Thursday, January 31, 2019

ground work

brother meriwether at crater lake
bringing running back into focus hasn't been as simple as flipping a switch. there are days where the flow showed up in foggy glimpses, then the body threw it's caution flag and the battle of rest vs. push wages. the scene is a bit of rookie ball after a layoff and decondition. mostly, i'm out of habit. but habits return. right now it's about remembering which are the good one's and mitigating the bad ones.

volume hasn't been the goal, but rather the consistency that comes with rebuilding my relationship with running. i'm conscious of what's required. the connective tissue and muscle memory continues to rebuild but the cardio outlets remain open to other sports while my running body catches up. a few days ago brother meriwether came through bend with a truck bed full of toys meant for exploro and we decided to take advantage of a weather opening to see what we could see on grand scale. it's one thing to go for a ride, it's another to see something in a way you never had. i've been keen to get to crater lake in the winter for awhile. i knew the snowmo's used the main road for access, but conditions are never given. it was worth the shot. you don't know what you don't know. 

now we do, at least for that day. if mother nature throws a dog a bone, she doesn't care whether it tastes good or not. that's up for us to discover

the surprise for me was following up my longest run in a long time and highest volume week with a good day on the bike and my body responding. it builds confidence and emotional momentum. it's nice to feel that cumulative fatigue that comes with stacking together consistency and seeing the cup get refilled. while the flow still eludes, i'm back on this shit and it feels good. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

the dutchie

big meadow


looking across the valley



frozen soldiers




finishing. photos by WC
tthis was a beautiful ski to close out this past year.

been some chatter about changes in the sport and what's one of the biggest differences. i read a blog entry that i think hit a mark. it's not that everything now is bad, it's just different and those changes caused a bit of moving away in how the stories are told. i'm guilty. i'm drawn back to writing here as i get more minimalist in my sharing. my thought is, if you seek it out, i'll endeavor to make it worth the search. i've had great mentors and inspiration over the years and i'll admit to having felt a bit stale in what's fueling my stoke. i'm looking foward to what's coming/

Saturday, April 28, 2018


i'm a rock in the ocean
and you, you are the tide
you know i am going nowhere
i'm just waiting here for the water to rise

-trifonic. good enough

nothing more to read here than a statement of intention.
get into the flow and find my legs and motivations
the vibrations have been strong lately
the tide rising
the glimpse of flow

Friday, January 26, 2018


"excuse me, sir. can you move through the chute, we are expecting mr. armstrong any moment"
i remember passing lance just after the 10K mark. i was running about 2:47 pace at that point, still warming up and i moved over to the left when i saw the teardrop shape throng of wannabes aping the yellow clad bumble bee squatting and grunting his way down the road. these were the salad days of the digital cameras and pre selfie. certainly no stick. seems these cucks were just hoping to get in the paper the next day. 80-100 runners aping a cyclist, trying not to be anonymous in a large marathon crowd. what a waste of all that prep letting an inexperienced cyclist dictate your race strategy for the day. the spectacle of celebrity.
two night before i was with family and friends at alibi bar, a former jail turned watering hole, and a drink shows up in front of the closest thing to a sister in law i have and brought by a waiter asking if she'd like to make a new friend. waiter nods over to the private table where 7x has formed a bronado and has decided to a make a run at the local ladies. beesh, not missing a beat says "no thanks. i've got plenty of friends. besides, i'd never fuck a retiree"
i had run a hard 60K trail race at peterson ridge the weekend before, and was only in boston to watch my friend, meghan, compete in the us olympic trials the day before. i signed up because i was heavy into western states training that year and where better to get a long run that monday. beesh lived on the course so we got to see her run by a few times from the comfort of the roof deck. it was disappointing to see the course changed from traditional route to more criterium style racing, but the volume of folks already in town to run the marathon made it a dream for the ladies participating. meghan honored uta pippig well that day along with being one of the oldest participants in the trials. 
i didn't have to catch the early bus to hopkinton. beesh worked at boston childrens and knew all the routes to get to the start about 30-45 minutes before the gun so i could avoid the 4 hour wait sitting in the grass in hopkinton. during the drive up, she sees lights and sirens on the highway and pulls over to the side to see 4 staties on motos, followed by a unmarked cruiser with lights, a black van with LIVESTRONG on the side, another unmarked cruiser and 4 more moto staties going 90 mph towards the starting line area. full police escort. i would have rather seen the RD get that kind of treatment, not the cyclist. 
not long after passing the ape train, i started picking it up and ended up running 2:41 with a 1:18 second half split. my board shorts had 5 pockets and an 11 inch inseam. i got lectured by a race official at the finish line about wearing my bib on my shorts instead of the front of my shirt. later, turns out my photo was in the boston globe as many times as lance that year. 
no less than 200 photographers were at the finish line waiting for lance to come striding down boylston st. one of the volunteers in the chute handed me a bottle of water and threw her chin at the throng and said "whoar all these greasties waitin for? they think dunkees showing up with da chocolats with the jimmies on top? haven't seen a group up like this since jawny kelly ran his final finish in nointy too. kehd was ehty fowar". i gave that woman a big hug for making my day, said my goodbyes and i haven't been back since. 
lance ran 2:51 and announced his return to professional cycling 4 months later. he rode in two more tours, never winning again and was given a lifetime ban for doping in 2013 and officially stripped of all his titles.

Friday, January 19, 2018


"the thoughtful reader, having read this far, and noted the various factors that are considered the steps, or paving stones, to success, might well say 'but what about the sacrifices I must make!' or, 'what sacrifices are called for in achieving the goals you have set before me'!
the answer is simple: 'there are no sacrifices'. 'you do not have to sacrifice anything at all.'

no ambitious person: no person who has set his sights on some goal above the average or normal attainment: no dedicated person: no one willing to work, and anxious to achieve, ever considers the 'way' he has determined upon: the path he is resolved to travel: the work and suffering he sees ahead of him, and which he encounters, ever thinks of all, or any of this as a...sacrifice.

when a man goes to night school every night in the week and studies all the weekend: when a man in sport trains, or practices, three times a day, and all the weekend, never does he feel he's making a sacrifice. It is only the mediocre, half-cocked, the spectator, or the playboy who 'assumes' that a sacrifice is being made: has been made: must be made.

the dedicated man: the ambitious person: the determined to succeed...will, in the judgement of these lesser types: those destined to mediocrity: to nonentity say, you the ambitious one: the resolved to succeed one: you, whose only 'god' is success in something: sometime: somewhere, you will be adjudged 'mad' and the lesser ones will affirm and agree--they couldn't make the necessary 'sacrifice'.

so: that is how we know them! those who would achieve: who see the way to achievement clearly, or dimly, 'sacrifice' will be the one word they never mention...because they have no consciousness of making any 'sacrifice ' at all.

accept it this way. for everyone who will 'go along with you': be in tune with you: support you, you must expect to find one hundred who will be critical of you. tell you the 'sacrifices' they see are not worth it.

this fact in itself makes for a certain isolation. if you are not prepared to endure (i would say 'enjoy') this separation, then believe me--you have not passed the chief test that places you in the category of the great, but has placed you in the category of those who miss out being truly great by a meter or a mile.

summed up: finally and irrevocably--those destined to be truly great never envisage anything they may do as resulting from personal sacrifice. they just do. "

-percy cerutty. 1951

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

meet me in the woods

i took a little journey to the unknown
and i come back changed, i can feel it in my bones
i fucked with the forces that our eyes can't see
now the darkness got a hold on me
holy darkness got a hold on me

how long, baby, have i been away?
oh, it feels like ages though you say it's only days

lord huron | meet me in the woods

Monday, October 24, 2016

summer of george

sitting on the back deck of the track shack, the plans were hatched over a heaping pot of red beans and rice and a few too many bottles of high life. running journal and a road atlas. everyone was lean as fuck and antsy. we were looking to test that summer base work out with some harder efforts while keeping the house rule of not waking up to an alarm or run fast in the heat of the day. that summer, we spent as much time thinking up alias names to race under as we did tapering. we always took advantage of the race day sign up because cash was always scraped together last minute. the mileage was high as everyone was enjoying the volume that the trails offered, but conscious of the need to turn the legs over. a few uninspired attempts at running daytime tempo's brought about the house rules concerning effort, but we needed an outlet for this growing fitness. discussions were brief and the rules were simple.

-races had to take place at night
-they couldn't be more than a 3 hour drive from brevard
-nothing longer than 10k 
-shirtless, no kits. 
-aliases for most of us, proper names for those capable of cash money.
-post race grub always at huddle house 

everyone was training for a fall marathon and were coming off of being counselors at brevard running camp, so that first trip entailed 6 guys in a station wagon hopping over the mountain to  crazy 8's. soon after, we hit pigeon forge, maggie valley and finished at midnight flight. 4 races in a quick 5 weeks while running 90 miles per week. the house was fast. i remember a few pr's coming out of those races, some prize money and a few comped post race hotel rooms. the game of finding new events without amending the original rules mellowed the cheetahs out while respecting the trials of miles necessary to build that foundation for those bigger pictures we all saw in our mind. nobody gave too much of a fuck and it was fun. everyone ran well, plus with all of us racing we didn't have to worry about an eager housemate half stepping us on those sunday long runs. everyone was sore and tired, so we built into the longer sessions slowly and finished strong. ego's were checked but accountability and stoke from the weekly fitness checks were high.

that summer was endless and never to be authentically repeated. a few years later when the shack got condemned by the county, guys moved on. a few got jobs. one of them wifed up and it was never the same afterwards. sure, a few of us still traveled to races and trained together but everyone was more focused. during the summer of george we had shared everything, including a schedule and a common goal. side jobs never were anything that would interfere with what we were doing. seasonal girls were abundant and enthusiastic it was some of the most effortless running i have ever done. it was pure freedom. no dogma. no designations. just running. the south is good for that. races are abundant and creative. no better place to be a road whore in the summer months.

to the cajun cannon, wild bill, randy, subcommandante inspector marcos, abstract & breece d'j pancake: long live the summer of george.