Friday, August 7, 2009

Dragging My Sorry Bones Up Bradbury Mountain


You know, Bradbury mountain, by mountain standards, is probably quite insignificant.
Some might even call it a hill. My body views it as a bonafide mountain. As I dragged my butt up over the summit four times in preparation for the 9 mile Breaker, I realize a great respect for the rough terrain.

These trails are quite technical with massive root crops that grow over the rocky terrain, trees interupting the continuity of the run as they seem to want to grow in the way. I swear they jump in front of me as I negotiate the grabbing roots and try to lift my feet up over protruding rocks and debris.

As I climb the seemingly never ending grade, my lungs scream for relief and that wonderful feeling of more than enough oxygen. Gasping for breath tends to draw my attention from the important task of watching for grabbing roots and uneven terrain.

As tough as this climb feels, it is no match for the difficulty of the down hills. It is the down hills that racers claim give them an advatange and the means to pick off faster times. To me they are treacherous as they suck the strength and energy from the legs, while the brain tries to block out images of bloody multiple injuries as gravity wants in the worst way to grab my body and throw it arround like a helpless ragdoll.

When I was a young lad, I used to run up and down this mountain for pure fun. There was never a thought of injury as I rode the back of gravity on the way back down, with my arms flailing and the excitement bubbling. Today I am pulling back on the reins yelling whoa there! It almost feels more dangerous to try and control the descent.

I know I have to master the descent if I want to race well yet my 53 year old brain has too many memories and too much respect for the injuries of the past. The interuption and time it takes to heal (which never seems to be 100%) is very costly for a person who enjoys running.

An idle runner feels alone and out of the loop, desperately looking for a replacement activity that offers the same satisfaction......but it is seldom satisfying enough. Instead, the brain has longing visions of how great it will feel when the body can run again.

The result is often returning too soon and prolonging the recovery time. In some cases creating a cronic condition that plagues us for years. I am running injury free right now and am enjoying the luxury. I can't remember one other year in the past 7 that I have been running, that I was injury free in August.

So....I am a bit slower on the down hills, and a bit slower in the speed department, but I am running when ever I want with no injury restrictions. Perhaps I am finally running smarter?

Total mountain miles 7@ 1:20:30 Tired yet somewhat satisfied.

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