Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Introducing yours truly

Aloha my fellow ultrarunners and skydivers! I am BGill, and this is my first attempt at blogging. Who knows how often I'll have time to post to this or whether I'll actually come up with stuff to talk about that is useful/interesting/doesn't-put-you-to-sleep, but I'm going to make an attempt. Now, since this blog will focus mostly on the two sports that consume the better portion of my current existence, skydiving and ultrarunning, I'll give some background about myself with respect to each sport. Please see the relevant category below that most fits your description:

Skydivers: I started jumping back in 2001 with a tandem at the Cleveland Parachute Center when I was 17 years old. Why Cleveland? They were the only place I could find that would let me jump at that age (the rules have since changed for any youngin's out there looking to jump, so you'll have to look elsewhere). When I turned 18 I did another tandem and decided I was hooked, so I went through the AFF course at Skydive Delmarva in Laurel, DE. I jumped throughout college and was the president of the University of Maryland Skydiving club, accumulating roughly 400 jumps throughout college. Now that they tell me I'm all grown up, I'm still jumping at Delmarva and I work as a tandem instructor on the weekends. To date I have 783 jumps and somewhere around 3 hours in the wind tunnel. For funjumping, I mostly freefly and work on swooping, but I have been known to don my wingsuit on occassion and participate in the occassional RW jump. I fly camera too. Basically, I do a little bit of everything and I love it.

Runners: I haven't always been a runner. In fact, I'm pretty new to the higher mileage running scene. I started running in high school, but nothing significant and mostly just trying to lose weight. I ran on and off throughout college and my longest run was probably 5 miles. Never did any races or anything (although I once rode my bike to lead the pack of a 5k). Then, back in December of last year I decided to up my game and start training for a marathon, the SunTrust National Marathon in D.C. to be exact. To gain entrance in the National Marathon I had to have a qualifying time in some sort of recent race, but seeing as how I had never actually run a race I looked around and found the B&A Trail Half-Marathon. I ran B&A in 1:39:57, more than enough for the 2:30 needed to qualify, and was on my way. However, about a week after B&A I came down with tendonitis in my right achilles. Keep in mind this was 3 weeks out from the marathon. After 2 weeks of rest (aka swimming, aka drowning in a forward motion) I was able to lace back up and I took it relatively easy as that would have been taper time anyways. Race day came and the achilles felt fine, but still I was hesitant to push too hard just in case. I ran a 3:48:20, not too shabby for a first time marathoner if I do say so myself. It was the hardest thing I've ever done... and I want more of the challenge! So that's where ultramarathons come into play. Leading up to the race I read Dean Karnazes' book, Ultramarathon Man, and it put some ideas into my head. I took to the internet and have read everything I can about ultras. I signed up for the JFK50 this coming November and have started training with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club's XMP program. To say I am excited is an understatement. Marathon/ultramarathon training has gotten me in such great shape and the sense of accomplishment that comes from self discipline is something I can't live without. I'm hoping to run JFK in under 10 hours, but as long as I stay uninjured and finish I'll be happy. 100 miles? Some day...

Non-runners/jumpers: Git outa my interweb! Yer kind ain't wanted here! Mary-jo, go git me muh shotgun! No, just kidding. Everyone is welcome to come and browse. Whereas the skydivers think the ultrarunners are crazy for running so much, and the ultrarunners think the skydivers are crazy for jumping our of perfectly good airplanes, you will just be special in that you will think both of my sports are crazy. Who knows, maybe I'll post some breathtaking skydiving picture that makes you want to come for a tandem and taste the adrenaline, or maybe you'll come to understand the pride that comes from training for an ultra/marathon and you'll sign up for your own race that pushes your limits. Whatever it may be, welcome to my site and I hope you enjoy yourself. Please feel free to leave comments about anything and everything.

1 comment:

Laura Marie said...

ultra marathons? man oh man you are one determined guy! my boyfriends sister runs those, but doesn't talk about them much. who knows why. If i ran that far all at once i would buy a billboard and advertise that this body and these legs ran that far. anyways, i'm training for my first marathon which is in January. I'm stoked, and like yourself, wasn't much of a runner, except in high school, but that was only sprinting. Good luck with all your training!!