Push Back the Hands of Time. April 2018. Mile Five approaches, and while I'm feeling the effort, in the back of my mind I know I'm having a pretty good race. I love the social aspect of a race, and so I don't usually race with headphones on. But 10K -- the shortest distance I run -- is all about speed and focus. With no room to be social -- or so I thought -- I use music to help me find focus. Read more.
Redemption. October 2017. Dear 2015 Mark: This is your future self. I know you're disappointed with dropping out of the Gorge Waterfalls 50k, but I'm here to tell you that it all turns out okay. Let me tell you about the race we just finished, and then about the journey that began with your race. Read more.
Heart Rate Training Year One. March 2017. A year ago I stepped out of the hospital after a week long battle with a rare blood infection and decided it was time. Time to commit to heart rate training. Since completing my first 50k the previous October I had been focused on speed training, trying to regain some of the tempo I had lost after months of focusing exclusively on endurance. I was frustrated. My usual high intensity training routines were not yielding results, and I felt I was breaking down more than I was building up -- pushing myself right to the edge of injury without meaningful results. My Spring race plans had been upended by hospitalization, so for better or worse I was truly starting fresh. It was the perfect time for a new training approach. Read more.
Baker Lake 50K. October 2016. There are many reasons why I've felt, for the last two years, that the 50K trail run is best running event for me. A challenge that is daunting but within reach; a physical effort that is more complete than a marathon, but less damaging to the body; time communing with nature that I have cherished since my first camping trip as a child. Yet desire divorced from action is merely fantasy. At the Baker Lake 50K I endeavored to answer the question: can I really lay claim to my place among 50K ultra runners? Read more.
50 Words for Snow. June 2016. On my lunchtime runs along the Seattle waterfront I see them everywhere: the 'Bro Runners', broad shouldered and muscular, running shirtless side by side; the 'Cross Fit Queens', in their skin tight lycra, veins and muscles standing out as they struggle to carry their kettlebells up the Madison Street hill; mixed martial artists whipping through their sweat-filled workout as I pass through the gym on my way to the shower. These are the mascots for the "ethos of suffering". In their world pain is the adversary they eagerly battle, a foe to be embraced and dominated, because "no pain no gain" is our fitness way of life, right? Read more.