Running Into One Tough Schedule

Welp, I’m either extremely eager, or completely crazy …maybe a little both; but if you peek over there to the right of the page, under Upcoming Races, you’ll see one tough and gnarly race schedule. Here’s the skinny…

Jay Marathon Has My Name Written All Over It

Jay Marathon Stream Crossing

If you know me, this does not surprise you:

Racer Director’s Warning: The Jay Marathon, (33.0 miles), is considered by our own participants to be the hardest marathon ever put together for it’s distance; This is a trail marathon, and using the word trail is stretching it. One section is actually a bushwhack from flagging tape to flagging tape, and another section will take you on a deer trail leading to a mountain brook. You will run in the brook for about 3 miles. At mile 20 you will cross a 50-foot wide river in order to reach aid station # 6. Only the adventurous, experienced trail runners and fit atheletes should sign up for this race. You will get wet and very muddy, and you are likely to end up with scratches on your legs.

Need I say more?

I will be running this race with my sometimes-training-partner Sean, who is much faster than me, but also has less ultra experience than me. Officially, this will be his first ultra, and I look forward to participating in this event with him.

Sprinkle in Some Additional Crossfit Certifications

Man, with all these Crossfit Certifications I’m after, you’d think I was seeking a career as a fitness trainer.

I’m not.

I am interested, however, in knowing and understanding the very best in Crossfit methodologies and training techniques. As a level 1 certified Crossfit trainer, I have much better knowledge and experience with regards to popular movements such as the squat, pullups, pushups, situps, but also the lesser-known, and most productive such as the snatch, clean-and-jerk, push press, burpee, rings and medicine ball training.

By the end of summer, in addition to my Level 1 Crossfit certification, I will also have my Olympic Lifting certification and the Crossfit Running and Endurance certification.

I really enjoy combining strength training with endurance training. It’s a unique skill set with regards to training focus, and one I expect will continue to provide continued fitness and performance gains.

Back to Laurel Valley | a Spiritual Journey

August 9, I will again head up to Rocky Bottom, SC for Claude Sinclair’s Laurel Valley White Water Run. Last year the Laurel Valley was so special to me, that the sentiment is difficult to express in just an update paragraph. If you’re interested, my 2007 Laurel Valley experience pretty much tells the tale.

Oh, and from Claude’s web site as warning for this race:

Don’t put yourself in danger by trying to tough it out. There’s other ways to prove your man/womanhood. I have hiked this course two times and have run it twice. This year while most of you are out there running I will be sulking because I will not be out there with you. But common sense tells me that I am not ready (again) this year. When I first hiked this course in three days I knew that it would someday be the most scenic run/walk in the Southeast. And to myself and many who have completed LV, it is. You will not be disappointed but be certain that you are ready. As for you and your heirs, there is no one to sue as you assume total responsibility for trying this.

After reading that, how could you NOT run it?

This is one tough race – mostly run by, as one runner says it, “crazy mountain men and women”.

I know many of the participants and can verify this to be true. {wink}

Running 100 Miles, or 36 Hours, Whichever Comes First

Superior Sawtooth 100-Mile Trail Race

It was bound to happen, just perhaps not quite this soon; but the check is cashed and I am officially registered for the Superior Sawtooth 100-Mile Trail race.

And true to fashion, this race ranks in the top 10 of difficult 100-mile races in the country. Some of the race highlights include:

Naturally, I am very excited. I don’t care if I have to crawl through the entire night, I am going to finish this race and get that 100-mile ultrarunning accolade.

Back for Sweet Revenge at Mountain Masochist

Mountain Masochist 2008

No, I am not being cocky. I know better…

But, I am after some sweet revenge at the Mountain Masochist 50-Mile Trail Run in Lynchburg, November 1, 2008.

Mountain Masochist is the one race in 2007 in which I prepared the most for, and the only race I did not finish. My first DNF.

What makes this an even harder return is the fact that I am not “in love with” the course. It’s a lot of gravel jeep road, more so than single-track trail, and I have learned that it’s simply not my favorite terrain. I love the gnarly, technical trails — the jeep roads can become boring to me, kinda like road running.

BUT, that’s why I have to go back. For one, I feel the need to redeem myself on the DNF. That doesn’t make me proud. Second, it’s a difficult mental challenge, arguably more difficult than running it blind last year, because I already know I don’t love the terrain.

Racing Here and There for Training and Fun

Lastly, I expect to run some events purely for training benefit and enjoyment. Races like the Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon in Summerville, Georgia and a handful of 10K races will serve as fun, no-pressure ways to improve my running, while making the training a little more fun, exciting and social.

Wish me luck – and keep coming back to see what’s next.


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Hey Christian, my friend Tom is coming from Indiana to do the Twisted Ankle this weekend…I told him to look for you. Afterall…misery loves company :)

Thanks TrailGirl,

That’s a really nice compliment. Nice to see at 6:30 a.m. as I rub tired eyes. …at least today’s a rest day – woo hoo!


Your blog is very inspirational in my quest to one day become an ultra runner. I just wish you would blog more often ,very interesting reading!!
Best of luck in your upcoming endeavors!

Dave, I do Crossfit both in my home gym, and at the YMCA, depending on that day’s workout.

I tend to like to do the heavy, olympic lifting at home since YMCA people look at you funny WHEN YOU ARE ACTUALLY WORKING HARD.

They sit on their pec-dec machines and just stare at me.

But, I do a lot of the body movement days at the Y because they have a lot of cool things I don’t have like lotsa dumbells for kettlebell swings and lotsa boxes for plyometric work.

You seem to have quite a knack for picking out fun sounding races. I had never heard of the Jay Marathon or Laurel Valley before and both sound amazing (as does Sawtooth).

Btw, where do you do Crossfit? There is a place right across from my apartment complex…


Yes, trails can bite you in the rear — or the arm as the case is with me this morning.

On Sunday’s run I noticed a couple of ants on the inside of my elbow. I felt them biting me, but didn’t see any marks.

Today? three big welts right on the inside where my arm bends – itches like crazy.

damn ants.

David says >> “I’m looking forward to lots of drama.”

hahahaha. David, am I that dramatic? I guess it makes for better reading that way. {wink}

I blame my family.


quite the schedule. Jay marathon sounds like fun. Gotta love the trails, even when they bite you in the rear;)

Great race reports, glad I found your blog, I’ve never even heard of some of these races.

Ultra’s aren’t for everyone, but at least that keeps the masses away.

Good luck

Well, good luck!

Looks like you’ll have every distance covered.

I’m looking forward to lots of drama.

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