American Southwest Family Vacation

We followed historic Route 66 on our way to see the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, plus much more in New Mexico and Arizona.

End of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Here are our stories from two and a half years of living in Saudi Arabia while exploring the region.

Excursions to Oman

On two different trips, we strolled Muscat, hiked Wadi Shab, and sailed a dhow through the fjords of Musandam.

Our Expedition to Jordan

Highlights included tracing the steps of Indiana Jones into Petra, following Lawrence of Arabia into Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

Safaris to spot leopards and elephants, swimming in the Indian Ocean, sipping tea in the mountains, and several more!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Not a sprint, not a marathon.

This past weekend, I ran the Pensacola Double Bridge run. It's 15 km, or roughly 9.3 miles and approximately four of those miles are on bridges. Using Runkeeper.com, I tracked my speed and location with my phone's GPS. What I found interesting was that instead of giving me the height of the bridges as I slogged up them, runkeeper gave me the elevation of the water...so, an elevation of 0 ft. It was a little disappointing to accomplish something (albeit a rather minor accomplishment of crossing a bridge), and to have the internet deem it inconsequential.
At the start of bridge #1, three miles to the other side.

Halfway across bridge #1

Still 1.5 miles to land.

Bridge #2, notice the elevation change.

At the top of Bridge #2.

I'd used the Double Bridge run as a partial threat to myself to keep up my running over the winter. Even so, I kinda slacked off and paid the price. With that in mind, I'm focusing my athletic efforts on getting faster. My goal is to run a 10:00 on my 1.5 mile physical fitness test in April, so I've got some training to do.

I think that as I've gotten older, I've accepted the fact that it's unlikely that I will ever be "the fastest" or whatever superlative is most fitting. However, there's nothing stopping me from becoming "the most," which is to say, I can be exceptional by being very well-rounded...a "utility player." I might not get the spotlight, but I will get stuff done.

Running gives you lots of time to thing about things, and today my mind kept coming back to my current efforts to join the Foreign Service. I heard back from my USAID Backstop 76 application that I scored too low, and I wasn't referred for the USAID civil service analyst positions, either. Right now, the only applications that haven't been dismissed are the Foreign Service Specialist positions for Construction Engineering and for Facility Management. I'm down, but not out. Drawing inspiration from one of my favorite poems, Rudyard Kipling's "IF":
"...If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it..."
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End Of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We spent two and a half years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on our second tour in the Foreign Service with the US Department of State. As you migh...

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