Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday... Progress In the Right Direction.

Melissa had her first PT appointment this morning and I have to be honest I had some concerns.  Yesterday, Tuesday was sort of bumpy in spots in regards to pain management so I definitely had questions about how this morning would go.  Even getting out of the apartment seemed like a longshot.

I woke up first this morning.  Straightened things up, took Asia out then came back inside to roust Melissa out of bed.  The first thing I noticed is that she had color in her cheeks for the first time in days.  This is a huge improvement over the pale complexion of the past two days and watching her sleep with a frown from the pain on her face. 

We were out of here and on our way much more quickly than I had expected.  The first victory of the day was just getting down the stairs and getting her into the Jeep.  That went 1000 times better than I was expecting.

PT went great.  She worked on stretching and bending her leg and they even had her walking on her crutches and putting weight on the leg as well.  Melissa was a real trooper through the entire morning.  Once we got her home though it was time to put the Game Ready back on the leg and for her to take a good long nap to recover.

Melissa doing laps in the PT room at Aspen Valley Hospital.  Her therapist there, Lucy was awesome.
After getting Melissa and Asia settled in I took some time and went for a run.  A little over ten miles with an average HR of 153.  It was a solid run where I had to keep the HR 5-10 BPM above MAF with six 30 second hill repeats thrown in.  I felt a little rough starting out after yesterday's trainer workout but things opened up after the first mile or so.  It was one of those good runs where I felt so good that I was having thoughts that I should not be having.

Truth... Next week I will find out if I got into the 100 MTB or not but to be honest I kind of hope I don't.  Given how strong I have been feeling the past two to three weeks I think I really want to make another run at Leadman this year.  I can't put into words why I want to do it, I just know that I want to.  Will I?  I doubt it, but if I have to do it I think it would be great to do again.  But if I have to... I'm in.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday In Aspen

Today was Melissa's surgery day for her torn left ACL which she jacked up on the 31st of January while skiing.  Everything went well and she is sleeping at home now.  Actually the apartment is a weird kind of quiet.  Asia is sleeping on the loveseat next to me and the TV is on mute.  Melissa has her first PT appointment on Wednesday.  I didn't know it before but they used tissue from a cadaver, a donor, for the reconstruction.  For some reason I thought they used something synthetic.  Anyway, just another reason for me to be fired up for tissue and organ donation awareness.

Feeling pretty tired today.  It's been a long day but I think I am a bit wiped from yesterday's run and last week's volume.  No, the truth is yesterday's run kicked my butt and I am definitely feeling it.  I walked to the Post Office this afternoon and the little hill back to the apartment felt like Everest.  It will be a fun week up here training though.  I get to do two indoor riding sessions which means I get to check out the Aspen Recreation Center for the first time.

This company had a listing in the Aspen Times for a job opening today.  It is for a tech support position.  I sent them a cover letter and updated resume after asking around about the company and doing some research.  Could be an interesting gig.  I hope to at least get an interview out of it.

More showings on the house in Colorado Springs today.  I got the feedbacks in my email but just deleted them.  I really don't give a crap about why people are not interested in buying the house.  Buying property is almost completely an emotional decision where logic and reason don't really apply in the grand scheme of things. If people see it and don't like it well it isn't what they are looking for, period.  I figure the person who makes me an offer will do so for the same reasons I decided to buy it, location, convenience, extra income, and it's a cool space to live in.  I read the first couple of feedbacks and actually got bent out of shape and took things a little personal I guess.  It's a 105 year old home... it's not a McMansion, so don't bitch about what it isn't and doesn't have.  :)

The last home that I sold the buyers were real jerks and in hindsight I often regret not telling them to bugger off and keep the home and then sell it to someone else later on.   I hope that I am excited and enthusiastic about whoever buys this property and that in the end I feel like my home is getting a good home. 

And lastly... I have found a great source for MAP online.  I have purchased through this company via Amazon a lot but have found it to be even cheaper on their own website.  $34 dollars a bottle without having to buy in bulk is a pretty good deal!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

And Another Pretty Good Week - Back in Aspen

It's been a good week overall training wise.  3:23 on the bike and 9:10 running for a total of 12:33 for training time for the week.  I also managed to get a crap ton in elevation gain running this week too.  I'll take it.

It has been great this past week with the weather improving as it has.  There was only the one day this week and that was Thursday that I needed to ride inside.  Even more promising is that after my run on Friday I was walking the last two blocks to the house and I heard some birds singing at sunset.  It is hard to describe but it is just the kind of bird sounds that I associate with spring starting to happen.

Even here in Aspen this morning when I took Asia out to go potty, there were robins everywhere.  I know this is Colorado and we can still have two more months of winter weather but it is so nice to witness the beginning of the end of this winter.  And even better, daylight savings time begins in two weeks!  Yay for more sunlight and longer days!

The drive to Aspen yesterday was okay.  I actually made it here by dusk and the roads were pretty clear.  The streets here in the neighborhood are mostly clear too but you should see all of the snow piled up on the sides of the streets and what not.  I bet some of this stuff doesn't melt until May.

Today I ran from the apartment up Castle Creek Road to the townsite of Ashcroft.  Ashcroft is a popular Nordic Skiing area. Anyway, my original guess was that it was about ten miles from the apartment but it is really just a smidge over twelve miles with about a 1500 foot gain.  Long steady grind up there and a long pounding descent back down.  Going up Castle Creek Road is really pretty and I was able to see some of the trailheads and Jeep roads that I will be riding and running on this summer.  It made for a long 24.2 mile run.

One thing is for certain, I could definitely tell today that I have spent the last six weeks at 6K instead of being up here in Aspen with a base altitude of 8K.  My heart rate didn't have any problems at all getting up into Zone 2 and staying there without much effort.   Can't wait until I am up here full time and get fully acclimated.  That will be nice.

I am up here until next Saturday.  Melissa has her ACL surgery in the morning and I will be here helping her get around the next week.  After that it is back to the springs to finish up stuff there.  But soon, soon I will be here permanently.  I'll say within eight weeks.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Pretty Good Week

Training wise the volume isn't high but it definitely is solid. 3:39 on the bike (Mostly Indoors) and 5:32 running.  Between the workout on the trainer Friday which was akin to doing leg presses, then the 12 mile progression run yesterday, today's 15 miler was a chore.  I knew within 30 seconds of starting out that it was going to be a long slog today.  But hey, it's mid February and both yesterday and today I wore shorts running and was quite comfortable so I'll take it.

Melissa has been here since yesterday so the focus has been on, wait for it... more purging.  More stuff has gone into the dumpster and other stuff piled up to go to the ARC.  Yesterday I sold all of the window unit AC's that I had on Craigslist.  I still have a nagging feeling that when it comes time to bail and get out of town I am still going to have too much stuff to move.   Tomorrow I will refocus on the garage.  I spent an hour in there on Friday and really didn't feel like I got much done even though I did.  

Today we more or less gutted the laundry room and cleaned it out as well.  That was not an easy job.  I also emptied my old steamer trunk which had decades of memorabilia in it.  I think I kept two things, a pocket knife and something that Annie had made for me when she was in preschool. Oh and the medal that I won for the K1 downriver race at FIBArk 1998.  Still don't know how I pulled that off as it was my first and only downriver kayak race ever.   

A good week running and riding and a lot of progress made around the house.  A few more weeks like this would be great.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Ride or 33 Degrees

JT sent me a text this morning asking if I wanted to ride up Cheyenne Canyon after work.  I responded with a three page manifesto of a text citing why that was not a good idea.  I had already resigned myself to riding indoors at the gym this afternoon after taking care of errands and other business.

My afternoon schedule blew up completely and I had to make it home to check on Asia since I had been gone so long.  I called JT on my way out to the Jeep after my last stop and told him that I was in and asked where he wanted to meet and when.  It basically gave me enough time to get something quick to eat, head home, check on Asia and get all my stuff ready in order to meet him at five downtown to start our ride.

It was really a nice change of pace to be riding outside regardless of the temps.  Once we got to the canyon and started up the cold really wasn't a factor.  The way back though on Lower Gold Camp things were a bit sketchy.  Lots of ice so we couldn't go fast and since we weren't working that hard anymore the cold began to creep in.

For some reason my right foot reacted to the cold more than my left.  A couple of times I stopped to stomp my feet to get the blood flowing.  Then after awhile my hands got cold and that really wasn't fun.  It was then that I remembered the gloves that I used to wear last winter over my cycling gloves for added warmth.... they were at home of course.

We parted ways at 26th and Colorado and I hammered it home and was able to warm up some more.  Really it wasn't that bad.  It was damned cold up on Gold Camp, I know that but the weather channel when I got home said it was only 33 degrees out.  Still damned cold to be riding in the dark without the warmth of the sun.  At least it wasn't windy.

It was still great to ride though.  The Cannondale did great and I have to say that I think I have the fit dialed in 100% now.  The rest of the week is run, ride, run, run, and Friday should definitely be a better day to ride than today. 

Melissa will be here this weekend and definitely looking forward to that! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Not A Lot Going On Running Wise

The weather of the past week has really let the air of my training efforts.  I haven't ridden a bike outside in weeks and this week doesn't look all that favorable either.  I bailed on my run yesterday because I just could not get myself to embrace three to four hours in the cold and fog.  I said it before, I had much better training weather last winter. 

So not much happening on the running front but a lot of other things going on.  My house is for sale and it went on the market on Friday.  The entire week leading up to that was spent cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of more stuff.   Today I took my CD collection and all of the DVD's that we decided to get rid of to Independent Records on Platte.  It will take them a couple of days to sort through them all before they let me know what all they want to buy.   Today, a rep from Platte Furniture is coming to appraise all of the furniture that I want to get rid of.

Supposed to ride today but don't want to.  No doubt it will be an indoors workout. 

I am also selling my camcorder if anyone is interested.  This stuff has to go! 

It all sort of sounds boring but trust me, right now life is anything but!  :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday - February 5th

You know it's bad when I have to ride an indoor training bike. You know it's a really, really bad day when I break down and do a run indoors on a treadmill.  All of my good cold weather running gear is in Aspen but even if I had it here I don't think that I would have gone out today.  The conditions just aren't optimal for a productive workout.  Period.

So I went to the gym and ran at MAF for an hour.  It sucked.  I had to hold a 7:40 pace on the treadmill pretty much to keep my HR in the 140-145 range. It said that I ran 7.75 miles but I don't trust treadmill readings.  It definitely worked me.  Leg turnover was definitely faster than my usual plodding pace outdoors.

I had a client call last night at seven and after that I quit for the day.  I decided my time would be best spent by eating dinner, watching Archer, and just relaxing for a few.  I got a good night's sleep and was up and at it at six this morning and was able to get everything that I wanted to get done before Mark, my carpet cleaning guy got here.

Mark (On Cue Carpet Cleaning 719.290.7925) has been doing my carpets here for as long as I remember and I highly recommend him.  He is a good guy and works independently.  I told him that I was moving and selling the house and he asked me how much I was selling it for.  I told him to guess as I wanted to see what he thought a realistic value for the house and cottage would be on the market and I'll be damned if he didn't get it right in there.  That really boosts my confidence about selling this place now.  There are still some damp spots on the carpet so I am still waiting before putting everything back.

Photos tomorrow then it goes on the market.  I hope it is a quick sell.

I read this article last night.  Basically this guy gave up his career and all that came with it for a higher quality of life.  It definitely resonated with me in regards to where I am right now.  While I do have stress about the future I can honestly say the relief of shedding a lot of the parts of my job outweighs any of that "worry stuff."  I am definitely looking forward to having a more simple yet higher quality of life.  That is what excites me.

But this weather blows monkey nuts... seriously.  I was very fortunate last winter that I was not impacted so much in my Leadman training due to weather.  I can think of only a few days maybe that we had to switch things around but never was I forced indoors for more than week.   I'd be a little pissed right now if I were really trying to train for something and having to deal with this weather.  I'm lucky because right now I am just training to start training next month.  I can miss a day and it won't kill me.

However, I did think today while I was running on the treadmill that it will be very important for me through this transition of moving and building my business to stay consistent with running and riding like I always have in an effort to help keep me grounded.  It is my way of taking care of myself first I guess.

Tomorrow is an indoor riding day.  Lovely.

At least I'm not bored!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday - Rest Day. Not Really.

The timeline now looks like this for the next few days... Mark the carpet cleaner comes on Wednesday morning and the photographer for my realtor comes on Thursday to take pics.

With the exception of cleaning the laundry room, everything on the main level is about as clean as it can get before the carpets get done.  Tomorrow I plan to do something (C4 comes to mind) to my basement office and straighten up Annie's area upstairs some.

But today was a productive day.  Basically I knocked out the majority of the work but I had my old cleaning lady who used to clean for me come by and focus on the kitchen and the bathroom.  When she was done cleaning the bathroom I walked in and was blinded as she had it all so shiny and clean.

Melissa called when Lori and I were cleaning to check in...

Melissa:  So why didn't you ever have a cleaning lady while I was there?
Andy: (after a good three-five second pause) How is your knee honey?
Melissa: Uh Huh... 

I am guessing the house will be on the market come Monday at the latest.  I am asking $250K for both the house and the cottage.  Not a bad deal considering you could rent the cottage out alone for  $700 - $800 a month.  If I get $240K I will be quite happy.  I just hope for quick sell and be done with it.

Lori told me today that if I called Platte Furniture that they would send someone over and they would pretty much buy all of my furniture, decorative stuff, wall hangings, art, whatever.  Not only that, they will pay me cash on the spot and move it all out of there.  I will probably be calling them later this week to see what we can do.   I don't expect to get a lot of money for all of the stuff, a couple pieces are really nice but having them just take it all off of my hands really appeals to me.

Anyway, a day off from training but I worked my ass off and I still have tons to do.  Tomorrow is a riding day so I am sure I will be in the gym on the spinning bike looking at the weather they are predicting.  The irony is that one of the reasons I wanted to be here in the springs these next few weeks instead of Aspen was so that I could get some riding in.  Guess I figured that one wrong.

Dismantling one's life is a lot of freaking work.
Except for coming back for a closing, which I might not even really have to do I expect to be out of the springs 100% no later than the end of March.  Wow. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

5th Annual Antisuperbowl Run to Barr Camp

This was my run today but instead of starting at the Barr Trail Trailhead, I ran from my house to Barr Trail, up to Barr Camp then back down to the trailhead and got a ride home from Phil Goulding, the guy who started this run five years ago.  Today was supposed to be a 20 mile run but I ended up getting in about 21 and change.

I started out slow from the beginning when I left the house.  My running vest was loaded to the max and I even had fanny pack on to make sure I would have everything I needed for the run.  I didn't really feel tired starting out but after slogging through the snow through Sonderman Park and up to the top of the Mesa I was starting to feel fatigued.

I made it through Garden of the Gods and on to Manitou but things still weren't going great but things were going nevertheless.  I was still moving, slowly but steadily.  My heart rate was not really going that high and my speed was slower than normal but the pace and level of effort matched up.

I put on my Microspikes at the trail head and started up.  With the snow and the fatigue, running wasn't going to happen so I settled into a steady power hike which worked.  I realized this was just quintessential ultra training.  The kind of runs where you start tired, have to cover a lot of distance, don't feel great, but you just put your head down and  get it done.  This was definitely turning into one of those.  I made Barr Camp in what I would gauge would be an average time given the conditions so I was pretty happy.

Since I started ahead of Phil I had some time to sit by the far at Barr Camp and wait but I didn't have to wait for long.  I dried my socks and shoes and hat and gloves the best I could before we headed down after we had both eaten some and were thawed out.

The run down was awesome.  My new 200 lumens headlamp is the shit!  I was dead-assed beat when I got to Barr Camp but the break did wonders and I was able have a great run back down the trail.  Oddly enough it didn't feel nearly as cold running down as it had going up.  I guess the fresh dry layers made a huge difference, even it was only five degrees.  

It was a good end to a solid week.  13:56 training time for the week.  10:49 running and 3:07 on the bike.  The bike is lighter than it should be but the three rides were intense indoor rides on a trainer rather than outside so I think it's a wash.  With the weather forecasted for this week, I am guessing I will be riding indoors all week again.  Definitely going to get my money's worth for that gym membership!