2015 Transvulcania

Posted on Posted in Races, Running

The nice thing about my brain is that I forget easily. Well Transvulcania has come and gone. I had a rough go at it, but that moment has passed and now I’m focusing on the next race at hand, Lavaredo. Okay, actually I’ll just be focusing on my next run, trying to keep improving while enjoying each moment, living the good life, drinking in the smells, sounds, colors and emotions that make running in nature such a joy. That’s one thing I don’t forget and even in the midst of a challenging race like TV, I think of all the good and remain grateful.

This was my third trip to the beautiful island of La Palma; it’s one of my favorite places to come to each year. The island’s positive vibrations are always high, everyone there is so friendly and encouraging and it sure feels good to be loved even when I didn’t perform like I would have liked to. Even when things were going badly, my main goal was to overcome that funk and still get in a good run around the Island. Yes, some moments were extremely difficult and I wanted to quit, but persevering through adversity is one reason I choose to run these crazy-fun ultra races.


So what happened? Basically I just had another off day. I never felt especially Olympic that morning, but I started the race with the intention to stay strong and positive throughout. Yet, I was a little apprehensive of how my training had worked out but I was excited to test things out and see what the day brought. I ran to El Pilar (26.8k) feeling somewhat confident with my start, remaining in control and ready to strike in the later stages of the race. However, with the quick start and a drink mix that did not settle well ( I should have added more water to it), I became very nauseous. As I passed through El Reventon (34k) I had a few sips of coke, hoping the discomfort would pass. Things continued to unfold uncomfortably as I emptied my guts out on the trail, I was very nauseous for most of the day and still felt pretty uncomfortable that night as well. Maybe I caught a little bug, maybe the pre-race meal didn’t settle well, I guess I don’t really need to know, sometimes I think people over analyze a bit to much. It was just a hard day, and so it goes.

This was hard to accept, in the moment, being my first race of the year. Even if it didn’t unfold into a spectacular race, I was hoping to test out my fitness and start the year out right. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to get in a stronger race, but that feeling has now fled as that run is in the past and I have much to accomplish now. I’m not sure what is right anyway, my race was rubbish and I felt extremely miserable for a good portion of it, but accepting the situation, I was able to move forward and waddle my way to the finish, satisfied with gutting it out and still able to reach the finish to a thundering crowd, enjoying the day, in Los Llanos.


Even when the brain is a little fogged from a hard day, I can still recall fond moments like the sunrise booming with colors over Mt Teide and the sea of clouds that relinquished the pain in my body and brought me into the moment, aware of the simple fact that I’m alive and running in one of my favorite places. Even in the midst of my suffering and nausea, the crowds cheering my name, sending me off with words of courage kept my spirits high. I’m very grateful for the loving La Palma community that propelled me forward when things felt bleak.


In hindsight, I had confidence in my running but I felt like I should have had some bigger days in the mountains to give my legs the strength to keep pushing especially on the decent to Porte de Tezacote as my legs were really hurting. We all find different ways to to train and I’m stoked to have help with excellent coaching by Koop at CST. I still need to work different engines and be able to push harder when the moment warrants, but much of my success and joy has come from big, hard and challenging days in the mountains. I do believe my body to be gifted to run the way I do, but i’m also very aware that my success has come from pushing my limits and experiencing really emotionally and physically challenging days on the trails. Anything I’ve accomplished has come from a relentless spirit that never gives up and when things get tough, I don’t complain, I only ask for more.

And with some more lessons learned and a fire within to keep pushing myself, I dust myself off, remember why I do what I do and take that love to new highs by remembering that being uncomfortable is a part of what I love, pushing forward with confidence and determination.

Overall I had a great time in La Palma and I look forward to being a part of this event again soon. The organization is amazing and it’s always so good to see them and thank them in person for all the hard work they put into this event. It’s a special event with an island vibrating with positive energy. Thank you all!

I’m now back home in Boulder – running just to explore, training to be my best and enjoying local races like the Dirty 30 as just a fun day of running on some local trails with good friends. I had a great time and hope to write about that experience too – hanging out afterwords and meeting some new friends was treat and I’m sure I’ll be back to enjoy some beautiful local trails.

We are excited to be launching our Run Mindful Retreats this upcoming weekend. We have a solid group joining us for a sold-out June retreat. There’s still spots left for our August 7-11th retreat. These retreats are a way to share things I’ve learned over the years through running and life while introducing new friends to living more mindfully and consciously. Boulder is an amazing mountain town and I look forward to sharing this beautiful city and its stunning landscape with our participants.

And I’m excited to share a promotion that we’re doing with Ultimate Direction. The first ten people to sign up for our full August retreat will win a free Ultimate Direction hydration pack. Sign up now and join us!

UD + Run Mindful Design

Meditation/mindfulness is basically a workout for your mind. We all get out and exercise our bodies regularly but we also should keep our mind in shape too, treat our whole being with care and compassion. These retreats aim to bring you more aware to the truth within each of us while giving you a moment to take a step back from the chaos and commotion of life and just relax; go for some good runs, eat amazing food, engage in some fun conversation, letting your whole being relax so you can come back home to your life, family, job or wherever life brings you next, as a more present and happy person. It’s going to be just what the doctor ordered.


27 thoughts on “2015 Transvulcania

    1. Thanks man,
      I’m already feeling like i’m getting back into my groove. Thanks for your love man.

  1. Hi Timothy, thanks for the update. Gaining perspective from the hard days is a good thing. Having GRATUTUDE in the midst of adversity is Divine! All the Best to you.

    1. Thanks Jerome,
      The hard days teach so much more. All i can do is enjoy.
      much love to you and the fam!

  2. Hey Man,
    Just a word here. Don’t let the reason for the nausea go. Nausea for me was an indicator of something going wrong with my body, which stopped me and continues to stop me from intense running for the last two years. Don’t just ignore it, your body is telling you something.

    1. Thanks man,
      I listen to my body as best as i can. Most days my body feels great, sometimes it dosent, it’s how it goes. That particular day, my body was not enjoying what was in it, my body was telling me to not put that back in and i listened.

  3. Brilliant report Timmy! I also had alot of issues with the heat and the altitude, kept throwing up until Roque but my stomach settled a little during the descent. It was just a particularly hot day especially in the dry river bed! Good luck with your training for Lavaredo and hope to bump into you at Cortina :)

  4. Timmy, you’ve always been one of my favorite runners but I’m wondering how you justify writing a check to Chris Carmichael every month? I simply can’t understand why any elite athlete would voluntarily associate with and contribute to the financial success of the worst doping fraud in the history of American sport. This guy has no place in ultra-running. I’m really disappointed in you.

    1. Thanks mike for you concern. First off, i do not pay Carmichael or anyone for training. I take advice from my coach and good friend, Jason Koop who i work with and he works at CTS. Koop has never been apart of any drug thingy to my knowledge and i picked Koop as a coach mainly because he enjoys the mountains like i do and works with many amazing athletes. The whole coaching thing is interesting to me as i prefer to go run free in the mountains without a leash, but as i get older i occasionally become a little wiser and it’s nice to get feedback from a reliable source.
      In my personal philosophy, i don’t judge people, especially when i dont know them or have meet them. I’m sorry to “disappoint” you, but thats your problem and not mine. Keep living the good life and maybe refrain from judging others and then writing about it on line.
      be well,

      1. Great response, Timmy. Respectful and polite but strong. Hope you are well and are enjoying the beautiful CO mountains

      2. I think Mike has every right to judge. Any one related to Carmichael even in a tangent manner should be questioned. Even if it’s just for keeping poor associations (And is this not a video of you . So let’s not be naive about associating with a program associated to the biggest drug program EVER. BUT, I personally think PED should be legal and suspect many elite ultra runners are on/or have been on so I don’t judge and could give a shit. But other refrain from judging, why?. Plus, ultrarunning is growing and it’s now becoming careers, so judging is perfectly legit. You won WS100, so being judged comes with it. But yeah, why would you care what some dude on this thinks. I am sure people think you were on PEDs when you won WS100 because of your (even if arms length) association with Carmichael and I think you beat Killian which I’ve heard people think he’s drugged to the brim. But who cares really. But not judging, why. Don’t we all want to be judged? If not why do we post on instagram, have twitter, have facebook, have blogs. So take good judgements, which I am sure you have way more of, with the bad. And don’t care what I say. Great. I love ultras, been doing it since the 90’s. I am fat, old and washed up now. I wouldn’t care what I say either. Keep it real, buckem down. Get fit again. and come back strong.

        1. PS. I really do think PED should be legal. I think all drugs should be. I wouldn’t do any. But let adults make adult decisions. OUT!

  5. I hope I’ll be able to go to your run mindful retreat one day. With youg kids and a new job, it’s hard for me to go to Boulder in the upcoming months.

    I’m from Montreal (Canada), are you planning to do that kind of retreat in the East some day? Maybe in New England… :-)

  6. hey timothy,

    thanks for not just letting us into the world of an elite ultrarunner on his bad days, but sharing all of your great insights into what allows you to maximize your potential and enjoyment in life. i’m very appreciative of just how generous people are in this great sport of ours. always learning lots from you, and cheering you on endlessly!


  7. Hi Tim!

    Thanks for your inspiring writing and attitude! Keep up the good work, man!

    I wonder if you’ve read this pretty nice article “Running On Empty” by Meaghen Brown: ? One comment in the comment section was about you, him being scared if you would be the next victim of OTS.

    Be well, happy trails! Peace and love!

    Greetings from Finland

  8. I’m only just learning to put one foot in front of the other slightly faster than walking pace so I’m always astonished by what long distance runners are capable of. Thanks for sharing your experience running on my side of the pond. I hope you have a lovely bunch of people to work with on the retreats :)

  9. HI Tim-we are up in Ned for the month of July. Do you and your family have any interest in house sitting for a weekend for us? We are heading over to Speedgoat 50K in a few weeks. Need someone to stay at the house and keep an eye on our dog. She loves kids. Tristan would love her. Let me know. 715-498-0298. Talked to your dad and he thought you might be interested. Tammy

  10. Hi Tim,

    Do you think it would be totally crazy to do the Transvulcania as your first major Ultra trail marathon? I’ve seen it now a few times on TV and am captivated by it. I’ve only done regular marathons thus far with 2:49 pb in Dublin, Ireland and a few Ironman races which is a whole different ball game to largely unsupported mountain running.

    1. I think it’s an awesome race and place to visit. If you can get lots of climbing and technical descending in your training you’ll be just fine. They have other race distances too if you’re not up for the 80k. It’s a great place to check out. hope you enjoy.

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