Sunday, January 31, 2010

Training: Week of Jan. 24, 2010

Total mileage: 61
Races: none

Sun - Morning 4m @7.29;  Afternoon 9m @~7.38   Total - 13

Mon - Morning 4 1/2m @7.22 with strides;  Afternoon 9 1/2m @7.26   Total - 14

Tue - Morning 4m @7.33;  Afternoon 9m - Bailed out of mountain workout at Pilot Mtn. after two .5 mile
          repeats.  Just didn't have any legs, so ran up and downthe mountain.  Total - 13

Wed - Off

Thu - Morning 4m @7.44;  Afternoon 6m @7.20   Total - 10

Fri - Morning 4m @7.30  Worked moving trees all day to prepare for snow, until about 8pm.     Total - 4

Sat - Morning - up at 3am clearing snow off of greenhouses;  Afternoon 6m @7.41 in snow; Evening 1m
         snowshoe running and 2 1/2m snowshoe hike withAlison  Total - 7 running

No races again this week.  I had planned on doing a snowshoe race in NH, but the snow canceled my plans.  I haven't run a race since the 9th and probably won't get to until Feb. 13.  My back got out of sorts about mid-week anyway.  I felt it spasm or whatever while working in the nursery.  All the heavy lifting and then dragging and pushing snow late in the week didn't help.  My working is really interfering with my running.  I think it is more of a work problem than a running addiction issue.  Anyway, I got an appointment with my chiropractor for this Friday.  I started seeing him in 1998 because of back issues.  The back is something I'm always managing.  Alison is having surgery on her left kne
e that morning in Charlotte.  So she will be on the mend this spring again, but hopefully this will get her straightened out.  She had surgery on the right knee in the fall of 2008 which helped that knee significantly.

We got about 9" of snow here on Friday night and Saturday, some places around got 17".  I'm glad we didn't get the 17", that would have just been more work.  This is the second significant snowfall this winter.  We hadn't had a snowfall of more than 2" since 1996 before this winter.  When I was growing up we had significant snowfalls basically every winter, so we may just be going back to normal winters.  In the last 13 years, I think everyone has forgotten what snow is.  At least people were smarter with the snow this time.  In December when it snowed 10', we had right at 500 accidents in 24 hours in Surry county.  The previous high was around 200.  There was a report of 1 weather related death yesterday.  Here's an excerpt from the local newspaper: 

“He went out to his vehicle to crank it, and to remove the snow,” Surry Emergency Services Director said of the incident occurring about 6:40 a.m. at the man’s home.
He suffered the heart attack inside his residence after returning from clearing away snow, with subsequent resuscitation efforts failing.
“Indirectly, it’s attributable to the storm, no doubt,” the EMS director said of the death, adding that it illustrates the extra care people should take during snowy and chilly situations.

The news in small towns.  Sorry for the man's death, but was this "weather" related or health/fitness related.  I believed there has been several weather related orgasms as well.  Or it could have been people stuck at home, bored, having sex.  But weather related orgasms sounds better.  This is what I was thinking about on my run in the snow yesterday.  I can just picture the verb exchange:  "What do think about all this snow?"  "It's alright I reckon, but I did have a weather related orgasm."  Hope you've had a weather related orgasm recently.  (We'll see if my censor will approve this.)

Cory and I running in December as snow was falling.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The One Thing I've Figured Out and Know I'm Right About

There is one thing that I am absolutely, unequivocally sure that I right about.  I have spent some time thinking on this fact and I have found it to be true repeatedly in my life.  It is one thing I no longer waste any time thinking on, it is a proven fact.  I am wrong, a fallible human being.  On a daily basis, there are any number of minor things I may be wrong on.  It is often how long it will take me to do any given task, I never seem to plan enough time.  Alison will attest to that.  It may be what time I ran at a recent race or the lyrics to a song.  Just any minor thing I may be wrong about.  Then one day I had what I'll call an epiphany moment while thinking on how often I can be wrong on all these minor things.  If I can't be reliably right on something minor, how could I ever be reliably right on anything major.  (This started as a blog about the basis of my faith, but thought I needed to precede it with this point first.)  Realizing the fact, and depth, of my wrongness was a true epiphany moment in my life.  It changed how I looked at the world and the people I encounter.  Whatever I may think, I could be wrong about it.  Whether that thought is about God, the universe's origin, or another human's motivations, I could be wrong in what I think.  In fact, by recognizing my wrongness I don't actually need to have the answers, because I might be wrong anyway.

Interestingly, most people seem to like my personal truth.  I think many believe that they can teach me the right path in life.  I know some girls that I have dated seemed to think this.  They knew what was right and right for me.  I remember one in particular really seemed to think this way.  I don't think she understood why I would confess my wrongness and not readily follow all her guidance.  She also didn't seem to get the fact that words are rather important to me.  I mean exactly what I say, most of the time.  And what I don't say is just as important as what I do say.  She just filled in the gaps of what I didn't say with what she wanted to hear.  So human interaction has led me to a second truth, though it took me a while to get to, mainly because I did not want to put labels on other people.  But I believe this fact is almost as important as my wrongness.  Other people are wrong too.  In fact, I give very little credibility to a person who believes they are right on most anything.  I'll listen to anyone and learn from anyone.  But too often you can find something inaccurate in what a person may say or believe, but they will stubbornly believe they are right.  They are right!  Period.  It is nearly impossible to prove to some people that they are wrong.  And when you do, they have a hard time accepting it.  For myself, to follow a person who is "right" feels dangerous.  They will lead you wrong with no apprehension.  Actually, a pet peave of mine is people who say they are sure they're right on something and then be wrong.  I know people who will do this repeatedly.  All a person has to do is say that they believe or think something correct.  Just don't say you are sure.  If I tell you I'm sure about something or I know something, I am sure.  But I will only use that language on some minor fact.  Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl in 2009 or at least they had more points at the end of the game.  My height is... are you asking without shoes or with shoes, and which shoes are you asking my height in?   Another descriptor for me, everything is complicated with me.  I think that is true about me, but I could be wrong.  I digress.

Some may say that I do not believe in absolute truths.  That all I see is grey, no black and white truths.  I do believe in absolute truths, I just don't know what those truths are.  I believe there either is a superior being(s), God, or there is not.  Evolution and the big bang theory is correct or incorrect.  I'm faster than a screech owl or I'm not.  There is right and wrong, black and white.  But I don't have the answer, maybe a few ideas, but no definitive conclusions.  You could say that I live in a world of grey or I would like to think a kaleidoscope of color.  And I hope that I appreciate all the color, the beautiful and the downright ugly.  I believe in seeing it all, then choosing a path with no regrets.  I make the best choice that I can and move on.  If or when I find that I am wrong, I make ammends if need be and set a different course.  So a coming blog is about the basis of my faith in God, which is based on hickory nuts, a couple of canoe trips, and my running.  And Cory, whether you read this or not, we need to get together for another run soon.  Since I'm putting this in a blog, you can talk more on our next run.  Maybe.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Training: Week of Jan. 17, 2010

Total mileage: 80
Races: none

Sun - Off

Mon - Morning 4m @7.34;  Afternoon 8m @7.52   Total - 12

Tue - Morning 4 1/2m @7.41 with strides;  Afternoon 8 1/2m @7.22   Total - 13

Wed - Morning 4m @7.32;  Afternoon 10m - 3 1/2m tempo on the track(5.48; 5.47;
           5.46; 2.53)  Avg. 5.47  Total - 14

Thu - Morning 8m @7.31;  Afternoon 5m @7.30   Total - 13

Fri - Morning 8m @7.31;  Afternoon 4m @~7.30   Total - 12

Sat - Morning 8m @~7.40;  Afternoon 8m @~7.45   Total - 16

Recovery week, but I still have some aches and pains bothering me more than I would like.  So next week may be about the same mileage or less.  I did some officiating at a Virginia Tech indoor meet on Friday and Saturday.  There was some great competition there.  I was sitting right beside Deedee Trotter in the outside lane before the start of her 400.  I told Alison I should have reached out and put my hands around one of her quads to measure it; she had some big quads.  But that might have made her mad and we would have had to fight:)  I might could have asked first.  Hazel Clark was also there running and Lacy Johnson was pole vaulting.  Sam Chelanga, the 2009 NCAA CC champion, ran the mile with Josh McDougal rabbiting through about 800.  I actually met Sam at White River 50 Mile in 2008.  He was there to watch a friend.  Ended up hanging out with him and others after the race.  Then drove Sam, his friend, and Howard Nippert back to the airport the next day.  Kind of a random meeting.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So Much to Say

So Much to Say

I thought through 


I had to say,


I could say

nothing at all.

I had a some random things I thought about blogging the last couple of days and started to write.  Then I started thinking.  It made me think of this old poem of mine.  So I'll just post it, this describes me quite well sometimes.  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Training: Week of Jan. 10, 2010

Total mileage: 102
Races: none

Sun - Morning 4m @7.32;  Afternoon 8m @~7.30   Total - 12

Mon - Morning 4m @7.35;  Afternoon 10m @~7.22   Total - 14

Tue - Morning 4m @7.25;  Afternoon 10m @~7.27   Total - 14

Wed - Morning 4m @7.19;  Afternoon 10m 4m progressive tempo on the track(5.59.8; 5.54.8;
    5.49.8; 5.42)  Avg. 5.51.6  Total - 14

Thu - Morning 4m @7.07;  Afternoon 10m @<7.30>

Fri - Morning 4m @7.26;  Afternoon 8m @7.10-7.25   Total - 12

Sat - Afternoon 22m @~7.34 Ran on trails at FRP(Fisher River Park)   Total - 22

I am wiped out.  This is the highest mileage week that I have ever done and actually just my second 100 mile week.  The last three weeks were 100, 90, and 102 this week.  That is by far the most mileage I have done in a 3 week period.  I have also ran 24 days straight.  That is my longest period with no days off since the last week of December, 1989.  I am tired and just want to sleep.  From Wednesday on this week it felt like an absurd effort just to get home from the afternoon runs at the high school.  Wednesday and Saturday were my only quality days this week.  Wednesday was supposed to be a harder day, actually a mountain workout.  But I changed my mind after the morning run.  Tomorrow is a day off.  The plan for next week is 70-80 miles and hopefully one high quality mountain workout.  The priority for next week is recover and reduce any aches or pains to zero.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why I Coach

On Monday, one of our high school track/cross country team members became a runner.  Or at least we discovered he is a runner now.  Monday is long run day for us.  A runner, Tim, was told to run 35 minutes.  I got started on my run a little later than most of the kids and I was running 75 minutes.  As I was nearing the school I passed Tim, still out running.  I went to the weight room and confirmed with Coach Mitchell that Tim was told to run 35 minutes.  He had done longer long run days, but had been sick at the end of last week.  When Tim came into the weight room, we asked how long he had run.  He said 80 minutes, with a grin.  In general, we would prefer the kids do what we tell them.  In fact, Tim has only been told to run 65 or maybe 70 once.  But he has probably heard Coach tell Jacob, a junior, to run 80 minutes.  Jacob is the only kid on the team who would have been told to run that much.  It made Coach and I both realize, two things.  One, Tim is listening more than we might think.  Second and most importantly, Tim ran 80 minutes for himself.  He didn't run that because he was told to but because he chose to.  Tim identifies himself as a runner.  Tim runs for himself, it's one of the things that describes Tim.

A little background info for most you.  Tim is a high school freshman who started running with us over the summer.  He stood by himself and basically never spoke, even if spoken to.  Coach asked him during the summer if he came because he wanted to or because his mother kept bring him back.  Tim's answer, because his mother brought him every Tuesday and Thursday evening.  But I know that is not his answer now.  After cross country, I ran a 5K with him because I knew there was more there.  He ran 23:40, about a two minute PR.  Tim will never be a state champion, conference champion, or probably the winner of a single race.  But winning is not required to be a runner.  Being a runner is rather hard to define.  The simple definition is putting one foot in front of the other with a flight or airborne phase in between the steps.  Though, I don't think that defines being a runner.  I could try to define it, but why.  If you're a runner, you just know what being a runner is about.  And now, I see a runner in Tim.  Seeing him change and open up is really more rewarding than any state champions I have coached or will coach.  Seeing kids discover that they can do more than they thought they could is a reward unto itself.  Tim may not always run, but I hope and believe he has learned some lessons about himself that will carry beyond running.  That is why I coach.

So that I don't sound too philosophical and...  nice.  I'll tell you that many of the kids would say I'm mean and maybe a jerk.  I think they just don't get it yet.  One of my favorite quotes from this fall will probably fit well here.  It was on a run with Cory, a 20 year old, former runner from our high school.  Talking about running, coaching, and various kids through the years, he said some of his friends ask why he hangs out with me.  Then Cory looked at me and with a straight face said, "I like being around you more than most people do."  


My close friends are going to say, "Well that sounds about like Jason."  This is your warning on reading further, some of you may wonder what's wrong with him or not.  On a lighter note, I'll make the next blog about running.

I think one of the things that has kept me from doing a blog is censoring myself.  I really don't like doing it.   I could simply write about my running and all the niceties of life.  It would be a normal blog, maybe a normal running blog.  I like reading my friend's blogs, but their personality is not my personality.  I'm not normal, some of them aren't either.  Writing has always been my outlet, so blogging falls in that category.  Personally, I think that I am a rather odd person, which is probably one reason I like runners.  Many runners are a bit different.  I realize many or most people think that they are odd.  Though over the years, I have had many friends confirm my above average sense of weirdness.  An added problem is that I'm quite comfortable with my uniqueness.  Why be ashamed of who you are?  I don't require or expect people like me.  I hope people do, but I don't spend much time worrying about it.

Many people that a person knows or are acquaintances with only know a small part of you.  Blogging can put yourself out there for all to see, at least with me it will.  Even family only knows certain side of you.  Which a friend of mine told me today that I may not want to tell my family about my blog.  My family is rather religious, Christian, Southern Baptist.  My father is a pastor and has been for the majority of my life.  An example of my dilemma is "curse" words.  I rarely use them, in fact I never used them until I was 26(a blog for another time).  I do sometimes now, but I am generally careful around whom I use them.  Although the majority of my cursing has taken place while talking to God in the years between 1999 and 2002(also maybe a blog for another time).  I also don't really believe in "curse" words.  I believe in bad or inappropriate language.  But is an individual word "bad" just because most of society deems it "bad."  Back to my example, I have never heard my parents use "curse" words.  Many friends and most of my family have never heard me use "curse" words.  My parents would be surprised and disappointed about some things they would read on my blog.

I like being real, though.  Probably too real for most people.  Probably too real for my wife, Alison.  I believe she is concerned about what I will write.(She is going to censor my blog for now.  For your own protection she says.)  Though, realness is one of the things I love about the Bible.  It is no holds barred, real.  Church tends to hide from this, one of my issues with church.  I like reading about people in the Bible and seeing its truth.  Abraham followed God on a journey.  He made many poor decisions, laughed in the face of God, but eventually learned to have real faith.  I once gave a message to some youth titled, Noah got Drunk, Peter fished Naked, and I mooned my Sister-in-Law, You're Probably Okay.  I believe Christians too often spend their time pretending to be perfect or very close to it.  I will claim to be wholly imperfect, but believe God is okay with that.  He may instruct me on being better, but I'm not going to make it to perfect.  That is my journey.  I believe we have the opportunity to be Living Bible Stories.  I like getting to know people, the real person, warts and all.  Those are the people I learn the most from and experience God in.  I doubt anyone can really shock me.  I know that I am full of s___, but I'm willing to share it.  Maybe later I'll stop censoring myself so much.

Stacey, you said you try to write as if you are talking to me, or Coach, or Crystal.  I tried to write as if we were talking at a meet or on the bus.  What do you think?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Starting to Speak

                Narrow Opening

starting to speak

inhibitions renew

and grips confusion’s fear

he burst and spew

full inside

but no opening just a crack

to seep out the light

or more the tears

a trickle down the long hallway

only this small fracture

only little release

This is something that I wrote on the first page of a journal in August 2000.  I find it fitting for my first post on my blog.  I am not sure how to do my blog, so it will basically be like me, random.  I would not consider it necessarily a running blog, but there will be a lot of blogs about running.  Running is a big part of my life, but it is not my life.  There is sure to be some personal philosophy and religion.  Those are big parts of me as well.  I plan on my blogging to be just as my title says, Life through the eye of a runner, albeit a rather warped runner.  So beware, as many of my friends know, you never know what will come out of me.  Or when.  Follow my blog at your own risk.  I am not responsible for any brain damage caused from reading this blog.