I started out on my Saturday training run having just read a note on the ultralist that Peter Bakwin had broken the JMT record - too many miles in too short a time - and I was pumped for a good run. As I ran in the heat my thoughts drifted back to Tuscarora this spring - that wonderfully sadistic run put on by deercatcher Clapper and dearlybeloved Horton - and my thoughts were drawn to the drive out to the start of that run. Peter, Stephanie and I were driving in my car and laughing at the name my seventeen yr. old daughter had christened it, the "mid-life crisis mobile" (an entirely unjustified moniker as its a VW golf, albeit a bright red one) Before continuing I should mention that it was really hot today, with high humidity and I was doing hilly loops without water as I ran - but available every 45 minutes or so. Anyway, for some reason the mid-life crisis thought and Peter's record run coalesced and I began thinking, what a cool mid-life crisis, just go run in the mountains, really far, for a really long time, for no real reason - I mean that's how my daughter explained Tuscarora to her friends when she told them why I went missing for a week with the mid-life crisis mobile - but it didn't really register with me until today.
Now, like a good many ultra folk, I keep up with the topic du jour on the ultralist and scan the VHTRC web site for current info and daily humor. Recent postings on the list have concerned the pros and cons of race age groupings and this must have been in my subconscious, as in one of my heat induced insightful flashes I realized Peter's 94:04 CR of the JMT was actually a "crisis record" - I mean, masters course record or mid-life crisis record, its just a matter of semantics. The thought continued , well what happens for the next age group - those beyond mid-life crisis (BC). And here I have to apologize in advance to Gary Knipling, but for some reason the BC thought just popped Gary into my mind - for his unique history of trail running and conversing with the flora*, he knows so many by name - which of course could be interpreted as a crisis of a different kind, but that's just beyond the scope of my expertise.
While visualizing Gary talking to a lady slipper, the recent point counterpoint between John Dodds and Deb Pero came to mind - with the image of someone wearing two belt buckles way higher than necessary (could be a foldout in the next ultrarunner mag. I suppose) Unfortunately in my heat stressed mind it wasn't Deb, and thankfully not Gary or John, but my mind was trying to figure out where it was that one actually made the leap from mid-life crisis to beyond. Trying to pin down the point in time where the belt begins to creep up from waist to chest - woman have that period of time figured out already (much like they have coordinated outfits figured out), its called menopause - mood swings, hot flashes, erratic behavior - all of which fit my current state of mind and with another heat induced insightful flash it came to me, manopause.
It's the answer to any number of ultra related questions - Why do you want to run so far? Must be manopause. Didn't have a good day at the run today - Must be manopause. Conversing with the flora - still not sure what that's all about, but you get the overall gist. Fortunately my training run ended here - Peter's JMT record, obviously manopause induced; Joe and David's Excellent Tuscarora adventure, obviously manopause causing; and heat training, obviously stupid - see above.
*(or maybe its about the flora -it was really hot by now ya know)