I ran Janathon last year and placed second with 323 miles, a PB for miles run in a month. That’s an average of 10.4 miles a day. I went hard on the weekends. I have better gear for running in the night and in sub 10F weather. I prepared for this. I got stomped in Janathon and Junathon last year by Silver Metal Fox. He outclassed me by over a hundred miles in Janathon. If I ran ten, he ran fifteen. Chasing him pushed me, made me try harder. I’m back for more, kicked it off with a whiskey 10K at midnight last night. People hollering at me from their cars to stop and go “have fun”. I appreciate that more than they know. Much more than they know.  Even got offered ‘five minutes upstairs in my room, five minutes is all I need” by an unctious and seductive woman half my age I passed running past an apartment hi-rise. That got my dander up. Wow, old beardo is still appealing to blind-drunk college women. I must be pretty special, like French toast.

I’m going to get a Garmin to make this here running fool an official spectacle. If you doubt me, come take a look. Come get some of this. I love running in January, in the snow. I like running until I can taste the water in the air when the temp hits 36F. I love coming home to take impossibly Yetified snow beard selfies, I love making stalagtites of sweat hang from my ski masks. I love the silence, the ease with which the world utterly retreats into a wilder state when the people abandon it for the cozy coccoons of their Holiday Pantslands. Indeed, I leave the polyester carpet world , and weave myself deep into the woods, the trails laid bare, snow bright in the hoof prints of critters like deer, raccoon, fox, coyote, bear, possum, skunk, beaver. If I get the chance, I’m going to work some rugged mountain running in this month.

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My goal is to run well, run healthy, and take better pictures of this gently rolling  Pennsylvania landscape in its winter garb. If anyone wants to run, I’m based in SW Pennsylvania about an hour south of Pittsburgh. I know roads and parks around here fairly well. I know lots of deer trail and some I’ve yet to explore.

I’m basically a trail runner. I carry a water pak with a nifty filter that allows me to pull water from creeks, ditches and ponds. That’s absolutely useless when it freezes solid, or I try packing it with snow in the hopes it would melt while running peaks at 3,000 feet. Nope. I guess I could use iodine, or salt my water.

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There’s nothing better than making a Heed melon slushie. I mix it, pour it in a bottle, run two hours or more, and bingo, the drink turns into an awesome slushie. I sit on my snowy chairs, pouring sweat, steam rising from me. The manna goes in the mouth hole.

After gaining 11 pounds last month, I need to be watching what goes in the mouth hole.

Last night, at midnight, I ran 6.24 miles, then had a shot of small batch bourbon. I call it a Hellderbery Smash

Hellderbery Smash

  • 1 shot bourbon – do it it right, get single batch from Kentucky or Tennessee if its in maple casks – pour in small martini glass
  • I lemon – squeeze half in small cup, cut a thin ring and set aside, cut into half-moons.
  • I tsp. raw honey poured in lemon juice cup
  • 1 dash ginger powder, or a sliver of fresh – don’t use old ginger powder, that’s disgusting and could result in death or communist thoughts
  • 3 drops of elderberry juice (sub tart cherry extract if needed – that’s awesome with the Tennessee maple bourbons)
  • Nuke the honey lemon for 10 seconds, pour into small martini glass, add the ginger, stir. Should look like chicken broth.
  • Carefully drop the elderberry into the center of the glass. It should sink unmolested to the bottom
  • Add the lemon moon. Hell, add two. This will disturb the reddish elderberry, and kick up a hematoma next to the lemon. Looks like someone bled into your drink.
  • Drink it down in a swallow. Yum!
  • Option-dip the rim of the glass in maples syrup and a crust of dark brown sugar. Put a quarter in it. Put some chicken thighs and your gas bill in it. Put an ice cream sandwich and a goat nostril in it. But don’t put any quit in it.

I hadn’t had a whiskey in five years. I was on the floor in five minutes. Am I a lightweight?

I had bought a case of beer in October 2012, but managed to only drink half of it last year before it expired last October. That’s some serious lightweight drinking action. That’s Wuss Knighthood. I bought the whiskey because it won’t go bad. People go bad before whiskey does!

Anyways, Janathon is off to a smashing start. My goal is 300 miles. Ice beards.

IMG-20121227-00642Edit: 5 pm 01/01/13 – put in dditional 13.6 mile run. Highlights: stand-off with extremely large dog that charged me, growling. I stood my ground and told him to “shoo” and he did. Then I saw a man trying to help his extremely old boxer (dog breed) go pee. It was holding its hips up because when the dog squatted, it kept falling over. I started bawling. I had like an overwhelming existential conflict, wanting to live, seeing the suffering and love to endure it, knowing there’s no good answer as to why we die. Sometimes I feel I must answer that question, and that’s ridiculous pressure. Because of an old brindled boxer with bad hips being gently cradled by a guy standing before their home, a partially burned yellow trailer on a small muddy lot. I recovered after a couple of minutes, wiped my eyes and kept running my riverside route. 

Day 1 = 20 miles