Monday, May 23, 2016

McDonald Forest 50k and summer plans

Three days? Two nights? Safe to assume old Edwin Starr was a back-of-the-backer.

I compose blog posts in my head on a daily, near-constant basis...which might surprise you, as I have been posting less-frequently than ever during the past couple of years. I don't know what to tell you.

Well, I do know what to tell you, I guess...the McDonald Forest 50k in Corvallis, OR is a real nice, real fun time. I ran OK and finished 9th in 4:35. I met Josh Z. in person, which was a real treat and should the opportunity ever present itself, I encourage you to do the same. Josh is a class-act and showed it by running with his cosmic heart and not his earthly head and ran his fastest Mac 50k for 3rd place.

I am really happy to have back both the enthusiasm and physical health necessary to run ultras! It's been a long, weird couple of years with regard to running and I feel more "myself" now that I'm back boss jogging like a motherfucker again. I also feel myself more.

A new leaf shall I turn and for fewer jerking-off jokes shall I yearn.

But oh boy dat grammar gonna stay sweeeeeet.

"You are my candy girl/And you got me wanting you."

It's funny how I certainly learned a lot from running trail/mountain races over the years, but after a a couple away from it, I had to re-learn some of those lessons over again at the Mac 50k. 1.) I really didn't taper or rest well leading up to the race. I never really used to worry too much about rest before racing, but we ran and hiked every day around Portland during the week and on race day, my glutes and lower back felt tired and sore from the sustained, steep hike we did around the Multnomah Falls. Philosophically (and verbosely), I don't know how I feel about that...on one hand, life is short and I want to make the most of our vacation and it would have been a bummer not to hike those falls on a beautiful day. On the other hand, I spent a lot of time running and getting ready for this race and I definitely short-changed myself by hiking and running a bunch beforehand.

I need to think...THINK! bout what I'm tryin' to do to me.

^^The Falls were pretty worth it.

The other thing I did wrong is what I think of as "The Classic" in terms of running errors...I went out too hard. I was too excited about racing, being around a bunch of people, and running in a new and luscious land...and I started falling apart around mile 19 and was passed by three guys before the finish who had each been pacing themselves much more masterfully.

So, yeah, I really would like to race again soon. And on THAT note -

D and I both got into the lottery for the Bridger Ridge Run in Bozeman this August...the course looks excellent and we are both really pumped! I haven't been quite this excited for a race in a long time - although I think that any time you win a lottery, the stoke level goes up...if/when I organize my own race around here, I may have to impose a "lottery" (which everyone who registers will "win") if only just to give the participants an extra shot in the arm of thick, oily, stinking, straight-from-Afghanistan STOKE.

Summer's essentially here. You are essentially holy. Go get you some blessed sacrament out there, Truey Gooey Balooey! It's all love (except for when it isn't)!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Escalator to Heaven

Whelp. Good times 'round the outpost. Knee was bugging me again (getting older. what a scam. dwelling upon this reality gets me looking for a sturdy rafter to hang a rope.) but as I've reiterated on this blog recently over and over's FINE. I'M TOTALLY OK WITH HAVING THIS KNEE PROBLEM AND IT'S A SET BACK I WELCOME AS OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH, MATURITY, AND AS A TEST OF MY GOOD JUDGEMENT. 

At this point, however, I just want to take a shit in the mouth of good judgement.

So, yes. Trials and trib's. Smiles and squibs. True lies and factitious fibs. 

I've been running the famous stairs in Bisbee quite a bit as going up doesn't seem to bother my knee. 

D, Papo, and our friend Celia givin' it on Staircase #5 of the Bisbee 1000 course, aka Stairway To Brutal Soul Death Infernal Choke Torture (no, not as pithy as "Number 5", but much more accurate).

Here's summoh a'dat staircase jam y'all lovin' - Number 8 and feelin' GREAT* 

*like jamming my thumbs in my eyes

Papo straight vogue'n like the saucy bitch that he is. 

Here's a sunset sky. Time for bed.

Spring has sprung and your time has come! Love seein' everyone out there getting a piece of the earthly action and gaining some traction with a side of satisfaction. You should be following me on instagram. It's where I post all of the dog pics. @pattythurber

(new legally changed name)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Alma, CO and whatnot

We took a quick trip up to Colorado to visit friends the weekend before last. So funny to think of how much time I've spent reading about Colorado and looking at pictures of it VS. how little time I've spent there. It's definitely on the short list of places we want to move to after AZ. Also, D and I are engaged and gonna get hitched next April. I know it's really corny, but...she's the best thing that's ever happened in my life and I can't believe she's willing to marry a mess like me.

View from our cabin at 11,500 ft. 

Using the oxygen concentrator we found in the closet. I'm not sure it did very much, although it seemed pretty useful for hangovers. I may have to invest in one. At some point in the future...when I have money.

Devyn, haughtily rebuffing Mt. Lincoln's lascivious stares. 

Back home in AZ, atop Miller Peak in the Huachuca Mountains. There was a med helicopter doing something near the ridge where we hiked. It landed and then shortly thereafter two black military heli's took over in the same spot. All told, there was about 4 uninterrupted hours of helicoptering going on, focused on the same little spot on the ridge. Being that this part of the Huachuca range is just a couple miles from the Mexican border, I'd assume it had something to do with illegal smuggling. Build it tall and strong, President Trump!

My knee has been acting up again lately. I must be gaining some intelligence in this arena, because 3 years ago a running injury would have sent me into a two day funk of drinking and depression. Now, I whine for about an hour and then dutifully get on my bicycle and ride the shit out of it. Still, it's frustrating because I feel really fit right now and would like to just run a lot. I've been doing a little jogging and hope to be back running pain-free in the next few days.

Nursing classes are going fine. The motel continues to be a source of irritating people and funny interactions with them. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Makin' it (t)rain

So, the knee is all good and I've been upping my running quite a bit. I had just over 10 hours last week, with some quality hill work and a couple of decent long runs. In Chile, when I was in shape, I had strung together several months of 12-14 hour weeks, mostly structured around back-to-back long runs in the mountains...a tried-and-true staple of ultrarunning to be sure and just something I find fun on the weekend.

Then as well as now, I really don't follow a very formal training plan. I tally my weekly running hours and I make notes about how each day feels. I try to make sure I get one hard hill day, one day of some faster flatter running and at least one long run (if not two, for that sweet-ass B2B).

One thing that I have always done with my running that is maybe a lil' more structured (in the sense that it involves specific times/distances) is revisit certain routes and track my times for them. Not ground-breaking exercise science by any stretch or a unique idea at all...but it has been the only form of Training (with a capital "t") that I've been able to implement consistently. I do enjoy track running, but if I'm not literally living across the street from one then I don't keep at it over the long term (which I used to do in two different places I've lived).

Around Bisbee I have two routes that I do with the intention of comparing the efforts over the span of several weeks and months. The first is a half-mile-ish uphill run that I do as a hard-as-I-can effort. My best time for it pre-knee injury was 6:05 which I whittled down over the course of 3 months, lowering my PR by a few seconds each time. When I time trial'ed it after a week back to running, I managed to hit 5:55. Then, later that same week, I decided to really go for it and wheezed out a 5:36. Fuck yeah, bruh.

The other route I do is a once-a-month trail loop in Brown Canyon in Sierra Vista, AZ. It's a little over 5 miles and not a huge amount of's extremely runnable and that's the point for this one. I've only done this route 3 times. The first time was something like 41:00 minutes, but I had gotten a little lost trying to follow the trail. The second time I hit 38:35. Today I ran 36:12 and felt like the effort was hard, but not quite as hard as 1st and 2nd attempts.

Here's the Brown Canyon route.

It's been awhile since I've written straight-forward running shit. I realized the other day that I love reading the minutia of other people's running and...hey, why don't I stop being a dick-tease about it and give the world a peak from time-to-time of my own nerdy jogging pussy?*

*or dick, if you're a lady or a flexible fella. Long-time readers know I like to keep things on a level playing field.