Weekends are good…

Chase atop Green. With mountains.

Slipped my mind. ~ Dean “The King of Empty Promises”

4:04, 16.19, LSD

This was an action-packed weekend. Got up early on Saturday to do a quick run in the ‘hood. The trails around the house are still snow-jammed so it was slow going but fun to get out and give them a go. Ended up with just under 4 miles in 40 minutes.

Rach and I then met my Dad and Donna for a screening of Puccini’s Turandot. The Met has been broadcasting their performances to theaters across the nation (world, maybe) and they are pretty awesome. The screening we attended was completely packed so that bodes well for the program to extend for years to come. Good stuff.

Sunday, I met up with Chase for a long, slow run in Boulder. Beautiful day for it, too. We started out at the South Mesa trailhead and rocked the Mesa Trail north to Chautauqua. Then we headed up Gregory Canyon, Green Mountain and back down to Mesa via Bear Canyon, then south to Bluestem and back to the trailhead in a mellow 4 hours. My longest run for quite some time. Felt awesome and was good to have some company. Just what the doctor ordered.

Also, here is a video of our new kitty, Nino, who has some interesting quarks: She likes peanut butter, chili, yowling, potato chips, hostile occupation of the bunny magic dream cottage, refusing to recognize our right to exist, being a meezer, catching mice, watching Rach shower (me too! go figure) and… drinking from the tap.

Looking forward to more fun and/or games this week.


edit. GPS info for this run.

No business like snow business…

Cause one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor ~ The Beastie Boys

There is just something exciting about a snow storm… particularly one that comes whistling in and pounds you with fresh flakes during your long solo run. Not that 2.5 hours is particularly “long” but conditions do play a major role in how long that feels and how fast one can cover the distance during the planned time.

I used this handy tool for judging what to wear, added a couple of items for backup and to combat what I knew were going to be challenging conditions, and headed out the door under heavy clouds, falling temps and intermittent snow showers that quickly turned to full-on blizzard activity. I was in the zone, however… so much so that I blew through one important turn that I missed due to the trail being covered with fresh pow and my not really paying attention. So I went another way.

The beauty of running familiar territory is that when you do blow a turn and find yourself staring at an adamant “no trespassing” sign, you can just take another route, knowing that eventually, you’ll be back on common ground. So I dropped down an old mining road that eventually spilled me out with minimal bushwhacking to the Beav’. Crisis averted, on with my run.

So instead of doing the planned, clockwise loop, I modified my game to roll counter-clockwise – actually the more familiar direction of the two. I power-hiked up to Little Hope then dropped off the back side and into the system of mining roads and singletrack trails which have become my regular stomping grounds. Little Hope feeds to Ski Thing which then heads around the shoulder to Sofa Spring and Funky Boss. A quick, steep climb follows to the shoulder summit and I dropped down Tupperware, fed back to the Casa Trails on which I started (but now hooked into a different section) and headed up to try to find Dan the Man without success. Too much fresh had fallen between my last venture in these woods. So plans changed again, I hit the Fire Station and worked my way back around to Saddlebend, Diver Down, then back up to the other end of Dan the Man to Ladybug then home. I am sure that other people have names for these trails, or perhaps they just refer to them all as one bulk item. Either way, they are a blast.

I actually felt great for most of the run. At times, the going was slowed a bit due to the conditions and by the end I was tired and getting pretty chilly. Temps throughout were in the mid 20s and I was relatively comfortable most of the day with just long pants, a long-sleeved Patagonia Capilene 3 Crew, and gloves but donned a hat and my Patagonia Houdini Jacket when the snow was really coming down. One interesting equipment issue I had early on was with the gaiters (which actually look a lot more like spats) I was wearing. I actually really like them for times when I am sure that dirt and debris are going to be a problem but the string that runs under my foot (to keep the gaiters in place), kept collecting snow, ice and detritus. Eventually, one broke and I removed the other one without further incident. Makes me better understand why some manufacturers go with a Velcro attachment.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome day for a run.

In other news, we got a new kitty about 3 weeks ago. She is a Siamese short hair, is nuts (though that may be redundant) and her name is Nino. She likes to drink out of the faucet and is slightly less aggressive about it than this kitty. I’ll post photos soon. We also are saddened by the death of one of our long-term foster bunnies, Rosie le Rose who died late last week. She was a sweetie and will be very sorely missed. Rach does such an awesome job taking care of the little guys and providing them with lots of love and tenderness. Rosie responded in kind and was a welcome addition to our family. We’ll miss her tons.


Exploration, discovery…

Whoot, there it is. ~ 95 South

There are many things to appreciate about levering oneself off the couch to go out for a run and I was reminded of one this evening when I braved the elements for a fun trot around the neighborhood trails. Snow started coming down as I pulled on my trainers, grabbed a hat and headed out the door. By the time I reached the woods, it was pounding. And windy. And awesome.

I kept a nice, mellow pace and made my way down familiar singletrack, already dusted with fresh, heavy flakes. Getting out, no matter what the conditions, has become a favorite pastime and I have grown to really enjoy traveling familiar byways in anything nature throws my way. (Check with me again in a few months when it is like, 3° out.)

As I approached my final descent back to dirt roads and the asphalt ribbon of the Peak to Peak, I glanced to my right to discover a new trail – one which I have passed without noticing at least 50 times. The conditions were just right so the snow coverage made this new trail stand out from the pine-needle-covered ground. Otherwise, I would have missed it.

This deviation was not part of my agenda but I had to see where this new trail would take me. I knew it couldn’t lead me too far astray and had to intersect with familiar territory fairly quickly given the area in which I was running. After running along for a few minutes, enjoying the undulations and twists of the route, I ran into a mountain biker heading the other direction.

The other funny thing about getting out in all sorts of weather is that when you do meet up with other adventurers, they are always just as happy about being out in the conditions as you. “Great weather for it, huh?” said Señor Mountain Bike. “Indeed,” I concurred. We chatted briefly and I introduced myself. Now, I’ll call this trail “Dan the Man” in his honor. I’m sure it has many other names but that’s how I’ll refer to it… in my own mind, at least.

So not only did I get in a run but I experienced some rather inclement weather and, in fact DUE to that weather, I found a new trail among those which I have been running for years. That, to me, is bliss.


Well that was satisfying…

I haven’t felt that good since Archie Gemmill scored against Holland in 1978! ~ Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

Two good runs in a row. That must be some sort of record.

Yesterday I got out early which was, I must admit, highly refreshing. Morning in the mountains is just different somehow. Anywhere, really. Things are more calm, collected. The quiet envelops you. And you can just settle into what you are doing without distractions found the rest of the day.

I headed out for a quick warm up on trails followed by several surges. I must admit, my abs have been bothersome of late but not so much that I can’t enjoy myself and I have managed to finally get a tentative grip on running relaxed. By the time I hit the pavement for my first of 4 surges, I still felt fresh, fast. I spun nearly 5 miles in 40 minutes total with a good warm up and cool down. Pretty happy with that.

Today I headed out for my “long” run. The target was 1:20 and how I got there was really up to me. I selected one of my favorite routes with lots of hills and technical trails and told myself I would be happy if I ended up with 7 miles at the end of it all. I ran down the Beav then up into the forest that makes up what I like to call “the Triangle”. This area represents part of the Roosevelt National Forest broken up by South Boulder Creek, Highway 119 and South Beaver Creek Road and is home to some of my favorite local trails – a couple of which I created. After climbing up Creekwood and heading out Judges, I dropped down Little Hope to Ski Thing and then climbed back up to Funky Boss via Sofa Spring. From there, I headed back up to Diver Down and then finished up by reversing my normal route on the Casa Trails and back home. Felt really great for most of the run with a couple of places I power hiked and went way anaerobic on one of the climbs before saying “screw this” and hiking. I have run everything on this route at one time or another but some sections are STEEP and I am working on hiking big ups but hammering the downs. In any event, I finished up with 8 miles in 1:20 on the nose for an average of 10-minute miles. VERY happy with that result.

I also made some progress on the shed over the weekend and just need to get a few more things in order to finish it up. Qwest comes tomorrow morning to fix our phone line and install a new modem for the office so that should make working in the studio a lot better and I have a meeting in Idaho Springs in the afternoon which should be productive. Rach hits the shelter on Monday so I’ll be taking care of the critters at home while she is away as well. She has been staying down there Monday nights to give Nancy a break… which is just awesome of her.

I tuned into the Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Saturday as well and wish to congratulate Lance Armstrong on his record-breaking win. I was pulling for Dave Wiens but an in-shape Lance is a tough cookie to break. Dave took second (reversed the order from last year) and it sounded like an exciting race. I am looking forward to heading up next weekend to check out some of the run and hope to be back in there next year!

Also, if you have seen a shoe, Cort’s was stolen last night by a fox so keep your eyes open for a stinky, fox-chewed Merrill clog-type thing. Not sure if we are looking for a left or a right but if you see something, let me know.


Sunday run report…

Bob and Stu go running.

Let it flow. Let yourself go. Slow and low, that is the tempo.
~ The Beastie Boys

And a weekly summary! Whee!

Bob and I hit the trails this morning for what turned into a pretty long run. Long enough that we ran out of water and I, being one who can process fluids like wildfire, got into a little trouble.

Click on the photo to get the full effect. Hawk 1, snake 0.

We headed out from Bob and Lindsay’s about 9:30 and did a clockwise loop into the foothills of Boulder. Really a gorgeous day (a little warm for my tastes but I am a great big weirdo – see above). We ran south on Moorhead to the South Campus (or whatever it is called) and then headed up to Big Bluestem. Along the way we stopped for some photos then saw a hawk that had grabbed a snake and was circling above. Cool to see and great for the hawk. The snake… not so much.

It’s getting green out there.

We made our way west to the Mesa Trail then dodged hoards of hikers all the way back to Chautauqua. Seems like every third person we passed knew Bob so we had some nice breaks to check out the scenery and enjoy our time in the outdoors.

Once we hit the Chautauqua, we went over the saddle to the Gregory Canyon trailhead then up and over the first ridge of Flagstaff. By this time, I had run out of water and was starting to bonk a bit so we jammed down to Lolita’s for a fill up. Bob treated me to a great big Gatorade and then I had to find a bathroom. Finally opted for the Library, which had a cool display detailing the inner workings and history of the Boulder ditch system. Yeah, I did say “ditch”.

I saw a lot of this later in the run.

So we meandered our way back to Bob’s and my abs started acting up. Coupled with the dehydration, I was only able to run in short spurts. Oh well. 16 miles total with an unimpressive time of 3:40 or something. That’s okay though, it’s all about time on your feet.

Post run, I had some problems reminiscent of last year’s 50-mile race where I feel like I really have to pee but then can’t. I have to really start working harder on consistent fluid and food consumption. Gonna see if I can set a timer on my watch or something. Running the marathons last fall got me out of the habit of taking sips every 3 minutes and powering down food at a regular clip. Dargh!

So here are the week’s numbers:

Monday: Run, 3.15 miles, 33 minutes
Tuesday: Run, 5.2 miles, 51 minutes
Wednesday: Hike, 8 miles???, 2.15 hours???
Thursday: Run, 4 miles, 35 minutes
Saturday: Run, 6.86 miles, 1 hour 20 minutes
Sunday: Run, 15.9 miles, 3 hours 44 minutes
TOTAL: 43.11 miles, 9 hours 20 minutes

All in all a pretty solid week. I think this week will be fairly mellow leading up to the Dirty 30 on Saturday.

Rach is making origami bunnies right now, which is super awesome. Yet another of her many talents.


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