Sunday, January 26, 2014

Time Flies...

... When you're busy and having fun.

This last couple weeks has been a full on whirlwind for me. Sometimes this can be exhausting, but in this case it's been really energizing and uplifting.

Since I last posted here I have launched a small business, begun running most everyday again, gone on a wonderful little 3 day camping trip with my family, and run my first legitimate race in nearly two years!

If you missed it on my Facebook, I have started a very small scale coffee roasting business out of my garage. I have been roasting my own coffee for about 4 years and decided to turn it in to a little side business.

The story of how this came to be is actually quite funny: We are moving back to Juneau to live year round this coming June. For several months now I thought that I might like to start a small coffee roasting business once we are living there again. I would get people to subscribe to a certain amount of beans per week, roast it up fresh, and deliver it to them by bicycle. Juneau seemed like the perfect place to do this. I know hundreds of people in town who would help with word of mouth advertising, and the type of community there is in Juneau is without question the type that would make a point to support something like this. The city is also so crammed into a small space that you could deliver just as quickly and efficiently on bike as you could in a car. Perfect idea. Except for the reality that another guy I know in town recently bought a small roasting company (who was already doing a fairly similar thing), and has plans to do exactly the same thing, even down to the bike delivery. He knows most of the same people in town, and has plans to roast and distribute beans to as many Juneauites as he can. I'm stoked for him. He's an awesome guy, and I'm quite certain his business will succeed. I tried a bit of his first batch of coffee last month, and it was tasty for sure. And that was pretty much the end of my business.

I got thinking though, why not do the same type of thing here in Boulder. Obviously the market is a lot more flooded with dozens (if not hundreds) of other local roasters, but there is also a much larger population here. And thus I decided to just go for it and launched Sugarloaf Coffee less than two weeks ago now. Business has been decent so far. I've sold about 25 pounds of coffee already, which is about as much as I would ever want to sell per two weeks. This said, it would be great to pick up some more local consistent customers (as many of my customers so far have been one time customers not from this area), so if you are in the Boulder area and are interested in this kind of thing be sure to check it out. I've had nothing but positive reviews so far.

Due to the the interest in my coffee from people outside of the Boulder area I also started selling my beans through the mail. Corle and I have talked for a couple years now about starting a "camp store" as part of our Alaska Mountain Ultrarunning Camp. Last week I decided to combine the two. I decided to offer mail order coffee as the flagship product to the new camp store, under the label: Juneau Mountain Coffee. The coolest thing about it (besides really good, really fresh coffee), is that we have decided that we are going to use a large portion of the proceeds from all camp store items to help fund the camp scholarship fund for upcoming years. $4 from each pound of coffee sold will go towards the scholarship fund.

Speaking of running camp, we also awarded the scholarships for this coming season a couple weeks ago. We are super excited about the applicants we had, and wish we could have given all of them a scholarship. If you are interested in attending camp this summer there are still spaces remaining for all 3 sessions. If you are interested in attending on a need based scholarship you would need to apply at the end of this year for 2015, as the scholarship period is over for this year. The scholarship program has been a huge success though, and we intend to do it as long as we continue to do the camps (which we also intend to do for at least a few more years).

One more quick camp related bit: JB and Jen Benna of JourneyFilm (makers of "Unbreakable", among other films) have generously offered to donate 50% of all proceeds on the JourneyFilm Store to my camp scholarship fund for one month (January 15 - February 15th)! Click here to check that out. They've got a lot of great stuff. I know you've all always wanted a shirt with me on it.

Oh, and now a bit about my running. I've been running more consistently the past couple weeks than I have in a long time. I've been feeling pretty good, and I find myself wanting to get out most everyday for the first time in a very long time. I'm being careful to not jump back in to it way too soon, but I did just run a 30k snowshoe race yesterday! OK, so maybe I'm not doing a very good job of not jumping in to soon. Be sure to check out my iRunFar column this coming Wednesday which will have a lot more details about how that race went for me.

And lastly, Corle, Elle, and I went on a lovely little camping trip last weekend. It was so nice to spend 3 straight days outside with the two of them. It was a really nice weekend, but was getting down below 20 degrees each night. Elle is so amazing now at dealing with such cold weather. She didn't complain about the cold once. I feel so lucky to have a 7 year old who will go camping in conditions that most adults would consider too cold. Hoping to go again this coming weekend. Maybe Utah. Here are a few photos from that trip to end with:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year

Gosh, it's been a month again now since I last posted. Not sure how I used to post here a dozen or more times a month. I guess when I was running every day; a hundred or more miles a week; 4,000 or so a year, running related blogging was a little more relevant and appealing to me.

At any rate, my New Year,s resolution is to write on my blog more. Actually, I just made that up, and if I did believe in making New Year's resolutions that would probably not be it. I do want to try to keep this website updated a bit more regularly though. Although I've been running a lot less in the past year than any other year in quite some time, I do still enjoy being involved in the running community, and am still living (at least partially) a running related lifestyle. If you didn't see it yet you might want to check out my recent article on IrunFar that talks more about all of this.

The reality is though, that running is not nearly as much a part of my day to day life as it was a few years ago. For a lot of the past 18 months I have had a hard time accepting and adapting to this reality, but just now, over the past few months, I've started to notice a more distinct shift in which I've begun to see these changes as an opportunity to have a little more balance in  my life that running as much as I did (as well as thinking about running and writing about running as much as I did) from 2007-2012 didn't really allow for. I don't at all regret how much running consumed my life in those years, and I very consciously choose for it to be that way at the time. Now though, I've come to a point of really appreciating a little break from having nearly everything all the time be about running. Sure, I miss it all sometimes, but not as much as I thought I did a year ago at this time. It's been really nice to start to move forward with a life and a lifestyle that doesn't revolve so much around running. I still go out for runs when I feel like it, and as my health continues to improve I will continue to do so even more regularly. Maybe I'll even start to run everyday again at some point, and try to get myself into shape to race at some point, but I've certainly given up on feeling like this is something that I'm losing out on if it doesn't happen. If it happens it will be because I choose to make it happen, and if it doesn't happen it will be because I choose something else. In this sense I feel like I have more flexibility with my running and my relationship with running than I have had in nearly a decade, and that feels good.

The only things I really know for sure are that I want to continue getting out in the mountains on foot on a fairly regular basis and that I want to continue to host my running camps for the foreseeable future. Beyond this I know that I don't need anything more from running right now. This said, I do plan to, and am excited about keeping my life loosely tied to this sport and this community. I love writing about running, and plan to continue to do so both here and on IrunFar. I really enjoy being around races, even if I'm not running. Regardless of where my health takes me, and whether I'm racing myself anytime soon, I intend to check out races every now and then. I'm really hoping to make it to Hardrock this year, and am planning to be at UROC again for sure. Hell, I'm even registered to run a 30k snowshoe race in a few weeks. Not sure yet if I'll actually do it, but the good thing about where I'm at right now is that it doesn't really matter. My day to day contentedness simply doesn't have as much to do with running as it once did. It's taken me the better part of a year to see that this isn't automatically a bad thing, but now that I see this, it feels really good to notice all the other things in my present life and in my future that do bring me contentedness. For the first time in several years I don't really know what my day to day life will look like a year from now, and for this I am really excited. I have some ideas of things that I want to do in the next few years, but this is made up of so many seemingly unrelated random things that I won't even attempt to guess right now which ones will take hold and which ones won't. Time will tell.

So yes, this will remaining primarily a running related blog, but if I actually do manage to post here more regularly don't be surprised if you find me writing as much about other random topics/activities as I do about running.