Zen in The Art of Moped Maintenance

September 27 2013

This summer, I signed up to do a 30-mile trail race with my girlfriend on the last weekend of October. Both of us wanted to do (and have never done) a marathon, but we weren't interested in running 26.2 miles on pavement, so this was a perfect find. Before we began training, we both got back from Europe; she had been there for the summer working and I visited her in the last 2 weeks. In the last week, we visited a friend of mine from Morocco (and his family) during Ramadan, which consisted of a lot of sitting on couches (to avoid the +100F temperatures) and eating a lot of food (Moroccans are very generous to guests). Feeling uncomfortably full for a week straight and then jumping into long runs again is not fun.

It's been a little over a month since then, and training is going really well (we did 20 miles last week!). I didn't realize how much of it is really mental training, not even physical. If you train your body in manageable increments, distances that once seemed unattainable are surprisingly attainable. The problem is your mind, and keeping it busy as well as staying in good spirits. Having someone to train with makes all the difference...she's the one that had me up at 6am yesterday to run 14 miles before class. As much as we're excited for race day, we're also excited to not be training constantly...it's hard work.

Oh yeah, I also have a moped from 1976. It's slow, loud, and squeaky. I would recommend it to anyone. All the freedom of a motorcycle, but the slowness gives you more time to contemplate and enjoy the good weather. Easy and fun to fix, and pedaling up the steep hills is a good workout. My friend just joined the Peace Corp in Nepal, and sold me his (a little more modern than mine, 1977), so now I've got two.

Shoot me an e-mail if you like running, mopeds, autumn, or want to know anything about New Hampshire. I also do quite a bit of photography, so if you're interested I can send a Flickr link. Also I'm currently reading Gravity's Rainbow...I can't be the only person who is struggling through it.

Fred Meissner
[email protected]
Newmarket, NH, USA

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