About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed a few 100 milers and many other ultramarathon trail races and marathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shhhhhhh...Quiet

Shhhhhhhhh…Quiet! Do you hear that? I hope you are hearing what I heard while running the remote sand hills of the Wild West which was the sound of nothing. For Mother’s Day we got some much needed peace and quiet at the BR Ranch while spending time with family. Luckily I was able to sneak off for a few early morning runs while Maddie and Cara slept in. The ranch is in one of our nations least populated counties in far West Texas where cows outnumber humans.


In fact, while out on a run, I didn’t see another human being for over three hours and was able to take in the sounds of my surroundings which was almost nil. I didn’t hear any noise of passing cars or car alarms which would be outlawed if I were King. I didn’t hear the rumble of helicopters from Ft Bliss flying overhead or the exhaust from a Harley. Nor did I hear little Maddie screaming (in a descending minor 3rd interval), “MOM, MOM, Mom! READY FOR A WIPE!” 
No barking dogs, loud music, leaf blowers or garbage trucks for three solid hours.


The only thing I heard was the beautiful sound of my feet crunching along the gravel and sand road I was running. This road rolls and twists along our southern most border heading toward a place called Indian Hot Springs. The springs were once a tourist attraction complete with a hotel, but the complex is now in private ownership and difficult to visit.

Enjoy the sound of running:


The only thing out here is a few ranches, but further north is a rare earth elements mining operation (95% of rare earth minerals come from China). This area is so remote and unpopulated that an Amazon CEO purchased a ranch 60 miles (as the crow flies) from here to start a space tourism company called Blue Origin. They secretly launched the first test flight about a week ago. 

Watch the rocket launch:


At least fracking hasn’t come this far west yet although a company has drilled some test wells in the northern part of the county. I’d also like to note that Greg Abbott’s Texas National Guard has not shown up yet to protect us from Union troops as they begin their Jade Helm 15 joint exercises in the Southwest. Shhhhhhhhh.…


For now, I will continue to enjoy the quiet as I run along this stretch of the Rio Grande known as the Forgotten Reach. Colin McDonald, a Texas Tribune reporter wrote about this area as he recently traveled the entire length of the Rio Grande to bring attention to the problem of the river’s disappearing water. 

Click HERE to read posts by Colin McDonald:

The only other thing happening around here is a local honey farm. Hives are placed along the road every few miles or so. Occasional I can hear the buzz of a million bees doing their work which is better than listening to the noise pollution of a tricked out Honda Civic four-cylinder with an extra loud muffler which adds nothing to the performance of the car.


Listen to the bees (turn your speakers up):



Sometimes my quiet is broken by the singing of birds, the call of a quail or the rattle of a snake. Fortunately this weekend I didn’t hear the latter. Most of the time I was bathed in the sound of quietude, stillness, calmness, solitude. I can only hope that the space rockets, fracking, miners and military troops stay at bay so I can continue to enjoy the sounds of nothingness.

Hear the birds:



See you on the trail.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

N. Franklin Peak X 2

Lately I’ve been making trips up N. Franklin Peak (7,192’) to get ready for the Jemez Mountain 50 Miler next month in Los Alamos, NM. Yesterday I ran for nine hours including two climbs up the mountain. Now, I could give you a blow-by-blow account of my run including how I gagged on chia seed gel at 4:15am or accidentally blew a snot rocket onto my shoulder at 10:35. I could talk about how I tripped over a rock and almost fell into a cactus six times or how I was so hungry after the seventh hour that I actually considered eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet when I finished. I could also brag about how bad-ass I am because I ascended the mountain twice in one morning albeit very slowly. So slow in fact, that I think your grandmother passed me on the way back down. No, instead of boring you with all the trite details, I figured I’d just show you some pictures of the day. 

See you on the trail.

The start at 4:00am
Sunrise from the ridge

Some sort of red grasses
Phlox
Franklin Mts

Indian Paintbrush

The ascent 
Verbena field
Ocotillo Buds 

Texas rainbow cactus

Prickly pear cactus 

Spinystar cactus


Turk's head cactus 


Ocotillo cactus

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bataan Memorial Death March 2015

The Bataan Memorial Death March was extra special this year because my running buddy, Ryan returned to run it with old friends. We had a great time hanging out over the weekend and then met another friend of ours, Mike at the race. Run El Paso Club and Team RWB friends were also there so it turned out to be a great big party. Kind of like Woodstock, but without the sex, drugs and rock ’n roll.



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sierra Vista Trail 50K

“I forgot to post on Facebook I was running…All that training for nothing!” I laughed (or should I say LMAO) when I saw that meme on a friends FB wall this week (thanks Vince). Well, that is how I feel this morning while fiddling with my phone, frantically trying to get my Charity Miles App to work. It seems they’ve upgraded the program and now I don’t know how to work it. If you aren’t familiar with Charity Miles, it donates 25 cents to your charity for every mile you run and then you get to post your run on FB. I always run for Team RWB, but my race starts before I have time to figure out the new “improved” app. 




Friday, February 20, 2015

On Plantar Fasciitis

Recently I was I asking my better half to help me come up with a title to a blog post I was writing. After some discussion, she said, “Don’t worry too much about it, only three people read your blog anyway.” Ouch! Unfortunately, she is mostly right, BUT, I have noticed that I get a lot of hits when I write about plantar fasciitis (PF), that dreaded ailment that causes so much heel pain.

If you search the internet for plantar fasciitis advice, you will certainly find thousands of articles, forums and products promising cures, instant relief and prevention tips. It seems that everyone suffering from it turns to the web for answers.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Bandera 100K

“This sux. May drop after 1st loop”, says my text to Cara. This is how I’ve felt all morning during the Bandera 100K. The weather is cold and dreary and I can’t seem to get warm or pull out of a funk. It rained this morning making the trail conditions treacherous. I slept in my ice encrusted tent last night and, although I was plenty warm, couldn’t sleep because I was too worried about how miserable today was going to be. Ironically I started out overdressed and, working very hard to climb several steep hills, sweated through my layers making me feel damp and miserable. 


Friday, January 9, 2015

San Antonio River Walk

Running in the inner city poses many challenges because of traffic, crowds, smog, stray dogs and other perils. I learned to deal with the problem in my former job where I traveled extensively for 20 years including four years in Europe. Unfortunately, we didn’t have smart phones or Google Maps in those days, so I would simply go to the front desk of my hotel and ask for a map or directions to the river. Many cities have recreation trails along their watercourses and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to run many of them; the Potomac, Mississippi, Danube, Rhine, Rio Grande and Colorado to name a few.
San Antonio Riverwalk at night during the Christmas season