This entry will read like a babbling stream of mountain everything I’ve considered during my recent 2 week winter break. This Now it’s 2010 post will be added to and edited (especially the final section entitled “My Monie$”) throughout the remainder of the January month.
My Runs: There were several very cold weather runs these past 2 weeks. My coldest run was a solid, 3-peak jaunt through King’s Crown which was logged in somewhere around the very low 20’s. I ran this one with one of my dogs, Thunder, a black retriever/setter mix. He was a champ, keeping up with me throughout, as well as passing me on several of the long wooded stretches. The last time I took him on a run was not as successful. It was a warm day in early or mid fall and, while he kept up with me the whole time, it took him hours to truly recover from the run. This time he seemed barely phased.
Regarding cold weather running, I had blogged earlier about running in layers and recommended shedding as one advances on the trail. There was no shedding in this frigid cold. Besides taking my cotton skullcap off at the resting and stretching peaks –and then quickly putting it back on, I did very little shedding. So cold!
I also ran some of Haw Ridge. This is a new run (for me) near OakRidge that my kungfu brother and training partner Jarrad had told me about awhile back. I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. There is something like 20 miles of runs throughout the entire park. I ran about 6 miles of them, cruising along the western edge of some big lake, as well as racing up the peaks of two of hills. After running straight up and tackling the second “expert” hill I had trouble catching my breath. If I stopped moving and tried buddha breathing to slow down and control my air intake, the panicked sensation of suffication seemed only to worsen –it was an odd, claustrophobic sensation of death. My lungs were struggling to draw in and process the cold air around me. For a moment I thought I was going to die up there… But after some much-appreciated mental panic, compounded with some very compact pacing (not much pacing you can do on a mountain peak), my heart rate eventually slowed down and I gained control of my breathing.
Some of the trail characteristics were similar to the Blue Ridge run I did back in May. Some straight-up sprints mixed with a sort of rocky shoal-type terrain unique to this beautiful Appalachian region. I loved it. A lot of great scenic views and terrestrial variety. Also, along the lake paths, I found some really good, natural stretching posts.
I also ran the traditional IC KING trail this break, parking in the customary “park” lot where, historically, sex-hungry men “cruise” the area while idling in their indiscriminate vehicles. There were several as I arrived, as well as a completely different several once I returned from my run.
I often wonder what they must think about the runners and bikers arriving in the park, stretching and then quickly disappearing into the woods. Do they sometimes feel inspired to join them? Perhaps log a few miles, thus relieving themselves of their frustrating and seemingly risky vices?
It works for me in a hetero sense, so why not in a homo sense? However, I tend to think that trailrunning (or standard running or jogging) is the answer to everything difficult and complicated –which is obviously not the case. But maybe running a few miles in the mountainous forest would make the sexual reward at the end of the exercise more exhilarating for the cruisers? Perhaps I’m thinking too much about this. It’s just an odd, perplexing scene to arrive at a running park to a caravan of sex-seeking men in trucks and cars waiting for other men to arrive and have relations with… Why not step outside and run once in a while?
My Resolutions: I hereby resolve to limit the intake of my pleasure substances to the weekend. No more partying during the week. I have to focus, save money, and get healthier! Too much money I am spending on my customary evening beer drinks. Too much time and effort bringing into my body harmful and damaging chemicals. The code of the ancient samurai believe that too much excess is bad. One must control one’s pleasures, as harmless and insignificant as they may seem. I will follow this code as long as I can.
My Monie$: As it’s a new year with a new job, I have a new budget to try to abide by. I have $24 cash to last me the remainder of this January month. I will log every expense and maintain a running tally of my expenditures on this very blog entry until the end of the month has arrived. My resolution of keeping my beer intake to a weekend minimum will hopefully keep me from spending too much on alcohol from this $24.
$1 on a mid-day Coke on 1/5 resulting in $23 remaining.
$10 on gas for Fucus on 1/6 resulting in $13 remaining.
$2 on celebratory beer* on 1/6 resulting in $11 remaining.
$1 on spray water bottle on 1/10 resulting in $10 remaining.
$9 on gas for Fucus & $1 on Steel Reserve on 1/13 resulting in… $0 Remaining! Over 2 weeks til payday. Going 2 b ruff!
*see 1/7 Belk Kingdom IV comment for details
The attached painting is called “The Wanderer Above The Mists” & was painted by Casper David Friedrich in 1818