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I remember learning about Rosa Parks as a child. A simplistic story of a black woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, and it started a civil rights movement. As a child, I thought it was a story about a moment of strength. It was not until I got older that I learned the full story. That Rosa Parks got in physical fights as… Read More

Anyone that knows me suspected this would happen. That I would not only meet my quest of running 40 races in 2017 for my 40th birthday, but that, upon doing so, I was unlikely to take a rest. In fact, as I approached 40 races on October 22, there seemed only one real answer to the question, what’s next? That answer is 52. Race 41 was at Cougar Mountain in Newcastle, Washington,… Read More

Four races. Three Days. 26.2 total miles. A journey will culminate in Bethlehem.  My girlfriends and I are just a few of the several hundred people gathered on a Friday afternoon for 3.8 trail miles in Bethelhem’s South Mountain Park. We will all complete the Grand Slam –  3.8 mile trail race, a 5k, a 10k and a half marathon over three days.  It’s over quickly; I’ve rarely run anything shorter than… Read More

I entered Nicole’s house through the garage  at 7:11am, 11 minutes after I’d planned to arrive, but with 19 minutes to spare on our 7:30am departure. Plenty of time, I knew, to use her bathroom; I’d change into my running sneakers on the way to Defiance Point, ten minutes away.    As I pinned my bib onto my right thigh, I watched Nicole roll her calves on an acupressure ball. On the… Read More

DNS. Did. Not. Start. Trail runners fear its dirty cousin, the DNF: Did. Not. Finish. But people rarely talk about the DNS which is, to me, the worse of the two by far. The DNF says, “I tried; I really tried and I fell short.” The DNS says, “I never even tried.” Put that way, it seems as though one would need a really, really good reason to DNS. Mine was commute… Read More

The phrase “elevation profile” is meaningful to most trail runners. It refers to the rise and fall of a race course over the distance of that course. The elevation profile represents, in layman’s terms, how hilly the course is. The Boston Marathon, with its famous “Newton hills” and infamous “Heartbreak Hill,” has 783 feet of gain over 26.2 miles. New York City, with its five bridge crossings, has 885 feet of gain…. Read More

5:00:21 was the time to beat; set in 2016 by a woman who was exhausted in every fiber of her being. Just returned from a 6-week work stint in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she ate Amy’s frozen rice bowls for lunch and pasta for dinner; politely accepting the chocolate covered potato chips and deep fried Oreos she was offered as “local delicacies.” Despite finishing a 19.5 mile trail run on her… Read More

The race was nearly 72 hours old when I joined on Sunday morning. Like the person who shows up for the end of a team project and then takes credit for the whole thing, I lined up for the Pigtails Challenge 50k start in Renton, 11 miles southeast of Seattle. This race was kind of a lark for me, having registered just four weeks ago from the back of an Uber when… Read More

I tipped my red Altra trail sneakers over the toilet bowl, watching small rocks and sand particles float to the bottom and settle on the white porcelain. This was sand from another time and another place; the Anza-Borrego Desert California Riding and Hiking Trail, an 8-mile single track rising 4,000 feet, which I’d climbed in miles 40 through 48 of the Badwater Salton Sea 13 days ago. I’d not run more than… Read More

The last thing she does before turning in is pull all the sheets out from under the mattress into a pile in the middle of the bed. I look down at my own sheets, tucked tightly around the queen frame, just how I like them. You learn things when you share a hotel room with someone you’ve only ever spent a couple of days with. But runner days are like dog years;… Read More