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.........

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Only 100 Miles

January 16th will mark 6 years of my "running life". I really can't remember what life was like before that day in 2006. One thing I am absolutely sure of is this... NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have said that there would be a point in my life that I would be running a 100 miler. Now I'm getting ready to do just that.... for the SECOND time.

There have been many changes over the past 6 years. That first day I barely made it one mile. It seemed like the hardest thing I would ever do. The next day felt even worse. I ran a 5k a few months later and wondered how in the world people could run any farther than that. 10,000 plus miles later and I have managed to go a little longer from time to time. It has been a learning process and the failures outweigh the successes. Fortunately, the successes have been enough to keep me coming back for more and looking for the next challenge.

One of the biggest changes over that period came in late 2009 and early 2010 when both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer. The very idea that somebody I loved would have cancer was crazy and it was unthinkable that both parents would require life altering procedures within a few months of each other. That was as far fetched as me running 100 miles. Both were ridiculous notions. Cancer happened to "other" people and NOBODY runs 100 miles. Except it doesn't happen to "other" people and people DO run 100 miles.

My eyes were opened to the horrors of cancer during this time. It is an evil monster that robs from ALL of us. Both my parents are alive and I am thankful but in the past few years, several of my friends, people that I loved and considered family, have been taken. Of course I'm not the only one, many of my friends have experienced great losses too. We are ALL in this fight together. Sometimes I get caught up in the hype and forget this.... that we ALL hate cancer and want to see the day when it is no longer relevant.

When I say "caught up in the hype"  it's not a reference to my seemingly narcissistic love affair with myself. Sometimes I just feel like it's too much. Too much to keep asking. Too much to keep begging. Too much to keep tweeting or posting on facebook every 5 minutes, the fact that I hate cancer. We all hate cancer. I know this but still fundraising can be emotionally and physically draining. It takes it's toll on my body before I ever hit the starting line. Anybody that has been there knows what I'm saying. It usually makes me feel guilty for asking time and time again. So I decided NOT to ask this time because it would just be easier that way. I could just concentrate solely on the race and go into it mentally prepared without the pressure of anybody watching.

Then the VOICES kicked in with rational thought a stern lecture. They let me know that this was a selfish and disrespectful approach. Facts are facts. I will run 100 miles on February 4th. It is the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville, Texas. Unless you are an ultra runner, you probably don't know anybody that will ever try this distance. It is a unique opportunity for both of us to TEAM UP and fight back. I will run 100 miles as fast as I can. I promise to keep moving in a forward motion, even when it gets dark and cold. Even when the miles seem impossible, I promise to push toward the finish line. I will do this with the full knowledge that my pain and weakness is not even enough to resgister a blip on the radar when compared to those with cancer. All I ask of you is to support me with one dime for each mile that I cross.  

Please consider this. I am asking begging for a $10 donation to the Relay for Life. I have NOTHING to offer in return. The Honor Scroll Run will be coming soon and the Pink Tutu will make an appearance (or two) this year. For this run it will just be me, a cancer hatin' doo rag and some really cool shoe laces. If you want to donate click------->HERE<------- or make a check payable to the American Cancer Society and mail to:

David Murphy
HC 72 Box 324-8
Wasola, MO

Here is a link to last year's Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Recap and Video

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Rewind

2011 came to an end just as it started. With an early morning 20.11 mile New Years Day run. Nothing real significant or notable happened in between but a few things do stick out in my mind. I'm not a fan of looking back or living in the past because it is whats next that really matters. Of course the past does help set the path for the future so here we go.....

In December of 2010, I signed up for the Rocky Raccoon 100. The race was in early February so I picked out the perfect “get in shape for 100 miler” plan. I decided to “streak” until the week of the race. January ended with 260 miles. That was and is the biggest month for me. Whatever. The 100 miler was also a great fundraiser for the Relay for Life. I asked for a dime per mile and YOU donated over $1,000. Anyway, despite having never run more than 54 miles and thanks to an awesome crew, I survived and finished in 20 hours 59 minutes and 40 seconds. Not horrible for a rookie. Here is a little video we made.

Next was a ½ in March. I hadn't ran an official half in about 4 years and my PR was still 1:30:36. It was time to fix that. Of course it was almost freezing with the wind blowing and a major thunderstorm during the race. At start time, the race officials told us they were postponing the start for a few minutes “until the bad lightning passes” This left me to wonder if there was a such thing as running in good lightning.... The race did start about 10 minutes later and I ran straight into the wind for the first half. At the turn around, I realized that the wind was coming from the side and it was now MUCH worse. At least I was still running in “good” lightning. The rain kind of hurt and I was really cold but managed to still PR with a 1:27 and some change. Good times, yo. Good times.

April was the 2nd Annual Honor Scroll 50 Mile Run. The Ouachita 50 mile race is held just outside of Little Rock, AR and is a trail run in every sense of the word. The Climb over Mt. Pinnacle is insane but awesome. This year, I hit the top in 1st place because the lead pack took a wrong turn. A photographer at the top took my picture and I was lucky enough to have the dumbest look on my face. I didn't buy the official pic but it was published in the July issue of UltraRunner Magazine. Figures that I would look like an Idiot in my only shot at the big time.... In 2010, I had finished in 3rd place but 2011 was tough on me. A knee issue left me limping for 35 miles and an 11th place finish. It was still an awesome privilege and honor to carry so many names with me on the scroll as WE continue the journey to eliminate cancer.

On May, 2nd I decided to start a run streak. This would last through the summer. June is the month for the Relay for Life, Ozark County. Once again, I asked for donations and in return ran all night around the track. In a pink tutu. It was a lot of fun and many friends came to do a few laps/miles with me. One dude even rolled for 31 miles out of the 53 that I ran. It was awesome. Except for the chaffing issues.... never-mind.

In July, I broke out “Ye Olde Schwinn” for round 2 of the Lake Free-Bird Sprint Triathlon. I had promised to train for this one but.... well.... my bad. I don't know how I didn't drown but somehow I made the swim. My back tire was about half flat so it was kind of a tough 14 miles but you know....
The run was mo' better and I finished right at 1 hour 30 minutes. This July I will be trained. Or not.

The run streak ended after 119 days. After resting for 2 days I ran again and ended up with a bad calf strain that left me not able to run for 10 days. Not a huge deal. Except for the 50 miler on October 2nd. In a moment of desperation, I purchased some calf compression sleeves. These are NOT tights. They are compression sleeves..... whatever. They work and I was proud to wear them.

The “Kickin' Route 66 50 Mile road race was on October 2nd. There were a whopping 6 people that started the race. 5 finished. This was my first “road” 50. The course ran along, you guessed it, old Route 66 from Lebanon to Springfield, MO. I didn't know what to expect so I quit thinking and just ran. The first 31 miles had several hills. Don't know why this surprised me but it did. The aid stations were unmanned except for 2 or 3 in the beginning miles. After mile 26 or so, I didn't see another person associated with the race. At mile 37, I came across an unmanned aid station with a giant cooler full of hot hose water. I had to have some because it was 80+ degrees out and I was 37 miles in. Took me a minute but I realized that a milk jug type container had been fashioned into a ladle. Self service at it's finest. I was also hungry but skipped the fly covered, melted PBJ's that were baking in the sun.

I was pretty pissed at this point. Might have even posted a “not so nice” message about the RD on my facebook page. I got over it as I crossed the finish line carrying my 4 year old son. My time was 7 hours 30 minutes and I was in 2nd place. Not horrible. I got a trophy bottom with a Hot Wheels car that I guess needs to be glued to the top. Right. The medal was nice and it turns out that my time was a Missouri State Record for the 50 mile distance in the 35-39 age group. That takes the sting out of drinking hose water but still this is the 1st and last time I will blog about it. What doesn't kill you..... whatever.

October 23rd was the Turn The Trail Pink event at the Dogwood Canyon 50k. YOU stepped up big here and donated over $2,000 to the ACS. It was a great day. The course had changed from the previous year and included many more hills. Steep hills. I finished in 5th place overall and even managed to turn a cartwheel. It is widely considered to be the greatest cartwheel ever done by a 39 year old man with a beard, wearing a pink tutu at the finish of a 50k trail race. Here is the video....

The next weekend, I thought it would be cool to carry my son for 3.1 miles at our local 5k. It was dumb and the next day I had to quit a run after 10 miles. My knee hurt bad. I diagnosed it as ITB and rested for a few days. Then decided it would be okay to run the Bass Pro Marathon. It wasn't. Last year I finished in 2:58. This year was 3:36 with an awesome limp. Whad'ya gonna do?

I played cheerleader for the Idiots Running Club at the the White River Marathon in Mtn. Home Arkansas. It was an awesome experience to watch and cheer for my friends. Every Idiot that ran PR'd. It was freakin' awesome. Of course I would rather run but this was a close 2nd.

I'm sure there was some other dumb things in there but you've got to be bored by now. 2012 has started with a 20.12 mile run and new goals have been set. They are simple and easy to remember.....

~Run. Smile. Run. Frown. Run. Grimace. Run. Mumble to myself in a state of delirium. Run. Don't die. Finish. Repeat.~