Wednesday, January 30, 2013

50 miles, a solstice away

Yes, I get to write about running, or exercising, and try to inspire everybody else to do it.
I am going to sign up for a 50 mile run.  I know I can do it.  I did a 50 kilometer race, and that was in the middle of Montana’s miserable wintertime.  I watched a documentary on Everest, mocked the guy for complaining about the cold.  Started at my place, by the time I hit Lime Kiln, the Camelback’s straw had frozen solid.  Got it thawed out again sometime past the Power Station going up Lump Gulch.  I remember taking off my Brooks running shirt and having it freeze by the time I got it back on.  Clothing isn’t designed to freeze, but somehow, I manage to run in it.
50 miles is a long way.  It takes a decent amount of time to drive, and that’s cheating.  I think a person might get it done faster than a horse.  There’s a big bike ride up York way, that’s less than 50 miles.  No one had any idea how long the thing should take; anything under 11 hours should qualify me for Western States, the disaster example of what happens when a bunch of hippies have to work with the Forest Service.
So, I do what I need to do, now, knowing that June is a long way off.  It’s training from winter solstice to summer solstice, in conditions that scare Everest climbers, running in the dark, running in snow, running over hills, all of it for something that’s months away.
Runners have an addictive personality.  There’s that ability to overcome temporary discomfort for future reward.  It’s the same trait that makes them generally succeed in jobs and school, and likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.  That ability to overcome the first poke, the first inhale of hot smoke, knowing there’s something absolutely amazing to come.
So, with the help of a GPS watch, expensive shoes getting shredded, and wonderful sugar in a packet, y’all get to read about what goes into running those 50 mile races.

Running total for Jan 30: 5.31 miles in 45:15.25 up Grizzly Gulch for 2.55 miles and back, plus some jogging to the starting line.

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