Sunday, March 28, 2010

Training: Week of Mar. 21, 2010

Total mileage: 93
Races: Bel Monte 50 Mile   1st   7:42.39

Sun - Morning 4m @7.33; Evening 7m @7.31   Total - 11

Mon - Morning 4m @7.30; Afternoon 8m - 3 x 5 min./ 2 min. rec. fartlek on 
    Fisher River Park trail   Total - 12

Tue - Morning 4m @8.09; Afternoon 5m with fast strides@7.45   Total - 9

Wed - Afternoon 8 - Pilot Mtn. run(2.25 miles @ 9.2%) 17.21 @7.43 avg.   Total - 8

Thu - Afternoon - Bike 12m @~17mph

Fri - Afternoon 2m @~7.40   Total - 2

Sat - Morning 51m - Bel Monte 50 Mile 7:42.39 @9.05 avg.   Total - 51

The running was much better this week.  The back was still troubling me significantly Sunday and Monday morning, so I got another appointment with Dr. Firczak for Tuesday in Charlotte.  He got my SI joint to move good and my low back felt much better the rest of the week.  I felt the need to squeeze in a couple of workouts since the last three weeks have not had much good training.

Alison and I drove up to Sherando, Va on Friday
 evening for Bel Monte 50 Mile.  We put the air
 mattress in the back of the car (a Pontiac Vibe has room for a full size air mattress when you lay the back seats down) and slept there overnight.  That is something we do often.  I felt pretty good Saturday morning, but by the first aid station I knew something was off.  It was my back of course.  For the most part it didn't hurt too bad, at least through halfway.  I just could not run uphill well at all.  That happens sometimes in short races as well.  A couple of years ago, I went up to Massachusetts for 10K trail/mountain race.  I was passed by a guy on the biggest climb 
in the race.  I could run fine downhill, but it wasn't happening going up.  Three weeks later at Mt. Washington I finished almost 9 minutes in front of him.  I think it has also shut me down on workout runs up Pilot Mtn.  So anyway that was Saturday as well.  I was actually shocked to win and get under the 7:50 prize time.  Alison saw me out on the course, at the top of one climb and starting another.  She was surprised as well.  It was a very rewarding race, win or not, but of course it was more rewarding to win.  I was pleased to have pushed through some really tough sections in the middle and then on the last climb.  That last climb was absurdly bad.  One part of me was saying to continue pushing and maybe I could catch the guy when we topped out.  Most of me was saying that it was hopeless.  I was praying a good bit for the strength to endure that current suffering.  I was also saying win or lose I wanted to finish and glorify God with whatever I did.  I think it would be a funny interview someday if a losing athlete said God was really blessed me today.  I feel that way, whether I win, place 22nd, or DNF.  Once the steepness let up, I had surprisingly good speed left in my legs.  It wasn't like they were used up, I was just getting sharp, halting pain in my low back when going up.  Most people would probably say that I just proved how stupid I am.  I can handle being called stupid.  In fact, an elder neighbor said this winter, "You must be dumb.   You don't know whether it's raining, snowing, or the sun's shining.  I see you running in any weather as if it all the same."  I'll pretend I'm tough.  Before I go off on another tangent, I have more about how the race unfolded on the La Sportiva Mountain Running blog.  So now it is ice, ice, ice.  I am stupid enough to try and race a 15K next weekend in Pa.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I knew she was the woman for me when she said, "I hate eating ants."

Because of microfracture surgery on Alison's knee, she wasn't working during my grafting this year. So Alison was helping tar my trees to seal the grafts. This also gave us some time to talk several days. One of her comments a couple of weeks ago was quite interesting and comical. We were talking about relationships, dating, marriage, and such, when Alison made this comment. "I don't know if I would have dated you if you had been living with your parents." Some of you may be laughing hysterically now, as I did at the time. Alison asked with a bemused look, "What's so funny about that?" Which is even more comedy, and why we are a good fit. I said, "So you're not sure that you would have dated me if I was living with my parents, but the fact that I was living in a barn with no bathroom and had been for over 3 years was no problem." Alison, "But you were living independently in the barn, it was your barn." Alison eventually moved into the barn with me. I lived there for over 8 years, she lived there for a little over 2. We finally moved into our log house last January.

I think I first knew Alison was the woman for me when she said, "I hate eating ants, they don't taste good." Habitating with Alison is like gold panning for strange and funny statements. She does not spew them constantly, but they're truly notable when she does toss one out. Alison was living in Chapel Hill, NC when we met. Small ants were getting in her apartment and into her cereal. It was too much trouble to pick the tiny ants out and she wasn't going to throw the cereal out. So she just ate the cereal with the ants. She said they made the cereal taste funny. I knew I had discovered the rarest of women. Probably not every man is looking for such qualities as ant eating in their mate. Alison knew I was the man for her when I ate cat food with her. We eat strange things, don't we. Her cat, Oscar, loves canned cat food and we were wondering what made him so nuts over it. So we tried it, and we are still wondering.

We tend not to say please and often don't even ask for somethings. "Get me the scissors." But we say thanks for all kinds of things, big and small. "Thanks for getting the mail." "Thank you for that wrestling match." Our prefered date seems to be the weekly trip to the grocery store. We miss the other when only one of us is able to go. So I tell her I take her on an expensive date every week, she pays. Alison says, not many women could live with me. I know it's not a criticism, just an observation. I like honesty and blunt is just fine. I'm rather bluntly honest. She also says that she likes the parts of me that she tends not to like. Without those parts, there wouldn't be the good parts either. Alison says she realizes she can be hard to live with, but I say it's not a problem for me. We're not naive or looking through rose colored glass, far from it. Manure grows vegetables and flowers quite well, but you do have to put up with a some smell for a bit. We were both married once before, which accentuates our appreciation of each other. Our understanding and acceptance of one another's uniqueness is nice. It's like a chipmunk met a frog and thought that makes sense. You can figure out which one of us is which.

Training: Weeks of Feb. 28, Mar. 7, & Mar. 14 2010

I have returned from what seems to be my annual disappearing act of grafting season at the nursery.  Grafting is my nursery and has a limited time period to get done.  If the buds start to break, I'm done whether I want to be or not.  I did get shut down a couple of days early this year.  I seem to start late too many years and this year I set a new personal best for starting late.  Anyway I finished on Sunday and I am getting back to a normal life.  I started grooming again on Sunday too, some of you think I am joking.  My hair is long, for me.  I can make it look like Wolverine, which I plan to do for the next two races.  I'll get a picture.  Alison has adjusted quite well to my grafting season madness.  That's why I married her or it was for the bedroom wrestling, which we got back to on Sunday as well, after I shaved.

Week of Feb. 28, 2010

Total mileage: 20
Races: none

Sun - Off

Mon - Afternoon 3m @~9.30   Total - 3

Tue - Off

Wed - Afternoon 4m @~7.50   Total - 4

Thu - Afternoon 5m @~7.30   Total - 5

Fri - Afternoon 8m @~7.45   Total - 8

Sat - Off

Very busy working and my back is giving me hell, partly caused by work.

Week of Mar. 7, 2010

Total mileage: 67
Races: Ellerbe Marathon (sort of, I was pacing a friend) 3:22.18

Sun - Morning 4m @7.55; Afternoon 8m @7.51   Total -12

Mon - Afternoon 8m @~7.30   Total - 8

Tue - Afternoon 8m - 2 x 1000(3.30, 3.32) w/400 recovery, 2 x 500(1.37, 1.36) w/200 rec., 2 x 300(.54, .54) w/200 rec.(Did the high school kids workout with them)   Total - 8

Wed - Afternoon 2m @~7.30   Total - 2

Thu - Afternoon 10m 8 x 200(35-37)x200(45-49) 3200 meters in 11.18;cooldown/warmup 3200 meters in 11.14(5.38, 5.36)   Total - 10

Fri - Off

Sat - Morning 27m - Ellerbe Marathon   3:22.18; Warmup 1m   Total - 27

Still working like mad, back still unhappy, really unhappy by Saturday evening.  Pacing and running the marathon with my friend Jay was a good time, though.  I really enjoyed doing it with him and hope he doesn't hate me for all the crazy stuff I said to him.  I thought one of his comments was funny.  Late in the race, 20+, Jay wanted to walk, just a 30 second walk break.  Qualifying for Boston was still in reach at that point, but slipping.  I wouldn't let Jay walk, I told him to run until he fell over unable to move.  After the race he told me his thoughts of "I'm a grown man, I can walk if I want to."  Crystal, his wife, asked if he walked.  Jay said no, he couldn't with me yelling at him.  If I wasn't so busy, I could have enjoyed it more.

Week of Mar. 14, 2010

Total mileage: 12 1/2
Races: none

Sun - Off

Mon - Off

Tue - Afternoon 1/2m @~8.00   Total - 1/2

Wed - Afternoon 3m @~7.30   Total - 3

Thu - Afternoon 7m @~7.30   Total - 7

Fri - Off

Sat - Evening 2m @8.04   Total - 2

Back was really screwed up most of the week.  My right leg just wouldn't work.  Finally got down to see Dr. Firczak, my chiropractor, on Thursday.  I was pretty locked up he said and I did not adjust easily or at all in my SI joint.  It did help, but didn't cure everything.  I felt significantly better on Saturday, but turned my ankle running in the dark that night.  I decided to just go home and ice it.  Sunday would be a new week and I'd finish grafting on Sunday.