The Plague

Holy crap, I just got run over by a semi.........Today is Tuesday, Feb 26 and for the past 7 days, i've been on the couch in a fog. Maybe i've been time traveling, i just don't know???? If this is the flu, i'll eat my hat! I've had the flu and I ain't never had this! Fever, deep lung infection, a total mess. I wan't my mommy. I need my mommy. Thank god for my dog, we been holed up for a week.

The fever broke last night and when i looked in the mirror i saw a guy that looked like billy simpson in 10 years time or maybe doc holiday in his later stages of TB. he looked ruff, with a capito R. skinny is not the word. week as a kitten. where did i go? hopefully i'll come back.

2 steps forward, 3 steps back. i laced up some running shoes and went out and jogged for 30 minutes, back to square 1. back to before sqare 1. i need my mommy.

i did however read 3 great books. In the past 3 months, i've been on the this cormac mccarthy binge. read all the pretty horses back when and decided to finish the border trilogy, which consits of pretty horses, the crossing, and cities of the plaines. do the last 2 if you havn't read them. they are definately a good read. he has an incredible way of transporting you into the west and the lives of his young cowboys.

hopefully, i'm on the mend, cause if i get what i got again, i may have to punt.

looking forward to 3 days of syllamo with my son and the hound. how much running is a total mystery now but who cares. it'll be fun hanging out and meeting new folks. it's all good!

Peace everybody......Billy


Sylamore Trail 50K / Allison, Ark.

This was my 5th time to line up at this local icon. It is by far the prettiest course in the area and has all the elements one would expect of a classic trail race. The trail gives you creek crossings, great views, some good climbs, some excellent opportunities to open it up on sweet singletrac and stretch your legs and a good bit of technical running. The aid stations are spaced perfectly and the race staff has been careful to maintain this races classic reputation. If you are going to do one 50k a year not far from home, this is it.

I've been fortunate at Sylamore. Before the start this year, I had maintained a streak of 4 top 10 finishes and 4 times being the first Memphis area finisher. I'm not saying this to brag, but to give you some sense of where the race fits in my heart.

This year I came into the run with 2 18 mile long runs in the past 4 months and these were done the two weekends before the race. Cramming for exams. So, I went in with a super casual attitude, with an expectation of running around 5:30 and having a good time and enjoying the company. I figured this would be the year the streak would end and i was perfectly o.k. with that. I had taken the month of december totally off, i ran once all month and in january i think i logged 14 days of running, went skiing with my little boy and surfing for a week in costa rica with my friend Steve Kirk. I was deffinately rested, fresh and looking forward to a nice trail run.

The race day weather conditions were ideal. Around 40 degees and damp. During the run, I never got hot or cold. I fell in with a great group on the way out including Steve Mcbee, Steve Kirk, Mike Cooley, Anna Assenmacher, A J Wolfe and Po Dog Vogler. We pretty much ran and talked all the way to the turnaround. It was so much fun cruising and talking to the two Steve's who I've known and raced with for years and running with Anna who led the group most of the time on this idyllic pace. I didn't have a clue of the time we were running 'cause i screwed my watch up before the start. All I knew is that it felt easy and i felt like I was holding myself back the whole way out. Steve Mcbee and I hit the turnaround and when I asked him what our time was he told me 2:25 and we were floating in 15 and 16th place. The rest of our group was beginning to split up and as we hit the single track coming home, Steve said something about running negative splits and I was like, " heck yea lets just run steady and see what happens. Steve and I ran together for the next 13 miles just talking and not believing how good we felt. The climbs were not a struggle and I felt very fluid on the flats and downhills. When we reached 25 miles we had passed a few people and still feeling good, I got a time check from Steve and he said, "dude, we're going negative." I was like, hell yea, that's pretty fun. Over the last 6 miles, the trail got muddy and technical and my legs felt a little dead from about 27-28 miles where Steve got out about 1 minute ahead. The good thing is, I still passd 3 more people in the last 4 miles and my legs perked back up and i was able to finish strong. It is the first time I have run negative splits on that course. I came back in 2:21 for a finish time of 4:46 and 9th overall. Steve finished 8th, 90 seconds ahead of me. Steve and I have had many great runs at Sylamore together, but, this one will always be special. We ran together for almost 28 miles and there was never a hint of competitiveness between us. We just ran and enjoyed life in the moment

This year was a total gift. It was probably the most enjoyable 50k to date. It just felt so good all day. The streak lives, 5 for 5, as I was the first Memphis area finisher and in the top 10 and at 53 years old, I just feel so fortunate to still be able to run and compete. This is truly a beautiful sport and I love running today as much as I did 30 years ago.

I am also so glad to see all the new Memphis area residents on the scene. We have some strong new blood out there and every one of them i talked to were totally positive about the experience. I see some talented road runners and tri-athlets, both male and female crossing over to trails and it makes me smile to see them love this sport as I do.

It's a beautiful thing,



January Made Me Shiver

Max and I go skiing/snowboarding in North Carolina for a few. The kid is a natural on a board. Fun for dad to watch the boy ride.

Yea Brah......Costa Rica for 5 days surfing with my friend Steve Kirk was rasta. A very interesting group of internationals staying in Playa Hermosa on the Pacific side all chasing the perfect wave. A total surfing village with consistant 4-8 foot breaks. Man, what a perfectly beautiful place. The country of Costa Rica has no army. Can you believe that, no army. I love it. It is a chill place with a capitol C.

My 11 year old son, Max wins his first hardware in a local 5k. The little dude runs 23:21, yep, 7:30 pace to win the 10-14 age group. He will be kicking my butt very soon. I'd say by the time he is 14, I'm toast. I am soooo proud of him and for him. What a great kid. He'll be pacing me at Hardrock in a few years. Yea!

Started running again after laying off December and half of January. Did an 18 miler last weekend, longest run since September and i could feel it. But, I feel fresh. Sylamore trail 50k in 10 days. should be a gas.

Hardrock list came out last weekend and it looks like Scott Jurek and Kyle Skaggs are going to get to go head to head out there. Ther will be blood. For me, I'm focussing all my effort on Hardrock this year. I want to have a good race out there this year.

Karl Meltzer will be going for the AT speedrecord starting in early August, southbound. I have agreed to meet him in northern Virginia and take him to Gorgia. Should be about 19 days. Check out his website at www.karlmeltzer.com for details. I can't wait to get back on the trail

Life is good, vote for Obama......