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Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:01pm Orcas Island, Washington You’re okay. You’re okay. It’s okay. You’re okay. The phlegm formed a shallow pool in the back of my throat as I sniffed and wiped my eyes where tears started to form. It’s okay, I said out loud, for a fourth time, my voice breaking with fear. You’re okay. It’s okay. The final, 1,000 foot climb to the top of Mount Constitution rose before… Read More

“Sorry I’m moving so slowly,” I told the valet, as I rolled myself out of the driver’s seat of my rented Nissan Rogue, stopped in front of the luxury Umstead Hotel in Cary, North Carolina, shortly before 8am on Sunday morning. “I just ran 100 miles.” “Oh!” The young man smiled. “You ran the Rock & Roll!” I scowled as I opened the back door to retrieve my drop bags, my mind… Read More

“Why do you run so far?” Shrug. I struggle not to say something stupid, and trip over my words. “I don’t know. I just. I just. I’m sorry. I’m having a little bit of imposter syndrome right now.” I smile, in what I hope is a charming way, and not a lame fan girl way, which is how I feel. They look at me, confused. “I’m 40 years old and I work… Read More

It took twelve months to realize it was about more than the weather. I was exhibiting signs of hypothermia and hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) when I crossed the 2017 Black Canyon 100k finish line. Just happy to be indoors at the Mayer High School auditorium race headquarters, I was shocked when EMTs announced to me, “you are in distress,” before attempting to strip me of my soaked clothing and get me to… Read More

It’s January 14. I’ve been sitting on my final post of 2017 for two weeks. So long, in fact, that I’ve already completed my first race of 2018 — the Bandera 50k on January 6. The 2017 race year ended with an anti-climax. I’d registered for the Sporty Diva Last Run of the Year, marathon distance on December 31. A 2.8 mile loop course, racers can complete distances of 2.8 miles, all… 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

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

This is a story where I discover I’m consumed by a drive to do my personal best to the exclusion of everyone and everything else. And if that sounds like a positive trait, then I haven’t begun the story correctly. “This is not about you,” Race Director, Chris Kostman, told the room full of racers and their crews during Saturday afternoon’s pre-race briefing. Designed to allow the greatest number of runners to… Read More

We all remember our first. First 5k. First half. First marathon. First trail race. First race in Europe. With a job that can take me (voluntarily or otherwise) to more than 20 U.S. states and six continents, I have an easier time than most justifying a destination race. So when a colleague scheduled a business meeting in London, I was on the ahotu international marathon site before confirming with him that I… Read More

Sprinters are drama queens. Have you ever seen a sprinter come in second and not throw themselves to the track in a fit of ridiculous, self-important sobs? Marathoners are more resilient. When Team USA’s Meb Keflezighi slipped and fell just inches from the finish line of the 2016 Rio Olympics, he did push-ups before getting back up. Marathoners are my people. Ultra-runners are also my people, with their combination of intense self-determination… Read More