Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thanks Team inov-8!!

As many of you know, starting informally in 2009 and then officially for the 2010 and 2011 running seasons, I was a part of the U.S. inov-8 ultrarunning team. While I still am passionate about the brand and exclusively wear inov-8 trail shoes, I decided in November to not apply for the 2012 season.  The team has meant a lot to me over the past few years enough that not applying was a difficult decision.

While I have loved representing the brand and being a part of the team, I had made some major changes in my life where running was not as important as it once was. For a long time I had a very ‘me first’ sort of attitude and was very selfish and self centered. This was pretty destructive behavior and being in a sport where we are celebrated based on our individual accomplishments, it was feeding my issues. I had to make some tough choices last year but they have really helped to give me a more well balanced life where God, family and friends come before me and running now has its place. To tell the truth I enjoy running so much more now and it seems like like a job! Everyone in my personal life has benefited from the changed me and I have become more of the person I want to be, not the person I was.

Being a part of team where the majority were national, if not world class trail and ultra running men and women, I always knew the value that I provided to the team.  I raced very often and did moderately well in those races, but I also blogged a lot on my race results and along with team mate DeWayne Satterfield, feel proud that we helped to put inov-8 on the map through product promotion in Huntsville.  Knowing that I couldn't do it as fast as the other people on the team, I thought that I had to do it very frequently to justify my selection for the team, which was probably just senseless self-induced pressure.  In turn, I ran many races that I normally would not have, or races that I was not running for me, but for the team.  Again, no one ever said a word about this to me, nor was it ever suggested that I needed to race frequently for the team, but it was just something that I felt I needed to do.  Looking back now I see that this was just pressure I put on myself that did nothing but cause internal struggles and stress.

In the last few months I have gotten my life figured out, including my priorities and I just can’t devote the time to train for running ultra distance races like I used to.  I am still running trails and racing ultras and plan to keep promoting inov-8 as much I can. Being a part of inov-8 has been a great experience for me and I hope that I made the team and brand proud over the last two years.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Running Year in Pictures

I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced so much in 2011 through the people in my life, the destinations and the faith that held it all together. La Jolla to Australia to Costa Rica to Montana to Michigan to New York and a few stops in between. Here was my running year in pictures. Enjoy.


Running in the snow at Mountain Mist 50k on my way to a personal best 4:28 and 3rd consecutive 6th place finish.

Along the beach near La Jolla, California after a 20 mile long run with Anne Noble preparing for her marathon.


Finishing up my second fastest marathon ever with a 2:48 and 10th place overall at Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama.

Winning Black Warrior 25km in the third fastest time ever on the course in a time of 1:43:58.

Running a half marathon catching every possible site in Sydney, Australia including the Opera House in the background.


Posing with friends at the end of the 3rd annual Bushwhacker Marathon.

The start of the Rocket Run 10-miler in Mooresville, Alabama where finishing under an hour was enough to hang onto 3rd place.


Whiskey Hill didn't stop us from claiming some hardware at the Jack Daniels Half Marathon.

Finisher awards from the Salt Lake City Marathon.

First trip to Butte, Montana where the snow in late April made trail running nearly impossible.

Finish line of the cookie dash where you burn 300 calories and consume 3,000.


Feeling awful through the walls at Strolling Jim 41.2 miler.

Coming on strong at the end of Strolling Jim.

After coming on strong at the end of Strolling Jim came the collapse at the finish.

Coming back in from a hot run in Costa Rica before hitting up the pool and pool bar!

Looking good at Scenic City Trail 1/2 marathon with my personal best time, despite taking a wrong turn (shown here!)

Brand new Fleet Feet Racing Team uniforms make their debut at Cotton Row.


Coming down the final descent of the ski hill at Keyes Peak 50km with a 4:06 and 3rd place overall.


All smiles with buddy Dan Dehlin at the start of the Run the Keweenaw Stage race, here awaiting the 6km hill climb.

About to start the last stage at Run the Keweenaw with Dan Dehlin.

Awards ceremony for RTK with Danny, where we placed 2nd and 1st for all three events (6k/12k/25k) in 26 hours.

Figuring out my life and being saved by God's Grace on the 28 mile Trap Hills Traverse.  


Sub-36 10km final relay leg on the tough Rocketman Triathlon course.

Winning relay team at Rocketman.


First time winning a race two years in a row with a 16:43 at Care Center 5km.

Finding clarity on the continental divide with a great hill climb to Our Lady of the Rockies.


My second fastest ever time at the windy and hilly Southern Tennessee 1/2 marathon, earning 2nd place overall.

Tackling my nemesis at Fleet Feet 15km and avenging a DNF from 2010 to set a personal best of 54:59.87

Thanks to Erik Debolt for pushing us to 4:50 pace in the final 1/2 mile at Liz Hurley for a sub 17 minute finish, wearing pink!

Posing with the eventual winner and course record holder for the Pill Hill Redux 10km, Anne Noble!

Killing the last climb at Xterra Monte Sano as a runner; co-race directed the event and designed the course. 

Stuck with friend George Heeschen the entire way and ran my fastest ever 5km at Spooktacular in 16:29.83.


Making one last charge at the New York Marathon to stay 20 minutes ahead of my BQ time and finish 668/40,000.

Finally realizing a marathon dream to have completed the US marathon majors; Chicago, Boston (twice) and New York.

Running 2 miles, eating a dozen donuts, running 2 miles.  Fun? Yes.  Dumb? Yes.  Alas, I'm the Donut King of 2011.


Leading the 3:10 pace group at Rocket City Marathon with a 3:09:32 finishing time.