Altitude Sickness
June 16, 2015

Back at it from a different direction

Back at it from a different direction

By Brady Crain

While they look alike, Pip is a feral version of Stinky Pete.

So I stand kind of corrected as to the rest period being beneficial, yet again! In the end, despite my initial worry, I did not lose distance leg. I had a mild bug. I did some cycling and running all week, knocking off the Killington Road/Peak loop with consistency. On Tuesday, however, I had a real issue.  Five miles and about 1,300 feet into my climb to the peak, I just turned around and went home.

My legs weren’t tired. I wasn’t in pain. My heart wasn’t racing, my lungs weren’t burning.  I just could not, for the life of me, get above a walk. I listened to my poor tired adrenal glands (I’m sure that they look like they have been smoked) and shambled back home for a measly 9.8 miles.

After a day of lifting weights and another day of total rest, I decided to give the Plymouth loop another go (remember what happened last time?) thinking that if I had the juice I might do it twice.

This time I went clockwise around the loop, and six miles in I really couldn’t tell that I had been running at all. At the top of Salt Ash Hill (12.3+ miles) I decided to double back two miles and re-run the top of the hill. At the top of Salt Ash Hill at 16.4 miles I was still banging out miles in the 11s (minute per mile) which now seems to be my “all day pace.”

My reasoning for doubling back was simple, an extra four miles would put my first loop at 22 miles, and that would put me at 40 miles if I completed my second loop.  It was nice and cool, and I drank more water than usual, which helped, and I was feeling strong, but it was a good choice to double back as I knew that if I did a second loop I would not manage to run past my car a second time for the additional four miles I needed.

I knocked out the last five miles on Route 100 a little bit slower, but it was starting to get hot. I stopped at my car to refill my water bladder, and empty my other bladder.

I decided to stop because I got a later start than I wanted, and also I wanted to quit while I felt awesome (it was over 80 degrees suddenly), and my armpits were starting to chafe what’s up with that? (It’s NEVER happened to me before!) The long and the short of the story is that I came roaring back like I was never gone, and posted a 22.4 mile run so easily that I am going for an 18 mile road bike tonight. I never once even breathed hard.  I barely broke a sweat.

So the rest period theory, although I had doubts, did indeed seem to have worked!

Finally thanks to all of you who expressed kindness regarding my old friend Stinky Pete.  This week, desperate to fill the hole in my soul, I rescued an adolescent guinea pig from some truly horrific circumstances in the central Adirondacks (I fell in love with him on Craigslist, having NO idea what I was getting into…sound familiar?)  He looks a great deal like the old Stinker, but is feral — When you try to touch him he snaps all around himself like a dog trying to catch a fly. When I got him he pooped orange (this is not a healthy circumstance). If he wasn’t abused, he was certainly neglected.  The only time lets me pet him is when I hand feed him lettuce while his teeth are busy.  He needs me, and its nice to be needed.  I will win him over… eventually.

I named him Pip, after a famous Charles Dickens protagonist. Why? Because his beginnings are humble. I am his benefactor. I have Great Expectations.

Brady Crain is a former full time stage hand, musician, engineer, stand-up comic, and musician, who grew up in Randolph, Vt. He is now a Realtor® with Killington Pico Realty. Earlier this summer he decided to run a decided to run a 60-kilometer race in the Laurentians mountains of Quebec. His prior experience consists of running a 5K once in 1999.

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