I figured a little background on myself might be in order. How did I find myself in a position of writing a blog on trail and ultra running? I am not sure of the answer to that myself. Let's see if we can connect the dots...
So, the training began. I remember vividly the days when I couldn't run one mile without gasping for air and walking some. I know now I was running way too fast - common beginner mistake. But, being terribly pig-headed, I didn't give up. I ran my first half marathon in Nashville that year, then my first full in San Francisco.
|The San Francisco Team in the airport on our way to the race!|
Ellen and Lewis Deaton are seated in the middle.
|Rachael Delcambre and I approaching the finish line of my first|
full marathon. We ran the whole way together, and she will
forever be a treasure to me.
That is all it took. The seed was planted. I immediately bought Dean Karnazes' book "Ultramarathon Man". Probably not the best idea for a wanna be ultramarathoner. While Dean's writing is very entertaining, it tends to lend itself to exaggeration. Yes, running 50 miles is tough - I have done it 8 times, not including the first half of my four 100 milers. No, you will not find yourself cramping and projectile vomiting in your car after the race. Read it for fun - not as a glimpse into the real world of ultras.
I quickly found a 50 miler in Huntsville, Texas, in Febrary 2010. I was lucky enough to hook up with some amazing local guys to train with.
|Me, Keith Manuel, and Brad Delcambre|
The picture above was the day before my first 50 miler. Keith and Brad were running their first 100 miler the next day. I have to admit - I thought they were a little insane. :)
But, I did it! It wasn't pretty and it took me 11 hours and 48 minutes, but I did it! Nobody did it for me, and no one ran alongside offering encouragement. My first 50 miler, run completely solo was in the books!
|Josh, Me and Shelby before the race.|
|50 miles and almost 12 hours later.|
A whole new level of pain and pride.
At this point, I no longer had any desire to do road races. I had found my happy spot, and it was in the woods jumping over roots and climbing over trees (and sometimes falling heroically).
|Photo taken with my trail buddy, Lane Gremillion,|
immediately following the most graceful, and slowest fall in the
history of trail running.
Brief synopsis: Planted foot on log; log slippery, flipped completely over log,
landed flat on back.
I have no idea how I got to this point. I have always been the kind of person that when an opportunity presents itself, I take advantage of it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. Ultra running just seems to fit. You never know where life will take you. If there is something you want to achieve in your life, make the commitment to do it. Then put a plan in place to make sure that it happens. Sometimes it is just that simple, folks.
As of today, I have run 36 ultra marathons. And I am not done yet.
Here are some other pix of cool people and places in my life over the last few years.