Semi-Cirque de Boulder…

Pain don’t hurt. ~ James Dalton

So yesterday went relatively well. Luke and I got started around 4:30 from the 7-mile mark of the Cirque de Boulder route. Let’s call it the semi-cirque. We started off under overcast skies and moderate temperatures. Pretty near perfect conditions. The first half of the route went smoothly and Nichole and Pete met us at Gregory Canyon to help crew. Special thanks to those two as we were both out of water by this point and it is always good to see a familiar face.

We jammed up to the Mesa Trail and this is when my right ankle started acting up. No biggie, just kept running and ignored it. We were treated to some amazing views with the sunset highlighting the Flatirons. Really just a gorgeous evening.

We dropped down Blue Stem around dusk and pushed the pace along 93 and got to the Bobolink trailhead (I think) just as darkness started to set in. There was a pack of howling coyotes in the meadow through which we ran just yipping up a storm. Really cool to see this much of the Boulder Valley and Foothills in Springtime. The wildflowers and dogwoods were blooming, the pines were sprouting fresh needles and everything is getting green again.

We ran through the darkness under an amazing new moon to Luke’s parents’ house and grabbed a ride back to our starting point to retrieve my car. All in all a good run.

I am a bit hammered today. I felt like I was hungover this morning. I don’t think I rehydrated enough post run and definitely didn’t eat enough after we stopped running. My left knee swelled up quite a bit where I banged it last week but I think this, along with the ankle issue, will resolve itself in due time. I plan to limit my activity to hiking and biking for the next few days. All told, we logged at least 23 miles in about 4.5 hours. A bit off our intended pace but a pretty decent effort nonetheless.

Today, I drove to Gunnison to hang out with my parents. I head back to the Front Range tomorrow and will probably take it a bit easy thru the weekend. I’ll keep you posted.


Take two…

It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again. ~ Charles Kettering

Today we’ll shoot for Cirque de Boulder (modified) vs. Luke and Stu round two. The first shot at this run ended earlier than planned. This time, we are cutting out about 7 miles of pavement (the first 7 miles as shown on the map above) and the weather is supposed to be significantly better so I am optimistic about our chances for success.

We’ll start shortly after 4 at the Kelso trailhead and run counter-clockwise on trails around Boulder, finishing at the Bobolink trailhead about 23 miles later. This will eliminate almost all running on pavement and should improve our chances.

Yesterday, I tried to find my max heartrate by doing hill repeats. I am not sure if I got there or not but I did see 190 which, for now at least, will be considered my upper limit. This makes me feel pretty good about running around in the mid 140s as my target for long runs. I actually think I can do that. My resting rate was 44 the other day, which is pretty low for me. A good measure of fitness so I am pleased.

I am heading to Gunnison tomorrow to spend some time with my parents. I’ll probably go for an early morning run on Saturday but plan to take tomorrow off and maybe play a round of golf. I will be back in town Sunday and will likely try to do a run and a hike depending upon how the legs are feeling after tonight’s effort.

I have come to the conclusion that I need to do at least one all-night run prior to Leadville. I’ll be looking to start around 10pm or midnight and run until dawn. I think this will be important training for my overall success in the event. I am currently working out the details and will keep you posted.

Incidentally, if you think I’m crazy, I just read that some guy is going to spin laps on Sanitas all day today. He started at 7:00 this morning and plans to finish his 15th lap around midnight. We run through there on our route so hopefully, we’ll hook up with him for the brief descent of the main valley trail. Good stuff.

Ping me if you want to join in the fun and/or games this evening.



Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. ~ T.S. Eliot

Yesterday, I was asked on at least two separate occasions why I planned to run 100 miles. The quote above sums it up best. I see this as a challenge of mind, body and spirit and want to see if I am up to it.

I have had many break-throughs and let-downs during the course of my training. I have come out of 2-hour runs feeling like this was going to be impossible and have finished 4+ hour treks feeling confident and inspired. I am sure there will be more of each as I get closer and closer to the event and that I will go through a whole range of emotions during the race itself. I am excited to know how I will deal with the challenges during that long day in August.

My main goal is to finish – that much I know. I am still trying to establish intermediate goals and will know better what to expect of myself as I continue to log longer and harder training runs. I have always thought of 25 hours as the ultimate goal. After listening to Dean Karnazes’ book Ultramarathon Man, I am starting to think that I should really push myself, to better understand what I am really capable of achieving. Depending upon how training is going, I may push for a sub 24-hour finish – 100 miles in a day. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Yesterday, Luke, Brad and I went for a Singlespeed ride. We left Brad’s house for a quick jaunt up to Betasso. We pushed pretty hard the whole time. I had a hard time keeping up on the descents but was able to hang on the climbs pretty well. My Singlespeeder is fully rigid right now, making descents high on the excitement scale. I may have to put a shock on there but for now, I’m going to run it old-school.

Today, I am not quite certain of the plan. I may go for a run at lunch and may do a hike post work. Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be crummy but I am sure I’ll be out there doing something. Just have to keep moving.


I do stuff…

I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty. ~ Imelda Marcos

Recently, Rage made the observation that the pile of shoes in our mud room consisted of mostly size 10s. I must confess, the volume of footwear I possess is a bit ridiculous. It seems that every activity in which I participate leads to a new shoe purchase. Plus, I am currently rotating 3 pair of running shoes, etc., etc., etc.. It is a bit obscene. So I looked into recycling programs for shoes to see what one can do to help get shoes that are worn but not worn out into the right hands. Good stuff.

Yesterday, Rage and I went for a hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. This great little front-range treat is just up the hill from our house and features some killer hiking and biking trails. I plan to spend a lot of time there this summer.

Today, I plan to go for a run after work up near my house. I want to see if the trails in Roosevelt National Forest are clear. I’ll keep you posted.

Edit: No running tonight. I am feeling a bit like a wuss and it was hailing during the period I was planning to head out. I am trying to rally the troops for a Singlespeed ride tomorrow after work. Anyone who is interested, let me know.


Heavy heart…

Mrrrrraaaaaaaaaannnnhhh. ~ Samantha

In order to avoid scaring any readers off with continued tales of woe (our beloved kitty, Samantha died yesterday), I will post a few things I learned during yesterday’s productive, 4+ hour altitude run.

The route I took started from my house and ran down the Beav to Coal Creek Canyon. I then headed east to 97 and up to Magnolia. East briefly on Mag to the Blue Dot trail head tail and backwards on the Dots to Ned. Ned to the High School trails, West Mag and a sneaky trail back to Rollinsville. From there, I pretty much bee-lined it back home. I spun my last mile in about 7 minutes. At least I had that to brighten my spirits. Not sure how far I ran in total but I was pleased with the effort.

Here are some tidbits:

  • Jackets with hoods are necessary. In the ever-changing weather of the Rockies in the Springtime, one needs proper protection. My hooded jacket, unfortunately, is still on its way. I should be able to test-drive it later this week.
  • Drinking is a good thing. No, I don’t mean lugging around bottles of fortified wine, but I do recommend creating a system that works for you to stay hydrated. Yesterday, like most, I ran with my trusty Shuffle, and made sure to drink at the end of each song (at least). This seemed to keep me very well hydrated throughout the run. Good stuff. I also experimented with soda and protein drinks. Both of which seemed to do the trick.
  • There’s no school like the old-school. I dipped into the bag of old tricks and went for the old-school solution of PB&Js for my main “meal”. Seemed to work well. I think this is a combination of my getting better used to eating on the go but regardless, I plan to add the old standard to my new regimen.
  • Eat, drink, eat, drink, repeat. I try to start eating no more than 20 minutes into my longer runs. This helps to get me in the habit of ingesting calories throughout my effort and starts replenishing energy reserves immediately. This also helps me to graze vs. trying to choke down a huge meal all at once. Thanks to Luke for the killer Gorp recipe: Almonds, Pecans, Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds. Good stuff.

Other than those items, I can report that Blue Dot is almost completely clear as are the Highschool and West Mag trails. Gentlemen, start your bikes.

I am not sure what the plan for Monday entails. Probably a run but we’ll see.