Matthew HammersmithThis weekend Kim and I ran the local forest freak 50k sponsored by the fine folks at With Out Limits, none of it would be possible without the charisma and drive that Matthew Hammersmith brings to the table. He is an inspiration to our fitness family and is always a very positive and driven man.

Friday night I came home from work. I was pissed off at the world because I allowed the everyday stupidity, that is unfortunately my everyday workplace reality, to weigh me down and demotivate me. I came home and with the torrential rain I was just being a little bitch. I told Kim I had no desire to go pick up my bib and that I was thinking of withdrawing from the run. I was defeated because I choose to allow the corporate culture drag me into a dark place. Kim looked at me and said the weather is going to be fine in the morning and that it was going to be ok. Sullenly I accompanied her and Katie and went to pick up our bibs and watched katie_2Katie run her second race. She came in 4th this year and made us proud.


My goal this year was to beat my time from last year and to beat a few folks that I had singled out. I am not normally competitive but I just had to set my crosshairs on a few folks that schooled me last year.  In 2015 I ran this race in 6:42:47, this year it was quite different with a finish time of 5:15:00. With that time I was able to take 6th place overall or as I like to say, 5th place loser. #RickyBobby. I started out front and tried to stay out front. I think that I would have done better; however, at mile 21 I had to stop and change out my shoes. Typically I run in Brooks Cascadias but for this race I started out in the Altra shoes. I started suffering from some phantom pains in my calves and hip so I reverted back to my old faithfuls. What a weird sensation to change from a shoe that allows your foot to splay out and be open to being in a shoe that kind of hugs your foot. My Brooks Cascadias are my go to and after about a mile I was able to get moving comfortably again. One of my other unstated goals was to not walk at all, I wanted to stay moving the entire time. I wanted to break the 4 hour time for 26 miles. I failed I crossed the 26 mile marker at 4:11. I guess I am ok with that. I did stay moving and when I saw one of my idols walking, I goaded him on to get moving again, which was a wonderful feeling for me, not ego, altruism. I wanted him to get moving again and cross the line with me. He did and that made my day and when we were done he came over to me and shook my hand. That meant the world to me.

Another thing I attempted to do was I tried to smile more and keep my body loose, but stay in good form. The smiling part was easy. On every lap there was this one guy in a red shirt that stood out there all day and yelled at folks as they ran by. He was awesome. He cheered me on and clapped and said looking strong or “Hammer! I am going to call you hammer man because you are hammering it man”. That made me chuckle and thinking back on it now I get kind of teary eyed because once again this is the reason I partake in running ultras. The people. The whole culture is just superior to the roadies or the tri culture. I can’t reiterate enough how much that means to me and Kim. When we get to a race we see at least one person we have run with before and it is easy to go over and chat it up, which gets rid of our pre-run anxiety.

When Kim and I wrapped up and packed up the rig and called it a day we limped home and grabbed some food at a local taco joint. Being both vegan we are finding ways to eat out and still maintain our lifestyle and food choices. With full bellys we came home and laid on the floor and watched an old Marilyn Monroe film with the family. Later in the evening I spiked a fever, which is something that caught me a little off guard. I have never felt quite like that before after a long run and this morning I feel a little beat up, more so that I was after the #LeatherwoodUltra last month, which I found to be much harder than this run. Perhaps I pushed it hard than I realized. Sitting here this morning feeling a little hung over as  I write this, with the weather as beautiful as it is today I can think of only one thing, I would like to be running right now in the woods. It is too nice sitting here.

I leave you with my mantra:


Be mindful of all life.

Be humble.

Be healthy.

Be happy.