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 :)