Tag Archives: running

Freaks in the woods

Maybe it was the endorphins but it seemed there were a lot of more-than-just-Santa Fe-weird people on the road/trail to the radio towers.

Big Sur shirt

It was still early in the run, on a steep rocky part before the intersection with Big Tesuque. I was nearing the end of a run phase in my run/walk intervals and not going very fast. There was a couple coming down the trail. When they were maybe 10 feet away, I gave my standard “too out of breath to say anything but I’m politely acknowledging your existence” wave. The woman says, “We have the same shirt!” and rips open her jacket like Clark Kent. Of course, I looked and it was the same Big Sur Half Marathon shirt I was wearing. She was rather well endowed so her shirt was quite a bit tighter than mine. Her boyfriend about had a stroke. He looked like a chameleon trying to give her and me the stink-eye at the same time. I said, “Cool!” and sped up a little. It was time to walk but I kept running until I rounded a corner and they were out of sight.

R. Crumb girl

I was heading up on a fairly level part of the road, where the road cut makes a hill to the left and drops off into the canyons on the right — prime aspen viewing territory. A group of four or five people were sitting with their backs to the hill eating lunch. They looked up at me and I said, “Hi”. One girl jumped to her feet, a large hoagie type sandwich in her hand and a big bite of it in her mouth. Still holding the sandwich, she gave me two thumbs up, moving her whole body up and down instead of just her arms. She was big, somewhere past voluptuous, dressed in hiking boots, shorts, and a T-shirt with an open flannel over it. As she gestured, she bounced A LOT, like a walrus trying to get out of a pillow case. She was saying something but with her mouth full of sandwich it came out, “hunh, hunh, hunh”. I swear she sounded just like young Forrest Gump after he heard his mom getting it on. I like encouragement as much as the next guy but this just weirded me out.

Over-equipped hipster guy

The trail is really a road and in general, people treat each tire rut like a lane. There aren’t any real rules other than bikes defer to hikers and everyone defers to horses but it mostly works like a road. I’m pretty high on the mountain, still heading up, hanging to the right, when I see a guy coming down in the “left lane”. The first thing I notice is his hat. It’s a kepi with a neck shade, like the French Foreign Legion used to wear. He has an Andean-style wool cap under it. He has his shell on (it’s mid afternoon and hot), nylon pants, trekking poles, a day pack, and a fanny pack and hydration pack in front. His dress was overkill but if that was all, I might not have remembered the encounter. I’m running really slow and he’s walking slow so we faced each other for a while. Most people, if they’re to the left because it’s less rocky, less rutted, or whatever, will move right when they encounter someone else on the trail. Not this guy. He didn’t just stare at me, he glared at me. He was going to make me move left with the force of his gaze. We got pretty close and he kept staring through his black-frame glasses. He had a black “I can’t grow a beard but I don’t shave either” facial hair thing going on. I don’t know why that bugs me so much. I just think it looks ratty — Michael Landon half-transformed into a teenage werewolf. When we were about a foot apart, I took a jump to the left and a step to the right and we were past each other. I looked back. He didn’t. I guess he was looking ahead to the next battle of wills.

Todd

Walking down near the fences at the top of the ski basin, I rounded a corner and saw a couple of people sitting on rocks. One guy with red hair and a denim jacket was sitting with his arms on his thighs, just hanging out. I looked at my watch and started running. He looked up, squinting with a wrinkled forehead and I thought, “Holy fuck! It’s Todd from Breaking Bad”. As I passed, he said in a slow, southern drawl, “Have a nice run”. He had to have that accent. I about shit myself.

Last long run before Big T – 28 Sep. 2013

The aspens haven’t really turned but Aspen Vista was packed. Thankfully, once you get about 2 miles in it thins out considerably. I stepped it up to run 3/walk 2 and got slower: 3:20. There are a lot of variables…

I tried some organic chia instead of Gu. Tasty but I had ABBA stuck in my head most of the way down.

Mamma Chia, here I go again

Mamma Chia, here I go again

I never get tired of this view – I-25 off to the left, Tetilla peak, and the edge of the Valles Caldera.

My car is somewhere down below the aspens

My car is somewhere down below the aspens

More graffiti. When the wind is cold, this is pretty accurate.

NaNaNaNa, SNOTMAN!

NaNaNaNa, SNOTMAN!

Busy Saturday

I was a bit of a slacker getting the Canon video up. I did the Big Tesuque course again on the 21st. I shaved a bit off of my time from two weeks ago – 3:10 [edit: I ran 3 hrs 10 min, not shaved 3:10]. I ran 2/walked 3 going up. I started with run 8/walk 2 coming down but my knees were really feeling it so I rolled it back to 3/2.

The previous Wednesday, I did this…

Fugly foot

Fugly foot

It was on a two-mile training run and I started to turn my ankle. I rolled in the direction and saved my ankle but did something nasty to my foot. As bad as it looks, it didn’t hurt much and I could still run on it.

Gorgeous day in the mountains

Gorgeous day in the mountains

Then to a party for a friend’s 50th birthday/finished their remodel party.

Then more drinking at my girlfriend’s brother’s house. Needless to say, I didn’t get anything done on Sunday.

Training for Big T

Finally had a chance to do the course for the Big Tesuque Trail Run. I haven’t done the run since 2002. Sadly I can plot the deterioration of my knees by the lengthening finish times from 1999 to 2002.

I was really slow but no injury and I don’t feel like death. For the first time out, I reversed the training scheme we used for the 2012 Big Sur Half Marathon — instead of running 4 minutes and walking 1, I walked 4 and ran 1 on the way up. Over the next month, I’ll transition to running 2 and walking 3 and so on.

Summit selfie

Summit selfie

Detail of tank graffiti

Detail of tank graffiti

Gu and Gatorade make a tasty and fast lunch.

Gu and Gatorade make a tasty and fast lunch.

It rained a bit on the way down but I was well below tree line so no lightning concerns and I didn’t get very wet.