Motivated

Kind feeling like it’s back. I’m starting my first training block for a July marathon and the embers are starting to smolder a bit. I had a really good tempo run early in the week – clipping along around a 7:15/7:20 pace on the flats.

I’m zeroing in on my lactate threshold pace. Based on a fast 5K, I think it’s in the neighborhood of 6:30/6:40. I’ll see how much I can push that in the coming weeks.

I really feeling like I’ve been in maintenance mode for the last couple of years (I know!!!). I’m ready to bring the hurt though. Embrace the suck.

The only downside is that my mileage plan may conflict with my spring climbing schedule. It’ll be a challenge to balance the 2. I’ll be keeping track of training progression over the next few months. Buckle up.

Thinking and running

Good article on philosophy of mind and performance:

There is some material from Ericsson and Pool’s book, Peak A really good read on the same topic.

I had a great trail run yesterday. I was time-boxed between 2 appointments… which always puts some pressure on start and end times and pushes me to run harder. After reading the above article I realized how much I think when I’m running. I’m constantly repeating in my head: keep my hips under me, arms still, upper body still… or on a long climb: lean my head forward slightly to move some weight forward, swing my arms to keep forward momentum.

It’s funny because when I was descending a particular rocky section of trail I briefly considered if I should just let go and propel down without considering my foot placements (I don’t want to roll an ankle). It turned into a wager of the statistical likelihood of a mistep on a rock and and ankle roll vs. moving a bit more cautiously (slower) and mitigating the risk. Maybe if the stakes were higher – in a race for example. But not worth it on a training run.

PASTA PRIMAVERA!!!

Spring Break hi jinks on the PCT. I tried to convince them to bring their skis and find a hill we could lap, but they weren’t having it.

We snowshoed out from Barlow Pass and then set up a basecamp. They’ve been stoked to go winter camping and I wanted to do a trial run to see what they thought. They loved it.

We cut benches in the side of the shelter and kept a nice countertop for cooking. Then we cleared out a little more space and had a dance party.

This tent is palatial. A little bit tricky setting it up, but easy enough with someone holding the center pole and another person staking.

Wonka ‘Low 4’ Rivard

We said goodbye to Wonka this morning.

He wasn’t the mischievous one. That was his little brother Chief. Wonka was above it all. He was aloof. He never begged, but he always gave a ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when getting puppy treats. He was always down for whatever. Never over the top excited, but never shied away from an adventure.

S and I were talking last week and it was almost like we were his guardians. The family he lived with, but he wasn’t our fur baby like Chief. We adopted him in New Mexico. He was a res dog. Australian Cattle Dog. He was deaf and had short little legs. Legs that could take him anywhere – going one speed. Slow and steady.

I’m going to miss him most at night after everyone goes to bed. We spent a lot of time together after 8pm. Years. Just the two of us hanging out passing the time.

The past couple of months weren’t that much fun for him. His legs were starting to go and he was having trouble standing up. We’d wake up at night and hear him spinning around having trouble standing. The past weeks we had been carrying him outside and then back inside. Setting him down in front of his bowl so he could get a drink of water, then helping him walk straight back to a spot in the living room so he could lie down in a good vantage point.

His lack of hearing never bothered us or him. I don’t know if dogs can sense the tone of your voice when you speak to them – with Wonka we just gave him lots of pets, lots of hugs, lots of scratches to let him know we were there. Last night I laid down next to him on the floor and spooned him so he could feel me breathing. I just rubbed his side and we fell asleep for a while.

He was my wing man.

Moderately Fast

Mentally going through the transitions for Saturdays skimo race and I realize I’m going to be sloooowwww in a couple places. I’m using Volkl skin pin Colltex skins, so I can’t leave my skis on and pull the skins in a transition. I just didn’t want to spend more $$ to buy race skins that have a standard tip attachment. I’m going to need to pull my skis off and remove the skins.

I’m also going to leave my leashes on — it would be a nightmare scenario of I removed the leashes and a ski got away from me during a transition. That would be a big bummer.

I’m just thinking: slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Deliberate motions, focus on what I’m doing. I’m only racing myself.

Skin to bootpack

  1. Put poles down or in snow
  2. Unclip leashes
  3. Pop off bindings (thumbs)
  4. Skis together
  5. Through loop, hook over shoulder
  6. Grab poles, hammer

Bootpack to skin

  1. Poles down
  2. Skis off pack
  3. Clip leashes (one at a time)
  4. Step into binding
  5. Pull binding for uphill mode
  6. Grab poles, hammer

Skin to downhill

  1. Use pole to unclip bindings
  2. Poles down
  3. Unclip leashes
  4. Downill skin 1 : pull skin and put in jacket
  5. Twist heel for downill and step in
  6. Uphill skin 2 : pull skin and put in jacket
  7. Twist heel for downill and step in
  8. Grab poles : hammer

Downhill to skin

  1. Use pole to unclip binding
  2. Poles down
  3. Pull skin 1 from jacket / put it on
  4. Twist heel for uphill
  5. Put ski down
  6. Pull skin 2 from jacket / put it on
  7. Twist heel for uphill
  8. Put ski down
  9. Step into both skis
  10. Pull binding for uphill
  11. Pick up poles : hammer

The Poetics of Space

This has been a bit of a start / stop book for me. I think I’ve passed the initial hurdle though and it’s picking up. I was watching Arrival with my daughter this weekend and we there is an explanation about the words that you read have a tendency to start to change the way you think. That was one of the premises of that movie. It also happens with good fiction – Murakami or David Foster Wallace. Some books have a long on ramp to start to think about the ideas the writer is trying to convey. Then it clicks.

2 thoughts come to mind as I make my way through the book. The first: when I was running my own company I would receive a barrage of email, 24/7 and it was extremely stressful. When I left my office and went home, I had to consciously tell myself that home was my safe space – I cannot be reached here, I’ve removed myself from the flow of time and information. It was liberating and worked to gain some semblance of relaxation. 2: My work shop is in the basement, it’s a private space where I can sit at my bench, sketch and think and plan the things I want to build. It’s a design space, and a creation space. The fact that it’s in the basement more approximate to what Bachelard says about the the flower inside the almond:

The flower is always in the almond. With this excellent motto, both the house and the bedchamber bear the mark of an unforgettable intimacy. For there exists no more compact image of intimacy, none that is more sure of its center, than a flower’s dream of the future while it is still enclosed, tightly folded, inside its seed. How we should love to see not happiness, but pre-happiness remain enclosed in the round chamber!

The Poetics of Space