Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm not Going to Take This Anymore!

The subject line comes from one of my all-time favorite movie scenes, that occurs in the movie, Network. If you haven't seen it, or even if you have, you should definitely take a look.

You may possibly be wondering why I'm mad as hell, and what I'm not going to take anymore. Okay, gotta come out with it. It's injuries. 

I am well aware that no one likes to read about injuries, and believe it or not, I don't like to write about them. Of course the worst of all is actually having an injury. So I will keep the actual injury details brief...

This time it's the old left knee. It hurt a little after a Thanksgiving Day training run on the Buckeye Woods course, and then much more during the BW50K itself (although I still managed to get through it). It wasn't too bad during the two weeks in Hawaii, but then got much worse during my first morning run upon my return.

I have been babying myself since then. Most runs have been on the mill, and speed and mileage are both way down. That's helped; the pain has mostly subsided. But it's not completely gone, and I'm scared to death that it may return.

Pain and suffering take the fun out of running. The only thing I fear more than pain is getting more out of shape than I am now.

That is why I have declared this the last injury. 2012 has indeed been the year of the injury for me, and good riddance to that. That's why I too am mad as hell, and that's what I am not going to take anymore!

The only question is how. I'll let you know when I figure that out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Maui Meanderings

To the End.. almost
I am up at 2:30am. It's that whole jet lag / travel thing in spades. We'd only arrived and gotten to bed 3 1/2 hours beforehhand and that was after 23 hours of travel. But  I'm wide  awake - moreso after the Kona coffee - and out the door by 3:45.

I head south on the Wailea beachwalk. I never ran much here on previous trips, and now I remember why: it's very curvy and uneven. Kind of like trails as opposed to roads, but without the nice soft surface. But I'm committed, and I take this sidewalk to its end, past the Grand Wailea, the Four Seasons and the Fairmont, all the way to the end of the Wailea resort area.

Now I find that I can continue straight on a coastal road that was new to me. I am still going south, and this road takes me a couple more miles into Makena. I am enjoying the solitude of this quiet area- but of course everything is quiet at 4:30 am.

The road ends onto the main one, if you can call it that. I continue south past the last of the resorts of Makena. The  side of the road bike trail is now gone for good and the road itself becomes more and more narrow. And less straight. There are a few beach access areas, and a smattering of homes.

The turnaround is at the end of the road, just at the entrance to La Perouse Bay Park. My watch tells me that I've been running for one hour, ten minutes. This route used to be 6 miles. The earth really is getting smaller! I suppose that my route this day is a bit more circuitous than usual, so maybe I can call it 7 to this point. As I turn back it also occurs to me that anyone reaching this point with thoughts of circumnavigating eastern Maui would, about now, determine what a huge, 30-mile mistake they have made.

It's still dark as I head up all the small hills on the way back. It was on one of these where I had my famous collision with a bicyclist who was screaming down whilst I was running up in the darkness. That time (about 12 years ago), I wore a reflective vest that was no help since the biker had no light. This time I have a flashing light attached to the vest.

Just as I get over those thoughts, I hear some large animal thrashing about in the woods/scrub nearby. Kind’ve scary, but it seemed more afraid of me than the other way around. I couldn't figure out what in the world it could be... until the next day when Debbie and I saw some wild goats during our hike in the area. Who knew?

I make it back in 63 minutes; a bit better, but only a bit.

To the End, Really

This time I didn't turn around at the usual 6-mile point, but kept heading south on the road leading through the lava flow. I had done the usual 12 a couple times now, but this time it would be the whole enchilada. Picture that black asphalt road surrounded by desolate black lava almost as far as you can see - which isn't too far - in the early two morning pitch darkness. That road continues on another two miles before it really and truly ends at a trailhead parking lot. Debbie and I have hiked here, most recently a couple days ago.

If I was to go straight back, I'd only have 16, whereas my goal was 20 today. So I did some extra dipsy-doodle type loops in Makena on the way back. By the time I pulled up into the Marriott, I was moving pretty slow. But I got my 20.

Still More Meanderings

I finally saw the Southern Cross – at least I think so. Partially obscured by clouds, it was as low as you can go on the southern horizon. I still don't know why it's important for me to spot it, but it's somehow a good omen.

As I was watching the stars during those early morning runs, I also spotted six meteors one day, and three the next.

As it turned out, I ran every day on Maui, and the miles piled up. In those 14 days, I logged 164 very slow miles.

For more, take a gander at the Rita Cognion tried to kill me post.

And for more on the Maui trip in general, including some photos, click here.

Rita Cognion Tried to Kill Me

First it was Jarrett going up the hill... Rita and Sharyn wisely hung back, letting us guys battle it out. But then at the top, I unwisely waited for Rita as the other two peeled off to where their cars were parked. Jarrett and Sharyn would meet us for breakfast, but Rita and I had another mile to run.

at Beach Bums
And run we did. This final ninth mile of our point-to-point Sunday morning sojourn would get a wee bit competitive. Rita kept pulling ahead, but I generally managed to keep reeling her back in, most of the way. We came to our end point at Maalaea Harbor with a final downhill mile of 7:45. That's pretty darn fast for me these days, and it was far and away the fastest mile of the day.

The second time Rita tried to kill me was a few minutes later in the parking lot. The peer pressure got to me - I had to try to match her with three one-minute planks. I somehow met that challenge too. Barely.

I met up with Rita for a couple other runs as well. During one very early morning encounter, I had no sooner mentioned that I don't like to run on sidewalks in the dark, when she goes as far as to trip and fall on one, just to prove me right. So here was an instance of Rita trying to kill me by falling down herself. Incidentally, she bounced right back up, and was fine.

Even at that, Rita still wasn't through with me. After a Wednesday evening group run she tried to kill me by beer at Pizza Madness. Someone had to try to keep up with her.

And finally there was the Lahaina Pali hike. After shuttling the cars to have one at the start and the finish, she tried to kill both me and Debbie on that tough, extremely windy trail.

For more on Maui Meandering, click here.

And for more on the Maui trip in general, including some photos, click here.

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...