December 31, 2007

One Six Ohhhhhhhh!

Yep, I managed to click off 160 long runs for 2007.

Pretty cool when you consider that I only got 10 each in March and April primarily because of Umstead 100-Miler and then the 90-mile effort at the Virginia Run for Cancer 24-Hour event. That means a WHOLE bunch of long ones August through December.

So this year, my fifth since I invented this tracking system, finishes with 160 runs and 434.5 points. Previous top total of long runs was 2006's 150. This year's point total is a bit lower than 2005's 452, but still a good bit higher than the yearly average of ... let's see ... 400. Sweet!

What excellent fun.

December 27, 2007

Repeat after me: "Hammer curls are my friend."

So, wonder what would happen to the ever-so-ordinary ultrarunner if he were to, say, clip off 150 reps each arm of hammer curls with, say, 3 lb. dumbbells every day for, say, a month?

Dunno. More on this about Jan. 25 or so. :-)

December 25, 2007

Merry, Merry Christmas all!

That new Power Ranger game clearly takes a ton of Christmas-morning concentration, especially when you are at the Green Ranger level.

Serious, serious don't-mess-with-me business here, bucko. Go Rangers!

(Great morning here at 1300 Gum with Aunt Wendi and Allen coming for yummy b-fast and fun gift opening. My crew is resting now, then it's off to Elkton to do much of it again with my side of the fam. Good times.)

December 15, 2007

Sad Day

I cried myself out today.

Sherman, our 9-year-old lab beagle chow mix, succumbed to the diabetes that had wracked his world and ours for the past three months or so. We knew this was coming. Didn't make it one bit easier.

Heidi and I were up and down with Sherman throughout last night as he drank and panted and asked to go outside and ate grass and threw up and all that. A late-morning seizure sent me to call our Waynesboro vet and ask if they could put him down.

I thought I was all cried out as I loaded him in the truck one final time for the 15-minute drive, but you know how tears are. We've been pretty tight since I dragged him out from under that makeshift Stokesville cabin where he was born. I was his primary trainer during Head Start for Puppies. We slept a lot of nights on the floor together, me in a sleeping bag and him snuggled against my back, when H was pregnant with Benjamin.

Puppa, one of his many nicknames, always had a special yip sound for me when I came home. We always joked about him being my running coach, and how I would totally suck as an ultrarunner if it weren't for his sage advice. We concocted Rock Status, officially bestowed on me when I finished a 100-miler and yakked away when I didn't.

He's always been a scared boy hiding in a mean-sounding dog suit. And he's been one of the main loves of my life for almost a decade now.

As we headed down the road to Waynesboro, me with one hand on my buddy and the other on the steering wheel, I told him that I'd given this past three months my best and apologized for not always hitting the right spot on the twice-daily insulin injections. I told him I was sorry if he hurt much, and that I loved him more than even I imagined possible. I thanked him for being there for me through thick and thin, for always forgiving me, for always accepting my love, for always being willing to hear my dumb stories and come out in the yard and watch me do my pull-ups at the various places we have lived.

Just before noon, just outside the Waynesboro city limits, my Puppa said good-bye to this life. He had his head resting partially on his favorite pillow and partially on my lap. I wouldn't have wished it to be any other way.

When we get his ashes from the vet, I know the perfect spot. There's a doggie cemetery on one of my favorites running roads. Turns out that is at Stokesville, where our handsome boy was born.

Save me a spot, Puppa. When I hear your special Dad yips, I know I'll be home at last.

Love you, my old sweetheart boy.

Your Dad

December 14, 2007

true definition of "bonk"

This, courtesy of my Wesleyan brother forever Bill Potts, captures the essence of ultrarunning at those times when things go just a bit awry.

December 8, 2007

No. 150 already

Today's 2:20 late-morning effort gives me 150 long ones for 2007, and the outside possibility of hitting a hard-to-ever-top total of 160 before the year's out.

Absolutely, totally KEWL! And THEN some!

Streak update: All is well. Next significant date is Dec. 17, Day 300.

December 3, 2007


Yup. It's that time of the year again. Basketball season is here in all its glory.

That means I hit the court 4-5 games a week for much of the next three months. Reffing is a nice break from work, a little extra running of a slightly different sort and a pretty fair supplement to the ol' pocket book. No adverse effects on the running, other than that I get home sort of late on occasion and maybe are a wee bit charged up when it comes time that I actually need to fall asleep.

Last week I worked varsity girls Wednesday, eighth-grade boys Thursday, JV boys Friday and then a girls' varsity/girls' varsity/boys' varsity triple-header Saturday. The week's running included at least 2-hour runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Got some really good strength training sessions in too.

Grueling physical effort? Nah. Glutton for punishment? Nope. Aging fool fully engaged in the ever-pressing pursuit of the poetry of a life in motion?

All depends on how you look at it, I guess.