Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Leadville Marathon

Despite the injuries that I've been dealing with over the past 9-10 months, I decided to do the Leadville marathon again this year. Since I started running again 9 weeks ago, I figured I could get in reasonable shape to do it. Well, a few setbacks had reduced the mileage that I was able to do in preparation for Leadville. No matter. I planned on just doing it and didn't set any goals for time.; just to finish.

Several trail Nerds planned to do the marathon this year. Caleb, Sarah, Greg Burger, Shane and his brother Cody all planned on making the trek out to Leadville, CO from KC. Caleb and Sarah drove with Allison and I and everyone else went separately. Shane wasn't able to make it, but the rest of us met up in Leadville after various other excursions in the area to help us get acclimated to the altitude.

On July 4th, Allison and I were able to catch a Colorado Rockies baseball game and fireworks show. We did this last year with the Jones family and had so much fun we decided to do it again. the fireworks show after the game is probably the best one we've ever seen. One of my best friends Lee Barnes and his wife Monique and son Connor joined us for the festivities. Lee and Monique just moved to Evergreen from FL where we grew up together and it's going to be neat living close to each other again in Denver. Lee likes doing adventurous things so I'll have some company out on the trails.

The day before the marathon, Ed Payne, Greg Burger and I drove some of the route of the marathon and it made Greg a little nervous about the steepness of the grade we'd be running in that altitude as well as the rugged terrain. I was later told that Mosquito Pass had only been open for about 3 weeks since the snow had melted sufficiently.

During the run, I took it easy on the uphills and enjoyed letting gravity take over on the downhills. At about mile 10 or 11, I started having a really hard time staying motivated. Really hit a low spot and the funk was killing my desire to continue. I still had energy physically, but wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I pressed on up mosquito pass even though I didn't want to and about halfway DOWN the pass, I began to feel better. It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to go the 3 miles UP the pass and 30 minutes to get DOWN it. Not a very consistent pace, but at least I was still moving forward. This run also reinforced that I DO NOT do well on coke and chocolate at aid stations. They always give me heart burn.

In retrospect, I think I probably could have done some longer runs at a slower pace, and I KNOW I should have done more weight training for the quads, but I'm just glad my knee held out for this one. Still, I wasn't really expecting to be a full 64 minutes slower than last year. On well... Now I have to get my mileage up in preparation for the Moab Alpine to Slickrock 50 miler in September.

GPS data from Caleb's Garmin forerunner 305

Monday, July 02, 2007

Attitude counts

Yesterday in Church the message was on what we value. Do we value what God wants or do we value what we want? One of the sections of the Bible referenced was from Luke 14:7-14.

"7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

12Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Whether you're a believer or not, these are definitely good principles to live by.
In the first section, (verses 7-11) Jesus instructs that we should all be as humble as possible. No matter what your accomplishments, there is always someone better than you or more worthy of honor. Bottom line, it is better to humble yourself and to have others exalt you, than to exalt yourself and be humbled by others.

In the second part, Jesus speaks toward our attitudes towards generosity. So many people dont' do anything unless there's a reward or some form of repayment for their actions. They have the "what's in it for me" attitude. Arguably there is no such thing as pure altruism from a philosophical standpoint, but when people do things for personal gain whether tangible or not, it really lessens (cheapens?) the deed.

As is usually the case, this speaks to me in a very personal way. There have been many times that I've found conversations with others centered on me. This bothers me when I think about it and it's something that I need to consciously work on regularly.

Try being a Good Samaritan quietly sometime or practice random acts of kindness that nobody else will ever find out about. In addition to being truly gratifying, these are the things that will make the world a better place. Not people hearing about how good you are.

People may believe what you say, but they'll always believe what you do!