Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ruminations with a view

processing miwok.
photo courtesy of ian burton.
peggy sue: you know, the world looks a lot better from up here.
michael fitz: the world is fantastic. it's the ultimate absurd circus. i am shot from a cannon into the energy.
peggy sue: what are you shooting for?
michael fitz: maximum intensity.

~ "peggy sue got married" screenplay rehearsal draft
there was no summer in seattle in 2011.

we were three weeks into august before we got a decent stretch of warm weather, and i was feeling a steady, low-grade desperation to recharge my solar batteries ahead of the long, dark winter.

i wasn't a runner then. unless it was up and down a basketball court, i simply didn't like running. but i figured i could put up with it for a few nice days while they lastedjust an amiable three or four miles three or four times a week. i never intended to give up my comfortable, fluorescent-lit gym routine. 

so, there's no real explanation as to how a week turned into two weeks, and two weeks turned into two months, and two months became nearly six years. 

there's certainly no rationale for three miles turning into five miles, and five miles unfurling into 62.

all i set out to do was soak up some sun.
my thoughts go wandering to strange places in the hours and days after running an ultra.

stranger, even, than during the actual event (which can be plenty peculiar).

for a week post-miwok my brain played a distracting game of bumper cars, bouncing randomly between subjects and emotions, without the courtesy of a "curve ahead" sign.

one moment i'd be driving to work, singing along with a random song, the next i'd be tearing up over the cat we lost several months ago.

there are probably sound physiological reasons for this mental odyssey, but clinical studies of such things are scarce.

if they did exist, the abstracts would probably describe the subjects' biochemical reaction to intense physical exertion, and the associated impact on mental function. 

the discussion section would likely end with, "further study is required, but we conclude that the mind is a weird creature with a wicked sense of humor."
"i had a fairly intense low, but i've been mulling it over and it turns out this thing we do is just bloody hard."
~ ian burton, after his 2017 miwok finish
sun mountain scenery.
it's quiet in the methow valley.

it's a literal, physical kind of quiet...and something more visceral. something to do with peace of mind. 

every time i'm there i want to stay. every time i leave, i can't wait to come back.

whatever it is, i just know i breathe easier when i'm there.

i signed up to run the sun mountain 50k before getting word i'd be running at miwok. since sun mountain is just two weeks later, i figured there would be no way i'd be recovered enough to run 50k. so, i asked the good folks at rainshadow running to give my spot to someone else and volunteered to work the race instead.

turns out that was a good call.

when race day rolled around, though, i actually thought i was feeling good enough to run. more than a couple times that day i said, "you know, i thought i wouldn't be ready...but i think i could've run today."

yeah, i wasn't ready. i know this because RD james varner graciously let me run the 25k the next day (thank you, james).

it was a blast, but it was also bloody hard.

standing here t-plus two days out...i need a nap. and, full disclosure: the bumper cars are back. they're having a blast, too.

it was worth it.
sun mountain 25k


108/299 (overall)
11/22 (M 50-59)

salomon sense pro max

song stuck in my head the entire time: "defying gravity" stephen schwartz
the road winds 
between the hills and the pines
some days it can turn on a dime
road winds without a "curve ahead" sign
it can leave the sweetest things behind

~ keith sewell


dpc said...

Wrong! Summer 2011 was the best. Heat kills performance and, in fact, more people than all other weather phenomena combined.
Last 4 summers have been unusually hot. Not normal.
Plus that awful sun can be deadly to heads without much hair. This I can verify.
Running in the Methow is risky. Too hot. Mid winter is a great time to visit.

spaceneedl said...

hahaha! oh, man, i miss running with you. i will, however, point out that with out sun, Sun Mountain is just "mountain."

coaster said...

It was worth it . . .

spaceneedl said...

Thanks, dude.