Saturday, July 17, 2010

Midnight 50K, the remix

My second attempt at a 50K post-polymyositis comes this weekend. My first attempt at Sylamore in February did not go well. Leg muscles locked up with about 6 miles to go. After having to repeatedly lie down on the side of the trail and wait for them to loosen up, I had to walk it in. I'm not certain, but I think dehydration played a role. This time I'll try to be a little more diligent with it, and try not to be too ambitious in the earlier miles. Especially since the forecast high in the area has hit triple digits. I missed this run last year, and was sad. It's a perennial favorite of mine. Something about running in your flashlight tunnel with the locusts pounding in your ears... it's a bit transcendent at times. Then again at other times, it's just plain hot and nasty.

One consistency I've noticed when toeing the line for longer events is a blatant uncertainty regarding what the next several hours will hold. Once again, I can confidently say that I have no idea what will happen. Nirvana? Despair? PR? A ride in the sag wagon? Which is interesting, because I am a very play-it-safe kind of person in real life. I love how recreation gives us an opportunity to lead double lives. To enable risk-taking in appropriate arenas. Leisure scientists refer to this as sensation-seeking. I call it "what was I thinking?" Or "I hope I'm laughing about this someday."

Catch you on the flip side.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer love

I'm lying in bed one night this week. Waiting to fall asleep, but it's not coming as easily as usual. Here's why:

I have a gi-normous chigger bite on my ankle that all of my willpower can barely resist. I can pinpoint the day and trail on which I sustained it. Arkansas forests are full of them in the summer.

I can't roll over very comfortably because I have a large burn on my shoulder blade. I learned the hard way that a hydration pack causes burns when worn without adequate coverage on a 21 (or who knows?) miler. It's in an inconvenient location, and I have a hard time keeping the scab intact. I'm embarassed that I didn't know how to handle my gear better.

I can feel my pulse in my toe. I bruised a toenail during the course of a long run, and pulled it off prematurely, almost like a loose tooth. It's gooey and raw. I wonder if I'll be able to get a shoe on in the morning. I wonder if I should cover it or give it air. Injuries to digits are disporportionately painful to their small size.

And as I try without much success to get comfortable, it occurs to me:

I love this.