Monday, November 29, 2010


Well I can no longer live in denial that winter is here. Those local to COS all know that our first snow of the season came last night. Along with that, a cold ass 25 MPH wind out of the north.

When I walked with Annie to the bus stop this morning I commented that as I get older my tolerance for cold and snow and wind becomes less and less each year. Somehow after 21 years of living in Colorado I might have to start considering how to reconcile my love for the mountains and streams of Colorado with the complete disdain I have for winter now.

The problem is that all other places warm just aren't as fun. Well, unless it's Acapulco! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

That Time of the Year Again.

Finally it is the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday. The Incline Club will be doing their first Sunday run preparing for the 2011 season tomorrow. The slack time of autumn is over now. Now it is time to get back to work in earnest.

Actually I don't plan to run much with the IC this year. I do plan on being there most Sunday's to get my star, but I don't intend to the the commonly prescribed runs of the club. I am planning to use the Sunday runs with the IC to allow me to fill in my mileage target of the week and to also work on training which I think might be more specifically geared for the San Juan Solstice course. Up the Incline, then through the Experimental Forest, down Longs Ranch Road for my much needed downhill training, then back out on the Ute Pass Trail.

For my long runs I plan to run with the CRUD (Coloradans Running Ultra Distances) group on Saturdays. I did a 17 mile run with them this morning and though I spent most of the time lagging behind, it was still a great run.

Thanksgiving was great. Melissa got to meet my folks and that went very well. Actually it was probably the best Thanksgiving ever. We all just had a great visit. Wednesday night we all went out to see Burlesque with Cher in it and it was a very fun movie. Thursday we all ran the Turkey Trot (Mom placed 3rd in her division) and even though the course was cut short (Thanks CSPD) it was still a fun run. Dinner was amazing followed by playing some fun games and having dessert.

Next race will be the Stocking Shuffle December 11th. Melissa registered us for that one and I am looking forward to it. I bet she drops two minutes off of her time from October.

I am still finding it hard to be excited about the cold and winter coming.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kayaking 101

The biggest lesson and metaphor for life that I learned way back in my river running days is that you just can not fight the river. The river is going to push you exactly where it is going and your only option is to work with it. In a kayak where you are physically "In" the water as opposed to being on a raft or "lunch tray" (1) as we used to call them, that principle is ever so much more important... Rafts roll over things, kayaks go in and through. In a kayak when the combat gets tense sometimes all you can do is note where the strongest river current is going, pick the best line possible, go for it, and eddy out on the other side.

Bottom line is that in order to succeed on the river one must really be able to relax and literally, "go with the flow."

Which brings me to this week. If this week were a river run, I'd call it a classic Class IV run without any huge drops but lots of obstacles, fast moving water, no breaks, and very unhappy circumstances if you end up capsized. Think of the Numbers and you have it. It's been a ball breaker starting with the first conference call Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.

This week was going to be my week to get fully back into the running program, increase my mileage and start building that strong base I will need this winter to prepare for the real training in three to four months. That was my plan.

All I can say is thank heavens Melissa is running now or otherwise I probably would have never laced up my shoes the past few days. I ended up getting in half of my usual mileage this week. 180 degrees completely out of phase with my original plan. Somehow I managed to sneak in a weight work out... only one when my target was five.

So... I gave myself a pass this week. I just decided that it wasn't worth the extra struggle or frustration. Overall this week, I just had to let go and work with the pushy water or current of life that I found myself in. After all, if I had a bad cold the end result would be the same... somewhat of a week off. Next week I'll be back on the program for sure. Today I wanted to run with the CRUD group but work had other ideas. Next weekend I plan on running with CRUD on Saturday and a run with the Incline Club on Sunday. Back in business.

Big week this past week too... Melissa is all but moved now. Lots of work around the house getting ready for the holiday season and my folks coming to visit next week. Running a Turkey Trot next Thursday with my parents, Melissa and Annie and I am definitely looking forward to that.

And hey, life isn't all bad. Between work calls, I did sneak in a walk with Roxy and had a Cobhiba tonight after having the worlds best chicken parm (thanks hon).

I just had to pick a line and go with it.

(1) We called rafts, especially commercial ones laden with tourists (tourist were also called carp) "Lunch Trays." We called them Lunch Trays because they would feed the river gods so we wouldn't have to!

Friday, November 12, 2010

2011... The Plan

I think that I have nailed down for the most part what I want to do next year. There are so many "and's", "if's" and "buts" to the algorithm that makes it a little confusing but for the most part the planning is firm. I haven't talked too much about it, but it is official, I did send in my application for the Hardrock 100 this week and getting into that race or not, is the crux of the entire 2011 running season for me.

1. Jan 15, Twin Mountain Trudge. Have to go back and do this one again. A 22 mile really tough run in Wyoming, in January... enough said.

a. February 5th or so, Hardrock Lottery results will be posted. This will drive the rest of the season.

2. March 12, Salida HALF Marathon. I do love the marathon course but I can't seem to run it without getting banged up in some weird way so this year I will still support the event but only run the 13.1 mile option. UNLESS, the temps are in the 70's, and there is zero snow or ice or mud on the course then I "might" consider it. But really I'll gain more by running the 13.1 and not getting hurt than running more.

3. March 26-27, 24 Hours of Moab. This one is tentative. Not high on my list but a possibility nevertheless. If I get into Hardrock I will more than likely be running this one.

4. April 15, Desert Rats Trail Running Festival, 50 miles. There is a greater chance that I will do this one as opposed to Moab mostly because the weather might possibly be nicer. Another tentative. Again, if I get into Hardrock I will more than likely be running this one.

5. May 21, Jemez 50 miler. Regardless, this is a definite for me.

6. June 19, San Juan Solstice. Another definite. I want to go back and drop an hour or more off of this years time. I ran an honest 13:53:54 there this past year but was tasked to do 12:30. I would still like to fulfill that task. Plus I just love that race, period.

7. July 8, Hardrock. This is where the decision tree starts. If I am selected I will run it, period, and that will be the end of my 2011 running season pretty much, at least the big races. But realistically I have maybe a one in six shot of getting in. One caveat to consider, and that is the possibility that I am not too far down the wait list and can manage to get in as others drop before the race. That unknown could make life very interesting if that is the case.

a. If I don't get in and there is what I will call a "scheduling conflict" with something else I might want to do that weekend in July, then I will definitely be volunteering to go to Silverton to pace anyone who might need or want me to pace them. Otherwise if there isn't a conflict, it will be a non-running weekend and I will go with our primary planned outing that weekend.

1. If I don't get in I will probably run the Leadville Marathon, July 2nd
and also the Leadville 50 miler on July 17th. Mostly for fun, I will
go for better times and also to prepare for possibility of pacing for the 100.

8. August 20-21, Pacer, Leadville 100. I'll do from Winfield all the way in or from any other section someone might need.

Definitely after that I will be done for the season. Some light races here and there in the fall like this year and also scheming for 2012. But for now, I think this is is enough to keep my mind occupied and motivate me to get some miles in the next few months.

Last race of the fall series this weekend and I am excited for it and the weather is probably going to be winter like for certain. We've had three summer type of races in the fall series, and the next one is guaranteed to be winter conditions, so I ask, where was the fall part? Also looking forward to the Turkey Trot in two weeks with my family and Melissa. We are already scheming on how much faster Melissa will do in this one. Can't wait to find out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gettin' it up!

I haven't had much time to write lately. Or more accurately, I haven't had a hell of a lot to write about. My focus has been on trying to figure out what I want to do next year, trying to get in decent shape to start training for next year and just working to be more consistent in my running and lifting overall. Trying to find that rhythm which I think I have found.

I had a great visit to MD in October and got to do a 20 miler on the Appalachian Trail. I have now done all of the AT from PA to WV, through MD. I came up with a new term on that run calling it a "Dessert Run." A Dessert Run is a hard long run that is fun as hell that you do or get to do because you have put in the miles and the residual fitness allows you to do that run on a whim for no other purpose than the pure enjoyment of that run, period.

The past two weeks I've been striving to get my overall training hours per week over 10 hours. Hence the title to this blog. "Gettin' it up!" What did you think I was referring to?

My goal at least for the next several weeks or until January or so, is to get my training volume, lifting, running, walking, climbing, etc, up to 12 hours or more a week. I also want to do one long run in December and another in January of the 50K distance, followed with a 30/20 mile run, over the first weekend of February. Going by this schedule, once that first weekend in February is done, I will be setup to tackle pretty much anything that I decide to do the rest of the year.

I've been going to the climbing gym with Melissa lately and have been enjoying that. It seems that my trust in the rope and gear is increasing as I am able to let go more easily and come down after getting to the top of a wall. I think that I am getting a little better at climbing. I've improved enough that I dropped some money on a new harness so I am intending to work on the climbing thing for a while anyway. It amazes me just how much of a workout it is and how exhausted I feel after an hour or so in the gym. Overall though it is fun to go with Melissa and watch her gracefully scale a wall and come down smiling.

A few friends have thrown their money down for the 2011 LT100 race. I wish them luck. For right now I don't have any interest in running the race next year but am considering offering my services to be a pacer for anyone who might need or want me as one. I feel a huge karmic debt, both to Carolyn and the universe for having such an awesome pacer when I ran Leadville this year that I know I must pace someone in return to bring things back into balance. I'm not saying 100% no to the LT100 either. If things are rocking for me and look really good for me come June, I might reconsider. But I will only reconsider if for instance I do super exceptionally well in Lake City AND getting a big buckle in Leadville looks promising. I mean very promising.

It's gonna be a busy rest of the month. Melissa will officially be moved in come the 24th of November, ushering in a whole new chapter in both of our lives. I can't help but think god bless the woman, and hope to hell she really knows what she is getting herself into! :) It is all very exciting.

My parents are coming out for the Thanksgiving holiday and that will be the first time they meet Melissa. Again, something else that is exciting. After that, December, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years and 2011. It will all be here in the blink of an eye.