Wednesday, November 24, 2010

dead bird in laundry room, gator trail 2011, live birds push into sky.

november 14th.    bird carcass in the laundry room, spray of fallen feathers. proud cat purrs.

i am preparing my entry form for the Gator Trail 50k, the closest ultra to my hometown at about an hour's drive west. . . last referenced here, i’ve wanted to do this race for two years; so 2011 is the year of the commitment regardless of my current patellafemoral pain. thirty-one miles ought to prove a solid physical challenge and a base for a significant emotional journey, with the reprieves being the location and the small race charm. . . check 'M' for shirt size and gender, sign the liability clause and the check, stamp and drop.  Done.

November 17th, 2010. Schubert’s string quintet in C. Ferocious, rabid, erotic.  schubert, dead at 32 years of age from syphillis & alcoholism.  the guts of decay and chaos remains the soul.

nov. 23rd. Three and one-half miles with no grand happening, with a minimum of tightness in left knee. New shoes felt good, a little fluffy in the sole and stiff in the kick, but thats expected in their newness. . . stayed in neighborhood for the run, seeing one marvelous bird formation, hundreds of birds, congregating in treetops and exploding out into spontaneous flight and spiraling back into trees, then launching in silhouetted chirp-cloud towards the south.  i wonder if their sound waves influence their formation waves. . . . a fractal type function? A marvelous sight, the cool ballet of birds in punk screeches. followed by french roast, brahms string sextet, a brief essay-effort and then work-grind.

(run for ray trail half-marathon packet is signed and sent. run for ray 2010's write-up is posted here, and then the brutal follow-up blogpost of scarred & scabby nipples. )

Friday, November 12, 2010

the naked and the raw-- running narratives continue.

I. The day’s frenzy. . . . snarls of time versus goals.  (into the delirium. . .
November 9th, Tuesday, a six mile loop at wrightsville beach, port city chop house through summer rest trail ‘round loop and back, a recovery run of moderate effort, with only six folks encountered along the way. The beach was serene and vast and easy.
II. November 11th, Thursday. . . I need a miracle everyday.
USS Gravely (i think) entering Cape Fear River by CB State Park

eight miles churned on mix of sand and compacted bike trail and unbusy road down at wrightsville beach. Much of the run focused on the troops humping afghanistan mountains with packs of leadweight and their endurance on fields of combat (internal, external), and just how little of my own potential I touch on. I am not military, nor have I ever been, and in fact rarely considered it as an option for myself, but somehow I have a deep compassion & admiration for those men and women who have done it, are doing it, and will do it. . . . brutal brave existence.

garcia was also in mind in long meditative stretches, I need a miracle everyday, and that sums up the wholesome truth of it all.

III.  Running narrative continues. . . . november 12 2010.

Ernest Shackleton: “We had reached the Naked Soul of Man.”

carolina beach state park for a run of around six miles, and then some photographs before pcj at myrtle grove, grabbing a blueberry bran muffin with medium organic coffee and headed back home to hang with my dog. Out in the park i followed campground trail from the welcome center to the main trail and after a mile or so climbed the “rare coastal mountain” called sugarloaf dune, then descended along the sandy-spine of root steps and steep slides down where I promptly lost the trail (which was detoured/ closed I would later learn upon encountering a utility horse and big orange detour sign at a trail intersection) and followed the shoreline of the cape fear mouth, thinking of madelbrot/madelbrot number sets as I admired the natural patterns of coastal grasses as melodic wave tracings, fallen trees decaying in interesting forms, amorphic and surreal, the crag oaks with pale green moss deforming contours like scales, the push of color of an isolated butterfly against the estuary fall-grays of the landscape. . . . the swift swoop of birds and the lap of wake against brack and branch. . . . smells of pine resin and salt-wet wood permeate. . . . uprooted trees lay with strange primal maps in their woven root structures, and birding decks overlook long fields where coarse grass taptap each other with dry percussive sweeps of a cold wind, and then finally back into thick sand (terribly inefficient footing, trudging, even in my salomon trail shoes) tightening into pine needled path and then the marina where I turned round to follow sugarloaf back to the car and grab a warm shirt (of organic cotton, purchased at take a hike gear store in black mountain with proceeds going to maintain the Appalachian Trail, a very cool gift from my wife), drop wet socks and shoes and get it down in language.  
Numbers=> 33m/ 53m/ 1133m

Monday, November 8, 2010

take the time to enjoy the thing; halloween to battleship half marathon-

November 1 2010 11h18am.   total for October was pushed out by a good long run y’day, halloween sunday, a twelve mile run of about 1h40mins. . . . ran from home through ogden park (and the hispanic soccer playoffs) to construction roads and trails and huge sand berms and lakes and large geese migrating just overhead, their strange languages of flight-form and squawking and laughing, I alone and enormous paw prints in wet sand keep me alert and somewhat wary and the run pushes up high-voltage trails, long straight swatches of ankle-twisting brashness and quick-touch toe-runs and eventually back into ogden park and home. the numbers are: 150 miles for October, 1081 miles for the year.
November 5, 1h29pm. Our other laptop, on which all of our documents/ photos/ music & general cross-referencing library of personal data is collapsing due to some hardware failure (error hex 50), so I am on a loaner. . . . updates are few and far between and the original documents are binary pulses, static, on a harddrive currently unusable. . . . so lets start from scratch.
this weekend is the battleship half marathon in downtown ilm. still uncertain of my participation, i know i can do better than last year, and that fact continues to intrigue me, to pull me in against the monetary resistance, almost as much as crossing the bridges in their strange, grate-teeth-on-soles splendor.
recent reading includes, still, dfw’s collection of short stories entitled “oblivion” as well as the short stories of chekhov, babel, and a bit of dostoevsky. The short story format revisited– the powerbars of literary feasts. . . . wonder why mccarthy doesnt put shorts out? should re-read some d. eggers. . .

November 6th. Eight miles of ramblin’ runnin’ at carolina beach state park, sand and pineneedled trails, wet and puddled leaf-mosaics bordered by black swamp swirling with pine oils; nasty currents of carbon and burnt steel cutting against yachts in icw, sugarloaf like the finest, white flour crunching beneath my salomons on sharp/quick ascents. A perfect midmorning run. Quiet and solitary, with only three other folks on the trails, and topping sugarloaf three times as i followed the trail which wraps the park while inter-weaving the run with various spontaneous trails. A good meditation, coastal brack and brine and cypress and luscious smells of autumn, good god-time in birdland and shed wet cold shirt for drywarm sweater and drove towards home, stopping for a blueberry bran muffin and hot columbian coffee. Work and work.
Saturday November 9th– i have registered for the half marathon, becoming the 1293rd person to do so with a cutoff of 1300. Destiny is mine.
November 8th.  the day after the 2010 Battleship Half Marathon.
Monday morning and my legs are tender with ropey tendons screaming the slightest movement, shoulders push against abdomen muscles like tired rowers in rough churn, mind reels the race-tape through as kyote chases a soccer ball and mahler’s third symphony belts out horns and string, heralding autumn’s first coastal frost. Now, recovery from the 2010 battleship half-marathon begins in earnest. the 13.1 miles y’day opened cold and collected, passing with a few strange (and by strange, I mean psychotic?) Moments, a homemade lunch of seered tuna and black bean tacos, then i worked my Sunday night shift to exhale, crashing into eight hours of royalty-worthy sleep. chasing kyote around the house will be my recovery run today. . . . but y’day’s half marathon was smooth and overall very good, with a coldcold morning tightening the veins in bare legs until the effort of the first incline heated and loosened and the legs began milling out the miles. . . . it all started behind the hilton of downtown wilmington, boarding the river taxi. My goal was around 1h40m, but the trip across the cape fear pushed a new goal. Some asshole harassed the first mate on the river ferry across from downtown to the battleship park (and yes, it was a rough ride and it did take four efforts to dock, but we were safe and ontime and the guy was just a dick. . . his brandnew minimalist nikes, his compression shorts and fuel belts and two garbage bags wrapped around more compression/ tech gear, garmin watches and heart monitors and this guy could've been a navy seal on a mission but besides that: my wife and twenty month old were cold and patient on the bench with a cape fear wind whipping the deck, so this guy was just an overtestosteroned chump who was marring my morning) and so my Mark was quickly exiting the river taxi with a haughty look to the first mate (who was holding the gate wide-eyed and embarrassed), and ky and kas and I got off and squared away and I was jogging to the start where the countdown was already underway. Hopping the dayglo orange tape, I found folks with attentive expressions and we began walk-trotting as an airhorn blew, pulling the runners out like a ribbon dance as the field expanded and a trot became a jog became a slalom became a run up the first bridge.

Ill skip the meat of the run but for a few choice cuts: at around mile 8 things got weird. The mind-voice began something like this:
“Ahh shit, a heavy, bonkey feeling in legs and chest. . . 13 miles. . . i'm done running, just done with it, i’ll never run again, this is ridiculous, 13 miles. . . every week I run this. . . runners drugs. . . need some music, a song in my head, fast and fast. . . easy skanking, easy skanking- skanking it slow. . . last year: gogol bordello; I felt good, lifting my head, felt strong and ran harder, arms in air, pumping. . . a burst. . . no ipod now, simplify and run. . . . enjoy the thing, the act of now. . . don’t bonk, could use some music. . . am i hitting a wall? Slow down, stomach breath. . . gatorade at next station, calories and electrolytes. . . what the hell are salt tabs?  compression man in sight, a belt full of hammer gels, drafting offa some cat. . . simplify to the run, no gum, no gels, breath. . . where did my pacifier go? (I chew my tongue for a second before realizing this is not a rational consideration.) Well that was abstract. maybe I’ll go to the comic store tomorrow.”  during this fugue i also projected several false recognitions on random faces.  i saw a friend mailyn walking on the path, and i saw a good running buddy jimmy coming the opposite direction, and, well, in short, these were false moments.   things chilled at an aide station and someone yelled “looking strong 1992" (my race number) and I felt better, felt human, and proceeded to pour a gatorade down my jaw and shirt and chased that with a water, shot a snot rocket, and pushed the final five miles. . . . (eventually compression man finished twenty meters before me.  for the record, i did pass him before my left shoe came untied.)

picked up some fresh tuna filet and seered it with black beans and fresh salsa and had lunch with kas and ky before a few restful minutes of football and then dressed for work.  good food and be-here-now runs are the Art recently.   that and a few sketches of punkass foot slogger. . . .
numbers=> 13m for the week/ 32m for the month/ 1113m for the year.