"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shambles Project, week 1

Shambles: a complete disorganized mess
Shambles: moves slowly and awkwardly
Shambles: my 2009 training

The hand: 85%

I've been frustrated with how slowly my hand has been getting better. I have to keep reminding myself it's only been 5 weeks since I redamaged it at Superior and that it'll be 6 months before I even know how it's going to be. I had to learn how to type left-handed and now that I can use my right hand, I have to relearn how to type when one hand is 5 times faster than the other (I'm still typing left-handed because it's faster and easier, but I have to force myself to change). I'll never do card tricks again. I guess I'll never play piano. I should be able to live with that.

"Do not go gentle into that dark night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas

The problem is, I'm at that age when people have to either accept that their bodies can't do what they once did easily or fight it every step of the way, knowing they can't win. I'm going to win my age class of both UMTR trail series, not bad for a guy who's no trail runner or ultrarunner. But I'm not where I want to be. What pride is there in being the world's fastest turtle?

My hand is just mocking me, a continuous reminder that I'm not a kid any more. I can't pull the weeds in my garden now that I finally have the time to do it or clean my gutters. I'm lamenting that I can't do things I hate doing! I also can't do the cross-training I was planning while out of shape, though - strength training and yoga both require being able to use both hands to be done right.

Recent Training: also 85%

Full disclosure!

9/5. Superior 100: DNF at 58 miles.
9/6. 0
9/7. 0
9/8. 0
9/9. 0
9/10. 4 in 30.5
9/11. 4 in 30.5
9/12. 4 in 32
9/13. 12 in 97 with 6 in 45, plus 3 walked
9/14. 15 in 2:15, some with Barb, some with Al
9/15. 8.5 in 74.5
9/16. 3 in 23:44 with 2x800m in 2:50
9/17. 4 in 34
9/18. 3 in 25.5
9/19. 2 in 16
9/20. Trail Loppet 5K in 21:52, plus 3 warm-up, 5 cool-down
9/21. 4 in 35
9/22. 8 in 72.5
9/23. 3 in 26.5
9/24. 3 in 26
9/25. 3 in 27
9/26. 0
9/27. In Yan Teopa 10 Mile in 78:02 plus 5 cool-down
9/28. 12 in 111
9/29. 8 in 73
9/30. 8 in 71 plus 2 walked
10/1. 3 in 25
10/2. 3 in 26.5
10/3. 3 in 27
10/4. 14 in 113 with 6 in 44
10/5. 2 in 20 (This is rock bottom.)

Beginning of the Shambles Project
10/6. 9 in 78
10/7. 11 in 98
10/8. 8 in 68

I'm in what I consider deplorable condition. That's about 3:20 marathon, given the past three days - I know many consider 3:20 as fast - but more than a minute per mile slower than I should be and with very low mileage the past month.

At the Twin Cities Marathon, one of the people I saw was Danny Ripka, who was pacing his wife. It's the first time I'd seen him run in 10 years. He ran 480 miles in 6 days a few years ago (think about that for a while!) and then hurt a knee. When I saw him at FANS, crewing Sue Olsen, he had a brace on his knee after having surgery. It was good to see him and his style is flawless, effortless. Because I'm thinking about a 24 hour run, he's the guy I'm chasing; he has the state record of 136.01 miles. I saw him and thought, "I can beat him," but it's the me of today against the him of 1999... in my mind, it's the me of 1999 trying to catch the him of today and I have to get past that and start training.

My runs are going to be pretty boring for a while, just trying to get miles in and try to gradually increase the pace even as the weather gets worse.


Carl Gammon said...

First a joking comment about your hand...

Your situation is proof that left-handed people are luckier than right-handed people. Since I'm left-handed, if I injure my left hand, then my right hand will be left. (Yes, I know I'll never get paid for writing jokes, as you do.)

And now a comment...

One of your comments was "What pride is there in being the world's fastest turtle?" The pride is being out there at all, and accomplishing something that few ever will. You have and are doing that. To me, the fun is in the journey, so don't let thoughts of some specific destination (goal) rob you of that fun.

Londell said...


When you feel the worse about the hand, just remember my son had an accident that resulted in the amputation of the right hand. He had to learn everything left handed and became ranked in the top 250 in the nation in tennis and can type near as fast as I and plays a mean guitar... It is all because of the positive can do attitude. If it does not get better, you have the other and you can train it... BTW, my son also is a very solid weightlifter, biker and yoga is easy for him... Carry on!