Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Saturday, April 17, 2010


It's been warmer lately, the days have been around 60 degrees, but the sun won't shine! This winter has lasted too long.

The past week flew by, and I am exhausted from so much going on. That's okay, I only have one long run left next week and then I can pretty much taper until mid-May. Now I'm spending more time in the sauna. I did three days in the sauna this week and was in there 41 minutes today.

I had an interesting conversation with another person in the sauna on Friday. We sat in there and talked about our philosophies of life and spirituality. We come from very different backgrounds, for example, he served in the Marine Corps, but we still found we had much in common. Rarely do I share more than a few words with people I meet in the sauna but this conversation kept going.

The sauna is a lot busier these days than it was the past two years, there are a lot more people at the gym now and it's hard to find time alone in there unless I go on weekday mornings. I'm still finding it relaxing except when there are too many people going in and out, opening and closing the door and letting cool air in! I like it to be at least 160 degrees. Most people only stay for 5 to 10 minutes, so I get to do a lot of people watching, which is usually entertaining. I love the college students who talk about older people, like their parents' age.

I had a different conversation this week with a woman I'd never met before, who is a cancer survivor. This person could not understand why I do ultras. She was expressing concern for my health. She felt that the stress on my body could result in my getting sick, perhaps with cancer. I told her I appreciate her concern, but I've been doing this for 20 years, my body has made adaptations, and I know to listen to my body when I'm stressed. If I tried to restrict my activities to things that wouldn't stress my body, I don't know what would be left to do.

Yes runners do get cancer. So do non-runners. I've heard of ultrarunners being diagnosed with leukemias, lymphomas, and other types of cancer. That doesn't mean running ultras is bad for you. If you put it that way, then everything is bad for you, since the general population has a high incidence of various types of cancer.

The point for me is that I'm enjoying what I do. I love to run ultras, and I'm living my life the way I want to. I wouldn't be happy if I didn't do ultras. I'd rather live my life to the fullest, being happy.

The Buffaloes are happy these days. They howl in the rain at the sirens from the fire trucks, and Iris loves to hang out with her scorpion.


Rick said...

Alene--Isn't it interesting the ideas some non-runners have about extreme running? I suppose it wasn't that many decades ago when even the medical establishement would have agreed. Go back 60-70 yrs and there was actually a theory that the heart had a fixed number of beats (like a machine) and therefore, too much exercise could use up your beats to quickly.

Yes, the gym, post NY's resolutions, is staying crowded, but I'm getting used to it.

Off to San Francisco Friday for the Big Sur Sunday.


Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Rick. Good luck at Big Sur! That should be a beautiful race, that's one on my to do list.

Do you know Connie from Ft. Collins? She's running it too.

It's sort of like the people who find out you're a runner and the first thing they ask is, "Doesn't that hurt your knees?" I bet my knees would hurt if I didn't run!

Enjoy your trip and let me know how it goes!

JeffO said...

Odd! My close brushes with death, and it seems most people's close brushes with death, tend to make us fear "not living" more than death. But I suppose that depends on how you're brought up. I've been told by many, usually older, people that exercise is bad for you. It's obvious - because it feels bad when you're doing it. If it feels bad, it's obviously harmful! A shame some people never will feel endorphins, nor experience nature whizzing by with the ground under their feet. Then they'd experience real living, and exercise would feel fantastic, instead of terrible.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Jeff, I'd rather be outside on a heavy dose of endorphins feeling the ground under me, running through beautiful scenery, than anything else.

Still enjoying my endorphin buzz from this morning's run at Horsetooth. I hope you're out somewhere enjoying this nice spring day!