Triple Digits

Well, I just had my highest volume week of training, and it felt fantastic. Today I’m treating myself to a rest day after a week in which I ran 103 miles / 166 kilometers, not to mention biking and a little strength training. It was quite an experience, since, in the week before, I had hardly run at all (totally busy with school/music stuff). So I was really making this insane leap, which I hope might simulate in some small way the insane leap I’m going to take on May 1. I often found myself splitting up the day’s mileage into two runs, which felt good: stretch, eat, recover, then head back out for a slightly shorter run. I deliberately took a far more relaxed pace than usual, averaging 8:23/mi over 10 runs.

One silly detail that I think is pretty cool, is the ascent/descent logged over the course of the week by my Garmin 305. With 18,360 ft of total ascent and 18,467 ft total descent, the amount that I went up and down this week is equivalent to going up and down Mt. Everest (from base camp) one-and-a-half times (minus altitude sickness of course).

Speaking of Mt. Everest, I came across this wonderful quote from Anatoli Boukreev the other day. His epitaph, in fact:

“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion…I go to them as humans go to worship. From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and, with an unusual acuity, am allowed to experience the present moment…my vision cleared, my strength renewed.”

So, anyway, I’m not sore, and I feel like I could run today if I had to. But I have been eating a lot (mostly pretty well, though definitely honey straight out of the jar is not unheard-of) and have had an intense craving for beer.

Here is the bad news. My friend Matt, who had been planning for months to come along with me on certain portions of the trip and to make a documentary about it, is not going to be able to do either of those things. I know that this is just as big a disappointment to him as it is to me, since he was really invested in the project, and we’d been excitedly making all kinds of plans around it. However, because of a family health emergency, he’s going to be needed at home this summer. I wish him and his family all the best, and my heart goes out to all of them. As for me – well, if you have any connections for me between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, now’s the time for you to speak up! (See my updated itinerary in the post just before this.)

Meanwhile, I’m closing in on the end here. I’ve got two hefty papers to write, all my possessions to relocate to another apartment, and I need to somehow find an affordable but serious jogging stroller, pronto. I’ve accumulated most of the gear I need by now (ultralight backpacking tent & sleeping bag, a couple pairs of new shoes, sundry camping & other items to make life on the road easier), but of course I need some conveyance to move it around. Most people who run across the US or Canada have had a vehicular support crew, eliminating the need for them to carry their own stuff. These guys (who seem to have had a similar modus operandi to me) began their trans-USA run with backpacks and quickly realized it was messing with their mechanics. This guy uses pretty much the exact setup that I’d like, but you wouldn’t believe how expensive a top-of-the-line jogging stroller costs. I’m not taking the chance of using something that doesn’t have three large and sturdily-constructed bicycle-style wheels. The Chariot “Cheetah” seems to be ideal for me (gosh, I feel so ridiculous looking at these websites!), and a used one occasionally pops up on Kijiji in the $200 range. Chariot’s more high-end models, the “Cougar” and “CX1” routinely sell (used) for $500+. Crazy!

The other day somebody asked me how I was planning to “do” the Rockies. A totally legitimate question, but until I think of a better answer, mine is still just “up one side and down the other, I guess.”


~ by edmundmilly on April 15, 2012.

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