Thursday, February 2, 2017

January - I am where I am

January... weather has had and impact on both me and my training. I'll just leave it at that.

I "think" I got in some good work in spite of the conditions though... some riding... some StairMaster... some 'mill work... and a handful of runs outside.

I can't really quantify the numbers of miles and vert accurately, at least with the bike, and the running is suspicious as well, but from a time point of view, it looks like this.

Bike - 22:26:21
Run - 18:33:18

So basically, 41 hours of training for the month of January and you can more or less take out the first week of the month as I was still up on the mountain... So more like 24 days of training with a couple of rest days thrown in.

The left hamstring seems to have mostly "let go" but still some issues with the knee. This feels very familiar to where I was at the end of June last year so I am confident (and praying) that the heavy bike focus with minimal running thrown in for now finally resolves it all in a matter of days.

Someday I will might write out what really happened and just how scary it all was when it all  happened on December 5th... hell, it is still scary and I do have lingering fears that I will never be the same. Time will tell.

I have a ton of ball caps and T-shirts inbound with the logo on them. That's pretty exciting... oh... and rather pricey to boot. But the products are going to be amazing. All of my runners get shirts, some get hats, and other hats are just for "others."

Cannot wait to go to AZ at the end of the month! I just want to see ground that isn't covered in feet of snow... that will be nice.

That about covers it... I hope to be running more outside in Feb but that is weather and trail/path/road dependent. As things look right now, I will not be able to train this year like in the past going into Salida... kinda glad I am doing the JV race now... that's for sure.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On Second Thought

I have been keenly aware of my lack of interest in training and going to Silverton this summer for the Hardrock 100. Keenly aware.

But sometimes I can be full of shit and even fool myself...

Yesterday when I was riding the spinning bike at the ARC, I started counting up all of my riding hours these past few weeks. And I am now at a point where I can follow up a two hour plus ride with some easy miles on the treadmill as I am still rehabbing this injury...

So when I got home yesterday, I looked at the past month or so on Training Peaks and for someone who is not really wanting to a race or train - I certainly am acting like someone who does...

I do not have any interest in running outside right now so much although I do plan to begin that next week. Snow and lots of ice, mostly ice being the reason. We have about another two weeks historically here in Aspen before winter tends to loosen it's grip so until then, yeah, mostly indoor workouts mostly for safety's sake... But as long as I keep pushing the volume that I have been I will be more than okay...

Theoretically, I can go into this February, even post-injury, stronger than last February as I lost the last week of last January to a combination of a cold and the X-Games.

But anyway, a neat insight into where my head may or may not be when it comes to Hardrock.

Judging by my words and general disposition about it, yeah... no investment. But I always say, "when in doubt, watch what person DOES instead of what they SAY, because the truth is always in the action, not the words."

So yeah, I am in it now... and to honest, I feel a little flicker of actual excitement for once! And not just for Hardrock - Super Excited to go to Salida in March.

I think that I just needed to get off of the mountain and get back into my life full time and because I am now... things are truly looking up. 

Post Script Edit - And I've been dieting rather consciously these past few weeks as well and really getting things dialed in this week, so that also shows my level of investment, even if I had not truly realized it. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Almost There

Last year we were completely done with snow making and had all of the guns broken down and put away by December 8. This year (season) we finish up tonight. The extra weeks of snow making that I was not anticipating has taken a toll, physically, mentally, emotionally, and in terms of my two other business (three now but that's for later). I have only been able to do what I can do to keep things afloat and operating, meaning no growth.

Injury... I pulled my left hamstring the first Monday of December and that ended up involving some other tendons and stuff. So for the past few weeks, I have been seeing the PT the days that I was not on the mountain working just to keep me together. It took awhile and I do not know if they were the root cause that weakened things and then when I ran that Monday a few weeks ago it is what caused things to go POP, but my Scarpa hard shell mountaineering boots have not been helping the problem.

So this week I switched a lighter boot and voila, no more leg pain.

Training... Riding the crap out of the spinning bike at the Aspen Rec Center. Rode for three days this week for 6.5 hours total. Between that and working this week, I am staying fit and getting stronger, and of course the leg IS getting better. But work is training too... digging, hiking, climbing, lugging around hoses, hell, even driving a sled is a workout that involves the entire body. The bottom line is this... I can tell from my bike rides that I am still VERY fit and ready to start training in earnest once I am off of the mountain completely.

Salida... I am going to run the half-marathon instead of the full. That week of Salida is the first week of training block 1 for Hardrock. If I were to race the marathon I would be losing nearly a week just recovering after the race. Doing the half, I can still race it and be able to follow up with a another good long run the day after and not compromise the following training week. Plus Shad is going to run the half (I think) and I will have a chance to keep up with him, doubtful, but it's a goal. LOL!

Hardrock... on a scale of one to ten, my enthusiasm is about a one and I don't see that changing any time soon. I sure hope it does because this little adventure is going to cost a lot money and time and I'd rather be spending both on something that I am excited and invested in doing rather than not.

Other work... one of my runners is doing Bandera today. Waiting like an expectant father for that result. He has come a long way these past few months and this has been our goal race since October. (update: he ran 5:35, 11th overall, 3rd AG) Dude is a solid ultra finisher... now he is stepping his game up. RunAspen.Com is getting great traffic and I expect more runners on the roster once the Leadville Lottery is done.

And the biggie from the week... this startup that I have been working with/for the past three years or so, I became 1/3rd owner of this week, call it payoff for all of my sweat equity the past few years. Could mean nothing in the end... could mean a lot more... time will tell. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hardrock Training - The Hard Way

Friday Night - 22:00

Sustained winds of 40+ MPH blowing the dumping of snow that we are getting horizontally only gives me about 10 feet of visibility in the dark.

But there I am at the bottom of the Spring Pitch run with about quarter of a mile climb to get back up to my sled.

I am wearing about 20 pounds of clothing and gear. My boots weigh 3lbs each... This I know from both the tech specs and weighing them myself just to be sure.

I am already exhausted from digging out all of the snow guns and having moved a conservative estimate of a ton of snow in a little over an hour... with a shovel... by hand... at 10,000 feet in elevation, in the dark.

Kicking steps the entire way up the frozen slope, I am using two short handled shovels as impromptu trekking poles for both safety and stabilization as I climb. Shovels are a lot heavier than trekking poles and my arms are burning.

I determine that I have zero desire to ever climb any of the highest peaks on the planet... ever. 

Kick, step, kick, step... look up and verify my route the best I can... Kick, step, kick, step...

Finally I make it to the top of the bowl, and rather spent I might add...

This is what my training looks like now... unorthodox as hell, but I am getting scary strong.

The joys of being a snow maker... cross fit as a job...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

So, yeah... about that...

So... pretty much the entire world knew that my name was selected in the Hardrock 100 lottery before I did... Working up on the mountain, digging out an HKD Impulse Air-Water Gun that had buried itself at 11,000 feet in elevation, I could hear and feel my phone blow up in my vest... that was my first clue. When the phone rang and Melissa was on the line screeching, "You got in! You got in!" Well.... that was kinda how I found out.

My response...

"That's great honey... I REALLY have to get back to work. Love you, bye!"

And that is how it was.

My overall reaction and response to being selected is completely muted if you want to know the truth.

The roughed out plan, and this is rough, looks like this...

I am still snow making until ? (we should already be done) so that's four days a week kicking the shit out of me up on the mountain and that counts as training in and of itself, believe you me. But between now and the New Years, my ass is on the BIKE at the Rec Center, riding every day that I can. Come the first of January, I will start to actually run again.

The bike WILL be a huge component in training for HR and I am committed to one WO on it per week at least. Right now it is to help move along an injury and running in Aspen is shit right now with all of the ice...

The bike does what I need it to do right now and it is nice and safe...

Going to Page AZ for the Antelope Canyon runs Feb 25 to get my volunteer hours in. Have to get that knocked out and I would rather do it sooner than later. Plus I have a athlete from Cali who is in the 55K and it would be AWESOME to be there and see her race as I have never seen her run before.

The first pin to fall is Salida, March, 18th. No reason right now to look past that... Train for Salida and be as fit and as strong as I can for that... That is the first order of business.

Then build up and get ready for the San Juan Solstice, June 24, that is if I can get in. I am still sort of on the fence about doing both races as there are only 20 days between the two but I think it will be fine. Scratch that... SJS is the same weekend as the LT100 training camp and I will be there instead.

Of course, then HR100 on July 14.

Our lodging is secured, my pacers are set up, Melissa and Annie will crew for me as usual. All of the pieces and parts in place... so nothing to stress or worry about.

So there you have it...  I am super relaxed and I am happy that I do not have a ton of stress or worry about it all. That is going to make things SO much more enjoyable these next several months of training.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RunAspen.Com Updates

I am beginning to generate content on RunAspen.Com and now I have a grand total of THREE articles over there... The number three sort of makes me cringe because on - I have written 593 articles in just over two years... I have a very long way to go! :)

But anyway... I plan to divide the articles on RunAspen.Com into a handful of categories to start with. For instance, I intend to write a ton of articles on Leadville 100 training and coaching specifically and I began that today by writing this article...

Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics – Mileage

The other two articles are about recovering after taking time off and another specific to winter running which is geared more to winter running in and around Aspen but can be applied anywhere that winter is an issue for runners.

One of my specific end-goals for my blog on RunAspen.Com is to have it be the central clearing house on the web for ALL of the information that anyone wanting to run the LT100 (or any 100 for that matter) that is second to none... That's a tall order right there... but over time I think I can do just that.

You can help! (Please) If you like the articles and want to share them, please do. Please comment as well. All of that goes a great deal towards making this new site more valuable in the eyes of the interweb god known as Google. ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag


What the heck HAS Andy been up to since Leadville... after all, he has been kind of quiet...

Sit back and I will share with you the full story...

Much of what happens in my life is a nifty combination of both accident and design and I do not think that my newest direction in life is any different.

For most of my life I have worked with other runners as much as I can to help. After all, that is what this blog was initially about, sharing what I mostly learn the hard way, etc.

And just about every year or so I "adopt" a project runner and help him or her reach his or her goals in the sport of running. It's been fun and it's been a neat side-gig of sorts... heck, I've been flown first class to run marathons with people I have worked with and even put up in some fancy lodging for the weekend on top of that.

Anyway, this summer I found myself in a situation where I was balancing four such athletes, coaching them nearly daily. One runner - I had been working with her since the beginning of the year to run her first trail marathon this past August.

Maybe what sort of pushed me over the edge was being a guide at the Leadville 100 Training Camp this summer. Even though I have to admit it really didn't register with me at the time, it was truly a demarcation point that marked the beginning of me moving in a different and unexpected direction.

You see... that weekend I had the best weekend of my entire summer. I got to help people... I got to run... and I got to help people running!

At any rate, move fast forward to just after this year's Leadville 100 and in my post race ennui - and contemplating the big "What's next?" question... it all sort of came to me...

Now... now it is time for me to step up and to begin coaching runners professionally. I have trained under the best, Weber and Lucho, and along the way even have developed my own best practices the past two years being self-coached 100%. My skills and knowledge are there otherwise how could the runners that I have been working with be doing so well, right?

So the big question then became do I really want to do it? Do I want to take this on as a new job, a new business? My number one fear if I had one was this, I did not want to end up like the guy who loves fishing so much that he buys a bait and tackle shop, only to discover that he never gets to go fishing anymore... I love running so my challenge was to figure out and convince myself that I can run both businesses (well) and still run for myself. I can. I know I can, and that is what I am going to do.

But I bounced the idea off of many of those I consider "close" to me who I knew could and would be objective about the idea. Or be realistic at least... and to a one, everyone was over the moon supportive. However, what pushed me over the edge was a completely out of the blue email that I received in early October from one of the training camp attendees who had finished the Leadville 100 and wrote to thank me for all the help I had given him before the race.

I took that as a sign, fully committed and have been moving forward on the project ever since.

RunAspen.Com is formally an LLC in the state of Colorado and that was my first step, actually creating a living and breathing legal business entity.

Next came the website and digital footprint design of it all and the website is up and I posted my FIRST article there today geared towards people running in Aspen during the wintertime. But there will also be a ton of Leadville specific articles as I add more content through the following months.

So there you have it... at least the broad strokes... Happy to say though that today, looking at the website traffic... things are very promising.

As for me... personally... things are good. Not much running lately due to a cold and a slight hamstring pull.... we started snow making last week (nearly three weeks late) and that will be a solid push until year-end I believe. And then, well, all of the work on - I think that catches you up to now.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!