Five years of bad ideas

Five Octobers ago I showed up at the starting line for the Des Plaines River Trail Races ready to run 50 miles. It was my first official ultramarathon, and also the beginning of a long series of bad ideas that are now for some reason recorded for all to see on a website called UltraSignup. I never asked anyone to keep track of my bad ideas.

Originally I had planned to make this one of those long and annoying “Things I’ve learned from ____ years of ultrarunning” blog posts, but then I remembered I haven’t learned anything and still don’t know what I’m doing, so I guess I’ll just […]

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How to drink your own piss: A Nolan’s 14 story

Summit shot on number 14. From left, some guy, Wade, and Walt. Photo credit: Some hiker on Massive.

Prologue

One morning in May I drank my own piss. One afternoon in June my dad died of cancer. Those two statements are loosely related. I don’t remember July or August, but earlier this month I finished Nolan’s 14, and I find myself unable to write about it without weaving in themes of piss and death. My father’s passing is still fresh on my mind, and like Nolan’s 14 it’s a surreal and difficult thing to experience and process. So I guess what I’m saying is — I wrote a story […]

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Field notes from the 2017 Buffalo/Tiny Mouse Race

I will learn.

It is Saturday evening after the race and with crazy hair and bloodshot eyes and greasy sunscreened skin like a maniac I’m checking in to the cheapest motel I can find in all of Salt Lake City.

One of these days I’ll stop doing this to myself.

After sweating through 100 miles of hot and dusty trail and then sleeping dirty in my tent I’ll finally be able to give my poor tired and grimy body the nice long hot bath it so richly deserves.

I will stop running.

On the road to another race

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Run short for SAMYAM

In observance of Shortest American Month of the Year Awareness Month, RunSlaphappy is publishing its shortest blog post of the year.

Show your support — run short!

I don’t care if nothing happened in January. We need content so come up with something

Prologue:

Me: “What am I supposed to do, just make something up?”

Content manager: “No, we already have enough alternative facts on our website. Didn’t you run at all this month?”

“Yeah, but there was nothing worth writing about.”

“Well, we need to stay on top of organic search, so come up with something. That’s what you’re here for.”

“I didn’t really get any good pictures.”

“That’s what stock photos are for.”

“Fine, I’ll put something together.”

“EOD, Brandt.”

“Fine.”

My threshold for refusing to learn how to ski is six feet of snow in one month

Here’s a picture of me learning to ski on Saturday. […]

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Everything I remember from the Hitchcock Experience plus some other things

“You ran to the start?”

“Yeah.”

“And that’s all you brought for a drop bag?”

I stared at the little insulated lunchbox my parents got me for my first job out of high school. It made for a great lunchbox back then, but these days I use it to hold things I might need during a race, like extra socks, a backup shirt, peanut butter, and drugs. It’s waterproof, squirrelproof, Sithproof, and small enough to carry while running away from the dark side. I’m sorry to inform you that it’s not for sale.

“Yeah.”

She looked at me suspiciously.

“How are you going to get back to your tent?”

“I […]

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How long should you wait before buying new running shoes?

As long as possible. Ideally you want to put off buying new shoes until the old ones are too decrepit to function without a good deal of rope and duct tape. Bonus points if big chunks fall off mid-run.

(P.S. I am starting a running advice column called Brandt’s Really Good Running Advice. I will answer all of your questions about running. My goal is to write lots of very useful information about running and slowly build up an audience until a major running company notices me and offers me a job. Please subscribe.)

The big ditch

Under no circumstances should you attempt to hike from the rim to the Colorado River and back in one day. – National Park Service

Precisely two weeks ago DeLorme announced to anyone bored enough to be listening that I was at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, for the second time that day. It was raining steadily and a couple dozen hikers were huddled inside and around the store. If I had to venture a guess I’d say they were probably trying to avoid getting wet, which wasn’t an option for me because I’d left my rain jacket back at camp.

“It’s basically a desert […]

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Nolan’s 4, or what mountain goats drink

Photo credit: Carl the mountain goat

I’d just left Winfield and was hiking down South Clear Creek Road when I heard the UTV approaching.

“Ten bucks says they stop and ask me what the hell I’m doing,” I thought to myself.

They stopped, I pocketed ten bucks. “I should do crazy stuff more often,” I thought to myself.

“You goin’ to Lake Ann?” the man asked, referring to an alpine lake below the divide, straight south of us.

“No, Huron,” I said, referring to a peak a short climb east of us.

“Huron? That’s a 14er! You’re climbing a 14er at night!?”

“Yes.”

The man’s face was a mixture […]

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In which I sign my first summit register and finally climb Princeton

“I’ll just follow the mountain goat trail up the ridge, it’ll be fine.” – Me

Not fine.

Thanks a lot, goats on Dyer

On Sunday, Sept. 11, a little over a week after my Nolan’s 10 experience ended, I decided it would be a good idea to climb Dyer, Gemini, Sherman, and Sheridan to see if my feet still worked. In case you’d rather not read to the end of this post, I’ll just tell you right now that they worked fine. Here is something useful to do with your time instead of reading the next 1,300 words.

The four peaks I picked are all closely […]

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