December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Ultra Runners!

I’m not usually one to look back, but this time of year brings out the nostalgia in me. Why not? I don’t have any new year’s resolutions neatly typed up. In fact I don’t have any new year’s resolutions period. I don’t even have a goal for 2012! Oh my!

More to come on that topic. In the mean time I’m happy to be putting my feet up and celebrating the end of 2011 tonight with my wife, sans kids. This last year was particularly gratifying to me because I think I finally learned how to listen to my body and better understand its peculiar ways. Yes, its taken me 48 years to do this, but progress is all I’m looking for. Relentless forward progress.

And the simple things. They matter the most. It really is true. This year I discovered this on my way through the Southern California Ultra Grand Prix. Racing every 3 weeks when I could barely walk the week before. It made me see why the journey is better than the destination. The journey brings a cup of coffee before a race. A laugh with friend on a long climb. The dancing glimmer of headlamps strewn across a canyon below. What does the destination bring? Pain! Self doubt. Can I do this again in three weeks? Ouch. This stuff hurts! 

Keep the faith ultra runners!

And have a happy, happy, new year! 

December 22, 2011

The Longest Night

Good news northern hemisphere runners! We have, as of today, finally reached the shortest day of the year (and the longest night!). The northern hemisphere is at its most extreme angle -23.5 degrees - away from the sun. Now each day will be a little longer than the last, for a few months anyway.  Don't forget your flashlight for after work runs. I've been running under the stars lately, and enjoying switching between Radiohead's music and the audio book the Shining by Steven King on my Iphone. If I can survive this morose combo I'm sure to have nothing but sunshine to look forward to.

As for you southern hemisphere runners, enjoy the summer while you will soon be ours again!


December 12, 2011

Saltwater 2011 - A Video Post

This is a short video album of the 8th annual Saltwater 5000. Another great year with great friends running from the ocean to the top of Saddleback Mountain! Push play then click on the expander to get a full size viewing...

Saltwater 2011 from Will C on Vimeo.

December 8, 2011

Go Angels!

Finally, ESPN turns its attention to the west coast, at least for a day or two! And why not, when a baseball's most valuable player moves to a new team for $250 million, and that team is on the west coast,  all of a sudden the eastern sports network takes notice!

Ok, back to running. I'm looking forward to a great run this weekend, with lots of climbing!!! 

December 4, 2011

A Place Oddity

One moment I am flying through the cosmos, alone in a spaceship, destine for greatness on some other world years away. Will I reach my destination?  Mind and spirit intact? Bouncing from galaxy to galaxy, I prune the edges of planets as I drop down to observe each ecosystem and extra terrestrial being. Entire worlds and life forms that I never dreamed of lay below me. Am I really here? Is this really happening? Life takes on new meaning. Along my journey obstacles want to destroy me, yet I avoid getting marooned inside these black holes that lay waiting like minefields along my cosmic pilgrimage. Is it destiny or my own free will that guides me? Oddly I’m able to use energy from these dark places to slingshot me deeper into space. Further into the abyss. 

The next moment I am running down a mountain trail, lost in my thoughts, locked into a feeling that I’m getting stronger with every step. Is this possible? To gain strength with a single step? Thousands of steps? Running from ridgeline to ridgeline, I peer down into the canyons below and notice the clear streams and steep canyon walls. The hot sun on my neck tells me this is real. My eyes move back to the trail, and I realize now many more rocks lay maliciously under my feet. I go down hard. Thud!! The wind leaves my lungs. My knee bleeds. Startled, I get up and begin to catch my breath. Then something inside begins to stir. Its an odd feeling, energy from another place. One I didn’t know about, until now. Despite a searing pain in my hip, I’m running again. Deeper into the wilderness.