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Heading to the left coast in less than 24 hours to take on the Chimera. Fitting song for this week…
Maybe it’s just that I’m an old, cynical b*stard, but it seems to me that there exists a rather prevalent and competing relationship within today’s trailrunners. In my admittedly limited intellect, I’ve observed that there is an inverse relationship between one’s experience in running trails and long-distance races (i.e. 50m, 100km, 100m, and upwards) and one’s ability/willingness to wax poetic about their endeavors.
It seems to me that I’m bombarded every Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning with long, overly extensive, and some just downright odd blabberings on social media about whichever race this or that runner undertook that weekend. I skim through them, out of a sense of respect, but I’m often baffled by what some folks put out there on the airwaves, cloud space, or whatever the hell these ideas float through in order to arrive on my screen. After reading most of them, you’d think some people had just discovered a new planet or scaled Everest in the nude with no oxygen and in bare feet.
As my circle of like-minded, trailrunning friends has expanded over the years, it’s led me to the realization that these ramblings, which I find more than a little annoying, tend to come solely from those who have maybe only run a handful of races or events, yet seem to have been bestowed with some other-worldly knowledge about life, the universe, and the human spirit. Whatever they’re posting about somehow takes on some sort of pseudo-religious, quasi-intellectual experience…when in fact, they’ve simply been out in the woods running, eating, and “relieving” themselves for a handful of hours.
In sharp contrast, those old, gnarled, gritty runners that have been out there doing truly tough events year after year seem to maybe only throw-up a couple of photos from the day, coupled with perhaps a sarcastic comment about how they blew out their shoes or how great it was to run into some seldom seen friends. That’s it. No ramblings. No fan fare. No faux poetry about how they transcended human understanding or consciousness. They just do the thing, enjoy it for a moment, then move on with life and toward the next “thing”.
You may disagree with me or think me a party pooper…but as an aging and cynical trail donkey, I reserve the right to not really care what anyone thinks. I may prove myself a hypocrite in the future. It surely wouldn’t be the first time. However, I’d much rather be lumped among the old hard-ass crew that doesn’t have much time for poetic guff, than to be another “enlightened” noob that just ran a flat 50k and now knows the secret of life. Come on you guys…GET A GRIP!!
As a select few of my close friends know, I’m heading out West next week to tackle the Chimera 100-miler outside of Los Angeles next week. The wildfire situation has caused some re-routes requiring an additional climb, but keeping with the 100 mile distance. Here’s an updated profile map, sans the climb up Modjeska Peak which is positioned just after the Maple Springs Aid and on the way up Santiago Peak #2. Really looking forward to my first West Coast race!
I’ve been neglecting the blog for sometime now, owing to a breakneck work schedule (yes…I do actually have a job from time to time!) and trying to touch-up on training before next weekend (the Chimera 100-miler). After getting this final race in for 2014, I’m hoping to be able to put out more updates, ruminations, thread-shares, and whatever other abstractness/absurdity that may enter my brain. For now…here’s a VOTW for the 45th week of the year and something to get you going on this Friday morning.