Thursday, November 29, 2012


Afternoon:  Mellow run with Tim at RobWoods.  Little soft snowflakes were tapering off, resulting in the quintessential "it has snowed or is going to snow" look.  The stillness was the color of rust and gray with sable and evergreen overtones.

The softer, not quite frozen ground felt great.  The shins were temporarily destroyed (whine, whine) after Monday's hard surface/bad shoe run.  There was a spectacular ~10 mile moonlit river walk last night too, sans Hokas, and though it was one of the greatest walks in the history of walks, it was uncomfortable.  

Today I tentatively put the Hokas back on.  Threw some insoles in them to work on the fix; this resulted in blisters and some angry toes by runs end ...but the shins were way better and, as Metallica would say, nothing else matters.

Tim navigated; I don't know the area very well yet.  I followed him, and did so slimily as the cold/cough leaves my body.  Pretty friggin gross.  He led a great loop involving a beach and a whitetail deer, which we paused to admire.  We also paused to climb a deceased fractal and perform emergency hand surgery on a misguided toe.  

We were only supposed to do 5 ish miles due to Tim's orthodox observation of a rehab schedule.  But then we ended with about 5.7.  We went super easy and it already happened so hopefully it was okay!

We stopped by the great blue sea to check out the surf on the way back to base camp.  It looked ideal to me, but only because the bystander doesn't require much action.  The surfer among us seemed to think it was too calm.  It was around 2pm.  The sky was already hinting at sunset.    

~5.7mile run
~77 minutes
~White.  Couple little hills, flattish.  Trails and some sidewalk.  Cold.  Around 35 but raw.
~Hoka, Powersteps, bruised middle/smaller toes and blisters but the previously problematic big toe is now fine (sheesh...), smartwool phd sox, trousers, ls shirt, black shell, ariat gloves aka $40 kleenex, pacer hat.


Night:  I'd been fighting off the terminal tireds all day, but I'd planned a night run with Scout and really really wanted to do it.  So I did, we did, and it was great.  The Insomniac Running Society has returned, hurrah!   

The legs, however, did not wish to act.  Perceived effort was off the charts.  Everything just sort of fell apart and all the elements were leaden with inertia.  Fortunately Scout and I had one of the goofiest conversations ever and giggled almost the whole time about stuff that should probably never be blogged.  The only thing you need to know is that, if you name your son Dick, you should name your daughter Vagina.  

We'd been blaming sleeping doves, who nest in the fields, for the adrenaline rushes caused when they suddenly fly out of the darkness from underfoot.  Well, Scout recently realized it isn't doves, it's woodcocks. She calculated how long it took them to reset after being runover, so we revisited the area several times, enough for us each to issue a massive shriek of fear and amusement before admiring them from, well, right up close.  Thanks, woodcock.  

Scout suggested we name him.  I'll let you guess how that turned out.

There was an awesome, giant, faint, silvery ring around the moon and one tiny, overconfident star right next to it.  It felt less cold than this afternoon's run.  We saw evidence of beavers but still no actual beavers.

Problem, concern:  That night, I felt like I had run an ultra.  Hobbling, whimpering, grunting, the whole bit!  Other than being over tired, which sadly is not unusual (work in progress), how could I be so run down?  The sickness is basically gone and I am becoming fairly fit, in some abstract definition of the word.  

Reference, inspiration:  In trying to figure it out, I found, as vibraphonist/mentor-of-the-past Al Delgado would say, there's no big mystery.  (Not any more than the fact that everything is a candle in the dark...)  

Calculation:  Crumpling toward the floor, and giving new meaning to shivasana, I reviewed my past weeks of conditioning.  I'll bet any coach would say that my post-injury mileage has jumped up too fast.  Classic overzealous Unstrung.  

Focus, Trajectory:  Must somehow prevent self from increasing miles until the body again hungers for, and demands, it.  The point here is to get rid of excessive stress.  Not cause it.  What I have right now is not worthless, but it isn't a "solid base".  It's more like "sheer havoc" and I'm going to get hurt again if I am not more careful.  

Action:  I need to chill out.  I think a small increase in cross training could make a significant difference.  I'll start lifting again soon as the opportunity returns, hopefully in a few weeks.  I biked a few days ago but haven't been much.  Maybe even just once a week would be a good shift.  Til it snows.  Then skis!  

More hardcore yoga practice will begin in a week too, hurrah!  The hiking/pack carrying/long walks on days off from running seem good too.  Keeping those. 

Steady:  I have to remind myself that I am still a beginner, often running among a community of people who have years and years of experience on me.  As in music, throwing yourself in over your head is a great way to improve and I recommend it to any and all beginning runners.  A year ago, I still hadn't even run a HM distance.  My expectations should not inch too quickly toward those of the more experienced crew.  There is no rush. 

This statement bears limited connection to science: I think that the slower you build up the distances, the more your body adapts to the increase as a way of life, rather than as a stressful, OMG sort of situation.  Longevity.  Sustainability.  Durability.  Athletic flexibility, if you will.

In the moment: Feeling much better this morning.  Definitely not running today.  So stoked to have had so much MFR this week, and looking forward to much more over the weekend.  Friends rock.  Back to back long runs plus friends = molto rock.  Must. Stay. Runnable.  

~57 min run
~Scoutland, rolling fields, night, moon
~Hokas, Powersteps, trousers, grid fleece, vest, fleece gloves, throaty slime, some Dicks, some brokenness.  Much goodness.


  1. I can only imagine the conversations between Scout and Unstrung :-) Sounds like fun!

    As for your assessment of things, I think it is easy as a "newer" ultrarunner, especially with such a kick-ass group of TMRs around, to think one must do what the others are doing! I am prone to that myself. However, if I step back, I realize I don't have to do it just because all my friends are doing it, and just because they are doing it and doing it well and making it work, doesn't mean it will work for me too right here, right now. I have a different life than a lot of the TMRs and I know you do too, so to each his own. The trails and the 50s and the 100s will always be out there. No need to rush. Keep it steady, lady, keep within yourself (at least to a certain degree) and make sure you are healed up and not so run down as to not be able to get out and enjoy the running when you can! Must stay runnable indeed.


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