Today

(Envision Smashing Pumpkins)

Today I slept past 6 for the first time in three weeks, and damn it felt good. M made the mistake of promising to do (long overdue and stinky) dishes before I woke up, and I was able to prod her awake and coerce breakfast out of the deal. OJ, sausage, banana pancakes?! I am a very spoiled little boy.

I did manage to be industrious by about 10am, changed the air filter in the truck (loooong overdue), and collected materials for a pair of scree gaiters for my trail runners. $35 seems far too much for a little thing, and I like browsing Ace to make odds and ends work for new and different things. Example: I found some plastic rod hangers that, with a little modification, will I think make excellent lace hooks for my new creations. Even hand stitching everything with dental floss it only took a couple hours, with a test run tomorrow. Next up, after M gets her new-to-her sewing machine running; a two bottle waist pack for trail running. Again, I want to try DIY before caving in and dropping $40 on something. The general problem of how to carry hours worth of liquid on a run remains, for mountain runs this isn’t a big deal, but out in the desert it is. I’m taking this one step at a time, but the ultimate will still be a light, bounce free (or damn close) system to carry a gallon of water, snacks, and a minimal kit of layers and emergency gear. Tricky because it seems like on the waist I have a 10ish pound limit, and haven’t found a way to make a backpack thing function. Again, not all today. Sometimes I find that a hard concept to embrace.

I also managed to actually get out for a ride, not easy as the Netflix West Wing disc 2, season 2 arrived mid-afternoon. M threatened me with bodily harm, and I rode 305 again. Cleaned all of it, not without difficulty but without really significant difficulty. Went under my record time without really trying, and more importantly without feeling really tired. It all seems like this is coming together too easily, when I use the only other serious benchmark of training in my life, the Chicago Marathon 4 (!!) years ago. At this point I remember that there haven’t been many months during those years when I haven’t been very active outside, and the concepts of aerobic base and physiological maturation start to make more sense.

So, tomorrow is the big day. Last big torture test before serious goal #1: The Red Hot on the 17th. Granite Mountain circumnavigation. When I finished Chicago (limping and in pain) I wanted to keep building on to ultras. Knee injury (why I don’t run seriously on pavement anymore, and don’t hesitate to take days off) prevented that, and it’s good to be going full circle. I’m also turning 26 in a week, which along with the aforementioned 4 year span seems like a damn long time, until I think of what has filled it. Finding a “real job” after college, and being financially independent. Getting married. Sort of becoming an adult. Beginning to find my calling in life. Being forced to become more patient and mature (see #2). Becoming a real outdoor guide. Taking up and mastering (as far as I really care to) canyoneering. Getting back into cycling. Becoming a teacher. Being paid a salary.

I’m pleased.

I have only a dim idea of what tomorrow will bring, and how long it’ll take. It can’t take too long, because I can’t carry that much water, and have only one place to get more. I’m excited. I’m not good at being a hampster, if I don’t want to do it I’m quite bad at doing it because I should do it. Why timed out and backs kill me. It’s more about fitness pushing adventure than adventure pushing fitness. I’m not setting a damn alarm, though.

Closing argument, A Prairie Home Companion had their annual joke show today, here’s a really bad one I remember:

What do you get when you throw a grenade into a French kitchen?

Linoleum blown apart.

Interested to here about Hairball’s weekend, and what bike he used for his big loop today. The gravel climb up to Cedar Mesa would be very cool. Hope Plesko found a way to not gnaw his leg off. Marni, you and M should talk about that, she’s got some good ones.

17 is the number.

Yeah, you know the drill: I’m going to sleep.

3 Comments

  1. I’m about to have a birthday too, number 25 as discussed in the desert. I feel the same way about how much has changed in the past few years.I got a good ride in yesterday. Backup plans just sort of fell into place, I’ll get a blog up soon. 73 miles and 8000 vertical feet in just under 7 hours. Horrendous wind early but oh well. Good luck on the circumnavigation today.

  2. Several comments:1. U R very young!2. Good luck in Granite Basin. It took me 2-3 tries to find the connector from 41 to the dirt road. Once you do it, it is (somewhat) obvious.3. My only marathon was also Chicago 1998 (nearing TEN years ago) at the age of 28.4. I think you have great patience for your age training wise…took me (and many others) a lot longer to learn.5. There are so many many more good things to life besides physical challenges, being outdoors, etc. Enjoy the phase you are in while you have opportunity. I am at a phase of life where I do not have the freedom and opportunity you do right now. Do I miss it? Yeah, a little. Do I have any regrets? None. I love my life, and hope you will always love what you are doing, who you are with, and where you are. Life is too short to hate any portion of it.

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