Thursday, July 5, 2007


Ye reap what ye sow.

Weeks ago, when I started the madness of going out on training runs overdressed, I thought that I saw a few people looking at me with odd expressions on their faces. Now I know that they were, in fact, staring at a certifiable madman in motion.

This was confirmed both yesterday and today as the temperatures crested the 90 degree mark. For some of you who reside in warmer climes, these digits on the thermometer don't mean a whole lot to you. But for us Oregonians, temperatures north of ninety are elusive, typically only falling on a few precious days in July and August. And any time they do, as the A/C's get cranked up and residents plow headfirst into summer mode (read: bad tank tops and all manner of inappropriate skimpy clothing), a guy running around the neighborhood in tights, long sleeve shirts, and a black hat must simply spell trouble.

As I passed a long line of cars waiting at a stoplight this afternoon, I saw the wide-eyed wonder and incredulity on their faces as they stared, wondering why in the world this idiot was dressed so...well, inappropriately. The absurdity of it all made me smile broadly despite the intense heat and sweat that stung my eyes. I laughed at them as much as I laughed at myself. After all, if I can't laugh at myself, what's the point? If it ain't fun, said some wise sage of yore, why do it? And somehow...despite the huge loads of laundry, despite all of that sweat stinging my eyes, and despite the heat that I'm about to face in just over 2 weeks, it's all a LOT of fun.

Good news today from my p.r. efforts, done primarily to benefit Soles4Souls awareness and fundraising: The local CBS television affiliate wants to film me and do a story next week about Badwater and my efforts on behalf of Soles4Souls. I'm very excited about that, believing that the words of P.T. Barnum ("All publicity is good publicity") will be prophetic. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Monday, July 2, 2007


With just three weeks to race day, logistic planning now enters the picture in a big way. But the minutia of getting ready for an event such as Badwater still takes a back seat to physical preparation.

Heat training continues with a vengeance. I'm up to 35 minutes or so with each sauna (175 degrees) session. Daily weekday runs are the glue that holds everything together, and my long weekend runs are going very well. Finally, finally, finally, the Pacific Northwest is preparing for some hot temperatures. Other than our brethren in Alaska, methinks that the Badwater runners from Washington and Oregon are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the heat, given that most of the country has been blessed with plenty of high temps. But I'm not losing any sleep over those details, preferring instead to entertain the delusion that the milder temperatures are assisting the general quality of my running. Or something like that.

The logistic details: Flights. Hotel rooms. Rental cars. GEAR LISTS. Special apparel suitable for 125 desert heat. Food lists. Footwear concerns. I need to hire a full-time assistant just to help me out with these details! Thank heavens for my crew and their willingness to assist wherever needed.

July 4th looms. For me, it doesn't matter whether or not the corn is knee high, if I have enough (read: ANY) fireworks/firecrackers/smoke bombs, or if my potato salad is seasoned appropriately. For me, the day is a reminder of the freedoms that I enjoy, including my right to speak as freely as I do. The last patriot? I don't know, although I doubt it. What's the saying? I love my country, but.... I'll let you fill in the blanks. I promised myself that I'd steer clear of political issues in these missives, so let those be my final words on the topic.


As a sports & fitness magazine editor, I'm pretty careful when it comes to endorsing various nutritional and sports supplementation products. Over the years, I've tried just about every powder, pill, drink formulation, and "energy" bar. Some of them, frankly speaking, would make a maggot gag...despite their claims of health and performance.

In 1999 or so, I met a guy that would change how I looked at refueling and sports nutrition. Steve Born, a veteran ultracyclist and accomplished athlete, turned me on to the products manufactured by E-Caps (the company now known as Hammer Nutrition). It was an eye-opening experience. In addition to field testing their products personally in numerous feats of endurance (RAAM, Furnace Creek 508, etc.), Steve had up-close-and-personal crewing experience for RAAM riders and ultrarunners. His front row seat to the trials, tribulations, and epic barfing sessions of the athletes under his wing served as valuable input to the scientists back in the Hammer laboratories. The results of much of the company's research led to a product called Perpetuem, which I now use as the cornerstone as the fueling strategy in my long workouts and races.

Like any athlete, I like to use what really works well. That's why when Hammer asked me to write a short testimonial, I didn't hesitate to put a few short sentences down on paper. You can see the company's ad and my testimonial on PAGE 4 of the 2007 "race bible" for the Badwater Ultramarathon.

Read more on my nutritional strategy HERE.