Monday, September 23, 2013

Actual running update! High desert "training camp!"

Before we begin, True Believer, I want you to make extra-sure that you're buckled in nice and tight to your Internet Surfing Cockpit. Are your shoulder harnesses cinched down securely? They are? Good. Is the chin-strap on your helmet snug (but not too snug)? It is? Great.

Well, if every leather strap is strapped and every nylon-webbing belt is belted, then we can begin...

The reason for all this security and protection is that I'm about to blow your mind with my very first ACTUAL POST ABOUT RUNNING AND TRAINING (in about 2 years).

I just finished up what is known as a training "block" with consummate pro Daniel Rowland up in the dry heights of Chile's Atacama desert. A training block, for those of you who don't know, is where you literally produce a block-like form by running in a tight, rectangular loop for... about 50 or 60 hours, depending on the firmness of the terrain. Eventually, the result is a "block" that has been very slowly carved into the surface of the earth. Obviously, it can take longer to produce this "block" if you're on pavement...years, in fact. That's why most people choose to do their training blocks in snow. Or, sand, if there's no snow. As Marlon Brando reminded us: In many situations warm butter is also ideal, including a training block.

Did you read that? Wow. I'm so sorry. Seriously. I'll apologize to your face, one day. I swear this to you, True Believer.

Anyway, we went up to the desert to run for a week (I say up, because I'm at sea level and the Atacama starts at about 7,800 ft.). The first two days (ok, three days), I was sucking wind like I was trying my best to win a wind sucking competition. I think I did pretty well. Unless, some sort of Michael Jordan of wind sucking had jumped in at the last minute, I'm sure I would have won the World Championship of Sucking Wind. (I'm talking early 90's 3-peat Jordan, obviously).

It occurs to me, that there is almost certainly a World Championship of Sucking Dick. A quick Google search reveals that there is, indeed, although much like Major League Baseball, the championship seems limited to the U.S. If my national pride swelled any further, I'd have to change my pants.

What in the fuck am I talking about? Good grief is it difficult to focus!

Probably because I'm so damn tired after a 100 mile week (with about 90 of those in the desert).

So, I learned a lot this week.

1.) If I'm at 7,800 feet, it takes a while before I can breathe while jogging. I know this isn't high to most of you mountain people, but for me...I may as well have been running loops on Mount Everest.

2.) Daniel Rowland has more discipline, focus, and fitness in just one of his very fast feet than I possess in my entire being. Not only did he arrive fit, fast, and with his tiger's eye gleaming, but he also went into the training block practicing his nutrition for an upcoming stage race. His dinner each night, I swear to God, was a PIECE of a protein bar about the size of a 9V battery.


You know who else would call that dinner? A war camp prisoner.

Lot's of hot trail action. I mean, lot's of hot AND trail action. Plus, epic clouds.

Our water intake for the 6 days. Add in a couple liters of not-pictured Sprite Zero and I count about 45L

This wouldn't be one my blog posts if it didn't feature a video. This one, I think, captures the vibe of the tiny town of San Pedro as well as the running conditions. It's a quickie, too. No attention span needed.

Last point. I've had a bumpy 5 weeks of training amidst basically a year of solid, very quality training. Unfortunately, those bumpy 5 weeks led right up to this week in San Pedro. Thanks to Daniel's optimism and just a really killer week of running, I feel like all is not lost for the The North Face 50 Miler in 4 weeks. I'm going to focus now on one or two more key hill sessions, some speed work and try to lose another kilogram or two of weight off this body. Obviously, I have no idea who will be at the race, but I'm hoping to improve on my 9th place from last year...or at least certainly improve on my time.

That's it. No more writing for "write" now. A little clean joke for all of the fundamentalist Christians that read my blog.

God is dead.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Magic Moldering in Silkworms' Skirt Slats

So many good links you (probably) haven't seen! I am making a post of these links because they are what keeps me going when I'm hideously hungover and begging God to make an example of me for all you sinners out there.*


The last sentence of this post is so beautiful. One nice aspect of the Internet is that people don't think too hard about what they write, and we get to read it anyway. One horrible aspect of the Internet is that people don't think too hard about what they write, and we end up reading it anyway. (Case in point: This blog. Sorry.)


 Yes, I'm aware that this is a friend of mine...but do you know anyone else who's doing something like this? Even if you disregard the awesomeness of two generations of family planning on running a giant event together (while living on multiple continents)...well, the updates on the real day-to-day reality of running in Africa by his dad are amazing. Bring a powerful headlamp because thugs shatter streetlights in order to mug you. your aid station ran out of fresh watermelon? hahaha! Also, Daniel's blog is the realistically the best resource for stage-racing on the internet. Dig in, my fellow nerds.


 Another friend of mine just pulled off YET ANOTHER mammoth week: 21.5 hours and 28,000 ft. of vert. I KNOW it's in Spanish but seriously if you're not following Max's blog you're missing out on such a high level of stoke and...c'mon, don't all USAians like to say they understand Spanish at this point? Here's your chance to practice it!


Four is my lucky number. It has been ever since I was born with some sort of weird OCD. I spent most of my time in elementary school tapping the legs of my desk with my shoe in "1-2-3-4" repetitions. I also still bite my fingernails in repeating "4 corner" patterns. I'll draw you a picture of what that means if you're interested.


My knee is fine. I have a gift for both developing AND treating injury. Let me know if you want the details on knee tendonitis, but the bottom line is: Lots of lifting weights and lots of alcohol.

*I say that with so much love in my heart. I hope you know that, True Believer. Your sins are OK with me. Sin on.

Tomorrow, I leave for the high desert to go training for 6 days with D-Rowdy. I don't feel fit or particularly ready. I've had a horrible throat infection for the past week and have spent most of my time crying as I attempt to swallow juice and sweating out a very persistent fever (yes, i tried more cowbell. nothing).

So anyway, we'll see how it goes. I'm still psyched to have a week off of work (google "dieciocho chile") and I can just run and hang out with a buddy and feel stoked about life.

You guys are all awesome out there. Marriages, kids, great beards (but not on the kids...yet), good running, just all around awesomeness. I know you may not feel like it everyday, but let me tell you: That shit sometimes cuts through the layers of intoxication and I think "whoa, jogging is OK."

So, keep up the good fight! And as my grandfather would say (without citing the original author)

Here's a song to go along with it!

Kill every fucking fascist you see! ...Unless they're single and looking for a bearded teacher living in Chile!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mixtapes. Good for running, but not about running. End transmission.

When I was in the U.S. in July, my uncle told me about a mixtape he and his buddies had made back when they were teenagers. They spent one of the best weeks of their lives on an island, with ONLY this single mixtape. I like these kinds of stories, so anyway: The origin of the tape was that they had all gotten stoned in a friend's basement and spliced together some tunes, some Animal House movie clips, some clips of them being stoned, some choice quotes amongst best friends, etc. The mixtape cassette, however, has disappeared and my uncle was asking me how easy it may or may not be to recreate the original mix, but digitally.

Normally, I would say "no" to putting together someone else's nostalgia-inspired mixtape, but the story behind the mix and then my uncle's playlist that he jotted down from memory (it's below) was funny and weird enough that I decided to give the project a whirl. Please enjoy these mixes so much.

Where I couldn't find or reproduce the original audio, I made some changes. Hopefully, the updates will not only breath some fresh air into the mix but won't wreck the overall good vibes. Otherwise, I tried to stay completely true to my uncle's list and descriptions.

Side A:
Intro to Saturday night live (partial)
Animal House “Helenic Council Mtg” aka “prelaw, pre-med… what’s the difference”
David Bowie – Young American
Animal House – Louie Louie
Animal House – Twisting the Night Away
A Dog Bark – Random…probably Tess
I Could Be Happy – Altered Images
Soul Man – Blues Brothers
Matt & Chris getting stoned (impossible to duplicate)
Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies
Little bit of Soul - Ramones
I Don’t Have to Jump – Jerry Lewis (not even sure how to find this soundclip…)
Great Balls of Fire – Jerry lee Lewis
Mr. Thoughtful with a 12 roses – Animal House
Matt & Chris getting more stoned
That’s Life – James Brown version
The Bird – The Trashmen
Hawaii 5-0 – The Ventures
Aint to proud to beg – Temps
Blue Moon - Marcels (partial)
Sitting in Limbo – Jimmy Cliff
Swan, Swan, Hummingbird – REM
“evil fraternity clip’ – Animal house
I Am Superman – REM

Side B:
Wipeout – Surfaris
Grab a Brew – Animal House
Walk, Don’t Run – Ventures
Sweet Transexual – Rocky horror
Dance this mess around – B52’s
Fawn Leibowitz – Animal House
Tequila – The Champs
Green Onions – Booker T and the MG’s
Bitchin’ Camaro – The Dead Milkmen
Tim Forderer quote – “Totally willing to jam on whatever project” (can’t duplicate)
Up All Night – The Boomtown Rats (partial)
Black Rat Swing – Cephas & Wiggins – Original was Memphis Minnie
Blues from the lowlands song that I can’t identify… delta style blues??
Are you Ready to go - Reggae – UB 40??
Legal Tender - B52’s
Whamy Kiss - B52’s (partial)
Blackbird – Beatles
Whamy Kiss – B52’s
Madame Butterfly – Malcom McClaren
Mandy Peperidge , Message Your Thighs! – Animal House
All Right - David Bowie
I came here to be inspired by the great painters???
In this generation - Monkees??

50’s music from scene with Mrs Wormer – Animal House

Side A

Side B