Saturday, December 31, 2011

Torres del Paine is on fire.

Wildfires are fucking up Torres del Paine. Almost certainly caused by tourists. Even more pathetic and frustrating has been the Chilean government's response. 25 fire fighters?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've got a fever...

...and the only cure is more vertical?

I was downloading music (legally, of course) and suddenly started fantasizing while watching the graph of the connection speed...I don't think this case is curable, Doc.

"Tanto Calor" Week Ending 12/25/11

Monday 12/19/11 - off.

Tues- 1:00:00 stationary bike, 45:00 weights. First bike workout in years? Normally, this would have been my day for a flat, road run during my lunch break...however, summer has fully reared its flaming head and it's literally shoe-melting hot during the midday when I have time to run. So, I'm opting to suffer a little less in the shade, on the stationary bike. I have no idea what I'm doing on the bike, except that I know I want to make these one-hour sessions really hurt. I went with 8 x 2 min "on" with recovery. Is that a close to a typical bike workout? I dunno. But it hurt.

Wed - off

Thursday - AM: 10 miles, 1800 ft. of climbing. 2:00:00 "lo normal" standard route.
PM: 7 miles, 1000 ft. "Las Torres" 1:00:00 ...because I run to the cell phone towers.

Friday - 7 miles, 1000 ft. Torres. 1:00:00

Saturday - 17.5 miles, 4,800 ft. 5:30:00. Tricahue. Arrived at the Refugio Tricahue last night for Christmas with Quim and Chelsea. Best night of sleep I've had in memory. Cool temps, totally silent. Started this run with the refugio's owner's dog, Bacán. The dog ended up staying with us the whole day. Turns out he likes that sort of thing as much as we do. We did get pretty lost 2 or 3 times, but the trails were good and it didn't bother me in the least to retrace our steps a bit. Great place to stay. The founder/operator of the Refugio del Tricahue, Dimitri, is a 30 year old belgian guy who cycled all over the world until he decided to build a handful of nice cabins in the mountains of Chile. Definitely an interesting lifestyle, I think I might be jealous.

Sunday - 5:00:00 bike. With Monday off, I didn't feel any pressure to run again and instead opted to borrow Dimitri's bicycle and set out with Quim and Chelsea on a trip around Lago Colbún. It was ungodly hot, the road consisted of piles of large stones arranged in the rough outline of a road...and I was on something like a touring/cyclo-cross bike. And then the chain snapped...4 times. While I didn't mind the refresher on my bike mechanic skills, I was certainly losing my patience with that hunk of shit bike. Luckily, we had a pit stop for beer and I jumped in the lake and cooled off. A few good climbs on this route, but nothing too crazy.

42 miles, 9.5 hours. 8,600 ft.
6:00:00 on the bike. 2800 ft.

15.5 hours in total for the week (not including weights).

There's a run/bike event coming up in march that I think i'd like to do. There's also a mountain bike two-stage race in a february. It's pretty long, so that appeals to me. I'm going to try to get on the bicycle once or twice a week, just to see how it goes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Music is really nice.

I'm headed up to the mountains today to spend the Christmas weekend running, eating and sleeping at a cabin kinda place. No internet, so I gotta get my fix in now as well as wish everyone a happy whatever-you-believe-in holiday! I hope everyone eats/drinks too much and lays some serious love on their family and friends.

Now, down to business:

Two of my good friends have posted their "year-end" lists of their favorite music, despite what I'm sure was deep, personal skepticism about the whole business of musical year-end lists.

Thankfully, they both put those doubts aside and shared some really good music, most of which I either haven't heard or did not spend much time listening to...but now am really enjoying anew.

I know that most people don't spend a huge chunk of their free time searching for new music, but if you're anything like me...then you, here ya go:

Eric's list

Andy's list

I will second Eric's pick for Bill Callahan's album. I haven't ever listened to an album that made me feel so proud of my nationality in way that's not simple or cheap. Also, Tinariwen is really great running music.

While we're at's a quick list of music that I like to listen to while running, broken down by genres for easy reference:

Hard-ass music for feeling "super-amped" when I'm "fuckin' ready to kill it" (a.k.a. jog at less than 7:00/mile)

Rap and/or R n' B:

Gentle, trippy music:

Pulsing, electronic music for those transcendental, connecting-to-the-universie, mind-fuck sort of runs (hopefully, everyone knows what I'm talking about and I'm not just crazy):

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"2 Heads > 1 Head" Backed up, ending 12/18/11.

Week ending 12/11/12

Bad bad week. Started off well enough, but then I went to Santiago to help crew a bicycle race. Had every intention of running in the high-high mountains there, but it turned out there was no more transportation out of the city to the mountains during the summer. Only during ski season.

Absolutely I could have invented some alternative routes, but maaan...running in Santiago is a bitch and a half. It's very very smoggy and disgusting with tons of stopping and waiting at street lights. There are some good hills right down town, but the idea of killing myself running up them (and then in turn killing myself with the horrible hacking cough that lasts for days after running in the city) did not sound appealing. I opted to get staggering, screaming drunk for two days straight. It was worth it.

I ran 29 miles/4.5 hours. tues=12 miler, 6 easy, 6 sub-7:00/mile. wed=7 miles/1,000ft. thurs=10 miles, 1800 ft. Friday=90 minutes of weights.

Week ending 12/18/11

Better week. I always feel stronger after fucking around for the weekend.

75 miles, 14:30:00. elevation: i'm rounding up to 10,000ft even. the sunday run was a weird one with lots of garmin-stumping forest.

Monday: virgen, 8 miles. PR 1 hour flat. 600 ft.

Tuesday: 6 miles in curicó. flat. 90F+. it was so hot that my feet felt burnt after the run. i cut the work out short in lieu of spending more time in the gym lifting weights. It was definitely worth it.

wed: 7 miles to las torres. 1,000 ft. 1:05:00

thurs: 10 around the cerros. 1800ft. 2:00:00

friday: AM, torres. 1000ft. 1:05:00. PM, cerros. 1800ft. 1:45:00

saturday: 11, cerros. 2200ft. 2:00:00. very hard run with Quim. we were both feeling unusually rested and strong. Luckily, not at the same during the run. He pulled me up the first climb and then I led for the longer descent and climb. The final ascent we raced each other. I felt pretty shitty but was secretly pleased to see that he, too, was super thrashed at the summit. Getting better.

Sun: 16.5 miles. 3:50:00. 3000ft. This was, perhaps, the gnarliest run I have had in ages. For whatever reason, I decided to head out with the hydration pack during the hottest part of the day (90F+) and intentionally low on calories (which I've been carefully adding to my running weeks). This was a successful run on two fronts: 1) i did find some new trails along a previously unexplored ridge line. 2) If my goal was a "bonk" run...I succeeded in spades, as I bonked massively and had very dramatic run back home. However, this was also a really weird run. The unbelievable heat and intensity of the sun truly did a number on my psychology. Towards the end of the route, during the last legit climb, I was listening to music and very deep into the Cave of Hurting when the song suddenly started breathing super loud and monster-like.

I whipped off my headphones, turned and saw a stray dog basically dying under a bush next to me. The dog looked me straight in the eyes while panting so hard that it appeared to have spasms. I didn't have any water left at this point and, frankly, was unsure if the dog was going to come at me (which the stray dogs here are wont to do). For more seconds than I would have preferred, we stared at each other while vultures circled around above us (not kidding). The whole thing really bummed me out for the rest of the run and I'm sure I'll have some decent nightmares about the sound of the dog's panting. If you've ever wondered what would happen if people in the U.S. stopped spaying/neutering their dogs, just come on down to either central or south america and bask in the terrible reality of roaming dog packs that infest every city. pigeons might move out of your way, but 10 hungry dogs don't.

I don't know why I felt compelled to post the previous rant concerning ultrarunning. It's really sort of stupid. I'll keep running whatever distance I want, whenever I want, regardless. I still am struggling to understand how, in a world filled with limitless hobbies, there are people who want to spend their time expounding matter-of-factly on the desires/motivations of people that they don't know. That wasn't interesting when little girls and boys used to talk about stuff like that in grade school and it isn't interesting now. Quit it. Go watch football or baseball and yell at the TV. It cares a lot. That's my last word on the subject, I hope.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I hope this post gets buried quick.

I have no business nor much interest in typing anything about anything other than running and drinking, but...

In the 1 year I have been following ultramarathon running, I have been pretty weirded-out by this progressive trend toward ESPN style "sportiness" regarding the commenters on ultra running blogs. I used to skateboard when I was young...actually, I skateboarded for over 10 years and was really good at it. One of the most important things to me about skateboarding was that the people who talked about it, worked in it and had their lives invested in it ACTUALLY RODE THEIR SKATEBOARDS.

Very consciously, this was something I liked about ultrarunning. If you really are dedicated to and love something, you can laugh about it and not get all stern-faced and lame about it. Geoff Roes, Dakota Jones, Bryon at iRunFar, Lucho, JT, Jesse from MI, etc. all elucidate my point: Make sure you love DOING something more than you love TALKING about doing something.

If what you really want to do is talk stupid shit about a sport, please go back to watching and not playing any of the following: basketball, baseball, american football or football. These are well-established zones for totally uninteresting bullshit. Feel free to proceed. Please, stop slinging your boring commentary all over a sport that does not want or warrant it. Maybe, all the bored "i'm training for my first ultra" house-husbands of the internet will realize: Hey, maybe the thing that all of your running heros (read: man-crushes) know that you don't is that running in the mountains/trails/etc. is insanely more fun than reading about someone's sport-commentary regarding running in the mountains/trails/etc. (yeah yeah, with this post I'm a potential hypocrite here).

Over 200 comments for money in ultramarathons? I read maybe 10 and then went for a run and then went to do interesting things. Incredible, right? Yep, there's a shitload of life out there just waiting for anyone to scoop it up, free of charge. Best deal in town. I mean, what is going on in these people's lives that they are angered by something as totally reasonable as paying someone for being superb at their chosen profession? No, man. I don't get my dick sucked as often as I'd like (sometimes), but that doesn't mean I vent my frustrations on niche-sport message boards. Get a fucking life. Hey, while you're at it, make it running and not the Internet.

Yep, I guess my irritation in this blog post indicates I am a little behind schedule on a nice (consequence-free) dick sucking. I hope that's never untrue.

Conclusion: I like reading running blogs. They give me inspiration in my own running and are frequently funny and well written. This garbage, keyboard-diarrhea on iRunFar and other blogs is as boring as hell. At least make it barrel-scraping funny like the stuff on LetsRun. I mean, c'mon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wanna come over to my missile silo?

Check out the photos of the silo after the remodeled-home part ends and the REAL silo begins. Whoa. If you're tired of external distractions messing up your trail running program...this might be in the cards for you. Also, a great place to compose anti-government manifestos and work on your homemade bomb-making skills...all while enjoying an espresso, gazing over the Adirondack's.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Head in Vice.

I ran to the cell towers and back this morning before work. I woke up feeling rested and good. I took one tiny sip of coffee and immediately began seeing the familiar creeping lightning-bolt lines that cloud my vision before the onset of a migraine.

I calmly looked out over the city, as my left eye pretty much fully blocked itself out and knew I had about 5 minutes before my head felt like it was being crushed in a vice.

I laced up my shoes and headed out. By the time I reached the cell phone towers: MY MIGRAINE WAS COMPLETELY GONE!

hahaha, kidding. I'm kidding. It hurt so bad that I vomited on the way back. I ate a handful of ibuprofen, got on the bus to go to work and now here I sit, completely spent and feeling like garbage with 7 more classes to teach before I can go home and lay down in the dark and wait for this day to end.

But...I'm still happy I went running.

Runner's World better publish this bullshit.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh no. Quotes.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson - but often attributed to Nelson Mandela

To have such respect for your own body makes it possible to do the same for others.
-Haruki Murakami, whose book on running is so boring that it will make you cry.

Hot Christmas fucking sucks. Hot New Year's is fucking awesome, though.
-Emma, succinctly describing the Chilean holiday season.

Me cago en la concha de tu puta madre.
-Quim, combing a spanish insult with a chilean insult to make something even more disgusting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I spend a bit of every day thinking about Volcán Descabezado, lately. All of my running right now is focused towards the one-day 80+K push to its summit, sometime in January.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Heedlessly Headless" Weekender 12/4/11

Mon - 8 miles to the Virgen and back. 1:10:00. 600ft.

Tues- 10 miles around campus. 3 x 1 mile. 6:40, 6:25, 6:20. 1:15:00 weights after.

Wed- 7 miles to Torres. 1:00:00. 1000ft.

Thurs- 14 miles. torres, virgen, horse pasture in reverse, virgen again, then down the road back home. 2:30:00. 2200ft.

Fri- 9 miles. 1500ft. 1:30:00

Sat- 10 miles. 1800ft. 2:00:00

Sun- Siete Tazas. 22 miles. 7:00:00. 5,000 ft.

80 miles. 16.5 hours. 12,100 ft.

this was a pretty good week. i came home from a 14 hour workday on monday and still went for a night run. that was good, mentally. i did not do the 6 x 30 sec uphill intervals this week, but i did lift legs on tuesday. the long run on sunday was only so-so, as evident by the long hours and modest distance/elevation. went to Parque Ingles for the first time, not knowing what it was like. the views are good, but it's mostly a very long and flat trail that wraps gently around the mountains in the park. Quim and I opted to climb the first big hill we came to, which featured 1800ft. of ascent in about 1.2, over 25% grade for that one. it was slow going, sand and scree, with some actual climbing over short rock faces. we ran along the ridge for a little bit, looking for a good route down. we ended up getting pretty screwed, with some very sketchy and unsafe scrambling along the edge of some sharp drop-offs before finally finding a way to get back down. we attempted to find another route to the top of Comillo del Diablo, but as time began running short, we opted to head back. Mentally, i felt sort of shitty all day. i think that without clear objectives (like the different sites in Vilches Alto), i end up feeling like the run has no form or direction.

took some good photos of a side of Descabezado that I haven't seen before. the top looks mostly snow free at this point, but everyone says the winds are so strong right now that climbing it is pretty slow going. in order to manage the one-day trip from Vilches Alto to the volcano's peak, i still think it's best to wait until mid-January when the winds are low and the odds are good of doing the trip A.F.A.P.

slowly getting stronger on my climbing, slowly dropping some weight and getting ready for whatever fun stuff I can think up for summer vacation from work (January and February, haha! Gotta love the inverted seasons here. I still can't believe it's almost Christmas and the days are just getting hotter and hotter. constant sun and 80's everyday.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weekender 11/27/11

46 miles, 8 hours

mon - 0

tues - 8 (4 out, easy. 4 back, harder, 6:50's) weights, lower. core.

wed - 7 to the cell towers. 1:10:00

thurs - 13 around tree nursery. weights, upper. core.

fri - 10, added 6 x 30sec hill intervals after a 2 mile w/u

sat - went to Punta de Lobos beach to celebrate a belated thanksgiving. got drunk, tried surfing. nice time.

sun - 8 along the beach in Pichilemu, came back on the roads. last mile at 6:40 with considerable rolling hills.

The previous two weeks were hopefully the start of a consistent change to my weekly running. That said, this week's omission of the long run was both unplanned and very welcome. I felt tired all week, but happy in that I still forced myself to suffer through the slightly faster tuesday run and the always delightful hill repeats.