Life is amazing! If you never witnessed the birth of a child, it’s hard to convey the gift of living. Money, status and what people think of you are out the window. All that matters is the health of your new child. For my lovely wife and I, this journey has taken over 12 years and was interrupted by cancer (the Big C). Now we have two very cool boys that are almost exactly six years apart.
Oddly, I continue to workout keeping focused on some form for ultras while being a husband and father foremost. So when do I run? Well, work provides a time for running but that’s not enough time. So, I try to time it just right between feeding our new son (usually late at night) and head out for the trails.
So, with on average 2-4 hours of sleep per night, I hit the trails, alone, for some level of endurance training. But the real focus is just time on my feet. I’m so numb from sleep deprivation, I dream while running up the mountain ridges of a nice place to curl up in the mud and sleep. But I push on running with my headlamp dancing in the darkness. With over 20 years of racing under my belt, I draw upon many experiences to pick the right line up and down the ridges and along the cliffs. And as a responsible dad, I carry full survivor gear for almost any situation.
For every step, I know that racing is not a focus just getting in a workout. I cancelled all triathlons and races this year to take care of nearly three months of my wife’s bed rest, and make life normal for my older boy. Life in itself is the hardest endurance race of all. So I train for the next 100 miler with more sleep deprivation, night runs and playing with my boys every day. And my training runs…some hurt like hell and others are so smooth. It depends on getting a little sleep or not.
With about 14 weeks and about 300 hours of training to go before my next ultra, it’s nice to know that I am completing an ultra nearly every day. And I like to think I am in first place in this race!
To my uncle and good friend Vernon, you keep up the strong fight against cancer, and we will all be the stronger for your efforts.