Two Saturdays ago, I took and passed my ham radio Technician exam (33/35)

6 days ago (on Wednesday) I was assigned KI7PYE. So I’m legal, now. However, I’ve put in for a vanity, which was my dad’s old call sign. I’m hoping to receive it within two weeks. I’ll announce what it is at that time.

I’m excited to start using this. I’d love to see how my 9 watt radio works along the Rock Canyon trail along my way to Squaw Peak.

Where I’m at with my Pony Express 100 training

I just came off of a rough two-week span of time, wherein I came down with some brutal allergies, asthma, and, according to my doctor — pre-pneumonia. (What is pre-pneumonia, you ask?) I don’t know. Just whatever comes before pneumonia, I guess.

Suffice it to say that, for a week, I was in a really bad place. My running stopped. My nose ran constantly. I was basically just having an asthma attack at all times. I took breathing treatments and sucked on my inhaler to try to restore some semblance of breathing.

My Dr prescribed an Amoxicillin pill (which I am still taking) in order to knock this sickness out. It seems to be working, but now that I’m ready to pick up training again, a few fires have broken out on the west coast, of which smoke has settled into our Utah mountains.

I’m screwed.

I can’t run in this smoke. I’ll just get sick again. Because of my schedule, treadmills are not a viable option.

My progress, so far…

This excel chart sort of gives you an idea of how consistent my training has been going, before I got sick.

If I can finish up the rest of it in all yellow, I’ll probably be ok. If not, I’m looking at a rough, rough first 100 miler.

Viewing the 2017 solar eclipse from Iona, Idaho

I will be adding to this as I have more thoughts, but wanted to get this posted sooner than later…

I guess I’m just another witness to a total solar eclipse, who doesn’t know how to describe what he just saw. I’m not even sure I can really remember what I saw. I’ve been trying to watch my solar eclipse videos and look at pictures to job the memory of something happened only 24 hours ago.

We drove from Provo, Utah, up to Iona, Idaho to witness this solar eclipse and to celebrate my good friend Patrick’s 42nd birthday.

We arrived at Patrick’s old buddy’s home in Iona and quickly exchanged handshakes and hugs with everyone there, introducing ourselves and thanking our hosts for allowing us to be there.

Video of the eclipse, in 47 seconds

But there wasn’t much time before this solar event.

Frantically, I worked as quickly as I could to set up my iPad on the back of the homeowner’s truck, so that video would capture the scene as we watched the sequence of this eclipse. I couldn’t get it to sit horizontally, so reluctantly I settled on a very narrow vertical frame (it wouldn’t turn out to be bad, but I wish I could have captured more of what was outside of the video — kids running around, adults gasping, etc.)

As we watched with our eclipse sunglasses on, we knew that soon a moment would arrive when the moon would finally touch the side of the sun and begin to move in front of it, like a curtain over a little window.

When it finally did, voices excitedly rose and children started running around happily. The more and more the sun was closed in on by the moon, the cooler it got, the stranger it got, and then finally — darkness.

We all took our glasses off and witnessed what I know I won’t be able to describe in any of these paragraphs: In the middle of a summer’s day — a fall breeze. In the middle of day — night.

The Moon hung in the center of the sun, perfectly, presenting a picture which is unavailable to the world, except very few times. Most people will probably never experience a solar eclipse. Today is the first day of my life that I feel badly for these people.

As the edges of the moon caught fire, I couldn’t help but remain transfixed. I became antsy, knowing that this would only last a couple of minutes. Quickly, I interviewed my three daughters on video and asked them simple questions, like, “What do you think of this!?”

We also noticed a hawk, flying erratically and screeching in protest at this strange event.

I kissed my wife under the 2017 solar eclipse.

I noticed how happy my friends were around me. I resolved to never forget this moment.

And then, as soon as the sun started to slip past the edge of the moon, I realized that our two minutes of odd, quiet glory were up and that I was already starting to forget the details of what I’d just seen.

No wonder people chase this event all around the world.

All I knows is that the one feeling I was left with at the end of this whole thing, was…”unfulfilled”. One solar eclipse isn’t enough for me. I need more experiences to be able to capture what it is I’m trying to capture.

For now, suffice it to say, it was a feeling of belonging, of togetherness with friends and family. The experience was sacred.

The heavy lungs jog

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 0:40:47
Pace: 10:08
Temp:  50º
Air quality: Pollen
Weather: Clear, cool, pleasant
Things I saw: My friend, Adrienne Wilson, lots of birds on the trail
Pain/injuries: Just sick. Lungs are at about 60%, so I was pretty miserable. Did not walk. Not sure if that’s anything to brag about. Maybe I should have walked.
Weight: 182.5 (sickness has dropped me about 7 pounds.

Notes: Woke up, decided to try to run. It didn’t go smoothly. Very difficult to get going and once I did, very slow. No energy, not getting full breaths (too deep of a breath sends me into a coughing fit.)

Monday run with allergies (3 miles, miserable)

I told my friend/coach/running life partner that I get sick with allergies about twice a year. I told him this a few days ago. Wouldn’t you know it I’m hitting one of those seasons, now. Pollen counts have been ridiculously high, so on Saturday night, I felt that familiar tickle in my throat. I held out hope that this wouldn’t be anything, but it most certainly is.

Sunday was brutal, being the first real nasty day. Very sore throat, gallons upon gallons of running nose, and just overall feeling gross. Sunday night was worse, because it’s almost impossible to sleep in this situation. I went through 1.5 boxes of Kleenex in less than 12 hours and sleep was fleeting. I probably got about 3 good hours.

(And here’s where the run comes in.)

Monday Morning I woke up tired, miserable and still draining. But I put my running clothes on and somehow made it out the door. As soon as I started running, I could feel the effects of the allergies. I was sluggish and miserable, but I was running.

Along the trail I found a nice knife, which I’m not sure how to get back to the original owner. I guess I’ll post something on Facebook, but if no one claims it, I guess it’s another knife.

I finished the run relatively strong and don’t feel that I’m any sicker for it.

Oh, forgot to mention that, for one reason or another, I’m down 5 pounds from two weeks ago. Excellent.

Saturday, running long (3+17+1)

Saturday morning was the 2nd annual Provo Parkway Stake 5k. I woke up early and ran down to the church pavilion to help set up. I wanted to get 3 miles in before I started my long run, so that I wouldn’t have to spend all day on the trail.

The race went fine. Roxie took first in her age group 17 and under and Reagan took 2nd place in the same age group. Wendy handled her 5k very well and may have PR’d for the distance. She seemed happy with her run.

Somehow I took third in mine. I really phoned it in, running about a 9 minute pace.

After the race, I let Wendy know I was leaving, then started out for what I hoped would be 15 miles. The first 8-9 went along just fine, but when I started getting into the double digits, I felt tired and very hot. I drank at every opportunity, but just could not settle in. In retrospect, it could be that my body was preparing to fight off some severe allergies, which would set in Saturday night.

I did eat a banana and some oranges, but not really any carbs, which I’m sure added to the stress of the run. At Will’s Pit Stop, on the way back, I bought a Gatorade and drank about half of it along the way, finally throwing the container away on University Avenue, at a bus stop garbage.

The rest of the run was tough, just trying to finish strong. I managed to keep my miles under 10’s, but just didn’t feel it that day.

All in all, though, it was good training. I think that with the distance I’m attempting, it might be a good idea to get used to uncomfortable miles. I forgot to mention what hurt: My hips. I really need to strengthen my hips. Slight shin splint tenderness, which has since disappeared, as expected (ran 3 on Monday, today, with no shin splint issues.)

I should admit that that night, my friend Matt Heil wanted to run, so I went one mile with him, because I wanted to give him a good send-off into his new running career. That’s how I ended up with one mile more than planned.