planting seeds

this past weekend i had the distinct pleasure of adding to my “top 10 experiences of my life”. funny how up there with my wedding and birth of thunderclap are days spent in wild places or running. whitney, boston, pct50, leaning tower, etc and now, death valley.

i have a wonderful love affair with death valley. it was one of the first places that my parents took us a kids to go camping. i remember distinctly setting up camp in furnace creek, looking out over the world from zabriske point and hiking through golden canyon. years later, as an adult, i would venture back into the park to re-explore some of those places and try my hand at creating new memories. through several successful visits, i developed a pretty solid experience base in the wild deserts of california. this past weekend, then, would be my opportunity to plant the same seed my parents had planted so many years ago and share my experiences with a new generation.

tuesday night before the weekend, thunderclap and i sat down to the task of figuring out what gear we would need for the weekend, which clothes to pack and what the menu would be. i sat there, leading him with questions, but letting him come up with the names of all the gear we would need. he was so excited to be part of the process and kept throwing out items before i’d get to their functional requirement.

“SLEEPING BAGS!”

“HEADLAMPS!”

“MARSHMALLOWS!”

“hey, thunderclap, how are we going to cook our food?”

“WITH FIRE! we’ll need FIREWOOD!”

“how will we start the fire?”

“WITH FIRE!”

“where will we get the fire?”

“FROM FIRE!”

we walked through the menu, too, and came up with a pretty decent plan of fun camping food and nutritious options. hotdogs, mac ‘n cheese, pancakes, oatmeal, sandwiches, s’mores, veggies and fruit. with our list complete, we headed out thursday night to pick up all the missing items on the list. thunderclap’s enthusiasm for getting gear was a bit hard to contain as he picked up everything that looked interesting and added it to the basket. if i hadn’t been watching, we might have walked out of big 5 with four or five knives, a bag of rubber worm lures and a pickaxe.

friday morning was the big day, though, and after getting the car packed, we were off on our way to the wide open desert. i gave thunderclap the lowdown on our route so he’d have some idea of what was to come.

“first we have to make a long drive through the cities, then up the cahon pass to the high desert. we’ll drive for two hours through the high desert until we come to the desert mountains and immigrant pass. once we’re over immigrant pass, we will descend into death valley.” i made sure to keep him posted on our progress, but he would still ask on occasion, “daddy? are we at the desert mountains yet?” followed by “daddy, we are a long way from home”. yes, buddy, we sure are.

the grand adventure was just beginning and i had the opportunity to expose him to the first “joy” of driving the 395. the “rollercoaster” just before and following kramer junction. these are a series of, well, dips, that are frequent and steep enough to make your belly drop and make the car fell like it is getting air. i told thunderclap to hold on because we were going for a rollercoaster ride. he looked excited, but confused as we neared the dips. we hit the first one and the ferocity of the rise and drop caught me by surprise and i laughed out-loud. i looked back at thunderclap and he was cracking up. and then he hit me with the best line of the weekend, “daddy! that made my pee-pee giggle!”

before long we had passed through the high desert and were entering the wild rose entrance of death valley. thunderclap marveled at the high canyon walls, the high plains vistas, the snow on telescope peak. reconnecting with the 190 and dropping down the massive grade into stovepipe wells, i finally told him, “this is death valley”, as the main valley opened out below us. i pointed way off into the distance where you could see some buildings, “hey buddy, that’s where we’re going to camp!”

we cruised into stovepipe wells picked up a death valley jr ranger handbook and quickly grabbed a campsite on the perimeter of the campground. as i set up the tent, thunderclap began wandering around through the creosote bushes and sand hills, marveling at every rock he found. “daddy! look at this rock! look at This rock! look at THIS rock!” tent pitched and staked down, we then hopped into the car and headed over to furnace creek to have a quick visit with the in-laws who were trailer camping for the week. at the trailer/rv parking lot thunderclap was again smitten with the volume of rocks he was free to pick up, examine and toss. what more could a boy ask for?

that evening back at the campsite, thunderclap proceeded to set the tone for the weekend. while getting the fire going he asked, “daddy, do you know what to do if you catch on fire?”

“sure, stop, drop and roll”

“yes, i learned that in school”

at which point he promptly stopped what he was doing, dropped to the ground and proceeded to roll around in the dirt. a perfect example and fire should be deathly afraid of his ferocious thrashing. completed, he jumped to his feet with a little hop, hit the ground and a poof of pigpen-esque dust exploded around him.

“buddy” i said, “you’re filthy. but that’s the point of going camping.”

“yeah, daddy, i’m the dirtiest boy!”, he exclaimed, while flexing mightily.

first night and things were coming together perfectly. i wanted to get him as involved in the whole camping process as possible so he’d be enthusiastic for it and know what to expect. but, at the same time, i wanted to be sensitive to whether he was enjoying it or not. i ached for him to love it as much as i do, but didn’t want to smother him or push him into something that just wasn’t part of his make-up. watching the dust settle around my dirt encrusted son, my mug of awesome overflowed. from there, things just continued on that amazing arc of awesome.

hot dogs over an open fire. legit, messy s’mores. midnight barefoot dashes into the bushes to pee. camp flapjacks with cold butter. if you’ve done any camping, you know the sensations, flavours and smells of these things. each of which was exactly as it should be.

after a pretty sound, if not chilly, night sleep, we woke early. now, thunderclap is a 7am riser, but this day, nothing was going to keep him down. as i walked back to the tent at 5:30 after a visit to the dune, thunderclap’s voice rang out loud and clear across the campground.

“dun dun dun dun dah dah dun dah dah dun!”

he was singing the darth vader theme. at 5:30 in the morning. trying to keep from laughing loud enough to wake other campers [as if they weren't already awake now], i hurried to the tent to let my little star wars fan know that camping is communal and there are no walls to block sound. so, rather than sing, he threw on his fireman boots over his “planet awesome” fleece pajamas and headed back into the sand lumps and creosote bushes to play spiderman while i cooked breakfast.

breakfast done, we headed back to furnace creek to find out if the grandparents wanted to join us on some adventure for the day. we ended up tagging along on a hike from zabriske point down through golden canyon, the same places i fell in love with as a kid. thunderclap, though, was not content to “tag along”. no. he stepped right up to the group of 12 adults, of which i was probably the youngest, and said, “okay! let’s go! the trail is this way!” and off he went down the trail. he was a master guide, reading all of the trail signs and instructing everyone which way to go, ordering breaks when necessary and reminding people to drink their water. when we finally dropped down into golden canyon, thunderclap was beside himself with excitement. the rocks. oh, the rocks. “daddy? can we stay here?” you bet, buddy. you bet.

after a lunch of sammiches, we headed up to scotty’s castle. now, scotty has some awesome history and i recommend reading up on it because it just sorta rocks as an old west story. we took a tour of the castle and our fantastic tour guide, ranger scott combs, focused on the people and relationships of the castle rather than the furnishings, technology or construction. this was perfect for thunderclap as he got to hear a real life con-man/cowboy story and walk through a real life castle. he was transfixed by the tour and participated like a champ by answering questions and really taking everything in. following the tour, we visited the visitor center in which they had a cool kids fishing vest, mesh, with lots of pockets, and embroidered on the breast, “junior ranger”. i was so pleased with how well he’d done on the tour and generally just excited about how well the trip was going that i ended up getting him the vest.

on the ride back to our campsite, we got into a discussion and i can’t remember what prompted it, but i think it had something to do with him doubting whether he could be a junior ranger or not. i told him, “hey, you’ve learned a lot on this trip so far! i bet that if someone asked you questions that they’d normally ask a ranger, you’d be able to answer them.”

“hey ranger thunderclap? i want to go on a hike. what should i take with me?”

he responded in a deep and authoritative voice, “you should take water with you.”

“hey ranger thunderclap? are there lots of animals in death valley?”

“oh yes!”

“why don’t i see many?”

“oh, the animals you are looking for are nocturnal.”

and so on and so on until he realized, that yes indeed, he was ready to be a junior ranger and worthy of the vest he now wore.

saturday night saw him completely exhausted and crashing into his sleeping bag around 8pm. the wind had started to pick up a bit and i was a little concerned that the amplified sound in the tent would keep him awake. i was mistaken. he slept hard and missed out on most of the fun. i woke around 3am and looked outside the tent. the car was parked about 50′ away and i could no longer see it through the sandstorm. the wind was howling and buffeting the tent like mad. he did wake at one point, though, and i asked him if he heard that sound.

“yes, daddy”

“what do you think that is?”

“the WIND!”

“cool, isn’t it?”

“yeah!”

and then back to sleep. by morning the wind was mostly gone but everything was now coated with fine sand. thunderclap stayed in his bag a while after i got up and i could hear him talking to himself and singing again. i pulled out everything for breakfast and started boiling water for oatmeal and peeling oranges. thunderclap kept singing.

“yes jesus loves me. THE. BIBLE. TELLS. ME. SO!” perfect for sunday morning. if church should be held anywhere, this was the place.

after breakfast i set to cleaning up and packing up all of our things. thunderclap returned to the bushes and sand to continue his superhero adventures. once packed, i let thunderclap know it was about time to head out, but before we left i wanted to show him the sand dunes. but he didn’t want to leave.

“daddy, i want to play here! i’m not ready to leave!”

“did i tell you you’d like scotty’s castle?”

“yes”

“did i tell you you’d like hiking in golden canyon?”

“yes”

“well, trust me, not only will you like the sand dunes, but you’ll like them better than both of those.”

“okay, daddy”

so off we went to the sand dunes. his first step into the powdery sand was magical.

“DADDY! it’s so SOFT!”

and from there we were off to the races. trudge up a dune, roll down it’s face. scramble up another dune, roll down it’s face. up another and jump off it’s lip. over and over and over. at one point, we ended up in a wadi surrounded by dunes. the flaky clay bottom was fascinating to thunderclap. he sat and began peeling flakes away, marveling at their “dust explosions” when tossed. for the next hour the clay and sand was his movie set. while i walked the rims of the dunes, he crawled, rolled and threw his way through a fantastical story full of explosions, superheroes and the undead. finally, he finished his “movie” and we continued our exploration of the dunes.

that’s when we met ranger snow.

ranger jay snow is what i picture when i think of a park ranger. older; leathery, tanned skin; professional and personable. we started chatting with ranger snow and despite thunderclap’s early shyness with him, asked him all manner of questions with fantastic responses. part of the jr ranger program gives the kids the option to either participate in a ranger led program [which we had done at scotty's castle] or to interview a ranger. two questions are provided: “why did you become a ranger” and “what do you like best about death valley”; the jr ranger is required to provide his own, third, question. which is what thunderclap did.

“why do you wear a uniform?”

“well, i’m glad you asked. i wear this uniform to set myself apart. by wearing a uniform, people know that they can come to me with questions or if they need help. i also wear a tie as part of my uniform [yes, his uniform was complete with the dressy, green ranger tie] to set myself apart from other rangers, too. see, my daddy told me that gentlemen wear ties and every man should know how to tie a tie. and now, i never leave the house without a tie.”

heck yeah. what a great role model and fantastic representative of the national park system. the guy is either that good of a ranger, or he was firing on all cylinders that morning. every answer he gave provided instruction or fun and enthusiastic insight into nature. not only had the weekend been a success from a camping perspective and an adventure perspective, but now the trip was complete with a great example of leadership and authority in one of the national parks’ finest rangers.

by this point, we’d been in the dunes for over three hours and it was time for us to head on home. but we had one last stop before hitting the road. on our way out of the park, we stopped at the stovepipe wells ranger station one last time. thunderclap had his jr ranger vest on and jr ranger handbook in hand. we walked in and he promptly handed the book to the ranger on duty. the ranger thumbed through the book, made a comment about our interview with ranger snow with a knowing smile, and signed off on the handbook.

“are you ready to take your oath? raise your right hand and repeat after me.”

and with every ounce of sincerity and officiality in his body, thunderclap repeated the oath.

“i will help protect all national parks. i will leave rocks, plants and historic objects for others to enjoy. i will share what i learn with others.”

“congratulations, you are now a junior ranger for death valley national park.”

thunderclap received his badge, shook the ranger’s hand and beamed with pride. i pinned the badge on his vest and another park-goer in the station asked if she could take our picture. thunderclap was stoic and serious. this was official business. he walked outside for the photo with a new swagger in his walk. sure, ma’am, you can take a photo, but don’t keep me from my duties for too long.

success. it really has never tasted as sweet as this weekend. from his enthusiasm for everything we did, to his perfect behavior for the entirety of the weekend, to the perfection with the logistics of camping, to the volume of information and stories he learned during the trip. just success. and pride. i was proud of my little guy and just how receptive he was to everything, how adaptive he was and how enthusiastic he was. a dad couldn’t be any more proud. watching that same seed take root and knowing it’s potential surrounded me with a warm bubble of rad.

so, there’s a new ranger in town. got questions? thunderclap is your man.

prodigal son

i was contemplating waiting another month to post something to the ol’ blog seeing as that would have put my blogging hiatus at a year. but time dictates most things and a slight lull in work gives me a few minutes to pop my head in and give a quick update. with the history i have on this blog, mostly focusing on training, running events or other grand adventures, it makes it hard to blog when you’re sitting on the sidelines. and, sitting on the sidelines can be quite depressing and make you feel like your voice doesn’t matter or is hypocritical. haha…especially when you’ve been such an advocate of proper care of your body.

to expand on the ‘sidelines’ item, though. i mentioned that after pct50 last year and the peter’s canyon trail race my knee really threw me for a loop. i was stubborn and wouldn’t accept that something was really wrong. i spent months in painful fits and starts trying to get my running back online, but the knee would just not cooperate. when i would finally get to a point where i could run again and not be in pain, something else would come along, like flu or bronchitis. it wasn’t until feb/march of this year that i was able to get some consistency in my running and by june i was finally running pain free again.

there was one major thing lacking in my overall fitness, though. when i started training for a bq back in 2005, my coach at the time was adamant that i spend at least one day in the gym working on core strength. she felt that the strength training was vital in preventing injury. well, i continued with that aspect of my training up until the time that i ran my last triathlon in 2009. after mooseman, i was quite burnt out and just wanted to run for running sake. as a result, it put the bike on the rack, packed away my goggles and the gym became a place to shower after my early morning runs. i ran long, hard miles all through 2010 while i trained for zane grey and i think that lack of core and stabilizing strength is what led to the initial injury after the race.

now, flash forward to july of this year, another year spent without any strength training and a couple of months of running on a weakened knee and one night, while kneeling down to dry off thunderclap after a bath, the good ol’ knee went POP! and i was down for the count again. this time, though, i was not about to waste another depressing year of sitting on the sidelines. smsmh booked me a visit to my doctor and after a short, painful visit full of twisting and pulling and prodding, he determined that i had a strained mcl. “wear a knee brace for a month” was the prescription.

i am now on my last week with the brace and will be back into his office next week to have it checked again and get a referral for physical therapy. this time, i’m practicing what i preach. because these sidelines? they just plain suck.

soundtrack for this post
hipsters the alarm
lick strength
wax strength

from the mouths of babes

tc: hey daddy? why were you in the shower so long?
ah: i was shaving my legs.
tc: hey daddy? why you shave your legs?
ah: well, i’ve been swimming and cycling a lot lately. it reduces the drag and, well, it makes me feel faster even if i’m not.
tc: okay daddy. hey daddy? your butt is still very hairy.

soundtrack for this post
hipsters MGMT
lick of moons, birds & monsters
wax oracle spectacular

riding the waves

well, i think this has successfully been my longest blogging break since i started back in 2004.  wow.  amazing how life will just get away from you and how priorities shift.  i mean, i’m still out and about and reading blogs, but after my media fast back in feb, i trimmed my reader down to a couple dozen blogs and most of the time, i just skim those…but i’m rambling.  i need to get caught up to date quickly or i’ll never get this thing posted.

so, when i left off back in march [!],  i was busy training for zane grey 50m.  well, as life often does, it through a wrench in my plans.  my grandfather on my father’s side passed away and the services ended up being on race weekend.  i tried every way possible to make it to the start, but the timing just wasn’t going to allow it.  i ended up heading to colorado for the services spent the weekend catching up with family and friends instead.  just like with my mom’s father who passed away the previous year, it was amazing to hear the things that people were saying about him that we never knew.  for example, his boss from lockheed [?] showed up and made a point of saying how my grandfather’s efforts with the company were one of the key reasons that they were successful.  i, again, was coerced into saying something and i decided to illustrate his playful and loving nature.  the photo pictured was taken out at my folks place in arizona.  as we were getting ready to end the visit and head home, i caught my grandparents standing out on the back patio looking out at the desert.  i snuck out with my camera and shot a couple dozen photos of them without their knowing.  what surprised me, upon looking at the photos later that night, was not the that, after so many years, they still love holding each other, but that as i scrolled through each of the pictures, i could see that my grandfather was swinging his right arm.  playfully enjoying the moment.  classic grandpa.

as a result, zane grey was a bust.  i wanted to wallow in missing my A race for the year, but, with the huge base that i’d built, i was dead set against letting it go to waste.  a friend from the trail club suggested the pct50 down in san diego instead and offered to contact the rd to try to get me into the race.  she was successful and i toed the line for my second 50mi trail race on may 9th.  for zane grey, i had really hoped to rock the course and had all sorts of expectations built up for the event.  for pct50, i was somewhat emotionally spent and just really wanted to finish, enjoy the day and focus on other life’s pressing matters [more on that later].  i hadn’t looked at the course profile, hadn’t run a single training run on the course and pretty much just came in blind.  and that worked.  i had a fabulous race.  i smiled the entire way through it, soaked up the experience and surprised myself with a fairly decent time.  i crossed the finish in 9:15 and felt wonderful.  well, wonderful except for my knee.  i took a little digger around mile 12, but it didn’t seem to affect my running, so i finished the race.

the following day, my knee was in excruciating pain and it was difficult to walk.  i passed it off as just over-use and muscle fatigue and continued life as normal.  although, life was becoming less and less normal at that point.  after renting back our place from the buyers, our lease was coming to a close and the weekend after pct50, we packed up our home of twelve years and put it all in storage.  we had been looking in earnest for a place to buy, but the real estate market in so. cal has been nuts.  EVERYTHING in our price range was a short sale.  and those ridiculous types of sales can take anywhere from three to six months to process.  we were making offer after offer, but getting nowhere.

so, with our bags packed, we became homeless.  we moved in with smsmh’s family up in coarsegold and i began the task of commuting to southern california every other week.  i did a great deal of couch surfing for the end of may and the entire month of june.  it was a novelty at first, but it got real old, real fast.  i always felt like i was imposing [which, let's face it, i was] and it was really hard to actually relax.  even when back with smsmh and tc, it was still hard to relax since we weren’t in our own ‘space’.  don’t get me wrong, i LOVED the community and spending time with family and friends, but there comes a time when you just want to be able to go to the bathroom at 3am and not have to worry about surprising the in-laws as you walk neked though the house.

all the while, i was trying to get in running and cycling miles, but the knee that had acted up after pct50 just wouldn’t cooperate.  i would rest it while up in coarsegold [by cycling instead of running - which didn't seem to bother it] and then attempt to run on it again when i was in so. cal.  the final straw came at the first peter’s canyon trail race of the summer.  i showed up excited to put in a good showing and optimistically paid for all three races.  i had already run quite a few [mildly painful] miles that week and knew that i was racing on tired legs, but went out HARD anyway.  at about the 3mi mark, the knee screamed and i knew it was going to hurt when i finished.  honestly, though, i thought it was just going to be some more muscle discomfort and would recover after a day or two.

well, here it is, the middle of august, over two months later and all i have to show is a couple of very painful exploratory runs.  i’ve essentially been off my feet since that race.  i know, i know, i should go have it looked at and if, after the next couple of easy runs i try, it still hurts, i’ll do just that.  but, the good news is that the injury comes at a time where i need to be focusing on other things.  while i was in the uk at the end of june for business, we put an offer on a house [sight unseen - we were just so DONE with looking, it looked good online and we just wanted a house] that just happened to be a standard sale.  we lost the house to a full cash offer, but a couple weeks later, our agent called to tell us that the cash offer had walked and the house was ours if we wanted it.  we had since had a chance to view the house and were very happy with the location, schools, yard and eager to enter escrow on the place.  so, it looks like we’ll close escrow on the new place the middle of next month, begin our home improvements and then move in a week or two.

whew!  that’s quite a bit of stuff!  what else did i leave out?  oh…yeah…family stuff.  thunderclap had his third birthday and is getting HUGE.  we had our well-child visit for his third year and he weighed in at 41lbs and 41 inches.  he’s a huge kid!  the latest thing is him shoving massive amounts of food into his mouth and saying, “look at my gaping maw, daddy!”  where does he get these things?  i’ll never know.

i’ll do my best to keep back at the posting, but it’ll mostly be kid stuff and home renovation for the next month or so until i get back on my feet.  and then, WOAH, get ready!  because i’ll be starting from square one again.  oh joy.

soundtrack for this post
hipsters pixies
lick wave of mutilation
wax doolittle

long runs and narcs

i know, i know, i owe the blogosphere a recap of my february media fast.  march has only a day left and i don’t even have a draft for something that i did a month ago.  well, honestly, i think about it often, but i enjoyed the media fast so much that i just ended up continuing it.  the long and the short of it is that it is AWESOME.  lots of great thoughts came along with the whole thing…but that’s for another post.  today, i’m going to blog about the past weekend because i need to document some cool/funny running stuff and drop a tactical thunderclap bomb and then fade back into the ether.

i think i’ve mentioned that i’m pursing the idiotic dream of completing a 50mi race again.  this is a monkey that i have to get off my back and once it’s gone, i doubt i’ll revisit the distance as a race.  but, that, too, is a thought process best saved for another post.  the short story is that i’m putting in lots of miles these days and lots of long back-to-back miles.  the past several weekends have been an exercise in attempting to hit 60+ miles over the course of three days.  with several long runs in excess of 30 miles, i’m feeling pretty well prepared for the race next month.

this past saturday i scoped out a huge loop to run from home.  the route would encompass the aliso/wood canyons park, laguna coast wilderness, el moro and crystal cove state park, the nix center and the james dilley preserve.  running in a clockwise direction [and in the order of the parks listed], i headed out before dawn on saturday.  the run went off better than expected for the first 31 miles.  i ran all the hills hard, kept moving with the exception of a couple of water stops and exercised wisdom with my fuel and fluid intake.  everything was going perfectly to plan until mile 31.

after leaving the james dilley preserve, i have to sneak onto some private land for the remaining two miles back to the house.  for years, i’ve used an old jeep trail to run through the land.  the trail starts right at the edge of james dilley and the access to the trail is squished between a lake and a large body of seasonal water.  an old road used to run between the two and when the road was removed to the other side of the seasonal pond, the road was dug up and a long trench was left behind.  i would run up the trench from james dilley, hop up the berm at the end of the trench and the gate to the jeep trail was right there.  easy peasy.

it has been a year or more since i’ve been through this route.

as i rolled through the james dilley preserve, i popped out through the brush above the trench and was surprised to see it completely filled with water.  i ran around the south end of it to the berm that paralleled it and began following a faint animal trail toward where i knew the gate would be.  i figured at worst i’d do some bushwhacking for a couple hundred yards, but i was confident that the berm would connect up with the section of land that the gate was on.

it took only a few seconds of running along the animal trail before it devolved into heavy brush.  i began climbing through the heavy branches and brush, making my way toward the gate.  the brush continued to get more dense and before long i was doing chineese contortion moves to get through the thicker sections and climbing thicker branches to get over impassable areas.  i found it funny that just prior to this change in activity, i was becoming physically and mentally tired.  i could smell the stables and i was beginning to let fatigue set in.  now that i was doing something other than running, i had plenty of mental focus and energy.

eventually, i reached an area where i could see the gate ahead.  the only problem, though, was that the berm ended about 30’ shy of the gate.  blocking my path to the gate, and on both sides of the berm were wide pools of water.  i began to realize that the trenches had been constructed to collect overflow from barbaras lake and most likely to provide wetlands for migratory birds.  i stood at the end of the berm and took stock of my options.  i could bushwhack my way back, but the only route i’d have back home included about four miles of detour up laguna canyon.  the other option was to wade through the standing water to the other side.  that gate was so close, yet so far.

the water didn’t smell stagnant and didn’t have any funky growth on it, so i figured i’d give wading a try.  with two steps i was up to my waist.  by the third step i would have been in up to my chest.  i backed up and grabbed a construction stake to feel the depth as i moved around the berm trying to find a more shallow crossing.  after several minutes of failed attempts, i realized i was either going to have to swim or run the extra distance.

i was right, and after three steps i was up to my chest.  i held my bottle high and waded in up to my chin and pushed off.  my feet found no purchase, so i dog-paddled and one handed stroked my way across to the other bank.  after climbing up, i took quick stock and made sure i didn’t pick up any unwanted visitors during the swim.  i ran through the open gate and into the fields beyond.  the shoes squished a bit, but quickly drained and the warming air had my skin and clothes comfortable after a couple of minutes.

what stuck with me, though, was how fresh my legs now felt.  the cold water on the muscles had rejuvenated my legs and the change of activity had kick-started my mind.  the remaining two mile run back to the house was easy and i just kept cracking up thinking about having to do a ‘river crossing’ in southern california; that was a first.  the renewed legs, though, made me think forward to my race and the handful of stream crossings that are on the course.  i think on race day, i’ll make a point of stopping for a couple of seconds to do a quick submerge when i come across them.  i’m hoping that the results will be similar.

well, i’ve babbled long enough so the narc story about thunderclap will have to wait for another day.  maybe next month, eh?

soundtrack for this post
hipsters foo fighters
lick new way home
wax the colour and the shape