Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Transferring...for real.

Well after a 6 month delay I am going to the Distribution Center in February! I am happy to be starting a new adventure, professionally...

On the running front I ran a Marathon PR in November (3:58) at the Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon and a 50k PR (5:54) at the Ridgecrest 50k in December.

The Grand Canyon was an awesome time in October. Jeff, Bonnelle and I ran across, spent the night and ran back. Lisa and the boys drove our stuff around to the North rim. She even had the camp set up, tent and all. Love that! We ran into Catra Corbet on our way across as she was heading back to the South on her rim to rim to rim...All in all a great trip. Great company, great food, and of course...great scenery.

Now we're training for the Montana de oro 50 in Feb. In March we're going to do the Malibu Creek 50k and the Sycamore Cyn 50k. April is Leona 50 mile. May is Nanny goat 24 hour in Riverside.

That's all for now...
Happy Trails. Mike.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Title: Transfering (pending the approval of my lawyer...)

Well, the exciting news that I've been waiting to share is that it looks like I'll be transfering to the distribution center! What?? What's that?? Oh, lawyer would like to add something:

Transferee hereby agrees to and does for himself and his heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, and each of them, release, remit, remise, acquit and forever discharge Employer, all individual members of Board of Directors (past, present and future), its employees, officer, agents, successors and assigns and Target, Inc. from any and all matters of action, causes of action, grievances, rights or claims of rights, debts, dues, damages, liabilities, costs claims, controversies, demands, torts, contracts, agreements, guarantees, indebtedness, obligations, expenses, accountings, warranties and choices in action, in law or in equity, including grievances of unfair labor practices and of every nature and description whatsoever by reason of or in respect to the performance by Retiree of any extra duty assignment by Transferee whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, latent or patent, or has at any time heretofore owned or held against the aforesaid parties or Board of Directors.

Wow. That was kind of akward. Kinda slowed down the story and stifled my creativity! Oh well, I guess that's the kind of world we live in. You know you can't buy a iron these days without heeding the warning, "do not iron clothes while you're wearing them." 0r a curling iron, "for external use only." You know that all of these disclaimers in our lives are here because someone, late for work, tried to iron their clothes after they got dressed. They were then in so much pain they took way too much medication, combined with a couple shots of alcohol and said, "well...I guess it's time to operate heavy machinary now!"

But, you know, that's what it's come down to. It's a "cover your ass" world we live in. Caution, contents may be hot. Slippery when wet. Danger, thin ice. Radar enforced. Monitered by cameras. Remove child before folding. Do not reach hand inside until moving parts have stopped. Do not use to dry pet. And the classic, Avoid death.
What boggles my mind, is that some things are so regulated and enforced and others, it seems, are up to our discretion. Who decides these things? Do you know that anyone who wants to can climb up the cables at Half-dome in Yosemite? There are signs everywhere to not leave food in your car, tent, etc., but everyday there's an incident because someone decided not to heed the warning. Then later that afternoon the same moron is hanging precariously 4000 feet above their mangled car on the side of a sheer granite face. No guard rails, no supervision. Do we really trust them to do the right thing? No! People die every year from falling off half-dome so I guess when the National Park Service gets sued there will be a waiver, a pre-requisite course, a guide, money, and it will be another one of those, "avoid death" signs.

So, time's running out people! You want to feed a grizzly bear a sandwich? Go to Yellowstone now! Want to sneak up on a moose for a good photo and enjoy the thrill of being charged? Head up the Alcan highway! But I'm telling you, someday soon we'll all need lawyers and disclaimers for everything. Remember the good ole days when you got a call by mistake? You used to say, "sorry, wrong number." Someday soon a lawyer will be there on the other end of the phone ready to say, "Unless otherwise agreed expressly in writing by both parties, this communication is to be treated as confidential and the information in it may not be used or disclosed except for the purpose for which it has been intended. If you have reason to believe that you are not the intended recipient of this communication, please contact your phone provider immediately."
Have a presentation at work? Your lawyer will stand up and say, "the opinions stated in the following presentation are not the opinions of the company...yet. Warning: Although the company has taken reasonable precautions to ensure that my client is not going to say anything totally crazy, there is a chance he will, in which case the company cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from what you're about to hear. Listen, observe, read, and think at your own risk!
Going grocery shopping? Soon there will be a huge sign in front of the store..."Warning...consumtion of the food hereby contained on these premises, without the appropriate physical activity, will result in an energy imbalance, which will lead to weight gain, mood swings, lowered sense of self worth, lack of motivation, sweating, tight clothes, and general discomfort. Proceed at your own risk." We might as well close all the fast food joints. Except for in n out!

So yes, it looks like I'm transferring to the DC. The drive will be shorter and hopefully I'll be working days. It's either a 3 or 4 day work week, so that'll be nice. I am excited for the new challenges that await me and I think it'll be nice to be out of the retail side of things. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I feel that the DC business will suit my personality and blue collar nature while allowing me to leverage my strengths in order to faciliate growth as I develop as a leader at Target in preparation for my future roles.

Happy trails,

Any reproduction, retransmission, republication, or other use of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless prior written permission has been granted by Trailmix or the appropriate copyright owner. All other rights reserved.

The names, logos, trademarks, and service marks of Trailmix that appear on this site may not be used in any advertising, publicity, promotion, or in any other manner implying Trailmix's endorsement, sponsorship of, or affiliation with any product or service, without Trailmix's prior express written permission.

Although Trailmix's Website includes links to other Internet sites, Trailmix takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor does it exert any editorial or other control over those other sites.

Trailmix's blog exists to provide information and services to Trailmix's loyal followers(Karl, Lisa, and Mom) and to the trail running practitioners at large, in keeping with Trailmix's mission and its status as a blog. In the preparation of the information contained on these Web pages, Trailmix has endeavored to make that information as accurate and current as possible. However, inadvertent errors can occur. Therefore, the information on the Trailmix Website is provided "as is," without any guarantee or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. If you don't like it, stuff your pockets with granola bars and go sleep in your car in Yosemite.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I hardly update my blog these days. Not that I was ever really consistent about it but when you have 2 loyal readers, does it really matter? Props to Karl and Mom! Anyway, it seems as though I'm either always tired or really tired. It is not uncommon that at any given time I've been up for 36 hours. My record is 42! That's 42 hours awake on two one-hour's not advisable. When I finally do go to bed, sometimes my mind is racing. Maybe it is some sort of survival, coping mechanism?? Either way, I'm over working nights. I miss tucking my guys into bed and being on the same schedule as everyone else. For now though I'm nocturnal. I might have news soon that that is changing...we'll see. My Mom is enrolled in a writing class which I'm very excited about. I think she needs to start a blog and post all her work. In the spirit of writing class, I'm going to write an inpromtu poem for this blog entry. For you Mom.


Sun fades, night falls, mountain comes alive.
Bears roam, cars rush home, work left far behind.
Timer bells, dinner smells, wafting through the air.
Cooling now, windows open, hear the TV's blair.

New moon, milky way, summer's brilliant sky.
Time stands still, pine tree's smell, satelites go by.
Off to work, for the job, my gratitude eternal.
Waiting though, back to days, enough, no more nocturnal.

Until next time...Happy trails!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Leona Divide 50 was a little warmer than it has been the last few years. That being said, it was Bob's first attempt outside the 50k distance and so the weather was not the focus at the start. Friday we went to the pasta dinner/pre race briefing in Lake Hughes and then scouted out the road crossing, 42 mile aid station, where Lisa, Holly, and the kids would meet us on our way to the finish. I was extremly proud of Bob for taking on the race in the first place. At Sycamore Cyn 50k two weeks earlier he was not feeling stellar at the end...It was Friday afternoon when Lisa told me that Bob had contacted Glenda, the RD, Monday to see if he could still get in even though the cut off had passed and registration was closed. "What!! He's thinking about doing Leona??" I immediately called his house and Holly told me, yep you guessed it, he was out on a run!! I jumped in the truck and and proceeded to track him down. A brief conversation and he was getting a ride back to his house. "Let's do this thing!" After the pasta and a promise to Glenda to not put her through this next year, he was signed up.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. I remember my first 50 miler and the thought that I don't belong here! Look at these lean animals and their Western States 100 shirts!! I am out of my league! Bob had a few of the same thoughts, but I reassured him that he was a great runner, no doubt he trains harder than me! Lis and the boys drove us to the start which was awesome! The weather was perfect, not too cold. With hugs and kisses and some well wishes we were off. We maintained a great pace(nice and slow!) through the first climbs and were running the downhills and flats comfortably. As the sun rose you could tell the heat was going to be a little more of a factor than in years past. I ran into Jeff Stevenson and got the latest news on the house in Leadville and what he's been up to. We also ran with Conrad Daniel and Donnelle Stevenson for a few miles which is always a treat! At some point I started asking Bob if he'd peed yet? No...Okay, no need to panic start drinking.
The aid stations were great as the miles ticked by. After mile 32 every step was a new distance PR for Bob which is exciting, but I could tell he was starting to slow down a little. Are you drinking? No...uh ohh! We made the climb to the turnaround at mile 35 and not long after Bob's legs started locking up on him. He drank two bottles and took some more electrolytes but by this time the damage was done. He'd gone 8 hours without peeing and it was getting hotter with a brutal 4 mile climb that is totally exposed awaiting us at mile 42. At mile 38 he made a tough decision to drop. He was satisfied with 38 miles and walked away with a great lesson learned about what it takes to tackle the longer distances.
I left him at the Luau at mile 38 in good hands and bombed off the mountain, excited to see Lis and the boys. I passed 3 or 4 runners on the downhill and got to the 42 mile aid station at 4pm. I tried to get cooled off a little, got my fuel out of my drop bag, got my bottles topped and hit the trail trying to focus on the climb ahead. It was hard! The heat and endless switchbacks were demoralizing. I caught up with a Marine Officer who flies helicopters and we hung together until the down hill finish. I left him with about a mile to go and ran in to cheers from those at the finish line. Bob was there, feeling better, with the family and it felt great to sit down! Thanks to all the volunteers and especially Lisa, Shane, and Ryan who are always there to support and care for me!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Montrails roasting on an open fire.

Take caution runners. Two years ago when I ran across the Grand Canyon it poured rain on us the whole way across. It was cold and we barely escaped flash floods and rocks plummeting off impromptu waterfalls cascading off the canyon walls hundreds of feet above. Robert actually took a rock on his hand as we squeezed between the canyon wall and the waterfall beating down on the trail. All in all it was an eventful day and one I'll not forget. The biggest lessons I learned that day however, I learned not while running but upon reaching the North Rim.

1. Always accept rides from complete strangers with heated leather seats.
2. Don't try to eat soup while shaking uncontrollably from hypothermia.
3. Don't place wet running shoes to close to a hot fire.
Yes, my Continental Divides actually shrunk a good 2 sizes that night. I ran across the canyon in size 13 Montrails and back in size 11! Now when my shoes are wet I dry them slowly .
Happy trails & dry feet,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Training-Finding Peace in the World.

Let's face it. Sometimes it's hard to get out and run. Heck, sometimes it's hard to get out of bed! It seems that winter always brings an extra challenge to an already hectic, full, schedule. What with work, communting, kids, work, and oh yea did I mention work, who has time to do anything? But it is of utmost importance that we find those moments that answer the question, "What is it all for?". Sometimes it's a song, a moment, or if you're lucky, spending time running in the mountains.
Sometimes it is those little moments where you are completely at peace and all is right with the world. I think that running tends to be pre-disposed to having those moments because there is a point when you're stripped down, physically, emotionally, that you're more open to feelings of real joy. Let's face it, running and wearing yourself out gives you a new perspective; a hot shower feels better, a coke never tasted so good, and sitting down is heaven. I would challenge everyone to find those moments every day. Take a few minutes to appreciate your life everyday, embrace your place in the world, and renew your spirit.
Happy Trails, Mike.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mountains, garmins, and goats oh my!

Well, I have to admit that running up here in the mountains is great! I feel so lucky to be able to train and live here! This weekend we were down in the big city so I had the opportunity to hook up with some long lost friends/training partners. I met up with JR, Wendy, Steve, Diana, Joe, Bill, John, and others for a run from the Topanga Overlook to Red Rock amphitheatre. It was a hilly and challenging 14 mile run. It definately feels nice to run at sea level! The next day I again met up with a group of Mountain Goats and The New Basin Blues at Tunnel 1 on Kanan. We ran to Encinal Cyn and back for a nice 10 mile run. After the run Jeanie and many runners had a "pot luck" affair with everything from stuffed grape leaves to ice cream! It was great to see everyone and train with such a talented group of runners. I'm definately looking forward to training with several of them up on the AC 100 course this year.
I am enjoying running with my new Garmin 405. It is great to accurately track miles and pace. Bottom line...better training-better racing.
Happy trails......

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Say "NO" to Pasadena!!

Pasadena was cancelled due to the wild fires in So. Cal. It was too smokey to safely run the race, so we were out around $350 and a 4 hour drive. The good news is they re-scheduled the run...the bad news is they want us to pay again! Not the full price but half price, $40. I say nay, nay, nay! I've been in other events that were cancelled and if you paid, they let you run it when they re-scheduled it for FREE!

There is no way I'm going to pay $180/night at the host hotel and another $40 for the race. That would be a grand total of about $600 to run 26.2 miles. That's about $22 a mile! Screw that! I'll pay $50 and run Leona. That's $1 a mile! Plus I'll make Bob and Ken buy me a Latte afterwards for helping them finish their first 50 miler!!!

Back in Business

Well, it's been about a year since I was training seriously. It feels good to be back on a schedule of running some quality miles, eating good, and looking forward to some events. It has been great living back up here in the mountains. Actually, I've never really trained seriously while living up here, so I'm interested to see how I'll feel during a 50k/50miler down at sea level. I've been training exclusively up here at altitudes from 5200-8800 feet. The 5 mile loop I do regularly has 1250 feet of elevation gain, so a double loop is 2500 feet! That's good training! My 18 miler last week was mostly road running due to snow levels, but still at altitude and hilly. I'm doing 20 this weekend in the santa monica's and looking forward to running in my old stomping ground.
Happy Trails, Mike.