The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K, California 2016. Part 2: The Race Report

On a very crisp and dark Saturday morning, I stood at the start of the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. As the light rose we were able to take in the stunning Marin Headlands. Dean Karnazes was our race host, the ultra marathon man (his Instagram handle is seriously @ultramarathon). Mr. Karnazes hosts almost all of the North Face Endurance Challenge races throughout North America, so I don’t know how routine every race feels for him. But for Continue reading →

The victories of a life hard earned; not taking anything for granted

The list of things I take for granted is very small, and growing smaller with each passing year. In fact, i’m not sure what’s on it anymore. By contrast, all of that which I don’t take for granted is growing ever longer. My health.  My ability to exercise or compete. It’s been difficult watching RM deal with his injury, but I feel like I have a little experience with this frustrated injured athlete thing. Time with Dwight. The future. Time in one location. Being able Continue reading →

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K, California 2016. Part 1: The Build Up to 50k

Looking back on November, things seem blurry. Having an actual month of no presidential campaigning seemed like a new and fresh concept, but the exhaustion of paying attention to the process over the past two years left Annie and I exhausted. The day after the election, I went on a cathartic road run with no plan for distance or pace, just to run what felt right to me and to clear my head. Specifically, to run and not think about the world; and take a Continue reading →

Rocky Starts and PCS adventures

PCS Adventures: Our home, this home where we began our married life together, is empty. Well, almost empty. There’s a few plastic totes, some suitcases, an air mattress and a couple of folding camp chairs. The house echoes and every sound carries without our furniture to soak up the noise. Every PCS (acronym for “Permanent Change of Station” which is military speak for moving to a new location) is different and no matter how many times you’ve moved there are new challenges that crop up. Continue reading →

Expat or immigrant: being an inbetweener

The idea of home has been a reoccurring theme of my writing for almost 10 years. What makes a home? what does it mean to go home? What if home is a troubling idea? What does it mean to be an immigrant in contrast with being an expat? is being an expat a privileged status? Ziya Meral posed this question a few years ago: For those who leave their country of origin and venture far; do we ever return ‘home’? ; http://t.co/aKRWpPRp I don’t remember Continue reading →

The Greatest Gift You Can Give A Child (And Yourself)

If you want to give your children a gift that will help their imaginations and hearts soar, then teach them how to dream. I don’t mean the images we occasionally remember upon waking from a slumber. I mean those epic flights of fancy when we think about grand adventures we might have  or paths we might yet follow. Let them imagine what it would mean to follow a career path you might think out of your financial reach, or take a trip you couldn’t begin Continue reading →

Waiting and Healing: Why I’m not running this spring

Whenever I’m asked where I hail from, I stumble a little bit. After living in one foreign country and 10 U.S. states, including a few on multiple occasions, I can reasonably answer all over the place. But if I had to pick one place I’m actually from, even though I only lived there for three brief years, it would be Washington State. This is where my parents still live, I graduated high school there, and I’ve consistently traveled to Washington since the late ‘9os. But Continue reading →

Accept the Hiccups: A Marathon Training Update

Can you recall what it’s like in those minutes right before a physical activity (or training) you’re pumped about? Maybe you’re about to hike the Appalachian Trail or start a multi-day bike trip across New Zealand or you’re waiting to start the Boston Marathon. Your gear is all together, the music is pumping, and you start to loosen up. Those few minutes are peculiar. The adrenaline starts to flow and you’re ready to go. Once you begin, it’s exhilarating. Because you feel good, and you Continue reading →

I want to be a Running Generalist: Race Schedule Logic

 Life’s about choices, and choices have consequences. -Lt Col Parko, USAFA Professor In any profession, being a generalist can be a blessing and a curse. In the Air Force pilot community, we’re expected to maintain expertise in a primary aircraft alongside the responsibilities inherent to being an officer, such as managing people or overseeing the unit’s administrative work load. Not surprisingly, doing both things well at the same time is extremely challenging, especially when consistently changing aircraft and administrative jobs is the norm. Thus officers Continue reading →

Learning how to crew for an ultra

So, now i’m learning how to crew for an ultra. The story goes that I entered him a half marathon without talking to him first, and then he won the race. These days, we talk through the schedule of races and training together. I can’t always be with him for every race, but part of the adventure of Running Man’s foray into longer trail and road races is my own learning curve in understanding what it means to be an effective support crew. As Geri Continue reading →