Skip to main content

Pain versus pleasure

Be careful if you run into this character to the right.

He's dangerous and will cause you much pain.

That's Wayne Gregory, my ultra buddy from Sidney, Australia. Went I went "down under" in 2007, Wayne adopted me and took master competitor on two epic outback runs - Great North Road and Six Foot Track.

On one run, the Aussie boys told me about the highly poisonous snakes. One bloke told me "if you get bit, mate, just sit down and have a cigarette; that's all the time you'll have left!""

With that warning in mind, I took on some of the most amazing trail I have traversed in years. But the point of this story is the levels at which I can - and want to - train.

Wayne and his cronies are wide open, lactate dripping, endurance pain maniacs. The first run I did with this posse was the Sydney Running Club's weekly Sunday run...we did an 18-mile loop around the city, a wonderful journey, but at a pace that nearly exploded my ticker. I could barely hang on through the hills, but made it. That was a slight indicator of what was to come.

Wayne has been over to the USA to run the Western States 100 mile. Regular training sessions prior to that race were unsupported 50 mile sessions in tough terrain. What I realized during that time was that the intensity level of Wayne and his cohorts was way above mine. They ran harder and dug deeper on every occasion.

I may have that sort of fire deep inside me, but at this point I just don't want to push the button on the pilot light. My jogs and wonderful slow runs in San Felasco State Park are a great place for my soul to rest. It's exercise, a lightness of being that is conducive to deep thoughts and thankfulness for my place in life.

So, I admire Wayne and his ability. But that's not where I'm at and may never be again. For at this moment in time, pain is not directly correlated to pleasure. They are separate and distinctive points, and I can enjoy one...without the other.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…