Monday, November 26, 2018

Giving Thanks Every Day

When I started this blog, internet speeds were still slow and smart phones were in their infancy. What this meant was that blogs were a popular and well-received medium to share people's stories(especially those of us without the connections and/or talent to have lucrative book contracts). Fast forward to present day and podcasts and  vlogs have taken over most people's interests. I look at my own blog list of people I follow and only a handful still write. But here I am. Albeit very infrequently, but still here to express my gratitude for every day I have an opportunity to get out and experience this beautiful world we live in. 

But to satisfy those of you who cannot read a few paragraphs without going through video withdrawal, here is a video for your delight.

It has been a fun few months. I last left off telling you all about the Beerlay. Since then, I did another race put on by the awesome people at Upstate Ultra-the Paris Mountain 25k. I had originally signed up for the 50k, but knew I wasn't ready for that. As luck would have it, the race director let me switch so I could do just one loop. Which was enough! Although in better shape, I would have loved it, as it was I really enjoyed the course which was almost entirely runnable with just two steep climbs and the rest seemingly all downhill. Definitely a race I will do again in the future. 

I soon followed that up with another glutinous race, this time the Krispy Kreme Dash in Myrtle Beach. This was my second year racing it and second time winning. And the prize this year: Another year of donuts! This time a dozen per week. Wow! Talk about developing a dad-bod! 



It was a great weekend having Kenny and Matilda of course, but we were also joined by my parents and brother Drew and his girlfriend Vicki. As with all times with people you love, it went far too quickly but it was still nice to spend time with them. 
Then time travel occurred and it was already Thanksgiving and I was giving thanks for my beautiful wife and adorable daughter as we ate the first Thanksgiving meal with just our family. Decorating our house for Christmas rounded out the weekend. 

It's so easy to get bogged down with the day to day sometime to really step back and appreciate all the wonderful things we have in our lives. But you're here, able to read this, presumably while breathing, likely in a comfortable setting, hopefully with some people who you love around. There is so many things to be grateful for each and everyday, don't wait 364 days before you are again.

Until next time,

Danny

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Beer Lay and babies= Best Birthday Ever

I heard "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen the other day and came to a conclusion: I'm officially in my late-mid thirties. Or early late-thirties. Either way, I can race as a Master and by some estimates have seen the best of my days. 

Luckily, I cheerfully disagree. Yes, I may have some grays in the hair and fat in the belly that I didn't have before. And I am considerably slower(physically and probably mentally). But I can honestly say I probably had the best birthday ever this year. 

The actual day was spent with me taking a half day and getting to spend it with Matilda and the evening with Kenny. We had gone up to Charlotte the weekend before and had a wonderful time. Matilda(possibly with Kenny's help) got me some great birthday gifts. Family and friends showered me with well-wishes which is one of the saving graces of social media and text messaging.

If that wasn't enough, my brother Drew treated me to a weekend in Greenville and entry into the Cottonmouth Beerlay: an eight mile race where every two miles you have to drink a beer. 8 miles and 4 beers.


Wait-did I say best birthday ever???

Well eating and drinking is my specialty and I still can somewhat run, so why not? It would be fun! I surely wasn't thinking as much on my third and fourth laps with 3-4 beers in my ever-more bloated belly. And the fact the race came down to a sprint finish added an element of discomfort. 
At least the drinking was fast
Michael Nance-a fellow Harbison Trail runner after the race.
But in reality it was really fun and Drew and I spend the rest of the evening out and about in Greenville and was great catching up. Greenville is a beautiful little city which I hadn't really had an opportunity to explore before. 

Images from Falls Park 
The race was also good preparation for the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Myrtle Beach in a month. I suspect the competition will be steeper this year so I better be on my A game if I want to defend my title. 


That fun weekend really was just icing on the cake as having my beautiful baby to come home to really sealed the deal. It'll be a tough birthday to beat, but next year she'll be walking so who knows?


Until next time, 

Danny


Monday, September 17, 2018

Bjorn Identity

Well hello there!

It has been a long time! This summer flew by. Our bjaby girl is growing up so quickly. She's already "hiked" ten 4,000 foot peaks! Hiking with a backpack and a bjaby in a bjorn is no joke! I was probably more exhausted from those hikes than any other I have done.

Or I could be out of shape.

It was a great summer for spending with family and to relax but not a great summer for fitness. Besides those hikes, I can count on my left hand how many times I went for a run. Suffice it to say, I don't feel very fit.

Out. Of. Shape.

Side-Note: It really should be out of shape to describe fitness(or lack there of). It should be called change of shape. I still have a shape it's just more apple like than it has been in the past.

Change. Of. Shape.

And as ?luck? would have it, Kenny just signed me up for a 50k in 1 MONTH!!!!

Oh and Drew and I did go caving again and definitely felt like the rocks moved a little closer together than last time ;)

Addition. of. Shape.

So I better get back on the running bandwagon. Currently doing 10-15 miles per week with no excuse other than I'd like to spend more time with my girls. And yet, Tilda seems to really enjoy running in the stroller with me so really no excuse.

I bjetter get going.

Until next time,

Danny









Monday, June 11, 2018

Ultrarunning Boy Takes on the World(of Caving)

This past weekend while Kenny and Matilda were away, I headed over to see my brother Andrew and try our hands in a little spelunking. I had seen an article featuring the "most epic trips in each state" and in Georgia it featured the caves in the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife management area of northern Georgia. Originally, I attempted to get a guided tour but there was no availability so Andrew and I decided to just go up on our own. I tried doing some research online about access but everything was fairly cryptic with people giving generalized location details but nothing specific. From several different blogs, I was able to get a general sense of where to go. The plan was to pack like we were caving but be prepared to end up just going for a hike.

We took off fairly early from his place in Atlanta and less than 2 hours later we were at the fee center for the management area.

Tip: Save yourself some money and register online ahead of time. We paid almost as much for the phone registration service fee as we did to enter the area.

After paying, it was a short drive to a parking area labeled Petty John's. Could it really be this easy to find? A 800 foot walk confirmed that we were here. The only caves that I have been to have either been above ground rock formations that you scramble through or ones with lights, tourists, and hand rails. This was neither. It was just a unmarked hole in the ground leading god knows where.



Had Andrew not been there, I probably would have turned back(or continued on for a hike). But knowing why he had come, I decided to go on.

Tip: Pack for 58 degree weather. Standing outside the hole was like an air conditioner blowing on us. Supposedly it stays like this year round.

After changing into long sleeves, putting on our knee pads, gloves and headlamps, we descended inside.

Just entering the cave was a leap of faith as we had to trust that there were no snakes, spiders, bears or serial killers on below. When I say below I mean below. It was a rock scramble down probably 20 feet or so before opening up to a large cavern. This I could handle. After taking a few pictures and turning off our headlamps to get a sense of how pitch-black dark it was down here, we continued on.

We had a vague sense of the lay out of the cave. Down across down again. It seemed to be general gist. So we scrambled down and then up across the cavern and came across a little hole in the ground.


 Down again we climbed. It did open up again but to a much smaller room with a choice of left or right. Great-Give Wrong Way Ferreira an opportunity to get lost in a cave.

Cognizant of this, I made sure to have Andrew focus on the directions so we could get out.

Tip:Don't go caving with Danny unless you have a good sense of direction.

We went to the right which got narrower and narrower. The pitch of the rock also got steeper which was concerning because everything was muddy so there was concern about being able to get back up. I'd down-climb a little and then re-climb it to make sure that we could successfully get back out.


This made of slower going but at least I'm sitting in front of the computer writing this instead of sitting in a cave I cannot get out of.

We continued in this manner until we came to an opening that was probably mid shin deep of water and we made the smart decision to turn back to avoid making our already slick sneakers worse.



We climbed/scrambled back up to the junction and proceeded to go the other direction. After a while this way we came across a hole that was so small that I couldn't enter it with my backpack on. We went in a while, but I could feel that wave of panic that I wanted to avoid so I recommended we turned back.

On our way back out, I tried to convince Andrew that we needed to stay left and ascend while he correctly brought us out on the right.

Tip: Don't go caving with Danny unless you have a good sense of direction and know how to ignore him.

We had spent a few hours down there and probably explored about 1/6th of the entire available cave system. It really was an epic(ly frightening) experience, and he and I have committed to coming back more prepared and explore more.

Only 49 more "epic" adventures ahead.

Until next time,

Danny

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ultrarunning Boy Takes on the World(of Children's Books)

My mom gave me recently a book entitled: Raising  Bookworms by Emma Walton Hamilton who incidentally is Julie Andrews daughter. I love Song of Music and Mary Poppins so why wouldn't I read a book by Mary's(errr Julie's) daughter. I'm glad I did!

It had some really good practical suggestions that I plan to implement with baby Ferreira, but there was one specific one that I already started. And it was creating books specific to my daughter. So I've written 5 "books" for Tilda Bear so far that I plan to read to her. Emma talks about increased interest in reading when the book relates to the child, so how awesome is it that these are about my daughter?

The only downside is that they're written by me. So expect sophomoric(at best) stories, bad rhymes and even worse illustrations. But considering she won't know any better, Matilda hopefully won't be put off by them for at least the first few years:)

Here's what I've written thus far:




I don't expect to be on the New York Times bestseller list(or the Concord Monitor's) but it's been fun to create these little books for Tilda that she can always have and even find online. If anyone actually wants to buy one(trust me: they are not literary classics) save yourself money and use the promo code:FIFTEEN to save 15%.

And I know there are always a few people who delight in finding typographical errors, so(just like the blog) I have left some in for you:) Enjoy!

I plan to keep on writing them as Tilda grows up and hopefully they'll mature as she does. Stay tuned!


Until next time,

Danny


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ultrarunning Boy takes on the world(of sleep deprivation)!

As I am sure most of you are aware, baby Ferreira has arrived!

In with the baby, out with the sleep. Never one to sacrifice sleep, this is a novel experience. I'm already back at work but feel like I'm floating through the days. Not particularly witty when rested, I'm down right dense now. That feeling of apathy that I had late in the Vermont 100(88.6 for me) has returned. Not at all to my beautiful daughter or lovely wife, but to all things that require enough. Like going a run, answering phone calls, or writing a comprehensive blog about how awesome my baby is.

Or how great it has been with both my brother Matty and his family and sister Marilyn coming down to visit her. And my mom and brother Drew will be coming soon as well. And everyone else gets to meet her when we come up to New Hampshire this summer. Let's just say-all things Matilda are great and not pressure me into having to dedicate any more of my limited brain capacity to anything besides looking at her cute little face.


Trust me, despite sleep deprivation which can affect everything from above noted motivation, to memory, balance, and weight gain issues, I cannot get enough of Tilda Bear. And I wouldn't trade all the sleep in the world for her. She's just perfect and she will get there-sleepwise.

Until then don't expect any well-worded blogs or conversations with me though.


Until then,

(a sleep deprived) Danny