My long run went well? Yeah, it kind of did…

Earlier this morning, I ran 14 miles. That is equivalent to 22.53 kms which is more than a half-marathon. For real, this time.

I figured out how to use my hydration backpack without it leaking all down my back, I had my electrolyte chews, and I even took the Fruit-to-go out of their individual packages and packed them in an easy to open zip-lock. I was ready to crush the run.

I even read more on the proper training method for the long runs. The purpose of the run is to get the body and muscles use to constant activity for an extended period of time. To do this, you need to run far and you need to run for a long time. Pretty simple, right? I knew this but as usual, I didn’t read the fine print.

On the long runs, you’re supposed to run slowly. Before today, I was running my four-mile running pace and keeping it up for over ten miles. No wonder my toes got blisters on them! No wonder my calves burned for two days after! Jeez…I’m making some real rookie mistakes here. But you know what? I am a rookie so it’s all good.

So the run, the long run in the hot sun, it went well. I had enough water, food, and electrolytes. My legs are sore and were a bit sore while I was running but I have no blisters this time and my calves are good. I’m liking the whole plan coming together type-thing going on here.

And you know what surprised me the most? The realization that this is the furthest I had run…ever. I completed a Half-Marathon race before but this distance is further. The total kilometers for some of the triathlons I did was further but this was all running. No swimming, no biking, just running. And I’m feeling pretty damn good about it.

Have an excellent weekend! More of my story will be posted soon. Please like, share and comment. And you know, read one of my books published by Black Rose Writing. They are the bottom two in the Published Works section on the right of the page.

Thanks!

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Story Time! The Farmer and the Well Part 2

The link for the beginning of the story is below. Like, comment, share. Enjoy!

The Farmer and the Well Part 1

-2-

By the time they got to the well, Greg’s shirt was soaked under his coat and his shoes were coated in mud. He alternated between shivering and sweating, depending upon when the cold wind stole its way into his jacket and high-fived the layer of moisture on his skin. He didn’t wear a toque because it would have ruined his hair. He didn’t know who he would run into out here that he’d feel the need to impress with his Billy Idol hair, but he didn’t think of that. He only thought after checking himself in the mirror that he looked good and his hair was perfect. Too perfect to mess up with cramming a winter hat on top of it. Even though he knew the hat would have added to his leaking faucet pores, it would’ve lessened the chill factor. His teeth chattered and when Jared stopped at the well, his eyebrows climbed his forehead.

Green moss clung to the stones on the side of the well facing him and Greg instinctively held back from approaching it. The dark trees beyond it lining the acreage of land added to the foreboding menace of the well. It looked like it would crumble at any time and Greg imagined it collapsing and sucking him down the hole with its black mouth if he got too close. He noticed it before Jared stopped and intended walking a wide path around it even if it meant having to walk-run a bit to catch up to Jared and his long stride except Jared stopped in front of it and slung the backpack onto the ground. They weren’t moving forward; they were stopping.

Greg glanced around them. A scary place, when he thought about it. You could disappear out here. He’d rather they kept moving or went back home. Except Jared didn’t intend on doing either. Greg worried at a nail and watched Jared pull out a length of rope, thicker than his thumb plus a flashlight. He heard metal clinking in the bag and Jared’s hand reached into the bag and retrieved carabiners. At Jared’s feet lay rope, flashlight, and carabiners. And they were standing by a well.

Greg said, “You’re not going into the well, man.”

Jared stopped and frowned. He stood with the rope and walked to the closest tree. His feet slurped in the mud. Jared said, “But I am.”

Jared looped the rope around the base of the tree and did something with one of the carabiners.

“Are you fucking crazy, man? What could be in the well that’s so important? It’s not like the Goonies. You’re not going to tell me there’s some pirate treasure at the bottom of the well are you? It was a cool movie and all, but you know, it was a movie!”

Jared removed a second heavy rope from the backpack. He looped the second one around another tree and knotted it tight. He tied the bottom of it around his waist.

Greg said, “What the fuck is that for? In case you fall?”

“Yeah.”

“Around your waist? If you fell, the weight of it could snap your back! You do know that right? Know that this is a new level of stupid? What the hell are you doing?”

Jared stopped and blew out a breath and said, “Look. I haven’t heard from or seen my mom in a week. Every time I ask Trevor where she is he says it’s none of my business. You know what goes on in my house. I don’t tell you but you’re not an idiot and you know. You know what he’s like and you know what he can do.” Jared paused, swallowed and the furrow appeared again. He said, “I think Trevor killed my mom. I think the fucking asshole killed her. Remember the night I stayed at your place? We watched vids until three in the morning and your mom made us popcorn and your dad kept popping in with his terrible jokes?”

“Yeah. Just last Saturday.”

“Right. I was thinking at the time that not once did your dad yell at you or call you stupid and I was like you got a nice life and I got to be a part of it for one night. It was a great night for me, like the best and I thought if I ever had kids I’d want to be like your dad, you know?”

Greg always thought his dad was nice but still, kind of lame. But compared to Jared’s dad, his own father was pretty awesome. So Greg did know and he said, “Yeah.”

“Well, while I was all misty-eyed and having a great time thinking how different my life would’ve been if only I wasn’t born to Trevor, he was here, killing my mom, and I think he stuffed her down this well. I just want to look. That’s it. I want to make sure he didn’t drop her down here in the cold and the dark to be eaten by the rats. She’s my mom, man.”

Greg studied his friend with an open mouth. Did he just hear that right? He thinks his dad murdered his mom? Greg’s hands shook and he stuffed them into the pockets of his coat. He thought of Trevor, the big, angry drunk with the mean eyes and began nodding his head. He remembered the burn marks on Jared’s back, the broken nose, and taped fingers and thought if anyone was capable of murder, it was Trevor.

“Jesus. Alright. And I’m here in case you fall?”

“Well, that and to help me get up. It’s hard to pull yourself up. I could if I were only going ten feet down but I don’t know how deep it is and it’d be tough to get out by myself. ”

“Okay, but Jared, she could be anywhere, if he did it. This is a big place.”

“I thought of that and all week I’ve been walking the fields, looking for broken earth, a mound or something. Nothing. I looked along the tree line for prints into the woods and there were none. If he went out there and buried her, I’d have found his tracks. People don’t just go walking through our field. And Trevor lost his license for drinking and driving and wouldn’t risk taking her out of here in his car. The cops know him and would stop him for sure because they know what he does, they know what a complete dick he is, but if my mom won’t complain, there’s nothing they can do. She never complained. Even when he cut off her pinky.”

Greg said, “Jesus.”

Jared sighed, a shaky expulsion of air and when he turned to Greg, his eyes shone. He said, “So she has to be here and this is the last place I’m going to look.”

“And then what? Call the police?”

“If she’s there, yeah. But if she’s not, I don’t know.”

Jared stuck the flashlight in his belt. It was a large one and Greg thought it’d be useful to club someone with. Jared slipped on heavy gloves, grabbed the rope with one hand and climbed into the well. It tightened against the stones and pulled a large rock into the well. Jared yelped and Greg tightened his sphincter as the urge to go to the toilet intensified to the point where he almost lost control.

“You okay?” Greg asked as he leaned closer to the well. He didn’t want to get too close. He really didn’t want to fall in.

“Yeah. The rock hit me on the chest and I dropped an inch or so pretty quick.”

He sounded out of breath and there was a quavering tinge to his voice.

“Want me to pull you up?”

“No, no. I’m fine. I’m going down now.”

“Okay. I’ll uh, be right here if you need me.”

“Yeah.”

Greg heard Jared’s boots scrape against the inside of the well and the rope groaned with the weight. He feared for his friend. For the danger in the well and the fact he was going down there, in the dark to look for the corpse of his mother. Bloated, water-logged and being feasted on by rats, it would be the last image he’d have of her. The courage of his friend staggered him. To have to live in that house under the terror of a drunken man and to believe that his own father murdered his mother and dropped her down a well like so much refuse. What would he do if he found her?

Leaves blew past him in a gust of wind. He jumped and a wet leaf stuck to his face.

“Gross.” He ripped it off and threw it on the ground. When he glanced up again, Trevor was walking in the field towards them. He was a distance away so that if Greg held his hand out he could squish him with his thumb and forefinger. Greg didn’t know if Trevor saw him but what else would he be doing out here? Checking on his son, maybe. Checking to see if he found the body. Greg shook and it wasn’t because of the cold. He ducked down and crab-walked to the other side of the well, being careful to keep what he considered to be a safe, not getting sucked in distance.

“Jared?”

No answer. He peered over the lip of the well. Trevor continued towards them, getting closer, getting bigger and Greg thought, getting angrier.

“Jared! Your dad, I mean Trevor, Trevor’s coming.”

From the well, “What?” His question echoed and boomed like he was speaking through a tube.

“Trevor! He’s coming!”

“Shit! Help me up! Now! I gotta get out now!”

“Uh, jeez, man.” Greg wanted to pull him up but if he did that, he’d be clearly visible to Trevor and if he’d hadn’t seen him yet if he stood and started hauling on the rope, Trevor would definitely see him.

“C’mon Greg!”

“I can’t! He’ll see me!”

“Why do you think he’s coming out here? He already knows we’re here! Get me out of here! Don’t let me be in here when he gets here, man!”

“Shit! Just wait a second!”

“What the fuck, Greg!”

“Shh.”

Greg steeled himself to check on Trevor’s progress, his heart about to make a run for it from his chest and his eyes protruding from his sockets. His breath sounded harsh out of his cottoned mouth. He raised his head to see over the well and Trevor was gone. Where’d he go?

“He’s gone.”

“What? Where?”

“I don’t know.”

“Get me out of here. My arms are starting to hurt.”

“Okay, okay.”

Greg scanned in a complete circle even though there was no way Trevor got around them. But people don’t just disappear, do they? He could have made it to the tree-line and was even now creeping towards them, carrying a beer in one hand and a hatchet in the other. He could be doing that right now, wearing a cheek stretching grin, the kind of smile that never reaches the eyes. No. The eyes were dead and pitiless black holes.

“Greg! Hurry up!”

Greg crawled to where the rope disappeared into the well. He placed a hand on it and a motor chugged to life in the distance. He jumped and saw a plume of dark smoke, stark against the grey of the sky and sighed with relief. Trevor hadn’t been sneaking up on them. He’d been walking out here to get the Harvester.

Still nervous of the crumbling well wall and the soft earth, he grasped the rope and leaned back and pulled. His feet sank into the earth and he pushed against it because he was sliding towards the well and he was convinced if he got too close he’d be sucked in. His arms burned and it felt like his forearms were pulling apart from elbows.

He grunted, “You almost out of there?”

Jared’s gloved hand appeared above the rim and Greg didn’t think he’d ever seen a better sight. He pulled harder and it seemed his arms would explode and then Jared was out and Greg fell into the cold mud. His shirt had hiked up under his jacket and when he fell the slick earth splashed on his skin. It surprised him, how cold it was and a yelp jumped out of him.

“Very manly scream you let out there,” Jared said. It was meant as a joke but he sounded tired and sad. And not the tired someone got from climbing a rope out of a well. Greg thought he was tired and sad in his soul and one kind word away from crying.

“Fucking mud is cold.” Greg stood and pulled his shirt and jacket lower.

Jared’s eyes watched Trevor drive the Harvester towards the garage. He said, “Where the fuck did you hide her, you bastard?”

Greg said, “You didn’t find anything down there?”

“You mean my mother? Did I find my dead mother down there? No. No, I didn’t.”

“What do we do now?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have a fucking clue. All I do know is, he can’t get away with it. I’ve put up with his shit for years. The way he treated me and my mother. Me and my mom talked about getting away from him, just her and me. I think she had a plan. Maybe, he found out about it. Fucker. He can’t get away with this. I won’t let him.”

Greg had never been afraid of Jared before. For the most part, he was a kind person. Jared hated bullies and wouldn’t stand for them. He’d save Greg from many a head dunking in the school toilet. Maybe it was because how much he hated his dad for being a bully and he couldn’t stand the mouth breathing kids at school who derived some pleasure from causing misery in others. The big dudes who looked like they could grow a full beard in grade nine. Jared gave anyone who wasn’t kind a very hard time. Jared was a big boy himself and had learned at a young age how to take a beating. And from the hard hands of his father, he learned where to hit to cause the most pain. He’d dropped a few boys in his time with one well-placed punch. No one messed with Jared and because Greg was his best friend, no one messed with him either. Jared never started a fight or picked on people. He only ever fought against bullies. Still, wasn’t Trevor the ultimate bully? This felt more like revenge rather than justice. Greg had never seen this side of Jared before. The side nursed and groomed by his cruel alcoholic father. The part of Jared he hid away, afraid to let the inner beast out of the cage. Anything to not be like his father. But now, Jared’s eyes appeared hard as flinty pebbles. A portrait of rage. A snapshot of bottomless anger. And it was turned towards Trevor. A current of unease crawled along Greg’s spine.

I accidentally ran a Half-Marathon…well, almost.

Here is more of this idiot’s (me) guide to running a marathon.

Yesterday was my long run. And I felt very prepared for it. The plan was to run 12 miles. Using MapMyRun  I planned my route making sure to include softer trails and road running to mimic the Niagara Marathon course. I even bought some energy blocks that included electrolytes because on the last long run I did, I could taste a lot of salt on my lips meaning, I was losing a lot of salt through my sweat. On top of that, I brought with me some Fruit to go snacks to keep my energy levels up (tip: open the fruit to go packages and put them in a zip-loc baggie or something. You know how hard it was to open those packages with sweaty hands while running? Very hard).

So you see, I was prepared. I was a good little boy scout.

But then I didn’t see the halfway point turn-around that was on my planned route. It was there, I just wasn’t paying attention. And so I kept running. And I was like, huh, this seems far, and I still kept going. Then I saw a light up ahead for an intersection that wasn’t on my route and I squinted at it all suspicious-like. Finally, I had my Ah-hah! moment. Seeing how far I went, I might have cried a little, on the side of the road with cars flying past me. Then I shook it off, laughed at my own idiocy and ran home. At the end of it, I was really tired but all in all, it was fun. Even despite my many errors.

Being curious, I brought up my running route from MapMyRun and I added the extra-distance I ran. Total miles: 12.62. A half-marathon is 13.1. So not quite a half-marathon, but close.

I am determined to learn something from every run so, what did I learn? Pay attention to the halfway point. Open snack packages prior to running and even when you screw up, it’s better to laugh than to quit.

Have a great day!

My writing mindset. Reviews and such.

I don’t know about you, but I started writing because I was bored. My job is great. I get treated well and the work can be very interesting so, I’m not really complaining about that. No, really, I’m not. It’s just that after you become familiar with something and so comfortable and confident that your responses become automatic, the work becomes boring. I haven’t learned everything as there are volumes to learn at my work but for the most part, even when I’m thrown a curveball, I know pretty much how to deal with it. So, I was bored.

What did I do you ask? Or for those still reading? I started doing triathlons. In order to be competitive in that, you kind of need to spend the money on the equipment. Anything past an Olympic distance triathlon, you need to invest in your wetsuit, your bike, and your running gear. I have four kids, one income. You do the math. Not feasible.

I have always been an avid reader. Since a young age, like well before high school, I was reading those Dragonlance series (anyone remember those? Bueller?) and any Stephen King book I could get my hands on. Then I got onto the classics, some westerns, some philosophy, historical fiction, man, I would read anything. While in high school I started writing. I loved it. Then I stopped because stupid stuff got in the way. Like parties and cool kids and all the trappings that go along with those interests.

Then I got a job. Then I had a kid. Then I got married. Then I had more kids. Then I started triathlons. Then I started writing. And you know what? I love it. In my published works section on the right, you can see I’ve had some success. I have no illusions about becoming rich from it and frankly, I don’t care. I have a good job, family, shelter, and food. I’m fine. I have a lot of unpublished stories on my computer and every one of them was a hell of a lot of fun to write. That’s what matters to me.

That being said, I love the feedback I get. In anything I do, I want to do better, I want to learn more and I want to keep learning. Reviews of my work help with this a lot. I have been very fortunate. I’ve had reviewers blog about my books and I’ve been interviewed a couple of times about them. This was more than I expected and I am grateful. For DOLL HOUSE, I have had 1,251 ratings and 252 reviews on Goodreads. It is maintaining a 3.99 out of five stars. For The Tracker, released this year, I have had 53 ratings and 43 reviews on Goodreads. It is maintaining a 4.19 out of five stars.

The reviewers who like my work are just as important as the ones who are critical of it. I learn from both. I learn what they liked and I learn what they disliked. I remember these critiques going forward and it makes me better. For me, writing is about the process. If, someday, I can make a living doing it, great. If not, also great. I’ll continue to write. And I’ll continue to run long distances.

Link to Doll House Goodreads page: Doll House

Link to The Tracker Goodreads page: The Tracker

Keep writing no matter the feedback. It is great fun. You just have to give it a chance to be.

The Farmer and the Well

Like I said, here be another short story. This one I submitted to a Screen Writing contest, turning a story into a film. It made it to the semi-finals and that’s that.

So, kick back, drink a coffee, tea, energy drink, whatever and enjoy.

Once again, beware. There is swearing.

The Farmer and the Well

November 1985

-1-

Greg’s foot sank into a muddy depression. The brown yuck oozed over the top of his white laces. Some of it slid into his shoe and he said, “Fuck.” The mud felt cold.

Jared stopped and peered over his shoulder, “What?”

“I got mud on my shoes.”

“Yeah, well, I told you to wear boots.”

“And I ignored you and messed up my Chuck Taylor’s.”

“Yup.”

“I even got the cuffs of my jeans dirty. New jeans too. Acid wash.”

“A real tragedy.”

Jared shouldered the backpack higher and walked ahead, his feet squelching in the mud like kissing noises.

Greg sighed and tugged his foot out of the mud. The grey sky stretched forever. There were no clouds, none that he could see, only a flat expanse of grey. He supposed they must be clouds smoothed out, still as a calm lake. November skies were depressing.

He followed Jared’s back while keeping an eye on the ground. He didn’t want to step into another wet mess and placed his feet carefully. He didn’t know where they were headed and Jared didn’t want to tell him until they got there. He was going with Jared because Jared asked him to and that was enough for him. Jared was his best friend. Greg wanted to press him on it but he knew it’d be pointless. Jared excelled at keeping secrets. He’d get the gold star for secret keeping every time.

Greg said, “Your dad got the harvest done I see.” They were walking through Jared’s farmland where stunted corn stalks jutted from the dark earth like fibrous fingers.

“I got it done. Trevor got too drunk to drive the Harvester this year. Again.”

Jared called his father by his first name. Greg thought it odd at first but got used to it over time. He knew Jared did it for two reasons. One: to annoy the crap out of his father, which it did and two: because Jared hated him and didn’t want to give him any label associated with respect or caring. From the cigarette burns on Jared’s arm, inflicted by Trevor, he could understand why Jared hated him.

“Are you going to tell me what it is we’re doing? We’re almost at the woods.”

“I’ll tell you when we get there.”

A cold breeze slithered into Greg’s coat and down his shirt. He shivered. He should have worn a sweater and a warmer hat like Jared told him to but he’d be damned before he’d admit it. Jared was pulling away from him and he walked faster to catch up. Adverse to physical activity on principle, sweat beaded and trapped coolness against his skin when the wind buffeted at his overweight body.

“Jared. Hold up, man. You’re walking too fast again.” Tall and lean and physically fit from working on the farm from a young age, Jared’s quick pace when distracted left Greg behind within a few strides.

“Shit. Sorry man.” He stopped and waited for Greg to catch up. A black crow flitted from a tree, squawking to the sky.

Greg’s heavy breath hissed through his teeth. A bead of sweat slid from his hairline and trailed down his nose. He wiped it away and another breeze slid down his collar.

“Jesus. How can I be sweating and cold?”

Jared didn’t answer. He stared after the crow. A line appeared in the middle of his eyes. A pinched furrow of skin. Greg recognized it as Jared’s serious expression. He’d seen it many times before. Jared showed up to school with a busted nose and two fingers taped together on his right hand. Greg asked him what happened, although he already knew, didn’t he?

He’d met Trevor, by accident really as Jared always tried to keep Greg from meeting him, his dirty secret, like an embarrassing stain a person tries to cover up with a jacket. Greg had ridden to Jared’s house on his bike. They were supposed to meet at the 7/11 but Jared was late and he rode down long dirt roads looking for Jared’s mailbox to see the last name. He expected they’d run into each other on the road, but they didn’t. It was a long bike ride and Greg didn’t run into another car all the way there. He remembered thinking how isolated Jared was, living way out here. He didn’t know it at the time, but Jared had called his house to cancel and had left a message with Greg’s mom. Greg didn’t call home, instead, he did a normal enough thing and went to see his friend. And although Jared took great pains to avoid Greg going to his house, he didn’t expect the reception he got. Jared had been piling wood outside the house when he pulled up and didn’t even notice Greg until he dropped his bike on the driveway. The metal rattled. Jared glanced at him and a look of pure terror twisted his features. Then Greg met Trevor.

Trevor stood on the porch, a giant of a man. His dark hair was slicked back. He wore a black shirt and dark jeans. One shirt sleeve was rolled up to his shoulder over a pack of cigarettes. The shirt stretched tight over a bulbous stomach which didn’t detract from the heavy shoulders and the strong arms indicating a powerful man. He drew on a cigarette and turned a can of OV beer in his other hand. His nose lay flat on his face. A nose that had been broken many times; a boxer’s nose. Trevor examined Greg from head to toe with a squint and a sneer through the coils of cigarette smoke.

“Who are you, boy?”

His nose sounded clogged when he spoke. Jared moved into view along the side of the house. Out of sight of Trevor and in plain view of Greg. Jared was desperately waving him away. Greg couldn’t leave though. Not without saying something. An adult was speaking to him. He was raised to respond with respect.

“Hello, sir. My name’s Greg. I’m a friend of Jared’s.”

“Jared ain’t got no friends.”

Greg glanced down at his shoes. Trevor flicked the cigarette butt at his feet. Sparks flared as it hit the driveway. He stepped forward and the porch creaked with his steps. He couldn’t see his feet but Greg pictured him wearing black motorcycle boots. He looked like an aging street hood, like what the Matt Dillon character in the movie Outsiders would grow up to be. An angry, drunk asshole.

“You a faggot, boy?”

“Uh, what?”

“You got a dick in your ear? I asked if you were a faggot.”

“No, sir.”

“You and my boy been playing hide the salami?”

“No, sir. Just friends.”

“I said Jared ain’t got no friends. Now, fuck off.”

Greg did indeed fuck off. He couldn’t get on his bike fast enough to get out of there. Jared called him later that night, timid, unsure of what Greg would think of him. With some lame attempts at a joke or two, Greg reassured his friend that yes, they were still friends. He still asked after him when fresh bruise or scrapes marred Jared’s skin. He knew Jared wouldn’t answer, he never did, but he wanted Jared to know he cared. So when he asked Jared how he got the broken nose, he already knew how and marveled at Jared’s resiliency. He couldn’t imagine his dad swearing or responding to anything in anger. It would have blown his mind if his dad ever laid a hand on him. Like, exploding the conception parts of his brain. Instead of answering, Jared just shook his head and wore that serious, pensive expression for the rest of the day. He wore it a lot. Like right now, in the middle of this field.

Greg said, “Lead on, captain a-hole.”

Jared smirked and responded like a good friend would, “Zip it, shit-mouth.”

Run-run, sleep-sleep, blah-blah, repeat!

Like I’ve said, I’m really getting into this running thing…again. It is really interesting to me how the little tweaks I can do to my form and nutrition can vastly affect my performance. I like messing with it. One important tip I can give is never, never go for a run after eating pork chops, tzatziki sauce, rice and salad with a balsamic vinegarette. I knew this before I did it but thought I had waited long enough. I didn’t. My run was filled with unpleasant gaseous escapes. Have a small snack and if you’re going on a long run, take some small snacks with you. Oh, and electrolyte replenishers. They really help.

I’ve been reading more on endurance races for helpful insights. I read about this ultramarathon in the United States called the Western States 100. The stats for this course are incredible.

The following is from their site: Western States 100.

Beginning in Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, the trail ascends from the valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn, a small town in the heart of California’s historic gold country. Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory. People who are unfamiliar with the area should use caution when planning training runs, especially in the high country. Before leaving, let someone know where you will be running and when you will return. REMEMBER THAT MUCH OF THIS TERRITORY IS ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY FOOT, HORSE OR HELICOPTER.

After reading this, I was like, what? People do this? Yeah, they do this every year. In order to be deemed a finisher of the race, you must run this 100-mile course in under twenty-four hours. Wow!

Jim Walmsley set a new course record in 2018 with the time of 14:30:04. That’s 100 miles through that terrain in that time. Mind-blown!

Even more impressive is that the oldest finisher in 2018 was in the 70 years plus age group. Over 70 years old and completing the course in under 24 hours. Makes my marathon look like a nice afternoon jog.

If this sort of crazy interests you like it does me, you should read this book:

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an all-night runner.

If it doesn’t, no biggie. I’ll be posting another short story soon.

By the way, there is a statistics page for my site that lets me know how much traffic it’s getting, who is following and where I’m getting visitors from. Most of my visitors are from North America. But I always have this one visitor from Ireland and I was like, someone is reading my stuff from across the pond? Cool. So hello Ireland and hello North America. Have a great day.

Please remember to comment, like and share and of course, check out my published works on the right. Thank you.

Running is fun…sort of.

This week’s mileage: 22 miles.

On Monday, I ran four miles. On Tuesday, I ran four miles. Then my knees hurt. Not good.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the running plan I’m on tells me that these are cross-training days. Typically, I’d do the Crossfit workout of the day on Wednesday and on Thursday, I’d do the 100’s. The 100’s is a series of workouts where I have to complete one hundred reps before moving on to the next exercise. So, one hundred push-ups, then one hundred air-squats and…you get the idea.

On Friday, I was scheduled to run four miles and I was nervous about it. I was worried about my knees. I thought it might have something to do with my form or my new shoes. You know, the ones I was loving just last week? Still, if my knees were hurting because of one of the above reasons, the problem was at least correctable. I just needed to figure out which one was causing the problem.

On the Friday, I put on my old shoes and ran four miles. No problems. Knees were fine.

On Saturday, I ran ten miles in my new shoes, concentrating a lot on my form and no knee problems. I’m very happy about that. Once again, my form needs more work. I’m should get resigned to the fact that my form will continually be a work in progress.

The ten-mile run was fun. Exhausting but fun. Now, on Sunday, my calves are really, really sore. Still having fun though. And I know at some point, all of these aches won’t be so pronounced. My body will have adapted because that’s what bodies do.

Now I just need to nail down my long run nutrition. That’s what I like about running. The activity is not solely based upon running. There are a lot of variables that need to be considered to have a successful race day.

Nine weeks until my Marathon and so far, I’m on schedule.

Side note: I got a lot of good feedback for Itsy Bitsy Betty. I have a lot of short stories that I couldn’t find homes for. If you wonderful people are interested, I could continue to post them from time to time. Let me know. And if you like my work, please browse through my published works on the right. If you have questions, please ask. Have an excellent day!