Monday, April 25, 2011

Next Challenge

As I reported in my last post, I have been dormant since the Lavaman Triathlon having gone three weeks without exercising.  A lot of this has been due to a significant workload, but I also think that after being focused on the Lavaman Triathlon for so long, a lack of a challenge also might be responsible.

I have found that it helps me to try and do some sort of organized physical event on average of once a month for a total of 12 events per year.  In 2010 I did just that with most of the events being various runs, although the event I trained the hardest for, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic century ride, was cancelled.  So let me do a quick review of last year’s events do discuss which ones I should sign up for in 2011.

Polar Bear 5K: This January race lived up to it’s name as the day I ran it in Washington Park was very cold.  That being said my slow time in this run motivated me to realize I needed to start getting in shape.  As a result I signed up for the Bold Running program, the official training program of the Bolder Boulder.

Cherry Creak Sneak:  This race in early May really kicks things off in Colorado for the Spring/Summer/Fall race season that would allow you to run a different race every weekend if you wanted to do that.  With Bold Running helping me to improve my running, this race helped me bench mark how far I had come.  I felt pretty good with the result of a minute and half per mile improvement in my pace over the Polar Bear 5K.

Run for Remembrance: This race is always special to me as a Columbine High School alumnus since it is the race to raise funds for the Columbine Memorial Fund and Craig Hospital.  Last year it also was the sight of my fastest 5K time since I began tracking that data in 2007.  This result meant I was on pace to break an hour in the Bolder Boulder, which has been a goal since I first ran it in 2007.

Bolder Boulder:  On race day I learned a lesson that all good runners know, some days despite your training you don’t have a good race.  With serious stomach cramps I fell short of my race goal and ran slower than my best time in 2008.  That just means this race will be on my list again for 2011.

Hiking for Hearts: I will spend more time on this event in a future post, but in summary it was hiking two 14er peaks in two days to support Children’s Hospital.  A great event and as my second and third 14er a new challenge worth repeating.

Dakota Ridge 5000: A race for my daughter’s high school, this race is most significant because it marks the start of my daughter’s remarkable cross-country career.  More on that subject in a later post, but I am sure we will do this again in 2011.

Fans on the Field:  Another favorite of my wife and I, the 10K version of this race goes from Mile High Stadium to Coors Field through the Pepsi Center and finishes again running alongside the football field at Mile High.  I expect we will run this one again for a fourth year.

Shafer Stampede:  A charity run for my kid’s elementary school, this race marked along with the Second Wind 5K the first time I tried to run two 5Ks in a single day.  Trust me it is much harder than running a single 10K.

Second Wind 5K:  Another great charity race to raise funds to help prevent teenage suicide, it was a real challenge after cooling down from the Shaffer Stampede in the morning to run this race in what turned out to be a hot September afternoon.  Since my kids are graduating from Shaffer this year I probably won’t subject myself to this double race again.

Denver Gorilla Run:  Probably the event that was the most fun all year, you have not run a 5K until you have run a 5K in a gorilla suit.

Turkey Trot:  A great way to ease the guilt of gluttony on Thanksgiving Day, our whole family headed out for a Turkey Trot before our big feast.

Colder Boulder: Put on by the same people who run the Bolder Boulder this is a fun race around the University of Colorado campus that my wife and I have done a few times.  It always helps to get a race in during early December between all of the holiday events.

So with this review complete, I hope my readers will help me choose a new event to start focusing my near-term training and also help pick my events for the whole year.  Please send me some feedback.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

$80 Million Monday

So with a blog entitled “Aloha Fridays” you will rightly think I have a bias about my favorite day of the week.  But this past week I must say Monday was my favorite day because that is when NASA awarded us $80 million dollars to continue the development of the Dream Chaser (, a potential replacement for the Space Shuttle, which only has two flights left.  Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), where I work, won the second largest award for the Commercial Crew Development program with Boeing winning the largest at $92.3 million, then Space X with $75 million, and finally Blue Origin at $22 million.  With March Madness having just ended we have been using the analogy a lot at work that we are in the Final Four for the next phase of human spaceflight.  Attached is an image of the Dream Chaser vehicle docking with the International Space Station.  We hope to make that artist’s rendering a reality in the next 3-4 years.

Dream Chaser docked at the International Space Station
For the team I work with and me personally, this is an amazing professional achievement.  However, the elation of winning was quickly followed by the reality of realizing we have a lot of work to do.  A 60 hour work week, my third week without exercise (I have been dormant since the Lavaman Triathlon), and a nasty cold (likely the result of the stress and lack of exercise) leads me back to the constant struggle of trying to seek balance in the adventure of life.  So with the goal of “chasing the dream” still alive for at least the next 14 months of the new contract, the balance of this professional challenge with the other aspects of my life will continue on so keep reading on how I do.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lavaman…The Movie

One condition many of my donors put on me for supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the Lavaman Triathlon was that I had to share pictures when I was done.  So just as they over delivered on their support and I exceeded my goal, I wanted to go one step beyond pictures so I used iphoto to create a movie of experience.  So enjoy the Donavon Frankenreiter soundtrack of “Free” and tell me if you can recognize his back-up singer.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How about 118%

So because with my donor’s help I exceeded my fundraising goal by 7% I had hoped to improve my Olympic triathlon time over my previous effort by that same amount.  That meant taking my previous time of 4 hours and 15 minutes to under 4 hours with an 18-minute improvement.  Well the results from last Sunday are in and as you can see by the title of this post, I nearly tripled that 7% improvement with an 18% improvement reducing my time by over 45 minutes to 3 hours, 27 minutes and 34 seconds.  I had a really great day and a really great race.

Which of course leaves me with so many people to thank for this success.  I will start with my wife, Sally, and kids, Samantha, Jack and Hannah, who tolerated Dad being home even less than normal for the training I started in November.  Next my donors, whose generosity helped me raise nearly $5,400 that inspired me to exceed my goals for the race.  To my coaches, Charley and Mary, who never allowed me to slack off even when I wanted to, and kept me honest that I had more in myself than I realized.  To my team, who together we helped each other reach our significant fundraising goals while also raising our athletic ability with all of the hours of practice.  Finally to my Mom, who I have already recognized twice in this blog, I can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for me in my life because she always finds a way to keep giving no matter what.