300 (Read 2710 times)


    I'm kind of burned out.


    Can't imagine why. 


     Congratulations-although  the word isn't quite up to the accomplishnment.

    Biking Bad

    finnegan begin again

      Nice work. Love the return of the old avatar

      "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value..."  Thomas Paine Dec 23, 1776 The Crisis 


      Adversity is the first path to truth. Lord Byron


      "No one plans to fail…..they fail to plan" Skinny Pete

        Awesome job! You are a machine!Congrats!  My goal is to run the amount of mile in a marathon PER WEEK Smile

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          I've done three marathons and an ultra in the past year.  I commented to a few of my friends that I think I'm going to take a while to try some shorter races.


          I'm trying to wrap my head around doing 329 MORE before focusing on shorter races for a while.  Damn.


          Even if it's "just running," the wherewithal is impressive as hell.  Well-deserved congratulations, man.

          "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
          Emil Zatopek

            I'm pretty much speechless, but congrats!

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

              I'm definitely impressed-congrats on your accomplishment. 


              I am curious about your numbers stuff though...so I hope you feel inspired to put those together soon.


                Preface: this is just a list of numbers and thoughts.  I worked really hard to get to 333, but at the same time I fully believe "It's just running".  I don't want a list of goofy stats to make me come across as cocky.  I don't feel cocky (heh), ESPECIALLY about a bunch of midpack runs.  Honestly, one of the reasons I've struggled with my book is because I want to say stuff that's fun (and potentially inspiring to some, I suppose), but there's another dude who has written a couple books.  His tone in the books and on the internet and in person is... well, er... let's just say that 1) I don't want to be like that... and more importantly, I don't want to be 2) "the dude who is trying to be like the dude who is like that".


                Honestly, it generally wasn't about the numbers.  It was about the fun places to run... and when I went after states, the idea that this would take me to cool places I would not have otherwise gone.  Who knew that the state capitol of North Dakota looks like a bank?  Or that Tulsa contains giant praying hands?  Etc.  The numbers are artifacts of the journey.


                One final bit, and this is one of the very very few places you will ever see me write (or say) this.  333?  That is in my second life of running.  In grad school from 1989-1992, I was a triathlete.  During that time, I ran 4 marathons.  Those aren't in the count.  Aside from my white whale... chasing my 1991 PR of 3:18 (I know, you sub-3 folks are yawning)... I basically do not consider these old races.  It was a long time ago.  I was a different person, and not in a good way.  Y'all think I'm a smart ass now?  I was a smart asshole then.  At least now I feel bad when I screw up.




                333 = 272 marathons + 52 50ks (and close-to-it distances) + 9 50 milers (including 12 hour races where I ran 50-56 miles)


                333 marathons+ultras in 10 years, 9 months (September 2001 - July 2012)

                • I averaged 31 marathons+ultras a year
                • I averaged 2.6 marathons+ultras a month
                • Biggest year: 65 in 2007
                • Biggest month: 11 marathons in September 2007 (triple, 2 doubles, quadzilla)
                • 2 Quadzillas, 2 triples, 28 doubles, 12 39.3s (full+half)

                First marathon: 4:04:04 (Portland 2001)

                Fastest marathon: 3:23 (Seattle Rock N Roll 2010 on a day where I didn't decide to 'go for it' until M6)

                Times I honestly tried to BQ: 3

                BQs: 2

                Fastest 50k: 4:25

                Fastest 50 miler: 8:04 (Mt Si 2012, however, it was 50.9 miles long. My 50 mile split was 7:55)

                Fastest 100k double (50k saturday + 50k sunday): 10:39 in 2012.

                Fastest marathon double: 7:13 in 2007.


                That was an interesting double too. I had run the Thanksgiving Atlanta Marathon in 3:55. I flew home Friday.  Saturday, I ran Ghost of Seattle in 3:37.  Sunday, I ran the hilly Seattle Marathon in 3:36.  Yes, the third one was the hardest course, and my fastest race.  I did that again in 2010 when I ran the Seattle quadzilla.  4 marathons in 4 days... the last one, the Seattle Marathon, was my fastest. 3:34.


                I ran 5 "negative split doubles".  These would be doubles (2 races in 2 days) of equal length races where I ran the second day faster than the first day. Not all of my doubles were marathon+marathon or 50k+50k. Some were mixed, usually 50k on Saturday and marathon on Sunday.


                I managed negative splits (second half vs first half) in 61 marathons+ultras.  I think. I didn't start keeping track of this for a few years.


                Of the 272 marathons, 28 were: trail runs, runs over 8000ft, two runs were I paced 5h folks, and one run in nasty snow.

                • Of the remaining 244, which are reasonable "go fast" targets, I managed 151 sub-4 marathons.  62%
                • I ran marathons in all 50 states+DC. I managed sub-4 in 43 states+DC (so 44 out of a possible 51). 86%

                What states did I crap out for sub-4?

                1. Delaware - I only ran one there early on. 
                2. Maryland - same.
                3. South Carolina - same.
                4. Kentucky - same.
                5. North Dakota - I ran Bismarck as my 1st run after a broken leg. Slowly. I returned to smoke Fargo but got sick.
                6. Wyoming - only has one race where sub-4 is likely, Casper.  I ran a 4:07 hungover. Whoops.
                7. New Mexico - I ran Bataan twice. Second time 4:04, good enough for 51st overall.  Yay.  And. Whoops.

                Why did I never return to these states?  Time and priorities, really.  Sub-4 in 50 states was never a big deal to me.  There's a club that's all about "50sub4", but they seem kind of full of themselves.  Their website says that less than 100 people have run a sub-4 in 10 states. No way. Unh unh. Not buying it.  "Less than a handful" have run 50sub4.  Doubtful.


                Why did I miss sub-4 93 times... more than a third?  A lot of this is front-loaded early on.  My first marathon was 2001, and I didn't break 4 until my 28th in 2005.  Prior to #28, I didn't really train much.  Pulling out those first 27, I guess I managed sub-4 in 151 out of 217... 70%.


                The remaining 66?  Lots of reasons. Sickness. Second day of hard double. Martians.  No excuses. Also, no shouldawouldacoulda.


                Do I consider sub-4 some mark of goodness?  Oh hell no.  It's just a number that somehow a long time ago got associated with races.  It's weird that we get caught up in 4:00 vs 3:59.  I admit that I did sometimes.


                Paavo Nurmi, 2005: 4:00:24.  Fooey!

                Tampa, 2006: 4:00:35.  Fooey!

                6 different races with times of 4:01.  Fooey!

                3 different races with times of 4:02.  Fooey!


                If I hadn't stopped to pee or flirt or some damn thing, those 11 would make it 162 out of 217... 75%.  Call it the "Doh list".  Eeeks.  Shouldawouldacoulda.  Sorry.


                Number of races I won: 1/2.  I was the first male at the Rainer-to-Ruston 50k in 2010. However, I was beaten, soundly, by a fast gal. I never saw her. Not even after the race.  Maybe she was made up.  Joke.  That you know of.


                Number of races in which I scored hardware: 12.  I think.  Off the top of my head. I didn't keep up with this.


                Number of races I stopped to help an injured sick runner: 4 that I remember.  Probably closer to 10. This doesn't count ultras where people just help each other out in general. And by "stopped" I mean literally. In one case (Disney 2008), for about 45 minutes. I'm not counting slowing down to ask "are you ok?".


                Favorite marathon: Kona, because I consider it my home course.

                Least favorite marathons that still exist: Grandfather Mountain and Portland

                Least favorite marathon that is mercifully kaput: Paul Bunyan (Maine)

                Race repeated the most: Seattle, 10 times (full or half).  Haulin Aspen, Yakima, Portland 5 times (full only). And the Watershed 12 Hour.


                Hardest trail marathon: Leadville Trail Marathon, Colorado.  I am sure Pikes Peak is harder, but I haven't run it.

                Hardest road marathon: Crater Lake, Oregon or Estes Park, Colorado.

                Flattest marathon: Skagit Flats, Washington State.

                Dumbest marathon: Flying Monkey, Winkie Country Oz.


                Most overrated marathon in terms of challenge: Big Sur.  Ok, it is suuuuuper pretty. But it has a reputation for being OMG hard. It is merely regular-hard.


                Nastiest fall: Not mine, but I knocked a friend off the side of the mountain during the White River 50 in 2011.  She was coming the other way around a switchback and yoips'ed me... right off the trail. I had to reach down and pull her back up. It scared me bad. For real.


                Stupidest fall: At M26.1 of the Moab Marathon in 2006. Everyone was watching me from the finish line. I tripped over the only rock within sight. It even made that 'splat' sound and the mushroom cloud of dust associated with WE Coyote falling onto the canyon floor.


                Number of other 40+ mile runs not included in these totals: 4 pacing gigs and one gnarly DNF.

                • 65 miles at the Keys 100.  My runner was 3rd female
                • 40 miles at the Cascade Crest 100. My runner was 3rd female
                • 45 miles at the Javelina Jundred. My runner was 5th female. Of these three gigs, this is the only one where I think I mattered.
                • 50 miles at the Pigtails 100. My runner was 3rd female, smartest participant, and most excellent person.
                • 60 miles at the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 2012. I DNFed with a very messed up foot.

                In pretty much all cases, pacing gigs involved running some miles and being a witness to extraordinary accomplishments.


                Injuries and nastiness:

                • Stress fractured femur on which I ran a half marathon in 2004
                • Blood nastiness (that's code). Dec 2007 and October 2009
                • Anemia, too many times to mention
                • Strained hamstring/piriformis/sciatica periodically Dec 2010 - Mar 2012
                • Pneumonia Nov 2011-Jan 2012
                • Bruised foot bones Feb 2012
                • Broken finger March 2012

                Yeah, 2012 has been a weird year.


                Number of 26.2 or 50k runs not included in these totals: at least 2.

                • I went and ran 26.2 on my own the day that Grete Waitz died.
                • I ran a 50k as punishment the day I got up late and missed a race I had paid for.

                Pairs of shoes used 2001-2012: 70, estimated. I am going through 8 pairs a year these days, but I didn't start out that way.


                Gel and chew packs eaten during races: 1600, estimated.  This is a very rough estimate though.  


                Airline miles earned: 1,125,000, estimated. But it is a trick. Some of those are bonus miles.


                Most frequent airline: American.  They suck.  But they fly nonstop from Seattle to Dallas where my parents live. About to disappear.

                Most frequent hotel: Holiday Inn and Super 8/Microtel when I'm feeling cheap.

                Most frequent car rental: started as Dollar but they kept scamming me. Switched to Avis. Expensive, but fewer scams.

                Shoes: Asics (2001), Mizuno (2002-2008), Brooks (2008-current), Saucony (2011-current).


                Number of races I volunteered at but did not run: 35 that I recall. I think that's pretty close.

                Number of races I volunteered before or after but also ran: 20.  Including #333 where I handed out packets for several hours.


                Halves and 25ks run during this same timeframe: 47.


                  It's hard to know how to respond to this. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, but the story as a whole is even better. It's been a pleasure and an honor crossing paths with you here and there along your journey. Congratulations, hall of famer.


                  Who knew ... that Tulsa contains giant praying hands?  


                  Me! If you can believe it, there was a brief period when I was a kid that I thought I wanted to go to ORU. Ugh.

                  Best Present Ever

                    Thanks for that.  I have enjoyed your stories.  I hope to meet you someday.  Interesting about the sub-4 50 staters.  A local guy is trying for that.  I've wondered about the numbers, as they have always seemed improbably low.  

                    Regular ass person

                      Very impressive, sir.


                      However, I think you left out one of your pacing gigs.

                        Thanks, SRL, for sharing your numbers, impressions, adventures, and accomplishments with us.  You are such an inspiration.

                        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.


                          Very impressive, sir.


                          However, I think you left out one of your pacing gigs.


                          Ruh Roh.


                          I have updated this!


                            Good stuff!

                            "I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

                            -- Dick LeBeau

                              Oh yes, where can I get on the pre-order list for your book? Smile

                              Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.


                                 4 pacing gigs

                                 I read that as pigs at first. 


                                Fun numbers stuff!