Monday, December 30, 2013

Cross-Country Running, December 2013

It has been a long time since we checked in with the running Avatar, and no wonder -- he's been deep in the wintry isolation of Idaho's Magruder Corridor, a four-wheel drive road through the notoriously daunting mountain ranges of the Gem State.  Over the Christmas holiday, he finally crossed the Montana line and descended down into, if not "civilization" per se, at least a paved highway with a number attached to it -- Montana Route 473, in fact.

Frankly, he'll be happy to get to a place where he can get a cup of coffee.

So, Montana!  Having got this far, he naturally begins to wonder where he'll head to next.  The general plan is to head southeast towards Yellowstone Park, and after that maybe south towards Western Colorado to visit the in-laws.  But if you've got other ideas, or suggestions for things to see along this route, he'd love to hear them. 

Speaking of Running

The Avatar can't run unless I'm running -- me, Michael5000 -- and on the whole, it has been a pretty good year for the tedious process of swinging one leg ahead of the other, over and over again, mile after long mile.  Lamentably, I'm not going to make my original goal of 960 miles.  I was already off pace when I got a little sick in October, and by the time I was back in trim the goal was way out of reach.

Part of the reason that I fell behind this year is that I did a lot more traveling then usual.  For the past few years, I've really enjoyed running while on the road, but it can be tricky to figure out issues of timing, route selection, diet, and personal hygiene during the continuous negotiations involved in moving from one place to another along with other human beings.  Still, I got some good out-of-town runs in.  My favorite visual (of many) from my running statistics this year is this one:

Thirteen states!  Pretty good, no?

My original goal was 960 miles, and I'm not going to get there.  My previous "best year" was 835.45 miles, and I'm way past that.  I'm writing this on the morning of December 30, and I'm at 897.03.  To me, this suggests an obvious short-term goal.  Round numbers are so satisfying.

Long term goal?  Part of me thinks "gosh, maybe I should cut back to 500 miles next year and spend my time doing more nurturing things such as learning to paint watercolors and volunteering in soup kitchens."  Looking at the Avatar and my (many) statistical visuals and feeling generally fit, on the other hand, makes me think LET'S GO FOR 1000, BABY!!!

The Avatar and I reserve the right to modify our running goals as we go.

"Runner" by Robin Weiss.  Oil on brown paper.


Elizabeth said...

It would be great if the Avatar could stop by Pryor, Montana, and say 'hi' to my friend Valerie Turns Plenty.

Elizabeth said...

There's also the Chief Plenty Coups Memorial State Park, if she's not at home.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

You need to bust out 100 miles tomorrow to get to 1,000 for the year.

Michael5000 said...

Your friend Valerie is apparently not a slave to the bright lights of the big city. Pryor is not out of the question, but it's rather further east than I had thought of going into Big Sky Country. If Dr. Noisewater's bullish conception of my running capabilities were only true, these things would be a lot easier.