“Dude I need some inspiration because I’m hitting the F’ing wall right now.”
This was the words uttered from my exhausted mouth between breaths to my buddy, Brady, over the phone during a hike break in my 2nd annual after school marathon.
The “After School Marathon” is a concoction invented after realizing that my wife, Lindsey, and I were moving away from Iowa to Virginia. Back in Iowa, I would run from the middle school where I taught almost every single day. I thought that running my very first marathon after work on a random Wednesday would be the best way to commemorate an amazing two years of teaching.
In retrospect, I’ve realized that the 26.2 miles I ran around Ankeny, Iowa could also be considered the “World’s Flattest Marathon of All Time…Ever.” This thought crossed my mind a year later about 22 miles over extremely hilly terrain through the woods of Danville, Virginia. Continue reading
My first attempt at trail running was fraught with fear.
I want to flash back to 2006 for a minute.
Lindsey (my wife and then girlfriend) and I were hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a short 4.6 mile trail to Cub Lake which I had hiked as a kid when visiting my dad. (Side note: This trail has the potential for astounding views of elk herds in the summer months) We were taking our time on our leisurely stroll when we realized “we have not seen anyone on this trail.”
Nowadays we are much more seasoned hikers and would have no problem with being alone on a hiking trail (in fact we would probably welcome it!). We have been out in the wilderness miles from human beings, we have hiked to the top of sketchy looking mountains; generally we are more comfortable being out in the woods. Back in 2006, no one on the trail meant an uneasy Chris and Lindsey. At the end of our hike we had planned to sit down by Cub Lake and have a nice romantic picnic (I know how to treat a lady…even though we got engaged at a place called Hillbilly Hill…). Our plans were interrupted by a loud GRUNT coming from the bushes a few yards away. Instantly we abandoned our plans and took off from whence we came. Continue reading
Ever since I moved down to Virginia I have been on a quest to discover new trails to run. Through the mountains, the woods, the swamps, and the coast I have discovered a passion for trail running. My wife and I make it a priority to travel to these beautiful locations and our travel plans always include exploring with a trail run. Along with eating amazing food, trail running is one of my favorite ways to explore an area.
Some areas are plentiful in the amount of trails they provide. Any state that is “outdoorsy” like Colorado or Oregon or Montana will be loaded with a variety of beautiful places to run. In fact, northern California might have the most trail runners in the United States!
That being said, recently I have realized that the idea of an “outdoorsy” area is what you make of it. Any place in the United States can be “outdoorsy” if you search for those experiences. Continue reading
Recently I participated in a trail half-marathon on the local mountain bike trails I train on most days after work. Having never won any single person event in my life (I came in 2nd in a musical chairs fiasco that still haunts me to this day), I realized that this race was a great opportunity. The trails were covered in snow and slush which definitely made the race much more challenging as going uphill in slush SUCKED, but the conditions probably worked in my favor (I’m not very fast so I was able to run closer to my regular pace). Continue reading
Running the same route day after day after day can get pretty boring. Here are three ways to kick your ass out of the monotony of routine: Continue reading
Do you have one of those friends that you look to as a constant source of inspiration? Where you get off the phone or finish a beer with them and leave completely jacked to go out and take on the whole entire world? I have one of those friends: Calvin Johanssen. The dude has the superpower of encouragement and the ability to push anyone to become their best selves. His mantra is MASH (Make Awesome Shit Happen) and we always joke that he should go on tour to spread “Calspirations” (the made-up nickname for his quotes).
One aspect to emulate is his monthly challenges. These are usually health-oriented and are intended to incorporate a healthy habit into his life. For instance, you could have a month where you run for 30 minutes a day, a month of avoiding sugar, a month of 200 body weight squats, a month of waking up early, a month of meditation etc. Continue reading
Try this on your next trail run, jog through the park, or jaunt around the lake:
Run au natural. Take the ear buds out.
I began jogging mainly to stay in shape for rugby season while in college. During these beginning experiments with jogging I relied on my iPod. It is the whole reason I was able to withstand the monotonous (and painful) three miles around an Iowa City neighborhood. I would throw on beats and tell myself “don’t think about how much your legs hurt or how trying to breathe right now is a challenge or how much this sucks!”
The music helped. It numbed me. It allowed me to think about anything other than “oh $#%#$#$ this %#$^# hurts like a son of a #@!#%!” Continue reading
I ran my first 50k in Charlotte, NC in October. The WC-50 consisted of either a 50k or 50 mile run through the woods. Having never ran any distance over a marathon, I chose to participate in the 50k which required that the racers run three laps around an 11 mile single track mountain bike course.
I signed up for the race months previous and had been training really hard. My goal was simple: finish the race. Little did I realize all of the wisdom I would gain during those 6 and a half hours. If you have never ran a race before, I don’t care if it’s an ultra, a half marathon, a 5k, an obstacle race, or a fun run, my advice to you is to sign up. Get outside and get running. The world always looks a little brighter afterwards and you always learn some valuable lessons. Continue reading
Exercising at High Altitude, A.K.A. the bane of a Flatlander’s existence.
There’s something about being in the Rocky Mountains that I am utterly in love with. I love the beautiful scenery, I love the fresh air, I love being able to see for miles and miles and, of course, I love all of the outdoor activities.
The one thing I don’t love: The altitude. Continue reading
Over the last few years I have been on a journey to find the perfect balance between getting outdoors and staying healthy. I am sick of treadmills, fluorescent lights, and the smell of gym mats. I want a genuine real experience, something that will force me out of my comfort zone.
My wife and I moved to Virginia during the summer of 2013. This move coincided with my falling in love with trail running. Eventually I stopped calling it “trail running” and began telling my wife I was “leaving to run through the woods…like a bigfoot!”
After awhile I adapted “Like a Bigfoot” as my mantra. I realized that to fully enjoy life I would need to go back to my caveman roots.
Therefore the purpose of this website is to promote chasing deer through the woods, throwing giant logs over your back, climbing big ass mountains and eating delicious healthy food! It is for people who are tired of being comfortable and want to push themselves beyond their perceived boundaries