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!


Tiger and Tony are safe…

I’m back, baby. ~ Bender

Running is fun. I know that 96.2% of the population would beg to differ with that statement but when you couple the simplicity of the sport (really, what is more natural for a human?) with the interaction with nature and add the pure rush of it all – running really kicks ass. There, I said it and I feel better for having said it.

People ask me from time to time, “Don’t you get bored?” The answer, for me, is “absolutely not.” Sure, I have some runs that are better than others but I have learned that there really is no such thing as a bad run. I always learn something new and experience the thrill of being outside, enjoying the world around me. When one really gets in the zone, the miles just tic off. Truly a feeling to experience at least once in your life.

So lately, I have throttled down my mileage and so far, this has been a positive move. Sure, I’d like to be able to run longer and look wistfully to the high mountains that surround my home – wishing I could be running among the wildflowers in the thin air of Colorado’s highest peaks. Driving through Leadville on my journey to Gunnison earlier this week, I definitely felt the pang of sadness that this year will not mark my return to that great event. But that is what next year is for. My focus now is to get healthy. So far, so good.

Since getting stabbed two weeks ago, I have kept the mileage low – upping the tempo a bit – and have increased my mileage to runs of 4+ miles. Today, I’ll spin 4.5 and then continue to slowly build back to my “normal” distances. Taking things very slowly right now in order to ensure that I can run pain-free for years to come. Short term sacrifices for long-term gains. Sometimes a tough pill to swallow but definitely the plan I’ll follow.

It’s all about the big picture. And I can see it.


[ed.] – Also, I still suck at golf.

[ed. ed.] – Two items of clarification:

1) I didn’t get stabbed in the prison-yard, Irish pub sense of the word, but by a qualified physician… in the Prison Yard Irish Pub. (If that doesn’t exist, you can’t have it. I thought of it first.)

2) That last sentence of the final paragraph rhymes! That wasn’t even on purpose but you can have that one free of charge. My next post will be entirely written in iambic pentameter.

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.


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!

Gunny recap…

Obviously you’re not a golfer. ~ Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski

Jammed over to Gunnison yesterday to hang out with my pops. I rolled into town around noon, grabbed some grub then Dad got us a tee time at the local links. it is amazing how well one can score when Dad gives them Mulligans every third shot. Yeah. In case you were wondering, I still suck at golf.

Afterwards, we headed up to Crested Butte to dine at one of my favorite restaurants, Donita’s Cantina. Awesome Mexican food. Go there immediately if you can. We then listened to/watched the debate. I’ll reserve my comments for another time.

By the way, the trees are just AMAZING right now so if you are wanting to get out and annoy some people who are actually trying to get somewhere, tomorrow may be your day. Seriously, the aspen are just going off right now. It won’t last long, kids so hit the high country ASAP.

Today, I went for a run then Dad and I made like rednecks and mended the fence in front of his place. It went really well once we pulled out the big guns and got the chainsaw out after the friggin’ thing. Sometimes, you just have to use the right tool to get the job done right.

So I am supposed to do a week recap today but will have to catch you guys up tomorrow on this week’s running activities. I have a long run planned but ran pretty hard today so we’ll see what happens.

Ok. That’s it for now.


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