Saturday, June 21, 2014

Run at Belmar Park, Lakewood

I went out for a short run this morning to adjust to the altitude. It sure is nice to be back in Colorado! Many adventures ahead!

Photos taken from my iphone

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lipbuster 2014

The elite race

I was up early on Sunday, riding my bike in the rain in order to run repeats on a muddy hill. I mean, can you think of a better way to kick off Father's day? The Lipbuster Challenge is simple: run up and down the trail that parallels Elwood Ave. as many times as you can in one hour. Its around of 140 feet of climb and descent in a half-mile lap. The weather did not cooperate this year; it rained enough in the early hours to make a muddy mess of things. The rain finished just before 8:15 elite race, but at that point the damage had been done; the clay dirt trails were as slick as a greased sumo wrestler. 

I ran the 9:30 heat, hoping to best my ten lap PR from last year. It turns out there is a huge difference between ten and eleven laps in a race like this. 

I finished the tenth lap with about five minutes left on the clock. There was a good chance I could pull it off, but it would be close. Sure enough, reaching the bottom of the hill for the eleventh time, I see that there are twenty five seconds left to run several hundred more feet. Pretty soon the race director is shouting in the megaphone and people at the finish line are cheering me on and I'm sprinting for the finish. Alas, it was not meant to be. Five seconds short!

While the first ten laps were mostly a blur, I can still remember details from the last climb and descent. Details that could have made the difference of five seconds... maybe. Its funny how you second guess yourself when you come up just short of meeting a race goal. 

Don't get me wrong though; it was thrilling to be that close. And I did improve my time from last year and got some conditioning in for our upcoming trip to Colorado.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


This morning I was defeated by the trails I've been running for years. Turkey Mountain is a different world on a mountain bike.

I recently found a 2008 Marin East Peak on Craig's List for a price well below the blue book value. Overall, its in very good condition, although I think the derailleurs and breaks need some adjusting. The original plan was to find a hardtail 29er, but this deal was too good to pass up. As it turns out, I really need the dual suspension on the trails around here.

It turns out that mountain biking is harder than trail running. I spent most of my time on Turkey this morning walking this heavy bike through the steeper sections. My legs are strong, but I have absolutely no control on these rock infested trails. And where did all these rocks and roots come from, anyway? I sure haven't noticed them on my runs. Anything remotely technical on a downhill is as scary as my first ride on the big kids roller coaster. There's a steep learning curve here, which is both frustrating and exciting.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Light and dark

This photo was taken last August after a spell of heavy rains. I love the way the tree appears to be consumed by the great big fiery ball. It calls to mind that eerie Pink Floyd song "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun."

Notice how, from the vantage-point of the camera, everything in front of the sun is in darkness. Yet we know that the people, the ducks, and the trees were engulfed in the same in light that hit the camera lens.

This got me thinking about perspective.We have dark moments in our lives; tragedy, loss, disappointment with ourselves or others. The light that gives us strength and hope seems diminished, or even absent. But here's the funny thing: when I've climbed out of those valleys and looked back, I have been able to see that light was present and active even in the darkest of moments.

What explains this lack of perspective in dark times? I don't have a good answer. Maybe its just an inescapable part of being human. But I have found something that can help me weather those storms better: curiosity. Engagement with the world. The more I explore, the more I reach out to others, the easier it to see things from other perspectives. Then, maybe, it will become easier to see the light at work in the midst of dark moments. Perhaps this is what the Jesuits mean by "finding God in all things."

Isaiah 9:1, A Catholic Photo Challenge Catholic Photo Challenge.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tumultuous skies

It's that time of year. Hopefully we'll continue to get more rain to make up for the huge deficit. The national weather service says we are still in severe drought, despite recent rains.