Thursday, August 19, 2010

take a drag or two...

monday 8/16/10- 5.5 miles with gabbo at wildwood. hips a little sore, quads a little sore...legs overall pretty tired feeling from saturday, but deep down in their little leg-hearts, they were FINE AND DANDY. good deal.

tuesday 8/17- i'd say about 12 miles? i need to plug in my wizard-watch and have it portend some fucking cosmic star-hopping data. ran the first 5 or 6 with gabbo, but then she hopped on a bike for the South Otter Creek Out And Then Back Again TM. i ran about 7:30 miles out and then ran the return 3.5 miles at about 6:30/mile. so that was good. to be able to pick it up a bit like that at the end of a slightly longer run.

also, i gave up on cold turkey. i couldn't do it. at about 5am this morning, i signed myself up at a methadone rehab clinic. $75.00... after some lengthy interviews and some pee-pee in a jar, they gave me a 30mg dose of methadone. needless to say (i think), i felt pretty calm about the whole deal. NO, i'm not happy to now have opiates back in my system but YES, i'm thrilled to now be sleeping better, to have my heart back to beating at a normal rate and to be able to go about my goddamn business without thinking about how i'm going to get some drugs. on a serious note: this decision was very very hard for me to make, but as I sit here writing this on thursday after only three days of treatment, I know I made the right call. This withdrawal is too much for me to handle without real help. I thought I could just hunker down, be a dreary asshole for awhile and then POOF! come out on the other end all clean and smiles. however, i now realize that it's not that easy. at least, not for me. for one, even after almost two weeks of sobriety (more or less) I still had not gotten to a point where everyday wasn't a near-constant panic attack and the nights didn't last exactly 7 years. i was getting nervous that i wouldn't be able to handle my job, for example, let alone get any of my other shit together. this at least allows me the breathing room to stay on course for a more mentally and physically healthy life, sort out some of the issues that led to the drug abuse in the first place and then, with a doctor's help and the encouragement of my unbelievably supportive family and friends, I can ditch the rest of this stuff for good. I hope. Gabbo is so good to me, I can't fathom it. In no way do I deserve the amount of compassion and patience she has shown me. She basically gets duty-free head for the next year.

Wed- off.

Thurs- did a similar run to Tues. about 13 miles with the last 3.5 at about 6:30/mile.

Friday- off. Gabbo and I are going camping tomorrow morning in the Pinckney Recreation Area, north of Ann Arbor. Anticipating some great trail running, so it's time to rest up.

Saturday- 6.5 miles. We got to Crooked Lake campground in the late afternoon. The drive took a little longer than we thought and we drove to a couple different areas first, trying to figure out where the best place to camp would be for easy access to the trails. When I called Crooked Lake in the morning, they were booked up solid. However, we got lucky and one spot opened up by the time we got there. It was raining steadily while we set up the tent and canopy. Damp but determined, we hit the trails and made the most of the cool conditions. We did a loop around the Crooked Lake trail and then tacked on a quick loop around Silver Lake. In the interest of saving ourselves for a long run in the morning and having not eaten much all day, we kept the run fairly short and went into town to find something to eat. Never ones to plan, we had arrived at the campsite with a weird mix of assorted camping/running gear tossed un-packed into the back of the van and no food...just beer. After wandering around Hell/Pinckney and discovering that literally every one of their restaurants had long since closed down, we ended up driving another 10 minutes away to Zuckey Lake Tavern (or something like that). Luckily, they had veggie burgers and Anchor Steam on draft, worth the drive. Back at the campsite, Gabbo pulled out an inspired purchase: Le Petite Ecolier cookies (those flat, rectangular cookie-frames with the chocolate portrait of a school boy inset?). We used those to make hybrid s'mores. I will remember this speedy s'more making technique for future bonfires.

Sunday- awesome night of sleep. it was cool with light, almost mist-like rain. i woke up insanely early as usual, went for a much needed shit (the methadone has almost finally allowed my bowels to function normally again. sad thrill.) and promptly fell back asleep in our little cocoon. Finally, we got up around 8:30-ish, packed up all the stuff (read: threw it half-assedly back into the van) and headed back to the trailhead to start the famous Potowatami Trail. Again, our serious aversion towards planning had left us without "serious" distance running fuels (i.e. gels/sports drink) but I did pick up some strawberry licorice candy and fruit snacks...good enough!

The Potowatami is largely considered the best trail for mountain biking/running in SE Michigan and one the nicer trails in the state. On one hand, this is isn't saying much. While the rest of Michigan is very "outdoorsy" and has put in place some outstanding infrastructure (trails, camp sites, etc.) to facilitate some fucking rad environment loving, the southeastern corner has taken a slightly different approach towards Mother Nature (see: History of American Industrialization and for fun, this place). HOWEVER, i still think this trail stands as a serious motherfucker. You basically bob up and down over extremely steep uphills and downhills that are composed of either very knotty little twisty roots or fist-sized stones that feel like they are punching your feet to death when you run over them. in short, it was a super fun run and i can't wait to go back! yay!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Correr, puta.

Funday - 8/9/10 - 13 miles, 1:43:00. wildwood. ran sockless, received blister. legs recovered from saturday. bodes well for future long runs. coffee has yet to sink in. limited to gorilla speak only.

Tues/Wed -8/10&11/10- i decided after the blister-inducing run on monday, coupled with the lingering hip issue, that i would take two (yes two!) days off from running. wouldn't it be slick if there were a way to make a laptop's keyboard deliver an electric shock? the practical/practical joke applications would be priceless.

"practical joke?" as opposed to those unwieldy, totally inconvenient jokes?

Thurs: 5.5 miles. that fucking blister, man. son. of. a. bitch. i bet i take friday off, too.

Friday: yep.

Saturday. returned to oak openings for long run. went 25 miles at sub-9:00 pace, but then stopped for a water fill-up and just couldn't get back on the trail to finish out the final 6.5 miles. i was really sore and tired, true, but there wasn't anything particularly wrong. no acute pain anywhere, no stomach issues, no blister i'm a little perplexed i guess. if i were to make excuses again (and i am), the weather was really gross: 90F, 100% humidity, "ozone warning" and the looming threat of thunderstorms all morning/ the air was hot, heavy and it felt like breathing through a wet noodle. BUT! i still didn't feel all that bad. so why did i stop? i mean, i started again after a little break and ran back to my car for a total of 28 miles, but still...but still...why did a solid 30 mile run elude me again?
for next week:
-slow down more? (yeesh.)
-more water/more calories?

lastly, i felt like my core was really lacking after about 20 miles. i used to really focus on getting in abs/lower back workouts consistently but i've fallen off this summer a little on those. add to this the very persistent pain around my stomach/side/back from the car accident and i've just stopped any core workouts for the last three weeks. so...i need to get back to that ASAP, me thinks.

Sunday- spinny at the gym, tried to do some ab and back work but still extremely painful. later i drank some oberon and went for a pretty fast 15 mile bike ride. hadn't ridden the peug in a long time, so that was oddly relaxing and righteous.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Push it along...

Over this summer, I've been sinking deep into nostalgia for my childhood and by that I mean i've been listening to pretty much only wu-tang, ODB's first solo album and TONS of tribe called quest and de la soul.

on tribe's first record (People's instinctive travels and the paths of rhythm), the very FIRST track is called "push it along." not a bad jammer, to be sure. however, the interlude section in between "push it along" and "luck of lucien" has phife blabbing strange shit over that soul-clap beat and he talks about titling the first song and how he came across a boulder blocking his path and he couldn't pull he had to push it. ...and then i was like "oh shit, i get it now" i mean...for the first time since i was like...what? 12? 13? when i bought that CD?

anyway, it's the perfect analogy for this drug withdrawal process. this is not something that i can "pull" as in put it behind me and continue on with life. no no, this is something i have to PUSH. as in, it is always right in front of me. i can barely see around it and, yet, in order to get through the day i have to push this fucking boulder along. literally every moment i'm thinking about oxycontin. I'll be teaching a class, or talking to you (my friend) or doing the laundry or driving and singing a song on the radio, or having a beer, or eating a delicious meal, or hugging someone, or kissing someone, or making a t0-do list, shopping for food, and yes...even running...and i will STILL have OC on my mind. i mean, literally, it's all i think about. so...what can i do really? stop? just stand there, in the middle of life, and stare at this big fucking ball of drugs blocking my way? or do i just start moving forward again and push it along?

new week, new life...? no...nope.

monday 8/2/10 - went to wildwood, ran 9 miles. am still very much in love with the x-talon 212's. really ran fast, too. surprisingly busy on the trails, enjoyed passing people and using other runners as markers. some days i run completely zen, no desire to pass or worry about my pace in relation to someone else's...other days i am completely driven by the need to not only pass other runners as though they are competition...but to pass them ruthlessly. which is exhausting. because i'm not that fast.

tues. 8/3/10- haven't run as of this post. had more conversation with my parents regarding drug problem. things have really hit the fan. i have given over my online banking information, credit cards, etc. so that they can monitor my money. while i know that i am done with oxycontin, i understand that i can't exactly "come clean" to my family and then not allow them to demand some assurances that i am sticking to my word...otherwise, what did i accomplish other than causing them undue stress and worry? so...i am submitting to their requests and answering all questions honestly and openly. it has been the hardest thing i have ever done. this is just an awful chapter in my life. perhaps the worst to date.

on a happier note: it's gabbo's 21st b-day today. she's in pittsburgh fitting in sublimely with native pittsburgers (that is, getting drunk). hopefully she'll have enough ethanol left in her boozemobile to celebrate again on friday when she gets home.

wed. 8/4/10- AM- 6 ish miles around tuna beach. really did not feel this one. withdrawals are unpleasant. flu-ish aches, diarrhea, exhaustion, lack-of-will-to-live...and it only costs $4000 dollars folks! can't you smell a deal when it's slithering beneath your nose? maybe i'll drum up enough moxie to run again this evening. i'll keep you, dear reader, duly posted. by "duly posted," i mean screaming into the digital void. ...yodeling, perhaps, is more accurate. i don't scream, ever. i yodel. i need to go to work.

PM- went to the gym to do some incline stuff on the treadmill. i could only muster about 25 minutes. i just felt too wiped out in every sense. ...i'm glad i put in the workout though. i'm always glad i put in a workout...even if its the shortest workout i've done in years. had an entire pizza and leftover enchiladas for dinner...then lots of beer, appetizers at the bar, then i had four pieces of toast with butter as a pre-bed snack.

thurs. 8/5/10 -AM s. otter creek out n' back: 7 miles. again, felt pretty questionable on the way out, but still managed a negative split on the way back. last night i went to bed at 11:30pm, today awoke at 4:30am...went running and was back in time to watch a 9-on-the-beauty scale sun rise while taking a bath in the lake. very "high on life" sort of morning, i think. ate toast with raw honey before the run, giant cheddar and ketchup omelette afterwards...followed by 4 pieces of zucchini bread with butter and coconut oil extract. holy shit. this combination of running-induced hunger and stress-eating is going to be the awesome-feelingness of me.

PM- tuna beach. 6 ish? very very hot. felt rough still. i have to say though, i think today was a turning point in the withdrawal process. i actually had a little bit of energy at work, i sang to katie perry (well) while driving and considered a chopped/screwed acoustic cover of La Roux. Then i fantasized (deeply) about fronting (in spandex) a duo bar band that only plays covers of female pop-stars...R n' B and dance stuff only i.e. Donna Summers, Madonna, C&C Music Factory up to Gaga, Katy Perry, et al. The funny thing is: that band would fucking SLAY in michigan/ohio...not get dragged behind a Ford F-250. What does that say about the state of affairs in the worlds of homosexuality and popular music? Strides? Pride? Or is it just that right now, everyone sort of has a hard-on/wide-on for shitty synth-pop and, by default, that means we all dip our toesy's into the gay pond? TOTAL TODAY: 13 miles. luck be a lady-boy, tonight.

See, i'm almost all better!

FRIDAY- i ain't run shit. say it wit me now: LA-saaaaaaaannGGAAA! Gabby's back!

Sat. - 23 miles. went to oak openings in swanton, oh for the first time. it's the largest of toledo's metropark areas and i now realize also has the best trails. stupid me for waiting to visit, but's like 45 minutes from here! anyway, today's run was good-bad...but not evil. i had set out to run 30 miles and get a better feel for my pace at the Dances with Dirt 50 miler. however, i was so psyched about the trails, the weather, gabbo, ross, my pain-free hip, etc. that i ran the first hour or so in frenzy, not finding the trail i had planned to stick with and just running like a chicken with its head cut off at about 7:00min/mile...when i had told myself i was going to aim for an 8:30-9:00 pace. so i had busted loose too fast, but i did finally find the big loop trail i was looking for...and hit it right at its most technical and crazy, so THEN i really stepped it up and ran like a sumbitch. at times there was no trail, it dipped almost straight down and then straight up at times with roots and rocks as ladder rungs, then it would tilt crazily along the edge of the river bank so you'd have to run scrambling at an angle to not slide down into the scum-water. by the time i finally made a loop and regrouped at the van to get more water and sugargoop, i sort of knew i might be in trouble. i started the second loop with my friend ross following me on his mountain bike. ross did a great job with all of the obstacles and felled logs blocking his path, while i (on the other hand) had begun to slowly slacken my pace until i was just about out of gas. at mile 18, i sat on the edge of a bridge for a moment, checked out a map with ross and then tried to hit it again, at mile 21 or so, i started walking...i had about 8 miles left and i knew it would be that really nutty hard section again to boot...and gabbo had twisted her ankle...and the afternoon was slipping into evening...and...and...well i threw in the towel and ran the roads back to the van and called it at 23.25 miles. my overall pace was 9:00, but i know that if i take out the walking/debating portion i was closer to my original goal of 8:30/ a few lessons learned:
-slow down, asshole.
-stop running everyday, focus on weekend long runs. you can't hang.
-"don't drink beer the night before" from ross. although i sincerely doubt i'll follow that one because of...
-get some sleep before the run. without alcohol how can i do this? i can't remember.

even though i didn't meet my goal, i still learned quite a bit about where my fitness level is at right now and what i need to do to change my training routine before the race in sept. i got to try out my diet plan for the race, which i'm happy with: GU gels, S! caps and water. no stomach problems. no major pain issues anywhere. i'm anticipating being very much recovered all in all i'm counting the day as a success. however, i am still a pussy.

i'm definitely going back to oak openings next weekend and i will be counting it as a rematch.

sunday - off. barefoot walk through wildwood with gabbo. went to bed insanely early. felt very, um, sedate.

WEEK: 54 miles

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

because you're soooo dirty...

god, i can't believe i didn't think to write this song first! the tub is my SPOT!