Monday, October 28, 2013

M-Cubed for 10.28.2013

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for October Twenty-Eighth, Two Thousand Thirteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Well hello Fall. Sun setting around dinner time, sun rising on the way to work, and color fading quickly in the trees. It's a gorgeous time of year, no doubt. If we could just can this time of year and stretch it to April...that would be perfect. Let's just skip the snow, plow trucks, pot holes caused by salt, and sunsets at 5pm and enjoy this crispy weather for the next 6 months. Deal? Deal.

- Saturday was one of those days where I set out to run with no agenda, no route...and no fuel. Before I knew it, I was many miles from home just running and losing my thoughts to a plethora of things. I had zero desire to stop and turn around, zero desire to go home, and honestly, the cool air, bright sun, and colors around me were a bit intoxicating to my innermost being. Lots of time to think, pray, and in all honesty...worship. I did have one target eventually...that being to get into a small trail system in the nearby town. I connected to it via a new bike and hike trail system (pictured here) and after going through it, the reality of how far I was from home hit me and how I had no cash and no fuel of any kind. I hit the roads from that park and took the most direct route home, playing Human-Frogger with the cars as Saturday was very much alive on the roads, and ended up with 24 solo miles. That pretty much wiped me out until early evening. It wasn't that it was difficult, but taking in zero nutrients or electrolytes zapped me. 49mi for the week.

- This week will mark one year since we adopted our dog, Bristol. She's a rescue out of Tuscarawas County. She is a great runner, very strong and powerful, but has a huge heart and just loves our kids. While the chase still starts when she spots one of our two cats roaming free, she's a pleasure to have as part of our family. We're guessing she is around 2 years old now.

- So do you have shoes accumulating in the garage, basement, or closets? I am halfway through my 4th pair of Brooks Pure Flow 2s and have a bunch of shoes that are beyond their running life but otherwise are decent pairs of shoes. I save a few for casual wear but no way do I need all of those. So, I'm doing my best to get out the word out about Soles4Souls. There are drop off locations all over the country (locally at Vertical Runner locations) and here is how it works. They are gathered and then either 1) donated to those in need here in the USA or in countries around the world or 2) sold via a micro-enterprising system. For example, Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere with an average ANNUAL income of $500. Used shoes are sold in markets and roadside there. Soles4Souls will wholesale donated shoes very cheaply to them so they can in-turn sell them to the local population. It's a very cool process that from what I've read, works really well. Here is the website so you can get involved, too, and gives your shoes a second life.

- Landmarks are a great thing. For me, this week marks a big one for me. Two years ago today, I was halfway home from Afghanistan and would be home soon. I read my blog post (screen shot below) from two years ago today. I remember that day well...I still remember gagging on that cigar and meeting with the Navy Chaplain. I remember listening to "Chap's" talk about reintegration and returning home and thinking "I've got this thing together. I'm good." I was so wrong. I had no clue what the next week and months would hold. But today, I choose to be defined by where I am, that I'm alive, that I stand side-by-side with my wife as one team, one force to be reckoned with, walking step for step together. The past is the past. Unchangeable. Today, that I can have something to do with.
- Being late in the year, many runners are registering for 2014 races and building their racing calendar. I am, too, as you can see on the right sidebar. It's a love/hate relationship for me. For one, I'm very picky about what events I participate in. There are SO many options out there. Whether you are a 5K runner or 100 mile runner, you have lots of choices. For me, I've now been racing for 16+ years and it means different things to me as compared to before. I really care who is putting on the race now...where the money goes...where it's run....the support given to runners....the community impact...and so on. Greed has made it's way into the running scene nationwide and since we are a people of free choice, I choose to support events that do more "giving back" then "taking in" for themselves. You'll see that reflected in my races of choice and mainstays from prior years no longer appear. I also struggle internally with family time vs. racing time....or taking a Sunday at church to run a race on a Sunday morning. Give and take, lots of discussion and for those distant races, a real effort to make it a fun trip for the family instead of just a road trip so "Dad can run a race." Bottom Line: races are for me. Just me. They don't benefit anyone else and let's be one else really cares. I am really trying to cut down on the "impulse buying" of race registrations...more thinking "why" instead of just "because I want to." Deep thoughts...

Have a great week, friends. Make it count...not just for you but for those you come in contact with.

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