Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Leadville Marathon was brutal.

Mike ran the Leadville Marathon last year and wrote this. I wanted to make sure I had it somewhere to keep. 

The Leadville Marathon was brutal.
No doubt about it, I truly bit off more than I could handle, way more than I could handle. I will say in my defense I did not leave the course until the cutoff. With that said, I had a truly great time. Disappointed sure, but I had a great experience. The scenery was spectacular. Running past abandoned mines with their scree fields and down remote trails was amazing. This marathon was more than advertised, it was either straight up or straight down. What really was difficult for me was the trails were covered in baseball and softball sized rock- no pea gravel. Mentally draining, I don't know how many times I had to catch myself. The rocks were so tough that they blew out my jel- cell on my shoes. Sorry New Balance you are not tougher than Leadville.
Mosquito Pass was my breaking point. The highest point on the course 13,200'. By the time I got close to the summit I could not quit coughing to the point I could not take in air. I was struggling. I was hacking as if I had pneumonia. Forward progress was by baby steps. Every time I took a step with my left foot I said Abe and every time I took a step with my right foot I said Mary. Maybe that's what triggered a very kind woman to turn me around and help me to the aid station and a visit to the paramedics. By this time I had a headache as well. Everything checked out okay, except for my pride which we all know comes before the fall. The trail up Mosquito Pass is serious stuff. Marlee Anne and I have found out the hard way that one slip could be fatal on some of the "easy trails" we have hiked in Boulder. People were running up and down Mosquito Pass - crazy stuff. Super athletes. Another indicator of the remoteness of the race course was that  I had to hike down  2 1/2 miles to get a ride down off the mountain after my visit to the ambulance. So physically, I could not make it to the finish line and by the time I reached the next  aid station I had missed the cutoff time.I am wondering now if I could have finished even if I had all day and not the 8 1/2 hours allowed by the race. Prior to the race I logged 40 to 60 miles a week and it was still not enough training.I am a little disappointed that I didn't finish. I feel old. You know what,I am old. 
Anyway here is why I tried the Leadville Marathon. Since the events of last year I have struggled with having a quite time with no distractions to readjust my life without my little man and my sunshine. Work, moving to Colorado, lobbying for HB-1,local politics, work, commuting to Colorado, repainting the entire interior of the house, did I mention work. My life has been a blur.
Maybe that was good, maybe not. Our Pastor in Colorado several months ago had asked us to meditate on God for just ten minutes per day and I faithfully fulfilled that goal, however it never failed  that I could not make it ten minutes focusing on God without the world creeping into my thoughts. I am ashamed. I needed some true alone time to remember my children.Enter Leadville- I knew I would be without phone, Internet and out in the wilderness, but more importantly I would be under physical stress and my thoughts would be simple. Left foot- Abe, right foot - Mary, and so it went all 16.1 miles. A lot of tears were left on the trails of Leadville. A lot of great memories recalled and relived. In the end no medal, but I got more than my money's worth- Thank you Leadville.
Would I do it again. Absolutely Not! I would encourage anyone to try it once. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
Special thanks to James and Emily Mills for my great race jersey. So many positive compliments.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Loving our neighbors

I wrote this on Sunday and since then several things have happened to make me realize why I needed this reminder. 

Marlee Anne shared a really good devotion with us the other day about loving our neighbors. It has been on my heart for several days and I want to share some recent thoughts. 

I don't get out in public too often, at least not everyday. It's probably a good thing because it hurts to see how we treat each other. My view of the world is often through Facebook which may be a very sad thing. I don't watch the news and only read the paper when articles are brought to my attention. Yes sometimes I like to live in the world where things don't seem as bad or sad as they really are. I try to avoid negative post on Facebook where people are constantly complaining and/or bashing others. 

So all that rambling to say we never know the battle someone is dealing with. Did they just have a loved one die? Did they just lose their job? Were they diagnosed with cancer? Are they dealing with depression? Maybe a chronic illness or chronic pain? Do they wonder where their next meal will come from or how they will take care of their family? Does it really matter? I mean what if they aren't battling with anything? What if they are just grumpy? Why does the way someone acts towards us, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their religious beliefs, the church they go to, their political stance, the way they dress, whether they have tattoos or not, the car they drive, the motorcycle they ride, the way they wear their hair, their job or financial status matter to the way we treat them? 

You know the person that ran into you? Maybe they don't see well. You know the girl that hollered in public or came a little too close for your comfort? Well maybe she doesn't know not to do that. You know the lady that you helped that didn't say thank you? Maybe she had a lot on her mind. If you needed or expected a thank you maybe you did it for the wrong reason. You know the cashier or attendant that didn't smile? Did you smile at them? Maybe if they just thought someone cared. You know that person that keeps coming to your mind but they grate on your nerves or hurt your feelings ten years ago? Maybe you should call them. Yes I know life is busy and we are all in a hurry but at the end of the day what matters? What matters most? 

Did you show love? Did you care? The person on the other end, on the other side, what will they say? Will they say wow what a nice person? Will their day be changed and made better because you took a second from your busy schedule to say hey or smile at them? How are you loving your neighbor? 

Side note: this was more for me as I'm out in public more and want to be reminded to show Jesus.