Altitude Sickness

The calm before the next storm

So another uneventful week passes in the “Brady Training Camp.” I am doing maintenance work, some running, some cycling, some walking. Nothing of extraordinary length or difficulty — I’m not running Killington Road nor riding East Mountain Road. I’m not exerting a whole lot of effort.

However, we are about two months away from the Ultra Beast, and so I will begin training again in earnest by the end of the week (if I get the double universe of writing deadlines and publishing correct, which means that I will have begun training in earnest again on about the day that this article comes out in the paper.)

Runs will shift to training directly on the mountain: run up, climb down, plus the occasional longer runs out on the paved flats in Plymouth. Cycling will shift from one-hour rides to two to three-hour rides with more than 4,000 vertical feet of climbing. Weightlifting will shift to ridiculous numbers of crunches, pullups and burpees with a 40-pound weighted vest. I will sprinkle in the occasional high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Endurance one day, pullup, burpees and walking the next. Six days on, one day off — occasionally two days off.  Cycling and running/hiking will alternate.

I am trying to enjoy the calm before the storm, and I am trying to get out and play some golf before I lose myself in another bout of athletic stupidity.

Since I do not have the cash to pay to train “properly” for this thing, I will have to devise my own methods of training, and look longingly from afar wishing that I could go train at the fancy mud place with all the well-heeled muckthaletes who are hardening themselves for stupid athletic masochism.

I just want to swing on ropes and land in three-inch deep mud like all the rest of the adolescents chasing middle-aged Yuppies. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, things have been going fine until recently when I popped my sacral spine out of whack while sneezing, and since then I have been having trouble with my hip, the flexor given to some pretty extreme soreness. It feels better when I keep it exercised, but I think sometimes that I perpetuate the damage by stretching too often (even though I don’t stretch often enough…riddle me that one). Arnica, pineapple (bromine, an enzyme that reduces inflammation), rest, walking, and sitting around have been the solutions, and they seem to be working.

But it did really hurt. Like, keep-me-awake kind of hurt; unable to think kind of hurt. The last time I took any sort of over the counter painkiller was the last week in March of 2013, when I tangled with a tree at Pico and sublimated one knee and one shoulder, and hyperextended the other knee. Before that it has been more than a decade since I had taken any pain mitigators.  I haven’t had a prescription pain reliever (I actually call them pain creators) since spring of 1994.  This little back/hip tweak hurt enough that I actually took some aspirin from a dusty bottle I had lying around. They helped.

In other news, Pip the Impaler (my new rescue guinea pig, for those who are new readers) vacillates between polite ignorance and outright hostility.  He is very resistant to my brainwashing techniques, and I think it just may be possible that he is a plain old garden variety vicious rodent. He might never be a pet that has anything more than a passing tolerance for me.  That said, he is now a pet with a safe space and good nutrition, so at the very least there is one less neglected guinea pig in the world. What makes me a little sad though, is that I am really missing the time that Pete, my late 8.5 year old guinea pig (read previous Altitude Sicknesses for his “obituary”) and I spent just chilling out at the end of the day.  I really hope that Pip the Impaler (he is a biter) comes around, because (and this will sound really silly, but I’m saying it anyhow) life is a lot less lonely when you have a friend like Pete was.

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