4 weeks to snowdrop.. time to drop the fun.

Well we are officially 4 weeks away from snowdrop in my calendar. its always a good time for me to cut the fun out of my life and really start to dial it in.

last week my goals were to try and remain as consistent as I could with the huge amount of travel and workload that I had. I was on the road tuesday morning and didnt get home to the wee hours of saturday night. Like most lots of planned work in the mix so getting training in would be a struggle and I got fucking sick which i am still trying to work through.

I had a solid day monday of riding the airdyne bike for 2 hours in the am weights in the pm.

Tuesday was another good day as I hit the weights/rower for a few hours in the am before i started driving.

Wednesday I was able to get in 2 hours on the rower/elipical and an hour on weights

Thursday I took off due to an all day expo and when is started feeling sick.

Friday i was able to get in 1.5 hours between lifting and rowing but I could feel the sickness building.

I took off Sat/sunday with work, travel and still trying to fight off this crap show.

So all in all It was a good mon-fri being that I was traveling and I did wed night, thursday, friday and saturday all day on my feet doing things. So in turn my knee has been super swollen and really giving me some issues with the over use.

This week is Brazos Bend 100 week which means its another week of do whatever it takes, loading trucks and really putting a bunch of stress on the knee. I have been slacking with my IM fasting and low carb days so my plan this week is to be flexible and focus on the good. I will also personally weight myself monday as I always want to try and drop the Fluff as my son calls it before the race.

A few weeks ago I met someone who had never done snowdrop for the first time. I gave them a few tips on the race that I think are useful  so here goes my top 5.

Top 5 Tips to Finish 100 Miles at Snowdrop.

  1. You cant finish 100 miles if you dont stay on the track. Limit the time you spend bullshitting and not moving around that track. I have finished the 100 in some shorter times and some longer times but the work still remains the same. The more time you spend chatting, in that aid station and messing around the harder it will be.
  2. Try and get to 60 before the end of the first day. With the race starting at 6am if you can get to 60 miles before 9pm that has always been a personal goal. Some years I have the 1st 2 and last year my knee blew up early and I didnt even get to a fucking marathon by 9pm. But I also remained focus on #1 and got it done despite the 53 hour time stamp.
  3. Bring every type of clothing and shoe you have known to man. I have seen the temps be hot enough to wear a singlet and cold enough to have 3 layers on. Its been so windy your lips hurt and its been so wet we ran in panchos for hours. It is December in Houston folks anything will happen. Bring all you have and hope you dont need anything else.
  4. Its a timed event not a distance event. What this means is that you can go as much as you want for the 55 hours. While many folks target 100 miles some target 150 or even 200. All of this means you have to change your perception of what you want to try and do. Planning is key if you you are really going for some longer mileage.
  5. The most important one of all- Remember the reason you are on that track. We are all on the track to help raise money and spread awareness about pediatric cancer via the Snowdrop Foundation. The pictures of the kids, our own stories and those folks out there are all behind you to keep pushing like the kids have. It is emotion, it is raw but it is worth it.

So with this week being another crazy one its time to keep it consistent as I will probably put some time back on the road to get my body out of rowing mode and get some miles under my feet. The fun is over time to grind it out.

5 weeks to snowdrop and the saltwater cure.

5 weeks to snowdrop and the saltwater cure.

I should have blogged as advertised at least 2x time since the last. I have failed but will not quit. 

So there is a really good quote that speaks to my heart every time.

“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea. ” —Isak Dinesen

Shortly after coming home from the 2 weeks that was the franklin mountains I had a good solid week of training which was this last week. I have been building towards a 100 mile attempt on an assault bike, im rowing again like a champ and ive been lifting daily. My diet has been a bit carby with the thanksgiving treats wafting in the late night air. But nonetheless have found myself feeling strong and already feeling the impeeding emotions of training for snowdrop.

The quote speaks to me as I feel more raw than I have in sometime. For me every glance at the pictures of my snowdrop kids I run for has me shedding tears and my mind keeps playing the memories over again. Every night as I head upstairs i see the beautiful smile of Dezma and our God son Kees sweet gestures on the picture that i have laminated. That picture has been with me for so long and as of today will be with me wherever I go.

But with the emotions in my heart comes the responsibility that I still have to finish everything that I have started to get there. I have had the displeasure the last 2 years of having my knee give me tremendous issues early and make it tough to finish. I can remember last year after getting a 45 min nap around 3am I got up for the jeep. Tommy my friend saw me and neither of us though I could go another step at mile 82.

I can remember telling tommy to grab a red bull for me from the aid station… The truth is that i asked him to leave so that I could cry alone because I thought that is how it would all end after 4 years. I was fortunate that my heart spoke louder than my knee and we were able to get it done despite the 53 hour shitshow.

So as I sat in a bath this afternoon trying to get this knee to stop swelling I see a post that I was tagged in on instagram. A post from an amazing runner http://instagram.com/anna.in.the.mountains

As I read the post I thought how similar our lives are at times. Anna dosent know but I used to sit on those oil rigs on the gulf as well wondering what would become of my life at 300+ lbs. But with a simple post thanking me for inspiring her she paid it back all in one second.

It was for me the reminder that despite my unwanting to blog about how I feel I have made a commitment to do so and how much I must keep pushing no matter how comfortable that is.

 

 

So here we go last 4 weeks of training and a week off. I WILL DO a great job this week of showing everything I can because im at TRE all week. So it will be a crazy week of trying to fit in workouts, doing it out of air bnb and gyms. So since we do travel a ton here is my 5 tips on getting workouts in on the road.

  1. Bring equipment with you.. I will bring my push ups bars, knee pad, kettle bell and bands with me on the trip. This way i can get full body workouts and also be able to do solid glute work as well with ease.
  2. Check local gyms and memberships before you go. I have a national 24 hour memberships so in Austin this works well but I have gotten $10 a week memberships or $25 monthly and cancel them after a month. But if you are heavy into a training program you cant afford to miss a week off.
  3. Be flexible.. This week will be crazy for me since I have obliations, I have a lot of smoozing to do and I have no idea what my schedule will be.
  4. Key workouts come first- I try and schedule my long hikes, rows etc when i know I have time like before big expo days or days off. I never think I am going to squeeze in a 2 hour hard row at 10pm after a day walking in an expo.
  5. dont give up on the week no matter what you cant get in..

So here is my “goals” for the week and the usually the last 4 weeks of training for me its a volume week. meaning i stop doing a ton of super heavy lifts and stick to more reps/sets etc.

40 miles hiking, 40 miles on the rower, 60km on the assault bike- 5 sessions of lifting- volume (abs, step ups, pushups).

So im going to start the next blog since ill have my computer and can just log in.. Maybe ill even break it up.. the sky is the limit.

 

 

 

 

Digging in and Digging Deep 8 weeks till Snowdrop

I have for the better part of the last few years been running away from having full knee surgery over and over. I have already had 2 knee surgeries and have already known that I just need a whole new knee to replace this piece o shit that i currently get to use.

And yes whenever i post I am nervous about knee surgery 300 people tell me that Im going to be okay and their in the health care field and see it all the time. I get that but You are talking about people that I dont know I am talking about my own  body here. You dont know that Im going to be okay and you cant guarantee that ill come out with stars and unicorns. This as you can see is why i havent scheduled it previously because I dont like the unguarantee since ive already been through this 2x with NO HELP.

But…

What i do know mentally is that having the knee surgery planned for the end of may gives me a sigh of relief to plan my next adventure, our summer and beyond. I am a planner at heart and I hate suprises more than people can imagine. Part of why i love race directing is trying to put myself in the situation so that I can see the fix before it becomes a problem.

So last weekend I had the opportunity to jump into a 50 miler and get it done with some good friends of mine. I do say jump into as I had been for the past 6-8 weeks training to hike a 224 mile road course known as the El Camino De Lavaca about 10 days before then. I have it a go with only having one day of full rest from Orion but with my knee already blown up from the race weekend I only got in about 6 hours and I had to call it. I was mentally ready for 4-5 days of an all our grinder but it just wasnt in the cards. A friend of mine commented on how I can jump into a 50 miler with no training. I thought it was super funny that he assumed that I didnt train for it and because I dont “post” every workout I do on social media that I didnt do something.

Truth is that I have 2 things always going for me.. I have a 6 year continuous history of endurance sports and I really love to suffer mentally. The one thing that has hindered me for the 6 years is I have always had a bum knee. I mean i ran my first ultra in 2012 and had knee surgery 3 days after running my first 50 miler on a torn knee then.

So i am presently coaching/helping a couple of people who reached out to me to reach some big goals they have coming up. I am really strict about logging runs etc but I myself dont log a bunch of stuff that I do. I kind of just say hey im going to workout 2-3 hours a day week days and 3 hours sat/sunday. I do a variety of thing ranging from hiking, treadmill walks, tirepulls, crossfit, traditional body building and of course rowing. I also do some other random stuff like strenth under pressure, slide boarding, sauna etc.. I do a ton of different stuff because a) my knee hates running and b) i would rather be strong than fast both professionally and in life. If I dont honestly work on keeping big muscles strong than it effects my daily life.

 

So the last 2 years leading up to snowdrop I had these 8-12 week blocks of training where I ran a bunch tried to get super fit and then headed into the race. Both of those races were the absolute most painful things i have ever done. I think i finished a 100 miles in like 52 and 53 hours with the last one me getting a 45 min nap between day 2-3.. What was even worse was that I couldnt use my right leg to drive for 4 months after that race. I was driving left footed everywhere and would have to pull over while driving to ease the pain often.

So this year I made changes early in the season to fix all of that with rowing. I rowed for 100 miles in late april and as I rowed I got stronger. As i got stronger my knee got more stable and I have been able to hike more than ever. So that leads us to today.

I am about 8 weeks away give or take a few days from the Snowdrop Ultra 55 Hour race. Although I am plain TERRIBLE at keeping track of workouts I am going to do it for the next 8 weeks via this blog. I will also drop some posts on what I think are really important to finish snowdrop since I have finished it 4x in a row with over a 100 miles. I have also never videod any of the crazy shit i do in the gym but I am really going to make a real effort to do that as well.

 

So i think it will be fun to try to do it 8 weeks which is manageable and to be honest Im terrible at logging stuff so it will be a challenge to do it.

So here is do Day 1 of Week 1. Time to check all my stats so I can get baselines and im  4 days off of relaxing from Cactus Rose so its time to start working again.  And since my birthday is coming up I think ill buy another Fit bit this week. I really enjoy having one for resting HR, sleep time and overall HR stuff. Easy as well on the road which ill be for the next few weeks.

Goals for the week (Thursday-Thursday) 40 miles hiking, 40 miles rower, 4 workouts.

Intermittent Fasting Goals: Avg 14 hour days

Food Diary Goals: less than 75 grams of carbs a day.

 

Thats the plan.. well see how it all goes down week 1.

 

 

The hardest part of working hard is stopping.

I have for the better part of my life resisted the part of the training that involves rest. It is a great weakness that I have in my own athletic accomplishments but a positive in business.

As i prepared for what I would be my last week of push on the rower I had to take a step back on monday am. We were fresh off a long race weekend, my legs hadnt coming back around from standing up for 2 days with limited sleep and I was tired. Despite this I knew that I had put in the work and that the week would be something I would still go after.

 

My Tuesday/Wed workouts were big, they were good and I watched my HR sit comfortably. I have been battling a tennis elbow like hurt in my left elbow from lifting some heavy weight the week before and my right knee was swelling from the weekend. As Thursday approached I was in a position that I usually fail in.

I was in the position where I know I have put in the work over the past 6 months but I still want more before the goal. I in my own mind wanted that last week confidence booster but my body was getting torn apart just to see it happen. In 2013 i ran 3 100 mile weeks back to back to back in search of fitness for the Grasslands 50M. Going into the race I knew that my hip flexors felt like there were going to pop at any time and therefore at mile 18 they did. I dont tell the story of me doing 3 100 mile weeks because the end results is a big DNF at a race that has beat me so many times.

So as I go to grab the keys off the key ring i cant.. My elbow pulses with pain, my grimace shows what I cant hide and my observant  wife asks why I am still going. Shes right as in most time with my training but I dont want to hear that. I want to find that other gear, I want to push through that pain and I want more meters.

 

After taking the day off I realize that while i might be able to tell people i did another 161k 100 mile week on the rower what would my story be if I only did 6 hours of the 24 hours. I already know its going to be hard, I already feel the anxiousness of trying it for 24 but did I want that to be the end of the story.

So with that I officially shut it down saturday after rowing for about 15min. My HR was about 98 bpm at race pace of 5500 meters per 30 min. That gives me a cushion of about 1000 meters an hour which should warranted a restroom break or 2 an hour to stay on pace.

 

As much as I would love to go 241,000 metres or 150 miles in 24 hours the truth is I am just going to get to enjoy seeing what I can do as a person. Im not really worried about my cardio at all but I just wonder what kind of muscular endurance I will face after 10-12 hours. I wonder how I will feel grinding meters at 2am or what I will think when it becomes not fun anymore.

And the most important part of it all is that I get to row for so many who cant and for the wonderful Wings For Life Foundation. My time on that rower serves as a vehicle to help those who need it and dont get the opportunities I do in life.

So for once in my life I shut it down before I burned in hot. I took of sunday enjoyed indian food and nachos. This morning I got my normal post 2 weeks diet on track and ready to roll. Im looking forward to being as lean as I can, well rested and ready to fight for every meter in 24 hours. Im grateful for Rachel always being the smart one in my life and giving me a push to shut it down.

Dont forget Friday April 28th at 7am is when I start and Im rowing for the Wings for Life Foundation. I will be on FACEBOOK LIVE http://www.facebook.com/runningrobg the entire time so you can watch. Some people have donated straight to the site (SO THANK YOU ALREADY) and some are pledging $1 per 10,000 meters=$24 or $200 if I can do 241,000 meters. But let it be clear I thank you for wanting to watch me do this and I am grateful for each penny that goes to the Wings for Life Foundation. The charity gives a REAL 100% to Spinal Cord Reseach and I will think of them while i row. https://fundraising.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/us/EN/2baba7f0f8cd11e6aa120a9de91963

Full of Fire

One last week and im full of fire.

This past weekend really meant a lot to me as a person who draws on inspiration. I got the chance to basically sit at the start and finish line of so many peoples journeys again at the Brazos bend 50. I always tell people that I get to watch amazing stories unfold in my eyes and then use them for the fire in my own life.

From yelling at Aaron to finish what he started, from watching Steve/Roy grind out that last few miles with the clean up crew behind them and my first ever athlete i have coached winning the 50 miler.

 

Despite the weeks worth of prep work, the 3 hour of sleep i got in the front of a uhual truck cab before the race or the opening of a trailer to clean when my legs still ache its all worth it.

Its worth it to chase your dreams, its all worth it to watch others chase theirs and its truly what i love to do.

So here is my big last workout week for my own personal goals. 161,000 meters on the rower will get me a 100 mile week and my last push for fitness. I am 20 days away from starting a 24 hour row fest to benefit the Wings for Life Foundation.

So this week is my transparency week for workouts, hr and how I have been getting it done. So here is the plan of the week and I will post a sunday evening blog on exactly how the week panned out. With this much rowing on deck I have put off some items to do on my personal schedule and may miss some lifting due to fatigue.

Goal is set at 161k meters for the week also equal to 100 miles.

Mon- 10,000 meters at 100-110 hr bpm easing into the week and my work schedule is heavy this day.

Tues- I will split 2 10ks on the rower. Both of them going for a bit higher HR in the 130-140 range.

Wed- 15k in the am and 15k in the pm with a block under the front of the rower for some added pull.

Thurs 20k one pull hopefully early in the am. Should be a good solid 2 hour effort.

Fri- 15k meters at 100-110 hr avg easy race pace. Should take around 90 min.

Sat- 2 hour row at race pace 120 hr avg 23,000 meters.. With us having a day at the warhouse I will get to row while people are running on the treadmill so should be able to get in 2-3 hours of rowing.

Sunday- 3 hour row at race pace- 120 HR avg 33k meters. I have nothing on the schedule so this will just be a tough final session to know the work is completed and ready to roll.

 

A few items to note is that my heels have been sore from form issues when I am rowing really hard or going after short tabata pulls. So I will stay away from any short intense pulls this week while i focus on the endurance end. My knee has always swelled since I decided to run last week so ill nix all box jumps, running at all and heavy weight lifting to preserve as much strength as needed to get in all my rowing goals.

 

So in a nutshell it I will spend about 15-18 hours on the rower this week as its my last big push for fitness.

 

Dont forget Friday April 28th at 7am is when I start and Im rowing for the Wings for Life Foundation. I will be on FACEBOOK LIVE the entire time so you can watch. Some people have donated straight to the site (SO THANK YOU ALREADY) and some are pledging $1 per 10,000 meters=$24 or $200 if I can do 241,000 meters. But let it be clear I thank you for wanting to watch me do this and I am grateful for each penny that goes to the Wings for Life Foundation. The charity gives a REAL 100% to Spinal Cord Reseach and I will think of them while i row. https://fundraising.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/us/EN/2baba7f0f8cd11e6aa120a9de91963a

Rowing Setup and Training

 

Well since I have no friends in life that enjoy rowing much like I did with trail running I have been getting tons of questions on setup for the rower and training as well. So my #2 entry will be on what I have been doing for training, the setup and items I am using. Next week I am going for 160k so my blogs will be workout based leading up to the final 2 weeks.

 

Equipment for Rowing:

I bought a concept 2 rower as I started to get really serious about training for the event. Much like when I trained for mountains I bought a treadmill as well. So the concept 2 rower come with this amazing PM5 computer attached to it. This thing has a ton of options and features that I wanted including wireless and Bluetooth.  With those capabilities i turned to polar which is who i use for my HR watch for a HR belt that would read on the PM5 and also started using the app live rowing as well to track my stats. I am runningrobg on the live rowing app and will be trying to use it for the 24 hour row as well.

With the time i have been putting in a rower since november I did find a few more thing useful along the way. I used gloves and/or tape as my pads on my hands began to form. Now that i have been rowing often easy efforts like 1-2 hours done really requite too much prep but i will use trail toes tape on my hands and also use the lube for the ankles and other areas as needed. I also in the process bout 2 different pads fo the rower 1 is just a small pad that can be used on any rower with a non slip side to it.. The other is from hornet and is actual molded to the seat i have so it just stay on there the entire time. I wanted to have the small easy one to take if i was going to crosssfit fulshear or 24 hour fitness to work out.

 

My other big change is using a skirt to row in. As much as this might sound odd i dont think i would be able to do this if I wasnt able to find something that was helping me and not hindering me. I have a great friend Julie Millen who owns http://www.joulesathletics.com who i told her about me wanting to try one of her skirts. The truth is that my thighs are growing from rowing and shorts began to ride all the time. I also knew with that much time on my butt that i wanted a double layer of apparel to make sure i didnt chafe or run. So the skirts where the next choice to give a go.. So I am 100% rowing in a skirt and it is the best choice I could have made. Her skirts have sticky under sides that stay in place, the material is light and it fits great.

So the basic items that I have used are above. I have been doing similar that I have done for long endurance events in regards to nutrition as well. I like tailwind to drink, mas korimas kormalitas as cookies and red bull for the boost.

Science of Training:

I recently did do a lactate threshold test at memorial hermann on shepard square the cost is $150 for the session. The basics for me was that I would hold a certain wattage for 3 min on the rower. After 3 min they would prick my finger read it and assign another bench mark. We ended up doing 10 data points which was great to see the lactate curve. I have never had one of these done as a runner but love the data and seeing it. The chart really showed me where I was on the rower and confiedm my zones that I had thought as well in my own mind. So i was excited to see the work I have done paying off and also the zones that I need to stay in for the 24 hour row.

I have been self coaching myself for the last few months on the rower. I have been lately trying to stick with mixing in shorter faster high end sessions like 1-5 min all outs, tabata and 20 sec intervals. The other 80% of the time i have been focused on endurance training which is good sessions at 120-135 hr. I have also been able to lower my stoke rate from a 28-29 when i started a few months ago down to a 24-25 stroke rate which will help me over the time that I will be rowing.

 

So that is the basis of my equipment i have been using, the training and some of the prodcuts that I am using as I train. Next week I will lay out my weeks plan which should have me shooting for around 160k for the week as it is my last training week.

 

Dont forget Friday April 28th at 7am is when I start and Im rowing for the Wings for Life Foundation. Some people have donated straight to the site (SO THANK YOU ALREADY) and some are pledging $1 per 10,000 meters=$24 or $200 if I can do 241,000 meters. But let it be clear I thank you for wanting to watch me do this and I am grateful for each penny that goes to the Wings for Life Foundation. The charity gives a REAL 100% to Spinal Cord Reseach and I will think of them while i row. https://fundraising.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/us/EN/2baba7f0f8cd11e6aa120a9de91963a7

Thank you all again. The love and support will lit the fire.

 

Rowing with Rob

I have been searching for a few years now for something, anything that would reconnect me to the fun of competition. With my knee having all of the issues it has been hard to train and even harder to get to the line to race. I have had to basically put in hours upon hours just to give my self a shit show chance of completing a flat 55 hour 100 and an all out climbing 50k.

But after dragging my knee to a 53.5 hr finish at Snowdrop this year I knew something had to change. I got tired, I got complacent and I was done with running. It honestly pains me to say that I am done with running but for now I need to be. My knee cant take the pounding and my soul hates the pain.

So I have been fortunate over the past few months of falling in love with an amazing group of people at Crossfit Fulshear. Over the past few months I have rekindled my love for lifting weights, moving my body and becoming more balanced in my strength. I have never had a “runners” body as the love of lifting weights and losing a bunch of weight has always left me on the Clydesdale side of ultras. But this amazing gym has encouraged me to push my limits, they have inspired me to take on challenges and I have learned so much from being part of another community that is welcoming.

As i have been developing as an athlete again I was searching for something anything that I can do to push my endurance buttons. In november of last year i decided to get back on a rower again. I have only used a rower when I had knee surgery but i always remember it being super boring, easy on my knees and hard as hell. Well those are all things that I enjoy to do as much as I can.

My love for the rower ended up with me training and completing a 100k meter effort in a bit less than 8 hours leading up to the race at the end of January. It went well and my love for rowing has continued.

So fast forward until today. I have been working on the rower since then and have been proposing something special to do that will push me as an athlete and allow me to give back to something important as well.

So I will be Rowing for 24 hours straight on Friday April 28th 2017 from 7am until Saturday April 29th at 7am.  I will be streaming the entire event LIVE from my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/runningrobg but more importantly is why I am rowing other than to push myself.

The Wings for Life World Run is May 7th all over the world. I cannot run the race because I am race directing but I want to do my part to contribute a cause that is worthy. http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/us/en/help-us-raise-funds-for-spinal-cord-injury-wings-for-life-world-run/ For many of these that have been affected they dont get the opportunities that I get to on a daily basis. They dont get the chance to row for 24 hours and for me thats enough fire for me to row 24 hours for them.

 

So I am asking for your help in my endeavors to support them. I am challenging my friends, family, running mates, fellow crossfitters, rowers, sponsors and supporters to help me drive awareness to this cause.

 

I want you to challenge me with a pledge for meters or every 10k meters. My goal is to row an average of 10,000 meters for the 24 hours for a total of 241,402 meters which is the equivalent of 150 miles. I know its a lot to ask but it dosent have to be large because we have numbers. Pledging $1 per 10,000 meters would be a donation of $24. Pledging .50 every hour I row would be $12.. I have never asked for people to pledge donations for something but I think for me this is something worthy.

 

I am also going to use the hashtag #rowwithrob leading up and would love for you to also jump on a rower and knock out 1,000 meters with me or 10,000 with me. I know that for me personally watching people rowing, supporting and pushing themselves all for a great cause which is spinal cord research will keep my fire lit.

My Link for the Wings For Life Donation page is here and 100% of the Donations go to Spinal Cord Research. There is no middle men there isnt someone getting 30% of it.. 100% of my effort and your donation will help! https://fundraising.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/us/EN/2baba7f0f8cd11e6aa120a9de91963a7

 

I will from today on post 2x a week updating everyone on status of taper/training, why i am rowing in a skirt and also what a lactate test looks like on a rower.

I have so many people to thank and sponsors to thank for giving me these opportunites to push. In the next few weeks I look forward to showing you a bit of behind the scences of the preperation for the event..

As always I am grateful and humbled to chase my dreams in front of you all.

 

Living the dream

This past weekend I got the pleasure and honor and putting on a race that has been in my mind for years. When I originally found the Franklin Mountains in 2015 I was always wanting to put on a 100k or a 100miler. I knew from being on the mountain dozens of times that it had what it would take to push myself and the runners to amazing new heights. With any race that we put on, we plan for the worst and hope for the best. But when you put on mountain races with no access, no water, and no electricity well you often get the introduction to adversity.

It was an amazing week of preparing for what would be our biggest race to date. Our first 36-hour race with large loops, lots of volunteers and what would be crazy weather conditions. The race started on Saturday with the hottest day ever in el Paso history and Sunday with 60+ mph gusts on the ridgelines. The runners fought, the volunteers worked their asses off and we kept the glue together from the home base. I am always forever grateful for everyone who chooses to run, volunteer or be part of our TROT races that we put on.

There are always so many people who contribute their time, effort and sacrifice to make these events as amazing as they are. But for me, I stand back and I am always very grateful for this opportunity. Rachel and I often shake our heads at what seems to be the crazy predicaments I get us into with races but I always say look at this experience we get to have. We regularly talk about how much our lives have changed over the past few years with race directing.

But for me personally, I get a chance to look back at what used to be. I am often reminded of the destructive life I used to lead and how lucky I am to get a second chance to give back. Last year I contacted a good friend of mine Myles Smythe on a pitch idea of telling the story of how my life changed and how TROT came to be. I was fortunate enough to have Sierra Studio Films make an amazing film following us at we directed the Brazos Bend 100 2016 and tell a bit of my back story as well.

So today we release the 60-second trailer for the film Texas Trail Blazer. We will premiere the move on Feb 25th at our TROT HQ open house and will release it on Vimeo that night at midnight.

As I get my last day tomorrow loving the mountain an image sticks out in my mind from this weekend. It was the sequence of watching one of my beloved Team TROT runners Julie Koepke finishing our Lone Star 100 race. I remember watching her stumbling from the top of the last decent heading towards the finish line. The wind throwing her around from side to side as she made her way to the finish. As she finished I remember thinking how aged she looked to me from the wide-smiled Julie that I remember so well. I commented on how dirty and withered she looked after the 31 hours of fighting on the mountain. I remember her sitting down soaking it all in as she peered to the mountains. I got her a blanket to wrap up in and she kind of ducked her head in to get out of the wind. I just stared at her thinking how much she inspires me to never quit. She reminds me with her actions on why I love race directing and why it is truly my way to serve.

-rob

Starting Over again..

Why now and why again?

 

I dont know. I am as a person exhausted. I have for probably 2.5 years put business in front of everything. This is an acceptable trade off and always has been until its not.

My health and especially my knee’s health has over the past 6 months take a turn for the worse. I have essentially learned how to drive left footed with a stick, figured out a way to hobble a 100 miler in 53 hours and now do my job on one leg.. But there is one huge fking problem with all of that.. Im exhausted.

Just tying the words that Im tired makes me feel like a quitter. But for me the options are plain and also quite simple. The time is now to start back at square 1. Square 1 for me means that I have to start to work on myself as a person. It means that I have to push myself back into the cave and figure out what I want.

I have always loved the challenges for me personally that engage my body, my mind and soul. I think when you are trying to better yourself that having an equal plan for all of those is incredibly important. So for me there are some really cool ideas that I have that I want to try. Some to fk with my own self, some to show gratitude and some to show support.

I have had the incredible opportunity to speak to so many people who have battled some of the same demons I have in my lifetime. While I enjoy getting to talk about those things I also hate not feeling like I am personally 100%. Some of that is because of my knee, some of that is that I have been head down focused on work and some of that is I need to push myself to show gratitude.

So starting last week I have been challenging myself to meditate for 10 min a day. While i have no CLUE what I am doing in my own head space I am going to continue to do this for 6 months. I want to use this as a mental practice to control my mind ( i mean try to) to push toward the successes I am looking for.

So today is my first blog post back. I am without a doubt “fearing” starting to blog again. While i have plenty to write about at times I also have had a wonderful history of not blogging when my schedule dosent see fit.. And that means either failing at a goal or not doing shit. Both of which are shit excuses. So here we go. Im updating this every week on monday no matter if the week was a shit show or the greatest week of my life.

I am looking forward to putting the week out there and getting it done.

Goals for the week- (5)

All days monday- sunday will be clean eating.. Sunday night will be my exception for the post lonestar 100. I will document cals in/out and weight on monday.

10 min meditation will commence for the entire week at some point during the day.

I will schedule my knee appt this week (which i dont want to do)

I will schedule a torment thursday (this will be horrible will be 2.16)

I will make a cement schedule on attempting a 100mile row attempt.

so here we go again.. as I would tell my brazos bend 100 runners. time to burn the fucking boats.

Day 37of 110. Finding the groove.

Finding the groove.

 

As I sit here i think of everything that I could have done better the last 37 days. My weight for the most part the last 3 weeks has stayed within 211-209 last weekend. While that is a slow success I also have been in a funk the past few weeks.

I have basically every weekend tried to will myself to greatness but my head hasnt been in the game. Some of this is/was a bunch of negatives that I let affect me and some of it was feeling like i couldnt get in a groove. For me when I am in this battle I hate surprises and I know I am really good with a structured schedule.

Lately the schedule has been highly erratic and I haven’t done the best with going with the flow. But in the last few days I was able to kind of clear my mind, have some great meetings with people I trust and walk myself in off that ledge.

So here are some tips that help me to get out of a funk or get back in my groove.

  1. Take some meetings with people who you care about or are partners.
  2. Set aside an hour to read, meditate or do something in silence.
  3. Watching Motivational Videos. I am a geek when it comes to watching motivational videos it kind of lights a fire undernath me. My favorites are https://www.youtube.com/user/GaryVaynerchuk and https://www.youtube.com/user/etthehiphoppreacher
  4. Write about it. Rather that be a blog like this, a facebook post with content or on something like medium.com
  5. Be honest with where you are right then.. For me this is always the last day before I can find clarity..

As the road over the past few weeks has felt like forever it wasnt. It has simply been a time where I have been battling in the zone and I havent been able to pop my head up and breath.

So here we are the last 2 days I have found myself being kind, feeling confident and on the ball. I am excited to push forward, get to a new level and continue to document it all.

110% for 110 days