It’s official: I’ve picked up running. Yes, after dissing the sport and its participants consistently for a solid year I’ve caught the bug.
It all started a few weeks ago when I got back from climbing Timpanogos. I was telling my roommate about it, how I blazed up and down ahead of everyone and have gotten in pretty decent shape. He basically replied: “Oh yeah? You should do the Steeplechase then!” I had to inquire about it and after about a two-minute explanation I had made up my mind. Yes, I would enter my first running race. No, I have never competed in any endurance sport, and the last time I ran was to get in shape for high school soccer.
Well, since that day I’ve been running. The first half-dozen times were pretty painful; I would run directly east up the hill to the University Hospital and back. This was only about a 3 mile loop but gained and lost about 200 feet of elevation too. Mainly, I didn’t know how to pace myself and would be panting after a mile.
The week before I hurt myself (again) I started breaking through. That week I put in 20 miles over three runs, and none of them were really that painful. I got to the point a couple times where I felt I could go forever. Unfortunately, my injury sidelined me for three weeks. Well, as of last Friday I’m back, and with a vengeance. I’ve finally started to learn how to pace myself, and it’s starting to get more fun then ever. I’ve already put in 13 miles over a couple runs, the second to the top of the Avenues gaining 900 feet. As my friend (and co-worker and triathlete) likes to say, it is ON!
Funny how my last post focused on mountaineering in the cold and snow. Well, since my ascent of the Pfeifferhorn a few weeks ago I haven’t really been doing much mountaineering, mostly due to a (stupid) accident a couple weekends ago.
I’ve told this story dozens of times, and I don’t really want to tell it again, so I’ll give you all the short version: I was playing pong in the backyard with some friends when I saw a soccer ball above the garage of the apartment complex next door. There’s a small tree next to a fence that goes up and branches over the garage, making the roof pretty accessible. Well, I like to climb stuff (if you haven’t noticed), so I thought, sweet, an excuse to climb that tree (I had climbed the other tree in the backyard earlier in the day). So I retrieve the ball easily and am descending when the branch I am holding on to breaks at about five feet off the ground. I kind of jump backwards to stay on my feet and feel a sharp pain in my leg, then look down to see my thigh making a distinct imprint in the fence. I didn’t even think I had really hurt myself (that part of the fence was plastic and relatively soft) until I looked closer and saw my jeans in shreds. Weird, I thought, how’d that happen? Everyone was looking at me saying “you all right dude?” and I curtly responded “yeah it’s all good” while limping over to the house. Then I lifted a flap of denim from my tattered jeans and noticed a solid square inch of flesh missing from my thigh. Muscle and fat were clearly visible and a slow stream of blood was trickling out of the wound. Holy *@#%$#% ^%$#! (use your imagination) I exclaimed while my roommate gazed at it with incredulity.
I briefly considered going to the ER, but after recalling my last $800 visit there I decided to just bandage it up and go to a clinic on monday. I’ve been cleaning it, disinfecting it, and redressing it every morning since. I even took antibiotics for a couple of weeks after my first clinic visit. After two weeks it’s still pretty exposed but healing nicely.
The first week after that sucked. Bigtime. I couldn’t run, and chose not to climb for fear of exacerbating it. Only this past week did I start to climb again and I’ve gotten back into it with a vengeance, going out four times in the past six days. I’m starting to feel strong again; not quite back to where I was in February, but definitely getting there. My collarbone is a non-factor at this point (Ten weeks for a full recovery! Hell yeah).
I was down in St. George this weekend to cheer on a friend in his first triathlon. It was pretty fun overall; I really love Southern Utah, especially this time of year. It’s like Mars with some vegetation. The highlight for me was climbing at a nearby crag on some sweetly featured sandstone, a first for me. I felt strong and it was awesome.
This week will hopefully be more of the same. I still don’t feel like I can start running again but I’ll definitely be pushing myself on some stone. Sweet!