Finding Inspiration in my Running Friends

I like memes. I cannot lie. They’re funny, provocative, inspiring, outrageous…they’re just fun to me. I am also a fan of trading cards such as baseball cards. As a kid I collected baseball cards. As a young adult I got into X-Men cards and, had a vast collection of them until a flood wiped them all out…that’s life, right?

Last month I was trudging through some deep, punchy snow on Mt Baker and sweat was dripping like a leaky faucet off of the tip of my nose and chin. I was exhausted but I had a goal that I wanted to reach. I wanted to make it to aid station 6 before 11:00 am and reach Mt. Baker’s Sherman summit during the Mt Baker Ultra. The thought going through my head was ‘do or die’. I wanted this so bad. As I rested my head on my trekking poles for the umpteenth time a meme came to mind. It was a picture of some dude standing with his back to the camera, on a barren hilly location, looking into a wide expanse of space and a thick fog quickly enveloping the landscape. In bold white letters above the dude, a statement read, “YOU CAN KEEP GOING LONG AFTER YOU THINK YOU CAN’T”. Those words hung over my mind’s eye and I put myself in the place of the dude and, continued my trudge toward the aid stations between me and my goal. To dramatically shorten a long story, I did not reach the summit but that’s a different story. This story is about memes and trading cards.

After that race (my failed attempt at the Mt Baker Ultra), the meme stayed with me but, it was no longer that dude, – that stranger in the meme with that powerful statement above him that was in my mind’s eye and, it was now actually me. So, I thought of making a personalized meme of me with that powerful statement. That seemed so arrogant, though. I mean, how could I share that meme with me on it…especially, after dnf’ing the race that inspired that meme? That thought led me down a path of thinking about the many people that inspire me. And, believe me, there are a lot of people that inspire me! I have a lot of friends that are runners, mountain climbers…these are people with amazing drives. They push themselves to new heights and further distances. They make it seem that the impossible is literally quite possible. I like to call these folks my tribe. And, that is when I began to think, why not make inspirational memes with the very people that inspire me, – my tribe? And so, I began doing that and, even made a running memes photo album on facebook containing inspirational memes with the very people that I love and I’m inspired by. Well, it didn’t stop there.

About a week ago my girlfriend’s son, Nicholas, was showing me his Pokemon cards and explaining to me what they’re about. I had absolutely no idea what the hell he was talking about BUT, the cards stuck in my head. As he continued explaining the Pokemon world to me my mind was thinking, baseball cards from my youth. It then hit me, how cool would it be to have ultra running cards or, simply, running cards? I mean, trading cards like the old baseball cards I used to collect as a kid? I then thought, who would actually give a shit about these? And, as thoughts usually do, they begin to mold a life of it’s own and quickly the thought evolved into, – make running cards of those very people that inspire me so much! I love keeping up with my running friends running conquests. I like taking pictures at races. I literally have thousands upon thousands of archived pictures I’ve taken at races that I host and, races that I go to that others host. I thought, I know photoshop just enough to be dangerous…I could do this.

For days, I continued to play out the idea of running cards in my head. Finally, I looked at a picture I had taken of a friend of mine at a recent run and thought, she ran 50 miles several months ago in one long shot. That had been such a big goal of this lady for the last couple of years. Finally, she achieved it and, I was there to witness it. It was quite an epic, moving moment. After this amazing feat by Luann the rest of the world continued moving on but I still found myself thinking about it from time to time. This was a big deal! This was a big deal to her. This was a big deal to me! I mean, she achieved this epic goal on a race that I host! How powerful is that? How moving! To make a long story longer, Luann became my first ever running card guinea pig. I googled “vintage baseball cards” and looked through hundreds of cards until I found one that I really liked and, created a template from it to use for my running cards idea.

After making that card and posting it online, I suddenly wanted to do more cards! So, I started cranking out more as I have time to do so. I’ve made another facebook photo album for running cards.

Posting these online vintage looking running cards seems to have struck a nerve with a lot of my running friends. They seem to love this idea. So do I! With these cards I get to share the feats and goals of my amazing running friends in a format that is so nostalgic. I literally love making these cards and posting them to that album and anxiously await a response from the subject of that card. My hope is that they will love it…My fear is that they will be offended by it. So far, a lot of love is emanating from these cards and, that makes me happy!

Can I monetize this? Probably not and, that’s not the intention. I’m just enjoying the process. I will keep making them and posting them online. I will continue making memes of my running friends and continue being inspired by them. Its wholesome fun for me. I hope you all that have seen these cards and memes like them as much as I do.

Thank you all for the great inspiration that you are in my life!

All the best,


Rough Runners.

The Bully Challenge

July 1st is the start of the Bully Challenge.  What exactly is this?  Its just a six month friendly competition of fitness.

On Sunday, July 1st, start keeping tabs of the reps, distances and times of the following exercises.  And, every Sunday, jot down those numbers on the google drive spreadsheet linked here under the correct week: Bully Challenge

Running miles
Rowing miles (kayak, rower machine, canoe)
Biking miles
Swimming miles
SUP (stand up paddle board)
walking miles
push ups
mountain climbers

You do NOT have to do all of the exercises listed above.  Pick the ones you want and go with those.  The key of this challenge is to exercise and keep tabs of the exercises you choose to do and compare with the others in this challenge.

Every week whoever leads in any of the exercises listed will get a bully (Teddy Skull) added to his profile picture.  Yes, we need a profile picture! Send that picture to me (Dan Hernandez [email protected]).  I’ll add the bully to your profile and post it on the Run 4 a Reason Facebook Group Bully Challenge 2018 photo album.

The Bully Challenge officially ends December 8th.  December 9th, we’ll announce the overall winner on Facebook.  The overall winner will be the one that has acquired the most bully’s.  We’ll also recognize all of the miles logged running, biking, swimming, rowing, walking, SUPing.

Also, if you’re a local (local to Savannah), you will be awarded a free pitcher of beer (or cider) and, a slice of pizza from Huccapoos or Mellow Mushroom (we cannot seem to decide on the pizza joint yet).

Also, the top three Bully earners get extra points for the Rough Runners Trail Race Series

  1.  top gets 15 points
  2. second gets 10 points
  3. third gets 5 points

Everyone else that partakes of the challenges gets 1 point toward the RR Trail Race Series

Even if you live far away you may still partake of the challenge (you just don’t get the beer or pizza…sorry). You’ll get the accolades, though, especially, if you win. 🙂

You are responsible for entering your personal data into the google spreadsheet linked above.  We are all under the honor system…so, don’t cheat!  And, don’t mess with anyone’s results.  Capiche?

If you have a question, just shoot me an email or message.  Again, my email: [email protected]

Happy killing it out there!




  • for Situps exercise, you may do crunches, bicycle kicks, whathaveyou. For bicycle kicks, one set of both legs equals 1 rep!  Does that make sense?  Its not, that you do one side and count 1 and then the other side and count 2.  One set of both sides of the bike kick is one rep.
  • for lunges, a rep of the right leg and, the left leg equals 1 rep!  You do not count each leg you lunge as a rep…a set of both legs equals 1 rep.
  • The same thing as lunges applies to mountain climbers.  a set of both legs counts as one rep.
  • you may do planks however you like and still count down the seconds and minutes.  There is not just one way to plank.
  • for pull ups, you may do chin ups instead…whatever works for you.  If you cannot do a pull up but want to, start off with negatives and slowly let yourself down.  Do approximately 8-10 negative pull ups every time you go at it.  Eventually, you will be able to pull yourself up.
  • you may apply your steps that you do through out the day in the “walking miles” entry on the spreadsheet.  Here is a link to a Steps to Miles Calculator  
  • Biking is the same as the walking miles.  If you bike to work, count those miles.  Your training miles on the road or stationary, – count those miles.


through out the six months we’ll will have challenges to keep us motivated and striving for more.  These challenges will include one or several of the list of exercises listed at the top of this page.  If you meet any of the challenges you will get a special bully added to your profile picture.

Here are some of the challenges to keep in mind and to begin when you’re hungry for it…

  • 200 mile run in 1 month.  shoot for 200 miles in 30 days.
  • 50,000 meter rowing in 30 days.
  • 5000 push ups in 30 days
  • 1000 burpees in 30 days
  • 800 miles cycling in 30 days
  • 5000 squats in 30 days
  • 30 miles swimming in 30 days
  • 500 minutes of planks in 30 days
  • 500 pull ups in 30 days
  • 150 miles of walking in 30 days
  • 5000 lunges in 30 days

I will have some cool stickers made for each of the aforementioned challenges but I will have to charge a $5 fee for each sticker.  You do not have to buy challenge stickers but if you want one you will have to pay for it.  That cool?

Training and Heat Related Maladies


Heat related maladies are no joke, especially when exercising down here in the South.  This past Friday I was reminded how quickly your body can go from running strong to running on empty and then, crash.

Early Friday morning the Rough Runners crew and I ran the Daufuskie Island half marathon course.  When we started the run the temperature was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  By the end of the run, the temp was in the upper 80’s.

After the 13.1 mile run, we then began to ride the course on bikes.  A few miles into the ride my back stiffened greatly, making it very difficult for me to peddle without great discomfort.  I got off my bike and stretched out on the ground several times.  That felt better but, several minutes later my back was so stiff and tight I could hardly stand it.  I decided to call it quits and peddle back to the Haig Point dock.

before my crash

At the dock, I just was not feeling well.  My girlfriend handed me a cold powerade and told me to drink it.  Reluctantly, I did.  Soon after that, though, I began to feel very ill.  I felt nausea.  Suddenly, the worst cramp I’ve ever experienced hit my right calf forcing me to grit my teeth and pray the pain would go away.  After about twenty seconds the calf muscle loosened up but my nausea progressively grew worse.  I looked up at Kerry and she began to blur out as if I were turning the focus on a camera in the wrong direction.  Her face then began to streak before my eyes and I went down on my knees and began to dry heave.  Fortunately, Kerry, a registered nurse, got me to sit back and quickly began to force feed me a hammer gel, followed by water.  She made me drink more powerade.  She helped me to my feet and guided me to the ferry where I then laid on the floor because I didn’t have the strength to stay up on my feet.  The boat captain brought over some ice cold water bottles and ice.  Kerry placed the ice on the back of my head where it meets the neck.  She placed the two cold water bottles under my arms, in my armpits and, continued to force feed my hammer gels and water.  While this was all happening, Jason took pictures to use as blackmail later.

Finally, though, I began to come to.  Twenty minutes later, we pulled onto mainland on Hilton Head and I was able to walk off the ferry on my own, feeling severely spent.

The rest of the day, I remained completely spent.  I felt as if all of the energy had been sucked out of my body.  We hit a Mexican restaurant where I was revived somewhat more by eating their salty chips and salsa.  When I got home, I showered and went to bed and, quickly fell asleep.  The rest of the weekend, I remained very weak and lethargic.

Heat related maladies can come on quickly and become dangerous just as fast.  You may think that you are hydrating well but always question yourself.  Personally, I thought I was hydrating well.  I was taking a combination of endurolytes and, anti-fatigue pills, one of each every hour during the run and bike and, taking sips from my water bottle regularly.

During the run, I refilled my 20 ounce water bottle twice and, drank a powerade at the convenient store in Freeport (which is along the course).  Before we started riding I chugged down almost a quart of water and refilled my twenty ounce bottle.

My two running and biking mates (Kerry and Jason) didn’t experience what I did and they were hydrating as much as I was.  No one person is the same, though.

I tend to sweat more than the average adventure seeker, especially as the temperature rises.  So, I deplete my sodium and potassium faster than most people doing the same level of activity.  Take for instance, that by the time we hit the 2.4 mile mark, Jason and Kerry’s shirts were halfway soaked from sweat, -where I looked like I had jumped into the ocean in my running clothes.

Drinking water is important but maintaining a healthy level of sodium and potassium intake as I continue to hydrate is equally important.  My intake balance between water and sodium and potassium was off obviously and, drinking more water began to make me feel gravely ill.

Please take note from my dreadful experience this past Friday and hydrate well and replenish your electrolytes accordingly while exercising on hot days in the South.  The mishap I suffered could of been much worse than it was.  I was fortunate enough to have a nurse on hand to help me get through this heat related malady before serious damage occurred.

Keep your training going but be careful out there!  Learn how your body reacts to heat and train smart.

Wishing you many happy miles of training this summer!