Wednesday, September 26, 2007

AC100 and onward to San Diego

Latest Update 09/26/07
So, as I just celebrated my birthday this past weekend, I have finally had time to sit down and digest both the recently completed Angeles Crest 100 and the upcoming San Diego 100 in October. While I think most reports (mine included) often are filled with superfluous detail, I’ll try and cut to the chase with this one. If I had one word to describe the theme of this race, I would have to say “Reversal”. Let me use the word in a sentence about the race. “The cause of my 4 reversals was quite simply electrolyte deficiency”. There we go. For those of you who haven’t been exposed to the term, a “reversal” simply refers to throwing up. I used it quite liberally when describing my 2007 Badwater experience, but decided to use it again here to spice things up.

I counted reversals at miles 42, 49, 50 and 68. For the first 20 miles of the race, I moved rather effortlessly up and over the hills to the top of MountBaden-Powell (9300 ft. elevation) before starting the long, rolling descent back to a reasonable altitude. While I planned accordingly for the change in elevation, the one thing about a electrolytes is that the pills will often “explode” all at once, depositing their contents in the stomach. I had not been taking in the electrolyte drinks and solids which would have buffered my stomach while taking the pills. The result was a general weakening of my system that slowed things way down and could only be assuaged by finally stopping at Chilao Flats (mile 52.8) to get some help from the medic.

Amazingly, after a long break at the aid station, I was able to pick myself up and finish strong. While I did have to stop to take care of the reversal at mile 68, I finished with a flurry, ripping off 10 minute miles overall for the last 8-10 miles as I picked my way down the hill and up the uphills. I felt good to be free, free to run.

When people ask you, “What was your finest race?”, the first thought that runs into many heads is the race you had your best time or placed the highest. And while I am still learning and striving for that “perfect race”, for right now I am content with knowing that like life, these races are an imperfect science at best. The greatest expectation that I can have of myself is to “race to win”, leaving everything out there with only the expectation that where that takes is me is where it was meant to take me. The resulting race at the 2007 AC 100 has left me with an insatiable hunger to get out there in San Diego and race (race smart, that is). When I ran at AC, I felt very comfortable maintaining a 20 hour race pace overall. When I had to stop, I was left with the uneasy feeling of trying to reconstruct a body that had been thrashed on the inside.

Ultras are the act of placing the body under enormous stress for an inordinate amount of time. In many cases, it’s about maintaining that complex balance that only a complex body like that of a human would require. Run, drink, eat and digest all in the same motion continuously for hours on end. Perfect balance is impossible, and yet it is what all ultra runners are trying to achieve. Being perfect in the attempt is all to be expected. In the 2 years that I have been running ultramarathons, I’ve been learned a great deal about myself and my body. I charge on with the wisdom of Corinthians yearning me to “run the race to win”, stretching for the finish line with the knowledge that my best is yet to come…..Will San Diego be the place where potential meets reality? No matter what, I am always truly blessed to be alive. Stay strong and keep movin'.
God bless,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Time To Run

Hey out there,
This last week has been a good one, filled with adventure and training. A bunch of us from the Runner's World discussion board ( got together for a day of running on the Western States trail on Saturday. For some odd reason, we all decided to run the downhill course backwards. For those familiar with the area, we traveled 32 miles from the town of Forresthill in the Sierra foothill area to Robinson Flat, which is squarely in National Forest land. A couple people estimated an elevation gain of 10,000 ft over the course of the run, which is a lot! While some may question the judgement of such a run a week from the start of the AC100, we took our time to enjoy the scenery and not burn ourselves out. We ended up taking just a shade over 10 hours for the odyssey, which included stops to eat, jump in the rivers to cool off, and avoiding errant hunters in the area.I have to say, that was the most fun I’ve had during a training run in a long while. Training in a vacuum, the one thing I’ve missed as I’ve gone up to the ultramarathon distances is training with others. Granted, the pool of ultramarathoners is small to begin with. But, in the process of doing this run, I realized that I probably didn’t have the motivation to finish it one week out from the AC100 if it wasn’t for the company of my fellow Runner’s World Forumites. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t do a 32 mile run, but the fact that as a naturally social being, the lack of connectedness to others was in some ways stifling my training. It kind of got me nostalgic for those days when my good friend John Soggs and I trained for the 2001 Los Angeles Marathon, my first.

John was an accomplished runner, having posted a 4:06 mile in college and completed an Ironman competition only a year or so back. Considering that I had run only as far as a 12k (on two occasions), I was the one who was struggling to get up to speed with him during our 7 crazy weeks of training for the race. When we’d finish our training runs around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, I could feel that he was stronger than me and tried hard to keep my heavy breathing to a minimum. I didn’t want him to think that I couldn’t do it and pushed myself to keep up. The beauty of it was that by aligning myself with someone who would push me further, I had put my ego in a position to either “put up or shut up”. The fact that that training partner was a friend only made the choice to “put up” that much easier. Even if I wanted to let myself down, I could not let down my friend. I hope to continue to have opportunities to both train with others and help train others to reach their goals. I don’t know if I’ll ever love running, but I love people and running is just avenue to express that. I want others to have that feeling of being emptied of every ounce of energy you have, and still continuing to reach for that finish line regardless of whether you get there.

On this September 11th, I just want to remember all the people who lost there lives in the tragedy 6 years ago. As the years pass, the emotions brought forth by this day will change, but the fact that so many people lost there lives will not. God bless their families and loved ones as they continue to cope with the loss.


P.S. If you want to follow the race, the webcast is starting this Saturday at 5 am and goes through Sunday at

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Camping in Angeles Crest

Latest Update

Hey everyone!
It's been crazy at work, which has eaten into the time I get to do things like update the website. However, I've been training hard for the Angeles Crest 100. In addition to doing trail maintenance work for 8 hours as a requirement for the race, I spent last weekend in Angeles Crest forest camping with friends from church at SGVAC and the youth group at their end of the year trip. One of the primary benefits was a chance for me to spend a couple days at 7000 ft. elevation and above. We took the youth for a nice hike up to 8000 ft. elevation on Saturday. On Sunday, I had time for a 15 mile run from 6800 ft. elevation to the top of Mt. Baden-Powell (9400 ft. elevation) and along the ridge line above 8500 ft. elevation. I have to say, the 360 degree views of San Bernadino/Los Angeles County as well as Mojave were incredible. Too bad I forgot to bring my camera to take pictures and video. I really enjoyed the trip as an opportunity to interact with the youth I had worked with previously as well as see old friends again. The run was just an added bonus. Before the AC100 , I will have run two 50ks, a 50 miler and a 100k. These runs have been a great way to test out an antacid pill that so far has yielded great results for preventing upset stomach during runs. I'm confident they will allow me to push hard again and go for another 100 miler PR at the 2007 AC100. I'll just have to race hard and see what happens.

Thanks again for your support, keep movin', stay strong, and God bless.


Badwater 2007- The journey closes

Latest Update

Hey everyone!
I'm back. It's been awhile and I've finally gotten around to doing a race report and updating the website and communicating with all of you! The race was awesome; filled with unexpected challenges and pitfalls, but we perservered and finished in 42 hours, 8 minutes. That was an hour and half better than last year. It was incredible finishing the first 1/3 of the race to Stovepipe Wells in 7 hours, battling 3 bouts of nausea in the middle, and finishing up Mt. Whitney Portal strong. If I can get this stomach issue solved, next year the sky's the limit. Thank you to all of your for your support and prayers! You're the best. I'm posting my race report tomorrow morning so you'll have something more than just this little blurb to read. We'll keep the website open for any additional donations indefinitely. Thanks again, keep movin', stay strong, and God bless.


Update: You can read the full race report at ! There is also a picture slideshow there!