The Thing About Lance Armstrong

By every standard applied to Armstrong’s decision to come clean, my decision to get sober was a disingenuous act designed to make sure I could continue to make money and regain some standing that I’d lost after years of lying to people. *** I don’t know Lance Armstrong personally, and I have no desire to…

That OPSF 50/50 Ultra

Last weekend, I completed my first ultra marathon: the OPSF 50/50 race in Spencer, Indiana, a brutal all-day affair that sent runners out on 1, 2, or 3 14.1 mile loops depending upon the length you were running (plus a 5-mile Power Line loop for the 50K runners, and 2 5-mile Power Line loops for…

Day #12: Finding My Zen in the Palo Duro Canyon

Running or other strenuous activity done in temperatures greater than 90 degrees can lead to heat stroke, brain damage, or death. That’s the sign at the Palo Doro trail head. Next to that: a huge thermometer that read 110 degrees when I arrived on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. I made the decision right then if…

Day #11: Scouting the Palo Duro Canyon Run

I’m set up for tomorrow’s training run: an 5.5 mile out-and-back along a trail I’m told is amazingly beautiful, ending out the “Lighthouse” rock. I expect to bring back pictures. The Givens, Spicer, and Lowery Trail is 1/2 of the Palo Duro Trail Run ultra-marathon that takes place here in October. I’m planning on coming…

Day #10: A Journey So Far

Editor’s Note: I wrote this piece before my 9-mile run this morning, a quick out-and-back over most of the trail I was supposed to run yesterday. *** After Monday’s brutality, there’s little chance my body will allow anything like that to happen today. Instead, I’ve made the executive decision to push as close to Canyon,…

Day #9: A Near Disaster on Double Oak Mountain Trail

Don’t improvise. I’ve read this advice repeatedly as I prepared for this trip. I’m not a trail runner, at least not yet. I’m not a camper, at least not yet. I’ve tried to take each learning experience in small steps, reading and learning as much as I could before proceeding. Until today, I’ve been doing…

Day #9: Running Double Oak Mountain Trail

I’ll have more about this 19-mile after I recover a bit more. It was not a good day on the trail mostly because I decided to add 9 miles to the run after I’d started. I was ill-prepared – a first on this trip. Fortunately, I had some mountain bikers watching over me. A great…

Day #7: Running the Kennesaw Battlefield

My body is beat up. Despite running just 44 miles this week, my legs feel like iron anchors. I’ve climbed several miles on trails, which I haven’t done much before this trip. Still, I wake up every morning and drag myself out. It’s helpful that I’ve brought nothing else to do. Once I pull myself…

Day #6: The Kennesaw Mountain Ascent

After the brutal 13.1 mile ascent on Shut-In Mountain yesterday, I decided to let my body rest a bit before heading off to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for today’s run. Functionally, I still awoke at 6:20 a.m., but I leisurely got started around 8 a.m. After a brief stop at McDonald’s to send email…