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Mountains and Valleys

Oswald Chambers: Mountains and valleys by Zen Pencils
The illustration above is the work of Zen Pencils, an illustrator who adapts famous quotes into cartoons. The quote he picked this time is by Oswald Chambers. Head over to his website to read it. Aside from being beautifully drawn, the quote is a good summary of a lesson I'm learning in all spheres of my life, especially running and working.

Rabid Squirrel at Hanging Rock
Training for WV Trilogy has been going well. I had some great runs in the past weekends, exploring new trails, mountains, and meeting new people. Two runs come immediately to mind: one at Hanging Rock State Park for the Rabid Squirrel and the other at Iron Mountain in Damascus, VA. However, with training, I've withheld myself from signing up for races to stick to a schedule and just doing the work -- "the ordinary things" as Oswald Chambers says in the quote. I've great respect for those who might never sign up for a race, not being distracted by blings and records, and just run to be in the woods and for the joy of running. Focusing on the little things gives me a new perspective and appreciation for the sport.

Speaking of training, I just got an update from Ethiopia. The construction at Abana, the coffee farm I'm raising money for, is going well but slowly due to the wet season. They are able to hire a bulldozer to work on site improvements like building roads and leveling grounds at the area of coffee processing. They are also working on the infrastructure for the pulping station while waiting for other machines to arrive in a few weeks. One of the first housing units has been laid out on site and construction is moving forward. All in all, Abana is in good progress. Click here if you want to read and/or support this project.

p.s Rabid Squirrel is a 9-mile run sumitting four highest points/rocks at Hanging Rock State Park. The fun run is put on by Derek, who lured me to the run with a well-designed logo. Though I just spoke about not being distracted by blings, Derek's handmade finishers' award is the best I've seen.

p.p.s. I covered about 20-22 miles of the Iron Mountain 30-miler on one of its training runs. It was my first time in Damascus, VA and was taken by the friendliness and the beauty of this trail town. The run itself consists of trails of various kinds. Going down steep incline on loose, fist-sized rocks was the most difficult for me. I had to slow to basically a walk with shaky legs for the last two miles.


  1. Phyllis,

    Good seeing you at the post-Bonanza party. Liked the cartoon. Looks like you're on the right track. Keep on truckin'


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