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."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Year in Review 2014

2014 started with a groin injury and ended with a 100 mile race finish so I can’t complain too much. My first race of the year, Bandera 100K, was scrapped for the 50K distance  since I hadn’t been able to train enough leading up to it. I didn’t attempt a 100 miler this summer because I wasn’t sure how my training would go coming off an injury. Most summer 100s require early planning to ensure you have a slot, so I waited until I was on the mend before planning too many races.

Lucy getting into the Christmas spirit

Enjoy a slideshow of my favorite photos from 2014: (Click Here if it doesn't load)






Friday, December 19, 2014

Running With the Big Dogs

The morning is cool and crisp; perfect for running our usual trail in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains beside the Cimarron neighborhood of El Paso. Suddenly, my dog Lucy takes off after some critter. Probably a jack rabbit. My other two, Sierra and Taz follow in Lucy’s wake quickly bounding up a hill towards the top of a mesa. In the distance I notice five dogs, but wait a minute, I only have three. Where did the others come from? Coyotes; this could be disastrous!
Lucy
Sierra (above) and Taz (below)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fall Running

Snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, bomb-cyclone, polar-vortex. Where I grew up on the East Coast we only had the occasional nor’easter that would dump a bunch of snow on us and then move on to wreak havoc on our northern neighbors. In a few days it would warm to 70 degrees and all of it would be gone in a flash. 


American Coot

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Javelina Jundred

I wait nervously at the Javelina Jeadquarters as this 30 hour jalloween party gets under way. I line up with 500 other runners and try to get the butterflies in my stomach to settle down. Lots of people are dressed in their best jalloween attire, but I was too focused on my task at hand this week to think about putting together a costume. Instead I wear my Team Red, White and Blue eagle in support of our veterans.

Hope I don't end up like this guy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The All Night Training Run

Seriously? Who runs all night long? Well, I do when I’m training for a one hundred miler especially when heat is an issue. Last month I pulled several all nighters for the mental training needed to prepare me for what’s coming next week, the Javalina Jundred in Phoenix, AZ. 

Persuading someone to join you on a 12 hour training run at night is nearly impossible so you must be prepared to go it alone. Running all night really isn’t that bad unless of course you are afraid of the dark, can’t stand to be alone or...um...have an  aversion to zombies. In reality a zombie’s stare is much worse than their bite so don’t fear. Staying up all night can be fun too. Remember those days as a teen when you tried to stay awake all night with your friends?




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Snakes!

Two snake encounters within five minutes of each other! That sums up my run in the Franklin Mountains. My running buddy spotted the first one in the middle of the trail and stopped in time for us to admire his black and white banded tail and rattle. We were about to turn around soon anyway so decided to head back the way we came so as not to have to guess where he was on the return trip.

The first one

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two States Run

Hundreds of bats flutter above me as I run under a bridge that crosses the Rio Grande. I stop for a closer look and am amazed by the sound of thousands of fluttering wings. Suddenly I hear a screech and see an owl take flight. She continuously flies overhead while making an eerie call like fingernails down a chalkboard. I was once struck on the head by an owl protecting her nest. Although it is hard to see in the dark, I suspect this raptor is a barn owl because of it’s pale color and incessant screeching. 

Blurry bats
I’ve only been running for an hour having left my house at 3:30am because I plan to run to the next state; New Mexico. This 40 mile training run will take me from West El Paso, TX to Old Mesilla (Las Cruces) and should take a whopping 9-10 hours because of the August heat and humidity.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

St. Sebastian River Preserve


Ah, sunny Florida in August. This is the life. Nothing like relaxin’ on the beach where your only worry is a blown out flip-flop and maybe a lost shaker of salt. Indian River County is on the East Coast about half way down the state where there is an abundance of lush vegetation, tropical birds, dolphins, manatees and sea turtles that bury their eggs on the pristine beaches. Sounds like a tropical paradise until you try to run in the sweltering heat. The humidity is off the scale and you will be soaking wet if you make it to the end of your run.



Sandhill Cranes wander the neighborhoods

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bush Mt (Guadalupe Mountains National Park)


Why is it getting light outside already? I set my alarms for 4 and 4:30, but never heard anything. Epic alarm failure or was I in such a deep sleep that I just didn’t hear them? I rarely oversleep, but had a hard time drifting off last night due to thunder storms. Sleeping in my hatchback turned out to be a good idea. I don’t have to worry about breaking camp and should be on the trail by 6:00am.



Friday, July 4, 2014

Hillsboro Peak

CAUTION...watch for FALLING TREES, BLOCKED ROUTES, ERODED TRAIL. Well, I didn’t plan this one very well did I? The night before leaving for a camping and running trip, I decided to check the status of the Black Range Crest Trail (#79) in the Gila National Forest, NM. Status: OPEN (Hikers and horsemen should beware of the hazards in the burned area.)



Friday, June 20, 2014

Puebloans Ran Here

Not only did the Ancestral Puebloans run, but also scaled cliffs to reach the safety of their homes. Imagine climbing a 100 foot precipice each time you had to run to the grocery store. Well that’s what the ancient peoples who inhabited what is now Mesa Verde National Park had to do in the 13th century AD. 

Cliff Palace
Knife Edge Trail

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tonuco Mountain


Falling to my death doesn’t scare me half as much as being helplessly trapped in a tight space. You could say I’m claustrophobic. The thought of living out my last days unable to move, dehydrated and starving to death is more than I can even imagine. It’s no wonder that I feel squeamish as I peer into a dark pit on Tonuco Mountain, careful not to slip on the loose sandy dirt and fall to my final resting place. 

Tonuco Mt
Open mine shaft

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jemez Mountain 50 Miler

Why isn’t a trail ultramarathon ever the distance it’s supposed to be? A 100 is never 100 miles, a 50K is never 31.0686 miles, etc. Do you think a 50 miler could ever be 49.5 miles? Of course not, that would make it too easy. The Jemez Mountain 50 Miler is no different and, although I signed up for 50 miles, I’ll have the opportunity to slog 52.2 up and down the high altitude skyline around Los Alamos, NM.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Diet? No Thanks!

Gluten-free, low-fat, Paleo. Which diet is right for you? How about the Cookie, Baby Food or Volumetrics diet? Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? It certainly is confusing to know how to eat when a new study is published every week touting new claims or pooh-poohing the foods you thought were healthy. What is good for you today will cause cancer next week. 

Read: Red Wine Health Benefits ‘Overhyped’

News Week rated 32 of the most popular diets categorizing them based on weight-loss, heart-healthy, diabetes, etc. I haven’t read about them because I don’t diet. It’s too complicated so I just try to burn as many calories as I put in. Eating natural unprocessed food is more important to me, but occasionally it’s just necessary to grab a Whataburger. Bacon? You betcha, but not everyday. Everyone is different so if you are having success with the Cookie diet, more power to ya. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Flora in my Desert

Spring is a great time to hit the trail in the desert. All winter long I brave cold and darkness to keep my running routine going. Everything looks brown and dead in the mountains of the Desert Southwest and our only respite is the occasional dusting of snow which brightens up the landscape. When winter finally breaks, strong winds and dust storms plague us, but at least the temperatures rise and wildflowers and cacti start to show their stuff.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Bataan Memorial Death March 2014

I’m shivering uncontrollably with thousands of others as we wait for the opening ceremony of the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM. I mistakenly relied on the weather report this morning figuring I’d be warm enough. Usually I pack a few extra layers in my bag, but thought heat would be more of an issue today. I wander around the soccer field and stumble upon a few of my fellow Team Red, White and Blue members and some Run El Paso Club friends. We huddle together and share the misery while waiting for the race to start.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sierra Vista Trail 50K

The sun is just barely up when I arrive at the base of the Organ Mountains in Las Cruces, NM to run the Sierra Vista Trail 50K. After I pick up my bib number I sit in my warm car and read the morning paper. Shouldn’t I be stretching, warming up or otherwise preparing to run to the next town and back? Nah, I’ll warm up in the first 5 miles.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lumix Long Zoom Camera

With Spring finally in the air, I’ve been out on the trail testing out my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 point and shoot camera. I chose this make and model because it has a powerful optical zoom (20X) for a point and shoot, yet is small enough for me to take on my running adventures. Some day I’d like to get a professional camera with plenty of fancy lenses, but that would require ample time to learn how to use it not to mention plenty of money. Therefore I’ll put that hobby off until I’m too feeble to run.




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sugarloaves’ Ultra Vista Trail 60K

If you had told me that I could attempt a 60K trail race last week I would have thought you were nuts. I guess I’m the one who’s insane because, despite having run the Bandera 50K a few weeks ago, I started the Sugarloaves’ Ultra Vista trail run in Vado, NM this past weekend.


Bishop Cap

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bandera 50K Race Report

As my cell phone sits in a puddle of water on the floor of my dew soaked tent I dread the task of going through my pre-race ritual. It’s dark and cold outside and the last thing I want to do right now is emerge from my toasty cocoon. 



I need to get going soon though. Last night at packet pickup I observed 10 porta-potties and in one hour we will have 1000 runners here all wanting to lighten their loads before they hit the trail. Do the math in your head and you will quickly realize that you don’t want to be at the back of that line.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fillmore Canyon

They say this canyon is haunted. Not far from here are the ruins of Boyd Tuberculosis Sanatorium where many sick patients spent their last days in the 20th century. Spirits of the dead are said to still lurk here in the Dripping Springs Natural Area in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, NM. (Read my earlier post Dripping Springs.) Another mystery unfolded in this area in the late 1800s when a religious hermit and miracle healer took up residence in a cave nearby despite warnings from locals. Unfortunately they found him near his abode clutching his crucifix with a knife in his back.