Saturday, October 22, 2011

Old Juniper

This is going to be mostly pictures. I ran up to Old Juniper this morning and it was worth dodging the hunters (today was the start of the deer hunt) to get there. The views were spectacular and I was glad I got out there despite my low energy levels from donating blood and the overeating I had just done for breakfast. Here are some of the pics I took on this adventure.
The trail head
Nice view on the ascent... Except that ugly dude who jumped in.
Another view on the ascent
The tree itself
Others claim the tree is older but no one wants to cut it down to verify.
Sorry. This guy kept jumping in my pictures... Jerk!

beautiful fall trails

My favorite of the day. Probably my fall desktop background.

Friday, October 21, 2011


So today I was reminded that my company was sponsoring a blood drive at work. I'd seen the signs earlier this week but for some strange reason I hadn't committed in my mind or on paper whether I'd donate or not. But then my friend and coworker Todd comes up and asks if I'm going to donate. I can't tell him no. More on that to come.

Let me back up for a second to say that the original plan this weekend was that my wife was going to take my son and visit her mom. This is because this Thursday and Friday was UEA. Something about education so the schools in Utah were closed. With this in mind, I started to think about what crazy adventure I would have tomorrow morning. I figured with my wife out of town there would be no one at home to feel neglected while I played in the mountains for hours. I was going to get to stay out as long as I want.

Well, all that went out the window when my wife (being so nice) couldn't say no to a request for her to play piano for a funeral today. So that meant she wasn't going to see her mom (boo for her) and I probably couldn't go for an epic solo adventure in the mountains. Crap!

So with all of that in mind, and the fact that my knee had given me trouble earlier this week, I decided I'd donate.

Todd's Daughter Spencer
Now to follow up on why I couldn't say no to Todd. Todd and his wife lost a daughter to cancer several years ago. But they were able to have an extra 6 months with her because of transfusions she was able to received. Because of that, they had become big on donating blood and have been registered as marrow donors to help pass that gift on. So obviously I couldn't tell him no. I felt like to say no to him would be like saying no to his daughter. Not every blood donation saves a life. But the ones we don't give, have no chance of helping anyone out. I decided that the chance to help someone was more important than some discomfort I would experience and the reduced energy I'd have for tomorrow. If you are interested in donating, check out the Red Cross website.

The donation: Everything was going smoothly until the girl went to insert the needle. I have a very obvious vein in my left arm that I have been using for this for years. I requested to use it again. But then as she went to poke me she asked another guy for help. Apparently she missed my vein and when he went to correct it he came out to far and they had to scrap that arm. (apparently they don't stick you in the same arm multiple times.) They gave me the option of calling it a day or trying the other arm. I went with the other arm. I didn't get my finger pricked for fun. Luckily, the right arm did fine and 5 minutes 5 seconds later I was done.

This has got me thinking about my priorities and where they should be. I heard it said before that people are always more important than tasks to be completed. I hope I can remember that as I have to make decisions. I remembered the reason I decided to run first thing in the morning was to avoid neglecting time with my family. Unfortunately, sometimes I find myself wanting to just sit and veg after a day at work. That said, I really do enjoy doing things with my wife and son. Tonight I took my son to the park and we played hide and seek in the dark. Yesterday we played hide and seek at home and went for a walk. I try to be a good dad and husband but the honest truth is that sometimes I'm not.

I think I will be pondering for a while what to me is more important for me than running. I do consider running to be one of the things that defines who I am but it is not the only thing. So what about you? I'm curious, what is more important than running to you?

Edit: I thought I was done with this. Then I just got a call to help do some yard work for a neighbor tomorrow. I guess that is the problem with thinking of others. Sometimes you gotta do something. There are some things that you can arrange around running but for other priorities you have to rearrange your running around them. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I run this.

Me at the summit of Mt. LeConte this spring
So a lot of my friends on DailyMile have been writing some awesome blogs and I thought I'd try to do the same. I very well may be my only reader but if that's the case I can handle it.

I intend to make most of my posts here related to running and the experiences that I have trying to do it. The title was inspired by a facebook status update I did a while back right after a run. I felt like I had run all over this city and so I posted "I run this town." My mother in law gave me a hard time about it and has been convinced for a while that I am addicted to running. (that may be a future post). Since then, Facebook posts related to running have dwindled to almost non-existant. The good news is that usually there is someone on DailyMile (DM) that cares (or at least seems to care) about what I'm going through. In the last while I have been using DM more and FB less. I told my wife and she said "Yeah, that's because they all share your crazy hobby".

A section of the Appalachian trail I got to play on
I figure there are people who run primarily trails, or barefoot, or roads. I like variety. I try to avoid running the same route or in the same shoes two days in a row. I prefer trails to roads but rarely have the patience to drive to a trail or spend most of my time running to them so I run on roads a bit too. I have been dabbling in barefoot running for over a year now and enjoy it quite a bit when I don't step on the same stupid pebble for 10 consecutive steps (when it sticks to my foot). Because of my desire for variety I didn't want to finish the "I run this..." because then I would feel trapped. I think wherever or however I choose to run, I am in control (if anyone is) and I also like that I am in control of my life/destiny/etc.

Anyhow, I can't promise consistency, especially not when it come to humor, good writing, or entertaining posts. I can only tell you that this is where you might look if you want to know more about me and my running adventures. Welcome, and remember that if you don't like it, that's fine. I run this.