I've almost made it to the end of Monster Month. My body is worn out. Race nerves are building up. I took a walk in the garden and offered up this prayer to the Loop Gods.
(For those of you who
didn't grow up wearing out the grooves of your parents' LP of Jesus
Christ Superstar and memorizing all the words, that is where this comes
from.) Here is a link to the movie version if you want to sing along.
(With apologies to Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber)
I only want to say,
If there is a way,
Take this race away from me
For I don’t want to feel the bonking,
Feel it crush me,
I have changed.
I’m not as sure
As when we started.
Then, I was inspired
Now I’m freaking tired.
Listen; surely I’ve exceeded expectations
Blogged for three years; trained for thirty,
Could you ask as much from any other man?
But if I run,
See the saga through and do the things you ask of me.
Run and cramp and walk and limp and pee behind a tree.
I'd wanna know, I'd wanna know, my Loop
I'd wanna see, I’d wanna see, my Loop,
Why I should die.
Would I be more noticed than I ever was before?
Would the blogs I’ve posted then matter anymore?
I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Loop
Why do you make me jump through hoops?
I’d have to see, I’d have to see, my Loop
I'd have to see if I can write a bloop
If I run what will be my reward?
If I fail, will I then be ignored?
I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Loop
What if I have to take a poop?
Whyyyyyyyyyyyy should I run?
Why, why, oh why should I die?
Can you show me now that I won’t hit the wall in vain?
Tell me just a little that I won’t collapse from strain.
Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die.
You’re far too keen on where and how fast, but not so hot on why.
Alright. I’ll run!
Just watch, just watch me run!
Seeeeeeee, see how I bonk!
Oh, yes, just watch me die.
(Stirring instrumental, and then calm)
Then I was inspired
Now I’m so damn tired
After all I’ve trained for three years, seems like ninety
Why then am I scared to finish what I started
What you started -- I didn’t start it.
Loop, thy will is hard
But you hold every card.
I will take the flight to Boston,
Run up Newton, so you can break me,
Feed me, greet me, thrill me,
Inspire me now.
Before I change my mind....
Happy Maundy Thursday!
Marathon training involves an almost constant testing of your boundaries. Every week seems to bring a new longest run, or highest weekly total. And since I spread my marathons out, I always have to regain that endurance.
Well, this year I am stretching out to my first ultra, and doing more
trails, and more hills. So this beach runner is pushing his boundaries a
little more. This week's test was to move my long run from 17 up to
over 18, and I would do it on a ridiculously hilly trail run. My trail
group selected a fun little hill climb for this week. It was a big loop
of 9.35 miles, so I figured I would just do it twice.
So I get there and find there is no water on the trail, so I would have
to make do with my two belt bottles. But I could refill after 1 lap, so
I figured that would be enough. Temps were about 50 or lower when we
started at 7:30, but with bright sunshine promising a warming up later.
The first mile or so was really nice single track up a creek bed (dry) with many creek crossings, rocks and trees. Very fun.
Then it really started to climb as we got out in the sun. And the walking began...
Yes, we are going over that hill. Parts became quite "technical".
I was gasping as I hiked up this section. Had a healthy sweat going,
lactic acid building, joints complaining. But I had faith it would get
better. Long, long way to go. I was running with my buddy for the first
lap, and we hooked up with a few others from the group as well. Misery
does indeed love company, so that made it bearable.
Eventually we made it to a fire road. But the climbing did not ease up!
At least we got some decent views.
I jogged when I could, hiked when I had to, and eventually got to enjoy
some leveling. And then the downhill began. It was fun at first. But
then it got just steep enough to be annoying and painful on the quads
and knees. But at least I could breathe. And it looked like this.
(We're the goats) I chatted with another guy as we finished the loop,
about how tough it was but how beautiful, and I said it was such a great
trail that I decided to do it again. He laughed, and then said "You're
serious?" Yes. Yes I was. I got to feel like quite the bad ass. I took a
minute to drink a lot and refill my bottles while the rest of the group
celebrated being done, and then I was off to do it all over again.
Second lap I was on my own, but I still felt good and attacked the
hills knowing what to expect, which made it easier. I stopped to take
some pics, walked as needed; just enjoyed the day. Yet I still did the
second lap in almost the exact same time as the first lap. By the final
downhill, my legs were QUITE unhappy with me, and I was very glad to be
done. But I loved it.
Here is my Garmin link. Over 3,500 feet in elevation gain over 18.7 miles.
After a short rest, I drove the 40 minutes home. I think I had an
endorphin overdose, because my emotions were getting out of control. I
went by Malibu Beach where the sun was sparkling off of the water and
many surfers were riding the waves. It felt like the perfect California
morning, and I was giddy with happiness. I got choked up just thinking
about how awesome it was to be there at that moment, having just rocked a
killer trail run in the mountains. Then I was really enjoying the
music. Like way too much. Songs would get me to choke up. The Who's
Won't Get Fooled Again came on, and I started thinking how amazing it
was, with the guitar riffs and the synthesizer going hard in the
background, and the driving bass, and Roger Daltrey's vocals all just
rocking hard at the same time, and Keith Moon's INSANE drumming on top
of it, and how it all tied together, and my eyes filled with tears. It
was ridiculous. Had to be the endorphins. And then We Are Young came on,
and THAT got me choked up. Good thing I didn't put Les Miserables in
the CD player.
Anyway, I was enjoying life way too much. But the high lasted all
afternoon. Through the ice bath, the hot shower, the HUGE Fatburger that
was sooooo good! And then the nap of the Gods. It feels so good to lie
down when your body aches, huh?
Well, it was a great day. Then I followed that up with 7 more miles on
Sunday, just to show that I could. And it wasn't too bad! I'm a little
sore, but I am building that endurance! Next week, 20!