Sunday, July 18, 2010

The basics

I had psyched myself up all week to write about memorial day's 60 miles of misery, some of my thoughts about pacing Mike Buchanan at western states, and last weekend's Cuyamaca 3 peaks 50k + Elvis TJ half marathon. Maybe I will still get to that at some point, but for now, I figure I need to just start at the basics.

What makes a good weekend different from a not-so-special weekend? For me, it is the amount of that special ingredient that is so absent from my life during the week. I remember when I was younger, there were so many first experiences that just about every weekend was an adventure. I have vivid memories of my first trip to Makapu'u beach, my first surfboard, my first 3 set tennis match, my first car, my first bike, my first day at school, the first time I ran with my dad before work. There were all sorts of crazy adventures waiting for me around every corner, and I used to be excited to get up at 5am so I could start off my day full of adventure at the hospital cafeteria.

As I got older, particularly in my college years, sleeping later became a welcome luxury. Even today, there is something fantastically indulgent about waking up after the sun has burned off the marine layer, and then taking a leisurely stroll through the morning's dog walk.

But, when I ask myself what really drives me, what gets me going, it's adventurous days like today, when getting up at 3am seems worthwhile.

Jumping back almost 2 years, I should mention that I paced my pal Rod at Angeles Crest from about 60 to about 80. Today, thanks to Keith who did 100% of the driving, and Drew + Dave who set up the most full featured single-car aid station, I had the opportunity to relive some of that experience today. It is interesting how a patch of fire road can bring back memories, but it certainly did out there today for me. It is also amazing how different your perspective is when your water bottles are full compared to when they are empty. And when I say that, I mean metophorically and literally.

It was a long day (3am to 5pm) and I got to meet a bunch of fantastic people out there. The highlight was the last section down Newcomb, which Rod ran fairly well if I remember. I decided to do a bit of Mike Buchanan 2-hours-to-the-river type running since most of the rest of the day was spent moving slowly, so I bombed down through a bunch of poison oak (can't wait to see what that looks like tomorrow) then spent a few moments alone soaking in the stream. After the last bridge, I hit the road for the final half mile and came across two not-particularly-svelte young ladies walking. Actually, when I came to the larger of the two, she was bent over in a way that made me think she was planning to hike a football to me or something, while looking at me running towards her. As I passed, she jumped in with me and caught up to her friend. They both tagged along for a bit, 3 of us running up a fairly steep (but paved) hill to Chauntry Flat. eventually they peeled off for a rest, or maybe a cigarette, who knows, but it was a pretty cool way to end the run.

Afterwards we grabbed some pulled pork sandwiches and listened to some cover songs by the local country band while the park rangers did a little dancing. All told, a very unusual and adventure-filled day, and one that satisfied my basic needs (water, food, exercise, and adventure).

1 comment:

  1. I totally get that waking up early for a great adventure thing...