Cheer up sweethearts!

This is hard stuff.  It is especially hard because with modern social media, reports of terrorizing events are instantaneously and constantly front and center in our mind, as are the streaming emotions of other people.  Within minutes or hours we all knew what had happened.  And then as the days passed, the public emotions continued to roll in, reigniting a wave of sadness every time you turned on your television or computer.

Hard as it is to fathom or believe that anything this unimaginable could happen, and tempting as it is to believe that the world has finally reached the pinnacle of evil, be assured, there have been unimaginable horrors for all of mankind.   The holocaust.  That happened.  Millions of people.  MILLIONS of people killed in a genocide.  Millions of children.  MILLIONS.  What in the world would you blog about then??? MILLIONS I said.  Of children.  

My mind keeps flickering to images of my first grade class.  I can see all the students so vividly, exactly where they sat.  I already had a lot of fears by then—of the clowns under my bed, the boogie man in my closet.  What will this do to those children's minds?

My grandparents were 14 years old when they watched everyone they knew and loved get killed in a mass execution.  How did they cope? They lost their faith.  They started over.  They made a new family together since they no longer had their old ones.  I think they were mostly okay, but I really have no idea.  It seems impossible for those memories not to weigh heavy on your mind every single day....

I thought I realized some good news today.  That out of the thousands of millions of citizens of the United States of America who have ever existed, only one of them was terrible enough to take the lives of children in this way.  Mostpeople are good.   And most of the bad people live in Oakland.  Just kidding Oakland, but I have not forgotten the kids (toddlers even) who have been murdered in this city but haven’t made national news since it wasn’t in mass…and since it was Oakland…I think we're over 120 homicides so far in 2012.  Perfectly average year.  Children included.  

There is no point to these observations, other than maybe to wonder why some tragedies hurt louder than others.  If it didn't happen in the United States, it's a barely noticeable blip in the news.  If it's not a white person, it is forgotten.  I think I get it.  It hurts more when the victims look and sound like they could be our own family. 

But unimaginable things have always happened.  They always will. 

Anyway.  Just musings.  I am no longer interested in what anyone has to say about guns, country, mental illness, religion.  If I were you I'd cruise right on past this post....just another persons musings...


Running has been happening, but I kind of forgot about the blog for about a week there and haven't kept great track of the details.  In a somewhat accurate account, here is Last Weeks Miles in Summary:

12/10 Monday: swim approx. 2 miles.  I'm accidentally getting kind of good at swimming.
12/11 Tuesday: 12 
12/12 Wednesday: 12
12/13 Thursday: 13  (at which point I briefly consider running the number of miles that there are in the day of the month, since I hit it on the head two days in a row.  Then I thought about how that would require running 30 miles on my 12/30 birthday.  Yet, on the 14th I couldn’t crawl out of bed early enough to run 14 miles.  We'll call it a two day streak.)
12/14 Friday: 12
12/15 Saturday: 15 (streak back on!?)
12/16 Sunday: 17.5
Total: 81.5

It turns out that not doing speed work makes 81 miles feel like a cake walk.  My legs only felt tired near the end of Sunday’s run, but other than that, I was regularly hitting 7:45 miles as my “easy” pace which wasn’t happening at all earlier this Fall.  I guess when there’s nothing to “recover” from, easy runs are easy even when faster.

My buttcrease issue has been a whisper.  I don’t feel that tug much at all.  The issue that remains is the leg-lock, which pipes up near the double digits of runs, and only if I’m running hard (faster than 7:45 min mile).  I can’t feel it at all when I’m walking around or lying down at night, which is something like a good sign, since I know right before CIM I could feel that dull achiness at night.

I’m going to try a new approach in the 10 weeks remaining between now and the Napa marathon (yup, I’m signed up.)  The approach goes something like this: screw off, speed work.

Believe it or not, I don’t think the track has done much for me—besides make me faster at the track.  It hasn’t translated to faster runs or races.  It’s true that my track work never had a chance to prove what it was worth, because I usually ended up having to take a one-month break from the track right before a race due to some niggle-naggle. 

Either way, I think I’m going to not do anything too intense between now and the Napa Marathon, besides maybe some steady miles between 6:30-7:00 pace just to get as comfortable as I can around there.

Oh! The other change in my “approach” goes like this: yo, hills, whachu doin tonight? You up? You out?

I used to be a hill fiend.  Just hills, alllllll day long.  Then I discovered the flat 4-mile route around my neighborhood lake, and started chugging along there because I could run faster, which I figured helped me get faster.  But I think I’ve lost some of my natural running strength that I found just from running hilly routes for fun.  Last week, I started throwing in more hilly neighborhoods and less flat lake runs.  It makes for less miles, since I can run 14 flat miles in the time it takes to run 12 hilly miles, but DO I CARE? no. 

More hills, more fun, less speed, get faster.  Or get less injured.  That’s the plan.

Oh yeah, and my weekend was sublime. I got to hang out with my Montana butterfly, and….I got to reap the rewards of running the 2nd annual Jingle Bell Hell, with 5 participants!!! (two of which did not participate, technically, due to not feeling well and going home.  Read XLMIC's recap in the link for details).

(Almost) winning the race while running in zig zags

I totally killed that race and probably set a remarkable course record.  Somehow I got duped out of the grand prize trophy, BUT I did get some seriously valuable goodies (all edible, some eaten mid-run, including half a donut, which actually sat fairly well while I ran).

we swept the top three placings!

I’ll be back next year so that the trophy will be mine.  You can come too as long as I get your portion of donuts.