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Stalking 50

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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:51 pm

Back in the saddle again!

Well, maybe not in the way you might think. Maybe it's better to say, "back in the swoosh again."

I've got a new set of testers to beat up, so I'll be idling my Altras for a while so I can get the requested miles in these shoes. It'll be nice to mix things up a bit. It will also give me a bit of a distraction as I try to get some base-building accomplished for whatever adventure I happen to settle on next year. Smile
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  ounce on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:22 am

Put them on the llamas.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:50 am

ounce wrote:Put them on the llamas.


Hm. Nice. Ya got those in a size 6, with room for my two toes? I'm kind of a difficult fit.

Note. These are not "my" llamas. But they'll do in a pinch.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:36 pm

MAF Test: 6.33 miles (5 miles of actual test)

Weather: Mostly cloudy, cool, breezy. 43 degrees. Gear: *New* testers, shorts, long-sleeved T, jacket. Fuel: Oatmeal and coffee before. Water after 3 miles.

My training partner was unavailable and I have a new set of tester shoes, so this seemed like a good day for a MAF test. I wanted to see how the shoes fared on the track, and how my body is faring after my oft-interrupted training these past few months. If nothing else, I figured, it'd give me a good baseline to build from.

The morning was cloudy, breezy and moist, with clouds scudding across the sky overhead. It was pretty, in a rugged sort of way.

The test was an odd one. I was notably slower, but oddly consistent. I did my first two miles at nearly the same speed, slowed about 20 seconds for the third mile -- but then stayed right at about that pace for the rest of the run. Odd.

Another thing that seemed odd was that it seemed to take FOREVER while I was out there. I wasn't going *that* slow, but it felt like time was crawling. Such a huge difference between that and other times, when I glance down at my Garmin and marvel that two hours went by and I barely noticed it.

My HR wasn't exactly perfect - the wind didn't help in that area - but it was close enough for this time.

Walked first 5, last 6 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 133

Here's the chart for you number fans:



As you can see, there's been a pretty significant fall-off since the week before my ultra. I wish I knew if that was attributable to my recovery from the MH50 getting interrupted by a couple of viruses and a jammed toe, or possibly to the long-term impact of going to the well during the 50 itself. (If a 50-miler wipes me out for the rest of the year, a shorter distance next time might end up being the better choice.) Trouble is, it's impossible to know. So I'll keep playing it by ear - er, or by body. Or something. You get the idea. Smile
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Bah! I was going to run today, but one of the lymph nodes in my neck got swollen and sore last night (as in, I could feel it throb when I went up the stairs, or bent over). Totally without warning. Weird. I'm assuming my body is trying to fight off yet another virus, so I opted to rest today and see if I could let my immune system get the upper hand. Sheesh! This has been quite the autumn for bugs.

One small consolation is that my body fighting off the bug might be one explanation for the slower MAF times...
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  ounce on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:44 pm

I would think you're as recovered from Mt Hood as you're going to get.  13 weeks removed from it, or so?  It just doesn't seem like recovery would take longer than 2 months.  Maybe not.  Maybe your body is playing possum (best I can come up with).
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:52 pm

ounce wrote:I would think you're as recovered from Mt Hood as you're going to get.  13 weeks removed from it, or so?  It just doesn't seem like recovery would take longer than 2 months.  Maybe not.  Maybe your body is playing possum (best I can come up with).
Alita's theory us the 50 lowered my resistance enough to catch various bugs, while the ankle battering during the race and smashed toe afterward is just bad luck. Very possible.

At any rate, I am not yet signed up for anything, so there's no reason not to rebuild naturally and see what happens. I'll definitely be doing more ultras, but I may need to sneak up on them again. Wink
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:26 pm

Mark B wrote:Soo... it occurs to me that the theme of this blog has just exhausted itself.

I successfully managed to sneak up on both a 50-miler and my 50th birthday. (Well, as much as one can manage either.)

That's all well and good (actually, it's fantastic) … but now what? New blog? Keep going? Hm... scratch 

-Posted Oct. 31
Well, it took a few weeks to realize it, but sagas like this are better with a definite ending rather than just petering out. 

So, even though it's overdue, I'm wrapping up this blog today. It's been a lot of fun, but it's time for new adventures.

Thanks for all your support. See you again soon!

-Mark
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  ounce on Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:36 pm

Mark B wrote:
Mark B wrote:Soo... it occurs to me that the theme of this blog has just exhausted itself.

I successfully managed to sneak up on both a 50-miler and my 50th birthday. (Well, as much as one can manage either.)

That's all well and good (actually, it's fantastic) … but now what? New blog? Keep going? Hm... scratch 

-Posted Oct. 31
Well, it took a few weeks to realize it, but sagas like this are better with a definite ending rather than just petering out. 

So, even though it's overdue, I'm wrapping up this blog today. It's been a lot of fun, but it's time for new adventures.

Thanks for all your support. See you again soon!

-Mark
Dear Mr.                                  Mark B                                        ,
Your contract with 365runners.com states you must have a blog of 43 pages, before starting a new blog.  Check the fine print It's there.  It's just really, really small.

Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.


Your pals at 365runners.com
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:11 pm

ounce wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Mark B wrote:Soo... it occurs to me that the theme of this blog has just exhausted itself.

I successfully managed to sneak up on both a 50-miler and my 50th birthday. (Well, as much as one can manage either.)

That's all well and good (actually, it's fantastic) … but now what? New blog? Keep going? Hm... scratch 

-Posted Oct. 31
Well, it took a few weeks to realize it, but sagas like this are better with a definite ending rather than just petering out. 

So, even though it's overdue, I'm wrapping up this blog today. It's been a lot of fun, but it's time for new adventures.

Thanks for all your support. See you again soon!

-Mark
Dear Mr.                                  Mark B                                        ,
Your contract with 365runners.com states you must have a blog of 43 pages, before starting a new blog.  Check the fine print It's there.  It's just really, really small.

Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.


Your pals at 365runners.com
Dear Pals,

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that my contract stipulates 43 pages of blogging, but I have invoked the "this blog is even boring me now" emergency escape clause found in Section Z, Subsection Z(zzz), also known as the "Mercy on the Reader Rule."

Be assured, I will endeavor to exceed the standard 43-page agreement on my next foray into blogging and thus make myself eligible for the lucrative "above and beyond" bonus that, alas, has yet to be collected by a member of the 365 blogger team.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Mark B
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  ounce on Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:01 pm

Mark B wrote:
ounce wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Mark B wrote:Soo... it occurs to me that the theme of this blog has just exhausted itself.

I successfully managed to sneak up on both a 50-miler and my 50th birthday. (Well, as much as one can manage either.)

That's all well and good (actually, it's fantastic) … but now what? New blog? Keep going? Hm... scratch 

-Posted Oct. 31
Well, it took a few weeks to realize it, but sagas like this are better with a definite ending rather than just petering out. 

So, even though it's overdue, I'm wrapping up this blog today. It's been a lot of fun, but it's time for new adventures.

Thanks for all your support. See you again soon!

-Mark
Dear Mr.                                  Mark B                                        ,
Your contract with 365runners.com states you must have a blog of 43 pages, before starting a new blog.  Check the fine print It's there.  It's just really, really small.

Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.


Your pals at 365runners.com
Dear Pals,

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that my contract stipulates 43 pages of blogging, but I have invoked the "this blog is even boring me now" emergency escape clause found in Section Z, Subsection Z(zzz), also known as the "Mercy on the Reader Rule."

Be assured, I will endeavor to exceed the standard 43-page agreement on my next foray into blogging and thus make myself eligible for the lucrative "above and beyond" bonus that, alas, has yet to be collected by a member of the 365 blogger team.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Mark B
Dear Mr.                                   Mark B                                ,
We wish others were as considerate as you, e.g. the snoozer on 35, 5, and 2.  Jeez!  He just goes on and on and on and ON!!!

Thank you for your reply.  Best of luck on attaining the bonus. Laughing Laughing Laughing 


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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Julie on Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:48 pm

OK I didn't see a new blog yet so posting here. I hope you are feeling better by now or at least improved. Cute llamas!
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:58 pm

Julie wrote:OK I didn't see a new blog yet so posting here. I hope you are feeling better by now or at least improved. Cute llamas!
Thanks on the llamas. They're stand-ins for my regulars. Smile

I'm actually not feeling that much better -- swollen glands hurt -- but I'm sure I'll either fight off whatever this is or finally get flattened by it. I'm trying to do a little bit of walking and maybe some running, though it's not much. It's looking like a sub-theme at the start of whatever new blog I come up with is going to have to be a fitness reboot. Not exactly happy about that, but what can you do? It is what it is.

I may also try to not get so specific with the blog's theme. Story arcs are great, but they tend to require an ending.
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One last thing...

Post  Mark B on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:27 am

Okay, I know I technically ended this blog, but I just had the damnedest conversation. I have to share it.

Here at the paper, we have a janitor who has had far more than his share of bad luck. One of his biggest problems was severe vision issues that required surgery to both eyes -- but not until struggling through a couple of years of fits and starts before it could be completed. He could hardly see before. Now, it's like the curtains have opened for him.

It's a great story, but the amazing part is how upbeat he's been through it all. How he's done exactly what he needed to do, no matter how difficult, to get through this and see the world around him.

He's an inspiration.

Some evenings, we chat, as I distract him from his rounds emptying waste baskets and recycling bins around the office. Tonight, we talked a bit about his progress, how happy he is with how it's turning out, and what it took to endure the years-long struggle: patience.

That never hadn't occurred to me until he said it. But it makes perfect sense. Many others in his situation would have thrown up their hands in frustration and given up, and though he had every reason to do the same -- he didn't. 

"It's like running a race," he said. "I might be the last person to cross the finish line, but I'm going to cross it. Every other person might end up finishing ahead of me, but who cares? I finished."

He doesn't know what happened to me at Mount Hood, so he probably doesn't know how much he surprised me with those words. Actually, "surprised" doesn't do it justice. I was thunderstruck.

For months now, I've thought about tenacity, humility, courage, faith, strength, weakness and a million other things as I've tried to understand what happened to me out on the PCT. But one possibility that never occurred to me, until he mentioned the idea tonight, was the simple loss of patience.

Patience? Was that it? Was that all

I'm starting to think the answer is yes. And that it's okay. And that's a very good thing.

-fin-
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  ounce on Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:45 am

He must not have watched "Kung Fu", Grasshopper.  I might also add 'acceptance'.  Patience is important, too, but little thought of.  I guess I couldn't have tried marathons as much as I have without patience.
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