Friday, February 16, 2018

Ultrarunning Boy Takes on the World!(of parenting)

Well hello there!

As you may or may not have noticed, the title of this blog has changed. If you haven't already switched over and still are interested in reading about Irongirl, you can find out more here  at her blog.

The change in name reflects the likely change in focus of my posts (and my life) going forward. With a beautiful, smart, powerful young lady on the way, I suspect I will have many things to say, few of which are ultrarunning or triathlon related.

But don't despair! I will still be entering in(often times, fabulously underprepared) events that challenge me physically or mentally. The only difference will be that I may have a little mud turtle hanging out along side.

Side-Bar- For those of you that do not know the mud turtle reference, check out Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees. Well worth the read.

Anyway, I suspect I will continue to get myself and baby Ferreira into plenty of mischief, and I will make sure to check you all updated on the progress.

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mobile Marathon

This past weekend, Kenny and I headed to Alabama partially as a babymoon and partially for me to run the Mobile Marathon. We headed out Thursday night after work and made it to Montgomery by 10pm due to the beneficial time zone change in our favor. We awoke, did a nice little jog to explore the area and then headed to the Civil Rights Memorial. Designed by the same artist who did the Vietnam Memorial in DC, it was simplistic in design but overpowering in its significance. What a sad and shameful time in US history.

We then headed down to Gulf Shores in an ill-advised beach day. The 20 mph winds and 30 degree temps kept us from staying out on the beautiful white sand beaches for more than a few minutes, but did not prevent us from finding a great little diner for a tasty lunch. 
Bundled up on the beach
Downtown Mobile
The next day we spent in downtown Mobile, which I liken to a cleaner New Orleans. Similiar architecture and both seem to be built around Mardi Gras(Mobile was actually the first in the nation to celebrate). Another good meal, race expo and a few beers at the Biergarten right on Dauphin St, rounded out a good day in Alabama. 

The next morning was race day. Kenny had mapped out the course and decided to run to a few spots that she could spectate and still be back for the finish. Apparently we had underestimated the distances as she had thought she'd be doing 6 but ended up closer to 8.5. Pretty impressive for being  6 1/2 months pregnant! 

Having her on the course was a great help and kept me running hard in the first half. Unfortunately she wasn't there when I fell apart the second half. The wind and the hills in the second half, plus a much needed bathroom break, kept me from a sub 3 hour marathon, but after a few years of sub par races, I will take a 3:03 and 8th place finish. And that meant that I am now 50% complete my marathon challenge of running a marathon in every state
Post-race band
Definitely a good course and one I'd recommend. Plus a far more fun little city than I had expected. The best part? The race which is a fund raiser for a charity helping adults with cognitive impairments, gives out awards hand-painted by the residents. That along made it all worth while. 
Front of the award(I was given the 9th place award, even though I am recorded as 8th-I'll take it either way)

 Up next? I was able to get into the Black Mountain Marathon in the end of February so that should be interesting... 

Until then,


Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 was an Epic (Fail)

At the onset of 2017, I made a goal to run 2017 miles during the year. Well, let me tell you. I. Did. Not. Make. It. Not even close. In fact I was able two hundred miles less than the year before. I should have ushered in the New Year partying like it was 1572, because that was the mileage I was able to run this year. But interestingly, the year 1572 is the 2116 in the Buddhist calendar so it's actually kind of like I ran MORE miles than I had planned. FAIL!

So was 2017 a bust? Hardly. Just because my running(and races) suffered, does not mean this year was a fail. In fact, I'd call it epic.

Starting with New Year's Day(2017) still coming home from NYC Times Square Festivities,
 a whirlwind trip to Nashville with Kenny and Andrew
pacing Kenny to a BQ(in my opinion at least) at Wrightsville Beach
 winning the Krispy Kreme dash
Krispy Kreme Champ!
winning the Get to the Green 15k, and Quarry Crusher as well as the Burger Challenge at Pawley's Front Porch multiple times.
So despite the running and bad performances, not an awful race season wins-wise.

And then add in a fun trip to Europe when Kenny and I road tripped to Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and Netherlands while also visiting Turkey, fun trips to Savannah, Las Vegas, Charleston, Asheville, Boone, Atlanta, New England and discovering a fun National Park and several state parks in our own backyard.

Top it off with two separate trips to the Finlands: Finland and Newfoundland and the trips end of 2017 was great.
Icebergs in Newfoundland

My parents
In addition to our Newfoundland trip, my parents joined us down in South Carolina, we visited them and my two nieces and new nephew multiple times.  I met and welcomed two new additions to the extended family courtesy of my cousins, Joey and Ryan.

What else?

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Kenny and I got married by my sister at the Outer Banks on the ocean! And we have a little one on the way.

Baby Ferreira

Looks like life happens when you're making running plans. And 2017 will definitely go down as one of the best.

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Glass Heart

And with another failed marathon attempt under my belt, 2017 ends as the third consecutive year where I have not run a sub 3 hour marathon. Last year's Trinidad Marathon, was the closest I came and that was a legitimate excuse(bathroom related). However, all of my other attempts(see: Finland,  St Louis, Suriname, French Guiana, Columbia, Tobago and Guyana) have been a combination of a little bad luck and a lot of glass heartedness.

This past week was no exception. It was my latest ill-fated attempt to run a solid marathon, this time at Kiawah Island. If you remember from a few years ago, I won that really cool pelican trophy for coming in third here. Repeat? Nope. Not even close. Yet again, I let negative thoughts get in my head early and often and despite running consistent mile splits(6:23-6:25) for the first 12 miles, when given the opportunity to bail at thirteen, I did.

It's like I cannot get out of my head and just totally fall  apart. I know some of it is that I am aware of my less than stellar training going into each and every one of these races, but that's nothing new! I ALWAYS go in under prepared. I think the thing is, I had so much success in 2014 with that string of solid marathons that when the wheels came off at Alaska I have never gotten my "groove" back.

But like a puppy, I will keep coming back. Or is it like someone insane making the same mistakes over and over? Either way, I have registered myself for the 2018 Mobile Marathon in yet another attempt at finally getting my groove back.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Until next time,


Monday, November 27, 2017

Hairy Bison 18K

The weekend before Thanksgiving every year, the Harbison Trail Runners put on a free 15 and 30K trail race. Yes free. Yes 30k for most runners. Oh except for the few that get up early and run a "warm-up" 15k before the race begins. The somewhat more normal racers do a 15k loop and then reverse course to get a total of 30k in for the day. You are handed a buffalo nickle at the half-way of each lap, supposedly to use as a raffle, but realistically moreso to see whose sweat drenched hands fumble for the little brown coin. There are always shenanigans, costumes, and great post-race chili. And don't forget the Hairy Bison, which for whatever reason graduated was shirtless this year. 
If all this doesn't make for a unique race experience, did I mention that the entire course isn't marked?  Not one single flag. 

Last year, I got lost so I promised myself that I won't this year. I did a "preview" run a few weeks before the race and I was as prepared for the 30k as I'd be. Which is to say, not too well. 

I took off at the start and was within minutes lost sight of the leaders. I fell in with 3 other guys and settled in. About four miles in, I was definitely feeling out of shape, by 7 I was thinking I might drop at the half. At the turn around, after a porta-potty break, I was told I was in 4th place so that gave me just enough motivation to leave the comforts of the post-race debacle. I kept up a decent pace for the next few miles, looking for Kenny who was doing the 15k on account of little baby Ferreira slowing her down. 

Around the bend, about 11.5 miles into the race(6.5 ish for her) I found her, walking and crying having just fallen on the course. The tears were purely out of fear of hurting the baby, but her motherly instincts have already kicked in and she rolled in such a way that her hip and shoulder took all the impact. I wisely gave up any inclination to continue to race and I walked the remainder of the race in with Kenny. A much more enjoyable pace and time just spent in the woods with my girls. 

Until next time,


Monday, November 6, 2017

The Krispy Kreme Dash

This past weekend, I went to Myrtle Beach with my brother Andrew and Kenny to compete in the 1st Annual Krispy Kreme Dash. I had always wanted to do one of these races and this was a good excuse to hang out with Drew. We spent the beautiful weekend hanging out in MB which is actually really nice out of season. Especially with temperatures in the 80's. And being out of season, some restaurants automatically gave a 10% discount off menu prices.

Back to the race. This race, officially called the Carolina Forest Rotary Krispy Kreme Dash, was modeled after the more famous one in Raleigh. It raised funds for the local Rotary Club and started/ended right behind a Krispy Kreme store. Kenny had never been to a Krispy Kreme before so prior to the race we went inside to see the whole donut(or I guess they spell it doughnut) making process. The aroma definitely made having a few appealing.
Danny before the race

12 however? I wasn't so sure about that. But only had about 9 minutes to think about it as the race started off steady but not too fast. We hit the first mile in exactly 6:00 and the guy next to me picked it up and only I kept up with him. We went got to the donuts(the halfway point) in slightly under 9 and went to work on the donuts.

A fellow Harbison Trail runner had suggested squishing down four donuts at a time to expedite the eating process. Heeding this advice, I got myself to a nice lead quickly consuming those first 800 or so calories. The next 4 definitely took a little longer. About halfway through them, I started having some serious self-doubt.
Danny at his low-point

Luckily for me, Andrew and Kenny were there to cajole me into eating through the pain.
I got through those and dove right into the last 4. More runners were now in transition and I was beginning to get concerned that someone might catch me during this time so I redoubled my efforts, finishing them off, rinsing off my hands and taking off.

I ran scared. So much so that I actually  ran a negative split for the second half of the 5k. I finished in first both for the race and for eating my donuts the fastest.

ADDENDUM: I just got results of the race back and I only won the eating contest by 2 seconds!!!! Wow that was tight!

Danny Ferreira
Lap1 9:38
Donut Time - 6:57
Lap2 - 9:33

Jimmy Papai
Lap1 9:52
Donut Time - 8:01
Lap2 - 10:16

Daniel Brass
Lap1 10:42
Donut Time - 6:59
Lap2 - 11:48

What did I get? More donuts! In fact a total of 14 dozen more. One a month for a year was the prize for fastest donut eater and 2 more dozen for fastest race(as well as a gift certificate to the local running shoe store, Black Dog Running). Definitely worth the time.

And it paid itself back even more because when we went out later for lunch, I was still full so only ate half of Kenny's sandwich instead of paying for another meal:)

All in all, it was a very fun weekend and I would definitely do this race again next year.

Until next time,