Saturday, December 25, 2010

Well, I made it to Christmas and I still haven't done a single post on the 31 days of wishes this month.

I am going to repost something I wrote last year about Kelly as this wish is just as true today as it was over a year ago.

My wish is for everyone to treasure the gift of time we have each and every day and to spend it wisely.

Time passes, that is what makes our lives and time together with those we love precious.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Four years

Four years ago the phone rang, I hoped it wasn't work calling.
My daughter Laura told me happily that the Grubbs were on the phone.
It was the day after my birthday, I thought it was a belated birthday greetings.
The look on Laura's face told me otherwise, her face was ashen.  Something had happened.
I heard the unthinkable, the unspeakable
Kelly's cancer had returned, six weeks shy of being in remission  for five years.
My heart sank. I had seen Kelly in March, she looked so beautiful, so alive, so healthy.
I asked if I could talk with Kelly, I wanted to find some words, offer some hope. 
We talked briefly and then she told me politely she didn't feel much like talking.
Four years later, how I long to hear your voice and see your sweet smile again.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lights and Love 4 Laiken

Tuesday night I joined the Runners Edge of the Rockies for their annual Christmas Lights run from the Irish Snug here in Denver.

The run had special meaning for me this year as it coincided with a Christmas lighting ceremony in Chino Hills, California for a special young girl, Laiken Kenwood.

Laiken loved Christmas and Christmas lights. Laiken's Mom hosts this event in Laiken's memory each year and makes hot chocolate for everyone that comes to attend this event to honor Laiken's life.

Laiken passed away 2 1/2 years ago and much like Kelly she continues to be loved by all who knew her and have been touched by her life.

For me, I ran to honor the life of this sweet young girl, I stopped to enjoy the lights and love for Laiken that burns brightly in our hearts.

L&L x 13 x forever! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#Reverb10 One word prompt

I am participating in #reverb10 this December and today is the first prompt.  The prompt for today is to pick one word to describe 2010.

I have sifted back and forth across a couple of different words and for me, the one that is the most relevant to describe 2010 is transition.


1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

2. Music .

a. a passing from one key to another; modulation.

b. a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.

c. a sudden, unprepared modulation.

3. a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.

–verb (used without object)

4. to make a transition: He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.

A sudden unprepared modulation occurred on June 3rd of this year, when the company I had worked for, for over 20 years eliminated my position and the position of my manager and my staff.

So begins a huge period of transition in my life and I have had difficulty transitioning from being part of the workforce to something else, something less.

Transistion from a state of working with the same people for 15 plus years, friends that I cried with when we began to lose parents or grandparents.  Being part of one anothers lives on a daily basis to a different state of being now.

I also became a mentor to a high school student, another passage, getting to know each other.

I transitioned back into my role as the board secretary for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after completing a one year mandatory rolloff period.

I am transitioning back into my role as a distance runner as I began training for a marathon in Paris next year.

A passage from one scene to another when my daughter and her boyfriend of almost eight years parted.  The scene looks different now.

The word I hope that describes my year in 2011 is complete.


1. having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole;

Complete with what my career transistion looks like. 
Complete with my heart work, forgiving whoever I need to so I can move on.  
Complete with my 19th Team in Training event.
Lacking nothing, seeking nothing, fixing nothing, being whole, being complete.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

Four months have passed since I  began this new season in my life.  My wife, Laura and Adam still love me through this period of transistion.

Being able to attend a coffee club job search group. It is wonderful how much support there is in the community for everyone that is dealing with difficult circumstances.

Actually enjoying a run today, feeling engaged while running, listening to the sound of my footstrikes, enjoying the beautiful blue skies and the snow capped mountains.

My awesome family.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

Thousands of runners that came out to support Mile High United Way before Thanksgiving dinner.

Being able to run in my 12th Turkey Trot.

Having Thanksgiving dinner with Sue's brothers.

A fun night playing Pictionary with Laura's boyfriend and his family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

Receiving an unexpected gift from a friend and a wish to fulfill for her in Paris.

The many blessings in my life and being able to notice how abundant they are.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thanfkul for:

The first responders who serve and protect us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

The small group of  Team in Training runners who began the first day of training on a chilly morning for a spring marathon or 1/2 marathon.

A fun afternoon at Laser Tag with Omar and the Colorado Youth at Risk Men of Honor club and by the way, I suck at Laser Tag,

Stepping out of what is comfortable and eating some authentic Mexican food.   It is good to try on new things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

My wife calling to tell me she loves me :)

Great conversation with one of the awesome Rocky Mountain Team in Training staff.

This great video I stumbled on today.   Great message!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

Having lunch with a friend who offered to teach me how to actually use my camera so I can take non blurry pictures!

The gift of time to move through this transition period in my life.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

All of the pets I have had in my life.

Finding that I do have a voice and it is okay to share it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

2,000 runners that came out to support the Fetal Hope Foundation, especially all of the young girls from

Girls on the Run.

Having a great conversation with the young person that I am mentoring.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

All of the people who donate their time, talent and treasury in the spirit of volunteerism.

I went to a 100 year celebration last night for the Dumb Friends League.  Last year the volunteers for this animal shelter donated 185,000 hours of their time to the shelter.  That equates to 94 full time employees for a year!

Never think that volunteering doesn't make a difference.

Whatever your passion is, get involved and serve. 

"Pick one cause that makes your blood boil and your heart ache and work to change it. Then, never give in. Never. Never. Never."-Eric Harr

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

Being able to reconncect with two of my favorite people at lunch.

Feeling sore from my Yoga class yesterday.

For another beautiful blue this morning.  What a treat it is to live in Colorado.

The love that lives on in my heart for Kelly :)

All the people in my life that support me and love me for my imperfections.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thirty days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

The veterans and the current armed forces that have fought for and protected our freedoms.

If you know anyone that is currently serving or has served our country, please thank them for their service.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thirty Days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

The wonderful feeling of the sun on yet another amazing fall day here in Colorado.

Spending a quiet afternoon with my wife.

This inspirational thought:

"Remember no one can take happiness from you! Its an inside job that can never go bad."-Sarah Ellen Stanley

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thirty Days of Thanks

I am late starting on the 30 Days of Thanks for November.  Please click here if you would like to join the thanfkulness revolution.

Today I am thankful for:

That I live in Colorado where I get to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies almost every single day.

That I can hang out with Laura and her friends after running or at Trivia and enjoy each other's company.

That Laura has signed up to run the Paris marathon with me for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For the friendship I have with both Laura and Adam.  It such a blessing to be friends with my children.

My life.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5 minute Q&A

As part of my messy writing campaign, thought I would put this out into the void of cyberspace.

I am participating in a tele-seminar series and my homework assignment for this week is to interview 5-10 people and ask two questions and my role is to simply accept the feedback, not to diminish or deflect, hide from the response and then journal about the experience.

1) What do you see as my greatest strengths and best qualities?

2) What do you see as my work in the world?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Make A Difference

Please click the link below to make a tax deductible donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Kelly's life.

Running for Kelly in Paris

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making a difference

Shout out to my friend Katye for all the things she does to make a difference through her running.

Please check out her raffle by clicking here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

In this Moment

{this moment} - A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soule Mama and Mommy's Muse Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I want to write something about Kelly that is perfect, that honors who she is to me, what she has meant to my life and I know it will fall far short of being perfect.

I began running for Kelly in 1999 when Kelly was 10 years old.  My life was changed forever when Kelly was the patient hero assigrned to my small group.  It was just an act of serendipity.  She could have been assigned to any other group and somehow, we were meant to know one another. She was my connection to someone with a blood cancer, someone to run for, someone who would provide the inspiration to cross the finish line for.  My finish line was defined.  26  miles, 385 yards.  Kelly's finish line was on a much different path.

Kelly was in remission when I first began running for her.  Her cancer returned in April, 1999.  One of Don's colleagues sent me an e-mail to let me know that Kelly had relapsed and said they would love to hear from me.

I picked up the phone and called Kelly for the first time and we made an instant connection.   We must have talked for 45 minutes that first night.  I found out the Eeyore was her favorite Disney character and over the years I always enjoyed shopping for Eeyore trinkets for her ever growing collection.

Later that summer, I flew up to Portland under the pretense of going out to visit my Grandmother who lived in Portland.  I borrowed my Uncle's car and Laura and Adam and I drove up to Seattle to meet Kelly and her family.

Later that fall Kelly underwent a full bone marrow transplant only to have her cancer return again in a little over a year.

After Kelly's relapse, she invited my family and me to join her on a trip to Disneyland.  Kelly was dying.  Her doctors had given her a very short time to live.  She was self medicated with Morphine for pain and oh, how she lived on that trip. 

It was an amazing four days, filled with joy and love and so much life!

I have so many memories of Kelly, rich memories, extraordinary moments. I am sure I had at least ten once in a lifetime experiences with Kelly and yet some of my most treasured memories come from the quieter moments.

Special memories.

Eating dinner at Milly's Diner in Anaheim on the last night of the Disneyland trip, talking and sharing our favorite memories of the trip.  Kelly and I both had Apple Pie and Ice cream.  That was our favorite desert.

Watching Kelly drive a bumper car in Tacoma, her hair blowing in the breeze, fearless,  loving and living every moment of the ride.

An afternoon at Children's hospital watching Kelly and my kids play a game of HORSE.

 A round of minature golf during a day pass from the hospital shortly after her transplant in 2002.  Kelly made a hole on one and raised her arms triumphantly.  Tiger Woods has nothing on Kelly when it comes to celebrating a success.

An evening walk  after dinner, by the water during a trip to Seattle.  Kelly grabbing a stick and writing in the sand.

Kelly Grubb was here.

I loved that.  How many of us are present to our lives to say, I am here, I matter. 

Sitting on the edge of her bed at the Ronald McDonald house where Kelly showed me the scrapbook she was making on the last night I saw her.

Kelly's choices:

Kelly at the age of 12 choosing not to stop her chemo treatments in spite of the doctors predictions.   She told her Mom, "I am not ready to give up."   I can't even fathom the courage and faith Kelly had. I think about those words often and it still inspires me just as much as the first time I heard them.

Kelly choosing to try a new protocol at the age of 13, following the courage of her convictions to imagine a life without cancer.  Kelly made medical history, becoming the first pediatric patient in the nation to have a "mini stem cell transplant".

Consenting to having the doctors run additional tests on her after her transplant in 2002 so others could benefit from the ground breaking procedure she received.  Maybe more lives could be saved if the doctors and researches understood how this procdeure was working.   That was Kelly, being Kelly and I don't think she thought much of how the impact that could have on others.  She was such an amazing young lady.

Choosing her cancer when it returned inexplicably during her senior year in high school, six weeks shy of the five year anniversary of her transplant.  I can't imagine how she felt to hear those words again, and when I say she chose her cancer, she was choosing her life.

I think about this a lot.  Kelly lived her life while she was dying.  She chose to live the life she had.  She always chose life.   Her cancer did not define her life. 

Kelly, I would like to acknowledge you for who you are for me. You are my hero.  You have been my North star in this fight against cancer.

You have been my mentor, my guardian angel and you have been my friend.  You have made a difference to me in my life and I love you so much.

I looked to you for inspiration in the fight against cancer and you continue to touch and inspire me today.  I am so honored every time I am asked to talk about your life and share your story and my love for you.  I absolutely love this thought from a friend of Laura's who is running in the Denver Marathon on October 17, 2010  with Team In Training.

I was so blessed by your words and by Kelly's mom's perspective - that the "cancer killed itself." Wow! That just blew up in my spirit and gave me a renewed sense of determination.

It's amazing to me that in the midst of what Kelly's physical body was suffering her spirit was "vibrant and alive", and she still was full of enough life to pass it on. Rather than being sick and draining people, it seems she gave her life away. Know what I mean? I'd just love for you and your family to come and share with our congregation about this phenominal young woman. So many of our youth are self-centered and selfish and forget that there is more to life than their wants. We want them to see that you can be young, have fun, and all that - while at the same time seeing that our lives are the fullest when we give ourselves away.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Messy writing

I redesigned my blog months ago, I don't even know how long it has been.

I have a special page reserved for Kelly and it still sits empty.   I want to write something that is perfect,  and
I know that I can never make it perfect so I do nothing and yet I ache to write about her.  Honor who she is to me.

I have a growing collection of unpublished drafts in my folder.  I write and I don't like what I wrote so they
remain unpublished.

I want to write and then I  find the reasons not to write.  I can't write.  I have writer's block.  I am not creative enough.  It won't be any good.

So now my intention is to write and hit publish, let go of my judgement of not being good enough, of being afraid.

They may be really messy, they may be awful and they will be mine.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In This Moment

{this moment} - A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soule Mama and Mommy's Muse Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

In this Moment

{this moment} - A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soule Mama and Mommy's Muse Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have been given the honor to participate in Patti Digh's Self Help Blog Tour 2010!

I am a big fan of Patti's work.  I have read her Life is a Verb book, cover to cover many times and I also regularly stalk her on her blog.

Patti's newest book asks if life is really as complicated as we make it?  Do we need all of the self help, and diet books that line the shelves at Barnes and Noble and fill up countless web pages over the Internet.

Is life really that complicated or could we create shift in areas of our lives by living more simply, with intention?

Patti's advice to replace the billion dollar weight loss industry is to simply, "Move more, Eat less".  Do we need special diets, counting calories and points? 

Want to reduce your stress levels?  Patti advises, "Jump up and Down".

The book covers twelve areas of our life with concise thoughts and action to apply.  Each topic that is covered in the book is followed with beautiful artwork, illustrating an idea in four words.

I was amazed at the power that was contained by taking an action within four words.

Two of my favorites:

Risk your own significance. 

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living-Nelson Mandela

Be someone else's lighthouse.  As soon as I read this, I thought that is who my wife is for me. 

My Self help advice:

Marathon Training:  Run Uphill, Run downhill.

Go to the Theatre: Buy front row seats.

Service: Do what you can.

Life: Run to the Roar  "Safety is found on the other side of the darkness, not in running towards the light."-Michael Meade

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It has been nine years since the fabric of our country was forever changed by the terrorist attacks in New York city, Washington D.C and a field in Pennsylvania.

I ran the 9/11 Remembrance Run - America Goes the Distance 10 mile race this morning.

I added 1.09 miles so I ran 11.09 miles on 09/11.

After the race, we had the opportunity to write a message to the troops that are deployed overseas.

That was a really powerful experience to be able to give thanks to those who protect our freedoms, those who stand for our country, our way of life.

What words can properly convey the gratitude to those men and women who serve our country? 

Shortly after 9/11,  we watched young men and women pledge their honor to our country at Mile High Stadium as they were inducted into the armed forces.

I wonder if these young people are still in the military, serving our country.

Tonight Sue, Laura and I had dinner at Big Bill's Pizza.  Every since 9/11 Bill has donated all of the proceeds for the day to a charity. 

For Bill and his staff, this is a day to never forget and it is a day of giving.

His entire staff works for free on this day.

Last year Bill and his staff raised 55,000 for cancer research.

Please check out this excellent article from Patti Digh and take some time to remember the lives that were lost and the hearts that were broken on this day nine years ago.

"Let's roll."-Todd Beamer, passenger on United Airlines flight #93.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trust Gratitude Inspiration Friday #7

Today I am trusting that I will find my way to discover what I am supposed to do next in my career.

Today I am grateful for the unflinching support my wife has provided during this time of transistion.

Today I am inspired by the relentless efforts of the Rocky Mountain Chapter in their efforts to find a cure for blood cancers.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


                                                     Kelly Rocks the Rockies!!!

As we arrived at the LLS Board retreat yesterday we were instructed to choose a word tile that reasonated with us and to not reveal our word until the end of the meeting.

I had taken one of my favorite Kelly pictures to the meeting as I wanted the new members of the board to be able to associate her face with her name.

At the beginning of the meeting, I spoke about how I had become involved with LLS back in 1999 and why I was still involved.

I was connected to Kelly through the Team in Training program.   I have crossed the finish line of  17 Team in Training events for Kelly, the last two events I have completed since her passing in March, 2008.

I am doing this to honor her life, keep her memory alive.  She is my hero.

At the end of the meeting we were all asked to reveal our word choices.

Elly had chosen relentless.  Elly has been on the board for five years. She talked passionately about being relentless for a cure.  There are still too many Kelly's and Laiken's, and Melina's.  We can't lose any more people to cancer...

As I waited for my turn to speak, I could feel the emotion welling up inside me.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get through this and not fall apart.

My turn came.

The word I had chosen was gratitude.

I am so grateful for Kelly's life.   Her life is such a gift to me and I will forever be grateful for all she gave me.

Kelly was more than my team hero.

She was my friend.  She was my mentor, a role model.

Kelly was given up for dead at the age of 12.  3 months to live.

Don and Patty were told they could try and treat Kelly with an experimental protocol that included Arsenic(Rat poison).   They opted against that treatment and prepared to lose Kelly in a very short period of time.

Because there were others that came before me that were relentless, new treatment protocols were being developed.

A young college student at the University of Notre Dame signed up for the bone marrow registry in support of a classmate that needed a transplant.

Ground breaking research was ongoing, funded by programs like Team in Training and Light the Night.

One year later, Kelly received a mini stem cell transplant.  This protocol was not available one year earier.

Emily became Kelly's donor and we all received the greatest gift of all. 

More time with Kelly.

Kelly had a remission period that lasted almost 5 years.

I got to see Adam and Kelly walk down the runway of her high school during prom weekend of her junior year.

I got to watch Kelly walk with her classmates and graduate from high school.

I got to watch Emily and Kelly meet for the first time in February 2008.

Every moment, every memory, priceless.

Kelly chose her life.  She chose her cancer.

Kelly lived her life joyfully.

Her life was a gift to me.

Knowing Kelly changed my life.

Yes, my word is gratitude.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rushing and missing the moment

As I was leaving the office for my final time last month, two of  my friends walked me out to my car to say goodbye.

We hugged one another for the last time and one of my friends gave me a gift.

Rushed through the moment.

My friend told me that she loved me.

I should have stopped to really take that in and celebrate her gift.

She truly has been a good friend.

She has had my back at work for 15 years.

Someone that I really admire and respect. 

Someone I could talk to about anything.

She was one of the first people I talked to at work the day Kelly died, fell in her arms and cried.

Bummer.  I missed it.

I can't have that moment back.

I will be sure and really thank her the next time I see her.  Tell her how much her words touched me.

I hope the next time I get a gift like this I stop and savor it and really be present to the moment.

How do you  respond when someone tells you that you are loved, that you are special?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bonded by Love

I registered my Light the Night team yesterday.

Please click here to if you would like do donate or even better, join the team and come walk with me as we fill the night with Light and Love for Kelly and Laiken.

There is a scene from Titanic where Rose tells Jack Dawson that when the ship docks that she is going to get off the ship with him.

Jack says, "this is crazy.  Rose replies, "Yes.  It doesn't make any sense.  That is why I trust it.

I am standing in my love for Kelly and Laiken and trusting that this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Please join me in standing for Kelly and Laiken, making a difference in this fight against cancer.

Smile on pretty girls!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Final Chapter

Yesterday was my last day at my job, 20 years, 3 months to the day I started there.

I started on our 7th wedding anniversary.

Laura was about to turn 3 years old.

Sue was 7 months pregnant with Adam.

I have worked for this company his entire lifetime.


The last 42 days at work have been very difficult.

We trained a team of people on how to do our jobs.  Transition 20 years of knowledge in a series of 1-2 hour sessions.

More weirdness.

The last week for me was about getting closure and being complete with the people that mattered most to me.

I had to say good bye to one of my colleagues on Monday. 

The first glimpse of the emotions that would fill the rest of the week.

I told her that I had loved working with her, I will miss you.   I hugged her good bye.   She told me to stay in touch...

Wednesday, I scheduled a meeting with another of my colleagues.  We chatted about all the years we had shared.   We had both raised our families while we worked together.

I said my good byes to three of my favorite people on Thursday, thanking them for their support and friendship that has meant so much to me.

Friday was a final lunch with another person I was close to.   I couldn't bring myself to say what I needed to say to her.  I knew I wasn't complete.

We got back to our desks,  I grabbed a box of kleenex and asked her to come with me to an empty conference room.  

I was surprised by the emotion I felt.  I had gotten through all of my good byes with no tears and now my voice quavered and the tears began to fall.

I said what I needed to say, we hugged one another good bye through our tears.

I said my good byes to the final two people that I wanted to acknowledge before I left.

I struggled so much these last 42 days at work, trying to understand the lesson, trying to find the gift.

When Kelly was dying, her Mom talked about that there was nothing left unsaid between Kelly and her family.   That was part of the gift of her cancer journey.

For me, that was my gift as well to leave nothing left unsaid.

I thought I was giving my friends this gift and it turned out that it was really a gift I ended up giving to myself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jack Bauer and me

I am winding down to my last 24 hours at my job.

Luckily, I am past the days when 24 hours used to occur in real time. I had more times than I care to recall when my days would last that long and then some.

24 hours to go in a career that has lasted  over 45,000 hours.

In Jack Bauer time, I would be starting episode 1,875.

I wonder if Chloe can upload that link to my PDA.

So for now I am running out of  time

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Taking back the Park for Chelsea King

Sunday morning, I lined up at the back of pack to begin my run to take back the park for Chelsea King.

I rode my bike through the Garden of the Gods last summer.  Jaw dropping beauty.  I know of no other way to describe this.

I was glad I had chosen this venue to run in honor of Chelsea. 

There were many fun cheer stations lined with young high school students from Manitou Springs.  Beach party themes, Santa's workshop and river rafting were some of the cheer station themes.  Very high spirits.  Nice to see those young people donating their time.

I think Chelsea would have liked that.  These young people could have been her classmates...

Only bummer of the day was my Canon SD750 battery pack was dead so I had to use my cell phone to take pictures with.  No camera can do justice to what one sees with our eyes.

Oh my gosh.  Those hills.  I keep trying to remember the time when I liked to run uphill.

The actual race report.

Did I mention it was hilly?

I arrived at the mile 3 mark and saw the lead men on their way back to the finish.  I had run 3, they had almost run 7.  They were smoking!!!

I followed the wisdom of marathon runner Walter Stack to "go out slow, and then taper off".  

I stopped on many occasions to try and take some pictures with my cell phone. Almost none of them turned out...

I really was present to the beauty of my surroundings during the run. So many times, I hurry to get to the finish and end up missing so much...

I hope that Chelsea enjoyed running along side me today.  I know I enjoyed keeping her close to my heart.

I can't wait to go run this again next year.   I want to make this an annual run to take back the park for Chelsea.

Running for Chelsea, running for Kelly and Laiken. I consider it a sacred honor.

Light and Love for Chelsea x 17 x forever...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Virtual Finish Chelsea's Run

I will be running the Garden of the Gods Ten Mile race tomorrow in Manitou Springs to help take back the park for Chelsea King.

Thanks to my friend Katye at Long Legs on the Loose for putting this event together for us.

I can't think of a more beautiful place to run for Chelsea.

Monday, June 7, 2010

37 Days

As of this morning I have 37 days left at my job.  It is kind of weird knowing that.

The last time I ever saw Kelly, she had 37 days left to live.

I have been reading a book by Patty Digh called Life is a Verb which has various exercises to practice for 37 days.  She wrote this book as her father in-law died 37 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

For my last 37 days that I will drive into the office, I am planning to.

1.  Run for 37 minutes each morning before going to work.  I hope this will give me a mental boost.  I have always loved running early in the morning.

2.  Reach out to at least one person each day at the office and have a conversation.  Hopefully these conversations will not all be about me leaving.  I have a tendency to withdraw as a way of protecting myself from being hurt.

3.  Find one thing each day at work to be grateful for.

So today:

 1. I ran for 37 minutes before work today.

2. I had a conversation with a colleague in the hallway.  I could tell he wanted to say something to me.  Most of my colleagues have been avoiding me.  There is a lot of akwardness, stunned silence in our suite, in the hallways.

3.  I got through the day today.  I hope to find something better tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Virtual 10K run for LLS

I ran in a virtual 10K this morning to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

One of my awesome Facebook, Twitter, TNT friends Courtney was hosting a virtual 10K.

I lined up at the start line at 7:00 and off I went to run in some of my favorite areas of Denver.

I took an early lead and never looked back :)

                                          Running East on 7th Avenue towards Colorado Blvd.  

                                         One of many quiet and shady tree lined streets.

                                                   Love being mindful and enjoying the awesome
                                                               beauty of this city.

Oh my gosh, it was so hot this morning.  I tried best as I could to enjoy the run and not think about the situation at work. 

I put on a burst of slow and finished my 10K run in 1:03:10

Thanks Courtney.  Best first time 10K race director ever!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Empty Chairs and Empty Cubicles

With apologies to Alan Boubil and  Claude MichaelSchonberg:

There’s a sadness that can’t be spoken.

There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty cubicles
Now my friends and I are gone.

Here we talked our dreams.
Here it was we lit the flame.
Here we talked about `tomorrow’
And tomorrow never came.

Phantom faces at the window.
Phantom shadows on the floor.
Empty chairs at empty cubicles.
Where my friends and I will work no more.

Oh my friends, my friends, don’t ask me
what our sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty cubicles
Where my friends and I will meet no more.

Thursday, we were told that our jobs were being eliminated, moved to a managed services group(fancy word for outsourcing).

I had worked with some of these people for over 15 years, one for 20 years.

We had raised our families while working together.

I will miss my friends.

As Al Gore, said during this concession speech, "It's time for me to go."

Empty Chairs and Empty Tables .

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Last Saturday, I finally rode in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, or at least attempted to...

                                             Young cancer kicker, riding for her Grandmother!

This ride has long been on my bucket list of rides I wanted to do when I started riding my bike again in 2002.

The premise of the ride is to race the Iron Horse train from Durango to Silverton. Train and cyclists start at the same time.  Cyclists that beat the train in get bragging rights.

I would not be one of those cyclists.

I heard the whistle of the train at the start of the ride and then again about 15 miles into the ride. 

That would be the last time I would hear or see the train during the ride.

At that point the road began to turn uphill and so began what felt like the longest and at times hardest climb of my life.

I normally like to climb, actually prefer that to descending.

I was woefully unprepared for this ride.  I had done minimal training for a 50 mile bike ride with climbs over two mountain passes and 5,000 feet of climbing.

I had actually done no hill work in preparation for this ride. NONE, ZERO, ZIP.

I thought I could fake my way through this ride, rely on the muscle memory of climbs completed long ago. 

I paid the price for the lack of respect I gave this ride.  I really thought I could just show up and pull this off.

The climb up Coal Bank pass began around 31 miles into the ride.  This was after a continual steady climb for the last 15 miles.  Now the road became steep. 

I suffered like I have never suffered before on the bike.  I simply couldn't turn the pedals over.  I couldn't get into any kind of rhythym during the climb.

My legs were burning, sweat pouring down my forehead into my eyes.  I couldn't see.  

I had to stop time and time again, wait for my heart rate to come down and then I would set off again only to repeat the cycle over and over again over the next 4 miles.

I didn't think I would ever make it to the summit. 

When I finally did, I was met by a most unpleasant site.  The state patrol car was blocking the road to Silverton.  I was done. I had missed the cutoff time by two minutes.

There was nothing to do, but to sadly load my bike on the Ryder truck and wait for the road to Silverton to open at 1:00.

I got on the bus with the other forlorn cyclists and we exchanged rueful, embarrassed glances.

This was the first time this had ever happened to me.  I had never missed a cut off time and been swept off the course.

The only other ride I have ever not finished was last summer, when I wrecked my bike in a freak accident 6 miles from the finish line...

Surpsingly, I was not at all upset by this turn of events.

I failed in a big way on Saturday, and I didn't make it mean anything about who I am.  This didn't make me a failure as a person.

The failure was born out of a complete lack of preparation. 

As I was riding the bus to Silverton, I thought what a great opportunity this was for me to have a conversation with the youth I am mentoring.

I didn't do my homework(hill work) skipped classes(training rides) , showed up and hoped to pass the final exam.  I got the grade I earned.

I am not gifted enough athletically to be able to fake my way through a challenging ride in the mountains.  I might have been able to fake my way through a 50 mile ride over flat terrain. 

I never gave up on Saturday.  I pedaled on until I was told I couldn't finish.  That was important to me.

This experience was a great learning opportunity for me.

Whether it is work, school, cycling, running, showing up is the single most important thing one can do to increase your chances of succeeding.

I don't know if I will ever attempt the Iron Horse ride again, but if I do, I will be sure to do my homework before I take the final exam.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Unwrapping my Christmas Present

I finally got to unwrap the Christmas present Laura gave me in 2004.

Laura's present to me in 2004 was to run the Bolder Boulder in 2005.

Laura got really sick right before the race that year and  injuries, a trip to Cut Bank for Kelly's graduation and more injuries delayed the opening of that present.

3 weeks ago, Laura and I ran in qualifying race for the Bolder Boulder on her birthday.  Laura already had a qualifying time from her 1st Bolder Boulder last year.

We left the house at 5:15 for the drive to Bolder, caught a Run and Ride Bus to the start line with just a few minutes to spare.

Laura's wave started 11 minutes before my start.  She was probably 2K ahead of me before I started running.

This was my first Bolder Boulder in 5 years.  I had done very little training for this race and both of my calves were incredibly sore from the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic ride that I had attempted on Saturday.

I didn't really know what to expect as I started to run.  I was surprised that my calves weren't really bothering me and I didn't feel too tired from the ride on Saturday.

The first 1K of the race should be the fastest of the race as it is mostly downhill.  When I got to the 1K sign, I was dismayed that my first split of the day was 5:56.   Good grief, I can't believe how slow I have become.

It was a beautiful morning, although it was already becoming quite warm and not a cloud in the sky.  One spectator took a quick spin while enjoying a glass of wine.

                                                Heading to the 5 mile sign.

  • Denver Nuggets Mascot Rocky runs the Bolder Boulder in 1:03!!!  He is an amazing athlete.
Great moment at the end of the race.  The elite men's team from Ethopia has absolutely destroyed the rest of the field during the Men's race.

Frank Shorter was doing the color commentary as we waited for the men to arrive in the stadium for the finish.   He commented that running isn't like the sport of cycling where there are agreements made in the peleton on who will win the stage for the day.   He said that all three men wanted to win the race and would eventually make their move to win the race.

When the three men entered the stadium they ran together in unison and held hands with one another.  They had raced as a team, won the team competition and finished as a team.

I found their commitment to one another to be very inspiring.  You just don't see this in sports anymore.  There is so much emphasis on winning, at any costs it was so refreshing to see this amazing gesture of sportsmanship. 

Simply Inspiring!!!

After the race, we watched the Memorial Day tribute.

It was a great day. 

I can't wait for Christmas to come again :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trust Gratitude Inspiration Friday #6

I had so many different things I noticed today that I found inspiration from. 

Today, Adam and I played in the fourth annual golf tournament hosted by Angel Melina's parents, Mike and Desiree.

It was truly an honor to be a part of this special day to honor the life of this precious little girl.

Adam and I were two of 104 golfers that came together as a community to honor the incredible work that Desiree and Mike are doing in support of families that are trying to comprehend what no one can understand.

Last year Des and Mike donated 24 yearly Zoo passes to families who had children in the oncology ward.

That might not sound like much, but it is a huge gift to these families.  They also stock supplies for families with children in the bone marrow transplant unit.

They do this out of love for Melina, and for the compassion they have for these families.   Childrens's Hospital is having to expand the bone marrow transplant unit as there are too many children in the oncology ward.  Incredibly sad to hear of  that need.  Heart breaking.

It is also so inspiring to know that Mike and Desiree continue relentlessly in their efforts to provide support and hope to so many families.

One of the tee boxes had three very special young women watching over us.

Wow, how much love is present for these three angels?  I had to stop and take a picture, and wipe away the tears.  The tears now are no longer tears of sadness, replaced by tears you have when you just feel love in your heart.

Trusting that someday a cure for cancer will be found.

Gratitude for the stand Desiree and Mike are making in this fight.

Inspired by all of the love that lives on in our hearts for Melina, Kelly and Laiken.

What inspired you today?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Laura's birthday present to me on her birthday.

I got the nicest birthday present possible from Laura on her birthday.

An inviation to go run on 5K.  We drove up to Flatrions for the Bolder Boulder Flat Out 5K.  This is a qualifying race for the Bolder Boulder 10K road race on Memorial Day.

At the end of the race, you are seeded into the appropriate qualifying wave.

I hadn't done any training for this race, hadn't run for 12 days.  I told Laura as we were driving up that we had changed identities.   When Laura swam competitively her only training for 5K road races was the prior 5K race which could be weeks or months apart.

When you are a teenager and have a fantastic aerobic engine, one might get away with that kind of a training plan.  For me, it doesn't work so well.  Duh...

The flat out 5K is not really flat, but you are supposed to run flat out, at 100%.  Now I can sometimes run at 100% for the final .1 of the race, but through either very poor design or a sadisc race director the last .1 mile is all uphill.  There were two people in front of me that I might have been able to pass if I was willing to pay the price and suffer.  I opted out as my left brain told me it would hurt too much.  It isn't worth the effort. 

I crossed the finish line and was handed a card that told me I had qualified for the ED wave. At least I got into a qualifying wave.  

As we waited in line to register there was a young boy, I am guessing who was about 6 that had the same color coded card as me :)  I will never get a big head about my running abilities.

It was a fun morning for me to spend time with my little girl this way.

Laura, I am so proud of you.

You are the only person I know that has friends from the age of about 18 months, two year olds, 3 year olds, 5 year olds that all fight over you, cry when they can't sit next to you. 

I love how you play all out with your kids at Kids Club and come home with bruises on your knees from chasing after them.

So to my running and roadie buddy, I look forward to many more runs and rides with you, having fun,  playing all out.

Happy Birthday, little girl.

I love you :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trust Gratitude Inspiration Friday #5

Wednesday night I attended my friend Brittany's college graduation event.  It was held at the Denver Center for the Performing arts.

This was a huge milestone in Brittany's life. 

Brittany was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia shortly before her 16th birthday.  Her doctors never expected her to leave the hospital.

Nine years later Brittany received her college degree from the Community college of Denver.

That is persistence, being unstoppable in the face of cancer.  Take that!

I almost started to cry as she walked past me, remembering Kelly's graduation from high school.   Another person who was unstoppable in the face of cancer. 

After graduation, Brittany's parents invited us to join them for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. 

I got a rocking acknowledgement from Brittany's mom, thanking me for who I am for Brittany.  It is hard to hear acknowledgements about ourselves, but if you can let them in what an amazing gift that is.

I think what real struck me  about this evening was how important it is to build and nurture your life support systems.  Brittany has a huge life support system.  People she knows and trusts completely to have her back.

                                                                Kriztina and Brittany

Who are the people that will walk towards you when you are dying? 

Those are the people we need to surround ourselves with.  Who is that for you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do you know what is at stake?

I just love ideas like this. 

Simple idea to raise money for cancer research and it is a race against the clock.  Cancer never rests  in this fight and sometimes the clock runs down to 00:00.

If 10,000 riders join this virtual ride in the next 48 hours, Radio Shack will donate $75,000 to Livestrong for cancer research.

I am riding the Virtual Tour of California for Kelly and Laiken.

Now, more than ever, we need to talk about the global cancer crisis – this year, cancer has become the leading cause of death worldwide. And if something doesn’t change, one in two people will be fighting cancer by 2030.

We have to fight back, push our leaders to act and dedicate resources to realize a world without cancer. Every single story and rider strengthens our cause and helps to make our voices heard. That’s why I RIDE FOR LIVESTRONG – will you cheer me on?

Please join me in this ride by clicking here and or you can cheer for me every day by clicking here.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wisdom from Harold Hill

I love this thought from  The Music Man. 

"Oh, my dear little librarian. You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays  I don't know about you, but I'd like today worth remembering". -Harold Hill

How many of us spend our lives waiting for tomorrow,  for someday.

Tomorrow I will start... Fill in the blanks.

Do you have a tomorrow or a someday you are waiting for?

Don't wait. Start right now.

It is that simple and that hard.