Tag Archives: ultramarathon

Running and Writing – Why I do it

Both gifts came later in life.

Running was something that did not come naturally. At a young age, I had some speed, I was a quick little kid but lacked the discipline to build endurance. When it got hard, when I ran out of gas and I gave up.

Writing was something I enjoyed early on but I lacked the skills and knowledge to format my stories correctly. Inturn my English teachers tore up my papers with flaming red critiques and destroyed my desire to take further abuse.

Running later in life opened new doors. I conquered the lack of self-confidence and endurance. I found I had the ability to run the long and hard-fought miles. I found I enjoyed the challenge of pushing my limits during the long run. Each new distance, each race held a story within its self. New terrain, new challenges inspired me to try and capture the memories. In running I may have found the true me, and I found a voice.

I’ve been asked why I write… It’s obvious that I’m not an English major, The comas may be misplaced and my sentence structure could be off.

I write to entertain and to tell a story that may inspire. To encourage others to look at life from another perspective. I write to uncover the drama of life and the epic ultramarathons. I write so that others may find strength in relationships and running.

UNFINISHED will take the reader along another journey of the human spirit and along the racecourse of the JFK 50 mile endurance race.

“the magic of the JFK 50 Mile, Brian Burk “gets it” and catches the true flavor of the JFK 50 Mile in his novel “Unfinished.”
Enjoy the journey!

Mike Spinnler (JFK50 Race Director and Champion)

Available on Amazon and the JFK race expo…

In the meantime check out my first novel Running to Leadville.

More than a running story.  The tale takes the reader from finding love, experiencing loss, while finding oneself at 12,600 ft on the top of Hope Pass. Available on Amazon

Signed copies of all my books available here

Ultra Marathon – 6 Weeks to a 100-Mile Finish

6-weeks to a 100-mile finish (I do not recommend this training plan to anyone…)

All was going well until Feb, 2019 when during a run I caught a root/rock with the toe of my shoe.  The result was an impact to my left knee on the very sharp edge of a rock.

Feb 2, 2019…I ran 18.5 miles after this fall

Long story short…no permanent damage, but significate trauma to the point where the patella tendon mounts to the tibia.  The result of this misstep kicked off a series of injuries.  Being a bit stubborn, I ran two marathons (Wrightsville Beach and Cleveland) and a 24-hour race where I logged 101.250 miles while in quite a bit of pain and on a compromised gait.  The result was my left knee became unstable, I developed sciatica pain in my right hip and my right insole was stressed to the point that I could not take a step without being in pain. With Leadville and redemption on the horizon, I tried to power through it.

The Start of the Cape Fear 24-Hour Endurance Run
Oct 12, 2019, The Start of the Cape Fear 24-hour Endurance Run

By the second week of June…I could not stand running in pain anymore.  I thought for sure my running career was over.  I visited my DR, and a sports chiropractor. I took anti-inflammatories and stretched, but nothing worked. Desperate the only thing I could think of as my next step was a “hard reset.”  I had one hope…to shut it down.  Would taking the summer off reset my normal running gait and heal the trauma?

For 8 weeks I cross-trained in an effort to maintain some form of fitness.  5 days a week I pedaled a stationary bike, rode the elliptical and slowly worked in brisk paced walking.  3 weeks before the Morgantown Marathon I started running again and a funny thing happened.

My knee responded while the sciatic and insole pain stayed at bay.  I had hope. With a bit of nervous anticipation, I toed the line in Morgantown prepared to put my body to the test.  26.2 miles later I crossed the finish line tired, physically wore out by the hills and challenged from an abnormally hot day, but I finished. I had hope.

Approximately 20 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes and 38 seconds later I crossed the finish line at the Cape Fear 24-Hour Endurance Run in Lillington, NC having completed my 6th 100-mile run. I finished 6th overall and 4th male.

100.6 miles later…22hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds after starting, I’m Back.

During my summer running vacation, I thought I was done.  At one point I felt like a part of myself disappeared, and a connection to the running community was gone. At times I felt lost.

Finishers buckle…this one is extra special. Thank you Michele for being there…you made my come back possible. Love ya, more….

What did I learn?

You’re always a runner.  Being a runner is as much a state of mind as it is an action.

Our bodies need to heal.

Never lose faith in you… (I recommend this to everyone)