My legs felt strong the last two days after my Thursday night long run, but the ball of my right foot was quite sore. It felt bruised. So I was curious how today’s run would go. I wore my brand new Hoka Challenger ATRs for maximal cushioning, and it felt great. I felt strong and I pushed my speed. I had the two dogs with me, and they did well too. Less than one mile in, I ran into Mari and her two sons. It was nice to see them because I generally never see anyone I know. But it was a great run for a Sunday morning. I feel really good about the outcome.
Thursday night was an interesting night.
To start with, I had some major doubts about the mileage increase. I had doubts about running on unfamiliar trails. I had doubts about my physical fitness. Etc.
But things went well. My route was planned well. My brand new headlamp worked perfectly. And I encountered a bunch of Escondido night life throughout.
It started not long after I summited Stanley Peak. I surprised a coyote. He looked like a dark grey coyote, which I don’t see too often. He quickly ran around the corner of the Diamondback Trail. Then I heard him bark a few times. The another coyote or two barked somewhere nearby. They went back and forth for a few seconds, then they all started howling. I realized I was surrounded by coyotes somewhere in the brush. It was really cool.
Soon, the sun began to set. I turned on my new headlamp. It seemed dim at first, but it is supposed to react to the surroundings to emit the appropriate light needed. I think it worked great. Not too long after that, I was in a canyon with overhanging oak trees, and it was very dark. The light took care of it. I had zero problems seeing.
After dark, I started to see were the poorwill birds. Then I saw frogs hopping away as I approached. Then I saw something I’ve never seen. There were two rodents that hopped on two legs and had a tail that splayed out at the end. I’ve looked them up since I’ve finished, and I think they are kangaroo rats. They are pretty fearless. I think I may have interrupted a romantic moment between two of them, but there was also a big frog there, so I can’t tell you what the hell was happening between the three of them. Near the end of the run, I saw another one, so that was fun.
There was more wildlife, but I won’t bore you with the rest. It was a great, moonless night that was perfect for running. My 17 mile run turned into 18 by the time I reached the car. Not a problem. My feet hurt pretty bad, but overall, I felt great.
As I write this, it’s past midnight. I’m getting some food down, and enjoying the recollection. Great night. Great run. I am sure I’ll sleep well tonight.
I have not been posting all of my runs lately. I’ll try to be better about that. But if you want to ever check out the activity feed, you can find it here.
Today, I was trying to take it easy because I have a big run planned for Thursday night, but I also couldn’t go four days without a run. I was also feeling a little sore, which is worrying me about the long run, but I figured it’s time to get out there and see how I feel.
I felt better almost immediately. I know it will be tough on Thursday, but I am determined to push through. Hopefully, it will be another success, and I’ll feel less trepidation for future long runs. I just feel like I’ve been “off” this last year. I really have to change that. Unless I get injured, I’m pushing forward, uncomfortable or not.
Once again, John Oliver lays out the situation in the most perfect way possible. It’s a horrible situation, but if you don’t laugh a bit about it, you’ll go crazy.
I had an awesome run last night. After work I headed up to Johnson Ranch for 15 miles that I anticipated to be tough. The wind was howling when I got there, and I wasn’t able to start until just after 6pm. Sunset was before 8pm. As the 20-25 mph gusts blasted me, I really hoped the canyons would provide some wind protection. They didn’t.
I took it slow, since this is the first 15 miler I’ve done in a few months. I never really hurt too bad. I just kept moving forward. I lost the light sometime after 8pm, and I was only halfway. I turned on the headlamp and headed back down the hill into Froom Canyon. The wind started to die down.
Even with the light, I almost fell on my face more times than I’d like to admit. The trails are pretty rocky, so you have to pay attention 100% of the time. I was happy to see that the poorwills were out. They are little owl-like birds that sit on the ground in rocky areas, and their eyes glow bright orange in the light. They let you get pretty close to them. They were everywhere last night. I felt a little bad constantly disturbing them.
The spiders were also out. Every few seconds I ran into spiders on the trail, or I’d see a spider web with a rather large spider working away. Some of those spiders eyes glow green when the light hits The green light almost looks like a green water droplet. They flicker a bit. So next time you see a bunch of green flickering lights, just know they’re spiders, and they’re hunting you.
By the time I made it back to Johnson Ranch, the wind had died almost completely. I decided to end to run by almost tripping over a few more rocks and blatantly kicking the edge of a log at full speed. That felt real good on the toes at mile 14.5. But overall the run was a total success. It gave me confidence that I can run another ultramarathon. I am progressing again, and it feels great.
I ran across a website a couple of weeks ago called 5Calls.org. This is a very useful website if you are trying to contact the appropriate parties for a political issue that concerns you. For me, that’s almost everything, these days. Choose your topic, and you will be presented a phone number and a script. Follow the script or don’t, but I think the scripts are pretty on-point. Tell 5Calls.org what happened (e.g. unavailable, left message, made contact, or skip). Move on the the next point of contact.
Obviously, the idea is that you make five calls per day about the issues that concern you. This website makes it super easy. Even if you don’t do it every day, try one per week. It takes less than 10 minutes for five calls. Super simple. Don’t be shy. If you can’t spare 10 minutes per week to tell your representatives what you would like them to do, maybe you need to rethink being part of a democracy.
Do it. Resist.
Last night (California time), Nike and three runners attempted to break the two-hour marathon on a course and a team tailored for the task. One runner almmost did it, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. It was super fun to watch it as it happened. The world record to break is 2:02:57. I was not aware that he was falling behind pace, but he finished with 2:00:24. Nike stated that this would not count for a world record, probably due to this being a controlled course.
Take a look at the video above or read the excellent FiveThirtyEight article here. If you only want to see the end of the run, tune in around 2 hours 40 minutes.
It’s been a tough week to watch politics. I placed some phone calls to Congress (5Calls.org), but I feel rather powerless in my area of California since it is already majority Democrat. My calls are placed to Congress that is already going to vote the way I want them to. I don’t know of any way to sway the elected officials of other districts and states.
So it was nice to run across this OK Go video published on January 18, 2017, of a Morrissey cover. I have never been a huge fan of Morrissy, but the imagery of this video fit my mood perfectly. Take three minutes to enjoy.
I recorded this video a couple of months ago and just got around to finishing the editing. I love to run in the rain. If you don’t you can check out this video to see what it is like out there during the rain. It was a beautiful run on a great trail. Enjoy!