The Journey – 574.5 Miles, Peach Springs, Arizona:
Leg 00101 - Arizona DesertAnother 6.5 miles down the A2B Route.  Now only about 16 miles from Peach Springs.  Not much else to see or say about this part of the A2B Journey.

The Run:
I was unusually sore this morning, especially my calves.  So, I took some extra time to stretch every part of my legs.

Today’s high altitude run was a little better than my first run in Montana.  I was a little less out of breath.  It always surprises me how the oxygen deprived running (aka difficult breathing) affects my stride.  It feels off.  But again, a little better than the previous run.

I am still not use to the cold weather.  Even though it is early June, it feels like early spring here. The trees have their spring blooms on them.

The first part of my run today was uphill for about a half mile. A nice starting challenge.  The remainder of the run zig-zagged down into the valley and then back up again.

Hopefully by the end of the week, I can feel some rhythm and distance in my stride.

The Mind:
June is generally a happy month for me.  There are a lot of family events and personal milestone days in June.  Some of the most significant events and greatest turning points in my life occurred in this month.  And certainly, June 4th is a happy day that is worth commemorating.

Among other things, it is my father’s birthday.

Picture5I thought about my Dad on my very cool morning run.  To me, he is a walking definition of commitment and stick-to-it-iveness, with a little bit of stubbornness mixed in.  (The more I look in the mirror, the more I realize that the stubbornness factor is genetic . . . . for which I am grateful.)

In large part, he is the inspiration behind my A2B Journey.  As a teenager, I watched him quietly make a virtual cross-country run. With a State Farm road atlas in hand, he used a ruler, pencil, and paper to create his logs.  Instead of Google, he leveraged Ma Bell to gather local route information. He would go to the city library to read the front pages phone books from across the country.  (Yes! The library actually kept and maintained a giant collection of phone books.)

My running goals today ring familiar to conversations that Daddy and I had some 30 years ago. I remember him trying to tell his very “teenage” son just what kind of runner that the kid was capable of becoming. And here I am today, just now figuring out what he knew then.

Other notable factors about this man include the following.  He loves my Mom crazy!  He loves his kids. (As for me, he continually loves me in spite of me.)  He deeply and unconditionally adores his grandkids!

In short, he is, quite simply, a good man! Worthy of love and respect!

Happy Birthday Daddy!  I love you!  And thank you!

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