Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RIP Caballo Blanco & Getting Skunked


A few days ago someone I know posted on facebook that Caballo Blanco had been found dead in New Mexico after he had gone missing during a 12 mile run. For those who don't know who Caballo Blanco (Micah True) is.  He is one of the main characters in the non-fiction book "Born to Run". I started reading this book last fall while I was recovering from a running injury and the book and many of its characters reminded me why I love to run and opened my eyes to a different way of running that has kept me injury free for longer than I have ever been injury free as a runner. It reminded me that there is a time to run as fast as I can and there is a time to run at an easy pace, enjoy the run and take in everything around me. I enjoy both hard and easy runs but I to much hard running wears me down and catch myself running harder and harder all the time and this does take away from some of the enjoyment of running. I think this happens because I am competitive in every aspect of my life and I am always trying to one up myself and everyone around me.  Okay, I am starting to ramble on. Caballo Blanco was a guy who ran not to crush records or to make money but because it made him feel good. I sometimes wish I could spend all of my time training to be a triathlete but I need to make money so that I can pay my bills and take care of my family, so until I go pro (which will be NEVER) I need to juggle work and training .

The point I am trying to make is that I need to remind myself that it isn't always about how fast I can run 5, 10 or 15 miles. It is about enjoying my alone time. My favorite runs usually take place on trails when I can find them because I don't have to worry about getting run over and the view is a little better in the woods. For anyone who is taking the time to read this, remember to slow down from time to time and go for a long run. Speed work is important and makes you faster but so does running slow. I know this is true because most of my training this year has been done at a slower pace and when I have raced I have posted my fastest times ever.

Go out today and go for a nice easy run and if you haven't had a chance to read "Born to Run", get on it. It is a great book and changed the way I look at running.


Last Thursday night I was hanging out with my three year old daughter and our dog Oliver while my wife was at the gym. I thought I smelled something skunky and told the dog to stop farting and took him outside. As the night went on I thought that I might have a furnace issue so I turned it off. In the morning I thought the smell had dissipated some so I left the furnace off. I was home at lunch that day and noticed that the smell had gotten significantly worse so I thought maybe the water heater was going or maybe I had an electrical problem. The smell was skunky but not skunky like you smell when you drive by a dead skunk on the road. I became more concerned about my house as I drove back to work so I grabbed my lap top and headed back home. My wife called RG&E to come out and check the gas and electric and when the tech showed up he looked at me, smiled and said you've got a skunk buddy. At first my wife and I were happy that we wouldn't need to dump a bunch of money into our furnace or buy a new hot water heater. Well, almost a week later we are not feeling the same way.

On Sunday I started ripping boards off my deck trying to find the source of the smell, knowing the smell inside wouldn't go away until the smell outside was eliminated. After removing about four boards I found a hole going under some bricks that looked like they could be part of my house. My wife and I went into minor panic mode at the though of a skunk being inside our house. After a few minutes of poking at the bricks with my shovel I realized that the bricks were not part of the house and just left there from some reason unknown to me. I moved each brick VERY CAREFULLY in an effort to not get sprayed. I moved the first brick and nothing but a stronger odor. I moved the second brick and nothing but more odor. At this point I can't see the end of the hole and I am thinking this sucker is in my house! I move the third brick and I SEE SOMETHING BLACK & WHITE! But it doesn't move. That is good news for me and bad news for my house. I didn't get sprayed but when a skunk dies and starts to decompose they release all of their spray and it just happened to be laying right up against the side of my house.

Today is Wednesday and we have been fighting the smell that has taken over every inch of my home and everything in it since Saturday. We have had to move into my in-laws house because our house now smells so bad it gives us a head ache. My wife has been doing laundry nonstop since Saturday and we have been back and forth going to our house to open windows during the day and close them at night because it has been getting so cold. I have a restoration company working with me to clean up the smell and so far we have hit a brick wall. Today he is coming out to try something new to eliminate the odor outside. Hopefully that will work so we can start getting back to our normal lives.

As a result I have done very little training this week and I am feeling very guilty about that. I guess it isn't the end of the world. I don't have any big races for a few months and plenty of time to get to the fitness level I'll be comfortable with.

I am going to be trying a sports drink that is new to me in the next week or two so stay tuned for my feed back.

Until then train smart and have fun doing it.

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