Feathered Aspen


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Committing to Staying Active

     We went down to the Women’s March today with what is looking like was over a 100,000 people! Resist Coloradans resist! At the march, people were chanting “this is what democracy looks like!” While I love how strong people are together and the power of such a march, I was left feeling that no, this is not what democracy looks like. This country we live in is not a true democracy. We elect representatives, we don’t vote on laws. (Even more true in Colorado now that this year our populace voted to amend our constitution to prevent future ballot initiatives to amend the state constitution. Yep, we took away our own power.)
     Our democracy looks like people getting out to vote. Our democracy looks like us pressuring our representatives to legislate in the way we want them to. They represent us, not corporations. Too many of us fail to engage with this reality of our government. Too many of us are apathetic and tuned out. We’re plugged into our phones, computers and TVs, but we let reality pass us by. We worry more about when our package from amazon is going to arrive than what our government is doing. Many of us thought it would be impossible for Trump to win, but the sad truth is that the current state of our ignorance, apathy and democracy has left us with Donald Trump as president.
     So, I left the march thinking to myself how well do we know democracy? How many of us could name every representative, at both the state and national level, that represent us? I could name my national reps (Ed Perlmutter, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett), but I couldn’t think of my state representatives. What districts are you in? How have your representatives been voting? (FYI you can look this all up at https://openstates.org/).
     I’m also left thinking that democracy is getting out to vote. It’s shame that so few people in our country vote.  Why?  What’s wrong with us? I love the power and energy that people are feeling as a result of the marches; however, the marches alone are not enough.
     I am guilty.  I have been apathetic and tuned out for too long. I realized today that if we’re actually going to resist this bullshit presidency of Trump we need to wake up. These marches need to be our wake up call. We need to stay informed. Read or listen to the news instead of watching netflix or browsing social media. Secondly, we need to use the avenues afforded to us within the structures of our government. We need to put pressure on our representatives. We need to vote. The 2018 elections are a long way off. We can’t let this energy and momentum die down. We can’t tune out again.
     At this point, the only true avenue for us everyday working citizens to resist Trump’s administration is to pressure our representatives and to prepare for the midterm elections to take back at least one house of congress from the Republicans. We need to be informed.  We need to march and be active. We need write our representatives. And we need to be active within our party. I believe that the DNC needs a lot of work. If the Democrats are going to stand a chance, we need to reform. Clearly, the party as is is not working. Superdelgates need to go. Centrist politicians supported by billionaires and big businesses need to go.  Personally, I want to give up on the democrats (I voted for Jill Stein); however, I need to see reality.  We have a two party system and that is not going away.  Instead, the democrats need to become a true party of the people again, not a more liberal party of the wealthy who happen to have a sliver of a conscience.
     None of this will happen though if we go back to tuning out. From here on out, I’m committing to staying active. I’m committing to not tuning out. I’m committing to making our democracy work again. Who’s with me?


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2016 Never Summer 100k Race Report

After much hemming and hawing, I’ve made the decision not to train for and attempt another 100 mile race in 2017.  With the new baby girl on the way and a sabbatical trip to Costa Rica in the works, I want to have more time for family and not feel the pressure I always put on myself to log loads of miles.

With that decision made, I do know that I love running and adventuring.  I also know that without a race to motivate me, I tend to get lazy.  So, I’ve set my race calendar for the next year and have decided to take on the Gnar Grand Slam.  The Gnar runners put on some great races out of Fort Collins.  The grand slam consists of the Quad Rock 50 miler in May, The Never Summer 100k in July, The Black Squirrel half in September, and the Blue Sky Marathon in October.  The Never Summer 100k is definitely my favorite race that I’ve ever run.  I’ve run it the past two years and would like to keep coming back each year.

With these decisions about running made, I also motivated myself to finally take the time to finish my race report video from Never Summer this past July.  Without further adieu enjoy the goofy and slightly embarrassing video.


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Summer in Utah Act 3: Bryce 100 DNF

(Viewer discretion is advised. As Lily would say, “Daddy-O said a bad word.”  Actually, I said many of them…  Perhaps view this video not in the company of little ones.)

Last year I completed my first hundred mile race.  It was a fun and challenging experience.  I did really well.  I tanked for a bit.  I walked a lot, but I still managed to finish under 30 hours.

We (I) chose Utah for our summer vacation so that I could run the Bryce 100 and give another 100 miler a go.  I went into the race with high hopes.  The previous three races I’d run this winter and spring had gone really well, and I’d set PRs at all of them.  So, I went into the Bryce 100 hoping for another great day.

I also went into Bryce thinking that I’d make a Mark Watney style mock-umentary of my experience.  After my 100 mile last year I had just two pictures of me on the course.  I felt that such an experience should have better documentation.  So, I set out with my camera hoping to catch something entertaining on film.

It is with great trepidation, humility and embarrassment that I post this video.  My high hopes for the race were dashed when I succumbed to the heat and ended up dropping out of the race.  I’m pretty disappointed that I didn’t finish, but I’ve learned a few lessons about myself from the experience.  I also had fun making the video.

I’d say more, but hey just watch (without small children).

And thank you K for that sensual sunscreen application.


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Summer in Utah Act 1: Capitol Reef

At the beginning of the month, I wrapped up the school year and officially started my summer break. (Woo hoo!  Year seven in the bag.)

After a few days at home, we packed up the truck and camper and headed out to Utah.  I planned to run the Bryce 100 on June 17 (more on how that turned out later).

In typical Feathered Aspen style, I filmed our getaway and am making shorts to share.  Here is the first of what will likely be three acts.  I’ll try my damnedest to post one each day for the next few days.  Enjoy Act 1: Capitol Reef.