Monday, September 10, 2012

A week's review and Run Woodstock Through Hazy Hindsight

AM - 1.5 hours of kayaking. Started on the river flats, and padalled upstream for an hour. The scenery on the water was amazing. Green is a color I didn't see all that much of out west. The mud, logs, cat tails, and willow trees reminded me that no matter where I go, this is my home. Sam and I made our way up the river, following a tall heron as it flew from bank to bank. I got close to it, and it stood taller than I sat in the kayak. Great morning to enjoy the water, and it felt nice to get my heart rate up without beating my legs.

PM - 2 hours of trail running. Jason and Jeremiah convinced me(convinced=casually mentioned to me) to come run at Cannonsburg. A loop at the Game Area and up the back of the ski hill. No pain in the knee, so I was happy. Running in true minimal, zero drop shoes on these flat trails seems to keep the ITB pain away. My feet and calves can feel the difference, but nothing compared to the burn of Iliotibial band pain.

2 miles of easy yogging and some squats, lunges, and core work with Samantha. Spent the rest of the day cleaning up my old truck to get it up for sale. It was the first vehicle I ever owned, and I rolled it over 4 weeks after getting my driver's license. I rebuilt it from the ground up with my parents' help the next Summer, and working on it was one of my longest-standing hobbies before taking up running. The brakes were locked up from sitting in storage for 4 years, so it literally had to be drug out with my Dad's 3/4 ton truck. I was forcing a relic of the past out of a dusty, dirt-floored barn with a screaming diesel engine so that I can make some money to get a new life going. It fought me every step of the way, just like when I worked on it as a kid. It wanted to stay in the uncomfortable, yet familiar darkness, just as I tend to do when I get complacent. Hopefully dragging it out is a step in the right direction for us both. It will make someone else happy, and I'll be one less unnecessary possesion away from getting...wherever the hell I'm going.
Getting the dust and goat hoofprints off.
9 miles - Met up with Jeff and Jason for some running at Pigeon Creek. Good times with cool joggers. The weather was humid, which reminds me that Colorado is awesome. The green scenery didn't dissapoint. Though I already miss my mountain running dearly, being able to run continuously for a couple hours without breaking into a hike or stoping to take in the view(taking in view=holding back puke) is really nice. Jason and I both noticed that all the mountain running of the past few months hadn't really translated into groundbreaking flatland speed. They're two completely different sports, which speaks even more to the versatility of runners who can adapt to flat conditions as well as hands-on-knees mountain courses. Hal Koerner's most recent feats of Javelina, Rocky Raccoon, and Hardrock come to mind. I'm a hobbyjogger no matter the grade, but it's okay.

All day was spent road trippin' and hydrating with Jason, Shelly, Christian, and Amy. For reasons unknown, we drank a lot.

Mine's the one on the right. Good thing I post here anonymously and
this couldn't possibly be seen by potential employers or family.
...oh shit.
Unknown amounts of jogging around the Hell Creek Ranch and the surrounding trails. A mellow day of greeting the usual suspects in the Midwest running scene. All of the major running events in the state serve as reunions for a great group of people who come together for a love of being active outside. Great times with great folks

30 miles -ish.
AM: Ran the Hippie Half in the morning, where I ran a 1:40 or some shit. Not great, but considering that I hadn't done any fast running in over a month, it felt pretty good. I never broke into a full on "race pace" mostly because I don't remember quite how. I haven't run a 5k, 10k, or half marathon in over a year. My ultra shuffle kept trying to pop out on the hills, even though I felt fairly peppy. I've got some "unlearning" to do in order to get my speed back. The beer caught up with me mid-race, causing two stops in El Juan before finishing. The course was incredibly fun, with the exception of the flat tow path in the first few miles. The last 4 miles were incredible. I somehow ended up alone on a a small lolipop loop as I followed the course markers in and out of tight corners, over fallen trees, and through the mud. The sun shined through the straight lines of the pine grove, illuminating the ground covered in pine needles and cones. I realized at this point that in spite of drinking the kool-aid and heading west for a while, Michigan will always be home. I was told I was third across the finish line and bragged accordingly all day, but looked it up today to find out I was 14th. Call me Paul Ryan, I guess(lame political humor quota: met)

...8 beers later...

PM: Ryan was running the 50, and they allowed pacers. He may never ask me to pace him again, but I had a good time asking him to run when he was enjoying the scenery. Before heading out with him, I felt like I would have been content just hanging out. Withing the first quarter mile, I was honored and happy to be there. Being there with a friend as he broke down a personal barrier was a powerful experience. There's no glory in running. No money. No shoe deals(unless you're a sellout blogger! Look for my trailroc 235 review coming soon!). The only thing that mattered was putting one achy foot in front of the other one. I've been known to jog a mile or two, but watching someone else perform is even more powerful. I couldn't see any of the negative stuff going on in Ryan's head. All I saw was a guy who was running when every muscle in his body was telling him to walk. With all the camping, multiple events, music, and various hippie-inspired shenanigans at Run Woodstock, nobody but your friends might notice you finish. The crowds thin out and people go home, but runners trickle in triumphantly as the sun sinks down behind the Oaks. There's nothing particularly heroic about running laps in a muddy muddy trail, but if you look closely, you can see that there's no limit to what we can accomplish. The goal isn't to finish the race but rather to take what we learn about ourselves during the race, go forth into the world, and make something happen with it. Physical activity is a vehicle for change in our society.

...but what the hell do I know? I'm just the douche who posts pictures of empty beers and lifted up trucks.



  1. Love this part... "The goal isn't to finish the race but rather to take what we learn about ourselves during the race, go forth into the world, and make something happen with it. Physical activity is a vehicle for change in our society." Nice post oh yee Wise Wizard!

  2. wizard sticks, run woodstock, kayaking...holy moly, i'm reeling from the homesickness! thank you for giving the SE of the state some hell for me. great truck, mcfly!

    1. Thanks! I was trying to remember where I had seen that truck before.

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