Thursday, October 16, 2008

Away from Home

Well, it's been quite some time since I have visited my own blog. Seems like ages ago as in the last post it was sunny and warm. It's hard to believe it was only one month ago.
In the past month I had the opportunity to crew Lisa Bliss at the Spartathlon. Here is a link to her blog with more detail of what happened before the race, with photos!
Greece is a beautiful place filled with modern amenities and plenty of evidence of Ancient Greece. What seemed so amazing to me what the dichotomy of the city itself. As you are traveling through a bustling modern city
at any point you can look up and there in view are the remains of an Ancient City rich with history.
I was constantly analyzing the old and the new and the relationship between the two.

The highlight of the trip was the race itself. First off, I am truly impressed and inspired by Lisa. She had only 4 days to recover from a sprained, (badly sprained) ankle before the 153 mile grueling road race from Athens to Sparta. I never once heard her complain about her situation; only her desire to run in the Spartathon and do the best she could. Being a part of her accomplishment of completing 120 miles through such adversity was an experience I am glad to put in my own books. Note to self: you can do your best if you try your best.
The village kids were another highlight of the trip. They were so excited that the runners were coming through their village and they show their enthusiasm by riding their bikes next to the runners as the approached the aid station. For those kids who did not have a bike, they ran next to the runners with their own Spartathlon jerseys. They loved to get their photos taken and to practice their English. We were given handful of freshly picked grapes from an older woman and fresh baked sweet bread from a older man.
Although I don't speak Greek and they didn't speak English, the offering of food is universal!
Not to go too much into detail.....but another thing that inspired me was just watching the race. So much emotion was worn on the faces of the runners and at all stages of the race, especially the finish line, the statue of King Leonidas in Sparta. I cannot even imagine how the finish line feels with 153 miles on yours legs and on your mind. Congratulations to all who participated. Scott Jerek won for the third year in a row dominating the field with a winning time over 2 hours ahead of second place. And Stacy Bunton from Portland was second for the women, great job!
I just might add, that one of the fun things I did in Greece was make a fuss over all the cute stray dogs. Here was one of the cutest...a puppy!

After returning from Greece I spent much time getting reacquainted with work.. :( and much time spoiling Struth.. :) Then about 10 days later, I left again. Do I have a flexible job or what! I flew down to Sedona
to meet up with my dad
for an extended weekend. It was great to see the sun so consistently. As I was soaking up the sun and enjoying the brightness, I started thinking to myself....WHY do I live In Seattle? Should I move to a sunnier place? I've been flirting with this idea on and off for a while and the desire once again is strong to move along. We'll see....
Anyway. . . .the trip to Sedona with my dad was awesome. Highlights: seeing my dad, eating great food, going on a hot air balloon ride,
going on a jeep ride through Red Rock Canyon and going on a short trail run near sunset. . There are a lot of low flying cacti!
The colors are amazing, the landscape is awesome and the history of Arizona is interesting, learned about that from the pilot of the hot air balloon and the jeep driver.
My dad and I spent a few hours in haunted Jerome, a rustic old town situated in the hills above Sedona. It was an old copper mine turned desolate; turned arty with a huge marijuana crop; turned flavor-rich tourist town. And Elvis lives there.

From Jerome, we headed back to Phoenix to visit with my favorite cousin
and then on to visiting old family friends. It was a whirlwind trip. A great time, very relaxing. Now, it's business time. Work, play, making plans for future travel.
Next up: I have no idea!
Stay tuned for picassa web album with MORE PHOTOS!

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