Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saturday was great. I ran 16 miles in the morning. It was a hot day and a hilly course. But all weekend I felt like a total stud.

That afternoon, Allie and I took a drive into the country to pick blueberries and buy corn and peaches and buffalo meat. I didn't want to pick the berries, but I wound up loving it. It was a peaceful and beautiful activity. We came home with four pounds.

We bought the corn from three kids in a pick-up truck. There were two girls and a boy, ans the girls were quick to point out that they'd been there all day, but the boy hadn't. I said that boys are lazy, and the girl nodded emphatically. "Especially this one," she said.

At the buffalo farm we met a jack russell terrier. He was a little chubby, but he came right up to us and demanded a belly rub. As we exited the little store they had on the farm, he went running over to a couple of bison and started barking at them like he was boss. He was showing off for us.

Last night I did my third speed workout. I'm in the 4 group, which means I'm right in the middle. We did hill sprints and then quarter repeats. I was worried about the workout, but I hung right in there, knocking off three quarters at about 1:41 each. Afterward, and all day today, I've felt strength and healthiness. My leg muscles feel more powerful, my posture a little straighter, and each breath I take feels thick and sweet. It's such a cool thing to do, I think.

Being in the group is interesting. It's like being in high school cross country or track again, except we're all grown-ups with jobs. Everybody's got a different goal they're working toward, but we're all real serious about it.

While I'm running I feel like I'm an elite athlete. I know I'm not running as fast as one, and that I certainly don't look like I'm world-class, but it's kind of like playing air guitar to Jimi Hendrix -- I'm going through roughly the same motions Ryan Hall does when he's up with the front pack, so it's easy to slip a little into Walter Mitty mode.

But then... I'm doing quarters at 1:41. And I'm sucking wind at the end of each one. When I was 15, I ran a 10k at a faster pace. A much faster pace. So, it's easy to slip into the other direction, and beat up on myself for not sticking with track and cross country in high school and college. For not pushing my body to its limit when it was in its prime to see just how good of an athlete I could have been.

Oh well. Can't do nothing about that.

In other news, Allie and I have decided to go to Iceland next summer. I've wanted to go there ever since I saw something on PBS about the incredible music scene they have there.

So, for the past week or so I've been doing a lot of research on the weird little island and becoming more and more fascinated. On our trip, we are definitely going to go here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

That's right. How could we possibly pass up a chance to visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum?


Pete said...

I love being Walter Mitty, except I have a great wife.

Good blog. You run because it makes you feel the way you do. Both the ups and downs.

Dan said...

Sam, my son, went to Iceland for some Rock Festival a couple years ago - he loved it, but he said it was really expensive. He had a great time at the festival - he said that there was amazing music coming from every club in Rejkavic, and he loved the blue lagoon.