Monday, November 23, 2009

i fucking did it!

Yes, cold cold feet indeed. As is clearly evidenced from my lack of blog posts and updates, cold feet struck hard. I kept training, though. Just forget to write about it. So it goes.

But here I stand now, on the other side. I finished the marathon! Yes. Pain like I had not experienced previously.

I will write longer bits soon. My loose plan is to put all these entries together, with a few more, into a pamplet of some kind. A sort-of-mini-book.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 16 (5.5 miles hiking)

Today went for a long hike through Lost Maples State Natural Area, winding through canyons and up plateaus, identifying birds all along the way, collecting tree leaves for later identification, listening to the wind through the leaves and swimming in the spring fed pond. It was perfection and beyond and my Dad and I were the only people walking in the whole park. A shame in a way, but at the same time so perfect. It was the best that Texas has to offer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 14 (12 miles)

We move through this life without looking around much, staying within our own little fields of vision and experience and rarely if ever getting a glimpse outside. Everyday I see this principle in effect to absurd lengths along the Lady Bird Lake hiking trail. Folks insert their headphones and get all pumped up to a soundtrack of their choosing and disconnect from the world around them. I see these fine folks bumping into other constantly, the blank look on their faces traded for a quick look of shamed shock. I guess this is why I never use headphones. I suppose it might make the run a bit easier, get myself "pumped," if you will, but I have little interest in disconnecting myself from the world around me. I want hyper-awareness of my environment, I want to see and feel and hear everything as it blurs by me.

And that's the irony of this running stuff sometimes. You dive deep into the brain, further into your own mind, but it makes you more and more aware of the world outside. Whoa. I think I should start a new-age running academy, where we all pantingly try to talk about our inner revelations while sweating and grunting. We would probably end up spittling all over each other but I guess it's a fair trade. The truth comes at a price, my friend.

Speaking of price, I hereby found the "New Age Running Academy." It will cost you one beer per session.

We will run and discuss politics and philosophy and what we ate for dinner last night. We will discuss until the pain becomes too much, then we'll all just groan together. It might seem a bit suggestive to a random passer-by, but I assure, nothing will be suggested by our grunting, aside from the obvious suggestion in everyone's minds that we take a long break and drink a cold beer.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 5th (4 miles hiking)

Austin's been held hostage by a 2-year drought, and me alongside. I am a creature of the water, you see. I may look human, may engage in normal human talk and trivialities, but I am generally a minute or less from a possible soak.

I used to do tube down in Barton Creek and take my dog and all was fair and fine and a taste of springtime's perfection. That was two long years ago and feels much longer. But today buckets of rain poured down with no hesitation. The sky was bursting wide open.

Tommy, Townes and I walked to the greenbelt and saw the washed up detritus of modern life, swept down below after spending many easy months in gutters up above. Plastic bottles, huge mounds of yellow foam, styrofoam peanuts, dorito's bags, all the essentials.

We walked for awhile but decided greater things called us. So we rose out of the greenbelt and downed some beer and doritos. Not exactly marathon training, I guess.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4th (11 miles)

Our feet flew quick over wet pavements and the miles flew by not quite as quickly. The lake and its old familiar curves and twists and running over the highway overpass and the shamed looks of the homeless men begging alongside. We moved past it all and felt each mile burn deep into our legs, our joints screaming for mercy, our minds feeling free as ever though, set free from everyday noise and dipping into a sort of freedom, if only for an hour or two. Diving into the deep end of one's mind, swimming in the depths, holding your breath and staying there as long as you can. It's not a natural place for a man to be. You can only live inside the mind for so long. Eventually you have to eat.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2 ( 3.3 miles )

Just when you think summer's passed us by, its long tortuous days have passed on down south of the equator, we get another scorcher. I might not notice this normally, as the rooms as I normally inhabit are blessed with central a/c, a wall unit, or, perhaps if I'm lucky, a man waving a large fan woven together from banana leaves.

But today there was no a/c and no servant waving banana leaves... just me and the scorching sun and my dog Townes, all treading the same bit of earth for a mind-numbing thirty or so minutes.

Today we ran down in the Barton Creek greenbelt back behind my house. My route is generally the same: side street down, wind up and down the rocky exposed ledges of the Balcones Escarpment, down under the 100-foot cliffs, past large stand of Ash Juniper and Lacey Oak and Chinquapin Oak and Live Oak and Sycamore. On down to the dry creek bed, up the empty rocky creek, up a few miles, cut up just near Campbell's Hole (now just a hole, no water inside), back up through the church parking lot and back home.

Had to stop for long stretches because I swear Townes' tongue was dragging on the ground. We stopped at the church and I turned on their hose but the water came out steaming and scalding and probably would not provide much relief from the heat, so I turned it off. Not after waiting some thirty or so seconds, waiting for the water to cool down, but it never happened.

Townes is now passed out in the corner, tongue back in his mouth but exhausted like I have not seen in quite some time. I anxiously await summer's departure.

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31 (3 miles)

Perhaps running speeds up those special internal processes that expel waste. Often while I'm running, I get these unstoppable farting attacks. Not to be crude. Is that crude? I guess farting is one of those things that everybody does but nobody mentions. Never really any reason to talk about those kind of odors. When they strike, it's generally understood that you silently glare at the offending party, but no words are mentioned, never.

But since I'm trying to speak in my own voice and not somebody else's, I suppose it's only proper to discuss my flatulence. If I don't do it, who else will?

I wonder if these farts leave a vapor trail. Sort of like some sick alternate reality version of Knight Rider. David Hassellhoff keeps staring in the rear view mirror. He's actually just fixing his hair. But suddenly he realize he's being followed! "RELEASE THE GASSS, Kit !" he orders his mild-mannered talking sports car. And a cloudy, stinky vapor is released behind Kit (the name of the car, for those of you who never saw that t.v. show) and the driver following has to let go of the wheel to clasp his hands over his face and, most especially, his nose.

I wonder if my ripping farts on the trail could have a similar effect. People in my wake get woozy, start running at funny angles, grow short of breath, or maybe even go puke in the bushes. I would not be surprised. Fortunately, I'm always one step ahead of these gaseous emissions.

My dog Townes seems to have similar problems. Except he just shits. The last time we ran, he shit three times in half an hour. Three times! Considering his weight and the amount of food he eats, that's be like me shitting three times in 20 seconds. And that's not an experience I remember fondly.