Sunday, September 18, 2016

I need a rest. I need a break.

If there is something I learned this weekend, it is that I am tired from the last six months. Right about mile 87, 14 hours into the race, as I was struggling there, running with a broken hand, I'm thinking that maybe I pushed myself too hard and this what I get. Of course in the same moment I'm also berating myself for being weak and trying to channel my inner "beyond running" (which is a Yiannis Kouros quote).

One of the inserting things about bones is they will steal calcium from other bones if needed. It has scared me for years how Bill Rogers broke his leg going from the asphalt to the grass, perhaps a small vertical step. Which kind of scared me when I broke my hand, falling off the bike at three miles an hour?!

I don't know how our bodies distribute minerals. I know that our body prioritizes oxygen at altitude to our brains, heart and lungs with our fingers and toes being last on the list. I assume that just about everything in our body is prioritized, from the oxygen to the calcium to the water. It's quite interesting, and because I don't understand it I probably don't learn as much from my injuries and set backs as I should.

As I started running this summer I found I was weaker than I expected, Everest took something out of me, including up to 10 pounds. And perhaps racing 50 miles the day before I flew out to Nepal wasn't the best idea.

With the weather clearing on Nolan's 14 this summer I called it quits because I was tired.

Struggling desperately on a 5.9 at 13,000 feet with a backpack, I again called it quits because I wasn't up to task.

Because I wasn't feeling excited by my training I did a triathlon. What could possibly go wrong?

So when the wheels started to come off in the second half of the 24 hour run this weekend, it really should not have been a surprise.

The point is, I've been asking a lot from my body for a long time and I sit here with sore legs, chaffed everything, and a broken hand. I need a break. I need to really truly recover and build up those mineral stores in my body, or I am bound to repeat the same mistakes.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Trust: A Bullet "Proof" Vest

Trust is like a bullet proof vest. It's expensive, it takes a long time to build and if you don't build it well it won't be nearly as strong as you thought it was. A bullet proof vest is big, like a whole organization.

In this metaphor a bullet is poor morals, untrustworthy, the cheap and short-cut path. A bullet is small, reckless and destructive, not just to itself.

The challenge is building the right bullet proof vest for the bullet that comes your way, because there is always a big enough projectile (an Enron sized scandal) that could take you down.

Point being: trust isn't a given, it's developed day after day after day so that when the [Takata airbag or VW emissions] mistake comes you don't go the way of Enron.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More Thoughts on Running in the Heat

So I figure that you slow down about one second per mile for every degree Fahrenheit the heat index or temperature (which ever is higher) is above 60ºF, during the first two hours of the run. Criticize my hydration all you want, but even drinking 1 to 2 liters per hour, the heat still accumulates and makes running after two hours somewhat harder. Case in point, my long run this past Saturday:
Yeah, that happened.

Also, to quote the National Weather Service, "exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15°F." Yes, the run above was probably run 70% in the sunshine, temperature was 92ºF and heat index 96ºF when I finished. Still, it's demoralizing how much I walked on that run. 

The goodish news is, 80ºF feels quite good after this summer.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Independence: Week 11

I'm typing this with one hand, so it will be even shorter than usual for this summer. You should try using only one hand some time. I doubt most people would make it a half hour before defaulting to using two hands.

Work is interesting. I'm working on a part that has not been updated since 1984. Honestly, I am scared to update it because no one has changed it in 32 years, longer than I have been alive, and I don't want to screw it up. The revelation I have come to is that I will need to do testing on any new design before it sees production. Not really a revelation, but the number of things I put into production without any testing is significant.

The other side of a project like this is that on a part with such a long history quite a few people have opinions on the matter.

Running is going. 60 miles this week with two long runs including a scorcher Saturday that I ended up walking and slowly jogging in the last like 10 miles thanks to a little dehydration and 96ºF heat index, which I thought I was used to by now.

My house purchase is going well! I can't wait to spill the details on the deal. It's my first venture into real estate and I almost feel embarrassed to talk about it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Independence: Week 10

This was as eventful of a week as they come. It started off high on Longs Peak at 4 AM as S and I attempted to climb the Casual Route on the Diamond. That is a story for another day. At the rate I have been blogging, maybe I'll get to it in 2017.

After a couple quiet days, including an 11 hour sleep on a work day, my parents came to town for a visit. We didn't do a whole lot together because I didn't take any vacation, and they weren't here on the weekend, still it was really nice to get to see them even if it was only for about seven hours.

In other news, I have a contract pending on a house and the inspection was Tuesday. The inspection went well, no obvious show stoppers, mostly small things. I close September 30th, so I will not say much until then, in case it falls through. There is a lot of paperwork required first to agree on a contract, then to get a mortgage.

Work has had it's moments lately where I'm not entirely sure what I am supposed to do, or what I can do. Which is to say, for every job there is a written description, and then there is what you actually do. One of the first projects I have is a big one, and I'm not sure exactly where I fit in it because there are quite a few people involved.

Running is going. I keep running, slowly. I feel unfit, which is to say I ran 8:20 pace tonight breathing decently hard in 80ºF weather, I would like to be running a minute faster per mile at that effort, but I am not. In an effort to spice up my training I did a triathlon Saturday morning, and broke my hand.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pain: Validated

Nice Watch Eh?

I've said before, I might have an unhealthy relationship with pain. I may be jealous of how my parents talked about my little sister after she had several serious injuries as a little kid. I may be trying to prove something because I was often picked last or near the end for games growing up. Perhaps it has something to do with never seriously playing contact sports, and wanting to show I can handle pain, who knows.

Breaking a bone is really the best injury, it shows up clearly on the x-Ray. It is an excuse to not do things, a reason to not be perfect. It validates the feelings of pain that I have from the injury. It allows me to relax, to just be me, with no expectations for myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, and the world tells me consistently how much of a failure I am. Church tells me I am a sinner. At work, the work is never done. Regardless of the workouts I do, they never seem to be the right ones. 
Pretty Clear: Broken
I feel like a failure so often, but with nothing to prove my failure. I know that feelings are not fact, but they are my experience, so they do matter to me. A broken bone is proof of failure, and like I said above, it allows me to relax and accept myself as imperfect. That can be really hard. I've said it before, I feel I have the best life in the world, and I hope you feel the same way about your life, but with that statement comes the unspoken obligation to be the best I can be, superhuman, and I am certainly not superhuman.

For the record I broke it trying to get on my bicycle. Saturday I did my first triathlon because running training has been underwhelming and I needed some excitement. I finished the 200 yard swim and went through the transition area. It rained the night before and there was maybe a little gravel on the road, as I sat on my bike I had this strange thought, 'it feels higher than normal' despite the fact I haven't changed the seat height in a year. As I was struggling to get my feet in the pedals I was also trying to take a left turn, at all of 3 miles per hour, and I fell over on my left side. I probably fall off the bike once or twice a year, it's never been a big deal, but now that I'm over the hill at age 30 I suppose I have to more careful. As I went to pick up my 15 pound bike my left hand didn't seem to be working. It hurt. I finally got my chain put back on, did the 10k bike, and 2k run, changing shoes with one hand, and I think I won the race but I left before the awards.
Woohoo Selfie!
I went to urgent care and they wrapped me up and took x-rays. I refused pain medication because I need to know if I do something stupid and hurt myself. Already I have learned it is somewhat harder to do thing with one hand. Try getting dressed, tying your shoes, taking milk out of the fridge, opening a car door or using the turn signal, not to mention washing your hand, or drying off after a shower. The pain isn't too bad, I ran six hours in the last 36 hours, and most of the time it was almost insignificant.

I take comfort in my proof of the pain and in a number of Bible verses. As Elihu said, "But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction." Or as Paul wrote, "...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Hope is motivation. It is what we are running toward, and if suffering increases my hope, bring it on!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Independence: Week 9

Wow, my blog has been neglected. I'd like to say that's going to change, but honestly I have a couple half written trip reports and some videos to edit and upload, and I don't know when I am going to do that.

I have been tired. I spent 11 hours in bed yesterday. That's part of why I'm getting to my week in review on Wednesday after 9 pm. 

Work was pretty quiet this past week because we were on the standard two week shut down for repairs and maintenance. In other words, some of the things we would like to get done will have to wait until shutdown is over. I spent some time this past week studying oil. It's pretty interesting stuff and since the actual chemistry of it is hard to find, it is rather hard to describe why one oil is better than another. Fun fact, GL-5 oil wears away at copper parts 2-3 times faster than GL-4 oil wears away copper parts, and I wish I had a better source for that. 

Running was okay. The highlight workout of the week was a 2:40 run on trails over 17 miles that started with a heat index of 106ºF and ended with a heat index of 98ºF. I drove 15 minutes home, drank probably 1.5 liters of milk and orange juice, showered, and went to bed. I didn't even eat supper I had no stomach for it.

On Tuesday I put an offer down on a house, more details to come on that. Yes, it seems to have been accepted and now I'm working through the paperwork, and bills.

Friday I drove out to Denver, and Saturday hiked up to Chasm Lake to spend the night before attempting the Casual Route on the Diamond on Longs Peak

Sunset looking East from Chasm Lake Bivouac at 12,000 feet.