Sunday, April 1, 2012

Necessary evil. Ok, not evil....

So I went to an open water swim clinic on Saturday at Saguaro Lake. Beautiful day, great people and instruction. This was my first opportunity to try out my wetsuit.....never swam on one before. Ummm...not totally horrible and I didn't get that constricted panicky feeling some people experiencemy All in all.....hated it!! The bouyancy of the suit was messing my ability to swim at all. Now I totally appreciated the keeping me from freezing to death aspect of the experience, but its gonna take a lot more practice to get the hang of that thing. So my first time comment is BLECH!

On a sad note, the world of ultra running lost a unique character over the weekend. Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco, died doing what he loved best - running a trail in a wilderness. Still under investigation but his body hes been found in the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico. I first learned of Caballo Blanco, like many people, in the book "Born to Run." He was definately a character. I lent my book to my dad in Montana (he's still "reading" it), and I sent him to a lecture by Caballo Blanco in Missoula. He was promoting his annual Copper Canyon ultramarathon. Luckily my dad took my book with him and had Caballo Blanco sign it for me. That book helped me get where I am today.

Several years ago I made up my mind that I was finally going to become a runner. Like most beginners, I went to a running store seeking advice and shoes. I got set up in some expensive running shoes engineered to correct the over pronation the saleslady declared me to have. Fast forward a few short weeks and I'm in my doctor's office barely able to walk. Diagnosis - patella femoral syndrome. The dreaded Runner's Knee. Months of physical therapy, crutches then a cane later I could kinda walk again. Then I saw an interview with Chris McDougall, bought his book, tossed the shoes in the back of my closet (they were expensive after all) , and now only run in VFF's. It took over a year to transition to running in the VFF's, but I know I'll never go back. Actually can't, I tried and my knees said, "HELL NO!"

So I was sad to learn of Caballo Blanco's passing but grateful for his inspiration and motivation to not give up on becoming a runner. Rest in peace Micah True and I'll know you're running with me when I feel the breeze on my face.

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