Monday, April 30, 2012

4 Guys, 2 Bears

4 guys, 2 bears; As the title suggests, this was a nauseating day on the trails.
The signs were pretty obvious - violent heaving for 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday, a Friday night weigh in that confirmed I was still down about 6 pounds, and a still, inexplicably, buoyant attitude Saturday morning.  I try to exercise a lot of caution when dealing with illness or injury.  Usually I bide my time and let things clear up.  It was clear that the only thing working in my favor for our planned 3 Bears route was that I really wanted to run.  So I did.  In a sport where attitude is everything, it was clear that my head was going to have to convince my legs to make it through this day.   
We left Chautauqua and headed up the paved section of the Mesa Trail.  Usually this would be an easy jog and a great place to conversate with friends. Instead, I was concerned with the rapidity that I started sweating and the fact that even on this gentle grade, I couldn't find the space in between breaths to chide Steve for my stereotype of lawyers, formed by this scene, which I watched for the umpteenth time the previous night. 
The section of Mesa Trail seemed to stretch much longer than the advertised "few" miles.  The shortest steep pitches required Euro-style hiking.  The world seemed to have shrunk to the space between my eyes and the trail.  A strange thing happened though, instead of wallowing in pity, I tried to just enjoy the fact that even on my worst day, I could still move through the Boulder trails with some (albeit plodding) consistency.  There wasn't a point where I "decided" to go slow and smile the whole time, it just happened as a result of there being no other option.  Until Dave Mackey was lurking behind me.
As our group left South Boulder Pk, I quickly fell behind.  I suck on technical piles of rock to begin with, whilst lightheaded my lack of speed is a joke. While leaving the summit, two figures came darting past me in the opposite direction, JV and Dave Mackey, two guys with admirable running and climbing talents.  Hellos were exchanged and very quickly they were back on my heels.  JV and my three amigos slowly pulled away, and Dave was left at my heels.  I insisted that he go ahead, but he refused.  I wanted to explain that I felt like crap and blah blah blah, but I didn't have scratch paper to illustrate this graph:   
Happy Running!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week of (insert dates here).

Only 10 weeks until Solstice!

Monday- Day off. I don't run on Monday. Call it a tradition, superstition or laziness, but Monday is my day off. Rest is underrated. For all of you who run 7 days a week ("streakers," I believe), consider this - even God took Sunday off.

Tuesday - I was supposed to run 6 easy miles but I only ran 5. It was hot and windy, my IPod ran out of juice and I got bored with my weekly pavement run. With a long day planned for Saturday, and prime numbers being preferable, it was easy to justify cutting some miles...

Wednesday - Ran "Brian's Loop." I'm sure Brian wants to know how this loop came to be named after him. Well, it was his GPS watch that determined the distance as 7.5 miles, and it's the only run that I can put an exact mileage on. If this loop were 9 miles, I'd run 9. Instead it's 7.5 and that is good enough for me. Also, this loop is about as long as I like to run without water. (an astute reader of my blog has already learned several great excuses for shortening runs, but this is my favorite. Who can argue with dehydration?). If I round the 7.5 down, I'm left with a prime number!

Thursday - 4 miles at practice, flat and slow. (I told everyone in the FCTRs that it was 5 miles, to sound cool). 2 miles w/u for HTTT + 5 at HTTT. Summit in 28:57 via Rock trail and Soderburg shortcut. Total of 11 for day, (solid prime number). I stood on top of the rock for 10 minutes, during last years HTTT I couldn't handle the exposure for 10 seconds. Exposure training is paying off, but I don't see Long's Peak in my future. Perhaps if I took off my high heels, I'd feel more stable (yes, I understand that this may be offensive to women.)

Friday - Friday is like Monday, with the addition of a few miles. The goal is always to make the weekend easier. Sometimes this means running a few miles, sometimes it means standing for 7 hours at a track meet - this week it meant doing both. 3 miles - and another prime number!

Saturday - Most of Golden Gate Dirty Thirty course. Thanks to the ingenious State Parks service, who has decided to mark trails with footprints rather than names, I learned all about the feet of Mule Deer, Snowshoe Hares, Mountain Lions and Black Bears. This was a fun day with 2 people who'd probably rather not be associated with me, and will thus remain nameless. If the Forest Service rangers followed the Bush Doctrine they would have preemptively sent search and rescue, based on how many times we showed up at their huge pick-up trucks, lost and asking for directions.

Sunday - I forgot to turn off yesterday's 5:45am alarm so I was up atypically early. I ran for about an hour, I'd guess it was 7 miles (I need 7 to hit my mile-goal for the week, so 7 it is). Once home I immediately fell back asleep. Woke up at noon and had a typical American lazy Sunday. It was great. Prime number!

Summary - I ran 6 days this week, and managed to hit 5 days of prime numbers. This is an arbitrary way to measure success in running, but I've found that if I measure in miles, time or effort I end up disappointed. By choosing to make prime-number-mileage-days the most important factor (pun intended) of a running week I've totally removed the incentive to run fast or far. I just plod along for 3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31,37,41,43,47 or 53 miles. If I hit one of those numbers, SUCCESS!

Am I excited that Run Rabbit Run actually measures to 101 miles?! YOU BETCHA.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

APB - La Sportiva Wildcat, size 44 - made in VIETNAM

According to La Sportiva, 28% of their shoes come from China, and 12% come from Vietnam. The first time I bought their shoes, I must have hit the jackpot and gotten a Vietnam pair. They fit like a glove. I wore those shoes until they were in several pieces, and then bought my next pair. This time the roulette wheel of cheap manufacturing came up China, and the difference was noticeable.
The shoes showed signs of wear much earlier, and a simple size comparison showed that they were indeed slightly longer and more narrow. I'm no zenophobe, this is not a complaint about the relative merits of Vietnamese and Chinese craftsmanship. But I need a size 44 from Vietnam, ASAP. Today I've called some shoe stores and sounded like a total "American" (you know what I mean) by requesting shoes from Vietnam, rather than China. No dice.
So, here is your mission, if you choose to accept it: Find me some shoes from Vietnam. Chances are you'll be going into a running store in the next few weeks. All you have to say is "I have a friend..." and no one will think you are the jingoistic one. My feet need this! I will reward the first person to get me these shoes with a box of stale Peeps, unlimited compliments and my Netflix username and password.