Monday, January 20, 2014

Not Just Boots and Bad Beats

One of the questions I constantly ask myself when feeling restless is 'How can you feel discontent when you are better off than the majority of the population?'. This is exacerbated in both Portland and Cape Town where the homeless populations are high and very visible. My 15 minute walk to work in downtown Portland passes probably 10 people on street corners with signs asking for a $1 and another 10 in store doorways sleeping. This is despite (or maybe because of?) an enviable support structure for the homeless here. Shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, free coffees, dry cleaning (for the unemployed if they have a job interview) and more.

The Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and the Colosseum all reside in LV
But restlessness isn't connected to money, 'stuff' or a standard of living, its something deep inside that your psyche that determines what makes you happy. What puts a smile on your face and means you wake up looking forward to the day. Bill Bryson said that we are on this earth for a millisecond of time, and we best make the most of it. You would have thought that with that opportunity we would all be grabbing life with both hands and living for the moment. Shouldn't we all live as though we've been given a death sentence, which is essence we have?

Red Rocks
Having been in Las Vegas for 12 DAYS for the SHOT Show with Magnum Boots ending yesterday, for all it's evils and 'sins' it is a place where people live for the the moment. OK, its a generally debauched, immoral and wasteful moment, but whose to say they are wrong and we are right? Vegas is a want all, get all, whenever you want it environment. Yet 30 minutes from the Strip there is stunning natural landscape and one of the modern wonders of the world; the Hoover Dam. Both were packed with tourists, with queues leading to both.

A modern wonder - Hoover Dam
The more time I spend here, the more I appreciate the diversity and contradictions. No more so than this last week where sin meets serenity.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Resolve

As 2014 ticks into action, the running log clicks around and back to '0'. Of course it doesn't really start at zero, but it sure feels like it. I've computerised my logs for a few years now, and I wipe last year's numbers, rename the file 'log2014' and start again. It's a big incentive to run on 1st January, otherwise you are already playing catch up!

Starting again....
It's going to be hard to better 2013 from a personal running perspective. There were no 100 milers, no marathon PB, but there were some great highlights. PB's are satisfying, but running with Coach Dion at African X and battling (well in my head anyway!) the Master Masters of Noel and Derrick is my favorite memory. It was three hard days of running at my max, and we lost out every day, but it was still a thrill. My partner has found a faster old man, so I'm looking around for another fast old man. I'd like to show I wasn't that much of a slow poke.

Ending 2013 with an injury and then sickness for pretty much the whole of December, gave my body a break which I'm not enjoying now. Running my Portland trail routes feels way harder than before, and I feel slow and clumsy. The scales say my weight is the same, but there's nothing to beat racing, the workout it gives as well as the motivation to work harder. I missed three of the first races I ran when moving here, and feel out of the racing 'scene' already! I don't want to race until I feel I compete, but know the best way to get to that level is to racing. It's a paradox!

Today on Wildwood, it felt like everyone fast bar Mo Farah was on the trails, it was an intimidating place. Talking of Mo Farah, and African X competition, here's Noel, only getting dropped by Mo, when he turned on the after burners. Good job Noel!

Bring on some fitness, races and a return of motivation.