Mixing it up…

Snow run shot courtesy of Sean.

Security is mostly a superstition; it does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. ~ Helen Keller

Sat: 3:17, 21.5 miles, Boulder Backroads course avec snow

Yesterday’s skiing turned into a movie due to single-digit temps coupled with 40+ mph winds and a desire to keep Dad and Donna from freezing their tuchuses off so we went to a movie instead. Invictus, though somewhat charming (thanks mostly to Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of Nelson Mandela), was entertaining at best. The secret service/bodyguard sub-plot felt really tacked on and Eastwood has handled shooting more adeptly in other efforts (which is saying a lot, considering I am not really a fan of his work). However, Dad and Donna enjoyed themselves so mission accomplished. Sometimes you have to take one for the team.

So I mixed things up even more by moving my Long, Slow Day to Saturday this week so that I could run with a buddy of mine with whom I am hoping to do a lot of adventure running this spring and summer. We have a few grandiose plans (including the John Muir Trail, the Kokopelli Trail and a full assault of the Colorado Trail in ’11) and he is actually starting to get excited about another attempt at the LT100 this summer. So that means I may have some company along the first half of the event but am down one pacer if he decides to go for it. One takes the good with the bad (and I kid… I’d love for him to give it another shot). So I headed down to Boulder amid flurries, gray skies and cold temps to get a long run on.

We met at Sean’s place then drove out to the Boulder Res to run on the Boulder Backroads course. This is a notoriously difficult marathon course spiced up this morning by snow-covered and icy roads. Relatively fresh snow, to boot, so while it did provide some relief from the pounding one can be handed by frozen pavement and hardpacked conditions, it married this to sloppy footing and loss of traction to which I am becoming accustomed. This was not going to be a record-setting pace day, however.

We had the benefit of a crew today in the form of Sean’s father-in-law, Dave, who graciously not only drove us to the start/finish but placed drop bags along the route so we could resupply water and other goodies, loaned me his YakTrax (which I didn’t end up needing but were good to have along) and hung around after his shorter run to drive us back to Sean’s. Dave rules!

Overall, I felt pretty great and we managed to keep an average pace in the low 9s despite the conditions. The weather even broke for us within a few miles of our start and it ended up being a gorgeous day. No wind, sun shining… good stuff. We were shooting for 20 miles but mis-estimated the turn around spot on the out-and-back section of the course and ended the day with 21.5. Some minor aches and pains in the last couple of miles but those were to be expected given the poor footing we experienced throughout the run.

I am testing a couple of recovery techniques and will let you know how they work. Added full-leg compression stockings to the immediate post-run regimen and took an ice bath when I got home. I know this isn’t ideal (should tee that up immediately post-run) but thought I’d see if it appeared to have any positive effect when delayed. I tossed the stockings back on after the bath as well so now am I not only super sexy but well… I don’t really know how to finish that sentence.

Rach filled me full of amazing curry she just made up from whatever we had in the house and now I am feeling quite sated. Great Boxing Day for sure.


Bonking and hand-held do not mix…

These effects aren’t very special. ~ Butthead

Yesterday’s run was an exercise in physiology management, mostly. It is becoming more and more clear that I should never try the Badwater Ultra as I just do not do well at all when confronted with unrelenting sunshine and warm temps. It wasn’t even that hot yesterday but man, I suffered a bit due to lack of any shade, the warm-ish temps and poor nutrition.

We were up early to clean runs at the bunny shelter which is truly a rewarding experience. Rach went in at some ungodly hour of the day to get started and I followed shortly thereafter – sans breakfast. We got the bunnies cleaned up very quickly and had decided we would go see a movie around noon so I had just enough time to get in a “long” run and then get changed and to the movies.

The run started off rather poorly. I whacked down an apple but felt super clunky and not at all fluid. After a couple of miles I started feeling better and just focused on staying relaxed with good form. This is not my day to go out and break any speed records so I settled into a nice 9:00-9:30 pace and was able to keep my heartrate down for the most part. I circled one of Broomfield’s open space areas on dirt and then jumped into some neighborhood road running for the second portion of the day’s run.

Really, I felt okay for most of the run but never great and the longer I went, the hotter it got and there was little to no protection from the sun’s intensity. I wound my way back around on surface streets then picked up the Big Dry Creek trail for the next portion of the outing. It was during this stretch that I started feeling pretty crappy and my watch died so I had no information about how long I had been out but only a vague idea as to my timing. I circled back around to the shelter, checked the time and dropped off my non-functional HRM, then headed back out for another mile and a half or so to finish the day with about 11 miles and 1:45 or thereabouts of time. Overall, not too shabby but I wish I had felt a bit better.

Post run, Rach and I headed to see District 9. I was feeling a bit bonked and dehydrated and grabbed a burrito pre-screening to see if getting some food in my belly would help me feel better. It did, albeit briefly, and by about 2/3 of the way through the film I was feeling quite queasy. I think the combination of bonking, being a little dehydrated and the massive amounts of hand-held footage during the film combined to make things a little rough. I soon recovered and started feeling a bit better and enjoyed the film. Great effects. Good acting. Good story. Interested to see how much they screw up the sequel.

So today I am resting and recovering a bit and will get back out there tomorrow. I felt like I made progress this week. The abs still are bugging me a bit but overall, I feel pretty solid.


Early Fall is good…

If I played guitar, I’d be Jimmy Page. ~ The Beastie Boys

Just got back from watching It Might Get Loud. Good flick. Really cool to learn more about Jimmy Page, Jack White and Edge and see them interact. If you are a fan of music, you won’t be disappointed.

Pete and I jammed down to Denver to see the flick then came back up to Boulder and did a nice little run up the Creek path. Felt pretty awesome and did a few surges. Feeling really strong right now, which is just excellent. Hoping to keep ramping up the mileage and staying healthy.

This week has been particularly busy but I have been able to get out consistently. Did a fun run with Sean last Sunday on and around the Habitrail in Ned. Just a mellow, “long” run that ended up being 1:54 and 9.75 miles. Good to get out and explore some of the new trails in that area. I haven’t been riding lately so my normal exploration of this trail system has been lacking. So many variations out there now. Good and bad, I suppose but there are some really fun sections for sure.

Tuesday I ran in Boulder on the Creek path. Surges again but all on pavement since I started on the east side of the path. I was hoping to do my workout on the CU track but apparently it is closed to the public and I didn’t feel like getting yelled at (or arrested) so I just did some surges on pavement and called it good after about 50 minutes.

Wednesday was a blast with a fun tempo run in the woods. Feeling pretty great about the amount of distance I can cover when I hammer and am even starting to get faster while running slowly. The leaves are starting to change up here so things are getting a different kind of beautiful before winter sets in. It has definitely been cooling off and the nighttime air has a distinct, fall-esque snap to it.

Thursday featured just a short, recovery run during which I got a little lost and my watch batteries died so I don’t really know how far I ran. That was actually somewhat refreshing, to be honest… just out running with nothing to distract me.

Rach and I also checked out Inglourious Basterds on Thursday. Great, fun, fantasy film by QT. One of his best efforts, for sure. Terrific performances abound.

Work has been quite active as well of late and we signed several new clients in the past couple of weeks. All in all, early fall has been great thus far.


Another day older, not deeper in debt though…

Still life with coffee cup and Calgary.

There was no time for scholarly details, and, besides, I have always believed that a man can fairly be judged by the standards and taste of his choices in matters of high-level plagiarism. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

Yesterday was windy like it was someone’s first day on the job as wind-meister – friggin’ rookies… always trying to prove themselves – so I headed to the gym to hit the weights, then the dreadmill and then swim for awhile. Felt okay. I definitely wasn’t fast but was on a “cross country” program so I pretty much ran uphill the whole time. My guts weren’t bugging me too much, so that was nice. Today is another story, however.

I am still working on a post-Canada report and will try to have that out shortly.

Rach and I saw Slumdog Millionaire on Sunday for my birthday. Great movie. I had heard a lot about it prior to seeing it (which I normally avoid) but was still very surprised by the structure. Great use of flashbacks and the actors did a fantastic job. The film was definitely disturbing on a whole host of levels but worked really well overall. Well worth checking out.

I have actually been watching a lot of movies of late for whatever reason. Here are a few highlights:

New York Doll: Documentary about Arthur “Killer” Kane, the bassist for the New York Dolls. One of those movies that leaves you with some seriously mixed emotions.

The Man Who Souled the World: Another documentary… about World Industries founder, Steve Rocco and his punk rock, DIY asthetic that brought street skating to the forefront in the early 90s.

The Visitor: This sweet film features one of my favorite actors, Richard Jenkins in a story of a widower who befriends two immigrants he finds living in his New York apartment. Really quite a nice, quiet movie from the director of The Station Agent.

Taxi to the Dark Side: Really a grim documentary about the U.S. detainee policies.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Pretty great documentary about the life of Hunter S., one of my favorite authors.

Lars and the Real Girl: This one was really unexpectedly great. Excellent performances and a great story.

More to come.


Feel the burn…

Bad shot of my in-car thermometer on the way home from Gunny.

~ Neal Page

Days 9 and 10: Back from a couple of good days at the Butte. Skied with my pops on Saturday for a bit until he got tired. Then I hooked up with Rossi tele dude, Max Mancini, for a bunch of fun-filled runs. The day was pretty great, lots of fresh, some fun runs open and, frankly, blast-able due to the soft conditions. Twister was skiing like a dream with giant, bump-smashing GS turns and following Max off some of the cat-walk jumps that aren’t usually huck-friendly due to the Volkswagen-sized bumps that form up. I am definitely still recovering from Vegas as my quads were screaming at me towards the end of the day. Definitely not back in top form just yet but that is okay. Post-skiing, Dad and I went to see Quantum Solace (could have used some story-line editing but was okay) then hit my favorite restaurant, Donita’s Cantina. Go there immediately if you are anywhere near Crested Butte.

Sunday, CB called in 10 so I was super excited for a big pow day but in my enthusiasm, I mis-interpreted that figure and was a bit bummed to find out they really only got about 2 and the other 8 accumulated the previous day. Oh well. It was really cold and I had to go in for more layers after my first run then spun laps on Twister and Paradise. There was some more terrain open (compared with Saturday) but the coverage was still a bit thin to get anything good opened up. I had to take a break a couple hours in to warm up then managed to meet up with Max, Jen and Drew again for some fun nuker runs. We took a break after a few to warm up then spun a few more before calling it a day as it was about 8 degrees out. Not the coldest day I have had at the Butte by a long shot (I recall a -20 day in High School that was particularly chilly) but definitely not warm.

Jammed back home on snowpacked roads. It never ceases to amaze me how many shitty drivers there are out there. Driving slowly in the fast lane seems to be a bad-weather favorite. Jackasses. In any event, it was an enjoyable weekend but I am very happy to be home with my sweetie. She even baked me more yummy brownies while I was away!


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