Eric Welsh's Posts (9)

Sort by

First in Reverse or Last Mule to the Barn

“It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse.”

~ Ann Trason ~



First in Reverse or Last Mule to the Barn


Yesterday I ran my first 25K trail run. It was a race for some, but for me it was a run with the intention of working on my mental attitude when things get tough. To be completely honest I should have done more long runs in my training; nevertheless, I had a decent base to accomplish my goal of finishing without getting frustrated.

Before the race started I was talking with my wife and Bob about how many really good runners were in this race. It was clear that they were going to push the front of the pack along. I joked that they would be home showered with their feet up when I finished and I hoped not to be last but if I was, so be it. I received some advice from Eric Orton to be patient for the first 20K and try to blast the last 5K. So why not give it a try.


The start came and I held back because I did not want to get caught up in the initial push. We headed up Sander’s Mound and back down knowing that this would have to be done again at the end of the race. For the first few miles I settled into a comfortable pace with a small group and I was hoping we could stay together for most of the distance. Then we came to the first aid station which was also the 10K turnaround and I was not going to stop. One person in the group was doing the 10K and another was going to look for a band aid, so I stayed on the trail but hesitated since I didn’t know if they were all stopping. Two turned and two went past me.  I realized I didn’t know who was who because they were behind me and I did not know what they looked like. I waited for a minute and went on, and would be on my own for a while.


 I knew I was near the back of the pack but I worked to stay focused and keep my pace. After the halfway point I stuck an earbud in my right ear and turned on my trusty old ipod shuffle.  At that point I started walking the hills and running the flat and downhill sections (I turned off the ipod with a couple of miles left to focus on what I was doing).  By mile 12 I was now pretty sure that I was the last runner out there and was having some muscle spasms in my legs. I thought of the quote at the top of this page and knew that I was hurting but it was not going to get worse so I kept pushing on.

The intended blasting of the last 5K turned into determined forward progress. I came around the corner almost to mile 14 and in my head I was saying “Talk to me Goose”.  I looked up and saw my wife and one of the photographers from Mile90 photography ( They were a sight for sore eyes and tired legs and gave me encouragement as I approached. I smiled at Kristen and said “what was that we were talking about being the last mule to the barn?”


Now I came out to the turn that would lead me down the hill and up to the top of Sander’s Mound for the last time; then it was time for the home stretch back down and up two more hills to the finish. At the top of the mound I allowed myself a little celebratory moment throwing my arms in the air Rocky style. I thanked the photographer for waiting for me and headed for the finish.


As I came up the last hill I saw my wife again and glanced at the nearly empty parking lot. I turned the last corner to a small but enthusiastic group of people cheering me in. I am pleased with my run and my longest trail event to date. Mostly I was able to work through some things that previously led to an unhappy death march to the finish. Even though I finished last, I actually feel better about the effort in this run than I have in other races. Thank you to everyone’s support and encouragement along the way. 

Read more…

You’ve lost that burned out feelin’, oh that burned out feelin’


"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." 

~John Bingham~

I have always looked to wiser and more experienced people for guidance. When it came to training plans for running why would I not look to the experts to see what they recommend? These strategies helped them become successful and proved to work for them, so, why shouldn't they help me reach similar success? I know a lot of people who can print off a training plan and it works for them; then the next race they are starting all over with the same or similar plan. I am finally figuring out why this has not worked for me. The training is a means to an end which is the race itself and not a long term plan.

I decided that I would attempt to get in at least a mile (in addition to increasing my long runs) for every day in October. A week and a half into this I had a migraine that lasted over 24 hours and I was frustrated that although my heart and legs were ready I just could not do it. After some encouragement from my wife I got up early the next day and went for a run and after work did a second to make up for the one I missed. This has not only developed a habit of lacing up every day but it has given me time to figure out what I have been doing wrong.  

The first item I decided I would work on is to use the shorter runs to push my pace a bit. The second item is to slow down on my longer runs. During yesterday's 10-miler I realized that almost every long run and half marathon I have done I started too fast and flamed out, causing me to struggle to finish. Light Bulb Moment! I am not fast and need to focus on consistency and distance. What I had been doing is trying not to use my watch or Garmin and just run. This is what I want to do but I need to learn to pace myself first, so recently I have worn it strictly for the purpose of tracking distance and adjusting my pace. The next piece to the puzzle is that most times when I have tried to increase distance I have increased mid-week mileage as well, not allowing enough recovery time or lighter days in between long runs.

I have had an epiphany since the first of the month and it is this: for me, running more short runs during the week allows me to increase the distance and have something in the tank for my long runs. Also, the faster, shorter runs seem to be loosening my hips up a little. I am experiencing less pain and soreness while recovering much faster. As I had hoped going into this, I am slowly making better decisions on the nutrition front and slowly but surely I am feeling like a runner again. In the past I have tried the 'fake it ‘til you make it' strategy and it almost worked until the real test came and I knew deep down I was not there yet.

This October challenge has really opened my eyes and allowed me to move my focus in a new direction and allow the answers to surface before my eyes. My head is clearer during runs and I do not feel the same pressure as before. I also got back to a little over a 20 mile week after today’s run and I feel good. Don’t get me wrong, I am tired. The best way I can explain it is that I am tired but no longer feel burned out and that is a great feeling. The best part is that I have returned to running for the sake of running and not to prove anything to myself or anyone else and my Cool Impossible is back in focus. 


In Summary I would say that plans and advice are great, but in the long run they must work for you. Don’t be afraid to tweak them to better suit your needs and ultimately your goals. In addition I am always looking for inspiration through books and other items. I am currently reading Ben on Foot: 12 months from non-runner to ultra-runner, which is a new book written by Ben Brewer. It is not a how-to book; it is simply an enjoyable and inspiring story of transition. I am happy to have added this book to my ever growing library. 

Other posts can be found at

Read more…

“Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air.”

~ Friedrich Schiller ~



Wyco is making me Psycho!


This is going to be a tough one to write so where do I start? Like so many previous plans; yesterday began with confidence and good intentions and leaving my watch at home so I could take the day as it came. I really felt ready both physically and mentally for the challenge to come, but it is said that momentum is a cruel mistress and she can turn on you at the drop of a hat.


I dedicated the race to a 14 year old named Abigail who has been struggling with being bullied and has responded by trying to hurt herself. I do not know her but she is the granddaughter of someone I know and I guess I wanted her to be aware that people she doesn’t even know care about her. Bullying has become a real problem and people need to realize that life is hard enough without us making it harder on each other.  


This was three races in one for the Psycho Psummer with a 20 miler and 50K starting at 8:00 and a 10 miler starting at 9:00. Since I was signed up for the 20 and my wife was doing the 10, I took the shuttle to the park at 7:00 and she read her book and came over before I started. We got our picture taken together and she gave me some words of encouragement before the start.



It was already getting hot and I had no idea what to expect, but I was going to try to go with whatever the trail had in store for me. Ben gave his pre-race talk and blew the horn and we were off, over the bridge and across the grass towards the entrance to the bridle trail which is always a conga line at first. Shortly people found their pace and we began moving more smoothly. The group I was running with was talkative and moving at a good pace so I stayed with them. I was pushing a little but decided to hang with them as long as I could. We got to the first manned aid station and there was a little girl ringing a cowbell; I smiled and waved at her and realized after I passed her that she may not have been waving but waiting for high fives. Sorry I missed that opportunity. I topped off my water and grabbed a couple of orange slices and was off again.


I crossed the road and entered the single track and I was still pushing but moving pretty well. They are nice trails with some rolling hills and switchbacks that go through the woods and have some nice views of the lake from time to time. At about 4.5 miles on one of these switchbacks I turned the corner and lifted my head for a second to look ahead and caught my right toe on a root, which sent me flying through the air. As soon as my feet left the ground I tucked my arms into my body and hit the ground hard and rolled a few times. I got up and assessed the damage, saw a cut on my hand and my arms, my hands were covered in dirt and my water bottle was squashed and packed with dirt. Shortly after, I passed Rick from Mile90 photography, who has a knack for appearing and disappearing on the trail, so I have dubbed him Photo Ninja.


I walked for a while trying to clean and unbend my bottle and trying to regain my focus. At the point where you get closest to the water I saw Bob sitting in his kayak taking pictures and I raised my arms and told him I was taking some of the trail with me. I walked/ran for a bit and was getting frustrated because I was not planning on walking this early in the race. I came out onto the dam where my friend Carl was working the aid station. He started hollering when he saw me and asked what I needed. I showed him my dilapidated water bottle (it leaked the rest of the day but did its job) and he cleaned it off and filled it and got some orange slices. My plan was to grab a couple of S-Caps here but with the distractions I forgot. I also tried to eat a peanut butter wrap, but took one bite and quickly decided that was not going to work either.


After another couple of miles my calves began to cramp and I was back to a walk/run again, getting more frustrated and having thoughts about not making it the whole 20 miles. I was drinking water with electrolytes or Heed and grabbing a couple of S-Caps along the way but I could feel the indecision and doubt getting the best of me. When I got to the Shelter 14 aid station they cleaned my arm up and, as I was leaving, the first 10 miler came running through. I said, “That’s awesome, he started an hour after me.” I was reminded that he is an elite runner, which I know, but I also knew there were more to come. I justified the top five 10 mile runners but then it got demoralizing and I was losing ground and I had not even reached the hardest part yet, the dreaded three sisters. A very nice lady passed me and asked if I needed medical attention; I guess I looked pathetic and I was limping because of the cramps.


I was not only frustrated with the possibility of not completing what I set out to accomplish in the race; today represented much more than just the race. Personally this was going to be the day when I pushed past what I thought I could do and transformed another piece of who I am.  There was also Abigail. I dedicated this to her, so would I be letting her down if I settled for a 10 mile finish?


I did not want to feel like I was taking the easy way out or quitting, but without proper caloric intake and the high temperatures I had to decide something soon. The lead 50 K people cruised past me and they looked like they were not even breathing hard. As I came out of the woods and saw the finish line and the turn to go for another loop, I decided to try a little and see what happened. I switched out a couple of things in my bag and was heading out across the bridge and field battling with what to do. A couple of people asked if I was okay and I said “I guess, just trying to decide if I am going any further”. Once I realized that I was standing by the lake watching the geese swim around I took that as a sign that I was done. I turned and did the walk of shame back to the start/finish area to tell the race director I was done. Soon after my friend Brittany and then my wife came across the finish line. They both did great!


Decision time - A million thoughts going through my head


Kristen finishing the 10

I know I was not the only one to drop down but it does not make it any easier. I will never know for sure if it just was not my day and if I made a sound decision or if this was yet another case of giving up too soon.


To Abigail and anyone else who is being bullied or struggling with being depressed, please know that there are a lot of people who care and are willing to help. Remember that “Hurt people, hurt people”. Sometimes the people who least deserve your love, need it the most. Seek out help because hurting yourself is never the answer. Sometimes when we are hurting emotionally, we seek out ways to hurt physically so that maybe the emotional pain doesn’t seem so bad.  Finding an athletic endeavor to push your body through is a far healthier way to counteract that pain than doing something that harms you, and may harm those in your life who care about you and want to help you.  Those who really care about you will support you and assist you in getting the help you need to work through the pain.      

Read more…

"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones."

~Phillips Brooks~

Our Lives are made up of Seemingly Unremarkable Moments


 Entering the bridle trail

There are only two weeks to go before the biggest running challenge to date which is a 20 mile trail race on my nemesis trails. This would be on the infamous Wyandotte County Lake Trails with the even more infamous, cantankerous three sisters (three hills, aka the three bitches) that wait for victims in the last couple of miles of a 10 mile loop. So needless to say on the 20 miler I will get two opportunities to meet them. Every time I have done one loop here it has kicked my butt so the idea of finishing one and going back for another is somewhat intimidating. My hope is a respectable finish and to use this as a building block for my other ridiculously impossible sounding endeavor of running a 50K. I really feel like if I can conquer this challenge in a halfway reasonable time then I might be able to at least picture myself tackling the next. The plan right now is getting on the trails as much as I can this week and then shutting it down after July 5th and get some much needed rest!      

This weekend I got a group together and ran 10 miles on Saturday and hiked 10 or 11 miles with my wife on Sunday. I had a couple of friends I was hoping would run with me and I was thinking about all the times I struggled to keep up with different groups and feel bad for slowing others down. This led to posting on the Trail Nerds Facebook page calling it the Slow and Steady Saturday Summer Loop calling for mid to back of the packers to join in and run. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get others who might shy away from other group runs.

The turnout was great with about a dozen people showing up and even more who wanted to be there but were not able to make it; I am hoping we can make this a more regular thing in the future. We started at 7:30 on a warm and humid morning heading for the first stretch of bridle trails which you can almost always count on being muddy and/or rocky. We encountered quite a few horses this morning with no incidents as we all moved aside and let the riders determine whether they would pass or we should go by. Having so many horses on the trail adds to the obstacles and makes the muddy sections really hard to maneuver, especially the hills.

The Bridle trail gets a little messy

By the time we exited the bridle trails our group had spread out into a few smaller groups and as we entered the single tracks people went different ways. Spider webs let you know quickly when you head down a section that the group in front did not take. We all made our way out to the dam and were greeted by a welcoming breeze and a chance to take in some calories before reentering the trail onto more single track and then a road crossing before the final section of bridle trial leading to the dreaded hills. The first big hill is a muddy, energy zapping mess and always gives me trouble. Thankfully, the hills are conquered or at least completed and we cross the last street to my favorite part of the trail which is the home stretch. Everyone makes it back with minimal wear and tear and overall I think today was a success.


Kristen and I on the Trail

It is once again fun to watch my wife Kristen relax and rescue caterpillars and snails, moving them off the trail to safety so they would not get stepped on. We both love being outdoors for different reasons; Kristen loves to look at all the different insects and explores with childlike enthusiasm and I enjoy the solitude and spiritual feeling I get from being in nature. Later,  Kristen’s forward progress and exploring nature came to an abrupt halt when she backed up into a perfect "boxing out" position after she almost stepped on a copperhead. It took her a second before any actual words came out but she pointed at it and I got the message rather quickly. He was sunning himself and was not deterred when I tossed a couple of small branches by him so I found a long stick and moved him to the side and had her go past behind me. I tossed the stick aside and followed close behind her. Later on we came across some more peaceful wildlife in the form of a couple of deer.Then on Sunday morning my wife and I head out there to hike the trails and do some exploring and spend some time together in nature. It is funny how different parts of the trail look going at a more relaxed pace and taking time to look around. I have been wanting to add hiking to my training regimen to help deal with some muscle imbalances from running. Today is serving two purposes; I am able to open up my stride length to stretch and use some other muscles and it is giving me an idea of the pace I will need to keep when rest breaks are needed during the race.


Both of these caused to pause but for different reasons


Moving closer to the hills I inconspicuously gave her the option (a few times) of skipping the hills and taking the road around; she was having none of it. In her true nature she ran up the last one which I videoed and you can’t hear it but as she ran by me she said “all the way to the top he says”. We completed our journey for the morning coming out of the woods and cleaning up as best we could before heading for a well-deserved late breakfast! All in all it was an exhausting but very good weekend and we will be adding to our hiking adventures in the near future on these and other trails around.

The thought I had this morning while looking back at the weekend is that our lives are made up of many seemingly unremarkable moments; when we take time to realize who they happen with and where we are at that very moment, they become memorable.



Read more…

Free State Trail Half Marathon

Free State Trail Half Marathon – Lawrence, KS


Saturday April 19th I ran the Free State Half for the first time. Keeping pace with every other Trail Nerds event I have been involved with this was a challenging and exciting day. At start time the temperature was about 48 degrees but it was going to warm up quickly. I was not focusing on a specific pace or finish time but I still wanted it to be respectable. Typical to my habits, I arrived early and wandered around a little getting a feel for the day. On my way back to my Jeep I ran into my friend Jeff and we talked until it was time to get our gear and head to the start line. Looking back I am thankful for the distraction while we talked about upcoming races and possibly me pacing part of his 100 miler in November. You can feel the energy from the crowd and the DJ’s music getting everyone pumped up. Ben gives his final instructions and tells us to go!

I settle into a semi-comfortable pace and commit to myself to maintain and keep moving as long as I can. After a bit we enter the woods for approximately twelve miles that remains. I purposely left my GPS home to not be distracted by constantly looking at it so I do what I usually do. At first people are bunched together but slowly after a couple more miles, there is more space. I try to not lose sight of the group in front while not letting the group behind catch me. This works for about half of the race. After I pass through the RWB aid station I get the dry heaves from eating a bug I then refocus on putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping. It never ceases to amaze me how many people in these kinds of events will check to make sure you are okay as they come to pass you. Trust me I know the protocol on being passed and letting people get around me on the trail. Too much practice I guess.

As we get to the beautiful red trail along the lake which is rocky, I get behind a gentleman who like me is working hard and he offers to move aside. I decline and fall in with his strategy of walk/running the rocky/hilly section. When we are coming close to Lands End and another friendly aid station, I eat my Nutella wrap and drink the rest of my water so I can refill it for the final push to the finish. I not only lose sight of the runner I have been pacing off of but now I am getting cramps in both legs. They are not constant but they are sharp when they come so I cautiously continue and try to catch my pacer. Once I see him ahead I return to my spacing strategy while I work through the cramps and attempt to close the gap. I get passed by some of the forty mile participants which I try not to think about too much. I am not competing against them or anyone else out here. I am running because it is time to test myself and learn how to be a better me. Another humbling moment is when we come up a hill and there is a guy standing there cheering people on with a metal from the half marathon around his neck. I am pretty sure he was the winner today. Very cool that he is down here cheering people on. I have passed the photographer twice and I think I hid the pain from his lenses but only time will tell.

Is that music and people I hear? Wait, now we have turned and it is getting further away. There it is again, and this music yoyo continues for a little while until I see another finisher standing in the woods on the side of the trail cheering for us and he says “good job, only one more hill and about 200 yards!” This time the voices and music gets louder and does not fade. I see the other Photographer from Mile90 Photography at the finish line and run in to the finish again masking my cramping legs for the camera. I receive my finisher’s metal and sticker from Coco and thankfully, I am done! It is still a party atmosphere as I hang out for a little bit and attempt to loosen my legs up a bit. I see a friend of mine named Carl who is doing the 100K as he comes in and goes back out again. Now I begin the long journey back to where I parked. Yes I am hurting and not looking forward to the multitude of times that I will need to depress the clutch at traffic lights as I leave town, but I am one step closer to my Cool Impossible of the 50K this fall.         

Read more…

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

~ Lao Tzu ~


On the Job Training as a Pacer at the Prairie Spirit 100

This past weekend I was given an amazing learning opportunity. I paced a friend who was running in the Prairie Spirit 100 mile race. If you need help picturing what these runners accomplished; get a map of Kansas and find Ottawa and then find Iola and then return to Ottawa. Since I had never paced anyone before I had little idea what to expect or what was going to be required of me to get my friend across the finish line. After all, his only request was to help him get a finish. Luckily for me he is an experienced runner and was a great teacher during this adventure. I would also be remiss if I did not mention my gracious wife who after working a full day on Saturday drove to where I was meeting my runner and then throughout the night from aid station to aid station making sure we were alright and had what we needed.

After two days of making lists and doing calculations and all the rookie stuff, we headed out to Colony, Kansas to wait for Carl (who started at 6am) to come in at mile 61. This is where I would start and that was all I knew at that point. I didn't know what shape he would be in or how many miles I would end up getting by the end of the race. As we went it was decided that I would got two legs with him which was 16.5 miles and rest for the 9 mile section. I was hesitant to send him on the trail at night by himself but I knew by then that he was going to need me more towards the end; it was a calculated risk we would have to take. I picked him back up the Richmond, KS aid station and set off for the next 14.5 miles to the finish line. Along the way we talked about a range of topics from the deep and meaningful to the ridiculous and everything in between. Other times we went on silently except for a groan here and there. For a good part I stuck to a strategy of using my watch timer for intervals, when it beeped it was time to run at the next beep we walked and so on…it was a good way to stay focused, stay warm, and keep moving without running out of gas completely.

At the glorious finish line; he had completed 100 miles with two and a half hours to spare before the cutoff and I had traveled 31 mile. This was more than twice as far as I had done before. A mixture of running and walking but it was still 31 miles; which tells that I can push myself more than I thought and I am going to complete my Cool Impossible 50K trail race this fall. Even more important and the most satisfying part of the whole weekend was after he received the beautiful belt buckle at the finish line and he looked at me and said “this would not have happened without you”. The truth is I was not concerned at all with myself during this whole thing, my only concern was letting him down; and that was not going to happen.

In summary; I can say that I am very pleased with how I feel this morning, and my body is recovering nicely. I think I have found a way to utilize my passion for running and coaching and personal training background. This is not the last runner or the last race that I will pace!     

Read more…

The vagabond is moving slow

“What you see, well, you might not know
You get the feelin' comin' after the glow
The vagabond is moving slow
So I'll tell you all the story
'Bout the joker and the thief in the night

~Wolfmother – Joker and the Thief~


Saturday morning I am on the Lawrence River trails doing a preview run for the Pi Day Rotation half marathon with some members of the Lawrence Trail Hawks. It was 30 degrees with 13 mph wind coming off the river and the trail was not bad since we ran early and the ground was still partially frozen but it will get muddy later you can tell. As we enter the trail I see a card on the ground and it turns out to be a Joker…I will laugh to myself later as I realize the significance of this find. It really is a beautiful morning as we see a Bald Eagle carrying a branch back to its nest site. After a while I notice that I am working hard but I feel pretty good so far. The course is two five mile loops and a three mile loop to finish. After a little while the three guys up front begin to pull away and Carl stays back with me. We pass the others periodically throughout the morning on the loops and I notice how easy they are cruising along. Talking and looking almost like they are not exerting much effort at all. I remind myself not to compare myself to them; after all every one of them runs ultras or at least marathons. This is where the vision of the Joker card came to me and I laugh in spite of myself. At the end while enjoying a piece of cherry pie I told them “it is not that I am slow, I take the anchor position to make sure everyone makes it off the trail safely.” Yes, it is okay to laugh if you know me; I do want everyone safe but I am slow.

And so with this run I begin my quest of three trail half marathons in three months. The first is not an official race but it is a preview and an official course on trails I really enjoy running; the second two are races, one at Clinton Lake and the other at Lake Perry. I was excited to get a chance to do the preview run because I wanted to do the race but chose the 10K at Wyandotte County Lake Park instead which is scheduled the same weekend. It does not matter to me that this was not an official race and I will not get a metal, I am not in this for that stuff anyway. For the same reason, I am planning an impromptu marathon distance in between the 20 miler and the 50K. The plan (August or September) is to use the loop trails at Shawnee Mission Park across from the marina and simply keep moving until 26.2 miles are covered. It would be great to have some friends join in and keep us company and lend moral support. I invite people to join in as much or as little as they would like, or just come out and cheer and make noise.  

This got me thinking…okay, everything gets me thinking. I hear people all the time after they reach a goal say “Now what?” or “What’s next?” Many even slip into depression or stagnation after big events or achieving a life changing goal. I do not want this to be the case once I complete my long awaited and most challenging goals. I am focusing on a few milestones this year and once I reach these I am planning on getting back to basics. Ditching my watch and GPS and running as the spiritual act I feel it is, with no expectations and limits. I am not going to say that I will not run in races, but if I do they will be run the same way. I will be grateful for the earth under my feet and appreciate the beauty and every obstacle it has to offer.

Read more…

Can I get to the starting line?

After some rough weeks dealing with winter and life I am pleased to say that I think I am coming out more focused. I have also somewhat respectably maintained my training mileage and aside from being tired I feel like I have a good base to build on. I would love to say that I lace up and breeze through my runs but…I am still a regular guy that runs and I accept that. Although I am looking at a pretty aggressive race schedule, for me, I will not be thinking about PR’s or finish times during the next eight months. What I will be looking at and focusing on is on a deeper level. Can I follow though with the training? What am I made of? Can I finish? Probably the most important question might be; can I get to the starting line?


I was talking to a very close friend the other day and I realized that if I am 100% honest (with myself more than anyone) I have to ask all of these questions and more. That I have no idea whether I can finish a 50K is irrelevant. What scares me more than anything is committing to the training and seeing it through and showing up on race day. If I can do those things, then what happens after the horn sounds is a bonus. The thought of disappointing others and myself and the commitment of this endeavor scare me more than the actual event. I  believe I have grown enough as a person to accept the challenge and the help that has been offered and go for it. I will admit that I will be thrilled beyond belief to cross the finish before the cutoff time, but I will be more proud and satisfied when I am officially crossing the start line.

Every race coming up is a Trail Nerd event so I am looking forward to a season of fun, challenging trail runs. These include a 10K in March, 2 half marathons in April and May a 20 miler in July and…50K (my CI) tentatively in October. If you are around the Kansas City area check out the Trail Nerds at

Read more…

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality

"your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality." ~Ralph Marston

Why is it so much easier to question myself than it is to be encouraged? I am finding that almost every time I push myself hard for a race or a long run I am constantly questioning myself. Lately the voices ask; “why have I decided to sign up for this 50K and more importantly why did I tell anyone I was going to do it?” and “It would be so much easier if I kept my big mouth shut to change my plans.” Maybe I just answered my own question, because now that I have put it out there I feel more responsibility to stick with it. I want to accomplish this goal but not put so much pressure on myself that I burn out or be miserable doing it. The last thing I want to do is dread the day I am attempting one of the biggest physical and mental achievements of my life.

One thing I have realized is that I enjoy running much more when I am running because I want to and not because I have to. The time between finishing the 1000 miles for WWP and the last few weeks getting ready for the half were enjoyable and rewarding because I was keeping up with and even increasing my weekly mileage without an obligation to do so. It seems that every time I put myself on a rigid schedule it immediately puts pressure on me and takes the fun out. If I cannot fix this situation it is going to be a LONG winter and spring. I want to work hard and enjoy running so I would like to make this work. I almost wish I had not committed myself to the big goal but that is what I have always done and this year is about breaking out of the safety zone.

When it comes to dealing with traffic, exhaust fumes and sidewalks (I really dislike sidewalks) I think more trails is the way to go. So for now, I will continue and work on all these things I have listed. Running on the roads and paved trails when I have to and hitting the trails every chance I get. I am staying on track for the April 50K but I will need to work hard as the days get shorter and colder!

Read more…