Monday, December 29, 2014

Running Year Review: 2014

2014 has been a bit of a transition year for me. My love for the trails and mountains has continued to grow and as a result, I ended up running more of my races on dirt than pavement...not that I'm complaining. My races took me to some incredible places over the year. It's easy to forget how many natural wonders we have within our country. In a way, I feel pretty spoiled.

Certainly, the highlight of my year was finishing my first 100 miler. It's been a goal of mine since 2012 and after an unsuccessful attempt last year, I was so stoked to get my finish this year on a much more challenging (and incredibly beautiful) course. But, 2014 was filled with lots of other fun races and weekend running adventures that I'm excited to share.


Antelope Canyon 50 Mile. An incredible course in Arizona that went through towering slot canyons and along the ridge of the ColoRADo River.


Rosaryville Off-Road Half Marathon. Fun, local trail race with my friend Kristy.


Cherry Blossom 10 Mile with Team Gravel Pit! New PR, 1:12:35.

Trap Pond 50K. 1st time event in Delaware. Was able to nab a PR, 4:40:52.


24 Hour Adventure Trail Run. Used this race to run my 50 mile long run for my 100 miler training. The race was held at one my favorite local trail running spots, Prince William Forest Park. 

Spent my Memorial Day weekend trail running in the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains. Lots of vert. Lots of beauty.

Hawksbill Summit

Bryce 100. A race that has changed my life significantly. Something I will never forget.


Hood to Coast Relay with Team Nuun Hydration. Part 1 and Part 2 race recaps. Made some great friends and lasting memories.


Reverse Goofy. For a fun late season challenge I ran a marathon and a half marathon in the same weekend. 

Finishing the half

StumpJump 50K. Awesome trail race near Chattanooga, Tennessee with my friend Cathy.

Photo Credit: Wild Trails
Baltimore Marathon. Tried to go for a PR, but crashed and burned. Still had a great weekend with Kristy, Cathy, and Erin!


Became a published writer! Got my article published in the November issue of Ultrarunning Magazine.

NYC 60K. Ran side-by-side with my friend Jocelyn in her first ultra. We had a blast!

About a week after the 60K my running season came to an abrupt halt when I fell on a trail run and broke my left arm right below the elbow. Thankfully, I had no key races planned so taking the forced rest period came at a pretty good time.

Broken arm aside, 2014 was an amazing year! I explored so many new places and learned more about myself. Running is a never ending journey. Each race opened my eyes to something new. I'm not exactly sure what direction 2015 will head, partially because in addition to my arm I'm dealing with an issue with my left knee that is hindering my training. I hope to be 100% soon, but until then, running isn't going to be a big part of the picture. I foresee many hours logged on an elliptical and my bike until my knee is stronger. On a positive note, I will be running again with Team Nuun Hydration. It's been a fun company to be a part of over the last couple of years and I can't wait to work with them again in the new year! 

I hope you all had a great 2014 and I wish you many happy miles in 2015! Cheers!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

TNFECS - Washington, DC - December Update

Last week the 2014 The North Face Endurance Challenge Series (TNFECS) season came to a close in California. This race always showcases the best of the best in the ultra running world. It was an exciting race which saw the men's title go to Sage Canaday and the women's to Magdalena Boulet. Both ran stellar races in quite tricky conditions. A full recap of the race by Exploring Endurance can be viewed here.

For many athletes, TNFECS California is one last get together to see friends before the end of the year. Undoubtedly, the question many ask after this race is, "What races are you running next year?" For me, the next ultra I'm running in 2015 will be the season opener for the TNFECS in Washington, DC. I cannot wait for this race! It will be a great event to kick my trail running season off.

While my training for this race won't get going in earnest until the new year, I was hoping to get in some nice trail runs before the holiday. Unfortunately, I had a bad fall a few weeks ago on a trail run and broke my arm. Since then, I've been resting but I'm hopeful to get back to some light running before Christmas. This forced rest period hasn't been a whole lot of fun, but I've been taking it in stride.

Needless to say, I can't wait to get back on the trails and do what I love most. I know I will ready to go by race day on April 18th! Speaking of race day, all race distances are still open for registration, but will likely reach capacity, so don't wait. The next fee increase for race registration is on January 25th, so take advantage of the lower pricing. I promise you will not be disappointed if you sign up for this race!

I plan to get out for some runs on the Potomac Heritage Trail and in Great Falls at some point in January or February so I can capture some photos of the course for everyone. I'll be sure to include them all in a future blog post. I hope everyone had a great 2014 and here's to many more great miles in 2015!

Call for comments
  • What was your favorite race in 2014?
  • What races are you considering in 2015?
  • What are your 2015 goals?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Forced Rest

A couple weeks ago I was out on an early morning trail run with my friend Mike when I had a pretty bad fall. I tripped stepping over a large rock and fell hard on my left arm. I knew right away that something wasn't right. It hurt much more than a usual digger. My first thought was that I jammed my elbow really bad (if that's even possible?). Mike asked me if I was alright and I said I thought so. Still being a couple miles from our cars, I got back up on my feet and we continued on.

As we started running again, I felt better and thought that I was probably fine. However, when I got back to my car and examined my arm a little more closely, I realized I had a bigger issue. My left arm below my elbow was very swollen and I couldn't bend my arm without a lot of pain.

After a fun visit to the ER I found out that I had fractured my radial bone in two places right below the elbow joint. Luckily, the bone wasn't displaced. Had it been, it would have needed surgery to pin it back together. Whew!

The following morning I went to an orthopedic where I was given a beautiful full arm cast. Like any injured runner, I wanted to know when I could get back to running. The orthopedic told me it was not advisable to run while I had the cast on. This came as a pretty big disappointment, but I understood. In hindsight, after wearing this cast for about two weeks, I realize that it would be pretty difficult to run with it anyway, not to mention how smelly it would become with all my sweat getting inside of it. I don't want to be the stinky guy at work.

Getting injured is a runner's worst nightmare. We do everything in our power to prevent an injury from occurring because we know how important running is in our daily lives. However, we know we're not invulnerable. Injuries happen in running. It's part of our sport.

I take comfort from knowing that what happened to me could have been a lot worse. I could have broken my arm to the point where I would have needed surgery. Or, when I fell I could have hit my head on a rock. All things considered, I feel very lucky. Being laid up for a few weeks with a broken arm isn't the end of the world. Sure, I wish it didn't happen, but I'm doing my best to take a positive from a negative. I know this forced rest period will do my body some good. (At least that's what I'm telling myself, haha!)

I constantly preach that we should never take running for granted. This point doesn't ring more true than now. Running is a gift. We don't have to run, we get to. I know when I get back out there I’ll be carrying an even larger appreciation for it.