Squamish 50mile

Things that went well

  • Never stopped never stopping (except when i  had to stop).
  • Managed nausea better than ever
  • Strong pace at finish
  • Did my “job” at aid stations without taking too long.
  • Managed heat fairly well.
  • Kept a smile on my face for much of it.
  • foods: stroopwaffels, watermelon, low caffeine gels, non-caffeinated shot blocks, salted potatoes, 50% coke/water (swedish fish and gu brew would have worked too),

Things that went not-so-well

  • Nausea early
  • Too much caffeine early
  • Mornings always get me
  • Tried to “race” too soon. Or, tried to “race” at all.
  • Should have drank more water even when stomach was unhappy as it never made things worse.
  • Never actually had to stop…
  • Kinda lost track of my eating/didn’t care at the end. Pack was full of excess gu/gel and other wreckage adding up to a couple of lbs.
  • Left nutrition to the aid stations. Never again unless I know they have what I like.
  • Foods that didn’t work: honey stinger anything, lemon anything, wild berries, anything tart, caffeinated shot blocks, Ultima electrolyte drink or anything else with stevia (WTF???; calories are needed, why serve a calorie free drink at an ultra event?).


August Perseid II

The summer was easier before you came
Long, languid
The same static stars
Sometimes fog shrouded
but subject to the old interpretations
true firmament
even pacing of precessing sun
and moon tides
sea funk followed by woofing caves
Then ballistic motion
Blazing unknown distance
unknown timing
held captivated on my back
Eyes sparkling
moon hidden by soft touch
revealing a sudden spill of light
I want this
I hate this, these torn hemispheres
heart filled with complicated
passion yet something so basic
and simple
precluding every other need but breath
water and warmth.
Dreams of thunderstorms and visions
of rain driving into sitka
on a wind blistered shore
As I lie on my back in crisp grass
crickets eking out summer
counting grains of chlorophyll
back into the core
the safe, strong bare maple trunk
that can survive SE gales
while nakedly failing
to interact with anything but
the wind
the stars
birds and the moon.
Clacking branches slowly amputated

I want this?

Life’s too short not to surf your brains out. Too short not to duck into wilderness of any kind (mountain, swamp, urban, relational, ocean) at every opportunity. It’s too short to be reading this on the internet looking for the next fake hit as the sun makes its next increment toward the end of another day, year, lifetime. Your lifetime.

Inputs v. Outputs

I’m training to run a 100 mile race this coming September and doing so obviously demands a lot of training. I’ve got a fair amount of fear of this run. Fear of what? Failing I guess, the pain that will come, injury, nausea, causing my crew strife etc. That fear, which is of no value, is driving me to train and maybe to excess at this fairly early stage. Last week I completed my longest weekly distance and largest amount of vertical at ~110 km and 5400 m respectively. This was fuelled by that fear but also desire to run with friends and my overarching need for wilderness which becomes an addiction in its own right. As these last weeks have passed, my hunger for food has ramped up looking for calories in any form. My output is large and I’m trying to bring it into balance through inputs. Of course, the body has limits on each end that are governed by training and basic biology. There are limits to how much a person can train. The pros that run 150 mile weeks also run much faster than I do and do so on roads making their total volume not hugely greater than what I’m working with. Regardless, in the past few weeks I’ve begun to stumble on the trails — sprained ankles and wobbly legs. The eating doesn’t quite seem to be keeping pace and yet my weight has stayed the same or even risen slightly. These are all signs of over training — of demanding too much flux through one’s body. But, because this system is largely governed by unconscious workings of the brain and body (okay, I choose to run) it will maintain a stasis. If I push too hard I will become injured or will get sick and outputs will need to be cut. This past week, I’ve felt sleepy and sluggish and a little depressed — my homeostasis pushing me to slow down.

One can look at simple balances like these in other aspects of one’s life. I feel like my productive output is much much lower than the input of information that I have. I wake up and immediately reach over to my cell phone and take information in. I try to work but am continually led away on needless internet forays. I read papers and promise work and talk with colleagues. All of this input. Without outputs, I’m getting this caught and pent-up feeling. Fazed by the headlights. Not knowing where to start. Before I started running my food/exercise input/output balance was out of whack. I was gaining weight. But running became an avenue my brain enjoyed. I didn’t set out to lose weight. I was doing something I enjoyed. Somehow, I need to rediscover that balance in the rest of my life. Find the plug to allow the pooled excess to drain free and establish a balanced flux. Life in the limnal interface between what’s taken in and what’s produced. Read guide books only to plan for trips that will be taken. Read heart wrenching news and then act on the tragedy. Write papers, get out of bed, live now.

The Sooke Hills

In a 15 passenger van stuffed with
Books, crumbling vinyl Christian lit
Athapaskan man describes the warm hue
Rainbow flowing diffracting out of the
Snow summits spilling autumnal mustard
Willow cotton blueberry crimson lake
Ruffled in sky last blades of grass exhaust
All of summer’s breathed in energy poured
Out from ravine to valley slope to foot of spruce
I plug carrot and tomato into my mouth
In deep wood panel wall canyon at the
Toe of emerald hill blacktop strung
Flow line leaking oil of bruised human Loss
Gain Veitch Ragged Empress moss forgiven
Hidden and ever loving. These hills will be here
To breathe you in and let your deepest amber
Umber burnt ochre sky star lit and ready.

For Elizabeth


Today, in a small line up at Jordan River. Small waves, few people. The sun bore down befitting el niño. Hot enough in a wetsuit to slide off the back of my board and dunk my head in the ocean. Waves trickled in, long boarders hooted, creedleing into the sun’s glare. A prone ride for good measure. You could almost hear the tap squeaking closed or the juicer pulling the organized energy out the of the ocean. At 11:30 I was stripping out of my suit when a stiff East wind shattered the late morning glass.

An evening before spent further stripping my life of objects deeply implanted with memories I can no longer afford to hold onto but am not sure I’m strong enough to do without.

Then a date. a potential portal to new external.

Then a run through a dark forest through chirping frogs through cracked wrist and no shirt. Steamy heat in dark winter woods. Feeling stronger quads building to hot desert summer runs and quiescent ocean. It’s time for the change, for earths tilt to find a new solar aspect. To begin to write over the warped tape-memory of 2015 with some new strength. For the sounds of the season to earn new meaning or reassume their old.