Friday, October 24, 2014

Life. Some Disassembly Required.

After a full two weeks in Colorado Springs I am finally back in Aspen.  The rest of my stuff that I needed to move has been moved and everything else to be sold, donated, given away, or just discarded is now out of my life and gone for good.

Both the house and cottage are rented out and I believe I hit the jackpot with the tenants that I found. 

It was a tough two weeks there with every day becoming more challenging as more things kept going out the door.  The last two nights I commented to myself that I had more "luxuries" the month that I lived in the tent in Leadville this summer than I had in the house.

But disassembling a life is a chore.  Even with all of the stuff that I got rid of early in the year it seemed that I still had a ton to deal with the past two weeks.  Piece by piece and day by day the house which was my home for over nine years became just an empty shell.

I did not run one day while I was there.  It was just easier to skip the runs to focus on what I needed to get done.

The upside to the trip was that I got to catch up with a lot of friends.  This also meant that I got to out to eat just about every day and hit all of my favorite places.  That was a lot of fun.  Never got to King's Chef as someone was a total flake. 

Anyway, that is all done and I am glad to be back in Aspen and doubly glad that the pass has stayed open allowing me a double crossing on Sunday with the UHaul and an easy trip back yesterday.

Today the running started again. Shad Mika is visiting and we got out for a good 12-13 mile run today which allowed me to visit some of my favorite trails and show him around as well.  It would have been impossible to ask for a better weather day for late October.

I lost some fitness over the two weeks and I am fine with that.  Before I left I had to run up something damned near vertical to get my heart rate to go up.  Now I can run flattish stuff and have it be where it sort of should be. Being rested now I can start to build up again.

Talking to my friend Jeff here about an informal 100 miler in January.  No planned course or location yet but it will probably be something lower and more desert like.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taking Another Break For Now

I have been in Colorado Springs since last Thursday.  I have successfully found renters for both the house and the cottage in that time and now I have to focus on liquidating the rest of my furniture and moving what few things I have left here to storage in the RFV.  If I still had my old F-150 I could probably move it but I am going to have to rent a van and do a quick out and back trip in a day.  I will be out of the Springs 100% by the end of next week.

I have not run the first mile since I got here.  When I got here last Thursday it was raining like crazy so I decided to not go.  Friday the weather was nasty and a scheduled day off so I bailed that day as well.  Saturday was nicer but I was doing so much work around the house and getting stuff done that time just slipped away from me.  I think that I intentionally let it slip away to be honest.

My mind completely recoils from the thought of running here.  Let's just say I am going to give myself a pass until I get back home to Pitkin County.

At first I felt bad about it because I was beginning to build some momentum and get a rhythm going again.  But after thinking about it I decided that another week or two off might not be a bad thing in the long run.  Last year I took two-three weeks off after the JFK 50 then started running again and had a really solid two weeks where things were going well.  Then I caught a nasty cold/virus at the end of December that knocked me out for another two weeks.  When I got back to running after that I felt a lot better than I did before I got sick.  As much as being sick sucked I had to admit that in the long run it proved to be beneficial.

So I am on another break for a spell.  It will do my mind good and relieve a lot of stress given everything that I have to get done in the next week and half. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

50! Wow!

I took the long way home on Monday after coming back from El Jebel.  Asia and I drove up to Ashcroft and just took in the scenery for a bit.  I stood there so long just looking at the mountains that I got a little sunburned.
50... that is the sum total of miles that I have ran the past two weeks.  25 miles two weeks ago and 25 miles last week.  I am still not out of the woods yet in terms of recovering from the summer but I am getting closer.  I figure another three weeks I will be back to normal, or whatever in the hell passes as normal for me.  Shooting for a 40 mile week this week with two days off thrown in there.

I ran the Aspen TNT this past Saturday and I am happy to say it went well.  I placed 4th in my age group and 20th overall out of 160 or so.  I am skeptical of their results as the printed results say that someone crossed the line when I did and that is not true.  I dropped two guys in the last quarter and there was nobody ahead of me on the straight stretch to the finish line.  And those two guys I dropped crossed together but not for like 10 seconds after I did.  

I don't think I have ever run a 10K so hard in my entire life.  It was hard.  My average HR for the race was 176 and I topped out at 184.  Basically I ran a 10K at what I would call my 5K effort.  But it was fun in that weird way that races like that are.  I was pretty sure that I was going to blow up around mile four but somehow was able to hang on.

Sunday I got to do my last run up Aspen Mountain (Ajax) via summer road.  That was the last day that the gondola will be open for a bit.  Living in Aspen that is sort of one of my favorite runs, regardless if I run up the front side or the back side I get a huge kick out of riding the gondola down for free.  You have to pay to ride up but they give you pass if you get up there on your own.

The bears are out in numbers here in Aspen this week.  I am seeing one to two a day.  I get a kick out of it but I don't dare walk around at night without a flashlight. I did bail out coming down the Hunter Creek Trail yesterday evening on my run as it was too close to dark and I didn't want to be in the brush with limited visibility that close to dark and run into one.

Headed to the springs tomorrow (Thursday) to take care of business and I will be there for a week or so.  If anyone is up for a run or lunch let me know.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Now It's October

I wasn't really ready to see snow this week.  There is more higher up.  I heard of guys skiing up on Independence Pass this morning.
October is here and in Aspen there is no way of pretending anymore that winter is not imminent.  I have mixed feelings about fall in general.  Part of me really enjoys it as the stress of races and training from the rest of year are done and I can just go out and run without any real purpose or direction.  Yet on the other hand, the cooler temps, and shorter days, are just a constant reminder of what is next.

So the big news of the week is that Leadville has gone to a lottery system.  Wyatt had a pretty good rant about it all.  I do question if "The Book" is actually still relevant in terms of influencing runners and those up and coming in the ultra game.  Three to four years ago, maybe... now, well, I just say look at the shoes most people are wearing and how footwear has really gone the other way.  Anyway, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  Will it drive up demand or will it stay about the same?  Now that it is a lottery, will people look at other races? I guess if I were forced to say one way or the other I think they should have gone with a qualification standard first instead of going full blown nuclear with the lottery. 

From a personal standpoint with five finishes and after doing every race that Leadville has to offer at least two other times and being done without any desire to ever go back, it really does not have any impact for me.  One question I do have though is how will this affect people who are attempting certain slam series such as the Rocky Mountain Slam or the other one... (Don't want to say it lest I get sued.)  Anyway, I can see it making things hard to finish those series, that's all. (As a side note, with my chances of getting into HR100 increasing every year, I do sometimes entertain the idea of the Rocky Mountain Slam but don't tell Melissa I said that.)

I pretty much gave myself the summer off from working.  With the exception of working with established clients and classes and working on the requirements for my certification for the business, growth, or the activity of business building was put on the back burner.  I think more accurately it was wrapped in foil and put in the fridge.  Now that summer is over and there isn't anything big or serious on the horizon, all of that is now 95% of my focus in life.  So, I have been busy with that.  Of course building a business is nothing that I have ever done before so there is a great deal of learning, and learning, and then the work that goes into it.  In a strange way I view all of this as my next race or my next Leadman.  My belief is that if I can train for Leadman (twice) and finish (twice) I can take the same exact level of focus and effort and have my business humming along beyond expectations within a year.  So, that's what I am doing.

But that does not mean that I have given up on other plans or dreams, I did register for the Hardrock 100 Lottery on Wednesday.  Let's see where 16 tickets gets me this year.

And I do get to run a fun 10K here in Aspen tomorrow.  It is the Aspen Town and Trail 10K.  It is a small race and I ran it last year in it's first running.  I have been feeling better this week so my plan tomorrow is to actually race it.  I figure it is going to go awesome or I am going go down in fireball of glory around mile four.  Mostly I am just looking forward to it and having fun.

Of course one way or the other, I am sure it will make for a fun story.