Sunday, November 27, 2011

That's More Like It Ought to Be

This week was petty favorable as far as running goes. A couple double-digit runs, some faster efforts, and trails. I've got some serious adjusting to do to my diet if I want to sustain running. Apparently, eating poor quality food inconsistently is no way to run well. If only I had spent a considerable amount of time paying people to teach me that...

10 miles - Feeling like running roads for some reason, I left the State Park to run some curvy lakeshore roads. Ran a comfortable pace to a nearby park, then ducked back into the woods for some trails to take me back to the car. Nice route. I'm always happy when 7:00-7:30pace feels comfortable.
Observation: The less shoe I wear, the more enjoyable roads are.

16 awful miles. Met up with Evan in Grand Haven to do a longish run. My legs never got the memo. Couldn't find a pace that felt decent, and my foot was angry. I think my Bikilas are a size too small, causing a little cramping and tendinitis in my foot(one is slightly larger than the other). No pace felt good. I walked at the top of the little hills along the lake shore. Some days, I tell ya. All is well, as we stopped at Dee-Lites for beer(s) and vegan hash and french fries at 11am.

6 miles - A nice run at Muskegon State Park with Jeff, plus a short run to the lake to watch the waves roll in for a bit. Beautiful day to let some sun in. Such a nice run, maybe I'll have another this afternoon. I'm totally cool with the "quality over quantity" winter that is being predicted for the area. By this time last year, I had already been running in slush for 6 weeks.

8 miles - Turkey Trot at the YMCA. Warmed up for about 15 minutes, ran the race, cooled down, and caught up to my mom, aunt, and sister. I think I forgot how to run hard, but luckily my track workouts have made 6:00/mile pace feel pretty comfortable. SeƱor Garmin showed all three miles at 5:59, then kicked it in the ass to jog into an 18:28 or something. Considering that I'm in "pasty out of shape retired hasbeen" mode, I'll take it. I take a little pride in the volunteers at the turnaround being overtly surprised that someone was smiling while in 4th place.

I love turkey trot type races. I think what is so great about them is the mix of people.  People who embrace the idea of movement being for everyone are multiplying, and its awesome. You don't have to be a neurotic, hairless, spandex-clad clown in a heart rate monitor (not that there's anything wrong with that) to enjoy some exercise with family and friends. Keeping moving keeps us young, happy, and healthy.

AM- 7 miles with Stewart and Mark. Beautiful day for a run with only shorts and a t-shirt required. I was a little heavy-legged from the previous day's 5k(cut me some slack, I'm not used to running quality), but we casually moved along, playing in the leaves and listening to Stewart singing Bee Gees songs. I was tired, but was somehow stayin' alive. Yep...that just happened.

PM- 3 miles. I'm babysitting a dog for the weekend. He was all antsy and driving me nuts as I attempted to sloth it up on the couch, so I took him out for an easy 3mile jog. I wouldn't want to judge an entire breed of dog, but based on this sample(population: 1), Pit Bulls are not distance runners. Either that, or my companion pro tem is actually a well disguised shi-tzu.

zip. Felt like taking it easy. I've been really enjoying running lately, and don't want to wreck a period of extra zeal by forcing a boring run in.

14(ish)- Met up with Evan for a Dirty Herd Roundup. Ran the first loop nice and easy(38:00), then stopped at the car for agua and to remove some clothes. Next lap was of substantial quality, around 35 minutes. Rolled in just in time to meet up with the herd and run the final lap in the 36-37minute range. Its a 4.5 mile trail loop. Quite muddy since it's been raining for a couple days.

This run was a nice reminder that I need to eat. I've been neglecting to take care of my running on the nutritional end. Living at home, despite more food being available, has caused me to skip meals or eat at odd hours. Time to take care of myself and realize that garbage in=garbage out. Considering that I've been in on a vegetarian kick lately, I'm probably in need of even more calories.

64 miles. Had I not taken my rest day, it could have been an even 70 or more. Oh well. Still a good week. Every time I went out, I didn't have to coax or convince myself- I really wanted to go.

I hope this week can be recreated and improved upon instead of being a flash in the pan.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

If Heaven Has Internet

Of all the weird ass toys, these STREET SHARKS stand out in my childhood,
playing with them in Mike's basement during the holidays.
This won't mean much to most of you. For a little background, I refer you to this, my first post on this blog. I started this chronicle of my shenanigans as a way to document my life and evacuate some of the thoughts from my brain. My first post explained why I decided to pursue a life of movement and exploration. The emotional scar that was left by the loss of my cousin and childhood idol also signifies the event that pushed me out of a life of complacency.

Tonight is the 5th year anniversary of Mike's death. We all live and die by the decisions we make. Though his final decision is a regretable one, the ones he made before shaped the lives of those around him. The timing of "Lenny's" death has caused me to loathe thanksgiving, but it still reminds me that we should all be thankful for those we have.

Put your differences aside, hug your families, and tell the people who inspire you to keep it up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Downward Slope

9 miles. Jason and I drove to Flagstaff to summit Mt. Humphreys. Altitude is a bitch when you live at sea level, but we perservered. The views were ok I guess.
Almost to the top.

Jason looking from the snow covered mountain to the desert.

The snow and altitude made it less runable for me, but we got some joggin' in.

snow is cold no matter how warm the air is. Cold ass.

Tuesday a can of farts with wings. The flight back to Michigan(and losing two hours to timezones) wiped me out. So it goes.

13miles - Loop around Reeds Lake with Evan, and some hill repeats. Wednesdays are awesome. Workout, Pizza Buffet, fun. Readied my hunting stuff and did an hour of core work with Sam. I realized that other than maintaining my health and therefore helping the costs of other people's medical insurance, I'm a noncontributing member of society.

6miles - A bit ashamed of myself here. I actually ran solely because I felt guilty about eating too much. Pretty sad. To the store to get my hunting license and back. Ended up being enjoyable as I got snowed on in the dark.

5 miles - Short loop in the morning before heading up north. Not nearly as long as I would have liked, especially since I knew my running would be approximately cero.

0- a few miles of walking in the woods with gear and a gun, but no running. Being alone in the woods for a whole day is another post in itself.

4 miles - Left my knife in my blind, and just ran back to get it from the cabin.

I have constructed an elaborate graph to save you some reading.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Running, Crewing, and general ass-clownery from last week.

AM: 2 miles slow n' easy with Megan and Libby(sister and dog, respectively). My sister is a machine. She runs a couple miles without even really thinking about it.

PM: 10 miles with Suart and Mark. Ran some ridges at Hoffmaster, then apparently left the state land. We got lost, and Stewart suggested we flip a coin to decide which direction to take. Mark asked me for a coin(as if I carry quarters on my run). A hunter popped out and told us to flip a coin someplace else. I was clueless as to wheter he was allowed to be there, but he who wields the broadheads wins.  We went about our buisness and had a sweet run in some gorgeous weather.

6 miles(ish) with Alex and Phil at the Arboretum in Kzoo. Nice and easy. Didn't fit much running in since I drove to Kalamazoo for a seminar and some bidness. I'm not fast enough to live for free, so I am intensifying the job search.

12 miles: Track workout
Met up with Abbey and Evan for some running in Grand Rapids. We liked the 8x800 workout from a couple weeks ago, so we simply extended it. 10x800 at 3:00. 200m jog rest period. Ran all of them a little faster than we prescribed to ourselves, but still averaged 2:56 per rep. 2.5 miles each way to the track. Brick Road Pizza buffet to follow. Other than some sore nipples(damn tech shirts to hell), the workout went well. I didn't over exert, but felt that awesome tired, heavy-legged feeling that calls for a nap afterward. Working these into the week will keep things fresh without injuring me...I hope. Speedwork helps me practice good form and mix up the heart rate training. Stagnant running and boredom are the enemy.

Hey, cool! I got myself back on pace for a decent week. I'm sure I'll wreck it somehow.

AM: 9 miles. Just a flat road route with no watch. First snow run of the year. If I had any desire to remove the hair from my face, it's gone now. The weather changed about 5 times on the run. From windy, to sunny, to cloudy, to near white-out snow, and back to sunny again. I meant to extend the route, but as my legs began to hurt, I took the opportunity to shorten the route. Something great about reggae music and running in snow.

Traveled to Arizona, which took nearly all day. The only running I squeezed in was a sprint to a connector flight. Call it "the airport steeplechase"

6(ish)miles - Crewed and paced for Shelly at the Javelina 100. She fought the good fight, but decided to call it early. She was still impressive, and I'll let her tell the tale. While she was running, Jason and I snagged a few miles of desert ridge running. Oh, how I missed the sustained climbs of mountains.

Jason and Shelly, pre-Javelina.

Sunrise over the "tent city" start/finish. Near perfect weather

Jason, Jon, and I got a little "overhydrated" the night before. Glad I wasn't running.

The one and only Catra Corbett cruises by.

I hardly talked to anyone(other than the generic encouragements),
but its pretty easy to see what these badasses are made of.

Did a little running of my own and went on a seldom-used trail. These bastards were all up in my shoes.

Jon and I also spotted THE Delorean at el Pollo Loco!

10 miles - Jason, Jon and I searched and found a cool mountain summit near Prescott, AZ. Reached the Summit at around 7600feet. The trail was a perfect grade for a sea level dweller like me. I still remember how to run the long climbs, but my lungs were feeling the thin air. More breathtaking veeestas, but they're on Jason's camera.

Weekly total: 55 miles. Not my greatest, but pretty average in a quantitative sense. The quality, from a training and enjoyment standpoint, were great. Running for running's sake.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back in Colorado

I've landed myself back in Colorado, albeit for only a couple hours. Layover in Denver on my way to Phoenix, AZ for the Javelina 100. I'm crewing and pacing for Shelly tomorrow. I think I'm more excited to crew than I was at the start of my own 100. I'm not sure if its the travelling, seeing friends I don't see every day, or whatever else, but bumming around this country of ours is calming. I've only got a couple minutes of complimentary wifi service, so I'm going to spend it babbling.

I wish my desire to stay home equaled my attraction to this state. Staying home would be so much easier. No leaving those I care about, no relocating, no attempting to replace those who are nothing short of irreplaceable. Perhaps I should just invest in my own plane so I can commute whenever I please. Hit up Indian Peaks on the weekend, head back for work, see friends and family, repeat. I have a couple pilot friends, why the hell not? All I have to do is pull off this ultrarunning Richard Simmons act I'm trying to pull off and I'm all set. Who's coming with me?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Another week has passed. Ths particular week has been full of excitment. The following has happened:

I scraped up some money(and online coupon codes) and lavishly ordered a new pair of running shorts.

I cut a little bit of my hair off to look less like a hobo...preferred looking like a hobo. That's what I get for asking my mom for a quick trim. I look like a bearded 5 year old. If my brother in law hadn't already laid claim to the look that resembles rapper Common, I'd be all over it and go scorched earth on my Cory Mathews* hair

I did a fun hill workout: 5 x "Sprint up a sandy hill with Evan until we taste vomit".

I ran approximately every other day, totalling a whopping 30 miles.

I did a bunch of core exercises with Sam and now my belly button hurts.

I got my self a sweet hunting spot all staked out up north so I can enjoy some nature.  I haven't ventured into the woods to hunt for about 9 years. My hand-me-down hunting gear actually fits this time. I will spend the week franticlly searching for some sort of reclining chair. Why do all camo stools look like tripod bicycle seats? I'm trying to nap for Christ's sake.

 *Cory Mathews is a fictional character from the 90's sitcom "Boy Meets World." If you are not an American child from the 90's, you missed out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Take My Slacking Seriously: If it's worth doing, do it right

Life, love, career, Mexican food night: Give them all you've got.

As can be inferred from recent posts, my serious training came to a screeching halt after attempting my first 100miler. Try as I might, My very first DNF has done fine job of stealing my mojo...or so I thought. I bounce theories around with conclusions ranging from existential meltdowns to shrugging it off and saying, "shit happens." Perhaps a little optimism is in order.

Despite my efforts to appear nonchalant and aloof, I value my life, my success, and my happiness. Why shouldn't I? I'm in a good position to do some good in this world. Rather than an unfortunate event, I think my world being turned on its head was incredibly well-timed. I returned home from Colorado with an outlook that wasn't quite mine. Running had a stranglehold on the rest of my life. I've recently had a change of heart, which has lead to a sense of peace and balance.

Summer running season ending less than ideally, undergrad studies being over, and now a nice mail reminder that I owe the federal government several full sacks with dollar signs on them. These things had me down, now I've realized something: It's time to get moving. I want my life to matter, to me and others. I had humble beginnings as an athlete(hell, I'm still not anything to write home about), but I've found a niche that feels great. Others deserve to know that they can also rise from the ashes of a sedentary lifestyle and feel the sweat on their brow and the burn in their muscles from pushing themselves.

On a professional note, I want to bring a personal touch into what I do. I'm no artist, but I'm willing to put effort into making sure people know I have their attention. Many of us bloggers are inspired by writers like Seth Godin, who preach the value of emotional labor. It separates creative artists from mediocre painters. I want to use emotional labor to separate myself, as a compassionate healer, from cookie-cutter personal trainers.

With regard to my own training, I'm letting it come to me. When I decide to slack, I'm going to slack gloriously. Enjoy a movie and quit thinking about running. When its time to run, its time to run. No waiting for it to be over, no dissociating from the experience. I know I love running. It has become a part of me. I just have to keep some faith that it will come back. Letting myself get scatterbrained is what has lead to my current paralysis. I spend my non-running time thinking, "I should really be running more" and it causes anxiety with running. And that, you poor people who subject yourselves to my deranged inner monologues, is stupid.

Slack gloriously. Slack so hard that your beer
has to wear a casual shirt.

Work Hard. Work so hard that you have to set up a designated
zone, then have a random stranger take picture of you in library.

Run with some heart. Run so with so much heart that you don't care that you posess the awkward
body comparable to those weird future-telling white humanoids from Minority Report
Must.resist. urge. to say. I won...this race.