✓ Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps
✓ Mental Health and First Aid Cert. Exp. 6/22
✓First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Exp. 5/21
✓ (2x) AmeriCorps Alum
Montgomery County, MD
Community Use of Public Facilities (C.U.P.F.)
- County Resident Representative 

Derek L. Ross

✓ (C.E.R.T) *Certification

Blog

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One Race at a Time

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Every race feels like a new race day. In other words, I assume nothing and will take nothing for granted. Witnessing close friends endure injuries is never a good feeling. It's like empathy and sympathy rolled up into one WTF ball. It's like the support system is real, but then it's like I don't want what they got. All these races have shown me that around every corner, each 90 degree day, and every long car ride to a race is a chance of a random mishap. The body, or universe may not be able to do this anymore. Injuries are real, the passion no matter the love an deminish. It's important to treat the body like it's the best thing you got, because it is. Every week is something new and every weekend I will do my best to be able to protect myself meanwhile participanting to the best of my abilities. 

Am I Getting Faster? Yes but No

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

As I look back at races I have placed in, I'm not really blown away. Well, I appreciate the chance to push myself, but I just don't see myself getting faster. Looking at finish times don't really make me feel as if I'm posting some world class finish times. All I see is a guy who must like running. Overall, my goal is to be able to do this everyday. Get ready, stay ready. Just in case I need to run for my life, I want to feel confident my body can go. So, I do fell like I'm getting fast, just faster at recovery and willingness to run again, and again, again.

Resetting for Spartan Races

Posted on May 5, 2019 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I thought I would never say this, but it's time for me to really build the right body for OCR races. More importantly, Spartan Races. I'm not trashing or downing other OCR races. I just know I need to take the next leap. Anytime swimming is included, I must check myself on my abilities to really make a difference while trying to compete in OCR. I want the Trifect's, but I want the experience. My goal is to focus on Rugged Maniac's, meanwhile sprinkling in some Warrior Dash races, and of course Spartan Races. My body has to get adjusted to obstacle course racing. It starts now. Every race is a chance for me to understand more about my body. Especially, when it needs hydration, refueling, and rest.

Running from Depression

Posted on April 16, 2019 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

It's always weird when someone looks at you at say's, "oh, I didn't know you dealt with depression." I guess it's weird because I was one of those people. Basically, looking at you wondering what is wrong up in that head. How foolish I was to even think it was a someone else's business type of thing. Depression for me was not a strange mishap, or suprise. It was the ultimate ticking time bomb. I was going to work, having relationships with family, friends, and significant other's like all was merry. But, it wasn't. I found myself in cruise control, just living following the same goals and rules as everyone else. That didn't work well for me. I got to a point when I was questioning everything, more importantly myself. Am I good enough? Who wants to be with me? I must really be a failure. It's strange that at our worst state we all seem to let the negative energy flow like the Nile river. I've greatly appreciated this running mission of hitting 100 races in a calendar year. I feel as if I have a sense of purpose, plus this mission is spawning new interest in how I operate as a valuable member to society. In other words, I needed to put myself in harms way to understand I do have a purpose. I'm not talking swimming with sharks harm way. I had to step outside of my comfort zone and embark on an accountability mission that will promote postive health and wellness for my mind and body. Every weekend I run actual races so I can't make excuses for anything. Depression, lack of eating, sleeping, any negative behavior will not be my downfall. I must wise up and treat my mind and body right. This is the only way I can achieve ultimate satisfaction of completing 100 races. 

Vulnerability of Being a Blogger

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

As I try to keep up with so many bloggers, fitness minded individuals, and podcast, I get lost. Even after so many races, I still try to find my place in this fitness world. Do I pure my heart out? Do I show off, bragging about myself? Or, just go all in making the most of this fun time? No, I'm not saying that is what other's do. I'm just inquiring about how do I make my mark. I just go. I'm a do-er. A person who rarely reflects on a race, because I'm on to the next. That's why it's starting to feel like my short term amnesia after a race hides my willingness to vulnerable. The faster I move on from a bad race, or rough workout, the less I worry about it. I think I should sit down more and relish in my mission. Especially, before my knee's, back, feet, or some part of body say's you are done. 

Co-1st Place Overall Male Finish

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (3)

The more running I do regardless if it is an obstacle course race, or a typical road race such as a 5K. It is quite obvious a lot of runners are focused on time, which is okay. With that being said, I don't expect a runner to do a lot of sacrificing. It's rare to see a competitive runner, stop to help someone, slow down to wait for a friend, or in my recent experience, stay behind at a turn around spot to notify runners of an improper course marking. While at the Kingsbury Innovation 5K on 5/19/18, I witnessed by far one of the kindest gestures in running. An elite level runner named Henry, who also works with ParkRun Fletcher's Cove of Washington, D.C. showed me how to take one for the team. While running the 5K on the C&O Canal Path, I noticed Henry slowing down and looking behind at me and another runner. He basically yelled saying we have gone pass a 1.5 mile turn around for a 5K. I was thinking to myself how does he know? Then, I was like yeah it feels longer. The other runner a young lady replied, "lets keep going." So, we all followed for another 20 feet and that's when Henry said, "We have to turn around, this is going to turn into a 4-Miler." So, we all turned around and proceeded back. That's when Henry made one of the nicest gestures I have seen thus far. He stopped and yelled I will stay behind to notify runners of the proper 1.5 mile turn around. I slowed up and asked, "Are you sure?" his response was like "It's okay, I know this path."

 If all of this random interaction during a 5K seems normal to you, then I would have to ask, where the heck are you running? Racers just don't stop and say keep going. Most runner's who keep track of their miles wear pedometer like devices like Garmin's that can actively track their miles. So, if they know the turn around, they may not say anything. That's just the way competitive running goes. Same scenario goes with getting lost, losing an item during a race, having to pee. Some issues are your issues and your issues may not truly affect another runner. So, for Henry to stay behind and notify runner's as they reach the 1.5 mile turn around point to turn around, well that just doesn't happen. Based on Henry's speed, especially since he was in the front, or cruising at 1st Place Overall for the race, he would have finished extremely high, or 1st anyway's. So, for me to finish the race in 2nd Place Overall/1st Place Male Overall. I'm just not happy with that. I don't think I deserve a 1st Place Male Award. It was Henry's award. 

In conclusion, I offered to give hime the award he so rightfully deserved, but he declined. So, I asked can we share the award? His response was "Sure." That made me smile. I won't blame the race for improperly marking the course. The young lady who came in first and kept on running did her thing and represented. That folk's is the life of a competitive runner. Things happen and you got to keep on moving. Now, the bigger question would be, "Would I stop and the same thing Henry did?" I don't know. It was such a wonderful gesture, I would absolutely considerate it because I'm sure I would sleep better at night afterwards. Thanks Henry for showing me the proper way to make a positive statement.

Becoming a Gluten Free Runner

Posted on May 16, 2018 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Giving up gluten is hard. It's really hard. I'm still trying to figure all this out. The refrigerator looks empty now. Even my grocery bill has increased slightly since gluten free foods are more expensive. I'm not complaining. I'm more like dang, this ain't easy. There are definitely a few things missing from my diet when eating bread. So, this diet change will take time. All I can do is keep reading label's and understanding how I can replace the nutrients my body is missing when I was consuming more bread.

12 Races in One Month, Whew!!

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

As I look back on previous month's seeing how many races I have averaged per month. I can honestly say I'm treading into new territory. 12 races. I'm talking 12, we are about to get sweaty and pushed physically kinda sorta thing. I hope as other's continue to checkout my #200race mission they see that my goal is to always be ready to at least match my same level of output physically everytime. I don't want people to think, "oh he is showing off." Mastering the art of recovery physically is a challenge, but I believe our bodies can do. There was once a point in time when man had to hunt using just their feet. If you couldn't run to catch your prey, you didn't eat. So, one can only wonder how often did man in the early primitive years have to run. Well, I'm not trying to mimic that level of human evolution, I just want to be able to have my body at a place where, I'm ready for anything physically. I enjoy running on my own for fitness purposes outside, and on a treadmill too. But, it's something about putting a bib on, seeing other's running, having time ticking that makes you want to run with a little more sense of purpose. 12 races in the month of April 2018. I definitely didn't see all this coming. 

Getting Nervous, Understanding thy Body

Posted on April 24, 2018 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The past few weeks I honestly have not felt like blogging. I actually haven't felt the same since I had to miss my first "paid" race due to illness. Since I started my race mission, I've missed races, or declined to register due to various other issues. Issues such as weather, confusion on registration, and frankly not being bothered, all have been valid issues, I hope lol. But, never because of a sickness. I was a little disappointed in myself, me missing a race was like someone snatching the covers off me in the middle of the night leaving me cold and exposed. Just like any person who was confused about this unfortunate mishap, I wanted to get to the bottom of this. I immediately started questioning everything, did I eat something bad? Am I getting enough sleep? Should I be running this much?

I ended up going back to a question that has popped up for some time. Am I allergic to anything I could be eating? Running every weekend, doing some form of any kind of race is diffcult. Not because we can't do it, but because of what we have to give up. Drinking alcohol, 1 a.m. sleep times, 2 our workout gym sessions, yeah okay good luck with all those. Been there, done that, failed that. More importantly, the I can eat whatever I want attitude is the first to go. I've had to remove greasy foods, basically anything fried, meanwhile adding in a lot more greeny foods like salad. My water intake has gotten better, but I still don't think I drink enough. Lastly, and what I feared most was bread and milk. Bread, as in gluten was the last thing on my list that I was hoping I could hold on too. The whole carb load conversation is a rough one for any runner, since it is quite common. Milk was easy, especially drinking milk and eating ice cream. Side note, I enjoy soy milk, plus it has a lot of protein. But, bread though, sadly it had to go.

I was recently tested for Celiac Disease and my test came back negative, but since that test I have not had any stomach/integestion issues due to me saying the hell with gluten. Celiac Disease for those who are wondering is based on antibodies and the body fighting the compounds of gluten such as wheat. Never the less, I knew something was wrong and I would bet everything I have that my body has become gluten sensitive. I will continue to monitor my body, while being nervous about the results. But, it is an honor to be able to participate athleticially in anything. From checking myself on gluten, getting repeated check-ups, and going to the dentist. I've had to basically take my body apart and put it back together with better 2.0 pieces/mentality. Once my 2.0 focuses are good and a full body upgrade is needed, my goal is to understand my body, so I can be ready for another 100 races.

Running an OCR Race While Raining

Posted on April 10, 2018 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

There are obstacle course races and there are obstacle course races in mud, rain, and all the sloppy terms we can come up with while out there getting your challenge on. I credit myself with seeing a lot of different terrain's that I can happily talk about with other's. I've encountered sand, ski hill's, deep water, rocks, dust, and so on. But, when the terrain is changing as the event or race is happening, it changes everything. It doesn't matter how hard a person train's, throw some mud on the ground, make the rope slippery with rain, and you got yourself a totally different race. There ain't no race like a rainy day, cause the rainy day race won't stop. It won't stop with the mud. It won't stop with the high failure rates of completing obstacles, and it definitely will make your life a living hell in shoes, no matter the grip. All hail, rainy day races because it is a challenge that never gets old.


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