Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ask an Ultrarunner #3 (synchroblog)

We're at it again. 

Western States Widow asks: It's WS training season again.  That means glimpses of of my husband are becoming rare as cougar sightings. Entire weekends are consumed with training runs. And when he isn't running. he's  sleeping on the couch instead of pulling his weight around the house. When he's awake, he pours over stats from previous years, reads countless running blogs, and talks incessantly about the training and race strategies until my eyes go crossed. While I can appreciate his passion for the race, I have grown to resent how much it impacts our lives.  What should I do?  

Oh my, this question almost sends shivers down my spine.   I have heard stories about such uncompromising women since before I even knew how to stay still long enough to let one "notice" me.  I am going to pass along a story of what can happen to you after you have taken up all your families time training for such an event and then deciding not to finish the said event.   I got into ultra-running because my Dad had the pleasure to pace and crew at a number of Leadville Trail 100's. One particular year, he was fortunate enough to pace and crew for the 2nd place finisher, a feat he would later duplicate and triplicate but not with the same runner and I'm not saying who that runner was except for the fact that they do share the same name and so you know, my dad's name is Hal,  and after many months of mornings at the "Y" on the stair master and treadmill and night time rendezvous in Leadville for headlamp training on Hagerman Pass and the Colorado Trail he thought he was ready to take it to the next level.   Not to mention the countless races that took place leading up the event and the back to back weekend mileage wrung up while maintaining a full time job.  Race day approached and just as quick as a thunderstorm can brew in the thin air of the Rockies his race was all but blown away with the breeze.  As he struggled into Twin Lakes and onto Half Moon he knew he had seen better days and was willing to call it quits at Treeline.  It was there that his faithful wife, who had been tormented and all but widowed for 6 months decided to lock him out of the car and drove away from aid station leaving him no alternative but to find her in Leadville some 30 miles away.  There were also strict instructions to finish the race or find himself another passage back to Denver for what would be a very cold fall and winter.   I would be remiss if I didn't let you know that it indeed lit a fire under our betrothed and wound up finishing with another sub 24 hour buckle.  So if you ask what do I do, know that this was his last 24 hour buckle of any kind. You never know when the obsession could turn to,   

And you always have to be care of what you ask for.  After a year of crewing for me at a number of events, my better half decided she'd rather be running and "enjoying" herself all day rather than doting on an underachiever such as myself.  So this year at WS the plan is just to be first in the household, right honey?!?!

M@asks; I'm a runner in my late thirties, returning to ultras after missing a year due to a torn calf and related injuries. I'm building up mileage for my second hundred, this September,  near a 2-bit Southern Oregon town known for cougar sightings and men in tights. My question has to do with core stability. Why does my crew have, at most, 2 or 3 pictures of me running, while our pc's hard drive is full of photos of young, buff, shirtless, male ultra-runners with shaggy hair, dreamy eyes, and more ab muscles than I can count? should I be doing some sit ups or something?

After years of running behind this guy, I knew that there was something special that got him across the finish line at WS before everyone else.  The half-shirt, or as it has been referred to, the belly shirt.  

Now if you have abs that provide more function that form, well this is not the place for them.  If you work excessively hard to get them, then by all means, show them off.   And if it's really just a matter of absolutely no body fat to cover those muscles that keep moving with your diaphragm  then by all means just go completely topless.

The only girl in the frame is keeping clear, trying to avoid these border crossing smugglers.   The real view is of the Siskiyou's, and the P2P course.  

And now that the Ashland City Council voted on a nudity ordinance, clothing is not optional, and yes the men really do flaunt their ability to go topless.  

In all actuality, I do feel that hanging leg raises are the best possible all around activity. I mean you get the ab, oblique and hip flexor in the same exercise.  Concentric and eccentric all at the same time.  And I'm into saving time.  I would say 3 for every mile you ran that day would suffice.  Here's the demo.

This guys bears an uncanny resemblance to a very famous ultra-runner, can you guess who?  

Monkeyboy asks: What advice would you give for prospective parents who want to make signs to leave on the WS course such as " Dan O, quads are evil and they must be punished. love, Mom and Dad" when doing exactly what mommy and daddy say could lead you to an extended stay in the Auburn Hospital?

Ah, I love motivational signs.  If for nothing more than the fact that a ton of people smuggle signs into the biggest sporting events in the world rather than trying to smuggle something much more important, like say, BOOZE!  I have always imagined it's not for the players or athletes but rather an attempt to get noticed and on TV.  I mean, I had a crew one year at WS that had my name on their shirts and a cute saying, when if you had seen me that year, it was I that needed a shirt saying who I was so that in the event I ended up on I-80 thumbing some trucker on the way to Winnemucca, they knew I was a lunatic running 100 miles and left me alon.  Of course there are sayings that light the proverbial fire and get one to achieve when the going gets tough.  I mean for Craig, this photo was taken before he got to dusty corners, sheesh.    

Check out the other humiliating, self-deprecating humor on the associated blogs......

Craig Thornley
Megan Arbogast


Lewis Taylor said...


Matt Lonergan said...

I saw the Thornley "Waddle" coming down off of Eagles Rest this past Sunday after 7 hours of quality trail time.

Matt Lonergan said...

I saw the Thornley "Waddle" coming down off of Eagles Rest this past Sunday after 7 hours of quality trail time.

Craig Thornley said...

"Woddle" is in urbandictionary.com. Of course, HK could have added the word himself, but still, it's there.

dtc said...

Great interview on Endurance Planet. Thanks for giving us a voice to match with the words, and best of luck this year again at WS and everything else.

Rod Bien said...

That picture of Thornley makes me laugh out loud each time I see it.

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