Sunday, February 22, 2009

And that's the news from the American River Canyon...

Apparently, between work and running and cooking dinner and NOT cleaning my house, I've lost time to be creative. Speaking of creative, you have to drop on over to Faith's blog, "Stones from my Heart" to check out some very cool collages. I left her blog thinking, "I wanna do that!" If I ever figure out the "how," Faith, I'm dedicating my first one to you and your lovely blog.

Ooops...I got lost for a second there...reading poetry at Keeping Secrets again. :)

Back to the post. Since I have no time to be creative, I'll talk about running. Three more weeks to race day, and I'm still wondering how Irongirl talked me into tackling this run. If she tells you it was the other way around, don't believe her.

Here's the low down on the race: 50K, American River Canyon, rugged trail run, popular trail race with many expert runners competing (not against me, mind you...I'll be competing for "last runner") - REAL ultra-runners competing and not "wannabe" runners like me who hardly know how to run correctly let alone run correctly for 30+ miles, March 14.

That being said, in light of my defeatist attitude, it might not surprise you to know that yesterday was a difficult training day for me mentally and physically.

Here's the low down on the run: didn't feel confident from the beginning of the run, wanted to cry on the first ascent at mile four, started feeling very ill by mile ten due to the sudafed/caffine-laced-energy-jelly-beans/two-cups-o-coffee cocktail surging through my body, walked some, wanted to quit several times (but what was I going to do seven miles deep into the wilderness - we all know that walking would take longer than running back to the car), stopped at the port-o-potty at mile 13 (yeah, I know. too much information. get over it. it's my blog. remind me later...i have a poop story to tell you all), and we still ran that 15+ miles faster than we did the week before.

Wow. That was THE most mentally challenging run that I've Irongirl calls these types of runs "mental training days." She ain't kidding.

And yet, it was beautiful up there in the canyon.

rugged mind numbing ascent.
you seem unfazed, which is
maddening. I trudge along,
regardless, imitating
your form; full foot, heel to toe,
and I walk 'til i reach the
mossy covered tree seven
paces up then run to the
next; run and walk and run from
tree to tree to rock to tree
and slog through stream and muddy
muck and slip and slide and run
to the top, to the top. Where
is the top? Winding, descent,
ascent, descent; steadily
climbing but not completely
aware under canopy
of evergreens and live oak,
brushing fern and moss and rock
and ruddy salamanders.
Then I break through at the top
and wonder how far I've come
and how much longer it would
be until I turn around
and head down hill, away from
the light, to be enveloped
by the inviting darkness
once more.


pjd said...

lovely poem and description, despite the portopotty cameo. Love the line breaks, particularly the line that begins "your form". Fortunately, reading this poem was not as mentally taxing as your run was. I am in awe of that kind of mental discipline. I could pretty easily run 30 miles if I had a ball at my feet or a dog at my heels, but I could never do it (never ever ever) if my only motivator was myself.

Faith said...

You are so sweet! Thank you for enjoying my collages. Believe me, I don't know what I am doing -- I was inspired by "Self Proclaimed Mistress of Nothing" She has some amazing collages at her blog:

All I used were magazines, scissors, and a glue stick stolen from my daughter:).

Thanks so much for the comment you made a while back on one of my posts. Your words really touched me.

Ah, I wish I could run like you -- or at all (my husband is a runner). My goal is to walk more -- especially in the woods.

Your poem is beautiful. I love "ruddy salamanders..." and all the descriptive words you use. I feel I was out there with you. Thanks!

BTW -- if you collage at all -- you really, really won't clean house! :) Or at least that is what I am finding;)

Karen said...

Thanks for sending me to Faith's to check out the collage. I've always loved that art form. Now, I'm determined to give it a go. While you've been out running in what I assume must be nice California weather, we're slogging through snow again.

I envy your determination to keep going, even if it is only so you won't have to walk back! ;-)

I suggest you put this sign on your back: "I may be slow, but I'm ahead of you." LOL

Now for the poem: very, very nice! I can actually see the trail and your dogged ascent, descent, run, walk, tree to tree, heel to toe, and breakthough.

The structure of this is perfect for the content, too. Very, very nice.

Jerolyn Bogear said...

Love the poem. Great cadence. Heard your feet slapping the dirt. I still think you are crazy though. The only reason I would even contemplate running 50K is if I was trapped in the wilderness being chased by a wild man-eating animal. And even then I'd have several breath-catching breaks to consider surrender.

bluesugarpoet said...

thanks, peter - i was out on the soccer field today, and it *is* much easier to run with a ball at my feet too. that gives me an idea...i wonder if a soccer ball will be allowed on the course? Naw, probably not.

Cool, Faith! So did you scan those collages to post them, or did you take a photo and post it? I'll have to check out that link. glad you connected with my comment on your blog - I was only responding to that still small voice (which is not to be confused with "voices in the head"). :) Glad you liked the poem. :)

Yes, Karen, one of the benefits of living here is that I see the sun much more than I did when I was in Oregon. Even in Austin, while it was warm, there seemed to be more cloud cover during the winter months than I expected. Very glad for the sunshine! glad you liked the poem. ;) As for the shirt idea, I am totally taking that one to the printer. Hilarious! I need to make that shirt!

JB - you aren't kidding; there was a point on that run where I would have welcomed the mountain lion attack. glad you liked my poem. :)

Jane D. said...

50K! I wish I were crazy like that. I have to tell you that your poem inspired me to write one of my own about my own challenging experience yesterday. And the title...well, that was for you and M@ria.

Maybe when you run your 50K you can get someone to bike through the woods ahead of you and wait and make fake vomit sounds...that should keep you running.

Aniket Thakkar said...

@ Jana: I am too lazy to run a 100 yards... I am in awe for your commitment! Loved the last line "to be enveloped
by the inviting darkness
once more."

PS: Loved Lamb to the Slaughter too.... it was Sweeny Toddish dark.... I like dark! :-D

One more entry to the black book!

Little Girl Lost said...

the poem was amazing jena, It really brought the smells of the woods into my little office cubicle. Keep running, you’re going to get their someday! :)
thank you for coming to my blog and liking it...

Anonymous said...

Ya for poems!! And now my friendly PSA:

Hi, I'm stopping by to remind you about the 2009 Writing Challenge I'm hosting. Make sure to check in!

Dalene said...

You're my new hero.