Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On the Run

I started journaling again and realized that I only typically write or blog when I have something of triumph or trauma to share. So I wanted to jump on here and give an update. Especially given the interesting weekend I just had.

How I feel about Life these days

Since May I’ve halted any type of “racing” but had my share of events including pacing Tan to his San Diego 100 finish, Safety Patroling at Western States for the 2nd year in a row, Ultra Tahoe Trail Relay by Ragnar, Hood to Coast Relay and most recently Ultra Colorado Relay by Ragnar. In case you are wondering and for my own reminder, I’m over relays. They’re fun but you can only do so many before you become completely complacent about the whole thing.

Pacific Crest Trail

Tan mile 93 or so after a little nappy poo.
I’ll share the experience of Colorado since it was just last weekend and I fell in love while I was there. The total distance was about 200 miles and it was split up between 6 people. One of our runners fell ill a couple of days before the race. He still made it but wasn’t in great shape to knock out 30 miles with his head cold. I happily volunteered to take on some extra mileage so I started my run atop Copper Mountain around 10,500 feet. My lungs burned for the first half mile climb until it toed down to a nice 9 mile decent. I took on the 9 miles and then added my next 2 legs to play catch-up with our runner schedule. This was all going so well until mile 18 (of 24). For some reason, much like my last post in May, my stomach goes sour when I’m in elevation. I wasn’t even pushing the pace and by 18 I started getting the nauseous feeling in my gut. I was running along a highway with no vans in site and doing the math of what the legs I was running totaled. When I initially started running I thought it was about 22 but then as I was feeling sick and my mind became mathematically sharp, for survival purposes, I realized that I had close to a marathon in front of me.  

Thankfully at mile 21 there was a van pulled off to the side to give their runner water. I had been run/walking the last mile or so and was desperate to stop based on previous experiences of this nausea. I knew I could finish the last 3 miles in front of me but we weren’t a competitive team and I also knew that my stomach wouldn’t make right until I stopped running. The van, named “Fatboys”, offered me a ride and I gladly accepted. They knew our situation and I thanked them for likely saving the next 25 miles I had to run in the next 20 hours or so.

The rest of the running was great, stomach was fine and scenery was beautiful. Colorado has odd weather. It was hot during the day. I think the weather was reading mid-70’s but I’ve come to realize this feels like 90 when you are above 9K feet. I actually chafed between my legs (!!!) for the first time for saturating myself during a 14 miles run in exposed sun. By saturating I don’t mean soiled, but just dousing with cold water. Every afternoon brought clouds, rain and lightning. Colorado has an immaculate and extensive bike trail system that most of our running was on. Impressive isn’t the right word, but it’s the first that comes to mind.

Early in the day up at Copper Mountain resort I had the idea to move there during the winter and work at a ski resort. I’m sure the pay would be shit but I’m wondering if I could possibly make the arrangement work. Of course I have a small farm I would have to transport with me and given that things freeze in Colorado this farm would have to remain indoors with me. It is an undeveloped idea at best but moving is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m wonder if I’m running to or from something. I’ve been reading a lot of Chuck Palahniuk and listening to Pink Floyd lately… Not sure why but that seems relevant right here.

Finish Line at Ragnar. Not a bad place to finish a race.
I ended up “accidentally” running over 70 miles this last week. I kinda went big with my running in the days before Colorado and then with the additional miles I had the biggest mileage week I’ve seen in several months. But it felt really good. I’m taking a break this week, likely getting in about 40 miles but want to keep at it with the high mileage. I feel like I think more clearly. Plus I can justify bacon cheeseburgers.

1 comment:

  1. Moving to Colorado during the winter only sounds fun until you lose your fingers and toes to frostbite. When I take things easy I try to keep my mileage below 1,000,000! Sounds like you're taking it too easy.