Week in review

Runnin’ with my brothers, headed for the home base
With a steady pace on the race we just faced
The road ahead goes on and on
This shit is gettin’ longer than a motherfuckin’ marathon


Mon 29 Mar: 00:29, 2.97 miles, easy ‘hood run
Tues 30 Mar: 00:54, 4.73 miles, Janet’s house surges
Wed 31 Mar: 1:50, 12.25 miles, Gunbarrel tempo
Fri 2 April: 00:25, 3.06 miles, Cirque de la Butte
Sat 3 April: 00:39, 4.25 miles, Treadmill surges
Sun 4 April: 5:50, 30 miles, Cirque de Boulder

Week total: 10.3 hours, 57.5 miles
March total: 37 hours, 221.31 miles
YTD: 113 hours, 575 miles
*hour totals include all activity

Post race, I actually felt okay. Not particularly damaged at all and ready to keep rolling the mileage. Took Sunday off then did a quick little jaunt around the ‘hood and felt fine.

Tuesday, I met up with Janet and did some easy surges out in East Boulder. We worked on some form issues but really things are coming around nicely in the form department. Still trying to figure out shoes and insoles but that may be an ongoing task.

For my tempo run on Wednesday, I had a great time running with Art and the crew. Started out solo and then bumped into Art doing his warm up. Joined him and ran to the start. Felt great, actually, and was excited to see what I could do with the tempo portion of the run. Janet had me teed up for a little shorter distance this week to recover fully from Saturday’s race and I started with Art. Spun negative splits each mile and finished very strongly. Just what I have been looking to do since starting tempo work several months back. Good stuff!

I creamed my toe (no roast beef) Wednesday night with a door and thought I might have broken the little bugger so I just did a short walk (about 1.5 miles) to test the waters. It wasn’t too bad – hurt a bit in the shoe but didn’t really bother me too much. So that was pretty good news. Something is definitely not completely right with it but it doesn’t seem to affect my running so I am going to choose to ignore it for now.

I had two days left on my Crested Butte pass so tested cramming my foot into my boot (all systems go) and jammed over to Gunny for the night on Friday to ski, hang with my pops and get in a short run. The skiing wasn’t too bad for last-week-of-the-season action but I was hitting it like a chump. Spun a lap around the town of CB before dinner and felt pretty great, actually, then gorged myself on Donita’s food.

Decided to head back home Saturday instead of braving the slopes as a storm was rolling in and I didn’t want to get caught up in heinous I-70 traffic on the way. Stopped at the gym and ran briefly but didn’t feel super red hot. Did ~45 minutes with some surges.

Sunday we were up early for bunny duty then I decided to tackle what has been a bit of a nemesis – the Cirque de Boulder. This fun run takes one completely around the PRB and manages to do so mostly on dirt. I felt great for the first half or so then started to fade a bit once I got into more technical, hilly, sloppy terrain. By mile 25 I was pretty hammered but vowed to finish up. Ended up with a not-too-shabby 5:50ish for 30 miles with a lot of walking in the last 5. It wasn’t pretty but I got ‘er done.

Think my main problems during this run were pacing and hydration (which led to bonking). I definitely bit off more than I could chew but was really pleased that I managed to finish it up. I need to work on hydration across the board and get more used to carrying water in a pack vs. bottles. There are a lot of advantages to the pack but one significant disadvantage is being able to monitor your consumption more closely. This will be something on which I work on future training runs.

So that was my week. All in all, pretty solid effort and a lot of good training as I continue to prep for the LT100. More to come this week!


Runs without running…

Pull up at the function and you know I’m Kojak
To all my party people that are on my bozack
I got more action than my man John Woo
And I got mad hits like I was Rod Carew

~ The Beastie Boys

Fri 19 Feb: 00:54, 7 miles, Track barefoot/shoed
Sat 20 Feb: 5:30, Crested Butte skiing
Sun 21 Feb: 3:30, Crested Butte skiing

So I suppose I lied a little. There was some running involved on Friday but Saturday and Sunday were all about logging vert in incredible conditions at Crested Butte.

Friday, I jammed over to the gym to get in one final run for the week. Opted to wear the KSOs for the first half of the run and felt incredible. Was relaxed, ran smoothly, good pacing. Particularly excited about the low heartrate for the speed I was able to sustain. Even more interesting was that when I switched over to shoes mid-run, my heartrate jumped by several bmp at the same pace. Weird. Going to have to experiment with this more as well as trying to adapt a more barefoot stride pattern while wearing shoes. I do realize that as the run progressed, my heartrate would naturally increase but this was a marked jump. Very cool discovery. I’ll be testing this one again.

The only ill-effects I experienced was a tightness/soreness in my calves – particularly the lateral portion of the muscle group on my left calf. Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated.

So then the journey to Crested Butte began. Pete and I headed that way for what we hoped would be a couple days of better skiing than we have been able to accomplish this year in Summit County (or at the Rock). And let me tell you… we were not disappointed.

The Butte started getting hammered by a significant winter storm on Friday and it just kept coming. We were greeted with about 19 inches of fresh on Saturday morning and took full advantage of the prime conditions. Seems like everyone else in the county had the same idea and lift-lines were quite long but it was so worth it. Patrol started getting the good stuff open mid-morning and by noon we were spinning laps in tasty pow on Headwall and (after giving Telly’s head a good rub) NFL. All sorts of good.

CB is renowned for the high-caliber of skier and with the Extreme Championships going on, the level of talent on the hill was ratcheted up several notches. It was just cool to be in such close proximity to hundreds of rippers and to talk with people about how awesome the new snow was. This was the Butte’s first major storm since early December and the locals had the excitement level on 11. Pete and I worked the mountain, I showed him some cool stashes and we had a blast. It snowed all day as well which amp’d up the stoke for Sunday.

Post skiing, we wandered around the town of CB for a bit, grabbed a beer at Kochevar’s (a storied bar on Elk Ave.), then settled down to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Donita’s Cantina, for some tasty grub. Kay and Heli, the owners and all-around nice people make an amazing meal. If you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it.

A lazy evening watching Olympic coverage followed then we set it for “repeat” on Sunday.

Even more snow greeted us Sunday morning coupled with greatly reduced crowds, better visibility (well, for parts of the day… it was still snowing pretty strongly up there) and extreme terrain open from the gun. Perfect combo. We headed up High lift again and dropped into Figure 11, which was simply amazing and followed that with more NFL action. We stopped for a bit to watch the Extremes (Dead-end Chutes and Body Bags the primary venue for the day) then continued on our quest for excellent terrain coupled with killer conditions. Since a lot of the extreme terrain was closed on Saturday, when the rope dropped on Phoenix/Spellbound on Sunday, there was a LOT of fresh goodness to be had. And we had it. Seriously the best skiing I have had in a long, long time. Rivaled the conditions we found in Canada last year. I’d tell you where we went, but then I’d have to kill ya.

The drive home was fairly uneventful until about a mile west of Eisenhower Tunnel. Then it got ugly. Not sure what the solution to the I-70 corridor problem is (aside from avoiding it) but man… it is a mess. What is normally a 3.5 to 4-hour drive turned to 5.5 and it could have been worse. Rach had soup on for me when I got home. So I ate, ate some more, then hit the sack. Terrific weekend. Hope to put it on repeat soon.


Run, ski, ski, run…

Frickin’ marvelous. ~ Steve Willett

Sun: 1:00, 6 miles, treadmill
Mon: 4:00, ski @ Crested Butte
Tues: 4:00, ski @ Crested Butte
Wed: 1:19:14, 9.5 miles, treadmill/track tempo run

Instead of trying to cram a bunch of running in at the end of the year to reach some arbitrary yearly mileage (don’t hold me to not doing that in the future, however), I decided some skiing was in order. After getting in a nice recovery run on Sunday (and feeling pretty great, actually, after Saturday’s effort), I jammed over to Gunny early Monday morning and met up with Dad, Donna and my cousins David, Dianne and their daughter Reagan. (Wow, that was a lot of Ds.) The skiing wasn’t particularly awesome but it was good to see everyone. I then gorged myself at Donita’s, hung out with Dad a little bit (Donna was wiped out after chasing Dad and me around all day), then did it again on Tuesday. Slightly better conditions on Tuesday and a storm rolled in late in the day so hopefully conditions improve.

I jammed back home Tuesday evening and was greeted to an awesome dinner/snack made by Rach. Too awesome.

I had a bunch of work on which to catch up today so just hit the gym late to do a quick tempo run. Felt great to get back with the program (albeit somewhat abbreviated). Looking forward to starting the year off with some skiing and then have a long run planned for Sunday. As always, frickin’ marvelous.


Sage Burner race report…

Yeah, I finished.

I huuuurt.
~ John D. Roach

Today I ran the Sage Burner 25K in Gunnison. I am hurting WAY more than I should for a 15-miler but I think there might have been one flat spot on that course. It was technical and tough. Good stuff.

The weather report said cold and rainy for the start but the weather was actually perfect. Cool and overcast. Great running weather. I started in a t-shirt and gloves and that was more than enough for this course.

There were about 200 starters, nearly triple the number who ran last year. Being one of the newcomers, I was familiar with parts of the course but definitely found myself just following vs. knowing what to expect around the next bend or steep uphill. Subsequently, I just followed the pace which probably resulted in a better finishing time but man, I was hurtin’ by the time I was done.

We started at 8:00 and quickly made our way up, up, up into the Hartman Rocks recreation area. This was my haunting grounds as a highschooler – THE place to ride, hike and (ahem) throw the more than occasional party. The course then followed familiar mountain biking trails (98% singletrack) in a clockwise direction for a nice tour of the Hartman Rocks area.

The pace was pretty quick to start and stayed that way for most of the race. (For me, at least.) The first four miles wound through technical rocky sections and sage brush. I was in decent shape early on, running with a good group, then I stopped to take a leak and found myself running with another group who had someone in it who would NOT shut up. Here I am suffering up steep inclines and she just kept talking. I could have possibly communicated in hand-gestures and grunts at this point so I felt she was adding insult to injury. Makin’ a brotha look bad…

So when she and her crew stopped at the first aid station, I just blasted right through with a solid half-bottle to spare. A couple miles later they snuck back up on me briefly, then I put the hammer down on a long downhill section and my ears (and ego) were given a break. Whew!

The course just kept rolling and rolling. After the second aid station (about mile 7.5) I started really feeling it and started trying to focus on staying smooth, with good form. Easier said than done. My abs started really bugging me shortly thereafter so I just tried to settle in and keep up my mantra of “Most Guts”. Ironic? Perhaps.

I did manage to pick off a few people in the last 5 miles but things were pretty strung out at that point. I was also passed by one woman who really put on the heat in the last climb/descent. I should feel bad but by this point, I was pretty ready for the finish. The last mile or so featured a brutal downhill (down Collarbone Alley). Not really my idea of good times in the last miles but I wasn’t consulted. I blame Wiensie (Dave Wiens, mountain bike legend and all-around nice guy.) I did manage to turn it over pretty well in the last few hundred meters, so that felt pretty good. I finished right in the middle of my desired range of 2:30-3:00 with a 2:45. Not blazing, but I’ll take it. My GPS said it was 16.17 miles, for an average pace of 10:15 mpm. Not too shabby.

Afterward, I was really pretty jacked up. I tried to sit in the creek for a bit but my feet were having none of that. Way too cold. I probably should have stuck it out but damn… my toes were unhappy. I took a quick shower and actually thought I was going blind for a bit (yikes!) so I wacked down a thing of Pedialyte and felt much better thereafter but still a lot more hurtin’ than I should have been for a race of this distance. I attribute this to a few things:

  1. Fast pace: I really wanted to run a 50K pace but mixing the 25K and 50K participants made that more than a little tough
  2. Electrolyte imbalance: I need to get back in touch with my Salt-Stick habit
  3. Ambitious shoe selection: I am too heavy for flats. The Peak XC is a great shoe but at 180, I am just too heavy to run long distances in this set-up. Hey, I tried, it didn’t work for me.
  4. Wicked hard course: As I said before, this course was tough. Not a lot of sustained climbing (like wicked high passes with 3 miles of uphill), but tough nonetheless. Made it tough to get into a sustained groove but hey, that’s racing.

I don’t have results just yet but will let you know how I did in relation to others soon.

Speaking of not keeping score and comparing myself to other golfers (“Height.”), Dad and I hit the links about an hour and a half after I got home from the race. Needless to say, I was a little wrecked at the start but still managed to hit some decent shots. I had some crappy holes for sure but overall, played better than usual. I guess I need to run a boatload of miles before I play. I still logged triple-digits (a completely honest 108 with no Mulligans) but overall, I played much better than normal and considering that was the first time I lifted a club this year, ran 16+ hard miles beforehand, and generally suck at golf, it wasn’t too shabby.

Dad and I capped off the day with some killer grub from the always awesome Donita’s Cantina in Crested Butte. If you are in the area, get your ass in there. Then be prepared to haul an ass and a half out of there.



Witness my crazy pow face.

Said the F-word – seven pounds, four ounces – now he says the F-word at the dinner table.
~ Bob’s mom

Days 15 and 16 on the slopes crashed through the door, scattered their crap all over the house and then plopped down on the couch with tons of attitude, raging hormones and eardrum shattering music. Or were spent with ample fresh pow turns and some challenging terrain at Crested Butte. Just thought I’d work that mid-teens analogy for a bit.

I drove over in a snowstorm on Wednesday to reports of a lot of fresh and more on the way at my “home” mountain. Traffic was light so I made good time getting over to Gunnison where I picked up my dad and we headed up the hill. Lots more snow greeted us upon arrival then we made a couple of runs then met my cousin, Jayne and her kids Tyler and Tanner for lunch.

Not a lot of new stuff was open so I decided to spend the remainder of the day with Dad and Tyler, spinning laps on Paradise. Fortunately, the snow was awesome and Horseshoe was open so I was able to make some more technical turns up there. I gave Tyler and Dad some pointers then we called it a day around 3:30 and headed to my Aunt and Uncle’s for dinner. My other cousin, David, and his family were there as well as Jayne’s husband, Gary. It was great to see everyone and hear stories of skiing in the late 50s from my Uncle Dale and Aunt Betty. Good times.

The next morning, Dad and I embarked on our traditional Xmas day ski around 8:30. We jetted back up to the Butte where it was absolutely puking snow. Even more terrain (Westwall) was open so I was fairly content to spin laps from the top of Paradise to Westwall to Horseshoe for most of the day. The conditions were awesome and it dumped all day. In the (roughly) 4 hours we were there it probably snowed 6 inches. Champagne pow. I needed to get home to my sweet Rach so we pulled the plug around 2 and headed back to Gunnison. I then drove back over to the Front Range on marginal roads but the traffic was fairly light so it only took about 4 hours. Not too bad.

Pete and Caleb invited me to go to A-Basin today but the thought of getting up early and driving I-70 again made me opt for sleeping in and maybe heading up to Eldora in the afternoon.

All in all a great few days. I was skiing well, the snow was awesome and I was on my favorite mountain so who’s to complain? Not dis guy, that’s for sure.


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