Sunday, April 28, 2013

getting wordsworthian in training in april

On Friday morning I went for a run around 6 at the Arb trails.  One of the many amazing things about running in the early morning is the blanket of silence that seems to fall around you as your footsteps pitter-patter on the soft dirt.  I started to think about how relieved I am now that the semester is over, as it was the hardest one I have ever had.  I then started to think about the Kalamazoo Marathon, which is quickly approaching.  I thought about the torture of the road for 26.2 miles, and the race adrenaline that will undeniably quiver through my bones for most of the time.  I thought about what the race is going to be like.  The purpose of the race is to get the miles in, and then do a 50 miler six days later.  This turnaround is quick, and I'm interested to see how my body is going to respond to it.  I then reminded myself that Kalamazoo is not a race for me, it's just a long run.  And it's not just a long run, it's a long run with Katie Wittenberg.  

As I came out of the woods and onto a section of clear trail, the morning sun splashed onto my face.  I squeezed my eyes shut and jolted my head around in some sort of a ridiculous manner at the surprise.  As I felt the warmth I shot back to a year ago, when I was on a long run with Katie at run camp.  I can't remember where we were, but we were in the middle of a long run, on the side of the road, stopped.  We were stopped because I was bent over, grabbing my stomach and gasping for air while laughing, which was, I'm sure, actually sounding like some sort of hybrid between a dying horse and an annoyingly high pitch - like when a mic gets too close to a speaker.  I remember straightening out, trying to get my shit together, and Katie continuing her story through fits of a silent, violent shaking form of laughter, which only made me relapse into my previous state.  I remember the way the sun felt on my face, and my sweat-glossed cheek it was soaking in.  I remember that this was the height of my right IT band problems.  I remember it was so tight that I was sure my leg was going to rip off with every other step I took, and my kneecap would fly across the road.  I remember thinking that that was going to be more comfortable than what I was experiencing during that run.  But in that moment, right then, none of it mattered and the only thing that hurt was my right abdominal muscles from the fit of laughter.  The importance and significance of this is that the laughter had totally overcome my physical pain.  Unless you have been in that kind of physical pain, with multiple miles left until you are finished, all you can do is imagine yourself in that situation.  

In just one fraction of one second when the sun had hit me on that early morning run, I had completely transferred back into this memory.  I wasn't just remembering it, I was reliving it.  It reminded me of this Wordsworth poem (Daffodils) (yes I'm going to print it instead of link it so you actually maybe perhaps possibly read it):

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 

I always thought it was stunning how the mind remembers things that touch our soul, and the things about those things that we remember.  It somehow fails to record the actual event, but captures the emotion and physical aspects of it near perfectly.  I don't remember what Katie and I were talking about that spun into this hysteria (though I'd be willing to bet it was an impersonation), but I do remember how it made me feel, down to the physical aspect, not just the emotional.  For Wordsworth it only took laying on a couch and closing his eyes to generate this, and for me it only took the warm sun spilling onto my face. This is more than just a memory; a word for what I am at a loss for.  

One of the many wonderful things about Katie is that she never shuts the hell up, and neither do I.  When we run together it's one huge conversation, interjected with random shouts, impressions, crazy body language and absolute explosions of laughter.  This is why the Kalamazoo Marathon is going to be a blast.  Had she not agreed to run it slow with me and have a good time, I would not be running it.  For once, the bib numbers won't matter, water stops will be a welcomed stop, and any glimpse of a PR is out the window.  It's hard to find people with this kind of outlook on life, and it is beyond doubt even harder to find a runner with it.  "You want me to do what?  Casually jog a marathon?  A race that I paid for?  What are you?  Fucking crazy?"  Maybe.  Probably.  If so, I'm really happy that Katie is 'fucking crazy', too.

++a week in training:
monday: am: 6 miles with Erin.  So slow, I felt bad for her, but I could NOT find another gear.  Total dead legs. lower body session with Lauren.  pm:  measly 3 miles at Gazelle's Boston Memorial run.  Way fun, scored 118 high-fives.
tuesday:  off [too much shit for finals to do]
wednesday:  am:  3 miles with Cohen.  Upper body workout with Lauren.  pm:  6 at Urban Herd
thursday:  7 miles in the morning with Katie at Al Sabo.  Got caught in the rain.
friday:  12 miles at the arbs
saturday: 9 mile road loop from the apartment
sunday: 7 at Al Sabo (dirty herd)
total running miles:  53.  also had 18 miles logged on my bike just from commuting.  anything to increase aerobic capacity!
notes:  was really going to try to get 40 miles between saturday and sunday, but slept in on both days.  I don't even really care.  I also pushed myself harder with more weight this week than I ever have before.   I don't know where I'd be without Lauren (my trainer) pushing me and helping me gain confidence.  Weight training is really fucking hard, and I get mad because I feel like people think I just go hang out at the gym for an hour twice a week.  Wrong.  I work my fucking ass off.  And it's finally showing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

in april on salty failure

On Friday I had the worst run of my life.  I went up to Yankee for 2 loops to get me to 22 miles and I wish I hadn't.

I have no idea why I continue to go to Yankee alone (I never have bad experiences when I go with people, only when I'm alone) when all I've had are the worst runs up there.  Hindsight (with it always being 20/20), a lot of things were wrong.  It was 32 degrees, first of all.  I hibernated all winter because I don't deal well with the cold.  I got a gym membership and a trainer because I hate running in the cold that much.  I had a cotton t-shirt on and a light longsleeve quarter zip over.  Before you all go "oh my god, I can't believe she was running in cotton.  What was she thinking?" just shut up.  Shut up about your moisture-wicking tech tees and how you can't believe anyone runs in cotton anymore.  People in the 80s were running in cotton tees and jean shorts and laying down faster times than you are in your $50 shirt.  Stop thinking your clothing is making you faster and that much more comfortable.

I started the run eating an apple.  I was thinking "wow, this is great training, to learn to run and eat at the same time."  After about a half mile I threw it over my shoulder.  Just got sick of carrying it.  At mile 3 I was battling some kind of low I've never experienced before.  I took a gu and bounced back for awhile until I started plummeting down again.  I slowed down and assessed myself.  What the fuck was happening?  Feet?  Fine.  Ankles?  Solid.  Calves?  Fine.  Quads?  Fatigued, but fine.  I gave up assessing after that because I couldn't concentrate enough.  I stopped.  I stared at a tree and pictured myself shattering its bark with the mouth of my water bottle over and over and over.  I kept walking.  I started running again and my heart rate jumped.  I felt it in my throat and I felt it in my temples.  My breathing was wrong.  I couldn't breathe right.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  What is this?  This is the worst run in the entire world.  This is me failing.  I am failing right now.  I ran some more.  I stopped.  I walked.  I stopped again.  I sat down.  I kicked a rock.  I got up and started to run again and fell.  I got back up and it started to rain.  Then it started to snow.  I got to a ridge and a cold wind roared in front of me and I braced myself for it.  It ripped through my waffle-textured outer layer and through my cotton shirt.  I stopped and started to cry.  Here I was, training for a 100 mile race, and at mile 9 I fell the fuck apart.  I ran/walked the last 2 miles as fast as I could back to the car, thinking about how much I hated myself right then.  This is usually when people will be like "good for you, you finished strong!"  That's not strong.  Thanks for the pity, but no thanks.  I got into my car, shivering and numb fingers, and while it was warming up I put my face in my right palm and sobbed.  After about a full minute I wiped the snot and tears with the back of my hand and realized there was a mountain biker no more than 3 feet from my window staring at me.  I tried my best to give a weak smile to their wide eyes and couldn't help but laugh at how pathetic I was.  I sighed, and sat there, with my right elbow propped up and my chin in my palm, chuckling softly and waiting for the gage to get somewhere between the 'C' and the 'H'.  As I have previously stated in past posts, running has stolen my humility.  I'm okay with not getting it back - I think it's a bit humbling.

The point in explaining this 2 hours and 11 miles of hell is because it threw off my entire day.  I tried to shake it off.  I really did.  But I couldn't; not all of the way.  I thought I was doing everything right, and everything went wrong.  I took a hot shower and tried to go back to bed and couldn't.  I was so tired and I couldn't sleep.  I tried to work on some of the multiple Final Essays I have to do by Monday, and nothing was coming.  Nothing.  I made fresh coffee and it didn't taste right.  I made breakfast and couldn't bring myself to eat a decent portion of it.  I paced my living room for a bit.  I started thinking of the last line of Yeats's "Among School Children".

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?"

I started this blog not wanting it to be a training blog, but I am unable to write real without including some form of it.  Can you separate the runner from the run?  My whole Friday was shoved out of whack because of one run.  It was the worst run, but it was still just one run.  Was this it?  Is this defining me now?  I have always said "running isn't who I am, it's what I do."  Of course, that is easily arguable - "you are what you do".  How separate is the run from me?  How separate am I from running?  Where, exactly, does the run start and end?  Does it start when I lift that first knee a little higher than the other and find the comfortable cadence?  Does it start when I slip my shoes on?  Does it start when I doctor my feet in the morning?  When I turn on the Keurig?  When I pull back the covers?  Does my run actually start when my alarm goes off, I 'slide to unlock' and open my eyes to see Cohen's droopy face staring back at me?  And when does it end?  It certainly didn't end when I got in my car.  It didn't end when I pulled my muddy feet from my shoes.  It didn't end when I stripped myself from cold, wet running clothes.  Hours later I was still pacing, thinking about it.  I went to work that evening and it was still off and nothing was on yet.  Time clicks on, like it inevitably always does, but my body was a fraction of a second slower and my mind seemed to have a thin film on top of it, like when you leave steaming milk sitting for too long.  It's the feeling of your left contact sliding slightly out of place and having to roll your eyes around trying to get it back, but it never quite comes all the way back.  It's not a visible difference, but you feel it.  Legs & Lungs described their essence as a team in not only the act of running (or biking) but in everything they do.  It's the "coffee we drink", the "miles we put in before the world is up".  Perhaps a run ends when another starts, but being unable to pinpoint the start kicks the circular question.  Can you know the dancer from the dance?  Can you know the runner from the run?  Is everything part of the run?  Is extrapolating the runner from the run possible?  They are two different things, after all.  ...Right?

During my low after my run, I texted Jesse Scott.  If you don't know who the hell he is, you are missing out.  He "paced" me for the North Country Marathon last summer (and by paced I mean I dropped his ass at mile 17).  I only dropped him because he was hurting from running a 100 or two in the month before.  He's a pretty hilarious dude and a decent writer, and I suggest giving this a read.

He went on to say "People like you and I are in a weird spot.  We have two groups to look to for advice:  People our age, like Krupicka, Jornet, etc. Who are freaks, and therefore not good role models, or old people, who don't think of ultras like we do."
              and that's really, really true.

I cannot go one more post without mentioning Joe.  Here's a picture for all of you.  He's been my rock, inspiration and cheerleader as I battle training in every way, both mentally and physically.  Him and his wife are two of the loveliest people I have ever met in my entire life, and they deserve everything.  When I cross that finish line my first phone call will be to Joe.
And if you live in the Kalamazoo area he probably knows you.
Because Joe knows everyone.  And everything.

monday:  lower body workout - no running miles
tuesday: dropped my car off to get fixed, ran 4.5 home.  incredibly sore glutes from the day before.
wednesday: 4.5 to get my car; upper body workout.  was going to add 6 at Urban Herd but it started storming really bad. Skipped.
thursday: 8 miles in the morning with Joe.  I got a thorn stuck in the back of my knee.  I tried to twease it out, but it broke off.  It's still in there.  And it still hurts.
friday: 11 mile fail
saturday: nothing.  For the first time in a long time I did nothing.  Good for the body, mixed feelings in the head.
sunday:  10 at Fort Custer with Michelle, then about 3 at the Arbs with Cohen, and finished up with 6-7 with the Dirty Herd at Al Sabo.  We'll call it 7.  On the ride home I thought about how much I really, really love group runs.  I love all of you that go.  Thank you.
total miles: 48

Monday, April 15, 2013

on boston on the night in april

People ask me why I run and it's the hardest question to answer.  In fact, I never have an answer.  I usually just shrug and smile, or say "I don't know".  I do know why I run, but it's a reason that I cannot put into words; no metaphor is good enough for the sport, let alone the lifestyle.  People often say "It must be a great endorphin rush" or "I've heard runner's high is pretty awesome".  I don't get 'runner's high' anymore, I just get the comfort of my life being in order.  It's like pouring my coffee or putting in my contacts - it's just what happens when my day starts.

My life revolves around my training. What I eat, how much I eat, what I can and cannot drink, when I sleep, how often I sleep.  Papers that I write don't dictate when I can run, running dictates when I will have time to write the papers.  If I'm not running, I'm thinking about my training - what my weekend will look like, who can I sucker into doing a long run with me?  I sit at my computer and type and read and study and write papers and watch movies and roll a lacrosse ball under my foot because my feet hurt every god damn day.  I reach my arms and legs out to stretch when I wake up and immediately draw in a sharp breath because every god damn muscle in my body hurts, I get out of bed and can't walk right away, I spend five minutes on a foam roller before I feel limber enough to start my day, sometimes my breakfast is a gu packet, and I wrap my blisters carefully before slipping my shoes on.  Sometimes I stare into my coffee wondering why I'm awake at this hour, going through this process.  The comfort of knowing that I am not the only one has kept me going many times.

People, far too often, talk at me like I don't think a marathon is a very far distance.  "Oh, to you that's nothing," or "...not that a marathon is anything on your scale".  They seem to think that because I'm training for a 100 mile race (and find great pleasure in it) that I think of 26.2 miles as a piece of cake.  It's not.  Especially if you're racing it.  This is also why racing a 5k, to me, is miserable.  I'd rather jog all day in the woods than slam concrete and push my body for 20 minutes or a few hours.  I applaud those who are successful at the distances they run; road marathoners are a lot stronger in a sense that I am not.

Camaraderie is, at best, only a start to try to begin explaining the running world.  Everyone runs for different reasons - to stay in shape, to try something new, to fill an addiction, to lose weight, to reach a personal goal, to say they 'did it'.  Marathoners are of a different breed.  The Marathoner lies somewhere between shrieking muscles and fading vision; in the uncomfortable balance between work and play and a few levels higher on the intensity scale.  We flock to each other because we understand each other, even though it feels like no one else can comprehend why we do what we do.  The amount of pain that the runner goes through is unimaginable to people who do not run.  

Running takes away humility.  It's getting the shits in the middle of a run and having to stop abruptly and barely make it off the trail, it's having a breakdown in the middle of training and not being able to remember why you started, it's dry heaving until you feel like you're going to pass out, it's having to walk the uphills, it's having to walk the flats, it's having to lean on trees on the downhills.  We do this because we have to, because we want to.  There's nothing like pushing yourself through a race, feeling like you're on the edge of bonking (or, shit, maybe you have bonked), and hearing the faint sound of the finish line.  It's a combination of a fluttering heart, a swelling of tears and success just steps away.  It's seeing the people that are cheering for you, seeing the medal you're about to get, knowing that it's going to feel so amazing once your foot touches that rubber mat and your time is official.

A lot of runners at Boston didn't get that.  Instead, they got a tragedy.  They put in the work, the hours, the sweat, the inevitable tears and the blood (there's a lot of blood that goes with training).  I feel like my world has been attacked, and I wasn't even there.  My world has been attacked and I feel like I can't even handle it.  That is what the running community is like, and I honestly believe that you cannot understand it if you are not part of it.  You may sympathize, or even empathize, but it's impossible to really feel it - unless you're a runner.  I relate this to the Newtown shootings because I was devastated by the shootings, but I know I cannot really relate because I don't have a child; I can't wrap my head around losing a child because I don't have one, because I have not experienced that kind of parental love.  The most simple sport that the human can engage in, relying on nothing but, when it comes down to it, your own body working.  The Boston marathon is what so many runners strive for; it becomes the ultimate goal for most.  Runners traded in their hard work for blood not from their blisters but for spectators limbs being blown off and flesh ripped open; they traded finishing bells and whistles for emergency sirens; shouts of encouragement turned into shrieks of terror.  

In light of the tragedy people have pointed out the strong sense of humanity that came about as soon as the bombs went off.  Volunteers, spectators and racers went running to the victims, not knowing if another bomb was about to go off.  The immediate rush to those in need cannot help but give hope to the pessimist.  The first story I saw covered on CNN was about the race volunteers who leapt towards the wounded, and all I could think of was well yeah, duh, of course they did.  Because this is the kind of people  that race volunteers are.  They put others before themselves.  Do they like standing at an aid station for hours on end?  No, probably not.  How about during an ultra when it's cold and raining and windy?  No.  Do they like dealing with the jerks that don't even thank them because they're too involved with their own pain?  No.  Standing there filling my handheld while they are trying to keep warm by just standing there for at least 12 hours, offering me hot soup or a sandwich or ANYTHING.  I once had someone give me Oreos from their car because they could tell the last thing I wanted was more gu.  It's not that I expect race volunteers to run into a bomb scene, it's that I'm not surprised that they do.  This is the kind of people they are.  They are amazing.  

The bombings at Boston, like all tragedies, have brought the running community even closer - as if we could be any closer.  It's a reminder that not only are races not to be taken for granted, but nor is any step we take, nor any mile we clock.  Many questions will go unanswered, I'm sure, but they always do.  What will this mean for races to come?  How do you police 26 (or more) miles of spectators?  How do you make an open event safe?  I argue that you can't, and I'm sure someone is waiting to argue against me.  The most prestigious race of our sport has been attacked, and it will never be the same.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

just training in april

I have a longer, Wordsworthian post in the making, but for this week I am simply logging training for my own pleasure.  Sorry for the boringness.

Monday: 6 mile shakeout jog from the long weekend runs.  Was originally going to go out for 9, but cut the loop short at KL/WMich.  Just didn't feel like going much further.  Everything felt fine, but the weather was beating me up.
Tuesday: Absolutely nothing again.  I think.  To be quite honest I'm not completely sure.  I think this was the day that Katie and I were supposed to run, but I got up and it was raining and I said fuck that.  Over it.
Wednesday:  Lower body weight training.  Lighter weights and higher reps.  Wasn't the hardest workout, but I felt it a LOT more, for whatever reason, later.  Also did Urban Herd.  Ran to Urban Herd, which is usually 3 miles, but left a little early because I just felt like running and got 4 in.  Did 6 at Urban Herd.  I should have ran back, but I was incredibly tired and it had gotten cold.  Joe ran with me at Urban Herd; we did the Oakland route and it was... fun.  We fucked around on the long uphill, stopping and chasing each other, running backwards, running to the back of the pack to hang out with THE Rob Lillie.  By the time we hit the turnaround point my legs were so dead.  I guess this is understandable, considering the workout earlier that day.  Steve gave me a ride home and we laughed and laughed.  Sometimes I wish he wasn't a track/xc coach because I sure do miss running with him.
Thursday:  I got out of bed and fell to the ground.  My quads felt like tightened rubber bands and my knees just had decided to not work.  After picking myself up and rolling it out, I went out for a measly 3 mile jog.  It helped get the soreness out.
Friday:  Upper body weight training, no running miles.
Saturday: 20 miler with Lauren Maran.  We started from her house (on McCourtie) and ran down to the KRVT and out to Galesburg and back.  A flat road run sounded easy enough for a Saturday morning 20, but it was torture.  I am just NOT a road runner.  The long, straight pavement gets inside my head and it is just such a mental battle to me.  I can't help but wonder why ANYONE would run on the road for fun, but hats off to those of you that find it fun.  Your mind is stronger than mine in that way.  Anyway, the back half of the run it started to snow and rain, and we were running into the wind the entire time.  Impromptu water stop at Gazelle on the way back.  Rough run mentally and I wouldn't have done it without Lauren.  She's wonderful company, I hope we get to run together more often.
Sunday:  15 at Custer, 8 at Dirty Herd.  Super glad it cleared up for Dirty Herd because it was SO much fun.  Ran with Becca, Matt and Dave.  It was so fun running with Matt again, he is hilarious, and so is Becca.  I'm super happy she's getting into longer distance running because she would be a great long run partner.  She also works at Gazelle now.  It was a push to stay with the boys towards the end, but worth it.  The un part of comfortableness went away after about a half mile and it was a breezy finish.

Started the "eat clean train dirty" regimen this week and it's going quite well.  My refrigerator is full of mason jars and tupperware, and I spent hours today cooking and prepping for the week.  I don't eat anything I don't make myself, and I keep it fresh and healthy.  Also booze is eliminated which really kinda sucks.  But, I feel a lot better, I'm sleeping well, and my recovery time has been great.  Sorry for the "dear diary"format.  It won't be on the regular.

Monday, April 8, 2013

quietly observing in april

About six weeks ago I read Donna Haraway's A Manifesto for Cyborgs and I didn't really care for it.  I felt like it was your typical "humans are turning into machines" and "technology has gone too far" boring argument.  About a week after that an older coworker of mine (who happens to be undeservingly pretentious) was complaining that the younger generation is addicted to technology and we are incapable of interacting appropriately with one another because we have programmed ourselves to communicate technologically rather than in person.  At the time I rolled my eyes and walked away, but a few days later I was walking home from class, plugged into my phone, that this comment infuriated me.  I stopped dead in my tracks and took out my headphones and looked around me.  I was surrounded by people walking around campus and it was completely quiet.  Almost every single person had headphones in connected to their phone/ipod/whatever.  ...and what's wrong with this?  Nothing.

This started a "stop hating us for living the way we do" argument within me.  Yes, we feel empty without our phones.  Yes, we are more comfortable texting or e-mailing.  Our generation has created a lifestyle where we want answers.  We want answers, and we get them immediately.  The internet is not only our playground, it is part of us.  It's hard to find someone of the millennial generation (and the one younger, too - what are they called?  do they have a name yet?) that doesn't have a Facebooktumblrinstagrampinteresttwitter account.  I mean, Jesus, infants know how to "slide to unlock".  In fact, employers say it's odd if they come across an applicant that isn't part of social networking - 'what is wrong with them?'  We all have a small space on the internet that we pay so much attention to, create, edit, publish to, and update that it is us.  It is as much a part of us as is the food we eat, the liquid we drink, and the emotions that rave inside our veins.  It defines us, it explains us; it helps us understand ourselves and it helps us understand you.  ...Not to mention how much it helps us understand the world outside of us (which we forget exists, more often than not).  With a world like this you can't stop, you can't turn back and you most certainly cannot delete (and I mean literally, because 'everything stays on the internet').  I could not (cannot?) figure out why people are hating us for moving forward with technology.  You started progress and we are keeping it going, with everything from the world in our pockets to equality within the human race.

Then I watched Surviving Progress.

There is such a thing as 'bad progress'.  In fact, at one point in the documentary it describes our 'progress' as not progress but a broken record.  The Industrial Revolution was progress.  The iPhone 4S?  iPhone 5?  Not so much.  We're in a state where we are repeating and editing our progress that we once made.  We are not actually moving forward, we're stuck.  While we were busy defining and redefining our lives around machines (that are somehow getting smaller and smaller) we have thrown nature into reverse.  We are literally killing the world we live in, and no one gives a shit.  I better stop there for fear of becoming hypocritical.

I was on a run last Wednesday and it was sucking.  In fact, running had been sucking since January.  I was with the Urban Herd (group run) and we were going up Oakland and it was taking forever (of course).  Once at the top, though, all in one instant, everything clicked.  My hamstring pain left, my heart rate slowed, my feet moved faster and everything unlocked.  It was like one hundred little white dots bursting into three million little sparkles.  That is exactly what that moment was like, and I finally thought wow, I'm running again.  It's here, it's back, and I'm back.  Finally.  Effortlessly I surged to the front and found Joe again and he looked over and smiled and said "welcome back".  Somehow, the Truppster always knows.

That happening, I always wonder why people don't run.  But it's not for everyone, and I too hate it more often than I like to admit.  But there are moments like that where no one would trade it for the world, and it's worth it.  I also started to wonder how people would want to sit inside and watch TV instead of being outside.  We had a string of sunny, warm days proceeding that and I realized that, for the most part, they don't.  On my walk home from class there are teams playing all sorts of sports int he IM fields.  Not organized sports, not WMU sports, just whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want.  There are people who go for a run that don't regularly run.  There are people just sitting outside on the grass talking to each other, or reading, or on their computers, or on their Facebooktumblrinstagrampinteresttwitter account.  The point is, even though we are at one with our technology, as human beings we still (for the most part) cannot part with enjoying the outdoors.  Shit, I've seen many people drag their couches outside just to drink in the sun.  We still really like being outside.  We're not a lost cause.  Stop treating us like one.

++In Training for the hundo:

Like I've previously stated, shit is finally starting to click.  This past week I did lower body weight training on Monday, ran with Katie on Tuesday, upper body weight training on Wednesday, ran with Katie Thursday and then went straight to a spin class with Gayle after that [side note:  zumba is a damn joke, spinning is not.  It was more effective than a hill workout and in less time.  At one point I was pretty sure I was going to die.  Going again this week for sure.], Friday I took the day off, Saturday I took Cohen to the arbs and ran around for about 3-4 miles, and Sunday I did spur-of-the-moment 30 miler.  I did the first 20 at Custer, alone, and then went to Al Sabo and did 4 by myself, and waited for Dirty Herd to start at 4, where I did 6 more.  I've never been so mentally low before as I was after the first 4 miles at Al Sabo.  I almost just got in my car and went home, but I had a sneaky feeling Joe would pull me through the last 6.  I had a miniature breakdown, told him I can't fucking do it and who the fuck am I kidding with 100 miles?  He told me I could do it, and that I know I can do it, and I'm supposed to be feeling this way.  I just did a 30 mile run on a whim.  I had doubled my longest run since December (a 15 miler with Katie two weekends ago) and it was my longest run since September (which was the 50 mile).  The most important part is, that today, I'm not even sore.  I have a slight hamstring pain, but it's pretty dull.  Quads feel great, glutes feel great, calves feel fine.  My feet are getting the all-too-familiar pain from last fall, and I'm finally looking for new shoes.  Debating La Sportivas.  It will be awhile until I can afford them, so until then my busted-out 110s will have to suffice.  This is training.  And I had forgotten what a roller-coaster it is.