Monday, November 30, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 231

This was a nice week, oh boy was I looking forward to four consecutive days off for Thanksgiving. It seems like I just want to go go go go, even my vacation this past year has involved running 24 hours in Italy or climbing Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood on back to back days. Sometimes it is nice to lay around and decompress. Well I did that this past week.

Three short days of work were productive. I finished a couple things and got ready for next week in Germany. I have a variety of skills, motivating people, and enhancing communication are two of them. Both are skills I have used significantly this past year and two skills I certainly have room to improve. In short, while it is nice to look at work as put in X and get Y results, there is an attitude factor, and communication barrier between the inputs and the outcomes. People sometimes need a little encouragement, and a little extra explanation, I know that I do.

I ran a nice 62 miles including some moderate hill repeats and moderately long half marathon/marathon pace intervals. I've had some right ankle pain along the tendons just above the ankle on the outside, and back by the achilles tendon, but some heel drop exercises and massage seemed to work them out. Building mileage is the hardest. It's not hard to do hard workouts or high volume, it's hard getting to that point.

Wednesday night through Sunday afternoon I spent with my immediate family. A fair amount of sleeping, some watching tv, talking, watching a couple movies. In short it was relaxing. I look forward to doing it again for Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Video From El Capitan Solo 2010

Here is a blast from the past. One of those videos I wanted to upload and post years ago but never got around to it. Back in 2010 when I tried to rope solo The Nose on El Cap I did not make it. I struggled and did not even make sickle ledge at the top of the fourth pitch. It beat me up. I just did not have the skills or the desire to beat myself up and make it to the top. It was a great learning experience, and I'm happy I tried. I mean, I did make it 500 feet up off the ground, alone, at age 24.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I am Thankful for (Blank) in 2015!

In years past I have written a blog post on Thanksgiving Day about something or things I am thankful for. Last year was not dying on Mt. Everest and 2012 was a smattering of 100 things I am thankful for.

What to write about this year? A list? No, that will come again, but not this time. The thing I am most thankful for? Well that's God, covered in 2013. Humm... what else?

Family. I am extremely thankful for my family. It's an ever evolving relationship as we all age. To say that there has not been yelling by all parties would be a lie. To say that any person in the family is perfect would be a lie. We are imperfect humans. However, I look at my parents and my sister and wonder how our little unit got here. We are so blessed! For example, my mom and my sister came to Italy in April for the 24 Hour World Championships, despite the fact I was injured going into it and there was a 95% chance it was not going to be a 150 mile day. They still came. My dad, I think of all the middle school basketball games he came to as I sat on the bench, he didn't have to be there. Every time I go off on some hair brained adventure risking life and limb, they might not understand why, but they support me. I was blessed with a great family from my birth, and I hope that I can pay my thanks forward to others.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 230

I worked five days, there were ups and downs. It is work after all. The biggest up is we passed a test and can now move ahead with a design change that will make a better machine, and it only took four days in the cold room over six months!

I ran 45 miles with a couple light workouts and no long run. It's progress, I'm healthy but still recovering from the fall 50.

Something social happened this past week too, but I forget what it was. Good night.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Doping Scandals Just Seem to Grow

I don't talk much about cheaters in distance running because it's frustrating. I was beaten by Rita Jeptoo at the 2013 Chicago Marathon who was later banned. I was beaten by Ezkyas Sisay Tsegaya in the 2011 Des Moines Half Marathon who was also later banned. These two were already better than me, why did they have to cheat? Those are just the two high profile examples I know of.

As the IAAF comes under more pressure to get the cheaters out, and I hope we do flush the cheaters out, the sport loses something. I suppose it loses it's innocence. Hard work? What is that? The other side of it is, I've never been drug tested for sport. I've been drug tested twice for employment, but never for sport. Personally I think rather highly of myself and my running accomplishments, like I should be someone who gets tested, at least once in the last 15 years!

Another frustrating part is, role models. Athletes are entertainers, public figures, and role models for the next generation, and every time a winner is caught, or worse, a winner not caught, or just as bad people behind the winner are cheating, they cheapen or reduce the value of the responsibility that professional athletes have. Every time I hear about a lack of male role models I want to scream, "look at me!" But I know I am not perfect and I have many flaws, so I say nothing. Time and again the people we look up to have just lost our trust. Lance Armstrong, Jared Fogle, Tiger Woods, Ray Rice, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Bill Cosby...where does it end?

The part about doping and cheating in long distance running that hurts is the thought that I might have been closer to the front. I don't mind getting beat. If I did my best, and they did their best, and they beat me, congratulations to them. I know my best is good and fast in running, but to continue putting in the level of training that I do and commit to the sport as much as I do, with no chance of doing as well as people cheating makes me question why I keep trying. Sebastian Coe, why should I keep trying? Max Siegel, why should I keep trying?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Life Gets in the Way...

Forgot to blog until I'm laying here in bed. Life got in the way, and that's okay, in fact, life should get in the way of social media more often than the other way around.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Coworker Died Today

Rich R. a coworker of mine died this morning, or perhaps last night. He was 68 and had just gone to Rhode Island last week to visit his newborn youngest grandchild. As far as I know he didn't have any plans to retire, and if he had any health concerns he was at work on Thursday, so he didn't show it. He was a very nice man, always willing to help if you needed it. A little bit of a comedian too...

May God be with his family as they grieve. And let us all remember in this season of thanksgiving how temporary our time is on earth and refocus on those things, like God's blessings, that are more valuable than so many other material things we focus on.