Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still Not Firing on All Eight Yet

I blew off running yesterday to make the Sunrise Striders run this morning.  Of course I didn't go to that either so really I have only run once this week.

I am tired.

And I mean tired.  I think it is just the typical post 100 mile stuff.  Not enough time since the LT100 to be feeling 100% and yet too soon to be thinking seriously about other big events.  Like I said, typical post 100 mile stuff.

Asides from the small blister on my foot the only other thing bothering me since the race is that part of my right foot like my 3-4-5th toes and part of my foot feels a little numb.  Almost like it is asleep.  The feeling has been coming back slowly but surely so I am not too worried about it.  But really that's the extent of the physical damage... some numb toes and a blister.

I think that I am going to take a few more days off.... I'd like to have run the ADT 1/2 on Monday but I am not ready for that.  Well at least not ready enough to get the kind of time that I would like to get in it.  So I think that will just not run until Tuesday when JT and I resume our track workouts.  We are going to be upping it to 4x1 mile now.  Yay.... 

But right now I just want to relax.  I have started a rough outline of my plans for next year.  I have Plan A and Plan B in mind.  I will say that really, the Ascent just doesn't fit into either of those buckets.  Everything will be finalized though I imagine after the HR100 lottery in December which is damned near four months away and for me seems like an eternity to be in limbo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Track

I decided yesterday to stick to the 3x1 mile format for at least the short term.  Went to Holmes Middle School track where there appears to be great confusion as if it is a track/ball field or a fricken dog park.


1 mile warmup, 3x1 mile with 400 rbi and 800m cool down.  6:52, 6:53 and 7:09. Not sure about the last one... the wind did shift out of the north to the west but I don't know if that really mattered or did I just really fade as bad on the third lap as I thought.  Ultimately I'd like to see all three miles under six minutes.  It's a target. 

Going to the Track Now

Okay four days is definitely enough... this is the longest break I have taken since the end of June after the fires.  Solo track workout tonight at Holmes as someone bailed because of work...

Remember doing collages in grade school?  In light of this weeks activities in Florida I thought I would do one... simple I know... but I think I get my point across.

This is sort of how I see HALF of the picture anymore...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Rider

I've had this poster forever taken from an Easyriders Magazine the summer of 1988. The rider just always struck me as happy and content.
I don't know exactly when or how my fascination for motorcycles began but if I had to guess it was when I was five and my stepbrother took me for a ride on his Honda 100 trail bike over a huge dirt mound in the local park.  To move on two wheels and  motorized was a concept that I then constantly pursued.

Of course my parents never even got me a mini-bike which sucked but the interest never waned.   I remember when I was ten and my next door neighbor got a Suzuki 1976 TS185 which we took apart through the winter of 77-78 turning it into basically an RM250 after it was bored out. Really the only thing original was the frame.  I also remember about the same time riding my cousin's Honda XL75 which back then they didn't direct the exhaust under the seat it came out along the side and my foot slipping off the pegs and burning a tennis ball sized burn on my inside right calf that I had to hide for half the summer from my parents.

But my my love for bikes has always sort of been there.  Once I finally started riding when I was older I took to it like a duck to water.  But my dream had evolved from dirt bikes to cruisers and large V Twin Harleys in general.

Of course that is not where I started, no.  My first bike was a 1974 Honda CB550-Four cylinder that I bought for a song and had to take apart and put back together.  Now that bike in as good as condition as it was would fetch a pretty penny I am sure.  Big engine, not so much power, heavier than shit.

Nothing synthetic or light on this bastard.
Finally later on I got my dream bike... well sorta... I got my Electraglide Classic that I sold in 2004.  I called it my couchglide as I could hop on it and easily ride 14 hours at a stretch.  It was an awesome bike and sometimes I really regret selling it but I know that I made the right decision at the time.  Now I don't know about getting another HD... seems every one that I see anymore has some old fat fucker riding it and well, I'd rather not be associated with that. Old or fat...(Of course this excludes old friends who have had HD's and riding forever, ie, Tim and Tony.)

Me on top of Berthoud Pass.  Memorial Day weekend 2002.  I rode from COS to Grand Lake, through RMNP to Estes then back home the same day.

But really as far as HD's are concerned my absolute dream bike is the 1962 FLH... That was the year that they introduced the fat FL front forks on the "Pan Head."   If I ever found one and could afford it I am sure that would just pass up on it as it really would not be a practical bike to own or maintain.

Back in the day this was my dream bike.  The original "Bagger."

After I sold the HD, I did go into riding withdrawals the following spring, major.  It was so bad that I was about to buy a moped just to scratch that itch.  Fortunately I had a buddy who was ready to get rid of his old bike, a 1996 Yamaha Seca II which I still have.  It's fun little bike, very light and super fast.  It runs like a raped ape when you get it wound up and it can get away from you if you aren't careful.

The current ride... great for around town but too light for long rides and scary as hell next to an 18 wheeler.
I had to go to the office today so to make the best of a bad situation that was the bike that I rode.  Needless to say I took the long way around both to the office and back home.  Sitting in the meeting I just couldn't wait to get back on the bike and get out of there... more daydreaming.... I was thinking of taking the bike for a long road trip this fall, maybe to CA before the weather changes.  The bike isn't really made for that kind of riding so it would be more of a minimalist kind of trip...  Maybe rent a bike?

A long time ago before Jesse James of West Coast Choppers became such a household name and also known for being the biggest douche in the U.S. he did a special where he built a bike and rode it to Sturgis from CA.   It was sort of a cathartic experience for him but what I remember the most about that trip was the simplicity... how the only thing he had was in his pockets.  No bags... no gear, hell, not even a windscreen on the chopper... just riding along.

I think now that I am sort of on a running break and having time to think I am craving that.  A day or two riding through the dessert... maybe to Flagstaff and then on the California and home.  Not taking a  whole lot of shit with me just riding and thinking for a few days...  Ride, eat, get gas (for the bike) and sleep... then do it again.  Right now that sounds pretty awesome.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Excitement of the Day

I'm bored and to be honest I am liking it.  Melissa is at work today so I have just been sitting around doing pretty much nothing.  The  highlight of my day has been making numerous forays into the backyard to see how my kick ass bee trap that I bought yesterday at Home Depot is doing.  I am happy to report it is doing a number on the local yellow jacket population. 

Just a few bucks at HD and this thing is slaying the yellow jackets!

Probably not going to run again today.   Might go for a bike ride to Manitou once Melissa comes home.  I just figure another day or two of rest and doing other stuff won't kill me.  Plus it is warm out and I've had my share of hot weather running for the summer, thank you very much. 

Went to the CRUD end of season party last night and had a good time.  Found out that Josh Johnson is another local cigar aficionado like me and look forward to having more smokes in the future.  Then we all went to Kings Chef afterwards and ate.  I am still eating a lot and not gaining any weight.  I will enjoy this for as long as it lasts.

In other stupid news, looked over the HR100 website today.  Starting to hope that I get lucky in that lottery come December.  Melissa is pretty adamant that she won't crew me on that one so if I get in I will be needing lots of help!  She'll just drink chocolate vodka and look pretty I suppose. 

I am going to skip running tomorrow too.  I want to be fresh when we hit the track on Tuesday and work through the week starting there. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Dog Formerly Known as Asia

Well, she had a week to get better but it wasn't happening.  So, took Asia to see Dr. Ballotti at CO Ave. Vet Hostpital.  Yup... ACL tear as we all feared and she is going in for surgery first thing Tuesday morning.

I'm gonna start calling Asia "Rolex" from now on. 

Fortunately we all think it is early enough that there should not be too many other things damaged or compromised from her compensating for it.  The funny thing is that really this hasn't slowed her down at all.  She can still tear ass out of a room, just she doesn't put any weight on the back right leg.

Asia is such a good dog though... she was SO good at the vets.  She has come so far since her first days when I got her and even the slightest loud sound would scare her.  Poor thing.  Even the 7 foot tall vet tech that scared the hell out  her months ago and she would cower down and growl at, now she just lays on her back wiggling and demanding to be petted by him.   She's definitely worth the investment.  

Roxy... not sure what is up with her this week... she's been super demanding and acting like she is nine years old going on six months...  BTW, years ago, Roxy was renamed to "Mercedes" for the very same reasons... for what was paid for her in vet bills I could have been driving a new one!  

Taken last winter... on "their" couch.  Roxy is the white one, Asia the brown one.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jeep Project 2.0

Here is my old 2004 TJ Jeep.  Loved that damned thing.  The first pic is how it started out when I bought it in 2006 and the following show  how it evolved over a year later or so.
When I first bought it Sept 2006.

During the Winter/Feb 2007.
Another view, Feb 2007.
A year later, Fall 2007 Bowhunting Trip.
Now here is my current Jeep, a 2009 Rubicon that I only have 27,000 miles or so on.  Now I am going to start doing more work on it.  Ordered a new hood and flares today.  Pretty excited!
Asia and another angle of the Rubicon.
 Next, new bumpers, winch, bigger tires... blah, blah, blah... Happy to have a new project.

Feets, Don't Fail Me Now

Trust me, the bottoms look just as intact.
Just to prove a point, a week after Leadville more or less and this is how my feet look.  Damned near perfect.  But you can see by the texture of the skin that my feet just are not roughed up and weren't during the race.  I attribute it to these factors...

1.  The Hoka Stinson Evo B trail shoes are a great fit for me.
2.  The DryMax socks that I wear religiously on any run.
3.  Taping the spots on my feet (Heel and ball of my foot) with Elastikon tape with the Mastisol adhesive beforehand.
4.   Redoing the tape on my forefoot after 61 miles and changing into dry shoes and socks. (Thanks Simon.)

I have to admit, it is nice not having my feet trashed the week after a race.  Not only that it is also nice to not have to look forward to weeks with huge chunks of flesh falling off of my feet during the healing process either.

None of my toenails are going to be lost either.   Hell I have only lost one toenail ever from running and that was from the 1998 Pikes Peak Marathon when I kicked the everloving crap out of a rock up by the A-Frame on the descent portion of the run.  That's it. 

I ran 100 miles and all I got was this one lousy little blister.  (If I had retaped that on the inbound at Twin Lakes I might not have even gotten this one.)

Now for some cool foot related stuff... there is an awesome thrift store in Leadville I think at Harrison and 7th that I have a lot of fun going to.  When I was up in Leadville last week they had these brand new, never worn, original Vibram sole, 1970's vintage Vasque Hiking Boots that I bought for only $25 bucks.  That was it.  I had a pair just like these in High School that I wore forever and lasted me damned near ten years so I was extremely excited to get another pair for everyday wearing boots and at that price... damn!

That is the original sole... is says Vibram made for Vasque. 
Strange enough this song came up three random times last week... The first time it was in the background to some movie or TV show that I was watching.  The second time was last Tuesday on the Satellite Radio as I was driving up to Leadville and the third time was Tuesday night on the jukebox in the Scarlett Bar of all places.  Weird. I wish this guy would have done more musically.  I still think this album and this song in particular was pure genius. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Catcthing up on the administrivia details of life this week slowly but surely.  I have been feeling less than exuberant the past couple of days.  Partly I suspect being post LT100 let down and the other part being sort of empty nest syndrome.

Annie and I are not FB friends and we never have been... I don't want to see the craziness in her life and well, she doesn't need to see all of mine either so we respect that space for each other.  Anyway, yesterday I went to her page that I have bookmarked and noticed that she changed her "Lives In" field to be Fort Collins.  I mean that is accurate, that is were the child lives now but I don't need the reminder that she isn't just five minutes away anymore ya know?  I got her a card last night at the store and some gift cards to send to her to make sure she is eating okay and mailed it today.

Closed on the refi for the house and cottage today.  Shortened the loan and I am now down to 3.75% interest.  As a side note, it was cool to see the paperwork today where all three credit reporting agencies has my credit as being damned near bulletproof.  It's always been good and with some moves I will be able to make in the next couple of months it will only get better if that is possible.  Now the heartbreaking part to this whole story was that when I had the house and cottage appraised a couple of weeks ago, the appraisal only came in $1,000 more than what I originally paid for this place.  So basically no value increases based on the thousands and thousands of dollars not to mention  hours and  hours upon hours of work on this place.   The only equity is that which I have paid down on the original loan basically.  I know it could be worse but damn that sort of made me sick at my stomach for a bit two weeks ago.  But I am still sitting good and if I were to turn it all into a rental property the house and the cottage, especially now after the refi it would definitely be cash flow positive I can guarantee.

Recovery is going okay this week I think.  Still a lot of the post 100 mile thoughts, delusions, resolutions and whatnot floating through my head.  All I can say is that I hope that I do get into Hardrock next  year because I can almost guarantee my dumb ass will be hemming and hawing to register for LT100 after the HR100 lottery if I am not successful.  I hate being so predictable at times but when I was running yesterday and ruminating over everything I sort of figured out how my mood towards LT100 could change after the HR100 lottery depending on the outcome.

Registered for the fall series yesterday.  I do hope that they start the races earlier this year.  I just hate having my day bifurcated like they are for those races.  Can't really do anything in the mornings and then the afternoon is sorta shot too.  I was sixth overall for the series for my age group and my goal this year is to be no lower than sixth again.  Given the local talent, I will probably NEVER go above fourth in my AG ever... It is a very tough age group.  

This song was stuck in my head a lot last week for some reason.   It is crazy seeing Morrissey so young but then again, weren't we all?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Track

This morning my knees definitely were not happy with going down stairs but everything else felt fine though.  Through the day my knees loosened up a bit.  Met JT at the Manitou track this evening and did some running there.

1 mile warmup, 3x1 mile with 400 rbi and 1 mile cool down.  8:00, 7:51 and 7:31. I have to start somewhere I figure.

Contemplating the ADT 1/2 marathon to try to qualify and get a spot in the 1st wave of the Ascent for 2013 but I wonder and think it might be too soon yet.  We will see... I have time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An Improbable Distance

Ascending Hope Pass inbound, my quads cramping like the devil.  You have to keep smiling. (Photo by Jill Suarez)
Earlier this year, I don't know if it was before or after the Rocky Raccoon 100 but sometime in there I really began to doubt that any good reasons existed for even trying to run 100 miles and I was also fairly convinced that there really was not even adequate reward on the other side of  finishing one.  Why run 100 miles someone else had posted on their blog and it really got me to thinking.  Seriously... why even try?  It hurts, takes time and just the training alone is damned near murderous.

And even after running a few, the idea, the concept whatever of 100 contiguous miles of ANYTHING just seems too huge to even be doable... Possible maybe... Probable?  Not so much.

I think it comes down to this,when you run a 100 mile race, things are going to happen.  Period.  Pain, feeling sick, blisters, getting hurt and such.  Just things.  When you are on the line for 100 miler you know things are going to pop up, the only question is what.  Then the question becomes can you really finish it?  Any other distance I feel more than confident starting a race but for 100 miles, tha tis is where all of the uncertainty comes in.  For me I think this is the allure of 100 mile races.  Shit happens and to finish you need to be able to cope, compensate and overcome whatever is going on if you want to finish.  Period.  That is also assuming that you started the race healthy, properly trained and tapered, and ready to face it.  You have to have confidence to start a 100 mile race otherwise you are screwed but you also have to accept that a certain amount of unknown is out there lurking and waiting mile after mile.

This past weekend's Leadville Trail 100 finally clarified the answers to my questions... It also proved to me that I can adapt and keep going.  Things did happen out there and not all of it pleasant such as puking 30 times I bet during the middle 30 miles of the race and having a calf cramp on the inbound/north side of Hope pass which was more physical pain than I have ever experienced.  Ever.  My right calf turned into a quivering softball like mass with it's own heartbeat.  I kid you not.  Thank god that Jill my pacer was calming and present enough to get me to breathe, relax and let it work out before our great run the rest of the way down the pass.

I did not hit my A goal for this race and I am quite happy with that.  I am happy and content with how this race went and I know deep in my heart that I ran the absolute best race that I could have on Saturday/Sunday and I can't tell you just how satisfying that knowledge is. I am not going to spend the next X many months agonizing over the minutes that I lost on the middle of the race and why or what I could have done differently to get me further ahead... I know what happened and I know I went my hardest and fastest that I could for this race.  Nothing could or needs to be changed.  And anyway let's not forget that I did get  a new PR (26:05:27)and damned near two full hours faster than LAST year! Plus I have to admit a certain secret pleasure in breaking my pacer after 20 miles or so and having to cheer HIM on running down Haggerman Road.  Seriously all funny business aside, Ray was an awesome pacer and great company and he even got me a replacement pacer for the last five miles, Neeraj who I'd run with again ANYTIME.

It's time to scale back and enjoy my life and do some other things.  I am definitely excited about the Fall Series, some other races and also doing the Ascent next year and if anyone would like me to pace them at Leadville in 2013 let me know cause in 2014 I am going back. 

Lastly I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me get ready this year.  Melissa who lives with me everyday, day after day who endures tales of splits, times, shoes etc... and who was out there kicking ass crewing me through this race.  My daughter Annie who came up from FOCO to help Melissa through the night.  Getting to see Annie when I got to TL inbound was a treat and it was so nice to run with that little section through town.  To Jill and Simon, Jill paced me and she did an awesome job and Simon who was able to quikly retape my feet once we got to TL.  After Simon's finish in the PPA they both came up to help me out and I really appreciate it.  To Ray who I have known since I started ultrarunning in 2009 and has always been a huge motivator for me... thank  you so much for taking the time to come up this weekend and run the course with me. To "Litha" whom I ran many a miles with the summer in prep for this race and who I was allowed to share my tips and tricks with... we had a great summer training, thank  you.  And finally to all of my many friends that I got to see along the course who cheered me on... thank you for being there and calling out and letting me know you were there... Thank you all.

Time to get into the humidor!

Friday, August 17, 2012

T Minus Eleven Hours

Final hours.  I can't believe it is here already.  My crew has sorted all of the gear for tomorrow.  The final plans laid out.  Hang out this evening, try to sleep and then be ready for the gun to go off at 4:00 a.m.

The pre-race briefing was pretty good.  Cole Choulber took over the "sermon" portion of the briefing that his father Ken used to always do and I have to say he did a great job.  This morning I marveled as I sat in the bleachers as to just how many people were actually in the gym for the briefing.  They said there were 802 runners who picked up their packets so I don't think the start will not be any more crowded than it was last year.  The funny thing is though that as packed as the gym was this morning, which was damned near standing room only will just barely be filled Sunday morning with finishers and family.

There is not any way to filter the 100 thoughts and what not happening right now.  But overall my confidence is high, I am ready to go and regardless of what happens tomorrow it is going to be a fun day.  Okay maybe not fun, but a good day...

Good luck everyone who is running tomorrow... Sean, Brooks, Brandon's S and F, Mark P, and my buddy Ray S. who is about to finish his first Leadman as well as Larry D who is another Leadman in the running.  And to all of my friends whom I didn't name have a good race as well.  Back in the Springs, good luck to Simon, Amanda, and JT running the  Ascent and again, everyone else.  And lastly to my buddy Erich who is doing his first PPM this weekend after nearly two decades of doing the Ascent. 

Time to crash.  :) 

Last Night Of Decent Seep

Slept okay last sorta.  Getting ready this morning to go into town to the pre-race briefing and such.  I don't plan on staying in town long and hope to be back here sooner rather than later to just relax.  I feel like the taper has gone pretty well.  I am antsy as hell right now and ready to go. Antsy yet relaxed.  It is strange.

Interesting series here.  Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on how to run the Leadville 100.  I think one crucial element was over looked and a lesson to all... REGISTER for the race FIRST!  Geez.

Anyway... I surely  hope that I get to sleep tonight.  Some.  Less than 24 hours to go.

One of my favorite songs played on Pandora this morning while I was up taking care of the three S's... This song always reminds me of a full moon night run around Turquoise lake a couple of summers ago.  The moon was rising above Mt. Sherman to the east as I was "inbound" on the north shore.  It was just one hell of a view.  Anyway, this song always reminds me of that night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Now I Ain't Sayin' She's a Gold Digger ...

But she ain't messing with no broke runner... 

Way to go Nike...

Course Change

Up in Leadville finally.  The hotel is okay... it ain't the Acapulco Grand but it will do.  It is on par with the other really bad hotel, The Mountain Peaks  on the other side of town.  The upsides are that it is quiet and... it's quiet.

After getting up here last night I met up with Brooks and Brandon at the Scarlet bar.  They informed me that the LT100 RD did finally decide that we would run the trail into Winfield and not the road.  Sorta pissed because I hate last minute changes but it will be nice to not have to worry about getting hit by some crazed Iowan housewife driving her minivan like she was in the Dukes of Hazard trying to get to Winfield before her spouse...

Here is the link to the official LT100 Handbook for this year.  Didn't the guy on the cover win the Powerline 80 two years ago?  Seriously not hating on AK but why not have someone like Lynette on the cover or MC, the course record holder or some old coot kicking ass on the course for a change.  It's just not the kind of thing one wants to open up to read and see first thing in the morning before breakfast.

Lastly... this beauty of a picture is hanging in my room above my bed.  I about puked when I saw it when I first got into the room last night.  Just a cruel reminder I guess that you can never really escape from your true origins.  For those who do not know, it is the Glade Creek Grist Mill in Babcock State Park in WV.  Spent many a vacations and picnics there as a kid.  It was always freaking cold there and rainy.  Always... I might have to buy something cheap in town to hang over it for the rest of my trip. Maybe dogs playing pool or poker or something...  Anything.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taper Tuesday

There is nothing more bad-ass than a Flying Monkey.  Period.
Tuesday morning... no running yet this week and I am feeling fine.  Took the dogs for a long walk last night but that was the extent of it.  Feeling the occasional tweak and twinge in my legs but nothing to be too concerned about.  Normal taper stuff.

New PR last night getting all of my stuff together for the race.  Glad that I started to pick up all of the little odds and ends that I might need over the past few weeks.  Basically though it took 45 minutes to collect, sort and stage everything in the dining room.  The only thing left now is to load it all in the Jeep. 

I didn't sleep so great last night and I am not sure what is up with that.  I didn't feel like anything was really bothering me I just wasn't ready to go to sleep.  I stayed up a bit then I was able to crash okay.  Could be a disturbance in the force but not a major one... not sure.  I am not worrying about it.

Stress is at a minimum right now.  I am not nearly as overwhelmed over stuff as I was before RR100.  There are things going on in life no doubt but for the most part everything is completely manageable.  It really doesn't matter after today anyway... once I get up to Leadville tonight I am sort of off of the grid anyway.  After 1600 MDT tomorrow, pretty much 100% off said grid.

I might do some light runs this week up in Leadville but I will have to wait and see about that.  Really, except for last Monday and Tuesday's misery I have been handling this taper very well and feeling better and better each day.  I am still a little tired but that could be for many reasons.   I am not feeling stale or overly anxious... confidence is not soaring but it's not in the crapper either.

I guess that I just feel relaxed.  Even.  I am excited about the race but I have to say that I think that I am more excited about my life AFTER the race.  Regardless as to how things go down I am going to be doing different things and taking the running in different directions and focusing on other goals.  I definitely think it is going to be fun.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Staying Out of Trouble

I wasn't in Dallas an hour yet and things were already going "wrong." SQUEEEEEAAAALLLL Like A  Pig!


The plan was simple... the weekend before Leadville... get the hell out of dodge.  Get away from rocky and root covered trails, high altitude, and basically the overall temptation to go out and run something stupid in the mountains and risk getting hurt or overdoing it the weekend before Leadville. 

A while back one of my friends in Dallas was giving me grief about being a "delicate flower" when when gets hot.  We all sorta know this fact and the challenge was subtly put out there that I should come down to Dallas and run the Hottest Half Marathon some day.   I decided this year was a good time to do it.  I could get out of here... "stay out of trouble," get some runs in and just have fun and relax for the weekend as well.

I think that I successfully stayed out of trouble but plenty of mischief was afoot while I was in Texas...  If not mischief then plenty of eating... wow.  My friend Jenna that I was staying with took me to a BBQ joint that completely redefined my expectations for good BBQ probably for the rest of my life.  When I got out of the car at the North Main BBQ restaurant the smell of smoke and meat made me start salivating right there in parking lot.  And they don't mess around either... it's buffet style, all you can eat... ribs, pulled pork, chicken, brisket... and just a ton of other stuff that's good to eat but more than likely not good for you.

This was my second plate of BBQ Friday night.
Saturday... we didn't need breakfast, we were still full from the BBQ so we went and ran.  I decided to do a seven mile out and back and start off easy and slowly increase the tempo and hopefully finish up the last mile strong.  DAMN it was hot!  But I will say that I was comfortable so I suspsect some remnants of my heat training was still available for the run.  I was also extremely hydrated and that seemed to help a lot too.

The run went so well that when I was done I was contemplating "racing" the Hottest Half the next day.  I felt that I could get a PR and really have a good run.  Stupid!  That's when I decided that I needed to really goof off because racing was not part of the plan... racing is not taking it easy... Time for some selective self-sabotage!

In-and-Out burger was a good place to start... I got the Double-Double combo and though I wanted and extra cheeseburger after that I chose to have a vanilla shake instead. It was okay but NOTHING like the ones from the custard stand in Manitou...

Watched the newest Batman movie then it was off to dinner with some more friends and we met at this really great local Mexican joint called Mia's. If you ever get to go there then I suggest the Brisket Taco's... really.

We all hung out a bit that night then later Jenna and I went for another walk later just goofing off and I got hungry again.  By this time the only thing open was IHOP and Denny's.  We opted for IHOP.  Our waiter Michael was a  hoot and really took care of us and I don't know who in the hell ever thought up red velvet pancakes but damn those things are wrong... in the good way.  My goal this week now that I am home is to prevent myself from haunting every IHOP in the Pikes Peak region gorging on pancakes...

Continuing the downward spiral...

So... after all of that food and mirth we didn't get much sleep Saturday night.  Sunday morning when I woke up I'd say that I was at 50% of optimal... nice... no racing for me!  Just a nice gentle 13.1 mile run in the Dallas heat.  Perfect.

Jenna and Shawna and I all ran together during the race and had fun talking, making jokes, etc.  The course went around White Rock Lake which was part of the Marathon that I ran in Dallas in December when it rained the entire time.  It was nice to actually see things yesterday.  It was hot but not as hot as I was expecting really.  My biggest challenge was just my damned stomach... finally at mile ten or so I found the "facilities" and that made things a lot more comfortable.  Of course I had to hustle after that to catch the other two.

After our triumphant finish!  The photo is blurry because you can actually see the humidity!

We all stayed together... Shawna got a course PR and it was just a fun day. Afterwards we went to a place called Cafe Express and I got a fruit bowl with my roast beef sandwich and both were equally amazing.  I didn't want to eat anything heavy and had to start cutting back the calorie intake before I got as big as Texas.  I figured that I wouldn't eat again until I was home.  WRONG!

My flight out of Dallas was delayed two hours so I had to get something.  I opted for some airport Chinese food... just some rice and beef to keep it light.  Not bad.  Of course once our flight did leave, in First Class they did serve us dinner and damned if it wasn't some of the best cheese ravioli that I have ever had... along with the salad, the roll, and god... the cheesecake for dessert!

Well... I'm not going to say where my weight was this morning when I hopped on the scale but it's a bit north of where I would like it to be.  No more food-fests this week as I get ready for Leadville, especially since my activity level will be so minimal.  All in all it was so worth it to visit friends, have fun, laugh a lot and get to run and do something different and all things considered I believe that I successfully stayed out of trouble.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When the Going Gets Tough...

Go get Pizza!  That's exactly what Melissa, Annie and I did last night after we all got home from our various outings... Melissa went to the climbing gym, Annie went to kick boxing and I went and ran up the canyon with Asia.  We had a lot of fun.  Sadly this will be our final dinner together before Annie heads off to CSU.  It was just just sitting around and laughing with the two of them and it really touched me when Annie made the reference that Melissa should have known better before she became a member of the family... Laughing, joking and eating with them sure did make things a lot better though.

But I did have a rough day yesterday.  Basically for some reason this week I am a full day off.  Meaning today is Wednesday but I think and feel like it is Thursday and I have been off all week at that.  I don't know if it is the taper or the change in work schedule.  Plus whenever I do an on call over the weekend it always throws me off.  I'm just dealing with that part knowing that I am skipping out of town for the weekend to go have fun and run with friends.

The taper... ugh... There are many aspects to the side-effects that I get but why is it that my confidence which I would assume would be growing by leaps and bounds as I rest, recover, and become more energized just seems to go in the exact opposite way and into the crapper?  Why?  That was the part that drove me crazy running last night.  I just felt like a rat on a wheel more or less running up the canyon and back down.  Anyway, it got me to do some research and I found a great article on tapering and the blues.  Here.  The Training with Taper chart really explains it all I think.

Reading a new book on my Kindle Fire right now.  Actually it is the first book that I have ever downloaded to it and I am enjoying it very much.  I am reading The Poacher's Son and while parts of it are uncomfortably familiar to me I am still liking it.  Having a lot of hunting and fishing experience as well as growing up in a rural area also makes the book more relate-able to me.  Anyway I love my Kindle Fire and as a reader it seems okay.  I've been using it for music, movies, browsing, etc and I have come to really depend on it daily. 

Lots of toenail porn floating around these days... pics of jacked up ultra runners feet.  I have lost only one toenail in all of my years of running and that was because I kicked the everloving crap out of a rock coming down the Peak in the 1998 Marathon.  That's it.  Am I doing something wrong?

I bought a new pair of road shoes today... guess what I got?  I will be wearing them for the Hottest Half this weekend in Dallas.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The past two days have been rough with the new work schedule.  Basically I am working a 9-6 EDT schedule with a one hour lunch break in theory... The problem is while work has me on EDT schedule by body is actually stuck more in the PDT time zone.  So while I accustomed to starting work at 9 MDT... 7 just seems too bloody early.  The good news is my buddy Gary says I should fully adapt in two weeks or so. 

Last week my mileage was 60 miles, and only about 11K in elevation gain.  Compared to the few weeks before, that is an extremely light week.  The night training run in Leadville went very well I thought.  Bonus!  I got to see a bobcat on top of Sugarloaf mountain at about 20 yards.  I'd say it was a fairly big one if I had to guess its size.   Basically though made it from Fish Hatchery to the bottom of the power lines in 12 minutes, then a blistering 53 minute ascent and then on the Mayqueen for a total time from Fish being 2:16 I think.  We took it extremely easy going around the lake.  I just didn't feel like pushing it and doing something stupid and getting hurt.  It was fun to meet virtual friends in real life such as Wyatt and GZ and also see old friends from years and races past. 

I learned yesterday that I can not do the PP Double next year as I was wanting to do.  I am going to have to do the Ascent before I can do the Marathon or the Double so... next year looks like a super easy year then with just the Ascent.  I think it will be fun as I will have the time to focus on just that one event.  Hell, maybe after I can go to Leadville and pace someone in 2013.  I still need to read the PPA and PPM qualification requirements but I think if I want to do the Double, I am going to have to wait for two  more years.

Headed to Dallas this weekend for the Hottest Half Marathon.  I can't wait to get down there and see friends and run in the 100+ degree temps and humidity.  I think I will pack my sweats and hoodie though just to make it interesting.

It's a horrible picture you but you can see the reflection of his eyes.
The taper continues and while I feel rather out of sorts right now it is very refreshing to not be sore anywhere or feel any tweaks or twinges for a change.  Short run tonight, about six miles and I think that I will do that up in Cheyenne Canyon while Melissa is rock climbing.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Things In My Favor

Two weeks from now I will be relaxing (or at least trying to) the best that I can in my hotel room in Leadville.  It is so hard to believe that it is that close.  It's not that I am scared or that I feel ill prepared but more so just looking at the past year and how quickly it has flown by.  I know that I will be sitting in the bleachers for the Friday pre-race meeting with all of my friends like we have done the past few years and as Ken gives his speech I will sit in amazement that I am back there.... again.  So soon.  Too soon.

Regardless I am confident about this years LT100.  I have a great crew and pacers.  We had to make some last minute changes today regarding the pacer line-up but that has all been worked out will benefit EVERYONE involved.  'Cept for Ray... he's going to run and extra 11 miles now but since he is in training for UTMB I am sure he doesn't mind.

Last year was my year to see if I even had the capacity to even consider going for a sub-25 Leadville finish and I have to say that last years results were mixed.  Looks like I can but it will be close.  This year especially the past few months have been really dedicated to overcoming obstacles or weaknesses that could potentially really slow me down over time.

1.  My feet... I've got tender feet, no doubt.  The switch to Hokas this year has been a game changer for me in lots of ways.  Sure I miss my light minimalst shoes but I don't miss having my feet feel as if they have been beaten by a rattan cane after each run.  Blisters?  I have some great tape and adhesive that I will use this year and the only way that stuff is coming off after the race is with a healthy dose of mineral spirits.

2.  Heat... I am a strong proponent now of heat training.  Well not so much the past three days as it has been kicking my ass but I know it will pay off.  If it is hot in Leadville (the forecast now looks like 60 and rain) I will be fine.  At any rate, I know the plasma expansion from the heat training will go a long ways to helping me function better at altitude.

3.  Weight... This one has been hard.  This past spring Christoph and I were on a run and it was on Barr Trail and back when I was sick so it had to be in May.  I was talking about dropping some weight before San Juan and Christoph piped up, "as long as I have known you, you have been saying that you need to drop some weight."  Well he was right.  That was a line that I had been uttering forever.  I was always hopeful that somehow I'd run enough that finally I'd just drop pounds.  It never happened... So all of July I have been strictly counting calories... not cutting out certain foods so much but trying to ensure I eat less, I am mindful of what I am eating and each week I have been able to have a caloric deficit.  Anyway, I haven't lost a lot of weight but some.  My clothes (especially my belts) fit a lot different though. At least I haven't gained any and now that I am tapering that will really be important.

4.  Compression...  I finally decided to try out some calf compression sleeves and I have to say that I am really liking them.  Over a long distance especially after a long descent I can see their benefit.  I wore them when I did my Pikes Peak round trip a few weeks ago and they great.  I wish that I had worn them during the LCW run last weekend but I forgot them.  However, when I got home and put them on AFTER the run they felt great and my legs appreciated the extra support.

5. Taper!!!  Last year I did not get to taper.  Well the four days before the race but that was it.  This year I plan to back off and take days off like I did this past Monday and will again tomorrow on Friday.  If I do try to run tomorrow, anyone who catches me has full permission to kick me in the doodads so I stop.  I don't feel like I am bouncing back just yet but with the three running days this week I have 37 miles in and plus the heat training kicking my ass... Next week, next week I will feel better.

6. Mindset...  I want to take a break from Leadville after this year and focus on other things.  I will still run and plan to run but just do different things.  I really want to do the Pikes Peak Double again next year and PR in both the Ascent and the Marathon.  I really want to leave Leadville with the big buckle this year and walk way with what I would consider a clean break.  But if I get a third under 30 buckle, well that ain't too bad either. 

7.  Experience... I've run more miles this year than any year.  I have just had my highest mileage month ever.  My base is there for certain.  I've been able to spend alot of time on the LT100 course this summer and am fully re-familiar and comfortable with it.  With the two other finishes (and my DNF in 2009, can't forget that! ) I feel confident now that I know where to lay-up and where to push it on the course.  I didn't get to do as much speedwork this summer as I wanted but I plan to run more of a consistent pace over a further distance, just slower this year and hope that works.  Of course I still have some hard splits to make and I need to be mindful of that.

So there you have it... pretty much my entire sitrep.  I guess the one thing that I left out is that I am planning on giving it all I got and doing my best the entire race... There is that to consider as well... :)

This weekend is the night run in Leadville, the last big hoorah... It will be fun.  Can't wait to take more time off next week.  Yay for the taper!