Tuesday, April 1

Beating Psychosomatic Wussitude

It's April Fool's Day, I know, but there won't be any pranks from the Pavement's Edge today.  Rest assured.  It's not joke when an up and coming cyclo-blogger hacks into your sensitive personal financial information and uses that knowledge to bankroll world domination.  It's just coincidence that happened to you on AFD.  As a consolation prize pleze enjoy today's post:


We discovered that we were going to be childless on Sunday afternoon.  Typically childlessness is more of a permanent condition, but in our case it was just a temporary relief…er, malady and we began eagerly discussing what we might want to do with the kids out of the house.

Stop that!  This is a family data plan!

“Why don’t we trail run!”  my insanely amazing wife suggested.

“Okay!” I replied before she could change her mind.  “How far do you want to run?” I had to keep the momentum going:

“WecandotheAuxierLoopwhichisjustunderfivemilesandIthinkyou’lllikeit.”

“Okay,” she replied without batting an eye.  If she had batted an eye we may not have ended up leaving the house.

But I digress.

Usually.

The plan was solidified that we would go and run the route for the April 26th 4 Good Trail Race which I mentioned near the end of last week.  It might not have been the best choice for Mandy’s first trailrunning experience, but I explained that we could easily just devolve into a fast hiking situation if it struck our fancy.  Or even a leisurely hiking speed if we wanted.  The main thing I intended for her was to get a little exposure to what running on trail surfaces is like and more specifically to familiarize her with the route in case she should decide to do the run with the CTL and myself.

Of course I am like a helicopter husband and was intent on running at her pace. But after we got started she kept waving me on and telling me to just go.  At one point she said: “I want you to get a good run too!”

I obliged her and took off.  I paused at some of the more complicated intersections just in case, and we did have a good run.  We took a couple of staged photos, albeit with my wonderfully not-as-high-quality-as-advertised iPhone camera.  I’ve submitted my Running Yourself Rugged post for a local publication and hoped to get some decent trailrunning pics to go with it.  Alas, the quality is not.  But that’s okay.  Maybe we stage something else really soon.

I'm not as close to the edge as it appears. 
But, I am sucking my gut in, so I AM fatter than I appear

One thing I was reminded of later in the evening as I reminisced about the run: I’m fat.  I’m carrying at least 20 pounds more of Chainring that I need to be, and there’s an additional 10 pounds that would be nice to de-friend to take me to the next level in my athletic performance.  Grrr!  I’ve been saying this for 5 to 10 years now.  I’m really feeling it more now.

The blubber has got to go.  They say animal fat is flammable.  Maybe, if I could somehow direct the fire…

Anyway, it’s either bite the bullet and get fit or give up and become a full-fat armchair adventurer until my body shuts down completely.  My knees can’t take much more of the abuse of trying to keep 200 pounds from crumpling in the dust with each step.  I don’t think my chronic pain stems from years of abuse as I often explain.  I think it comes from my complete lack of fitness and the over-burden of carrying too much mass at too fast a pace.

So here we go…

Dietary restrictions, calorie intake, increase in activity levels, ugh…UGH.  UGH!!!  I’ve never really had to do this before and it sucks.  Throughout my whole life I’ve just been an active person.  I’ve never really worried about my weight.  The only concerns I had through my 20s and 30s was a vain aversion to the miniscule flab around my middle that could be covered up by a loose t-shirt very convincingly until just a few years ago.

I am not sponsored by Coca-Cola, but I should be

And so now it gets real.  I’ve got to stop whining and start being serious about my health and fitness.  And there are no more excuses.  For to be truthful, I have to admit that I am fairly healthy in a general sense compared to many my age and that inhabit the same cubicle realm I do.  It’s just not enough.  My cubicular malaise leaves me unable to do half-pad pullups on painted metal doorframes.  It prevents me from riding my bike all day on some grungy Nalgene water and a handful of trail mix.  It prevents me from taking off on some Bataan Death March hike of countless miles and elevation with little to no planning.  It prevents me from downclimbing through crux moves to avoid easy runouts over solid bolts.  Well, it prevents me from upclimbing through cruxes to begin with.

I don’t want to be a professional athlete.  I just want to be a happy recreational adventurer.  So let’s go do this thing.

We ended up having a good run.  I stopped a lot and waited until I could see Mandy coming and then I'd go on.  I stopped a few times to drag small blowdowns off the trail and to kick loose limbs and rocks out of the way of aspiring trailrunners.  I walked a lot of steep up- and downhills both to stave off knee pain and to prolong my energy levels for the afternoon.
In the end we did about 5 miles in just under 2 hours.  It was a slow run, but it was good.  I felt pretty good at the trailhead, though by the time I got home there was a chorus in my joints.  In my defense Strava says I climbed 1,100+ feet.  My runs of late have been fairly flat and tame, so it was a pretty high impact for the ole bones.  In that context I actually feel pretty good today.  But I realize I need to really work on conditioning for this kind of stuff and not assume I can just go out and translate "road" miles to trail miles. 

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