Tejas 300

The buckles and the granite

I just wish I could close my eyes and wake up from this dream… this nightmare.

Just after dawn in cold pouring rain on February 2nd I completed the Tejas 300 as I finished my 4th 100 miler at Rocky Raccoon. It’s been quite a journey. I know I’m just tempting fate by saying this, but I feel like I’m on the verge of having this 100 mile thing somewhat figured out. For the … read more

Cactus Rose 100

The Course

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

My second 100 miler, Rocky Raccoon 2013

My Pacers, Aaron and Jon

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

Mt. Rainier

Lenticular Could

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

The Run Streak is Reborn

Tatoosh range seen after descending through clouds from Mt Rainier summit.

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

The First Fifty

Standing after 50 miles.

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

Did Not Start

DLFShirt

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

Winter Knee Drama Part II

healthyknees

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

Winter Knee Drama Part I

Frosty Texas trails.

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

Elle’s Run

BibMedal301

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