Friday, September 27, 2013

Long Run. Two Hours and Fifteen Minutes. Three Bears Trail and Beyond.

 I can't say that I knew what I was getting into.  I followed Three Bears Trail and most of it looked a lot like this.  In total I climbed 2,313 feet.  Nearly half a mile of going up.  But the air was clean today and the wind had a pleasant bite that reminded me that autumn creeps up regardless of personal concern. I could have used something to block the wind. Instead I embraced the climbs, walked seldom but with my pride intact.  Today's long run assayed my abilities.  And I feel I passed well.  My legs don't ache more than they should, my back even less.  My breath was collected for most of this run as well.  Training certainly is advancing well, and with it confidence in myself.
Somethings understand what it means to be out of place.  For all his romantic legacy, Thoreau believed man had no spot this high in nature.  But, me and that ball, we see things a bit more liberally, understand that height is merely correlated with time.
I had to take the color out.  The light was too cruel, too bleak and too flat to allow the boldness of offering relief to the ocular palate.  Imagine a dream where falling incites not only fear but curiosity and this well received meadow is where you learn to trust.

Here's a Link To Today's Garmin Connect

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HIll Training. Fifty-Five Minutes. Fort Boise.

 It was a good day to judge the worst Seattle could offer.  At five the temperature peaked in the low 50's and the rain fell diagonally from the sky.  I gained some confidence knowing that the cold and wet are surmountable.  But, the path was far from easy.  The earth turned slick and my feet slipped from beneath me as I worked calmly up the ascending hills.  Only once did I come to my knees.  From the top, light broke through clouds and the city was washed of all its ashen thoughts.  I fear my own will linger a tad longer, though I do have greater control of my lungs and the path from where I came seems  less to do with the dry heat of summer.
One is where I enter; the other is where I leave.  Both potted and protected by the cold sting of the mother herself.  It not for the weak those in power would not bother to wake each morning.  But, the night is when the forgotten belong to the earth. The most of us; the ones who could have become anything if not for all those other things, all those other people, feeding themselves from inherited limbs numbed by the repetition of time.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pace Run. Forty-Five Minutes. Boise Greenbelt.

Another run jammed into an hour break from work.  Lately, I've been reading marathon training tips from my subscription to Runner's World.  The publication as a whole I find fairly commercial.  I get this feeling that most of the articles are either directly or indirectly pushing me to buy some product in order to improve my splits, run healthier, or dress more appropriately.  I don't really care for any of these tips as mostly I like to run in only my shorts and don't really care about personal records.  However, one article on the many variant marathon training plans available guided me to a single conclusions:  It is very important to run very fast about once a week.  Today I ran faster than I have in a long time.  While my pace was not the fastest pace I've ever been physically capable of (spring 2012 I was in crazy good condition), for my current fitness level, I ran like the proverbial wind.  Running very fast is interesting psychologically.  Every stride away from my work, every step toward the turn around point, is one I know I'll have to take to get back.  I find myself thinking that I'm too far down the greenbelt to be able to turn around and head back.  But, as soon as I hit the half way point and turn around, my mentality changes.  Each step is easier to push myself harder, because I know that the faster I run, the sooner I'll make it home.  Feeling gains in my confidence, I become comfortable with the pace, take joy in running my fastest, and appreciate that the way back home is easier than the road leading from it.

Long Run. One Hour and Thirty Minutes. Boise Greenbelt.

The thing about training for a marathon is that you have to run.  Regardless of how much sleep you got or what you have to do with your day, you have to get out there and run. My schedule at work has shifted to pandemonium and has had me working ten to thirteen hour days for five days in a row now.  Thus, I've had to squeeze my runs into breaks at work.  This certainly isn't ideal for a long run, because...tired.  Last Sunday I had a two hour break from work, so I went out, without my camera, and logged a shorter long run just so I could stay active.  The run was pleasant but seemed much more like work, due to not being able to stop and take photos.  The run was pressured and I had to continually check my watch to make sure I'd make it back to work in time to work my second shift.  This was not a glamorous run.  There was very little romantic about it.  But, that's the nature of Marathon training.  I have to run, whether I have time or not.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Free Run. Forty Minutes. Downtown Boise and The North End.

Yesterday's run was a bit informal. The weather was outstanding, once again, as each morning a fresh crispness is renewed and brings back memories of nostalgic falls past. I sandwiched my run into a free space I had during a break from work, which allowed me to run through downtown, an area I don't typically run through. The capital building looked elegant backed by the bluest september sky, and  groups of living veterans from every war gathered as brother at the capitol steps for National POW/MIA recognition day. The rest of the city is peppered with impromptu chain link fences and orange cones.

 Boise is ever changing. It's facade is hardly recognizable as the city I first moved to eleven years ago. As the expansion rises, I comfortably do not feel displaced by the shifting momentum. This city feels like an old friend. Someone I once loved dearly, but time as placed it's temperate hand between us, and without realization we have changed. I am different. Boise is different. But, after our respective morphologies, we have greeted each other with a grin and silently agreed that what was once truth holds strong today.

If downtown is a lifelong friend, then the north end is like the lover who never tarried from your side. Unchanged and unadulterated, this mature neighborhood welcomes you with quite streets canopied with late summer foliage, trees as old as the houses themselves.  It's nice that somewhere so experienced can present itself as new on curious mornings when running is all there is to do.

My training is going very well.  Each day I feel stronger and more confident.  Seattle looms as an epic quest waiting for me to prove my worth.  I have more pains then my younger self was accustomed to.  My feet hurt in peculiar ways.   My hip tightens up like rubber bands before they snap.  But, my mental strength remains.  Each day awaits with new challenges, new miles to be bested.  And, if this weather holds and turns itself into the gracious Autumn, training ought to be a sinch.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mid-week Long Run. Fifty Minutes. Barber Park Trail.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the rain.  Look how low the river runs.  Maybe it’s the farmer in me, but I fear we’ll never make it another summer. Golden and sun-kissed grasses aren't as romantic as they seem.  In December it will rain; Seattle will see to that.  I don’t need an almanac or meteorological estimations.   It will rain because that’s the way it works.  Always here and never there, creating envy amongst the masses.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rest Day.

The realities of running a marathon are beginning to settle on me.  The past few weeks of training have been very novel, fun, exciting.  I've been amped up on the new blog, which has really helped the time go quickly, and the weather has been extraordinary.  But, this morning I actually sat down and wrote out my training schedule, and though Dec. 1st seems like a long ways off; I have a lot of miles to run between now and then.

For this marathon, I am choosing to base all of my runs off time and not distance.  I feel that basing the training on distance (i.e. five mile run, ten mile run, etc), creates a more competitive aspect to the training.  It creates unnecessary boundaries and barriers.  For example: Today I have to run eight miles.  It doesn't matter if i'm ill or slightly hurt.  It doesn't matter if I run it in fifty minutes of and hour and twenty minutes.  I'm hoping that by using time based runs much of the pressure that comes with running long distances will be alleviated.  It's easier for me mentally to enter into a run knowing I have an exact amount of time to cover.  It takes away the compulsive desire to monitor distance and paces.  

This style of training eliminates all goal times.  Some runners have defined times at which they want to finish a distance.  My last marathon I had a goal time of under four hours.  I knew exactly the slowest average pace I could keep.  I spent the first 1/2 of the race thinking that I had to do better, go faster in order to finish my goal.  At about mile 14 I had a mental switch though.  I realized finishing a marathon was a good enough goal.  This is the approach I'm taking with me into Seattle.  I want to have fun training.  I want to enjoy the transition of summer to Autumn.  I want to log some good miles in the chill crisp october air.  I want to work hard, feel accomplished, and come Seattle i want to have the most enjoyable time possible when pushing your body to pretty unnatural distances.  

My biggest concern, as is with most runners, is staying healthy throughout the fall.  Already, I've been having some strange pains in my right hip.  After my mid-week distance run last week, it felt as though my femur was sliding away from the acetabulum.  I assume it's a ligament or tendon I stretched and pulled a little too much.  I have no idea which one it could be, and it really doesn't matter, the treatment is all the same.  Mostly, I just have to be very ginger with the joint.  Do some resistance training my evenings and do lots of proper stretching.  I've pretty much babied this part of my body for the past four days, and already, it is feeling much better.  However, I have a two hour run this sunday, a two hour and twenty minute run the week after that...etc.  If it comes to the point that I must take a week off, then I will take a week off.  But, hopefully, I can just care for it well, focus on proper form on my runs, and heal alright in the mean time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recovery Run. Thirty Minutes. South Boise Village.

 I was pretty worried that my body wouldn't heal.  Worried I took too much on, put too many places behind me.  We all want to recapture the past, to live within idyllic walls that never stood.  Yesterday I feared it was all over.  My hip had pains that I'd never experienced.  But form and perseverance combined with focused stretching and so, once again, the miles rolled on by.
This is my favorite house in the south boise village.  I've seen the older couple that lives here, I've told them I love their home.  I like to pretend it's the only place they've lived--that they've modified an advent calendar; replaced Santa with temperate climates, and each day over chilled drinks they celebrate a day closer to retirement.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Long Run. One Hour and Forty Minutes. Boise Greenbelt.

The important thing to remember is that you did your best.  It's not every day that villains storm the deck and gallantry is given with each firm push of foot leaving land.  The other important thing is that it takes work to get here. Be proud that you can hardly carry on and wear your beggars clothes for everyone to see.

On pristine days the sore hips and constant impact matters less to my weary feet.  It's not hard to push on, mile after revealing mile.
A pleasant turn of seasons.  The lush greens we held so high are finally leaving.  That's how we want things--secure in the past.  It's too much work to recategorize things like obtuse turns on elevated land.  They always belong in the do-not-cross pile.  But the danger is clear: assume today will be like yesterday and tomorrow all the same.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rest Day.

It's been two days since I last ran and I feel my mental stability has taken a hit for it.  There are as many reasons to run as their are types of runners.  I'm sure given a poll to the population individualization would occur.  But, all answers, I'm hypothesizing (fairly quickly at that too) could be grouped into two main categories:  mental strength and physical strength.  I'm certainly on the mental side.  I run in order to keep my anxieties and hyper fixations at bay.  Without running my mind has the tendency to turn towards delusions--mostly harmless common place human neurotics.  But, if I ignore my mind for too long and don't run for extended periods of time, then these infantile delusions can become problematic in my life.    Running makes me a stronger, better person.  It allows me to organize all misplaced information in my life.

But, I can never ignore the physical side of running.  If I did, I wouldn't be able to run: duh.  With athletic training, the building and destroying of muscle, comes defined rest days.  Days when your body is allowed to rebuild without breaking down.  It's an awful paradox that as my physical side waxes, my mental state wanes.  Running is drug definitionally.  It releases compounds, neurotransmitters, in doses and levels that do not exist in a resting, or contemporarily natural, state.  Wether it's caffeine or benzodiazepines, the more you introduce your nervous system to these state altering compounds, the more your body will expect it.  Not running is a kin to withdrawal.  It's bullshit and it sucks.

The plus side of my Saturday rest day is the gluttony I allow myself.  Tomorrow, I will increase my weekly long run.  Tomorrow I will run for one hour and forty minutes, about the distance of a half marathon.  To do this strongly, my body will needs its glycogen reservers maxed out. Which means by lunch today I will need to have consumed plenty of complex carbohydrates (and really, guilt free consumption of processed ones too).  This excitement makes rest days bearable.  Tomorrow I get to do the one thing on this planet that makes me happier, freer than anything else.  I get to spend two hours (rounding up here) running, observing, existing, living.

The Lord commanded that on the seventh day we rest.  In my childhood home, this was to appreciate the love around you.  But, I am not a christian, I do not believe in creation; but I do believe in meditative observance.  So, on the Sixth day I'll amend this law to fit:  find a place for the energy, allocate addictions to positive areas, get a damn fine nights sleep, and in the morning do what you love.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pace Run. One Hour and Five Minutes. Fort Boise.

 Pace Runs are like storms on the horizon, they truly aren't that bad.  Yes, I can never really allow myself to catch my breath, and depending on how you look at it, my legs ache more than they should. But that's always the point, isn't it?  Storms loom and coyly suggest darker rooms for darker deeds.  Eventually they will win out.  My future shadow assures me that my pace run isn't going well.  He reminds me just how quickly 365 days can pass.  Like that, he says, snapping his fingers for accentuation.
Do not break form, The Lord descended the skies just to tell me.  I say, this is where all roads lead anyway, even migratory patters rest here long.  Do not break form, he reiterates.

I have this dream where three bears follow me out of the woods.  They keep near-by whether sipping the last milk from a sugar laden bowl or topping off the fuel to my car.  They aren't the most pleasant bunch, adorned with reckless chatter of how it used to be.  I tell them: Grow up. Get over it.  But still they persist.  And right beside me, out of place in a desert, they are logging many miles, making many things right.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Easy Run. Thirty-Five Minutes. Fort Boise.

Today is an easy run; not is spirit but in form.  I'm not supposed to bring the pace up.  I'm not supposed to go too far.  There's a problem I've had.  Going too far. Going too fast--chasing the shadow of a future self.  He calls back, "I've never been certain of the anachronistic definition.  Some days just aren't that good." I know his type and refuse his jest.   Today is an easy day, I'm going to chase it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rest Day.

I'm drafting this blog for several good personal reasons which mostly involve writing as an exercise for my mind.  It's a habit I've never tarried far from in my life; however, these past two years have been my lowest creative output.  As testified earlier, this stagnancy mainly came from the mental switch to empiricism and the demands of dry university work.

This blog has another purpose aside from the autocentric.  It's meant to companion my training as I prepare for the Seattle Marathon on Dec. 1st.  While I am one of the few who will never say that running is boring ( I don't run with headphones or entertainment of any nature), I will say that training for a marathon can certainly be redundant.  In May of 2012 I completed the Idaho Famous Potato Marathon in 3 hours and 48 Minutes. This is my one and only marathon.  Training for the event went very well and my physical limits were never pushed until the race day itself, when I hurt so bad for months that I abandoned running all together.  

This time around I'd like to do it better.  Better not faster.  I could certainly run this event faster than the first if I wanted to...but I'm not certain I want to.  I will run it as fast as pleasure allows.  I want to enjoy the event. Thus the importance of the blog.  I want to track my training.  To log mile after mile in the unique head-space that distance running creates.  I want to capture more than just times and personal records.  I want to put to paper (as the expression goes) the experience as a whole, those individual thoughts, moments, words, and faces that come to your head like herald gifts that don't evolve or change or ask for any greater understanding.  They pose bare before you, begging for your complete understanding of the minutest details. It is good to appreciate the micro before the macro comes back to haunt you.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Recovery Run. Twenty Five Minutes. The Bench.

Through the city today to break apart the lactic in my legs.  At two, the heat wasn't so bad but the light was.  I've chased it for so long, wondering if we'd ever just be friends.  Today nothing amazing can happen, not with albinoed species wishing for a cure from sterilization.

Long Run. One Hour and Twenty Minutes. Fort Boise.

Humanity is one of my favorite aspects of running. I have spent much of my life living alone and reclusive; enjoying the typical introvert lifestyle. In stores, I avoid eye contacts with strangers, do my best to to be concise in social exchanges and feel a comforting sense of relief when moving on. However, whichever element that may cause such a switch in perspective (extra vitamin D from the sun, increased levels of serotonin which up my happiness, or that all encompassing runner's high that leaves me in a state of momentary awareness) when running, i love to return smiles from other trail runners, love the feeling of connectedness as we both work tirelessly to overcome some personal goal, love seeing that I am not alone in enjoying all that movement has to offer.

Drydaho. This high desert sees little rain. Dried sage sprawls across the miles of rolling hills. Much of my state looks this way.  Endless lifeless miles. We shouldn't really live here. This city shouldn't really be called the city of trees. It is in hospitable with its wild seasons of despair. If I didn't love it so much I'd leave. Find a place that calls itself temperate. Find a place willing to host more than the arid hanger-oners. Perhaps that's the secret to most things, hanging-on. In consideration of the natural order, those who get ahead are less likely to be defeated by the meek. But here in this land that I never really wanted, I can see the value of persistence in survival. I run in this desert and spread witness of the efficacious nature of never staying down. I will ape them. I will remove the excess from my veins, turn hope to the coming drought, and never again push for the greenest pastures, streams that feed fertile planes.

I hate to admit it, but perhaps this is the home stretch. I've followed many roads to many places. I've taken tea with tramps and nomads.  Shared wine in the living plazas where queens beheaded men and great artists staged their escapes. From here all things must wander. There is no station for those that believe tomorrow isn't decided, that time still ticks, and love lost today is easily gained tomorrow. My heart doesn't beat any faster. Not anymore. I've trained it all these years to be predictable, dependable, to be the reason for falls platonic embrace.

A moment of Pracitcality

When talking about running I self identify with this wonderfully concise and identifiable web comic by The Oatmeal. I run in order to enter the void.  I run to exist as the greatest buddhavista do: Entirely in the Moment (and also to justify being entirely lazy afterward).  With my mind slowed, void of thought, the only thing to do is appreciate the world around.  There is beauty lying everywhere, of this I am sure.

This blog is meant to combine my three greatest talents: Running, Writing, and Photography.  On a long run I'll admire for minutes a cloud or tree or any other object (animate or inanimate).  I have begun carrying my girlfriends Nikon Coolpix 310 when out running.  While, the image quality offered is far below my DSLR, the portability was a necessary sacrifice.  I will take photos of apparitions in the void. I will come home, edit these photos,  and write whatever may come from the experience.

The concept is simple, here's to the execution being true.

An Introduction

Initiate third blog. Personal satisfaction has been quite elusive for me over the past year and a half. With foolish haste I entered back into university after a specter like existence in Korea. I had wanted to study clinical neurospychology. I wanted to do something meaningful, important, greater than my humble roots of calloused hands from late fall harvests. I willfully and quite easily ignored the fact that this tract has a 5% acceptance rate and I had five years worth of undergrad work to complete in order to become a competitive candidate.

 Over these few years I had to set the artist aside. I had to become a scientist. I attached my self to empiricism and forgot the intangible, the collective, the importance of the wind. I also quit running. Call it lack of time, or undue stress. Maybe it can be accredited to the fact that with a new love came a new lifestyle of morning coffee and cigarettes. It was a somber year at best and to say I lost myself would be an understatement. I was meek and attached my deflated hubris to studies I couldn't grasp and molecules I cared less about each passing day.

 The summer was hot and burned the toxins from my body. This blog is meant to be my rising. Born a new, I have something different to say now. My former blog A Poetic Phase no longer fits the man I am. That blog was born of hungover mornings with sipped coffee and inspirational friends. This blog is dedication to the void. The ephemeral state of mind that comes from distance running. A state where time truly drops away, the physical world bares itself before me, and my mind is not handicapped by the future nor the past. I hope this blog to be plentiful; because in order to arrive at the man I want to be, I have miles to wander.