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Project run America is truly inspiring

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Well, I ended up missing the past two days during my 30 days of blog posting, but I have a good excuse. I was attending the Team Red White & Blue trail running camp at Camp Eagle, in South Texas. I didn’t have internet access and I was spending the better part of the weekend running!

While I was at the camp thought, I had the privilege of hearing the story of Ehredt (of Project Run America), who, “ran 4424 miles alone, from Astoria, OR to Rockland, ME placing 4424 flags, one every mile, for each casualty we endured in Iraq. Then in 2012 he ran 2146 miles and placed the same amount of flags in remembrance of every casualty in Afghanistan. We now have a wall of honor and gratitude stretching 6570 miles across America.”

His story was touching and inspiring. What seamed like a near impossible athletic endeavor was complicated even more by the placing of a flag every mile, with a handwritten name on each one, and lets not forget the logistics of food and arranging for places to stay.

To me, Mike’s story is more than just a story about honoring veterans, it’s a story of perseverance, determination, and overcoming the naysayers that told him it was just a nice idea. Not only did Mike pull off the extremely detailed planning of this grand memorial, but he executed EVERY DAY, no matter how hard it was. Rain didn’t stop him, flat tires on the stroller he pushed didn’t stop him, cold weather didn’t stop him, aches and pains didn’t stop him. No matter what, mike hit the road EVERY day and ran 26-30 miles, without fail.

One of the things that amazed me the most was that Mike never got weary of running those miles each day, every single day he looked forward to them. As an entrepreneur I strive to have that exact same consistent determination – to get up every single day and pursue my passion with the same intensity as the day before, no matter what new challenge lay in my way.

Please, take a few minutes out of your day to watch the video above. It’s truly inspiring. A full length documentary will be coming out later this year and hitting PBS channels across the country.


Seven reasons to run an ultra marathon, rather than a marathon

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Seven reasons to run an ultra marathon, rather than a marathon
Trail Running

Austin Greenbelt

Now, seeing as I have never run an ultra marathon yet, you will have to take my opinions with a grain of salt. I am currently training for a 50 mile race in October, that will likely have some other races thrown in there before that race occurs. The ideas below are based off my research, thoughts and personal theories.

I have only begun my training, but have already been thoroughly enjoying it. This weekend I will be running 10 miles around Town Lake, here in Austin and along the Greenbelt. One of the many benefits to living in Austin is lots of great trail access! There is quite a big trail running community here as well. Which makes training for an ultra that much easier. There are plenty of other people to motivate and help you along the way.

Seven reasons to run an ultra marathon

  1. Less Injuries. WHAT? Less injuries, how is that even possible? Well when you think about it, it’s pretty simple. Marathons are run on pavement, ultras are run on trails. So, whenever you train for an ultra you are also going to be training on trails. Constantly pounding away on the unforgiving pavement is not the best for your joints, and muscles. Running on trails (soft ground) is more forgiving. When your foot strikes the ground gives in a bit –  not so with pavement.
  2. Ranks Higher on the Impressive Scale. Lets face it, everybody and their dog knows somebody who has run a marathon, in fact they probably know several people. But how many people can say they have run a 50K, a 50 miler, or even a 100 miler? Not very many, I would think. Your friends and family will probably think your crazy, but hey, the shock factor will be half the fun of it.
  3. Anybody can win. Some of the most unlikely individuals have won ultra marathons. When it comes to finishing an Ultra, it’s not about speed. In fact, when training you can just kiss speed work goodbye. Some of the toughest ultra marathons have been won by the most unsuspecting individuals. Over long distances, it’s an endurance competition, not a speed competition. Ultra’s essentially level the playing field.
  4. Better Scenery, less pollution. I know it, and you know it… running in traffic sucks. Have you ever been running up to a traffic light only to inhale our lungs full of exhaust fumes? Running on trails is far more serene beautiful and WAY less polluted. You will also likely enjoy a bit more solitude. AND, your chances of being run over by a car decrease dramatically.
  5. Eating Real Food. Every ultra runner I have talked to is into eating REAL food. They tend to avoid the nasty tasting, processed energy gels found in running stores. Most ultra runners tend towards things like banana, oranges, and other foods high in simple carbohydrates. Eating real food to fuel my runs has always been my philosophy and it was worked will for me for half marathons, so I’m anxious to see how this plays our for longer distances.
  6. You are born to run. If you have never read the book Born to Run, you should go out and do so, now! It will change the way you look at running; it might even change HOW you run. Author, Ted McDougall makes a very strong case for barefoot running, based off the Tarahumara Indian tribe in Mexico, and various other scientific evidences. Once you realize YOU are truly “Born to Run”, the idea of running an Ultra Marathon is not that far fetched at all.
  7. More time to think, process and get away. When your spending longer hours on your weekend runs you will have more time to reflect, our just flat out escape the worries and troubles of the week. It can also be a time to pray, reflect on things, or process big decisions. The endorphin rush might even help you get a clear head and discover new things you had never though of.
Crestone Needle

Crestone Needle: Trail running will allow you to see breathtaking scenery like this, if you live in a location such as Colorado.

So, have you ever run an ultra marathon? Do you plan on running one? Please share your experience in the comments section.