The Universe is Random

– Slight change of plans, should we ever sell this house: although we really enjoyed Port Angeles, there was something missing. We were out on the North Olympic Discovery Trail on a beautiful Saturday morning, and we had the whole thing to ourselves. Where were the runners? The race calender for the vicinity is pretty empty, too. We’d rather live in a place with a thriving running community already in place, than to try to get all Pied Piper/Music Man/Jim Jones and build one ourselves. So unless anyone out there convinces us otherwise, we will instead be moving to rainier (ha! a geography pun) but runnier Olympia WA. Assuming we ever sell this house.

– But, that could be eons away so life goes on here contentedly enough, especially now that summer is over and the bugs have finally(?) stopped biting. I’m continuing the gradual process of getting myself back in shape to start a consistent base. I feel slow, but good. Tentative goal is to focus on the Umstead Marathon in March, hoping to beat ac on his home turf.

– I’ve been volunteering at races a lot lately and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I got to start the marathoners and forty-milers at Triple Lakes. Instead of saying “go” like a normal person I yelled “KICK IT” as if I were a Beastie Boy. It was all I could do not to continue with “you wake up late for school, man, you don’t want to go.” I don’t know what came over me. The mic was in my hand, I had an attentive audience, and something just happened. What I’m trying to say is, you should volunteer at races every once in a while, if you don’t already. Obviously.

Iris has found the perfect hydration system: The Josh-Held.

– Next weekend I’ll be volunteering at the New River 50K. I look forward to meeting the race director and ultra champ Annette Bednosky!

– Speaking of ultras, that is, if one were to bring them (and my full-effort participation in one) up in conversation, I would respond with a totally sincere “who knows?” By “totally sincere” I mean not mysterious or coy in any way. There is no wink-wink involved, a practice I do not condone under any circumstances. I mean I really don’t know. And by “really don’t know” I mean possibly maybe. If I were to do a distance ultra, wouldn’t it be neat to return to the state of my upbringing and run the Ice Age 50? That might be neat. Possibly. I mean, who knows.

– Which reminds me, congrats to all the finishers of Grindstone. You’re all nuts. You too, Jason Robillard.

– Bob Neinast continues to make sense with his recent post, A “Perfect Storm” Of Myths. It’s a rundown of the main myths about bare feet. A conversation developed on the book of faces (where I had linked it) with an old friend that veered off to the subject of the where/how/who of anti-barefoot bias. I’d like to add one possibility to the pile that includes hippies, Victorian society, Kellogg’s, association with poverty, and the obnoxiousness of gravel: useful feet conjures up the image of monkeys holding bananas with their toes, and most people are uncomfortable with the notion they’re relatives. Feet remind us of our animal nature, so covering them up makes us feel less animal. Just thought of that one up, while eating a banana with my feet.

– There. a post in under 600 words.

9 thoughts on “The Universe is Random

  1. No runners in pa? That’s funny. Active lifestyle does exist in that town; you just need to create it. Olympia is my hometown and is more active social group indeed. Guess it all depends on what environment you like to involve yourself in. Pa will always win in my book because of the Olympic National Park.

    • Nothing is set in stone of course (and if it were, well, we could always get another stone), but the choice between the two seems to be immediate proximity to the park vs races. Since we’ll be new to the area, a larger social group is appealing. It’s quite possible that after a few years in Olympia we’ll make the move to PA. Either way, that park needs exploring. Maybe I’ll find bigfoot!

      If there are a lot of races and running groups in PA but they just don’t have an online presence, let me know.

      I thoroughly enjoy your blog, btw.

      • It’s a coin toss, really. Proximity to national park/strait/crazy-long greenway vs. proximity to an established community of runners and races. I think it’ll come down to which town has a 3-dog-friendly house rental when we finally sell this place and are ready to move.

  2. Cool. I hope you do the Ice Age 50. I’ll be out there looking for payback for last year (hey, I made it more than halfway). The first loop is perfectly barefootable, and it’s a friendly and well run race.

  3. Really? I’m in Maryland, and I’m thrilled to see virtually nobody on the trails around here. I don’t understand it, but it makes me happy.

    Though there are a couple of guys I run into all the time. I guess I’d have a little less fun if we couldn’t wave to each other.

  4. Thanks for volunteering your time at Triple Lakes, Josh. I thought your send-off was awesome! I also think I might could have used the follow-on part around mile 36.

    • Thanks! Upon further reflection, though, I don’t think that “kick it” was the kindest of instructions on such a rooty course.

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