Phantom Injuries be Damned...
It has been a while since I was in a taper period saving up before a race. Sadly, nothing much as really changed. The Phantom Injury is still present, real, and a compelling reason for self doubt and fear.
From my first ultra at Mountain Mist 50K in 2010 where I had a tragic, "Get up from the office chair" knee injury, to the hip "injury" I sustained two days before flying to Seattle for my first hundred caused by that ever daunting walk up a flight of stairs to the bedroom. It happens every time. The mind is playing tricks on you. Trying to make you believe you can't make it. You WON'T make it. It's your internal back of the mind saying, "Here's your excuse. Use it. Embrace it. You can fail now."
So today while sitting at my office plugging away and I lose all the feeling in my left leg, from the hip down I was mildly concerned. Certainly since its never happened before. Just kept going numb, tingly. I asked a coworker if I was having a heart attack. Knowing me and that 94% of all comments are filled with some level of humor and/or sarcasm it was blown off in a flurry of "That's what you get for running so much!" comments.
I returned to my office to continue my heart attack.
In a continuation of our corporate fitness challenge at work we had to run a 1 mile trip around the neighborhood to test our standing heart rate recovery. It is a simple test of determining how quickly your heart rate can come down in one minute following high intensity exercise. The goal of sorts would be a drop of 40 beats per minute. So wearing a heart rate monitor we took off to start the mile.
I made it fifteen feet before I realized there was something amiss with my left foot.
Apparently I shattered it somewhere and didn't realize it.
Holy shit what's wrong now?!
Why does my ankle feel like someone slammed a board off it? I know, I'll just run faster.
Half ran the entire way. Still an inexplicable "injury." Doesn't hurt now. Don't know what the heck happened...I can only blame voodoo mind tricks on Dustin Hoffman.
Have you seen Sphere? I felt like at the end of the run I was going to get clobbered by a giant squid, and Dustin Hoffman was going to be standing at the finish line recording my time.
He's making me think I'm hurt when I'm not. He's playing with my mind.
I'm going to win Dustin.
I know it's not real.
Live the Dream Guys
Skurka in Alaska
http://andrewskurka.com/2012/how-i-make-a-living-as-an-adventurer/ People always say, "I wish I could do that" when they see someone else doing what they wish they could do for a living. Whether its a professional baseball player, National Geographic photographer, musician, or a professional adventurer. Andrew Skurka has gone out and done it and he's doing it now. He's a professional adventurer. I've been following Andrew for a couple years now as we're the same age and he's doing what I would LOVE to be doing. To do what Skurka is doing takes a lot of sacrifice in life and some that I'm not willing to take. So I'll remain happy doing what I'm doing and sit back and live a bit vicariously through him and the Anthony Culpeppers of the world as they take on these incredible journeys. They've earned it. It's not easy. Just read the article Skurka wrote about how he does it (linked above.)
Back to Reality...Sort of...
In holding true to my original plan to keep this website/blog from being anything but what all the other runner's blogs are here's a continuation of my oddities and some that I found on the internet. I have a soft spot for the beauty of a time lapse film, the process behind it, the music along with it. So I always look for them on the internet and then I click on the "Related Video's" and then I enter the downward spiral into the internet Labyrinth. Surprisingly not all are about running or ultrarunning or trail running. I think there are some you might really enjoy. If not, well...it's my website so I can do what I want. :)
Patagonia - An Obsession Relived
I've been mildly obsessed with Patagonia for the last 5-6 years. I had an opportunity in my life to make the leap and take my career in hotels to another country, single and with a chance to work abroad. I searched exclusively at first in Patagonia/Argentina/Chile as I've just always been intrigued by the area, the culture, the people. The movie "Motorcycle Diaries" didn't help much as I watched that over and over again with a 7' map of South America dominating my bedroom wall...constantly dreaming of the day I'd take the big move...
It never worked out that I would move to Patagonia. I took a promotion a couple months later in Arizona, met my wife shortly thereafter and I'd not change a thing from what I have now. Yet, I still have a picture of the Torres del Paine mountains overlooking Hotel Explora, my dream hotel in Patagonia, taped to my inside of my notebook I carry around all day at work. I just keep re-taping it to new notebooks every year. It's worn, battered, torn, and even faded. I just can't let it go.
One day. I'll be there.
Until then I settle for YouTube and Vimeo fixes of the area. I'll have my own videos soon...
Sh*T Ultrarunners Say
Shit Ultrarunners Say has been all over the internet this week. It's pretty dang funny, I've watched it five times now and it just gets funnier. Not sure how enjoyable if you don't run but just know watching it that...well....pretty much every one of those happens on a daily long run. Great stuff!
This must have taken FOREVER to complete. It's just incredible. Both in scope but the sheer beauty of Yosemite. Wow.
Get Up to Get Down Trailer
This guy has been all over the country thru hiking and certainly applies to the above mention of guys that just go out and do what they always dreamed of. This video is a trailer to a longer movie he's working on about the Great Enchantment Trail, a 700 mile long trek through Arizona and up through New Mexico. Starts in Phoenix and ends in New Mexico going through southern AZ and western NM. Starts in the Superstition Wilderness as you can spot Weaver's Needle right off the bat!
Possibly my favorite video of ALL TIME
This video would have been totally different with another song but what a great choice! It's so interesting to see the backgrounds in each shot, even if only for a second in the time lapse but the pauses...they really grab a hold of you, make you pause and really pay attention. It's incredible really and the ending really takes a full grip on you, or at least it did me. I love it. Super creative.
He has no legs. Stop making Excuses.
More proof that nothing can stop you from doing what you always wanted to do. Yes, sounds cliche, but in the world of, "I used to be able to do that when I was your age" and the excuses that come with everyday life it's always great to see people kicking that crap to the curb and going for it anyway.
The guy that made this video was 17. Incredible.
The GoPro has been around for a little while now so a lot of people know what they are. Still though, many do not and always ask me what kind of camera I have. So for those not familiar with this little piece of technological genius...here's their promotional video. Which..is...amazing!
Alberta - It's like Alaska...but not another 2,000 miles north
File this under: Yes Please! Can you imagine what the running trails are like up there?!!!!!
Andrew Skurka on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition
The world is truly filled with an incredibly diverse group of people. It is really astounding to see, now in the internet age of instant sharing, what people are capable of and what people are attempting. It's almost like the internet, in some unintended way, has led so many people to "one up" each other. With satellite photos, maps of all areas in the world, it would seem that the world is already discovered. Yet is it? Maybe "discovered" is all relative to the respective person doing the discovering?
Hearing about some of these adventures these people are doing out there you realize that the world is NOT discovered and fully mapped and these adventures are revealing so much more. Maybe not entirely about the geography of the land they are walking on but more so what the human body is really capable of. Whether it is Andrew Skurka's multiple first time routes across North America, Jenn Phar Davis breaking the Appalacian Trail speed record, Ray Zahab and his epic trips across continents or a 61 year old Australian woman who decides to swim across shark infested waters from Florida to Cuba. It doesn't matter the distance but rather the incredible drive it takes to even tackle such an undertaking. How do you just sit down and say, "I want to swim across the ocean to Cuba. 60 hours straight. Sharks all the way." I'd normally say that's crazy. But is it? I used to think running 50 miles would be crazy but maybe everything is just a little bit crazy but only based on your particular perspective.
Ray Zahob - Impossible to Possible- I2P
This website really sums up Ray. http://www.monumentaleffort.com/ray-zahab-canadas-karnazes-and-more (by the way this is a really cool website. Love this kind of stuff) He really is quite extraordinary. He's passion and enthusiasm for what he is doing and striving to do is inspiring to say the least. I have a lot more to say about Ray but I'll get to it later.
The last couple years since I've been running ultras I have a much harder time watching the ESPY's and hearing the word "hero" and "best athlete on the planet" being said over and over again. I'm not trying to take away anything that Kobe or Derek or some $50 million dollar a year soccer player is doing in their respective sport. They are incredible athletes, no question. Yet when I "watch" Geoff Roes come back from the dead to overtake Anton at mile 88 of the Western States 100??? Hands down one of the greatest races ever run. The guy killed it, broke the record and beat two of the best runners on Planet Earth, from behind, dropping his pacer in the process. What was the "Best Record Breaking Performance for 2010" at the ESPY's? Ok...it was the 1st Round 11 hour tennis match Isner vs. Mahut at Wimbledon. That's pretty impressive. I remember watching that but my point is ultrarunning isn't even considered and if ultrarunning isn't you have to know that so many other sports and new crazy adventures that people are doing are not being considered that have nothing to do with running. It's interesting how focused the ESPY's are on the main sports but in reality they are not nearly as impressive as some of the feats being done all the time, under the scope of the cameras. Maybe that's what makes them so great. The lack of attention from mainstream media. Maybe if it was covered by the major networks a lot of people would be shying away from ultrarunning and adventure sports. I don't know.
Either way, there are some pretty incredible feats being done every day. You just have to keep your eyes out for them. If you haven't set your eyes upon this preposterous feat...here you go. Ueli Steck powering up Eiger. Beyond Impressive.