Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hardrock Training - The Hard Way

Friday Night - 22:00

Sustained winds of 40+ MPH blowing the dumping of snow that we are getting horizontally only gives me about 10 feet of visibility in the dark.

But there I am at the bottom of the Spring Pitch run with about quarter of a mile climb to get back up to my sled.

I am wearing about 20 pounds of clothing and gear. My boots weigh 3lbs each... This I know from both the tech specs and weighing them myself just to be sure.

I am already exhausted from digging out all of the snow guns and having moved a conservative estimate of a ton of snow in a little over an hour... with a shovel... by hand... at 10,000 feet in elevation, in the dark.

Kicking steps the entire way up the frozen slope, I am using two short handled shovels as impromptu trekking poles for both safety and stabilization as I climb. Shovels are a lot heavier than trekking poles and my arms are burning.

I determine that I have zero desire to ever climb any of the highest peaks on the planet... ever. 

Kick, step, kick, step... look up and verify my route the best I can... Kick, step, kick, step...

Finally I make it to the top of the bowl, and rather spent I might add...

This is what my training looks like now... unorthodox as hell, but I am getting scary strong.

The joys of being a snow maker... cross fit as a job...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

So, yeah... about that...

So... pretty much the entire world knew that my name was selected in the Hardrock 100 lottery before I did... Working up on the mountain, digging out an HKD Impulse Air-Water Gun that had buried itself at 11,000 feet in elevation, I could hear and feel my phone blow up in my vest... that was my first clue. When the phone rang and Melissa was on the line screeching, "You got in! You got in!" Well.... that was kinda how I found out.

My response...

"That's great honey... I REALLY have to get back to work. Love you, bye!"

And that is how it was.

My overall reaction and response to being selected is completely muted if you want to know the truth.

The roughed out plan, and this is rough, looks like this...

I am still snow making until ? (we should already be done) so that's four days a week kicking the shit out of me up on the mountain and that counts as training in and of itself, believe you me. But between now and the New Years, my ass is on the BIKE at the Rec Center, riding every day that I can. Come the first of January, I will start to actually run again.

The bike WILL be a huge component in training for HR and I am committed to one WO on it per week at least. Right now it is to help move along an injury and running in Aspen is shit right now with all of the ice...

The bike does what I need it to do right now and it is nice and safe...

Going to Page AZ for the Antelope Canyon runs Feb 25 to get my volunteer hours in. Have to get that knocked out and I would rather do it sooner than later. Plus I have a athlete from Cali who is in the 55K and it would be AWESOME to be there and see her race as I have never seen her run before.

The first pin to fall is Salida, March, 18th. No reason right now to look past that... Train for Salida and be as fit and as strong as I can for that... That is the first order of business.

Then build up and get ready for the San Juan Solstice, June 24, that is if I can get in. I am still sort of on the fence about doing both races as there are only 20 days between the two but I think it will be fine. Scratch that... SJS is the same weekend as the LT100 training camp and I will be there instead.

Of course, then HR100 on July 14.

Our lodging is secured, my pacers are set up, Melissa and Annie will crew for me as usual. All of the pieces and parts in place... so nothing to stress or worry about.

So there you have it...  I am super relaxed and I am happy that I do not have a ton of stress or worry about it all. That is going to make things SO much more enjoyable these next several months of training.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RunAspen.Com Updates

I am beginning to generate content on RunAspen.Com and now I have a grand total of THREE articles over there... The number three sort of makes me cringe because on Tripeaksconsulting.com - I have written 593 articles in just over two years... I have a very long way to go! :)

But anyway... I plan to divide the articles on RunAspen.Com into a handful of categories to start with. For instance, I intend to write a ton of articles on Leadville 100 training and coaching specifically and I began that today by writing this article...

Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching Basics – Mileage

The other two articles are about recovering after taking time off and another specific to winter running which is geared more to winter running in and around Aspen but can be applied anywhere that winter is an issue for runners.

One of my specific end-goals for my blog on RunAspen.Com is to have it be the central clearing house on the web for ALL of the information that anyone wanting to run the LT100 (or any 100 for that matter) that is second to none... That's a tall order right there... but over time I think I can do just that.

You can help! (Please) If you like the articles and want to share them, please do. Please comment as well. All of that goes a great deal towards making this new site more valuable in the eyes of the interweb god known as Google. ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag


What the heck HAS Andy been up to since Leadville... after all, he has been kind of quiet...

Sit back and I will share with you the full story...

Much of what happens in my life is a nifty combination of both accident and design and I do not think that my newest direction in life is any different.

For most of my life I have worked with other runners as much as I can to help. After all, that is what this blog was initially about, sharing what I mostly learn the hard way, etc.

And just about every year or so I "adopt" a project runner and help him or her reach his or her goals in the sport of running. It's been fun and it's been a neat side-gig of sorts... heck, I've been flown first class to run marathons with people I have worked with and even put up in some fancy lodging for the weekend on top of that.

Anyway, this summer I found myself in a situation where I was balancing four such athletes, coaching them nearly daily. One runner - I had been working with her since the beginning of the year to run her first trail marathon this past August.

Maybe what sort of pushed me over the edge was being a guide at the Leadville 100 Training Camp this summer. Even though I have to admit it really didn't register with me at the time, it was truly a demarcation point that marked the beginning of me moving in a different and unexpected direction.

You see... that weekend I had the best weekend of my entire summer. I got to help people... I got to run... and I got to help people running!

At any rate, move fast forward to just after this year's Leadville 100 and in my post race ennui - and contemplating the big "What's next?" question... it all sort of came to me...

Now... now it is time for me to step up and to begin coaching runners professionally. I have trained under the best, Weber and Lucho, and along the way even have developed my own best practices the past two years being self-coached 100%. My skills and knowledge are there otherwise how could the runners that I have been working with be doing so well, right?

So the big question then became do I really want to do it? Do I want to take this on as a new job, a new business? My number one fear if I had one was this, I did not want to end up like the guy who loves fishing so much that he buys a bait and tackle shop, only to discover that he never gets to go fishing anymore... I love running so my challenge was to figure out and convince myself that I can run both businesses (well) and still run for myself. I can. I know I can, and that is what I am going to do.

But I bounced the idea off of many of those I consider "close" to me who I knew could and would be objective about the idea. Or be realistic at least... and to a one, everyone was over the moon supportive. However, what pushed me over the edge was a completely out of the blue email that I received in early October from one of the training camp attendees who had finished the Leadville 100 and wrote to thank me for all the help I had given him before the race.

I took that as a sign, fully committed and have been moving forward on the project ever since.

RunAspen.Com is formally an LLC in the state of Colorado and that was my first step, actually creating a living and breathing legal business entity.

Next came the website and digital footprint design of it all and the website is up and I posted my FIRST article there today geared towards people running in Aspen during the wintertime. But there will also be a ton of Leadville specific articles as I add more content through the following months.

So there you have it... at least the broad strokes... Happy to say though that today, looking at the website traffic... things are very promising.

As for me... personally... things are good. Not much running lately due to a cold and a slight hamstring pull.... we started snow making last week (nearly three weeks late) and that will be a solid push until year-end I believe. And then, well, all of the work on RunAspen.com. - I think that catches you up to now.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Time To Chill

Running up the backside of Aspen Mountain last week.
I have yet to regain what feels like balance post Leadville 100 but I feel as if I am getting closer.

The third week after Leadville I really began to feel good again. And actually the Saturday, three weeks after, I felt AWESOME. My regular Wednesday morning running buddy and I went out and did a run that Saturday like our typical 12-14 mile Wednesday morning runs that we did all summer and I felt fantastic throughout the entire run.


But the week after that I paced at Run Rabbit Run and ran with my runner a solid on the nose 40 miles which put me back to square one it felt like in terms of recovery.

Started running again last Wednesday as it felt like it was time and I was trying to take my temperature to see if I really wanted to jump into a local 10K which was this past Saturday. Knocked the rust off... got the legs moving again and ended up probably running one of my best 10K's ever and even managed to take 3rd overall.

Looking to run a cross country 5K this coming weekend and am excited about that.

Wyatt wrote a little about what's next for him in terms of running in 2017... I am nowhere near ready to even try to define that yet for myself. Two races I am certain about (mostly) but Hardrock is the wild-card and will ultimately drive the bus for next season.

If I do not get into HR100 I will have to do a HR100 qualifier next year. As much as I love RRR100, after running it twice and pacing it twice, right now I do not think that I want to consider it for next year. The Mogollon Monster has always interested me since its inception a few years ago and that might provide me with some motivation as it is all new. Plus, I like running a 100 in September... it makes summer seem to last longer.

As for my big what's next question... I have found myself backed into a corner (in a good way) about another line of business. Everyone that I have talked to has loved the idea and even those whom I thought would be more "realistic" about it. Anyway, lots of work to get done and done quickly before I launch that hopefully by the end of October. I read something recently that said "Do It Pro From The Get Go" and this is my train of thought with the new venture...

I did 3000 pushups in September.  And I have to tell you, it was kind of hard... My goal for October is now 4000 and on top of that just keep/get my running to a point where I am just fit... Why all the pushups? Snowmaking begins on November 1st and my first shift will be on November 3rd... I want to be in shape for that.

Time to chill.... temps have officially dropped here in Aspen. Should have worn gloves during my mid-day run today... summer is officially over, at least here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

An Old Job

Summer 1993, Colorado. I am camped high in the Rocky Mountains with a coworker, P.M. P's a salty older guy, ex-Navy, and it only takes one look at him to see "spook" written all over his face. We work together on an aerospace defense contract but that weekend is all about fun. P's already dragged my sorry ass which is 30 years younger than his all over various drainages that evening showing me "his elk." P's basically giving me his old hunting area which unknown to me will become my stomping ground for nearly the next 20 years of my life.

Camp is meager. We have eaten and I build a small fire in a one foot diameter hole that I just dug up. I laid my pad and sleeping bag out and and proceed to get comfortable as I feed small pieces of fuel into the flames.

P who doesn't really talk a lot out of nowhere just says, "sort of reminds you of sitting over pile of burning yak shit in Afghanistan, eh?"

I am sure he can see that all of the color has washed out my face as I stare back at him blankly and begin to recall an earlier day...

In my entire life I had never seen so many stars in the sky. There was no moon which made the stars even more brilliant above the stark and barren landscape. "Mars" I thought to  myself. "This is what Mars must look like."

Well except for the goats which would randomly bleat in the night. Unless of course Mars has goats.

It was late in the year, early winter 1988 and "the team" was well within the borders of Afghanistan. The Soviets had already began their exit from the country but there was still a strong presence there.

Regardless, it was a lot easier to move around the countryside watching and observing.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan provided a cornucopia of intelligence and information for our country to assess their forces. For nearly a decade "we" got to watch them play war (and lose) and subsequently catch hell from the Mujaheddin. It allowed for honest assessments of troop strengths, weapons technology, tactics, and wartime doctrine. A lot of information "walked" out of Afghanistan on its own accord but sometimes, well sometimes, we had to go in and get it.

We had been in-country for three days marching towards our objective. Our herd of more or less 20 tame goats were our cover. Five seemingly unarmed men with a herd of goats in those remote regions would barely raise any concern if viewed from afar. The goats provided cover, served as sentries at night and well, to be honest... a meal or two.

It was about an hour before sunup as the team was concealed within a pocket of boulders backed by a cliff. I was on post allowing everyone else to sleep and I was freezing my ass off. I could feel the wooden stock of the Dragunov just sucking any and all of the heat out of my hands though my wool gloves. A goat was moving and apparently kicked a rock causing me to jump. Damn I was going to be glad when that night was over and I could get some sleep before we started moving again. I was so tired that I was staring to feel nauseous and buzzy in the head but it was worth it to allow the rest of the team rest.

Steve, our team leader finally roused a bit earlier than usual and moved over to where I was sitting and told me to catch some Z's. He and I had only been working together for a year and though he was only four years older than me chronologically, he had been in the game long enough to appear to everyone as the seasoned and wise old pro that he was. We switched positions and I climbed back into the rocks and crawled under my blanket and easily slipped into a deep and dreamless slumber.

The job was really an easy one as jobs go. Our team was to meet a Soviet Air Force officer who was "retiring early" as it were, defecting actually, and we were to escort him out. Easy right? A small invading force of five, in a country invaded by a much larger force, helping one of them leave, get across to a safe border, and to do all of this undetected, caught or killed. 

The getting killed part really never bothered me. For starters, being so young my mortality was not something that I had yet to experience. For me it was about the dying in a place where I technically wasn't. But it is a really strange sensation being somewhere you aren't suppose to be, should be or could be on so many levels. No ID's, no papers, nothing that would or could betray the origins of our little band of merry makers. In a sense, we were nobodies and non-existent.

Steve came over and kicked my boot letting me know it was time to get up and go. Someone had put together and managed to cook a huge pot of oatmeal so I was lucky enough to get the leftovers and down about half a canteen of water before we started moving. Fortunately we were only a few hours from the meeting point and an easy walk with the only real challenge being keeping all of those damned goats in order and at least give the appearance this wasn't our first time as goat herders. 

Again the thing about the terrain was just how bleak it was. Yes there were mountains but almost in a way everything seemed prehistoric. Even worse for me was the fact that it all just looked the same.  Boulder, boulder, boulder, sand, dirt, dry stream bed, boulder, boulder, sand, dirt, dry stream bed...

When we finally found our stopping point, I really had to look around because I could have sworn it was the same damned place we started from just three hours earlier!

We set up trying to look like just what we were trying to look like except for Josh who tucked himself up higher with the Bren SAW with that ridiculous damned magazine sticking out the top end of the receiver. When it got closer to show time I would be up in the rocks with him behind my Dragunov to increase our odds if anything hinky happened and to put us at some tactical advantage if we needed it.

Fortunately, that never became necessary.

Soviets... Russians... I swear I have never met a more dramatic, passionate, romantic, and in a weird way almost flamboyant bunch of people. Because bigger than shit from across the valley and headed straight towards us, wearing what we would call his Class A's or full dress uniform, and on a damned white as the virgin snow horse that anyone can see for 1000 miles in this god forsaken landscape is our man coming right towards us.

So much for subtlety...

All of us were speechless until he arrived. Each of us looking at each other in total disbelief. Can this really be happening? I mean the guy on a horse I understand but fucking white? And what is with the uniform? Damn. I am looking at the sky expecting to see helicopters, Hinds, at any minute circling above our pos.

The rider finally arrives among us and Lou who is our best linguist starts interrogating him. Mostly because I am damned sure Lou wants to know just as much as the rest of us just what the hell this joker was thinking. Secondly, because none of the rest of us can speak Russian worth a damned and then only enough to really insult someone's mother. Not very useful in the current situation.

Lou and the rider (a Colonel) talk back and forth then both burst out laughing. Now we are really confused. Lou senses this and turns to the team and explains that the base where the Colonel rode from had a military parade that morning, hence the horse and the dress uniform. After the parade the Colonel had told his aide that he was going for a ride outside the fence and would be back later. 

After thinking about it for a second, it actually seemed rather smart really.

We unmounted our new ward and sent the horse off running in another direction. We had a change of clothes for him and after collecting his uniform to burned later we began on our way.

It took three and a half days for us to get in but we were going to be taking a much faster approach to getting back across the border and to safety. Two days at a double time march pretty much while all the time hoping the damned goats can keep up. Eventually we would kick them loose but they still had their part to do. 

The Colonel proved to be rather fit and didn't have any problems keeping up. He and Lou stayed together side by side in the middle of the group in case there had to be any hasty communications.

Once we crossed the border there was a group waiting for us as well as two trucks. Some nondescript man in a burgundy wind breaker greeted the Colonel and they went into one truck while the five of us climbed into the other for the long drive followed by even a longer flight back to Germany followed by a few well earned days off.
I turned away from P and tossed another stick into the fire while feeling my pulse drop a few beats and just said to him, "I don't know what you mean..."

"Good night..."

Note: The camping scene in 1993 happened... as for the rest...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bouncing Back / Recovering

Gotta tell you... as far as post 100 recoveries go... this one is a bear.  More or less did nothing the entire week after Leadville except for a short mountain bike ride this past Saturday to loosen things up.

Started running again on Monday, an easy six miles on the trails around town... no real effort. Surprisingly enough, the legs felt better than I expected... everything else... meh...

Tuesday I went to the track and ran 8 miles which I just went ahead and turned into a MAF test just to make it interesting and to give me some motivation to keep from stopping. More or less about 20 seconds per mile slower at a HR of 145 than a few weeks ago. Makes sense to me right now...

Rode today... ugh... it took all that I had to put to the kit on and get going but I have to admit, after about an hour of riding I was feeling a lot better and was almost enjoying being on the bike for a change... okay, maybe I had more fun than that.... ended up riding a little over two hours with a 1200 calorie burn... Most of the riding was up in Hunter Valley and it is pretty up there now... it is amazing just how much the foliage is changing already...

I don't feel so tired overall, like throughout the body.... it's not a physical exhaustion so much as it seems to be more of a spiritual one. If I had to sum it up, it just feels like my soul is tired... I can't explain it any other way right now. It feels a little and maybe even presents itself as depression but i know that's not it...

It is amazing how 20 - 30 hours of hard effort can wreck the body and mind in a way that takes weeks to recover from. I mean a 50 miler, eh... I am off-kilter for a week maybe ten days... but a 100 miler takes many more weeks to recover from it seems. I guess it just goes to show what the cost of those miles after 50 or 60 miles really is.

But I must be doing something right during this recovery phase as my body weight has not gone up at all! I figured after taking all of last week off I'd had gained ten pounds at least... so that's a win! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Leadville 100 Run - Post Race

So... the race happened... final result... 22:43 and change, depending on what you look at... 29th overall.

In a nutshell...

I trained my butt off this year.

I ran my heart out in the race.

It hurt.

A lot.

It is still hurting.

Being here - post 100 mile run - before I know it's going to take patience and time to bounce back. I just need to ride it out.

I am reticent to write a full blown race report on this one... Mostly because I don't know what to say but also because I don't feel like documenting a mile-by-mile regurgitation of the thing.

Also, for me, the race this year was personal. The work that went into it and the race itself was for a lot of personal reasons which I feel that I want to solely hold and know for myself. But if you are interested of what sort of motivated me, you can read about it here.

I will share the one thing that I learned in this race and the lesson is this... They always say that you never know who is going to show up for a race... I think most of the time we think of that in terms of other competitors who may or may not toe the starting line... but what I learned this weekend was that you also never know who is going to show up and that includes which version of yourself.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #4 - July 20 - August 19

Well... I am done. I did my last training run, if you want to call it that, yesterday morning. Just three easy miles with my Wednesday morning running partner.... Today and tomorrow, no running. It's funny, two days off in a row... I don't remember the last time I went two days straight without running. Weird.

So training block #4... All running. NO bike.

259 Miles - 49:12:34 Running time.

The past few weeks have looked like this...

Week of 7/18 - 100 Miles - 18:48 Running Time - 23,009 Vert.
Week of 7/25 - 81 Miles - 17:38 Running Time - 16,759 Vert.
Week of 8/2 - 60.3 Miles - 11:14 Running Time - 12,910 Vert.
Week of 8/9 - 31.1 Miles - 5:03 Running Time - 6,040 Vert.

This week will be a 100 mile plus week... it's just going to look different... LOL. Easy four miles on the track Tuesday morning with some strides thrown in and then yesterday's easy three around town.

So... physically... yeah... I believe I am ready. From a mental POV... not quite there yet. I started struggling with the idea of actually running 100 miles this past Saturday morning when I woke up. No matter how you slice it... 100 miles is a longed damned way and though I have done it several times before... it still seems huge.

Goals... Sub-25. Beat 23:18. Beat 23:18 by a huge margin... Hint - consider the time delta between my 2014 and 2015 Run Rabbit Run results. Then of course... there is always the "just finish the damn thing," goal.

I read a neat quote yesterday that I have kicking around in my head...

"Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished." - Jack Lovelock

I can't say that I am dreading this weekend but I am ready to get it done. Or at least get started...  I have questions that need answering and the only way to find those answers is to get the first 13-30 miles behind me on Saturday.

I have plans for the race but we all know about plans and god laughing... and especially plans as they apply to 100 mile races... As one of my friends is fond of saying... "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

I know that it will be in the first two hours when I find out if I even have a chance at reaching my goal. It's either going to be there or it's not - a rather binary situation really. The speed I need will be there or it won't in accordance to the level of effort (heart rate) that I know I can sustain for 100 miles. If it is... great. If not... I know I will still do well but I WILL have to peacefully accept and adjust my expectations accordingly.

Yesterday, I wrote an article, Why We Fear Success, which delved a little deeper into my thoughts about this year's LT100 and everything that has gone into it.

On the surface it seems easy... each split that I want to hit during the race I know that I can do on any day... easy. The question is can I make those splits segment after segment for 100 miles. And if I fall off on pace how hard do I push it to make up time or to get back to where I want to be, etc?

One of the biggest things that I can not control but actually looks to be strongly in my favor for this one is the weather. It is going to be cool in Leadville this weekend with the highs only in the 50's on Saturday. I am excited about that!

In regards to the "being there mentally" thing... one thing I do have to consider is that maybe it isn't that I am "flat" or not psyched up or just not excited about it all... maybe it is just that I am relaxed about the whole thing, and if that is the case, relaxed is good.

A funny observation... yesterday I packed all of my stuff for the race. When I did the race in 2010 for the first time, we had the back of the Cherokee crammed full of stuff just for me for the race... Tons and tons of crap. When I finished packing yesterday, basically everything that I need - clothing, fuel, bottles, all of it, fits neatly into two reusable shopping bags. Definitely a case where less is better and I am sure Melissa and Annie are grateful for that.

Anyway.... not much else to say on the subject... I do intend for this to be my last LT100 run... Yes, I know I have said that before... but this time I mean it. REALLY!!! I love Leadville and the races and I always want be involved in some fashion, but from here on out I think I want it to be in more of a support role be it crewing, pacing, volunteering etc..

This is to be the last one (I think) and I want to go out on top... whatever that may end up looking like. When it is all said and done the only thing I can do is to do my best and no matter the outcome, as long as I know THAT - it's all good.

See ya on the other side!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July And A New PR

The largest mileage that I had ever run in a single month was back in July of 2012, and I ran 393 miles.

This July... 421 miles. So there's a new PR at least.

Okay week this week, had to jink some things around a little because I ended up doing the Four Pass Loop on Thursday. But I still got a good 81 miles in this week with a good 20 miler up in Leadville yesterday followed by a 20 mile run up Indy Pass this morning. (Sort of set a huge PR on that one today too.)

Past that, not much else to report from the week.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Done With The Heavy Lifting

My last BIG week of training is done. Rest day today. YAY!

Last week - 100 Miles Running - 23,009 Vertical Gain - 18:58 Running time.

Friday was an awesome day. I parked at the old Monarch Lodge and ran up Highway 50 to the top of the pass and then headed south on the Monarch Crest Trail. 5 Miles up to the pass, ten miles out on the trail, then turned around and headed back. 30 Miles total, a crap ton of gain with an average elevation of 11,337 feet. Pulled it off in 5:59:01 which was awesome because I was really shooting for six hours.

But I have to say, running that trail and looking back at when I rode it on my mountain bike in 2013... if I had to guess, I probably did not enjoy it all that much. Of course I said it was "fun" when I wrote about it in 2013... but I wonder how much of that was me hyping it up because I felt that was what I was supposed to do. I just remember thinking a lot this past Friday that I was for sure a lot happier running it that day than if I were riding it again.

As I have alluded to earlier... the whole bike thing just escapes me now... no love for it at all.

But yeah... I am done with all of the heavy lifting in regards to my training for Leadville this year. In some regards the planning and strategizing began a year ago right after the Silver Rush 50. After the LT100 run last year I began to focus a little more on it as time passed. In April, at the beginning of training block #1 was when I really put my foot on the gas and with the exception of a couple of bumps here and there, I really haven't let up.  If you are wondering, this is what life - week by week - since April has looked like.... 

18 April 2016   Run        81.3 Miles        6368 Vert        14:14 Time
25 April 2016   Run        70.4 Miles        9602 Vert        11:48 Time
02 May 2016    Run        81.6 Miles        9874 Vert        13:54 Time
09 May 2016    Run        84 Miles           10,126 Vert     14:10 Time
16 May 2016    Run        83.3 Miles        13,750 Vert     13:49 Time
23 May 2016    Run       94.2 Miles        12,900 Vert     15:36 Time
30 May 2016    Run        81 Miles           14,187 Vert     14:47 Time
06 June 2016    Run        92 Miles           18,067 Vert     16:17 Time
13 June 2016   Run      81 Miles           11,369 Vert     15:02 Time
                        Bike     28 Miles              4,691 Vert       2:19 Time      17:21 Total
20 June 2016   Run      47 Miles           11,977 Vert     13:05 Time
                        Bike     106 Miles         14,696 Vert        9:42 Time      23:49 Total
27 June 2016   Run      79 Miles           20,639 Vert     17:47 Time
                        Bike     28 Miles             7,273 Vert         4:11 Time     21:58 Total
04 July 2016    Run     98 Miles           28,491 Vert     21:05 Time
11 July 2016    Run     101 Miles         18,174 Vert     19:46 Time
18 July 2016    Run     100 Miles         23,009 Vert     18:58 Time

But what do all these numbers mean? In a way nothing if I can not execute a good race come August 20. I have goals and I hope that the work gets me there, the rest is just the rest as you never know what can happen in a 100 mile race.

Something that I have not shared with anyone (well on my blog anyway) is that back in March I sort of had a nightmare. In my dream I crossed the finish line in Leadville in 23:18 - again. But the weird part was that 1. I did not remember running it and 2. I had this really bad and nagging feeling that I did not put out any effort or tried to do better that day. If I had to say, all of the hard work and mileage has been my way of preventing that "dream" from becoming a reality this year.

So yeah... lots of heavy lifting...  but that is over now...

Now to back down... 80M this week with two days off... two days off EVERY week between now and Leadville actually to start unloading fatigue. Part of me wonders if I realize just how tired I really am. I guess as I start to bounce back and feel better (or worse) I will get a full sense of it all. But that won't be for another two weeks or so I guess.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #3 - June 20 - July 19

The first day of my Aspen Mountain Double-Double Crossing weekend.
Training block number three is done and the numbers look like this.

Training Block #3 Actual Miles Ran = 360 - 79 hours and 33 minutes of running time.

Training Block #3 Miles Riding the Mountain Bike = 134 - 13 hours and 53 minutes of riding time.

A note on the bike. I did not spend too many days on the bike just the days that I HAD TO in order to help mitigate the injury that I was dealing with. Once I could run again it was all back to that as I learned that I am really not fond of pushing a lot of time on the bike, at all.

Some game-changers and neat things that came into play during this training block...

1. Trekking poles - Bob Africa spoke highly of them in the Leadville 100 Run training camp and I listened. Personally I have always wanted to give them a go but feared they might prove awkward and maybe even a waste of money. For the past week and a half, I have been using them a lot on my big vertical days and all I can say is I sort of feel silly for never trying them earlier as I took to them like a duck to water. I got a pair of Black Diamond Carbon Distance Z Poles 110cm on Ebay for $117. WORTH EVERY PENNY. To be clear, as far as I am concerned this is the greatest discovery or change I have made since switching to Hokas back in 2012. In a weird sort of way I think they are fun to use. They WILL be part of my Leadville strategy for certain.

2. I did a huge 32 mile long overland altitude run (LOLAR - and yes I made this up) last weekend and there was no running or potable water anywhere along that route. Instead of packing a ton of water in my pack I packed my old First Need Water Filter  for the trip in my pack and it was great. A fraction of the weight of a liter or more of water and I was able to continually get cold water for the bottles and the bladder when I needed or wanted as there were many streams around. The bonus thing that I learned is that the attachment connects to both my Ultimate Direction water bottles as well as the opening to the Osprey water bladder in my pack so it was super easy to use.

3. I did a 20 mile run last Thursday afternoon and it was warm out and I had to carry water in my pack so that I could mix fresh bottles after two hours. Not wanting to have warm water or mixed fuel in my bottles the last part of the run I got the brilliant idea to put in a freezer pack, you know those gel packs you put into the freezer for small coolers or using on injuries, in my running pack with my water bladder. Of course I was not happy about the extra weight but damn it was nice to have cold water when I filled my bottles after two hours. So if you run with a running vest or pack with a bladder and don't mind some extra weight to keep your water cold it's well worth it.

All in all things are good. This week is my last big week (100+ miles) before I start chopping the volume down and I can say that I am honestly ready to just that. Looking forward to this weekend as Melissa and I are going over to Chaffee County and Friday I am running my last 30+ mile training run on the Monarch Crest Trail. The rest of the weekend is dedicated to just goofing off and having fun as really I am on vacation this week from working as I do need the break but I can also focus on this last big week without any distractions too. It's a win-win.

But yeah... we are in the last training block before Leadville... all of the big work is done except for finishing out this week. I just keep telling myself that all I have to do is make it to the 25th (next Monday which will be a rest day) intact and I will be good to go... Just have to make to Monday.... :)  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

June And Everything After - Video Blog

So... not that I am being lazy but there is just too much to try to write out in one article and not wanting to write multiples... I thought I would do a video instead. :)

I hope that everyone is having an awesome summer!


Monday, June 20, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #2 - May 20 - June 19

Our camp in Leadville last week. Five days of wonderful peace and quiet!
Just completed my second training block for Leadville. Two more blocks to go. You can read how I have broken up my training from April to August and the structure of all of that here.

First the numbers for this training block which was from May 20 until June 19th (yesterday.)

Training Block #2 Miles Planned = 275 (Note: This number became obsolete during training block #1 and pushing a lot more volume that expected.)

Training Block #2 Actual Miles Ran = 391 - 69 hours and 34 minutes of running time.

Training Block #2 Miles Riding the Mountain Bike = 28 (And this just happened yesterday.)

So there is a third number in the mix now and that is the biking and I will explain that in a bit.

This past week was okay... I feel like I fell off a bit but I understand why at the same time. 81.3 miles of running, in 15:41. Throw in the bike for 28 miles of riding, in 2:19. About 13K in climbing running and 4K climbing riding.

So last week... I learned (relearned) a very important lesson in training and that is do not compromise a week's training with a single workout. My Tuesday morning track workout I was bound and determined to nail all of my 2 mile intervals in under 13:00 each. My motto or mantra going into the workout was to make every step count, make every lap count, make every mile count... and I did.

Nailed the workout... compromised the week.
At first after the workout I felt "okay" worked but not bad but as soon as I got home that was when the wheels fell off. It took about four hours to get my energy level back to where it should be and well... shit just hurt... all of it from the waist down. If I had to describe it, it felt more like I raced a hard marathon like Salida as opposed to doing morning workout on the track.

Wednesday I ran here in Aspen early in the morning and felt "okay" but not 100% either. Pressed for time, I shortened my 15 mile morning run to 12 in order to get home and get ready to leave to go camping in Leadville later that morning where we would be staying through father's day. Ran another five up in Leadville Wednesday night and still felt okay but still not great.

Thursday though was when I felt it all hit me. I went to run the section from the treeline towards Twin Lakes, an out and back totaling 15 miles. It was hot, and nothing felt right... I had the stride of a 90 year old man, and I know my form is nothing great but that day it was worse... More or less felt 100% and totally depleted throughout the run.

But I got to do my good deed for the day and that was this... About a mile out (outbound) from where the Halfmoon II aid station would be I ran into two guys who were walking and looked absolutely more miserable than I was... they were lost.

Two soldiers form Fort Carson had climbed Elbert early that morning with their company and on their way down they took a right down the Colorado Trail (instead of left and down to the parking lot/trail head) and subsequently bushwhacked until they found the road where I met them.

After talking to them and figuring out where they were parked, their route that morning, and everything else, I walked them to the Colorado Trail turn and explained to them exactly how to get back. I hope they made it.

I would really like to call/write the base commander at Fort Carson and have a talk with him about sending his troops into the big bad woods so damned unprepared. No maps... no compass... no radio... and relying only on cell phones (which didn't work) for comms? WTF? I won't even go into their gear or lack of. I was friendly of course and helpful as I didn't see this as these guy's fault (totally) but I did tell them that if they have a suggestion box in their unit that maybe suggest the next time they take off on an outing like this they at least have a radio for each team of two...  These guys had nothing and were headed in the wrong direction and with all of those fire roads out there they could have wandered a full day if I hadn't had found them... Anyway...

That run ended about as it started... rough. And Leadville was HOT that day.

Took Friday as a forced rest day. Legs still felt trashed and I was just tired. Spent the day eating everything in sight as I know carb depletion happens much more quickly at altitude plus I wanted to have a good 30 miler on Saturday, which I did.

Saturday I took off from Sugarloafin' to May Queen, up and over to the Power Lines and back for a 30 mile round trip that went pretty good. Did it in 5:54.

But after the run I was still feeling lots of aches and pains decided that now it is time to mix in the bike and since Leadville go so hot so quickly Sunday morning, I decided to wait until I got back to Aspen yesterday afternoon before setting off on the ride.

(Ache and pain inventory as of Sunday morning - left knee, left calf, left hamstring, right calf. Most of which I feel is the result of Tuesdays workout compounded throughout the week.)

Good ride yesterday which is causing everything to feel a lot better today and I mean night-and-day better... So I have plan! :)

This week was supposed to be a 100 mile week running but I am not going to run it all. I have a 35 mile run planned for Saturday but everything else this week I am going to ride. (That is unless I just can not keep myself from the track Tuesday morning as that is routine and habit now. But even then no speed work, maybe just a MAF test for fun.)

So here is the deal... the age old question and debate... how many miles of riding equals one mile of running? How do you compare the two? Some people like to throw numbers out there like it is a 2:1 ratio riding to running or 3:1 but nothing definite, just bro-science and speculation... Of course I could look historically at how many TSS (Training Stress Score) points are used up in a week of running looking back on Training Peaks, and I think that might be close... actually probably pretty damned accurate but I have simpler idea...

Instead of relying on some ratio that may or may not be accurate and instead of relying on TSS points which might be more accurate but still, who knows... I am going to gauge this week by calorie burn mostly.

I burn on average 100 calories per mile so in 100 mile week that is 10,000 (roughly, it's a target) calories burned. My hypothesis if you will is that will also come out to 1400 - 1500 TSS points which is again consistent with a 100 mile week at least by Training Peaks standards.

So between riding a shit-ton this week and Saturday's 35 miler, I still expect this to be my biggest week of the year which will be followed by an 80 mile recovery week next week.

And to be honest I am excited about this week as I see it a challenge to cram in so much time in the saddle for six of the seven days. But it will also allow me to range out further and see a lot more stuff around here that I have yet to see or have not seen in awhile. Plus there is the overall benefit of giving my body a week off from running impact for the most part which as much as I might deny it... I know that I need right now.

I had a pretty bad wreck on my skateboard last summer at the end of July and because of that I could not run (could barely walk) for about a week and half. Banged my right ankle pretty bad landing on impact going about 30MPH.  But I could ride just fine and be totally pain free and when that week and a half was over and I did start running again it was pretty awesome how I felt. I am expecting those same results after this week with such a heavy bike focus.

We shall see...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Breakthroughs And A New Metric For Fatigue

Thank god for dirt! As I have been waiting all spring for trails to clear out I have been pushed into running a lot more harder surfaces than I would have preferred. Of course all of that resulted in not what I would call injuries but more like shit that just bugs me from time to time, shins, calves, some knee stuff, etc. Nothing serious but "there" nevertheless.

As things have been melting and clearing out quite rapidly these past three weeks, I'd estimate that 90% of my weekly mileage has been on trails and I noticed last week that every little ache and pain has magically dissipated. Like I said... Thank god for dirt!

Last week was a pretty cool learning week for me though both in my running life and I guess in a way in my professional life as well. The cool thing first...

When Melissa and I first moved here or when I spent my first weekend/week here in August of 2013 I ran and I rode a lot. One of the first things I realized that here around Aspen, up is UP... the terrain while not impossible is definitely challenging and more challenging than I was used to. I told Melissa back then that if I were to live here and to be able to train "right" here that there was no way in hell I was not going to get stronger.

But for the past two years I realized that I have been fighting the terrain, or the terrain has been working against me... or I guess me working against it... Or in other words it has been a constant source of "stress" in my workouts that maybe limited me a little bit.

On Thursday's run though I realized that was not really the case anymore. That I am actually able now to work with the terrain in my favor in any part of a run. That the third climb in a run isn't so much an obstacle but more like a feature... maybe that makes sense... maybe it doesn't. Sort of hard to explain.

The other thing I learned or really put together is how fatigue affects my work especially my professional blog. Writing typically comes rather easy to me. (Though editing does not) And most days when I write my daily article, once I settle on a theme, a subject, or a concept, the words just flow out rather effortlessly. But some days I struggle and last week on Tuesday after an especially hard morning run and a crappy night sleep, writing was damned near impossible.

It has been something that I have experienced a few times the past two to three months...  At times I feared it was lack of creativity or that "the well" was going dry but no... it's just some days I am tired and on those days writing is a challenge... Just something else for me to be aware of going forward.

The hardest day of training last week? Friday. Why? Because I had to force myself to take a complete and full total day of rest and do absolutely nothing! Last week I ended up getting ahead of my miles and in order to keep to the structure I needed to bleed off a day a running so Friday was that day. I took advantage of the day to get a massage, just on my legs, and that was nice. But sitting around and not doing anything or getting out was a challenge. But it was worth it as Saturday's 30 miler turned out rather awesome.

Elevation Profile For Saturday's Run
Headed up to Leadville on Wednesday to camp through the weekend. I am NOT doing the Leadville Marathon, nothing to be gained there for me but will be running on the 100 course some. I have a plan. It will be nice to get out of Aspen especially since the Aspen Food and Wine event is this coming weekend. (I'll keep my socio-political comments about that particular local event to myself.)

Anyway.... good week last week... 92 miles of running, 16:17 time, with 18,067 feet of vertical climbing. My biggest week of vert this year and that will continue to grow as I can range out even further and higher as things continue to melt out.

Monday, June 6, 2016

And the Beat Goes On

Up at Four Corners. This is the ridge that divides the Hunter Creek drainage from the Woody Creek drainage at about 10,000 feet. Still a bit of snow up high.
As predicted, summer finally arrived in Aspen last week on Wednesday... a day earlier than forecasted. YAY! Without going into my total lack of appreciation, understanding, or comprehension of winter sports (putting wood on your feet and sliding down a mountain as if it is fun) I will just say that from now until October is MY absolute favorite time to live in Aspen. THIS is when it is a paradise.


Good training week last week. Was supposed to back off a bit but I followed Saturday's 30 miler with a fifteen miler instead of just five. BOTH runs felt pretty good. I was amazed on Saturday when I hit mile 20 just how great I felt and how much I was NOT dreading the next ten miles. All of THAT waited until about mile 24 to set in. Still a win.

As for Sunday I gave myself the freedom to run whatever I felt like. If I felt like only five, fine. If I wanted to go further, then fine again. I did handicap myself by only taking one water bottle and one gel on purpose as so to limit my range Sunday morning but the truth is if I had another bottle... following Saturday's 30 with a 20 would not have been a huge stretch.

In all this training for Leadville I have had a plan but I have deviated from it somewhat and have been doing a lot of volume week after week with no clear idea of direction or an absolute end result in mind. Just enjoying the volume (running a lot) and being where I am in training I guess.

But yesterday it occurred to me that I needed to get things dialed in a little tighter. There must be structure! After a wonderful chat with GZ this morning and ruminating on all of that information, on my run at lunchtime I came up with somewhat of a heavy yet still periodized schedule and structure that I think is manageable and at this rate sustainable.

The beauty of it is that I KNOW what the last five weeks going into Leadville are supposed to look like and that doesn't vary... the awesome thing is that what I schemed up over my run today dovetails perfectly into that. The next 11 weeks are fully and perfectly planned out.

Was it by accident or by design? Was my inner genius guiding me along all this time? Who knows... LOL!

Haven't weighed myself in over a week. But I will say this... this morning I washed my cargo shorts and decided to wear my jeans instead, they are 31x30. At first I figured foregoing the belt... but as it stands, the belt was mandatory instead of optional. Another win.

Took the Trek to the shop today too for a tune-up and to get the old sealant out of the tires and to put new sealant in them. I figure in another two weeks I will begin to mix the bike in as things melt out further... Not quite ready yet.

Anyway... that's about it... here's a perfect quote I found today on training that is totally true.

"If you under-train, you might not finish, but if you over-train, you might not start. - Stan Jenson

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


It is finally starting to look like spring around here!
May is finally over... close enough at least. This has to be the coolest and wettest May that I can remember and definitely of the three springs that I have spent here in Aspen, especially so.

But things are going well.

Mileage for May - 357 miles with 59:11:49 running time. I'm too lazy to figure out the actual vertical but it is good. But the monthly mileage is not a great concern or metric of mine since I have broken down my training until Leadville into specific blocks or cycles with this, the second one ending on 19 June... I'll see where I am then.

Last week was my best week yet this year though... 94.2 miles, 12,900 in gain, in 15:36 running time. Pretty good weekend with a 25 miler where I ran to the top of Indy Pass and Melissa picked me up then we spent Saturday and Saturday night in Leadville. "Easy" 14 mile run on Sunday morning from town down to the lake and back detouring through all of the campsites. TQ Lake trail still has a bit of snow on it BTW.

Finished the mother of all track workouts this morning. I have been working on 2-Mile repeats the past few weeks. (Thanks Kiki and Wade!) I started doing a 2M WU, 3x2M with .25 RBI, then a 1.25 mile cool down or so. I was doing 4x2M and today jumped up to 5x2M. My splits are off (but not significantly so) from the past couple of weeks but I am attributing that to the fatigue carrying over from last week. Still an awesome workout and I am feeling a touch beat up at the moment which I guess is the desired result of such a thing.

Sort of backing off this week and throwing some rest days in there. I really don't know if I really need them or not but I would rather take them and not need them than find myself so cooked that a break becomes non-negotiable.

But things are looking up... starting tomorrow we are supposed to be seeing 70+ degree days on a consistent basis so hopefully it will finally and really warm up around here. There is still a crap ton of snow that needs to melt in the back country before it is runnable.

Planning a 42 Mile trail/dirt road training run on June 25. I guess the average elevation for the day will be around 11K. If you are interested let me know and I can fill you in on the particulars. A couple other guys from Aspen will be going along too. Figure about a 12 hour day.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #1 - April 18 - May 19

Keeping it short...

I trained up solid for the Salida Marathon in March. Kept up the miles somewhat after that and at the beginning of April devised a plan for attacking Leadville.

In a nutshell I worked backwards, creating four different training cycles or blocks.

I April 18 - May 19
II May 20 - June 19
III June 20 - July 19
IV July 20 - August 20 (August 20 is race day)

Each training block (or month) has target mileages and within those target mileages for the month, mileage targets for each week. That last block I really can not predict how it will look as my targets for those weeks will be very structured, as well as the rest for that matter. Basically I plan those last few weeks going into Leadville to closely mimic the last few weeks going into Run Rabbit Run last year... That could change but that formula worked fabulously last year so why eff with it if it ain't broke...

As of today I'm a bit off course but in the right direction.... :)

Training Block #1 Miles Planned = 250
Training Block #1 Actual Miles Ran = 358

I am playing with a few new concepts here... first, since I was able to hit a plateau of high mileage weeks I intend to stay there as "in theory" it is easier to maintain a plateau than the work it takes to get there.

Of course I can NEVER talk about any serious race preparation without whining and bitching about my weight, losing weight, and dieting... So the other and really right now primary reason for such high mileages is to promote calorie throughput so I can go into this thing in August carrying the least amount of body weight needed to get the job done. I am at 145 today. Ideally five more pounds to go to reach my goal.

Structurally I am feeling fine... sure some aches and pains here and there but all manageable. There is some fatigue but that is to be expected but I am far from being a zombie day to day.  Since I more or less got my sleep pattern dialed in last year, I am taking full advantage of that to aid in recovery from day to day.

I am pushing for something here... To either break down or to breakthrough, and whichever happens in training this year, either one is a win.  If I break down... just hit a run that I can not finish no matter what... great... I found my breaking point and I pushed myself to my limit. I will rest and back off accordingly then get back at it... What I am hoping for is a total breakthrough where I just keep "ascending" in my training and ultimately show up at the line on August 20th a completely different a runner than I have ever been in Leadville.

My other goal for this summer is to just have some fun too. I live in an awesome place with so much more for me to explore and run on. That is as soon as the snow melts! :)  I am hoping for my first foray from Pitkin County over into Gunnison County (Taylor Park) sometime around the third week of June.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Salida Thoughts In No Particular Order

I've had a few days to think about the Salida race and how it all went down. I'll refrain from the typical blow-by-blow race report and just shoot out random thoughts about the course and my race as well.

1. The new course is awesome. Overall the total vert gain is not much different but the way you gain that vert IS different. This is easily the 3rd toughest trail marathon in the state.

2. The course conditions were amazing. I have never seen this course so dry of snow and mud. However, If the course were in horrible shape with let's say, a lot of snow, it would make it exponentially harder than it was before with the latest course change.

3. The weather was perfect and really there for a little bit, almost TOO warm.

4. From an expectation point of view in terms of my performance and results, I came up short. (reasons to follow) But from a strategic and race execution standpoint I did great considering the circumstances... I could not have run any harder or faster for that day, period. No regrets.

5. Circumstance #1. About a week and half before the race I started having sore spot which was either extreme muscle tightness, or maybe even a slight tear in my right calf. The Tuesday before the race is really acted up and had me questioning if I could even race on it. Forced rest the remainder of the week going into Salida made it more than manageable come race day. No problems there. I felt it but it was just there, not an issue.

6. Circumstance #2. The Tuesday before the race was ALSO my birthday and one of my unexpected gifts that day was the onset of a head cold that afternoon. At first I suspected it might be allergies but by late afternoon I knew that was not the case. Nursed it the best I could but it did impact my race. The first two miles were miserable and I felt like I was running under water. Could not breathe right and the legs were all off in terms of turnover, etc.

Like I said... from an execution standpoint the race went fine. I was able to find the appropriate level of effort and hold it throughout the race, ending with an average HR of 163. However, even though the engine was running right and I had the RPM's dialed in, the gear box was off and the power was not effectively reaching the wheels.

7. The silver lining... I did not have the race I wanted. Shit happens. I'm good with it. I am good with it because I had an AWESOME training cycle going into this race and even though it sucked with the cold I was still strong. I'd hate to think what it would have been like with the cold and to not have been trained up... a very long day out there I suspect. This race was hard and I ran it hard, and that in turn will only serve to make me stronger throughout the season.


I've been in Palm Springs since Sunday and have had two great runs here. Still some residual drainage, coughing and hacking from last week and that is getting better day by day. They have awesome trails here! 

I did get a HUGE blister on my right heel during the race that has yet to pop... We have named him Kuato... :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

And There Goes February :)

February turned out to be a solid month. Lots of weather issues to contend with the first two weeks of the month but things have been downright pleasant these past two weeks. My last three runs were in shorts which is AWESOME!

246 Total mile of running in 36:00 hours even of time with 21,310 feet of gain. (20 Actual Days of Running.) Note: It should have been 240 miles instead of 246 but I did a Thursday night group run with "the group" to be social and to let everyone know that I was still living here and alive. LOL!

Backing things off a little bit this week and even more so the week after as Salida gets closer. After looking at the new course I have thrown out any ideas of a PR since there is now more single track on the uphill (outbound) portion. It's a bummer but it's something that affects everyone the same so throwing "time" out the window it's going to be a battle for placement.

Life has thrown one of those cool and unexpected bonuses at me this past week... as it turns out, right after Salida (And I mean right after the race) I am hopping in the car with my Daughter Annie and we are going to CA for her Spring Break. We will be spending three days in Palm Springs, then off to Santa Barbara for three days before heading back to Colorado.

Looks like I am going to get to run some nice dry trails soon after all!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Solid Week

Getting ready to head out Saturday morning for 20 miles.
A solid week of running. 60 miles in 9:09 and that's with taking Monday and Friday off as total rest days.

A little light on the vertical for the week though. I blame having to run on the 'mill Tuesday for that.

Things are looking up here weather-wise. We are going to get into the 40's this week. While that will make for comfortable running temps the problem will be in everything thawing and refreezing into ice and or things just being a total mess of standing slush. Picking running routes is going to be a bit tricky but doable.

The running went well this week. I am still having to perform a certain amount of cognitive gymnastics to get my brain around running but I think that will be less of a thing from here on out. This week the physical act of running wasn't as tough as convincing the brain that I can actually do it or more importantly that I WANT to go out and run right now.

But I caught a lucky break of sorts on my 9 mile run with hill repeats on Thursday... I finished the entire workout with an inspiring and promising time that tells me that things are definitely moving in the right direction. Just the kind of proof I need right now for some extra motivation and inspiration.

March is going to be a fun month... not only will there be the race in Salida and getting to go to Salida to look forward to - we are also going to Cancun at the end of the month! Hell Yeah! :) There is that birthday thing in there too on the 8th... but I am sort of ignoring that for now.

Here is something that is neat too... most everyone knows that one of my greatest vices, weaknesses, or addictions is my soda drinking habit. Well, I have not had a soda since Thanksgiving! Pretty cool. I have gotten to the point that I don't miss it anymore.

Anyway, a solid week this week. The tale will be told by the end of this coming week and seeing how I hold up to the stress... But I have to say overall I am pretty confident and to be honest right now I am rather happy to be in "training mode" again... in a weird way it makes life so much more simple for me and simple is good! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hello February!

First of all... January... it didn't end up the way I had hoped. The X Games and a cold the last week of the month pushed me heavily into survival mode. The last week I just worked with my clients, drove a sled (450 miles in five days - no idea on the vert) - nursed my cold and just did what I had to do to get by. 0 Miles the last week.

Ended January with 186 miles which is right between the miles I had for last Jan and the target I was shooting for this Jan... It will have to do!

Hello February! Winter is finally here and in full force. I have never seen this much snow in Aspen ever in all of my three winters living here. It's going to make running for the next few days interesting to say the least.

Fortunately I don't think I lost a lot of fitness last week even if I did not run. Driving a sled is hard and for nine to ten hours a day it takes a huge physical (and mental) toll. I got a workout every day whether I wanted it or not.

But now that Feb is here it is time to start including speed-work into the training. The next four weeks are all about that as I get ready for the race in Salida which is March 12th. Running outside was not happening today so I did a nine mile progression run on the 'mill which ended up taking 1:13:52. I am hoping that by the time Thursday gets here, the path on Cemetery Lane will be cleared off enough on the hill to do hill repeats... we shall see.

I am kind of glad... no... really glad that February is here. This month I will be focusing on two things and two things alone... the business and building it further, and running. No other side-jobs, distractions, or anything like that. The only thing I will have to battle in terms of training obstacles will be the the weather and judging from the long range forecast right now it should not be that bad.

Looking forward to Salida... might try a trip to Moab or at least around Junction to hit some dry trails in two to three weeks... I don't remember the last time I saw honest to goodness ground...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I'm Running Again... Or Writing again... You Choose...

This is the Xth time I have started this write up since the beginning of the year. To be honest I just don't know what to say or write about.

I have been running again and I will be racing some this year... Simple plan, Salida Marathon, Leadville Marathon, Leadville 100. Goals... PR in each race.

Last week was my first real week of "training" in forever. I've run through the fall and early winter some but not with any serious intent or goals in mind. Anyway, last week... 55.5 miles, 4310 feet of vertical climbing, 8:56 in time. This week will look very much like last week but with maybe a bit more vert.

The last two weeks of the month will be a challenge to get training in as I will be really busy. I have all my clients stacked the next two weeks on Monday and Tuesday's. All of the other day's until the 1st of Feb I will be helping (working) the X-Games doing uphill transpo. That means about ten hours a day on a snowmobile (sled) doing laps as I take competitors up the course to the top of the half-pipe or the jumps. Besides making some extra money, there is a reason to do this and that is to get enough hours logged on a sled so that when I return to Aspen Mountain next winter, I can have a full-blown White snowmobile license with Aspen SkiCo instead of the Yellow provisional license I had last  year. It doesn't mean anything really but it will allow me to do a little bit more on the mountain during open hours when we are in snow making season again.

Some funny things about the X-Games gig... I will be on ESPN a lot, of course you won't know it's me... Secondly, I will be meeting a ton of athletes and hauling them around who are world famous I guess but I have absolutely zero clue who they are... I guess I'd recognize Sean White (maybe) but that's about it.

In other "notable news" I have been appointed (using that term very loosely) to be the chair for Aspen Elks Lodge Veterans Service Committee. I have been on the committee since last summer and was approached by the previous Exalted Ruler of the lodge about three weeks about taking over the leadership of the committee. At first I balked but after thinking about it some I decided to take it on. We had our first meeting with me at the helm last night but yesterday afternoon when I was reflecting on my path the past few months it sort of became apparent to me that me taking over things has been a long-term con that has been in the making for quite some time.

Snowboarding... eh... the only time I really enjoy it is when Melissa and I go out together and she skis. Of course now that I am "training" that will take a back seat to running and fitting everything else into life. But after being away from it for 20 years, I regained my skills rather quickly it seems as now I can do a top to bottom on Aspen Mountain and not die. I am thinking that after Salida and I am taking a little break I will get in a lot of snowboarding then.

Business with Tri Peaks Life Coaching is going well and really getting going now. I half suspect that come summer I will be renting a VERY small office and will actually be able to afford it! I got two new clients in one day last Friday... very exciting.

Running shoes... I've been wearing the Hoka Speedgoats this past month. Love the tread but I find the overall fit of the shoe to be questionable. I really want to like/ love the shoe but I am not there yet. Pros - they are light, great tread, and feel okay on my feet. Cons - Thin upper so you are going to get wet feet, and how they feel on my feet. I know I contradicted myself but they feel good and they don't at the same time, it's hard to explain but they have gotten better the more I have broken them in. They are NOT like Stinsons which I can take out of the box and run a 100 miler in with little to no break-in, that's for sure.

So there you have it... compelling, right? The name of the game between now and Feb 1 is to just get in as many miles as possible. The first week of Feb I will mix in speed work and I am hoping by then I will have a more clear picture of my fitness, strength, and speed or the lack of it...

Stay tuned...