Running Perfection

The Perfect Runner

We all want to be that perfect runner.  The one who can win at Boston, out dual the competition at Western States and Leadville or blaze the mile in under four minutes.

Can we all reach that level of running perfection?

decofindependance2( Good for Gov’t, but does not work so well for Running)

Sounds good, right.  Unfortunately all runners are not created equal.  At conception we can’t pick our genes or station in life to ensure we are destined to reach runner excellence.  We can however make the most out of the running cards we were dealt.

apples(Mom always said I was “Special”)

When I look back at the traits that were passed down to me, I understand the Olympic podium was not in the cards, and never would have been.  Although I can make the most out of what I was given and I can develop new talents or build upon what abilities I may already possess.

SPEED – I always thought I was a fast runner, then I ran my first race as an adult.  I understand my speed is relative.  Slow for some, and fast for others.  I’ve come to realize and accept this is an area where with concentrated training I can continue to improve.  Like any trait worth acquiring, I just have to put in the hard work.

ENDURANCE/STAMINA – As a kid growing up if something got too hard, became too difficult  I would find a new activity to engage in.  I did not quit, I just “moved on.”  Unfortunately in running if you “move on” during a race, it is quitting.  As a grown up I realized that not finishing something I started was a reflection on me.  I do not want to be seen as someone who started something that was too big, too hard, or not important enough to finish.  As for the mature me when I sign up for a race, you can take it to the bank I will finish.

GRIT – aka “Runners Toughness”  Running hurts, no matter if you’re trying to break into the 5 minute mile club or trying to run 100 miles in under 24 hours.  Running hurts.  This is not a trait I believe I was born with.  I used to give up when it got painful…but over the years I’ve grown into a runner who can deal with a fair (large) amount of pain.

finish(A mental test, Umstead 100)

MENTAL STRENGTH – A lot of a running gifts or talents are physical abilities.  What sets most world class runners apart is mental strength.  The ability to push past any performance barriers, to have the determination, the resolve is key to getting the most out of your body in a physical way.  It hurts to strive for 100%.  It’s painful to push yourself to the limits.  It’s downright uncomfortable to give everything you have to offer.  It takes mental strength to reach your goals or to win the prize of coming in first.

TOUGHNESS -  In this sense of the word I’m not talking about being tough as in being able to handle pain.  I’m speaking about toughness as the ability to not break down physically.  It would be near impossible to handle the mileage needed to be world class if your body could not handle the toll.  Here the more seasoned runner that I’ve come to be has learned that I can’t just run.  I have to take care of my body by fueling it properly, resting it when needed and caring for it in a way that is equal to the efforts I put into running.

take-care(Yes, this really is a picture of me……)

No matter what gifts you were given…as long as you keep running you can develop yourself into the runner that you want to be.

Throwback Thursday – Marathon Feature

Throwback Thursday

When I first started running seriously, 2000, my only real intent was to shed a few pounds and get back into reasonable middle aged shape.  I was 36 years old and like many my body was starting to slow down.  14 years ago I had no idea where running would take me…and who would take notice.

Newspaper Article

In 2001 I ran my first marathon, I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall and through the words of a running friend and mentor the base newspaper took notice and featured a story on my training and preparation.

Where can running take you, Anywhere you want to go!

Who will notice?  More people then you could have ever imagined.

Camping, Fishing, Running, Tubing, Camp Food – It Was A Great Weekend

What a epic crazy fun weekend it was…

Some weekends are fun…some are really fun and some they write songs about.  Our three day camping, fishing, running, tubing, and camp food weekend will be remembered in the tales of EPIC Adventures for years to come!

campersetup

CAMPING – For our first camping adventure four years ago we found a little campground called Horseshoe Flats Campground.  We had so much fun that we have made return trips to this little hide away along the James River ever since.  If you’re looking for corporate resort style camping…this place is not for you.  If you’re looking for a quiet, safe, clean, welcoming, fun, family type campground then this place is perfect.  This being our fourth trip to Scottsville, VA we are already planning to come back in 2015.  Check out Horseshoe Flats on their Facebook page and tell them Brian and Michele sent you.

FISHING – Past trips to Scottsville have been centered around tubing, running and hanging out around camp.  This year we added fishing to our weekend plans…and boy did we have fun.  Our camping rig (fifth-wheel) limits us in not being able to tow a boat, to counter that we picked up a SeaEagle 14 foot inflatable boat.  The SeaEagle boat is built on the same concept of the Zodiac boats that our military uses.  Constructed of heavy gauge 38 mil Polykrylar (K80 PVC) material, with a 3 chamber design capable of holding 4 people and 1560 pound.

 SE_SE-124smbFishDream (1)  truckandboat

This little boat is perfect for Michele and I and fits in the back of our dually once the camper is disengaged.  To make our SeaEagle a bit more comfortable, we added a front bench seat, 2 padded seats on swivel mounts and a 55lb Thrust Trolling Motor.  This set up is perfect for getting into the smaller lakes and or reservoirs.  When un-inflated and disassembled our SeaEagle packs away in the extra room within our RV.

letsgofishing

Just outside of Scottsville is the Totier Creek Reservoir a 66-acre  reservoir in Albemarle County.  The reservoir has largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish.  Friday morning we headed to the boat ramp and found ourselves as the only ones on the water.

firstfish

Michele started us off with the first catch of the day, a nice hand size sunfish.  The day ended with two trips on the water and our hopper full with a bass, crappie, and 6 to 8 sunfish keepers. Our first outing netted a nice group of fish and the boat returning home in one piece with zero holes. This sampling provided the perfect amount for our first fish fry.

RUNNING – It is always fun to run someplace new.  Saturday and Sunday morning I made runs out to the same reservoir we went fishing on.  The run out to Totier Creek is approx. 3 miles in length and offers two really good climbs.  The first coming as you leave Scottsville off of Warren road.  From the main road of Scottsville up Warren road to James River Road it is pretty much uphill the entire way.  This initial climb covers .38 mile and scales 300+ feet.  Not Leadville or Hardrock, but a nice little climb to get the run underway. The next nice climb was on Totier Road starting from the parking lot of the boat ramp and ending midway back on Totier Road.  The video below shows the downhill portion of the run along Totier Road ending at the boat ramp.

I ran this route from Scottsville to Toteir Creek Reservoir both mornings.  Sunday morning I ran some of the streets of Scottsville taking in some of the historic sites along the way.  One stop was at the town park where Scottsville history is told including historic high-water marks from previous floods.  Scottsville has been flooded several times due to its proximity to the James River.  Since 1870, Scottsville has been the victim of twenty-one floods (defined as water levels of twenty feet or more above the average low water level). 

TUBING – Tubing on the James is a great day trip.  James River Reeling and Rafting puts on a great adventure and we enjoy floating down the river with no cares in the world.

CAMP FOOD – We had two meals worth talking about.

Saturday night after our tubing adventure we fired up the grille and made ribs for the very first time.  I wasn’t to sure how they would turn out but when other campers stopped by and a tried a few, many asked what my special trick was.  I had no idea they would taste that good, after-all I was texting my friend Jeff on how to cook them.  I took half a rack of ribs, washed them down, the rubbed some olive oil on them and rubbed some A1 dry rub on them and allowed them to sit for 2 hours.  Once we had the grille fired up I cooked them on low heat for a good 2 hours rotating them every 10 minutes.  Once done and ready to serve I cut them into 2 rib sections and dunked them in hot (temp) BBQ sauce, covered them and let them sit for 10 minutes.  Once they sauce baked in I brushed some extra sauce on them and served.

ribs

We had ribs, toasted homemade garlic bread and corn on the cob.  Oh yea!  But that meal paled when compared to the fish fry we had Sunday night.

Sunday we had our first fish fry.  When cleaning the fish, I filet them and put them in the ice box in fresh water.  We picked up some beer batter to give them that special taste.  To get the fish ready to fry, Michele patted them dry and then I put them in the dry breading, flipping them over a few times to get good coverage on the fish.  Then they went right into the hot oil and frying until they floated.  We served the fish with fried potatoes, and corn on the cob.  I’ve got to say these tasted great!  Why we have we not gone fishing before this.

fishfry

All in all it was a great weekend, we fished, I ran, we tubed and I got to spend time with the love of my life and our two puppies.  On top of all this we celebrated our one month Dogaversary!

Race Ambassador – J&A Racing

Hot Dawg!

I’m proud to announce that I have been selected to be a Race Ambassador for J&A Racing.

jA

I’ve run in a number of J&A events in the past including a several Shamrock Marathons.  They are an outstanding race management company and I look forward to running in and representing their stable of races!  As I get more involved with this program I’ll be sharing my experiences and insights right here.

Thank you J&A….

62032-287-009f(Me during the 2010 running of the J&A Wicked 10K)

Motivation Monday – A Few Words That Inspire

Sometimes there are a few key words that inspire, motivate or simply remind us of our past successes.

footnotes1

Momentum / Designs That Move You offers a full range of hand stamped Foot Notes, Wrap Bracelets, Suede Cuffs, Headbands and Necklaces with a passion for fitness.  Momentum offers hand-crafted, workout-friendly jewelry for fitness-focused individuals. Featuring our innovative MOTIVATE WRAP™ bracelet (patent pending).” 

I was offered the opportunity to have a Foot Note made especially for me to review and more importantly to wear on my training runs.  Coming off my 100 mile run at Umstead I choose “Ultra Runner” as the tag line for my Foot Notes.

Ultra Runner

Arriving in my mailbox I found the Foot Notes of high quality and a perfect fit for my Hokas Stinson.  I’ve logged a good number of miles on these shoes with my Foot Notes attached.  I’ve run on good days, wet days and a few soggy dirty days and they still look like brand new.

footnotes

Runners can be a tough lot to buy a special gift for. Momentum Jewelry offers a nice variety of gifts any runner would be proud to wear.  Momentum Jewelry is NOT just for the girls…  If you see something you like Tell Amy and Wendy that Brian sent you and use the coupon code “GGS158″ for 15% off their website purchase from now until Sept. 15, 2014

You can check them out at
Thier webpage at Momentum Jewelry
Facebook at Designs That move You
Follow them on Twitter
And Instagram

 

Five Favorite Things About Running

Five Favorite Things About Running

Now there are to many things I like about running to count.  The simple act of getting outside, putting one foot in front of the other and going a little farther and faster then I ever dreamed is full of favorites.  Below is a list of five of my favorites.

In no order of importance…

th(thank you for all the memories)

1.  Friends –  I could never list all the great people I’ve met while running.  Whether I ran one race with them or trained for a marathon or ultra.  I felt a special connection with everyone I’ve had the pleasure of logging a few miles with.  I wanted to post a picture but I don’t want to leave anyone out…so if we ran together image your face in this post.

2.  Balance – The world tends to over load you with routine, responsibilities, concerns and burdens.  In the hustle its easy to forget about yourself.  Running has reminded me that I must tend to myself, my body, my mind and spirit.

fatface(me and my fat face look)

3.  No Fat Face –  Since turning 30 just a few years back (20 to be exact) I noticed its harder to keep my weight in check.  At a whopping 5′ 7″ when I gain weight its noticeable.  There was one distinct day that I noticed where this weight had accumulated.  On me the first place it collects is on my face.  During these heavy periods, I hate looking in the mirror and seeing a fat face looking back at me.  Running helps me keep my weight in check and helps that guy in the mirror look just a little bit thinner a healthier.

Medoc Rock(no fat face and my MEDOC 50k+ rock)

4.  Bling –  Sadly I did not “letter” in high school.  In the sports I did play, I did not win any trophies or win any races.  During my motor head years I did collect a number of “best in show” trophies, but to win a athletic trophy has always been more important then gaining one for having the prettiest car.   Each marathon medal means a lot to me, and scoring a 3rd place award, a beer stein for the a monster hill climb, my MEDOC 50k+ rock or My Umstead 100 mile Belt Buckle…my running bling is my favorite.

Umstead100collection(100 Miles at Umstead)

5.  Feeling Like I Can Do Anything – Although loving the game of football, I got kicked off my J.V. team for not being able to run a full mile.  That’s right ONE mile.  Although fast at the 50 yard dash I did not have the endurance or the mental toughness to stick out running one mile. My second running career has proved to me I can do anything….1 mile……I’ve run nearly 14,000 miles and I ran 100 miles in 22 hours 51 minutes and 05 seconds.  Take that J.V. football and Jeff Lane!

What is a favorite thing about your running?

Throwback Thursday – Cleveland Browns Edition

To celebrate the beginning of the 2014 Cleveland Browns training camp I thought I would share with you our trip from 2008.  Anthony and I drove up to Cleveland and where the first ones in line when camp opened.  Anthony and I where the first at camp three years in a row, even getting noticed by an camp reporter and scoring a write up on the Browns official web page in 2010.

uaatcamp(2008 Browns Training Camp and One of My Fat Face Periods)

The Firsts of Camp
By Matt Florjancic, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Posted Jul 31, 2010

With Browns Training Camp practices opening Saturday morning and afternoon, there were a lot of firsts for the season.

To be the first is to be the No. 1 in a competition, line or event and people take great pride in being the first.

On the day when Browns Training Camp opened and players and coaches began to prepare for the 2010 season, the team and fans experienced several firsts before the two-hour session came to a close with a breakdown of the team’s huddle.

With a handful of autographed memorabilia from The Locker Room Sale tent, Anthony Burk and his father Brian celebrated being the first fans through the gates in Berea. They left home in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Thursday and got to the Browns’ training facility at 5:15 am Saturday morning.

While the Burks settled into their favorite spots to watch the team practice, they experienced a lot of firsts that they shared with all of the fans decked out in their Browns best.

Ultra Runner David Clark – A Blog Interview About Recovery and Badwater 135

A Blog Interview with David Clark – Ultra Runner
(a giveaway for a signed copy at the end of the interview)

In 2013 a friend of mine ran the Leadville Trail 100 mile endurance race and recommended I watch the movie 1hundred.  As I watched the camera crews following you and three other runners during the 2011 version of the Leadville Trail 100 two things happened.  #1 – I became enthralled with running Leadville.  #2 – I marveled at your story about overcoming the addictive forces of drugs and alcohol.  You see I’ve had people in my life who have never been able to break that bound.  You not only turned your life around but also thrive in ultra-endurance running events.

davidclark

Q.  Without stealing too much “thunder” from your book…when was the first time you thought, “Oh this is not good (the addiction).”  And a second part, when was the first time you went for a run and thought, “Oh this is GOOD?”

David: I had a night when I was literally throwing up out of my truck window while driving down the road. I was barely able to hold off the impending unconsciousness that was coming as a result of the painkillers I swallowed earlier as I left the bar. Somehow I made it home without killing myself or anyone else. I realized I was in a fight for my life when I woke up the night day. 

There were a few OH My God, moments… Good and bad, but I really remember running this loop around the recreation center by my old house- it was about 8/10 of a mile track and it had a small rise where the sidewalk went over a hill. After months of dreading this little 20 foot section of path, I sped over it one day. I couldn’t believe the extra energy that seemed to come from nowhere- I felt like a runner. 

I love the movie 1hundred, I’ve watched it a ton…I toss it in if I’m stuck working-out indoors.  I’ll pop it in the DVD player when there’s nothing good on late at night and the night before an ultra.  I must confess I get all jacked up every time I see the four of you finish.

Q.  How did the movie 1hundered come about, did you know the other runners prior to filming?  Do you keep in touch with them?

A friend of mine told me that there was a documentary being filmed at Leadville in 2011 he also told me they were looking for athletes to be featured. I decided in an instant to send in a video of me telling my story- I am very thankful to Kevin Morris for selecting me for the movie, it was a huge honor. 

I didn’t know either of the other runners before the film although Abby and I were both born in Rochester, NY and worked for the same company at the time. We found out later after the film that we had a lot in common. She is a dear friend today. 

There were two people in the movie that played a large role in your story, your brother and Emily.

Q.  How are they and how did their lives work out after Leadville?

My brother Chase is sill a huge part of my life. He is an amazing guy and one of the truest humans I have ever met. I am sorry to say he is still Out There struggling. The most amazingly difficult thing about recovery is accepting it’s unpredictable nature- you never know when it’s going to come or if it ever will. It is so important for people to know that if they have a loved one struggling no matter what that person may say, they may be on the edge of a break through moment or it may never come. The only thing you can do is love them in the moment and stay out of the way. Any help you give the struggling addict can only prolong the agony- as addicts we must fall and break before we can put things back together.

Emily and I had an amazing love affair. It was like a dragster tethered to a rocket ship. The love we shared was very profound and deep, but in the end we found it difficult to find a peaceful place together. We split up as a couple but we are great friends today and I think she is one of the most unique and exceptional people I have had the pleasure of knowing. 

You’ve run Badwater, Leadville and Hardrock plus countless others

Q.  What’s your favorite training run/race?

davidclark3

Badwater has always been the pinnacle of what I have been looking for in my life as an athlete and seeker. It’s an extreme and spiritual journey like no other. Your phones don’t work in Death Valley and there is no support from anyone other than your own crew. There are harsh conditions, climbs that break you down and a long road that seems to never end- you are disconnect from everything other than the task at hand. You must find your peace to complete Badwater, there is nothing there to help you or ease your comfort. I think it’s as close to a near death experience as you can have in every way.

davidclark2

I actually dropped at Hardrock this year after only 9 hours of running… I was going to try to complete Hardrock and Badwater on back to back weekends, but after my feet had been wet for over 8 hours I had to make a very tough call to save it for Badwater- It was a horrible choice and I don’t know how it will turn out next week- but I wanted to make sure I was ready. 

Q.  If you could go for a run with just one person, who would that be?

The Buddha or Jesus Christ, but I don’t think I could keep up with either of those guys so I’ll go with Will Ferrel. 

When people find out I run long distances, after the crazy you’re not sane look, I get the same two questions, so I’ll ask you.

Q.  What do you think about?

The whole time I am out there is a conscious effort to not think. As I always say “You must be out of your mind to run 100 miles” If I can’t clear my head in a moment I try to focus on a powerful thought like “I am a Champion” or “I am a machine” 

Q.  Does it hurt?  And if it hurts for you like it does for us average runners…at what point does it start to hurt and how do you deal with it?

It does hurt. And the faster I go the more it hurts- the good news is that the race is over quicker though.  

For me the pain is usually the worst early on around mile 30 as the body and mind try to reject the concept of continuing all day. I hear runners say things all the time like “I never thought about quitting” but that’s not me. I am always tempted to quit almost every time I run- In fact even in some of my best races I had to really suck it up and make myself keep going. And I am always afraid before a race because I know that my head will catch me at some point. But as a former addict, I know the value of telling yourself to shut up and go to work. The pain and the dark place is where my light learns to shine the brightest. 

I noticed you ran with some folks who attended the Leadville running camps

Q.  What’s the biggest mistake you see Leadville rookies making?

Going out too fast is always a biggie here at high altitude, it’s easy to dig a deep hole and find yourself in a world of hurt. The problem from that point is some folks blame it on a bad day or lack of preparation and call it quits. The bottom line is you have to believe you can do this, it’s not enough to say you won’t quit, you have to know you’ll make it or your body won’t allocate the resources to get you through the lowest points.

Q.  What can us sea level/work a day runners do to get ready for the high elevations of Leadville?

I always suggest you train to your weaknesses no matter what, and focus on what you CAN do. Yes it’s great to train at altitude, but if you can’t do that, make sure every other part of your game is ready. Show up as fit as possible, fuel perfectly and fight it out. 

I experienced this with Badwater. I can’t train to run in the heat like others can, so I just go to work here as best as I can. 

Looking into the future.

Q.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to think that I will continue to evolve as a person, a musician, a business owner and as a father. I don’t know if I will still be running or if I will have moved on to something else. But I would hope that no matter I do, I will try to do it as well as I possible can.  

It is also very important to me that I continue to grow spiritually and to help as many other people as possible. I know that serving others  makes me more happy and more peaceful than anything else can. 

Q.  If someone happens to be reading this blog and they are at that critical junction of their life.  Asking, Do I take the next drink, snort or shot…..or tie my shoes and go for a run.  What words would you offer them?

I would ask them if drinking or drugging has ever made them more happy? I think it’s important to be very in touch with how bad your life is with substance abuse in it. When the pain of staying where you are is bad enough- you’ll change. Even if you can’t see the way out yet. Some times the best way to see the way out is to run blindly in any direction. I would also invite them to reach out to me if they wanted to talk. 

davidclark1

Thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog.  I’m inspired by your story, your recovery, your life and your running.  I hope one day to make it to Leadville and I hope we get to go for a run.

You can pick up a copy of David’s book here.

A short video from David himself about his book.

Thank you…

You can win a “Signed” copy of David’s book By entering the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Scare of a Lifetime – Runner Dehydration or Cancer

Two weeks ago for a brief second time stood still and my life seemed to be at the junction in the road where one path lead to happiness and the other to despair.  All I could do was stand there and listen to the sound of my own heart beating.  Once the proverbial clock on the wall began ticking again I had the scare of a lifetime…

After a hot and muggy Friday night run I had dinner with my wonderful wife.  The run in truth was tough but not out of this world challenging.  After dinner we had a few drinks, I did my social media stuff and then we went to bed.  Even thou I was very excited for Saturday to arrive, we were adopting two mini schnauzers, it was easy to fall asleep as I was very tired.

Around 10:30 p.m. I woke up from a pretty solid sleep to go to the bathroom for a routine middle aged potty break.  Stumbling into the restroom I went about my business pretty quickly.  In a state of being half awake/half asleep I got the shock of my life.  In the toilet was a mixture of dark black urine with what I thought were traces of blood.  Standing there staring down at the poisonous appearing mixture in the bowl I was for moments speechless. The air felt virtually removed from my lungs but some how I managed to call for my wife asking her to come and take a look.  Michele was a bit taken back as I woke her from her sleep, you see I’m kind of a shy bathroom business guy.  Coming on to the scene, she instantly knew that if I was summoning her from the bathroom something was up.

Michele was immediately caught off guard.  She confirmed what I had seen.  There was a real toxic looking mess in the toilet and it was not normal.

Urine_Chart(the true darkness and vial appearance of what we saw is not on this chart)

We considered going to the emergency room, but after a few Google searches we decided to hold off and see what my next bathroom visit brought.  With real fear and concern gripping me I chugged a bottle of water and some juice as Michele read off things like bladder/kidney infection, cancer and a thing called Runners hemturia.

In the past I had heard of runners in extreme endurance races having blood issues in their urine, but that did little to comfort me.  My run was only 7 miles, nothing like Hardrock, Leadville, Western States or Badwater.  With a lot on my mind I laid back down and tried to get some sleep.  An hour or so later I felt “the need” and with much concern I stumbled my way to the restroom again.  When things began to  flow I looked down to see “what was going on” again I was shocked at what I saw.

My urine was clear…  The rest of the weekend I settled into a routine of drinking water/Gatorade and hoping each trip to the bathroom was routine.  More specifically a release of clear or normal urine color.  Yet in the back of my mind, I wondered what was going on inside me.

Tuesday brought a doctors visit and I hoped an answer.  The doctor examined me and listened to my history.  After finding out that I was a runner he asked about my running distances and events then reassured me that in his opinion it was good that I came in but he was sure it would be running related.  Taking no chances, he ordered a full series of tests and sent me to the labs.  After giving blood and urine there was nothing to do but wait and pray.

More information on blood in urine and what you should do.  (#1 don’t ignore it.)

Then the phone call came.  “Hello, Doctor T. has reviewed the tests and asked me to relay to you that all the tests came back negative.”

Negative results Sign

That was the best news I had heard in………maybe my lifetime.

Motivation – Running Farther, Faster, and More Often Then Ever Before

Running is my talent?

I used to look at painters, singers and people who had unique artistic talents and think…what about me?  I often wondered why I did not get a “talent” like that?  Although I lacked the skills they had, those people with the talents they were given by God inspired me to look for my gift.  Sadly, I never found it with a pencil, guitar or chunk of clay.  At times I felt sorry for myself, why was I not given a gift which could inspire?

I never saw running as a talent.  Running for fitness I did out of routine.  It was a way to stay in shape and pass the yearly Air Force P.T. test.  Nothing more, nothing less and it certainly did not inspire.  Then one day running took me beyond the normal “let’s try not to get to fat” distances.  Once venturing out on longer and longer runs, running took me where it wanted me to be.  Free from the “normal,” the “standard” I was no longer bottled up by the uninspiring routine run.  I found I could do more, then something unexpected happened.

Could be it that maybe I found my talent?  I hope my running inspires you to find yours.

These people have inspired me this week.

timscott(Tim, near the end of 314 miles)

Timofei Szkatulski fresh off completing the Vol State 500k (314 miles).  Yes that says 314 miles and Tim did that without a support crew.  The race director offers two options to run this race, he calls them “crewed” or “screwed.” As Tim describes his run:  A 500k run that touches 5 states with a start date of July 10th, 2014 in Dorena Landing, Missouri. Finished in 6:12:30:40 (average of 48 miles per day) at Castle Rock, Georgia.  Tim race this race completely on his own.  Tim inspires me.  More info on this race can be found here.

I’ve only known Tim for a year. The first time I met him he came out to support me during a 50 mile training run for Umstead.  I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to have someone whom I had never met offer to help me in such an unselfish way.

And

trifinish(Andrea #431 Finishing her second Tri)

Andrea Shippritt McHugh, I’ve only known this amazing, inspiring and caring runner, no wait triathlete for a little over a year.  In that time Andrea has gone from being a 4+ hour marathoner runner to breaking the 4 hour barrier, becoming a ultra-runner, and now a triathlete.  Of all those amazing accomplishments, that is NOT what inspires me.  Below is a snippet of a conversation which was posted on Facebook.  This is what inspires me, she is the mother of two girls, one she calls Super M…and she is inspiring them. (I hope she does not kill me for using this, ha ha)

Andrea: While putting the girls to bed, Super M asked me if I was really scared to go “swim with the big fishes in the ocean” during my first open water tri this weekend. I told her that I am really nervous but I have been training for this for a long time and I think that I will be ok. I told her that sometimes we have to do really scary things to prove to ourselves that we are stronger than we think.

Super M: You know, Mom, you are right. We have to be brave and do scary things some times. Yesterday when there was a spider on the wall I was really scared but me and Goldie (her stuffed goldfish) took some toilet paper and smushed him and I realized that I don’t have to be scared of them anymore! I can just be brave and smush them whenever I want.

Me: That is true. I have been afraid of doing this for a long time and it is finally time to prove to myself that I can get it done. I even think that it might be fun!

Super M: I want to do something brave and scary! I want to give you my blankie tonight. I am a big girl and I don’t need a blankie to keep me safe. I want you to take it, Mom. I want to be brave like you! Can you keep it cozy for me?

Me: (No words. Just tears. And lots of hugs.)  They are always listening. So proud my brave girl for giving up her blankie on her own. Her blankie that has been in her life since birth. The McQ girls can do scary things. Do you think Blankie can keep me cozy and safe in the water this weekend?!

Who inspired you this week?  Tells us about it!