Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tracking Geoff

Date: June 9
Mileage: 41.1
June mileage: 288.6
Temperature: 46

I had to take a day off yesterday because I was so sore from my silly little mud run. It was a good thing because I got a lot of cleaning done - once I freed my hip flexors from their overnight seize-up enough to walk, that is. But I was still disappointed. I've reached a point where I can go for 10-hour mountain bike rides and not even feel lethargic the next day, but I can't run four measly miles. Just when I thought I was in pretty good shape ... I'm not.

This is the part where experts recommend cross-training. I think that's an excellent idea. After the mud run, I browsed the Southeast Road Runners' Web site and found a few more races I'm interested in: A late-July mountain run, a five-mile hill climb and a possible road 10K (not because I'm crazy about the idea of a road 10K; I'm just curious how long it would take me to run that far. I'm guessing 9-minute miles multiplied by six.) I am interested in joining more organized events this summer, but the bicycle club's schedules rarely work for me. The only mountain bike race is a three-day series with individual races that are discouragingly short (What do you even do in a three-mile race? Red-line until it's over?) Plus, the running crowd seems cool. Whether I actually motivate to train on my feet remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, I am spending my time virtual-stalking Geoff, who left Salt Lake on Friday for his pre-GDR bicycle tour north. Geoff has a satellite tracker. After mild panic made the family rounds during my Iditarod debacle (where, unbeknown to me, I went missing for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours), Geoff's mom bought him the SPOT receiver and threatened him with future panic if he didn't carry it along the Continental Divide. Now, all he has to do is push a button and his exact latitude and longitude point is broadcast on his very own tracking site. I have been watching him wend his way through central Idaho and imagining the spaces - the Salmon River valley, the snow-capped Sawtooth Mountains, the places I never visited enough when I lived there myself. Every time I hear from him and listen to his daily misadventures, listen to him rattle off a litany of mileage, wind and weather statistics, I'm reminded of the way bike touring can so easily descend from adventure to lifestyle to career. Geoff's in career mode right now, and he has a particularly tough job ahead of him. I really don't envy that job with the mindspace I'm in: flighty, unfocused, thinking about becoming a runner ... But I do check up on him a little more than is probably normal. Maybe it's because I really do want to be a part of the grand adventure. Or maybe because this is what our relationship has come to ... upside-down teardrop icons on a Google map.

21 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:29 AM

    "But I was still disappointed. I've reached a point where I can go for 10-hour mountain bike rides and not even feel lethargic the next day, but I can't run four measly miles. Just when I thought I was in pretty good shape ... I'm not.

    This is the part where experts recommend cross-training."

    Exercise is sport specific, even Lance Armstrong sucked at running after starting it up again a few years ago.


    " I am interested in joining more organized events this summer"


    Of course, you've got too much free time on your hands, and too much time to think about missing Geoff.....running will take your mind off of it. A lot of women your age wouldn't have the luxury of that free time as they'd be taking care of husbands and chasing after their kids.


    "Meanwhile, I am spending my time virtual-stalking Geoff"

    You're slowly turning into Geoff's mother.


    "I'm reminded of the way bike touring can so easily descend from adventure to lifestyle to career. Geoff's in career mode right now"


    He's really not in "career" mode now because he's not getting paid to do it, or making any money off of it. He's just doing it for fun....at a higher intensity.


    " I really don't envy that job with the mindspace I'm in: flighty, unfocused, thinking about becoming a runner"


    ADHD ;)



    "I do check up on him a little more than is probably normal. Maybe it's because I really do want to be a part of the grand adventure. Or maybe because this is what our relationship has come to ... upside-down teardrop icons on a Google map"


    You know what Van Gogh used to say...."Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder". There's a fine line between love and obsession....just don't go cutting off your ear to prove how much you love him. :)

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  2. Cheer up. The wheel turns however slowly and then it'll be all good. Running sounds like another great way to keep you occupied, just do as much as possible to save your knee's. Good luck with the new venture

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  3. Good to hear you have some new ideas for fun events.
    I recon that there is a parallel between road running vs off road running and clipless pedals vs platforms. One is strictly concerned with speed and is highly repetitious and the other uses the body in a more similar manner to which it can naturally tolerate. Neither running on a road nor riding in clipless pedals is a smart idea if you want to give your biomechanics a chance to work in a multi purpose wide range of motion. Wearing out happens thanks to a lack of range of motion and weaknesses (such as inflexibility of the hip flexors) occurs in areas that become shortened or disused thanks to lack of range of motion. One sport gives you limited scope - so you have stretched the hip flexors beyond their normal range. When did you last do the limbo? bet you're hopeless/stuggle. Yoga good.

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  4. Being sore from running doesn't mean you are out of shape. You just used different muscles.

    3 years ago I had to take a month off of my bike when I had wrist surgery. I went a little crazy one day and decided that I would become a "runner." I ran 9 miles my first time out (if you can call it running) and literally was in so much pain the next day that I could barely get out of bed.

    That was the end of my "running career" but good luck with yours! I have no doubt it will go better then mine did :-)

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  5. "What do you even do in a three-mile race? Red-line until it's over?"

    Yep, pretty much. Same for 6 and 12 miles races, which tend to be the standard around here for Sport Women. There's nothing like a sprint race to make you wish you were dead! But, on the plus side, it's over in less than an hour and then you get to go eat lunch and have a beer.

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  6. Yo Anon., stuff the fuck up.

    Different muscle groups, more nuero-musc. stress, blahblah. Run steady for 3 weeks and the lungs will transfer fully, and you'll be ready to train for a 50 miler.

    It's cool to be able to track folks, though there's no way in hell I'd get one. Just like a GPS. ;)

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  7. Of course you're sore...we didn't evolve to run for miles through muck up to our knees. But if we did, I wonder what we'd look like...

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  8. This might be an option for your summer schedule:

    http://www.furyoftheyukon.com/

    It's still under development (hence the incomplete site), but it might be of interest to you.

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  9. Did someone say "cross training?"

    Ummm, Ever heard of triathlon?

    It's this sport where you constantly cross-train in three different sports. Some versions are all on-road and some versions are all off-road. Choose how and where you want to suffer and get going. We've got lots of triathlons to offer here in Alaska if you can afford the ticket to Anchorage. Unfortunately, there aren't many in Southeast that I'm aware of, but you're welcome at any of the races in Southcentral and still have time to train for the races in the latter part of the summer.

    http://www.alaskatriathlon.org/schedule.htm

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  10. Oh, and if aren't into the swimming part of triathlon (which is my favorite part), several of the races offer the Duathlon option of run, bike, run.

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  11. Hi,

    So I read the anon post and was um...shocked to say the least. I wanted to say that I've been following your blog for a long time and honestly, I find it awsome. I really hope you know that whoever writes stupid shit like that isnt worth listening to. Reading about your passion for mountain biking actually got me to go out and buy a new bike. I've wondered what it would be like to train for a Triathalon....just for the fun/crazy aye? :)

    And, Anon: we could all do without the psychoanalysis crap. Thanks.

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  12. Aaron6:51 PM

    I think anonymous makes the odd good point, some points purely in jest, and a few that seem mean. I hope the mean ones go away, because this is all good and many enjoy your entries, Jill.

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  13. Just have fun Jill. Enjoy life! I think maybe some other people may have too much time on their hands.

    Nigity - "Always keep a smile in your heart."

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  14. Anonymous7:39 PM

    wow get a life woman...

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  15. Anonymous7:50 PM

    "So I read the anon post and was um...shocked to say the least.

    I really hope you know that whoever writes stupid shit like that isnt worth listening to.

    And, Anon: we could all do without the psychoanalysis crap. Thanks."


    There was really nothing "shocking" in that post, except maybe the comment about Jill turning into Geoff's mother, but that's just a little teasing because nobody wants to think they're turning into their parents.


    Jill's blog is interesting because of the drama she adds to it so that it reads more like a diary than a training log. I think that's the main reason why most people read it because it is more creative and honest than a normal training log would be. How many people whould read it if it read like "I did 50 miles today, it was sunny out, ate chicken for lunch, will post again tomorrow" ?. Even her photography is good, and the photos tell a story without even needing words to go with them.

    As far as the "psychoanalysis crap" goes I think what Jill says in her blog is important. What she chooses to put in her writing shows how she really feels about the things going on in her life, and the uncertainties everybody has. I think if you take what she says superficially you miss out on half the meaning of her posts. As an example....a few posts ago she talked about cutting back on her training and mellowing out for the summer and being less competitive. Now with this post she talks about getting more involved with running races over the summer, and the fact that she misses Geoff. Is it a coincidence that she posted those two subjects in the same story ?....probably not, everything in life is interrelated. She's probably using the racing as a way to "keep busy" and keep her mind off missing Geoff so much, even though she might not realse the connection herself. sometimes from an outsider's point of view some things are more obvious.

    There was a story in Bicycling magazine years ago about one of their writers who just went through a breakup with his wife or girlfriend, and then he decided to do a cross country ride. On the surface those two items might not seem connected, but in reality they are. It's a form of escapeism that everybody does. If you've ever seen the movie Forrest Gump you'll understand it better. When Jenny took off Forrest decided to start running....and he ran, and ran and ran....accompanied by the Jackson Browne song "Running On Empty". Forrest wasn't running FOR something, or TO something, he was running AWAY from something. I hate to make the connection between Forrest and Jill as you'll all label it as psycohanalysis crap but it could be that part of the reason why the both of them are running is the same reason....to take their minds off missing someone.

    P.S. Forrest Gump is a much deeper movie about human relationships and behavior than people might think after seeing it once.

    P.P.S. The "get a life woman" comment above by another anonymous poster wasn't written by me.....that WAS rude.

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  16. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Jackson Browne Running On Empty lyrics (maybe some of the less superficial people here will understand their meaning):

    Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
    Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
    In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
    I dont know where Im running now, Im just running on

    Running on - running on empty
    Running on - running blind
    Running on - running into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
    Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
    In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
    I dont know when that road turned onto the road Im on

    Running on - running on empty
    Running on - running blind
    Running on - running into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Everyone I know, everywhere I go
    People need some reason to believe
    I dont know about anyone but me
    If it takes all night, thatll be all right
    If I can get you to smile before I leave

    Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
    I dont know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
    I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
    Looking into their eyes I see them running too

    Running on - running on empty
    Running on - running blind
    Running on - running into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Honey you really tempt me
    You know the way you look so kind
    Id love to stick around but Im running behind
    You know I dont even know what Im hoping to find
    Running into the sun but Im running behind

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  17. I have to agree with Dave.

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  18. I knew Herbert Glacier Trail seemed longer than 7.5 miles (I guess with a 3 year old it seems like 20) Congrats on the Mud Run, it looked like a blast...I bet you beat me by ten-fold on the soarness factor ;)

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  19. I really hate anonymous posters. At least have the minimal courage to attach a made up moniker to your posts. After blog psycoanalysts are always so far off the mark because they fail to realize that what is written by the author is only a small part of her life and not enough to make professional, much less amateurish conclusions. Jill should block anyone unwilling to identify themselves.

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  20. Jill, I just wanted to say that I can identify with the LDR thing -- my husband was gone for about 1 1/2 years and it was really hard! I think you're taking it well and I don't think you're some bizarre stalker person by following his travels closely -- after all, you are one of the people with the most invested in his life!

    Hang in there, enjoy what you can out of being single (it sounds like you are), and know that he's fortunate to have your support in his adventure!

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