Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Over the last year or so several people have asked me to comment on this blog about how I manage ultramarathon running with a full-time job and raising a family. Admittedly, I've basically dodged the question but recently I've thought more about it and can think of five essentials for balancing running, work, and life:

1. Pick a family that loves ultrarunning: Without my wife and kids as supporters and guides I would have quit this game a long time ago. But, with them along with me in races and in training the events are as much about the family as they are about the running. I admit that it takes time to nurture this (my son Carson "crewed" his first race when he was 10 months old) but, in the end, it's worth it.

2. Learn to integrate running into your life and not have it as an "add-on": Since my family knows running is important to me and my sanity they support me in doing it every day. But, I can't let it get in the way of our daily existence. As such, I have run in such inauspicious places as airport terminals, around multi-field soccer complexes, and up and down ski runs while my kids are waiting to race. It's not always perfect but it is part of the deal and its better than not running so that's good. And, I can say things like "I once ran around a mall 8 times while my kids tried on clothes"

3. Wake up early and run: While it is brutally hard, the best runs happen before the spouse and kids are awake. There is nothing better than coming home from a 15-mile tempo run and then waking up your family with fresh coffee and hot pancakes. It takes will power to drag yourself out of bed two hours before the milk man and you're likely to doze off in the third quarter of the Rose Bowl but, again, it's worth it.

4. Make sure your employer/employees know how important running is to you: Most of us don't have jobs in which running is part of the deal. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to be sure to let those who care for us, love us, and employ us know that running is not only what we do it is who we are. Once we have convinced them of this it is easier to share in the endeavor and to spread the joy of running to others. Or, at least, it let's us squeeze in a five-miler at lunch.

5. Keep it simple: As a fully-employed, married, father of three it is impossible to really stick to a training plan. Sure, I like to think I have one but, in the end, all I really need/want to do is run. So, if I can do that every day I'm good. Then, when May rolls around and I need to be a bit more prescribed in my thinking/planning/processing I have some money in the bank to do so. And then, it's time for vacation in Squaw Valley!

Here's to running everyone!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Coming to the Tandem Friends School Theater on December 11th at 7:00pm.

$5 tickets at the door.

Cool raffle prizes from Patagonia, Scott USA, irunfar.com, and others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Update and Announcement

Several folks have asked how I am progressing with my recovery from Plantar Fasciitis so I thought I'd send out a quick update:

It's been almost three months since I finally succumbed to the pain and shut down my running. At that point I took a full month off from running and spent time in the pool and on the bike. In addition, I did all the usual home remedies in an attempt to get things cleared up. During that time I used the night splint, rolled my arch on a golf ball, picked up marbles with my toes, iced, gave myself massage, and stretched my calves and achilles about three times per day. After a month of that I was not seeing very much improvement.

At that point I went to Dr. Bob Wilder, running doctor here at UVa. He gave me steroids and high powered naproxen. He also told me to buy a Strassburg Sock and an arch brace. Finally, he prescribed eight sessions of Physical Therapy with the "enforcer" Eric Mangrum. I felt some initial relief as a result of the steroid but when that wore off the pain returned. But, when Eric began taping my arch, really hard with "Anchor" Tape I started to feel improvement. Then, I started very slowly back into running. Well, not really running but rehab.

Now, I am up to running five miles a day (only on the treadmill, totally flat and at an easy pace) and the pain is manageable. But, it's not completely gone so the frustration continues. This week I am starting Graston treatments at a nearby chiropractor so I am hopeful that those will get me over the hump. This is by far the longest I have been on the shelf with an injury and it makes me thankful for the five years of injury-free running I enjoyed before this came on. With any luck, once I shake this thing, I can enjoy five more years of injury-free running. We'll see...

And now, the exciting announcement:

I will be hosting a screening of JB Benna's film "Unbreakable" in Charlottesville at the Tandem Friends School theater on Sunday evening, December 11th at 7:00pm. For those of you who don't now, this is the highly anticipated documentary of the 2010 Western States 100 battle between Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka and Killian Jornet. I hope that those of you in the area will come to see it and if you can tell your friends about it that would be great. Tickets will be $5 and I'll have refreshments available (including coffee for those locals recovering from Hellgate)

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Western States Application Period

On the eve of the opening of the application period this showed up in my inbox.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.


Hardrock Lottery

Looks like there are 427 names in the hat for Hardrock as of October 29th. At that rate there will be as many as 800 by the time Dale starts pulling the names on December 4th. By my calculations I have three tickets this year (one for my 2009 finish, one for not getting pulled last year, one for this year) which I would guess would give me about a 12% chance of getting in this year. In all likelihood, the HRH lottery will be tougher to beat than the WS lottery. Amazing!

Monday, November 7, 2011

WS100 Panel - 2011 "Passion"

Scotty Mills turned the microphone around and asked me a question. Marcus Warner kept the camera running.

Here is the result:

Looking forward to 2012.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Running and Being

OK, I'll start right out and say I am claiming Dr. Sheehan's title with this post. Not because I think I deserve it, quite the contrary, rather, it's been what I've been thinking about lately as it relates to, well, running and being.

Then, I will say that I lay claim to a bit of an insider's track to the late great Dr. Sheehan as he and my grandfather, Stanley O. Wilkins, were neighbors (literally) in Red Bank, NJ in the "50's and '60's. My grandfather treated jockeys and other detritus from the Monmouth Race Track and Doctor Sheehan, well, he treated the rest of us.

And, needless to say, he lived much longer than my grandfather.

But, he also left an incredible legacy.

I remember being out on a run with my good friend Kevin Sawchuk seven or so years ago and we were discussing mortality, as one is wont to do on a long run in the mountains, in the early morning hours on a January day, and I asked him what I thought, at the time, was an innocent question,

"If you had to choose between these two things what would you pick,

One, you get to run Western States 100 and you have the race of your life eclipsing your PR by an hour and getting a jacket from Greg for your efforts and the Silver Buckle to boot...

And never run again.


You never run Western States, or any other race, and instead, you get to run three miles a day, every day, no more, no less, for the rest of your life, until you die.

What would you choose?"




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WS100 Panel - 2011 (part one)

Here is the first installment of the WS Panel Video series shot by Marcus Warner this past June in Squaw Valley. Fun viewing as we gear up for another season.

And, if you want to learn more about Marcus check out the most popular ultra site in Australia here: