Friday, July 3, 2009

Up and Going

I am up and going in a couple of different ways. First of all, I moved last month. I have been living in the same place for about 5 years. I love my neighborhood and being able to walk to work in about 15 minutes is something I did not want to give up. So I moved 2 doors down and then make a right and 2 doors down again. The parking where I live is hard to get most of the day and so I wound up carrying everything over either by hand or with a hand truck. That was a long process but it was best that way because it made me go through all my stuff and figure out what I was willing to carry over and what I wasn't. After 5 years, I had accumulated far more than I thought was possible. When all was said and done, I had made 4 car-loads of stuff, ( I have a wagon by the way) of things to donate to good will. I had about 4 or 5 car-loads of things that I just left out on the grass while I was moving that was taken by people just walking by. Now, I have a home that is has much less clutter and I hope to keep it that way. Fingers crossed. It's hard to change! I have my own private back porch now and so Struth is having the summer of his life, being outside, albeit on a porch, for most of the day. He still goes out on a lot of training runs with me, but with the summer heat, I do have to be conscious of what water is available for him and if I should take him. Maybe I need to get him his own camel back. I am sure that wouldn't go over well with him....

Anyway. . . I digress. I finally have access to Internet at home again, which means I get to take more photos and post them. I can also update this damn blog on some kind of regular basis.

I am also up and going with all this training for Cascade Crest Classic 100. After North Face 50 miler and Lake Youngs Ultra the following weekend, I took a bit of a hiatus from the trails. It was much needed. I did some road runs, (oh the roads...) and some cross training and some sleeping and one of my favorite things... BAKING! Once a week of that was done, I had a flame to my butt again and was ready to hit the trails again. Phew.

Mount Si repeats, that was next in the process of CCC100 training. Ah, Mount Si. A physical and mental challenge.

Last Saturday Owen and I headed out to North Bend to go up and down Mt. Si twice. We ran up the 4 miles with about 4000 ft of elevation gain in just over an hour. Owen was a few minutes faster on the up. Mt. Si is a very popular hike and I expected to see lots of people there. I was a little surprised at how many I actually did see, LOTS. I had my iPOD on the whole way with my head down in suffer-mode and didn't say much to the other people on the trail besides "hi" and "thanks" when I was passing. Then we ran down. Oh it is so fun to run down.... ! That is until someone takes a spill. Owen wiped out and somersaulted. I saw his face almost the whole time he was skidding. It's so weird to see someone fall like that and see their face. It all seemed to be in slow motion. He was looking towards the direction he was falling and seemed quite calculated in where he was headed as he slid down the trail. When he had stopped skidding, he jumped up and said, "I'm ok, let's go." Ok then....back down we went but a bit of a less aggressive pace. On the way up the first time, I was thinking, oh man! I DO NOT want to go up this thing again, I can't really, I just can't do it, it's too much. On the way down I was thinking, oh man! I hope Owen says he doesn't want to go up again. But, my hopes were diverted. As much as I didn't want to run up to the top again, even more I didn't want to say, "I can't." So, up we headed. It was a mental struggle I think more than a physical one. I had my iPOD on and I was using all my mental tricks to get me to the top. All the while thinking, what would I be doing right now if I wasn't doing this? WHY am I doing this? What is really driving me here? Then a song would come on and I would feel more energized for a few minutes and then head down again. Repeat....Next thing I know, I'm at the top again. Wow, where did the time go? Or shall I ask, where did I go? An hour went by and it was like I was in a different consciousness. I do like that, I have to admit. I can't get there in regular old life. Laundry just doesn't cut it. So a few minutes of rest and down we went. I felt more beat up than doing 12 summits and this only took me 3.5 hours. Um....

Well, for about 3 days after the Mt. Si repeat, if I touched my quad, I felt it, it hurt. I hadn't been that sore for a while. I suppose that means it was beneficial. With that rationalization, Owen and I headed up on Thursday for more Mt. Si. A much different experience. Going up the first time was not so bad. Down was awesome. Then it was time to go up again. I don't know what happened to me. I was mentally prepared this time, but apparently, I had some physical limitations. I'm not sure why but I have some ideas that I will experiment with. I could only make it up 2 miles before the problems hit, hyperventilating, my entire body sweating and shaking. As much as I was determined to get up there a second time, I had to be smarter than that and call it a day. I caught my breathe, enjoyed the trees, talked with some people on the trails and the jogged down easy. It took me a few hours to feel "normal" again, but I recovered and am ready to do it again. Next week...I'm headed back up there. Physical and mental capabilities in check.

In the meantime, I can ponder the ratio of mental to physical power and how it fluctuates from day to day. It's important to be adaptable.

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