Monthly Archives: August 2015

An Unwritten Future

When I started this blog way back when, it was pretty straight forward in thematic approach. I was blogging about my buildup to my first marathon in Chicago 2009. I wrote endlessly about workouts, eating, preparations, and sprinkled in a bit of non-running vegan politics from time to time, but mainly stuck to task. Over the years, as my readership has grown (how bored are you people?) and my experiential resume has expanded, I’ve often struggled with writing on topic. This turned more and more into a nebulous personal blog, which I was ok with, and yet, I also found myself shying away from talking about other issues related to politics and personal musings, fearing readers would be like, “What is this gibberish…who cares…this is supposed to be about running or something.” I think I worried about diluting some topics while potentially offending those who came to my blog for specific reasons (veganism, running, cancer), only to be quite shocked when I started laying out a case against Capitalism, supporting radical direct action, or expressing my normal non-traditional views.

Well…I’m over that now.

For the past 6 months I’ve dedicated most of my online promotions to the successful fundraiser for Family Reach and I was glad to define my blog within those parameters as well. Now that it is finished, I’ve decided to expand my writings to the subjects I’ve detailed over the years, but also not to hold back about other topics I’m equally as passionate about. So yeah, I guess “run vegan” has now become something of a full on personal blog. I suppose I could have renamed it More Fire, to fall in line with all my other social media changes I’ve made to move away from being so confined in definitions…but…whatever, this is fine for the time being.

With all that said, the themes I’ll most likely write about most are the following:


I can’t quit you. I just can’t…I’ve tried. I mean, not even chemotherapy is going to stop me from running, so it’s going to be a subject I’ll always discuss in detail and if you’ve been coming here for my descriptions of epic runs, considerations of life lessons viewed through the running looking glass, and similar long-winded essays on speed and endurance, well, they’ll keep coming.

At this point, I’m not even sure what I’ll be detailing in my running posts. I’m currently in a state of running limbo, recovering from this past ultra run, and moving through the next two months leading up to my next surgery where I’ll be laid out yet again. I don’t know what will be defined about my running going forward, but that’s pretty exciting if you ask me. I’ve toyed with the idea of transitioning to “soul running” in the past year (I’ll have to explain…it’s not as new-age, hippy as it sounds), but I don’t know. I just know I’ve got another clean slate in front of me after the next surgery this October.


Speaking of surgery…hey, I still have cancer! In a way, I’ll probably always have cancer, whether it kills me or whether I live past it and into that expanse of life that will always be informed by this experience. That is unavoidable and I’ve come to terms with it. Although I don’t like to express the cancer identity, unless it’s a strategic move, as in a fundraising attempt, it is my reality and I will continue giving you a free, safe, at a distance, pass into this sometimes dark, dark world. This world is about to get really real and really dark again, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Without mincing words, veganism is the most important subject I can think to discuss today. More than running. More than Cancer. More than anything. In the past, I’ve found that I’ve discussed veganism in relation to my running, but going forward I more want to write about the ethical considerations of veganism, the moral imperative of animal liberation, and all concerns that are not related to absurd health claims and the vegan identity. I plan to really expand on a lot of the conversations Laura and I often have about animal issues, often in response to the many perspectives offered through social media, animal activism, and vegan culture in general. It will, admittedly, be critical, but with an eye towards constructive solutions towards a world where we create true respect for sentient beings and remove them from the confinement of our industrial civilization.


More often than not, if I use the term “liberation” it’s in relation to animals, but over the years it has increasingly encompassed the attempt to liberate human animals as well, namely from the many clutches of modern day living. I don’t claim to be a primitivist or wholesale anti-civilization anarchist, but I won’t deny affiliations with their world views either. I unreservedly define myself as an anarchist, not as an expression of identity, but because it is a term and perspective that most fully expresses my desires for a new way of organizing ourselves, away from the illusion of representative democracy, away from capitalist dictates, away from everything that keeps us reliant upon systems that have us compete for resources at the expense of an environmentally sustainable future. To ignore social liberation, merely because the problem seems insurmountable, is to live a ceaseless lie. All hypocrisies acknowledged, I’ll surely write various political essays that express my desires for total liberation, of animals, of humans, and against the systems of confinement which have created the need for liberation.


I’ve been told the one cohesive element of all my writings are about living, or how to live. I can’t argue with that observation, though it should be acknowledged that I’ve never sought to tell people how to live. Any consideration about a better life have been for myself, within my own context, and apply primarily to me. I’m thrilled to know others have found inspiration for themselves with my words, but that has not been my explicit intent. Not only is the responsibility to great, but the paternalistic nature of doing so makes my stomach turn. Then there is the idea of “inspiration” itself. I don’t belabor those that are inspired, nor do I deny the value of inspiration I receive from others, but I also despise the idea of “inspiration for the sake of inspiration.” I genuinely am uninterested if others are inspired in the most vague sense. I know many have made careers and fortunes by “being inspiring” or “inspiring others”, but to what end? I think of various amazing individuals who find themselves riding on the bank accounts of huge corporations who have hired them to be motivational speakers for their employees, the end results being more productive workers lining the pockets of those who need no further lining. If I am to inspire others, it is not for the benefit of their emotional well-being, but rather the liberation of all of us from the confines of industrial civilization. If I am to inspire, I want it to be going vegan, or liberating animals, or resisting patriarchy, or defying consumerism, or opting out from authoritarianism, or any genuine, measurable action that actually DOES something…rather than just making someone momentarily feel good. Enough on that though….I’ve obviously got a post to write there.

In all, this blog will be about life. It will be about a certain perspective on living fully, living passionately, and liberating oneself, but I only take responsibility for how it applies to myself and my context.


So, here I am, on the other side of the Because We Can fundraiser, with what feels like a pretty blank slate in front of me. I don’t know exactly how things are going to unfold, but I like that sense of wonder, that openness, that unwritten future. There are many ways in which I feel like I’m starting new, and this blog is just one of them.

Ultimately, I really like to write, and I hope to get back to more of my expressive, creative writing, along with all the subjects mentioned above. I’d say, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you”, in case you find yourself offended, but really, that sounds too apologetic. Let’s just leave it at that and get back to living.

Thanks for sticking around friends!



Running is often about predicting the future, about establishing goals and believing that you can achieve them. We draw upon past experience to determine these goals, but often set something that is out of our reach, that has never been done before, and that WILL be done. We certainly don’t run a 5k in 17:00 minutes and say, “Ok, now let’s do it in 17:30!”. We reach beyond our previous abilities…with measured reservation…most of the time.

We establish goals that aren’t a given, that our body has yet to accomplish, if only because our mind can imagine doing so. And that is where the problem begins…and where I ended.

I predicted the future with the Because We Can ultra run benefit, drawing upon past experience to envision running 50 miles a day for 7 days straight…in my mind. And I did everything to prepare for it. I slowly increased my mileage and intensity within the timeframe I had to prepare, did various test runs of long distances and adjusted according to how my body responded. I took the stroller out fully loaded to mimic the weights I would be pushing each day and practiced fueling, slowing down, taking breaks, and gently increased the confidence I needed to get into the first day of my ultra running streak. I was ready.

The future, however, is an imagination. It is a vision, a hope, an abstract. The body, on the other hand, is concrete, physical. It is bones and muscles and joints and tendons, and those can’t be imagined into an accomplishment. They are what they are and nothing else. You can envision lifting three hundred pounds, but the forces of your muscles can only lift to their capability without breaking. Running is, of course, no different.

I was ready, but my readiness was mostly an abstract hope. Mind you, I didn’t go into this run with complete naivety, because like I said, I prepared. I worked on the physical elements as much as I could, to make the hope more and more real, but the reality of your hopes and the developments of your physical body are only realized when you put them to the test. And where my mind was ready…my body was not.

Sort of. My body was ready to do things it had never done before. I set out the first day as charged with hope as I was with strength…and I ran…and ran and ran and ran. Slowly I began to break down, but I ran and ran. The sun beat down, but I kept running. The fatigue built, but I kept running. The rain came down, and I kept running. Down endless stretches of isolated farm roads that were the loneliest of lonely, without visual end, I ran until I found one. When I faced oncoming traffic, I ran. When semis blasted forced air into my body, causing me to drop my head and lean forward, I kept running. When the edge of the town I was trying to reach seemed stuck in the distance, I kept running until I found it. When my muscles screamed and tightened and seemed threatening to snap and detach from ligaments, I kept running. And finally…I made it. I completed 60 miles to the hotel where I would lay my weary body down and hope to recover for the next day. I had, in that first day, reached a new physical boundary past anything I had ever run before. I had turned a momentary future prediction into a reality, and although I felt like death, ultimately throwing up three times, fighting off cramps all night, and wondering just how deep of a hole I had thrown myself into…I rested with the satisfaction that I did something pretty awesome. I had predicted the future.

I wasn’t done…as on day 2, I started down the road again, seeking that longer term future prediction. Expectedly, my legs were destroyed. Every bit of muscle that sat below my waist was felt with each step from the second I pushed my stroller ahead of me. My hips. My quads. My knees. My calves. My feet. EVERYTHING. But it didn’t matter, I had a future to make a reality and hoped for the best as I knocked the rust off and got deeper into the day.

I repeated the day prior, running and running and running. Into oncoming traffic, into a rising sun, into a deeper and deeper fatigue, into mile after mile after mile. I tried to put the suffering of the previous day behind me and pretend this was my first, running on empty, and thinking only of the finish. But the idea that yesterday was only a vision, was not the reality. The reality was that my body sustained a lot of damage that couldn’t be repaired in such a short time and that became more and more apparent as the day wore on and reaching each mile marker slowed and slowed. No matter, I was moving forward and continuing to eat up the distance.

Soon, however, the abstract, hopeful vision faded and the physical reality set in, when the muscles around my knees weakened to nothing and the continuous swinging of my joint grew to a powerful pain. I was in trouble. I tried to place the weight on my left leg, to no avail. I leaned on the stroller for support, but that didn’t help. I slowed down, and nothing. I sped up, and nothing again. I exaggerated my leg swing, but absolutely no adjustment would take the pain out of my leg, would adjust the physical reality of my body’s deterioration, would save me from myself. And so I had to stop…at 45 miles. I was done..for the day..for a couple days.

My predicted future had fallen apart by the weight of a physical reality. My body couldn’t handle the vision in my mind.

My dad drove me home the next morning after I couldn’t make it 50 yards without knee pain, leaving me to readjust, recover, and figure out how to alter my predicted future. I wallowed in embarrassment (which I’ll get to in a bit), but quickly found my determination soaring again, unwilling to let this be the end.

Long story short…I recovered for the two days, getting necessary massages, eating, and doing everything possible to get back out there and have another go at it. That was this morning…when I made it 5.5 precarious miles before it all fell apart again and my body couldn’t meet the demands of the mind.

And in that…my predicted future was done.


It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to say you are going to do something and not do it. I mean, come on, I called this the BECAUSE WE CAN run…which I COULD NOT DO. There is no getting around that. I COULD NOT run 50 miles a day for 7 days straight. I couldn’t run it for THREE days straight. I couldn’t run it for 2, take 2 days off and then try again. I couldn’t do any of that…and that’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing, in part, because I believed I could and now I’m left to consider whether my perception of reality is way out of touch with what most people would call grounded. I can’t help but wonder how many people were like, “Uhh..50 miles a day, for 7 days? Yeah right. You’re an idiot.” and are now quietly patting themselves on the back to say, “See…told you so…idiot.” And I wouldn’t blame them, honestly.

It’s also embarrassing because I had been saying I was going to do this for over 5 months now, to as many people as possible. I sent out press releases. I did media interviews. I set up an itinerary for people to meet me along the way, to help me celebrate at the finish. Social media shared my build up, my videos, passed around all the media stories coming out. Many, many (I don’t want to know how many) people were watching. I had put it out there as a fundraiser, bringing people, friends, organizations, sponsors, and strangers together so I could tell them, “Hey, I’m going to do this. Watch.” Only to say, “Hey, I can’t do this. Sorry.” So yeah, that’s embarrassing.

It’s embarrassing to get the support of so many people who believe in you, who believe that you ARE going to do what you say, who contribute resources to your stated efforts, only to be left unable to fulfill your promises, your visions. It’s hard not to feel embarrassed, not to feel like you let them down, not to feel like you inadvertently used them in a way.

And I’m sorry about all that. I’m sorry because over my maturing years I’ve come to never want to be the type of person that talks big and doesn’t follow through. I’ve done that in the past, I know. I’ve become excited by projects without thinking through the logistics, brought people in to help out, and then suddenly dropped them when I realized it just wasn’t going to happen…not because it COULDN’T happen, but because I was unwilling to push through the obstacles. I wanted it to be easier.

It’s hard to shake that feeling now, though I know this “failure” isn’t the same. I truly believed I could do this. I truly prepared to make it a reality. I knew how hard it was going to be and was ready to push through…and when it became difficult, even seemingly impossible, I kept trying. Still…it didn’t happen.

That’s embarrassing.

It’s also the BEST KIND OF EMBARRASSING. Yeah…I’m embarrassed, but I’m actually not emotionally crushed over this. I’m actually feeling pretty good about it all. I’m disappointed, absolutely. I’m frustrated, definitely. I’m embarrassed…but in the most satisfied way possible…because I ATTEMPTED this. I tried to predict a future that seemed doable, but also difficult, and I prepared for it, and I felt ready, and I did everything I could to accomplish a goal that seemed past my previous boundaries…and I attempted it. So in that embarrassing failure is an undeniable accomplishment, both in what I did achieve, but also in the attempt itself.

“I often think about how I get disappointed or embarrassed when I try something and it doesn’t work out. And I remember that I only get to feel those things because I tried something new, something hard, just something. The alternative is doing nothing and feeling nothing.” – from a friend

It was one thing to have attempted this goal, only to come up short. It would have been another thing to have said I was going to do it, and then backed out in fear. But it would be entirely something else to not even imagine doing something outside of my boundaries. I don’t fault anyone for trying something that might seem a little fantastic. I don’t fault anyone for even considering something a little foolish. It’s when an individual doesn’t even allow themselves to believe that a different reality is possible that I can’t get behind. It’s when one stops themselves from testing physical limits with a completely abstract, arbitrary mental restriction that I can’t support.

The physical world is our boundary, not the mental one. So, although I’m still somewhat embarrassed that my physical limits couldn’t reach my envisioned mental limits, the fact is that I at least tried to reach them. And in some way, I found the ceiling…for now.


“The important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.” Pierre de Coubertin

Runners always seek the limits of their abilities, trying to hit the elusive ceiling of what they can accomplish at various points of their lives. When I started competitive running again as an adult, I quickly found myself trying to discover my limits…which seemed endless. As far as I was concerned, I was going to run until I was breaking the sound barrier. Of course, the times started peaking along with the distances, and I could hear my labored breathing echoing off a nearby ceiling. I was pushing against all reasonable limits, which I soon realized was an Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier. I knew that, if I could achieve it, that was my ceiling..that it was highly unlikely I could run faster than 2:19, and so I had to go for it. Of course, I never reached that ceiling when various life obstacles got in the way, but I tried, and for that I’ll never have regrets.

This ultra run, in retrospect, was no different. I had never run 50 miles before this past Sunday. (It sounds foolish, I know, but trust me, I was more measured in my preparations than that.) Still, I believed there was a different kind of ceiling I could reach, a ceiling of distance, a ceiling of endurance both mental and physical.

And I reached it.

At this point of my life, between surgeries, after a year and a half of chemotherapy, with the various obligations I have…I reached that ceiling. I reached that ceiling because I accomplished something I had never done before and I was stopped only by my physical limits, not the mental ones.

Believe me, if there was a mental reservoir I could tap into that would divert me from the pain I was experiencing on the second day…I found it, but it wasn’t getting past the muscular pain of running that stopped me. It was the impossibility of movement. It was my body saying, “That’s enough. Actually, that’s TOO much. We’re done.”

But in that physical ceiling, I reached the accomplishment of running further than I ever had, and following that up with a second day of long distance running. It took a friend pointing out the obvious numbers for me to really help me grasp what I accomplished and be ok with it in the moment. I was too wrapped up in not reaching the original goal to look back and see what I had just done in relation to all my years of running accomplishments up to that point.

To be specific, I had run over 100 miles in less than 36 hours. That’s a lot of miles. It’s by no means unheard of, but admittedly, it’s not the most common (or advisable) running accomplishment either. But I did that. No, it wasn’t my ultimate goal…but it was still an accomplishment, and because my body had stopped itself in the attempt, it was also a ceiling. I simply could not keep going, no matter how much I wanted to.

And oddly that’s an accomplishment. I’m satisfied with that.


I still fell short, however, and that will probably eat at me for awhile. I didn’t make it to Kokomo, or Indy, or Bloomington, and so on. That will eat at me because I was so excited to complete those runs. I had so many imaginations of what that was going to look like, feel like, but it didn’t happen. I have fallen short of that predicted future.

It was suggested that I ride my bike the rest of the way, or set up a relay, or another number of ways to complete the run, but honestly, I just didn’t have that in me. I didn’t have that motivation. I set this up to run, by myself, all the way (or at least some version of it)…I didn’t come to ride my bike down the state (been there, done that), or have anyone else do it for me. That wasn’t the point. I came to run, and even though I didn’t make it all the way, I did as much as I could, which was the personal point of this run in the first place.


My goal with this run was to see what I could do with my running body between surgeries. I wanted to see what I could do with some semblance of continuous training before my body’s proverbial slate got wiped clean by the next cancer treatment, but that was personal. That was my selfish goal.

More than anything else, I wanted to bring attention to the financial needs of cancer patients (beyond just health care) and an organization that addressed those needs. Family Reach was that organization and I was driven, even more than my personal goals, to raise as much money as I could to help the families they serve. I was proud to work along side them, to promote their mission, and get to know the many employees of the organization that I now can call friends. They backed me from the moment I called to explain my vision, believing that I would do what I said I would, even to now when I was stopped short of completing my trans-state run. They have been incredibly supportive and I’m trying my best to focus on what we accomplished rather than the disappointment I feel from not being able to physically carry through.

And here’s the thing…above all else, I’m most fulfilled and most rewarded knowing that the mission of Family Reach is now recognized by so many more people than it was prior to the run. I’m rewarded knowing that more people recognize there are other ways to directly support cancer patients rather than simply buying pink plungers and water bottles with ribbons printed on the label. I’m rewarded knowing that we raised, so far, over $21,000 that will help pay for rent, car payments, child care, food, and so many other needs of families that are facing the mounting financial pressures of cancer, helping them keep their lives together through cancer treatments. THAT IS A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT.

And I don’t say that as, “I ACCOMPLISHED THIS!” I didn’t…I was the spectacle. YOU accomplished all this. You are the ones that financially sacrificed what you could to give comfort to those that couldn’t. THAT IS HUGE. Honestly, I know most of you won’t get to talk directly to the families that benefit from these funds, to understand how important your contributions are to their financial and emotional stability, to feel that overwhelming emotional satisfaction that comes with knowing how much you’ve helped others, but if you ever want to know…send me an email and I’ll do my best to explain. I’ve been on the receiving end of similar aid and the value is truly immeasurable.

And again, my run was just the spectacle. My run was just trying to compete for the attention against all the other distractions of our days, to help cut through the crazy and fund a bit of the good in the world. We need more of that. MUCH more of that. I was glad to do my part for Family Reach, but I’m most proud that you did your part.


Since this idea came to me, with all it’s different motivations, it has been a fantastic experience. From the people I’ve met, to the running accomplishments I’ve achieved, to the funds raised, to the future connections made (see you in Indy, Dylan!), to all the unknowns that might come from this, I feel absolutely ecstatic at this point. The personal frustrations I feel with not being able to complete my stated goal pale in comparison to the value of the communities I’m connected, to the heart of the people willing to offer encouragement and financial support to those that most need it, to the happiness and determination of those who have found themselves at the mercy of cancer by no fault of their own.

To repeat the sentiments above, life is not about perfection, about reservation, about being able to always do what you say…but about attempting it. It is about saying, “I believe I can do this…and so I’m going to try.” We may “fail” in ways, we may be stopped by unforeseen limitations, we may never create that new world we’ve imagined or reach that finish line or surpass our physical boundaries or outlive cancer or any of those abstract, predicted futures, but if we don’t even try, then what’s the point in imagining?

I didn’t complete the run I imagined, but if I had never imagined it in the first place, I never would have run 60 miles the first day. I never would have run 45 miles the second day. I never would have surpassed all my previous running distances. I never would have reached the ceiling of my abilities. I never would have discovered what I was capable of doing at this point.

And we might never have learned about Family Reach. We might never have raised over $20,000. Some families would have potentially gone financially unsupported and risked losing their home, their transportation, even their lives if they couldn’t get to chemotherapy treatments.

In these accomplishments, I can’t spend anymore time fretting about the ceiling of my physical abilities, about what I hoped would happen, because what I couldn’t do was more than made up by what you DID DO.

And for that I thank you.

(PS – the fundraiser is still open if you want to donate or share it with others)


Specifically, I want to thank the following people, knowing I’ll be leaving out so many I’d rather write entire posts about. So, without any hierarchy of importance, thanks to the following:

Laura, Everyone at Family Reach and Reach Athletes, Chelsea Butler, Dylan Berry, Patricia Jackson and Family, All my sponsors – The Bike Line, Gu Energy Labs, Ugo Bars, Saucony, Dad and Mom, everyone who donated to the fundraiser, everyone who commented, shared, etc. on social media, Emma Huddleson, all the journalists who wrote stories about my run and cancer experience, Shaun Evans and the Evans Family (go follow their unbelievable story – Ainsley’s Angels & Power To Push), and so many more. Again, I apologize for not naming you all individually, but there are so many hours in a day. Just know I appreciate you with more gratitude than I can express.

Take care friends. Look out for each other and I’ll see you back on the road…as soon as my body lets me.

Because We Can – Media

Hey friends,

We leave tomorrow morning to meet Family Reach recipient, Dylan Berry, and his mother, Patricia Jackson. After our meeting, we’ll head out to the hotel and prepare to get up early in the morning, point the stroller South, and find our way to Louisville in 7 days! The following links are to various media stories posted about my run and a podcast by friend, Michael Harren. Thanks for all the support to this point!


Broad Ripple Magazine

NUVO Newsweekly

Kokomo Tribune


Turn by Turn Itinerary

There are those that have asked about my run itinerary and I’ve created a turn by turn list of directions, supplied below. After a few recon missions, I settled on a route that was as direct as possible, but as far from dangerous car traffic as I could get, which admittedly, wasn’t always easy. I’ve taken the appropriate precautions by running against traffic and making myself visible with morning lights, a flag, and reflective pinwheels duct taped to the front of my stroller. With all that said, I’ve found nothing short of hitting a brick wall will get the attention of a texting driver (PS – PLEASE DON’T EVER BE ONE OF THOSE)…so if you know of friends and family in the areas I’ll be running, feel free to alert them to my travel routes.

DUNES TO RENSSELAER – DAY 1 – Sunday, August 23rd

Dunes State Park
SOUTH on N CR 25E (out of park)
RIGHT on Calumet Trail
LEFT on Waverly Rd.
– sharp curve in town onto Wabash
RIGHT on S 8th St.
RIGHT on W. Porter Ave.
LEFT on S 11st St.
Turns into MERIDIAN RD.
Turns into N. Campbell st.
Curves into Indiana Ave.
RIGHT onto S. Washington St. (2)
LEFT onto Smoke Rd.
RIGHT onto 8
LEFT onto S 250 W
Turns into N 400 W
RIGHT onto W 600 N
LEFT onto N 450 W
RIGHT onto 14
LEFT onto 231 into Rensselaer
RIGHT onto Merritt Rd.
– curves into Jefferson
RIGHT on 114
Out to Holiday Inn Express
4788 Nesbitt Dr.
Rensselaer, IN

RENSSELAER TO LAFAYETTE – DAY 2 – Monday, August 24th

LEFT onto 114
114 to 421
RIGHT onto 421
turns into 43
– past 65
LEFT onto Burnetts Rd.
RIGHT onto N 9th St.
Left onto South St.
Out to Towneplace Suites
163 Frontage Rd.
Lafayette, IN 47905

LAFAYETTE TO KOKOMO – DAY 3 – Tuesday, August 25th

LEFT onto 26
LEFT on N 550 E
– curves into E 100 N
RIGHT onto S 500 W
LEFT onto 26 into Rossville
LEFT onto N CO RD. 330 W
RIGHT onto W 800 S
– turns into E CO RD. 1000 N
LEFT onto 29
RIGHT onto E 750 S
– turns into COUNTY RD. W 250 S
– towards New London
Turns into W ALTO RdD.
Soft RIGHT onto E ALTO RD.
– past 931
RIGHT onto CARTWRIGHT DR. to Albany Dr. to Holiday Inn Express
511 Albany Drive
Kokomo, IN 46904

KOKOMO TO INDIANAPOLIS – DAY 4 – Wednesday, August 26th

SOUTH on 931
RIGHT on 26
– turns into N 900 W
– turns into W DITCH RD. (dead ends)
RIGHT on 6 Points Rd.
– turns onto W 193rd St.
– turns into Spring Mill Rd.
LEFT onto 32
RIGHT onto Westfield Park Rd. (before 31)
Connects to MONON TRAIL
To Downtown Circle


CIRCLE to Meridian South
RIGHT on South St.
LEFT on KY ave.
RIGHT on Morris
LEFT on Harding
– turns into 67 towards Martinsville
LEFT on 39
– bends in Martinsville
SOFT LEFT onto Burton Ln.
– past 37
– curves into Jordan Rd.
RIGHT on Liberty Loop Rd.
LEFT on E Hacker Creek Rd.
to OLD SR 37
to 37 (short portion)
to OLD SR 37
– into Hindustan
– into Dolan
LEFT on Walnut
onto College into Center Square

BLOOMINGTON TO SEYMOUR – DAY 6 – Friday, August 28th

46 to 446
RIGHT onto 446
LEFT on 58
– into zelma
– into norman
– into kurtz
LEFT on 135
– towards Freetown
RIGHT on W Columbus Pike (58/258)
– to acme
– to cortland
– into Seymour
RIGHT on 11
LEFT on 50
LEFT at Circle K before 65 to hotel
Fairfield Inn & Suites
327 N Sandy Creek Dr.
Seymour, IN

SEYMOUR TO LOUISVILLE – DAY 7 – Saturday, August 29th

LEFT on 50
RIGHT onto 31
31 to Veteran’s PKWY
RIGHT on Veteran’s PKWY
LEFT on Hamburg Pike
– turns into Spring St.
– runs to river
RIGHT at river to Big 4 Pedestrian Bridge.

7 days. 368 miles +/-. As close to $50,000 as we can get!

Leave It On The Course

It was exactly one year ago I sat in a hospital bed, drifting in and out of a drug induced awareness, freshly cut in two and placed squarely back to square one. The Mother Of All Surgeries was relatively successful (however one defines that when cancer remains) and I was just beginning a process of slow healing. I could do little without intense concentration and a deliberate steadying of myself with every step. Walks to the bathroom were like crossing a tightrope. Every railing within reach was used to keep me upright. Relieving my body of gravity’s pull when getting back in bed felt like a race victory.

Eventually I made it out of the hospital and repeated the efforts at home, though mostly I just laid in bed all day, only taking precarious trips to the kitchen for futile attempts at eating anything my scraped and scarred insides could tolerate. Netflix and the kitties were my continuous entertainment. And the abrupt shift from pre-surgery running to a passive, disabled existence was taking it’s toll on my psyche as much as my body. I found myself drawn to watching extreme sports documentaries and anything that distracted me from my inabilities, creating the momentary illusion that I wasn’t cut in two, that I was able to embrace life, that all the possibilities of the world lay before me.

And then the credits would roll.

But that momentary illusion was, I knew, also only abstractly momentary, and with time I would build my body out of it’s weakness and back to the active life I refused to let slip away. How far I could take my body, I certainly didn’t know at the time. If you told me then, that at the end of the year I’d be running 50+ miles for 7 days straight…I’d think you were taking more of the pain pills than I was. But here I am…only slightly more resigned to the reality of this possibility than if I was told so a year ago.

On today’s strong, fast 6 mile taper run I was struck by a memory from that year ago passivity. I had found myself watching the documentary about the 12 year old girl sailing around the world…by herself. I remember laying in bed thinking, “What am I doing with my life? I should be doing something like this! Why am I holding myself back?!” Admittedly, I was on a consistent schedule of vicodin ingestion and maybe the sweet relief was timed with the watching of this film…but I know it wasn’t JUST the drugs. This feeling, this realization of life’s possibilities isn’t foreign to me. The idea that our obstacles, no matter how real, are not fixed, are not immovable, has always informed my motivation to make the most of my existence, and the feelings unleashed by this young girl’s ability and drive to do something absolutely unhindered and incredibly were not romantic. I know what a genuine motivation is, and I was feeling it.

Honestly, I can’t remember WHAT I was thinking might be possible. I might have considered running across the country, around the world, SOMETHING. I don’t remember…I probably soon fell asleep as was common after a couple hours of feeling well. And as time went on, I fell into the routine of my life, getting stronger, trying to get back on top of finances, sharing my life with Laura, parenting my son, and figuring out how to make the most of my days.

I had forgotten about the film and the compulsions it developed within me.

But maybe it had seeded itself deep in my conscious, stored with all the other romantic ideals that become too much for their compartment in my brain and ultimately spill out into some wild-eyed, hair-brained idea of mine. Because as I got stronger and stronger, my running becoming more and more consistent, the reality of my ambitions and a massive undertaking was growing at the same rate as my fitness. No doubt pressured by the immediacy of a coming surgery, an idea struck me at the same time a moment of romantic motivation did. I needed to make the most of my ability, my time to do so, if for no other reason…because I can.

But there were other reasons. My friend Chelsea had been rediagnosed with cancer (rest in power, friend) and I saw the opportunity to help. And then I considered the opportunity to help others in the same position as well. But at it’s root, I was going to do this because I can, because it was monumental, because it was a new boundary for me, because I had found the time and means, because…why not?

Too often we let measured reason and grounding dictate our decisions, pull us from the edge, keep us from turning those annoying, big talk internet memes into an actual reality. It is safer in that space. It is comfortable. It is “respectable”. It’s also, to me, boring as hell. That space is the reality that keeps us from thinking outside of convention, from believing in and shaping the world we want to live in away from politicians, authoritarians, fundamentalists, and scared children turned adults in charge of society’s prisons.

So when the forces that cross romantic moments and extreme ideas together found me last winter…I ran with it. It happened on a plane actually, and before it had landed, I was sketching out the outline as to how all this was going to come together. I knew it was going to take work, primarily in the form of running lots of miles, but I believed I could do it. And I did.

It wasn’t always easy, the heat and humidity drowning my attempts at strong running during the worst of the summer months, the overrunning injury I worked into my leg, and the derailment of a focused training plan late into the game, but pushing through the effort and getting to this week gave me a taste of what’s possible when the low points come at me next week. I’ll make it through.

I’ll make it through because I have the obligation of completing this run for everyone who supported me to this point, for everyone who donated to the fundraiser, for Dylan, for Chelsea, for all my friends and family affected by cancer, for all those I told I would I do it…and for myself, because when I decided to run down the state last winter, it was for the most simple realization that I COULD. It was because I had rebounded from one of the most invasive surgeries in the medical field, because I had a running life I refused to leave behind, because I simply could. And it’s an insult to those that CAN’T should you have the ability and leave it unfulfilled.

And so, no regrets. I’ve set a goal that, at this time, feels at the boundaries of my abilities. It is not a goal I can cruise through with only mild discomfort. It won’t be easy. It will be hot. It will take concentration, intelligent decision making, patience, fueling, recovery, and persistence. It will be an effort that fulfills a potential, that will leave nothing wanting when all is said and done.

In 2 months I’ll be laying back on that hospital bed, cut in two, placed firmly back to square one, walking the tightrope again…but I will do so with no “what ifs”, no “should haves”, no regrets, for I will have taken full advantage of this window of opportunity, I will have “left everything on the course”, I will have developed my abilities and used them to their absolute fullest.

In short, I will have lived as much as I possibly could…because I can.

Taper Tantrum

It would be misleading to say I’m having a tantrum about this last week of tapering leading into my Ultra Run. After so many months of mileage buildup, culminating in a 100 mile and 95 mile week, I’m ready to let my body rest and heal before starting down the state of Indiana. I’ll need every bit of reserved strength I can manage. So, during this last week of tapering, I’m solidifying all the final logistics for the Because We Can run, like turn by turn directions, hotel accommodations, fueling needs, and securing the various supplies I’ll packing into my stroller and pushing for 350 miles. With that said…I could not have pulled this off without some help regarding the bigger logistics and I want to give recognition to those that assisted me.


Some people have asked if I’m pulling over on the side of the road and setting up camp…and no…definitely not. I’ll be stopping in cities at the end of each day to shower, relax, refuel and get ready for the next day. I was fortunate to have rooms donated or discounted to me in a few of the cities and they deserve recognition.

In Rensselaer, Indiana, the Holiday Inn Express donated a room to the fundraiser.
In Lafayette, Indiana, the Towneplace Suites offered me a severely discounted room to recharge.
In Bloomington, Indiana, my friends and sponsors, UGO Bars, are putting me up for the night.
In Kokomo, Indiana, the Holiday Inn Express, again, donated a room to the fundraiser run.

I didn’t find such support and generosity in every city and every location I asked, so I’m incredibly grateful for these hotels and friends for setting me up for the night. The time I’ll be taking at each stop to get ready for the next day will be just as important as the time I spend running on the road. Please consider supporting them in return should you need their services in the future.


One of my main concerns for completing this run successfully will be fueling properly with the expected heat and humidity that defines the state of Indiana in August. I’ve been fortunate to become connected to GU Energy Labs who have helped fuel me with energy gels and electrolyte drink mixes during my training and into my actual ultra run. I’ve used their products for years and feel confident I’ll be able to fend off dehydration and nutrient depletion during the more difficult days under the sun.

I’ve also had great friends at the ever expanding energy bar company, UGO Bars, and they’ve been great supporters of me and my run. I’ll be staying with them in Bloomington and probably stuffing my face with some ANutters while I crash on their couch (Hope you don’t mind Tracy and Rebecca!).


I was really concerned about having some sort of stroller or trailer to use while running down the state when I first started organizing this run, and when a potential new product out West couldn’t come through, I started asking local shops about discount potentials. Going beyond my expectations, The Bike Line in Broad Ripple not only offered me a trailer, they purchased it for me outright. To have the trailer was not only a concern off my shoulders, but it also allowed me to start training and getting used to it immediately. I’m so grateful to have a high-quality Burley trailer to push down the sometimes not so smooth shoulders of the Indiana roads. I have no doubt this is going to get me to Louisville without problem and I’m so appreciative that The Bike Line stepped up to help out.

And, of course, one can’t really put in hundreds and hundreds of miles of training and ultra running without something sufficient on their feet. The local rep with Saucony Shoes came forward to help me have the right shoes (and shorts) to train in for the preceding months and a couple pairs to use on the run itself. I’ve been super happy with my Triumphs and look forward to wearing them out over the coming 350 miles!

This isn’t to diminish the assistance and support I’ve received from everyone else as well…as every supportive word and encouragement has helped me psychologically prepare for both the excitement and potential difficulty that is to come. I’m privileged to know everyone I’ve come to connect with over the past year.

Thanks for everything friends…it’s almost time to put all this support, physical and emotional, to the test!

BWC Update – Close Calls and Long Hauls

I’m officially two weeks out from beginning this Trans-Indiana run with the intent of raising as much money as possible for Family Reach. The logistics are all but hammered out, the media response is building, and I’m in the final efforts of preparing my body for this effort, which admittedly, I’m as prepared as I possibly can be.

With that said, not everything went as planned, but as I’ve learned with training time and again, that’s standard. It’s rare that all the pieces fall into place, the trajectory of physical progressions rises like a heart rate, and the final run goes off without a hitch. I’m actually EXPECTING some considerable difficulties during the run itself, but as with everything in life, it’s not about avoiding the adversity, but rather how you handle it when it comes.

I had my first and pretty much only considerable moment of training adversity a few weeks ago, when after completing an easy marathon long run, my left lower leg started revolting in the last mile. I completed the run in just a couple minutes past a BQ, and although the effort felt minimal, the stresses accumulating from the run and previous days proved too much in the end. All of a sudden I was “injured”. My shin hurt to the point that I simply couldn’t run on it…or even walk comfortably. And yeah, I started to freak out a little bit.

Surely I didn’t just ruin my ability to run this benefit run a month before the start date. Surely I didn’t just force myself into an entire month off of running when I hadn’t even broke 30 miles yet. Surely I didn’t just waste all the time, all the promises, all the fundraising I had created to this point. That was NOT an option. I took a deep breath, called my sports massage therapist friend, and committed to practicing the appropriate recovery measures I’ve learned over the many years of DOING IT ALL WRONG.

In the past I would have went into COMPLETE freak out mode, calling off any potential goal race plans, sinking deeper into depression each day, and trying to run at every delusional moment of recovery…further putting myself into the hole of injury. This time, I decided to wait it out, get my massage, rest when I knew it was necessary…and then rest some more when I thought I might be ok. Every night I was icing, wearing supportive shoes, sleeping with a compression sleeve, upping my protein intake, and creating new gods and new prayers to make sure all my bases were covered.

Long story short…with some excruciatingly painful, but amazingly effective massage sessions, and all the other activities I mentioned, I woke up the first day of my vacation and went for a pain-free 5 mile run. And just like that, I rested myself out of an injury and quickly got back to training.

I had saved myself from a lot of running difficulty, handwringing, explaining and apologizing to others and so forth. I was ready to run again.

The first week back I put in 50 miles…and continued into this past week, figuring out the best plan to make sure I was ready to cover 50 miles..and again..and again..and again…

I kept my mileage at 10 miles a day as I double checked to make sure my injury wouldn’t flair up again and when it seemed safe, made plans for the weekend long run, which just happened to fall on my birthday. Perfect.

“Run your age” is what I always tell distance runner friends of mine on their birthday…seeing if they’ll actually do it. Some have…most haven’t. I was one in the latter category, but always thought that would be a rad thing to do, and this was the perfect opportunity. So without telling anyone but Laura, I made plans to complete a 39 mile run, primarily by eating a lot the days before, loading up my trailer will all the supplies I’ll be taking on my BWC run and mentally priming myself to run through any potential adversity I might meet along the way.

Waking up at 5am, I readied myself and started running down the street under a dark 6am sky, regretting not putting a blinker on the back of my shorts. I made it to the traffic free rail-trail a few miles later, however, and pointed myself northward for approximately 17 miles. Doing my best to run a very reserved pace while periodically fueling on a part schedule / part intuition plan, I made it to my turn around point feeling good and only with mild tightness in my legs.

I pointed myself South to run out the 17 miles the other way and tried to mimic the first half effort, staying conservative, fueling well, and occupying my mind with positive, encouraging thoughts and stories. It was only when I got to about 5 miles from home did I start to have to push through physical strain, when pace seemed to get slower and slower, and I kept imagining what it would be like to have to run TEN MORE MILES on the first day…and then the next and the next and the next…

But with 4 miles left I was surprised by Laura waiting at a street crossing with a box full of vegan birthday donuts! With the most amazing amount of self-restraint, I let her keep the donuts from me until I got home and focused on completing the run. As I started to finish the last bit of rail-trail the physical difficulties remained, but I was emotionally lifted from seeing Laura, and managed to keep pushing myself (and the trailer…literally) up the 3 miles of incline back to the house.

I made it home, took the obligatory and ridiculous social media photos (donuts included), and quickly got to GETTING THE HELL OFF MY FEET.

And with that, I had run the furthest OUTDOORS that I ever have. The previous record was 30 miles (45 on a treadmill). More importantly, I learned A LOT about how to appropriately pace the run, fuel the run, and work my way through various ups and downs while being engaged in a physical effort for so long. I also built a tremendous amount of confidence and encouragement…and excitement…to get into the actual BWC run, knowing I wouldn’t completely fall apart.

My concerns weren’t completely gone, however, as running this distance once is one thing, but being physically able to do it again is something else. I was very curious how my body would recover and if I would be able to run ANY distance the next day. I took all day to reconsume all the calories I burned, stretched my legs, foam rolled, and did all the little things to make sure I would be as recovered as possible.

I woke the next morning, definitely stiff, but without concerning pains and was encouraged to go through my normal 10 mile run. It was a slow run, undoubtedly, and although it was compromised even further by heat and humidity, I was able to run through steadily and recover again. Another encouraging realization leading into the run.

So now…we made it. I’m just hammering out the logistics with media contacts, sending out press releases, trying to secure one more donated/discounted hotel room (help a brother out Seymour, Indiana!), finalizing the nutrition plan…and running out the last days to the 23rd when I drive North, point myself South…and go.

I will also, hopefully, be meeting Dylan, who I highlighted in a previous blog post, this weekend. Dylan and his family were aided by Family Reach while he undergoes treatment. It’s been difficult trying to schedule a time to meet him in person, but I’ll be sure to update the blog when we make it work.

And really, that’s what this is all about to me. The idea of running down the state sounds awesome…I won’t deny that, and there is an obvious personal, selfish motivation to this run…but the most important reason I’m motivated to do this is to bring attention to the work of Family Reach, to put their name out into the world more than they have already done so, and raise as much money as possible to help all those financially struggling in an already stacked, problematic economic structure while pushing through the adversity of cancer treatment.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to this fundraiser. You may never meet the recipients of this financial aid, but you know me…and I can tell you the value of these funds can’t be expressed enough.

Feel free to keep pushing this fundraiser out to your wider community.

Thanks friends, and I’ll be sure to update again before the run starts on the 23rd. Let’s hope for unseasonably cool mornings!