Monday, June 15, 2009

M-Cubed for 6/15/2009

Monday Morning Musings for June Fifteenth, Two Thousand and Nine. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- I accidentally forgot to mention a bit of hallucination during the Kettle last weekend. Hallucination is not uncommon during these events and some stories I’ve heard are pretty wild. Mine isn’t too wild but happened around Mile 93, right after I left the Bluff Road Aid Station inbound for Tamarack and then the finish. I was running under the pines and was approaching a turn ahead with some large trees down to the left of the trail. I was sure that hiding behind one large tree was a lone deer. I could “see” the legs, back, and rear end of the deer and even saw it move a little but it’s head was blocked. As I turned the corner and looked for the deer…nothing! No deer, no chance of it running away and not being seen…simply non-existent and a figment of my imagination. Freaky stuff.
- $2.11?: Simple enough, right? After a cat nap in my car at the finish line of the Kettle and stumbling around the finish line like an erect corpse, my goal was to drive south, get around Chicago (to skip Monday morning traffic), then crash at a hotel. Keeping in mind I had been up since 3:45am on Saturday and was seriously calorie-deprived, I stopped by the La Grange Country Store for an awesome sandwich (turkey stacked on cracked wheat bread with some sprouts and an avocado/mayo spread) then headed south across the Wisconsin/Illinois state line. With a growing need for drugs, I stopped by a grocery store and picked up some ibuprofen (picture the smallest steps possible through a grocery store since I was in pain) then headed across the street to a Starbucks. At first, I parked at the far end of the parking lot thinking I might try to sleep. However, I felt like a sloppy piece of pottery being cast into the kiln as I felt like my face and body were on fire. (it was under 70F, by the way) Knowing I couldn’t sleep, I bumbled/stumbled into Starbucks and ordered my favorite iced coffee, substitute soy milk and cinnamon dulce syrup. Total: $2.11. I vividly remember holding a handful of change in my hand and two dollar bills. People were standing behind me waiting and I just stood there, eyes blood-shot, and attempted to sift 11 cents out of a pile of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Easy, right? I handed the cashier the whole handful of coins and the two bills honestly thinking I did the right thing. He handed the whole pile back minus 11 cents and I was dumbfounded. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “It’s only $2.11,” he replied. “Oh…sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking,” I replied back to him. He must have thought I was high as a kite. I plopped into the cool, comfy leather chair and checked some e-mail (thanks to you all for filling up my e-mail that morning!) and cooled down. About an hour later, I hit the road and ended up in congested Sunday-morning congested traffic in Chicago, but ended up in Portage, IN for the night at a Super 8 about ½ hour across the Indiana line.

- After a 10 ½ hour night sleep Monday night, I completed the trip home on Monday and was welcomed home by a family get-together at the Mexican restaurant and some of my parents’ homemade ice cream. That night was the worst all week. I tossed and turned all night long due to the pain in my legs and ended up calling off work Tuesday because of an overall feeling of “yuk!” Knowing my deep tissue massage was Tuesday night and moving/warming the muscles is a good thing and facilitates recovery, I decided it was a perfect day to take Marjie and the girls out to the Ledges, one of my very favorite areas to run. We had a picnic lunch at the Octagon then hiked all of the Ledges including stops at the Overlook and the Ice Box Cave. The girls loved it and especially my oldest tried to scale every single boulder/rock formation we came across. It was a perfect day for weather, too, with sunny skies and temps in the 70s. Tuesday night, Lori “fixed” me the best way she could and helped put me more on the proper road to recovery. In my opinion, a post-race massage for marathons or longer is a critical piece of the overall “stay injury-free” puzzle. My body is healing so aligning everything the way it should be with both facilitate proper recovery and allow the muscles to rebuild in the shape/location that they are supposed to.
- Thursday night was the first night I ran. I saw the group trail run was set to visit the 3 main waterfalls in the Valley and at a distance of 7.5 miles and thought it would be the perfect recovery run…soft run, variable running service, and NO asphalt. I had a blast and felt extremely good. Once running for about 5 minutes and everything being warmed up, all soreness disappeared and the run went off without a hitch and actually got a bit speedy at times. Ironically, the creaky muscles were back as I went to bed. That’s alright…more and more water each day and I’ll be good as new soon enough. Friday was yet another day spent sitting in my cubicle at work, taking walking breaks whenever possible just to get the muscles warmed up. On Saturday and a weekend on tap to spend with the Navy in Cleveland, I ran 4.5 on Saturday around downtown and another 7 on Sunday.
- Now being a week post-Kettle, I feel really, really good. Nearly all discomfort and soreness has disappeared with just a little bit of the tingling feeling remaining in my right toes. This week, I will get back to my 4:30am runs (very necessary to maintain my daytime sanity) and go a semi-long run this weekend somewhere in the teens. The following weekend (3 weeks post-Kettle) I will ramp back up to the 30 mile distance when I run the final 30 miles of the Burning River 100 course on June 27th. At that point, I’ll be 5 weeks out from my 2nd 100-miler of the year, Burning River.
- I’ll admit: for many MANY hours of the Kettle Moraine 100, I “wrote” many drafts of the e-mail I was planning to send to Joe (Burning River Race Director) pulling my registration. “Do I really want to go through this again?” “I’ve done it once, why do it again?” While I intended to pull that registration for the overwhelming portion of the Kettle, in the end the final result/decision about Burning River ended up being to leave it as is and to show up at Squire’s Castle at 5am on August 1st for my 2nd attempt at the getting my first buckle. The experience will be totally different: I’ll have family support, I’ll know people at nearly every aid station, I’ll sleep in my bed the night before, and most likely it will be hot and humid unlike the Kettle. Regarding the course, it is “easier” but I hesitate using the word “easier” and “100-miler” in the same sentence. Any way you cut it, it’s still 100 miles and still an incredible challenge no matter how many times you do it. I am thankful for the knowledge and experience I gained at the Kettle. I hope and pray it will be instrumental in getting me to the Falls River Square finish line in Cuyahoga Falls.

- These photos were taken with a disposable camera which I ditched at Emma Carlin Aid Station. I simply didn't want to deal with carrying it anymore. They're not so great in quality because not only are they not digital, they were scanned after being developed. Not having any friends or family at the Kettle, this is just about all the pics I have to share with all of you.

Have a great week, everyone and Happy Trails!


Clara said...

Wow- already back up and running. Awesome job.

Nick Billock said...

Clara, good luck at MO100 this weekend! Make it count! No excuses!!!!