Friday, April 22, 2011

Sick Again

After finally getting in six consecutive days in a row of running, even though it was small mileage, I'm now sick again. As usual, it's respiratory. My respiratory system is destroying my athletic ability. If it isn't asthma, it's a number of viral or bacterial issues.
A week ago, I'm pretty sure I had pneumonia, but I was still pampering myself from the allergy issues I had right before that.
I haven't been completely healthy since getting home from the Moab 100.

I've logged 46 miles in the past 7 days. That's the most I've gone since the week of Moab. That's not horrible mileage - better than nothing, considering - but it's leading me into a season of no-PR mediocre races.

Next up is Collegiate Peaks 50, which has sold-out. I don't think it ever sold-out before. There are lots of races selling-out for the 1st time this year. I don't think this is so much due to an ultra-running craze. I think the population of this country just keeps growing faster than the number of new races, but that's not a scientific opinion. Part of it is a bit of craze, and another part of it is the types and quantities of products for runners, from shoes and 4 oz. hooded jackets to gels and sport drinks.

When I was born, it was still seen as unsportsmanlike to eat or drink during a race. First they started fudging by drinking water, then the Florida Gators developed Gatorade, then NASA made Tang, and we've just been tinkering ever since.
I'm sure the 1st ultra-runners existed 1,000's of years before the marathon was created, but modern ultra-running races like LT100 and HR100, combined with sport-drinks, launched a new industry. That industry has allowed ordinary blokes like me to run multiple ultras each year. The more of us that sign up for multiple races, the sooner they'll fill up, obviously.

The price of gas will make future racing less likely for me. I might give up the Moab 100, Rim Rock Marathon, either the Salida Marathon or the Salida Scramble, and God-forbid, SJS50. I've already given up Sage Burner 50k, Steamboat Marathon, and Estes Park Marathon. That would leave...
- One Salida race (Mar)
- Collegiate Peaks (May)
- Jemez (May)
- Pbville Marathon (June)
- Pbville 50M (June)
- Pbville 100M (Aug)
- Steamboat 50M (Sept)
Seven races is still a lot, right? There would be some free events within 1hr drive from home I'd do - I've been doing more of that stuff in the past year.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I did errands last weekend, instead of driving to Desert RATS near Fruita.

Friday night - Fixed my son's school bell that he bought - but it didn't work. I tucked a tiny spring in the right place and it was better than new. (hard to believe it ever worked, with the crappy materials they designed it with.)

Saturday - Swapped my studded snow tires off and put my aluminum wheels back on, drove to the tire place and bought new Yokahama's, got a haircut, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and squeezed in a short run.

Sunday - Ran in the AM, ran in the PM.

My running sucks. Something doesn't feel right. You know how you feel after a race, and there's traces of lactic acid in your quads? That's what my quads feel like - only I haven't done any races or hard runs lately. You know how sucker-punched you feel after a race? That's how I feel all the time.
When I look back at Calico 50K, and how good I did, it's hard to believe that was just three months ago, and that was really me.
I don't know what's going on. This week, I'm going to try real hard to "log" over 5 miles every single day, even if I have to walk it. Maybe some better consistency is what will shake me loose?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salida Scramble 2011

I had friends running up near Lyons on Saturday, but I knew I would be running in Salida Sunday, so to save gas and time, I went running along the way, Saturday.
I ran along Chubb Valley to Trout Creek and up towards Buffalo Peaks. Total of 9.5 easy miles, but at decent 9400'-9600' altitude.

I ate at Amica's with a beer and then to my usual parking place up in the hills. It was a very windy night, and one gust blew extremely hard for over a minute. But it settled down after that. The temp barely got below freezing.
Breakfast was at Salida Cafe & Roastery.
It was an easy 8:30am meeting time. It was still a little breezy and cold, but not bad. The trails were clear of any snow.

I was not feeling so hot, so I took it easy. I pretty much sat back and rode my legs and watched the scenery go by. In spite of that, I managed to get a good enough workout to make my quads and calves sore. 17.7 miles, including excursions.

And ever since getting back, I've been getting destroyed by tree pollen and dust. My sinuses are attacking me with such fury I've never seen. It seems to get worse every year. Things at work haven't allowed me the luxury to take more than half of Monday off. I'm desperate to get work done - no overtime allowed and I just can't seem to keep up with the load. I come home brain-fried, sinus-fried, and physically exhausted.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Attention Deficit Dis... look at that!

I have always had a very difficult time concentrating on any one thing for very long. School was always horrible. I eventually had to give myself my own brand of education that catered to my erratic ability to concentrate.
As a kid, without ADD drugs, and lots-and-lots-and-lots of whippings, with black-n-blue whipping marks never healing before new ones were laid down for at least 10 years straight, I learned to concentrate. Getting into my groove is not easy, plus I'm not a morning person. The process requires that I force all distractions out of my mind, including internal mind-wandering distractions (I'm totally schizo upstairs). The end-result resembles a robot. I frown, I ignore, I talk to myself - and I can do the work of ten people.
The frustration that goes along with my wandering attention has driven me to work extra hard, but also to play extra hard. Running, hiking, climbing, winter trekking, have all been required Yin to my in-my-groove technical Yang. I need both.
My job is extremely stressful. There's so much work and they act like it all has to be done last week. Sometimes I come home so fried I'm lifeless. All I can do is sit and watch Netflix. But I love the work I do, the job I have, and the people I work with and for. When I go to work, bleary-eyed and still tired, I don't dread the journey.

Before I got into technology, I was a machinist. I loved the work, but the stress was worse. Most of the stress was from management. Blue-color workers are generally treated poorly, and the part tolerances in the tenths-of-thousandths of inch for satellite, computer, and airplane engine parts was stressful to achieve with extreme-rate production. Plus the hazards made the career not worth it. I knew guys with missing fingers. One guy lost his entire right arm. I was born deaf in one ear, and the noise of a machine-shop was degrading the hearing in my only good ear. And who knows about the chemical solvents and lubricants we work with? The labels said they were safe. Remember how they said DDT was safe? And Agent Orange? Ha-ha.

I miss machinist work, but I sure am glad I switched to technology. For one thing, I've doubled my income and cut the hazards. As a machinist, I dreaded going to work so much, I sometimes couldn't sleep well.

Running has saved me. Running 10K's and half-marathons just couldn't cut it. Job stress isn't the only source of stress in my life, after all. I had to run more, and further.
My friends say I'm crazy, and I know they're right. I'm not dangerous-crazy, but certainly I'm "different".
Sometimes I wish I was normal. I have a few gay friends, and I think it must be much the same for them. It's not that they're "wrong", but sometimes the differences can make life harder. My differences make me a frickin' moron half the time. When I'm in my groove, I can be brilliant. So depending on when people see me, they may think I'm either a moron or a genius. When people say I'm a genius, it doesn't go to my head because I'm so very frequently retarded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder if I'll someday be institutionalized. I'm really incredibly stupid - I just try so HARD to make up for it. Sometimes people see how hard I try and instead of being impressed, they become dismayed.
I've tried to be balanced, but so far no one has used the word "balanced" in any of the myriad descriptions of me.

I guess I feel pretty lucky overall. Things could certainly be worse. Being a retarded doofus isn't easy, but I hope to do the very best at it that I can. You know all those books "...for Dummies"? I could write the book, "How to be Stoopid for Smarties". Maybe people could learn to be more like me.