Well, I guess I sufficiently freaked enough people out with my last blog post. I got some e-mails back-channel wondering if I was okay, and what the heck was going on that would make me so down and/or potentially suicidal. Suicide is out of the question. I have way too much fun torturing my fellow planet-dwellers for that to even enter my mind.
It was a joke, folks! A tongue-in-cheek fun time based on recent discussions we've had on some of our longer trail runs. The term "Death Coach" came out of those discussions, so I thought I'd have fun with a post about it. I wanted to outline what a death coach might be inclined to do, as opposed to what "life coaches" do for their preppy clients, (with way more money than organizational skills or discipline).
That's about all I have to say about that.
Happy trails, Bad Ben
PS to my fellow Bloggers: Thanks for being concerned, though!
I’ve made a bold move recently. I deep-sixed my New Age “Life Coach” and have hired a Metal/Punk-ish “Death Coach.”
No, it’s not the folkloric Death Coach (cóiste bodhar) of Edinburgh, Scotland...It’s a real person that helps me organize my pre-death existence into “edible chunks” of time, and also advises me on death-changing decisions that could affect my deathstyle.
My Death Coach has also had an affect on my musical tastes of late. Musically, I’ve always had a heavy metal and punk side, but recently I’ve become an avid Dethklock (Metalocalypse) fan. As the lead singer Nathan Explosion from Dethklock says, "Everything metal. Blacker than the blackest black times infinity!"And that is what he says about his coffee!
You know, I’ve always liked wearing black. Did you know that there are 43 shades of black? I’ve always loved coffee, too. Black coffee! My coffee doesn’t need friends! So this is all natural to me…but I’m rambling; so sorry. Being an ultrarunner and a longtime Dead Runners' Society member has played into this new life/death changing realization, as well. All you have to do is read my last 100-mile race report to realize that.
Me, singing Soungarden's "Black Hole Tongue" A couple of weekends ago, my friends and family pulled a fast one on me. They gave me a surprise birthday party at Kyle and Stacie's house for my 50th. I was really surprised, too. What a bunch of secretive liars they must have been, planning this gig!
It was a great time. Jason Crosby sent me the original Trail Nerds ink illio. Shane Jones painted a map of the Psycho WyCo course, and of a pair of Montrail shoes...who knew Shane was an artist? The group also got together on some great artwork (by Jason) and had them made into framed prints: I also got a nice bottle of Scotch and (the leftover) Patron. My darling daughter and her Matt got me an entertainment center. The group also got me some other cool items, and the requisite gag gifts such as: Depends, black balloons, etc. What a good time!
Toddler me and Jason's original illustration.
Cake!!! I was poured copious amounts of beer, and someone opened a bottle of Patron Silver tequila, and kept filling my glass. I was (thankfully) driven safely home at about midnight. I ended up getting about 3-1/2 hours of sleep that night, but still got up and drove 40 miles to Clinton Lake to start running at 7 a.m. that Sunday. I think the Trail Nerds were surprised to see me show up for a 20-mile trail run right after the big night. This old dawg's hard to keep down...and don't you forget it!
I honestly was floored and teary-eyed about the whole thing. It's taken me two weeks to put this together about it. Thanks, everyone!
February was an emotional rollercoaster for me, anyway. The events came in rapid succession: My tough time on my last 100-miler and my hard-earned 500-mile shirt, all of the prep for putting on the Psycho WyCo Trail Races, planning for all of the races we'll be putting on this year, and then my "big" birthday. Whew! (Oh yeah, I have a wonderful family and I work 50-hrs/week, too).
Raul (left), me, Debbie, James
How do I feel?...Depends. (Me with a grinning Kyle).
Well, we had another decent week of Trail Nerd activities and running.
Last Tuesday night, we had a decent run in Shawnee Mission Park. This was the last time that we'll meet at 6 p.m, for a while. We're changing our night runs to 7:00 p.m., starting this week.
Thursday night, we participated in a talk in Topeka at Great Plains Running Company, regarding trailrunning. There were some good questions asked by the attendees.
Saturday, we ran at Perry Lake on Willie Lambert's Rock Creek trail series (5K & 10K) course. David Wakefield and Matt showed-off these fine trails.
Sunday's training run was again at the Clinton Lake North Shore trails. Some of us ran 21 miles, and Kyle, Greg, and Gary ran a few more. These trails are where we will host the first annual "Free State Trail Runs" on April 28th. We have three events that day: a Trail Marathon, a 40-miler and a 100-Kilometer race. If you want to see the course and trails (first hand) prior to the race, please come and run with us at 7:15 a.m. on most Sundays...we'll be there.
The Free State event is going to be a lot of fun. Even though the work and logistics involved for this is seemingly never-ending, it's fun to be involved with it's creation, and get new ideas and work-out issues while we actually run on the course each week!
On another track: My personal mileage hasn't been up-to-snuff, lately. I've only been putting in 40-45 miles/week. I've decided to crank it up to 50+ miles/week and keep it there for the foreseeable future. This week, it won't be a problem. I'll be running over 10 miles on Saturday, and 30 on Sunday (just 1-month out from the Rockin' K 50-miler). This week's total mileage should be above 60 miles.
Some of the strangest things (that I can post about) that I've seen on trail runs:
Teen/twenty-somethings pot-smoking in the woods. (Well, not so strange, after all).
A wedding veil.
A live human, playing "army man" while laying on the side of the trail, after dark.
A horseshoe welded to a 3/4-inch box-end wrench. Whatdaheck???
A dead raccoon, hanging from a branch
A dead, bloated raccoon on the ground, that Kyle and James just missed stepping on.
A dead, bloated possum on the ground.
Various other dead or "skeletanized" animals.
Many live animals, including poisonous snakes that I've had to jump over.
A hive of mad, bald-faced hornets looking to sting any passing trailrunner (at the MN Voyageur 50-miler).
A dog with 3 legs trying to keep up with me, and doing a fair job of it.
A couple "coupling" in the back of an SUV on a cold winter day. The park ranger was at the trail head, waiting for them to finish (so he could have a word with them). Remember that one, Kyle?
Various other half-dressed couples caught fornicating in the woods.
Turtles mating in the middle of the trail...(for hours and hours).
A beaver gnawing on a tree.
A really large flock of wild turkeys taking off in the middle of the night (from their roosts), and us listening to them loudly crash into tree trunks.
Two passed-out Wakarusa (music festival) fans who'd partially set up a tent in the middle of the North Shore Trail in Lawrence, KS.
Debbie slapping the hell out of Julie. Julie slapping the hell out of Debbie. (They used the excuse of a biting horsefly).
A large, normally gleeful Russian ultrarunner not clearing a tree branch, yet again.
A large, semi-conscious Russian ultrarunner laying on his back on the ground, yet again.
A male trailrunner wearing a "Little Red Riding Hood" outfit. A trailrunner wearing a Darth Vader helmet. A trailrunner impersonating a large Russian ultrarunner. (Okay, it WAS Halloween).
A male trailrunner wearing panty hose in an attempt to keep ticks off of his legs.
I could tell you some other things that I've seen before, but I couldn't post them in this media due to FCC rules, the laws of my fair State, and the basic laws of Nature. I'll tell you out on a trail run, sometime.
What about you? What have you seen on a trail run?
I find ways to enjoy life as much as I can. Also, life's too short to treat people poorly.
I'm into long runs in the park, consuming salt, popping blisters,
eating roadkill & tree bark, and burying whiners in shallow, unmarked
graves. I also enjoy designing trail race courses that would make the
Marquis de Sade blush.
A fun time for me would include banging muddy shoes together, setting
broken bones with a machinist's vise, and duct-taping-down any part of my
body that is bleeding or just flopping-about uselessly.
What helps me to be an active trailrunner and grandpa?
1) Daily sponge baths with bovine stem cells;
2) Copious amounts of delicious & nutritious homebrewed beer; and
3) My secret elixir...Bicarbonate of Figleaf.