I’m not dead yet! This may very well be my favorite line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – it’s a close tie with Silly English kuhniggits! and Run away! Run away! Spoken with the proper accent, each phrase has served me well in response to a variety of situations I’ve encountered across the years.
You might very well have wondered about my status, since my last post was about a month ago. I saw my trusty CTO Dave not long ago on a trip to the US, and the issue came up.
Dave: You haven’t posted much to Gydle lately.
Me: I don’t have anything to say.
He shrugged, and that was that. Yesterday he sent me a comic from the Oatmeal that explains it much better than I did. Make sure you scroll down to the part that says “I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything to say, you shouldn’t be talking. And if you don’t have anything to write about, DON’T WRITE.” Continue reading →
Gydle has been silent the entire month of November. No excuses, I just didn’t have anything to say. Then I woke up this morning and my brain was teeming with ideas. Was it something I ate?
First, I have a great gift idea.
I got an e-mail the other day from “American Gut.” Imagine my excitement! The Human Food Project is live on IndieGoGo. For only $99 and a stool sample, you can get a list of the microbes colonizing your gut. Upscaling is a bargain – it’s $180 for two samples, $260 for three and a mere $320 for a family of four! Continue reading →
I was a little worried that after my last post, someone would stage an intervention. Take away all my running shoes, maybe, or set up a booby trap in front of the door so I would trip and sprain an ankle. Remember, way back this spring I asked you to remind me to be moderate when I started going off the deep end. Thanks for nothing, people!
As it happens, I intervened all by myself and took two consecutive days off. Then I went into a funk. And that has really slowed me down. Continue reading →
I think I’ve been possessed. All I can think about is how much I want to run an ultramarathon.
I know! It’s totally insane! I haven’t even run a marathon yet!
We keep running mountain trail races during which I’m thinking Oh my God I’m going to die! And then we get home and eat a ton of pistachios and I think Wow that was really great, we should find another one of these to run.
So Marc turned 50. It was a big event chez nous, with a huge, fantastic party to which he invited everyone he could possibly imagine inviting. The weather cooperated beautifully, and a good time was had by all.
I may have mentioned before that in celebration of this watershed (yes, that’s a hydrology term) year, we’re going all out and running our aging butts off all around the mountains of Switzerland. Well, the French-speaking part, anyway. What that means is that for the first time in many, many years, we’re actually in fairly decent running shape. Marc, in particular, is in the best shape he’s been in since the 1990s.He doesn’t look anywhere near 50. But then again, at 30, he still looked like he was about 15.
In keeping with this flamboyant denial of the ticking of the clock, we made the rash decision to run a race the morning after the birthday bash. Perhaps “we” is the wrong word here; in fact, one or more of Marc’s students convinced Marc to run the race, and he managed to convince me it would be a fun thing to do.
“Fun” here equates to 18.8 km up a mountain, from Montreux at lake level up to the Rochers du Naye, an altitude gain of +1,600m (for the metrically impaired, that’s +5,250ft). Continue reading →
Sorry about the AWOL. Life has been kind of hectic lately. I’ll to do a couple more race reports, and then I’m planning to take some time off. I need a break!
Saturday after our epic Bettmeralp adventure, Marc and I climb in the car and head up to the lac du Joux, in the Jura mountains. It’s the hottest day of the summer (so far), with 33˚ temperatures down in Lausanne. The 24-km race around the lake starts at 2:15 pm, so we’ll be running smack in the highest heat of the day. But over in the US, the entire country is sweltering in 90+ temperatures, so I refuse to feel sorry for myself. In comparison, this is nothing. Continue reading →
Saturday afternoon, 16:07. Marc and I sit back and relax in the regional train from Lausanne to Brig. I pull out the food – apples, bananas, pistachios, and some crazy-good seed nut bars I’ve made from this recipe. I thought they’d be good recovery food for the trip back.
After three trips to the bathroom at the back of the car, it’s clear he’s well-hydrated. Soon the seed-nut bars are gone. We talk about the upcoming race. Marc knows what he’s in for because he ran it in the summer of 2003. I’m nervous because although I didn’t run it in 2003 (the boys had a soccer tournament), I can nonetheless do the calculations – altitude plus distance – and it doesn’t look easy. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
I feel like I’m ready. Last week’s race, the Trail de L’Absinthe, went pretty well. I’m feeling strong and confident. What’s a couple thousand meters more in altitude? So I’m going to have to climb more than 1000 meters? Big deal! Bring it on!
What with all the news about the microbiome in the headlines, running reports have taken a back seat at Gydle lately. Before I right that wrong, I’d just like to point your attention to another article in the New York Times – the number one e-mailed article today – about how we evolved along with microbes and viruses and other delectable parasites, and how our hyperclean germ-free existence is probably not that great for our health. Here’s a choice quote:
It’s spring. The weeds are back in force. But somehow this year I just can’t get myself too riled up about them. It’s a combination of things:
I’ve finally hired Oscar to deal with my garden overload. It came down to Oscar or tennis, and I chose Oscar. I look at the weeds and say “Oh, I must remember to tell Oscar to deal with that next time he comes.” Next time I see Oscar, though, he’s limping and I can’t understand his French any better than I did last time. I try to communicate about the weeds, but he’s obviously in pain and very busy so they remain. For the time being.
I’ve decided that the horrible ones with the impossible-to-pull-out roots are hopeless. They win. I pull the stems off when I walk past them, and accept the fact that I will be doing this well into the autumn as they continue to grow back and get tougher.
My weeds are nothing compared to these ones growing in the US that have Homeland Security’s knickers in a twist. The ones along the Texas-Mexico border are so big that whole communities of illegal aliens can hide in them for months at a time and no one will ever know they’re there. At least I don’t have to use a chainsaw to weed my garden. Puts things in perspective.
I was heading to the checkout at the Coop last week when I ran into a woman I know from my years with the University symphony. She’s a runner, and we are both friends with Monica, who is also a runner.
I asked if she’d done the 20km. Trop de monde, she said. Too many people. (There were 19,000 of us.) She and Monica had run 26 kilometers up and down the gorges du Nozon instead, because they were going to have to miss the Montée du Nozon race in the gorge on Saturday. Montée? I said. That sounds interesting…