August 31, 2011

Finding Steeps

Found this hill the other day. I'm really excited about it. It's a half mile long with 400 feet of elevation gain, all single track. At the top is a panoramic view of California's southland -- Saddleback Mt., the San Gabriels, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. It's very difficult to find from the road, and pretty steep, so I don't expect  much foot trafic out there.

Summer is over. Time to get back on the saddle...

August 24, 2011

Running the 49th Parallel

Marker One - The Start of the Boarder with Canada
Sometimes it is good to just go easy and enjoy the scenery when running. I got to do just that this last weekend while on vacation and in Vancouver, Canada and Point Roberts, Washington. Vancouver is amazing and has an extensive system of bike trails. One thing I learned though is they don't like to share their bike paths with runners in Vancouver! I made the mistake of running the oposite direction on a bike path and was quickly put in my place when a cyclist yelled at me like a traffic cop.
Random Sunflower Growing Out of the Rocks on Beach
Point Roberts was a little more laid back. A funky little place in US territory, "the Point" is only accessible on land through Canada.  What was really cool about running here was running along the 49th parallel. Cal C and I ran down Roosevelt Avenue which stretched several miles along the Canadian boarder. The only thing separating us from Canada were people's back yards. I also got to run along rock and drift wood covered beaches for several miles. All in all a great time away with the family!  

Orca in the Straight of Georgia off Pt. Roberts

August 11, 2011

Not a Flower for me to Pluck

While taking what I believe is a well deserved break from running, my mind wonders more than what I'm accustomed to lately. Heck, it's only been a little more than two weeks since I crossed the finish line of my sixth race this year, but it seems longer. Some have asked me what I have planned next. This is a great question but its not (yet) worthy of a response. I'm simply trying to absorb some things from my experiences since January. Six races totaling 412 miles with a total elevation gain of 74,623 feet. To put this in mountain climbing perspective, that’s enough to scale Mt. Everest 2 ½ times.

As I reflect on the last six months, and even the last four years, I discover things that I take for granted now as a runner that I had no knowledge of before I started running ultras. I'm also keenly aware there is so much I still don't know, and may never know, but hope to learn one day. As long as I remain willing.

We live in a saturated society. Information gained with the push of a button. Billions of facts and figures at our fingertips. But are we wiser for it? Are we better because of it? Most of us seek knowledge. Questions asked are readily answered. But do these answers bring wisdom?

The answer to this question is no. Because unlike knowledge, wisdom is not found through a push of a button. Or the turn of a page. It is found on the hard road taken toward the goal you put down on a piece of paper. The commitment you make to yourself that you didn’t ever think you could make, but do, and then you deliver on it.

It starts with small steps. A progression, from questions to commitments. And moves from answers to awareness. And it reminds me of a quote that I heard that goes something like this...

"You think wisdom is a flower for you to pluck. It is a mountain, and it must be climbed.”

          Kwai Chang Caine

August 5, 2011

My Article Published in the OC Register

My Pacers Bino and Chris

Yesterday The Orange County Register published an article I wrote about my experience leading up to and running the Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run. Click here to read. Enjoy!