Thursday, December 11, 2014

Updates

Nothing really to write about.  I am still breathing but not very well.  I've been fighting some strange cold thing since Monday and I still don't have a clue which direction it is going.  I feel better today but not sure if that will be the ongoing trend or will it be one of those things that lasts for weeks...

The Summit For Life went well for me.  I didn't raise as much as I wanted but then neither did anyone else for the most part.  The race itself went a lot better than I thought.  I made it up in 1:07:50 and had an average HR of 174.  Basically holding what would be my 5K effort for over an hour.  Sunday I was hurting.

No real plans for 2015 yet.  Usually after the thing on Saturday, I go through week or two of mixed emotions bouncing between relieved and disappointed. I guess after five years of bad luck it just goes straight to disappointment and stays there.  I am #45 on the wait-list so at least I got on that this year! :)

I have some ideas for next year but nothing has ignited a consuming fire within me yet. There is a long list of things that I DON'T want to do, Leadman #3 being one of them.  I figure it will be a couple weeks before things start coming to me that interest me.  The rough draft is LT100 Bike to ride on a team and help out (no PR attempt), pace the LT100 Run, and maybe, maybe RRR100 solo again.  Maybe.

The weather here in Aspen has been nuts.  Sunny and high 40's everyday the past two weeks.  Maybe a storm coming this weekend but so far there are no advisories and it isn't at watch or warning status so we probably won't get much.  I just thought for sure when the weather started coming in November that would be the norm until April.  So far it has been a very light winter.  Glad that I am not a big skier.  I think they are all pissed by now.  At the present rate if I was someone traveling here for the holidays to ski I wouldn't be too optimistic.  With all of the snow that is melting, consolidating, and refreezing every night, once we do start getting significant snowfall again, the avalanche danger is going to be extreme.

I've been on the snowshoes twice so far.  Meh... they are okay.  I mean for snowshoes I am sure they are fantastic as they are super light and I don't really know they are there.  But for me there really isn't any difference than going across snow with my Hokas and microspikes.   I am sure the more that I play with them and in different conditions I will grow to appreciate them.

Just over 14 weeks until Mexico.  Now that is something that I can get excited about.  I am also still considering a trip to Moab the 23rd of January to escape the X Games crowd.  I might make that a little longer than a weekend trip.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

300 Pages

That is a statistic that I read last night has me reeling a bit today.  "Traffic generation jumps significantly once a site achieves 300+ indexed pages."  This is relevant only in the sense that in building my business and adding content to my business webpage I still have a ton of work to do to start showing up as a significant player out there.

I had a big running goal for November but between tweaking my knee and some of the weather we have had the numbers just are not there.  Throw in the usual fall/winter lack of goals or sense of urgency in training and it comes up to be another light month.  On a good note, I feel great! No lingering aches or pains or anything, so if/when I have to start training in earnest next month I will be set.

This is going to be a big week for me.  I discovered that Aspen does not have a divorce recovery support group of any kind.  As many of my clients are going through that and rebuilding their lives I have stepped up and have created a local divorce support group here.  The first meeting of the Aspen Divorce Support Group will be this coming Wednesday the 3rd in the Pitkin Country Library Meeting Room at 6:15.  I am excited and a bit nervous.  I have run groups before it has just been a long time.

Still doing the Summit For Life race on the 6th.  I have made two trips up the mountain on the course this week.  My plan is to do a trip up each day for the next four days.  Thursday I will cut the vertical down, Friday I will rest, and Saturday I will race.  There is still time to make a donation and any amount is appreciated.

Mixed feelings about getting into Hardrock or not. I know I will be disappointed if I don't get in, but at the same time I have a lot of other goals that I want/must reach this year and I am not sure if I can do both.  If I get in I will make it work and it might be good for me to have that out there to balance the constant sensation of being consumed by "self-employment" that is ever present these days.  I am not where I want to be yet but each day I know I am getting closer.

On a fun note, the Roaring Fork Vally CRUD group is growing, sorta.  The mail list is growing and the Thursday morning thing is picking up.  There was a crew of us who went up Aspen Mountain Thanksgiving morning.  I think it will be a strong group in numbers come springtime.
Thursday-Thanksgiving group on top of Aspen Mountain.
I am not writing as much here these days as I am more focused on creating quality content elsewhere.  I imagine if the Lottery Gods smile upon me next weekend that will change as well.  The next several months could be quite the adventure to document.

Eh... what am I talking about?  This is my life... the next several months are GUARANTEED to be an adventure regardless of what happens next weekend!  :) 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Backed Off A Bit

For a short haired animal, Asia certainly loves the snow. 
I guess it was the week before last when I was running down Smuggler road that I turned quickly and sort of twisted my right knee a little bit.  Maybe a two on a scale of one to ten.  Through the weekend it was manageable but by Saturday's long run my right knee and right hamstring were both less than happy with me.

Rode for a bit last Sunday as I knew that would be the last day I would be able to do that in comfort outside for a few months and instead of helping I think it irritated the situation.  Muddled through the week and even ran up Smuggler Mountain for the Thursday Morning Hill Climb but things were becoming even more uncomfortable in my right leg.

A short run on Friday to test it and a long conversation with my soon to be a Physical Therapist daughter Annie convinced me to rest things up this weekend and even take Monday, tomorrow off.

I am happy to say that everything that was bugging me is now feeling a lot better so I think the time off was beneficial.  Sometimes you can work through these things and other times you can't.  

No doubt it is winter here in Aspen now.  If I had to guess I would say that we have had a foot of new snow since last Monday.  The temps are going to be super cold the next three days before the next storm.  All of the snow that we have now will be with us through April-May in town I believe.  Sorrels are now the footwear du jour. 

Other stuff... I plan to pick up a light pair of snowshoes for training this winter.  I am thinking of registering for the Salida Marathon but I am still waiting until the Hardrock 100 Lottery in less than three weeks before I commit to anything for next year.

I am doing the Summit for Life on the 6th of December.  If you would like to make a donation to sponsor me in this race to raise organ and tissue awareness I would really appreciate it.  Thanks.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting Back At It

October turned into a very low mileage month for me. 85 miles running total for the month.  Zero miles or time on the bike.  I could not guess when I had such a low mileage month in the past but I think that it was February - March 2012 maybe.

October was a good break.  I needed it.  I have been back at this past week logging 68 miles for the week.  For some weird reason I want to try to pull off a 300 mile month this month.  It has been some time since I have done a month with that many running miles.  I really don't have a reason to do it past just wanting to get that strong again.  I did a 22 miler yesterday and followed it up with 15 today.  I am hoping to log some decent 30 mile days later in the month.  I am just not there yet.

Today's 15 miler was tough too.  I carried enough fatigue into it from yesterday that after only a few miles the miles seemed to become longer and take way more time than they should just like in the later miles of a ultra.  I wanted to do 20 today but shut it down at 15 as I was really starting to get bored and I felt like I had done enough. 

I have been test driving a new running pack this past week.  My Nathan HPL 2.0 is getting too worn and I wanted to get something that I can carry some more stuff in.  I settled on getting an Osprey Rev 6 and so far I like it a lot.   It fits well and I can carry all of the extra stuff that I want in it. The downsides.... The front pockets are not that big like on the Nathan Vest and the bladder... Osprey did a fine job over-engineering the bladder and already I am having issues getting the cap back on.  Also, it is only a 1.5 liter bladder.   I'd like to wedge a 70oz or maybe even a 100oz CamelBak bladder in it if I can.  But besides the bladder thing, I really do like the pack.

 That's about it.  Just happy to be running again. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life. Some Disassembly Required.

After a full two weeks in Colorado Springs I am finally back in Aspen.  The rest of my stuff that I needed to move has been moved and everything else to be sold, donated, given away, or just discarded is now out of my life and gone for good.

Both the house and cottage are rented out and I believe I hit the jackpot with the tenants that I found. 

It was a tough two weeks there with every day becoming more challenging as more things kept going out the door.  The last two nights I commented to myself that I had more "luxuries" the month that I lived in the tent in Leadville this summer than I had in the house.

But disassembling a life is a chore.  Even with all of the stuff that I got rid of early in the year it seemed that I still had a ton to deal with the past two weeks.  Piece by piece and day by day the house which was my home for over nine years became just an empty shell.

I did not run one day while I was there.  It was just easier to skip the runs to focus on what I needed to get done.

The upside to the trip was that I got to catch up with a lot of friends.  This also meant that I got to out to eat just about every day and hit all of my favorite places.  That was a lot of fun.  Never got to King's Chef as someone was a total flake. 

Anyway, that is all done and I am glad to be back in Aspen and doubly glad that the pass has stayed open allowing me a double crossing on Sunday with the UHaul and an easy trip back yesterday.

Today the running started again. Shad Mika is visiting and we got out for a good 12-13 mile run today which allowed me to visit some of my favorite trails and show him around as well.  It would have been impossible to ask for a better weather day for late October.

I lost some fitness over the two weeks and I am fine with that.  Before I left I had to run up something damned near vertical to get my heart rate to go up.  Now I can run flattish stuff and have it be where it sort of should be. Being rested now I can start to build up again.

Talking to my friend Jeff here about an informal 100 miler in January.  No planned course or location yet but it will probably be something lower and more desert like.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taking Another Break For Now

I have been in Colorado Springs since last Thursday.  I have successfully found renters for both the house and the cottage in that time and now I have to focus on liquidating the rest of my furniture and moving what few things I have left here to storage in the RFV.  If I still had my old F-150 I could probably move it but I am going to have to rent a van and do a quick out and back trip in a day.  I will be out of the Springs 100% by the end of next week.

I have not run the first mile since I got here.  When I got here last Thursday it was raining like crazy so I decided to not go.  Friday the weather was nasty and a scheduled day off so I bailed that day as well.  Saturday was nicer but I was doing so much work around the house and getting stuff done that time just slipped away from me.  I think that I intentionally let it slip away to be honest.

My mind completely recoils from the thought of running here.  Let's just say I am going to give myself a pass until I get back home to Pitkin County.

At first I felt bad about it because I was beginning to build some momentum and get a rhythm going again.  But after thinking about it I decided that another week or two off might not be a bad thing in the long run.  Last year I took two-three weeks off after the JFK 50 then started running again and had a really solid two weeks where things were going well.  Then I caught a nasty cold/virus at the end of December that knocked me out for another two weeks.  When I got back to running after that I felt a lot better than I did before I got sick.  As much as being sick sucked I had to admit that in the long run it proved to be beneficial.

So I am on another break for a spell.  It will do my mind good and relieve a lot of stress given everything that I have to get done in the next week and half. 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

50! Wow!

I took the long way home on Monday after coming back from El Jebel.  Asia and I drove up to Ashcroft and just took in the scenery for a bit.  I stood there so long just looking at the mountains that I got a little sunburned.
50... that is the sum total of miles that I have ran the past two weeks.  25 miles two weeks ago and 25 miles last week.  I am still not out of the woods yet in terms of recovering from the summer but I am getting closer.  I figure another three weeks I will be back to normal, or whatever in the hell passes as normal for me.  Shooting for a 40 mile week this week with two days off thrown in there.

I ran the Aspen TNT this past Saturday and I am happy to say it went well.  I placed 4th in my age group and 20th overall out of 160 or so.  I am skeptical of their results as the printed results say that someone crossed the line when I did and that is not true.  I dropped two guys in the last quarter and there was nobody ahead of me on the straight stretch to the finish line.  And those two guys I dropped crossed together but not for like 10 seconds after I did.  

I don't think I have ever run a 10K so hard in my entire life.  It was hard.  My average HR for the race was 176 and I topped out at 184.  Basically I ran a 10K at what I would call my 5K effort.  But it was fun in that weird way that races like that are.  I was pretty sure that I was going to blow up around mile four but somehow was able to hang on.

Sunday I got to do my last run up Aspen Mountain (Ajax) via summer road.  That was the last day that the gondola will be open for a bit.  Living in Aspen that is sort of one of my favorite runs, regardless if I run up the front side or the back side I get a huge kick out of riding the gondola down for free.  You have to pay to ride up but they give you pass if you get up there on your own.

The bears are out in numbers here in Aspen this week.  I am seeing one to two a day.  I get a kick out of it but I don't dare walk around at night without a flashlight. I did bail out coming down the Hunter Creek Trail yesterday evening on my run as it was too close to dark and I didn't want to be in the brush with limited visibility that close to dark and run into one.

Headed to the springs tomorrow (Thursday) to take care of business and I will be there for a week or so.  If anyone is up for a run or lunch let me know.