Sunday, April 24, 2011

Getting in Shape

Over the past couple years in my run up to Western States I have often thought about Michaelangelo. Reason is, as all of us know, Michaelangelo believed that that work of art was within the stone and it was his job to expose the beauty within the rock. So it has been with my fitness over these past few years.

I have come to know that, deep in the recesses of my body, fitness lies. However, given the vagaries of life and living at different times and at different contexts it can lie buried, dormant, sometimes for months at a time.

However, with the right blow of the hammer, the correct cut of the chisel, the art that is the Western States fitness can emerge. And, for me, that sharp cut happened today.

It started innocently enough. My plan was to run up and down Carbonate Mountain four times. Three miles and 1500 feet up and then three miles back down. Lather, rinse, repeat...

Lucky for me I had Brad Mitchell along with me so we were not going to be lazy on this day. We did the first lap in 30/18, the second lap in 29/17 and the third lap in 31/18. Then, Brad met up with his wife and daughter and headed to the coffee shop. I was left to do the last lap alone.

I'll be honest, the first five minutes of the climb sucked and I fought the urge to turn around and head back to the car several times. By the time I got to the 7 minute mark I was reduced to a walk and I told myself, "Just get it done."

Then, as if on cue, around 10 minutes into the climb I began to feel It. I began to roll into the hill with a slight bit of energy and I began to feel moderately good. The negative voices in my head quieted and were replaced by voices of hope and joy and positivism.

I got to the top in 33 minutes and floated the descent. It was clear, the art was emerging.

The beauty of rolling into shape had reared it's head.

And, I smiled all the way home.

12 comments:

olga said...

Awesome feeling, and a great description of it. Less than 2 months away, mister.

Neal Gorman said...

Long climb tempo repeats are tough, physically and mentally, but they're great training. I ran some myself over the weekend. Good luck with your sculpting up to WS. Will David emerge and slay the giants??

GZ said...

One "old" man here cheering for another "old" man. Get it done.

Matt Hart said...

did almost the exact same workout at mt olympus in the wasatch last week. 4x repeats all just barely under 30mins w/16min returns to the lot for the 1,400ft. good times...

excited to see you crush it at western... again.

Hank Dart said...

Great work. Great writing.

Running With The Devil said...

Great blog. Thanks for the inspiration. Here's the quote you were referencing:

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free". Michelangelo

Grae Van Hooser said...

Deep in the recesses of my body, beer lies.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Yo AJW, you are supposed to do repeats like that progressively faster, not slower....keep working on it. :-)

Matt, work on it too, I run those repeats in 24 minutes on a slow day.

One of my favorites, but hard workouts. Not to mention here in the Wasatch, it's snowing again.

fitmacdaddy said...

You make me want to run, Andy! Thanks for that post.

Leslie said...

Love that feeling. I also had an "A-ha!" moment this week with my running. I'll call it "running" instead of "training". Nonetheless it's gratifying when you make those little improvements. It fuels the stoke and it feels so goooood!

Mike Alfred said...

LOVE IT. I was feeling it this week as well. Must be that time of the year.

PS Karl speaks like a man who thinks everyone should be able to run his pace. Interesting :)

Speedgoat Karl said...

I"m just joking around Mike, my pace is slowing as I age. AJW and Matt would probably laugh at it. All good.