The long-awaited weekly summary…

Better late than never. ~ Anon

Ok… Work has been so nuts I just haven’t had time to think much less write up my summary of last week’s fun and/or games. So, without further ado… *drumroll* LAST WEEK’s SUMMARY!!!

September 21-27, 2008

  • Sunday (9/21): The Dreaded Hills of Ned Circuit, 13.5 miles, 2:10. Well, it was a good idea in theory and I actually didn’t feel too badly until I got lost in the maze of roads above Hurricane Hill. Then it just got ugly. This was not exactly what I had hoped to experience but I have found that even a bad day out and about can be productive.
  • Tuesday (9/23): Boulder Creek LT Extravaganza, 10 miles, 1:21. What a difference a couple of days makes. Really a great LT run. Did a 3 mile warm up then put the hammer down for 5 (the first two of which were uphill) then coasted for another 2. Felt great all around and was able to really motor for the full 5 miles. Good stuff.
  • Wednesday (9/24): Reservoir Recovery Run with Rete (er… Pete. Got into it there a bit.), 5.25 miles, 00:52. Hit the res loop with Pete which is always a good time. We just took it really easy and enjoyed the scenery and company. At least I enjoyed the company… I can’t speak for Pete.
  • Saturday (9/27): Hammer Run in the ‘Sack, 11.5 miles, 1:37. I was over in Gunnison to visit my pops and help him around the house so we played some golf on Friday (amazing how well one can score when one’s dad gives them Mulligans every fourth shot), went to Donita’s, then I went for a good run on Saturday morning. Stuck to my usual Cirque de Gunny loop for the most part with the obligatory Signal Peak climb then really put it in high gear on the way back to Dad’s. Felt pretty solid, actually. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Total mileage for the week: ~40 miles
Total time for the week: 6 hours

So the week started out pretty poorly (two days hard in a row) then ended up quite well. Gotta love that. I think I was off a bit for mileage for the week but generally feel okay about where I am right now. The Denver Marathon is in three weeks or so and I feel like I can do 4 hours or less there and then keep focused until Vegas. Well… ski season starts up here soon so maybe I won’t be so focused but I will be out there!

Gettin’ my run on…

Three tomatoes are walking down the street — a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and squishes him… and says, ‘Ketchup.’ ~ Mrs. Mia Wallace

Yesterday: Hike – Raccoon Trail, 1 hour
Today: Run – Switzerland Trail, 2 hours
Tomorrow: Hike

Ok. I have to catch you up on recent events.

I jammed over to Gunnison on Friday to hang with the ‘rents. Played 9 holes of golf with my pops, did some stuff around the humble abode, ate some good Mexican food, hung out with my mom. That kind of stuff. It was a nice weekend for sure.

Gunnison is an interesting town. Crested Butte is nearby so there is a definite hippie/liberal element (plus, there is a college there which adds to this vibe) but the rest of the area features a lot of farmer/rancher types which makes for an interesting mix. It is always good to get back over there for sure as the area is beautiful and filled with Stu-style goings on. Lots of mountain biking/trail running/skiing/outdoorsy goodness. I am psyched we moved there and that my parents have stayed. The X-Card went on sale again. Just put that on the list of things to get. Which reminds me. I need to get my Eldora pass as well.

The aspens are threatening to turn throughout the high country. I think two-three weeks will be the peak. I am hoping to get the Crüe together for a Leadville run from Half Moon to Twin Lakes and back. This section of the course is aspen-central and would be gorgeous if timed right. We’ll see who is interested in an adventure of that sort.

Today’s run was a real surprise. I actually felt pretty well throughout and ran a steady pace for a full 2 hours. Luke wasn’t feeling so hot towards the end. I think he is coming down with something. I, on the other hand, had enough in me to turn some serious times in the last 2 miles or so and finished up strong. I definitely couldn’t have sustained that pace for long but it was nice to get the legs turning over.

Luke and I talked about Leadville and whether or not I am going to give it another shot next year. The jury is still out on that one and I think I will try to hold off on any decisions until after February. In the meantime, I’ll keep training to stay in shape for ski season and the Enduro and see how I feel about things later in the year. If I could figure out a way to do it without having to invest so much time training, I think I would give it another whirl. I just don’t know if I can spend that much time away from my sweetie again this year. We’ll see. In any event, it is really great to be able to run again. Today was just awesome along the Peak to Peak.

What else? Just procrastinating horribly. I have meetings all day tomorrow so need to get some work done tonight in preparation. We have been watching Season 3 of The Office which I highly recommend. Funny stuff. It’s not Arrested Development but it is actually decent TV for a change.



Course ride…

Funny thing about weekends when you’re un self employed… they don’t mean quite so much – except you get to hang out with your workin’ friends. ~ Primus

Yesterday: Ride – Fish Hatchery to Twin Lakes and back, ~ 4.5 hours
Today: Hike – GGCSP, ~ 1 hour
Tomorrow: Hike – GGCSP, ~ 1 hour

I need to get my Zen on.

Things have been pretty stressful of late and I need to get control of everything. I am super busy with work and that, coupled with this leg injury, has detracted from my ability to train as effectively as I had planned for these past couple of weeks. I did manage to get back up on the course yesterday for a long ride that took a bit longer than I anticipated.

I started out at the Fish Hatchery around 12:30 and felt solid heading out the main road toward Halfmoon. I had a healthy tail/cross wind that pushed me along at a nice clip. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the temperatures were in the low-to-mid 80s, I believe. This portion of the course is probably the least interesting – several miles of relatively flat paved or improved dirt roads. Pretty boring, actually. There are some nice views of the nearby mountain ranges that I plan to use to distract me from the less-than-exciting running conditions of this section during the race.

As one gets closer to Halfmoon, the road begins to climb and features a long-ish false flat up to the checkpoint. About a mile later, we will turn onto the Colorado Trail which is pitched steeply for about the first mile then settles into some very tasty, smooth singletrack running through green aspen groves. This is definitely the prettiest part of the course I have seen thus far (and the nicest portion of the course per racer accounts). This singletrack rolls along for a few miles then reaches a trailhead. This is where I proceeded to get off-course yesterday. The trail crosses a large bridge then dumps onto a jeep road for about 200 meters where it reaches an intersection. Here, I banged a left, following the main road down and should have gone right briefly to follow the partially obscured singletrack to the south. My mistake dropped me several miles east of Twin Lakes where I followed the main highway back into town. This is why I am visiting the course regularly – to work out these kinks prior to race day.

Twin Lakes was bustling. Tourists were everywhere, checking out the history of the area and generally being tourists. I stopped briefly at the Windspirit Lodge to confirm my reservation for the race weekend (confirmed) and then headed back out on the course (for real this time) for my return to the Fish Hatchery. Thus far, I felt strong and fresh and didn’t have much concern about being able to get back smoothly. I was a bit slower to Twin Lakes than I hoped but chalked this up to poor route finding and getting off course.

On the climb (push) out of Twin Lakes, I whacked down and sandwich and started to hear a hiss coming from my rear tire. Yup, apparently I pinched a tube on the descent and I quickly found myself on the side of the trail changing the flat. Not the fastest exchange I have ever accomplished either. Once that was repaired I was off again, pushing a lot more than I liked. For whatever reason, I was really uncomfortable riding marginally steep sections that I should have been able to ride and found myself walking much of the course at this point. Not sure why I was unable to ride but I just tried to keep moving upward along the trail. Soon I was back to the spot where I had missed my connection on the way out and back on familiar terrain. I began feeling a bit better and moved at a steady pace back to the top of the steep, technical section and jammed back down to Halfmoon and along the dirt road in a big gear – even passing a couple of cars along the way. The pavement section was a bit less forgiving as I contended with a stiff headwind back to the Fish Hatchery in about 4 and a half hours. Given the extra miles, route finding problems, stops in Twin Lakes and to fix the flat, not really such a bad effort in the long-run. I am guessing I did about 42 miles or so total.

Heading back home, I thought I would have smooth sailing as the traffic was light all the way past the Loveland Pass exit on the East side of Eisenhower. Then, the dreaded I-70 parking lot set in with a vengeance. For whatever reason, I was unable to hook up the frontage road and kept missing key exits. I think it took me 3 hours or so to get home. Ugh. I have said it before (and unfortunately will probably say it again) but I would not be sad to never have to drive I-70 on a weekend again.

Once I got home, Rach and I hung out for a bit and I got up early this morning to get some work done. This is going to be a crazy week and I need to get a jump on it. So… here I am updating my blog. Yeah. Gotta get to work.

See you out there.


More: My parents made the trip over this weekend as well and I got to play golf with my dad on Saturday at Fossil Trace. I like this course, actually. It is pretty sweet for a municipal course. I think I shot about 170. I still rule. Definitely no threat to anyone out there who is a golfer.

Delayed Dad’s Day…

Better late than never. ~ Titus Livius

Tuesday: Golf – Vista Ridge, 5 hours ~275 shots
Yesterday: Habitat for Humanity, Denver, 5.5 hours
Today: Run, Ned area, ~2 hours
Tomorrow: Bike ride, Casa del Critters, ~1 hour

Okay… Clearly I have not done such a red hot job of keeping you guys updated this week. For that, I apologize.

My first week out of the 9-5 world has been quite hectic thus far. I have been swamped with freelance projects plus signed on for volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and had a previously scheduled day with my dad. Good times!

Tuesday was my belated Dad’s Day celebration and my pops came over from Gunnison to spend the day goofing around Denver with me. First, we played a round of golf at Vista Ridge. Fun course. I still suck but had a great time. There were geese all over the course with little ones learning to fly. We also saw a big bullfrog who treated us to some serious croaking and some sort of stork or something. Not sure what he was. I think Dad shot in the high 80s and I rocked about a 215 or something. I stopped counting. The greens were really tough to figure out and the rough was, well… rough. Fun course though.

Later that night, we tried to get Dad checked into the La Quinta for which he had a reservation but apparently that was lost so we had to change plans and moved him to the Best Western. Dad is a huge Yankees fan so I got us tickets to go see the Bombers play the Rockies. (I forgot my camera, so no shots from there.) I normally am not a baseball going type of fella but had a great time at the game with Dad. The guy next to us was an uber baseball dork and was keeping score, calling his buddies with updates non-stop, and twitching all over the place in nervousness for his Yankees. Funny stuff. The game was a good one, relatively close and not a marathon session. Apparently you can’t get anything at the game that hasn’t been soaked, dipped, doused, rubbed, glazed or pickled in salt so be forewarned. I think I may have consumed a decade’s RDA of the stuff. Good lemonade, though.

I got home around midnight and was up the next morning to get some freelance stuff completed prior to heading out to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. This was the first day volunteers were on site and we had a bunch of prep-work to do in the crawl space. The foundation had been contracted out so that was all in place. Man it was hot. I am not a big fan of warm weather as you may know and it was about 97 in Denver yesterday. First, we leveled the crawl space floor and then spread pea gravel over the surface, pitched that down to a sump pump and then affixed a vapor barrier. By that point, we were virtually finished and were waiting for a load of lumber to arrive so that we could get to work on the floor joists. After hanging out for awhile with no lumber in sight, the foreman cut everyone loose early. I got home about 3:30 and started working on a couple of projects that I need to finish up by next week.

View the full album.

Today, thus far, has been spent working. I am going to go for a run with Luke here in a bit (I hope) and plan to spend the rest of the evening just relaxing with Rach. Tomorrow, I need to work most of the day and will try to get out early for a ride or a run.

I forgot to tell you more about the Spring Fling at the Colorado House Rabbit Society. So everyone brought their bunnies and Rach judged a contest. Some of the categories were: Looks most like their owner, Oddest couple, Funniest, Most relaxed, etc. It was fun to see the kids get all fired up when they won a prize. There were a couple of bunnies selling kisses (yeah) and a silent auction to raise money for the shelter. The turnout was amazing and we actually had to park across the street because all the spots were taken. Rach won the grand prize to sponsor an outdoor bunny run. I think she is going to do that in Rockshot’s honor.

That’s it for now. Gotta hit the trails.


Mellow Monday…

We are each our own greatest inhibitor. People don’t want to do new things if they think they’re going to be bad at them or people are going to laugh at them. You have to be willing to subject yourself to failure, to be bad, to fall on your head and do it again, and try stuff that you’ve never done in order to be the best you can be. ~ Laird Hamilton

Yesterday: Hit Range Balls/Hike – Casa del Critters, 1:15
Today: Run – GGCSP, ~2 hours
Tomorrow: Ride – Somewhere singlespeedy, ~2 hours

Yesterday, Rach and I took a nice stroll in the woods around our house. The songbirds were going crazy-nuts and surprisingly, we only saw one other person walking his dog. I love where we live – close proximity to fun trails and the ability to get away from it all in just a short walk from our house.

During lunch yesterday, I went to the driving range to get a few cuts in before playing a round of golf with my dad next week. I don’t get to play very often so need to brush up on my skills (or lack thereof) whenever I can. I am looking forward to playing with my pops and hope to break 100. I shot a 102 the last time I played so I am within striking distance of the sub-triple-digit score. We’ll see how things go. I usually do okay for most of the round and then fall apart on a couple of holes pushing my score way up. Dad shoots in the low 80s usually (I think). I am not sure I will ever play enough to be that good but it is fun to get out on the course now and again.

I also went to see Dr. Paul yesterday for my ankle problem (which seems to have been resolved) and my knee (which is still a bit swollen but has decreased in size markedly over the past several days). The knee stems from my unscheduled nose-dive back in May (see this post for details). The shot some pictures and believe that everything is a-ok so that was good news. I just need to select better places for splashdowns in the future.

And today is Luke’s birthday. Age is one place where I will always beat him but visit his blog to congratulate him on trying to catch up.

Until next time…