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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Coming In From the Cold

"In this life, in this life, in this life
In this, oh sweet life
We're coming in from the cold..."
- Bob Marley

Chilly! That's an understatement for the recent weather pattern in the high Rockies.  True, we have also been blessed with some much needed snow accumulation, but man it's been cold.  That being said, project "Get Zeke Fit" has begun to hit it's stride.  Having taken a solid hiatus from training, getting back on the trails and roads has been doubly sweet, and I am mostly achieving my goal of running for running's sake.  I say mostly, because, as my fitness returns, I can't help but feel the allure of the up-coming racing season.  However, I have largely come to terms with my non-racing year and I have begun to find great joy in running with no race on the foreseeable horizon.  After each run I am literally, "coming in from the cold", and with each stride I am enjoying my, "oh sweet life".    

The most important people in my "oh sweet life" are the various members of my family, of which there are many.  When it's all said and done I have: a wife, a two year old girl, a mother, a father, a stepfather, a stepmother, an ex-stepmother, three sisters, one brother, a sister-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, three step sisters, and two step brothers.  These eclectic characters are de facto members of team, "Freaks for Zeke", and while all of them support my ultrarunning career, it's my wife to whom I owe the greatest thanks.  She has orchestrated four flawless crewing efforts during my hundred mile attempts.  She has endured: water bottles hurled her direction in frustration, being called a "rookie crew", endless hours of Fleetwood Mac (my pump-up music), all night post-race puke fests, all night pre-race nerve fests, a sleepless night while I wandered the winter woods during an errent training outing, piles upon piles of smelly, muddy shoes, and countless other abuses. All the while, she sacrificed her own time to make time for my exhausting training schedule.  So, it was with great pleasure that I was able to spend sixteen wonderful winter miles with my wife this past Sunday.

Molly (my wife) is training for the L.A. marathon in March and she was slated for a sixteen mile long run last week.  However, her training partner was out of town, so I saw an opportunity for a great husband-wife bonding session, and offered my services as her running companion.  My mom graciously agreed to watch our daughter, and since she lives in Aspen, we headed there for the run.  I mapped out an eight mile loop that we were to run twice.  The run started out as a mellow jaunt along the Roaring Fork River under sunny skies, and we chatted as a happy couple for the opening few miles.  However, my wife soon bored of my typical immature banter, turning instead to the special "running mix" on her iPod.  This forced me do something I rarely, if ever, have done, listen to music while running.  I loved it!  Spotify radio was rocking a killer set, with songs by ranging from the The Dead to Men at Work, and even some sweet Dolly Parton to boot. My wife and I were cruising, not talking, but simply enjoying the presence of one and other.

If only the loop I designed had not steered us right into the heart of holiday Aspen, chalked full wealthy, gaping tourists, dressed in ridiculously expensive, yet hideously tacky ski outfits, then my wife would not have been hit by a car!  Outside of a light bump from a self-absorbed vistor, the rest of the run went pretty smooth.  We finished the run by "coming in from the cold" and jumping in a hot tub, followed by a blowout Bronco's victory.  Sixteen miles with the woman I love, fifteen minutes in 103ยบ water with a spectacular view of the iconic Pyramid Peak (one of the fourteeners in the Elk Range), my mom's chili relleno egg casserole, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, what an "oh sweet life" I have!

Tiernan Family Sunday Run - Aspen, CO


  1. Thanks for posting Zeke! Enjoyed the writing and the beard.

  2. Thanks for posting Zeke! Enjoyed the writing and the beard.

  3. Good to hear Zeker's back on track! Hope to amble around the mountains with you soon, man!


  4. I LOVE your blog, little Bro and I LOVE you and Molly. Call me to watch Jude next time. B

  5. Feeling like Santa, sub sub cold temps, injuries, music and aspen loops. It's a great season, keep at it

  6. I love this! Ah, vacation time.