Saturday, February 27, 2010

Strange effects

I couldn't take being sedentary for one more day, so today I went to the gym with my uncle. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary for one of my standard workouts. The difference was the difficulty I had with it.

I hadn't done the workout in two months but I didn't think it would be the way it was because at the conclusion of most days run I do a pile of push-ups, sit-ups and other various standard exercises just to keep the blood flowing. Now, I know push ups aren't exactly going to give you a Hercules looking chest or arms the size of cannons; but I hadn't noticed a size change in my arms and my weight hasn't changed too much. I'll just go ahead and say it. MAN I got weak! I'm not giving the world an open shot to beat me to a pulp, but it is something that I believe is a result of lack of weight training.

So, what does this mean? It means that for all you runners out there trying to get in awesome shape and really strong, simply running and even pushing a 70 lb baby jogger during the process, just doesn't cut it.

I'm not sweating it now because I knew when I started this there would be a good chance some sort of physical transformation would take place. But so far I hadn't noticed anything different until today.

Other than that, I've spent my days relaxing with family or playing with their dog Riley who looks much like my dog, Roxie, except not morbidly obese and doesn't resemble a lumpy furry sausage. But my dog's a cute lumpy sausage fat dog. And we love her and her addiction to cheese and green beans.



-- Patrick

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Got my face adjusted

Since I'm taking the next couple days off, and I'm just over halfway, I thought this would be a good time to get an adjustment at the chiropractor. He pressed and torqued my face and head with the argument that my face needed adjusting and he was realigning my cranial bones. In my family, with a brother and a little sister who have more energy than a chihuaua after drinking a Red Bull, these are fighting words. But apparently, he was serious and now my face is fully adjusted.

When he saw my address was in Virginia, he asked what I was doing out in these parts. When I told him, he laughed. It wasn't a quick little chuckle. It was a full on belly laugh. And was it short lived? No. It was the kind of laugh that is sedated forcefully out of respect for the bearer of the news and then appears out of no where. The kind of laugh you can't hold back. Like when you're sitting in church and the lady in front of you is literally falling asleep and her head is bobbing dangerously threatening whiplash. And no matter how much you try to stop laughing, no amount of glare from your mom can stop the fact that you need to laugh. I have to admit though, it was a bit contagious. I found myself trying not to laugh because, well, I was the reason for the laughing fit.

After he gathered himself he apologized for laughing so much he just had never had anyone seriously say they were running across a country. I assured him I was serious, and so he laughed some more.

I also brought my whip to the bike doctor to get an adjustment. The bike shop guy asked me what "possessed me" to run across a country. know you've had an event filled day when the entire post is about some guy laughing at you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


First off, I believe everyone needs to watch out. My little sister Bridget has gotten her driving permit. So if you see a blonde girl around the Stafford area driving with her hair on fire just pull over and let the hurricane that is Bridget run her course. You will be ok if you remain in your car.

Just kidding. Congrats Bridget!!

Today started out with breakfast with Michael Smith, 50 States Club marathon runner and Ironman, and Chris Phelan. Chris was, at one time, the 8th fastest marathoner in the US. Now he writes for the Phast Times, a magazine around the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Chris, Michael, Mike

I started running this morning with Mike Gaytes, Ironman triathlete and ultrarunner. It was great to run with someone and he was very interesting to talk to with his experience as a crew person for a Badwater racer. We passed an interesting looking bar with a great sign outside.

What do ya think ladies?

After 14 miles, Mike and I parted ways and I made my way through Denton and their shoulder-less roads. After seeing a few too many single middle digits exposed and aimed at me, I decided to run with traffic for the next quarter mile. Was it safer? No. But at least I didn't have to see people flipping me off anymore.

For the last 5 miles, I was joined by Vicky, Vicki, and Angie; all Dallas Running Club members. It was great to run with so many interesting people today. Good conversation really makes the miles cruise on by. And I had no shortage of good conversation today. Thank you everyone!

Angie, myself, Vicky, Vicki

-- Patrick

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What day is it?

Today was just another day. Nothing crazy, nothing awesome, nothing terrible. Although I think yesterday, posibly last week there was a truck carrying nails that crashed and slid the entire length of my run today. Tons of nails on the road.

The slant of the road was pretty steep today and my ankles did not appreciate it.

It was chilly and overcast and was snowing at the start. But soon the snow and intense wind let up.

I wish something insane happend like a lion escaping from the zoo and followed me but it didn't. Or Jif or Skippy peanut butter and Smuckers jelly gave me all I could eat pb&j for the rest of my life. Or if someone offered to do a freak experiment on me where they turned me into inspector gadget. That'd be cool. But alas, the only person to keep me company today was my man, Axel Rose.
Thanks Guns and Roses.

-- Patrick

Monday, February 22, 2010


Okay, there have been a couple questions in the past couple days comments. So I'll answer them in one foul swoop.

The stroller is working fine. I had to do some minor repairs a couple days ago. The front wheel wasn't going straight and the back right wheel was falling off. Sounds like a big deal but I just adjusted the front so it would go straight an cleaned the back wheel connector so it snapped in and wouldn't fall off. All systems go.

My days off: well, since my mom reads this, yes I will take them completely off. The truth is though I haven't taken three consecutive days off of running in a very long time. So if my brain can handle that, then sure. But if anyone in the Dallas area invites me on a run, well, I'm not sure I could say "no."

Today was cooooold. I camped out last night and it went well, stayed warm. Today was overcast and freeeezing. But, another day is behind me.

I met Clint and Paul on the way. They are biking from Maine to San Diego for breast cancer. They were nice guys but in order to stay warm we didn't visit long.

My whip, Paul, and Clint

-- Patrick

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back on track and ended in Bryson. Super short day; almost annoyingly so. 13 miles. I also made the mistake of doing it too quickly because now i'm just sitting here debating on trying to sleep or trying to stay awake.

I'm camping tonight. First night on the trip so far. It's cold but at least it's stopped raining. This is going to be short to reserve battery life.

-- Patrick

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day of the dead

Today was strange. 40 miles on an overcast day in the upper 50s lower 60s. I saw lots of cows but every other animal I saw today was dead. And there were A LOT of them. Let's just say there was a section that required weaving. It was very strange. I didn't take any pictures though.

It was very very humid as well. Also wierd.

Other than that, it was a pretty good day. The road was curvy and had more hills than the past couple of weeks. I ended in Graham, TX.

..this part wasn't curvy.

I've got a lot of time during the day to think. And today was a thinking day. No universal truths or answers to life yet. Sorry.

-- Patrick

Friday, February 19, 2010

Half way and PUDS

So today I crossed the halfway point. Yipee!! This is what I did on the line.

Warning: Some material may not be suitable for children. This is rated R for Really bad dancing.

On a more reasonable note, it was a 33 day and I ended in Throckmorton. Say that one 5 times fast. I got Drockmorn for my last one.

Anyway! Lots of PUDS on the road today. (pointless ups and downs) but the little climbs and falls did make the really really really straight road a little more interesting. The cows today were much more active and decided to join me for a little bit. It was pretty cool, I guess I ran with the bulls. (Cross that one off my bucket list)

Also! I found the spot where the grass really was greener on the other side of the fence. But due to dumb connections, the picture will not post.

In other news, I saw an armadillo! And it was alive...unlike the hog, coyote, owl, and dog I also saw today.

Song to get stoked on:
Ali in the Jungle by The Hours
You may recognize it as the song Nike uses in their commercial with all the streams of people that they play during the Olympics.

Keep it real.

-- Patrick

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A day of nothing

...except reading and rest. I'd like to replace days like today with days of some progress.

-- Patrick

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Increasigly good mood

Things are going well. So well in fact, they can only go down. Yes, it's a bit of a pessimistic thought but I'm serious. I haven't gotten lost. Nothing hurts. I get to the end of a 30+ day and I feel like I just started. I'm not even sore in the morning. Everyone I meet is really nice. The scenery is getting increasinly green. AND it hasn't rained in awhile. All of this is of course followed up by a brisk knock on wood but that is that.

Today I stopped into the town of Rule. It ruled. Pun intended? It has a little under 700 people and I stopped by the school and spoke with the seniors. It was a lot different than when I visited the middle school but still, it ruled. Everyone was really cool, and they ruled too. When I left Rule, it didn't rule. Okay, I'll stop now.

Before that, I ran into some really friendly donkeys, a horse and a llama.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Short day and good people

It seems that these days I am fortunate to meet so many people. This is good for several reasons. One, it let's me follow up on one of the goals of the trip: to tell as many people as possible that kids get arthritis. And the second reason is that I am able to see people. I'm able to view the people that ordinarily, I would never have been in a position or have been fortunate enough to meet.

If I had decided to drive across the country I would never met half the people simply because I would not have been in the same situation. Running has allowed me to get a better idea of what the people of this country really are like. So far I have met a decent sized section of the country and the people have been different. I've met a mom who happens to be a parol officer who has a daughter with arthritis in Redlands, CA and I've met a Dad who has worked for Mobil in the oil fields for 25 years in Jayton, TX. Both were incredibly different in every way possible. Each were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. And I would have met neither had I not started this run.

I'm learning things out here. And it is good.

Allow me to introduce you to my rig:

23 today and my body is holding up well.

-- Patrick

Monday, February 15, 2010

Long and short

Yesterday was supposed to be a 25 mile day and today was supposed to be a 27 mile day. Well, I was able to have a building to sleep in last night if I went an extra 11. So I did. Yesterday turned into a 38 day, which made today a 14 day.

Yesterday was tough. Not so much the distance but the freezing cold wind. Straight into my face. After talking to people today I found out the wind was 30 mph with over 50 mph gusts. Fun.

Today was sunny and warmer. The wind was slightly less but still there. Because of yesterday's extra miles, today was shortend but I went into Sassy's Restaurant, and had an AWESOME meatball sub and sweet tea and then, was picked up by a family for the night!

The mom thought I was her son because, apparently I look like him. When she heard what I was doing she said it was exactly the kind of thing her son would do. So, she took me in.

-- Patrick

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Today was slightly uneventful. It was a good day, I felt strong and relaxed. It was a short day, 25 miles. I usually prefer to get around 30-35. Hitting 30 makes me feel more like I got somewhere in the day.

I pulled into Post, Texas after taking a glamour shots of my stroller for some empty-land entertainment.

I saw this sign welcoming me to Post, except it was welcoming ME by name so that was pretty cool!

I guess cool things happen when you stay with the Mayor!

-- Patrick

Friday, February 12, 2010

Utter craziness

Alright so today was an awesome day. It was clear, ie no snow; it was warm, ie higher than 38.5; AND I found out one of life's great mysteries.

I was cruising along, energy levels feeling good, thanks to GU. And I saw bison! Real, live, in the fur, curved little horned, BISON. It was awesome. The bad news, they were too far away to get a picture. When I ran past a bunch of horses first they all looked at me, like they do, and then they started running next to me! It was pretty sweet. As soon as I pulled out my camera to take a picture though, they bolted. I guess I'm not the horse whisperer I thought I was.

Next I saw Prarie Dogs! The little things were zipping around and screaming at me. But alas, too small to get a picture.

Unfortunately, this was the third cool thing I saw today that I couldn't document.

I got into town disappointed because while I saw flat empty land for most of the day, I saw some things worth taking pictures of, and I couldn't. Then as I was taking off my shoes and socks, there it was.

The most intruigingly cool, and mysteriously disgusting thing to grace my eyes in quite some time. (...and I look in the mirror at LEAST once a week so that's really saying something.)

Sitting up. In perfect form. Right there on the floor were my socks. Standing upright. On their own. I only thought one thing. "Get the camera before the things walk out the door on their own."

Luckily I was swift with the camera work and was able to document the memorial to sheer dirtiness.

Thank you Smartwool for designing something so awesome that it will stand on their own before they start to smell.

-- Patrick

Thursday, February 11, 2010


That's where I am.

-- Patrick

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


That's right. I'm in Texas now. Plains, to be exact. Frigid at the start and first half. Then I crossed into Texas. Within a half hour the sun came out and it warmed up about 10 degrees. It was wierd but I welcomed it. I might have even done a little dance just to welcome the sun. Who knows? It's not like anyone saw me; I'm still in the middle of nowhere! And if you ask me, I'll deny it.

Today, was kind of bitter sweet. Yes, I crossed into Texas but today was the last day with my Grandpa. He's on his way home now and from here on out, it's me and my shadow.

Today I ran not for Maggie, but for Maggie's family. They need your support now, so please keep them in your thoughts.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day off

Day off. Tomorrow is my one way ticket into Texas....where I will be for the next eternity. Tomorrow is also the last day with my grandpa's support in the RV.

Maggie, the 12 year old girl I've mentioned before, isn't doing well. Think of her and her family.

-- Patrick

Monday, February 8, 2010

Straight roads and physical update

Today's run was straight. Straight and flat. Sounds ideal, yes. But ideal conditions take away everything that I love about running, and more specifically endurance running. I love the idea of enduring more.

Some people run for time or for a new "PR." (personal record) Others run to lose the weekend calorie surplus or the last holiday's extra serving of pie.

I run to think. And I run to see.

Running is the perfect time to get things straight in my head and figure out what is really going on in my life. Now, these days, I have plenty of time to figure out the answers to life's questions because I get to run between 4-6 hours per day. But at the same time, there is not a finish line you reach where you have it "all figured out."

So, where does that leave my purpose for running?

One answer keeps coming up when I ask myself this question. (Which happens to be several times a day for the past month or so.)

Who cares? I love running. I love the effect it has on my psyche. I love seeing the things I see while running whether it be the mountains of New Mexico, or the vast nothing-ness of a desert, or even the things that I've seen everyday while running the same 7 mile trail loop over and over and over back in Richmond because that's all I had when it came to trails around a major city.

I run for the journey. Not for the finish line...although, I'm sure I will welcome the end of this cross country journey.

My body feels good, no chronic aches or pains. Everyday I wake up fresh, wonder where my legs will take me today and at what point I will start to hate running. And every night, I go to sleep wondering why I don't hate running.

There are many different takes on running and why you do or do not take part in it. None of them are wrong, but this is why I run.

-- Patrick

Sunday, February 7, 2010

1000 miles

That's right. And that's it.

-- Patrick

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Out of service and into Roswell

Yesterday I ran downhill with the wind at my back. Because of these handicaps, I thought it only fair that I add on a couple miles to even the playing field of the day. I started in Ruidoso Downs in about 33 degree temps without a cloud in the sky.

Three miles into the run I passed the Early Development Childcare Center. They were waiting for me and I stopped to say hi to the 3-4 year old kids. They were really cute and gave me beef jerky, a donation, and Gatorade.

Throughout the day I passed through 4 little towns and ended the day 37.5 miles later in Riverside, in about 65 degree temps. Out of cell range. No bloggin.

Today started at about 40 degrees and ended somewhere in the high 60s. Take that east coast! You guys are buried in feet of snow and I'm romping around in shorts and a t-shirt!

Today's scenery was slightly less interesting than the past two days. The wierd and mostly annoying thing about today was the road wasn't in the greatest shape. As many of you know, I normally run trails, so I'm not picky when it comes to the conditions of what I'M running on. BUT there are no semi trucks on the trails I run. And the semis today would pick up the little loose rocks from the road and throw them at me at around 60-75 mph. (the speed limit was 70) I got beamed in the forehead 4 times, 3 times in the right knee, once in the left knee, twice in the ribs, and 5 times on my knuckles. Let's just say the semis have got some precision problems when it comes to the strike zone.

Regardless, I rolled into Roswell after about 33 miles and passing 8 people out for weekend jaunts on their bicicletas.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say hey to everyone from Stafford. Shout outs go to, almost, every band to come out of Stafford.

It seems these days I'm under a "Time Crisis" and I'm just trying to "Attain" the "Goals We Set." But all I can do is put myself in a mental "Full Nelson," look at it like it's "Not My Own," enter an "Altered State" and continue the "Suburban Sprawl" "Today and Everything After."

-- Patrick

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tall mountains and great people

First, I'd like to wish Maggie a happy 13th birthday. It is actually tomorrow, but still, Happy Birthday Maggie!! Finally a teenager!

Today's run was fantastic. I started at 4500 feet and topped out at 7591 ft passing Apache Summit and then the last 10 miles or so were downhill where I ended in Ruidoso Downs at around 6700 ft. The mountains, and scenery made the time and the miles fly by.

Somewhere around 14 miles I saw a bridge over Rt 70, where I was running. On the bridge was this sign that said, "Run Patrick Run!" and it had all these foot prints (and one set of hand prints) on it! It was great, and really gave me some motivation to run some more. I took a picture of it but for some reason it didn't save, so I took a picture of it later when it wasn't on the bridge anymore.

After the run, we met up with the Brillantes for dinner. It was really nice to see them again. Their daughter, Fellicie, was diagnosed when she was just a baby! She's doing well and was really great. Gabby, her older sister, is really cool too. She skateboards, so look for her in the X games in a couple years.

Much of the Brillantes extended family came out as well and everyone was so nice.

Good people, good running, good food, good day.

-- Patrick

Video 2/4

-- Patrick

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Off day

Normally, I'm not a fan of off days. Today, was not any different. I feel that, while my body is getting a good rest, I am on a mission. I have a job to do and on off days, I'm not doing it. I've had it set in my head since January 1 that for the next four months I would run at least a marathon per day. So needless to say, I'm a bit antsy on days off.

The good news? Today it was raining and was generally miserable. A good day to do something inside. Something like go to a space museum. So we did.

There is a really good space program and museum in Alamogordo so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be pretty good.

Big rocket.

That meteorite is about the size of my melon but weighs 138 lbs! Crazy.

This here is called a rocket booster. I want it to put on my back. I'd like to set some kind of speed record in my lifetime. Take note, Christmas is just around the corner.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alamogordo and Tularosa

While the title suggests I have taken up learning Spanish, they are the two cities I went through. I also passed Holloman Airforce base and heard (and dodged) jets pretty much all day.

It was 30 miles of mostly straight roads with slight turns northwest, then straight north, then a little west actually. I ended the day heading east through, and that's the important part.

Alamogordo was the first city I passed but I stayed on the outskirts so I wasn't completely immersed in the city. This wasn't the case when I went through the Village of Tularosa. I ended up walking through the 4 block town just because I wanted to see everything.

The Historical district looked like a town out of the old west. It was pretty cool.

I also passed a cool looking house and yard and thought I'd get artsy with it.

As I was leaving the town, I saw a big pepper made out of little peppers. ...looks like pain to me.

When I got back to the rv at the end of the day, the Brillantes were waiting for me too! It was great I got to meet them. They were in town at a doctors apt. and they passed me. I wasn't supposed to meet them until Thursday but I got to meet them today.

Last little bit of info: today I've been running for a month. One down. Three to go.

-- Patrick

Monday, February 1, 2010

Feb 1

First things first. I'd like to appologize to the Las Cruces metropolitan area for putting your Ihop out of business. I didn't realize "all you can eat pancakes" wasn't actually a physical challenge.

In other news, my grandpa and I saw the sunrise from where I stopped yesterday/ started today. It was quite a sight.

This is what the same mountain that I took a picture of yesterday looked light with the new sun hitting it.

Onto the run. 35 miles. 5 miles down to start, rolling hills and flat for the rest. Not many sights except for the bomb that went off a couple hundred yards from me.

That's right, a bomb. Actually, I was next to a missile range, so I'm assuming it was planned, but I like to tell myself it wasn't planned and I'm lucky to be alive!!

The other unusual thing today was the border patrol. I was strolling along and the border patrol informed me I needed to go through the upcoming inspection station. They just asked if I was a citizen. No interrogation. No big lamps shining in my face asking what I was "really" doing. Rather dull. Sorry I couldn't make the story a little more colorful.

I ended at White Sand National Monument. And what do you know, it's actually white sand.

...that's not the monument by the way.

-- Patrick