Commentary

karl-running

On the Trail

Of all the important relationships in life, my relationship with the trails is one of the most complex and profound of all. Some days running the trail is like a magic carpet ride—every step easy and flowing and I’m one with the world. At times like this the trail allows me to connect with nature, know myself and be truly present. But other times the trail is a punishing taskmaster, with every rut, root, rock and impediment a massive hurdle.

198312

Reflections on a First ”DNF”

“Since when is running 40 miles in under 6 hours the mark of a failure?” my wife asked me — for about the fifth time. I didn’t respond. I was sitting in our hotel room in a sort of depressed fog, the product of cramped hamstrings, blistered feet, mild heat exhaustion and a strong case of self-commiseration.

“When the race is 50 miles,” I finally answered.

april-1986

The Night Before

What am I doing here? And why did I decide that this was the race to “go for it?” Now I just wish I were at home between my own sheets with hyperactive bladder and bowels and cold sweaty feet and hands. Most of all, I wish that tomorrow held something other than an early rise and a day of exceedingly painful effort. Ah, well. close the eyes, breath deeply, and please, please, go to sleep.

Cowboy Songs

By Katrin Silva I enjoy running with music. I don’t do it all the time, and never while racing. But on days when weather conditions keep me off the trails, when I run after a long day at work, when I head out with my muscles tensed into knots and negative thoughts swarming through my

Gerardo Ramirez and Rene Villalobos demonstrate ultra camaraderie at Heartland 100. Photo by Rick Kent/Mile 90 Photography

The Boring Ultrarunner

Your great victories seldom make entertaining stories. What people want to hear about are your appalling errors and grievous miscalculations.

Karl Hoagland

Fate or Destiny?

When I was facing a huge life decision, my mom encouraged me to choose my destiny over my fate. I really didn’t know what she was talking about and when I looked the words up in the dictionary they were basically synonymous. More research revealed that the differences are subtle, but huge.