Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Canon De Mariposas 50k





Canon de Mariposas 50k was a great great run...and to think I almost didn't do it. Traditionally, October - December is a tough time to take a runcation since I coach MS Cross Country. Put simply, I could still take a Saturday off, but I want to continue coaching. I like it. Luckily, our trip organizer, Freddy, was willing to leave after my CC meet on Saturday.

Another couple reasons I had second thoughts was because the last time I went to do a run in Mexico (http://bens-running-mis-adventures.blogspot.com/2018/08/it-could-always-be-worse.html) I ate or drank something I shouldn't have and got the runs for 3 weeks. Oh, yeah...I lost my keys also. The trip was more of an adventure that I bargained for, but we won't get into that.

I have been running but not "training" very hard, so that was something that worried me a little. I mean I kinda figured I could finish, but would it be ugly? It turned out it wasn't pretty, but it also wasn't ugly.

I like ultras because I can afford to take several miles to "warm up" or get into the groove of it. This run was no exception.

Distances are approximate.

Miles 1-9:

It took me a bit to ease into it if I can call it that. I was ok during this stretch, but I wasn't feeling it. I kinda had made the decision to stop at mile 9 which was right before a toughie climb. Unfortunately, a friend, Nora Ruiz , was at that aid station cheering people and gave me the business for even bringing the subject up. I'm glad I listened to her.

At this point, the run had a climb of about maybe 2 miles and then back down. I don't have the climbing legs, so I struggled. On my way up, I ran into another friend, Brandon, who was coming down already. We said hi, and he blurted "This is a #%(*$*( huge mountain." Definitely not what I wanted to hear.

I struggled up but took advantage of the downhill like everybody else.

Miles 14-23:

This stretch promised to be the most scenic but also most worrisome. We were encouraged to use a hydration bladder/vest because there would be no water these miles.

The sights did not disappoint. Specifically, this little section.

Miles 25-31:

The last section or 10k was my time to reflect on what a great run this was. I met a lot of great people and had a great time.

Definitely worth the struggle.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

It Could Always Be Worse

It could always be worse. 

That's a mantra I've tried to live by for a while now. I mostly like to repeat it to myself when the going gets rough. Well, it's been going rough for the last few weeks. 

I did an ultra in Guachochi which is several hours south of Chihuahua Mexico about a month ago. The airline "misplaced" my luggage upon arrival there. I didn't get my clothing and running gear until my return. I was stuck for 4 days with only the clothing I was wearing. I had to borrow clothing not only to wear daily but also for my run. Every single clothing item I ran with was borrowed. 

It was a pretty stressful trip and run. Despite this, I kept telling myself "it's ok. it could be worse" because...well...it could. 

Upon my arrival at the border, I couldn't find my auto keys. Turns out that I probably left them in Guachochi. The best part was that I don't have a spare set, so I had to have my vehicle towed to a locksmith and wait for them to order the key. Again, self, it could be worse. 

But wait...there's more. 

I was able to get my vehicle after a few days, almost at the same time I started getting these terrible stomach cramps, and the most outrageous of CODE:REDs ever. Ever. This went on for several days...5 days actually, until I went to the Dr. It turns out I had some sort of stomach bacteria I'd picked up in Guachochi. Apparently, it's not a good idea to drink water from a cascading waterfall. I mean, it was an emergency. They'd run out of water at an aid station and suggested I refill my handheld from the beautiful and clear waterfall. Right.  

I was under the weather for about 2 and a 1/2 weeks 'til the antibiotics kicked in. Again, I had to remind myself that it could always be worse. I don't know how much worse it could've gotten because my fatalistic self thought it could be a flesh-eating bacteria that would destroy me from the inside out. It didn't help that I'd read a couple articles about people contracting a flesh-eating bacteria. Curse you, internets!!!

But wait...there's even more. 

A couple days ago, I was returning from a friend's bbq when my CRV was sideswiped. The airbag deployed and slapped me in the face. I think I banged my head somewhere along the way too. No, I wasn't drinking. I don't drink, but I don't know about the other driver. The dumbest part of this was that I had just left and wasn't wearing my seatbelt yet. THIS, could have definitely been worse. Way worse. 

I'll be without my CRV until it gets repaired, but I have great friends (with cars) and a bike. The best type of friend is a friend who has a car and is off for the summer like me. I'm just sayin'. 

On a related note, just because I think you'll find it amusing and difficult to believe that I am not making it up, it was a pretty unique accident. In a nutshell, this beat up car sideswipes me into a stripes parking area where we both end up. I was a bit stunned and some bystander helped me out of my car. I look over and was still able to think "at least they stopped" as I saw the female driver looking at my direction before deciding to drive off. A guy that came over to see if I was ok quickly said "I'm gonna follow her, she's taking off!" I tried to dissuade him from doing so. You never know nowadays, but he took off. About an hour later, as my car is finally about to be towed off, the police officer that had initially made contact with me, returns. He tells me that they had just made contact with the car/individuals that hit me but wants to make sure it was a female driver. I tell him I'm positive, because I saw her. We made eye contact before she drove off. He says he just wants to make sure because a male driver is claiming to be the driver. The most important reason he wants to make sure is because the other person in the car, a female, has an amputated foot. 

You cannot make this stuff up. 

As I said, it's been an interesting past 4 weeks, but I go back to my mantra: It could always be worse.  Hopefully, at this rate, I won't find out how much. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Miles Away

Right at my fingertips
I can almost touch you
Taste of honey on your lips
Keeping my gaze like glue

Like an itch that cannot be scratched
I miss your touch
The feeling cannot be matched
Making my face flush

Making no ground
Am I getting closer?
Nature’s sound all around
Resilience, I must show her


At last I feel your touch
Quenching my thirst
Missing your being so much
For so long, I have traversed 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Unheeded Warning




Hauntingly familiar
Have we met?
But there can be no other
Heeded warnings like a bad debt

Grand and majestic
Comfortingly perilous
Afraid to blink
To know you I must

Peaceful yet full of life
Questioning intentions
Yearnings drives us to your confines
To stay the soul beckons

You whisper "stay away"
Ignored warnings to flee
Won't you let us play
For in your skree takes us away

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tranquil Eminence






Wind through my face
Fire through the rest of me
How did I get to this place?
Oh, to be free

To you I come to escape
To leave my burdens with
My wanderlust aches
'til it is you I see

Sunrise, sunset behind you I hide
I cursed you once
Yet now my time I bide
'til you rid me of this disturbance

Does your wonder have an end?
As I slowly realize
My strength I must mend
For there's more to you than meets the eye

Monday, April 30, 2018

TOPO CHICO - The Drink of The Gods

I have 2 traditions: After a morning workout/run, I drink covfefe. After a tough evening workout, it's too late for this insomniac to drink covfefe, so Topo Chico it is.

Let me just tell you that once you have a Topo Chico, you never go back to whatever it is you were drinking before. It is that good.

It's my belief that Topo Chico's qualities and taste can only be gotten one way: The bottlers collect the tears of Zeus and bottle them into said bottles. Trust me...it tastes this good. Official Topo Chico bought in Mexico might have the added additive of unicorn horn shavings.

Do yourself a favor and try one. You'll never go back. Let it fizz.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Unplugged in Utah...

As I wait here at the Las Vegas airport to return to "reality", I'm reminiscing about this amazing past week that we spent in Utah and the surrounding area. Joshua (who is next to me asleep - as we wait for our flight back to McAllen) and I had a really enjoyable time.

We spent the past week exploring/enjoying/hiking Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Utah.

We stayed at a hostel for a week (an amazing and inexperience option/experience, and yes, I saw the movie) and a cabin in the Grand Canyon for a few days.

I'm slowly trying to ween Joshua from being glued to his cell phone. The 2 days in the Grand Canyon were the best. There was ZERO reception. No tv. No phone. No radio. No nothing. Needless to say, he wasn't a happy camper, but you know what? He survived. We ended up going for a hike along the Grand Canyon, taking a nice leisurely stroll in the Kainab National Forest, enjoying the sound of the loudest thunderstorm with ear-shattering thunder, we talked (remember that novel concept? People actually talking to each other), played board games and (the best part) filling out and personalizing post cards we'd bought all week. Personally, I think that was my highlight.

This was a great week.

I'm out...gotta wake up the kid, the flight will board soon.
Vibrant red at Antelope Canyon. 


Hiking at Zion. 

Buffalo just outside the Grand Canyon at the Kainab National Forest.