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Showing posts from 2015

DNF @ Spartathlon: A tough pill to swallow

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We learn the most from the summits we don't reach - Scott Gordon


Let me start off by saying this is not an easy post to compose.  I had fully hoped to be writing a post about successfully completing my Triple Crown of Ultra-Running.  I never expected to be staring blankly at my computer dissecting and analyzing what went wrong?
Spartathlon is the Ultimate Test of Ultra-running.  There is no other race like it in the world.  The distance is staggering - 246 Km / 153 Miles.  The environment is taxing with heat, humidity and rain.  The time cut-offs are surreal - the first 50 miles must be completed in 9 1/2 hours and the entire race must be completed within 36 hours.  The best of the best in the world toe the line at Spartathlon, and at best 1/2 of them reach the finish line.  It is a race like no other, and all those that experience it describe it as the "hardest thing I've ever done."
TRAINING:  My training was OK for Spartathlon.  I had completed 3 other ultras in ho…

Coming out of the closet: I am Legally Blind

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LIVING A LIE, UNTIL YOU CAN FAKE IT NO MORE.
I have always heard about the term "coming out of the closet" as it relates to sexual orientation.  I recently realized that I also lived this tortured existence as it related to my visual condition.
I have a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).  It is a disease that slowly causes your retina to deteriorate; hence, you are slowly robbed of eyesight and eventually end up blind.  I was diagnosed with RP at age 14 and had 20/70 eyesight, some blind spots, full peripheral vision and night blindness.  The doctor who diagnosed me hypothesized that I would be blind by the time I was 30, and that being a doctor or lawyer was out of the question.  I am now 45 with 20/200-400 eyesight, some more blind spots, a 20 degree field of vision and severe night blindness.  It has been quite a journey to get to where I am today, and I am writing this to help those going through sight loss to cope with the journey, and for loved on…

TRAIL RUNNING FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED

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Recently, I was included on an e-mail asking about tools and techniques that visually impaired runners can use while trail running.  There was some great information in that forum, and it would stand to reason because the people on the e-mail were phenomenal VI athletes - Richard Hunter(USABA Marathon Chair & recently featured in a zillion articles with his Running Guide Dog, Klinger), Adrian Broca (one of my idols, VI marathon champion & soon to be 24 hour run competitor), Kyle Robidoux (Blind Beer Runner, marathoner, ultra-runner, & just great guy!), and Randy Pierce (stud who will be summiting Kilimanjaro soon, if not already done, and runner extraordinaire).

I made a quick video showing some tools and techniques I use for trail running and night running.  It includes tips for using trekking poles, sun glasses, lighting, head ware, guide selection, reflective gear and strobes.  I hope this is helpful & PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS ON ANY OTHER TECHNIQUES YOU USE.
Enjoy!!!


JOINING TEAM USA: 2015 WORLD MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIPS

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It had been an exceptionally tough 2014. In a span of 3 months I had lost a job and made the decision to give up driving due to deteriorating eyesight. As a result of these catalysts, I had found myself in a down spell. It felt like I was glued to my bed, unable to stop staring at the ceiling and walls. Unable to lift myself, and lacking motivation to do the one thing in life that had always brought me peace, healing and joy - RUN.  I sought professional help, and soon felt much better. I chose not to take any medications, as initially suggested by the counselor, rather I proclaimed "I will overcome it through Running".... and I did. 
I ran a lot. In October, I ran a sub-3 marathon in Colorado. In November, I ran a 100 miler. In December, I ran a Personal Best 2:51:16 marathon and won the U.S. Marathon Championships for the Visually Impaired. A few days later I ran a self supported 100 mile training run at a local park.  A couple weeks later it was January 1st and I celebrate…