Friday, August 24, 2012

Kankles, Horse Pucky, AC and People That Look Like Their Dogs.

How does that happen? Are people naturally drawn to dogs that look like themselves or do they grow into one another? I’m a cat guy. If I look like Sarge or Donut, I’m good with that.
“Time Passages” by Al Stewart is actually an incredible song.
But I digest, this is supposed to be a blog about my last couple adventures running up Wintastiquet Mountain, aka Winny (ya, I know Winstrol…).
I work at New Chapter on Technology drive in Brattleboro, so I run to Winny from there. Its not a difficult run at all, crossing Putney Road is a bit Frogger-esk, but once past the rotary and over the bridge it’s rather nice…for a while.
So, running in the summer is always a trip for me. I know we all try to run with our eyes open, but I need to comment on what I saw these past few runs.
I run into work down Putney Road. I run on the sidewalk on the left hand side, it’s the safest for the most part. Tuesday, as I was about to head into the little valley at the Marina, I see a kind of disturbing sight…a 20 something male, walking his bike up the side walk, with…Kankles. WTF! How the hell did this dude get kankles? I mean, you could see them POW! Even before you noticed his atrocious fashion sense, you could see his kankles. Man, when I was in my 20s I was working 2 jobs and training for Triathlon.
After my day at work, I run to Winny. My route takes me past the local package store where I get to see some of the gems that make the people of New England sparkle…This particular gem comes to mind: A 300lb man sitting in his spotless F350 with the engine running so he can have the AC on while he’s on his cell phone. I’m guessing that talking probably makes him sweat. Thus the sitting in a running F350 on a beautiful August day?
When I finally get to the trailhead, unscathed, there’s horse shit all over the place. WTF? Horses themselves don’t bother me. People that own them, on the other hand, have always had a little place in my colon. Why the hell do they think its fine to leave 25lbs of shit in the middle of the damn trail? What if I did that? What if I come to your house and drop a dookey right on your walkway? Would you like that? Huh? Would you? 
Trails are common use. I pack out what I pack in. Or bury it. Stupid horses…Ya, and whats up with me having to yield to horses on single track? Why is that? I’m training you cowboy git. Get your fat ass off your horse and get some real exercise. And try not to dump on the trail.

Geez…so the run itself.

There is nothing fun about Winny. Its ugly. Its painful. The terrain is terrible. There’s bugs and humidity. But…it is a climb. And a reasonably relentless one. There are maybe 2 spots on the way up where you get a quick chance to get your breath back. The rest is just up. Up crappy trail. Nasty double track with sharp pointy nasty rocks just waiting to come loose under your feet, then slice you when you eat it. But it is a climb…so I run it.
Tuesday I ran it in my Vibrams with my CamelBack Octane pack. The Octane has seen me thru a couple of ARs and many a mountain bike. It’s not ideal for strict running, but does the trick.  My god “Fire and Rain”  by James Taylor has got to be the saddest song ever. My vibrams rule for trail running.  But my feet definitely took a serious pounding. The rocks on Winny are NO JOKE! Descending WInny in the 5fingers was a bit tricky. Mine are a few seasons old and have stretched a good bit. The soles felt awesome, sticking to everything, but I just couldn’t get the shoe to feel right due to the stretching.
Today I ran it in my Nikes with a fancy schmancy CamelBack Ultra LR. Same route, different experience. First thing, wearing shoes sucks!!! All my shoes are trashed, and the Nikes are no exception. I think one of the cats peed in ‘em too. God, the stink is un-human. Climbing in regular shoes again just makes my feet feel rather cumbersome….like I have soggy loaves of bread on my feet. Stinky, soggy bread with a swoosh on ‘em. Descending in them was much cushier (obviously) and faster. Then the pack…well, there are a couple of adjustments that I need to tweak. All and all I think the pack is too large for both my frame (6ft,185lbs) and too large for my current needs. BUT! When I finally get my sorry arse ready for another ultra…..this thing will do the trick for those stupid long unsupported training runs. Plenty of easily accessible pockets, good water capacity,etc. But it just feels too big.
At the summit today I stopped and listened to my Pandora. “Just like living in Paradise” by David Lee Roth was playing. Kind of fitting here. A) Dave is one of the coolest futhermuckers on Earth and 3) I love what I do, even though it sucks. It may not be paradise to everyone, but it’s what I have now, and I’ll take it.

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