. Later that evening I got distracted with finally unpacking all my climbing gear and totally forgot to run! Lesson learned: GET OUT OF BED, MATT!!!
Tatoosh range seen after descending … read more
You might think running 50 miles for the first time will change your life. It didn’t work out that way for me. Fellow distance runners may be familiar with post race blues. I’ve had a bad case or two, but that’s not what happened this time. Life just seemed to press on. My 10 and a half hour endeavor through the trails of the Texas countryside passed by in the blink of an eye. It’s … read more
There’s a trilogy of three letter acronyms in endurance sports: DLF, DNF, and DNS. They stand for “dead last finish”, “did not finish”, and “did not start”, respectively. There’s a simple relationship among these conditions expressed as follows: DLF > DNF >> DNS. It means “dead last finish” is greater than “did not finish” which greatly trumps “did not start”. Although I came close to DLF/DNF at Pikes Peak … read more
It was only a mile or so later I noticed the same tightness again. Not much later I felt some pain during a foot strike. In frustration, I turned around to head back to the car. I walked for a bit, devastated to have such a good day turn sour so quickly. After walking some, similar to previous occasions, I was again able to run pain free back to the car … read more
My first 50 mile race is coming quickly, the Rocky Raccoon 50 (RR50) on February 5th. My training over the last month hasn’t been what I wanted. I don’t think I’m ill prepared, but I’m certainly not well prepared either. The primary culprit is a mild case of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). The primary symptom has been tightness on the outside of my left knee. It’s only happened during runs on long mileage weekends. After taking a rest day, as I typically do after hard weekends, I never noticed any discomfort on subsequent weekday runs … read more
To say I was a little more amped than usual about this race would be an understatement. The response from everyone so far in the blitz fundraiser has been so positive and encouraging. And running for those who can’t run, really gets me fired up. On top of all that, I was running for baby Elle specifically … read more
Sunday was my 7th marathon. The weather was ideal in Dallas for the White Rock Marathon. The conditions allowed for impressive race times and a slew of new personal records (PRs). It was a wonderful day of celebrating the sport we love so much. I wasn’t racing … read more