Wednesday, March 20, 2013

running shorts as underwear...and Moab...

Sick.  Head cold.  Both JMP and Brian #2 have had it.   You get yourself enough food and medicine for a day and don’t go too far from home.  After about a gallon of green tea, you force yourself out the door for an easy mile.  You force out the 50 push ups and 50 squats.  You force yourself to foam roll, rumble roll and ice the Achilles.  You spend the rest of the day reading Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.  One of your new favorite books. 

Up at 3:45am.
Work for 11.5 hours. 
Run 3 miles on the Alderfer/Three Sisters trail while you are out in Evergreen.
You pretty much wear your running shorts for underwear at work these days.  That way you can shed the pants and take off on a little run whenever you want.  Nothing feels better, especially in the springtime.    
When you get home, it’s time to admit the inevitable.  You’re sick.  You’re run down.  You can barely stay awake.  You go to bed.

Monday.  You are still high from the weekend.  Nothing is unpacked.  Your running and camping gear is in a pile in your bedroom, still smelling like a campfire.  Today you are in Denver.  Working.  Driving.  Delivering.  When you get home, you unpack and do laundry.  Run a 3 mile recovery run.  Do some push ups and squats.  Legs a little tired.  Bed.

Pack up.
Coffee shop.
Ice cream shop.
Book shop.
Walk Roxy.
Drive through canyons.
Through desert.
Through mountains.
Into a snowstorm.
A blizzard.
High up on a mountain pass.
And out the other end.
Into Boulder.
Where it’s St. Patty’s day.
And Brian #2 is celebrating.
And he hugs you
And says
I’m glad to be living w/ someone who’s Irish.

They bus you 13 miles out of town.  You wait around in the cold for the gun to go off.  When it does, you follow JMP.  She’s running 8:00 min / miles, dodging and weaving in and out of people.  You keep up.  You decided to run w/ her for the first half and see how things go.  The course is breathtaking.  Ten story canyon walls to the left and the Colorado River to your right.  The downhill course gives you ample opportunity to really push, if you want to.  You don’t start pushing until the second half.  You tell JMP you’ll see her at the finish and take off, gradually increasing the pace. 
THANK YOU GOD! / you scream, happy your Achilles isn’t feeling too bad.  You are slowly gaining confidence.  You pick the pace up.  You take a gel.  You pick the pace up.  You push the last few miles.  You feel absolutely fantastic.  A real jolt to the system.  You now know where your body is at the beginning of the season.  You weren’t really sure, an hour and a half ago.  Now, the questions are answered and you like the answers you’ve received.  Exactly ten minutes later, JMP crosses the finish line, exultant and tired.  You help each other.  You congratulate each other.  You hold each other.  You spend the rest of the day eating, drinking, relaxing on very high rocks, listening to the wind blow and watching the sun set.  It’s the perfect day.  You are both as happy as you can be.  And that’s a lot…

Coffee and breakfast w/ JMP and Martin and Gherda.  Exchange email addresses and pack up.  You head to Arches National Park and run / hike the arches trail.  The arches are beautiful but littered w/ lots of tourists.  You head into town for a lunch and a beer.  While there, you try to find a dog sitter for tomorrow morning while you are both running the half marathon.  No luck.  You are getting stressed about it.  You may not be able to run, even though you already paid the $80 entry fee.  You aren’t comfortable leaving her in a hot car or tied to a tree for the few hours it will take to bus you to the start, run the race and get back to the car.  You tell yourself not to worry.  You tell yourself not to stress.  You tell yourself it will work itself out.  And it does.  You stop for ice and firewood and ask someone if they know anyone who could watch your dog during the race tomorrow.  They promptly volunteer and say you can leave Roxy tied to a tree in their front yard w/ a bowl of water.  They will keep an eye on her.  And just like that, there it is.  The less you worry, the more things will open up for you.  Baboom. 
You and JMP and Roxy spend the rest of the evening around camp.  You have a little fire.  You eat.  You drink water.  You anxiously await running 13.1 miles through the canyons in the morning.  

Alarm at 5am.  You are in the car and driving by 6am. 
You sure do learn a lot about someone one a 6.5 hour road trip.  In fact, you decide, riding in a car w/ someone for a long amount of time is nearly your favorite way to communicate.  Right next to running or hiking an excruciatingly long distance through w/ someone in the mountains…

You and JMP set up camp in the Canyonlands National Park.  Once camp is secure, you head out to find some trails to run.  You both decide on the Wilhite Trail.  It’s a 6.1 mile trail w/ 1,600 ft of elevation change.  It didn’t take long to discover the trails in Utah are not like the trails in Colorado.  In fact, if there were no cairns, you wouldn’t no there was a trail there at all.  This takes a period of adjustment and deciding whether or not this trail is even runable.  You press on and run down deep into a canyon.  It takes over an hour to get to the bottom.  You are met w/ spectacular views.  Views of things you didn’t know lay untouched in this country.  Beautiful, vast and dry land as far as the eye can see.  In some sections the earth has parted and opened up, making canyons, sometimes flowing w/ rivers or dry creek beds at the bottom.  In other sections, there are canyon walls towering a good 20 stories up.  It’s too much to take in.  You look around and it’s sensory overload.  It would take days, weeks to be able to see and fully appreciate everything that lay b/f you…

The run takes well over two hours.  When you arrive back at camp, you see someone else had reserved the same campsite.  The campsite you had already set up at.  Shortly after, a van pulls up and two people w/ Dutch accents ask you what you are doing there. 
Our mistake / you both apologize.  JMP looks around the campsite for vacant sites while you make small talk.  There are no sites. 
I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share a site? / you ask them.
The man screws up his face.  The woman isn’t entirely opposed. 
You promise them you’ll leave them alone, they can eat or drink whatever they need from your dinner.  B/f long, you are all friends.  His name is Martin and her name is Gherda.  They are touring the country for the third time.  They have toured many different parts of the world and their English is fantastic.  They offer you dinner and the four of you have a nice night by the fire b/f retiring to your separate sleeping quarters.  You purposely left the rain fly off the tent and as you fall asleep and wake up several times during the night, you can see a million stars, shining and shimmering just for you…

Your first day of vacation.  You get up early and make a big breakfast.  Your appetite hasn’t been the same lately but it seems to be finally coming back to you. 
You take the dogs out to Chat.  Bear Peak has been calling your name for weeks.  You’ve been looking at it from Boulder every time you go out.  The Mesa trail is all mud and the shoes are wet and caked in no time.  Dogs are muddy in minutes.  The mud turns to mud puddles.  Then thick peanut butter consistency mud.  As you start the ascent to Bear, it turns to snow.  Slippery snow that you could have used your micro spikes for.  You slog it out to the top.  The top is too dangerous for the dogs.  It’s all big boulders you have to climb over and they’ve tried and always struggled w/ the summit.  So you tie them up just below the tippy top so they can see you as you run up and take some pics.  On the run down, your feet are pretty cold.  Everyone else you see is all bundled up in boots and winter gear.  You are in running shorts and running shoes.  Feet soaked and all but still moving fast.  It feels amazing. 
You spend most of the rest of the day packing up for your trip to Moab w/ JMP.  You and her get groceries and get the car packed up so that you can leave at about 4 am.  You are both super excited.  You’ve never been to Moab and the trails are calling your name!

Long day at work.  11 hours.  You snuck in a mile and a half on a trail in Evergreen just to keep the blood flowing. 
After work you go out for a nice dinner w/ JMP.  You share appetizers.

The whole world is against you today.  It was clearly a conspiracy.   All of your friends and coworkers and family and everyone you were to come in contact w/ today had a meeting and they all decided that today was definitely not going to be your day.  Depression came hard in the PM.  So what do you do?  Go to the gym:
10 miles on the elliptical. 
1 mile on the mill. 
Foam roll for 20 minutes. 
Swim 30 minutes. 
Sauna 15 minutes.

Can’t sleep.  Have to be up in 5 hours and even though you barely slept last night and you exercised for over two hours after work, you cannot sleep.  Instead, you’re reading Rumi.  Rumi says:
Abandon sleep tonight;  traverse for one night the region of the sleepless. 
Look, upon these lovers who have become distraught
And like moths have dies in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
And see how it is sunk in love.

He also says:
I know truly the rule for God’s provision, and it is not in my character to run from pillar to post in vain or to suffer needlessly.  Truly whatever my daily portion is—of money, food, clothing, or of the fire of lust—if I sit quietly, it will come to me.  If I run around in search of my daily bread, the effort exhausts and demeans me.  If I am patient and stay in my place, it will come to me without pain and humiliation.  My daily bread is seeking me out and drawing me.  When it can’t draw me, it comes—just as when I can’t draw it, I go to it. 
The prophets were not concerned with fame or bread.  Their only concern was to seek God’s satisfaction, and they acquired both fame and bread.  Whoever seeks God’s satisfaction will be with the prophets in this world and the next; he will be an intimate of those unto whom God hath been gracious, of the prophets, and the sincere, and the martyrs. 

Heavy stuff for a Monday night at 11:43 pm.  You’ve got a lot on your mind tonight.  The beautiful things you’ve manifested into your Life were not exactly beautiful today.  Tomorrow, you’ll be working at least 12 hours by yourself.  You’ll have a lot of time to think…

Worked 6 hours. 
After work, took the dogs out to Coot Lake and ran 4 laps.  4 laps equals exactly 5 miles.  Feeling pretty tired…

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