Skip to main content

100 miles and the mind

Hard to believe but I'm one month out from another 100 mile attempt.

I'll be headed back to the Umstead 100. This year's race sold out in about five minutes, so it's clear a bunch of die-hard athletes have an appetite for "easy" 100 milers. Umstead is near Raleigh, NC. It's a rather forgiving 12.5 mile loop, which turns your brain to mush as you circumnavigate the course eight (8) times.

I was walking across campus on a snowy day last week, pondering the outcome of what might transpire. Just what's the attraction? For me, it's the overwhelming validation that comes with the completion of these epic journeys. Knowing that I had the spit to stay on the course and keep going is a big component of my life. But, that perspective is not all upside. It has risks.

Looking back at Umstead 2008 makes the case in point. I finished in 27 hours and change, but it came at a high personal, emotional and physical cost. This time around, I'm taking a laid-back approach. I have committed to a gentle mindset where I'm OK with the final results, whatever distance I accomplish. I'll be competing in the event solo, with no crew to lean on and no excuses for lack of preparation. Just master competitor and the course and the enjoyment of ultrarunning.

I'm in a really great season of life. The more I age and look back in retrospect, the more I have become thankful for the good things - because I know what it's like to suffer in the bad times. Thankful for yet another day to run, thankful for a day with a pain-free back. Thankful for my job and health care and a place to call home.

And when the start command is given at Umstead, I'll be thankful that I'm part of yet another 100 mile attempt.


Popular posts from this blog


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Fitness setback? Use the healing power of plants

Maybe you're like me. You had achieved a fitness and nutrition peak, but then slid off the mountain. Hey, most of us aren't professional athletes and we aren't paid to be ripped and shredded, right? Life got in the way. I produced my dossier for tenure, then finished several academic publications. And, there is always teaching and a responsilbity to the student experience. I'm not proud of the outcome, but that's how it works for me. When I wrote "Mind Over Diet" the key premise was self-negotiation. You must create your own scenarios that drive action. It's time to start over. My advice is to build your comeback with food, not exercise. Everyone wants to run to the gym and crank the big long does that usually last? I'd suggest the food is the ultimate change agent. Eat as close to "alive" as possible; take the processing and chemicals out. Fresh food will bring life back into your body. That's the foundation. Here…