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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shale Oil Extraction!

Thirty five years ago yesterday I started on a journey that has taken me to some spectacular peaks and valleys.....distance running. The highs have included qualifying and running in the 100th Boston marathon, completing the JFK 50 miler in the top 10% of the field, winning silver at the Huntsman World Senior Games Half Marathon, and probably over 200 overall and age group awards. It has also taken me to surgery on both feet, four back surgeries, and a nice set of broken bones in my ankle and knee from an errant driver. In celebration yesterday, I ran a hard 8 miler in high 80's heat with 4 one mile repeats at half marathon pace. I am sore today. One of the things I need to learn if I am going to try and race thru those two more years I am hoping for, is that just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you necessarily should do something. Besides my losses to the years of endurance, speed, stamina, and heat tolerance, my recovery is the most telling and important loss. In my youth, I could train in both large volumes and lots of speed and racing, and my body would eventually get tired and I would just drag a few days. I once ran 4 races over a memorial day weekend. The toll a run like yesterday takes out on me in terms of recovery is the most difficult part of adapting to being a runner approaching age 60. By overreaching, I struggle for many days and don't seem to get the benefit of the hard workout that I should. My analogy is like shale oil extraction. The quality of the oil is poor, the extraction process is difficult and costly, it is substantially slower, and the price that you pay at the pump for the final product is ultimately very expensive. My body, like oil, is well past peak extraction, and there is little I can do to my body to increase my MPG! On a lighter note, I have run close to 50 thousand miles in those 35 years, so I will soon be completing my second circumnavigation of the globe we call earth.....

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