Barcelona Day 2 

We slept in a bit and then I got out for a quick run along the beach. We then purchased a day pass for the hop on hop off bus.  Our first stop was for the Cementiri Est de Poblenou, and then lunch. 
TBC – these are in reverse order but I’ll fix later. 

After lunch we walked along the board walk back to the bus, then jumped on it to the Sagrada Familia – I’ll do that in it’s own blog post!  From there we went to Park Guell, walked up and up and saw some amazing views.  Then we had a bit of an aventure getting to Tibidabo.  The phone said it was a 28 minute walk, which would have been faster than going back to our bus stop to get to the next stop, so we started walking.  We realized it looked to be much further so we jumped in a taxi which took us a long long ways.  There really wasn’t much to do a Tibidabo so we took a bus — a super crowded bus down the mountain.  From there it was a “subway tram” ride down to a normal sub way station, and from there a few trains toget to our bus.  The bus ride in was quite long and we were the only two on the bus, sitting up top in the front from to try to stay warm.  We grabbed some food at a Mediterranean place on La Rumbla, then some dessert, and finally got back to the hotel. 


Beech Mountain Xterra 5k

On the day I started my 46 revolution around the sun, I was talked in to running the Beech Mountain Xterra 5k.  There was also a 15k, which is much more my kind of thing, but timing wise I just couldn’t make it work — we had to get off the mountain and get R1 off to camp.  Plus Lucho suggested a hard 5k would be better for me with where I am in my training right now.

I got quite the birthday present — the young gun that must have gotten 90-120s ahead of me missed a turn, and so while I thought I was running for 2nd place, I came in to the finish and was told I won the race overall!  Hardest 5k I’ve ever run (not that I run many, it’s been over two years since the last); slowest 5k (28:11) I’ve run at least in the last 25 years if not ever…  But I’ll take the win!  (It’s the 1st time I’ve ever won a race outright!)

 

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The data shows I was in the 5:15 range on the downhill….

The Pursuit of Happiness

This article on irunfar.com came across my reader today:

http://www.irunfar.com/2016/07/the-pursuit-of-happiness.html

And a couple of quotes really stood out to me, especially in light of my DNF at Bryce:

At some point, and I forget exactly how his comment came about, he said something along the lines of “isn’t this what it’s all about? The pursuit of happiness…not the race as such, that’s just an excuse to get together…it seems to me that what’s important is the shared experience…for better or for worse this is an incredible moment.”

And:

Ultimately, it is not about the race, how fast or slow we run, it is about the people and the shared experiences, and that togetherness is for me what makes running in the mountains so meaningful.

This holds true for me for Bryce…  I had a great time at Bryce, both the family and friend time before and after, but also the race.  Would I liked to have finished?  Of course, but that wasn’t what was most important about the experience.

AZ & UT Day 9: Zion – Angels Landing

After we packed up the cabin we headed back to Zion. It was still crowded , but we actually got a parking spot in the park this time! We took a shuttle to the Grotto, and hiked up Angels Landing, which has sections with chains to hold on to, and 1000 foot drops on either side. It was a day with near record heat, and we all ran out of water. About a mile out I ran down to get more water and bring it back up, and passed EMTs heading up to help someone out – presumably and hopefully for heat exhaustion. 

After we hiked down, we got some refreshments at the lodge, and took the shuttle back toward the car. We ended the 100F+ day with some time in the Virgin river.  

Photos below:

AT & UT day 4: Bryce

With the start of race tomorrow, we laid low today with a few short walks around Bryce and the scenic drive.  We made it to race check-in in time for Ben to compete in the beverage mile, and I paced him on the last loop.  I could definitely feel the altitude!  Photos of Bryce below.