Monday, March 2, 2015

15 in '15 Challenge

A new year is upon us. Days are lengthening. Fitness is building. It's time to conjure upcoming adventures and build anticipation for big runs, races, and FKTs. These are typical pursuits for many in the ultra running community. This year I'm also eager to attempt a different kind of challenge, to stretch in a slightly new direction. Fifteen nights in the outdoor world, fifteen nights under the stars, away from closed quarters and civilization. 

Ironically, ultra running has diminished my time in the outside world. Ultra runners are like the special ops of outdoor enthusiasts. We go in, get the job done and get back out. I rarely spend multiple days and nights backpacking due to the simple fact that I can run the same route and return to my bed at day's end. That's all good, but I feel like I'm missing out on parts of the outdoor experience that I really enjoy. Mainly, stillness and idle time. Yeah, it's a little uncomfortable and messy, and nightfall carries a stark reality that seems to trigger angst in the caveman part of my brain, but it makes for good memories and a clear perspective.

So this year I want to make a habit of stepping away from easy comforts, the familiar glow and convenience of day-to-day life. I want to make micro adventures a more regular part of my summer. I want to take my family along with me more often. I want to do runpacking trips with friends. I want to take solo adventures. Along the way I hope to become a little more at ease with the timeless indifference I often feel when I'm still and quiet in the wilderness. 

Fifteen is random, except that it's 2015 and it's the number of letters in "hydropneumatics" which is one of the longest words in the English language that doesn't repeat a letter (I just looked that up). If fifteen doesn't sound like much, for this dad with a demanding job and a full schedule, fifteen nights will be a true challenge. I'm excited to give it a go.

And just to be clear, when I run through the night from sunset to sunrise during a race or FKT attempt. Yeah, that counts. 

If you're inclined to join in on the challenge, let me know. I could use the extra inspiration.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Daily Life

 Your daily life is your temple and your religion.  Kahlil Gibran

Johanna, wildwood trail

you know it's been a good off-season when your shoes yawn

Kayla, springwater corridor

crow drops a photo bomb, portland saturday market

i like this old bike. 20 years of good memories.

mile marker 19, wildwood trail, forest park

christmas nails on muddy trails

the local hill, bpa road, forest park

st. johns bridge grafitti. nice idea, but charles bukowski never wrote this.

wildwood trail, forest park

extra space for the boards, if you know what i mean.

maple trail, forest park

fremont bridge, second largest tied-arch bridge in the world. always the perfect welcome home.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Second Spring

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  Albert Camus

ridge trail, forest park
corn flakes with sugar
it's bill
i see winter
leif erikson road
"leaf" erikson road
follow the frost, wildwood trail
a new pr in fartlek leaf catching
st johanna's bridge
nice leaf eh
magic awaits at exit 16
smith rock
i don't know why i'm supposed to take a picture of the top of this post but the rest of this stuff looks fun
wish i had my skis
off hours. morning run through downtown bend.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Silver Star Magic

Crazy beautiful day running to the summit of Silver Star with my daughter.

Back at the space pod.
Proof of global warming. The phoenix drops a fireball deuce in the PNW.