Some good times, some bad times... About a week ago I joined in to support Jared Campbell in his fundraiser for Breathe Utah on Grandeur Peak. See details and summary here and here. His goal was to summit 10 times. Some quick math reveals this to involve 33,000 ft of vertical climbing in about 40 miles. With waist deep drifted snow at the top and harsh winds he couldn't have picked a harder day for the endeavor, but he got it done. Hopefully this will be a yearly event.
The next day I ran just over 27 miles on Antelope Island with the middle 12 of it at a pretty brisk pace along the flatter trail along the east side of the island. I then met up with Christian, Karl, Greg, David, and Matt who had started a bit later Sure enough, doing all that 'real' running was enough to flare the achilles up and this past week involved some unappreciated downtime, during which I was revisited by ghosts of injuries past, neurotic and otherwise. To heal myself I've simply reverted to my old ways of slogging uphill and it is working like a charm for both collagen and soul. I did the steep route up Mt. Wire from the Sunnyside trail head parking lot in 31:40, all hiking, and then today did 3 x Mt. Wire for about 6,600 vert in 12 miles. All good specific training for the mostly flat and graded upcoming Antelope Island 50 miler in 2 weeks... :)
Of course, all this is just preamble to the real news of having finally shaved my face. While a positive move for the marriage, professional life, and vitamin D synthesis, I nonetheless miss being mistaken for a homeless person. Interestingly, while Charles Darwin (himself whiskered) speculated that beards have evolved in our ancestors because women find them attractive this turns out not to be the case. Rather, at least according to a study in the Oxford Journal of Behavioral Psychology (here), the converse is true. However, the augmentation of aggressive facial displays facilitated by facial hair may lend an indirect survival advantage in competition with other males in the intrasexual mating milieu.