Life Lessons on the trail

This is an absolutely beautiful bit by Fat Cyclist

I wanted to call someone and tell them to come get me, but I kept thinking of people watching the 5 o’clock news and hearing about the ill prepared idiot mountain biker who rode all day by himself, and had to be hauled out by the search and rescue.

I was not going to be that guy.

Well, actually I was that guy, but I got myself into this situation and I was going to do everything I could to get myself out.

I’ve been on his end of many an expedition – it’s a marvelous thing to bite off more than you can chew, ‘specially if you live to talk about it.

Blogged with Flock


Ah, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages!

I sing the song of spring, of the earth awakening from its slumber.
I sing of soft ground, not wet, but loosened from the icy grip of winter.
I sing the song of the long, fresh light after the equinox.
And I sing the chorus of man and machine, working in unison.

Ah, but what would a story be without a twist?

For, like the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden, there are green snakes with Fangs in the Garden of springtime. I speak, of course of the dreaded thorns, the snaky green menace that runs rampant in the new-growth forest that blankets New England.

So, much like my last ride, I’m going to be fixing a tire tonight.

However, this story is not complete. Hubris will make an appearance, just like any good Greek playwright knows it must.

Unlike last time, where I picked up the thorn late in the ride, and didn’t know I’d bought a tire change until I got home, this time I picked up the thorn early in the ride, while lost… I mean, exploring a new route. Once I found myself and got back on track, I noticed the tire going flat while I was making a wicked fast descent and wondering why the back tire was sliding around. Looked down between trees, and noticed it was flattening.

D’oh. And, what – Me without a tube and pump? Say it isn’t so…

Turned around, and rode gingerly back to the parking lot. By the time I got back, the rear tire was almost completely flat. The tube, I’m sure, is riddled with snakebites now, in addition to the thorn.

Ah, years of road riding, you’ve made me soft.

The ride, my friends, was brilliant though. Couldn’t buy a nicer day even if I could fly myself wherever. Trails were in great shape, legs and lungs felt good, and I cleaned a climb that I’d never made before. The new bike still feels a little bit short, but I’m thinking more and more that I wasn’t fit properly before – I’ve got control and power now that I didn’t think was possible.

So, call me an idiot, poke fun at the boy with the flat tire. I’m digging out my short pump and a tube, and adding them to the kit in the trunk. Who wants to take bets on how long it is until my first “real” mechanical, and the multi-tool gets added?


Last week was my first double-digit mile week since January. I’m still walking.

I ran from the office at lunch yesterday. The run was good, but chilly. A pair of gloves was all I needed, though.

Huh. Nothing really coming out on the writing front, which is kind of a shame. I had an amazing run about two weeks ago – the first trip back to Arcadia in a long while, and I’ve been musing over it for a while, trying to figure out how to phrase the thoughts.

Essentially, what I’ve been postulating is that adversity is crucial to fully forming a human – that we’ve evolved in such a way that we do not truly function unless we are under stress. The Garden of Eden origin story tends to support this – Adam and Eve living in paradise couldn’t handle life with everything provided for them, and were forced out of the Garden.

But it’s not coming. Sorry. Spring is in the air, and it’s tough to think about adversity when there are daffodils sticking their heads out of the ground.

D’oh – Added later

So, I forgot to mention why this post was titled “Seals”.

As I’m coming back to the office after the run, I meet another runner in the basement shower of my building. We chitchat a bit about the day’s workouts, and he asked me if I saw the seals. “Nope.”

Unbeknownst to me, apparently there’s a gaggle of seals that congregate on some rocks outside of the Navy Station chow hall at low tide. Yesterday, low tide was about 11:30, so I missed the seals. It should be about 12:30 today, so I’m hoping to catch the seals during lunch. It’ll mean extending what should be 3 miles to about 4, but hey – how many people get to see seals during their lunchtime run?

Bluff Point Twilight Trail Race – 18 May, 2007!

Woo Hoo! The next-to-highlight (highlight being the New Haven 20K) of my race year is the Bluff Point Twilight Trail Race. It’s an absolute hoot, 6PM on a Friday evening. It’s on again this year (website is up). Missy and I are getting a babysitter.

One change this year is that they’re staggering the starts of the 5(ish)K and the 7(ish) miler. Which likely will lead to confusion at the finish line, instead of the start. Not sure how I feel about that…

If you’re interested, here’s the 2005 edition, and last year’s (buried towards the end.) And here’s TRCWTOH writing about the 2005 race.

How d’you like them apples, Jon?

So, proof that clean living, hard work and pure thoughts win out?

I saw 169.5 on the scale this morning, the first time since early last fall that that’s happened.

And, that’s after a month in which I barely ran due to injury. I have given up fast food for Lent, though, which might be a contributor.

I feel fine

One of the largest supervolcanoes in the world lies beneath Yellowstone National Park and scientists say activity there is increasing.Though the Yellowstone system, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is active and expected to eventually blow its top, scientists don’t think it will erupt any time soon. Supervolcanoes can sleep for centuries or millennia before producing incredibly massive eruptions that can drop ash across an entire continent.

Activity discovered at Yellowstone supervolcano – LiveScience –

Blogged with Flock

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

So, Ars Technicais reporting that there may or may not be a new state of matter, and that electrons may be one expression of a multi-dimensional super particle in our slice of the universe.

…Wen and Levin postulated something incredible: what if electrons were not fundamental particles, but merely the ends of long strings of other “true” fundamental particles? With this idea, the pair developed a new model for matter where it was made up of these strings woven together to form what they dubbed “string-nets.” Developing and running computer simulations of this model showed that it gave rise to both conventional particles as well as the quasi-particles, those which carried a fractional charge that began this whole adventure. Then they discovered something completely unexpected.

I, for one, welcome our new multi-dimensional overlords.

Blogged with Flock


If you aren’t a regular listener, let me put in a plug for Garrison Kellior’s “Writer’s Almanac” (Available as a podcast, so you don’t have an excuse not to listen). This morning’s pean to spring was absolutely wonderful, so good that it would have brought a smile even to Jon’s face, equaled only by a national body dedicated to tracking blood donations.

But, somehow, with the equinox, it seems like things are evening out in my fitness life. The legs are feeling good, the death rattle that’s been in my lungs since the fruit of my loins brought pestilence into my home a couple of weeks ago is down to a minor inconvenience, and I feel that I’ve bested nature once again by surviving a New England winter.

Oh, and I’m running again without feeling like crap.

With a new car, I’ve been looking for little tips and tricks to reduce the mileage I drive. One of the upshots of this is that I’ve found some additional access points for Arcadia State Park, literally right off of the shortest route home. AND, yesterday, I stopped into EMS at lunch, and saw a pair of Vasque trail-runners for 30% off of 30% off. Sweet – $90 shoes for $40. I know I’ve pooh-poohed specific trail-runners in the past, but I figured that in the worst case, I could use them when hiking with the cub scouts.

So, on the way home, I stopped to crank out three on the North-South trail. There was still pretty good snow/slush pack in the forest from the storm at the end of last week, and the portion of the forest I was in was rockier than where I usually ride. So, I slogged up hill and slipped down dale – and life was good. Never before have I been so happy with running 10 minute miles.

Today – vendor meeting in the AM, offsite, and a stop by Gym 109 on the way back to the office. 3 miles on NAVSTA, holding back to keep the HR down (and hopefully the stress on the legs down). Sunny, but mid-30’s and mildly windy (as opposed to just breezy). Good run – the last mile was with the wind, so I was nice and toasty when I came back into the gym. The wind was from the north, so I was tempted just to sit in the sun in the lee of the gym and soak up rays when I finished. Ahhhh, spring.

Anyway, ladies and germs, that’s my little bit of life. Not perfect, but nothing at all to complain about. Next time I’m whining, remind me that “this, too, shall pass.”

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

CRN, or the Blogging Runner’s Recreation, being a discourse of ROADS, WOODED TRAILS, RUNNERS & RUNNING

(With Apologies to Isaac Walton)

Just wanted to make a quick post. I was a slacker today – I think I pulled a muscle in my chest while coughing – it’s been hurting to raise my arm above my head for the last few days. So, I blew off heading to the gym/pool. And, it was too snowy/melty to bike today.

But tomorrow, I’m out to begin the road to Wellville – baked up some Matisse and Jack’s bars today (Yummy cranberry) thanks to Jeff’s recommendation. They’re tasty, but I think they’re going to take a little bit of liquid to chase down on the bike. I think they’re going to end up as breakfast – bar, fruit, and coffee, maybe yogurt to hit about 500 cal to get me started.

Anyway, I really wanted to do some cross-promotion here. As I’ve mentioned, I do some (not enough, I know Mark – the beatings are improving morale, though :) work for Complete Running. I finally broke out of that writing slump with what I think is a pretty decent bit on my plans for comeback.

Anyway, it’s a plug. The folks there put out consistently good information, and have done wonders to connect running bloggers. While I’m not svelte or fast, the support network that Mark and Aaron set up way back when (When? Spring 2004 is when. way back in the dark ages) has kept me running for the last three years, my longest period under 175 since I was in high school. The RBF has meant a lot to me, and these are the people who have made it happen. I’m just happy they let me rant once in a while.

In the mean time, it’s off to bed – lights out before 11 has been doing wonders for me mentally.

Technorati Tags: , , ,