Pockets of Blue

musings of my mind

Month: May 2008


It’s official: I’ve picked up running. Yes, after dissing the sport and its participants consistently for a solid year I’ve caught the bug.

It all started a few weeks ago when I got back from climbing Timpanogos. I was telling my roommate about it, how I blazed up and down ahead of everyone and have gotten in pretty decent shape. He basically replied: “Oh yeah? You should do the Steeplechase then!” I had to inquire about it and after about a two-minute explanation I had made up my mind. Yes, I would enter my first running race. No, I have never competed in any endurance sport, and the last time I ran was to get in shape for high school soccer.

Well, since that day I’ve been running. The first half-dozen times were pretty painful; I would run directly east up the hill to the University Hospital and back. This was only about a 3 mile loop but gained and lost about 200 feet of elevation too. Mainly, I didn’t know how to pace myself and would be panting after a mile.

The week before I hurt myself (again) I started breaking through. That week I put in 20 miles over three runs, and none of them were really that painful. I got to the point a couple times where I felt I could go forever. Unfortunately, my injury sidelined me for three weeks. Well, as of last Friday I’m back, and with a vengeance. I’ve finally started to learn how to pace myself, and it’s starting to get more fun then ever. I’ve already put in 13 miles over a couple runs, the second to the top of the Avenues gaining 900 feet. As my friend (and co-worker and triathlete) likes to say, it is ON!

Climbing is dangerous. Well, climbing trees anyway.

Funny how my last post focused on mountaineering in the cold and snow. Well, since my ascent of the Pfeifferhorn a few weeks ago I haven’t really been doing much mountaineering, mostly due to a (stupid) accident a couple weekends ago.

I’ve told this story dozens of times, and I don’t really want to tell it again, so I’ll give you all the short version: I was playing pong in the backyard with some friends when I saw a soccer ball above the garage of the apartment complex next door. There’s a small tree next to a fence that goes up and branches over the garage, making the roof pretty accessible. Well, I like to climb stuff (if you haven’t noticed), so I thought, sweet, an excuse to climb that tree (I had climbed the other tree in the backyard earlier in the day). So I retrieve the ball easily and am descending when the branch I am holding on to breaks at about five feet off the ground. I kind of jump backwards to stay on my feet and feel a sharp pain in my leg, then look down to see my thigh making a distinct imprint in the fence. I didn’t even think I had really hurt myself (that part of the fence was plastic and relatively soft) until I looked closer and saw my jeans in shreds. Weird, I thought, how’d that happen? Everyone was looking at me saying “you all right dude?” and I curtly responded “yeah it’s all good” while limping over to the house. Then I lifted a flap of denim from my tattered jeans and noticed a solid square inch of flesh missing from my thigh. Muscle and fat were clearly visible and a slow stream of blood was trickling out of the wound. Holy *@#%$#% ^%$#! (use your imagination) I exclaimed while my roommate gazed at it with incredulity.

I briefly considered going to the ER, but after recalling my last $800 visit there I decided to just bandage it up and go to a clinic on monday. I’ve been cleaning it, disinfecting it, and redressing it every morning since. I even took antibiotics for a couple of weeks after my first clinic visit. After two weeks it’s still pretty exposed but healing nicely.

The first week after that sucked. Bigtime. I couldn’t run, and chose not to climb for fear of exacerbating it. Only this past week did I start to climb again and I’ve gotten back into it with a vengeance, going out four times in the past six days. I’m starting to feel strong again; not quite back to where I was in February, but definitely getting there. My collarbone is a non-factor at this point (Ten weeks for a full recovery! Hell yeah).

I was down in St. George this weekend to cheer on a friend in his first triathlon. It was pretty fun overall; I really love Southern Utah, especially this time of year. It’s like Mars with some vegetation. The highlight for me was climbing at a nearby crag on some sweetly featured sandstone, a first for me. I felt strong and it was awesome.

This week will hopefully be more of the same. I still don’t feel like I can start running again but I’ll definitely be pushing myself on some stone. Sweet!

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