Shit Ultrarunners Say

Yeah, I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I love these and saw Shit Cyclists Say and Shit Triathletes Say, but there weren't any for ultrarunners, so I made one.

Enjoy... Review and Pictures contacted me about a month ago and offered me some free custom shirts for the blog, and since the main purpose of this blog is money, fame, and free stuff, I didn't have to think twice before saying yes.

Their design process is very simple and done over the internets. You can upload pictures, add text, and choose a layout online, which is just my style because the less interaction I have with real live people, the better. Actually, their customer service was awesome. I got a call from Soren at ooshirts and he said that the design I created wouldn't work with the shirt that I had chosen. I guess the design I picked was too big or something...I tried to be as subtle as possible by choosing orange on black and their font size only went up to 100, so I just added an extra zero at the end and requested "super bold" for the font style. Soren recommended a thinner cotton shirt, and I loved it. So did my wife. She claimed the one that I was going to give away, so blame her.

Here are some pictures (for no other reason than I like to show off my smoking hot wife).

We grew up in the 80s so we modify our own clothes (just like Samantha Micelli did) 

In case you can't read this because the font size is too small, it reads "RUN DIRTY"
Thanks for reading, and check out for any custom shirt needs.


It's too early to wake up. I scheduled the run for 8 and at 5:47 AM I'm tossing and turning, half dreaming about the route, the twists and turns, the streams and climbs, the linking of some familiar trails, some unfamiliar trails, measuring the risk of trespassing, crossing some barb wire, hoping that it will be too early for the downhill mountain bikers, wondering who will show and who will flake, and hoping that everyone will love the trail. At 6:30 AM I can't take it anymore, and as my wife sleeps peacefully beside me, I creak and stretch out of bed. It's a cold morning, and the heater won't trigger until 7. I stumble through the bedroom, first looking at the clouds outside my window, dark rain clouds in the distance, but only a slight mist on the ground. I rummage through my running clothes, finding some clean shorts, some arm-warmers, a beanie and my new wool socks. With some wishful thinking, I decide to leave the rain jacket hanging in the dark, back corner of my closet.

I try to be quiet in the kitchen, focusing on each movement to try to dampen the sounds of a cupboard closing and glass on the granite counter. I pour the coffee grinds into the aluminum stove-top coffee maker with the happy Italian pointing one finger in the air. The gas hisses and the starter clicks as the small explosion wraps around the base and warms the back of my hand. I breathe the sigh of a failed mission as I hear small feet on carpet in the bedroom above. I listen to him as he dresses in the clothes that he laid out for himself the night before, like a police chalk drawing on his bedroom floor, complete with a hat and sunglasses. He walks down the stairs and smiles as he peeks around the corner and his eyes have that ever-present glint of a mischievous 6-year-old. He knows that it's too early for him, but wanting a soft, half-sleeping hug, I open my arms and swallow him up in them as I kiss his sleep-warmed cheeks. He is wearing an old Catalina Marathon t-shirt that is a few sizes too big and covered in small islands of purple, red, green, and orange acrylic paint. I guess that is the type that doesn't wash out.

The dog runs to him, jumps and licks the boy's face. The dog promptly falls to the ground, claiming her space at his feet, exposing her soft belly, and asks, no demands the morning pet/scratch/rub. She signifies her approval with front paws hooked over his forearm with just enough pressure to make him stay there until the job is done.

The heat clicks on at 7, blasting warm air through sleeping bedrooms and over cold kitchen tiles.

The dog now sits patiently by the back door, waiting to go out for the morning. As I step into the backyard, the sound, like a rattler at my feet, makes me jump, heart racing and instincts, though a little slow at this time of the morning, kick in, as I shield my lower legs by jumping sideways and avoiding the razor sharp fangs filled with paralyzing poison that I am sure are lunging toward my shins. As I look down I see the sprinkler head that popped up, the stream of water a hiss at my feet. Walking back inside, I feel a few drops of might come after all, but I'm still not going back upstairs for the rain jacket.

I drink my coffee and eat my oatmeal mixed with Nutella and peanut butter, I am anxious for the long trail run with friends, but reluctant to leave the warm, mostly sleeping house. Before my son fell asleep the night before, I had promised to take him up to his favorite trail. A spot where some kids had worked for hours digging out a berm and a couple of jumps on a small, circular dirt path, past an abandoned yellow car covered in rust and suburban graffiti and a couple of power line towers that always make me think of A Wrinkle in Time. Talking about the afternoon ride leads to talking about camping and biking trips in the mountains when he gets older, and waking up early so he can wear his headlamp and run with me in the mornings. And I tell him nothing would make me happier.

New Year's Update

First off, Happy New Year to everyone. I've been travelling the last week as we took a family trip to Northern California, but that trip was book-ended by a couple of great running events.

On New Year's Day, I hosted the Fourth (or maybe Fifth) Annual "No Puking on the Trail" New Year's Day Run. This year we had about 60 people show up and start the new year with a beautiful trail run followed by mimosas and an icy cold soak in the stream. This is always such a fun day and I can't think of a better place or better people to share New Year's day with, and I am happy to report that no one has puked (yet), but Jeff came close.

First to the top

My kids got three weeks off of school this year for winter break; I guess California can't afford to keep the schools open much anymore, so by week 3 the kids were alternating between bouncing off the walls and putting a strain on global internet bandwidth by streaming nonstop Netflix. We decided to take a short road trip to visit Sharlie, Ryan, Harrison, and my mom up in Palo Alto. I ran a great trail in Rancho San Antonio Preserve while my kids hiked to the farm with their grandma. The running terrain up there is so beautiful. I ran under a canopy of redwoods and on soft pine-covered trails, but my heart still belongs to the desert scrub and jagged rocks of Southern California.

Some pictures from the trip:

We visited the Stanford campus for my daughter's school project and of course we were all drawn to the track.

Watching some pure speed.

The CamelBak coordination was not planned. You can't plan this kind of fabulous.

Yesterday I was able to attend the first Rough Runner Fun Run, a benefit for an injured ultra-runner put on by Keith Swiatkowski and Christine Bilange. It was great to see so many runners rally for a good cause, and it was a good training day for me. I haven't run anything longer than about 15 since the Las Vegas Marathon, and with Death Valley Marathon a couple weeks away, I was starting to worry about my endurance. I ran a little over 20 yesterday and felt great. It's fun running with other ultrarunners because everyone talks about which 50 mile, 100K or 100 miler they are planning in the coming year and it almost makes what we do sound ordinary.

One last thing; it was cool to be included here. I've always said I'm only doing this for the fame, accolades, and fortune.

Ratings and Recommendations