Sunday, September 23, 2012

Really, What is So Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

Ok, all right, I've had it now!  I've been taking some serious heat, and good natured ribbing of late on my "Left Wing" views - although the fact is that I'm very "fiscally conservative", but it’s true I think that we as a species have a long way to go to become something more than the animals we came from - yes, time to jump on my soapbox, just for a minute anyway...

Ok, I’m coming up on a year now as a vegetarian, although still eating fish - those may go soon too.  "Dr. how long will you keep doing this - it’s causing inconvenience?!"  Well, the answer is quite simply, 'forever'.  I believe in what I'm doing; I am not trying to force my views on anyone else, and simply trying to lead by example.

Yes, I'm driven to actually finish a 100 miler by the fact that I have over $10 per mile to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society riding on it!  Yes I push alternative energies and even make an arguably risky job change to support such a business.  And yes, I really do think that environmental issues are important - and heck, you never know, I may eventually simply decide to move my career to teaching, simply because I genuinely like helping students.

And yes, I run trails because I have a true love for the outdoors, and being a part of nature.  I do.  I admit it.  And I offer no apologies for any of these things!

So I like this song, and I hope you listen to it.  Peace!  Now I need to get going; there are tree's to hug!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hallucination 100

Hallucination 100 Race Report

So this race report will be a bit different than most, as I modify it to try to help “non-ulta” folks get a feel for an event such as this, This run was a bit unique, in that I asked friends and relatives to offer up pledges, all donated directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for every mile that I’m able to make.  Pretty encouraging, as I was able to pull together just over $12 per mile in total, so this run, unlike others this year, had some level of inspiration to keep moving!  Background is that it’s been a terrible year so far, with each race ending at a disappointing 62 miles, or some even less; frankly I was nearly to the point of convincing myself that 100 miles is simply out of my range – on the other hand each of those failures were surrounded by the usual for me; excessive heat and dehydration.  In any case, for anyone interested, here are the gory details.

Friday PM – we arrived at the start area a bit early in Pinckney and pupped our tent, checked in, pinned on my bib – the usual really.  This year there would be about 150 One Hundred mile runners starting; usually about half drop eventually, and this year would be no exception.  So the course is fairly simple; six loops around a 16.8 mile trail route.  There’s an aide station at miles 4 (call it a minor station, but still somewhat stocked), a station at 8 (marking the midway point, very well stocked, and in fact I have a drop bag there, stuffed with anything I could think of), and a last station at mile 12, which actually was the same station as the one at mile 4.  Of course “home base” included a fairly large station as well.  The course was on the “Poto” trail in Pinckney, although some I think was on the Silver Lake trail as well.  Fairly hilly, rocky and lined with tree roots (but not nearly as brutal as Leadville!)  

So after the usual social work with friends and the race organizers (it’s a relatively small community of us idiots), the gun went off Friday, at 4:00 PM, and off we went. 

Loop 1:  I was by myself for loop one, and started with my iPod on.  Of course I did hook up with folks from time to time and talked, but loop one was generally fairly quick; I (we) would walk up the very steep hills, run up the smaller ones, and run pretty much the entirety of the remainder.  At about 2 miles in, I was stung (as were about 5 of us) by a swarm of what appeared to be killer bee’s – I was nailed on the back of my right calf, and it hurt for about 5 more miles!  Other drama included the 4 mile aide station not being ready for the runners quite yet, so I rationed my single water bottle until mile 8, and the “burr” incident.  This happened when I decided to make a pit stop in the woods and of course went back about 20 feet, only to discover I had gone right through a patch of small burrs that were now completely covering my shirt and pants!  And these suckers scratched like crazy!  By the time I hit the mile 8 station I changed my shirt, and at the end of the loop I changed my pants (spares I had brought).  I had targeted 3 Hours 30 Minutes for this loop, and came in at about 3:20.  The sun was hot, but the air cool, so all was good – especially knowing that their “might” be some refreshing rain coming in the evening hours!

Loop 2: 16 miles in my pace had slowed, but not too badly – the day was young yet.  Headlamp on it was now dusk, then night, and I was moving along fairly well.  I was drinking about a water bottle of light Gatorade between each station, and somehow discovered that a half banana was doing my stomach wonders!  In fact I ate a half banana at EVERY station for the entire run; 12 bananas in total!  Also I would pick at flat Coke, potatoes dipped in salt, the occasional cracker, and even an Ensure or two (kept in my drop bag).  Ah yes, life was good really as the sun went down and my headlight came on – and then it started to “sprinkle”.  Of course sprinkle turned to rain, and by the loop 2, mile 8 station, it was a complete monsoon downpour!  The trails were becoming beyond recognition, and the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees – a number of runners gathered in the station under a makeshift tent waiting for a ride as they planned to drop out – I of course stupidly got my banana, filled up my bottle, and dredged out into the pitch black downpour on trails that were quickly becoming “un-runnable”.  The trick was to stay sure footed, use your light to see directly in front of you, and mostly I found prayer to be of help.  No getting around it, this part of the run sucked!  Only 24 miles in, and this was miserable.  On I trenched – I think my time ended up being about 4.5 hours for this loop, which was miraculous considering the conditions – finally made it back to home base, to get ready for loop 3.

Loop 3: Loop 3 was going to be very cool, as Caryn’s co-workers, and my friends as well Garrett and Andrea were going to pace me (for that loop).  I had run a “practice” night run with them at the local park, and they were nothing if not enthusiastic and supportive.  My goal of showing them how awesome ultra-running through a beautiful park at night, tearing up the trails at a blinding (loop 1 like) pace, was replaced by seemingly endless trudging through a steady heavy rain down trails that were for the most part unusable and destroyed.  We ran some, but not much, and it was COLD!  But both Garrett and Andrea were AWESOME!  They were great company, and tough!  Not a SINGLE complaint at all (unlike me, who complained most the entire time).  This ended up being by far my slowest loop at nearly 6 hours, but in hindsight it simply was not going to get any quicker with the conditions as they were.  Midway through the loop my batteries died on my headlamp, but we waited until we made the next station before Garrett put in my spares.  Seriously, this run belongs to these guys as much as me – they were encouraging, and simply fun to watch due to their energy!  (Which was clearly starting to wane by about mile 12, but I suspect that was more due to the awful conditions than tiredness). So nearly 6 hours for this loop – nearly twice as long as loop 1, but it’s hard to change the weather.  Word on the trail by this time was that a great deal of the field had dropped.  Except me…. 50 miles done – heck how bad can it get????  (Never ask that…)

Loop 4:  Loop 4 was cool as well, in that my coworker and friend Mike volunteered to join me.  Starting out a few hours before sunrise, he was set with his headlight and white shoes (which stayed white for about 5 steps!). As we headed off the rain was FINALLY stopping, but the trails were still a sloppy, muddy mess.  To make things worse, I was at a “low” point.  Maybe low sugar level, I don’t know, but I dragged butt for the first 4 miles, walking WAY too much!  Mike was patient though, and eventually I gave him the word that he can push harder if he wanted – I was just getting lazy.  And push he did!  Amazing the turn around, but soon we were running a considerable percentage, and clearly making back lost time.  Mike as always was great, a very sharp and simply good person.  We talked about work, but not much – about Germany and the world in general.  Mike made the loop go by fast, and we had the fun of watching the sun rise; by the time we were done it was Saturday morning, and it looked like the weather problems were past us.  I was still feeling relatively good, maintaining my banana and gator aide diet, only being sick about once a loop (which most always makes my stomach feel better), and while there were ups and downs, the company of the last two loops was very cool and helpful.  Unfortunately that was about to end, as I watched Mike walk away after our finish, I knew that it was just me again.  We finished very close to 5 hours, which actually turned out to be my time for loops 5 and 6 as well.

Loop 5:  Uneventful really, except frankly I was getting tired, and starting to show “mechanical” problems such as my feet, and basically every other muscle in my body.  I maintained the 5 hour pace though, and the weather while sunny, was not overly hot, so my usual problem of dehydration was non-existent (I was making pit stops frequently as well; a VERY good sign).  But this loop was were the mental part came into play, and unfortunately my hallucinations started back up on me (I seem to be very susceptible to this – cool how the mind can take simple shapes, turn them into an entire “scene” and add its own detail such as people, and a number of not so cool things).  Frankly, I was ready to be done, but reminded myself - $12 per mile – “Ed, you’re lucky enough to be able to do this – many others are not; do this for them, just keep moving forward”.  And I did.  And did.  And did.  Loop 5, 5 hours.

Loop 6: Ah the final loop!  And by far the worst.  Rocks in shoes that wouldn’t go away.  Screaming feet, and now screaming quads.  EVERY muscle in my body hurt.  I knew from a time standpoint I could literally walk this entire loop and still make the 30 hour cutoff time (I had about 7 hours to spare), but I was driven by one thing now, simply to be done – the sun had gone down for the second time on this jog, and I was now using my headlight that I picked back out of my mile 8 aide station drop bag.  I ran as hard as I could, but uphill’s sent my heart rate through the roof, and downhill’s pounded on aching feet and screaming quads.  I did the old “pain is just a feeling, embrace it, you’re almost done”.  Of course this lasted about 10 minutes!  But after again almost exactly 5 hours I crossed a very busy and party like finish line!  I must say, the support at this event was incredible, as many other people were running lower distance events such as marathons, half marathons, 10K, 5 Mile, and 5K runs – you bumped into these folks from time to time as trails were sometimes shared for short distances.  Always the same questions about sleeping, food, “you’re my hero”, and “what the hell is wrong with you?!”  But they all were very supportive of the 100 mile runners, and that always feels good, especially after hours of solitary running is dark, wet, vacant woods. 

When I finished at just about 8:30 PM Saturday night, I was actually able to sit and listen to the band playing 60’s cover music (very well in fact!) and simply enjoy being done.  A gal I’ve seen before came up to me and asked “Wow, what an awesome feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line must be for you?”  Mine back simply was “I guess, but to me it was more an overwhelming feeling of YES, I’M FINALLY DONE!”  And then the usual body temperature changes; going from roasting to freezing, and repeat.  Barely able to move which led to an interesting drive home while Caryn drove.  I fell asleep Saturday evening in about 1 minute after hitting the bed, and Sunday (today) feel a bit hazed over, and continued sore, but that will pass soon – as I have the DWD 50 mile Ultra in two weeks!  A good day(s), and finally a decent finish (28 hours and about 36 minutes, I think).  Actually any pre-cutoff finish is a good one as far as I’m concerned!  The field seemed to scatter during the rain as quite a few people dropped, and it was incredible how much friends can impact success; and I know of no other way to put everything out of your mind such as work, a dissertation, and many other problem than losing them all on the trail.   

Yea, I guess the feeling of accomplishment is pretty cool, but really the $1,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society is even cooler.  And of course I barely mentioned the person that always is my biggest supporter, Caryn.  Without her I would never even find the start line – she is always there at aide stations for me (if not captaining the station personally) knowing what to give me and generally “thinking” for me when I’m no longer capable – then shoving me out of the station when I need to be shoved out. Caryn means the world to me, and without her none of this crazy hobby could ever happen.   Thanks to everyone who offered up donations to the LLS, Garrett, Andrea, and Mike who came up during some pretty ugly times (whether the ugly times were relentless rain, or watching Ed do the “ultra-death march” for nearly 4 miles.)  Thanks to all.  Time for a nap!  :)

Your Friend,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reader Feedback

I must say I am often inspired by the Trail Slammer - and this entry will surly prove it.  Today I plan to respond to a follower's question!  Yep, believe it or not, I have followers, and every so often, much like the Trail Slammer, one looks for insight on Ultra Running.  Training questions, mental fortitude, equipment, you know, the usual.  So today, I think it's time for me to give back to my followers - but first, an update.

Really its been a fairly decent season to date.  We went thorough the "event every weekend" phase as we do every May, so its been busy.  Started at Gnaw Bone; a 50 mile run in Indiana that I truly believe is the toughest course in the world - certainly tougher than Wasatch, and I dare say tougher than Leadville as well.  50 miles of relentless, very non friendly hills; the kind you struggle to climb 100 feet but then hope for the awesome downward section - but all it is steep and rocky, until you get to the bottom to do it again - repeat about 1,000 times!  Anyway last year I dropped at 31, and this year I was on track for that as well, but somehow found the mental strength to tough it out.  Terrible time, but at least I finished.

Next was the Bayshore full. that one was literally 6 days ahead of Kettle Moraine, so I went in without the Garmin or watch, and simply tried to jog my way to an easy 4 hour time (totally running how I felt).  The good news was that as fate would have it I crossed the line at about 3:57, right on track.  The bad news is I was convinced that I was really moving, and was doing far better than that!  (The first time I saw the clock was about 200 feet before the finish.)

The following Saturday I lined up for Kettle Moraine 100, but my only plan was to "see how far I could get".  I had run this two years back and the weather pretty much washed out the entire event, but this year I chugged on to finish the 100K - serious stomach problems all day, but I found that if I upped my percentage of "power walking" it was easier on my stomach, and I was able to make up miles in the later parts of the run.  So, I now am the proud owner of a little copper Kettle!

Generally this season is going pretty well, I have to say.  I think this is due to a mild winter letting me keep the training up a bit - I HOPE that the Trail Slammer will  be running Mohican this weekend, so I can pace him the back 50, which would be really cool.  This plan gets me on the course as the cool evening hours come, and by then the little fellow will be poop'ing out, so I should be able to keep up with him!  I'm even considering going down anyway, and pacing a stranger if they need help, if the TS doesn't make it.

Oh, so now to my reader question.  Mr. D. Karnsaz AND Steve R writes "Doctor, I know that you run with your music, and I think you mentioned you keep your I-Pod on an arm band, located up by your shoulder.  In doing this, do you find that you tan unevenly due to it blocking the sun?" 

Well Dean and Steve, this is a great question, and I get this all the time!  What I do, occasional, is wear the band on my left arm, allowing my right arm to tan during that run; HOWEVER, you need to put some sun tan lotion on that spot first, as it is probably very white, and susceptible to burning!  That part is not so obvious....   I'll tell ya, you won't get tips like this in Runners World!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"But that was when I Ruled the World...."

So I have fun telling the Trail Slammer that every time I sit down to write a blog entry, I think of a really good running story, type away, then look down at the screen only to find yet another Katy Perry entry, complete with Video!  And I suppose it's true, but this time I'll try to keep it running related - a bit deep really.  Put this one in the "how running changed my life" file, because the fact is that this incident I must admit had a very large impact on my personality from the time it happened, until this day.

I often tell people that I "lost any last sense of pride at mile 55 in Vermont".  Whether its at work when I may be wrong on a viewpoint, and really don't hesitate to admit it.  Or during one of my endless arguments with the Trail Slammer.  Or just in general,  I think somewhere along the line I lost a lot of my ego - and I'm telling you, this is how it happened...

To tell the story you need to understand the circumstances, and the time-frame.  The year was 2008, and the Doctor was running well.  Very well.  In fact, that was the year I qualified for Boston.  It was the year I ran my First 50K, and then very egotistically told people that "50K really shouldn't count as an Ultra, because you have 'license' to walk, but it's hardly even longer than a marathon!"  After running a very strong very first 50K, I went on to run an even stronger first 50 Mile, and couldn't help but ask "what the big deal was?"  I ran a lot, I ran hard, and I nearly always took an age group award, and I didn't even use the Trail Slammers strategy of only signing up for runs that under 20 people participated in!  (Ouch!) 

I was the man, and I was on fire.  The term "dehydration" was one that I guess other people dealt with, not me.  And the three little letters, "DNF" - well, I had heard that people do that quite allot, especially during longer distances, but frankly, I was far above it.  I was much like a kid; I viewed myself as indestructible!

OK, that sets the scene for you - so of course I decided to sign up for the Vermont 100.  An easy course by 100 mile standards really; I kind of planned it out, kind of not - just me and my inflated ego, and I would laugh at the course right from the beginning.  And we started.

The weather was predicted to be in the mid 90's - the hottest year yet.  "Interesting" I thought, but paid little attention - and I took off like a rocket in the cool, early morning summer air.  As the morning went by, I ticked off mile after mile, forcing myself to walk up hills, just running up others, while "sorry saps" walked up them - and it worked, by mid day I hit 50 miles - and I should have known the problem coming right then; I had a 50 mile PR!  "Hell, this is a joke!" I remember thinking that, I do....  Of course what I didn't know at the time was that my nutrition plan (if it was a plan at all) was slowly but surely crumbling.  As the temperature went up, I drank less and less, and in my under-experienced mind, this was a great thing - "apparently I don't really even need that much water!"  Never mind that swallowing S caps was becoming surprisingly difficult as my throat seemed to be swelling a bit.  Never mind that I was starting to stop sweating.  After all, I was told I was in the top 10% of the field at 50 miles - seriously?  This is a "major" national event, and at the half way point, I'm up with the big shots?  Come on....

OK, so by now you're beginning not to like the Doctor I'm describing, and frankly in hindsight I'm a bit ashamed myself (in fact quite a bit).  But fear not, the doctors "comeuppance" is close at hand.

Shortly after mile 50, I recall feeling a "bit" nauseated.  And I also noticed my pace slowing a bit.  Headache.  Dizzy. "Hmm", I thought, "Ill just 'run through it' as I usually do - what could possibly be the big deal?"  From here on it goes pretty quick - at this point I've not seen another runner for quite a while - I'm by myself on a dusty, dry dirt road in the late afternoon heat, and guess what?  For the very first time in my running career, for some reason, I'm on the side of the road throwing up!  I was completely shocked by this.  I was confused.  "Would this hurt my run?" I asked myself.  Back on the road, I trudged on, running away, until, well, here it comes again, and this time not only am I throwing up, but I'm hiding in the woods loosing fluids from the other end, and you know what I mean. 

Now at this point, the symptoms are bad, but the way I feel is worse.  I'm now having dry heaves, that cause incredible stomach pain.  I tell myself that if I'm really dehydrated, then my body knows best what to do.  Right?  Right?  Haven't you always heard that?  OK, Doctor lesson for you - that old wives tale is total BS - Tell me why if I'm running fluid-less that my body decided to blow what little fluid I have out every possible crevice?  So then in the span of about 10 minutes, a major storm front comes across the sky, and my world is submerged in water!  A total downpour - my "discomfort" is now compounded 10 fold.  And here the nausea comes again, but this time I'm barely off the side of the road, on all four, barfing up nothing while I'm battling off the next burst of diarrhea.  I soon notice I apparently decided to lay down in a drainage ditch, and here comes a wall of water at me; I'm now up to my butt and elbows in flowing water, rain pounding down on my back, and loosing it out of both ends.

Folks, this was a monumental moment for me.  At this point I was physically, and more  importantly mentally broken.  I recall looking up into the rain and asking God how he could possibly do this to me!  I was suffering beyond belief, and wondered if I would ever see home again.  After all, it was me.   ME!!!!!  Yes, this was the moment that I left my pride.  My ego.  My obnoxiousness out on that road.  I was beaten and broken, and I could barely stand up.  I would have dropped, but frankly I hadn't seen another runner in at least a half hour, and I was nowhere near an aide station.  All I could do was clean myself up, and try to walk, which I did.

In the coming hours I met my now friend Tracy, who I spent most of the rest of the run with, and the weather cleared, and my health improved, although only slightly.  Yes, I made it, because fortunately I had so much time "in the bank" I could afford the coming downward spiral.   But when I crossed that finish line, I knew.  People clapped as if I did something great, but they had no idea what I knew.  How defeated I was, and how different a person I had become from the one that started nearly 30 hours earlier.  I admit I cried like a baby crossing that line, for many, many reasons....

So yes, I lost most sense of pride and ego at Vermont in 2008, mile 55; and I mean that.  This  was a nearly religious, and truly life impacting moment for me.  Yes, running changed my life, and I am a far better person for it now.....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"But you, Pay the Bill, cause, That's the Deal!"

So why is this song FIRMLY stuck in my head?  Well, after multiple shows of watching the Trail Slammers daughter in a cast role, and my son, the Hockey Slammer after having had a large part in building the set, manning the ropes to pull scenery and curtains up and down (Fly Rail), well, this song just stuck; its a happy play, and sure Travolta did all right, but I'd prefer HANK any day!  And that's all I got to say about that....

So its been a good running winter, no doubt about that.  I've been rampin' up my long run Saturdays, and exclusively they have been at the park, and walking up all hills.  Started at 12 miles, upping 2 miles a week, but quickly realized that at this rate I wouldn't even be ready for a 5K by Christmas, so I moved to my "Marathon every Saturday" approach - which I hadn't even started last year until mid summer.  So yesterday was my second, and I'd set out to keep my average pace (including all walking) to under 10:45 - but nope, I ended at 11:10, which was very disappointing.  Weekly mileage has only been at about 50, so that's disappointing too, and this morning (Sunday) I went to the park and decided to do a run (no walks) and target 9:15-9:30, and came in after 7 miles at 9:45.  Arg.  Of course I had just run 26.3 yesterday, and frankly these back to back runs make for a very, well, interesting first mile!

Other than that though my focus is on a 50 mile run that kicks my but every year, late May in Gnaw Bone Indiana.  This year I plan to be ready though, and all in all my training is probably a month ahead of normal, so that's good, I guess.  Shortly afterword is Kettle Moraine 100, the First of the Trail Slammers big show's, and I'll definitely be ready for that - although only one week before I'll be running the Bayshore full, which I intend to jog and walk - I guarantee a time no better than 4 hours for that one - I'm rigging the Garmin to give me an electric shock if my pace is any quicker.

So as usual, after a disappointing run of efforts, I turn on the I pod and look for guidance.  Kate comes on, and here it is; fellow ultrer's understand this completely:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Learning to Forgive

I think that most people would agree, that a sure sign of maturity...  no, not maturity, maybe integrity..  well, maybe, well at least a sign of a "big person" is the ability to forgive.  Forgiveness I guess is when you realize you've been done a wrong.  Maybe you've been hurt, or even scared.  But you still are willing to say, "you know, I'm going to let this go - I'm moving on". 

Yes, forgiveness - and I think it's time for me to forgive.  It's been a number of years, and my pain still runs deep.  I feel it every day in fact - usually I keep this to myself, only sharing with the people closest to me as they help me cope.  Sometimes I can go for hours without thinking about it, but other times I'll hide in a room by myself and, well, cry.  But I do think its time to simply let it go.  Maybe simply to say" it's over, it's past, just move on".

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about at this point - Disco.

A dark era in American music - mid to late 70's, and I still feel the pain every day.  When I close my eyes, I can still see the Bee Gee's singing "Saturday Night Fever" while tight dressed, hairy chested tight panted guys with way too many necklaces "danced" around to that noise.  And I can still see "Rod the Bod" Stewart asking "Do ya think I'm sexy", and it brings pain to my heart.  Man, this hurts to write..

As you can imagine, I was a card carrying D.R.E.A.D member

Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Abolition of Disco

 - but I guess it just had to run its course.  I guess.

Well, As I was running on one of my weekend "long runs" (a sad 8 on Saturday, and barely even 10 on Sunday), I realized that it was time to Forgive, and specifically, I think I need to forgive Rod Stewart.  Ok, ok, I know it's hard, and I'll attach a sorry video of him below, but you know, check out the second, it really is a pretty good song.  Right?  RIGHT??? 

So help me forgive, and lets put this all behind us.  I'm sorry about it, and I know you are too.  But you know, I was very young at the time, and really it was too bad for Rod as rumors spread about Doctors pumping a pint of a certain fluid out of his stomach (I'm not saying I helped spread that rumor, and I'm not saying I didn't).  Be strong my friends...   Be strong....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a Song that I Sing, Beacuse I Have to...

So I've been meaning to put this story into words for about a year now, and decided I'd better do it before it's gone.  It was a typical day at work, and a friend of mine (who actually paced me for a loop at the local 100), was standing around with a new young intern girl named (of course) Jennifer.  Now Jennifer was definitely "all that", but unfortunately (or fortunately), I'm finally at the age where I find "all that" to be interesting, but not so much so as I used to - in fact if anything I feel more fatherly and protective these days over young girls; I swear I could never be able to handle a daughter - as I said, she wouldn't date until she was 30!

Anyway, my friend and her were talking about, you guessed it, running.  Seems that Jennifer was going to run her first 10K, and she was pumped beyond belief!  It always makes me smile to see the excitement in someone's eyes who is really thrilled about that next run; the run that stretches their limits.  Anyway, of course my friend spills the beans on the ultra running, and right away I get the big, doe eyes -"Oh, wow, 50 miles?  100 miles?"  And I do what I always do, I try to talk to her about her upcoming 10K and how cool that is. 

After she walked away, my friend gives me the "are you nuts" lecture - "You know, if you would have told her to jump off a bridge, she would have - all she wanted to do was talk about Ultra running, and all you would do is talk about her 10K, and maybe someday doing a half - are you nuts??"

Well, maybe I am, and as I've said before, I do think that the mentality of a long term Ultra runner is somewhat compulsive, somewhat obsessive, and definitely masochistic - no, I wasn't going to blow smoke about this; I really just thought that running for "health", fun, and the challenge of a goal was awesome, and why not just let her live that?  But no, I had no intention of fueling dreams of this insanity! 

So I've posted this song before, but it is definitely in my list of top 5 over the past three years, and a GREAT running song - AND, it completely applies to this situation...  I first heard this in a coffee shop on a Sunday morning - I truly wish it would get some air time; it's an awesome song...

Could vs. Should

Funny how in running these two words show up so often.  Outside of running, I know I COULD take a stapler home from work, but I know I shouldn't.  I know I COULD surprise the Librarian by vacuuming the entire house unexpectedly, but I know I WON'T.  Heck, I know I SHOULD paint the kid's bathroom, as apparently my clever fish theme became a bit, well, young for them when they hit their mid teens - but I probably WON'T do that either (unless the Librarian reads this entry).  And you know, I knew I COULD run that stupid 50K with the Trail Slammer, but I also knew I SHOULDN'T!

So, he did it again, forcing me to run an informal 50K (Actually 32.4 miles, not the requisite 31, but hey, who's counting?) with some friends of his.  It had snowed the night before leaving a nice 2-3" on the ground, and the "trails" were at best packed down snow, at worst, well, indistinguishable.  But really it wasn't that bad - a great group of guys, and we were VERY slow on the average; I really enjoyed the time with the Trail Slammer, who I hadn't seen much of over the winter.

But MAN, am I paying for it!  I haven't run past 16 miles since the Detroit Marathon in October, and actually my long run since then was only, well, 16....  ONCE!  I've been trying to run fast and short, building up, so 50K on trails (complete with BRUTAL hills), was a system shocker.  As I write this it's been only 3 days, and my quads still hurt like I just ran my first marathon - I've reinvented walking sideways down stairs!  And to make matters worse, I took some crap from the TS about my florescent, "look at me" yellow jacket - he seemed to be pondering how to include that in his next Podcast, so my only hope with this is that since he seems to go three months between entries, he'll forget!

And by the way, check out Kate with ELMO!  (Couldn't be all about running you know, she would look good with Kermit the Frog!)


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So I thought about what to write this post about.  Training?  Yea, going ok - great "winter", running hard.  Right now here is my mood - this one approaches perfection....  Ok, so the truth?  Ran 5 hard tonight because that's all I had time for - drove the Hockey Slammer to the library for German tutoring, and sat down, planning to continue dissertation chapter II Lit Review.  Problem is I did just that at lunch today and am burned out - So spending my entire time screwing around with things like Blogs!  But the run was great!  Haven't ran with the Trail Slammer in at least a month, and my mileage is barely 40 a week - I don't even think he runs any more!

Early June....  Early June......

 Ok, I get this all the time from the Trail Slammer - "Doctor, how did you know that Kate would turn out so AWESOME, just like you said she would???"  Well, here's one that you won't hear on the radio, but off one of her early albums.  She writes this stuff herself - the potential was always there, you just had to listen...
 Maybe I should stop wallowing in my Victory........   NOT!

Oh, and it's not really important who WINS Sunday, just as long as New England LOOSES!!!!  Really sick of that pretty boy Brady.....  !