Following-up on yesterday’s post —

The alarm sounds this morning at 3am. I’m blinded by the screen of my wife’s smartphone. It’s officially 3:01 before I figure-out how to silence it. Feet on the floor at 3:02. Bathroom and back by 3:04. Dressed and headed down the stairs by 3:10. Hat on, yurbuds® in, pound a strawberry Atkins™ shake, and I’m out the door — yes, with a small asterisk on whatever happens next because I used an alarm instead of somehow willing myself awake at the exact moment I want to rise. Get over yourself. I walk the quarter-mile to “my trench” — the one-mile stretch of Harris Drive where the bulk of my miles happen — and ease into what becomes the 12 miles I seek. My thoughts bounce from fear to power to control before settling upon strength as their focus. My takeaway: I’m a hard man, but I’m still learning to become a strong man. True strength isn’t the rock, but the surf crashing against it: fluid, flexible, unrelenting. I am satisfied today because I was strong yesterday, realizing the simple solution of setting an alarm didn’t “make me weak” but helped me achieve my goals. I’m a hard man: it’s hard for me to share my feelings, it’s hard for me to ask for help. This is how my brain is wired. Thanks to everyone who accepts me, flaws and all. I get back to the house about 5:20. My wife asks, “Did you punish yourself enough this morning, Johnson?”

My smile reveals my mileage.

This is how my brain is wired.

Every morning that I don’t wake-up at (or before) 3am, without an alarm, and go running for, very specifically, 12 miles (or more) feels like a failure. I thought about that this morning, cuddled-up against my sleeping wife, for an hour and a half. That’s an hour and a half I could’ve been up-and-running before dawn, but I was too busy pistol-whipping myself for not threading the needle. By my own ridiculous expectations, I have failed 105 times already this year. That’s the hole in which I find myself every day. And when I run 12 miles at 7am on a Sunday, well, that’s nice, but it could have been better, earlier, less disruptive to my family. While other people beat themselves up for not having run a single mile this year, I’ve covered 373 miles of personal failure. And you want to know the scariest part? Running hundreds of miles, in what I’ve now deemed “personal failure”, is my happiest, healthiest habit. If I didn’t run? If I didn’t at least try to climb out of that hole? That’s terrifying to me. I don’t know how far that cavern of self-loathing and despair goes. Maybe I should just swallow my pride and set a goddamn alarm, huh? But that’s not how my brain is wired.

I’m an emotional runner. In 8d:19h, I’m running my first 100k race. I’ll do so with Loirish’s name across the back of my jersey. “Loirish” means “strong” in Samburu. When the miles get ugly, I’ll tell myself I’m chasing his killers.

I’m an emotional runner. In 8d:19h, I’m running my first 100k race. I’ll do so with Loirish’s name across the back of my jersey. “Loirish” means “strong” in Samburu. When the miles get ugly, I’ll tell myself I’m chasing his killers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

Mesa Man Runs 100k for 40 Lions

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – This October 26-27, Mesa resident Brian “Khepri” Johnson is running the Javelina 100k (62.1 miles, ultramarathon) in the McDowell Mountains of Fountain Hills. Through October 1, Johnson is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund a 21k (13.1 miles, half-marathon) in Samburu, Kenya. That “Running For Lions” race is an outreach event hosted by the Ewaso Lions Project (http://ewasolions.org), uniting and educating the local community with regards to the 40 wild lions that live in and around their villages. Johnson, who rediscovered running in 2010 after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, is calling his campaign “#Run4Run4Lions”.

"My Run4 is 62 miles in Arizona’s desert mountains," said Johnson. "Their Run4Lions is 13 miles through the Samburu bush. Push them together, and you have #Run4Run4Lions (http://igg.me/at/run4run4lions).”

Johnson is close to raising his initial goal of $2200, which covers all of the associated costs of “Running For Lions” – the runners’ transportation, registration, hydration, protection, and recognition. But the brutal September 6 killing of Loirish (above) – an 8-year-old, GPS-collared male lion in the Ewaso Lions’ study-area – has changed the face of Johnson’s campaign.

"Originally, I just wanted to fund their Gatorade bill, maybe pay for their prize purse of goats. We’re real close," said Johnson. "But now I want to stretch this campaign up to $6600. I really feel honor-bound, somehow, to replace that damaged $4400 GPS collar. We can never replace Loirish, but maybe we can ease some of the financial burden that this grassroots, boots-on-the-ground, non-profit organization is suddenly feeling."

Donations to Johnson’s campaign, or directly to the Ewaso Lions Project, are greatly appreciated.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

Mesa Man Runs 100k for 40 Lions

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – This October 26-27, Mesa resident Brian “Khepri” Johnson is running the Javelina 100k (62.1 miles, ultramarathon) in the McDowell Mountains of Fountain Hills. Through October 1, Johnson is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund a 21k (13.1 miles, half-marathon) in Samburu, Kenya. That “Running For Lions” race is an outreach event hosted by the Ewaso Lions Project (http://ewasolions.org), uniting and educating the local community with regards to the 40 wild lions that live in and around their villages. Johnson, who rediscovered running in 2010 after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, is calling his campaign “#Run4Run4Lions”.

"My Run4 is 62 miles in Arizona’s desert mountains," said Johnson. "Their Run4Lions is 13 miles through the Samburu bush. Push them together, and you have #Run4Run4Lions (http://igg.me/at/run4run4lions).”

Johnson is close to raising his initial goal of $2200, which covers all of the associated costs of “Running For Lions” – the runners’ transportation, registration, hydration, protection, and recognition. But the brutal September 6 killing of Loirish (above) – an 8-year-old, GPS-collared male lion in the Ewaso Lions’ study-area – has changed the face of Johnson’s campaign.

"Originally, I just wanted to fund their Gatorade bill, maybe pay for their prize purse of goats. We’re real close," said Johnson. "But now I want to stretch this campaign up to $6600. I really feel honor-bound, somehow, to replace that damaged $4400 GPS collar. We can never replace Loirish, but maybe we can ease some of the financial burden that this grassroots, boots-on-the-ground, non-profit organization is suddenly feeling."

Donations to Johnson’s campaign, or directly to the Ewaso Lions Project, are greatly appreciated.

###

#Run4Run4Lions » Carb Free Me

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July, 2001  »»  I’m 5’9”, 250-260 lbs.  »  40” or 42” waist  »  2XL t-shirt

This is my first San Diego Comic-Con with a booth. Hall H is still a parking garage. Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá sign their Roland comics with me. Brian Wood buys Silver Surfer comics from those bins on the right. I meet Bruno D’Angelo here, as he buys Spawn Series 19 – all the Samurai Spawns – from me. I meet Greg Rucka at this size, as he and Steve Lieber sign Whiteout at the booth. I’m large and in charge, a fanboy hog in his fanboy heaven.


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July, 2013  »»  I’m 5’9”, 148 lbs.  »  28” waist  »  Small sleeveless tee

No Comic-Cons for me this year – no Surfer comics, no Spawn toys. This is my first Vertigo Night Run, a training race towards #Run4Run4Lions. The headlamp is brand new this day, never tested before scampering around dark desert mountain trails for 19 miles. I fall twice, brutally, bloodying my hands, left knee, and right shoulder. I worry that something in my left forearm/elbow is broken. I bruise the entire thickness of both feet. Meet my new heaven.


September, 2013  »»  The Vertigo wounds are healed, even if the Comic-Con years left scars. Recurring stress dreams, unsold comics cluttering the house – these match the stretchmarks on my deflated-balloon of a belly. But for all my crazy mileage, I’m not running from my past. In fact, I embrace it. Why not? I finally ring the #Run4Run4Lions bell and ask for a little help – who steps up? Fábio and Bá, Brian, Bruno, and Greg. Waitaminute– where’s Lieber?!*

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*In Steve’s defense, he’s put up with my crap since his Hawkman years!

ryancody:

11x17 artwork I did for Khepri Comics’ Brian’s upcoming #Run4Run4Lions campaign. $100 and all proceeds go to help the Ewaso Lions Project.
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/run4run4lions-protecting-lions-through-running

Ryan Cody’s birthday bash has been my proof-of-life appearance after my 2 previous ultras (54 miles, 50 miles). This time, I’m running 62 miles in Arizona to fund a half-marathon in Kenya – and THAT race helps protect 40 wild lions. Thus, my “#Run4” their “Run4Lions” = #Run4Run4Lions.

ryancody:

11x17 artwork I did for Khepri Comics’ Brian’s upcoming #Run4Run4Lions campaign. $100 and all proceeds go to help the Ewaso Lions Project.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/run4run4lions-protecting-lions-through-running

Ryan Cody’s birthday bash has been my proof-of-life appearance after my 2 previous ultras (54 miles, 50 miles). This time, I’m running 62 miles in Arizona to fund a half-marathon in Kenya – and THAT race helps protect 40 wild lions. Thus, my “#Run4” their “Run4Lions” = #Run4Run4Lions.

Read more about the Hydration needs of “Running For Lions”, a half-marathon in Samburu, Kenya. Please help fund this race, presented by Ewaso Lions.

Read more about the Hydration needs of “Running For Lions”, a half-marathon in Samburu, Kenya. Please help fund this race, presented by Ewaso Lions.

This is Kofafeth » She was nearly killed in January.
#Run4Run4Lions honors those who saved her. Please help.

This is Kofafeth » She was nearly killed in January.

#Run4Run4Lions honors those who saved her. Please help.

Wednesday, my buddy Steam Crow shot and edited this video for me.

Sunday, I pushed it live with my #Run4Run4Lions campaign on Indiegogo.

Please stay through the end. Please share with 10 friends. Thank You!