I have been writing a personal journal consistently for almost 4 years now. And what I mean by consistently is “every day.” If I miss a day I do not feel right. Some days it is only a half of a page, on other days it is more than three pages. I used to think that I would run out of stuff to write about, but that has not been the case. If anything the list of things to write about has gotten longer. My journal is one that I know will never be read except by me so all topics are fair game. Nothing is held sacred. Nothing is held back. It is a writing that is mainly exploration of the “self.” Good things as well as the bad things. I have learned more about myself in the last four years than I ever knew was possible. Somethings were really difficult to write about. And other topics that I thought I had covered in great detail still had more layers to them. I do not see a day that I ever stop journaling. Socrates was right: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Over time one of the things that has evolved out of the journaling is a list that I review every day and I mean every day. They are just small saying and quotes but they help me to live life as best I can. As the exploration continues so will the personal and spiritual growth therefore the list is not written in stone. It will change and that’s as it should be. I would like to share this list with you. My hope is that you will find something helpful in your life as I did.



1. You have all that you need. When you get right down to it most of us have all that we need. Really we have all that we need. Especially in the USA. I remind myself of this while watching TV and I get that feeling of “wanting” something new. The question becomes is this a need or is it a want? And what do I feel comfortable giving up for a want. I am not finically independent and for me it means how much time do I want to spend at work in order to afford the “new want.” Just thinking about spending more time at work usually kills it right there.


2. What would you attempt if you knew that you could not fail? This is a good one. What would we attempt if you really knew that you could not fail? The possibilities are endless when you starting thinking about it. Or I like this one even better. If we knew “failure” was Ok what worthwhile goal would you set for yourself? This is the trick to this one. The idea that failure is not usually final. Matter a fact it is part of the process and without it we would not have much success at all.


3. The things that we fear the most are the things that we most need to do. I like this. How many times do we not try something because we fear it? Obviously you may fear jumping off a cliff, but that does not mean you need to jump off the cliff. It just means you need to think it through a little more. Maybe with the right equipment like a parachute. Or ropes so that you can repel down, etc… Just think of all the things that would be possible if fear was not an issue. I like the quote by Susan Jeffers: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”


4. You must renew the climb of the mountain each and every day! I like to think that this one I invented, but the truth of the matter is that I have heard a lot of people say this. Each day is new and we have to go out and start the metaphorical climb of the mountain each day. The idea here is to realize that you may not get to the top of the mountain everyday but that is OK. Sometimes the climb is harder today than it was yesterday or tomorrow. It just means that you have to start. That is the trick – just start, just show up, just be present.


5. LET GO AND WALK ON! I really like this phrase – I think that it another way to sum up Buddhism. The phrase is from Alan Watts. It is the idea that life is in a constant state of change, there is nothing that is permanent, everything changes. If you try to hold on to something, whatever it is, we miss the rest of life flowing by us. So “Let Go! AND Walk On!”

6. Linger in the moment. This one is from Pema Chodron. It is a way to help remind myself to stay in the moment. All of life happens in the present moment. The past is past, the future has not happened yet. All of life is right now, right here, right in this very moment while you are reading these words.


7. Embrace life. This is just a quote that I like. It reminds me that life is not fair, terrible things happen, good people and loved ones die. And most of the time there is nothing that you can do about it. This is life but you have a choice of whether to embrace it or reject it. I like to think that I have chosen to embrace it. To make a positive difference where ever I can.


8. Slip off the cloak and shackles of shame. Let vulnerability rein! Ah – SHAME – the hidden emotion! We wear shame like a cloak and it becomes so much a part of us that we do not realize we have it on. Like a well-worn leather jacket. It becomes very comfortable and colors all of our actions and decisions without us even knowing. A big THANK YOU to Brene Brown and her book called “Daring Greatly.” If you would have asked me last year if I had “shame” or if “shame” had ever influenced a decision I made, I would have thought you were crazy. But I now know that for the last 50 years of my life I have worn this cloak and it has colored everything in my life. And not in a good way.


9. YOU ARE OK JUST AS YOU ARE. YOU ARE ENOUGH. This is part of the above Quote. It goes with the idea of shame. The ideas that society tells you: you are never enough, never smart enough, never big enough, never good enough, never beautiful enough, never rich enough, never skinny enough, etc…. But YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE OK JUST AS YOU ARE.


10. All of life is distraction. This is just to remind me that life is made up of distractions. There is no rhyme or reason to it. We would like to say that we can control it but in reality we have no control except how we react to it. Good things happen, bad things happen, but there is no overseeing god or omnipresent being that controls it. Life just is and what you make of it, good or bad.


11. We do not see life as it really is, we see life as we are. This famous quote come from the writer Anais Nin. She was a remarkable woman who kept a journal for over 40 years. This quote is so true. I have to remind myself of this every day. Yes I will admit that sometimes I have a very “jaded” view of the world and that my jaded view is not how the world really is. When I am angry or sad or happy my view of the world changes and this is how it should be. But the trick is the realization that your view changes with your current state of mind.

Well this is the list that has evolved over 4 years of writing a journal. I know that it will continue to evolve as I write, but this is OK. Life is not static, it is movement and flow. Always in a state of change. My hope is that you found something helpful or interesting for further exploration.

It has again been a rainy week this past 7 days. And I have been working a lot at my day job. So I do not have many pictures to share with you this week of running. Instead I would like to share a few pictures of what I call my “Yard Art Faces.” The top one, the large sun face (about 5 to 6 feet in diameter) is the oldest being about 16 years old. I have had to repaint it twice in that time. But it still looks pretty good for its age and exposure to the elements. The middle one was my first step into making what I call functional art. The nose of the face is used as outdoor lighting. I had planned to paint in more details but after finishing the lips and teeth, it just felt that doing any more to it would take away from the shapes. The bottom one was made using plywood and old bicycle parts. This one is in a protected location but still outdoors and has held up pretty well.

Well that is it for me this week. I am hoping for sunnier and drier Colorado weather next week. Until then take care and see you out there!!







– Aldous Huxley






Perception, perception and perception – it is all about “conceived perception.” In the last year I have come to believe that what we experience, what we feel, what we like or dislike, etc… are all related to our imagined perceptions. And if we can change our perceptions of what we think, feel or experience then we can change our thinking and in turn our world. It is all up to us. I came to this current conclusion partly by journaling almost every day for the last 4 years. It brought me to the deduction that most of what we think of as “truth” is just made up. It is our perceptions and the perceptions of others that we come to live by. Those conceived perceptions are just made up in the mind and are subject to all the same mistakes, errors, faults and blunders that humans make every day. This is not to say that if you keep a very positive outlook on life that nothing will happen to you that is bad. Terrible, awful things happen in life, and on the flip side wonderful, incredibly beautiful and joyous things happen too. Those events happen and there is nothing we can do about it, except to remember that perception is the means we use for the interpretation of those events. Good or bad. It is a relative truth. The day to day things and events that we talk about, gossip about, Facebook about, sell, buy, etc…those things are all conceptual. Just made up and always in a state of change from person to person, culture to culture, year to year – ephemeral as a Mojave Desert steam in summer.

Ultimate Truth – the “direct and immediate experience” of an event – this is something different. It is perception but not “conceived perception” which is cluttered by all the day to day matters in your life. Instead this is direct experience, direct perception. You cannot hold this type of perception in your mind – you can only experience it, as it is happening, right then, right now, right in the moment. The pain or joy that I feel in doing an Ultramarathon is a way for me to experience that direct perception. When I am lucky enough and can clear my mind having no other thoughts in place except on breathing or the discomfort in my legs, I experience what is known as an ultimate truth. No preconceived notions, no worries about yesterday or tomorrow, no concerns about work, family or friends, just experiencing the moment as it unfolds, good or bad, makes no difference. It can be a way to experience nirvana.

Some people might call this Buddhism, I just call it two kinds of perception. Conceived perception (Relative Truth) and direct perception (Ultimate Truth). They are neither good nor bad – they just are and both are needed to survive in the world. As humans we all have the tendency to ignore what we see in favor of what we would like to imagine. The challenge is to realize this. To examine the world around you in a clear and cautious fashion, testing all ideas, all concepts and all agendas. Remembering that nothing is sacred. That everything is suspect. To comprehend what is real and what is just made up but seems real.

Wow not sure where that all came from, but these are my opinions and I am sticking to them at the moment. Of course all is suspect and might change by next week!

Well on a different note, it has been very wet on the Front Range of Colorado for the last 7 to 10 days. But this past Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful spring day in the Fort Collins area. The high only reached about 60 degree with very light winds. A perfect day for running or biking. Since my middle daughter was in town for a visit and wanted to go running and hiking that is what I did. The above two pictures were taken in Horsetooth Mountain Park. The top one is looking west towards Longs Peak. Still looks like there is a lot of snow in the high country. The next one is looking south towards Loveland. It was taken while running on Tower’s Road trail. The bottom two pictures were from Wednesday. Of course what a difference a day makes. Clouds, mist and the chance of rain back in the forecast. The second from bottom picture is looking north from the Shore Line Trail at Horsetooth Reservoir. The very bottom picture is also taken from the Shore Line Trail but looking south.

Well that is it for me this week – take care and see you out there!!









– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

– Roger Miller

Well darn they canceled the Quad Rock due to weather. The park managers decided that there would be way too much damage to the trails if they allowed the race to proceed. I guess that is always a potential for any urban trail race. Horsetooth and Lory State Park are very close to Fort Collins and Loveland. So close that they could be considered part of the Fort Collins / Loveland urban corridor. Not only did the park managers close the race to the event, they have closed both parks to everyone this weekend. My guess is that part of this closure is not just related to trail damage but also to potential liability and safety. You get a group of people out running a 25 or 50 mile race in rugged terrain with a lot of climbing, 5500 feet for the 25 miler and 11,000 feet for the 50, and add in the potential for snow and dropping temperatures in the afternoon on Saturday, well there could be some issues. I am writing on Friday afternoon and the temp in Lory State Park at the moment is 44 degree Fahrenheit. This could really lead to some hypothermic situations on Saturday.

I know how I feel after doing a 50 miler in good weather, not sure how I would feel after doing the same distance in challenging weather. It could become an issue of evacuation or rescue? I recall some friends that I made at last year’s Leadville Training Camp, talking about the previous year’s Silver Rush 50 trail race. According to them the race started off in good weather but towards the very end a large thunderstorm rolled in and preceded to drop what appeared to be “Biblical” amounts of rain, falling temperatures and small hail for the last hours of the race. They talked about how it became more of a rescue than a race for a lot of contestants. Or the time talking with a Steamboat Spring resident about the weather issues at the 2012 Run Rabbit Run 50 miler. Again it was during the last part of the race when a weather front moved in and dropped rain, snow, high winds and falling temperatures. Per this individual “the snow was falling sideways” and people were not prepared. Getting everyone off the mountain and accounted for was a huge struggle for race officials. A lot of participants needed to be rescued.

So what do you do when you have all the training in place, you have rested, you got off work, rearranged schedules, and you have put all the pieces in place to get ready for this one big day. And then it gets canceled!! Aggghhhhhhh!! Good question and I do not have the answer at the moment. It is like getting ready for a big wedding but then the bride or the groom backs out? Then what? Have your own party? I think that most trail races go off rain or shine, especially if the weather is good to start with. But when it starts with marginal weather to begin with, and the forecast is for it to get worse? Well then I cannot blame the park and race managers. Looking at the big picture I would make the same decision. I think tomorrow I will have my own party so to speak in Fort Collins. Maybe a 12 or 24 hour run in the city just to see how far I can go.














Well on a different note. I bit the bullet so to speak. Told myself that I would not pay that much for a sports watch, but what can I say? When my old Garmin Forerunner 101 gave up the ghost I needed a new GPS for training. My first thought was to just replace it with another Garmin which would have been the cheapest thing to do. But after thinking about it for a while I found what I WANTED, not what I needed, I wanted a better sport watch and that is what I got!  Wow I am glad that I did this.  I was currently using a Suunto Vector for elevation gain/loss measurements, a Polar FT4 for heart rate and the old Garmin for distance. After looking at different reviews I decided on a Suunto Ambit 3 Peak. The nice part is that it replaced all three of the above units. I get elevation gain/loss measurements, heart rate and GPS. I have been using it for about 2 weeks with running and biking and so far I am very happy with it. But this was not the best part, during the research part of this purchase, I discovered the Movescount App, the Strava App and the App called “Lose It!” All three of these are amazing apps in and of themselves, but what really makes this cool is that the Apps all connect. The watch with the Movescount, the Movescount with the Strava and the Strava with the Lose It App. I feel that I get the same kind of feedback that I would get with a personnel trainer. Pretty cool. I am guessing that in the next 5 to 10 years, all watches will be App enable and the Apps themselves will be able to communicate with each other. It will probably not be too long before we all have our own personnel trainer so to speak but it will be an AI of some kind. This gives me a weird, scary, cool feeling all wrapped up in one. Only time will tell.

Well that is it for me this week. Stay safe, but play in the rain a little. See ya out there!!

Just a quick note the Quad Rock was reschedule for Sunday June 14th!!  Yea!!





– Anais Nin

There are times that I feel like I have made decisions that are not in hindsight the best. Have you ever felt this way? The above quote is attributed to the Author Anais Nin. She was famous for her diaries or journals that span almost 60 years. Supposedly she started keeping a diary at the age of 11 and continued to write until shortly before her death when she was in her 70s. Amazing. Talk about the “examined life.” If you have developed the habit of keeping a journal or diary and have done this for a length of time, greater than a year or longer, I think you probably understand to some degree the quote attributed to Socrates. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” My guess is that after writing a journal for so long Nin understood this concept well. And at some point came to the conclusion that we make our decisions or we see life not as it really is, but who we are at that moment, what we are feeling, whether we have had an argument with our significant other, if someone cut us off in traffic, were mean to us at work, etc…. All our preconceived notions and emotions at that time, in that moment, determine the decisions that we make – good or bad.

Thinking about this, I have to wonder when in the moment of making a decision which would affect my life in a big way, where was I mentally? What was going on at the time in my life? And then to take this another step further I have to wonder when decisions were made for me or I was given advice, that in hindsight might not have been the best advice, where was that person mentally. What was going on in their life? Is it a wonder that any of us really end up doing the “right” thing so to speak. Maybe this is where part of the idea of “forgiveness” comes from. There are those of us that can and do egregious and appalling acts in their lives, but does that mean they should never be forgiven. Taken to the extreme, is life in prison more compassionate as opposed to the death penalty? Should there even be a death penalty? How can any of us truly be held fully and I mean fully accountable for our actions? When all of our actions are really dependent on our state of mind at the time that we committed the crime or error in judgement. We have all experienced temporary insanity at some point in our lives. It is another thing that makes us human.

Moving on to other thoughts, this was the last week of training for the Quad Rock. And I have to think about the above quote by Nin. I am hopeful that I will be able to do the 50 miles next Saturday. But I have to ask myself if I am truly ready to do that distance. Am I seeing my training and physical conditioning as it really is, or is it just wishful thinking? It is still early for me in what I call the running season. So it will be interesting to see how well I do on the course next weekend.

The above pictures are all from this past week. We had the usually sun in the AM and rain in the afternoon. The first picture is from Horsetooth Lake on Monday the 27th. It is looking South West from one of the damns. As you can see the lake is already full this year with spring runoff from the mountains. The second picture is from the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area in Fort Collins. This was looking west towards the Foothills behind the city. This picture was taken on Tuesday. What a difference a day makes. Cool and rainy on Monday, dry and sunny on Tuesday. The bottom picture was taken in the Pineridge Open space behind Fort Collins. I have posted pictures from this area before but usually from one of the ridges. The picture was taken Thursday just before a small thunderstorm rolled through.

Now, after writing this blog for a few months I am reminded of how fortunate I am to live in Fort Collins with all the Open Space and Natural areas and interconnected trail system. You could not ask for a better place to work out. Well that is about it for me this week – wish me luck at the Quad Rock and that the weather holds. Last year towards the end of the 50 mile race a late spring snow storm rolled in and caused a few issues. Crazy. See you out there!!