I don’t like having you as my cousin… you’re tall and old. ~ Jack (my new step-nephew, actually)

Fri 23 Apr: 1:12, 8.65 miles, Air Force Academy Loops
Sun 25 Apr: 4:55, 28.5 miles, Niwot/North Boulder Loops
Weekly total: 9:45, 60.65 miles

Great week. Both training and otherwise. Friday was a bit of a cluster but the rest of the week featured solid training and good times.

The non-running highlight of the weekend was my dad’s wedding in Colorado Springs. He and his new bride, Donna hosted a wonderful weekend and are now in the air on their way to Hawaii for the honeymoon. Here’s the weekend recap:

Headed down to the Springs early on Friday, hoping to beat both traffic and pretty crappy weather. What should have taken about 2 hours turned into 3:20 with I-25 being turned into a parking lot for a good portion of the morning. So golf was out and watching it puke snow was in.

Dad arranged lodging at the Air Force Academy (he was a Major in the Air National Guard) and so we hung out there most of the afternoon. I had planned to hit some trails I used to ride a lot in college, but the snow and wind made that seem pretty fruitless. By mid-afternoon, I really needed to get my run on and headed down to the gym to log some treadmill miles. The room was way too hot so I bailed after 3/4 of a mile and decided to brave the outdoors. Fortunately it stayed relatively warm so the roads throughout the Academy fairly quickly melted off. Though it stayed windy, the street surface alternated between damp and wet. I selected a 6-mile loop (which turned out to be closer to eight) and got in a short run. Actually ended up feeling okay but got a little messed up given the mileage difference.

Friday night, we went to a party and met all our new relatives. Donna made special food for me (given my wacky vegan-ness) and it was wonderful to meet everyone and catch up with my brother and his wife, uncle and cousins. I decided to head home late Friday night and got to bed around 1:30. A bit of a long day but worth it.

Saturday, Rach and I headed back down for the actual wedding, which was a lovely event. Rach taught the little kids shame, even. Everyone should know that. We had one fairly major kink in the plans when one of our bunnies, Flea, got sick. We tried to get him to feel better before leaving for the event, but were unable to do so. So we brought a secret guest to the wedding carrying on a long and proud tradition of us bringing critters to family events. Why anyone expects otherwise at this point is beyond me.

Today, I got up early (after not a lot of sleep again) and jammed down to Boulder to run with the group. The run was a little slower than normal and I felt great despite the lack of sleep. Put in a strong effort and ended with about 28.5 miles in just shy of 5 hours. Run time was probably more like 4:40 or so. This pushed me up and over the 60-mile mark for the week. Good stuff.

Hoping to finish up the month with daily runs Tuesday-Friday. Heading to Palm Springs for another wedding on Friday, however, so that day may be a day off. Planning a decent run on Saturday but this week will be a bit on the low side in preparation for a big week the first week of May.


Week in review…

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tues 16 Mar: 00:46, 4.69 miles, Casa trails surges
Wed 17 Mar: 2:08, 13.5 miles, Dearborn tempo
Thurs 18 Mar: 00:32, 3.11 miles, Snowy trails slog
Sat 20 Mar: 00:40, 4.35 miles, Treadmill surges
Sun 21 Mar: 5:00, ~30 miles, Long, slow Boulder run
TOTAL: 8.75 hours, 55 miles

This was a pretty solid week of training, actually – especially considering how I felt most of the week. After last Sunday’s effort, I was a little beaten up going into my normal schedule and though I was able to keep up the plan, I was definitely feeling it this week. On top of that, I donated platelets/plasma on Wednesday and that took it out of me a bit. Thursday I had to drag myself out on my run but, as experience is proving, once I got out there, I had a great time. I did modify my route to be more about entertainment than running (post-holed for much of the “run” in deep snow drifts) but sometimes that is what you have to do. Mix it up. Enjoy.

By Saturday I was feeling pretty much all together again and Sunday’s run was another tour of way North Boulder. Amazing how the miles just tick off. By hour 4 I was getting a little tired but finished up relatively strongly (even if getting a bit sore) and managed to come away from the whole experience feeling very positively about the effort. I must admit that I am a little sore today but am sure that will pass quickly.

While running multiple hours on end, one has the opportunity to do a lot of thinking and one item that comes up fairly often for me is the philosophy that there is no such thing as a bad run. Sure, some are more productive than others, or hurt less, or have an overall quality that surpasses others, but really, there are lessons to be learned from each and every experience. Sometimes the lessons are big (remember to drink, don’t step on rusty nails, punching yourself in the face is not a good motivator) and sometimes they are as simple as, “I can do this!” Regardless, I have discovered that getting out there, even if the end result doesn’t feel especially “good”, is way better than not getting out there.



Go long…

Don’t bail: The best gold is at the bottom of the barrels of crap. – Randy Rausch

Sun 14 Mar: 4:41, 29.18 miles, North Boulder road/trail loop

While running on the dirt road system North of Boulder yesterday, I commented about the amazing feeling one gets when 2 hours of running just ticks by. We were about 12 miles into what would eventually become a 29+ mile Sunday jaunt and I realized that I had reached the point in my training where things are starting to really click. My mileage has increased to the point where I can go out for hours at a time without too much stress and a lot of satisfaction.

Yesterday, I started solo then hooked up with Art Ives. We then met up with the group to form a solid pack of about 10. It was chilly and a bit windy but everything just felt right. Cloud cover built throughout the day but nothing seemed to get in the way of forward progress and Art and I quickly settled into a nice rhythm that saw us slide off the front of the group. It was just one of those days where I was able to sustain a steady pace without a ton of effort. Good times.

We made our way back West and jumped on the Foothills Trail. What a joy to be back on trails, if only for a short period of time. Soon we hit the Boulder Valley Ranch trail system then split up, leaving me solo, once again, to complete the run.

In increasing drizzle, I spun through mile 26.2 in 4:14 and polished up the final 3 miles in 27 minutes. Finished strongly, on target and smiling all the way. A great early-season effort.


Slow and easy…

Release the Kraken! ~ Zeus

Thurs 11 Mar: 00:30, 2 miles, Shoe testing in Boulder
Sat 13 Mar: 00:40, 4.42 miles, Sloppy ‘hood run with surges

Two relatively mellow runs in prep for tomorrow’s long effort. Feeling okay, not great. Looking to make some footwear adjustments to try to adjust to my stride changes. Tested that out today and will shoot for testing again for part of tomorrow’s run.

My next race is two weeks away. Time is flying right now and I am looking to set up crew and pacers for Leadville soon. Still working out all the details but the target is approaching and will be here before I know it. Feeling like I am on track for sure.

Getting some Spring cleaning done as well and am hoping to finish out the garage attic as my new office this summer. We’ll see how that goes. It is stuffed with well… stuff right now so that has to be dealt with first then we can move on to the actual build out. We’re also making some big strides at work right now, which is nice. Good to have goals and to have some momentum building.

That’s about it for now. Check in again tomorrow for a run report. Going to be out there for 4:40 and the weather is supposed to be a bit crappy so it could get interesting.


Fall is ariving with a vengeance…

Play Dream Police, god dammit! ~ Some guy

Rach and I went to a fun party at Cort and Dickie’s place last night. Good times. One over-zealous Cheap Trick fan made our night by shouting requests at Cort’s band. We had to jet before hearing their rendition, however.

Running went really well this past week. Just stuck with the program and made gains all around. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tuesday: 40 minutes (~4 miles) with slow warm-up and 7 surges
  • Wednesday: 1:15 (about 8.5 miles) with 25 minutes of tempo
  • Thursday: 40 minutes (~4 miles), recovery
  • Saturday: 40 minutes (~4 miles) with slow warm up and 5 surges
  • Sunday: Shooting for 2 hours, mellow (I’ll let you know how that goes)

I also worked with Janet this week and feel like we added some stride elements that are really going to improve things for me. Working really hard on initiating my stride from my hips and that seems to be feeling pretty good. Also got new orthotics made by Russ at Podium and so far, they feel great.

I reacquainted myself with the “crawl space” (in quotes because only someone under the age of about 5 could actually crawl down there) underneath my house and found that the critters are working their magic once again. So I need to redo some insulation and heat tape. Whee. I did get my office phone line working again (critter sabotage), so that is nice. Going to experiment with the Wifi a bit to see if I can improve reception all around and plan on diving back under the abode this week to get things all patched up before winter, which is rapidly approaching.

Enjoy the cool weather and fall colors out there.