Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Enjoy More Mountain

View from Box Elder Peak - 11, 150'
So it's been a while.  I just got back from Utah where I was ran the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase on Saturday.  It was the final race in the La Sportiva Mountain Cup.  The race went pretty well.  I finish 5th overall and got 4th place in the final standings in the Mountain Cup.  My good friends, Ryan Woods and Megan Kimmel, were the winners of the Cup.  Ryan became the first two time winner on the men's side and this was Megan's 5th Mountain Cup title.  For my race, I ran quite well up the mountain in the first half.  Not as much of a given as in the past, actually I've had more issues in the past year and sometimes climb rather poorly.  Such as I did not run well as the USA Mountain Championships in New Hampshire in July nor two weeks ago at a Cup race in California.  Back to this past Saturday, at the top I was not far behind Ryan who was in 3rd and right with Justin Ricks.  I confirmed with Justin that Bret, 5th in the Mtn. Cup, was behind us and decided to let Justin go.  I just wanted to cruise down the mountain, hold 4th place in the Cup, and not feel like I'd run myself into the ground once again.

View up Twin Peaks
On the run down I was thinking about the run that I wanted to do the next day.  I've have done a lot of thinking over the past year.  Such as what is my purpose for being on this planet called Earth?  How did we all get here?  Is God really real?  I think this is about the third time in life that I've really searched through many of these questions.  The questioning was definitely prompted by my sister's passing.  I was little surprised by how much questioning I fell into.  To give my quick answers to those questions, my purpose is to enjoy as much as possible and do good.  Not sure if the order should be do good and enjoy?  I do want to enjoy responsibly, which makes me question all the traveling that I do.  Is that good for the planet?  Does my work benefit the planet either?  How much does it matter?  Maybe I'm just thinki
ng in my own head too much.  Anyway I base this purpose from the book of Ecclesiastes (3.12) in the bible and my own experiences.  On the enjoying as much as possible, one my big goals for 2015 is to cut activities from my life.  I want to enjoy the activities that I do more fully and do less things better.

How did we get here?  I don't know!  How much does it matter?  I swing back and forth on that one, though I'm sure I'll keep asking it from time to time.  Is there a God?  I am 51% sure there is a God.  I hope folks can understand that.  I'm sure my parents would not.  For me, 51% means that I've chose a path, I believe.  Of course this is all about faith right?  I have a lot of faith, 49% to be exact.  So back to this past weekend and how
all my thinking impacted it.

On Friday I did a 8-10 mile out and back with 4000'+ of elevation gain up to Twin Peaks.  Not what I would have done in years past on the day before an important race or any race.  I have been and still am a very competitive person.  That has driven much of my running in the past.  But maybe the competitiveness is fading a little.  But I also enjoy being in and traversing mountainsides and mountain tops.  So I wanted to enjoy Friday and Saturday, and Sunday.  Sunday I went up on top of Box Elder peak.  That was ~14 miles with 5500' of elevation difference from trailhead to peak.  I was hoping to see some mountain goats on those runs, but I'll have to keep seeking.

Where is my running headed for the future?  No sure on some of it, but it'll definitely include more mountain runs.  My back is still intermittently a problem.  Now I have some circulatory and heart rate issues.  But my competitiveness is not quite gone yet.  I'm training for Crystal Mountain SkyMarathon as of Sunday.  Then I have the USA Trail Marathon Championships in November.  Definitely more mountain enjoyment.  Hopefully I'll do some good for someone too.

Thanks for those of you that have encouraged me to post some new blogs.  We'll see how long until my next post, no promises.  Maybe I'll get around to some of my adventures from the last year, no promises.

What happens when you meander wildlife

Ready for quote out of context?
I turned to Alison and said, "Suck more, squeeze less."

Come on, I guess I'll have to explain that one a little.  I was telling Alison how to drink out of the Ultimate Direction bottle with out it dribbling on her.  Anyway, thanks to UD for taking me on as a UD Ambassador.