This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On The Wings Of Angels and Warriors

Turn The Trail Pink..... I threw the idea out there and YOU responded. Thank you so much for all the support. We all HATE cancer and it amazes me how many lives it has impacted. There are so many times throughout this past year that I have broke down into tears while reading about the destruction this MONSTER has caused. I am so proud to know there are such a high number of warriors ready to fight back! You are AWESOME.

This weekend was all about PINK. Pink is the "official" color of breast cancer awareness month and we represented well. I opted out of my usual Red Friday, in support of the GREAT KC Chiefs, and went with Pink Friday instead. Trust me, I am a dedicated Chiefs fan but some things are just way more important. To me, it was important to get in the right frame of mind and focus on the task at hand, which was breast cancer awareness, honoring those touched by cancer and FIGHTING BACK.

A quick rundown of Saturday morning and then I'll get to the 50k. The Ozark County Relay 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness is an annual event in our little town. We have some very dedicated and awesome people that work really hard to raise funds and they do a great job with the race. I showed up with the idea of "taking it easy" and saving something for Sunday. This was a great plan until we actually started the race. As we took off, I held back for about 30 seconds BUT I just couldn't stand not putting all my effort into it. Maybe I'm competitive and don't like to do less than my best..... uhhh.... no maybe about it. THAT is true. I ran hard and ended up with a PR for this hilly course by about a minute. (a minute is pretty BIG in terms of a 5k) Luckily, the really fast dude (Charley) actually did take it easy and I pulled off a victory with a finishing time of 18:11.

Some really cool things happened during this race. First, some great friends made the trip down from Springfield to support the event. They bypassed several closer 5k's and drove 1 1/2 hours just to run ours. It is people like this that make me proud to be part of the running community. They could have ran a more convenient event but, knowing how important this fight is to all of us, chose to show up and help out. Awesome character. Awesome.

Second, and probably the most significant event of the weekend occurred AFTER the race. A friend, whose wife is fighting cancer, commented on a towel that was on the side of the road at mile one. We all noticed the towel but he put it into proper perspective for all of us. He said, something to the effect, it was there to remind us that we can't throw in the towel. We MUST keep fighting. Very inspiring and motivating. Did I mention the towel was PINK? Yeah, I still have goose bumps.

On to the 50k..... I showed up with the pink tutu and it got a LOT of comments and looks. Imagine that. It was adorned with over 50 ribbons to honor those touched by cancer. My friend, Karla is a super warrior in the fight who found time in her VERY busy life to hand craft each ribbon. Without her, things would have been all screwed up. My wife stayed up late on Saturday night pinning each ribbon to the tutu- each one had to be in the right place and she did an excellent job. Without her, I would be lost.

Several friends were on hand to give me support and made me feel a little more comfortable about showing up decked out in pink. They all ran the 25k and had some amazing finishing times. The race started a little after 8 and we hit the first creek crossing shortly after mile one. I lost track of how many crossings there were but they ALL happened in the first 5 miles leaving us with wet feet for the rest of the race. Sweet. Around mile 5, I "thought" there was enough space between me and the pack behind to slip off the side of the trail. You know, coffee..... As things were starting to flow- a voice- "Girls don't stand up to pee." Busted. Fortunately, it was my buddy Charley (the fast dude from earlier) who was "supposed" to be taking it easy because of injury. It was great to see him and we ran up to mile 13 together. This was the point the 25k and 50k trails split. He went on to place 3rd overall in the 25k...... so much for taking it easy.

At the halfway point I guessed that my position was about 10th or 11th. I was right but things felt good so I kept a good pace and pressed through the hills. At mile 17, I passed one runner and started to feel like I could finish strong. Over the next few miles I passed 3 more runners but was starting to feel a little sluggish. Then, at mile 24, something AWESOME happened.

Coming off a VERY steep climb and really feeling like it was going to be a LONG way to the finish, I looked down at the trail. I almost stepped on it but managed to avoid it and turn around to pick it up. It was a ribbon from the tutu that had fallen off early in the race. The course was out and back, so this ribbon became unattached at mile 6. As I picked it up and looked at the name, a huge smile came across my face. It was a SIGN. The name belonged to Doug R...... (hate to use a last name here- haven't asked the family) Doug lost his fight to cancer and I did not know him. For that matter I do not know any of his family. This is what I DO know.

Doug's daughter was the first to donate online to this event. She told me that, "He was the kind of a guy who wouldn't turn down a patient-- no matter the time of day nor the fact that they couldn't pay." This is EXACTLY my kind of person. The kind that looks at the big picture in life and does what is right, regardless of his personal reward. We need more Doug's in this world. The idea that I found this particular ribbon at such a tough point of the course is not a coincidence. It can't be. It was a rally call. A reminder to stay the course and remember that this race was not about me or how I was feeling. It was about the FIGHT and honoring the real champions.

This was the moment that I KNEW the finish was within reach and would be a strong one. I kicked it up a notch, passed another runner and headed toward the finish line. Coming around the last bend on the trail, I caught a glimpse of another in front of me. He was quite a ways ahead of me and I tried to catch him. I needed another 1/4 mile- he finished 20 seconds before me. Can't win them all.... As I came down the last stretch, there were a lot of cheers for the dude in the pink tutu. Most were my friends that had stuck around after the 25k and it was really cool. I ended up in 5th place and had a finishing time 0f 4 hours 26 minutes. Very good for a chump like me that thought if I could hit 5 hours- it would be by pure luck. Turns out I didn't need luck, I had something better...... The wings of angels and true warriors.

One last thing before this turns into a novel. Thanks to everybody that helped support this effort financially. The total amount raised, as of now, is $405. This includes online, cash and checks. Thank you so much for opening your wallets- it takes money to FIGHT the monster and you have, once again, come through in a big way. There has been some suggestion of possibly running the Bass Pro Marathon, next Sunday, in the tutu. I am open to the idea IF we can make that total $500. Yep. I'm still trying.......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wearing Pink With Honor

You do not have to be very smart to write a blog. I am proof off that fact. Some of the VOICES think they are on a level with Crick and Watson but WE all know they are quite a bit lower on the IQ scale. Fortunately, I know some smart people and they are always quick to help and make suggestions when needed. Because I tend to be a little impulsive and don't always put a lot of thought into details, things seem to change as I go. This is one of those times.

Turn The Trail Pink is still happening but with a few changes. Here are the new, and hopefully improved, details.

On October 31, 2010 we will attempt to Turn The Trail Pink at the Dogwood Canyon 50k. I will run the course wearing a pink tutu in support of breast cancer awareness. I am still asking (begging) for donations in the amount of $10. For each $10 donation a ribbon will be personalized and attached to the tutu. ALL of the money will go to the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.

After reflecting on the reasons why I got involved in the FIGHT, I decided it would be better to honor all people touched with ANY form of cancer. For those that do not know my reasons, I'll explain briefly. In December of 2009, my dad was diagnosed and underwent major surgery. A few months later, in March, my mom was hit with cancer and also had major surgery. Both of my parents are recuperating and both have VERY recently had emergency surgeries due to complications of the prior ones. It has been a life changing year for all of us but they are WARRIORS and that motivates me to do what I can to honor not only them but EVERYONE that has dealt with the BEAST that is cancer.

So, with that said, Turn The Trail Pink is still about breast cancer awareness but also includes a way to honor all those touched by any type of cancer. All donations are gladly accepted but to show support for breast cancer awareness, EVERY ribbon will be pink. This is a great opportunity to support an important and worthwhile cause, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month while still honoring ALL.

The donations are the ideal scenario but, as always, a donation is not required and any name received will be honored. I feel it is necessary to ask because it is so important but I understand that money can be tight at times and it is fine if you can't donate. You can still participate. DO NOT let finances keep you away from this. There are other ways to help and support the FIGHT. I urge you to get involved with this event and others like it. We all have something to offer.

If you do choose to donate, please click on the Relay for Life button on the right or the tab on my FB profile page. You can also send a check or cash to;

David Murphy
HC 72 Box 324-8
Wasola, MO

Make checks payable to the American Cancer Society. Contact me by email at for questions or to send names. Remember to ask your employer about matching contributions. Tell your friends at the local watering hole (guys, don't wear pink when you do) and see if they will help. Share this blog with others and spread the word. TOGETHER we can make it happen.

Thanks to those that have already supported this and my past Big/Dumb stunts, without you NOTHING happens.

‎~There's only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that's if we quit.~

Friday, October 8, 2010

Turn The Trail Pink

Focus. I really need to focus. This thought has been on my mind for a while. FOCUS. On what though?? Ahh.... that WAS the question. I have been debating with the Crew about scrapping all other races/events and chasing down a marathon PR. The time is right. New PR's in the 5k and 10k, completing a 50 miler (PR by default) and a few breakthrough 20 mile long runs have me feeling like THIS was my time, my big shot, the Golden Opportunity. Oh yeah, it's MY time. All I have to do is FOCUS.

So, I was doing all this focusing (on ME) while watching football last Sunday and I noticed all the PINK on the field. I thought it was a really cool thing for the NFL to do for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Well it didn't take long.....KABLAAAAMMMM!!!!!! The VOICES started talking, chanting and calling me out and as usual they were right. Self-centered......

It became crystal clear then and I wonder HOW it could have ever been so cloudy in my little brain. It was not that I needed to focus but rather RE-FOCUS. Refocus on something that is truly important to ALL of us, not just ME,ME, ME. Nothing like an "ah-ha" moment coming during a football game.

Here is what the VOICES came up with- Because it is NBCAM, and I do happen to own some pink clothing, and there is a great 50k Trail Race coming up...... do you see what's coming? Yep. It's Pink Tutu time.

On October 31, we will attempt to Turn The Trail Pink at the Dogwood Canyon 50k. Creek crossings and muddy trails in a pink tutu, should blend right in...... Trust me, I have zero desire to become known as "the pink tutu guy" but sometimes we do what is necessary for the greater good. This time the greater good is the FIGHT. In order to raise money for the FIGHT and show support for Breast Cancer Awareness, I am asking for donations in the amount of $10. For each $10 donation a ribbon will be attached to the tutu. The ribbons will be personalized with the name of someone you know that has been touched by breast cancer.

That is the ideal scenario but, as always, a donation is not required and any name received will be honored. Of course I have to ask because it is important but I do understand that money can be tight at times and it is fine if you can't donate. You can still participate.

If you wish to support this big/dumb stunt please click on the Relay for Life button on the right or the tab on my FB profile page. You can also send a check or cash to;

David Murphy
HC 72 Box 324-8
Wasola, MO

Make checks payable to the American Cancer Society. Contact me by email at for questions or to send names.

OF COURSE you can absolutely donate more (or less) if you want. I am happy to count pennies. Share this with others that may want to help, ask your employer about matching contributions and pass the hat at happy hour.