Showing posts from 2019

A tale of two races

This is a tale of two races. One for me. One for her. Both 100ks (and a little more) but both very different kind of races. Dec. 7, 2019 was a test. It was something I had to do. Alone. I had only started one race since completing my 20th Mountain Masochist race in Nov. 2017. I failed miserably seeking an 11th finish at the incredibly challenging Hellgate 100K in December of 2018. In those two years, an injury post-MMTR kept me from running. Caring for a dying father-in-law in our home added to stress. When I did begin to run, it was like going nowhere fast. I felt like my engine was equipped with a governor set at the lowest speed possible. Then in February of this year, I was nearly killed when a piece of equipment fell on me, breaking my shoulder in three places, gashing my arm, and dealing a non-fatal blow to my head. When a screening cardiac CT test came back positive for heart disease, late July of 2019 found me sharing my story with a cardiologist. That Friday visit l

Goals. Good or bad?

I like going long and solo. It gives me time to think uninterrupted. On this particular fall day, I was perplexed about something and needed to figure it out. By the time I arrived back at my car, I was content with my conclusions. But let me start at the beginning. Goals. What do we do with goals? Since our knee-high-to-a- grasshopper days we've been told we need to set goals; to aspire to great things. Win the conference.  Beat our nemesis, School XYZ Run a PR Shoot 85% from the free throw line Claim a state title Be highlighted on ESPN for claiming that National Championship we chased all season long. Of course, goals are not unique to athletics. Business culture tells us we must set lofty goals because if we don't know what to shoot for, we'll miss every time. Add 15 new clients Increase sales by 30% Be the leader in commissions Earn that incentive trip to Hawaii  Hang the plaque for winning the prestigious award for customer servic

When calls the heart

When the heart calls, listen. I should not have been surprised. And to be honest. I was not. But there I was in the doctor's office being shown the results of a Cardiac CT, a totally non-invasive screening test that looks for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries and aorta. My numbers indicated a high likelihood of coronary artery disease. Shoot. Within days, I sat in another office, this time cardiology. I specifically picked Dr. Pete O'Brien because as an outstanding runner himself, he understood runners. He listened carefully to my conundrum: Was my inability to get fit a result of a natural aging process or was there a cardiac issue? Let's pause so I can fill in the back story. The last year and a half have been rough. Between a knee injury post the 2017 Mountain Masochist 50 Miler, caring for my father-in-law in our home during the final nine months of his life, and an unfortunate incident in February of 2019 that left me with a distal clavicle fracture

I remember when

It had been awhile. Life - including a busted up shoulder - had gotten in the way of regular trips to the mountains. But with near perfect weather, the mountains called my name and I had to go. It's not that today's ramblings were of epic proportions. It was probably no more than 11.5 miles, though fairly technical and rocky. But with sun shining, birds chirping, and pleasant temps, my solo venture was a welcome escape from normal day to day schedules. I was free to climb, free to go faster or slow down, free to lollygag to snap photos, free to scramble, free to think, free to figure, free to remember. But most of all, free to be me. With my car parked at the end of a gravel road, I began the steady climb. How many times had I been there, done that? Too many to count. I remembered many January 1 "Kingdom runs" that had their beginnings and end at the same trail head. I recalled how I shared these beginning steps with neophyte trail runners, some of which were kids

When life comes crashing down

I glanced up just in time to contemplate what was about to happen. In the next nanosecond, my body felt like it had exploded when the 500 pounds of hardened steel crashed down on me. The pain was searing. I could not breath. I heard myself let out a guttural scream from within while I thought to myself, "Give it a second. You'll be alright." But I wasn't alright. In a freak accident, the spotting rig of a trampoline used by the divers unexpectedly crashed in the process of taking it down. I don't have clear recall about the ensuing moments, but the pain in my shoulder and back will be forever unforgettable. My vision was cloudy and voices seemed very far away. I was in a haze but curiously fascinated by the ever-expanding pool of bright red blood a foot away from me. Though my forearm was bleeding from a three-inch gash (a fact I was unaware of at the moment), I was confused by the steady red drip. Someone said it was coming from the head of the assistant div