Finishing Is The Reward

Last month, I reported on my then-upcoming adventure at the Marathon Des Sables Peru in a post called Crunch Time. If you were unable to follow along with the race, I’m happy to report that I did complete the 155-mile, six-stage event, ranked in the top 100 competitors—which was my stated goal in an even earlier post, All About The Goal—and as the top ranked American in the field. Finishing this footrace was no easy accomplishment, but always with the end in mind, I did manage to work through challenges during the race and come away happy with my results. (more…)

The Via De La Plata – Revisited

Introduction:

I was recently asked to present my 2016 Via de la Plata trek in Spain, and I thought I would share my speech and slides in this post. I was one of seven presenters speaking on routes other than the most commonly walked, Camino Francés. My friend Laurie Ferris over at thecaminoprovides.com was one of the organizers of the event and had this to say about the event when she posted the slideshows on her website:

“Our NorCal chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino had its annual Welcome Home celebration event on November 11th, 2017 in Oakland. This year we had presentations on Camino routes “beyond the Francés.” It was a fun way to learn about less popular routes that are off the beaten path. It also gave the opportunity for first-time pilgrims and veterans to share some highlights at a gathering. We did the presentations in 10×10 format, which is ten slides in ten minutes. We had seven routes represented, and I presented on the Camino Inglés. It was challenging for all of us to select photos to include, and to speak for only ten minutes, because we are all very passionate about our experiences!”

This was a very fun experience for me and it brought back many of my wonderful experiences while making that fabulous journey, last fall. Hope you enjoy! (more…)

Crunch Time

My last big week of training for the upcoming Marathon Des Sables (MDS) Peru is in the bag. Running over one hundred miles and consuming thousands of extra calories to keep me going during the week has been a challenge. But now it’s taper time—and crunch time.

With the months-long training schedule and those last big miles complete, I get to back the mileage down and let my body heal and rest up before toeing the start line in the Ica desert of Peru later this month.

To round out the last couple of weeks and all this running, one of our grandkids’ football teams made it to their championship series, and we are fortunate to live close enough to go to the games. And they WON, they took it ALL!

Also, I’ve had a couple of really fun speaking engagements, attended two really fun dinner parties, and had to get new tires on my car. You know…life.

My MDS Peru run is an End Polio Now campaign with Rotary International. (more…)

Marathon Des Sables Peru Update

Or, we could take the foot,” said my doctor. In return, I said, “You didn’t have to go there.” I thought it was a negotiation, and he had to go medieval on me. My fault, though. I suppose he was right, and he had made his point. But, I didn’t have to like it one bit.

Let me go back to the beginning: So, I was training for the Marathon Des Sables Peru, a 155-mile, six-stage footrace in the Ica desert of Peru set for late November. (Click here for previous posts on MDS Peru.) Of course, training takes place around life, so one must compromise. This year saw our fortieth wedding anniversary and the fiftieth anniversary for some close friends of ours, so we all decided to celebrate with ten days on Kauai. You know, the usual—enjoying sun and sand, snorkeling, dining out, taking in the sights, and experiencing some new and exciting things. (more…)

All About The Goal

Earlier this month I posted a short promo video announcing that I have joined the campaign to end polio. (Read on for another video with more detail.) This project is a partnering with the Rotary Club of Middletown, California—one intended to raise funds and awareness to finish the “Last Mile” to eradicating this horrible disease.

Please join us: donate at End Polio Now. #polioslastmile


Very few runners have the wherewithal to win a marathon, an ultramarathon, or a long stage race—I applaud and marvel at those who do. For those of us without that ability, and using a bit of self-reflection, well, we must determine what it is that we expect from our performance. That process is easy for me because I am goal oriented and steadfastly stick to my goals until they are accomplished, or they no longer make sense.
(more…)

Out And About In Seattle

Big cities don’t thrill me, but Seattle, Washington, has many fun and out-of-the-ordinary things to do, beautiful scenery, friendly people, good food . . . I could go on.

During a recent trip, we spent a few days in Seattle, sightseeing and catching up with an old friend. Though it was typical weather for the US Northwest—with gray skies, occasional mist, and one day of actual rain—we made the most of our time there. And once again, we arrived back at our hotel one evening wondering why we thought we could pack so much into a day—at our ages. (more…)

I Need A New…

So now my first few short training runs are in the bag; six months to go.

Being well into “middle age” (and retired from professional life for a few years now) does not make me old. The body may age, but I refuse to get old. That’s a conscious decision we can all make.

Last year, my logbook indicated that I ran, walked, and hiked a total of 2,700 miles in calendar 2016. At the start of that year, our local running club, the Lake County Milers, posted a mileage challenge―speaking to my competitor’s spirit―and I had some big things planned for the year. For example, I trained for and ran only one ultramarathon, the Redwoods Creek 50K (31 miles), and then I planned for and hiked the John Muir Trail in California (approximately 220 miles plus an additional 30 miles to join the JMT from Cottonwood Lakes trailhead). I also walked my second Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Via de la Plata (625 miles). (more…)

‘Twas An Honor—The Chaperoning Experience

One partly cloudy day last week, I enjoyed chaperoning a field trip for my granddaughter’s fourth-grade class. When she called to ask if I would join her and the students, I immediately said yesas fear began to rise up in my gut. The trip with her class was to Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen, California. Spring is the most beautiful season in California with all of the green and dense patches of wildflowers that bloom before our summer heat turns everything golden brown.

I had never been a chaperone before, (more…)

Just Off The Beaten Path: Santa Rosalía, BCS, Mexico

The American at the border crossing in Tijuana said of Santa Rosalía, “That’s a dirty little town.” Since that was our stated destination, the man’s assertion seemed quite rude. But we handled his affront well enough. And, yes, one might think so, if you are—as most do—driving straight through Santa Rosalía en route to somewhere else, somewhere better known to the average tourist who spends his or her time elsewhere in southern Baja.

Santa Rosalia from Las Casitas, to the south

Treasures Abound in Southern Baja (more…)