Daily Journal


I have waited 2 days to update this journal.  I still don’t have any idea what to say.  I finished.  I’m sore and tired.  Salama profited.   That hits the high points.  This entry may be a long one, but there is a lot to be said.

I drove to Bohan at 12th & Demonbreun, parked, and started on the journey at 1:25 AM CDT.  It was a lively partying environment, but they were not there for me.  Music, cabs, LSU fans, police……activity everywhere for the 1st 3/4 mile.  I turn off Music Row East onto South Street and get stopped by a policemen.  Am I going too fast?  He describes a guy wearing a blue hat and riding a bicycle and asks if I’ve seen him.  No.  1/4 mile late a policelady stops me and asks the same thing.  What an interesting way to start the day.

I run 16.69 miles before returning to the rendezvous point at Bohan.  I run past Stan & Alice Weber’s house (Salama founders), Belmont University, my childhood home, my elementary school, my current home, Lipscomb University, Music Row studios, and other personally relevant landmarks.  At 5 AM CDT I meet Christopher McClintock and we head out for a 7 to  8 mile jaunt.  Richmond Williams (Bohan) and George Crook (Salama) are also there to take pictures of me while I am still looking “good”.  Perhaps the greatest surprise is that a very long time very good friend, John Sanders, is there at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to encourage me.  Wow.

Christopher and I run the East Nashville leg.  While running Woodland Street I notice that a friend of mine, Ted Helm, is at work (6:15 AM).  I knock on his door and we have pictures taken and he wishes me well on my journey.  We return at 7 AM CDT to Bohan where I drop Christopher.  He is leaving me to go ride 100 miles on his bike in a fundraiser for breast cancer.  He just ran 7 to 8 miles and now he’s going to ride 100.  Wimp.

No offense to anyone that ran with me, but the next leg was my favorite.  Sue, my best friend and wife, and I ran a 4 mile downtown loop without anyone else or cameras.  I talked; she listened.  I started walking all uphills.  She also didn’t tell me I was crazy.

28 miles down as we return to Bohan.  I pick up several people now.  Mari-Etta Parrish, Jennifer Harris, Nick Jernigan, Amanda, Mark Schenkel, Corey,  and Chuck Beard.  I hope I didn’t forget anyone.  I’m sorry if I did.  Amanda was doing a training run for the upcoming Women’s 1/2 marathon.  She ran with us and encouraged me.  Corey and I had only met via email, but he stayed with me for about 11 to 12 miles.  Chuck Beard did a Ironman triathlon 2 weeks ago, but still came out to run wiht me.  He only (sarcasm) went about 11 miles with me.  Mark is a professor at Belmont; Jennifer is a friend and personal trainer; Mari-Etta is a friend and my nuttionsist.  Jennifer went about 6 miles; Mark about 10 miles; Mari-Etta went about 25 miles with me. 

Nick and his wife, Devina, are good friends of our daughter and son-in-law.  Nick promised me last October to run 10 miles with me.  He also raised money for Salama.  They made the trip from Montgomery, AL to Nashville just for this.  At one point we are running by a store and Nick (6’2″ 230#) jumps up and hits a sign that is at least 10 feet above the ground.  I admonish him for having so much energy.  He just smiles and tells me he hasn’t outgrown his childhood.

My memory is starting to fail because so much happened.  I am overwhelmed by the support and the # of people that supported me.  Sue ran another 4 mile leg with me.  My daughter and son-in-law, Josh and Quin, ran a leg with me. 

Autumn Boaz and her sister (her name starts with an A but I’m sorry I cannot recall it at this moment) ran 3 or so miles with me.  We got caught in a very refreshing rain.  It was hot and sunny until that rain.  I think God knew I needed the rain.  We were soaked.  We were happy.  I actually ran longer and faster than I had in some time.

After returning to Bohan, Josh, Quin and I set out for the Vandy-LSU tailgate area.  We picked up Sam Cook in Hillsboro Village in front of Pancake Pantry.  It must have been about 48 miles.  I think I ran about 2/10 miles from that point on.  Sam took me to the end.  I may not have finished wihtout his support.  He calculated distances, pulled me up a hill (literally), and continually encouraged me.  BTW, Sam and I went to the same elementary school about 50 years ago.

I was so suprised by the people at the rendezvous point throughout the day.  I had many good friends appear.  Bill & Sandra McCord came up from Chattanooga.  John Sanders reappeared with his wife Karol and daughter Haven.  Phyllis & Deryl, Dave & Joanne, my niece Charlotte and her husband Jason, Gael…just to name a few.  Sorry if I omitted your name…..

Sue told me many many people stopped by and asked if this is “Bill’s run”.  They all encouraged me.  I had at least 12 people shout encouragement  to ma as I was running.

My sister and brother-in-law, Mary & Lee Thomson, drove beside me all day providing encouragement and refreshments.  They cannot possibly know what it meant to me.

In previous journal entries I have talked about Zip Zip and The Mammenator.  Bob Brown (Zip Zip) came in from Pennsylvania and Chris Mammen came from Dallas to stay with me.  Bob was hurt so he stayed at Bohan all day.  Chris ran/walked with me for several miles and at the end.  The 3 of us are part of an informal group of glass business owners.  Bob sent emails to and fielded phone calls from the others during the day.  Thanks guys.  I could have done it without you, but it sure wouldn’t have been as much fun.

We turn the corner from Demonbreun onto 8th Ave So and head up what seems to be Pikes Peak to the finish at Salama.  Sam, Chris, Stan and several others are with me.  I have never been is so much physical pain.  My calves are as hard as concrete.  My quads are really tight, too.  My brain has shut down because of the physical discomfort.  I grab a pole for support and stop.  Sam says “keep moving” and I painfully push up hill.  I see Sue and Quin coming downhill to meet me and finish we me.  They each take an arm to steady me.  Pikes Peak just turned into Mt. Everest.  I can’t see the top.  If I make the top Salama is in sight.  Finally, I crest the hill and there is Salama with many, many kids waitng at the traffic light to run the last 50 feet with me.  Too much emotion for Bill…….I force myself to run to the end.  56.24 miles….13:21:00 + or – total moving time.  (about 3 additional hours at the rendezvous point).

I have nieces, nephews, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and cousins there.  There are so many people affiliated with Salama there.  There are many pictures with many people.  I am tired and sore yet rejuvenated. 

Many people thank me for what I have done.  They are all wrong.  It is what they have done for  me.  They just don’t know.  Christopher hugs me and says “we did it”.  Yes “we” did!  It has been a team effort.  Keri Powe and her family are there.  Kery has massaged, kneeded, and punished my bidy throughout this ordeal.  I will see her Monday for another torture session.  Christopher’s wife, Kristi, and son, Ristow are there.  There are many unexpected people there.  Mari-Etta has returned.  The Salama kids keep gathering around me for photos.  Thise kids kept me going at many times during the last 10 months. 

I can’t thank everyone sufficiently.  Just know that you are remembered and i could not have done it without you.

Finally, near the point of collapse, a lady comes to me.  She is a parent of 2 kids in the Salama Program.  She thanks me….I cry.


I arose at 2 AM CDT with the intention of running 20 minutes.  I decided to go visit a couple of job sites instead.  I imagine that anyone seeing me nosing around worried about my intentions.  At least I’m driving a pink truck.  That should calm their fears, but possibly raise their anxiety.  If they only knew my anxiety level….

I plan to be asleep by 6 PM CDT today.  I will awake be 12:30 AM CDT tomorrow and begin running within an hour.  I expect to complete 15 to 20 miles before I meet Christopher at 5 AM CDT.  The next leg will be 12 to 15 miles.  By 7:30 AM CDT I will have completed about 30 miles.  That leaves me about 10 1/2 hours to complete a marathon.  I hiked Kilimanjaro in about the same amount of time and it was 25 miles roundtrip.  Of course, I was 20 years old at the time.

See you on the course.  Thanks for everyone’s support.


Well Happy Birthday to me.  I arose at 3 AM CDT this morning and ran a 5k (3.1 miles + a little).  Wow!  What an easy delightful run.  This was a great way to start any day, especially my birthday.

Saturday is too close and yet too far away.  It is so close that doubts are arising, but it’s too distant for me to start running.  Am I ready?  Yes!

The hardest part now are the incessant questions about planning, route, fitness level, etc.  It is really hard to stay calm and, unfortunately, some people get caught in the snare of nerves entangling me.  I am sorry for anyone caught in the snare.  Forgive me, please.


I struggled through a 42 minute run today.  The heat and humidity has returned.  The high temp for Saturday is 93 with a good chance of thunderstorms late in the afternoon.  Oh good, that means the heat and humidity will be there for much of the run.  oh well, I trained in it so I should be ready for it.

I went into a bank today and the tellar asked me when the “big day” was.  He didn’t know me so I took that as a good sign that Salama is getting some pub.

I found out a friend (The Mammenator) is flying in from Texas to see me finish.  Another (Zip Zip) is coming from PA.  The pressure continues to build!


I am starting to feel like what I imagine a horse feels when it is in the starting gate immediately before a race begins.  I want to run today, but it’s not on the schedule and it’s most important to follow the schedule this week.

I will not vary from the schedule or strategy this week of all weeks.  I hope friends, family, customers, and suppliers all understand.  If they don’t understand then too bad for them.  I have the kids at Salama counting on me.  Others will have to wait until I serve those kids before they get any of my time.


I ran 35 minutes this morning before heading to the golf course.  What a great day to run.  It was a cool morning.  Less than one week to go.  One week left.


I was supposed to run one hour today, But work conflicts arose.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  I’ll run tomorrow.  Right now I’m on my way to the golf course.  I have to do something other than sit around all day.


Worked out with Christopher today (www.personal-best-fitness.com).  This is a regular workout for us.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week are cross-training days for me.  Christopher and Mari-Etta Parish (www.BeAHealthlete.com) have been talking with each other about what nourishment I will need and want during the run.

Vandy plans LSU that day.  I think I may drop in the tailgate area, find a LSU RV and bum some gumbo.  They may even have some liquid refreshments for me.  I guess this should be toward the end of the run.


3.11 miles.  Oh yeah……I’m feeling good now.

There are many people taking an active part in this.  It has grown much bigger than I ever imagined.  I think it will be a fun day as odd as that may sound.  I have my “game plan” set.  Now all I need to do is execute it.  My team is set and their support cannot be measured.


Channel 4, the local NBC affiliate taped a “human interest” story about the run today.  It aired on the 6:30 PM CDT news segment.  I received one call from an unidentified person while it was airing.  He was, thankfully, encouraging.


Scheduled for 8 miles.  Only ran 4.  I didn’t get to run until after 7 PM CDT today.  Still it was a good fun run.  Christopher McClintock says cutting this run short will not lessen my fitness level.


Running today does not make up for quitting yesterday, but it made me feel better emotionally.  5 1/2 miles.  Very enjoyable.  I ran with Sue and that always helps.


uh oh.  Just when I was getting used to easy runs, today’s hits me between the eyes.  I was supposed to run 28 miles, but managed only 23.6 before packing it in.  I sure didn’t need this 2 weeks before The Big Day.  Sue, my always encouraging wife blamed in on the high humidity.  Ok.  I like that excuse, but it only an excuse.  i did not complete the task.

Most people ask how I feel physically.  The answer is “Great”.  One person asked me how I feel emotionally.  My answer: “Like the stock market.  Highs and lows with very little in between. Up 200 points; down 200 points.  Yes I can; what have I gotten myself into.”


Another easy, fun, confidence building run even it was only 3 miles.  The countdown is on.  People are keeping up with this.  They tell me how many days are left until…….


Wow! What a great day to run.  Very low humidity.  I ran 8.14 miles.  It was an easy confidence building run.

Billboards went up today.  There was a recent article in The Green Hills News that has spurred many calls and emails.  Thankfully, they have all been encouraging.


I took a break from working out today and played golf.  It was a welcome diversion.


Sue and I ran at Percy Warner Park today.  6 total miles.  Finally I had an easy, fast (for me) run on a hilly course.  My spirit really needed this good run.


A very difficult and uncomfortable 14.18 miles this morning.  I am starting to worry about struggling through relatively short distances.  3 weeks to go.


Evans Glass Company filmed a new TV commercial this morning at Bi-Centennial Mall and my childhood home.  I ran laps around Bi-Centennial Mall this morning while waiting for the film crew.  3 total miles.  This was much more difficult than the 30 miles I ran last Saturday.


Once again I chose sleep over running this morning.  This is getting to be a habit.  Three weeks to go and I can’t get up to run.  Oh well.  I will run Thursday.  Saturday is a short run of 14 miles (sounds odd doesn’t it?).  I will run some Sunday to make up partially for today’s laziness.


A 20 miler today after the 30 miler yesterday.  The 1st 10 were smooth, but then I hit “the wall”.  I think my “wall” is at 40 miles. I walked about 1/2 of the next 6 miles.  I called Sue and told her I was moving slowly and that I planned to quit at 16 miles.  She said she would meet at about 15 miles.  We walked/ran the last mile back to the house.

When we arrived home she looked at me and told me I was not quitting.  She said she was prepared to walk the last 4 miles with me if need be.  Being the dutiful husband I obeyed.  After changing shoes and socks we continued.  We ran about 1 1/2 of the last 4 miles.

It needs to be said that without her I would have quit at 16 miles.  It also needs to be said that without a support team that I would have stopped this nonsense a long time ago.  Come to think of it, this is true regardless of life’s situation.


I left the house at 1:40 AM CDT this morning on a 30 miler.  I planned to run the last 3 in The Brentwood Classic 5k.  The race started at 8 AM CDT so I knew I needed to allow about 6 hours to complete the 27 miles before the race started.  I hoped to be at the start line about 10 minutes early.

Sometimes plans go awry.  I had left a change of shoes and socks at Personal-Best-Fitness.  I arrived there at 6:30 AM CDT. (Their facility is within 30 yards of the start line of the 5k.)  No one was there so I ran another 2 1/2 miles in soaking wet shoes and socks. I finally got to change into dry socks (Swiftwick) and shoes.

I was very tired, but when the race started it rejuvenated me.  The last 3 miles were much easier than I anticipated.


I chose a little more sleep over running this morning.  The mind said “get up” but he body overruled the mind’s suggestion.


I started running my 8 miler at 4:45 AM this morning.  It’s too hot to run in the afternoon.  This was a very easy fast (for me) run.  Wow!  Bring on the long weekend miles, baby.  Sue ran the last 4 miles with me.  It is always a thrill when she goes out with me.


Yea!  I ran enthusiastically 13.7 miles this morning.  It was an easy run.  Finally the body and mind were in tune.

I am already thinking about next weekend.  I will be running 30 miles Saturday and 20 miles Sunday.  I told my preacher I would run 20 miles and still make the early service.  He told me to stop talking because he was feeling lazy.


I went to the Hillsboro High School track this afternoon to run my 1/2 mile repeats.  I jogged 1 lap, sprinted 1 lap, walked 1 lap and jogged 1 lap.  I quit and went home.  The body just wasn’t responding and, quite frankly, I mentally didn’t want to be there.

The 56 mile day is not far off and I need to snap out of this funk.


I was scheduled to run 8 miles today, but the spirit wasn’t there.  I think the body would have allowed a very slow run/walk today, but I just didn’t want to do it.  It must be a delayed apathy from last Saturday’s 50 miler.


50 miles!  There is no way I can adequately describe the difficulty to complete 50 miles or the amount of fatigue I am feeling.  I went to sleep at 6 PM CDT last night and arose at 12:30 AM CDT this morning.  I started at 1:45 AM CDT with the intention of running 22 miles before I met 2 friends for the next leg of the journey.  I got 22.64 in before meeting them.  I got a little time to rest before they showed up.

Sammi and Christopher met me about 7:00.  We ran 10.61.  Christopher is a triathlete.  He is in incredible shape.  He is also the absolute best personal trainer.  Sammi is incredible.  A few weeks ago she and her friend Amy biked the Natchez Trace (445 miles) in 6 days.  Their next conquest is to climb Mt. Kilomangaro.  I was definitely the weak link, but they pulled me along and encouraged me.

I had finished 33.25 miles and was feeling good.  I had run through 2 thunderstorms.  I was glad I had a 3rd pair of shoes and another dry pair of socks.

At this point Jennifer Harris and Mari-etta Parish (www.BeaHealthlete.com) took over for Christoher and Sammi.  Jennifer went about 5 miles before turning back. Mari-etta stayed with me for the remaining 16.75 miles.  I needed her badly.  She is my nutritionist.  She is also a magnificant cheerleader.  She made me eat and drink properly so I could have some strength.  We even stopped at a grocery store and I drank a Mountain Dew.  That is the 1st sugar carbonated drink I had had in 38 years.  I don’t know if it was good, but it was cold and refreshing.  She said I needed the sugar and caffeine.

We returned to the starting point (43.25 miles).  We had parked next to Centennial Park.  Centennial has a flat 1 mile loop.  I would have quit if she hadn’t been there cheerleading.  We walked the rest of the way.  I estimate that I walked the last 10 miles or so.  I do know I ran the last 2/10 of mile.  I have to finish running.

My total moving time was about 12 hours.  Another 2 hours was spent eating, drinking, and resting.  I finished at 4 PM CDT.  It was really hot and I am thoroughly exhausted.

Thank you to all my running friends.  I needed your support.


Sue decided she prefers to run before sunrise.  With her “encouragement” I arose at 3 AM CDT.  We clipped off 6.3 miles before sunrise.  Another good easy run.  I have 50 scheduled for Saturday.  I have been thinking about this long run for 2 weeks.  I have broken it down into 4 segments so it is easier to comprehend.  I cannot begin to think about running/walking 50 miles, but I know I can handle 8 to 22 mile segments.


The heat and humidity is hard to combat.  I tried to get up at 3 AM CDT to run, but ielected for a couple more of hours of sleep instead.

I ran a 5k (3.1 Miles) about 10 this morning.  What a great run.  It was easy and faster than usual.  Sue wanted to run this afternoon so we went out for 2.4 about 5 PM CDT.  It was even easier than this morning.  Finally an easy refreshing run.  I know both were short, but my confidence needed a boost.


Scheduled for a 14 mile run, but only managed 8.  My right Achilles tendon has mild discomfort.  I am so close to the Day that I chose to quit instead of risk serious injury.  The pressure is sarting to internally build.  There is no doubt I will  complete it; it just seems so monumental to me.  I’m slow to realize this….according to my friends.


Sue and I spent last night in Harrodburg, KY.  What a beatiful town and area of Ky.  Needless to say, I was too busy sight seeing to run.  We have a 12 person 200 mile relay race in the area in October so we scouted about 2/3 of the course.


I struggled through 4 1/2 miles today.  My legs felt heavy probably because I am still tired from last weekend.


I did not run yesterday.  I was still tired from last weekend’s back-to-back long runs.  Christopher McClintock (www.personal-best-fitness.com) suggested i take the day off.  He said it would be more beneficial to rest than to run.


I repeated the 8 PM CDT bedtime and the 1:40 AM CDT alarm this morning.  I ran 22 this morning and Sue, once again, accompanied me on the last 6.  I wanted to quit at least 473 times today.  It was hard to keep moving after 26 yesterday, but I knew this run would help me attain the goal of 56 miles.

48 miles completed this weekend in about 29 hours from start to finish.  I am very tired, but also proud.  What did you do this weekend?


I was asleep by 8:15 PM CDT last night.  I arose at 1:40 AM CDT this morning so I could leave the house by 3 AM CDT and run 26 miles.  I ran 20 miles and returned home because Sue wanted to run the last 6 with me.  Boy am I glad she ran with me.  It not only made me finish, but made me travel faster than I would have alone.  She is invaluable in her support of me in this quest.  Yesterday was our 33rd wedding anniversary.  She agreed to postpone the celebration until Sunday night.

By the way, 56 days from today I will run 56 miles at age 56.  Don’t think for a minute that I am counting the days, but…….I am.  It sure doesn’t seem like it’s very far off.  Am I ready?

At 10 miles I stopped in a market to buy some water.  The clerks recognized me as “the man who is going to run his age”.  They asked how far I was going and when the “big” day is.  They made it fun for me.

At 23 miles I got water again and ran into a group of 3 runners.  One of them said they were going 18 miles and asked how far I was going.  When I said 26, he confessed to only running 8 miles.  That’s okay though because I got to tell them about 56at56.com.


Sue and I attended a dress rehearsal for Salama’s presentation of Carousel.  Wow!  What an immensely talented group of people.  I met many people at the reception.  I met Gloria, a Salama Board Member (pictured at right); Harold, a Past President of Salama’s Board; Brandon, a past Salama student who is finishing his Master and planning on getting his Phd; L. B. Gaitors, a supported of Salama and a friend of Gloria; and some of the Salama kids like Chavez, Cierra, and Javonte.  (I hope I spelled all of the names correctly).


Since tomorrow is very busy I ran this afternoon.  I had the pleasure of running with Ben Weber.  He is campus coordinator of Campus Outreach at The University West Georgia.  He is also Stan & Alice Weber’s (Salama founders) son and he was home visiting them.  He actually sought me out to run with.  He is young and fast and……I’m not.  We had a great time because he was quiet and let me talk the whole time.  It is always fun to run with someone.


Another tough late afternoon Tuesday run.  I was scheduled for 8 but only managed 7.6.


I ran my scheduled 14 miles and caught a plane to Dallas so I could join the celebration of my friend Chris Mammen’s (The Mammenator) 40th birthday.  Our friend Bob Brown (Zip Zip)also joined us.  These are the same 2 friends that ran with me in D.C. in early June.


Today was a very busy full day so I arose at 3 AM CDT to get my 4 miler done.  It was either do it early or not at all.  When you are chasing a goal, you cannot skip any steps along the way.

I had a huge thrill today.  I was asked to speak to the kids at Salama (www.salamaserves.org) this morning about overcoming obstacles.  I told them I had an obstacle this morning; get out of bed and run or go back to sleep.  What a terrific and impressive group of young people.  I spoke for about 15 to 20 minutes and afterward they prayed for me.  Lakinsey (I hope I spelled it correctly) appears to be about 10 years old.  She gave me an unsolicited hug.  What a thrill the entire experience was.


I struggled through 6.6 miles this afternoon.  Late afternoon July runs in Nashville are challenging.  It seems like I’m running deep mud I go so slowly.  Nevertheless, it’s another step toward reaching a goal.


I was less sore this morning.  I stretched and did some core work with Christopher and then played golf with Sue and John & Karol Sanders.  Surprisingly, my legs didn’t quit on me.  I had no soreness by the time we finished.  Shot an 81…by the way.


I starting running yesterday about 2:30 AM CDT.  I was surprised how many people were out on the streets.  Cabs were doing a brisk business taking people home.  At least they called a cab instead of driving.

I had a really funny experience on Music Row West.  A cab stopped at an intersecting street and let me pass.  The occupants leaned out the windows and shouted”keep going…you’re doing great…..way to go”.  At 3:15 in the morning and climbing a hill in the dark this really lightened the task.

Sue ran a 10k this morning.  I thought about running with her, but my body said it wasn’t a good idea.  I’m not sure which part dominated the conservation.  It could have been my lower back, my quads, the balls of my feet…….my mind said go but my body said whoa.

Sue did great.  It was her 1st 10k and she averaged about 12:00 miles.  She is not only my run crew and my pacer…..now she is my fellow runner.  I took pictures of her and worked at a water station.


Did it!!!!!! 40 miles….about 8 1/2 hours.  My watch quit at about 27 miles, but my running partners had watches so I used their times to estimate an aggregate time.  I actually travelled 40.4 miles which makes me feel even better.  I am disappointed in in the average pace and how much walking I did, though.  I estimate that I walked between 5 and 6 miles in total.   On the positive side, that means I ran 34 to 35 miles.  BTW, I had run a marathon before most people were awake.  Thank you Christopher, Jennifer, Mari-etta, and Sue.  I am not sure I would have done it without you company and encouragement.


I cross-trained today with Christopher McClintock.  Lots of stretching and core work with a little wight lifting.  Mostly we talked about tomorrow.  He is so encouraging and optimistic.  After working out with him I had a massage and stretched some more.

With Christopher’s help I think I finally have my head around the 40 mile run.  It is only 4 laps of 10 miles each.  Ok, I can run 10 miles.  Now all I have to do is to run 10 miles 4 consecutive time. It will also be a team effort.  Christopher, Jennifer Harris, Mari-etta parrish, and Sue will each run some of the way with me.

The run will be a team effort.


Scheduled for 3 miles and ran 3.4.  I wanted to run more, but I still have 40 scheduled for Saturday and I don’t want to do anything to potentially weaken my strength.  40 miles is a long way!!!!!!! I am really struggling trying to understand how far that is and how much time it will take.


I feel better but boy it’s hot outside!  I was scheduled for 8 miles today and only ran 6.6 miles.  At least I’m feeling better.

I am taking another shot at 40 miles this coming Saturday and that is starting to weigh on my mind.  How can I possibly run 40 miles when I can’t even run 8?  Will I have enough strength after being sick to run a “respectable” distance?

I am on the “race week” diet this week.  Early in the week it is high in fiber and protein.  Late in the week it is in high carbs.  Look at the “training” page for the race week menu.


Feeling better, but not great.  I struggled through 4 miles this morning before Sue jooined me and we ran another 5 1/2 miles.  It felt good to run again, but my breathing is labored.  Will this cold ever go away………


Still sick.  Although I have cross-trained Monday and Wednesday this week I still don’t feel like running.  Should I run though the cold or rest until it’s gone?  I don’t know the answer, but today it’s rest.

Pressure to complete 56 miles is beginning to come to bear upon me.  I hear myself becoming short with people.  For the record, I’m sorry.


I have caught a summer cold and just didn’t want to run today.


Sue and I went to Edwin Warner park after church today.  We ran the blue trail + some of the roads.  5.5 miles and a very good sweat.  I’m glad she made me go run because I wouldn’t have done it without her.


I was scheduled for 14 today.  I ran 11 and returned home to get Sue.  We ran 4.4 together.  I started about 5 AM CDT.  I as thinking too much about fluid replacement.  I drank less than normal because i did nto want to overhydrate.  I believe I did not druink enough.  Lost 4.4# in about 3 hours.

I am anxiously awaiting a “breakthrough” run where I don’t struggle.  I know it will come soon.


I ran 8 yesterday at about 5 PM CDT.  HOT!!!!!  I heard the heat index was about 100 degrees.  BTW, I drank 22 ounces of water and still lost 3.8# in less than 90 minutes.


Marietta Parish (www.BEaHealthete.com) is an expert nutritionist.  We have been working together since I 1st undertook this challenge.  Last Saturday’s run was disappointing.  She (we) are experimenting with water and nutrition intake on my long runs.  I have learned that is just as dangerous to be overhydrated as it is to be dehydrated.  she asked me to weigh before and immediately after a run to determine my sweat loss so we can determine how much stuff I need to consume per hour during  a run.


I played golf with T. Graham Brown today and LMAO.  It was a nice break from training, but I have to get back in the rooutine tomorrow.


The scheduled run today was 40 miles.  I left the house at 3:30 AM CDT.  It seems more difficult to run in the middle of the night than after sunrise.  Even street lights and and the occasional passing car don’t simulate daylight.  But at sunrise/dawn there is a newfound energy and enthusiasm.  I dragged through the first 7 ot 8 miles but at sunrise it became easy.

I ran 20 miles back to the house; changed into dry clothes; and left again.  Sue went with me for about 2 1/2 miles and then she turned back.  I did well until 25.2 miles and then the heat began to take its toll.  It was 75 degrees with a heat index of about 80 when I left the house at 3:30 AM.  By 25 miles the sun was starting to bake. Istruggled through about 2 more miles and then the body said it was tiume to quit.  I called Sue and she came and got me. I wasx 5 miles from my house and 12.75 miles short of my goal.

I was not dehydrated because I weighed more when i got home than when I left.  I drank 210 ounces of water during the run.  That’s almost 2 gallons.  I took salt tablets, electrolyte pills, and nourishement throughout the run.

I met a fellow runner at Athlete’s House (23 miles).  She complimented me about looking good after 23 miles.  Thank you to whomever you may be.


I am in a DC suburd of McLean, VA to attend a National Glass Association Board of Directors meeting.  I ran one time around the block this morning before meeting 2 of my best friends, Mammenator and ZipZip (aka Chris Mammen and Bob Brown).  They accompanied me on 2 more trips around the block.  A 30 minute run with friends is really easy.


I started yesterday’s run at 3:30 AM CDT.  Wow that’s early.  I must train the body to respond at that time of day because it would rather be sleeping.  I ran without musci and it was so peaceful.  I started my work day with so much energy.  About 3:30 PM CDT i did start to tire though.


I ran 11 miles yesterday morning and then met Sue to run the Homerun 5k in Annadale subdivision.  Total miles = 14.16.  Christopher McClintock (www.personal-best-fitness.com) worked my tail off Friday and I was sore yesterday morning.  The soreness made the run more difficult than it should’ve been.  After all it was only 14 miles.

I am beginning to prepare myself mentally for the 40 miler I have this coming Saturday.  Where can I run it?  My normal route will take me through some possibly unsafe areas before daylight.  That doesn’t interest me.  How will I carry enough nourishment with me?  I do not want to stash it because it may be stolen or someone may tamper with it.  Sue has offered to meet me 3 different times for a 2 mile run each time.  This will be a great help to me.  It will keep me going.

I have all week to prepare mentally for the 40 miler.  I know I will experience highs and lows thinking about the impending long run.  Being out of town for 2 days will not help my “long run” diet.  I’ll manage somehow.

I would like to find several people to run with me on part of these long runs.  If you know of anyone who wants to accompany me, the distance doesn’t matter, please let me know.


I took yesterday off to celebrate my uncle’s 90th birthday.  Somehow I think 90 years old trumps training miles.


I did not make up yesterday’s missed run.  Ireally struggled through 4 1/2 miles today.  Ihope it is fatigue from last weekend’s miles.


Wow!  What a weekend.  I ran a total of 40 miles and also played 18 holes of golf on a hilly course.  My legs are a little tired today.  I am scheduled to run 8 today, but I am taking today off to celebrate my wife’s birthday.  I’ll make it up tomorrow.


I got up up at 3:30 AM CDT this morning after only 3 1/2 hours sleep to get my 16 miler in today.  I ran 7 miles before meeting Christopher McClintock (see the training section for his bio) to run the last 9 miles.  I may have not made it without his presence and support.  I did not realize how I would feel after 24 miles yesterday.  The body didn’t want to run.  I finished the 16 miles to give me a weekend total of 40 miles.  Add 16 more miles and the aggregate = 56.  That amount of miles is close enough that I am beginning to comprehend it.  3:13:47


I ran 24 miles today.  4:39:10  It was a good run and I finished strongly.  I ran through Music Row, down Church Street, though and around Centennial Park, beside Vanderbilt University, and beside Hillsboro Village.  I left the hosue at 5 AM CDT to try to avoid some of the heat.  I missed the heat, but the humidity was still high.


I decided to substitute a hilly 5.8 mile run through Percy Warner Park for 8x 1/2 mile repeats.  PWP is my favorite place to runbecause it is shady, challenging, and almost totally free of cars.  This run was a welcome change from 1/2 mile repeats.

May 26, 2010

Tuesday runs are becoming hard and I am developing the habit of not meeting my scheduled goal.  I ran at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, TN yesterday.  There is absolutely no shade and I ran immediately after an afternoon thunderstorm.  I bet I lost 3 or 4 pounds.  I ran one hour (5.61 miles) instead of the scheduled 8 miles. I drank 2 bottles of water over 5+ miles and 2 more bottles on the hour drive home.

May 23, 2010

I felt good yesterday.  I ran the Scenic City trail marathon and half marathon at Raccoon Mtn. in Chattanooga.  It was absolutely the most enjoyable race I have ever entered.  Most of the race is run on a single track.  That means the trail is wide enough for only 1 person.  You get bunched up behind slower runners or faster runners have to follow you.  I just visited with the runners around me.  Trail runners are a very friendly supportive group and much more relaxed that road runners.  I like this group of people.  I may do a lot of trail running and racing after the BHAG is completed.

Not only were the runners friendly, the race director and volunteers were great!  There are very few spots where people can watch you run.  That, however, didn’t stop a couple of hundred “fans” from finding a few spots to cheer us laggard on.  Thank you to the race volunteers, fans and fellow runners for making it fun, fun, fun.

May 21, 2010

Yesterday I ran 8 half mile repeats on the treadmill.  It was very difficult because I am still fatigued from last Saturday’s 34 miler.

May 19, 2010

Talk about fatigue…..well my body is yelling at me to rest.  I struggled through 4 ½ miles but just couldn’t do the scheduled 8.  Am I becoming a quitter?

May 16, 2010

I am shocked I’m not sore.  I am tired…….very tired, but I’m not sore.  I left the house yesterday morning about 5 AM CDT.  7 hours and one minute later (7:01:00) I reached my house after 34.25 miles.  I was totally exhausted.  Although I had drunk almost 2 gallons of water during the run I was still dehydrated.  I didn’t run the goal of 36 miles so it could be considered a failure.  However, I did go 34.25 miles and I am the only person in the world who will criticize me for not running another 1.75 miles.  Sue led me out on the last 2 miles and would have taken me all the way to 36 if I hadn’t just quit.  I told her to kick my butt next time and make me finish the distance even if I have to walk.

May 14, 2010

Yesterday I ran 8 half mile repeats on the office treadmill.  Each succeeding ½ was faster than its predecessor.  I start at a slower pace with a higher incline.  Each succeeding interval is faster but at a slightly lower incline.  I never run on treadmill without some incline.  Saturday’s 36 miles is looming.

May 12, 2010

Yesterday I ran 4 miles down Belmont Blvd and Music Row and returned home to complete an 8 mile tempo run.  A good run!  I finally feel good physically againa and this run helped my confidence because I have a 36 miles scheduled for Saturday, May 11th.

May 10, 2010

I ran 9 miles Saturday and 12 miles Sunday.  About ½ of Saturday’s run was with Sue, my wife.  Not only is she my support crew, she also doubles as my pacer at times.

Sunday I went to Raccoon Mtn. in Chattanooga.  I have a ½ marathon (13.1 miles) on a dirt trail there in 2 weeks.  I wanted to know what to expect on race day so I decided to run it beforehand.  It is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever run.

May 7, 2010

Scheduled to run 7 half mile repeats but really wanted to run in the woods and on the trails of Percy Warner Park.  I went to the park on to discover that due to the previous weekend’s flooding the trails were closed.  Bummer.  Ran 30 minutes in very humid conditions and called it a day.  I am still tired from last weekend.

May 5, 2010

Hell was going to freeze and then thaw before I got on a treadmill.  I was very tired by the time I got to run so I jogged 3 miles instead of running a scheduled tempo run of 8 miles.

May 3, 2010

What a weekend!  I was scheduled to run 20 miles Saturday, May  1st and 13 miles Sunday, May 2nd.  It was raining so hard Saturday morning that I went to my office and ran 20 miles on the treadmill.  I now know how a hamster feels running on that little wheel in a cage.  I do have 2 DVDs which ease the boredom slightly.  One is a path around the southwestern coast of Ireland and one is a road run in Mt. Desert Island Park in Maine.  I ran Ireland 2 ½ times and Mt Desert Island once.

Sunday was worse than Saturday, but for a different reason.  I stayed home and ran 13 miles on the treadmill.  Instead of DVDs I watch the non-stop weather reports about the flooding in Middle TN.  It was horrific!  I took a break at 7 miles to refill water bottles.  I was trying to decide if I should slow down because of fatigue or run faster to get it over.  I chose faster.

April 24, 2010

55 1/2 years old – 31.23 miles – 5:58:24 (26.2 marathon time = 5:02:05)

I ran from my house to the start line of the Country Music Marathon (5.15 miles).  The ½ marathon and marathon course share the same course until about 11 ½ miles.  They split there.  There were tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms warnings before the race.  Bad weather was due to move in during the race.  I was entered in the full marathon (26.2) miles, but by the time I got to the split they had closed the full marathon course (because of weather) and diverted everyone to the ½ marathon course.  That gave me about 18.25 miles at the finish.  I was scheduled to run 31.2 miles today. I ran over the bridge (yes THAT bridge for you that know the story) and Sue picked me up at the Country Music Hall of Fame (19.46 miles).

I could have quit, but I had planned for 31.2 so I got on the treadmill at home at ran 11.77 to = 31.23 total miles.

The race officials made a decision for the welfare of all participants.  I could not control the weather and I respect their decision.  Now, for those of you that know me well, there is a lesson in all of this.

Here it is:

Most of the obstacles that occur when we are chasing a goal are beyond our control (weather for example).  We can choose to stop chasing the goal and quit or find a way under, over, or around the obstacle.  My goal today was 31.2 miles.  Although I was diverted from my initial intended course (the marathon course), I chose not to get discouraged and to find a way to reach my goal……….damn the obstacle.  Conquer the obstacle (just cross the bridge)!

November 7, 2009

It dawned upon me that I need to choose a non-profit about which I care and support.  Salama is an inner city Christian based organization that stresses education and arts for primarily the Edgehill Community.  Through their efforts they help break the cycle of poverty for some people.  I stopped by and talked to Stan Weber, the executive director, and George Crook, the chief fundraiser, about using my run as a fundraiser for Salama.  They seemed excited.

I know it will take dedication and focus to achieve this goal.  I have set enough goals previously that I know if a “back door” exists I will use it to quit chasing my goal.  It is easy to quit when it gets tough chasing a goal if there is an exit.  The adoption of Salama not only benefits them, it also eliminates “the back door” by making their success dependent upon my efforts and achievement of the BHAG.  Additionally, the more people I tell about it the harder it will be to give up.  So I have started telling employees, suppliers, customers, friends, and family about my BHAG.  They collectively think I’m crazy.

I met with Marietta Parish, the nutritionist, about diet planning.  She provided a Monday through Saturday menu and told me she wanted me to lose 10 pounds.  I have worked hard to get to 190# and now she wants me at 180#.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and their respective feasts approaching quickly.  Oh well, if I’m going to do it I need the advice and expertise of others.  Marietta and Christopher fill needs.

I talked to Christopher about whether regular massages would help me recover as I increase my mileage.  He has a massage therapist named Keri Rowe and he recommended, after consulting with her, that I see her once every 2 weeks.

Sue, I, and our children went to the gulf coast for Thanksgiving and I ran some down there.  My long run was about 10 miles.  I thought the flat terrain would make it easy, but all of the runs were challenging.  I have no idea why they were hard.  It is discouraging.

October 18, 2009

Ran 2 miles walked 2/10 miles x3 then ran 3 miles – total run = 9 miles; total walk = 6/10 miles –1:53:00 +

Today was as good a run as yesterday was bad.  I needed this.

October 17, 2009

Ran the white trail at Percy Warner Park this morning.  A poor run.  Didn’t feel good and a sloppy trail.  2.5 miles in 35’

Started my journal.  This is at the suggestion of Elaine Ganick.  She also has her favorite charity.  If I say no to hers will she be less dedicated to my feat?

October 16, 2009

Worked out with Christopher.  I received an email from a friend of mine, Guy Selinske.  His son runs an IRS approved non-profit benefitting West African countries, WAVE.  He provides food for school children, digs well to provide fresh water, etc.  I talked to guy about getting people to pledge $/mile for Matt and WAVE.  As I have told people about this, they all have their own personal favorite charities.  It will difficult to choose, but I plan on doing this every year, so I can change the charities yearly.  I expect the charities to help me on the day of the run by providing people at locations with water, supplements, etc.  Although, Matt can’t do this, I can still raise money for him.  But the local charities must participate throughout the entire endeavor.

October 15, 2009

Ran for an hour on the treadmill.

October 14, 2009

Worked out with Christopher.   Did 30’ on an elliptical machine after our workout.

October 13, 2009

Ran for an hour on the treadmill.  Talked to Marietta and set up a meeting for 10-22 to discuss nutritional strategy.

October 12, 2009

Worked out with Christopher.

October 10, 2009

My daughter’s wedding.  A great day!  Danced and partied; the equivalent of at least 2 to 3 miles.  They said I had a good time.  I might as well party hard because I paid for the party.

October 5, 2009

I met with my company’s website developers, GTS, last week in Atlanta.  I told them about the idea and that I wanted to funnel traffic through the website to whatever charities I select. If I can use this to raise money for charities while simultaneously sending traffic to EGC’s website, this will be a win-win for all.  They are very supportive and enthused about the idea.  I told Christopher about the developments.  He’s beginning to tell people about it, too.  I am telling more people about it so I can eliminate any possibility of leaving me a back door out of this.  The more people I tell the more people hold me accountable.  This is how I usually set goals.  I tell as many people as possible about my goal.  If I don’t meet my goal, I have to answer to each and every one of them.

October 3, 2009

Sue & I went to Radnor.  Ran 1:02; 6.9 miles; a good run.

October 1, 2009

I ran a very poor 3 miles with Bob Brown in downtown Atlanta.

September 28, 2009

I told Christopher I was committed to my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).  I sent Marietta Parish, a sports nutritionist I have consulted with before, an email about the BHAG.  I must learn how to fuel my body properly to achieve this.

September 26, 2009

Sue, my wife, and I usually go to Radnor State park on Saturday mornings.  She walks the nature trails and I run the surrounding neighborhood roads. Ran 1:00; 5.75 miles; a good run.

September 25, 2009

I met Christopher for my normal workout and told him I was going to run 56 miles on my next birthday, 9-9-10.

September 24, 2009

Ran 1:06 from my house to Belmont College and back.  About 6 miles.

September 23, 2009

I met Christopher for my normal workout and continued talking about the idea of running a number of miles on my birthday that corresponded to my age.  I ponder how I could involve charities, perhaps one local and one national charity.  I asked him if he was committed to train me for such an endeavor.  He agreed to train and, most importantly to me, support and help me achieve the goal.

September 22, 2009

Ran one hour on a treadmill.  It makes me feel like a pet hamster.

September 21, 2009

As usual I worked out with Christopher McClintock, owner of Personal Best Fitness.  I told him about Randy’s friend.  I thought it was an interesting idea but I couldn’t quite get emotionally sold on the idea.  Christopher, as usual, didn’t offer any advice.  He waits until a client commits to an idea before he begins advising.

September 20, 2009

I ran at Radnor with my friend Randy Cortner.  We ran about 6 miles.  During the run he told he of a friend of his that used to run his age in miles on his birthday.

18 Responses to Daily Journal

  1. Greg Beem says:

    WOW! I just finished reading all your journal entries. You have accomplished a lot already. Your story has inspired me and also made it much more difficult for me to complain about doing my 4-5 mile walk 2 or 3 times a week. I’m going to send your web site to a few of my runner friends. Keep up the awesome work. Greg

  2. Wade Joyner says:

    I am very impressed with your undertaking. I wish you well. It was great to talk with you this morning catching up on what has transpired in the last 30 years.
    Wade Joyner

  3. Rob Schiffman says:

    I got tired reading the journal! Enjoy the pursuit of your goal, the journey is the good part. Good luck!!

  4. Pam says:

    wow 56 @ 56 is going to be a reality. 40 miles accomplished – you go big guy! – played golf in Spring Hill Sunday and thought about you running to Spring Hill and back – – wonder if that’s about 56 miles round trip. . . it’s an amazing task. So proud of you! Pam

  5. BRANDON T. CARTER says:

    Bill!!! I am keeping you in my prayers. Thank you for doing this for the students of Salama and believing in their future and the impact as well as the difference Salama makes in their lives. I will be following your journals as I prepare to return to PA and share your story with others. Thank you again and God’s ultimate blessings!!!

  6. Bill! We’re rooting for you! What an amazing endeavor for a great cause. Glad to have met you. You don’t look anywhere close to 56 though! haha

  7. George says:

    Bill you are AWESOME! 50 miles that is outstanding!! Thank you so much for all you are doing and doing this for the students at Salama!!!!

  8. Elaine says:

    Bill – I just wanted you to know that I have read every single entry in your journal. Some made me smile… one or two made me tear up… and the great majority of entries left me feeling just proud to know you!

  9. Matumbe Himons says:

    You go Bill! We appreciate you running all those miles for us at Salama !

  10. jalen says:

    You go Mr.Bill I’m going to meet you half way in a car saying “Go Bill”

  11. Cierra Swinger says:

    The Group Picture Is…Just Nice! Thanks For Doing This For Salama. We Appreciate You Greatly. Im sure You’ll Suceed! Thanks Alot.
    _Cierra Swinger(:

  12. JaVontiss says:

    thanks Bill. thanks a lot!

  13. Tatyana Haddock says:

    Mr. Bill Evans, I would like to wish you a fun and safe run. I hope that God will guide you along the way and that you won’t be discouraged about anything. Salama is so thankful for you and I hope you the best always. I will pray for you. God Bless.
    Run That Race Mr. Evans!!!!

  14. Asja says:

    Salama surports you! 😀

  15. Phylicia says:

    You go Bill Evans. You run those 56 miles. I’ll try to run a couple of miles with you. I’m very proud of you and you have a lot of upper body strength to be 56. Great work. We are happy that your doing this for Salama. Thanks.!
    Your dear friend,
    Phylicia Crutcher 🙂

  16. ASJA JORDAN says:


  17. precious evans says:

    I am so proud that you would take the time to do this hard process do good for SALAMA THANK YOU GOD BLESS YOU FOR THIS

  18. Stan Weber says:

    Our prayers are with you today. God is the source of your strength – He is with you. We are grateful and humbled by your BHAG! Well done.

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