Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hello World

I thought my first post should try to explain what this is and why I’m doing it. To answer these of questions I’ve formulated the little piece below in an FAQ style so I stay on topic and don’t ramble. I hope my stories make you laugh, make you think, make you appreciate the wild outdoors that I love. Maybe you’ll find inspiration. Maybe you’ll scratch your head. But most of all I want those who read this blog to always remember one thing: there is nothing physiologically special about most ultra runners. We all fall on a bell curve like everyone else. And as such, anyone, absolutely anyone, who has the desire can participate in these events.

What am I writing about? This blog will be about the ultra-endurance activities I participate in. I’m mostly a runner so most of it will be about ultra running. I will try very hard to write in a non-technical, non-insider lingo and in a “Guideposts” style that can be enjoyed by people not associated with the ultra endurance community (aka, the other 99.9% of the population).

Why am I writing? Ultra-running is the most self-centered thing I do. I usually run alone, spending hours in the woods with just my thoughts. I try not to participate in a “selfish” manner though: I get up early to run so I get home early to play; I train before work when no one us up; In short, I generally try not to miss too much family time. But the fact remains that, like most ultra-runners, my family makes many sacrifices but rarely gets to experience race day (ie, what we’re working for). So I try to write down my experience for my wife and my close family so that they can create a mental picture of what their sacrifice has allowed me to do. I also hope that some day my daughter and her children will read my ramblings and get a sense of who I was then and why I did what I did.

Why blog? Much to my surprise, there have been many close friends and extended family members who have expressed an interest in reading the reports I’ve written. My wife and family have forwarded my messages to others who where interested. In turn people have asked to be included on the distribution and It’s gotten hard to keep track of all the people who want to be copied on the email. So the blog is a central repository for these writings. Additionally, there are occasions when it would be nice to post a picture and a blog format is good for that.

Don’t I shirk social media? It is true that in general I have scorned the current state of social media and the blogosphere. My distaste is more focused on the narcissistic drivel posted on many personal “me-pages” and the un-self-critical socio/politico propaganda on many opinion blogs. The fact is I read several blogs religiously because I enjoy the author’s story telling approach and the overall tale they are telling.

Will this be a daily journal? Absolutely, unequivocally, no. I will post very infrequently on events that are interesting and memorable and for which I think a reader would be interested. Frankly, I just don’t have that much to say and so I only expect to post three or four times a year. If you want to read a journal style blog, there are lots of good ones out there and I’ll eventually post some links on this page to the blogs I read regularly.

When will I post? Since I will not post frequently, I will maintain a calendar in the margin of the blog showing what major events I have upcoming. I will not allow much time to pass after an event before I post mostly because my brain will dump the good stuff too quickly. I have to get it down on paper, or screen in this case, pretty quickly. Many runners (me included) break the calendar year into two “seasons” and have two top priority races. I also really enjoy the FA-style events and will probably do more of these than races in the coming years.

What’s the deal with blog name? About a year ago my daughter started into the Indian Princess program through the Y. The program is essentially a low-commitment character-building program similar to the Girl Scouts but with a father/daughter focus. One of the traditions of the Native American-themed IP program is the adoption of a pseudonym for the dad which is picked by the daughter and used at the campouts. My wife and daughter wanted to incorporate running in my nick-name so they tried different names out on me while we rode in the car one day last fall: “Running Deer,” no. “Running Wolf,” no. “Running Cheetah.” “Hardly,” I say, “more like Running Turkey.” We all bust out laughing and the name stuck.

Why ultra running? Why do you do this? What’s the point? Guess I’m still working on this one. When I get good answer, I’ll post on it so keep reading.

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