The 200 Project S1:E7 | The Bigfoot 200

Sara and I after leaving the Windy Ridge (31.3) Aid Station. I was feeling much more human after getting some real food back in my stomach.

The Bigfoot 200 was the culmination of almost two years of planning and training. In my head — finish or fail — my participation in this event was going to be my victory lap.

In November 2014, I found myself in the middle of a surprise divorce.

Shaken both emotionally and financially, I was forced to reevaluate my plans to run the 2015 Grand to Grand Ultra, a unique multi-day challenge that was going to be the farthest I had traveled for a race. Instead, I sent a painful email to the race director and donated the non-refundable portion of my entry fee.

When I hit send on that email, I told myself that I would stay local in 2015, and then in 2016 I would travel.

This trip was the culmination of those two years.

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The 200 Project S1: E6 | Bigfoot 200: A Training Update

It’s August. We’re less than 10 days from the start of the Bigfoot 200 so it’s time to take a look at how peak month went.

I knew July was going to be a balancing act: I had not fully recovered from June’s Bighorn 100 yet we were planning to have a very high-mileage month.

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The 200 Project S1:E5 | The Bighorn 100

About 15 miles from the finish. Every step into the canyon got hotter.
About 15 miles from the finish. Every step into the canyon got hotter.
June’s Bighorn 100 wasn’t the race I wanted, but it turned into the training run I needed.

That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

Before I flew out, I had this romantic idea that I would write this amazing race report on the plane ride back. I also had some preconceptions about how well I wanted to run it.

Neither happened.

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The 200 Project S1:E4 | What Are Your Three Things?

Pursuing your passions means finding a way to balance and prioritize.

I learned this rule in college: At any given time you can juggle three things — outside of work — and still commit enough time and effort to each.

You can pick a sport, learn to play an instrument, and have a dog. But you cannot start writing a book at the same time. Try to add a fourth and you can no longer invest the time to get a proper return on your investment. You’ll be spread to thin, stressed out and unable properly commit your time to accomplishing your goal.

How does this work?

There are 168 hours in a week. Of those 168 hours, I spend approximately 45 hours working and — if I am lucky — 49 hours asleep. On paper, that leaves 74 hours to commit to other areas in my life.

But thats not really how things go.

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The 200 Project S1:E3 | Living and Running NSNG

Dinner of broiled steak and a salad of arugula, red onion, cucumber, watermelon and feta cheese. Sara made it because Sara is amazing. <– Sara wrote that.
Diet is what you eat; not a short-term, restrictive plan for losing weight.

We all tend to follow some diet or other, and while I was pacing Geoff a few weeks ago, we starting discussing mine. The other day he reached out and requested that I write a blog post on how I eat.

[Caveat: We are all an experiment of one. What works for me may not work for you. Also, I do not care how you eat, and you shouldn’t care how others eat. I have heard way too many people get way too passionate about the superiority of their particular food cult. Eat healthy, whatever that means to you.]

So what works for me? No sugar, no grains — NSNG. And this isn’t just while I am training for the Bigfoot 200 Mile Endurance Run, this is how I live.

I started eating NSNG just after the Super Bowl in 2013. Following that basic guideline, I lost approximately 20 pounds and have remained at that weight since.

But more important than the pounds I lost, I feel better. My energy levels are higher, I’m running better, and it’s not so restrictive that it complicates my life.

I have not been perfect in my implementation of NSNG, but I don’t want to be. Having a root beer float once in a while is not going to send me or my diet straight to hell.

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The 200 Project S1:E2 | Bigfoot 200: Training Snapshot


I am 80 days out from the Bigfoot 200 and taking a good look at how I am currently training.

I follow a three-up, and one-down pattern; typically running three weeks of higher mileage and then one week as a recovery week. My normal “up” week looks a little like this:

  • Monday: Rest day (Do not ever question the rest day. Ever.)
  • Tuesday: 7 miles
  • Wednesday: 7 to 15 miles on trail depending time
  • Thursday: 7 miles
  • Friday: 7 to 10 miles hopefully on trail
  • Saturday: 20 to 15 miles on trail
  • Sunday: 10 to 20 miles

This week was an excellent example of that pattern.

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The 200 Project S1:E1- The Other Side of the Bib

Sometimes the race isn’t about you, but in those times it can be the most rewarding.

A year ago I spent the third weekend in May working the finish line of the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-mile run. I spent it with friends I had made in the pervious six months, watching runners complete a hard and difficult race.

That Sunday, I can clearly remember standing in the field by the finish, staring at the mountains, listening to the crowd cheering runners to the end, and crossing a mental finish line of my own.

It was the moment I knew I was alright with my marriage ending.

This year, I returned to crew and pace a good friend who badly needed a win of his own.


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The 200 Project: Pilot Episode

Welcome to The 200 Project.

For the next few months I am going to turn Feral Ultrarunner into a live blog of my summer leading up to August’s Bigfoot 200-Mile Endurance Run .

Once or twice a week I am going to post an update that covers both my training and how it is affecting my life. Similar to a television or comic book series, the entire thing will culminate with a confrontation with the “Big Bad” that is lurking in the background throughout the entire series.

In my case, this Big Bad is Bigfoot.


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