Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finishing 2011 on a Cold Note

I ended my 2011 getting out of bed at 7 AM on a Saturday and going for a run on a cold and very windy day here in Colorado.  Yet it is hard to think of a better way to finish the year.  Although I was glad to be done after getting my 5K in, it is good to finish 2011 healthy and outdoors.

It also gave me an opportunity to score a personal victory, after spending my September chasing women ( and  I started by beating my youngest daughter, who wouldn’t even get out of bed to join me for my run this morning. I then beat my oldest daughter on the trail, although she said the reason she was running backwards for part of the time was about some sort of workout her coach told her to do.

Sadly the third woman I chase is on the disabled list.  It looks like she tore her ACL playing indoor soccer earlier in the week leaving her hobbled for a while.  However, since it was 22 years ago today she accepted my marriage proposal, and I have been chasing her ever since, I am sure she will be back to leaving me behind before you know it.

The great part about this morning run is my daughter and I weren’t alone, but instead 50 other crazy runners joined us.  Every Saturday, the Boulder Running Company (BRC) organizes “Tony’s Run” for the fact it starts in front of Tony’s Market.  BRC is really more of a community than just a running store.  I feel fortunate that in 2012 I am going to get to be even more a part of that community, but that is a story for 2012.

So to close 2011, I hope any of you that take the time to read this also can find the time to give me feedback.  This will help me to really make this blog grow into maybe a little more than just my words on the Internet, but maybe a community.  God’s peace, and I wish a happy New Year to all of you and yours.  Aloha!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Old Year Resolutions

With New Year’s Eve approaching, now is the traditional time to be determining New Year’s resolutions.  However, I am not sure I need a new list of resolutions as I need to do last year’s resolutions better, hence I really need old year resolutions.

So in the middle of December last year ( I came up with my five resolutions which can be summarized as:

1.     Write
2.     Get in the Best Shape of My Life
3.     Give Back
4.     Live Aloha
5.     Chase Dreams

Let me look at these five and see how I did and how I can do better.

Write was primarily manifested in this blog, Aloha Fridays.  I had resolved to write an entry on average of once a week.  I started off strong doing that for December of 2010 when I started and into January, but then slowed down only achieving that two other months (April and July) while having a complete drought in the Fall of no entries for October and November.  That is a classic example of simply needing to do better so I am going to put that back on the resolution list again vowing to write once a week or more.

Getting in the best shape of my life will always be a challenge with age not on my side, but last year I did average exercising three times a week with only 4 weeks out of all 52 that I didn’t exercise at least once a week. Highlights included leading another Rock Body Challenge team to a team victory, 2 Half Marathons, 2 Olympic Triathlons, 2 10Ks, my first Stand Up Paddle boarding race, another 14er conquered, and my first Warrior Dash.  It is hard to tell if I am in the best shape of my life, but I am busy having fun trying. As long as I find some new ways to keep me motivated, I should be good for repeating this resolution.

Give Back was one I did pretty well with since I raised over $5000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a member of Team in Training for the Lavaman Triathlon and also served as a captain for the Nations Triathlon team.  I have decided to wait until the 2013 Lavaman Triathlon to try this fundraising challenge again, so I will look for some new ways to give back in 2012.

Live Aloha was manifested most obviously with two trips to Hawaii for Christmas and then again for the Lavaman Triathlon in April, but it also goes to a mainland frame of mind.  By trying to be friendly and focused on family, I tried to bring some of these Hawaiian values home with me and I hope to continue this in 2012.

Chase Dreams describes my professional focus on the Dream Chaser space vehicle, a replacement for the Space Shuttle, we are working on for NASA.  2011 was a good year because we received more funding and personally I was recognized as the 2011 Sierra Nevada Corporation Excel Director of the Year.  Hard not to go down from there, but in 2012 we will compete for our next phase of NASA funding as well as complete several other critical milestones on the project.  I, and the team, will have to have just as good as a year in 2012.

So looking back, the five resolutions I had for 2011 will be just as challenging for 2012.  Follow along at to see how I do.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drought Ends with Talk of Flood

Where did the Fall go?  With nearly three months between posts, my Blog went into a drought.  The reason for the lack of new material is covered in the tag line “seeking balance in the adventure of life” and in looking for balance my blog was dropped for longer than I planned.  Not for a lack of material (which I hope to make up for this month), but more for a lack of time.  So with the never-ending plea to catch up and keep up, it is time for the next entry.

It seems only appropriate to end the drought with a discussion on the possible flooding of Chatfield, a cause I took up in August (  As well as growing awareness through a Facebook page, I have spread the word via a survey and an article in the local community newsletter.  That last avenue is what I am going to largely reprint below with updates on this issue to follow in later posts.

One of the great features of living in the Trailmark housing community is the proximity to Chatfield State Park and all that it offers.  But Chatfield could change considerably if a suggested plan goes through.  Currently a study ( is being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to flood Chatfield to increase water storage capacity.  The main benefactors of this plan would be residential and agricultural users downstream who have ever increasing water demands.  The side effect is that Chatfield’s cottonwood shores would become mud flats affecting wildlife habitats and recreation areas alike.

As shown in the map that goes with this article, many parts of the park would be flooded including the north and south boat ramps, the balloon port, the swim beach, many of the shore side ground picnic areas and the gravel ponds would cease to exist as a stand-alone boat free area.  In fact most of the road that circles the reservoir would end up under water.  Despite the fact that Chatfield experiences over 1.5 million visit days annually, the primary stakeholders represented in the study are all down stream and up stream water users with only a few environmental groups (e.g. the Sierra Club) addressing the environmental issues.  The extensive numbers of people who use Chatfield annually for recreation do not have a voice.  An illustration of the bias is that the study sites newsroom only includes two dated articles from 2004 and 2009 while failing to include a more recent and more critical article (

In casual discussions with fellow Trailmark residents, it became clear that not many folks were aware of this study and the possible impacts to our neighbor across the street.  So towards that end this article was written, an on-line petition was just started to get the attention of the study group and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (, and a Facebook page was established to share information as it became available (Like the page  So please sign the petition, monitor the Facebook page, and then join me in making your voice heard when an opportunity presents itself to help Save Chatfield.

Chatfield Flooding Plans 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chasing Women Part II

My last blog got such a positive response I thought I would continue the story.  On Friday my daughter set a personal record by running a 23:35 at the Liberty Bell Invitational.  The Liberty Bell Invitational had 89 teams and more than 4,000 runners along with a mob of spectators gathered near Heritage High School in Littleton.  Despite a cold, Samantha ran strong after what was a tough week of practice.  Danny Carney of Dakota Ridge, who won his third meet in three weeks with a screaming time of 15:29, acknowledged as much in the Denver Post. 

“We did like 12 hills really fast on Tuesday, and then we did a 3 mile tempo run pretty hard on Wednesday,” Carney said.  “We’ve been doing a lot of mileage.  My coach said this is probably one of the hardest weeks.”

Of course being built to run at 6 foot 1 and 160 pounds like Carney is doesn’t hurt.  I probably had a body like that in college, but with me just trying to get my racing weight below 190 pound I always will be carrying around the equivalent of a soldier’s backpack when chasing runners like Carney in races.

“Our goal is to peak well and run well at the state meet not at the Liberty Bell Invitational” coach Mike Callor told The Denver Post. 

This too is a good lesson to focus on when you want to peak and use intermediate races to help you get there. I continue to learn by watching Callor’s excellent work with my daughter and the rest of the Dakota Ridge cross country team.

So keeping these lessons in mind, today I will again be using my “chasing women” strategy by running the Second Wind 5K with my two daughters.  Then next Sunday I will run the Fans on the Field 10K with my wife, while my two daughters run the 5K.  I don’t know if I will ever catch any of them, but maybe by the time of the Space Coast Half Marathon in November I will be setting some personal records along the way.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chasing Women

Back on August 20, 2011, I learned running technique that allowed me to take off nearly a full minute per mile over a 5K race I had run a month earlier.  That earlier 5K race also had the advantage of being near sea level and on an extremely flat course, while the August race was a hilly course at a mile high in Colorado.  So what was the secret of my success?  Chasing women!

The race I am referring to is the Dakota Ridge Eagle 5000, which is a fundraiser for my oldest daughter’s cross-country program.  While not a very large race, the fact that the whole Dakota Ridge men and women’s cross-country county championship teams,  and their athletic siblings and parents (something about running seems to be a little bit genetic) race it is a pretty fast race.  Our family who ran included my oldest daughter, Samantha, who is on the team, my youngest daughter, Hannah, and my wife, Sally who ran cross-country in high school. I also was signed up, but I am regularly reminded physically I did not run cross-country in high school.  So as you can guess I spent the whole race chasing the women in my family, since my wife finished first in her age group and my youngest daughter did the same, while my oldest daughter beat them both (but didn’t finish first in her age group because her team has some really fast girls).

Of the three of them I am most proud of my oldest, Samantha.  A year ago in this same race, her first 5K she ran a 41:06 and her Dad could still beat her.  But through the steady training of the Dakota Ridge cross-country program she continued to improve, going down to 32:14 a week later, but then back up to 37:55 a week after that at a dusty and hot Arapahoe Fairgrounds for the pre-state meet.  But then the downward trend really took hold as two weeks later she was down to 28:33, then 4 days later 26:21, then a couple of weeks later at 25:13 and finishing the season at the County Meet at 24:02.  She has quickly become the fastest Mosher reaching 5K times I cannot even get close to or can her Mom or younger sister.  This season she is not back to those times quite yet, but she is still right around 25-26 minutes.

The Dakota Ridge cross-country program has been wonderful for my daughter helping her physical health as well as mental health in the transition to high school.  As a father you always hope to inspire your kids, but these days Samantha’s (as well as Hannah’s and Sally’s) 5K times inspire me to try to run faster and keep chasing women.