XXXI: Ultras

I wanted to be fast.
I wanted to win.
I wanted to prove everyone wrong.
I wanted to prove myself wrong.
I accomplished none of these things.

Try to imagine this strange complex (some of you may be able to relate). You love a specific sport, soccer, football, baseball, etc…it is your life, it is your desire, it is something you dream about. There is just something about the event that just drives you. You play, participate, practice, train, etc…However, when the day ends, you are still too short, too big, too slow, or you just don’t ‘have what it takes’.

How do you accept that reality? Do you quit? Do you keep going? What is your exit plan when your dreams don’t always pan out the way you envisioned them?

For about a month, almost two months, that has been the life I have been living when it comes to running. I love running. I love everything about it. I train, I run, I eat well, I practice with others, and I run races. I just love to run. However, in a world full of statistics it turns out that passion doesn’t always equal results.

To be honest; I’m 6’5 and around 250 pounds. Overall I am just a big guy that towers over other people. There was not a lot of biomechanics that came with this physical package. Where MC and many other family members thrived in athletics; I looked good, but when push came to shove, I fell down. A lot.

I needed a change up. I didn’t want to vacate running because I still love the sport. However, I could slowly but surely feel the burnout growing within my own heart. I was growing tired of lining up for a local 5K race, running the race, and finding similar results. This year alone I’ve finished 4th in my age group in four different races. The ‘click’ just isn’t there, and now I’m starting to accept that reality.

Praise God for random strangers, stupid ideas, and foolish attempts.

Several weeks ago I wrote about making friends, trying out speed running sessions with random strangers, and even my involvement of being on a city running team for a local business. I needed all of those things, desperately. They were all the slight pushes I needed to move away from what was comfortable, but not fulfilling, and into something extremely uncomfortable yet incredibly fun.

Trail racing.

This is running on trails that are designed really for mountain bikes. A lot of rocks, roots, dirt, and the such. I’ve been out a few times, and each time I come back loving it that much more. Partly because of the technical challenge, partly because trail running people are a very special, close-knit group. Also, the distances for the races are a little different compared to standard 5K. They range from 7 miles to 20 miles to 50 miles to 100 miles, and everything inbetween.

I needed this. Road running was just becoming stressful, frustrating, and the love was really lacking. This is new, refreshing, and at the level of insanity that I’m comfortable with.

Because of all of this I’ve joined up as a volunteer for construction projects on our local trails (AKA: more friends), I run with a specific group each Monday (AKA: more friends), and of course our running team comprises of several trail runners (AKA: more friends).


Flyover Trail Racing (I have no idea what I’m going to do with this)

This has also allowed me to experiment with design and concepts for logos, brands, and marketing. I launched (for fun) a Facebook page, blog, and Twitter account really recapping my experiences in this new sport.

Personally, and this is not something I would have predicted, it is the support that is best part of this transition. These crazies all enjoy doing foolish things on the trails, and they don’t make excuses about it. I don’t have to go to races alone, I don’t have to talk to myself about my adventures, I now have a group of people that are all just as unstable.

I consider that quite the blessing.

Here’s to the ultrarunners. You untable, insane, awesome group of people that I can call my friends.


Mobile Minutes: Beer Between Men

Last week myself, Darco, MC, and Jim took a family vacation. We wound up at Montauk State Park; a state park that I had grown up going to. It’s where I learned to put a hook on my line, catch fish, string them, and survive sleeping outside in 90℉+ heat.

While we were unpacking last Sunday, Jim made note that coworker told him that he needs to lighten up, relax, and have a beer when out camping. Jim made the following statement:

My step-son enjoys beer. Maybe we’ll have a beer down there.

It dawned on me that through all the cheesy accomplishments of being a family, Jim and I had never had a beer together. We lived in a household where beer was never allowed. It wasn’t something that we talked about until I was 26*. Father/son beer is the American thing to do, right? That’s like working on a car together, putting up a tent, or attending a sports event. You just do those kind of things together.


Jim in the river fishing with a hat that had an American flag on it, surrounded by flags on flag day. I'm rather certain George Washington flew over on an eagle.

Wednesday night, the evening before we went back home, Jim and I each enjoyed a pint of ‘Crankbait Cream Ale’ from Piney River Brewery.

Nothing special at the moment as we enjoyed trout, watermelon, and other goods at the table. It wasn’t until after coming home that I truly enjoyed reflecting on that one moment.


It was cliche, but also iconic. I’ve known Jim for 24 years, and I’ve gone from being absolutely terrified of him to enjoying a classic American pass time with him.

Thanks Piney River Brewing for coming in the clutch on a random vacation for a pretty cool father/son moment. I know internally it’ll be something I forever cherish.


*Southern Baptist Doctrine Logic: Beer=Sex=Dancing

XXXI:#ClubDaugherty ’15

Happy New Year!

I was trolling through old posts and I started collecting the links to the past Christmas/New Years recap post that I’ve made over the years (a whopping two to be exact).

Needless to say, like Waffle House at midnight on Christmas Eve, some traditions just have to continue.

2015 for our family summed up:

Life. Altering.

Continue reading

XXXI: A Taste

Sometimes road trips are the most dangerous thing a person can conduct for themselves.

This time last week Darco and I were enjoying ribs with our friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Overall it truly was an experience I’ll never forget. It wasn’t just because of the food, the fun, and the atmosphere. It’s because I got a taste of a different life. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: #PittBound Part V

Thirty miles to go…

Darco has blown my mind today. All weekend I was on NyQuil due to fighting a cold, meaning complete exhaustion in the mornings.

We were up by 6:45 AM EST this morning. Out the door by 7:00 AM EST.

My wife knocked off the first 400 miles of our trip home. After I did a measly 200 miles, she grabbed the rest! Letting me sleep and recover without issue.

I am blessed.


Mobile Minutes: #PittBound Part IV

Do I have to go home?

Currently the only thought going through my brain while I head to sleep one last time in Pittsburgh.


It was an honor to worship with my friends today at their own church. Loud music, passionate voices, and a really cool story about missions in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Talk about blessed.



Turns out Pittsburgh does BBQ also. This weekend they had rib fest at Heinz Stadium, where the Pittsburgh Steelers play. We grabbed three half slabs to split. Shocker. Kansas City style won in our books.


Circa: Fall 2005


Circa: Fall 2015

All of this crazy journey stems from ten years ago. The very first, and one of few, friends I made in college was this 6’1 basketball player from Maryland. Even though she left after the first year, the friendship remained far after. Remember the exciting journey through Maryland, eventually leading to Darco becoming a Christian? Yes, it was this couple.

This is truly the fruits of friendship. I have laughed all weekend. I’ve witnessed amazing food, awesome friends, and a very happy wife from all of this.

It hurts knowing that such good friends live so far away.

Even with that reality, I am blessed and my soul is smiling.