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Never give up. Never give in. Always chase the dream.

The title of my blog being Never Give up. Never Give in. Always chase the dream is more of an unexplained title to a blog that I wanted to write for 2 weeks.

At times I find blogging easy and others I wait patiently to get enough information to feel like it is ready to be written. I feel guilty to myself if i just sling a blog up for a few looks. I dont blog for people as much as I blog for myself or that person that reads this and relates to it and never comments.

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to work under the Tejas Trails umbrella for a few days. The last year of my life has been a tremendous burden of trying to juggle a company that i started with being led by my heart to other things. In this case I am referring to the wants to race direct, volunteer and spend my life around trail running.

So as the last week started I was so happy to only have to work mon-wed. I realize for most people this is a pipe “dream” I hear people say this is impossible, cant work etc etc.. all lies that people tell themselves to cover up the want v need debate… (ill get to this later) So i get an opportunity to head to Hells Hills and volunteer some of my time on all 3 days leading up to the race.

I get to spend a good chunk of time with Joe and others as we help to mark the last few miles of the course. It is a great learning tool for me to sponge off of Joe for hours, hearing his stories of racing, race directing and why he does what he does. I have the utmost respect for Joe and his crew and them letting me in is a very humbling experience. He gives me the real world knowledge that I hope to gain from as my race directing career starts to bloom. As the day end I head back to Houston tired, head spinning and full of joy… I am doing what I love on a thursday. I spend the night with my wife over a planned date night as I share with her the joys, the stories and the experience. She is so very proud and receptive of what I have become in the last few years.

We have a picture of the wall of our kitchen that states ” i love you because”.. Under this its empty.. We use a dry erase marker to write things to each other at times.. The one on my wall read “because you voice all your dreams and then you make them a reality”… This is why I love my wife she truly understands me at heart.

I spend friday running errands for joe, take pictures of the beautiful course and hanging out with my HATR NATION family. As saturday comes I am at the start/finish line. My roles change from crewing a talented runner in our bunch, coaching a few of my runners and working with the Tejas Trails crew. Along the way getting a chance to jump in the main aid station for a few hours and really dive in to help. And all the while I am watching everything happen.. I am watching the way Joe handles the runners, his volunteers, his help.. I am taking pictures of the aid stations, I am thinking about placement of food and what is getting eaten the most and why.. I move the containers around for an hour actually to see if this effects what runners eat more of or if this is just what they eat… I am happy. This is a dream come true for me to feel like I am finally in the moment.

I can remember something from the day that I couldnt put my finger on while I was driving home.. I often need time to decompress to figure where I heard something that meant something to me with all the information that I had gone through. And so as I go back through pictures I find the key. I remember a friend of mine telling me and a friend that we “were an inspiration”… I remember him telling me that he read my blog a year ago… And on this day I saw him finish his first 50 miler at hells hills. I remember just thinking on my way home how proud i was of him, of the 30+ runners that represent HATRs that ran at Hells Hills, and of what my friends have accomplished lately.

As the days passed after I was ready to write this blog. Well I thought I was ready i think. But something wasnt ready.. I set out last week 2 tackle 20,000 vertical feet… I have 2 torn places in my knee, one under the knee cap the under my meniscus.. Every since snowdrop the line between pain/suffering is very thin. With that I am desperately trying to find ways to stay active/fit since running feels like death. (surgery first week of august btw). So i have never done more than probably 12k but have been doing this every since I started watching John Sharp train a month or so ago…

As this week went on I stayed very consistent with my training as I just went after it methodically. I figured 2500-3500 daily id be good, through in 3-4 days weights and some yoga to stay flexible id be good. As the week went on I really loved doing this. .The 21%-24% climbing is really challenging but what a rush to get done with it every time I am dripping tired… I am telling you this only to tell you that the reason I dont think I was ready to write the blog is that I needed to accomplishing something along this way. I needed to get a win, realize a dream fulfilled before I was ready to blog about dreams.

So here goes the meat and potatoes..

I am big on motivation from anyone.. I think I am someone who rises everyday and thinks how can i bend the universe in my favor today. I wake up with plans, dream and hopes for everyday… I never go to bed or get up and think Ill just let the day roll how it wants to… I guess i truly believe that I have control over my life and what happens..

I want you to read this and not take “offense” to it if you can. I dont want to come off as an ass or someone who “happens” to get shit in life..

I want you to realize that YOU control what happens to you. YOU control your dreams, your wants and your desires… If you dont believe this is true let me give you 5 examples.

John Sharp just ran 200 miles non stop for 60 hours.

Last week a guy named Zak Miller who works on a cruise boat for a living beat every runner that entered the Lake Sonoma 50… ie rob krar, sage canaday etc etc.

Lisa Danielson finished a 50 mile run last november while still battling the effects of cancer and the medication.

Jose Quintanilla despite training for 5 weeks ran cactus rose 50 miler 1.5 years ago.

6 years ago I was just a 347lb man with no fking dreams other than the next beer, cigarette or lie to tell myself.. till someone told me that I was going to die…

I am telling you these 5 examples because dreams are what life is made of. Dreams are what we are supposed to chase, to work hard for and to SACRIFICE for…

It has now taken me almost 3 years of working 5-7 days a week 50-80 hours a week to get myself able financially, emotionally and ready to go part time to chase my dreams.. And to think 2 years ago I jumped into my first ULTRA TRAIL RACE never running a trail or a marathon. I am literally mortgaging my entire future on my dreams of being in the trail running business and it feels GREAT.

But isnt that what makes life fun.. I get pleasure to watch someone tell me that they ran 100 miles, or to watch Candice Burt put on a 200 mile race… I get goosebumps when I watch friends of mine grind themselves to a new PR finish or them work their asses off to hit the podium..

I am telling you this to tell you GO CHASE YOUR DREAMS! Stop waiting for the perfect time, stop listening to people who hold you back from being great. FUCK EM!!!! Got a boyfriend who thinks trail running is stupid… KICK ROCKS…. Have a boss who thinks that weekends are for working and you get 5 vacation days a year.. FIND ANOTHER JOB,..,.We as people are meant to be happy, we are meant to love each other and animals and to explore this EARTH.. Our bodies are NOT meant to be in a desk 50 hours a week while we cripple our minds and ruin our souls…

I encourage you all to do something this week that you have never done before and do it for yourself.. Go to that painting class, go on a first date or take a trip to somewhere new… Do something that makes you happy, without worrying about the world..

Be willing to do the work to bend the universe in your favor today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

john sharp

John Sharp running TIR SOLO 200 miles- an outsiders view

John Sharp running TIR SOLO 200 miles- an outsiders view

As the months leading up to this race i had been picking Johns brain about training, altitude, versa climbers and everything in between. I had seen the runs, the training that John was doing and it was inspiring me to push hard, farther and faster.

What john didnt know is that John was actually the first person of all the Tejas Trails people I had ever met.  See I ran Capt Karls night time run at Reveille Ranch that year to test my self out before cactus rose. I remember John Sharp there I think he was on a motorcycle or something badass and I remember seeing this guy with the tree trunk legs walk by me. I remember thinking oh shit… I am in the wrong race here haha. With no one with me at my first tejas trails event I anxiously headed to the line. I remember seeing all of these people shaking hands, talking and I remember someone saying hardrock and john acknowledging them that he did it.  I remember looking at him like holy shit…. I think at one point as he talked to others i thought i am in the company of some bad ass guys.. I think some of that made me feel great that I was giving it a go that day in some way.

Fast forward to about 3 months ago. As I watched John from a far I started to remember this above story. I have actually never Told john that story since I would feel like an ultra groupie (do we have those) or something but hey its the truth. Anyways as i saw john run some races I heard that he was going to do the Texas Independence solo this year. I thought it was a perfectly SANE thing to do and i was really excited personally to track  him. I told him a few times that if he/crew needed anything to lmk as I live here and the course comes about 150 yards away from my door.

As friday morning comes Im on the spot watch like a hawk. Reminds me on when I watched western states through twitter feed when we had a friend gerardo running. I remember we had a party at my house and I would take 10 min bathroom breaks to track him.. As John ran through friday i kept up and on saturday i saw he was racing towards my house faster than i expected. So we had a HATR dinner around 7 so I knew i could stay out but John was around my house at around 4pm. I got a chance to drive out there and see him and his crew. He was looking good and was already telling jokes (apparently he does this all night).. He told me he was tired which was no surprise as well. I met the owner of TrailToes.com (which is the best stuff ever) and we talked business before John got in. I met some of the crew, pacers etc.

I told John that I would be around that night and he told me to come out if I wanted to. I think in my ears that was an invitation (lol).. So as soon as I got home I told my wife that I had this crazy idea of following John around all night (thanks babe) she said okay and were off. Now the only thing better than crazy is inviting crazy on top of that. I called my boy Jeremy Hanson (crewer of my 55 hour race) I told him the situation. He drove back home filled the truck and told me he was in.

After dinner which was around 11:30 we saw that John was out of George Bush park and we headed to see him. Upon arrival we met crew #2 which and friends. John was already telling jokes again and we laughed a bit. He got up and started to run and we took a crew member back to his car.

We spend the rest of the night following John and his crew,pacers around. We did a little of everything,, Picking up coffee (sketchy waffle house), whataburger, quadruple espresso shots at starbucks.. basically anything that people needed we tried to help out and do what we could. We eventually left john at 8am after he was headed over the memorial bridge when the crew changed again.

So I pass up the gritty details because the reason I wrote this is about everything i saw, heard or did. The reason I wrote this blog is that I was a witness to something that I have never seen. I have never done..

I think the greatest feat of what John Sharpe did that day wasn’t the 200 miles in under 60 hours. Its the way he did it.

I think Jeremy and I had a pretty good sample (8 hours) from 12a-8a of what someone would consider the worst times. The night is out, there no runners, mosquitos, 140-160 miles give or take of a race. Honestly the way John Sharp treated the race was the greatest thing I have ever seen in regards to running.

Through the night John kept his sense of humor, i never ONCE heard him complain about anything, he never got frustrated all of which most people would have considered par for the course.

It was like watching something that I didnt believe was happening. Half the time Jeremy and I were in amazement with the pure joy of laughing at John’s jokes, talking about how BADASS this was or talking about how this was inspiring us to have more humility when we raced as well.

I read today that from TIR recap “In talking with John, we know that it was a goal of his to do this with class, levity, and kindness all the way through (as you might imagine, or have experienced yourself, it is easy to get a little irritable when pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone). ”

I thought when I saw that BRAVO John BRAVO.

You did exactly what you set out to do. You overcame a great accomplishment in the distance, the time and more admirable the way you treated others.

and in the words of John Sharp at mile 155  ”this is some gangsta shit!”

pocketfuel

Pocketfuel Naturals 100% Natural Energy Product Review

Pocketfuel Naturals 100% Natural Energy Product Review

I was super happy to find out that Pocket fuel would like to be a sponsor of the Brazos Bend 50. I have tried their products before when Lukes Locker here in Houston carried them. As we spoke the were very great in giving us some great raffle items and also asked me if i wanted some nut butters and some of their new cold brew coffee…

So i was super excited to get to try some more of the nut butters and this new cold brew coffee. I love coffee and I couldn’t imagine the idea of getting it in a pouch and cold..

The first to go down was the Chocolate Haze Nut Butter Blend http://www.pocketfuelnaturals.com/products/nut-butters/chocolate-haze/ described from site as Our Chocolate Haze is made with hazelnuts, almonds and rich chocolate blended together into a silky smooth sweet delight. Loaded with essential minerals – potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium – in the form of electrolytes. These minerals are absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream, speeding fluid to your cells to help refuel, rehydrate and replenish your body. Quick absorption is essential for warding off fatigue, cooling the body and achieving peak performance.

At first taste it was really good. Creamy, chocolate and hazelnuts where sweet but not over powering.. I really like the fact that the substance was “thin” enough to easily get out and in my mouth. I have had problems in the past with nut butters that are too thick and kind of freeze up in the pouch which is frustrating and time consuming while racing.

So the taste, consistency and packaging was easy to use and delicious.

next up the day after in the am I was dragging between doing some vertical mileage and lifting some weights. I jumped in my bag and decided to give the Cold Brew Energy Shot a try.

Mocha Energy Shot http://www.pocketfuelnaturals.com/products/cold-brew-coffee-energy-shots/mocha-energy-shot/ Described as Our Mocha Energy Shot is a rich creamy blend of cold brewed organic fair trade coffee with Chocolate and a touch of organic coconut milk to get you going and keep you focused. Slow brewed to reduce acidity, and enhance taste while delivering a great source of antioxidants.

Once I ripped the package open I went all for it. The first thing i noticed was the smell of the  coffee before it hit my mouth. Once I started with the gel it came out very quickly so the consistency was very good as well.

I thought the taste was very strong and very good. Reminded me of the first sip of a cold brew coffee with a punch.. After I sipped it I had some water and hit the weights. I felt the caffeine within about 10-15 minutes and finished a great workout. I also was really attracted to the fact that it only has 33 calories and was a natural stimulant rather than many other alternatives.

Pocketfuel Naturals also has a kickstarter right for this cold brew coffee shots as well  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1342278025/cold-brew-coffee-readyto-go

Overall I loved both products. I am constantly searching for ways to eat natural foods that are great for me and support a great company.

Both of them were easy to come out of the package which make them great for training, racing and using on the fly. The screw top and the pouch was easy to open and that is a big bonus.

Both of the tastes where as advertised. The blends were good, the consistency was great and flavors were great.

Overall I love supporting great companies that put out real products for real people. I am looking forward to using these products in my life and in my training.

For more information check out http://www.pocketfuelnaturals.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PocketFuel

Twitter https://twitter.com/@PocketFuel

 

 

ragnarpicture2014

Race Directing, New Opportunites and New Dreams

Race Directing, New Opportunites and New Dreams

With all the writing I have been doing I have for some reason stayed away from writing about myself lately. I think some of that is that I have been busy writing/doing a lot of other things and the other part of it might just be that i am still a little apprehensive to go back on the  share everything point of life. I am a very open person i think in general as i have changed my life I have put myself out there so to speak. I am not always confident standing in front but on the same token I like the risk vs reward of it..

But I think lately my aspirations as a trailer runner has left me in a position where my words have spoke more than my actions . Others have began to question my integrity , my fortitude and my ability to lead. These criticisms to most i think would have them thinking why me? But im my case you cant have the good with the bad in this life. You cant get all the spotlight and none of the dark.. The bottom line is that if you stand on the rooftop proclaiming to the masses that you are going to do something swear by it, life by and have people buy in then you better deliver. Because when you dont do this continuously somebody hopefully will pull your card and show it to you. Fortunately for me I have friends that will do that for me.  Friends that aren’t afraid of the reaction more of the pursuit of moving forward. And honestly its not a great feeling to realize that you have been failing at something in life. It really FUCKING SUCKS. Its personal, its irritates me and its a shitty way to live. But then again this is life. So with that being said I had chosen to give racing a back seat. As Joe told me your racing would suck wants I started Race directing… I think this may be true but at least I felt like I had gotten back to the beginning of running with all the soul searching.

I had finally gotten back to 0. When trail running was trail running and that each race meant the world to me and not just another race. I had spoiled myself with the idea that i could just jump into any race and get it done.. When things didnt go my way id jump out thinking there was another one later. This is not only a horrific way to think but its a cowards way to live. So with trail racing but aside I could focus on finally recovering, training and recovering like my body needed.

I have the great opportunity to be the race director of the Brazos bend trail races. I can honestly say that I have never had as much fun/work/sleepless nights obsessing about something though. I have been obviously watching Joe P but on events for a few years now, picking his Brain when i can and carefully noting the way that he goes about his races. I also have had time to reasearch articles written from Ann Transon, craig thornley  and the list goes on and on. I also have had many conversations with Dave James (the best runner you have never heard of) as well. As i start the process of making these events my own and adding my touches I wanted to get the best advice that I could. But putting on a race is like a large pot of stew i think. You have the many ingredients there but everything you add or dont add can make it taste great or like crap.  And the truth is that nobody likes crappy soup. So as i spend my efforts with organizing sponsors, answering questions etc I am giddy at the opportunity to be apart of the trail running community without the running. I cant wait to share the experience with others like Trail Running has shared with me.

I have also in this time made some connections that have afforded me some great opportunities. I had the pleasure of heading up to Utah to spend some time with Ragnar Trail Relays that will be here in the hill country in october.  http://www.ragnartrail.com/locations/hill-country-tx Some of the ambassadors from all over the country came to Utah to have a summit in the salomon HQ… I cant tell you how fun it was to be in the building on my favorite brand. I am a die hard salomon fan and have been since the beginning of time. I have always thought they put out some of the best gear and best athletes the world has seen. As I had the opportunity to meet all of these new people and the Ragnar staff I realized that these people are just like me. Trail runners are so unique but so different as well. We love to run, to explore and to share it with others. As we headed out to run in the rain and cold we fell in line just like a great group run does. Everybody helping each other along the way, chatting, laughing, falling (just me) and encouraging others.  The great part of hearing about Ragnar is that they believe what I believe which is to love the trails, love the experience and love the people your around. The people I met that day became instant family. We shared stories, knowledge, facebook and phone numbers. We started making plans for this year, the next and life.

All of this really hit home for me. It made me miss my trail runners. Made me realize how much I took going to trail races for granted. I got home and had the opportunity to go back to some people and tell them I was sorry. Going to Ragnar was like a revival for me. It really made me realize that i had gone off course a little and I needed to re focus my efforts.

While all this happened I had the opportunity to see another door open for me.  I always tell people that i manage that “hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard” its a motto they have heard probably a hundred times. but the truth is that if you work hard at something constantly over time i believe you get ahead. You get the “opportunities” other never get, you get the breaks, you get the “luck”.. The truth is that chasing dreams is hard work. Its doing things daily to ensure you have a future.

I am looking forward this year to using my experience in marketing/sales with another company in the trail/racing industry. It will allow me to chase my dreams of making trail racing my only way of life.

Brazos Bend 50 is on April 26th, 2014 at Brazos Bend Park. I cant wait to share the experience of trail racing with you again!

Rob Goyen

meetgreet

THE BEST DNF I HAVE EVER HAD

meetgreet

meetgreet

I think sometimes life is what you do when nothing goes your way.

This is the story of the week of Rocky Raccoon 100 and the best DNF day i have ever had.

The week of Rocky Raccoon 100 was the weirdest week and hardest race weeks of my life. My wife and I a few months ago went through a miscarriage which has lingered in our minds over the past few weeks. As my wife went it to a scheduled appointment on Friday the week before Rocky Raccoon we got news that she needed immediate surgery for things that had not gone all that right with the miscarriage. As the details started to come out I rushed home on friday to be with my wife and we started looking at options, surgeons, prognosis. She had an appointment for wed to see the surgeon and to find out what was next since we thought his surgery was on fridays.

As the weekend panned out nothing made sense to me. I tried to walk through the emotions of wanting to race but honestly I didnt care. On monday morning the surgeon made an appt so we rushed to the office to get his opinion of what was going on and how to deal with the issues. As we left we had a surgery date on wed and nothing but time. I started to call other members of the HATRs to pick up the pieces of the meet and greet that I was trying to put on since I didnt know what was happening. I had no clue on what would happen next or how she would be. It was the most helpless feeling in the world to have your wife in pain and not be able to fix it..

Wednesday morning we woke up and headed into surgery. Upon arrival we were told that our insurance wasnt any good. Interesting enough I had paid the premiums up till end of Feb 5 days prior.. As being in the hospital wasnt enough now we are in the position of having to have surgery and them telling me that I have no insurance.. Another great feeling of being helpless to the situation. No time to fight with the insurance company which we had been doing for days the only option at a hospital with no insurance is pay up.. So my wife and I actually left the hospital and went to the car to talk about options. I love the way my wife isnt afraid to walk out when she dosent feel like something is right. Its probably one of the coolest things ever. As we talked in the car we went over scenarios etc on rescheduling to fix insurance, just pay it and worry about it later etc. We make our decisions and head back in.

As I tell her good bye I kiss her forehead and text the “text my family” list as i sit down. 25 min later the doc comes out and tells me all is well and I can go back. As soon as I see her I can tell that she is in pain. As we get home I resume the responsibilities of trying to work, manage our house and help my wife. As the we get closer to Friday I am unsure of what is going to happen with our family. My wife tells me that her friends are coming over for a little bit friday and that she will be okay for a few hours with the meet and greet.

Friday morning I head out to the meet greet and eat. I had set up a little get together with some elites there in hunstville at the Five Loaves Deli. The place is a great little spot to get some fresh food and grub. Jose picked up Dave James from the air port the night before and showed him our local trails and his shorty shorts. Mark K grabbed dave and told he me was on his way. The strangest thing about all this is that I didnt know how this would all pan out. The night before I picked up some cowboy hats, beer from Karbach Brewery and some HATR gear to give to the elites as a homecoming to the state. So as I pull up the resturant is still closed and I see Robert Smith who lives in the area.. I think well at least i know 4 people are coming haha. I see Pam smith pull up… I know my heart stops.. This is Pam Smith people.. aka WORLD RECORD HOLDER… aka Western States 2014 winner. I am nervous I wont lie.. As Mark Pulls up I see Dave James judging on what I have heard Dave James is super cool and is like meeting someone i havent seen in years… I see Gary Gellin as well who i had no idea was going to come do I am equally excited as I know his resume is deep. As we went the building Ian Sharman and Connie Garnder walk in… If you are an ultra fun and you are standing in line and you turn around and see those 2.. Fantasy land… Move over brangelina this is big time right here. As they come in the deli is slinging out food and more people show up and we head off to an open enclosed spot.. Ryan Ghelfi shows up after this and I chat with him about UROC and how crazy it was since he is from out west.

Mark and I had prepared some information. Apparently I am not very good at keeping track of Course records or achievements. I think 3 of the 3 world records or FKT that i said had been beaten and it was overheard that i was pouring salt into wounds. Honestly I was just trying to give these athletes their due justice and thank them for coming out. So after Ian told us about the course and we talked and laughed. A fee of the HATRs helped me present the athletes with a upside down cowboy hat with beer, a shirt/hat and a sticker. I was very surprised that they liked the idea so much (but my wife did tell me it was smart idea) and they wanted to take pictures with the cowboy hats. The whole idea was to get a chance for regular joes like me to get to meet elite athletes. I think its the coolest thing to meet people that you admire. I think as they become more human to you then you see yourself doing great things. We also met Maggie there who had recently run Bandera and was back for more at RR100.

As soon as we were done I took Dave James back to the campsite and asked him to drop my drop bag for me since I was going to go back home. I spoke to Joe we laughed he joked that I had Dave all HATR out with shirt and hat and I thought it was funny. For those of you who dont know Joe… Probably the best man in the world. My wife calls him Mentor Joe in our house since she realizes that I have the utmost respect for joe and how he runs his events and treats people. He reminds me of the dad that I would have wanted.. Firm but cool as hell. I had home to the house to spend time with my wife and make sure she is okay.

The hours pass in the night as I lay awake. My brain swirling with ideas, concerns about racing, etc.. The minutes become hours as I finally leave the bed at 11am to head to the couch. I have to sleep. I cant run on nothing. As the clock hits 3 o clock i am up. I eat and my ride Daniel is ready outside. I get to sleep half the ride and we show up right at 5am, I run around getting all my stuff together and am supposed to meet some friend and coach at the start. Too chaotic. As the time counts down I just try to clear the space in my mind. Try to erase the thoughts, concerns, emotions from the slate. The only thing that I can wish for is that I have an open mind and I can take it all in stride by stride.

Within the first 8 minutes I feel lethargic. My legs feel like thousand pound bricks of crap.. I am wondering why the hell is going on . As I start to  pick the pace I hit the ground. I scurry to get up and laugh as I havent taken a fall in a long time… About 5 minutes later I hit the ground again.. This time I am not laughing as I start to wonder where this is coming from… I remember headed into the first aid station and being in a daze. My crew said I looked slow and confused.. Thats how I felt.. Once to damnation one I did what I planned. I got my drop bag open and ready to go for the day. As I left for the 6 mile hike from damnation 1 to 2 i fell another 3 times along the way. I could feel my right toe now  filled with fluid as it slid in the toe socks strangely. Once back to the damnation 2 i figured I had had enough. I had the aid station give me a trash bag and I put my drop bag into it and along i ran. I figured I wasnt going to make it till sunday at noon so why make my crew come and get this. Might as well bring it along if I was going to drop. I ran with the bag switching from hand to hand as I think it weight like 30 lbs along the way. People joked with me on what I was going i told a few of them I was a mobile aid station, or that I was in a tough mudder. But honestly Id rather joke than tell them the truth. But as I went along i saw maggie and told her the plans she looked strong and so did Ryan williams. I was happy to see them knocking miles out. As i came into the last aid station before finish I handed jose the bag and told him i was done. My crew did a great job on giving me shit about dropping etc and i ended up listening and just headed out to finish the loop. Once i started running i started to feel better but my right knee was swelling and i knew it was going to be a long day. along the next 4 miles i fell 3 more times. everyone of them hurting more than the rest. i was losing the ability to lift my knee up to clear anything worth a crap. I did enjoy the last 2 miles where people were coming back at us. I always feel good telling people great job as it seems to lift my spirits as well.

As I got into the finish line. Jose and jeremy did their best to encourage me to keep going. I did have to yell to get my point across and there was a few minutes where i probably dropped alot of f bombs and sorry to all the children around there. In the end Jose i think said if you are going to quit im calling your wife.. I guess this is like saying im calling your sponsor or something. I talked to my wife for a few minutes she encouraged me to do whatever i wanted but i told her i was done. I wasnt do much mad just couldnt explain alot of it. I told Jeremy that I was unwilling to suffer that day. Plain and simple mentally i didnt want it. So with that I took my chip to Joe and i told him it wasnt my day.

I called my wife let her know the DNF king was back and she encouraged me to hang around and help out. I really wanted to just forget all about Rocky and head home. I normally dont mind pacing, or helping out or chatting but I was just over it. Irritated that I told myself this year I wouldn’t race unless I felt good but yet I enter 2 big races and feel like shit going into both.. Then again i signed up for them months ago. I also knew I was going to take off some time after Rocky so I think i was looking forward to starting that.

But good things come to those who wait sometimes and today was my lesson. I spent the next few hours chatting with Joe about being an RD and how brazos was going. I got to talk to Erik about his new coaching opportunities at TrailRoots.. As the day went on I was able to follow our coach Michele Yates through some of the aid stations and talk to her brother and husband as well. I met the Ultra Sports Live.TV folks and had a great time talking about opportunities and the like in the future. As much as this is fun when someone asks you what happened it sucks bad. It really would feel better to say you didnt start then to say you didnt finish.. Just to tell you crew who gets up at 3am to see you run that you are done sucks…

But as I stood and talked I laughed with Dave and his gf and talked to Connie about her day. Then I got into an oddly strange conversation with Pam Smith.. We are talking about Brazos Bend etc and Joe comes over. Pam takes an opportunity to kind of needle joe about my event.. It was a mixture of laughing and me trying to back peddle to save my own ass at the same time. But in the end i talked to Pam about running small circle since she just ran Desert Soltice on a 400 m track and I just ran snowdrop on a .75 mile loop. I talk to her about her plans this year and what is next.. She tells me the plans and asks me well what are you running next?

Pam smith (need i say more) just asked me what I am running next (aka DNF KING-nickname from Jose)? Incredible..

We spend the rest of the day chasing the leaders like school children. Commenting on how this is better than racing. We are yelling at people like we always do, crewing Larry ” The BEA$T” Kocian on his first 3 loops and just loving life. I put this on face book yesterday but you cant compare trail racing to anything. The people, the runners, the volunteers the atmosphere is so organic, raw and spiritual. As the night starts to fall my wife tells me that she is still okay and just be safe. We head back out to catch some leaders and I hear Michele is hurting..

All day we have been routing for our coach and she was dropping the hammer on the field all day. But you know what this is ultras and nothing is guaranteed. As We hear the news that she drops we cant believe it. we continue to follow the leaders and I talk to some of the crews there and enjoy their company. The course was playing havok on some of the best in the field and it was a typical crazy Texas day.

We stay at the finish like to see all the big names come in Matt Laye won the event and Ian Sharman came in 2nd.. As they came in Larry came in for lap 3 and picked up the pacer. Daniel was done crewing so we headed to the car. Jose offered to go say hi to Michele but at first I was hesitant to bother her.. Jose then said some cuss words and I think ungrateful was a word in there.

We headed to see Michele at the camp site. We had a great conversation about running, training, whats next and coming out to Colorado in may. But the coolest part of the experience is that she is the coolest person i could have imagined. Everything you wish you got in a superstar basketball player or someone for you kids to look up to. No glamour, NO fakeness. I am honored that she coaches me (although I pay her) haha but I am so proud to be part of TEAM YATES and to watch her go after her dreams and she helps to guide me to mine.

And I take that away from this weekend. All of these people that we admire that run ultras are just like you and me. They have bad days, they have good days but we are all in the same club. I am always inspired by people that are consistent in the ultra world. Probably since this is a skill i have yet to master. I see people like Cara Bass, Richard Mihalik, Steve Moore, Nancy Marks, Steve Ton, Paul Terrnova and  the list goes on and on and I am inspired by what these people do to get it done race in and race out without fail.

As joe and I talked about race directing my first race I am equally nervous as I am excited. I cant wait to try and put on the best event I can for all of these people to enjoy. I cant wait to stand there and put the medal over Mandy’s neck as she get her first ultra medal and watch people get changed by trail running just like it did me.  I am honored to get to give it my all just like all of the runners, volunteers, Tejas Trail crew and people do at all of these races.

When i was in a bad place in my life for a few years you look around and think that everyone is either doing to die, end up in jail or you dont care. Its ironic that when you see the other side of life all of the opposites come to be. You can see the best in people at trail races, the enjoyment, the will of a human in its purest form.

So it was probably my worst race ever and the best day ever as well.

Thank you all that make these dreams possible for all of us.

Congrats to all of you who survived ROCKYPOCALYPSE 2014 you earned it!

rob

brazos bend trail

Time to race, organize and reevalutate whats next

Time to race, organize and reevalutate whats next

Well after the Highs of completing the Snowdrop 55 Hour race life has been a whirlwind..

As the snowdrop ended and the pieces of the story came to rest so did my body. I felt good despite the muscle/tendon in the front of my left ankle being swollen pretty bad. So as the week progressed It was a mix of icing, resting and lifting weights. I found myself in awe of the event previous but also in a different mental state.

In most ultras I have finished them and immediate began feeling like I was missing something. Its obviously a cycle of training, being in the race and then missing the goals and race because you accomplished something great.  So i was oddly positive this time after completing the race as I was very upbeat and ready to take on the next challenge ahead.

As the weekend came from the Snowdrop Race I was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to fit in work, trying to run Bandera in a week and also a cruise. And to throw in the mix multiple obligations for HATR nation, Brazos Bend 50 and my own training…

So with that I decided to go to bandera and try the 100k since i already signed up and paid for it.. I would have not gone thought if i hadnt paid and planned to be there since I figured I would still be hurting but I was okay with trying at least. I also knew that I had no pre planning for this race and that is the opposite of what i wanted to do. I mean no fuel, plan, drop bags or any crewing or pacing.. (yes that is a recipe for disaster.. take notes)

As the week leading up to Bandera came life was a blur of planning. Training was good and I was feeling better with my ankles, toenails were falling like snowflurries and i was getting a good groove… I had to work late and met with Patty and kevin at my house on Friday to head out to bandera. Patty and I had a great conversation as I drove to Bandera and Kevin laughed at us from the back.. We even jumped into Buccee’s to grab a die eyed shirt to offically pro claim us Team Buc cees as our group travel name.

Jose had hit bandera first so that the tent was up and we got there late around 11pm. Jose had the heater in the tent and we tried to get some sleep. Jose conventionally popped a hole in patty’s mattress so she spent the night letting Jose hear about it and sleeping on the floor of the pleasure palace.. Between it being cold, listening to Kevin sniffle all night and patty sleeping on the floor is was right near horrible and i think i slept .3 of a good hour the whole time.

I was told by 3 people that morning that they didnt think i was going to make the line… 1 of those people was me..

I dont remember a lot other than being tired, and foggy brained… I remember just sitting in my car with an hour to go.. Nothing packed, not changed, cold, tired and really not in the Mood to run a race…

But i just slowly moved through what i needed to do… Got everything in order slowly but surely and ran to the starting line with 3 minutes to spare. Jose pinned my bibs with seconds to go and there I was… at the line Bandera 100k….

As soon as we started the race my goal was unlike any that i have ever had going into a race.. There was no competitive juices flowing at all.. this was almost laughable to me as I felt so dead but i was determined to go out and see how i felt.. My coach had told me that I would probably want to skip the race and just rest as did my wife as well. But i knew in the back of my head that i wasnt running out of ego or pride. I wasnt trying to be stubborn or stupid.. I paid already, i had friends running why not just see what was in the tank…

So you know what is really humbling for a guy who just ran a 100 miler and had no major issues and the time of his life… Walking mile 3 of a 100k at Bandera… I can remember feeling great as I ran and I really enjoyed the weather, scenery and sun on my face… But my legs and front left tendon/muscle were not having any of them.. I found myself not being able to bring my legs up over rocks and they felt like dead piles of wood.

I turned on the gas a few times to see how I would react and I almost lost teeth along the way as my legs couldnt stand to fly downhill and I was having to sit back when going to run downhill. I knew that this was a recipe to rock face planting and took it easy..

As i came into the first aid station i think 5.6 i knew I was going to quit.. I knew i had RR100 in a few weeks and that I was set to go on a cruise the next day on sunday and it would be nice to enjoy the race from the grandstands this time.. As i was quitting I had someone from Houston congratulate me on the 100 miler and tell me I was crazy to be out there a week later. I agreed and told him i already paid and that was why… I ended up standing there thinking its REALLY far back to home base and someone said thet the next aid station was like 3.3 and i was like really.. (this was not true btw i think it was 5.0 or something)… I saw David Jacobson and decided to just try and get to the next aid station figured i might run 15 and call it a day.. A few miles in i had a nice conversation with a woman part of rockhoppers and she said that i looked great running and why was i dropping… ( i didnt want to talk about dropping as its a negative on a race.. i told her thanks but it wasnt my day..) as we ran along it was taking a toll on me just to pull my left leg up and i could tell i really needed to get off the course as soon as possible.

I ducked out as soon as I saw the park ranger station and they took me in. I spent the rest of the day like usual laughing, messing around and enjoying the 3rd place granite texas we got for the 3rd place in the Texas Trail Championships last year.

I decided to leave around 4 to get home on time. and once home my wife and I started finalizing packing for the cruise.

Long story short was we got on a 7 day cruise I had a good time with no internet and i did get sick for like 4 days but I did get some quality rest that I needed.

On the friday and saturday of last week I had the chance to have rest in my legs and had some of the best 5ks i have ever run although on the treadmill.

As i came back to reality this past week alot has been on my mind…

I sometimes have no idea why i consistently keep myself overwhelming busy. I am always taking on more and more no matter what it is.. But i think i like it alot. I just like the challenges of overcoming anything if i can.

So this week has been different. I am very excited about RR 100. I have never felt this good, my knee feels great and I have alot of confidence with my speed and my weight right now.. I am light, I am faster than I have ever been and I just ran 100 miles so I know what to expect… The other flip side to this is that I have never been satisfied as a runner i think so far. I think that Snowdrop really let me feel like i had the monkey off my back to some extent. Like i had been chasing being great at something and I finally feel like i did a great job… But know that I feel like I did that I am more focused on whats next instead of more and more and more..

What i mean is that i cant wait to run Rocky Raccoon 100 but I have no desire to race after that. maybe thats because I have a trip to Ragnar at end of Feb, or Help volunteering at Piney or a race to Direct in April… But my training right now is intense. I am stronger, faster and feel better than ever and I miss training as well. I think some of this is for the past 2 months I have races and I miss my HATR family. I miss training with them and seeing them..

As I grow as a runner I am growing in alot of areas as well and I think I am finally confident as a runner more than ever. I realize that I dont have to run every race, that I dont have to prove to myself that I need a finish to be great and that doing everything all the time like running had left me broken all of last year.. I think what happened is that I have pushed myself to be great at something for some good reason and probably deeply ego as well. But honestly i have nothing to prove to anyone but myself. At snowdrop i didnt go for the win (ie more miles) because i was always thinking still save what you can for Bandera… (foolish thoughts)… I still feel like i had plenty more to give that race and I didnt. This is a lesson learned the hard way now.. But with RR 100 around the corner I am happy that I have nothing in my future and i have the green light to have no regrets no matter what.

I told myself all year that I wanted to be smarter for 2014, diversify my activities and do different things. So its odd to me that my own words that i spoke to existence are coming true.  I am looking forward to whats next only. I have no races on my schedule at all the rest of the year and for once I am okay with this.

I am ready to run Rocky Raccoon 100 as hard as i can.

I cant wait to get to the line with friends, my coach, my HATRs and my family…

Rob

 

kees poole

Snowdrop 55 Hour Recap- The best running day of my life..

Its funny to me to read the last blog i did which was http://www.robgoyen.com/2013/12/29/2-weeks-of-misery-and-finally-cracks-of-light/ as I talk about overcoming being in a rut for a few weeks and i remember finishing it mere hours before the race..

one thing i wanted to do coming into this race was not thing about anything else. i stayed up 2nights before this race doing odds and ends.. work stuff, forwarding emails, writing blogs.. i mean i even lauched my first race as an RD which is (http://www.brazosbendtrailraces.com) early just not to have it on my mind.. So the day/night before the race I did my errands. Went out to get skratch labs mix (which is the best thing ever), some THunderbird Energetica Bars and K TAPE in case i needed it.. Just did everything I could possibly think off.

So here is the story of the Snowdrop Foundation 55 Hour Race. You can also read Jose’s take on the race.. His blogs are more comically while are probably more sappy. http://findingjose.com/2014/01/03/snowdrop-55-hour-ultra-100-miles/

Going into this race my goal was to get to 100 miles no matter what. I needed a win and really felt like 2013 has been a year of some great racing early and alot of injuries. But I have the best coach in the world named Michele Yates that there is… I know your like Michele Yates 2013 Ultra Runner of the Year as your coach.. Yes I sold my kidney to pay for her fees. (thats a joke… you should contact her at www.dreamliverun.com if want to really have a running coach) she has been training me for a few months. It has been a lesson for me in quality over quantity… I havent run over 12 miles in 3 months despite pacing a 50k.. I havent done over 40 miles in any week in the past 3 months… So lets just say we were about to put this theory of Quality over Quantity to the test. I would like to also note that I ran EVERYDAY before this race… another thing that Michele has installed in the plan as well.

So the goal again.. Get to 100 miles…. For myself, for my God Son Kees Poole and for the HATR NATION.

packet pickup

packet pickup

We showed up on sunday at 10am and I was first to pick up my packet. Jose, Rachel and I met up and started to find a place to put our tent… We saw another friend Maryann there as well so we said hi and said some dirty jokes about tent poles etc..

So we got everything unloaded and picked out a great spot just about 30 yards away from the finish like in between to restrooms and close to the parking lot.. I always want to be near everything If I plan on running forever.. So we set up the $40 craigslist tent Jose picked up which slept 12…(no one slept at all in the tent) and we set up the HATR tent and got the gatorade 5 gal coolers and tables ready for Monday am.

We headed back to the house and my wife and I decided to grab some indian food. As we talked over the lunch I was still unsure how all this was going to turn out.. .55 hours… 100 miles… a .76 mile loop….

Monday morning we wake up and head out to snow drop right on time.. It is located at Sugarland Memorial Park and is about 30 min from the house. We get there with about an hour to spare and then I normally start to go crazy… So im finishing dressing up, i made sure all my food was on the table… As talked about with my coach our plan was to take in calories every 15 min at least.. I was okay with this and knew what I would do so I filled up a 5 gallon igloo with water and mixed in Skratch Labs Lemon.lime and raspberry as well. This would be my constant flow all day and I had a bottle filled on top.. I also had a case of Thunderbird Energetica Bars on tap as well for when i got hungry… So Jeremy Hanson was our crew chief and we went over everything and got ready. I also saw one of our buddies Chris who recently ran our race in december and won it so I was stoked he was there as well.

I remember then saying we had like 3 minutes to go so I headed to the starting line. I could feel the K Tape nicely on my hurt knee and got my Yurbuds ready to go… I had the Sansa Clip + on deck with 16 hour of music so I figured it was time to shine..  As they counted down I remember being off to the side out of sight of pictures and of starting upfront. As soon as we left I made a couple of moves and headed to the front as the pace I wanted to go out around 9 min miles. I wasnt going to wear a watch this race but just focus on one thing.. One loop, eat or drink.. Repeat…

As we headed the first loop I noticed the guy flying in front was as relayer and that there was a female ahead and then me.. I was like what the hell are you doing in the first mile in 3rd of a 55 hour race… And then i said something to myself that I think was funny at the time.. I said who fking cares.. Lets just go….. I spend the first 2 hours realizing that Chris was behind me and it was equally encouraging as it was eerie because I knew how fast he was and i didnt know if I could keep this pace up all day.. SO i remember few things other than running and starting to get doubty around 3 hour mark.. I was like man i feel tired, like my legs were getting a little tired. So i started a great game with my mind that worked and taught me a lot.. I said (to myself) lets run for 6 hours hard and then see where we are at… So that was the plan/goal.. Run for 6 hours. Nothing mattered… ALong the way i went from the Salomon Mantras to the Hoka Bondi B shoes. I kept on my trusty Injinji toes socks and kept rocking… I had put some K tape on my right big toe before the race since I have a wart/blister combo that Cactus Rose gave me my first 50 miler over a year ago.. Around mile 35 i think i felt it really acting up so I decided that I would see if my BFF Becky would take a look at this issue. Sure as shit when she took off the sock blister #1.. I have never had a blister… I was almost in shock… But i felt really good so I was like umm what do i do. .She was like I am going to take care of it. 5 minutes later I am back on the track. I talked with Maryann and she told me that you have to get the sting out of the way then you can run again. I was really feeling like HOLY SHIT this hurts and how the hell am i going another 70 miles… one loop later I was back in action. Jeremy was crew master making sure everything time i came in the bottle was full and asked if I needed anything. My thoughts were always to just stay on the track no matter what.. I had a deadly little plan laid out at this point. My legs had hurt enough at 35 miles that I knew i had overcome the pain issue. My legs HURT but I was okay with it,.. I was like i can run on these legs ALL DAY like this… So i would just run a full loop and then step of the course about 5 feet grab calories and then step back on and walk about maybe 20 feet where there were 3 cones.. The last cone meant run.. So it became  the plan.. As I reached the 8 hour mark in my journey I think i remember feeling great. I have a loss of time at this point in my story as I dont remember order but there where a bunch of HATRs that showed up that day. Everytime i saw them I was so happy to see them and they all said I looked good as well. Well i felt FANTASTIC honestly and was just putting feet down and running. Around 8 hours i think i was around 35-40 miles i then put out my next goal.. Run for 10 hours. I thought I have a great chance to get to the 50 miler mark by then.. SO off i went down the trail… I remember realizing that I was in the top 5 at this point and i was happy with that.

50 mile PR

50 mile PR

Round and Round we went. I could see Chris and Jose as well. I was semi competitive at this point always wanting to try and lap Jose every 4-5 laps as a way to push myself around another lap.. As we headed into the 10 hour mark Jeremy told me I was around 45 miles or so as I was excited to get near 50.. (later timing with errors says i finished the 50 in like 9 hours but for the sake of the story and probably the truth well keep going)… My previous PR was 13:17 at Cactus Rose last november so even not running hard I knew I could beat it good. Some other HATRs showed up to lend support and super speedy Juan said he would come on with me on my 50 miler PR lap we laughed and i finished it at our calculations at 11:19 which wasnt bad for a almost 2 hour PR and with not running hard too much i was happy. Since this was a 55 hour race the game plan was always up in the air. I thought we would just run right through, I thought about trying to actually win this thing and stay on my feet.. or maybe event just trying to stay up all 55 hours to run. I mean i have never done one so I wouldnt know haha. But after 50 miles i continued to run.. Jose told me when he got to 50 he was going to go home shower, take a nap, grab clothes and come back out… I was okay with that until mile 54… It was a mile that i didnt like. I wasnt having fun and I wasnt tired but I was bored with the running. I had decided to either nap or go home.. We both decided to sleep day one and come back 7am for day 2. We ran hard day one getting at least 50 miles. Jerms could get some sleep and Rachel as well. We said good bye to friends and headed home… I checked my phone for about 2 seconds made a post and headed home with wife in tow. She agreed to wash all my clothes and dry them and I would just shower and sleep. I found 2 more blisters and popped them, taped them and got into bed. Luckily our adjustable bed I could put my feet up in and get some rest… Let me tell you something… 7 hours of sleep didnt feel like 2… And it hurt to move my legs too much.. It was very uncomfortable and i questioned this as soon as I woke up.

Day 2 begins as we wake up right at 5:30.. I am cranky. I grab some soy mile for my Vega Sports Protein drinks every 5 hours and hobble to get everything back into the car and get out the door. Rachel is telling me that life is okay and she starts to eat cereal about 2 min after we are supposed to be leaving which was 6am… I am frustrated already we are late, i need to be on the track and I want the FKING BUCKLE… thats what my mind is telling me… As we FINALLY get into the car I am all business. I really feel out of body starting now till the end of the race. Like I am narrating this adventure but its not really me.  I feel very robotic, determined… I can tell you I havent felt this way in a long time… We jump out the car I see Jose is there. I slap on the Desitin for the chub rub, change clothes and my salomon jackets on.. Strap on the Hokas with 4 blisters and some injinjis and see Jose walking up.. its 7:02 am and its time to grind. I look at the phone to see im in 8th or so maybe 10th. But I dont care. I am about to run this mfker in the ground and get my medal… The competitor in me says ” Go run rob people are walking and you can run this whole thing again…”  We start to headed out and knock our mileage again.. I tell Jeremy dont tell me anything about mileage at all. I really dont care where I am at as I need to just get in loops. Head down, same game plan. Lap, eat. repeat…. I find myself seeing alot of people though as the sun arises that are trotting so I talking to few people and saying hello. I remember maybe around 65 miles that i ran by a man and I said great job man… he responds with Your a FKING machine man…. I remember smiling and thinking what is our plan today stupid…

myfeetThe fear for me is that at some point my legs would stop running. Meaning that I would HAVE to walk… I didnt want to at all but I just KNEW it was going to happen.. So as I told my wife to come back at 4 pm at the aid station i though just run till 1pm Rob… So there is the goal 1pm just keep running.. SHortly after my feet go to the shitter again. I head back over to see Becky as she gets her kit our and starts to go to work. Poking, draining, taping.. what a woman.. She kept my feet in good shape all day and I appreciate her willingness to just keep helping me no matter what… Kevin Kline saw my feet as I pointed out these great Purple glitter nails I got donw for snowdrop haha. He says you okay.. I tell him ill finish in sandals if i need to but im gonna finish… Honestly I have no idea why I am so confident about this.. (again out of body person) So i think by now its around 11:30 by now. I call my wife and I tell her my feet are really messed up. I asked her to if she will come back at 1:30 earlier than 4 and bring the coffee and some flips flops because I might have to walk this thing in. The next few hours my goal is to see my wife at 1:30 as nothing else matter. It is  a short goal and I like it. Along the way on the trails I am enjoying the company of the others.

Snowdrop is about running for Pediatric Cancer and we are all out there to help those kids. So I got a good change to talk to Tony C (TEAM RWB) on some future projects together with the Brazos Bend Race and Team RWB.. I also got to meet Robert K. We shared some great stories back and forth as he told me about his journey to get to snowdrop. As we ran around I ran with Jose and the HATR NATION showed up in force. We had member after member show up and it was so encouraging. Many brought food or coffee or both. SOme of them brought their kids and I stole their kids goldfish and pretzels. As The next few hours passed I kept thinking to myself how the F are you still running Rob.. Like where is this coming from and when are you going to stop.. (again out of body thinking).. I remember saying i dont care keep moving… Around 1:30 and no sign of Rachel as she wasnt there yeat. I kept running now new goal run till Rachel was there with coffee and shoes. About 2 Becky had to leave and another blister struck on the right picky toe.. Jeremy grabbed her box I self drained and wrapped it up. I got back on the track and had the probably 30 minutes of doom between 2-2:30,… I waited for Jose to start another loop and we walked together. I need to get the sting out of this one and we just chatted it up.. He was doing he normal bushwhacker arm swing to move and i was trying to just begin to run again. I was telling him that my feet were a mess, that it was stingy and i was afraid i was about to lose my running gear. I tihnk after about 5 minutes he was like hey man stop being so negative just fking run. Be happy man. I told him thanks and started running again… As i started to run my out of body mind day got into my head. I began to thinkg what if i have to walk,,, i dont want to walk.. and just some really flat, excuses. I couldnt figure out why I had started getting emotional. Right at 2:34 i remember on my watch my wife showed up. I said come on babe and took a swig of coffee and started to walk away. As soon as I did as I asked if my wife would walk a lap with me… I told her that my feet were a mess but i was okay..

As soon as I did the emotions just started pouring out of me… We talked about our God Son Kees, how every step was in his honor and that I would finish for him. We cried alot, talked a little and got around that lap… When we finished the lap i went back to out of body mode and began to hunt on the course… It was time to fly… I Kept my head down and started moving again. Fk these feet, im not stopping running at all. Im going to run every fking lap from here till 100 miles and Im a machine at this point… I remember little as the laps just kept pealing off. I felt great and at some point while walking away i heard Jeremy say 78 miles. I stopped him said is that me he said no… I said for real tell me.. He said yes. I hugged him thanked him for crewing me and realized i am 22 miles away from 100 miler… Back to the track same game plan… Again I have time to chat with everybody. There is a famous Mark Twain saying that Ultrarunners use is “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” So thats what I did. Just cheered other people on as I ran by and kept running. Along the way friends showed up and we ran together a lap or so and just chatted it up. Jose was moving good and I knew it wouldnt be too long. Around the 5 o clock hour I asked Kevin Kline where i was. I had heard that a couple of people had finished and I knew that based on what i was running I had to be around the top 5 or so.. This is where the story gets crazy.

He tells me that he will check and come back after another loop. I hear that our friend she has one more lap left as well. I come in and Kevin tells me that I have 2 laps left… I say there is no way as Jeremy has me about 7 miles out… I tell him that Im not sure if this is right but I will take 5 more laps.. Just then I head out and Robert tells me he has 3 more laps.. When i talk to Tony he says well i cant have that many more… As I come in on lap 4 left, tony is announces he has had 4 and then says he will run 5 and robert now has 3 laps i think… So after 96 miles we are all there.. I pick up a friend and run a lap with my wife as well as we get closer. I hear over the speaker that Robert is on his bell lap one more to do.. I come in right after him and I have 2 to finish…. Robert yells to me as I start running that I might need to carry him on my back.. I tell him if thats what it takes well get him there. He is moving good i think with family with him. I am running with a friend and we are moving good….. As I hit the finish line Kevin starts to say 2 more then I hold my 1 finger up and he SAYS one more lap… As I grab something to drink i see everyone start to get up and head to the finish… I look in the tent and grab my HATR shirt to wear to the finish..

kevin and i when i finishedrobert and i One more lap…. .76 miles between me and the buckle.. Unreal that I am still running at mile 100.. And feel wonderful honestly…. About 1/2 track I hear them announce Roberts name as he comes in… I take a moment to just gather myself. I am in no rush to sprint and run up into Roberts party…. I take my time as people tell me great job and speak to all those who i see… As i round the corner I can hear Kevin start to say my name… As I approach the line a man infront steps off the trail and shakes my hand (thank you for the gesture)… I hear Kevin yell Trail Runner Rob just finished his 100 miler Snowdrop Race…. I remember shaking someones hand after i finish and heading straight to my wife… She was taking video and I remember kissing her and hugging her.. I remember hugging all my crew friends and family… Kevin and Trish told me great job and they gave a medal over my head and told me that tony was coming in… I just kind of stood there unaware of what was going on… I think in this time Jose showed up…. I remember hugging him and starting to cry again. I can remember telling him thank you so much and that I cant believe we finally did it. Jose was the person who told me 5 years ago to change my life, I in turn persuaded him to run ultras. We have finished our first 50 milers, 50ks and now 100 milers together at the same races. I tell him I am so thankful and we are gonna get it…

snowdrop finishAs Tony comes in everyone congratulates him and we get a chance to head to the banner to take some photos.. I felt like i was in the red carpet as Kevin and I took pictures together amid the 10 phones, cameras going off. I would be horrible on the red carpet.. As we finish up I take Kevins ear and tell him our story quickly. I sobbingly tell him how grateful I am for what Snowdrop is doing and how much I will always support the cause. We share a moment together as Pediatric Cancer is his passion for giving back as well.

As the race is over for me I decided to head home, shower eat and come back for Jose ( a common theme for us haha_…)  Once back Jeremy and Jose are saying that they are going to post the times/laps around 8pm and Jose thinks he is close… I walk around saying hi and hear the update is out… I am at 95 miles…. and Jose is at 90… I was like oh shit he is going to be pissed off… He thought he was closer than that… As he flies into rage mode I head back up to the maid station. Kevin tells me that there might be some timing errors and they will manually check the laps etc and make corrections. I tell him I wanted to make sure since mine says 95 and not 100.. He ensures me that I did the 100 miles… I have an uneasy feeling about this and head back to camp. As Jose flies around the track like pissed off Usain Boly jeremy is with him..

josejoseandrobAbout 4 laps in he says something to me at the table.. He says your really ran 95 miles Rob…. i told you…. I am not caught in a pickle.. I played by the rules, ran what I was told and was ensured that my 95 would be 100. So now honestly I am PISSED OFF… Im about to get angry at Jeremy and really blow my lid.. As i stop and think for a few seconds I just stand up.. My wife knows that I am really upset and she heads to the car to take box in.. I am in pants, FLIP FLOPS and toes socks.. FUCK IT i say i can fix this.. I need 6.5 loops to make sure I get this 100 no matter what.. So there I go walking along the dusty trail alone… I dont care at this point and I realize my pace isnt too bad… As i get lap 1 done Rachel is like what are you doing.. I tell her listen Im not going to let this affect a great day for us, Jose or the team.. I can fix this my walking the damn mileage and making sure it is right. This isnt about ego, pride or anything else. As i walk the milage i get to about 5 loops when Jeremy and Jose get to me. .I tell them great job and i see them running off to the bell lap… I end at 5 loops and walk a little to get to 5.5 before heading up to the finish… Jose comes around the corner looking like a bushwacker with a limp…. He comes in strong and does a little dance and lets it all out…..

jose finishingI was so proud of him and what he did. He fought hard all day long as everyone did to get his buckle. As we sat and talked he was going to get warmed up.. In Jeremys humor he asks me if Im going to go finish my 100.. So i ask Rachel if she wants to go.. About 1/3 of the around New Years Hits Midnight. We see the fireworks everywhere and even share the moment with a passing team of 2 trying to get their 100. We finish the look and start to pack up and leave…

I wake up on Wednesday to see the great posts and reactions from everyone who finished. I was so proud to see Snowdrop run to TCH that day and to see the videos and comments about everyone. You make a lot of great friends on runs and I really enjoyed the chance to meet all these great and wonderful people. As my wife and I had dinner with Kees parents I was able to give them the medal around my neck from the race. They told me they were going to enter next year and that filled my heart with joy…

Snowdrop was the greatest race of my life.. All of my training and hard work let me enjoy the race and run from beginning to end. I had the honor of running for the Poole family and for Kees Poole. Thank you to all my supporters Skratch Labs, Thunderbird Energetica, Salomon, Suunto, VEGA for making great products that help get athletes to the finish line. Thanks to my coach Michele Yates for giving me a plan. Thanks to Becky S for keeping my feet from causing me to quit. Thanks again to Snowdrop Kevin, Trish, RD Patty and all the volunteers and supporters. Thanks to my friends who i met along the way and will stay in touch with. Thanks to my HATR family for showing up like no one elses business. I love our CLUB and am so appreciative of each and every one of you. Thanks to Hansome Hanson for best crew manager of the century. To jose for being my constant source of laughter and hate..jk… and my wife who is so proud of what i have become and i wouldnt be here today without her.

So that snowdrop alot of crying (which I knew). alot of pain (which I figured) and alot of joy ( which i hoped)…

I wouldnt have traded any of it for the world. What a great few days and I cant wait for 2014 to do run for Snowdrop and Kees again.

kees poole

kees poole

 

 

 

 

 

 

rob

2 weeks of misery and finally cracks of light.

I have thought about writing this blog over the last few days but havent had time or the effort. So here i am about 3 hours before I go to bed realizing that if I dont do it know it wont happen as snow drop 55 hour is tomorrow am.

But after the wreck for some reason life began to suck bad… I know I am a positive person so sucking is a relative term but you know what i mean.

My great training and motivation dove s my knee swole up and started to hurt.. My work schedule began to eat at my mind and my wife was sick for a couple of weeks. I then added planning my first RD race and the normal running of the HATRs and a new business.

To tell you it was a long 2 weeks was an understatement.  But with all the travel, time working, and everything going wrong I just tried to fill the holes in the boat and keep going.

I got up everyday almost and watched some motivation videos on youtube. I read some information on encouragement and i remained focused. The harder i tried the more I didnt more forward… It was like paddling harder and harder with nothing breaking for you.

As last week started I was still out a car, working was driving me mad… Im staying up till 2am to get stuff done for the race and still nothing breaking… Burning the candle at both ends can be productive but can also destructive.

Christmas was another things to get through and I really had to stay in the moment. I felt distraught at times. I couldnt sleep because of all the things on my plate… But you know what I feel no pity so dont think that. I stay busy all the time.. .I have learned for me that idle hands are the devil… I would much rather just push all the time because thats how things get done for me..

So there I am friday morning at my moms… Phones ringing as work is in a panic and im not in town, the site and signup is close but not done and I cant do this from out of town… I have no fking car yet because haggling on the internet isnt fun for sales people. what feels like a thousand things to be done and i cant do one… As we went through the day I tried just to remain treading water.

As i got home I told my wife i needed to run… I needed to just get out and feel the air on me.. As I ran in the dry creek beds near my moms I wanted to get in a few miles. Really i just wanted to be moving.. I ran along the creek beds through a not so trail trail… I had stickers ripping my legs but I couldnt have cared… I saw some deer ahead and started to chase them.. As i jumped from a rock I saw the head of a 10 point deer down to the bone… I thought my mom would love it haha. As i chased the deer along the creek bed with one of their own in my hands I felt like the old Born to run book. I felt like a predator not the prey hobbling along like the last few weeks.

As i came up to the golf course I have 2 inch shorts on.. Blood seeping down my legs, and a deer head… I am sure they thought i was crazy.. But this little run started the feeling of momentum.. It helped me from being stagnant to moving forward.

As my wife and I slept in saturday morning we started to head out from Georgetown together.. We decided to get some starbucks to get us on the road. We were tired, weary and both ready to be home.

And i get an email from the guy out of town from the nissan dealership with a deal i couldnt beat… I had to go and get it… And with that one email the ball was rolling. I finally felt like something was going my way… I closed the deal on the car with pre approved financing in and hour and headed home.

on my way I frantically made calls as i felt the swing coming back… i started running errands at home getting food for the race… My wife and I decided to have a early dinner in town and it really was the best thing ever.. Just my wife and I talking, laughing and alone…. we to a place next door and got some house stuff on sale and had a great time just enjoying the life we are in.

i stayed up last night till about 2am to get everything done for Brazos Bend, snow drop and the new car.. I was tired but it was worth it… This is the final touches on being behind and getting stuff done.

But the lesson I learned or realized is never give up… Sometime shit dosent go your way. Sometimes trying your hardest only keeps you treading water but at least you not moving backwards… For me those 2 weeks were tough but when the flood gates came through it was all because of the hard work i laid in those 2 weeks. If i would have been defeated I would still be defeated.

Snowdrop is tomorrow morning 7am on monday. we will run until wednesday at 2pm.. I can only imagine the craziness that will endure.. I am looking forward to being at peace for a few days with all my family..

rob

car wreck

When to fight battles and when to fight wars.

One thing I am drawn to in the world of blogging is just sharing what I think. I think most of this is therapeutic in a way since I have no idea who reads my blogs. Its a great way to express ideas or thoughts down and seeming less move past them as well. So this blog I was waiting to right as I didnt think I had pulled my thoughts all together and a small act of kindness sealed the deal last night. So here we go.

 

Last week was by far one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Setting up a race and being a race director I am sure comes 2nd nature to most but not to me. It was foreign waters and just when I thought that my ship was smooth sailing everything untied and changed in a matter of days. I will though in this blog leave names out from the context to protect some identities. This blog might get me in trouble but hey ask for forgiveness not permission is always been my motto.

As the week started off Monday morning I took the week off work to get some personal things done. What I mean more.less is that I was going to work from home. I ran to the office got what I needed situated my employees and headed back home. I got home and started the finalizing of what we needed for the race. As i started making lists I ran and got the coolers from Academy and did a little working.

Tuesday morning I received an email that started the tailspin. It was basically from people involved in the race wondering why I didnt have permits for an event. I thought this is strange only because this isnt an event its more of a fun run that we are having for people to see where we run. Well instead of letting it fester and wonder what was going on I made my call to the city.

For me its hard to see alot of the city’s point of view of alot of things. ( i wont get into those) But there is one thing that is clear and that was that I was going to do whatever I had to do to get this done. I spent hours on the phone with the city pleading my case, making arrangements and building my case. I was fortunate enough to have someone on the other end of the phone that was receptive to the idea that I wasnt trying to profit from the race. Just bring people to the park.

I am involved in Memorial Park far beyond just running there. I truly care about the park and am currently part of the Volunteer Leadership Program and helping with input on the master plan. With that being said I love Memorial park. I want people to see the great natural terrain that we have. I want people to enjoy it so they come back and use the park.. This is why they made it a park… i think?

I learned alot through those conversations and that was a battle that I had to fight. The options were No No no and No.. Those arent acceptable to me as I am someone who is trying to promote a fun run to benefit the park. As the laundry list of rules, special considerations and thing i couldnt do came out I was okay with it… My theory is that this is a battle I wasnt going to fight. There is compromise at times and I had to admit my faults in regards to not securing a permit. Even after this I tried to get a cut/dry small permit and I was told I didnt need one… So with the city and I on the same terms I ran to the internet to halt the “advertising” and started to make the appropriate changes.

Wednesday I had the pleasure of speaking to someone helping me with the race and they gave me great insight and information to help me in the future. I was very anxious going into the meeting since it was on touchy subjects about races, permits etc.The meeting went well and I was relieved to know that my speaking to the city first helped me in the process.

Thursday was more of the getting the food, gear,set up ready.. With all the this FLOODING in the forecast I had made about 5 back up plans to race. I knew this day would tell me exactly what Kind of weather and what I would need to do to get the event off. But i was prepared from building bridges, to different trails, courses etc.

As Friday came about other emails came in which made me wonder about the sincerity of some. I was beginning to think that there was an underlying disagreement no matter what agreement I made that no one wanted to see me do this… It wasnt a feeling it was real.

Friday Night as we came out to the park I made a trip on the loop to check the course. I didnt really notice the closed sign for the trail since it sits there all the time and the gate was up… The course was FAST….. As i ran the course I notices the red, yellow and leaves covering the normally dirt covered ground. There was maybe 2 spots at the beginning of the trail with about 2 foot small patched of mud. Other than that it was in glorious shape and the creek was trickling at best. As I came in from my run I told friends how nice it was and we were very excited but cold…. Hoping the rain would stay away was still in the back of my mind as you never know in Houston. Guessing the weather in Houston is very similar to roulette. Just throw some money down and hope your right….

We marked the trail and I climbed into bed around 11:30. My wife told me that everything would be okay…. I hoped so. The alarm sounded at 1:30….. 2 hours of sleep. Its been ages since I have had only 2 hours of sleep. Well maybe since UROC and i almost perished so it my body hates it. I ran to walmart and headed to the event.

So at 6am we start the fun run. We had about 50+ people run and I was very glad to see so many people from here and out of town that wanted to run. The trail community is very supportive and I think thats why I love it so much. We are all supporting each other because we are in this together. Like minded people think alike.

As the day went through I was happy to see people having a good time and enjoy the trails. I heard from friends that people out of the area liked our club and thought we are doing a good job with the club. I never really sit back and think what do people think of our club. When i started this club honestly people in other groups treated us like crap. They would interrogate us, make attempts to discredit me or the group or just act like we were a nuisance. But you know what the truth shines through the cracks. I have never tried to step on anyones toes but on the same time I am trying to push Houston Trail Running. We are a big family with the HATRs who love running, racing and giving back. We have achieved so much in my eyes but to hear someone i respect in the ultra community say we are going a great job means the world to me. validation from peers is valuable, words from nay-sayers isnt.

As the 4 hour came around i noticed the city coming up. I was thinking this is odd. And then it happens.. war…… You know what happens when fire meets fire… Everyone gets burned. So as the city official and I began conversing everything stops… time is irrelevant, people and sounds. I just remember feeling like I was being backed into a corner and was given no choice but to fight back. As we went round and round it was clear. I wasnt giving up…. and neither was he… As the official left it was clear this wasnt the end of the war….

less than 30 minutes later the truck pulled up. instead of waiting i started walking. I wanted to make sure that this battle was away from the runners and was handled where voices couldnt be heard. as the city official and I met the energy was different. It wasnt the hostile, furious pace as the last visit. As with most confrontations with men there are alternatives. Most level headed people when involved in a confrontation take a step back, remember the context and steady for another one… We met in the middle this time. We shook hands both stating the  obvious of the previous confrontation and decided to move forward.  We spoke for a few minutes about what we could do as a group to help the city with the park and how working together would benefit us both more than ripping each other at the seams.

When the day was done I was happy to see all the people get to run at our home course. It was a joyous event and I was spent. I remember not much more of the day. I had dinner with my wife, fell asleep on the way and the way back. She was kind enough to let me sleep as I had nothing left to give.

Monday morning I headed back out to Memorial park. I had to run a fartlek of 48 minutes. As I left the park around 6am I went to turn left under the freeway at Woodway.. within the blink of an eye my car is spinning and i feel the impact of what feels like a mack truck. As i stop spinning i look up to see that my turn light is green. I am focused on the back of a car that seems to be driving away… I sit in my car helpless in the middle of an intersection during morning rush hour. The frame of my car sheered in half. Care wont drive… As I sit in the car I start to get out as i get honked at…. I think this is a dream… A woman comes up give me her info says she saw it happen but the other car left. I am thinking how ironic. As I stand there listening to people honk at me thinking wtf am I doing to do. A woman walks over and says she hit me…. and she has no insurance. Well im glad she had a conscious instead of insurance. Soon after the ordeal my wife comes to get me. We enjoy a cup of starbucks as we talk about whats next…. As the day moves forward I find the silver linings in the accident. I wasnt mean to the lady, I didnt have to buy gas I was low, I didnt have to replace my windshield or back bumper… I also needed to get a registration sticker and my car payment was in 14 days.. Since this car is totaled I win on all of those…… And yes I realize the HASSLE i am going to go through but hey Im alive… and thats all i can ask for is a chance to keep moving forward in life.

Now as I walked into a meeting last night for the park I had the opportunity to see the city official again and shake his hand. It was a reminder to me that people are put in your lives all along the way. Its my choice in how to deal with the battles and the wars. A truce was called that day and it made last night even better. As i sat and listened to the wonderful presentation give by Thomas Woltz (head of the master planning) of the history of the park and Houston I was very humbled. Hearing the men lost at Camp Logan, the history of the Hogg family really made me feel grateful to be a part of the park. I saw a friend of mine who I have run with and I respect in the community of Houston and running we acknowledged each other and continued on.

Before he left he slipped me a note. the note reads “great job on the turn out for your event! sorry i coldnt make it, but still sounded awesome”…. I read the note and slipped it into my coat pocket. I slowly bowed my head to hide the sight of my eyes watering. The note was clear indication to me that what I am doing is real… Its honest and people I respect notice it… Its that moment of validation for myself that helps me get to the next step.

I am constantly aware of inspiration. It is right now where I think I am supposed to be serving humanity. I see so many things that inspire me to be better and I am trying to put things back into humanity to inspire others. I want to see people be great, face their fears and conquer the obstacles in life.

There are battles and wars that we fight all the time. Most of them our in our own minds and bodies. We must fight all the battles and all the wars if it is something that we are passionate about and willing to sacrifice for.

We must Fight the battles and win the wars. No matter if we fail or not.

Rob Goyen

 

keesme

28 days of fun and then I run Snowdrop 55 Hour for Kees.

I am reading a book currently on leadership and how to lead people. I have been a manager or owner of a business since I was 4 years old so business is more second nature at this point. But I am reading the book as to add more skills or tools as I continue to encourage my employes and help them become better people in/out of the office.

Life for me the last few months has been hectic. While most people I think find day to day life overwhelming I seem to try and pile on as much pressure on myself as I can. But then again I really cant complain since this is the only way I know how to live. Going 100% all the time has its good and bad times. When i wasnt sober this meant the worst but I was still a kind person behind all the misery. Now a days the great part of being 100% is that I can juggle multiple schedules, events and things to do all at once. The bad thing is that when I cant do them and get behind my mind starts to short circuit. I shut down from everyone and start on a one sided get everything done fest which is if often a chaotic mess.

So the past few months I am trying to understand balance. I have seen that running 100% of the time, all the time, every workout dosent work.. Hence the injuries, time off and stress of financially affording surgery,shots etc etc… So i have learned this.. I think… Well my mind has been wrapped around cross training with the help of my coach Michele “BAD ASS” Yates.. She has been an intricate part of me finding my way in ultra running and also balancing more of my time. My week days are a lot harder on me now but I dont have to require so much time on the weekends. This has started the mental process of me seeing alternative fitness activities.

So I am starting the process before the end of the year to engage this next year in acro yoga, more yoga, cross fit, climbing and slack lining. Some of these I have done in the past most I have not…It seems strange to dive into another ocean of sports but I need the balance. I love to run as much as the next person but I cant just depend on running to fix every emotional problem I have. I have for the past 2 years really leaned on running to get me through the tough times and I know its one of the main reasons I am sober. I know I can run whenever I want to to find my peace….. But I am also trying to race as well and running has to be part of a plan and not just a spur of the moment enraged pace all the time. So with the addition of other activities I will find balance.

So with all that being said someone told me something recently that they digested and have let swirl around their head… When you listen to people often they say something usually a phrase that gets caught in the air. You hear it, You digest it but you cant get it down. I have found in my life that these phrases, comments etc arent meant to be instantly digested. They are meant to be heard, taken in, thought about and then acted upon….

So my friend tells me a long story of how his client and him are having an emotional conversation about life, positivity and change. She writes to him Post Script.. “You Matter:…..

What an interesting way to leave an email… YOU MATTER….. my friend tells me the long story of them sharing information, and how this makes him feel….

So the reason that I am bringing this to your attention is that this is REAL…. this is a true statement. not filled with bshit lies, crappy run on sentences like my blogs or artificial information.

Simple, plain and TRUE….

I am telling you this for a reason. I and this friend are soon launching a new business. The goal is to reach those of you who are making a difference in your OWN and OTHERS lives.. Soon enough we will launch our business and then drive the common factor that we know is TRUE…. That people MATTER. That out there is someone who has it tough… Who has been abused, hurt, fked up like us… Someone out there that has let life slip away, has hid from the pain and has lost themselves along the way.

And trust me I was that guy. I pushed away all of my pain of being abused for years. My dad beating the shit out of me for years. I ate what I wanted and I just forced it down. To the point where all that was left was a 30 year old man…. 347 lbs.. divorced, smoking, drugs, alcoholic…. wasting away….

But you know what happened one day. Someone cared about me… Someone other than those so-called parents i was supposed to have… Someone stopped me and said hey man you have to change…. Or you will die.. And oddly enough that was enough… That person ( who is the person above in the story) stood by me and gave me an idea. An idea that I could be better, that this life could change. That this life has possibilities….He made me feel like I MATTERED to him…

So the next 30 days for me are going to be fun… and then I run… (hence the topic)…

I have the opportunity this weekend to be a co-Race Director with a friend of mine in the group for the first Annual HATR trail race… I find this process to be wonderful in learning and I cant wait to see all of these people lined up on this little rabbit trail we call home and race.. The emotions, planning and anxiousness has really been overwhelming but I am so ready to do this..

My Snowdrop 55 Hour Race

The next few weeks will be my hardest to get through. This blog has taken me a week to write only because I have never openly discussed my attachment to the Snow Drop Foundation 55 Hour race much…even now after feeling somewhat prepared my eyes pour and my nose runs with remembrance of our God son Kees Poole.

kees poole

kees poole

My man Kees Poole was diagnosed with cancer in November of 2012. Here is a brief story of his battle:

Kees Poole, was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer in November of 2012. Since that time he has been under treatment at MD Anderson in Houston, Tx. Through 4 months of chemotherapy and 20 days of Proton Radiation Therapy, Kees has endured very well. Never complaining and continuing to explore the world as he grows. This past week Kees needed to be admitted to have fluids replaced do to dehydration consistent with his radiation therapy (his tumor being found in his neck, making swallowing difficult). While at the hospital Kees suffered a seizure and a subsequent MRI revealed 4 major tumors in his brain and innumerable cancerous tendrils permeating throughout. After careful consultation with his care team and deep reflection his parents took a courageous decision to end treatment for his cancer and bring him home. Kees is on hospice care now.

This was written by his loving grandmother to friends a few days before Kees Passed away On May 6th.

Here is the site for our sweet boy Kees Poole HERE

As my wife and I stood my our best friends side we were able to witness the power of love for a child and the power of a child. Kees Poole lit up everyone room he was in and greeted everyone with the joy that we should all have in life. We were honored to be a part of such a wonderful life that Kees lived.Through the process of Kees life we really began to see how much he MATTERED to others. How much one small boy could change the world with just a smile or a dunk of a basketball. He lived a life that we should all be trying to obtain daily. He was happy, smiling and loving no matter what.

I  write his initials on my bottle caps or my shoes and wear his bright yellow bracelet in racing. Its always there for me to take him with me on my adventures. I know how much he loved his mom and dad taking him on the trails while he laughed in the runner and I hope he laughs at me when I am falling or flying downhill.

So In 27 days I will stand at Snow Drop Foundation 55 Hour Race and I will run for Kees and a cause that he would have loved.

I will run for the life that he led and the support of Snow Drop Foundation in their attempts to help provided scholarships for college bound pediatric cancer patients and childhood cancer survivors while raising awareness and funding for continued research to cure childhood cancer. To support my page for this event please visit.donate to http://snowdrop.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=1006 

The race is from Dec 30th-Jan 1st and the event is open to the public to come out and support the race. here is the official site http://snowdropfoundation.org/event/snowdrop-ultra-55-hour-race-relay/

I am sure that I have no idea of what going to happen over those 3 days. But i know this…..

I will stand, probably cry and smile. I will remember the sweet young man that I had the pleasure of knowing.. and I will run for him.

 

From Obesity to Ultra Trail Runner.