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 climbing...it'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.