Friday, January 23, 2009

Ocean View

Gimli holds 5lb. weights in each hand when he hikes. On our Wednesday trek he complained they were too light and perhaps it was time for ten pounds. I'm cranky carrying a 20-ounce water bottle, so I said, "Sure. Why not? Then you won't feel so weak." An overcast afternoon, we started up a moderately steep fire trail. Soon Gimli veered off onto a path that quickly lost all interest in staying visible, vanishing into a rock pile that rose up several hundred feet and required hand-over-hand climbing.

'What's he doing with those stinking weights now?' I wondered, but didn't ask because Gimli might get distracted and drop one on my head.

As we reached the summit, Gimli stated he lately had more energy. For 18 years, he'd worked eight hours a day, five-days-a-week at a warehouse moving crated auto parts. Afterwards, he'd roam the hills with 5lb. weights in each hand. Thanks to his layoff, he now has only hills and weights. And running the level stretches of trail. (In deference to my tender knees, we didn't do that.)

Kiley and his 50-mile trail run came to mind. "Hey, Gimli, you ever think about doing a trail run?" I explained how they're held in difficult terrain along narrow trails such as he already favors. Then I mentioned Kiley's April event.

He thought for a bit, then: "Okay. Sure."

Gimli thought I meant he should run Kiley's 50-miler.

"Maybe ease into it with something shorter," I suggested. "And you won't have to carry five-pounders."

He smiled. "I could go faster."

"God knows how fast."

We stopped atop Mount Olympus. Sunlight pierced the cloud cover, seeming to ignite a portion of the distant Pacific. Moving slowly, a container ship plodded across the sea through the light back into gray. I see why Gimli likes it up here.

So I'm checking out a 9K trail run in Malibu. If my knees agree, I'll join Gimli on the course. Otherwise, I'll be support. I'm curious to see how he'll do in competition. I think Gimli will rock.
On the trail down, Gimli asked if I knew where he might buy a ten-pound weighted vest. Clearly he felt his torso could be working harder.

Race day - March 8.


takineko said...

So this is how Dwarfs stay in shape and lift those heavy battle axes with ease..

John P. McCann said...

I wouldn't mess with one.

Troy said...

All the people jogging Runyon Canyon with their weighted vests make me nervous... they look like kevlar, and Hollywood's not the greatest of neighborhoods -- so seeing people running in the opposite direction appearing to be wearing bullet proof accessories always tends to put me ill at ease.

John P. McCann said...

Kevlar vests can't hurt you.

Kevlar vests and a submachine gun can.