Sunday, February 12, 2012

What do you think?

I thought a lot this morning.  Coming down the W's at sunrise, I was nearing the end of a pretty special run.  At that moment, I thought about what I had been thinking.  Here, I think about what I thought.  What do you think?

I thought about my next footstep.  There are moments on the trail where every other thought, every external event, the past, the future...they all fade to the background and the only thing that matters is to be here now. Those moments are gold.  The trails allow me to go there.

Wish I had a camera for this one.
I thought about my place in the world.  I couldn't help but think how fortunate I am to be able to witness the winter sun rise from a wooded mountainside the morning after a fresh snowfall.  Barr Trail was truly at its best this morning.  Trees, bushes, and the trail itself clung to a white dusting of powder.  A slight breeze created the illusion of a sun-drenched blizzard.  Clouds blanketed most of the city, and I was given the feeling that I was hovering above it.  The view was reserved only for those who were willing to put in the work to experience it.  How many people were still hours away from rolling out of bed, simply to curse the cold, curse the inevitble passing of the weekend, and wonder what chores and errands they needed to fulfill before nightfall?  How many people allowed ten-degree windchill to keep them holed up for the day?  How many people didn't think twice about how much better it is to be alive than dead, too consumed with TPS reports, candle parties, and treadmill sessions?

I then thought, "Sean, you are one smug bastard, aren't you?"  Guilty at times...aren't we all?

I thought about what people do for fun.  My brain understands fully the saying, "Different strokes for different folks", but I simply cannot fathom any feeling better than what I experienced up on Barr.  For example - skiing at a resort.  I kinda like taking some turns in the snow.  Powder days are like an extended recess for me, as I'm sure they are for most folks.  But I don't get the endorphin kick.  Honestly, I don't think there is a drug out there that could give me a stronger high than what I felt this morning.  That high remains with me now, hours later, in the form of satisfaction of a job well done.  Add in so many other factors...running is essentially free.  I am bettering myself at something I enjoy.  I am warding off disease.  I am not spending any money - not on lift tickets or food or gas or lodging.  I am leaving a scant environmental footprint.  Elitist attitude?  Hell yes it is.  But I can't help it - it just feels so damned good to run.  Plain and simple.
I thought about my training.  I'm fortunate to have had a long string of good health.  Without trying to bit off more than I can chew, I'm on pace for a much bigger base than I was last year...considering 2011 went better than any previous campaign, that's saying a lot.  On Feb. 12th last year, I had 322 miles and 19k under me.  While I'm only 335 miles in this year, I've already put in about 41k of climbing...just under 1k a day and I haven't even hit climbing season yet.  Good stuff.

I thought about my family, friends, relationships.  As I hit the pavement by the cog railway, I figured the kid and gf had probably just rolled out of bed.  I looked forward to spending the day with them.  My folks had been down to visit earlier in the week.  The thought hit home yet again - not everyone gets to see their parents as much as I do...I'm finally at the age (and maybe moreso, THEY are at the age) where I appreciate every chance I get to see them.  I had just run across one of my best old friends while heading up the incline - how many people run into those who they care about during the course of their daily routine?
I thought about LEADVILLE and my journey ahead.  I daydreamed (daydremt?) of the fun adventures that lay on the horizon before me.  I visualized success in these as many different forms as possible.  Painting the picture of a positive outcome always seems to makes goals easier to accomplish.  I do hope that this time around will be no different.

I thought about shoes.  I wore my freebie pair of La Sportiva Crosslites this morning...while I no longer abhor them, I'm still not convinced.  The tread grippiness was apprecated, but the traditional postive heel-to-toe angle and extreme stiffness of the rig kept my feet from being as blissful as the rest of me.  I realized just how infrequently I blister when descending in any of the Inov-8 models...I wonder if the neutral angle has anything to do with it.  Seems to keep the foot from wanting to slide forward into the toebox.  I had no such respite today...but I hear blisters are good, as they form callouses, which will prevent further blisters.  Or something like that.

I thought about the narcissim of sharing all this crap with what could amount to the rest of the world.  Obviously it didn't stop me.  I think now of how I may be judged for who knows what...and then I realize that is why I do it.  To bare my thoughts to the world, to say "here I am, for better or worse" is a liberating...thought.


  1. It reads like you had an awesome run, period.

  2. People who use that "no drug compares to a runner's high" line have never used drugs.

  3. Great post Sean, I often times think many of the same things.

    The Crosslites (at least my 2.0s) perform very well on loose terrain, but they do beat up my feet. My right big toe has not been the same since I ran down Princeton last July in them.

  4. I'm a big fan of the original Crosslites, and of Big Thinking Whilst Running. Nice post.