While living in Florida I rounded a turn in a trail to find an alligator that stretched from one side of the trail to the other. At least 10 feet long. I also watched a large hawk challenge a buzzard for some unidentified corpse. The hawk won.


It took over a year.

Photo by ITZIAR LORENZO on Unsplash

In November of 2020, I wrote about my year long rehab from a pinched nerve and the triumph of running an entire mile. A month later I wrote about making it to the milestone of running twice that distance. Today, I write about the most important milestone yet.

I made it to three miles. A slow three mile run, not on dramatic trails or beach, but in my suburban neighborhood just south of Nashville. It wasn’t the distance of this run or the pace or the location that made it a milestone. …


Don’t try a 24-hour ultramarathon on no training.

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It happened on National Beer Day, April 7, 2015. After celebrating at several microbreweries in Colorado Springs, I returned home and began perusing the local race calendar on my laptop. And there it was, the Palmer Lake 24-Hour. It was that very weekend, so I thought, why not? Well, here is why not. It had been over two years since my last ultramarathon and six months since any run over seven miles. But it was a 24-hour race, so if I walked a lot, surely I could cover marathon distance and then adjust from there.

So, I did the dumb…


The terror of winning a race.

Photo by Des Tan on Unsplash

In September of 2010, I won the POAG Hot Pursuit 5K Road Race. Yes, that’s right; I won a race. Let me explain.

Before retiring I was a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Any state or local law enforcement officer in Georgia is eligible to join the Peace Officers Association of Georgia, also known as POAG. The POAG holds an annual convention, usually in August or September, and usually at a location on the Georgia coast. One of the events at the convention is the annual running of the Hot Pursuit Road Race. It is billed as…


Neither concerns money.

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Let’s go ahead and get the money question out of the way so we can discuss the important issues. It goes without saying that certain financial means are needed in order to retire. How much and how to achieve those means is not the point of this article. If you are serious about retiring at some point in your life then there are many ways to build your nest egg. How big that egg needs to be is a personal matter. It could depend on several factors and one is certainly the lifestyle that you want to…


Warning: This isn’t rocket science people.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

I recently saw a headline that read “How to Run Uphill.” Really? Are there people who have to be told how to run uphill?

I began running and reading about running in 1977. Over the years I have watched this simple activity be examined, dissected, autopsied, discussed, studied, debated and argued over from every angle possible and to levels of nit picking that defied logic.

While thinking about the absurdity of instructing someone on how to run uphill, I decided to put my years of experience and knowledge to work. Herewith, I answer ten…


Both for running and for moving into 2021.

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2020 mercifully draws to a close. I hesitate to think that anyone skipped through this year without feeling totally bummed out at one point or another. Since we often use running as a metaphor for life I refer back to my first ultramarathon.

The wheels came off somewhere around twenty miles into the Long Cane 50K. It was a warm and humid May afternoon in South Carolina and I shouldn’t have been surprised. My training leading up to the race had topped out with a long run of seventeen miles. And while the Long Cane course is an endless succession…


Two very important miles

I stand on the walkway and wait for the satellites to acknowledge my Garmin. A wind from the south drives clouds across the sky with rare patches of blue peeking through for a few seconds at most. The choppy, slate grey ocean sends relentless ranks of waves to curl, crash and turn to foam as they chase sandpipers to higher ground. The Garmin beeps. I turn south and slowly jog into the wind.

I am back on Amelia Island, a barrier island off the coast of Florida, and the place where I sustained a pinched nerve one year ago. I…


Really, what is left to say?

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Before I retired I kept a half dozen running books on my office bookshelf. A non running coworker looked at them and asked if there was really that much to be written about running. At the time I didn’t think much about it but now I have to reconsider his question.

The idea occurred to me while reading the December issue of Ultrarunning. I first subscribed to the magazine in the early 1980s and after a brief hiatus resumed in 1991. I haven’t missed an issue since. …


How it can help us in our current chaos.

Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

In the early 1920s, Max Ehrmann wrote a piece of poetic prose named Desiderata. The word desiderata are Latin for “things desired” and Ehrmann’s work certainly contains advice and ideals that are desirable for our current world. This world of the pandemic, social unrest, political rancor, and uncivil discourse. Can we, in the beginnings of the 2020s, learn from something written in the beginnings of the 1920s? I believe we can and we should. …

Micah Ward

Micah is a retiree who writes, runs, prays and enjoys craft beer in the rolling hills of central Tennessee. He goes to the ocean when he can.

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