Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Pass Is Open

Well, the pass is open but you can see there is till a ton of snow in the high country.

Took a drive up Independence Pass this afternoon just to take a break and get a look around.  As you can see from the photo there is still a lot of snow up there.  I didn't go down the east side of the pass but I imagine it doesn't look a lot better than the west side.

Managed a 30 mile run yesterday but had to cut today's short as I was feeling some tweaks here and there.  It wasn't worth it to push on.  Still a solid week.

6:45 on the bike and 12:00 running. 
Two weeks and six days until the marathon. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday - COS Round Trip

Left Aspen at 5:00 a.m. Monday morning and drove to Colorado Springs via 70, 9, and 24.  Liberated the Trek from Pro Cycling when they opened at 10:00 and I also bought a new tire to replace the one that I tore up on the Cannondale on Sunday.

Got to check on the house.  Everything looks good.  Watered the crap out of everything.  The front looks a little dry but overall the yard is in great shape.

Had a great visit with Annie.  We were able to run some errands together and meet up with JT for lunch at King's Chef.  The highlights of the day.

Back to the house and loaded up the Jeep.  It was crammed full of stuff and the wilderness rack on top was loaded up too, including Melissa's bike strapped to the top.  Looking like something out of the Grapes of Wrath, drove home retracing the route of the morning. Basically made it home 15 hours after I left in the morning.  A very long day.

Melissa and I went to Grand Junction on Saturday and we both commented after getting back home just how much that trip made us appreciate where we live now.  Well, if the trip to Grand Junction made me appreciate Aspen more then yesterday's trip definitely confirmed to me that I am in no uncertain terms living where I am supposed to be now.  Aspen, Pitkin County, this is now my home.  I don't think I can ever leave now.  This isn't just a new chapter in my life, this is a new book altogether.  

I am tired from the trip but thankfully not sore.  It will be interesting to see how the running goes later today.  It will probably take a few days to recover from the trip. 

Normal training stuff for the rest of the week.  I have to get the bikes worked on some.  New tire put on the Cannondale and just some minor TLC on the Trek and I also need to tweak the fitting on the Trek as it now has a new seat post.  But maybe not, Brian and Pro Cycling got it pretty dialed in and close though so it could be right. I also brought up my fly rods and fishing gear.  I hope to get some time on the river this weekend or later in the week. 

The east side of the Mosquito Range looking from CO 9.  As you can see there is a lot of snow.  Leadville is on the other side of the range. 
It's good to be home. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

And This Is Why I Carry A Pack Full Of Stuff When I Ride

Today I got my second flat of the year on the Cannondale.  Different kind of tire but also a different kind of flat. When it happened I thought maybe a baggie or something had fallen out of my pack and was flapping between the bike frame and my leg, but what I was really feeling was the air blasting out of the cut in the rear tire sidewall as it would rotate past my leg. 

If a sidewall tear/cut was going to happen it was going to happen where I was riding.  I was descending from my second ascent of Little Annie Road for the day and was about 1/2 a mile from the turn around point and in a section that is super steep and with a lot of large and loose rocks, and sharp ones I guess too.

Once I got stopped and realized it was a flat I tried to figure out what caused it.  There weren't any obvious signs.  My first attempt at fixing it was to remove the valve stem, insert a tube of Stan's Sealant and then try to inflate the tire.  Well that didn't work at all but from where the air and sealant was now leaking from I knew where the hole was.

I wouldn't call it a worse case scenario but it's about as bad of one as I want to deal with.  I removed the rear tire, broke the bead and then had to scoop and clean out all of the sealant that I had just put in it.  Then I basically removed the valve stem, put in the new tube that I had in my pack, tucked the tire back within the rim and was able to inflate it with my last CO2 canister as I had used a full one when trying to fix the tire with just the sealant.

Fortunately it held and I rode some more down to Castle Creek Road and then up Midnight Mine Road a bit.  I cut that last part short as I was pretty much just done for the day and to be honest I was wary of flatting with that tube and having to deal with that, meaning push my bike the rest of the way home. 

But this is why I basically never leave, ever, on a ride without my pack.  I never wanted to ever be in the situation where I had to use the spare tube in my pack but I have to say I was damned glad I had it.  As well as the valve stem core remover, the extra Stan's, and the boot to put in the tire to cover the hole so the tube would not protrude out.  I am also very grateful that I had TWO cylinders of CO2 and not just the one.  As they say, always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. 

Still a good ride for the day regardless.  44 miles, 11420 feet in gain in 5:17.  (The time does not include the trail side bike repair.)

And I am pretty happy with the week.  15:48 total training time.  8:29 on the bike and 7:19 running. 

Three weeks and six days until the marathon. 

Headed to the Springs super early tomorrow to liberate the Trek from Pro Cycling and to pick up some other things to bring back here.  It should be an interesting day. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Going when you really don't want to.

It's not a 20 miler, it's four five x five miles!
The last thing I wanted to do today was run.  Well, that isn't entirely accurate.  The running part, the physical act I was okay with.  It was the time spent outside in the elements, etc, that brain was screaming in revolt over.

The plan called for 15-20 miles.  No biggie really.  Of course a plan calling for 15-20 miles reads to me like "15 miles if you want to be a pussy... 20 miles is really the target."  That is how my mind works and there is really no negotiating... the plan said 15-20, but in reality, it's a 20 miler.

But back to the issue.  I didn't want to.  Lucho once told me that if there is ever a workout that I don't like to let him know and we would work around it.  Really there aren't any workouts that I don't like or like more than others, rather it is the conditions that I have to do the workouts in that I take exception to mostly.  I'm older but I don't mind suffering on bike for hours... but I do mind suffering on a bike for hours, or running for that matter being cold and or wet.

Fortunately though the weather here today was not as bad as they were calling for.  I guess that will come later.  But the duration of the run it was cool, windy and very grey.

I wanted to keep today's run as flat as possible and on as much dirt or softer surfaces as I could. I also didn't want to be out for an extended period of time leaving Asia in her kennel too long.  So I decided on two ten mile segments.  At first I thought up towards Independence Pass and back to the apartment, check on Asia, then down the Rio Grand Trail and back up.  But as I was getting ready this morning I decided to switch the two segments around.  Down the Rio Grand and back first, then out 82 and back for the second part.  It meant I would have more of headwind coming home and finishing the last five, but it also allowed me to get the more boring/mind-raping segment done and over with first.

But here is where the Jedi mind trick comes in.  Or call it a coping mechanism if you will.  When it came down to it, there was no way I could mentally do a twenty mile run today.  It wasn't going to happen.  But... I could easily do four runs of five miles though.  So that is what I did, just broke it down into four segments.  Five out, five back.  Five out, five back.

The first two segments (ten miles) were relatively easy.  The second part of the run today though took work.  I had to run five more miles away from the apartment before I could head back.  I also could have just went out 2.5 miles and came back and did the 15 mile option but as I explained earlier, that was not happening.

The neat thing about this trick is eventually I sort of trick my mind into thinking that I am only doing a 15 mile run.  Just make it to mile 15 then the last five, running back home will just take care of itself, because after all, I am headed back home and to the end of the run for the day.  It's always easier running back home I think.

So anyway... that's how I got today done.  When I didn't want to. Glad it is over! :)

Kicking around running the Aspen Backcountry Marathon on June 28th.  It's two weeks after the Leadville Marathon and two weeks before the Leaville 50 MTB.  If it fits into the plan it might be fun to do.  I know parts of the course already and I can say it's not a slouch of a marathon by a long shot.  Next weekend I am doing one of their group training runs on Saturday, a 21 miler that I am guessing will go over a bit of the course too.  I am looking forward to the training run.  I will wait though before registering for the Marathon to see what the weather forecast is and also what the actual trail conditions might be as well.  Still a lot of snow tucked in the timber on north facing slopes yet under 9K. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Goodbye Spring and Sunshine. See You Next Tuesday.

Well, it was good while it lasted.
Well, we had two warm days at least.  The weather has been slowly deteriorating all week and now the forecast for the next few day's is less than optimal.

Yesterday was crazy.  I was supposed to ride outside but then having looked at the forecast decided that maybe planning an indoor ride might be a better idea.  But in the morning I took Asia for a walk to the park and it was sunny and although not super warm out I figured if I layered up I could go ahead and ride outside. So after Asia's walk I came home and started getting ready to ride.

Without warning the apartment turned dark inside.  Like dusk almost.  I looked outside and it was a blizzard.  I should have stuck to my original plan!  Anyway, changed again out of of my layers to ride outside, packed my bag and headed to the gym to ride indoors.  I watched the weather change dozens of times in the 90 minutes that I was riding on the trainer.  Snow, rain, blowing snow, sunshine, wind, and so on, and so on.

My right knee ended up a little tweaked this week so I bailed on last night's run to rest it some.  Good call.  It felt much better this morning so I was able to run today.  I took it easy and kept things flat and mostly on dirt.  It will be fine for the longer mileages this weekend, running in the snow.

But anyway, I am ready for the weather to get "normal" if there is such a thing anymore.  Last night I found myself studying weather maps trying to figure out the shortest drive to some warm weather for a few days.  Maybe Arizona would be nice?

I've been binge watching Wilfred this week while Melissa is in Seattle.  Pretty funny stuff!  This video is NSFW!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 1. April's Numbers

First, I can not believe that it is actually May 1.  31 more days and we are officially halfway through the  year... Crazy.

Today I was able to ride outside for the first time in what seems like forever.  I discovered earlier this week on a drive/walk with Asia up to the gate on 82 towards Independence Pass that a good chunk of the road past the gate is actually clear so that is what I rode today.  Basically made it up to and around  Lincoln Gulch.  That was where the snow and ice seemed to start becoming constant on the road and where I turned around. With the temps that we will be getting the next week or so that road should clear a lot in the next few days.  I hope to ride 82 East of town quite a bit before they open it to motor vehicles around the end of the month.

April turned into a pretty solid month.  40:30 hours of running with a total of 240 miles, and 24 hours of riding total.  A good many of the hours riding were indoors, at least the last two weeks.    64.5 hours total for the month compared to 51 hours last April. 

Long rides the next two days with a long run on Sunday.  I am finally feeling recovered from two weeks ago so I am actually looking forward to the next three days.  Since the weather is going to be nice and in the 60's I am even more excited.

I reconnoitered Woody Creek road today with the Jeep and it seems to be clear for quite a ways.  That's on tap for tomorrow.  Should be fun!  

Pro Cycling in Colorado Springs called me yesterday to remind me that I have a seat post on order for the Trek and to tell me that it will be on back order until mid May.  I then asked if my rebuilt rear shock had been returned to them by FOX yet?  Nope... Of course they didn't realize I was waiting for other parts and they still have my bike.  So I am guessing I won't get it until later in May.  I am SO grateful that I have the Cannondale for a backup otherwise I'd sorta be hosed now.  No rush right now but as the trails and 4wd trails open up I will be glad to have the full suspension again.