Monday, April 4, 2011

Preview of Chippewa 50K and Life in General

First, my running. I am impressively out of shape. My training reminds me out my intern year, the other year in recent memory, when I have been this undertrained. I can't remember another time, other than intern year, when I have been this un-injured and permanently feeling fresh. Every workout is a treat to be savored.

That's the positive spin on it. The negative is that I am 5 pounds overweight and 10-15 minutes slower over 50K than I should, or could, be. I can feel in my workouts that the typical spring "pep in my step" hasn't come. I can hold a decent pace for a decent amount of time, but it's not better or worse than it has been the whole winter.

Chippewa is my big spring goal race. Let there be no mistake about it. I am no ultrarunning hipster; and I won't pretend that it's just a fun run or a training race. But, on the other hand, my current form dictates that I will have to run my own race and get whatever place falls into my lap. Ironically, Chippewa in 2008 continues to be the race where I have most severely bonked, and the 2011 version could surpass that, if I started out too fast. Besides, Joe Ziegenfuss, who probably runs a 50K on par with a very in-shape me, has signed up, so there is no realistic chance of winning.

But, again I have to be honest, one can always dream, a la Jim Carrey's "so there IS a chance!". Who knows what kind of shape this Ziegenfuss fellow is in, and who knows if he will even show up. And as people think "but there are so many other people, who could beat you", I remind you all that I do not read minds. There is a chance of winning ,however small it might be. And as I always tell people, the fun races and the ones where I have a decent chance of winning, placing, finishing in the money, or getting a PR.

Hmm, the bravado is getting me excited. Too bad it's too late to train. Maybe I could drop a pound or two?

Now, to life in general. Denmark is enjoying the first few days of spring, and the effects are everywhere. Nurses are flirting with paramedics, stroke patients are learning how to wink with their good eye, and my recently divorced friend and future hematologist started dating one of the nurses on the leukemia floor.

And yours truly is feeling it, too. Reader(s?) will know that I tend to get melancholy when I think of the uncertainties of the future. Last week, we hit a low in that regard. The Girl suggested that we move close to La Corsse, so Natali live with her mom (my Ex), which suddenly meant that our, admittedly tentative and perhaps realistic, plans for moving to Oregon or Alaska had to be cancelled. From one moment to the next, we had quasi-settled on four possible locales: Madison, Twin Cities, Rochester and Iowa City (in that order of preference). The cities with med schools, that is.

I had looked forward to living with Natali and exchanging her for Andreas (who was always going to live with my Ex, anyway) duting school breaks. But our new plan will work, too, although I was depressed for a few days after this new decision. Not because of the plan, just because something so basic to my happiness can change so rapidly, beyond my control. Natali would prefer living with both her parents within a few hours drive0
, too, so she and the Girl are actually agreeing for once.

So once we had our new plans settled, and a fair amount of pointing at the Girl going "you're not going to change your mind again, are you, because 15% of my brain is constantly is constantly thinking about this!" had occured, things started getting good. The weather happened upon us, as we ran an almost-marathon in a beautiful forest on Sunday.

It's almost to the point where I feel optimistic about life.

Work is okay.
We found a name for the baby: Mattias.
Natali is doing well.
Andreas is doing well.
Christian is speaking fluently now, and is making slow progress in his potty training.
Mattias is healthy, as far as we know.
The Girl's research is going well.
Our plans for next year are solidifying.
Our plans for life are solidifying.

And in ten minutes the Girl will bring back the Lorax from music class. I will bike with him to pick up Natali at the gym, where she is currently in her "young fitness" program. We'll have a few minutes before the emerges from the gym, and to pass the time, the Tallest Slide in N├Žstved awaits us; he shrieks as he slides down, his long blond hair flying behind him. He knows that I, on occasion, will have a few gummi bears in my pocket to reward him for particularly spectacular descends, and he looks up optimistically the moment his feet hit the sand.

Life is all right.


sea legs girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveQ said...

Joe Z. is in fantastic shape. Matt Patten ran with him in Colorado, where Joe's living and training and said that he's running the mountains like a goat (Ziegenfuss is German for Goatfoot, by the way).

sea legs girl said...

Steve Q, Ziegen actually means goats and not goat. As I always say, if you're going to have one goat foot, you might as well have several.

Fast Bastard said...

Me: So my chance of winning is like one in a thousand?

SteveQ: More like one in a million.

Me: So there IS a chance!

olga said...

We're thinking Flaggstaff.
A chance is a chance.
I change my outlook on future life several times a day.

SteveQ said...

@SLG: I may not be multilingual like you, but I speak fluent German. Ziegen does indeed mean goats, when by itself, but in combination words, it's goat's. Goatfoot is a shortening of Goat'sfoot. Probably someone in the family line had a clubbed foot.|de|goat's%20foot

For some reason, even Google Translate wants to throw in a hyphen...

SteveQ said...

It just occurred to me that there might be a plant named goatsfoot, for which the Ziegenfuss family was named, so I looked it up. There is one, but it only grows naturally in South Africa and it's a weed, so... no.

Tracizzle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sea legs girl said...

Steve Q. Well, yes. I figured it out shortly after I wrote it (that the EN was a connector). And then it was confirmed by the author of this blog. Also when I considered how few goats share one foot, I figured there was a slight possibility I was mistaken.
I still maintain that I am fluent in every language on the planet. You're just ever so slightly better at German. ;).

Bianchii said...

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I will write about everything, will be a lot of pictures, reviews of books, films, songs etc.
So it would be nice if you visit my blog sometimes :)
(Sorry for mistakes, I'm still learning English)
(you can follow me)