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.