Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caution Nature Pictures

As I was walking through a life one morning
the sun was out, the air was warm, but
Oh, I was cold
And though I must have looked half a person,
to tell the tale, in my own version,
It was only then that I felt whole

Do you believe in something beautiful?
Then get up and be it
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

There is a tale told around these parts, mostly by the old timers, of an elusive creature known to locals as the sprintsaurus. They say it's part man, part beast and it can be seen on rare mornings when the sun is just sneaking out from behind the mountain peaks. Some say the sound the creature makes scares them; almost like a giant tuna being slapped against the cement as the gasping sound of its air filled gills scream out in pain. Lately the locals have spoken in hushed tones as it appears that the sprintsaurus has some how morphed into two creatures the second bigger, scarier, and sweatier than the first. I set out one morning with my special time lapse camera hoping to photograph the creature. I was able to capture the smaller, quicker of the two. The larger more hideous sprintsaurus was bent over spewing some sort of liquid from its mouth as it went through a strange ritual where it appeared to run/spasm violently up a hill only to slow to a crawl turn around and repeat the process again and again. It was quite a sight to behold and one the locals thought they would never see. Through the magic of film I share these photos with you:

Have I mentioned that Eric and I have added sprint work to our tri preparation. Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7 am we hike out about 3/4's of a mile to the first mini peak on the stop sign hike. We go down the hill approximately 125 yards and turn around and sprint up the hill.
We do this 7-10 times and then meander back down to the parking lot crossing paths with the Ridge hikers heading out to stop sign. Its a damn good workout and should help in my prep for the triathlon and more importantly in my prep to look good when my friends roll into Vegas in Mid-March.

Monday's stop sign hike was a lot different than the previous weeks without the cameras following me up and with music blasting in my ears the whole way up. Jacky and I were the last people to actually cross the start line which isn't all that strange for me. Nice, I'll just spot the field 45 seconds because my time is irrelevant. One thing about these bigger groups is it's like a stampede of people taking off at the beginning. Secondly, if I choose to run I am going to pass quite a few people. On the list of things I don't like to do passing people on the hill is one of them. Mostly because I think it has to suck for them to see me go by. I get over it and a lot of them reel me in later in the hike as I slow on the steep incline. I had two goals, be on that road in faster than 58 minutes and two knock some time off my last week's ascent. I walked, I ran, I jogged, I walked, I tried to jog I slowed down, I tried to run....you get the idea. About a mile and a half in Jacky went by me. Cold off the street, with a few yoga classes, and some dog walks under her belt as training, she goes up the mountain in 1:18. Me, almost two years to the day since my first trip from the starting line and at 1:18 I am still a mile out on the hill. But the good news is I am ahead of my best pace ever. And I am only competing against myself, well that and everyone behind me :) I struggle like I always do, no surprise there. I look at my favorite last rock on the left where I always put my butt down and rest and I say. screw it no stopping for you this trip. For the first time ever I will go the whole trip without setting my ass down on a bench or rock. That's something anyway. I go into my last 3 song rotation You Wreck Me, Born to Run, and Running on Empty. Put my head down, get 100 yards out, the lovely Merinda runs with me across the finish line and I cross the tape in a dawdling 1:44:55. Thanks M~ for helping me finish. My time 11 minutes faster than last week. Still slower than most, but at the same time over an hour faster than my first trip and within the possible neighborhood of my goal which is 1:30. We shall see, again me and running and climbing is not the perfect match but we are trying to work it out.

Hopefully that story will get you through a couple days. I take Jacky down to Vegas tomorrow where she will get to use that impressive speed to walk a trade show. I will turn around and come back and continue this spring journey with only 22 days til march happiness and 44 days until the sprint triathlon. Time to get serious on the bike. A special thanks to my good friend and crazy waffle trivia teammate Jon Tanke for today's lyrics. I know he is ecstatic that the blog song band is heading to Madison shortly. Speaking of happy music news I hear a new cd from my favorite Sara Bareilles is on its way shortly.....can't wait. Peace and I will write you a love song, Jim


Lisa said...

What a great blog post! Tears are streaming down my face with happiness for your accomplishments. You are truly amazing! 1:30 here you come.

Ocean's Eleven days said...

You're doing great!! Hey, don't knock 1:44, that was my first time, too. I eventually made my way to 1:30 and so will you! I'll race you!!

VAgirl said...

You've made such amazing progress Jim. You'll be leaving me in the dust whenever I get out there again!

Laura said...

I met you at the ridge when i was there for a week in Sept 08 and just recently found your blog -- luckily for me your updates seem to come in just as the nighttime munchies kick in. Thanks for reminding me to stay focused and for helping motivate me!

Sheila said...

You are a trip! I really wish you were going to be there in September when I will be there so I could meet you. You really make people feel as if they know you through your blogs (which I have read back to the beginning). Again, you are really an inspiration and I wish you the best in April. My husband and I will be in Vegas the 12-19th of March and if I see you around I may holler at you for a hug!

Anonymous said...

Great time up the hill!! Funny how your "creature" is wearing a Sunshine Daydreaming hoodie. Mother Nature is getting even with me for staying in KC this winter. More snow tomorrow and Sunday, at least you are having good weather now out there. Keep up the hard work. Pam R.

Rachelle said...

I Read "your" news today... OH BOY...
You're a beast Jim! I'm just awe struck when I read how hard you work! What an inspiration! How fun that Jacky was able to hone her speed walking skills in prep for the trade show ~ ha-ha... Can't wait to get there on Sunday to face the mountain myself. Gulp!

Betsey said...


1. your nuts!

2. your story about the sprintsaurus was hilarious!!!

3. im sooooo happy and proud of you for beating your time by 11 minutes! thats amazing!!