Why do we weaken women?

I dont often times find myself lead to write much that does not involve by own personal life. I have no problems writing about being abused, an addict or my running adventures along this earth. But for the past month i have been reminded over and over again of this topic that i had been pondering. I know over the past couple of months with me dealing with injury i have been more keen on seeing some things from different angles. So here goes the ramblings that I cant seem to ignore.

I am married to an unbelievable woman that happens to be my wife. One of the greatest things my wife has always told me was that she wanted to be with me, she didnt need to be with me. Thats exactly the kind of woman that I want my wife to be and my future daughter to be one day. I appreciate my wifes ability to be strong both physically and mentally. I enjoy that I can find her unbelievably attractive at the same moment that she is correcting me on something I have done wrong. To me the greatest asset in my life is the attention of my wife.

So I am wondering as Men why we continue to pursue to weaken our women?

I am a race director by trade as well as someone who works within the field of athletics in advertising. When it comes to running, track/field and trail running is inherited that we all wear less clothing than we would if we were going to a wedding or a funeral. Clothing for the most part is limited to exact what we need to have to cover us while we do our best.

So a few years ago I was sitting around a round table of “guys” the topic of who was the hottest member of our club. I am the president of this club and I thought this was the weirdest question. I declined to answer not only as the president but as a husband to my wife. I thought what a stupid ass question.. These are the same women that we are running with on saturday but now we are stripping down them to a vote on how they look…

As time passes it seemed that nothing has changed. A few months back in passing I was asked who was the “hottest” girl I had interviewed. I heard the question and shot back are you “joking”. They looked at me like I was being an asshole and said whats the big deal, why are you mad.  I said how professional is it for me to answer such an ignorant question…

While those instances were in person and completely one on one I have now witnessed where this leads to: the internet.

I spend a great deal of time doing marketing research on facebook, twitter or instagram for our races. I have seen though lately something that is completely  absurd. Something that as a man makes me wonder if this is what our society has become.

It has become apparent that men think they can post whatever they want on females facebook pages without regard to how distasteful , disrespectful or harassing that they want.

As I looked at a page with a well known cross-fit women who posted a picture of her in the gym lifting weights the comments took off..

she would be better off with boobs one said, another chimed in that she had too much clothes on and another said that she looked good from the neck down..  as i read the posts i thought who are these men??

i thought are these husbands, fathers do they have sisters? do they think this is acceptable behavior in life? a few more comments and the athlete posted that she was hurt by the comments and she reads them all.

a few weeks ago another female runner in a picture with a sports bra and a running skirt.. i didnt get more than 5 comments before the disgusting comments began..

a wonder whats under the skirt one said, another commented that he would hit it.. the last one “he has had better”…. i thought how disgusting…

but here is what is worse than the 2 instances that i just gave you that i have seen with my own eyes.. That this kind of predatory mentality that we are allowing is weakening women.

As i have been pondering writing this at all i saw the recent marketing campaign for #runlikeagirl or #likeagirl. It is a campaign used to empower girls and women to run no matter what. While i think the campaign is worthy its equally sad. To me it is really sad that we have made women/girls think that they are unequal in life and that we need a campaign to empower them.

But what I am writing about isnt something new. Women haven’t been treated fairly in track/field, athletics and ultra running through the years. This isn’t something new but it remains the same issue no matter what decade. We have just stopped pulling women off the Boston Marathon and have turned to giving them less prize money. We have gone from behind closed doors objectifying them to openly disgracing them on social media.

I am writing this since if a woman wrote it people would label her a feminist, a bitch or someone looking for attention. So ill speak up for my wife, my future daughter or my beautiful moms.

Men of the world I ask you why do YOU weaken women?

Dont you want a strong wife? Dont you want a strong daughter? Do you think those comments would be received well if that was your daughter?

I am disgusted at how I see so called men act behind closed doors and in the social media eye. What you are doing when you chop away at women is that you weaken what makes them beautiful. You make them feel insecure at their muscles, there bodies and what they are capable of. Our daughters grow up thinking they are less than others because of the bullshit that ignorant people say about them.

And it takes a marketing ploy for us to subliminally remind ourselves that we treat girls inferior to boys.  I mean where is the #runlikeaboy campaign?

There was a recent video made about how we percieve like a girl.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs What it clearly shows is that young girls have no clue that like a girl is an insult when you get older. Yet like a girl to anyone older is clearly a weaker way of doing something.

Its about time that the MEN of the world started acting like it. Stop acting like you have no control over your emotions or your sexual impulses in life. Stop using the like a girl as some way to describe something less than or negative. Stop glorifying each other as you consistently harass and demean women in public.

Your disgusting acts will only weaken women, you wife or your daughter in time.



Week 2 and Week 3 of the comeback

As we moved from a great week 1 I was pretty excited to hit week 2.

Week 2 came in like a freight train quickly for me. Rachel and I took a one day vaca on wed to galveston that through me for a loop and the weekend i traded time with friends for things i should have done.  So i always think for me it takes about 3 weeks to really get back into mental shape and physical shape to train. I sprained my left ankle really bad on thursday which led to basically slow, light walking for 3 days. With the combination of light exercise and my lack of resistance to the finer things in life I think i went back up to around 216 in a hurry.  i finished with about 28.5 miles, 9k vert but only about 9 hours of running/cardio.

Week 3

The hardest part for me in the eating right part of life is my schedule. I can remember when i used to wake up at 4am every morning, gym on the way to work. Workout at lunch and usually gym on the way home. I find in my mind that I think those were the great structured days of my life..

My life right now is chaotic at best so my schedule is very crazy at times with me usually sleeping from 2-3a till 8am.. Now with running/training 2-3x a day my body needs more rest but I am having trouble with finding that time as my hours to be right now are precious with TROT.

But i forged on week 3 bad ankle and all. We decided to add in more climbing and less running mileage which was fine by me. I was able to get back into the rhythm of going to the gym and finally also got back into some good deadlift and squat weights.

As with most weeks that define you in weight loss I played from behind from wednesday on. Nothing is more frustrating to me than putting in the work and then not holding yourself accountable for your nutrition to help you. I would say my i was 80% on it this week but I know that to train this much and do it right i need to be 100% dialed in all week. So Sunday i was determined to push past bs and get in 100% mode so the week ended well and i think i am back down to 213.

So the last 2 weeks have been a big struggle after a great week 1. I realize that there is something off with me mentally but I am unable at this time to figure it out. I dont know if there is something underlying that I am unhappy about or if I have let some negative folks lately get the best of me. The goal for this week is to just push through the final week i have in Texas before heading to CA to work. I need a good 100% week to get me back on track and think a week away might be the positive mojo i need in my life.

I had a great week 3 on climbing none the less with 40.35 miles, 20k vert and 1031 min of running/walking. I hit the weights 3x this week and have added some big muscle exercises back in as well.

So here is to week 4 or as I call it week 100%… Just like anything in life worth getting I have to be ready to sacrifice and that will be my mantra this week.



Week 1 of Team Deadhorse

I can remember back when I emailed my coach about trying to run the snowdrop race in 2014. I had asked her for a full i think 12 week program with the usual requests like i always do. she had emailed me back at some point with dont you think we are beating a dead horse? it lit a fire under my ass all the way through snowdrop and even 10 days later when i ran bandera 50k.. yeah i knew i had a torn up knee and my physical limits where being compromised but who really cares..

So here we are week 1 is passed. Overall i could not have been happier with the way my body is feeling and holding up. I find myself already chuckling at pushing myself without the pain of a bad knee. I was just telling Rachel yesterday how fun it is to do 3 workouts a day and not be limited by constant pain..

So i started the week at 216.8 and weight in this morning at 210.4 which means i was down 6.4 lbs for the week. I did get to as low as 207.6 on friday am and i used my cheat meal saturday between runs for indian food and a bucces cinnamon roll.  I have my eyes set on the goal of 173.4 which would be 50% of my original weight when i started losing weight. So we have 37 lbs more to go!!!

Workout stats for the week are as follows i did 3 sessions of weights, about 5 hours of non running cardio and 13 hours of running for a total of 34 miles and 11,000 of vertical climbing.. as you can tell my “running” is very slow and steady.. I am in a program where we are basing my runs on HR which works well for me because i cant really run more than 5 mph right now without discomfort.

But the best part of the week for me has been getting back into the mental groove of loving to train/run and eat healthy. Anything for me when i am trying to lose weight I have to be 100% focused on doing so. As many people will tell you you cannot outrun a crappy diet and more than that you need to eat healthy to run healthy.

I did not expect to lose 6.4 lbs honestly the first week but i have been eating around 1500-2000 calories daily and working out around 2-3 hours a day so its pretty spot in with the amount or work v food i am taking in.

My body felt good this week for the most part. I had to take it easy on some of the lower body training at times and also took it easy on running faster than 4.8 mph at anytime. 2-3x a day i have been rolling to ease the tightness of the glutes, hips and flexors as they have noticed the running. Mainly i am going to stay very aware of what my body is telling me and never push too much.



Over the past 6 years I guess many people have asked me tips on losing weight, what I do etc. Now i first tell people im not a registered dietician like Rachel is but I have some handy tips for a first week back type approach that work for me.

Robs Top 5 Tips

1. Meal Prep- I think most people who are on the go, in/out and trying to eat clean meal prep. For me this is making/slicing food and just having it ready to go in the fridge. So i slice up mushrooms, onion, squash etc and most times have it in a bowl. So i can just grab 2-3 cups through it on the skillet and start the base. I also pre make fish, tofu or have something like an epic bar handy if i choose.

2. Water is your friend. Water all day everyday. I am someone who LOVES diet sodas but i limit them and hit the water. A fresh lemon, a no calorie packet or something to help me focus on water intake is key.

3. 10 minute rule. This is more of a theory but it works well for me. Once you are hungry you have about 10 minutes to get something cooking or in your sight before you mind wonders. Meaning if i sit long enough after im hungry my mind will start thinking of pizza, chips and queso etc.. Now there is NOTHING wrong with those items but we are trying to drop some LBS so those have to be either healthy made or my cheat meal..

4. Once a week cheat meal. Now there are some people who think these arent good and whatever to them. Once a week i want something that is amazing. It helps me warrant off cravings and it helps to throw you body off as well. So once a week schedule in some of that pepperoni pizza and a slice of cheesecake..  I like to do it after my saturday long run when i am wanting some quality grub.

5. Get off your ass. If you are trying to lose weight than you have to get moving.. If its a class, the weights, walking, yoga etc this has to be a focus for you. More muscle means more calories burned so you have to start building lean muscle asap. An easy way for me to do this is to get up and get out. Get a good sweat in the morning, maybe one at lunch if you can and get one at night.. But the key to the equation is to just constantly be thinking of how can I move. Most people find excuses why they cant do this and that… Your mindset should always be finding way TO move and TO fit it in..

So this day 1 of week 2. My training should stay the same this week so I expect more of the same lower intensity HR workouts and kicking ass. I started this morning with a 3 mile walk with my family and Team RWB for memorial day for my day off.


well here goes the dynamite.

You know i would be lying to anyone as to tell them how much fun the last 3 months have been. They have sucked. I wore out my positive playlist everyday just trying to remain un bitter about my condition.

But the truth was that I was insanely negative in the process which I regretted. There was this envious disdain as I watched others run and i tried to remind myself daily that this would all be over with.

I have done my best to remain positive in the process, to do what I could emotionally to remain calm and just to keep pressing on. The one thing that stayed consistent was training daily. No matter how shitty the mood i still did my required PT and then some. I knew that if i could muster 2 hours or 3 a day that i would get the chance to come back sooner than ever.

Many people shortly after surgery asked well what kind of surgery did you have. I tried to explain AOTS surgery and what it meant probably 100x. The easiest explanation is that they drilled holes in my knee/bone and put the core in other parts of my knee that needed it. This was my only option if i didnt want a knee replacement at 36. And to top it off there was no guarantees that it would work or fix the issues that I had.. But it was better than hobbling around in pain for one more race.  Below you can see a great picture of some of the holes they drilled in my bones and plugged them up as well.


As the past few months have slowly dragged on I was beginning to see the difference that not running also played a role in my life. I took the opportunity to a break for a few week right after surgery and then started back lifting high volume weights. I have never lifted 5 days a week 2 hours a day but it was the only thing that I could do to make exercise make sense. What I also didnt realize is that i would put on mass because of lifting this way and the no cardio deal would irritate me more. While I am stronger than I have ever been as a person I also hated watching my weight slowly climb up because of it.

So about a month ago on my last doctors visit I came in to the office. He asked me how i felt and I told him that I felt like i was a caged horse ready to run. He asked me had i been training and I said yes. I told him that I had done a week full of treadmill vert and that the knee felt good and swelled only a bit. My doctor said well then i guess we can skip the walking part of the program then… He told me that due to the fact that I had done the PT work above and beyond that it was going to pay off now.

IMG_8282[1]I was relieved to hear that something was going my way in recovery since I really felt so jaded and alone at times in the process. With good news in hand I came home. I told Rachel that I was ready to take this f*cking scare they gave me and make it something fun. So i called my friend and said lets make some art today.. A few minutes later we turned that scar into some fun (thanks Mike C).

So after a couple weeks of climbing and walking i decided to make the decision to set my sights on some goals. There are some things that I have been chasing for a couple of years now that I never accomplished. Most of those were so close to my reach but I was always battling this shit ass knee and wasnt able to get those goals. But with 2 good knees I am ready to set the goals and start to knock them down.

This is me at my highest weight.
This is me at my highest weight.

I feel like the poster guy at times for people who battle obesity and run races. This is probably why i love race directing races as I see the true joy in what happens when you trail run. I think this year will be the 6th anniversary ( maybe 7) in september of when i weighed over 347 lbs. I never thought it would be me who would fall in love with running as a way to cope with being an addict but im glad i did.

So I am going back after my weight goals that I was so close to 2 years ago. But i am going to force myself to document it all this time as a way to be honest with myself and also encourage others to go after their dreams. Below is the goals list and the obligation list as well.

Todays weight 216.8 goal weight 173.4 which would be 50% of my body weight at highest. That means thats 43.4 lbs to lose. Even me looking at that number is like holy moses how did i ever get so far from 180s when i was running 100 mile weeks. I might be stronger than ever but I would love to see what this machine can do with 2 knees in the 170s.

WIth the dreams come the program. I have asked a good buddy of mine John Sharpe to write me a program till the end of the year that focuses on my needs. I cant really run right now with much intensity so this will be a great program for building stability in my body and also HR determined efforts. I am looking forward to the opportunity to working with John for the program.

1st Goal Race North Face Endurance Challenge Park City Utah Sept 26th-27th part of the Hatr-cation

2nd Goal Race Snowdrop Foundation 55 hour race 150 miles. I have done 107 both years in about 30 hours on one knee hobbling around so I want to give it all i have.

I am going to blog about this every monday after i weigh in. I am going to tell everyone my training, my diet and my thoughts as well. Even if I dont feel like it or I have a shit week i am going to use the blog to hold myself accountable for what is the truth..

As i write this I am encouraged, excited and elated to be back mentally. The physical part will come back slowly and with a ton of sacrifice on my part. But for me my mindset will always be the most important weapon that I have for defeating any task at hand.

I encourage anyone who is reading this to follow the blog and to challenge themselves to find the best version of themselves this year.

Since i started running ultras back in 2012 i have always had to do it on one knee. I am really excited to see what will happen when i get  a chance to do it with 2.


100 day challenge

100 day challenge

I am motivated constantly by goals, by dreams and by challenges. I put an extreme amount of dedication to anything that I feel like is worthy of accomplishing and can usually push everything aside to reach those goals.

Coming into this year as uncomfortable as i knew it would be one of those goals was to have knee surgery. I have never been able to run without pain over the 2.5 years of attempting ultras and really feel like I would enjoy life running, lifting and in general if I wasn’t wincing with every step.

But beyond all of this there is one goal that I have never finished. One goal that I have yet to obtain and that I wanted to achieve. I have always wanted to push hard and to weight around 173.5.. This would be in essence 1/2 of the weight i used to be which was 347. For about a year I was right around 183-187 when i was able to run 50+ miles a week. I strength trained maybe 2x a week but I was never able to kind of stick it through to lose those 9 pounds. And honestly I just kind of gave up on those goals.

After a string of 100 mile weeks getting ready for Grasslands I really pushed to hard and it lead to a 2013 of pain.. Last year 2014 i was really unable to train too much all year and decided to lift heavy weights for about 6 months of the year. I think i probably put on about 10-12 lbs of muscle which is great and I am stronger than I have ever been.

I ran the snowdrop foundation 55 hour race this year coming into it knowing the knee was out the door. I really wasnt able to train too much before but kept lifting heavy and treadmill climbing to keep up my fitness. But after snowdrop my body has been hurting. I jumped over to Bandera clicked off the 50k and have just been tired. Going into surgery I really was in a mental funk. I didnt want to do any running, lifting and hated even talking about the gym… I helped my buddy Jerms at Rocky Raccoon 100 but I winced every step of every mile…

IMG_8056[1]So surgery is over. I have all the staples out. I have all the little band aids off my knee. I have now done absolutely nothing for 3 weeks. It has been painful to see.. I cannot tell you how much I really dislike the way i feel and see myself in only 3 weeks. I knew i would hate missing running but I really hate being non active.. It is agonizing.. I am sure that I have put on a few lbs having to sit around with my leg up..

So with that being said. I am cleared for non weight bearing weights and other small things. That is enough hope for me. I had a long talk with Rachel told her my plans and dietary wants. So here we go. I am probably 205-210 at this point with the sitting on my ass..

But I always find it easier to go after challenged when I push myself in different ways. So not only am I pushing myself physically, I am committed to a 100 day financial frugal challenge and I am going to post it all via blog.

I have posted weight loss before, I have posted other items but never detailing activity and food intake. I know many people have different ideas of what it means to be healthy etc but Im going to be honest with everyone..

I know that I am probably more motivated right now than at anytime. Within the next 4 weeks I will be able to walk and hopefully within the next 100 days I can at least jog or run. But I want to be able to start the running in great shape and also give my knee some needed relief as in weight pressure.

With me not having any goals this year for races or racing I am going to put all of my energy into nutrition and recovery.

But I feel good just knowing that tomorrow I will sweat again. I can tell you that not running, lifting or exercising has been truly dreadful. The fact that I have depend on people daily because I am on crutches is maddening. It really effects my mood when I cant do simple tasks without issues. Its been 3 weeks and each day has sucked. Thats just the truth. But when I wake up tomorrow or when you read this I am headed back to where I call the cave.

The cave for me is the place where I mentally can go and not be seen. Its my way of closing off everything that isnt within my goals.. So its been a long time since I have been in the cave. But with races to put on, dream to chase and this goal I am stoked to hit the cave again.

The wood has been stacked, the match is lit.. Lets watch it burn!!!


The one addiction I hate giving up

The one addiction I hate giving up

If you are reading this between the hours of 8am-11am CST on 2/4 than i am in a medically educed sleep.

I will not know what is happening to the right knee of mind but I have been obviously assured that they are going the best that they can for it and they will do their best to wake me up. funny part is non of these items are promised just hopes i suppose.

I have ran from addictions for most of my life. I have replaced them with others, quit some and start new ones.

Over the past few weeks the thoughts of not being able to run have really eat away at my soul. I have been in an almost transient state after snowdrop of just running as much as i can stand. Although hurting immensely every time it hasn’t stopped me from pushing as hard as I can to get all the drops of life out of these tired, worn out legs and knees.

A few nights ago before Rocky Raccoon my wife after forwarding an email from the hospital confirming this appointment for the what seems like hundred times stopped and asked me “are you okay”..

i sobbed and said No im not.. I frustratingly admitted that one of the hardest parts for me is to give up running. running has been my savior for being sober for so long. it has always been my way to shake off a bad day, been my medium to keep the weight off and my way to explore the earth for my soul… i told her that i was afraid of what is going to happen when i can’t run… afraid of what happens when i get anxious, or nervous or upset.. what will i do when i cant just put on my shoes and take off for an hour and get the “crazies” out..

as much as I need surgery i dont want it. as much as i know that this is the right thing i dont want it.

today i treated myself to the finer things in life. chuys and tole house sundae.. as the day has gone on i finally kind of came though the fogginess of displeasure. i have to be okay with this. i cant wake up tomorrow from the table i think im broken. i have to wake up and think that this is me beginning. this is my opportunity to  run pain free. it wont be easy but nothing in my life has been. thank you for all of those who have sent me wishes, kind words, called or emailed i do appreciate your enthusiasm for my situation.

im ready for this to be over with and im ready to move on.  if you never leave the nest youll never learn to fly.

Full Circle at Rocky Raccoon 100

Full Circle at Rocky Raccoon 100

This is a blog that I had to write. Most blogs i am usually wanting to write i dont get to because of race blogs etc.. But this one means the world to me.

Back before Trail Racing Over Texas. Before Houston Area Trail Runners. Before I ever ran an Ultramarathon. Before I ever knew what a trail race was. Before I had found the trails. Before I had ever run. Back when I was 347lbs and a hurricane of hurt I knew Jeremy “handsome” Hanson.

Jeremy is one of the only friends that I have from the darkside of my life. Jeremy was always the funniest person that I had ever met with the way he manipulated facts and his easy going nature.

Shortly after I had actually found the trails to run on I called Jeremy. Within 2 weeks or so he showed up at the trailhead and we started running the trails. He was essentially my first Trail Friend. Since that day both of our lives have dramatically changed. Jeremy has lost a bunch of weight, become a CORRAL A Houston marathon runner and has developed into such an admirable leader for the HATRs.

Jeremy through these past few years has also been one of my closest friends. He is one of the most caring , selfless people that I have every met. From donating his time to watch me run my first 100 miler, from volunteering his whole days and nights at our races he is simply irreplaceable.

jeremyThis past year on a trip to Oregon as Jeremy and I planned a trip to Mt Hood. I get a little emotional when I think of what i would consider the best trail run of my life but it was. We crossed rivers, ran the pine needle forest, stood in waterfalls and then stood and watched the clouds part to see Mt Hood together.

Soon after we found out that you can put sausage gravy on chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes as well.

Life isnt really worth anything if you cannot share it with other people. So I am going to strap the knee down one more time saturday night.sunday to pace in one of the greatest men i have ever met.

Jeremy “Handsome” Hanson will start the rocky raccoon 100 at 6am. I am his crew chief and pacer for the 80-100 miles. If for some reason my surgery goes bad at least i know that my last trail race and first were with Jerms. I have never taken crewing anyone this seriously and with this being his first attempt i am committed to helping him get in under 30 hours. #teamjeremy #teamhandsome

You can watch it live at http://www.ultrasportslive.com and i will have some festive attire for the event.

So feel free to hashtag #teamjeremy on instagram or twitter as Jeremy has a bet with a fellow HATR liz on who will finish first.

For all of you ladies who read this. If you are looking for a Grade A handsome man, with sweet dance moves, a karaoke voice that is pro level and a trail runner with a nice salt and pepper beard look no further than Handsome Hanson..


Big plans, big dreams and one big knee.

Big plans, big dreams and one big knee.

Well the last month of december through january was one big roller coaster of a ride.

From putting on the Brazos Bend 100 to basically just trying to keep our heads above water to the Snowdrop Foundation 55 hour race. The race was a great way for me to get one last run in before knee surgery..

With everything that I am involved in I literally have 10-20 moving items on the plate at all times. I have 3 notepads that i move ideas, things to do etc from day to day.. On top of this i have 3 excel sheets that spread between Race Director Items for races, updates on futures races/progress and my roles at Ultrasportslive.tv

So when we got home from Snowdrop which was on a thursday we were back at home on friday to head to the hill country to enjoy family christmas and spend time with wesley as well. It was enjoyable few days laying in the hot tub but driving wesley back to odessa back was 10 hours of hurt and the following day back to Houston we came.

There are times when i literally say out loud “Rachel please do not let me committ to anything else:”… Its a double edge sword for me as I enjoy the work. I really like being part of trail running at any capacity that I can be. From race directing, park maintenance, RWB, volunteering, speaking, working for USL.tv I love it all. The part i dont love is when i let it get out of balance..

Well i decided that I would jump in the Bandera 100k 9 days after snowdrop.. I packed my bags on friday morning and was out the door headed to bandera. Ohh wait i forgot to mention that i stopped in Austin to have a sponsor meeting and i took 5 calls from Katy to bandera for sponsorships and/or our races. So it was more of a business commute along the way.

I really enjoyed running bandera as i was in pain the whole time. At snowdrop I was in a lot of pain but i couldnt run anymore. My knee was just too inflamed to really even walk around the track one more loop. So deeply i wanted to be exhausted on my favorite trails. Around mile 10 i knew i was not a smart person. And at mile 25 when i thought i only had 1 mile to do I laughed at my own despair. But at the 50k mark i was smiling and had enough. It was fun to just kind of say in my mind great job.. but i am done being in pain..

2 days after Bandera we jumped back in the car up to el paso to hike some mountains with the pups and enjoy the city. I got sick up there for 2 of the days probably because of the load on my body and my refusal to give in.. But i am hard headed so i kept trying to push the pace.

Recently Rachel and I went to watch the Houston Marathon at the Lukes Locker in Houston. It was so enjoyable to watch people run. I noticed some people running oddly and I said out loud “do i look like that” everyone who heard this said I have the worst running stride of anyone… I thought yeah thats probably true. It made me think i wonder what is going to happen if i have 2 good news.

So watching the marathon was emotional for me to see before knee surgery. Since the 10th till today physiologically i have been destroying my legs. I dont know why i am doing this but im just squeezing every ounce of them i can and today i finally gave in. My legs are beyond trashed. I havent really rested them for even one day since before snowdrop. But i have a committed to pace Jeremy Handsome Hanson on his last loop at RR100 so i decided today im done running till then. I will hit the weights hard, spin etc but in reality i am a little worn out and i can tell i am mentally.

I have literally been working up till past 2-4am probably the last few months 5-6 days a week and my body is ready for a break. Its ready for some down time and surgery is set for Feb 4th.

So today was a good day. I took the day off. My legs are so horrible and my knees hurt that walking is painful. My legs are aching, throbbing and my knee is about the size of a cantaloupe. But i took Rachel on a lunch date which included pizza, ice cream and a nap with our pups.

So life has been fun. But the best is just coming. I have some huge plans for races, series and other exciting bits that I am working on to see to fruition soon. I am excited this year to travel with USL.tv to some wonderful races and really stoked to see Team Trail Racing Over Texas grow and flourish.

People always ask me privately funny questions. The other day someone said will you be positive when you have knee surgery.

I thought about it. I hope I am. Knee surgery has been a battle longer than i have been an ultra runner. It has always been the reason for so many issues that i have with running but it has also made me really tough when it comes to pain management. I am sure that the actual surgery wont be horrible since ill be asleep.  But i dont know whats next for me.

I guess thats always been the fear for me is that what if it all goes wrong.. Well see February 4th i guess.


3 days, one race and one resolution

3 days, one race and one resolution

My great joy in racing in the snowdrop foundation ultra 55 hour race is that it isnt about me. i worked ferociously the days  leading up to the race so that I could just go numb.. i finished all the posts, the blogs and was reassured by my working partners that all was well as I began to settle into race mode.

we arrived at the snowdrop hq on monday morning around 9:30 we set up our new Kelty tent which is SUPER AMAZING.. only 3 poles and this monster was up and done. we set up the mini aid station about 3 feet off the course and picked up our packets. it was nice to see the klines, patty and the whole snowdrop gang. we kicked out early and went to our favorite indian spot near the house. when it comes to pre race day meals i like to pack it in before 4pm. my body usually will take almost anything in and then usually an hour before race time allow me to run empty.

with the bags packed and my stomach full we went home. we spent the day with Wes just playing games and hanging out. i can remember going to bed at 8:30 and that was perfect. i woke up at the first alarm. had my clothes laid out and was in the car right on time. we got to the start about 45 min pre race. it was perfect timing for all to happen.

i did ad instructed my Vince who is owner of trail toes on prepping my feet for this race. i have had a HISTORY of horrid blisters, toe nails everywhere and my feet are always a mess. Well between the trail toes care, my new altra paradigms and injinjis i had something for the trail.

i towed the line in what would be my race uniform. Trail Racing Over Texas Team singlet, by north face short shorts which are really long for me and 3 jugs of pre mixed tailwind. i knew this race would change over time so i have 1 box of clothes and also 1 box of goodies. this included reeses trees, goldfish, pure maple syrup, cheese crackers, hammer gels, bearded brothers bars, quest bars and of course my favorite Turkey epic bars..

with about 5 min before the start it hit me.. as my wife and son began to watch me and ask me how i was doing. i started to cry as our sweet Gods Sons pictures aligned the tables… our good friend Mark Kenney made us shirts with his picture and my wife made a custom shirt vest… here i was numb like i wanted. no worries of work, everything here… all i had to do now was get 100 miles done.

The snowdrop foundation is my family. all of the people that run this race run for something bigger than themselves and we support each other in a way that had bonded us forever. there isnt anything that i wouldnt do for any of them on or off the course.

As my wife and I talked tonight she asked me what are my resolutions. i told her i dont have any. i truly believe that everyday is a resolution.

as we towed the line i knew that #1 i was going to finish 100 miles. #2 i was going to try and be the life of the party and #3 i would honor my God son and the snowdrop foundation all around this .76 mile loop as long as i could.

the first 40 miles i think i could tell you went by quickly. i did a combo of run/walk just to keep the knee swelling down as much as possible. i can remember laughing, dancing on the mud and really doing my best to encourage all of those who were around me. i knew that many of them would use most of the 55 hour to make it and i also told them each that I would watch them finish. i have a belief in ultras and that is you GIVE what you NEED. i was giving the trail love to as many as I could because I NEEDED it back. i knew that at some point my knee would go and i would have to fight to finish.

at mile 40 i started to weep. i have always known that if i can get to mile 40 on this shit knee than i can finish the 100 miler. i could walk the rest, crawl the rest but this has always been the distance. i remember weeping on the back side of the track for a bit and my mind saying get back into this Rob its not in the bag.. push to 50…

i hit 50 in good spirits as Rachel and Wesley had arrived. I took about 20 min to get new socks, re lube everywhere and get back to moving. feeling the knee inflamed i knew that it was going to get touch. at mile 63 or so with friends there with me i was beginning to have to walk backwards, hobble and just hold the pee in from the knee pain. with the opportunity to go home i did. i got home at 1am and my wife had to be back up there at 6am for the relay i slept 4 hours and was back on the track. i was able to run from 62-80 before my knee went boom again. this time i was frustrated as i hated being stopped. i resolved myself to laying in the tent for about an hour or so with my feet up trying to get some sort of knee relief. back on the track from 80-95 i was basically just trying to run as much as i could. seeing everyone out was so much fun and i tried to continue to have a good time..

at times when i crossed i heard people say that i looked pissed or too smile.. when i could smile i would. but honestly most of the miles past 50 were painful. i couldnt hide the fact that it hurt even when those around me were cheering me on.

at mile 95 the knee gave out.. i was beyond irritated. i was walking backwards, hobbling.. this fking close and here we go again. instead of trying to walk 2 miles an hour i did what i needed. i went into the snowdrop heated tent and laid on the ground. put my knee up for about 30 minutes and came out determined to finish this. as i got a decent little trot in i could feel the adrenaline kick in and when i hit the line they with 5 laps left they told me that someone was on his last leg as well.. i was like ohh really who… Robert Key…

I could write a blog on how wonderful this man is.. but thats not the point. he beat me last year by a lap… i know this because he has told me this… so with 5 laps to go apparently adrenaline can take over your body. i set out on a pace that i hadnt seen in 96 laps… determine to find Robert. I ran around the first loop and when i got back i looked up and said did he come through… No…. I was stunned. where was he.. So i started to run again… I got through another lap and No Robert Key.. what has happened to grandpa?

Along the back stretch with 2 laps left i think i found Robert. We exchanged words he scolded me for lapping him while he had to change his diaper and eat more fiber i think or something like that. I took off and headed back in for the bell lap. I hit the bell lap and grabbed my In Loving Memory Shirt that Mark had made me.. Kees Poole was the reason I was running and i needed to feel him against me… I ran around that track one more time, touching all of kids pictures and enjoy the moment.. I couldnt hold back the tear any longer as I wept along the Mt Kline hill. I stopped out of sight of the finish line to say a prayer for my Kees and all of the kids affected. As I start to make my way towards the line who do i see Tony Constanzo i think in any other type of race you might just pass a man by on your way to victory.. But this isnt those kind of races. I stopped for a moment and put my hand on Tonys Shoulder and thanked him for the support. We hugged told each other how much it means for us to be there together and that we loved each other.

The final 20 or so steps was one last touch of a child on a poster and hitting the line.. I would be foolish to say that i felt anything other than numb… I saw my friends, Kevin, Trish and Patty. Countless others congratulating me on the accomplishment.. It was a nice gesture and the buckle is simply put amazing.

But the truth about this race for me is that its truly about the people that run, the snowdrop foundation and the children we support through our running.

I had the opportunity those 3 days to see some amazing individuals do something incredible things. I saw many of my friends get 100 mile buckles. But the real gift was seeing us all run for such a great cause.

As Jered Mansell who won the event with most miles and a child cancer survivor finished his race the air stood still. Time didnt tick, birds didnt chirp and the lone sound were those of a young man who just gave everything he had for “his people”…

I can tell you that i have been in tons of races. I have put on many and will for a long time. There is nothing more powerful than watching someone sacrifice it all for something greater than themselves.

This is why the Snowdrop Ultra 55 is so important to me and this is why so many of us are able to accomplish amazing feats but for only a few days.

This blog dosent allow me to tell you the 100s of stories from watching Ian wallace crush his first 100, mark kenney get 2 buckles in 14 days, brian and jered going stride for stride for hours, linda with her unrelenting willingness to run, catra lighting up the track, franks selflessness to see others achieve, dee on the brink of missing the buckle coming back to crush it, becky “buckle” spaulding finishing a 100 miler and cussing at the tv crew, gordon christie fighting his ass off through injuires to get it done, Denise representing the AIR FORCE getting it done and did i mention Grandpa Key coming in shortly after me… And if you werent there you missed the Abney boys showing up for that buckle party or maybe Tim Neckars flying 100 with texas shorts… My point is that i have 100 stories from those 3 days and thats why I love this race.

I want to thank those who supported me on these efforts that I live. I want to thank all the Houston Area Trail Runners that came out to see us those days, I want to thank my boys at TTR timing for the support, Kevin and Trish Kline, Patty Godfrey and the Snowdrop Foundation. Thank you to Altra for the killer shoes, Trail Toes for giving me something that kept me blister, chafe and rubbing free. Epic bar for the grub, Zeal optics for the glasses, Hammer Nutrition for the gels..

Thank you to all the runners, volunteers, crew, staff and snowdrop foundation for everything you are doing..

If you want to still donate to my snowdrop page here is the link. Our race company Trail Racing Over Texas will match the donation $1 to $1 for race credit for any of our races as well.


A time to reflect, remember and honor life

As the dust settles from the Brazos bend 100 i have done all i can to stay in the moment. I challenged myself for 30 days with being honest about my weight, taking on 100 of anything challenges to keep motivated.

I knew that it would be really hard for me after the Brazos Bend 100 to remain emotionally intact.. The truth about the Snowdrop 55 hour race is that we run the race to honor our God Son Kees Poole who passed last year to pediatric cancer at around 14 months..

Below is the post from last year before I ran it..


You know it dosent get any harder when you lose something that is precious. I still cry everytime i see his pictures, i still think of seeing him dunk that little basketball naked for his birthday. Even as i try and write this the remembering of him has me crying without fail.

I have tried my best to keep the emotions at bay when I think of the race, or knowing that we will have his pictures there on the track. I remember last year i was having a bad lap around mile 75 when my wife showed up. I told her lets walk and we just cried along the loop talking about Kees and looking at the surrounding children that had pictures on the course..

But this year is different for us. We have grown closer this year to our Snowdrop Foundation family I even got an official jersey. We love the work that Kevin and Trish Kline do and we have been able to help promote them through the HATRs, Brazos Bend races and now with Trail Racing Over Texas.

But Rachel decided a few weeks a go to jump on a relay team and run as well this year. I didnt really tell her but I am SO PROUD of her for stepping outside her comfort zone and doing this. I also cant wait to see her on the course.

So here we are  2 days away. I cant fight the emotions anymore. I woke up this morning crying.. Its time to run for me. Its always been emotional and this race will take it all out of me.

So thank you to all of you who have inspired me this year. I have watched you all run, race and dig in knowing that this is my race to do everything that I can. Last year i did 107 in a little over 30 hours and shut it down. I have always regretted not seeing how far i could have gone.

With the support of so many, the inspiration from many and to honor Kees Poole my goal will be all 55 hours this time.

Thank you again to all the sponsors that have supported us this year in our races. Thank you again to the runners who ran our races and showed us inspiring finishes. Thank you to our Snowdrop Foundation for continuing everyday to honor these great children with your efforts.

Every step we take will be to honor Kees Poole and my job will be to take as many of those as I can.

You can donate here for my fundraising page and every dollar you donate Trail Racing Over Texas will give you that BACK in race credit $1 to $1. https://snowdrop.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.participant&participantID=1340

You can follow me through the hashtag #ultra55 on twitter or follow my facebook https://www.facebook.com/runningrobg

Big thanks to Altra, Epic Bar, Trail Toes, Hammer Nutrition, Merrell, Pocket Fuel, Bearded Brothers and Zeal Optics for the support this year. I know your products will help me get the most out of myself on raceday.

From Obesity to Ultra Trail Runner.