Striving (or what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger)

This year's trophyWe’ve had a pretty crazy couple of weeks full of travel, a combination of work and lots of running. But since work is, well, work let’s gloss over that part and get right to the fun stuff. Let the catching up begin!

First up, there was Chuck’s annual El Prieto Handicap race on May 19 in the Angeles National Forest. This year marked the return to his beloved El Prieto Trail, which was closed for a few years after the Station Fire of 2009. Chuck has decided to retire from race directing next year, so it was nice that this year we were back on the trail. I was volunteering this year, but when one runner went missing (they turned up eventually) I ended up doing most of the course backwards. Oh well! The winner was the only legacy runner, who has also never won it before. So congrats to Dave Edgar! And thanks to everyone for their generous donations to City of Hope. For the race next year (the 20th and final) we plan on having commemorative t-shirts that we will try and make available on Cafe Press for folks who miss the actual event. Pics from this year’s race are here.

The BB12 gang!
the bb12 gang!

The next weekend we flew to Colorado for the Bolder Boulder 10K. It isn’t so much a race as a really big party (think you and 60,000 of your closest friends). We ran it with Chuck’s sister and brother-in-law and their neighbors. Oh, and pretty much the entire population of Boulder. They start the race in waves because otherwise, well, it would be total chaos. Our wave crossed the start something like 90 minutes after the first wave left. Along the course we encountered the Blues Brothers, Elvis Presley, lots of beer, a Slip ‘n’ Slide, belly dancers, tons of tutus and even teletubbies. I did the Slip ‘n’ Slide (and am paying for it still with a bruised rib – next time I will know not to slam myself down on the mat!), had my photo taken with Elvis and with a random guy who wrote “free hugs” on his chest. At the end of the race there was a flyover by jets, and various tributes to veterans. The usual skydiving portion was canceled due to high winds, but the professional race was very exciting to watch. We also got to hang with Chuck’s brother Dan, which is always fun (even if he is a self-professed member of the Tea Party). His brother is, interestingly, getting spinal surgery later this month, similar to Chuck’s but not quite as bad. What is it about their family and necks? Colorado pics are here.

We were home from Colorado just a few days before we hit the road again, this time for Ojai and the Ojai2Ocean Half Marathon, which we were running with some friends. The race started at the ungodly hour of 6am but other than that crazy early start time, it turned out to be one of the nicest courses I’ve run in a long time! It’s a gradual downhill course, tailor-made for personal bests. We stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn, which is the flat-out prettiest place to stay in that area, IMHO. After the race we all hung around one of the Inn’s pools and hatched a crazy race plan for the next year and a half and most of our friends committed to join us for most of them. Here’s the current event list:

This is a crazy ambitious plan, but writing it down makes it a commitment. I think Chuck has the hardest job, training for that 50 miler. But the Half Ironman won’t be a cakewalk either.

So here’s to challenging ourselves, striving to achieve tough goals, and having a blast while accomplishing them. Carpe viam!