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.