Power Cleans & Fat Dogs

Hey, I’m back on the blog! (Whaat?) It’s been a few months since the release of my memoir, and my sanity is starting to return marble by marble.

I’m sure the other reason I’m back writing here is obvious: another adventure is on the horizon! My big ultra of the year, Fat Dog 120, is now just three months away. Lots of preparation and feelings about that. Mainly I’m missing Aconcagua so very much and I’m stoked for the next adventure high.

Fat Dog details:

From Keremeos to Manning Park, British Columbia

120 miles (or maybe 122 miles? Who’s counting.)

28,000 feet of gain (just short of Everest from sea level!) and nearly that much loss

49-hour cut-off

Freaking amazing alpine trails


I don’t think it’s possible to feel like I’m training adequately, but, hey, at least I am training. I’m picking up my miles, and a few months ago a certain someone I live with finally convinced me to give CrossFit a try. I was reluctant because it’s already hard to get in enough running/hiking miles, and I don’t want to be distracted, or worse – injured! But it was a really good idea. I’m the weakling of the six am crowd and it’s a bit like Basic Cadet Training all over again; I mean, please, for the life of me, can I get some pull-ups back? But it’s weird, no one yells and calls us names there, so that’s nice. I’m getting stronger every week, especially my core and upper body, and I can only imagine how much faster I might finish ultras if I keep up the CrossFitting. (Is that a verb? Can it be?)

Here’s what I’ve learned: there is something harder than running with a migraine. Yeah, CrossFit, it turns out, is way harder. At least when you are trying to run with a migraine, it’s all just a matter of left-right-suckupthepain-left-right… But with CrossFit, you have to actually think. When the coach tried to teach me about power cleans for the first time I happened to be in a killer migraine stretch (about two weeks of hell) and I couldn’t for the life of me track the movements. I’m already bad with spatial shit anyway, but this was over the top. She must think I’m an absolute moron. Oh well! I’m getting it, finally.

The good news is that I’m now in an awesome stretch headache wise. No bad days or migraines for over a month now!! Wahoo!! I’ve even been living on the edge a bit and indulging in wheat here or there and still nothing. Life is so much easier this way.

I had surgery about six weeks ago on the nerve stimulator. It was super minor but I still ended up with a big incision, and that takes time to heal. I wonder if surgery was what reset the pain cycle? Maybe I need general anesthesia more often! (No, not really.)

Or maybe it’s CrossFit that’s keeping the pain to a minimum. I’m going three or four times a week, so that’s possibly helping the endorphins stay a little more constant rather than huge ebbs and flows that the running gives me throughout the week.

I have an epic summer of training planned: Dirty 30 50K in Golden Gate park in June, pacing for a friend for Bear 100 in Wyoming, running the Elks, the San Juans, and the Grand Tetons in July…

My favorite running buddy and I kicked it off with a trip to Moab, my first big adventure of the trail running season. I’ve been working on my video compilation skills, and I hope you enjoy this silly little video we took from our long trail run there:

2 thoughts on “Power Cleans & Fat Dogs

  1. Wow, that is a lot of training and races. Good article. I have been getting back into training. I just got back from Virginia, was visiting a cousin with my mom. Yet, my training left for this year as of right now is focused on Minneapolis Marathon October 1.

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