Thursday, July 5, 2012

The God Particle and Short Shorts

It looks like we might be nearing the end of the longest and most extravagant saga in the history of science as a team of physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider announced yesterday that they *may* have discovered the elusive Higgs Boson.  This particle is thought to be responsible for providing mass to the atomic nullities that make up the universe (and us) and has been referred to (with acknowledged grandiosity) as 'the God particle' for just this reason.  While this discovery stands to answer many deep and as-of-yet unanswered questions regarding the physical world it also opens the door to a number of other questions about the nature and fabric of reality: why is there something rather than nothing?  what are the basic constituents of matter?  

In a similar vein I have found myself asking some profound questions regarding the appropriate length of running shorts.  Back in the day when I was focused mainly on shorter distance racing I made it a perverse point of pride to wear the highest cut I could find, the brighter-colored the better.  A testament to how far off the mainstream I generally lie, I would fly down the main drag by the Iowa City Hawkeye football stadium on game weekends at 5:30 min/mile, shirtless and flinging sweat, in the process receiving a number of interesting and generally derogative comments from drunk, college-age passerby.  When I took up trail running a couple years ago I was very conscious about starting a new sport altogether and, as such, adopted a shuffling gait, vast knowledge of electrolyte esoterica, about 30 devices to carry water while running, and long, flowing shorts with pockets to carry crap.  It seemed to work out alright.  

Recently however I have rediscovered my old favorites- worn and stiffened from years of salt and grime accumulation but still nice and short.  Several years of cycling and then prioritization of quadricep-intensive steep trail climbing has changed my anatomy somewhat however: the predominant effect at this point is something along the lines of 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  But it just feels so light and airy and fantastic. 

I ran up Timpanogos on Tuesday from the Timpanooke campground.  I probably finished and left American Fork Canyon about 30 minutes prior to the start of the Quail fire that has now unfortunately burned a significant area around Alpine and the sublime Box Elder Peak.  I ran pretty casually without thinking of going hard (heart rate average of 143 to the summit) but managed to top out at 1:34 and change.   I spent quite a while on the summit chillin' with some new friends (see below) and made it down to the car in 2:45 total trip time.  
Quail Fire later in the afternoon on Tuesday, as seen from the University Hospital.

1 comment:

  1. Cargo shorts are for semi-formal Boyscouts events and REI employees; running shorts are for running. Nothing wrong with a little extra "shit."