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Homeward Bound...?

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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  ounce on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:18 am

Seems like in ultra training that any time on the feet is beneficial.  So, catch as catch can seems appropriate.

And it would seem to get your nutrition in place is also appropriate, #5.

Aren't there hunting gaming apps for that X of yours?  Maybe look in the....X Files for alien gaming apps.  The Truth Is Out There.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Oz - #1 now.  Been there for ~36hr and it's driving me crazy.  I'm just gonna e-mail the RD if I don't get in and ask if I can run it for shits and giggles, unofficially.

---

Small change of plans this weekend thanks to it still being shitty winter (cold) and today being shitty daylight savings time (dark).  Since the race began at 8am after the time change, that meant leaving the house at 6am would really be 5am for my body and that just wasn't about to happen.  Plus it was below freezing at that time.  

For real, DC, it's March.  Where are my AM 40s/PM 60s?  Oh right, they're in April.  Hopefully.

I reaaaaally can't complain too much though, because I PR'ed in the 10k this chilly morning.  The plan was to go out and run 2 miles at 6:45, 2 at 6:30, then 2.2 at "whatever felt right."  After the first mile came in at 6:30, I knew we were in for a quicker day.  Actually, I knew that after my warm-up and strides, since the last one was sizzling and felt really, really smooth.

So I ran 6:30, 6:23, 6:24, hit 3.1 on the watch right around 20min and realized I could break 40, 6:12, 6:10, 6:04(!), 5:42 for the last .3 (I ran slightly long + 1% for the GPS gods) = 39:25.  That's a 39 second PR on what is best described as a 90-95% effort progression run.  10.2mi including warm-up/cool-down.

Pretty stoked about this, pretty stoked about how my legs held up (left shin/calf only very slightly niggly in the last .75), wondering what's in store for Cherry Blossom.  But first, probably that 50k I'm on the waiting list for.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:25 pm

Nice PR!  Don't you love it when a good run/race sneaks up on you with less than optimum preparation. Running

Good luck on your wait list...
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:06 pm

Woohoo - nice 10K.  Now go for that 36:59 - you can guess what that is.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:03 pm

Mom -  pale I shot for 37:37 (6:00 pace) a few years ago and got a groin injury maybe 2-3 weeks from race day.  Sub-37 is at least a year out.  Although I've decided that I might spend a year trying to best all your PRs.  It'd be a damn good challenge.

---

So we've got a 50k tomorrow, and I've got the last remnants of a hangover today.  Hurrah for work functions with open bars (and very all-out drinkers).  I didn't even have THAT much, but the lack of dinner probably didn't help.  2 Advil and 6 miles this morning took care of most of it.  Just trying to keep the electrolytes coming in and topping off the glycogen tank for tomorrow.

Looks like it'll be a fast field, so I'm shooting for top-10, which should be ~6:30.  If it's a GREAT day, I think 5:30 is in the cards which should be podium.  I know, huge gap there, but that's the difference between 9min effort and 11min effort when adjusted for elevation change (the trail is technical enough that these are actually probably closer to 8/10min effort).  I'm sure my legs will make it very clear during the climb that opens the race (4mi w/ 1600').
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:10 am

Welp, there goes my brain forgetting that we're pacing and not racing.  Took 4th overall, which I'm calling "first mortal," since the entire podium beat me by 1hr+/-5min or so.  Winner was a guy I actually know on a Strava-friendly level who set a new course record by over 6 minutes.  Fucking incredible.  He's got a 50 coming up in 3 weeks and I'm pretty sure he's going to win it.  Other two guys were with him until mile 22 and finished just a few minutes back.  

Enough about the elites, though.  Those of us who aren't quite ready for the limelight had a pretty good race.  The first climb was a nice opener to the day - long and steady w/ 4mi @ 8% average, just on that line of running vs. hiking.  I had spotted one of the "big VA names" at the start and used him as a rabbit to the top before passing him shortly into the descent.  At this point, yes, I wondered if I was working too hard, too early, but man the legs felt great.  

The good news is, the legs never cracked.  The bad news is, I all but completely abandoned the intention of getting solid foods in me during the race and mostly stuck to gels to allow myself to keep running.  To be fair, I came into the first aid station (mile 10.3) in 4th and the next 3 were cruising in as I was leaving, so I had to keep moving for the whole psychological effect of being out of sight.  

The top of the 2nd climb is an absolutely beautiful panorama - Signal Knob - which I spent roughly 3 seconds glancing at as I passed it.  Like I said, race mode.  I was focused.  At this point, I ate a granola bar that sat alright with my stomach, but I was starting to get to that empty-stomach-clenchy-crampy point... and this was only mile 16.  

Second descent follows the same trails as the first for 2ish mi, during which I was noticeably less sure-footed and strong.  Lots more rock kicking and poorly placed steps.  Got a little frustrated just wanting some goddamn groomed single-track, but tried to push it out of mind and keep going.  

I rolled into the 2nd aid station coming off of a pretty low point of nausea (stomach very much in need of something solid) and feeling great to be on the other side of it.  So great, in fact, that after asking and realizing that the top 3 were uncatchable (according to the results, they were 42min ahead of me at this point), I just filled my bottles and took off... without any food.  Dumb.  

That last 9 mile loop was probably the hardest I've ever had to commit to a race.  It's roughly 2mi to the start of a bitch of a climb (850' in 1mi but it gets steeper the entire time), but even that 2mi is chock full of 15' STEEP rollers.  My pace had slowed (11min/mi average until this point, now running 13:xx), my head was getting fuzzy, emotions pretty unstable...  It took pretty much every self-talk strategy I know to convince myself to not turn around - especially knowing what was ahead.  

That climb.  Oh God, that climb.  Lots of small steps, "keep moving forward," mini panic attacks due to how low I was starting to feel.  A godsend near the top as I passed a family hiking down.  "I'm near the top, right?"  "Yeah, you're almost there."  According to my watch, I was about .2mi from the top.  Arrived .1mi later and almost jumped for joy.  The final ridgeline was probably runnable on fresh legs, but on mine, it was a technical slog.  The beginning of the last descent was just as bad, though the trail got better and better the farther I went, so by the bottom I was able to run something close to 9min splits.  

I hit ~1mi to go at 5:50 and considered trying for sub-6, but knowing that there's a mean kicker of a hill in the last .5mi, I wasn't sure.  The legs put it in stone, immediately dropping to a walk as I hit the incline.  Came down the final stretch running hard, elated to be done with this, to have held onto 4th, to have not quit.  

6:01:xx final time, 4th OA.  5:30 may have been in the cards had the course been entirely runnable, but man, I underestimated just how technical it was.  I'd say at least 10mi were what could best be described as "rock hopping."  So with all that said, I'm pretty happy where I ended up.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  KBFitz on Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:42 am

Nicely done Mike! You appear to be in the best shape of your life. Keep on rockin' & rollin'.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards on Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:59 am

Nice race!  I'm impressed that you were able to hold on without good nutrition...
They need to have a category for the elites and another podium for mere mortals. Razz
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Congrats on an excellent race!  (And why I do not do that crazy shit).  Looks like you are in excellent shape and continuing to move forward relentlessly.  Guess you just need to figure out the food thing and you'll be even better at this crazy stuff.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:39 am

All - One would think, but my calf still disagrees.

Mom - The thing you mentioned about arches... yeah.

---

So, I was able to get a little shuffle jog off on Sunday, ran 10mi Monday... and felt the calf niggle flare up a bit towards the end (but of course past the point of being able to cut off mileage).  So I babied it, massaged, etc...  And ran a double yesterday.  Because I'm real dumb like that.  

It's the posterior tibialis of my left leg.  My left arch is noticeable lower than my right - I don't know if this is the cause or the effect, though.  I've never actually looked at them before.  The pain level is runnable but uncomfortable at times, and there's no swelling or redness in the area (behind the ankle bone) except when I'm massaging it.  During the day, it'll go from absolutely zero pain/discomfort to "oh, even walking is kinda weird right now."  

This is the same injury I had around this time last year, so it's obviously a weakness.  Based on my Google-fu, the act of pointing the toes and supinating the foot activates this muscle... which is how I compensate for my inability to run fast while trying to run fast.  I have a noticeable clawing motion when running near 5k-1mi pace.  Pretty sure that's what triggered this both times.

The part of all this that worries me is reading that this tendon can rupture (!) and actually royally fuck things up without proper recovery.  So I guess I'm in recovery mode now.  Which makes sense, given I just ran a hard 50k (6th time in my life running over 30mi, 3rd time running >6hr at once).  As noted before, obviously some changes are needed, and despite my best efforts to include more cross-training into the schedule... well, it's snowing.  March has been terrible for even the thought of cycling, so I don't really know what to do.

I realized while running my second (stupid) run commute yesterday that I honestly don't know what else to do with myself at this point, if not run.  Unfortunately, nothing really provides the same sense of progression or accomplishment, which I've known (and casually ignored) for a while, but I guess I need to really examine it and try to foster some other hobbies as well.  I just like being active/kinetic, so usually this mental exercise comes back to the same place - endurance sports.  

Today's snowfall pretty much enforces a rest day (hate running in accumulated snow), and if it keeps piling up, tomorrow will probably be one, too.  Friday was the planned rest day, so this could just be the universe's way of keeping me off my feet for 3 days... I'll take the excuse.  

Just frustrated.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:00 pm

An arch support might help here - and you know that you can wear one only.  Maybe a visit to a podiatrist might help?

Needless to say, stretch the calves and perform a lot of self massage on that tendon and the foot fascia.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:05 pm

Mom - I'm looking into it.

---

Able to run with very little discomfort, but moderately high anxiety (dumb, right?).  Just easy miles for a while, hoping to settle in somewhere in the 40s mpw.  

Had some neat trail magic yesterday...  Haley and I headed out to the course of the 50k that was cancelled due to the first Nor'easter we got here so we could "earn our shirts," since they mailed us our race shirts despite the race not happening.  So I'm cruising along, remembering how much I really don't care for MD trails... when 2 Great Pyranees and a blue merle Aussie come trotting up the trail to me.  Friendly enough, we all say hello, I look for their owners... no one.  They run by again before one of the GPs sees something in the bushes and they all take off to search.  I'm running next to some farmland at this point, so it makes sense these are just friendly farm dogs.  Ok, fine.

A quarter mile later, the Aussie is just standing in the trail ahead of me looking at me.  She trots up to me, I slow to a walk, ask her where home is.  She sits in front of me.  I give her face rubs.  She has a small drop of blood under one eye and a bit of an abraded snout, is skinny, but coat looks very healthy.  She has a collar and no tag.  And now she's running with me.  

For the next 6 (yes, 6) miles, we take turns leading, she goes to sniff stuff, comes charging by, keeps me exactly 20-30 feet behind her at all times.  I start to worry after 3 miles.  I'm either being led into a trap or she's lost.  Or she has a VERY large roaming territory.  

We get to the end of the trail and she's still trotting ahead on a back road, seems comfortable.  Lots of cars parked near the trailhead.  There's a single house on this road, so I go to the front door... it's abandoned/condemned.  A woman walking her dog comes strolling down the street.  Turns out she always has a slip leash in her car for emergencies and we talk a bit before she says "nothing's a coincidence" and "you two look good together."  Ugh, lady, I know - I already love this dog but I'm sure she has an owner somewhere.  

Pup jumps right into my car and immediately plops down on the backseat to snooze.  Be still my heart.  I take her into the county shelter, she's chipped, I fill out an application for her if she's not claimed.  

She was taken off the "lost & found" part of the website last night, so I assume she was claimed.  But man, those 6 miles were some of the best I've run in a long time.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mark B on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:49 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mom - I'm looking into it.

---

Able to run with very little discomfort, but moderately high anxiety (dumb, right?).  Just easy miles for a while, hoping to settle in somewhere in the 40s mpw.  

Had some neat trail magic yesterday...  Haley and I headed out to the course of the 50k that was cancelled due to the first Nor'easter we got here so we could "earn our shirts," since they mailed us our race shirts despite the race not happening.  So I'm cruising along, remembering how much I really don't care for MD trails... when 2 Great Pyranees and a blue merle Aussie come trotting up the trail to me.  Friendly enough, we all say hello, I look for their owners... no one.  They run by again before one of the GPs sees something in the bushes and they all take off to search.  I'm running next to some farmland at this point, so it makes sense these are just friendly farm dogs.  Ok, fine.

A quarter mile later, the Aussie is just standing in the trail ahead of me looking at me.  She trots up to me, I slow to a walk, ask her where home is.  She sits in front of me.  I give her face rubs.  She has a small drop of blood under one eye and a bit of an abraded snout, is skinny, but coat looks very healthy.  She has a collar and no tag.  And now she's running with me.  

For the next 6 (yes, 6) miles, we take turns leading, she goes to sniff stuff, comes charging by, keeps me exactly 20-30 feet behind her at all times.  I start to worry after 3 miles.  I'm either being led into a trap or she's lost.  Or she has a VERY large roaming territory.  

We get to the end of the trail and she's still trotting ahead on a back road, seems comfortable.  Lots of cars parked near the trailhead.  There's a single house on this road, so I go to the front door... it's abandoned/condemned.  A woman walking her dog comes strolling down the street.  Turns out she always has a slip leash in her car for emergencies and we talk a bit before she says "nothing's a coincidence" and "you two look good together."  Ugh, lady, I know - I already love this dog but I'm sure she has an owner somewhere.  

Pup jumps right into my car and immediately plops down on the backseat to snooze.  Be still my heart.  I take her into the county shelter, she's chipped, I fill out an application for her if she's not claimed.  

She was taken off the "lost & found" part of the website last night, so I assume she was claimed.  But man, those 6 miles were some of the best I've run in a long time.

Nice! Glad you got the chance to run with her, at least. Hopefully she's back home with her other people.

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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Tim C on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:49 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mom - I'm looking into it.

---

Able to run with very little discomfort, but moderately high anxiety (dumb, right?).  Just easy miles for a while, hoping to settle in somewhere in the 40s mpw.  

Had some neat trail magic yesterday...  Haley and I headed out to the course of the 50k that was cancelled due to the first Nor'easter we got here so we could "earn our shirts," since they mailed us our race shirts despite the race not happening.  So I'm cruising along, remembering how much I really don't care for MD trails... when 2 Great Pyranees and a blue merle Aussie come trotting up the trail to me.  Friendly enough, we all say hello, I look for their owners... no one.  They run by again before one of the GPs sees something in the bushes and they all take off to search.  I'm running next to some farmland at this point, so it makes sense these are just friendly farm dogs.  Ok, fine.

A quarter mile later, the Aussie is just standing in the trail ahead of me looking at me.  She trots up to me, I slow to a walk, ask her where home is.  She sits in front of me.  I give her face rubs.  She has a small drop of blood under one eye and a bit of an abraded snout, is skinny, but coat looks very healthy.  She has a collar and no tag.  And now she's running with me.  

For the next 6 (yes, 6) miles, we take turns leading, she goes to sniff stuff, comes charging by, keeps me exactly 20-30 feet behind her at all times.  I start to worry after 3 miles.  I'm either being led into a trap or she's lost.  Or she has a VERY large roaming territory.  

We get to the end of the trail and she's still trotting ahead on a back road, seems comfortable.  Lots of cars parked near the trailhead.  There's a single house on this road, so I go to the front door... it's abandoned/condemned.  A woman walking her dog comes strolling down the street.  Turns out she always has a slip leash in her car for emergencies and we talk a bit before she says "nothing's a coincidence" and "you two look good together."  Ugh, lady, I know - I already love this dog but I'm sure she has an owner somewhere.  

Pup jumps right into my car and immediately plops down on the backseat to snooze.  Be still my heart.  I take her into the county shelter, she's chipped, I fill out an application for her if she's not claimed.  

She was taken off the "lost & found" part of the website last night, so I assume she was claimed.  But man, those 6 miles were some of the best I've run in a long time.

Great story, Mike.  Awesome actually...
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:06 pm

According to the shelter, she was picked up that evening by her people.  Also, they have lots of other dogs available so please, will I come meet some of them?!  Yes, yes, I probably will.

---

Weird week due to weather and work.  No good time to run Tues, nice enough weather to bike commute Wed/Th, so no running between Monday and yesterday.  Always weird going back to it after a few days on the bike.  Legs want to move more circular-ly.  

11ish yesterday and 18ish today.  Calf niggle has moved from the tibialis to a somewhat normal (and very minor) shin splint feeling.  It's responding well to stretching and massage, so I'm not too concerned about it.  

Took a nice little tumble while descending a grass/dirt section of today's run and muddied up the race shirt from the 50k that was cancelled earlier this month.  Good, that shirt deserves a little dirt.  Luckily my rolling instincts are still on par and I pretty much popped back up and didn't miss a step.  

Haley's out of town until Tuesday so I'm kind of bachelor-ing it up.  I don't know what that means normally, but for me it means catching up on housework, eating healthier than normal (?), drinking a couple beers after 5pm, and playing a lot of computer games.  I'm very exciting, I know.

Oh, anyone paying attention might have noticed that I nixxed the Chocolate Bunny nighttime marathon thing.  Yeah, didn't want to drive 2hr+ each way to run with probably no one over rocks and roots in the dark for 4-5hr... then to camp in the parking lot so I can grab a few hr's sleep before heading home around sunrise.  Just didn't sound as appealing as running with DCRR on some roads.  Also, the mountain course is very similar to a 50k that's put on in July, so I figure running it once will be enough.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:06 pm

Long overdue update.

Ran my last race of the "spring," even though we've only this week crested 60 degrees (and promptly soared to 85ish today), on Sunday.  Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  Unfortunately, they aren't allowing races on Memorial Bridge at the moment, so it was modified from the usual course, but still fine.  Probably for the better, actually, given the cold-ass northerly winds we had on race day.  The plan was "?" since I've bagged all workouts in the last few weeks due to the calf niggle.  

Ended up running just sub-1:06 for a 6:35.9x average pace.  I could definitely tell my stamina at tempo pace was lacking, but I was able to hold on to a pretty ugly finish.  I threw out my back during my warm-up strides, so pretty much ran the entire race with a little too much forward lean and shoulders at my ears.  

---

Treated the end of this race season like a marathon and took 3 days completely off this week.  Bike commuted to work yesterday which was very pleasant but a fucking zoo on the way home as everyone was wandering blind on the trail because SUNSHINE.  A few near misses were had.  

Ran 8.5 today on the Potomac Heritage Trail headed out (increasingly technical, mile 4 = 14:00) and C&O on the way in (flat fire road).  We started in the high 60s and ended in the high 70s.  I've missed the lingering feeling of sunshine on my arms and face hours after a run.  Not quite a sunburn but a sunglow, maybe.  

Tomorrow we drive to western NC for Haley's first ultra - a 50k on some mtn bike trails around a lake.  With over an inch of rain forecast for race day, she's in for a fun one.  I'll be running the crew bag between aid stations since it seems like most are closed off to cars.  

---

Lastly, and maybe most excitingly, our move date has been pushed waaaaay forward - mid-June.  With the lovely world of gov't contracting, about 75% of my work is very likely to go away sometime before then and with us already planning a move, it just wasn't worth it to get on board with another agency for 3 months.  So unfortunately, we nix the NE trip, but we're replacing it with a West Coast tour as well as a week or so in Mark's neck of the woods for a conference I'm going to.  

I should have much more time/experience on CA trails by the time my race rolls around, too, which is good.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 pm

Sounds like moving up the moving date is mostly a positive change.  You do know that you're going to get wet if you spend time in Mark's area...it rains constantly...or at least it seems like it.  I grew up on the wet side of the mountain but now live on the dry side.  I exchanged the mud for the dust!

Hope the Ultra went well.  Sounds like challenging weather is the norm this weekend.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:49 pm

Nancy - We're very excited about it.  Nervous jumping into the unknown, as is usual, but excited.  It's long overdue.

---

Haley's race went about as well as it could have.  Let me preface this brief report with the fact that she didn't exactly train for this.  One flat/fire road 20 miler and one 4hr trail run (the day I found the cute Aussie on trail) comprised the entirety of her long runs.  She's been doing a ton of fitness classes that incorporate some running into them, and occasionally running to/from class, but we're talking no more than 4mi on any given day.

Yet holy shit this girl ran a strong race.  Temps in the 60s (good), winds picking up throughout the day (less good), a total of >1.5" rain (less less good), and a couple hours of thunder (what?!) were the order of the day.  They ended up cutting the course short due to trail conditions, leaving her with 29.5ish miles.  I told her this is fine, it's a weather-adjusted 50k distance... and my first 50k was also on a short course.  

I got out of the car in a downpour to give her a wide-brimmed waterproof hat - I was wearing a rain jacket and running shorts - and promptly told her parents there was no way I would be out there racing based on that 30 seconds of weather.  

And she's not even that broken this week.  Tired and hungry, but functioning pretty damn well.

---

I managed to bag a mountain while there - a short, steep climb (1000' in 1.3mi) to some cliffs overlooking the Linville Gorge.  Kept going until an even 2mi before turning back and bombing down the hill.  Felt nice to let the legs rip a bit.  

---

We're in week 2 of post-race recovery.  So far 6.3mi for the week and a skipped bike commute, since it was too damn cold this morning to suit up and go.  I'll ride tomorrow, though.  

Looks like we're headed to the mountains to camp this weekend, so I may be ending this recovery period with a bang in the form of a long run/hike with lots of vert.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mark B on Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:28 pm

Congrats to Haley! She's a tough cookie, no doubt.

Will be happy to have you back in the same time zone soon. Approval

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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:43 pm

Long time, everyone.  Quick update to say hello, I'm still alive, things are moving forward as things tend to do, etc.

Running has been mostly good - not the mileage I've wanted quite yet, but official Chimera 100 training only started this week.  24 weeks to race day today!

The apartment is quickly becoming empty.  Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace have been my friends lately.  Sad to see some of the stuff go, happy to see other stuff go, and feeling more comfortable/ready for this move seeing how little we're actually taking.  The couch is being picked up in about 30min... so we'll be camp-chairing it for a couple weeks.  At least the camp chairs have built-in coolers on the arms.  Cool

I'm doing my last big hurrah run on Monday - 3 laps of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park for a total of 27mi and ~7k' vert.  Should be a nice long day in the mountains to say goodbye to my favorite trail out here.  Then I have jury duty Tuesday, bleh.  

I'll try and bring this thing back to life, but it may not be for a little while.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:18 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Long time, everyone.  Quick update to say hello, I'm still alive, things are moving forward as things tend to do, etc.

Running has been mostly good - not the mileage I've wanted quite yet, but official Chimera 100 training only started this week.  24 weeks to race day today!

The apartment is quickly becoming empty.  Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace have been my friends lately.  Sad to see some of the stuff go, happy to see other stuff go, and feeling more comfortable/ready for this move seeing how little we're actually taking.  The couch is being picked up in about 30min... so we'll be camp-chairing it for a couple weeks.  At least the camp chairs have built-in coolers on the arms.  Cool

I'm doing my last big hurrah run on Monday - 3 laps of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park for a total of 27mi and ~7k' vert.  Should be a nice long day in the mountains to say goodbye to my favorite trail out here.  Then I have jury duty Tuesday, bleh.  

I'll try and bring this thing back to life, but it may not be for a little while.
Well, just keep mom apprised of your actions.  You know how mothers worry.

Have a good 4th!
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:44 pm

Moving stuff continues to progress.  Weird how much different it is cleaning out a 4yr abode rather than the 1yr I'm used to.  This is the first place I've lived in longer than a year since I turned 18.  We're about 75% through the cleaning and maybe 50% through the packing.  I'm probably overestimating a little, but it feels like we're that close, anyway.  

---

Old Rag Marathon was fun, mostly.  Had my first ever black bear sighting while running - I've only ever seen them from the safety of cars before.  It was more scared of me than I of it and immediately took off upon seeing me turn the corner.  Other than mild dehydration and being not quite acclimated to 80 and humid yet, everything went fine.  

My legs were complete trash for about 3 days afterwards, which made for a very interesting bike commute on Wednesday and a laughable run Thursday.  

---

Living pretty "in the moment" right now, but not in the zen way.  In the "there are so many things to do and all I can really do is wait" way.  Worry is a waste of imagination but it's what I'm good at.

---

EDIT:  Oh yeah, I read McCarthy's "The Road" and would highly recommend it, if only for the last paragraph.  Very moving.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:37 am

We moved out.  Went to WV.  Camped, woke up to rain, went for an unsuccessful Spruce Knob bid, decided we didn't want to be camping and running mountains with this much stress, and drove to Chattanooga.  

Been here a week, mostly decompressing and trying to get mentally prepared for the rest of the drive.  My left shin splint (the one I had last year and have been battling since Feb of this year) is starting to feel like maybe it's a stress fx instead lately, and I'm being stubborn/stupid and continuing to run on it.  Hard to relieve stress when you can't engage in your stress relief activities.  

Need a real dose of vacation/R&R instead of an in-between pit stop, which is what we're gonna have here and even in CA due to me attending a professional conference and us needing to find a place to live.  

Things aren't fun right now.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards on Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:48 am

Mike...I think that sometimes the stress of trying to de-stress is more stressful than the original stress.

The stress now will be worth it once you get home and get settled.

Take care and get that shin looked at!
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:38 am

Nancy - In my experience, you are correct.  I was always a worrywort growing up - which used to be kinda endearing and cute - and that's turned into a pretty standard case of anxiety through my 20s until now.  Living in Auburn the first time actually brought a lot of it to light.  Funny enough, despite my preference for running, the times in which I've felt the most at ease have been when cycling (almost exclusively) or when I had a pretty regular meditation practice going.  I'll be looking to both of those to help ease the discomfort of a sudden hiatus from running.  

We start the journey west tomorrow.  I'm reading mixed things about hiking with a stress fx, but the common theme seems to be "if it's pain-free, it's fine" for activity.  I'm really hoping we'll be able to check Wheeler Peak (NM high point, 13xxx') off the list, but if not, that's okay.  NM should be beautiful and DRY either way.
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