Monday, March 16, 2009

Double Monday

I didn't run yesterday, which is starting to become a habit. By Sunday, I'm done. Rare is the Sunday this winter when I even get out of my pajamas. Though I admit IS difficult to distinguish my pajamas from my regular clothes. I usually sleep in whatever I happen to be wearing. And (huge confession here) sometimes even resurrect the fabulous outfit again the next day.

Whole new realms of creative outfitting have befallen me since becoming a homeschooling parent. I mean, who has time to change clothes?

I guess it's a good thing I run so much. Sort of forces the shower issue.

Anyway. Sunday I rode the bike. Not the sleek Specialized Roubaix road bike that fits my body like a glove and practically rides itself. I passed right by that beautiful thing and hopped on the early-90's vintage, got-it-for-ten-bucks-at-a-garage-sale Specialized Hard Rock. It's a stretch to call this thing a mountain bike. No suspension system, no cross bar and a barely-working rearr derailer that shifts with a mind of its own.

But my goal for the ride was to work my quads, so this bike was perfect. It's heavy and is not tricked out for clipless pedals. I rode it up the steepest hills I could find, pushing hard on every downstroke, burning up my quads, hoping to simulate the braking feeling of downhill running. I am going to need lots of leg strength if I expect my quads to survive the long downhills at Grindstone.

I finished my work a little early this morning (Monday), so the dogs and I headed out at 5:15 instead of our usual 5:45 for a nice 90-minute run in the dark. Slow, steady, hilly, fun.

I ran around with the kids all day, which involves different muscles entirely. We decided to ditch the books today and get outside. We went to the big beach in Charlestown, RI and to the playground at Ninnigret Park. I'm lucky to spend my days with these kids. They keep me young. I jumped off the swings and collected shells and stood in as pivot-man on the see-saw. Excellent day.

And for my second training run, I did hill repeats during Nell's swim practice in the evening. Round and round a ten-minute, two hill circuit for more than an hour. I repeatedly passed the same little farm with the same little ponies and llamas in the pasture. They kept asking me what I was doing. But how to explain it all to llamas and ponies?

I listened to my Zen book on the iPod (Alan Watts: The Way of Zen). There is absolutely nothing better to listen to than a Zen book when you are doing hill repeats. It gives the whole bizarre procedure new layers of meaning. Zen is all about losing your mind, letting yourself stop thinking about thinking. Forget the past and the future: all illusions. The idea (or not idea, exactly) is to become one with the universe. (AW: You are not born INTO the world, you are born FROM it. Like an apple from a tree).

Generally I am way too self-conscious to achieve anything remotely resembling Zen mind. But I do come closest when I am running hill repeats.

And now it's late at night (for me anyway) and I can't sleep. Overtrained?


  1. Okay Pam, while you are doing your long runs, you have to start experimenting with food. You have to eat during an ultra, especially the longer, tougher ones. Start taking different things with you on your runs and try them later in the run. Or see if you can eat more early in the run to help sustain your later on. Any chance of you getting out of you pj's on March 29th to do a long run on trails? Let me know (I'll send you an email). Bob B.

  2. You're right. You're right. I know you're right. But man, my stomach rebels at everything. And if something works once, it may never work again.

    Saltines? Nuts? All the sports drinks make me sick. All the bars and gu's. I have lately been sucking on small pieces of Clif Bloks -- that seems to work. A slow drip into the system.


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