Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mobile again.

I'm happy to report I was able to handle another run this afternoon. It's been two weeks since my last run and subsequent period of pain and stiffness. From what I can piece together from all my friends who are runners, I just dove in to fast. I'm used to being out on a bike for hours at a time, and I'm able to repeat that several times a week. So running for twenty minutes left me feeling like I didn't finish exercising; I had so much gas left in the tank, but it was enough of a new activity to kill my joints and hear plenty of screaming from unhappy tendons and muscles. Last Sunday while visiting my folks in Minot, I tried going out for a small run to loosen up in the morning, but found I couldn't handle jogging ten feet due to all the joint discomfort. That's stiff. So I let this week pass to, with a little cycling to loosen up (plus teaching long days on my feet), and today I felt good enough to get back to it, but kept it easy. I only ran about a mile and a quarter, and walked another mile. My knees, ankles, and hips seem to have accepted it all right. So I'm glad I didn't hurt myself two weeks ago; I wasn't sure until the past couple days.

Another note from this week- I went to the Minneapolis showing of the Reel Rock Film Tour this past Thursday night. Incredible. Every time I catch a glimpse of what the world's "professional" climbers are up to, I am floored. Alex Honnold's soloing of Zion's Moonlight Buttress and Yosemite's Half Dome was a bit surreal. I really don't know what to think of it. The climbing world can't help watching in amazement and feel that he is truly a cut above the rest, yet at the same time recognize the absolute absurdity of it all. 1,100-2,000 feet of ropeless climbing on some of the world's most famed big walls is both a showing of the highest level of boldness and insanity. Achieve the goal and feel the purest and most epic climbing experience, but fail and leave life behind after a brief (or quite long), horrifying, fall. At least Dean Potter occasionally wears a parachute. I'm more than content in my well protected climbing experiences. It's already an passtime taking me to places that most do not see and experiencing thrills most wont. No reason to invite death in the mix.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Too early for pain and cold...

So apparently we are skipping fall in MN and going straight to winter. Three measurable snowfall accumulations in the first half of the month, and temps 15 degrees below average. I fear I may actually miss the fall colors on the North Shore for the second year in a row too. Fall is not turning out to be all I'd hoped for so far. Plus, I managed to upset my knees already in my recent running endeavors. I entered the hills far too early and have had to stay away from runs for a few days now to recover. It's amazing how fast your body can turn on you if it's not used to the abuse you're giving it. I can absolutely pummel myself in the majority of cycling ventures and recover extremely fast, but running has been a new game completely. I'm sticking with it though, with due rest periods of course as to not injure myself.
The good part in these semi-painful and cold sloppy days is that my Karate Monkey is rearing to go as it's been hanging on a hook most of the summer while the Trucker and Stumpjumper and Lemond were played with. It's messy bike time again. And I've got to get back on the commuter horse again, as I've been driving too much. I got caught up with other outdoor ventures that were taking up a lot of time, and didn't ride to work as much lately. My coworkers have been razzing me for riding in the butt of winter last year but driving when it's been relatively mild out this summer. Yeah, that's dumb. I better fix things and start riding again now that the snow is back. :)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Rain and good deals

Well this weekend was supposed to be a backpacking weekend near Grand Marais, MN, along the Superior Hiking Trail with myself, Alison, and our friend Julia, who we've been trying to get out with for quite a while. We finally marked down the weekend and we're going to make it happen. But as nature would have it, it wasn't the weekend for us. MN has gone from summer to cold, wet, fall in a matter of days. We had a couple great 50 degree sunny days that definitely elevated my mood from the hot sticky days of summer. But in the past few days the rain came. And the wind came with it. The forecast for the weekend up north was highs in the high 40s, gusty winds at 40mph in some spots (trees crashing on the trail all over) and steady rain. So the trip got "weathered". I probably would have still gone, but didn't want to force my craziness on Alison and Julia, so we're hanging out at home this weekend.
It was worth being around last night. We headed out to REI to get a pair of shoes Alison wanted, and discovered that the "scratch and dent" sale from last weekend was still going with a few items left, and they were getting rid of those things at an additional 50% off. Sweet. We ended up getting a basecamp tent for $43 instead of the regular $400, and another bivy for $63 instead of $200. Nice. Smokin' deals on gear make me love the REI co-op. I tend to end up buying gear for adventures on the weekends that I'm not on adventures. :)
As for the rest of the weekend...not sure yet. Looks like the climbing gym and a run is on the menu for today. And yes, I said run. I've tried to pick up running in the past unsuccessfully, but Alison and I are giving it another go. I've got to get stronger in that realm for backpacking, and hopefully some mountaineering ventures sometime soon.
Anyhow, a rainy weekend cancelled a trip, but it seems to be going ok anyhow...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Headwaters 100 2009

This past weekend was the 2009 edition of the Headwaters 100 in Park Rapids, MN. It was my sixth year attending, so I've now become a "veteran" of the ride. Don't really need the route map anymore. But the ride is still almost as entertaining as it was the first time. I say almost, because the first time I rode it was the second time I'd ever attempted a century (the first time was a non-event ride where I didn't finish the full distance), and I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle it all. So there was an element of excitement, not knowing what to expect. But going into this year, not only have I completed many century's, but I'd ridden the Headwaters route 5 times successfully, and the same level of adventure isn't quite there anymore. But it's always still fun, and well worth the trip up to Itasca country. The reason this year was high on the fun-meter was that Alison came with for the first time. I had planned on doing the full century and finding someone to ride the 45 mile option with her. But as I couldn't find anyone, she was facing her longest road ride to date alone. Not something I wanted to have her do, so I offered to ride with her. She surprised me and said she'd just give the 75 mile loop a try instead! (There are 3 different loop options with differing distances, even though the 100 is the flagship ride). There's the spirit! And she was very successful, riding 77 miles with me and tackling her first cycling endurance event. And seeing as she did not train for it, we both can see the full century is well within next year's goals. Sweet. I'm proud of you babe!

The only camera I had with was my phone, so this is the only grainy photo I have as a memento, but it'll do: