Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cielo



My friend Steve Geyer is a pretty inspiring guy. He is funny and full of life. And he has a great way with a camera. He caught Lia at the perfect moment. Have you ever seen her more alive?

Who is she admiring? His name is Gabriel. He is 8 months old. He is a child of *Cielo, once a slum now an oasis in one of the poorest parts of the Dominican Republic. Lia met him on her first trip to the area last Spring. He stole her heart. And before leaving, Lia made up her mind to help him. See, he was born with a cleft lip and palate. Lia asked his mother about it. His mother, a beautiful Dominican (they are all beautiful) said that they had talked to a surgeon but the price was too high. Well, Lia made it happen. 

When we arrived in November, Gabriel and his mother surprised us. Look how good he looks. 


He wasn't as grumpy as he appears in this picture (blame Steve Geyer), but grumpy or not the transformation was amazing. I was looking in my archives for a before picture. We have one. When I find it, I'll upload it. 

Once all the attention finally ran its course, Gabriel was sitting on his mother's lap while she and Lia discussed his health and future. His thumb went to his perfectly repaired lip and he started sucking it. No one saw it I think but me. Perhaps that was the reason it was only me that cried. 

The little miracles are sometimes the most profound. The little child who can suck his thumb now. The change that can come over a woman just because she had a part to play in it. Those are the things worth remembering. The things that remind me of the great God we have. 

*Cielo means Sky in Spanish. It can also mean Heaven. It might be Lia's.



If you ever want to come with us, let us know!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Things Are Not Always As They Seem


Silence on the blog does not necessarily mean that nothing is going on. In fact, what silence most often means is that TOO MUCH is going on.

I am embarrassed, astonished, and slightly amazed that I have not contributed to this careful-attempt-at-not-taking-myself-too-seriously in two months! Yikes!

No excuses. This trend needs to stop and fast.

So some highlights and reflections...and at the end, a pre-new-year's resolution...

This year we bought season tickets on the Hill for Wake Football. Though Wake did not have the most stellar of seasons, we sure had fun. And at $110 for four for the entire season, we would have enjoyed ourselves even if they lost EVERY game. Go Deacs #alwaysnextyear


Anna Rose and I had a rootin' tootin' time at the Adventure Princess fall outing. Yee-haw!


I headed off the following weekend to Windy Gap with my high school homies. Perfect weekend. Family Camp in April hint hint to all you people out there with families. Come with us!

The Halls had us over for a gourmet dinner and fun times with goats and alpacas at Ginger Top Farms. Anna Rose was in heaven! Plans for her future have taken a drastic turn to the rural. 




We Celebrated Ned's Birthday and We Run For Them with a check presentation and a party. How about the double entendres in that cake!



I was actually out of town for Halloween and missed this: 



Meanwhile, I almost had this tree land on me (I'm not kidding. While on a run, this tree fell about fifteen feet from me!) 


Oh, then Lia and I spent a life-changing weekend in the Dominican Republic. 


I jammed with the locals and was honored to be the first person to escort Nairboi down the recently completed ramp at Cielo. #MissionEmanuel #Mostcementinoneplaceanywhereonearth


We're heading back in the Spring if anyone is interested...another hint.

We had spectacular weekends at the cabin with friends and family. 




including the a muddy corn maze with the Amrich family.


 Thanksgiving was full of family - 18 for dinner on the festive day. So grateful for my parents who drove down and for the breakfast we shared on Tuesday. Wednesday Dave Dave and ARO watched The Princess Bride for the first time. A true passing of the baton. Friday we celebrated the memory of Kent Welch. I can't believe it's been 10 years. #neverforget. And Saturday we chopped down our Christmas Tree and were treated to an afternoon on the Mangum estate. We are only a million dollars away from it being ours!


This weekend we ran the Mistletoe 5k as a family. Dave Dave finished officially second (we thought it was first, but turns out a Chermak beat him (those darn orthodonist kids)). I was tremendously proud of both our kids. On the way home we crashed a private Santa Claus event. Ho Ho Ho!!!!


And last night, Lia and I danced into the evening at the Young Life Yule Ball. 



#StanVoth

What a fall! I'm remembering a half-dozen more blog-worthy moments...

I need to write about Lia and Gabriel down in the D.R. This week?

I also need to write about doing Leadership Winston-Salem this year! Man, if there ever was something I was made for, it was this!

Oh! I almost forgot. I need to tell you about two new books that will be hitting the shelves soon! (am I a marketing genius or what?) We were hoping to have them out by Christmas. Production has slowed a bit. Stay tuned!

I'll tell you, this is what happens when you get lazy on a blog. Happy Holidays friends! I will return later this week. Promise.

Happy Holidays, friends.

Friday, October 03, 2014

My first Podcast!


I was recently interviewed by the good people at My Big Jesus about CLAY.

Check it out!

You can scroll to 34:36 if you don't want to listen about animal killings and ebola. (Great line-up, huh?)

http://www.mybigjesus.com/#!podcast/c3ho

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A Day on the Road



The day begins at 5:20am. I get out of bed, surprised to be moving. I'm stiff but feel much better than when my head hit the pillow. I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth. I make my way to the coffee maker and do what needs to be done. I toast a bagel while munching on a banana. I'm waking up my legs, moving them around, stretching them lightly. The bagel pops out of the toaster. I spread some peanut butter on it.

I stand over my Bible, reading the three verses I have been rehearsing to myself. Hebrews 12:1-3. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…"

The coffee's ready. I pour it into a to-go mug. One scoop of sugar. Some creamer. I drink as fast as I can in between bites. I zip up my my suitcase. Use the bathroom. When Lia's is ready, I roll the suitcases to the car. She's making her coffee in the kitchen.

We say our good-bye's to our hosts for the night. And we are gone by 6:00am.

Lia drives. She's not a great mountain driver. And she's still half asleep. I'm antsy to get to the starting line. But keep my mouth shut. Opening it is counter productive. I finish eating and drinking. I find the profile maps for today's run and jot down notes for Lia.

We pull into yesterday's end point. Open the car door. Open the trunk and lather up on Vasoline. Sunscreen. Finish the water I've been nursing. Loosen up. Get the blood flowing. Stretch. Find a tree. Ask Lia about her plan. She's going to watch the sunrise and journal. Then go for a hike once there's enough light. I kiss her and walk out to the road.

Take a deep breath and go.

The mornings are my favorite. Just me and the road. Today there's a small breeze, but right now I'm sheltered in the trees.

I start out singing. Today, it's Morning Has Broken - a song I learned from Cat Stevens. Miles crawl by. It's all uphill these first 10 or so. But gradual, so I can run. It feels good to be moving.

Milepost 306 - Almonds and Gatorade

I start with almonds because they pack the most punch. And they also sit longer in my stomach. They don't taste as good later in the day. The sweet Gatorade is a fine counteractive to the lightly salted nuts. I dump them in my pocket and trickle them in my mouth three at a time. Alternating swigs until both are gone.

I'm making good time. I pee on the side of the road.

video


I have a person I'm run for each day. Sometimes I talk to them. Usually when I'm about to do something I know is going to hurt…

I read a sign that says No Pedestrians on the Viaduct. 

I run right through. I imagine the park ranger pulling me over. I smile at the quizzical look I imagine on his face. 

I'm dazzled by the views. 

Milepost 299 - Gu and Water

I do Gu's on downhills. It's the only food I feel comfortable eating on the run. I'm on a long down hill now. My right knee and left ankle hurt. It's not fun knowing there is a mile more of punishment awaiting me.

Milepost 294 - Snickers and Water

A driver asks me if I'm the running guy. I smile. "I guess I am," I say.

No matter what the elevation change, I try to stay above a 4mph pace. This requires running every tern minutes or so. Even on uphills like this one. 5 miles up to Doughton Park. I know from there a long downhill awaits.

Downhills present other problems, namely pain.

Milepost 290 - We meet up - I eat a tortilla and peanut butter and honey sandwich. Chug a Gatorade. I reapply a healthy amount of Vasoline. Lather on sunscreen.

I stretch. Try not to sit down for too long. Stay as loose as I can. Put a Gu in my pocket. Kiss Lia and go.

Milepost 286 - Pretzels and Gatorade

The last seven miles have mostly been downhill. I've made decent time. My knee kills. I'm almost glad the uphills are approaching.

There is this razor thin line I've been balancing on. Go too fast and you might not be able to run tomorrow - run too slow and you won't finish the goal for the day. In terms of numbers - I generally stay between 4-6mph. If it's a gentle downhill, I might stretch out my legs. I ran sub sevens in Asheville. Felt so good to actually run. But for the most part I stick to the plan.

The harder threshold is the 4mph. By now, I can't walk 4mph. I can walk a solid 3.5, but not 4. Not on these uphills. So I'll walk 12 minutes and jog 3. Walk 10 and jog 5…depending on the terrain.

I don't remember these roads in Blowing Rock being so steep!

Milepost 282 - Water

I've got one more push until I see Lia. A surprise friend is awaiting me. She won't tell me who it is.

Milepost 278


James and I chat awhile. Chug a water. Eat some potato chips and honey mustard pretzels. Drink some more water. Vasoline reapplication. Go to the bathroom.

Say good-bye to friends. Kiss Lia.

Milepost 272 - Gu and Water

Up and down. Up and down. Try to stay above 4mph. I average 5.5mph the last ten miles. Faster than planned. I'm feeling good. Cross over 421.

Milepost 268 - Snickers and Gatorade.

The crux for the day. Big time uphill. Lia has left me my trekking poles. Don't know how much they help. But they do have a positive placebo effect.

Milepost 264 - Almonds and Water.

Keep on trucking.

Milepost 260 - Jumping Off Rocks Overlook. Day is complete.



Get in the car. Strip off the shoes and elevate. Bend my toes. Flex my ankles. Keep moving. The car is the worst. I am so stiff by the time we reach our next destination. I'm grumpy. I'm never grumpy. But I'm grumpy right now.

We arrive. Greet our hosts for the evening. Roll in our suitcases. Jump in the shower. Keep moving. Loosen up. Stretch. Loosen up. Stretch.

Ice my legs. Eat dinner with my feet in buckets.

Write an update. Try to move my legs, but I'm stiff, I'm sore. I want to sleep. I've got 52 more tomorrow. I hit the pillow, unsure how my legs will respond in the morning. I'm asleep in seconds.




Monday, September 01, 2014

So How Do You Train to Run Two Marathons a Day Over and Over Again?


I can hardly believe I actually have something to say on this topic. 2 Marathons a day? Are you crazy? Before this adventure I had accomplished very little that would qualify me to have an opinion on the matter. 

For several years, a few friends and I would do "the 40" a grueling one day 40 mile trek on the Appalachian Trail from Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap. In Colorado I climbed Uncompagre and Wetterhorn in a day. That was like 23 miles and up and down two fourteeners. I competed in several marathons and one forty mile race. But nothing really comes close to two marathons a day through the mountains. That's insane. 

And now that I've done it, I now know how insane it is! Ha! But MAN was it fun. 

So a few of you may be wondering how I did it. How did I prepare? How did I train? How did I pull it off? Well, for the next couple blogs, I'm going to tell you. Now, this might be the right place to insert the "do not try this at home" line. I'll leave it to you. But it's worth noting that our bodies are amazing things, and they can rise up to the challenge when we ask them to. 

At the same time, be careful.

For this blog, I'll focus on the training. 

First of all, I got good shoes. I tried on a half dozen or so before I landed on these N2 Pearl Izumi's. My recommendation isn't necessary to go out right now and buy yourself some Pearls. What I would do is go to your local running store and try on a whole bunch of shoes. Every foot is different, and if you are going to be spending a lot of time on yours, find a pair that suits you. Spare no expense. 

My friend Gary Miller told me that there were two things that could keep me from finishing: feet and nutrition. So protect your feet. We'll talk nutrition in a later installment. 

As far as training, there is no replacement for the trial of miles (if you don't know what that is read "Once a Runner" by John Parker). Miles and miles and miles. 

I did I start from a solid base. In March I could have run a sub 1:30 half and probably a 3:10 marathon. I was in shape. The challenge was 469 miles. I didn't need to go fast; I needed to learn how to go long.   So I focused on one thing: ramping up the miles. 

My friend Donnie introduced me to the idea of running two-a-days. That was big. Because finding the time to run 20 all at once was not easy. Eventually, I took two-a-days to the next level and did three and four-a-days. 

In April, I went from my base of 25 miles a week to 60 miles a week. My biggest and hardest (and most painful) jump. 

In May, I went from 60 to 80+ miles a week. 

In June, we ramped it up to 100+ miles a week. 

And finally we maxed out at 120+ miles a week in July. 

I think my highest mileage week was 136 in early July. 

I tapered down to 90 then to 60 the week of the run. 

So what was a typical day? Say if it was a 20 mile day. I might do 5 in the morning. 8 for lunch. Then 7 before dinner. Or maybe I'd do a long run in the morning, like 13, then a quick 3 miler for lunch and a 4 miler after dinner. 

Speaking of dinner, that was another thing I practiced: running on a full stomach. Usually, if I eat right before I run, I want to hurl. I pretty much always cramp. It rarely ends well. But I knew if I was going to be able to run 52 miles in a day, I was going to have to learn how to eat and run at the same time. To be honest, I never mastered simultaneously eating and running. But I did learn how to load up and then go. Back to what Gary Miller told me - feet and nutrition. In his words, "if you can't keep food down, you're done." 

So I'd run right after dinner. Or I'd eat a handful of almonds and chug a Gatorade while walking then immediately go back to a jog. It sounds crazy, but it paid off on the road. I never cramped. Not once. 

What I've learned since (which I'm incorporating now) is to add in more warm up and cool down into my training. To warm up the muscles before I run. To Massage. Stretch. Massage. Stretch again after. And Ice. I did very little of this the first go around. For the second leg, I'm hoping to be a little smarter and kinder to my body.

I should add that I did a 52 mile practice day in July. 
I also did three 30 milers back to back as well.
These helped more mentally than anything. 

I was fortunate not to suffer any injury during training other than your usual soreness and stiffness. I learned a few tricks along the way, like rolling a golf ball under your foot to loosen up the plantar and the achilles. I learned ice is nice. But for the most part it was miles. Miles and miles and miles. 

All in all, training meant teaching your body to expect to run everyday. This physical expectation made the ultimate difference. At night, I'd go to bed worn out and weary. In the morning, I'd awake ready to go again. That was the success I'd say of my training. My body learned how to recover, and I learned to trust what my body was telling me. 

So how did I actually pull it off? I'll tell you in the next installment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Angels for the Cause










I want to spend some time listing the gifts that have come my way through this run. I will not be able to list them all. There are too many. But as they come to mind I want a place to write them down, to have a place to go back to and remind myself how it was and how it felt to be supported. 

It has affected me. I am either smiling or crying or smiling AND crying. It has yet to stop. 

April: Chuck Milsaps at Great Outdoor Provision. We meet at a campfire. We have a mutual admiration for his daughter, Sarah (who is a rock star). We connect over some mutual friends that we share. Next thing I know, Great Outdoor is the first company to jump on board. 

Mind you. We Run For Them is not a tried and tested organization. We are at idea phase, and here is one of the finest companies around putting its stamp of approval on it. 

Mountain Park Spring Water same way. I meet Stewart. We connect. I ask for a couple cases of water. He loads me up with ten!

Keith and Emily at Fleet Feet put me in just the right shoes. 

Pearl Izumi donate more shoes!

Rebecca McNeely connects me to Jennifer Leonard at Champion who hooks me up with all the shirts and shorts I need. Then, donates more shirts for the cause. 

Katherine Bell designs a killer logo. She spends like days on this thing. Next thing I know, we're making t-shirts for the cause. 

This is Ned we're talking about. NED! I'm nobody. 

Rebecca runs into John Dell at Winston-Salem Journal. He does this HUGE article on the race. Later, he calls me in the hospital just to check on me. He writes another piece. And I bet he'll do another before it's all said and done. 

Rebecca's not done either. She chats with her friend Timmy Hawks at Fox 8. Next thing you know, I'm on television!

The local YMCA (my second home) makes this banner. People write me the most encouraging things. I can't look at it without tearing up. 

This is all before I run a mile. 

Since then, Kevin Powell Motorsports and Wayne Cannon Physical Therapy come on board. (More on Wayne later - I think he and his office staff might actually BE angels - like for real). 

Two seconds ago, I get a donation #wecontributeforthem where someone drops a rather large check on my lap in honor of SOMEBODY ELSE! What is going on?

Other things fall into place. I don't know how I'm going to coordinate with the Blue Ridge Parkway people. Oh! The foundation has an office a half mile from mine! I walk there. We sit down. Things come together just like that. 

I need a permit from the National Park Service. Because I'm in Colorado with highschoolers, I don't get the permit to them until three weeks before the run. (In government time that's basically like asking for something next day.) Well, they DO get to it. Herbert Young rips up the check and wishes me well! Our government rocks! 

Chuck Scott, one of the fundraisers for Carolina Point, same thing. He gives me his total blessing. Lauri Lambeth, his administrator, happens to be our friend. Working with her and Carolina Point becomes the easiest thing in the world!

The stars are aligning. Professor Gary Miller helps me with the nutrition and strategy side of things. Robyn Holland, one of the fastest women literally in the world (she just placed 2nd in the Master's Nationals in the 800 and 1600) becomes my running buddy/trainer. 

This is for special needs kids at a Young Life Camp, and a normal guy crazy enough to run for them. 

I'm skipping like 100 more things I could mention.

The run begins. 

It rains 4 days everywhere in North Carolina. Everywhere but the Parkway. For two days I run in and out of clouds. I get wet but never get rained on. Miraculously, my socks stay dry. The worst weather related issue I experience is SUNBURN!

Day 3, Lia and I are still working through logistics. When my mile by mile profile gets off even as much as a half mile, things on the road get really tough. For instance, if I get water and food on the top of a hill, it's REALLY hard to eat and drink running downhill. I much prefer getting it when I need it - like the bottom of a hill. I enjoy the boost and can somewhat digest before jostling everything around again. I approach this massive hill and realize Lia and I are off again. I'm thirsty, I'm tired. I cross this bridge and there is a water bottle sitting there. What it's doing there I have no idea. I'm the only runner out here. Seriously, I'm the ONLY pedestrian on the Parkway, and here is a bottle. I drink half of it (just in case it's not really for me) and climb the hill with high spirits. 

I receive visitors. John and Nadia Clevenger track me down in Asheville. So do the Muirs. So does one of my old Young Life guys, James Milner!





The next day Mary Claire (used to be Hodges) is telling her mom while driving down the road. "Hey, my friend Ned is running this thing. I wonder where he…THERE HE IS!"

This happens TWICE! Mark and Dana Nicholson and their family are on the Parkway for less than 10 miles and BOOM they run right into me (not literally). 

 

People start sharing the story. Cars slow down to cheer me on. Two bikers from Tennessee, who are riding the Parkway, ask me if I'm the guy running the parkway. I say, Yes. They laugh because they had started the day before me but had gotten sidelined because of the rain. The funny thing was they had joked with each other that if I passed them, they would donate their bikes. Sure enough, I HAD! I told them that instead of giving their bikes away, they could just donate to the Cause. Guess what? THEY DID!

Charley and Kathy Patten let us stay at their amazing house in the woods while they are 1000 miles away in Colorado. Stuart Nelson and soon to be Diane Nelson cook us the best meal ever even as I almost pass out in the kitchen while they're getting it ready! Windy Gap takes care of us. They bake Lia an apple crisp a la mode for her birthday! (Picking up my slack for doing nothing!) The Rothrocks open their doors in Linville, NC. John and Nancy Gregory (Leigh Askew's parents) give us the royal treatment.   

The run is hard. But Lia and I are getting our logistics down. Everyday I'm feeling stronger. My left ankle swells because of the constant extra pounding, but we are managing it. I run 52 miles in pain, but make it. Our bodies are amazing things. I feel better the next day. 

I can feel the prayers when they come. 

The views. This is a magical road.

I start crying for a million reasons I can't explain. 


Michael Mcaneny and Michael the Javelin Thrower run 13 miles with me. I cry. They are the incarnation of the cloud of witnesses that have been carrying me all this way. I see my children. I cry at the awe I see in their face as I watch them process why their dad would sacrifice so much for someone else. 

I haven't even gotten to the AMAZING PART!


I pee blood. 

I'll write more about this. I'm still processing this. Everything is going so well and then I pee blood. We'll get to this. 

But the angels keep showing up. Lia! First of all, I married an angel. She might have saved my life. Then there are the doctors. And when I say doctors, I mean A LOT of doctors. I'm such a strange case it takes days to figure out exactly what was going on in my body. At the end of the day, I'm fine. I'm more than fine. My kidneys were unaffected. The only damage done had been self-inflicted, accidental, and temporary. 

More on this. I'm still processing this. 

But then the angels come. Hernan Sabio, the angel, has this idea to RUN FOR THEM. He posts his miles. Others start posting their miles. and others. Friends. Strangers. Australians! Canadians! Californians! Lia and I cannot believe what we're seeing. 100 miles logged. 200 miles logged. 300 miles logged for #werunforthem some use #werunforNed I'm touched. No, I'm blown away. 



I try to talk Lia into letting me run. My legs hurt but I know how to run on legs that hurt. Lia says No. Let others run, Ned. Don't take away from what others are doing. And I think to myself how right she is in what she's saying.

I thought We Run For Them was one thing. Turns out We Run For Them is something better, something bigger. 

An act that normally is personal. I run to break 20 minutes. I run to achieve my first half marathon. Turns out running for others is an even greater motivator. I receive a message from a person I had not heard from in years who said We Run For Them "saved" him. I'm not sure how. But it had something to do with the spontaneous community and the big dream. 

On Sunday, the last planned day of the run - I run 7 miles with friends around Salem Lake against doctor's orders.  But it's beautiful. 7 of us x 7 miles = 49 miles plus 4 my dad runs = 53 miles (the number I planned to run that day myself!)

We add the total miles later that day. 470. 

470!

1 mile more than the 469 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Together, we can achieve more than what we can achieve individually. 

Since then, the angels keep coming. I mentioned Wayne Cannon already. He and his office are all angels. I don't know where they came from. Well heaven. I don't think they could possibly be from here. 

There's Al Stubbs who paid me a home visit. And a list of other doctors too many to name that have taken interest in my body!

And not least - THE DONORS! Oh my Lord. I have been so humbled by people's generosity. This is not a proven commodity. And yet people embraced the dream and carried it farther than I ever imagined. I could list you by name. I could tell stories about each one of you. You are amazing to me. We have far surpassed our goal. 

And keep donating please (we are in the middle of a million dollar campaign so there's plenty of room for your support).

Y'all are the angels. 

Your support makes a difference. It started with me! You made a difference in MY LIFE! And the gift you are giving to people who will never know your name - it cannot be measured. I am so grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks to each one of you who gave to the cause. 

I have never cried so many tears of gratitude. I took this picture with these guys because I had to do something to get over the crying. 


You are angels. 

You and I. Together, we became angels.

When we move on someone else's behalf, we become the hands and feet of God. 

I have personally felt their touch. 

Yes, dear angels, you have touched my heart. I will never be the same. 

I will hit the pause button. 

…still, the list goes on... 

Caroline Cox! How could I not mention her? Running all the spreadsheets, writing thank yous. Words cannot express my gratitude. 

Tonight a friend donated $1,000 to Carolina Point on behalf of We Run For Them. Holy Cow! Now, without getting into it, this is a friend who $1,000 is a lot of money. Like A LOT of money. I am so humbled. I am so privileged. 

I forgot my parents! They watched the kids. We couldn't have done it without them. 

to be continued….






Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Big Things


At some point I realized the truth about failure.

Failure is not failing to reach your goal. Failure is failing to reach for your goal.

Fear of failure can paralyze you. In my story, in my past, it caused me to settle for lesser things. It convinced me to stuff my passions, keep my dreams undercover.

I listened to Star Wars wisdom - the "Do or do not. There is no try" of Yoda.

Until finally I was thirty and I was succeeding at everything but my dreams.  

If writing has taught me anything it has taught me to redefine failure. If failure is rejection - I've failed a hundred times. If success is writing a best seller - I've succeeded not at all. But if failure is not trying, if success is seeing things to their completion regardless of the result - then I haven't failed at all. I've achieved every goal.

And when you succeed like that you experience a kind of freedom that only the dreamers dare to experience.

You become fearless. You step into the ring with confidence and boldness. Because how can you lose when you've already won?

That was my mentality going into this run. Did I have what it took? Physically, I didn't know. Mentally, wasn't sure. Spiritually, not quite positive. But was I willing? You bet I was. I wasn't quitting until they ripped my carcass from the pavement.

So did I succeed? Does it matter to me that there are miles still to be run? Yes and yes. I succeeded in Cherokee when I said a prayer, kissed my wife, and started up the hill. So do I need to finish? Yes, I do. Because success is also seeing things to their completion regardless of the result.

In the next few weeks, I'm going to attempt to wrap my head around the experiences of the last few weeks. I am going to tell the story. To stick to the truth and go behind the scenes. I will try. I will begin the process of processing what has happened.

I'd love for you to journey with me. To read along and share your thoughts.

I will write when I can. There are jobs to do and school starting and training that needs to be done. But this is important, too. It's my story. And I found myself suddenly in a larger one. And it's going to take some time to unravel it all.

Ned

Runner forced to pause his journey on Parkway - journalpatriot: News

Runner forced to pause his journey on Parkway - journalpatriot: News: A Winston-Salem man who had planned to finish running the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway this past Sunday is having to take a break f…

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Taking the Leap

Willy and I completed the ropes course at Frontier Ranch together! 









Thank the Lord for Ropes!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Less Than Three Weeks Out!




Holy Moley!

I didn't realize the run was so soon until I titled this blog post. Honestly, I'm excited.

Running in Colorado got me really fired up . . . the fact I could do it. I've run up mountains. I've completed a fifty-two-er and logged well over 1,000 miles. All that's left is actually doing it. Four Hundred Sixty-Nine miles. Nine days. One thing is sure: it will require everything I've got.



The one thing that would really help me is if YOU joined the team. You don't have to run a mile to do it. All it requires is a little bit of time.

So click here to learn more.

And Like "We Run For Them" on Facebook for updates that will grow more frequently as we get closer to the run.

OH AND THANK MY SPONSORS!!!! They support great things! Let's support them!



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