Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I’m throwing a bit of a curveball into my blog this week because running is currently not my dominant thought. In fact I doubt that running will ever again be as important to me as it once was. There are many things that motivate me and many things that occupy my thoughts. My blog is about motivation and feelings. Today I write about feelings.

I awoke the other day from a dream about the St. Bernard that I had as a child. When my eyes opened my heart was filled with a feeling that hasn’t been there in a long time. The St. Bernard, in particular, holds a special place in my heart because he was the very first that I raised from a puppy into adulthood by myself. There was something special about the bond that formed between my dog and I. Since my last dog died I seemed to have misplaced the feeling of joy that dogs bring to me. Things that I miss the most are the loyalty and forgiving nature that dogs exhibit. Their memories are short if they exist at all. It never mattered how I felt or what was going on in my life at the time my dog would make it all better just by looking into my eyes. It didn’t take months of courtship or sweet talk to gain my dog’s attention but rather just some loyalty on my part and I could count on his attention for what seemed like forever. There was no reason to be afraid or inhibited because there was trust. There were no worries about whether he thought I was attractive, smart or athletic because all that mattered was the bond between the two hearts. I was never left abandoned or alone nor was there fear that he would do so or that I would do so to him. It’s amazing that it takes people forever if at all to establish this kind of bond. I’ve spent my fair share of time alone but only recently have I felt the impact. After awaking from my dream the other day I realized that I never was truly alone until my dog’s death 3 years ago. While I actively seek to have people in my life dogs sure can fill the void when no one is there. The perfect friend whether a person or a dog is trusting, loyal, caring, and devoted. The bond between a person and his or her dog demonstrates these qualities perfectly and something I need to strive towards to be a good friend to other people.

Dave B.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Why I love to run 100 milers

Often I find myself saying that I need to be in love and that I’ve wasted too much time but in reality I already am in love. I’m not in love with a particular person, place or thing but rather I’m in love with what the world has to offer. What better way to experience the world than to travel both day and night on foot through the mountains, along the river banks and under the sun, moon and stars. I’m asked all of the time “why do you feel the urge to put your body in jeopardy as often as you do”? Why not is my reply? Why should I not experience everything while I have the opportunity to do so? I’m healthy, able and active and the world is there for me to see. The smallest things have the biggest impact and the best way to see those things is on foot. The world goes round so fast that most never take the time to experience those small things because they are so busy trying to attain fame or fortune or something else that provides only a short period of happiness. Take a minute to look in the sky above at the fluffy clouds or the million stars that light up the nighttime sky or a pretty sunset. Imagine an encounter with wildlife that most only see in magazines. A herd of deer grazing in the fields or an elk peeking between the trees or for those that are most blessed the opportunity to view a big cat in the distance staring deep into your eyes as you run. Opportunities like these are what fairytales are made about. I can assure you that even though you can’t pay your bills with the feeling that you will get it is worth more than any amount of money and it will last forever. I never imagined that at the age of 42 I would still be running through mud puddles, creeks and overtop of rocks and up and down mountains. Despite what some think I am nothing but a regular person but I am a regular person with a little boy’s heart.

I am not alone for there are many out there who take the time to enjoy the world as I do. These people run ahead of me, behind me and by my side. The world is a different place because we are one. We relate, we understand, we sacrifice and we help one another accomplish our goals. Yes there is competitiveness and it can be fierce at times but ultimately we share common goals. We are there to have fun, to experience nature and to ultimately expand our horizons and push ourselves to limits unimaginable to the outside world. The hardest thing I’ve ever done is explaining why I love to run. I am in my element, it’s where I thrive, and I’m uninhibited and have no pain. There is no fear or intimidation from others but only confidence and positive vibes. If this is indeed a dream that I’m living I honestly hope that I never wake up.

Standing to the left of me in the image above is a person that I consider the best colleague that I have ever had the pleasure of guiding in my 17+ years as a supervisor. This coming Friday will be his last day as an employee of the particular business unit I am associated with as he will be moving on to bigger and better things. He is a smart guy and hard worker as well as a person who helped me immensely in creating and designing my website into what it is today. He's humble and refuses to be credited for his creative designs but today as a form of recognition I place his picture on my blog for all to see.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Travels with my Mom

The choice I made to run many years ago has led me down several paths. Some that had dead ends while others opened doors to places I may have never entered. I feel most blessed in the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to share some of these open doors with my mother. The running adventures I’ve participated in have taken me across the country from New York City to San Francisco. I’ve brought my mom along many times to be a part of some of these adventures to not only enjoy what the cities had to offer but to witness the feats of some extraordinary athletes. Truth be told what she remembers most from the trips is not the Golden Gate Bridge nor the Sears Tower, or even the Olympic Villages in Squaw Valley and Salt Lake City but rather the grit and determination demonstrated by people her own age competing in endurance events. The result of our trips has been fruitful in that it has strengthened the bond between us and also allowed us to expand our horizons and never worry about what is on the other side of an open door for it could be life itself. The world has a lot to offer and the memories I share of the travels with my mom put a smile on my face. I’m hopeful that I will be able to one more time bring her along to witness the impressive ability of regular people from many walks of life as they compete in the Western States Endurance Run in June 2007.

Last year two very nice people moved to the State of Delaware from Washington increasing the ever growing population of ultra runners in our area. In the year since they moved here the husband and wife team successfully competed in several grueling events one right after the other. Our state is generally unrecognized amongst a nation of ultra runners but I can assure you that the people here are just as tough and talented as anyone anywhere. Most, like our two newest residents, are humble and unwilling to make a big deal out of their accomplishments. In respect to the wishes of our new Delaware ultra runners I will not reveal their identities. I will however make mention to the fact that the young lady culminated a year of tough ultra-runs by successfully accomplishing her goal of running both the Disney Marathon and half-marathon in the same weekend which awarded her the Goofy Medal. She was beat up and tired but still made her way to Orlando to help a friend accomplish a lifetime goal.

An update on my running…… Last week was an up and down week but it ended with feelings of progress rather than doubt. Severe pain returned to my leg during a short run on the road Monday. The pain led to confusion as I feel I’ve done everything I can to get better. The confused period was short because I don’t give up. Giving up is not in my nature and even though the leg is battling hard it won’t win. Immediately the next day I started to stretch the leg in different ways in an attempt to relieve the pain. I started warm ginger compresses and started wearing a shin splint wrap. I took Tuesday off from running and then hit the soft trail instead of the road. I was in significant pain for about 15 minutes but then proceeded to run another 1:15 pain free. After almost a year with this same leg condition I’m hopeful that I’ve hit on something and am now on the path to recovery. I ran another 10 miles on Friday and plan to continue to slowly ramp the mileage up while running only every other day for now. If it continues to respond positively over the next two weeks I’ll make an attempt to run every day and then make a decision on whether I’ll make it to Western States in June.

Those who try can never fail no matter the outcome.