12 March 2012

The Good

These days have seen a steady progression of pleasant events. The goings-on in my life conspire to make me feel like a complete and contented person, at least for the time being. It's funny how much I vacillate between utter bliss and antsy wanderlust, although if those are my only two settings, I really don't have anything to complain about.

Since Morgan took a wild hare and signed up for the 111k, it was only fitting that we spend a morning clambering over the top of Black Mountain. It was a stellar ride that left us both grinning. I've been doing the same sports for long enough and with enough consistency that I rarely take inventory of fitness gains, but climbing Black I definitely noticed. The whole ride was almost effortless and didn't feel much harder than the Big M. I only put myself in the pain cave on the road home, sprinting to make it to work on time.

Like I mentioned, the John Rock trail race was next up on the agenda. The parking lot was filled with locals and those poor interlopers who wished they were locals. I was reminded how cool the running community is around here: Baker Bill (of course), Cason, Jackie, Sara, Wild Bill, Chanley, Sadie, Mr and Mrs Squirrel, the dude who works at the Hatchery...It was a good scene.

The race was short and the stakes were high (just kidding) so I decided to lay it all out there, which I neverever do in running races. The kilometers ticked by and I continued to feel like a baller, and this time I took it a bit easy on the descent, not wanting to jeopardize the surprise lead. I finished twelfth overall with Chanley breathing down my back as the second woman. A beautiful day, an energizing run, and mad props from everyone--an unbeatable combination.

On Sunday my little sis persuaded me to crash a high school pick-up game, which left me sunburned, bruised, battered, and wickedly stoked on life.

It's not just the sporting life that has been treating me well. Work is going smoothly, my taxes are safely filed, the daffodils are blooming under my window. Of late there have been many memorable get-togethers and social gatherings, evenings of Wii, burritos, Coors Light, sing-alongs, club-hopping, fire-sitting, beard-stroking, playing catch-up with old friends and meeting new, going home with someone I really like at the end of the night...

No, I certainly can't complain.

09 March 2012

Pain Please

After a couple weeks of rather shameful sloth, this weekend I endeavored to hurt myself in a variety of ways. First up was the Mind Over Mountain 15k, a tiny inaugural trail race in SC. On a wet Saturday morning we wound up out of Jones Gap State Park and for the first four or so miles, despite picturesque waterfalls and splendid views, I was vaguely disappointed with the terrain. "Not for beginner trail runners or the faint of heart," boasted the race description. "Do not underestimate the difficulty of this course." C'mon, my inner mountain goat bleated. Gimme the goods. Then the trail pitched straight up endless staircases à la Art Loeb or Presley, and my elevation fiend was satiated. The race topped out at Caesar's Head then plunged southward again. I had been chilling on the climb but the downhill was so long, so sweet that I gave it my all, chasing dudes down and bounding through dry creek beds, praying I wouldn't place a foot wrong and smash my face on the waiting rocks. 

Totally awesome.

The next morning, my calves crying out for respite, I joined a gang of 111k hopefuls to ride Laurel-Pilot from the shop. We had a more epic ride planned but the 15 miles of climbing before Laurel, the plummeting temps, and CB's untimely mechanicals deterred us and we hauled ass home on the road, leaving bonking and frozen friends behind us like decapitated soldiers in the Mekong Delta. 

One might, if one were so inclined, argue that I should've gone snowboarding that chilly, snowy day, instead of Tuesday, which was sunny and 60°. Pshaw. Hungry to get in one last evening on the slopes, I cajoled Chuck and Dan into accompanying me, and for what it's worth we had a good time on the stupid icy runs...minus a couple of painful yardsails. I still suck at snowboarding (three trips does not an expert make, no matter how much it frustrates me) but oh man is it fun. 

This weekend brings with it the John Rock 8k in which all the local runners talk shit and throw down for bragging rights appreciated only by few. I can't wait! 

As usual, no pics because a: the internet does not deign to acknowledge my existence and b: ain't got no camera.