Thursday, January 19, 2012

Writing Checks

English: Sample sheet of checks with stubs.
Image via Wikipedia
It's almost become a tradition at this point.  I suppose that January is the time that people start thinking about improving their fitness.  Resolutions, and gym memberships, and realizing that tire around your waist isn't a set of left over water wings are all part of it I suppose.  For me it is the time when people start asking me, "So are you going to try that Leadville thing again?"  The answer is of course yes, and it is a good reminder that I'd better start busting my hump in earnest if I'm going to make any progress towards this goal.  It really is only a short time away already, and it would be easy to think about all the reasons that any work is futile.  However I'm stubborn enough and bull-headed enough to try again anyways.

All that being said I really would like to establish some different traditions.  More like, how many ultras are you going to finish this year, and how fast are you trying to run it this time around?  Instead of, are you going to try and finish it.?  Baby steps.  First things first.  I realize.

It's time to invest.  Banking miles now with the idea of reaping dividends in August.  That is my financial plan.  It's painful at times to cough up the extra change and spend time and sweat paying the cost now, but I think, I hope, I dream that the final payday will be worth it.  It seems a long ways off, but I'm going to think strategically.  Keep an eye on those p/e ratios (hill training), diversify the portfolio (strength training and cross training),  reinvest the dividends (speed work), and max out the 401k (high mileage weeks).  All this of course has to fit in the budget (sound nutrition and losing the piano).  The formula is simple.  Time to write some checks.
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ultras ruin everything

Scotland Highlands - The Quirang
Scottish Highlands - Image via Wikipedia
Have you ever noticed how running ultramarathons (and running in general) ruin things in your life?

This was reconfirmed last night while watching a movie (The Eagle, if you are interested and no I am not recommending it in any way **insert full legal disclaimer**  and yes there are a few vague spoilers)

In the movie there is a point where two characters are literally running from a band of brigands over rough territory in Scotland and Northern England.  They start off on horseback and after the horse goes lame they have to hoof it themselves.  Well of course there comes the emotional climax when the protagonist who has had a sword slice on one of his legs can continue on no further due to exhaustion.  His side kick, who for various reasons has mixed loyalties, has to make the dramatic choice of staying with his friend or leaving him behind to be killed by the coming ever closer marauders.  Now a normal person enjoys this movie moment, is caught up in the tension of the conflict, and if you are Aristotlean in your outlook, experience a little catharsis.

However, my reaction was different.  Can't continue?  Seriously?  Get your rump up and get moving.  No excuses!  Sword slashes are for wimps.  Not only will you be slaughtered if you don't get up, you won't get a finisher's medal!  (Cutoffs any one?)  Also, why did his pacer let him sit down in the first place?  Big mistake.  Keep that guy moving, sitting down let's him think about it and his muscles tighten up and cramp.  Pacer dude is definitely failing in his job if he's gonna let his runner sit around and whine about not being able to go on.  Relentless forward progress my man.  Psssht please, can't go on.  If you can talk you can walk.  Move it!

Am I the only one who relates a preponderance of life experiences to running ultras?




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Friday, January 6, 2012

Moonfall

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1993 film)
Image via Wikipedia
In a long dark distant past I knew something about the dramatic arts.  Not this kind of dramatic arts,  or this kind or this kind or even this kind, more like...this kind.  The result of that, and having been coerced into directing a few musicals is that occasionally I'll get strange lyrics stuck into my head like, oh say this one...

Moonfall, I feel its fingers
Lingers the veil of nightshade...
Light made from stars that all too soon fall.
Moonfall that pours from you.
Betwixt our hearts, let nothing intervene.
Between our eyes, the only sight I've seen
Is lust'rous moonfall as it blinds my view,
So that soon I only see but you. 


Very motivational stuff for the running playlist wouldn't you say?  

So that song is best played when I run at night and during what I think of as a type of "Moonfall".  In our neck of the woods, on a moon-filled, cloudless night, it sometimes appears so bright that it seems as if it's day time again.  It's a little bit eerie but nice because no headlamp is necessary.  There's no city light and almost no household lights around so it is a fun time to run.

Do I lose a corner of my man card for this?

Now that I've given you your glimpse of my secret inner life, what is the strangest item on your mp3 player right now?  The strangest thing stuck in your head while running?
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