Nearly a year later, and countless hours editing,our journey has just begun. Editing is finished, and here is our trailer. But next we have our private premiere in NJ in July, then hoping to get into the festivals we submit to, and then hoping to get this thing purchased. We shall see. Hope you all stick with us till then!
With the 184 mile run coming up quickly (only 6 weeks away now) I've had in the back of my mind the fact that I have never run more than 50 miles or run through the night. This past weekends in24 Philadelphia Urban Ultra gave me a chance to change that. The race is an 8.4 mile flat loop that runs past the Museum of Art (and Rocky statue) then up and back down the Schuykill River. You simply try to accumulate as many miles as possible in 24 hours.
I started the race Saturday at 10am with the mindset of having fun and get in my weekend training miles (50 total). I knew I would stop if something really hurt or the 184 was in any jeopardy. Despite the heat, the first 5 loops (42 miles) went very well. I did pretty solid job of staying hydrated, taking in calories, enjoying it, and felt pretty darn good.
After the 5th loop the cavalry arrived! My buddy Devin was there at the start/finish as I came down boat house row. It was incredible to see him and even better to have him run the next loop with me. Greg got there soon after to film and help me out as well. Greg ran #7 with me and Devin came back out for #8 in the dark. I hit some tough spots, but those guys undoubtedly helped me through and kept me enjoying it. I finished lap #9 (75 miles) feeling surprisingly good considering I'd been running for 16 hours … and was somehow in 5th. I was totally floored by this. I didn't expect to be anywhere near the top nor was I trying for it. It was a little before 2:00am, so I started thinking I have 8 hours to make it past 100 miles!!!
Unfortunately, when I went to grab my bag before the next lap I must have startled the dog that was in our area and she bit me on my wrist. Ugh. The doctor on site cleaned it up, gave me a script for antibiotics, and let me go back out there. So, after a quick change of clothes I headed out for lap #10. I ran most of that one feeling good, but just a mile or so into the next lap my wrist started hurting with any movement, so I was forced to walk most of lap #11. It swelled up and the doc then suggested I go to the ER and get on antibiotics quickly. I wasn't going to mess around with infections so it was an easy decision ... Devin and I packed up and headed out. Thank goodness he was there to help me out with everything. I missed the last 3+ hours of the race, but my 93 miles held up for 9th place overall!
All in all it was such an overwhelmingly positive experience for me (and hopefully Devin and Greg too). To have that support and do well gave me a ton of confidence that we can conquer the 184. But, it also gave me a ton of respect for what it will take to be standing in Cape May feeling accomplished with Ryan.
I learned a few things this weekend …
- It's fun to surprise yourself - I see this film as a way to show people that you can accomplish much more than you ever thought was possible. We did that this weekend. I remember when I thought running 13.1 miles wasn't possible. And I remember hearing about these 24 hour events even months ago and wondering how in the world people do it. With the right determination and practice you can do so much. I tried to tell my daughter that we can all accomplish anything if we want it bad enough and work for it. She quickly responded with, "sooooo, if I really want to make a fish grow a mustache, I can?".
- Support is invaluable - You can motivate yourself to a point, but it's your friends and family that get you even further. Everyone was so incredibly supportive. I was really moved by how Devin and Greg stepped up to help me. Not only were they there for me, but they both decided to run more miles than they ever had before ... to help me out! As you know, Greg started running this year and was a total champ for 8.4 miles (over a mile longer than his longest run). Devin went for about 17 miles, while his longest run was 13.1 before that! Plus, Devin was ready to go for lap #12 with me! I can't begin to thank those two enough.
- Professional advice helps too - Maggie Guterl (who we met through 184) was there to win it, which she totally did (1st female with 118 miles)! I was fortunate to be able to keep up with her for much of the first two loops… so, I'm just gonna tell people I paced her to victory. LOL. In reality I probably slowed her down talking too much, but in return for that she gave me some tremendous advice that definitely helped me the rest of the way and will in the future. I was also motivated to not get lapped by her too many times! ha … I have also reached out to Traci Falbo for nutrition and training advice. I have a crazy amount of respect for her and everything she has told me has been working out incredibly well.
- The power of strangers rules - I met so many wonderful people at this event and can remember like 3 of their names. The aid station volunteers for the most part were just incredible, helpful, and uplifting. The other runners and volunteers cheering you on too is so unexpected and helpful. If life was like an ultra race, the world would be a much friendlier place.
So, whether you want to run a mile, a marathon, become President, or make a mutant mustache-fish I sincerely hope this film helps you get there.
Today I met and interviewed Kelly Haldeman. She is a marathon runner who was in a terrible car wreck and barely survived. She went through terrible depression until she found out what running can do for the spirit. She is now a happy, healthy person to look up to and admire. I cannot wait for everyone to see her speak in our film.
Okay, this is cool. Tonight, my wife and I decided to run another local 5K race. She pushed the kids in the stroller and let me push my pace. So I set out to just run the 5K a bit faster than I have and maybe get a PR. I did just that and I am proud to say that I won my age group! I am even more proud that my 3 year old son ran a half mile race with me before the 5k! He was great (also he was chasing a girl twice his age, so that helped). We are a family of runners...this doc is working.
Well, as I sit here after a 2 mile run, sick with a cold, I have realized that I am now a runner. I have run two 5K races, one with Ryan Donnelly and one with my wife, Christina. This is changing my life. I have been running for about two months now and I see changes, I feel better and I WANT to run. I want to run far too. I want to push myself and go as far as I can. Now, the furthest I have run so far is 5 miles and I am proud of it. I am running about 4 miles per run these days and I feel great doing it. I just enjoy it more than I ever thought I would and now my wife is running and we are feeling great together. Everything has fallen into place lately. Its just a great feeling. I have to thank this film, process and the people. Everyone we have come in contact with has been so inspiring, that I had to try it. And now, I AM A RUNNER.
Woke up this morning to the sunshine peaking through the window. It was early, as I tend not to sleep very late. I could hear my two year old son yelling "pick up truck" and giggling in the living room. My Saturday had officially begun as I walked out to meet my little best friend.
I grabbed a cup of hot black coffee and sat on the couch watching him play. Behind him was an open window showing the start to a brand new day. Falling into a daze, I began thinking about what the day ahead had in store for me. Needed to get out for a good run today, do some work for my company, play at the playground with Jacob and finish some small errands. Jacob breaks my thinking and gives me hug and says, "I love you Dadda." Moving from the couch to the floor to play cars with him I watch his every move. He is exploring, learning and excited and I can relate to him on so many levels as I am doing the same in my life right now.
My wife makes breakfast for Jacob and myself and I sit at the table thinking. Reality starts to set in to what is coming and what has transpired. I am known to be a very emotional guy, I have no problems shedding tears and I feel letting emotions run free is important for your health. Needless to say I was overcome by it. Greg, Anthony and I have had a tremendous ride creating this film. We have been so lucky with all the support we have received and it goes without saying that people enjoy the idea of "184" and they respect it. The thing I love about this film is that it is not about me, it is about all of us; the dreamers, the seekers, the people who refuse to play by the rules. Thank you.
April 29, 2015
Why does it take the threat of failure to help me succeed? I know several people that are completely self-motivated, but I sure as hell ain’t one of em. I need a race to keep me training and I need to set goals to really push myself. Before I got involved with this 184 mile run I set the following personal goals for 2015 …
1. Stay healthy and have fun running
2. Run a personal best time in a half marathon
3. Run a personal best time in a marathon
4. Run a personal best time in a 5o mile race
75. Do something “bigger”
Staying healthy, both in general health and uninjured for running, is obviously the most important thing. Without it everything else isn’t possible. Ryan and I both know too well that when you aren't healthy, you realize just how important it is.
Earlier this year I got a PR in a half marathon and just this weekend did the same in the NJ full marathon! I had an absolute blast running this marathon and improved by personal best time by over 20 minutes. It helped so much seeing friends and family there and I just missed my stretch goal of a 3:30 finish by a few minutes. Maybe if I didn’t hug everyone I knew along the way I would have got there, but it was worth it. I always set a few goals for each race and try to knock off as many of them as possible.
I’ll be running the Dirty German 50-miler on 5/17 in Philly next. I’m REALLY looking forward to this one and have set my goals to … finish, finish under my JFK50 time (9:42), finish under 9 hours, and place in my age group. I think I would need to run under 8 hours to place in my age group, so it’s quite a lofty goal for me, but I’ll give it a go! Considering I only placed in one 5k (that had about 9 people in it) I would be pretty shocked.
By something “bigger” my intention was maybe a 100-miler or 100k. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be running the entire state of NJ or anywhere near 184 miles, but this whole process has been ridiculously amazing and it keeps getting better. It has made me love running like I never have before. I am meeting such great, inspiring people through the film and at the races I’m doing. That truly is the best part of it. I’m grabbing and using inspiration from everyone and everywhere. From our friends that rocked the 24-Hour Championship … to the people who have told us amazing stories about life and running … to Greg and others I know that are training for their first 5k.
And I have what I guess is a healthy fear of the 184 mile run, because it is motivating me to get my training miles in and work hard to be as ready as I can be. For that run (4 short months away) I have only two goals … have fun and finish healthy.
So I am well over weight by now. I mean I'd say 30lbs. But I hide it in my belly and the rest of me is solid from playing hockey. WELL IM DONE. I have been so very inspire by making this film, that I too have started running or jogging, I think the j is silent... ;)
So off I go, running 1 mile a day for now, and I plan to get good at that, then work my way to more, though in that time I have also used Jeff Galloway's Run Walk Run method to go further and that has helped me get longer workouts in. I know that I am not running very far, but believe me it is tough, and I am happy that I am doing it. For me it is about health and feeling like I have done something each day to better myself. Now, the meatball sub for dinner is a MINOR setback, but still, I do my juicing, and I will keep on that. That is keeping the insides healthy.
So you see? This film is inspiring people already! I will keep you up to date with the progress as I go. :)
Well, we are on to our next adventure! Currently we are gearing up for our trip to interview Traci Falbo in Indiana and Connie Gardner in Ohio. Yes, we are driving again. Are we taking a bigger vehicle? Find out soon. Just a boasting of achievement from these two ladies::
11 time USA Track and Field National Champion
Edmund Fitzgerald 100k Road Race 2002
Olander Park 100M Road Race 2003
Olander Park 100M Road Race 2004
Rocky Raccoon 100M Trail Race 2006
Ultracentric 24 Hour Endurance Run 2007
North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run 2010
Burning River 100M Trail Race 2011
North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run 2011
Burning River 100M Trail Race 2012
Tussey Mountainback 50M Road Race 2011
Tussey Mountainback 50M Road Race 2012
Her personal records include ::
10K run - 39:58 (2008)
Half marathon - 1:27:53 (2001)
Marathon - 3:04:03 (2004)
50K - 3:50:17 (2009)
50 Miles - 6:56:20 (2009)
100k - 8:14 (2007)
100 Miles - 15:48:04 (2004)
24 hours run - 149.368 miles (2012)
- She holds the 48 hour indoor track American record with 242 miles covered!!!
- Holds the American Trail 100 Mile record
- Completed the Grand Slam of ultrarunning in 2013 (Western States 100, Vermont 100, Leadville, and Wasatch)
- Completed a sub 4:00:00 marathon in all 50 states
- Representing Team USA for the 2nd time in the 24 Hour World Championships
… all while raising two kids. She's an inspiration and we can't wait to meet her.
We are so excited to add Connie to our growing list of all star athletes associated with the film!
Stay tuned for a behind the scenes peak at our trip!
This is our trip to Florida. It was a journey that I will never forget and I will always hold in the highest. Meeting Jeff Galloway was such a pleasure, and being in the presence of other marathon runners was inspiring. Before making it to FLA, we stopped in several states including Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama. We drove for 25 hours and ran in every state we visited! On the way home we absolutely had to run in Savannah, GA. It was so beautiful. The making of this documentary is interesting and inspiring and that is why we are sharing this BTS video with you now. Enjoy!
A HUGE thanks to our sponsor The Photo Center. Visit them at thephotocenter.com for all your photography and video needs!
Moving forward : Tomorrow we interview Ultramarathon Runner Phil McCarthy. This man is a master of the art of running long distances. We will have a short BTS video from the trip to NYC, and also our next trip is next month. We will be going to Indiana! More on that to come!
Really??? I volunteered to run 184 miles with Ryan? What the hell was I thinking?
I heard about 184 in December and immediately sympathized with Ryan’s story because of my own experiences. I had to reach out to Ryan and Greg just to wish them luck with the run and project. I completely didn’t expect them to interview me and I REALLY didn’t expect to be traveling the east coast with them and meeting Jeff Galloway. The next thing I know I am trying to figure out how to train for a 184 mile run.
Was it the inspiring words and nature of Jeff Galloway? Was it all the wonderful people we met and places we ran? Was it the comradery with Ryan and Greg? Was it hearing people’s reaction to the distance and film? Was it delirium from being crammed in a MINI Cooper for 2500 miles and complete lack of sleep? Or was it simply my insatiable desire to push my personal limits and the sense of accomplishment I know will be there when I succeed?
I’m sure it all played a factor in my decision. Mainly, I want to be able to inspire my kids, friends, family, anyone to do something they didn’t think was possible. Just thinking about running the 184 miles scares the hell out of me … but it excites me even more! I’m stoked for this opportunity and will absolutely be making the most of it.
I just sat down and looked at our last 3 months of shooting. Wow. We have done so much and we have come so far already. I am so excited for the future. We have new people getting involved on the west coast currently, and we have one of the top Ultra runners getting involved too. Now I have the toughest job currently...logging and organizing the footage to make sense later. I also have to protect the footage by backing it up several times and also keeping one copy in a media safe which protects it from heat, fire and water. Its a scary thing, investing your time into a long project like this, but I am sure its going to be well worth it. All smiles here. Goodnight.
Tonight after filming, Anthony Russo, a fellow Ultra Marathon runner sent Ryan and I an email. In it he shared a little note that went like this ::
Greg and Ryan just stopped by to interview me about my experiences with running and the challenges I have faced. I was nervous (and excited) about everything all day, but the nervousness didn't last long at all and the interview was a hell of a lot of fun. I am completely impressed with Greg's work and inspired by Ryan, his story, and his 184 mile quest. I absolutely can't wait to watch this story play out and the film come together. I couldn't be more psyched to be a part of it.
e couldn't be more psyched either. Anthony is smart, fun and committed. His goals are tough to accomplish, and his drive to make his goals happen is inspiring. He truly will add a ton to this film and I want to thank him for being a part of it. Looks like we will be seeing a lot more of him on this journey. Good night.
Today (Its after midnight, so I guess really, yesterday), Ryan and I were completely impressed by the members of the Ocean Runners Club. We joined them, with their upbeat attitudes and colorful attire, in Island Heights, NJ where they were running a 5K...for FUN!
It was early morning and quite brisk, but these folks had the best outlook on running, life, happiness, you name it. They just enjoyed being there and you could see it on their faces not only while hanging out before and after the run, but also during the run, and at that, mostly during the run. This is their thing. Their outlet. Mine is hockey...so naturally I skated the 5K. What? Do you expect me to run and keep a steady shot? ;)
So the point of this post is to just let you in on something. People like this whole "running the entire state" thing. Runners get it. They sympathize with the goal, whether it is running a 5K or running 184 miles, they totally get it. I like that. There is a level of respect that you don't find everywhere you go. It truly was nice to see. They welcomed Ryan in with open arms and offered him advice, and some, who ran ultras before gave him tips on running downhill, or how to take care of blisters. Others just wished him luck, but either way, they all had respect for the drive to get healthy and do something that is not easy in any way.
Today was a great day.
Oh, and we shot some awesome footage. :)
All of us have things that we want to be or become. Goals are set to push ourselves to accomplish something that may transform our way of life. What holds many of us back is fear. Fear paralyzes many people from ever accomplishing the things they think about. Before you can act on your thought, you beat it down with "what if's."
About a week after leaving the hospital I woke up from a nightmare. Normally I would have shaken off something like this but it was so vivid that it got me out of bed. My shirt and underwear were soaked with sweat, made my way to the kitchen trying my best to not wake up my wife. The wet clothes gave me chills and at the same time my heart was racing. I opened the fridge, my eyes burned from the light. My glass could not be big enough and I drank all of the water down in what seemed to be two gulps. Something was different. Something literally scared me almost to death.
The nightmare is something I will never share but it woke me up in more ways than one. See, I know I am no one special, I am an average blue collar guy that lives in an apartment and drives a beat down car to my hard labor job. But I was scared, scared that I would not be what in my heart I could be. Fear had paralyzed me for too long, it was time for me to do what I needed to do. I was not going to let it control me any longer. It was time for me to do something big for my family and myself. I know that many people doubt my goal and I'm sure many people wish me well but do not think it is possible for me. I am ok with people having doubt, you are only being human, it is not every day that a guy runs 184 miles, especially a guy like me. That is what makes this whole thing so great, when I do run across that line in Cape May, many of you will question the way you think.
Life is not easy. We all have rough times and busy lives. We have packed schedules and have to be here or there for obligations. Often I wonder about my motivations and why I am at a certain place at that particular time. I question whether I am making the most of my time and if what I am doing is the best thing for myself and my family.
Today I was running in Winding River Park in Toms River, NJ. I had an unusually easy day at work, stopped by Greg's house to go over some plans for this film and headed home to see the wife and son. Stayed long enough to play with Jacob for a little, tell my wife how beautiful she is and be on my way out the door.
While on my runs I have always found that it is the best time to think. The thoughts that run through my mind are some of the most creative and genuine thoughts I ever have. When I get into my zone while I am running, I lose myself in it. The feeling is so tranquil and uplifting. Nothing seems impossible while I trot with a huge smile on my face.
Today was interesting because I have been tasked by Greg to capture footage while I run. He gave me a pole to hold out while I run to film myself. It is very funny while running through the park to come up on walkers or other runners and they look at me like I have 10 heads because I am filming myself. I burst out laughing quite a bit. It's the little things that make this run and experience fun.
I know this entry has been a bit sporadic and I am aware that my thoughts may be the same but I am so excited about this opportunity to connect with all of you. This is much more than a run, this journey is about life. On a run of this length I will face many hardships and walls that I will break through. I will not quit because I do not have it in me to quit. I will be running this distance as if my life depends on it and to me, I believe in many ways it does.
One thing we are trying to with 184 is learn more about distance running, even though Ryan already knows a ton about it. We think it will connect you all with our film even more. Today my email to Jeff Galloway was answered and he agreed to be in our film! If you do not know who he is, here is a little bit that I have copied from his web site www.jeffgalloway.com, so that I don't mess up all the amazing info.
America’s Coach: Jeff Galloway
Over a million runners and walkers have read Galloway books, attended his retreats / running schools, received E-coaching or individual consultation or joined his training programs. His doable plans have opened up the life-changing experience of finishing a distance event to almost everyone. His methods have reduced aches, pains and injuries to almost zero. Jeff is in front of an audience motivating and teaching over 200 times a year–helping those of all abilities to enjoy exercise until they are 100!
- US Olympian, 1972, 10,000 meters (also an alternate on the marathon team)
- Trained with Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Jack Bacheler
- Author of North America’s best selling running book: Galloway’s Book on Running
- Runner’s World monthly columnist
- Official Training Consultant for runDisney series of races- with video clips and training programs on this site
- Founder of the Run Walk Run method- opened up running to millions
- Founder and owner of Phidippides–the oldest running specialty store (since 1973)
- Producer of the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program in Atlanta- which has enrolled 20,000 participants (2012 – 30th
- Coached ESPN and MSNBC segments with celebrity runners Sage Steele and Megan Price
- Jeff has run for over 50 years, over thirty of those without injury.
- Over 350,000 runners and walkers have reported achieving their goals by using Galloway Training Programs.
- See more at: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/about/#sthash.ze7yIi9l.dpuf
As you see, his resume is quite extensive and impressive. He is a motivator, inspiring people everywhere to be healthy and teaching them how to become that way. Its right in line with our reason for filming this documentary and we are so proud and thankful to have Jeff on board. We will be interviewing Jeff in Florida in February of 2015.
I have filmed many unique events in my 15 year career, yet this one might be the most interesting to film due to its difficult nature. Generally, I film alone, but in this case filming alone makes life difficult. Imagine trying to hold a shot steady, while running, and not being a runner...
This has been the dilemma; How do you film this doc? Well, I have car mounts, and brushless gimbals and Steadicams and cranes...But none are any good to me if I cannot keep up with Ryan through trails, roads, traffic, and weather. My solution, I think, is the new K2 in-line skates that just came in the mail. These bad boys are fast, and will be good on rough terrain, and will allow me to potentially simply hand-hold the camera instead of using heavy support systems. This is my hope anyway. I am truly excited about the next 9 months and excited for the journey we will go on.
This is where we will be posting our thoughts during filming and it will mostly be for Ryan to give his fans an inside look into his mind, life and talent, but I will come here too and hopefully let you all into the world of documentary filmmaking. Enjoy.