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Call of the Wild

11 Dec

I’m moving back to Minnesota. I really hope my wife and kids come with me. I kinda like them. Plus we are having a baby in January and I really want it to know its father. BUT…

When a man falls in love with a trail, all other loves become secondary.

It’s a deep and forgotten love—this love of the woods and trails. This post may get a bit mushy; it may in fact break out into sonnets. No limericks though, I promise (or apologize, depending upon your personality).

I say this now before I’ve written the rest of this post: This will be one of the best pieces I’ve written because it comes from my deep heart. Want to be inspired? Stick around. click to read more

How to Find Your Ideal Race Distance

16 Nov

I’m not qualified to write this post.  So you’re perfectly qualified to not read it.  BUT, if you don’t mind a good dose of theorizing and anecdotal evidence, then read on.  I think it will be good for all of us.  If you’re still not sure what is your favorite length race, then you’d better stick around.  I’ll give you some good things to consider in your quest. Click to Read More

Fall 50 Ultramarathon Finisher!

31 Oct


If you had told me three years ago that I was going to run a 50 mile race, I would have called you crazy. Okay, no, I would have said, “50 mile race you say…” and rubbed my slightly chubbier chin. I was born to go long. I’m still trying to figure out just how long that is. All I know for now is that it was an incredible experience to run 50 miles along a picturesque portion of Lake Michigan shoreline last weekend. The weather was perfect. The people were fantastic. I ran with friends and made new ones. The tale is epic, so grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage (or beer, or wine) and join me as I recount the weekend’s highlights. click to read more

Live from the Fall 50 Race in Door County!

20 Oct

The Fall 50 race in Door County has begun! This is Jamie, Brandon’s wife signing in, to welcome you to the site and update about the race as much as I can while driving our support vehicle with the kiddos along. Well, I’ll stop driving before I update, I promise, and do it as often as I have internet access and am not chasing down our kids or cheering on my favorite man!

Live from the Fall 50 Race in Door County, WI 2012!

Beautiful morning for the Fall 50

Are you at the race?

If you saw our support vehicle along the way, thanks for taking a moment to stop by and see what this was all about! Leave a comment below letting us know how the race is going for you and your runners (whether you’re running it solo, as a team, or just along to support the rest!)

Share your photos from the race!

We’ve got a Facebook Page where you can upload your photos from the day and share with others – please stop over, “like” the page, and upload a photo (or several) to share.

Sign up via email to see our professional photos and read more about how it went

Finally, if you want to see our professional photos from the race day (this post just has ipad shots, but we’ll have lovely ones soon), sign up for our email list using the form on the right side and we’ll send out an email with our weekly update. It’s awesome.

You can check out more about Brandon and his preparation for the Fall 50 (his first ultra) by browsing through the site.

I’ll post a photo of our support vehicle here – I’m sure it’ll be awesome!

If you see us along the route, feel free to say hi! We’d love to meet you!

Best wishes to all the runners out there! Have a fabulous race!

8 Tips for a Better Race Week Experience

18 Oct

It’s ironic, the reason I’m struggling to write this post is because I haven’t yet done what I’m going to tell you to do. It’s race week for me– the perfect time to walk you through my foolproof plan to reduce stress in the days leading up to and through the race. Think you’re ready for your race? Click HERE to be Certain

Freaking OUT. I’m Running @#$%* 50 Miles!!!

11 Oct

Sorry about that. That’s the release of all the excitement I’m feeling about my upcoming race. I have purposely avoided writing about it overmuch, but now I can’t take it any more. In 9 days I’m going to shatter my old distance record and I can’t hold anything else in my brain long enough to write about it so this is what you’ll get. I’ll try not to use too many emoticons. ;) LOL!! Click to read more!!!

Run Long the Right Way

5 Oct

At 2pm on a Sunday I’m finally out the door and on the road. I’m going long again. For the past several weeks that’s meant 20+ miles. My heart isn’t in it any more. I’ve told myself that it’s burnout, but I’m starting to suspect there’s more to it than that.

I’ve gotten brazen. Lazy even. I roll out on to the roads when I feel like it. I put in the time, eat, a meal and take a nap. I shrug off my wife’s praise of the effort I put in. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything special. Maybe it doesn’t feel that way because I haven’t given the long run its due respect.

Are you in the last weeks of marathon or half marathon training and approaching burnout? Read this post to learn where the REAL importance of a weekly long run lies, it may be just what you need to recharge late in the game. click to continue

50 Miles, Take 2

22 Jun

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you also can’t teach a young dog old tricks until he stops barking up the wrong tree. I have no idea what I meant by that, but I’m going to try to run 50 miles again! This post begins a sporadic series within the blog in which I’ll chronicle my training and preparations en route to completing my first official ultra marathon race. click here to read more…

Impromptu Marathon RACE RESULTS!!

4 Jun

When last I blogged I talked about deciding to run the Cellcom Marathon in Green Bay, WI two weeks before race day. (Never mind that I’d been working on speed training rather than long miles) I felt pretty doggone confident I’d still be alright. Well, I thought I’d let y’all know how it went.

I didn’t make it.

Please continue if you haven’t lost all respect for me at this point.

It was a hot and windswept morning in Title Town. When we pulled up to Lambeau Field at 6:50am it was already 80 degrees. Still our spirits were high as we shuffled with the thousands of other runners to the starting mat. Game on.

Even More Impromptu

I had a pretty good idea of what to expect of race day as I’ve run marathon length a handful of times. So signing up two weeks in advance wasn’t all that crazy to me. Imagine though if you hadn’t run even a half marathon before and decided to run the race two DAYS beforehand.

RMSL is proud to introduce my friend Josh Fitzpatrick. It was Josh’s birthday the week before the marathon and I knew this because Facebook helps me to pretend to be a better person than I really am by announcing the day’s birthdays.

Everyone else was giving the generic “Happy Birthday!!!!!!” Someone had already set the gratuitous exclamation point bar way too high for me so instead I wrote, “Happy birthday! You should celebrate by running the Cellcom marathon. That’s 26.2 beers!” Josh and his roommates have a plan to stay in shape by running a mile for every beer they drink. Let’s just say they started way in the hole.

Weirdest Birthday Wishes Ever

I know right?? I’m not really sure what my motive was. I think the “Look at me, I run marathons” complex I have got the better of me. I like running marathons. I like that people know that I run marathons. I like when they call me crazy. I like when they call me amazing and inspiring. I like me. Can you tell?

ANYWAY, a couple of days later Josh posts to my wall. “You’ve convinced me to run a marathon, do you have a game plan?” Oh dear. It’s one thing to do something without a game plan. It’s another thing entirely to rope someone into your plan-less game. I felt defensive. I mean, I really didn’t do much convincing. I think beer and crazy was all it took for Josh. I like his style.

Porta-Potty Saunas and Other Such Pleasures

Some people go to spas to get pampered, massaged, or to lounge and unwind in a sauna. My friends and I paid 100 bucks to be treated to the opposite of a pedicure (some runners lose toenails), relax in the sweltering humidity of porta-potty saunas, and stand in an hour long line for a 15 minute post-race rub-down. It’s a steal of a deal if you ask me.

So you can imagine our shock when it was all taken away from us suddenly. We had reached mile 12 and were just about to split off from the 1/2 marathon runners that outnumbered us 5 to 1 when we were told the race was cancelled.

“Can they do that?” then, “I’m going to do it anyway,” went through my head. The police at the barricade must have read my mind because I saw a little frown as they fingered their knife-sticks. Maybe they had anticipated the decision to cancel would be unpopular.

My friends and I huddled. They said they had pulled the water stops. Were they bluffing? Did we know the way? Did we have any money to buy water? No, maybe, and no. We were jiggered. Game off.

We left the woman bawling about how hard she worked with the apologetic race volunteers and walked the remaining mile of the half-marathon course. We sprinted the last 1/10 of a mile to the finish line and collected our meaningless “Finisher” medals. I thought about throwing mine as far as I could (it was shaped like a football) and saying saying, “Thanks for nothing” to the unsuspecting volunteer who had screwed me out of my glorious victory.


Immaturity is Fun

I didn’t do that of course, but it made me chuckle inside to think about doing it. Instead we grabbed our beer and talked about all the childish ways we could respond to the frustration we felt. It was good therapy to laugh it all off. We knew they had to cancel the race; the paramedics were ALL being utilized dealing with heat related maladies. I think the sudden heat-wave took its toll on first time participants. Other first time runners like my friend Charlie were seriously rocking it out strong. I feel really badly for them. They will have their day yet.

Poor Track Record

So I D.N.F.ed it (Did Not Finish)… sorta. In fact, as of now, my completion record at organized marathons is 1-for-3, or 2-for-3, depending on how you look at it. At the Eau Claire marathon last year at this time someone was supposed to pick up my bib, but due to misunderstanding did not. Instead I ended up with my sister-in-law’s bib for the half marathon that she was unable to attend. Lyndsey did pretty well that day. In fact I think she set a PR.

So Cellcom is the second time I lined up at the start of a marathon only to have uncontrollable circumstances force me into a half instead. Add those two together and put it with my only organized marathon finish and I’m 2-for-3, at least that’s how I’m putting it in the stat-book. It’s how I sleep at night.

An Adventure Deferred

But I haven’t slept. I got amped to run my impromptu marathon. That energy had to go somewhere. I needed another adventure to drive me. The Fall 50 in Door County, WI captured my attention and imagination shortly thereafter. The register button on their website has given me the most internet pause I’ve ever had. I’m not sure where this running journey is going to take me, but adventure seems an integral component. Dream, set crazy goals, go after them. Fall down, learn, get back up and chase that which makes you come alive. I DARE you.

Impromptu Marathon

17 May

I met my friend JL about 7 years ago at a Christian ministry conference. We shared some floor space and talked late into the night. Some people you just find an instant affinity with. He is a yoyo-ist, I am a juggler. That’s all we needed.

But then life took us to different states. We both got busy. Busy and biz-zay apparently because we both have more kids than when we parted. Sorry for the TMI. One thing that also changed in our absence is that we both became runners.

Born to Run

Ultra runners. It trips our trigger to go long. Sometimes when I’m on a great run I wonder what it would be like to just keep going. No out-and-back, just out. Some day I’ll find out, I feel like one day when I die I’ll start my grandest adventure and God will finally release me to just go. If you want to talk to me in heaven you’d better pack your asics.

So when JL announced two-and-a-half weeks before the Cellcom marathon that he just registered and asked if anyone in Wisconsin wanted to join him I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Likewise, he wasn’t surprised when I nearly instantly chimed, “I’m in!”

Shifting Gears

Nevermind that I was focusing all my grit on burning down a local 5 mile race and hadn’t run over 10 miles in a 2 months. Ultra runners are a little fool-hardy, stubborn, and attracted to the absurd.

I AM in the best shape of my adult life though. I did run 15 miles the other day just to check how I’d fare. Mind you, this was after I submitted my registration. I guess “Can I do this?” was an after-thought.

Letting Go

So this is race week. T-3 days till launch. I go a little crazy in this time. I don’t like the logistics. I worry about traffic. I worry about alarm clocks (so I set 2 of them). In short I realize how much of a control-freak I am am. I’m also reminded how little in life I actually control. It’s very, very good for me to remember this. When I do I find myself free to drink it all in. I’m here for a short time and all I have is the choices in front of me. God willing, on monday I’ll be limping around, whining and bragging to everyone at work that will listen.