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  1. Today
  2. SIbbetson

    I've Been Running

    I was just thinking about your fostering situation the other day, so glad to see the update! You'll do what's right for you. I think you can get the sub-6:00!
  3. SIbbetson

    Guitar, trails, ankles, PR, heat

    I look forward to hearing about your Route 66 training and race!
  4. MichaelV

    I've Been Running

    Well that's a coincidence. You kind of inspired my run streak and I made it to 55 days as well. A 4th of July run on a miserably hot day followed by mowing the yard left me feeling sick for a couple of days and I called it quits. Started training for Marshall this week and the weather is a significant obstacle for me.
  5. Yesterday
  6. BANGLE

    I've Been Running

    Life keeps going by. I'm running. Nothing too exciting. Apparently not enough to get me to want to write about it. But for weeks now I've been thinking maybe I should just update you good folks on this dying medium. Because feedback is always nice. I brought up streaking back in May I believe, and my streaking went pretty well! I made it to 55 straight days without missing a workout - crushing my previous record of 11. Toward the end I just felt tired all the time and a trip to Kentucky gave me the excuse I needed to take a few days off. But I was proud of the streak and I liked the incentive to get out there each day and keep it going. I still work out most days. The injuries come and go. My right butt/hamstring seemed to be better, but then an increase in mileage made it hurt again. It bothers me a little but I'm running through it. Also my left knee is starting to hurt, probably as some kind of compensation injury. Both of these hurt more after spending long shifts sitting in the car ubering. I guess I need to stretch more and stuff, but, whatever. Nothing is too bad yet. But I admit I'm a bit nervous since I need to ramp up to marathon training like now. I'm doing about 30 miles a week, with long runs of 11, so I have a decent base, but its time to get it up to 40 in August and 50 in September if possible. I'm also still doing speed work, because it's fun. And because the annual 1-mile track race is coming up in a few weeks. I'll take another shot at sub-6, but I'm not confident. Last week we did 4x250 and 8x400. The 400s were all around 90, and rests were short, but the thought of running 4 in a row at that pace sounds pretty hard. On July 4th I did our local 5K for the 16th time. I didn't have any big goals, just wanted to have fun, push myself and see how I'm doing. Hoped to break 21. Felt pretty good for 2 miles (6:52. 6:40) but then ran out of steam just when it was time to push and only managed 6:52 for mile 3 (downhill!). Managed a 21:13 which left me a bit dissatisfied. And therefore more motivated to work harder. But I did beat my coach again and got 4th in my AG and a 72% Age grade so I guess I'm doing OK. Here's some photos. Life updates: We're back to being empty-nesters. Dear 24-year old son moved out some months ago and he now has roommates and is doing fine living independently finally. And the foster/adoption saga finally ran its course as Chloe moved out after a year with us. A variety of factors were involved and I don't want to write a thousand words about it. But it has been tough on us and we are recovering. Probably won't try again since I know you're wondering. Not sure what the future holds but we are taking a little break right now. DW has the summer off and we are enjoying a peek at retirement life. We did a week in Kentucky visiting her family. Caught a Reds game and saw the musical "Once on this Island" which was fun. I also played two rounds of golf. Next week we are going to Las Vegas for 3 days, catching two shows and laying by the pool in 107 degree heat. There will be no running that weekend! We have two days booked for museum days here in LA. And of course we go to the beach a lot. Because it's right there. And I'm reading a lot. Later in August I will be visiting my parents in Western North Carolina for a week. Of course I have to plan my miles around all this. Long Beach Half on October 7th and New York City marathon November 4th are looming. And that's all I've got for now! See you on Facebook and Strava!
  7. nikkipoo16

    Mt. Baker Summit Report

    Wow, congrats on the successful assent! Those alpine starts are killer. Good luck finding the rt boots...
  8. Last week
  9. amarie2009

    Guitar, trails, ankles, PR, heat

    Wow, it's been a while since I've written. I've been running, and it's even been a little more interesting than usual, but I've also been filling in for a coworker (but I'm hourly and not allowed to work overtime, so I've got to do more in the same amount of time) and I was doing streak of daily guitar practice that I ended on the 4th at 128 days that left me zero mental energy by the end of the day. I've also been mulling over starting a graduate degree in nutrition. I think I'll actually fill out the application this weekend. Do I have to do that now that I've said it publicly? I've actually started talking about it like I'm really going to do it. The expense and time commitment are the biggest concern. I think I can expand my mental energy to take a couple of classes. I hope so! There are things I may have to drop, but running won't be one of them. I'll certainly have even less time to write here when I start that. (But you might get extra nutrition advice when I do! Or not, because that's so fraught with strong opinions if you're not looking for the advice) This picture is so huge...day 100 of guitar practice. I'm still bad at it. I play more classical style because I have short fingers and small hands and it's really hard to hit the chords. I'm working on it... It's been super hot, but I've been working away. I started on my marathon plan for the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa OK this November. It actually meant a cutback in miles I was doing but soon I'll be back where I was and increasing from there. Running has mostly been good, but the trail running has been...challenging. There are the constant spiderwebs. I posted a picture of the trail to instagram and facebook with a caption about destroying the work of hundreds of spiders. It's not an exaggeration, and it's very unpleasant. I can just picture the streams of webs trailing from my body (and face!) with all the spiders hanging on for dear life as I try to wipe them away before immediately hitting another web. I've tried the stick waving method, but it doesn't help me be less clumsy and it doesn't work well. I'm not the most coordinated person, but running on sidewalks or roads I don't fall down much, make it at all technical and it's a whole new game. Besides the terrain I want to look around because running in the woods is beautiful and that never works out well. It's not a super easy trail (though I don't have pictures of the more challenging portions yet), but I've fallen and twisted/sprained my ankle twice already. I lose focus for a second and I step on something and fall down. This week a walnut took me out. Naturally, it was otherwise the smoothest, widest, flattest part of the trail. I'm cruising happily along and boom! I step on the darn walnut, my ankle rolls and I'm in the dirt. Somehow, when I fall it's my left side that hits the ground even though I stepped on the nut with my right foot. Easy parts of the trail. Close the where the walnut got me. I had a chiropractor appointment already scheduled for that afternoon so I was able to have him look at it. He looked at it, felt around, moved my foot and concluded I hadn't wrecked myself too badly. Partly due to all the balance work and exercises he's been having me do. Turns out "Prehab" works. My body was able to pull itself somewhat out of the fall and I ended over correcting sort of and that's how I landed on my left side with a minor sprain, instead of continuing the ankle roll and probably having to hop out of the woods on one foot. Not sure how I'd have gotten home if I'd really hurt myself. My sister was out of town so I couldn't call her like I would if she was around. (This has never been necessary, hopefully it stays that way) It's so hot it's hard to tell, but I think I'm getting faster. On the 4th I ran a 3k (yup I mean 3k). It started too late in the morning and it was BLAZING hot. Usually I'd warm up, but I felt like I'd be better off just trying to keep "cool" for as long as possible. I also decided to run hard, but not push it because it was already 90* and it's not like I was going to win the thing. I didn't want to feel terrible the rest of the day. However, based on my result I wish I'd have tried just a little harder...for the second time this year was 4th in my AG by less than 5 seconds. Grrr. Oh well. It's not like I need the little plastic trophy. But this one bugs me a bit more than the last because I feel like I had that 5 seconds in me for sure. I did not see the woman who beat me just in front of me, but if we'd gotten in a duel she might have beaten me anyway. But it would have been nice to know I'd tried. I'll never know if I could have beaten her. It was however a PR of about 10 seconds for the distance and the course. I was surprised by that. This morning was another sweat fest, but I felt really good otherwise. My ankle thankfully didn't complain - I hadn't run since I fell on Wednesday, just some elliptical time yesterday. It was good to have my Team in Training group. I like running alone ok, but having other people to run with is nice when I can. I wouldn't want to do either 100% of the time. Lotus blooming in Forest Park a couple weeks ago. Sunrise this morning, already 80*+, dewpoint over 75. Ick. When's fall? Teammates and I at the top of Art Hill. We don't look like it's hot out at all do we? Sorry friends if you stumble on this...I haven't added your names to it anyway. And 3 of the 4 of us took similar photos so it's ok right?
  10. Dave

    Mt. Baker Summit Report

    This wins Badass of the Year. Reminds me of my (poor) decision to climb Mt. Timpanogos in UT last summer. I thought it would be a fair substitute for my last 16 miler before San Francisco. Marathon shape is most definitely NOT the same as mountain climbing shape. I was sore for a full week, too. And I have the same issues with jamming my toes in hiking boots. Best of luck getting ready for Denali!
  11. NCAthlete

    Mt. Baker Summit Report

    Mt. Baker - 10,781' - North Cascades, Washington July 5-8, 2018 The last scheduled training for the VetEx women's Denali team is in the books, and we are now down to six team members. We started with 12 and now we are six. Myself, Amy, Candice (team leader), Harmony (co-team leader), Shanna, and Stephanie. With each training, we've really been able to dial in the skills that they've taught us and I'm finally beginning to feel a lot more comfortable with everything. Except for carrying a really heavy pack on a steep trail. My weakness in that area was painfully apparent on this trip. Happy July 4th! Me, Amy, and Stephanie Wednesday, July 4th, myself, Amy, and Stephanie headed to Seattle on the same Southwest flight out of Denver. It was nice to fly with the two of them because I typically fly alone. There may have been some pre-flight shots involved... When we got to Seattle, we were picked up by "Coach" Nate and taken to Lake Union where they knew someone that had rented an AirBnB house-boat! We were able to hang out on the boat, have some beers and snacks, and then sit on the rooftop to see the best fireworks show I've ever seen! Later that night, we all crashed at Nate's Aunt and Uncle's house and got up early the next morning to head to the trail-head. The house-boat was super sweet with a great view of downtown Seattle It was an incredible show and those are the best fireworks pics I've ever been able to take! We stopped for breakfast (where I crushed some yummy biscuits and gravy!) and also shopped for our food for the next three days. Some of those food items where: salami and prosciutto, canned chicken, mac 'n cheese, brie, oatmeal, deli meat and cheese, crackers, trail and nut mix, hot chocolate, and Mexican rice. We also each had two Mountain House freeze-dried meals; I picked chicken and dumplings and biscuits and gravy, naturally. One final stop before we reached the trail-head was at a ranger station to pick up poop bags. These bags were just small blue plastic ones with a twisty-tie in them. We got to the trail-head and divvied out the group gear and food. By the time I squeezed everything into and on my pack, I feel that it weighted at LEAST 45 pounds. Here's list of most of what was in my pack: Clothing: top/bottom base layers (x2), top/bottom shells, puffy jacket, several pairs of thick socks, underwear, and bras; beanie, headband, Buff (x2), hat Personal Gear: Sleeping bag, mat, and pad; ice ax, crampons, trekking poles, helmet, headlamp, rope, harness, seven carabiners, three full 1L Nalgene bottles, and toiletry bag Group Gear: kitchen tent (with pole and stakes), three WhisperLite International cook stoves, one metal MSR fuel bottle, bag of six rolls of toilet paper, hand sanitizer Group/Personal Food: two Mountain House meals, oatmeal packets, hot chocolate packets, trail/nut mix bags (x3), and bag of personal snacks (four Snickers bars, Skratch, Cliff Shot bloks, jerky, bag of corn nuts, and a couple protein bars) Wow, after typing it out...that is a lot of shit! We all had pretty equal amounts of group gear/food. I had to sit down on the ground to get my pack on and then grab someone's hand to help me up! One detail about this that worried me from the beginning was having to hike to our base camp in our mountaineering boots. I rented the same La Sportiva boots (you mutherfukcers) that I used when we hiked Mt. Shavano and I knew this wasn't going to turn out well. I hadn't realized we'd be hiking the initial, non-snow covered miles in those boots. I haven't bought any mountaineering boots yet because I don't want to be stuck with something that is going to chew my feet up. It was a beautiful forest hike, but I unfortunately didn't get to enjoy it because I was dying. As per the usual for these training, I was bringing up the rear. I thought I'd see some improvement with all of the mountain running I've been doing, but nope. Not one fucking bit. I've learned that all the mountain running in the world doesn't compare anything to carrying a heavy pack on your back. Heavy pack + mountaineering boots + 2260' elevation gain over 4 miles = SUCK. I had thin sock liners and thick hiking socks on and the freaking thicker socks kept going down into my boots. Ugh. By the time we got to the top, I was feeling like I had blisters on my heels. Luckily, they just turned out to be hot spots. We set up camp, two tents with three of us in each, and took turns digging out our kitchen tent. We didn't camp on the snow this time, but was still able to find a deep enough spot to dig out our kitchen. We had a beautiful view of Mt. Baker and the surrounding North Cascade mountains. We were expecting some bad weather Friday and Saturday and knew we'd just have to wait out a window for a summit attempt. I slept pretty well Thursday night. LOVE this pic The ice is blue but you can't tell from this pic Friday, we practiced running belay in each position of the rope (front, middle, and back). Each position has their own responsibilities so it's important to know and practice them all. I was on a rope team with Candice and Stephanie, and I was put in the middle for the weekend. We also practiced self arrest with our ice axes and crevasse rescue. They found a shallow one by our camp and had us practice there. We repelled down into it and then used the Texas Kick rope method to get ourselves out. It's a pretty cool and highly effective technique! I tossed around most of the night because the wind picked up a bit and rattled the tent. I was the first to get out Saturday morning so I thought I'd start melting some snow so that we could have coffee. This was the first time I started the WhisperLite stove all by myself and I was so proud! I didn't burn down the tent! I even had the water boiling already when the first person came in We didn't have much of a plan for the day because we were hoping to get a weather report. We did, which said it would clear up halfway through the day and would also be clear all day Sunday. We had a decision to make: Leave for the summit Saturday morning and try to get back before dark; have the night to rest up and then hike out on Sunday. Leave late that night and get up to the summit just after sunrise (our best chance at a successful summit) on Sunday morning. When we got back, we'd have to pack up camp and hike out. We were worried about our drivers not getting any sleep, but still having to drive us back to Seattle. Can't even see the top! My initial vote was to complete the summit on Saturday. I just didn't like the idea of having to summit on no sleep, get back to camp and pack up, then head back to Seattle in the same day. However, when I learned that Option 2 would be our best bet, I was down. We all agreed on Option 2 so we decided to take it easy all day Saturday. We practiced knot tying in our tents and then took a nap from 2-4; I only slept about 30 minutes. We made and ate dinner, then tried to sleep more; we'd be getting up at 10pm and needed to leave by 11pm. I think I might have slept two hours, as I couldn't get my mind to shut down. The view at 10pm Even though I had my pack ready to go before we napped, it still took me forever to get situated when 11pm rolled around - that is something I definitely need to work on. No one else around base camp was stirring around their tents so we were the first ones to take off up the mountain. Shortly after takeoff, one of the ladies shouts out, "Look! Paw prints!" We later heard from some of the other climbers that we must have been the "boisterous group" that started around midnight. Oops! Starting the climb in the dark was a little scary, simply because we couldn't see everything around us, i.e. crevasses. Also, I hadn't thought to change the batteries in my headlamp, so I could barely see. I brought extras but only three - it needed four. I didn't realize how dim it was until we started climbing. Our first stop was about two miles up the mountain. I was getting pretty warm and wanted to shed a layer. I had on a t-shirt, base layer, and my waterproof, light shell jacket. I hadn't thought to unzip the sides of the jacket, and when I removed it, I was SOAKED. You could see how wet the jacket was on the inside and my base layer was completed soaked. Not good. Luckily, I had another base layer to change into and William's light puffy jacket to put on. Saved! We were all relatively quiet because we needed to be able to listen out for warnings. "Crevasse on the right!" "Crevasse step-over!" We each had to relay those warnings to the person behind us. Each position on the rope team has their own difficulties. The front has to make sure to keep a pace that isn't too fast for everyone else, and will sometimes get pulled by those behind them. The middle has to make sure not to go too fast so that the rope doesn't trip the front person. Then they also can get pulled from the front and the rear members. Being in the middle, that got really frustrating at times. You have to be focused and alert at all times. The rear has to keep the pace set by the other two and also not let the rope trip up the middle person. Do you know how hard it is to keep three people going the same pace while climbing a mountain?! Sheesh! Our team kicked some serious ass though. Go team! For a majority of the climb, we had steps to use from previous days before. When someone steps through the snow when the snow is soft, then it freezes over, it makes a nice step. However, some parts were really hard and you really had to dig your boots/crampons into the ice. My ankles were getting really sore from constantly turning them in some of the rough patches. The hardest parts where when we had to really dig our boots in or place our feet sideways where it was really steep. At one point, Nate and Scott had to put in pickets so that we could start a running belay. The intent with pickets (anchors) is to have a place to stop you if you were to start falling, rather than fall all the way down the mountain. Once you get to a picket, you clip in (or out). If you are in the middle, you must first clip in the ascending side of the rope, then unclip the descending side so that you are never completely unclipped. "Chris anchor!" "Chris clear!" I feel like I have the hang of that pretty well. About a half a mile from the summit, and on the Roman Wall, I felt like my calves were at muscle failure. Just when I thought I couldn't go any further, I gritted my teeth and kept pushing. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I knew I couldn't break down. I was feeling too stubborn to ask Candice to slow down a bit, but luckily Stephanie shouted at us to slow down. Whew! We finally reached the plateau at the top and could finally relax a bit! We had to go about a quarter mile across the plateau to get to the actual summit. It was gorgeous at the top! You could see jagged mountains for miles and the sun and clouds were beautiful. We were the first team to make it to the top, but we had another one behind us that we could finally see once we reached the summit. We took some pictures, but tried not to take too long so that we could give the small summit hill to the next team. The summit hill We didn't spend much time at the top before we headed back down. Traditional mountaineering etiquette says that those descending should give right of way to those ascending. When we reached the end of the plateau and started to descend, we could see the conga line of folks coming up. That's when we really realized what a good call we'd all made to start the climb early. Parts of the Roman Wall, we had to get off to the side and wait for others to pass us going up. Honestly, it was a nice rest break for me. I knew my feet were not going to like the decent in those boots. I typically have issues with my toes always jamming in the tips of shoes when going downhill - this was no different. The snow was still too hard to really dig our heels into so my toes were taking a beating. Glad we weren't stuck in that! We were definitely getting looks by others as we were coming down. Some of those looks appeared to be... Wow! They are coming down already? Are they all women? Those are the girls that were making all that racket last night. Can you NOT say hi to me? This sucks. Look at those bad-ass women! I'm sure there were others, but those were the obvious ones. All of the other ladies that we passed were loving us! Most of them seemed super excited to say hi. I'm not saying that we were special but we kinda were. Most of the people we passed were men. When we did pass women, they would be the only one on their rope team of 4-5. We didn't see a single other all-women rope team that day, and you certainly didn't see any leading the rope teams. There were lots of guided groups, and teams with REALLY poor/dangerous rope practices. We did pass one family that had the dad in the front, two teenage kids (boy and girl) in the middle, and the mom in the back. The mom had a ton of slack in her rope which made me nervous. Check out that snow cave! We took a long break towards the bottom so that we could eat some food. The snow was pretty hard to walk on at that point because so many people had come through, creating foot holes everywhere. I can't tell you how many times I turned my ankles or stumbled. When we got to Heliotrope Ridge, it was WARM. We were all dying in our layers but just wanted to be done. I had on a heavy, black base layer and I was roasting. This was another one of those points where I just had to keep pushing even though I wanted to stop and just lay in the snow. We finally got to our camp and it felt like the bottoms of both of my feet were just a big blister. Somehow, I didn't have a single blister but had lots of hot spots. We got back to camp around 10am, making it almost an 11 hour round trip. We hadn't slept much, hadn't eaten a real meal, and now it was time to pack up camp and hike back out. Fuuuuuuuuuck. That was the last thing any of us wanted to do, but no one complained. No one ever really complains excepts for maybe under their breath. I've definitely had points of complaining but it would just be out loud to myself - lots of groans and grunts but never any protest or resistance. I couldn't imagine hiking the four miles back to the trail-head, on tired feet and in those mountaineering boots, but I managed to do it anyway. Just when I think something is impossible, I am able to do it anyway. I told everyone that I'd have to take it at my own pace and that I'd be slow, but I finished it. I wanted to enjoy the sunshine and gorgeous trail, especially the waterfall we walked by, but I couldn't. I couldn't stop thinking about how much my feet hurt, how badly I wanted to be done, and how heavy the pack was on my already bruised hips. I definitely cried a little bit, but I think my dark sunglasses covered it. At one point Amy asked if I was ok, and I just nodded as I was sobbing. We made it back to the trail-head (which I think took about 3 hours!), packed up all our gear, and headed out. We stopped to eat pizza and have some beer, then headed out for the 2.5 hours back to Seattle. My long, tired legs being cramped up in a backseat for that long was treacherous. When we got back to Nate's aunt and uncle's house, we had to unload all the gear and separate everything out. We were all wiped the fuck out and it felt like the tasks would never end. Wiped out... I finally got a shower and crashed on the couch. I didn't feel like eating anything else so I didn't. I think I fell asleep around 10pm but then had to wake up at 3:45am to catch a Lyft to the airport for our 5:55am flight. WOWZER. It is now almost a week since the trip, and I am STILL sore. My quads and calves have been really tender and I've just been doing what I can to recover. I used some NormaTec booties at the gym on Wednesday morning, and did a shakeout 2.5 miles with Scott Jurek at my local running store (LRS) Wednesday evening. He and Jenny were at the store for a book signing! Woohoo! I have a lot of thoughts and reflections about this trip, and about being on this team, but I've decided to make that into another blog. Stay tuned... Thanks for reading, Chris
  12. Gonzo Runner

    Lessons of the Fall

    Hope you're OK! At least someone stopped to help?
  13. NCAthlete

    Lessons of the Fall

    As Scott Jurek calls it, Rocksylvania
  14. nikkipoo16

    Lessons of the Fall

    Glad you’re ok and thanks for giving me something to read as I sit waiting to get my latest road rash checked out. My fall caught the attention of a driver who didn’t believe “I knee and pride...”. Haha.
  15. Dave

    Lessons of the Fall

    Just what I need - a horror story about running on trails.
  16. Gonzo Runner

    Lessons of the Fall

    I remember hiking in PA back in the day, the rocks on those trails are brutal.
  17. ocrunnergirl

    Canada Day! In Canada!

    Toronto is fun! Sounds like a great trip. Glad to hear the knee is calming down a bit.
  18. ocrunnergirl

    Lessons of the Fall

    I ran trail hill repeats this morning in Rocky Pennsylvania after reading this. I was terrified coming back down! Glad there wasn't a tibia poking through.
  19. NavEng

    Lessons of the Fall

    100% of my falls were from carelessness, either with the mind in a fog or getting a little too confident. Carry on and great things will happen.
  20. NCAthlete

    Lessons of the Fall

    I'm glad you're alright and that your bones stayed where they are supposed to be! Great job for getting in that many miles after a fall like that!
  21. Gonzo Runner

    Lessons of the Fall

    “I knee and pride is it hurts.” The two women who had stopped to check on me just stared blankly. “It’s pride, OK just the knee.” Now they looked at each other, then back at me with an expression of growing concern. I bent down to pick up my water bottle and snuck a quick glance at my knee. I expected the blood, but not the flash of pearl white in the middle of the crimson flow. That rattled me, so I took a deep breath and tried to make the words right one more time. “I’m fine, think my pride is hurt worse than the knee.” With that lie I forced myself to get running again. The whole thing, from feeling my foot catch the lip of the concrete slab to hitting the deck to picking up my water bottle and getting moving again had taken maybe 3 seconds. Not even long enough to stop my Garmin. But you can learn a lot in 3 seconds. I cursed my stupidity as I forced myself back into my normal gait, despite the searing pain. It was true that I was embarrassed by the fall, but the pain radiating from my knee was far worse. There had been a lot of blood really quickly. And that bright white thing sticking out… well I didn’t even want to go there. But I was running, so it couldn’t really be that bad. Could it? I briefly recalled a hockey player a few years back who broke his leg in a playoff game and tried to keep playing, which wasn’t helpful so I immediately tried to banish it from my train of thought. Afraid of what I might see if I looked down, I continued on fueled by denial and willful ignorance. As I ran I checked the faces of the walkers, bikers, and runners coming from the opposite direction to see if they reacted. Most of the runners and bikers were in their own heads and paid no attention. The walkers, though, they did double takes. Shit, I thought, that’s probably a bad sign. I tried to assess the pain to see if I could figure out if it was just a flesh wound or if there was going to be a real injury here. I clearly felt the sting of dirt and sweat rubbed into torn flesh. I also felt the warmth and tightness that accompanies a swollen joint, which I took as a bad sign. But when I checked my pace and gait, both were still normal. And the pain was constant, not really exacerbated by any particular motion or impact. Convinced I wasn’t going to look down and see a tibia sticking out or my kneecap flapping loosely around I decided to stop and take a look at the loop trail’s turn around point. The streams of blood running down my shin looked like a river delta spilling into my now bright red sock. I forced my eyes to where I had seen the shock of white in the sanguine pool. It was still there. I tentatively moved my hand towards it to see what it was and for the first time noticed blood dripping from some road rash on my palm. This had an unexpected calming effect as I now realized what the white object was and carefully removed the stone from where it had embedded itself in my leg. It was roughly the size of a small kernel of corn, and had gouged out a nice little gash which continued to weep blood down the front of my leg. There was definitely some swelling, but after rinsing the knee with my water bottle and doing a “well I have that bump on both knees” comparison I decided to try and finish the last 3 miles I had on the schedule. The more I ran, the better it felt and the tense single-mindedness of damage assessment faded. I again cursed my stupidity. I had run this path dozens of times, ticking off hundreds of miles on these trails and knew every rock, ditch, root, and mud puddle. I thought back to what had been going through my head before I’d so carelessly tripped. My mind hadn’t been on the trail. I had been thinking about the nagging tenderness in my other shin and knee which I had apparently injured during yet another night of excessive drinking. I had been telling myself how disciplined I would have to be going forward and how I had to get my shit together if I wanted to hit the goals I’d set. And I was so focused on berating myself I didn’t pay attention to the extra inch or two of erosion that the recent rains had caused in front of the small concrete slab that spans the narrow drainage ditch. That was all it took, a momentary lapse of focus and an inch or so of erosion to nearly ruin everything. Sure, I’m still young and healthy and can try again next year or whenever whatever injury I’d caused had healed. But when you set big goals and invest four months of your life into them, not even making it to the start line isn’t an acceptable outcome. I realized there was a lesson here: take nothing for granted. It’s easy to get complacent with the familiar. But the bigger the goals, the more the details matter. So pay attention. Thinking of the other knee, I realized I hadn’t noticed it one bit since the fall. And even now, when I was actively thinking about it, I felt no pain. I didn’t know if the pain had actually gone away, if it was all just psychosomatic and I now had something else to distract me, or if the new pain was just drowning out the old. Whatever the case, there was a lesson here too: whatever your biggest worry is in one moment may seem insignificant the next. A sore hamstring is a lot less worrisome when you feel your plantar getting tight. Debating the need to do the last rest interval before your cool down seems foolish in the middle of your next tempo run. Traffic on the way into work is forgotten when you get in and check your emails. The emails seem don’t really matter anymore at the end of the day when your car won’t start. And even that is put on the backburner when you get home and find out your kid is in trouble at school or your fridge died and all your foiled spoiled. Something new will always come up. Priorities can change in an instant, and to succeed in running or in life, you better be flexible. Feeling quite profound, I pressed on and noticed my stride picking up and the pain dissipating. Garmin signaled my tenth mile was complete, and I noted it was the fastest of the day. So I just kept running. The Wife watched me streak past her in the parking lot, hands upturned in a prayer for understanding of my insanity, shaking her head disapprovingly. I made it another third of a mile before I remembered I’m starting marathon training and shouldn’t be mucking up the plan no matter how great I suddenly felt. This was my last lesson of the day: don’t give in. I went from worrying I had shards of bone sticking out of my leg and fearing a marathon derailing injury to wanting to run all the miles. Now, is it wise to keep running when you think a bone may be sticking out of your leg? Probably not. But if I had stopped, who knows what would have happened. Maybe the knee would have swelled up and gotten tight and I would have been sidelined until it felt better. Or maybe not, who the hell knows, I’m not a frigging doctor. But if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t have known I was OK. Stopping may have been the smart, safe move. But people who always play it smart and safe rarely accomplish great things. We face adversity every day in all that we do. Don’t give in. When I got back to the car The Wife had abandoned the disapproval and now looked more amused than anything else. “How was your run?” she asked. She thinks she’s funny like that. My shoe was starting to get squishy from the water I’d squirted on my leg to try and wash off the dirt and gravel and with each step pink bubbles were getting squeezed up through the mesh toe box. People were staring. The Wife noticed. “C’mon, let’s get out of here before someone calls the cops or something.” While toweling off the mix of dried salt and perspiration and mopping up the rivulets still running down my leg I couldn’t help thinking about the old “blood, sweat, and tears” idiom. “You want onions in your omelette?” I asked The Wife. I think I’m funny sometimes too.
  22. amarie2009

    Canada Day! In Canada!

    I'm not especially afraid of heights but the glass floor thing makes me shiver a little. But I'd still walk on it. (My writing mojo is off, and I've been running. Not sure why I can't get myself to write.)
  23. Nice to be back racing, I'm sure. Keep on doing what you love. The speed will return.
  24. Slow_Running

    Canada Day! In Canada!

    Did you walk across the section of glass floor? Kind of unnerving.
  25. Slow_Running

    What I Ran in June

    "Expect pace to suffer greatly." That seems familiar lately. Great job with the workouts.
  26. NCAthlete

    "Chris is the girl that runs a lot..."

    Thanks! Nice try but I'm the back row, third from the left - the one with the OSOM bangs
  27. Cliff

    Mt Washington run 2018

    There's only one hill.
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