Altitude Sickness

Torpor and rotundity

By Brady Crain

Crystalized trees shine in the  sunlight at the top of Killington Sunday morning. They stand in contrast to the hazy clouds in the distance. The resort reopened Nov. 15.

I want to apologize for my meandering nature reflected in my past few articles. Without any skiing to do, and with practicing short running distances, I have been slung into torpor and rotundity. I am starting to look positively Rubenesque, with about the same maiden in despair day bed posture.

Currently, my training runs are coming in easily in the 8 minute/mile range, with usually a mile or so in the 7’s. When I get onto the flats of Texas that should translate to the low 7’s, I’m hoping.  I am probably within striking distance of my goal right now!

My faithful reader (readers?) I know at least my mother reads this article, you know from missives past that I positively, and without equivocation, DETEST RUNNING. So why do I do things that I hate? The answer is as pure and simple as a mountain stream, or the smile of a child.  Masochism.

I hate running even more on roads. I got very used to trail running this summer, and the absence of actual physical pain that it allows me is something that causes me to detest road/pavement running even more.

I really hate it. I hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I hate it the way a football player hates a hand-knitted wool jockstrap. It hurts, and it is stupid. But, I’m too lazy to drive to the trail and run around on mud and frozen leaves when there is a perfect 5k run just outside my front door.

So I have been doing my 7-mile runs, my 3-mile runs, my sprints, and my daily warmup/ab/yoga/mediation stuff all close to home. And it is boring me to tears…I can not wait until my schedule settles out and I can start getting to Taekwondo classes, and start doing some uphill travel on the slopes. Soon.

Other things I have done, is I have taken the bounty from crushing my new job selling rooftop solar packages (I am still a Realtor, but it wasn’t cutting it), paid a bunch of bills, and bought a bunch of gear I have been coveting for years. Shell liners, underlayers, technical ski pants, skis, NTN/AT boots, and soon, NTN bindings, a boot fitting (my first full professional boot fitting), and step-in NTN bindings. And I am really looking forward to trying it all out!

I also went to Burlington recently and attended an event at Outdoor Gear Exchange where they clear the sales floor and show a bunch of backcountry/uphill travel/outdoor wintersport porn.  This is not literal pornography, of course, but metaphorical pornography for gear heads and winter outdoor enthusiasts.

They also showed some great films that covered the globe, and one of them was about the Vermont Backcountry Alliance trail work over on the Randolph side of Braintree and Hogback Mountains. Pretty cool stuff, I will be heading up there this winter for sure!

As for Pip the Impaler, we are starting to get along. He has stopped panicking every time I touch him, and now when he is inside his pigloo and I put my hand in front of the opening, he pokes his nose out and shows me his chin, and I rub it, and he purrs. This is repeatable, as is the longer snuggles I get by snuggling him in the late afternoon when he is napping.  Also, it doesn’t hurt that he pretty much thinks that I am made of apple.

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