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September 26, 2010

Random Shots of Beauty

It’s not exactly going to shock anyone to hear this, but I frequently run with a camera.

Many of the pictures show up on race reports or photo tours or product reviews (see right sidebar), but others just sit on my memory chip or hard drive for far longer than I expect. In some cases I never get around to writing a story idea, or the photo doesn’t go along with the rest of the narrative – or sometimes I have a post where 50 pictures seems just fine, but 51 would just be way too excessive. Honestly, I don’t spend much time trying to quantify these things.

The end result is that I have a lot of pictures that I think are cool for one reason or another, but never see the light of day on this website. Until now, that is.

Rather than just deleting everything, I figured I’d just post one or two of them here each weekend, for no other reason than because it’s easy. It could be something like those Wordless Wednesday posts that a lot of people do, except that 1) It won’t be on a Wednesday, and 2) I'll probably include at least a few words. Other than that, it will be exactly the same.

I suppose there's a larger meaning of sorts, too, which kind of relates to what I described in my previous post; With increasing frequency, it's the small moments, the little snapshots in time - like a colorful sunrise, a scenic landscape, or simply an interesting tree alongside the trail - are the primary reasons I enjoy running, even moreso than competing in races or striving for PRs or pushing my limits of performance.  (And yes, if you had told me five years ago that I'd be saying this, I would have called you insane.)  Consequently, these are the moments I feel compelled to share more frequently than just explaining how far I ran in my last workout.

So let’s just name this little experiment Random Shots of Beauty, and see where things go. To kick things off, here’s a scene from my early-morning run on Friday:

Full moon at sunrise, as seen from an area called Couch Canyon in the Fort Ord open space.  I had been fixated on the moon for quite a while at this point; on Friday morning, it shone so brightly that I switched my headlamp off five minutes into the run, and navigated by moonlight for the better part of 15 miles.

In the opposite direction, sunlight was spilling over the hillside ...

... illuminating the many miles of trail that still awaited me. The beauty of the dark was behind me, with plenty of beauty in the light still to come; it gives me the kind of feeling that makes getting up at 4AM worth it.

So there you go: your first Random Shot of Beauty. To be continued next weekend.

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The Dude 9/27/10, 5:09 AM  

I love the picture idea! Thank you for that! I also love the little changes, I notice your book cover on the sidebar, the email subscription service, the links at the top of the page (Home, photo tours, race reports, etc) and tweets?? I never thought of you as a big tweet guy, but then again, I haven't even met you.

Thomas 9/27/10, 6:04 AM  

Even though I'm sure the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of nature in real 3D, they are still gorgeous.

But Donald! "... [these] are the primary reasons I enjoy running, even moreso than competing in races or striving for PRs or pushing my limits of performance".

Say, when exactly did you start growing up? [I first wanted to say getting old, but that could have been taken as insulting which is not what I meant]

Donald 9/27/10, 7:21 AM  

Dude: Yeah ... I've been in a bit of a tinkering mode lately. Thanks for noticing. You're quite correct in my lack of social media awareness - the jury's still out for me on that one.

Thomas: No, old would be acceptable as well. It's probably a combination of age, minimalism/barefoot running which forces me to slow down, and maybe a bit of complacency from not having a big goal race on my radar. I know you remember the old days around here - weird how things change, huh?

JBK in CA 9/27/10, 8:56 AM  

I really like the title/theme of this new series. Also, I'm so glad you took these - I wanted to capture the same moment Richard and I had from the top of East Ridge.

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