Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Point A to Point B

I'm alone. That is, unless you count the cats: Berkeley and Bella who are brother and sister Seal Point Siamese cats...different litters but siblings, none the less. I took everyone else and placed them on a plane for a week with aunts/uncles/cousins in Colorado. We actually lived in Colorado Springs for one whoppin' year from mid 2001 to mid 2002. In that short time, I had a great job, built a house, sold a house, and even worked at Starbucks for a short period of time. (perhaps that is why I now brew fresh espresso every morning before ANYthing else)

So my goal: get to next Tuesday (Point B) when I pick them up from the airport. I know, I know...many, if not everyone, think I should be jumping for joy to have the house to myself and free reign over my schedule. There is some truth to having freedom in the schedule but in my core, I'm a family guy and children or not, I don't like being alone. Most don't know that I was married at the young, ripe age of 19. Now that I'm turning 36 next week (wink, wink), well...I've been married for nearly 1/2 of my life. Hmmm....I've never really thought of it that way until now. I've told Marjie countless times that I can't imagine NOT being married. For me, completeness is found by her side and her absence is never welcome. But in the meantime while she's enjoying some much needed time with her brother, sister, and their families, I've got some work to do.

Yesterday, I took a mandatory day off from running to rebuild and recover from Sunday's 50K. Plus, I'm protesting the winter weather outside. It's a good thing it was yuck outside because I do not want to put winter running gear on again this season. Luckily, this will all be over today. Plus, I want to get another recovery run in this morning before another rest/rebuild day tomorrow. The only purpose of today's run is to warm up the muscles to help expedite recovery...nothing more. Looking forward to Friday, after work I'll be heading to the trails for my 2nd evening night run. I think I'll have some company...but if not, that's OK. I'd like to get in around 20 miles on Friday night. This time, I'll have a Starbucks Doubleshot in the car to give my brain a shock to get me home and keep me awake. No more near-death experiences this time like 2 weeks ago. Come Saturday morning at 7am, I'll be hitting the trails for 30 slow miles. I really, really need to get through this weekend feeling good. One reason is a good confidence boost for my 100 miler in 59 days and another is to teach my body successfully how to continue on when tired and the mind doesn't want to play anymore. Yea, this run is more about the mental warfare than anything physical. The mental side is the sleeping giant waiting to come out in the later hours of an ultra-marathon. Remember...get from point A to B...whatever it takes. If you want to join me for any of it, let me know. Expect a casual pace at 5 to 5.5 miles/hr....not 50K "race pace."

You know that torrential downpour, thunderstorms, thunder, etc. that happened at last year's Kettle 100? (see post from last week) Well, the one piece of gear I don't have is a good, light piece of rain gear that waterproof, packable, and breathable. Well, Marjie pulled a good one on me and actually surprised me with an early birthday present (she'll tell you how hard that is!). I got home on Monday and the jacket I've been eyeing was hanging in the closet: North Face Trajectory Hybrid jacket from Vertical Runner in Hudson. The most technical piece of gear I've ever owned, for sure. Light enough to pack in my pack but the perfect protection when the elements threaten. It's waterproof and windproof in the front and has great circulation out the back. I'm actually hoping for some nasty weather to run in soon to give it a spin. Thanks, Babe!

OK, time to go run before dawn then knock hump-day out. I'm already looking forward to my breaks and lunchtime today so I can crack open my new issue of UltraRunning that came yesterday. Hands down...the best magazine on the planet.

One last thing: for those of you who don't share the trails with me but stop by here to read my adventures and mis-adventures and may call me crazy, there is a "race" out there that takes the "crazy" crown for itself called the "Barkley." It is probably the most brutal 100 miler on the planet with 55,000 feet of elevation gain/drop. In its history, only 8 people have completed it...the last one was this past weekend. Here's a report of an accomplished ultra-runner and his experience at the Barkley this year. It's a report that makes what I (and maybe you) do seem like child's play. Be sure to look at his legs near the end of his report from pushing through all the briars...yikes! Here's Dan Fox's photo gallery from Barkley, too. Dan's a local from Cleveland. Another photo album is here...is that Slim in pic #136? And another...Alan Geraldi's pics on Facebook.

Happy Trails, everyone!

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