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 four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

McKelligon Canyon Run

Zero dark fifteen (0515): I leave home and start running the 6 miles to the Starbucks near the university. It’s still dark, but not too cold, at least. I’ll be out all morning so didn’t want to wear my headlamp. Most of the route is lit so I should be OK. Running in the dark is quite different and everything is strange at this time of day. I feel like I have the entire city to myself.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dinosaurs Ran Here

I’m running with dinosaurs this morning or at least where they once roamed. Cara is dropping me off at one of our nation’s newest national monuments -Prehistoric Trackways National Monument near Las Cruces, NM. In March, 2009, Barack Obama signed a law setting aside this area for important fossil finds. This land has or had some of the best examples of Paleozoic tracks in N. America. The reptile and invertebrate fossils found here actually predate the dinosaurs. The unfortunate side of this story is that most of the fossils have been removed and relocated to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque, NM.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trashy Run

I’m against recycling. You heard me, I’m against it. Keep reading to find out why. I’m very concerned for our environment and consider myself a “granola”. I’ve been known to eat twigs and bark and I love to run in the wilderness. Since I don’t always have time to get out on my beloved trails, I run around my neighborhood with my three dogs Lucy, Sierra, and Taz.

While on our runs, we dodge trash of all sorts. Broken glass, aluminum cans, plastic water bottles, and my favorite, plastic grocery bags. Occasionally I have to police my route and sweep glass from the sidewalk and street so my running partners don’t cut their paws. On our runs, I sometimes pick up a few pieces of trash, especially glass bottles, and put them in Taz’s saddlebags. (He loves his backpack – makes him feel important).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Endurance Event Like No Other

I was recently a pacer/ handler for a very special person in my life as she completed an endurance feat. What is a pacer or handler, you ask? In ultramarathon races, runners are allowed to have a running buddy or coach run with them later in the race as they travel through the mountains often at night to complete their 50-100 mile race. The pacer helps the participant find the route and keeps them safe and motivated to finish no matter what.

I had the honor this time of coaching my friend, and as soon as we started the journey I knew we were in for an amazing race. This event was not a typical 50K, 50 mile, or 100 mile trail run, because she did not know how long the distance was when she started. When my companion reached the first medical check point, she was told to keep going and she would be finished in 12-24 hours!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mt Cristo Rey Run

“Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's Cantina;
Music would play and Faleena would whirl.”
Why am I singing a Marty Robbins song? Because I’m at Rosa’s Cantina getting ready to run with Faleena. Well, not really, but instead I’m going to run with my running club, Run El Paso. We are heading up Mt Cristo Rey which has one of the largest (42ft) sculptures of Jesus on its peak. Thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the top of this 4675 ft high mountain every year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Transmountain Challenge Half Marathon Race Report

(Oct 16, 2010)
I’m here on the west side of the Franklin Mountains getting ready to run over the pass to the east side of El Paso. 13.2 miles of up, then down. The high point is 5200 ft elevation. I just had my breakfast of Hammer Gel and chia seeds. When we start running, the sky is a nice shade of red, no wind, and a chill in the air. Perfect weather for making our way up the mountain. The first mile or so is mostly flat, but in no time we start the climb to Smugglers Gap.

I pass some acquaintances from the Run El Paso Club and I’m feeling kind of spry until I remember that they are recovering from the Odessa and St George Marathons. I stop a few times for some quick photos of the mountains. I can see Mammoth Rock in the distance. I’m able to maintain a slow running pace and am focusing on making it to the rock at the top.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dripping Springs Spooky Adventure

This morning’s running adventure takes me to a place rich in history, nature, and the supernatural. Legends abound as to the presence of ghosts of those who died in the Boyd Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Dripping Springs, New Mexico. This is sure to be a frightening adventure.

My mission today is twofold as I aim to get in a good training run for the Transmountain Challenge Half Marathon coming up and to also deliver a special item to my sister-in-law who lives in Las Cruces, NM. Because we have a baby shower next week for our expected arrival, Crew Chief Cara has given me explicit instruction to deliver madeleine pans to her sister, the master baker. I don’t even know what a madeleine pan is, but by the seriousness of the conversation (i.e. “You must deliver the pans this weekend!”) they must be very important.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oktoberfest Night Run (9-11)


This 8K race, held on 9-11, was sponsored by the German Luftwaffe (Air Force) and Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, TX. I’ll use any excuse to visit a military base because it brings back memories of my years in the US Air Force. I spent 4 of my 20 years living near Ramstein AB in Germany and took advantage of all the wonderful food, beer, and festivities Germany had to offer. Many soldiers are running today and what a better way to remember the victims of the September 11 attacks than to run with the men and women who have been fighting on their behalf for 9 years?

Over 900 runners participated in the 17th annual event including service men and women from the US, Germany, and Japan. The race was not actually held after dark which was unfortunate because it was quite warm when we ran at 6 o’clock. Pre-race activities included music by the Big Fat Dixieland Band which I gathered was made up of members of the 62nd Army Band.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wilderness Warrior

Here lately, I’ve been taking it easy and recovering from the 100 miler that I ran a month ago. I’ve had time to take a step back and catch up on some home projects and reading. I am thoroughly enjoying the book, The Wilderness Warrior, about Theodore Roosevelt and the crusade for America.

Douglas Brinkley has done a marvelous job writing about Roosevelt’s life as a naturalist, wildlife conservationist, and creator of national forests, parks and wildlife refuges. The author also explains our 26th president’s philosophy on living the strenuous life. Roosevelt, a sickly child, overcame health problems like asthma and a weak heart. When a doctor told him that he should refrain from physical exertion, he did just the opposite, and strengthened his body through exercise, boxing and hiking in the mountains. As an ultramarathoner, you can see why I admire this great man.

Monday, August 16, 2010

How Are Your Knees?

“How Are Your Knees?” If you are a long distance runner, chances are, you’ve been asked this questioned about your knees and joints. Some people insist that because you run long distances you are trashing your knees. A friend even suggested that my 100 mile finisher's buckle could be used as a knee cap replacement which I found very funny. I’ve often wondered what will become of my body if I continue to run ridiculously long distances so I decided to do a little research on the subject.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Defending My Sanity

“You ran how far? You are crazy with a capital C.” “You run marathons? Definitely insane.” I hear these comments every time I’m asked or talk about my running. Humorist, Bob Schwartz even wrote a book titled, I Run, Therefore I Am-- Nuts. People are always amazed at how far ultramarathoners can run. Why are we deemed insane just because we take exercising to another level? I propose that those of us who run very long distances are not crazy and the reason is this --evolution. That’s right, Darwin’s theory.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

John Muir Ran Here

(12-15 Jul, 2010)
Actually John Muir, conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, neither ran in the mountains nor even approved of hiking. Albert Palmer in A Parable of Sauntering quoted John Muir as saying,

Hiking - I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, "A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them.

My mentor, John Muir, would not approve of my mindless running through our wilderness areas so on this trip, near Mammoth Lakes, CA I spent time sauntering with my wife, Cara. Sometimes I like to slow down and take time to appreciate all that nature has to offer. This post is actually out of order, as I was acclimating to the altitude by camping at 8800 ft elev. in preparation for my Tahoe 100 mile run. I’ve finally found time to write about our adventures and to share some photos.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run Race Report

Other race reports: Sultonic, Gretchen, Davy, Scott, Joy

(17-18 Jul, 2010)
When I arrive at the staging area for my first attempt at running a 100 mile mountain trail race, the event staff is all dressed in bathrobes, curlers in hair. Even race director, David Cotter has curlers in his beard. I can’t blame them it’s only 4:15am, but this is going to be an adventure to remember. I mill around a bit and meet a few other runners; Jose and his buddy from the bay area and Ben and his crew from Oregon. After nervously waiting for a while, we all toe the line and wait for the countdown.

I’m wearing my headlamp as we start out past Spooner Lake. We follow a dirt road that takes us through the park until we reach a single track trail. Let the climbing begin from 7000 ft to almost 9000 in about 7 miles. After the first 4, we run down and get nice views of Marlette Lake, just one of many that we will see on this beautiful course. After rounding the lake we continue up and I’m feeling great. I’ve just seen the first sunrise of my journey.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Glimpse of Heaven, A Taste of Hell

Update: Follow my progress here on 17-18 July. I'm #558. Tahoe Rim 100 Miler webcast.

Quite frankly, I’m Scared. What does it take to run 100 miles non-stop in the Sierra Nevada? I will find out in a little more than a week. Do I have what it takes to keep going on tired, sore, lifeless legs? What about the sleep deprivation that some say brings on hallucinations at night? How much fluid will I need to keep from getting dehydrated? All these questions will be answered soon, because this is my first attempt at finishing this distance.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Zion: The Narrows

“Hiking The Narrows is like walking on slippery bowling balls.” That is how the National Park Service describes today’s hiking adventure. There will be no running today as we are hiking a narrow gorge in Zion National Park, Utah. There is no trail because the Virgin River is the route through this 30-60 foot wide canyon with walls as high as 2000 feet. 70% of our travel will include wading, walking, and swimming through the frigid river. Since we awoke to chilly temperatures this morning, we decide to begin our hike in late morning to let the canyon warm a bit.

We start our adventure at the Temple of Sinawava at the end of Zion Valley and walk the one mile river trail to the beginning of the narrow gorge. The only way through this canyon is by walking upstream through, at times, swift moving water with rapids. Our expedition party poses for a group picture and then begins the journey through the water. Our group consists of Raymond, Betsy, Scott, Michelle, Ricky, and Gustav. Cara is taking it easy today after her Angel’s Landing adventure yesterday. (Read Post) 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zion: Angel’s Landing Hike

“Warning! Falls from cliffs on this trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail. [check] Stay back from cliff edges. [OK] Parents- watch your children!” Well Duh. Today’s adventure requires using our hands so we don’t fall off the mountain. Precipitous drops on both sides of the trail await us as we tackle Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Indian River Run

Day one: The Indian River is not a river at all, but a large lagoon on the east coast of Florida south of Titusville. Wildlife is abundant here so I’m running to a bridge to see what might allow me to photograph it. I leave before the sun comes up and run south on US RT 1. This highway carries motorists all the way from Key West as far north as Maine. Before long I take a left and stop on the bridge of the lagoon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pulling an All-Nighter

Tonight I’m heading out to run until tomorrow morning. Why would I want to do such a thing? Run all night long? Well, next month I’m running the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run (TRT100) and I have to train my mind to keep going all night. Tonight’s adventure will give me the opportunity to get used to running on rocky trails illuminated by headlamp only and to also experience sleep deprived running. Besides, we are having record breaking heat and my thermometer reads 101 degrees at 7pm.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Running the Borderland

I had several good runs in the remote West Texas County of Hudspeth this weekend. I did back-to-back long runs 4 and 3 hours long respectively. Our dog pack accompanied me on parts of my adventures and we had some good wildlife encounters.

Click to meet our dog pack

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jemez 50 Mile Race Report

“[Kris] Kern estimates that [Jemez] is among the three toughest events in the United States with all three being almost equal in degree of difficulty.” Those are not words you want to read in the Los Alamos Monitor the night before tackling the 50 mile course.

Today is sure to be a roller coaster of an adventure. I’m here at the race site at 4:00am. Why, I don’t know, because nothing is going to happen until 5:00. After sitting in the car with Triple C (Crew Chief Cara), I go to the Posse Shack and check-in with race officials and then put my two drop bags in the proper place.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jemez Mountain 50 Mile Run

Update: (Sun, 22 May) I'm sorry to say I did not finish the 50 miler. The altitude was a factor and nausea and headhache got the best of me. I made it to mile 32 which I'm proud of in light of the rough day I had.    Read full race report

The weekend I have been waiting for has finally arrived. I am in Los Alamos, NM at 7500 ft elevation acclimating for tomorrow’s 50 mile trail race in the Jemez Mountains. Last night I went with Crew Chief Cara (CCC) to the ski lodge where she will meet me at mile 36. We saw several grey birds on the way and found out later that they were female Dusky Grouse. We also enjoyed seeing some deer and beautiful yellow flowers called Spreadfruit Goldenbanner. The snow that fell up here last weekend has melted so I am hoping for good trail conditions.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Preparing for Jemez Mountain 50 Mile Trail Run

In this last week of preparation for my 50 mile trail run in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, I’m mostly resting and taking care of logistics. Resting is harder than you might think because I’m used to running all the time, and now I have all this extra time on my hands. My dogs are not usually happy about it either so I will take them on some leisurely walks. Rest is very important before a run of this magnitude so I will do my best to just “chill” this week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Back to Back 15 mile runs

Well, this is the last big push before I run the Jemez 50 mile endurance run in two weeks. I’ve got two 15 mile runs planned for this weekend. The first is a flat 15 along the Rio Grande with my three canine running partners. The second is another 15 mile run through the Organ Mountains in New Mexico. My plan is to tire myself out on Saturday and then run on tired legs in high elevation on Sunday. This will partially simulate what I will be dealing with during my race.

Day 1 (2:30pm): I usually prefer running in the morning when the sun is low, so this afternoon will be a good opportunity for some heat training. My three dogs are excited and ready for their adventure. We start at the trail head and run upstream. I try to keep my pace fast since the route is flat.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Running Solo at Kilbourne Hole

Is it really 4:15am? What am I doing up at this time of the morning on a Saturday? Oh yeah, Kilbourne Hole run. What is Kilbourne Hole you ask? It’s a shallow crater, or maar, on the east side of the Potrillo Volcano Field in Southern New Mexico

Kilbourne Hole was formed when underground water was heated by magma and then escaped from the Potrillo fault causing a sudden explosion of rock, sand, and basalt. Most of the material fell back into the depression filling it, but some rested on the edge creating the lip of the maar. I can’t wait to get there and run around the rim of this geologic wonder.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Countdown to the Jemez 50

50 miles, 12,000 ft of elevation gain, three mountains that rise well above 10,000 feet. That sums up the course I will be running in one month. The Jemez Mountain Trail Runs are on Saturday, 22 May in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The course is run through some of the most spectacular scenery in the southwest including the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a collapsed volcanic crater. (click for sat images of the caldera)

This new type of public land is managed like no other national park or forest. A limited number of visitors pay as they go for activities like hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more. They even have a marathon in the caldera on Jun 12th, 2010. The beauty of this type of management is that crowds are reduced so visitors can have more of a wilderness experience. I’m very excited that part of the Jemez course runs through a portion of the Valles Caldera.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New running shoes with a secret weapon

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a new pair of shoes with a new technology. These shoes are so high tech that they have been banned in the Boston marathon for giving runners an upper edge. USA Track and Field, the national governing body for track and field, has strict rules against competitors using performance enhancing substances as well as performance enhancing gear. My shoes violate rule 143.3 (a) which I will get to in a minute, but first you may be wondering why I bought these controversial shoes?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Good Running Week

This was a great week for running because the weather was gorgeous, the cacti and wildflowers were showing their colors, we had brilliant sunsets, and I bought a new pair of shoes. I enjoyed a wonderful sunset hike with my wife, Cara, and our “team of dogs”. I also ran and hiked to the top of N. Franklin Mountain with Lucy, Sierra, and Taz who had a great time tagging along.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What’s an ice cream cone doing in the middle of the desert?

This morning I’m in search of the “ice cream cone”. I don’t even know what it is that I’m looking for. All I know is that I’m supposed to run about 11 miles down this dirt road. So here I go with my family’s dog pack on a quest for the ice cream cone. My running partners today are Lucy, Sierra, Taz, Quasi, Harry, and Butch. (click here to meet our pack) We start our run from the “BR” Ranch (Neely Homestead) before the crack of dawn so it is quite chilly before this day breaks.

The route we are rambling parallels a stretch of the Rio Grande known as the "forgotten river” because of the remote area it flows through. We are so close to Mexico that we can see the recently constructed brown border fence. This road less traveled winds through some stunning scenery with the Quitman Mountains to the North. Before long we see bee hives stacked up on the side of the road and my dogs stop to investigate. The cool outdoor temperature has the bees huddling inside for warmth so the dogs are safe for now.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Aguirre Springs Scamper

A 4:30 am wakeup starts the day, because I want to see the sun rise in the Organ Mountains. Lucy, Sierra, and Taz are my running companions today as we head to Aguirre Springs on the East side of the Organ Mountains. The Organs are in New Mexico just east of Las Cruces and are a jagged range with formations called the needles.

When we arrive on the East side, the BLM park gate isn’t even open yet, but that is OK because all I want to do is get some pictures of the sun glowing on the rock face. I can’t believe there is still snow on the peaks. The wind is blowing and is supposed to pick up later. In fact, the mountain pass road is going to be closed at noon because of it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Lifeless Desert

“There is no life in the desert; it is a vast useless wasteland” so a colleague once commented to me. “We should just dump all our waste out there.” Today I’m going on a journey through the “lifeless” desert, camera in hand, to see if I can find any sign of life, but first I take Lucy, Sierra, and Taz on our 15 mile Rio Grande route.

We leave at 6:30 just before the sun rise, my favorite part of the day. I love the calm before people begin to stir. We head down the street and settle into a groove when all of a sudden frumph...frumph…frumph. What the…? Sounds like someone has a flat. No, two flats and the driver isn’t even going to stop to take care of it. He just keeps driving along on the rims. I’ve seen many strange sights while running; like the absent minded person who had a gas hose dangling from the side of his car.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What do poppies have to do with running 100 miles?

This morning I’m preparing for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile endurance run. I’ve been planning for this race for around two years now. I ran the Bandera 100K trail race in January of 2009 in under 17 hours which qualified me for the TRT100. I could have run the 100 mile race last summer, but I first wanted to see how I would perform at higher altitudes as I had never run long distances over 4000 ft elevation. I finished the TRT50 mile event, which ascends to over 9000 ft, in around 14 hours so I feel that I’m ready to try the 100 mile event in July.

One of the requirements to run the race is to volunteer for 12 hours of trail maintenance or some other community service. Since most of the trail work projects are done during the warmer months I haven’t been able to find a work project. Instead I’m volunteering with the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition (FMWC) for the annual Poppy Preservation Celebration in El Paso, TX.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

George Washington Ran Here

(The Ides of March, 2010)

My adventure this morning takes me far from the American Southwest all the way to the East Coast of Virginia. I’m running the Yorktown National Battlefield where, in 1781, American Independence was won. I lived close to these hallowed grounds once upon a time and trained for 5 marathons and my first 50K trail run here on these historical roads. I’m glad to be visiting my family in this area and find a little time to reminisce with a nice run through the park.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

El Paso Marathon

Today my adventure takes me to downtown El Paso for the marathon. My timing chip is affixed to my shoe, my bib #168 is attached to my shorts and I’m ready to get this run on. My wife, Cara, wakes up early and drives me to the start of my 26.2 mile journey through this West Texas town which borders Mexico and New Mexico. The weather calls for blustery wind and a chance of showers and thunderstorms so I really have no idea what to expect. I’m not dressed for wind and rain so hope the forecasters are wrong.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Countdown to the El Paso Marathon

In 7 days I will run the El Paso Marathon, but will treat this as a training run for the Jemez Mountain 50 miler that I’m running in May. Usually a marathoner would build his mileage reaching a 20 mile long run about 4-6 weeks before the big race. He would then taper off to ensure that he is well rested and in optimum shape to run a fast marathon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An accident waiting to happen

WARNING..."Do not attempt these techniques yourself without consulting a professional."

(Everything must have a warning label these days and running with your dog is no different)

If you saw me running down the street you would probably say, “Yeah, that’s an accident waiting to happen.” I’m usually dangerously tethered to my 3 four legged best friends. Canines were built to run just as humans were and as soon as my 3 see the shorts and shoes come out they know what’s up. They start to prance around with excitement and Lucy even starts to whine just like a kid in the supermarket checkout line staring at the eye level candy.

There’s no way I’m going out the door without 3 furry companions tagging along, but I don’t mind, as they need the exercise too. Running with dogs takes practice for both them and you. It may seem hard at first, but eventually the dogs will learn where to run in your “pack” and you will learn how to keep them in their place.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jackrabbit Classic 6 miler + 20

(February 14th, 2010) Today I run the Jackrabbit Trail 6 mile race in the Franklin Mountains, but 6 miles just isn’t long enough for me. I’m training for the Jemez Mountain trail 50 miler in Los Alamos NM and need to get in 26 miles today. The Jackrabbit doesn’t start until 8:30 and I’ve usually already run 8-10 miles by that time and besides, I can’t be out there all day. After all, today is Valentine’s Day. I have to say that I have the most patient and supportive wife. One that lets me ramble around in the mountains every weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Glory Road

Today’s running adventure was not on trails but on a university campus. I ran the UT El Paso Commitment to Fitness 5 miler which gave me the opportunity to get a nice tempo run in. UTEP, formerly known as Texas Western, is the home of the Miners who in 1966 won the NCAA National Championships under the leadership of Don Haskins. You may have seen the film Glory Road about the events leading up to the big game.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crew Chief Cara and her Pink Cruiser

I had many great runs this week which ended with a 23ish mile run along the river with Lucy, Sierra, and Taz. We were fortunate to have the support of our ultramarathon crew chief who met us with some tasty beverages and treats.

This running adventure started with a 6 mile run through the west side of El Paso and then proceeded down to the Rio Grande levee trail. After 4 more miles along the rio we rendezvoused with Cara who provided us with much needed aid. After some water and snacks we backtracked along the trail for what I thought was a 5 mile run one way. Cara pedaled along in her beloved pink Electra Cruiser.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is what it's all about

(25 Jan 2010)
This was a great running week despite rain and even a little snow. Actually the clouds enabled some great sunset shots that I hope you will enjoy. I'm working to improve my photography and after leaving work one afternoon I noticed a sort of haze in the air. In addition, clouds were present so I decided I needed to lace up the running shoes and hit the trail with my three dogs. I knew there would be a nice sunset so, as usual, brought the camera along. These are the results of my evening run.

Monday, January 25, 2010

West, East, West Traverse

This morning I’m on my way to the tin mines in Franklin Mountains State Park. I would start my run from the park, but it doesn’t open until 8:00 am and I like to get an early start. It’s below freezing this morning and my fingers, ears, and face feel numb. I can’t wait for the sun to come up over the mountains to warm my bones.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back-to-Back Long Runs

18 Jan 2010
This week I did two long runs in a row known as back-to-backs (B2B). The idea behind this training strategy is to wear yourself out the first day and then run on tired, and possibly sore, legs the next day. This simulates what it feels like during an ultramarathon when you are already whipped but still have to keep shuffling along for another 30-50 miles.

Sunday I ran 20 miles through the city to the Rio Grande levee trail and back home. The run was mostly flat except for the last 5 miles where I had to slowly climb back up from the river to home. The last mile was brutal as I had a very steep climb.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baylor Pass Hike

15 Jan, 2010.  On today’s adventure I am graced by the company of my lovely wife Cara, her charming sister Adelle, and 4 of our four legged BFFs. Running up a mountain is not really the girls’ style, so I left my trail running shoes at home and opted for my hiking boots instead. We are on our way to Baylor Pass in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico. The trail head is about 10 miles east of Las Cruces and the weather is perfect for our 6.5 mile round trip. I was going to say 6 miles, but I was reminded all day about that extra quarter mile (each way).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

River Ramble

I decided it was time to knock the cobwebs off my ultramarathon legs and get busy training for the ambitious goals I’ve set for 2010. I spent the fall maintaining my base mileage of 4-6 miles 5 days a week with an occasional 2-3 hour run. This recovery period was both mentally and physically beneficial after running 50K, 50 Miler, and 100K races in the first half of last year.

Having run/hiked to the top of two mountain peaks in the last month, I decided a nice flat 15 miler would be best this morning. I’ll be able to keep a steady running pace instead of the usual power walk up hill, run flats and downhills. Today’s adventure takes us to the Upper Rio Grande Valley (W. El Paso) where we will run along the river levee. I’m accompanied by Lucy, Sierra, and Taz who is wearing his “cape” to battle the low 20s temp.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Running With My Dogs Not Dawgs

You could say we are a dog family. The women in our family have a habit of bringing home the homeless or perhaps the homeless just know where to show up and look cute. The men just take it all in stride because what’s a guy to do? My in-laws have 5 dogs, my sister-in-law has 2 and my wife Cara and I have 3. When we have family gatherings at the BR ranch (Neely Homestead) there are upwards of a dozen dogs hangin’ 'round. When the gangs all there, the neighbor ranch dogs like to come over and play too.

To keep things sane around the ranch, my job is to exercise the dog pack so they are good and tired out by the end of the day. This is good for both me and them. I run almost every morning that I’m at the BR with anywhere from 5 to 10 dogs. We usually run along a very secluded desert road where there is no traffic thus no need for leashes. Today I would like to introduce you to my running dogs and tell about their roles in the pack.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

North Franklin Peak 20 miler

This morning’s adventure begins with a wakeup at 6:00 am, because what better to do on a Saturday morning than run to the highest peak in the Franklin Mountains? I know what you are thinking, but sleeping in is overrated. I’m a morning person. I love being out and about before anyone else wakes up. It makes me feel like the world belongs to me.

It’s a chilly 25 degrees this morning, but the winds are calm. While lacing up my brand new pair of Montrail Streak running shoes, I decide to wear my ankle brace because my ankle is still a little tender from a twist I suffered a while back. I grab my Camelbak and take a short drive to the start of my run. When I park, I notice the almost full moon is still shining and the dawn sky is gorgeous. This is going to be a great day.