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December, Second Half01/01/2015

12/15/2014
Mon – Green Mt. (1:47, 3000′)
Yesterday’s snow (only a couple inches) enforced another running-only outing. I did the same exact route as yesterday—up the front of the mountain, down the Ranger Trail, and then, in a nod to my infirm ankle, pounded the road down Flagstaff and back to town. Despite the ankle (a non-overuse injury), I’m just excited that everything else actually seems to be in pretty good working order. Fingers crossed.

12/16/2014
Tue-AM: Green Mt. (1:37, 3000′)
I was out a little earlier than usual today, and there ended up being an odd temperature inversion on the mountain—comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt (while moving and working hard) on the top half of the mountain, but had to put the jacket back on once I descended back down to town. Also, this snow was so minimal that First Flatiron already looks to be back in shape for scrambling.
PM: First Flatiron (0:49, 1600′)
I noted the relatively dry nature of the rock on my run this morning, so this afternoon I biked up to Chat for a quick lap on the big slab before meeting Joe for a session at the climbing gym. While Chautauqua is typically a zoo, today’s chilly, damp conditions made for a pleasantly deserted outing. Halfway up the rock it even started graupeling for a bit, which was unexpected, but luckily it was too cold out for things to really get wet.

12/17/2o14
Wed – 2 x Green Mt. (2:01, 5200′)
Biked to Chat and logged a pair of laps up and down Amphitheater-Saddle Rock-Greenman. Was reminded of the joys that can come from consistent effort over solid ground rather than all the scrambling I’ve been doing lately.

12/18/2014
Thu – 2 x (1st Flatiron+Green Mt.)  (2:25, 5800′)
Well, if the rock’s dry, I can’t keep away for long. Did two laps on the mountain today incorporating a scramble of the First each time. Really fun.

12/19/2014
Fri – 2 x (1st Flatiron+Green Mt.)+Amphitheater (2:31, 6000′)
A reprisal of yesterday, plus a scramble of the First Pinnacle in the Gregory Amphitheater at the end.

12/20/2014
Sat – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (1:30, 3000′)
Kind of a weird day on the hill. I had plans for a big day of scrambling, but once atop the summit of the First I was oddly uncoordinated, bumbly, and a bit faint. I took it easy on the downclimb, but suddenly didn’t feel like I could really trust my limbs, so I just listlessly walked to the top of the mountain and jog/shuffled most of the descent, barely able to summon the energy for a simple run down on trail. It’s been a big last four days of vert, so I think I just needed an easy(ier) day.

12/21/2014
Sun – First Flatiron (0:48, 1600′)
Phew, well that was a bit frightening. Biked up to Chat planning on a big morning of scrambling before the forecasted precipitation this evening, but I didn’t lend enough respect to the also-forecasted high winds of today. Things were normal enough on the approach and on the east face, but the minute I pulled onto the North Arete the world became a cold, wind-blasted, horrifying place. Normally I run up the 5.4 ridge with nary a thought, but today I was forced to creeping along, searching for handholds on sections that I usually just literally walk. With 225 ascents under my belt, I’ve been up on the summit of the First in very windy conditions before, but this might’ve been the worst I’ve ever experienced. Both my sunglasses (lost forever) and my Buff (recovered) were ripped from my head on the downclimb, which I could only accomplish by moving in between gusts. Once I was back on the ground, the wind was still roaring and my motivation for anything else—even just hiking to the summit of Green—was completely exhausted, so instead I just jogged back down to Chat. Where, of course, it was relatively and bafflingly calm.

—————————————-

A collection of thoughts from Christmas week, since any physical activity I did was pretty mundane (some running, some snow shoveling):

-It snowed a bunch Sunday night and the Roost’s rear-2wd, with bald tires, and no weight in the bed left me stranded in Gold Hill. Not really a problem, but it’s always a little annoying to not be as in control of a situation as you would like to be. The Roost has probably a couple-three more years of service left in it—when it dies, some kind of 4wd is probably on my horizon. I’ve had enough issues like this over the years that it just makes sense.

-On my 9+ hour drive home to Nebraska for the holiday, I listened to the entire 12 episodes of the Serial Podcast. Though I consider myself a relatively faithful listener of This American Life, I think I missed the beginning of this phenomenon by being over in Europe earlier this fall. Like pretty much everyone else, I was instantly a fan and was completely engrossed—it’s like the typically grueling all-day drive to my parents’ house didn’t even exist. In fact, it was a joy. Definitely looking forward to Season 2 in 2015.

-Every time I visit home my appreciation for the area and my upbringing is solidified. By conventional, mainstream standards, my parents definitely lead a pretty quirky, sometimes confounding lifestyle out there in the hills of Nebraska. But it is definitely simple, self-sufficient, rich, and, for me, inspiring.

-Literally every single time I make toast, I burn it. It seems the same is true for my running. I’ve been making toast for even longer than I’ve been running, but despite this wealth of experience I still have an extremely hard time exerting the discipline to watch it so that I can pull it out sometime in that seemingly three-second window where it goes from exquisite to charred. Can’t help but keep trying, though. Balance. Restraint.

Finally, here are some of the new songs from 2014 that I enjoyed the most. Music is a constant source of joy; I definitely look forward to what 2015 holds in that regard.

TV On The Radio is one of my favorite bands of all-time. Their new album, Seeds, has taken a few listens to really appreciate, but I think they’re still one of the most interesting acts in the business. Favorite song starts at 36:04 in the below video.

I’ve been aware of Ty Segall for a couple years now but I didn’t really get to know his work until Manipulator came out this year. Love the unbridled exuberance he seems to exhibit in basically every live performance. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to play guitar like that?!

I randomly saw St. Vincent perform live over five years ago, and enjoyed it well enough, but not enough to really pay much attention in the intervening years (or buy their music). Until this song came out this year.

These last two are both former members of my favorite band of all time, The Walkmen. Leithauser was the frontman, Bauer the multi-instrumentalist. So, no surprise that their respective solo albums were top-of-the-heap favorites of mine this year. The pleasant surprise was that I’ve enjoyed Bauer’s so much. I guess I knew I’d like Leithauser’s stuff.

28 responses to “December, Second Half”

  1. Daniel says:

    Dude TV On The Radio is stellar! Happy Idiot is one of those jams you can’t help to groove to.

    Awesome 2nd Half, and Happy New Year!

  2. Jackie Lai says:

    I am convinced there exists a toaster gremlin that sneaks in and turns that damn knob once I have found the perfect setting for my toast. Still seeking out a consistent toaster.

  3. Curt says:

    Hey Anton. Got any races planned other than HR?

    • anton says:

      Throwing around lots of ideas, Curt, but nothing I’m willing to commit to yet. A lot always depends on health and recovery.

  4. Jessica says:

    I take my toast very seriously. Burnt toast is a crime. :)

    Solid workouts, Anton! I am thrilled you shared your playlists – I look forward to adding some of the tunes into my iPod for some of my upcoming workouts.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Jessica says:

    I take my toast very seriously. Burnt toast is a crime. :)

    Solid workouts, Anton! I am thrilled you shared your playlists – I look forward to adding some of the tunes into my iPod for some of my upcoming workouts.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Bettina says:

    It is always a pleasure to read you and listen to your music. Oooh nice all for TV On The Radio. I burn often potatoes. I hope you come back soon in Italy. I wish you all the best in the world! Happy new year dear Tony.

  7. Cordis says:

    I was up on Angel’s on the 21st; even though it is somewhat sheltered it was terrible there, can’t imagine how hard the 1st must have been getting blasted. I’m assuming it was your tracks I followed down from Angel’s to Royal Arch, made my life easier – thanks!

  8. Daniel says:

    Also…you should get your sponsors to hook you up with a 4×4 Party Van! Plastered with UD Stickers and jacked up enough to clear the way to any Trail Head

  9. Logan says:

    I may have recommended this before, maybe not, but have you gave Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens latest(2010) a listen? It grows on you, or at least it did me. But I see you are a St. Vincent fan and Stevens is who originally produced her first album as well as those after. The story behind the Adz album is far out and worth an investigation if you have time. Anyway, I have an eclectic taste in music too so I figured I would throw that out.

    Here’s to a big year in the racing and life scene.

  10. Justin! says:

    One of my highlights from 2013 (as in, I can’t believe this happened to me/check this off the life list I didn’t know I had) was playing with David Byrne and St. Vincent. Both were extremely friendly and accommodating.

    I liked St. Vincent’s Marry My John, as it was somewhat twee and quirky, but golly, has she grown as an artist by leaps and bounds since then!

    I loved TV On the Radio’s OK Calculator for a million reasons (mostly because it’s weird), but I couldn’t ever get into Return to Cookie Mountain.

    • anton says:

      Justin – Hot damn, your legendry only grows! Buzz has told me a little about your music. For a random compilation of demos, I enjoy Ok Calc way too much. There’s the obvious lo-fi factor (though I question whether this album would stand out to me at all if I hadn’t heard their produced stuff first), but several tracks from there make it onto my quick-go-to-TVOTR-playlist—Say You Do, Me-I, Yr God, Bicycles Are Red Hot, etc. etc.

      However, all but one or two tracks from Cookie Mt make it onto that same compilation. Sure, there’s the uber-likeable Wolf Like Me, but the two tracks that bookend that song—Playhouses and A Method, wall-of-sound guitar fuzz and near a capella percussivity, respectively—are just as good, but maybe not quite as instant ear-grabbers as Wolf. Ok, enough nerdy hipster talk; obviously I’m a huge fan 😉 I suggest giving it a few more listens…

  11. Paul says:

    Anton,

    Have you run in the 110V2’s yet? The V1’s last fit my foot shape perfectly and they’ve been my favorite shoe for
    NH mountains. But I hear the last is different in the v2’s. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the new version.

  12. Dave says:

    Hey Anton, thanks for the update – glad you had a nice time with your folks.
    Wishing you all the best for 2015! :-)
    Any plans to come to Europe?

    Dave

  13. jsr says:

    Anton,

    I have a hypothetical question possibly real depending on if it interests you.
    Have you ever played an interest in making your own race?

    “Dude i signed up for the krupicka 100, i heard last year that 6 people got lost for 3 days and one guy died”

    I would run it.

  14. Malcolm says:

    Hey Anton,

    We don’t have similar taste in music, be we certainly do in literature. Any books that stood out for you in 2014?

    Keep being real.

    Malcolm.

    • anton says:

      I can’t say that I’m as up-to-speed on contemporary literature, so I didn’t read anything that was released in 2014 itself, but I will say my five favorite books (of 43) that I read in 2014 were probably Roth’s American Pastoral, DeLillo’s Mao II, Mathiessen’s Shadow Country, Stegner’s Angle of Repose, and Updike’s entire Rabbit series. Mao II probably stuck out as the most resonant.

      • Malcolm says:

        Thanks for the reply.

        Yeah, Roth is just unbelievable. Loved that book, too. The way he weaves a story and his depth of narrative leaves my jaw on the floor. I remember in The Human Stain where he wrote, “He didn’t so much laugh aloud as nibble at the bait of an out-loud laugh, work up to and around the laugh without quite sinking his teeth in. Close to the hook of dangerous merriment, but not close enough to swallow it.” I mean, come on! Just sublime stuff.

        Will check out Mao II for sure.

  15. Drew says:

    I love Ty Segall! His work ethic on music is comparable to yours in the mountains…on some crazy level. His music has provided plenty of boosts to my longer runs. If you like Manipulator then definitely check out his collaboration album titled Hair with Tim Presley (from White Fence). Keep up the inspiring posts! Godspeed

    • anton says:

      I would agree with that in a way. I saw an interview with him where he was asked how he’s so prolific and his response was basically one of confusion, “I enjoy making music, and doing that is my full-time job now, etc. etc.”. I can identify with that sentiment.

      I’ve also been really enjoying the whole Melted album. Still a lot more to dig into with him, though.

  16. sasquatchua says:

    Peter Matthew Bauer- Fortune Tellers and Handsome Furs – Repatriated sound very close to me, but in different genres haha. Lovin it

    Defintely Diggin Fortune Tellers to a an entirely new level.

  17. Resurgam says:

    I’ve been wondering lately, where is the point when the beloved sport of endurance and speed is turning into a continuous injury/recovery process that kind of takes over everything…

  18. Resurgam says:

    Have been considering lots of runners’ thoughts and feelings, gradually getting there. Just wanted to post this in case my previous comment may seem somewhat not as positive. All you great athletes are someone we are looking up to.:-)

    • anton says:

      Well, for lack of a better way to explain it, my motivation comes from a place so intrinsic and internal that it doesn’t even feel like I have a choice—I’m involuntarily compelled to keep working at it.

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