Saturday morning we decided to do a shorter run (like a taper run!) for about 90 minutes. This meant we could accommodate a much needed gear shop in the afternoon. We have been invited for dinner to a fellow West Highland Way entrant who lives in North Vancouver. Finally Sat night the date worked for all! Since we were going to the North Shore it made good sense to open it up to an afternoon of shopping. Our first stop was North Shore Athletics where Peter did such a good job of showing me all the new models I actually bought 2 pairs! One for rough trails and the other for smoother trails. I also bought 2 pairs of socks and a box of "gels". Not just a couple of gels but the entire box of 24 packs of "Gu Expresso Love" with 2x the caffeine! Food for the Ultra Events! Now the decision will be which pair of shoes to wear next weekend for the 50 mile event! While at North Shore Athletics we saw Gary Robbins the local running hero who wins almost every event he enters. He seemed quite impressed that we were doing American River 50 miler next weekend since we have just done 2-50km events in the last few weeks. Neil explained that it doesn't hurt so much at our pace! He laughed! I also informed Gary that I have been following his blog and that I find it very inspirational for me. He blushed! The next stop was Park Royal Mall where we enjoyed cruising through Whole Foods (a very expensive food store!). We bought a couple of items for an appetizer for Sunday nights family dinner. Next stop a wine store we happen to stumble upon. Not much time left to get to the dinner engagement. Park Royal is a must go back soon shopping spot. We arrived at David and Julia's almost on time. Beautiful home, great food, very engaging conversation. The entire family, Julia and 3 children ages 8, 6 and 1 are going to Scotland in June to support David in his dream to run the West Highland Way. I was impressed how David balances his work, family life and Ultra Running. Ultra runners really get a lot done! Now...is that because the running helps us do that or was it there before we started running? Sunday mid-day we ran 2.5 hours. I wore the new blue/black Brooks Cascadia shoes. They felt good despite the rough terrain today. As Peter at North Shore Athletics reminded me we will be running 2 marathons one on a bike trail along the river, followed by a trail marathon next weekend so I think I will go with these. While reading a running magazine this afternoon I found an article that was talking about "engagement" the buzz word in the work place as well. The author mentioned that to get the most from any experience, you must be totally committed to and engaged in that experience. This is something I try to do whether at work or play. The payoff of learning to be fully engaged is that you will be able to "perform in the storm". To do this means trusting your past preparation and focusing all parts of yourself (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) on the task at hand. I have not mastered this art of full engagement but I am trying. When I am working, I work. When I play, I am playing. If it works, I'll become not just a better runner but a better person at work and play!