Yes, I still run and yes those are my super freaking old feet..
One more time:
I am not crazy. No, i really don't enjoy pain. However, one more time this old body is heading out to try and complete all 100 miles of the Pony Express Ultra. Why? Easy, i enjoy trying to do what appears difficult and tough because the reward for success is shit loads of joy.
This is my fourth try at the 100 mile mark for this race. The last three i always made it 50 miles or more with each year getting worse. This will be Ultra 21 with Ultra 19 being a total near death experience with tons of pain and super big doctor bills.
So, if the numbers are right i have completed 18 50 mile races, 2 12 hour races and one 44 mile run with death at my door step. Also, since starting the madness of running long distances I have now completed about 14,000 plus training miles.
What does this all mean? I enjoy running long distances. I feel so humble, so peaceful and so silent at the end of a long training run and those training runs need a final.. a closing moment so i try to get in as many races as money will allow. While most people are in the air conditioned mall I am out running 18 miles like it is a walk in the park, seeing bears and scaring the hell out of the parkway tourist. (near naked 54 year old men are really freaking ugly)
Some Health History:
During my 3rd running of the Freedom Park 24 hour New Years eve race my kidneys failed. They failed around mile 30 or so but I did not stop until mile 44. Given I kept pushing the end result was a core body temp of 92 deg. and blood pressure around 70/30. The best part was when the fire dept. rescue folks picked up my frozen body and put me on a stretcher.. I felt like my body had been crushed alive and the pain was super super intense.
My Kidney Doctor has been fantastic and expensive. His understanding of the human body is amazing. I learned a bunch about what happen and how to prevent it in the future. Most important I learned that my consumption of protein was way to freaking low for what I was doing to my old body.
End result of all this knowledge is super freaking strong legs for a man my age and low body weight. I consume around 80g of protein on training days all veg .. no animal protein. Best part is i weight about the same as last year but with only 12 percent body fat.
I also learned that those Mormons are right. Caffeine is really bad for you. I have gone without Coffee since the 2nd of January of this year. Talk about freaking total hell. I miss my coffee so bad.. But the body runs so much better.. and i have learned why.
I train on the shut-in trail. I start at the French Broad River or mile marker 395 and run all the way to the fire road 5,000. This gives me a super tough run of 18 miles. The run is almost all up hill and some downhill both ways. Nothing easy about this trail. I have never trained so hard for any race.
Right now my physical condition is intense. The Kidney Doctor is amazed at my body’s ability to grow muscle and be so healthy.. but i always remind him that he lives in a state that celebrates body fat as a holiday. I just happen to be different. Very different.
I will do much better than in the past. First reason is the shoes. I love my NB101s. They rock. Second I have much stronger legs and lungs then in the past.
However, my lungs still have trouble with dry dusty air. This race is about dry dusty air. The key in beating this problem is get into super freaking amazing shape. That simple.
Thanks to all those in the medical industry who helped me in January. To Davy Crockett who never seems to give up on me.. and to my soul for always wanting to do the impossible..
ps: if you desire to learn more about what i learned about my kidneys and ultra running feel free to contact me. However, this link found on the ultra-running mag. website says it all.