Monday, April 29, 2013

Moving closer to the goal and a little backstory.

Another solid week of training is in the books, and I'm feeling a little stronger with each run. Last week was another good week that ended with a solid Saturday effort. I was planning on doing 15-20 over in Damascus and figured it would be another solo day. I got a pleasant surprise Friday night when Kramer (a few beers in) said he would be up for joining me for part of the run. K has been a great training partner for the last couple of years, but he has been dealing with injuries lately. He will be pacing me at Leadville. That dude is without a doubt one of the finest off the couch athletes ever. He can takes weeks at a time off, and still go knock out 20 miles like it's his job.

We hashed out a plan, and he met me at Camp Z Saturday morning. Originally, he was going just run the first 6 with me, drop me at the AT trialhead and run back to the trailhead and then head home. He figured 12 with the freedom to walk on his own for some of the last six would be good enough for the day. Smart guy. I ended up deciding to take advantage of having someone to run with, so I just turned around with him and we cruised to the 10 mile point. Then, I made it a speed workout for the last six back to my truck, which I had left in town. The speed workout was solid! Mile 16 was a 7:30 pace. I'll take that. I doubt I'll see a single mile that fast in Leadville. I'll be in trouble if I go that fast even once. But, it was nice to stretch the legs. After the run, K and I threw down on some pizza at the Blue Blaze Cafe. I was HUNGRY! It was sooo good! I love pizza.

I figure this is a good chance to share a little backstory in case you've missed it at some point. I've been running distance since I went to grad school in 2007. My buddy Reeve got me into it. We'd just go out for stupid long trail runs for fun. I didn't really get into ultras until my Marine buddies and I decided to run 100 miles to honor our friend, Tyler Swisher, who was killed in Iraq. You can check out a documentary made about our first run at We decided in the fall of 2010 to start a non-profit called Always Brothers. You can check out our website Since then, we have done two 100 mile runs and raised over $100,000 for the families of Marines and Sailors killed in Combat. This year, we are doing our third 100 in Seattle, WA to benefit PTSD research. I will only be doing support and pacing this year because Leadville is the following week. Leadville has been a personal goal of mine, and I think it can help us raise awareness to be out doing more mainstream races once in a while. So, in Leadville I'll be running for myself, but I'll also be running for Always Brothers and all of my brothers (and sisters) who have paid the ultimate price defending our freedom. No politics here. Just honoring my family.

It helps me when I'm tired while training and racing to know that my efforts are serving a larger goal than just my personal desire to see where I can push my body.

This week will be my first 50+ mile week of this training cycle. I knocked out a good 10 on the house loop here. The hills felt good, and I'm looking forward to the New River Marathon on Saturday. Thanks again to my Ginger and all of awesome friends for supporting me, training with me, and indulging my love of running.

Yellow Dog says hi to everyone. He's chilling under the table, chewing a rawhide, and enjoying the life of a happy dog. 

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