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Tag: outdoor fun (page 1 of 2)

tanglin’ with the tecumseh

This past weekend, I took my second trip to beautiful central Indiana to visit the Morgan-Monroe and Yellowood state forests. More specifically, I went to train on the Tecumseh Trail where I will be running my first trail marathon (first marathon overall) on December 1st of this year. I’ve been training for months now, but there’s nothing quite like hitting the Tecumseh (nothing in my neck of the woods anyway). With 3500 vertical feet of ascent and 3800 of descent, running Chicagoland doesn’t quite compare. The weather was a mild 64 degrees, clear, with a slight southerly breeze–good running weather and a great time to be in the woods (wearing a little blaze orange for safety, of course). Despite my best efforts, the hills continually reminded me who was boss, as my pace was slowed a good 3 and a half minutes from my usual training pace. With about four miles to go, I ran out of water. This proved to be discouraging. I respect the trail, the terrain, and the distance–truly I do. After a good 4 hours and 55 minutes, I staggered out of the trees and across my 20 mile mark south of Yellowwood Lake–a little beaten and bruised, but still breathing and feeling very much alive.

Psychologically, this 20-miler has served me well. I know what I’m dealing with, so I will remain humble come the first of December and dance with lady Tecumseh once again. I hope she receives me kindly.

those who run long…

I’ve been running and reading Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell (not simultaneously, mind you), and have taken on a pseudo-obsession with the topic as of late, so much so that I think I’m beginning to really bore my friends and family members with my incessant chatter of running, trails, hydration and nutrition strategies, body mechanics and physiology, spiritual journeys, and such. Anyway, this passage from the foreword by Eric Grossman struck me. I get it. I get it.

Relentless Forward ProgressThose who run long are not freaks of nature. We are not a handful of chosen ones blessed with indefatigable muscle and indestructible cartilage. Nor do we have indomitable willpower that others lack. If anything sets us apart it is a kind of sensitivity. We can hear a faint chord vibrating on old and brittle strings. It begins to resonate through us when we rise predawn for a morning run. The sound builds the longer we stay at it. On a long run through the mountains our attention becomes focused, in tune, automatic. Each footfall and each breath synchronized with a primal tune. Ours is a re-creation of once necessary dispositions.
                                                  — Eric Grossman

ultra dreamin’

Without even my first marathon behind me, I’ve hardly got anything farther on the radar (or do I?). In any case, I found this shaky little video of the Rocky Raccoon 100 to be oddly inspirational–in a Zen sort of way.

Who knows? I’m just wondering how one stays awake for upwards of 24 hours–let alone how one runs for that period of time. Hmm. Interesting.

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