Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
The air quality is going to be poor for a while so we are trying to stay indoors and minimizing aerobic activity while in the smoke filled air.
All of us have felt very cooped up and we continue to host an evacuated family in addition to Leslie's parents who were also in an evacuated area. No structure damage to any of these folks, but the cleanup of ash and soot will require some effort.
As I have returned to work and start to get back in touch with families and friends we are continuing to listen of saddening stories and frightening experiences of evacuations and what it was like to be so close (some just within blocks away). Also sad is that one of my favorite Ultra training runs in Blue Sky Reserve has been burned away and it will be some time before I can return there for trail running. This is not uncommon in much of San Diego county though. Most trails anywhere within where I or the club will run has been devastated and leveled by fire.
Just like anything else though we are determined as a society and will rebuild and move on because today is a new day. Today is one more day of healing and recovery for our beautiful city, and in time this will come to pass as a memory that we have learned from. Our strength of community and endless outpouring of support and volunteering makes us stronger.
Thanks again to all the friends and family who have been calling, it feels great to know all of you are watching out for us. We are safe and have no problems and will spend this coming weekend with respirator masks for the cleanup of ash that is all around the house and street.
..next time I log in here let's hope we are able to be out running again and can get on track for CAL International which is just a few short weeks away!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
While I sit here trying to get updates I have found this map quite handy at learning of any new activity: Google FireMap
Through the night though we stood watchful shifts for flare-ups and wind shifts; not to mention the Fallbrook fire still burns with minimum containment. Fallbrook is still our neighboring city to the East so all of us are still on watch and our evacuees are still under formal evacuation and their streets are closed.
To all my friends and family we cannot thank all of you enough for the incredible outpouring of support and offers of housing. We are also getting word from most of our friends and co-workers in the devastation and evacuation areas that they are returning to their homes and to this point have not heard of any major losses in personal safety or homes and belongings.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Just four years ago, we lived through a huge wildfire situation where it almost felt like San Diego itself was on fire from all vantage points. Hard to imagine that we could find or experience anything worse in such a short amount of time again.
Now it's October 20th, 2007 and I'm heading home after spending 30+ hours volunteering at the Sunrise Aid Station for the 100 Mile San Diego Endurance Run through the Cuyamaca Mountains, yes, the very one which has pretty much now burned. Sunday 10/21 I was driving home through highway #79 listening to live fire reports about a little fir burning which at the time was not hardly news worthy. By the time I got home (and had a little nap) the fire turned into an out of control blaze that was growing wildly with the Santa Ana winds that began to whip up on Saturday evening.
The blaze continues even as I write this. At this time we are still in a 'safe' zone, one of the few in teh county. Our worst experience so far at this point is that the fire burns to the South, East, and North of us and the winds have been blowing West but the onshore flow is bringing them back around to the East, causing an uncomfortable continuation of the smoke filled air and everyone is still coughing and hacking, but we have not been under mandatory evacuation.
At one point on Monday evening we were under a voluntary evacuation. The notice was about 2AM but lifted shortly after so we remain in our own home with all windows sealed for smoke and ash which also continues to rain down on us. It has made for the last several days to be almost surreal but thankfully this morning (10/24/07 8AM) I can see some patchy blue skies and the sunrise is visible though still hazy.
Most of my friends and co-workers have all been displaced and are evacuated at all different areas around the county. We have continued to be a safe haven and are also housing an evacuated family and pets in our home. We are proud and thankful to still have this to offer to those who have or may still be in danger of losing their 'shelter'.
My company has graciously (and even mandated) that all San Diego employees remain home and telecommute if possible. This has been a big help for us to be able to help others. The fires in Camp Pendleton are still quite close to us and at one point actually crossed 8 lanes of the 5 freeway. Reporters and firemen were reporting that these fires would likely burn out when they hit the oceans coastline...scary!
We have had limited cell-phone coverage and intermittent internet access but all of that is stabilizing as of late yesterday, so I'm thinking and hoping that this brings us closer to better containment. We continue to vigilantly watch the progress but are confident all will be welll by the end of the day or week. The fires will not be out or fully controlled until the end of the month but each passing hour puts further and further from harms way.
* I was not able to get some good pics, but their are many albums already posted with some good images of the events as they unfolded.. such as this album (where I got the image above)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Jennifer runs an aid station at the SD100 that I though would be a lot of fun to take part in plus I really wanted to see what it took to run a 100 miler. Our station was at approximately mile 56 of the race. I reported to my station at 1pm on Saturday which was only about 2 hours before the first person came through which was also the race winner, Karl Meltzer, he was clearly on a mission as I barely had time to refill the water bottle before he cleared our station.
What I saw was an amazing determination of all the runners and their spirits were high. The combination of runners spirit the great ham radio vounteers and the other volunteers at the Sunrise station which included David Henderson and Norm Haines (a Badwater Solo finisher). We had a great time and although I found it to be a hectic pace the volunteers and the individual race crews did a fabulous job and keeping things running efficiently.
I now can say that I understand what it's like to be on the other side. Typically I have run the events but now as a volunteer it was enlightening to see the level of work, planning, and donations that go into this... So continue to tell your race volunteers "Thank You!" because it never gets old and everyone whether running or volunteering deserves a pat on the back.
Friday, October 19, 2007
The inspiration to keep putting one foot in front of the other at a rapid pace (sometimes called “Running”) shows no sign of letting up. The last couple of months were rather interesting since it included two more Ultra Marathons at the 50K distance, very aptly named “Mt. Disappointment” and “Noble Canyon”, kind of a sick joke… but then again what kind of person runs that far in the first place!?
Clearly for those who are on the other side of the fence you can see that Ultra runners are in a class by themselves and a little mental to boot, and I’ll be the first to admit it. Which leads me to the fact of how I am absolutely shocked at our abilities to find ourselves cheerleaders, particularly spouses and partners, who in their own right I think are a bit mental as well. I say this with an air of being in slight awe that someone is willing to sit on their duff for a very long period of time in the middle of nowhere while wondering just where in the heck you are (as they are foot tapping with anticipation of getting to see the slightly uneventful finish).
I could go on and on here and it’s easy to find plenty of antecdotes on the internet about running; but my main purpose is really to prove that even mere mortals, myself included, can perform amazing goals. Whether you do a 5K walk or a Full Ironman triathlon the key is to get out there and support your community. It does not matter if it takes you 24 minutes or 24 hours because the real heroes here are the ones just brave enough to toe-the-start-line.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Yep, another one down and it feels great! Well no PR (5:41) for the 50K it was still a great race that I'd like to do again. In fact it has me considering the 100 miler....mmm maybe a little too ambitious but we shall see.
Though if I keep getting the great support from Leslie that I have been, then anything is possible. At this race we had good friends and a cool swimming pool to heal in after words, and the pool even had a floating bar! what could be better after a 50K but red meat, beer, and a swimming pool.