Friday, January 17, 2020

incline 6/track

Wed - bike commute seven.  Eleven miles to work, four miles back.  After that I headed over to Manitou for incline number six.  This is the time of year when after work feels so damn late just because it's so dark.  Felt like I started the incline at 2AM, though it was really 6:30PM.

Thurs - bike commute eight.  Same 11/4 combo as Wed.  CityRock nine at lunch, where I had a very high gravity day and wasn't able to get very far up any of the walls I tried.

Fri - up early to hit the track.  Needed to get this to keep my one track session or race every week.  First two weeks were the Rescue Run and Winter Series.  Not good conditions at 5AM - probably 17F with light but steady winds.  6 x 400m with 200m RBI.  Didn't time these as my watch was under four layers of clothes and I'm guessing they were all well over 90.

We are headed down to Canon City after work, then to the Sand Dunes for Sat and Sun.  Will likely see below 0F at the Zapata campsite where we stay.  Back on Monday so BLOS and I can hare a DIM hash that follows the route of the recent stabbing spree. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Fri - bike commute five.  We have basically turned into a two vehicle family, but one of those vehicles is a huge van which is a pain in the ass to drive around the city.  So today I had to bike to work, then bolt at lunch to bike to/from a dentist appointment, and then ride home.  And somehow I survived.  Incline five after work.

Sat - nice early morning visit to the Bear Creek Dog Park followed by the first race in the PPRR Winter Series.  Difficult 5K course with three big hills and lots of ice, so I was happy with barely breaking 21 minutes.

Then it was Black Forest Brewing, then Bull & Bush, then Sancho's, then a few more bars before heading to the Mission Ballroom to see the Infamous Stringdusters.  Needless to say I was a bit of a hot mess for the show, but it was a great time. 

Sun - hungover, but still got out for a run.  Tried to hit the track at East High School but it was all locked up, so I did a big loop of City Park.

Mon/Tues commutes - some weird stuff going on in the Springs.  Around 1AM on Monday there was a weird stabbing spree that started on the Midland Trail and proceeded down to America The Beautiful Park along my normal commute route.  The dude then rolled up to the Tony's area and stabbed some more people.  I ran this route on Tuesday morning and saw blood on the paved path.  And on Monday as I was riding home north on the Santa Fe trail, they had a huge portion of the park, near the start of the Nielsen Challenge, covered in police tape with a huge police presence.  Turns out they found some human remains there

Clearly all this is a sign that I should stop going to work!

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

run commute 1

Mon - bike commute three, 21 miles total.  Good session at CityRock at lunch.

Tues - run commute one.  4.2 miles to work, 3.4 miles back home.  CityRock four at lunch.

Trying to up my gym climbing game this year.  Would like to get to the point where I can reliably climb 5.9 and V4 indoors.  Currently I consider myself a 5.8/V3 guy.  The 5.9 should be easy if I can figure out how to deal with my fear of heights.  The V4 portion is going to take some work.

I signed up for the Rut Trifecta.  Last race I'll be entering other than some local low key races I'll jump into from time to time.  Will be shooting for three more states in '20 - Montana, Illinois, and Florida.  Current Rut plan is to do a van trip, riding the Alpine 50 in Lake City and then exploring Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. 

Sunday, January 05, 2020

incline 4

Thurs - bike commute one.  21.5 miles on the day.  And a good lunch climb at CityRock.

Fri - bike commute two.  Ten miles to work, four back home, followed by my second incline of the year.

Sat - I want to commit to one incline and one track session or race every week in 2020.  So I hopped on the bike and rode over to Monument Valley Park for the two mile Nielsen Challenge.  Not a great run for me, I was still 100 meters from the start line when the gun went off, then I had to work through hundreds of runners on the bike path, a good chunk of which was covered in ice.  But I ran hard, hitting mile one in 6:38 and coming back in 6:05 to finish in 12:52.

After that we packed up the van and headed down to Fremont County.  First stop was Florence Mountain Park where we hiked Newlin Creek.  Awesome trail and we will definitely go back once the snow and ice melt, will be a great summer hike with the dog.  After the hike we hit up Florence Brewing before heading out to Oil Well Flats.  Got there without much daylight left, so after another quick dog hike we got a good fire going.  Early return on Sunday as we had to pick up our cadet at the airport at 8:30AM.

Sun - two trips up the Incline.  Eight miles took me almost three hours.  An hour of hot yoga to end the weekend.

Friday, January 03, 2020


The final numbers:

run - 1711 miles on 303 runs.  Average of 5.6 miles per run.
bike - 1895 miles on 238 rides.  7.9 miles per ride.
hike - 848 miles on 317 hikes.  2.7 miles per hike.  The dog says this needs to improve.

66 run commutes.  61 bike commutes.  127 days without a car.  Not sure how many days I worked but that's the huge majority.  That's about 1016 miles saved off the jeep.  Just under $600 saved at the current IRS mileage rate.  Not a windfall by any means but the time savings of being able to get in a workout during a commute is invaluable to me.

140 climbing sessions at CityRock.  Mine usually last a half hour or so.  Plus a bunch of outdoor climbs both with the CMC and solo.

Three new state highpoints - Utah, Alabama, and Georgia.  A new marathon state in Georgia.

Nothing big on the race front for me.  A good, but definitely not great, Pikes.  And a minor let down at Benning, though that could have been much worse.

Still a great year though.  Really loving the van and that probably provided the best highlights.  The big trip to Utah, the smaller trips to Canon City and Chaffee County and New Mexico.  Just getting out there to goof off with the wife and dog nowadays brings me as much joy as any big race.

rescue run/incline 1

Had zero plans for new years eve but that somehow ended up with way more beers than I should have, ending with us climbing up on the roof to watch the Peak fireworks.  Good times.

But that meant the Rescue Run was a wash for me.  It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be given the hangover, but my 48:44 wasn't anything to write home about.  Photo stolen from Tom Dewane.

Was still feeling like shit at 3PM but I sucked it up and headed over to the Incline.  Maybe this will be the year I hit 50 inclines?  Yeah, probably not.

Also signed up for some races.  The Lake City Alpine 50 and the local triple crown, including the Double.  $100 is signed up for the triple crown, with the Ascent, and with Chicago this will be her biggest running year ever.

One more race to sign up for, and depending on how life goes this next few days that will either be the Tioga Pass Run or the Rut.

Thursday, January 02, 2020


Six days is way too long to be away from my dog, but sometimes you gotta do what the wife says.  Combo x-mas/dad's 70th birthday, so there was a lot going on and we didn't get to explore much outside of the golf course community of The Villages.

Lots of these signs though.  I still freak out when I see a gator, but the folks down there don't bat an eye.

We did make it up to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala for a half day.  Besides the alligators, I do love the swamps.  So different than what I'm used to in Colorado.

We rented a kayak at the state park and went off in search of manatees.  Saw a bunch of gators and turtles, and even quite a few monkeys.

After 90 minutes we were about to give up on our sea cow quest when we finally spotted one!

We got pretty close, then this guy decides to go under our boat.  They are friendly, but playful, and he could have very easily flipped us into the gator infested water.  But he was cool.

After the state park we went out to the 88 Bar.  Found out about this place while checking out the Florida Trail, it's a common stop among hikers.  Super cool place.

Then we hit Infinite Ale Works in Ocala.  As impressed as I was with the beer in Georgia, I was underwhelmed with the central Florida beer scene.

Luckily, you can get Yuengling down there, which I drank like I was a high school kid back in Pennsylvania.

The Villages is a golf cart community.  I guess if I had to live there I'd have something similar to this:

This is a copper sculpture in the Orlando airport.  Super creepy.

Good trip but sheesh was I glad to get back to Colorado.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

incline 26 & 27

Friday night incline.  Very slow.

Back again on Saturday morning.  Also very slow.  On my 27th climb of the year I got passed by the dude on his way up for number 1720 on the year.  New record.

Friday, December 20, 2019


Found myself in Golden on Wednesday, so I took some time to visit the American Mountaineering Museum.  Cool place.  Kircher was not featured in the frostbite exhibit but he's young and he'll get there one day.

After the museum it was still fairly early and none of the local breweries were open, so I made the quick drive over to Sancho's.

At some point I'll have to start getting back into shape.  Everyone has seen the "unproductive" status on garmin watches, but I had no idea one could sink to even lower levels. 

I ended up breaking the PikeRide streak on Wednesday, but I got back on the horse Thursday and Friday.

Monday, December 16, 2019

run commute 79

Ton of snow on Sunday night/Monday morning.  Quick run to the office, 3.5 miles on empty roads.

On Sunday afternoon I took the bus down to Cerberus, the farthest west you can take a PikeRide bike.  It was cold and snowy, so after a few solid IPAs I rode across the street to Benny's.

Kept the ride streak alive on Monday, grabbing a random bike downtown and heading to Oskar Blues.  These bikes suck ass on ice and snow but I survived.  PikeRide picks one rider a day for a prize, and I gotta have a great chance as I can't imagine a lot of folks rode today.  But I thought that on Sunday as well.

Day three of the 12 beers of x-mas:

Sunday, December 15, 2019

incline 25

Ran the Jingle Bell 5k down in Fountain on Saturday.  I have been very unhealthy since my marathon a month ago so I wasn't expecting much, but somehow I popped off a 19:24.  I'll take it.

We stopped by the new south location of Kings Chef.  They have a liquor license and make a solid bloody mary.

After that I had to drop by the post office and used that opportunity to get in my daily PikeRide.

Guess I won't be eating at Rasta Pasta anytime soon:

Weird first for me after the bar as I went and bought a bed for the very first time in my life.  We got one of them super fancy and expensive purple mattresses.  The dog doesn't know it's coming but I'm sure she will love it.

Then Red Leg for the Army/Navy game.  The bad guys won. 

Then a pub crawl in Manitou.

Somehow I still got up for the Incline Club, but my hungover slog up the incline was nothing spectacular.

The annual 12 beers of x-mas has started.  My first two brews:

Friday, December 13, 2019

incline 24

Very slow but fun incline after work on Friday. 

But not before day two of my PikeRide goal.

run commute 78

$100 survived the lottery and will be running Chicago next October.  I'm much more excited about that than she is.  Although last night, instead of walking over to Fossil with me, she went for a run in Red Rock Canyon before meeting me there.

Mon - bike commute 74.  13 miles on the day.  Sore.

Tues - run commute 77.  7.5 miles total.  CityRock 129.

Wed - bike commute 75.  16 miles total.  If I die before the end of the year it's going to be because I got hit by a car during the stretch of 30th street where the bike path is currently closed.  Somebody sue everybody on my behalf, and if that doesn't work go pull some monkey wrench shit on those construction companies.

Thurs - run commute 78.  Seven miles total.  CityRock 130, which was surprisingly a good session.

We got our first Red Rocks tix!  Don't tell $100 but I will also be at the JRAD show the night before.  This weekend and Mule will probably be our only Red Rocks shows this year.

Action shot from Pueblo.  Always nice to have proof of me crushing an Air Force dude.

Our local Pike Ride is having a contest that I'm participating in.  So every day for the next few days I will try to grab a bike and leave it in front of a pub.  Day one was the super classy Triple Nickel.  The Nick is a Steelers bar in case I haven't mentioned that before.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rock Canyon Half

On Friday after work I hit up the hash x-mas party, then headed west to see Creating A Newsense.  Those guys haven't played in a long time, but you wouldn't have known it from the show.  Hopefully they start jamming a bit more often.

Saturday was a good shitshow.  $100 was in Madison visiting family, the cadet needed peace and quiet to cram for finals, and I had three dogs to watch.  Still got out for a good bike ride before heading over to the annual Twelve Beers of X-mas shindig.  Somehow I was responsible enough to make it home in time to feed all the dogs.

Got up early Sunday, super hungover, walked each dog individually, and still somehow got down to Pueblo in time for the annual Rock Canyon Half.  Was not expecting anything from this race, but lo and behold somehow I felt somewhat decent.  The goal was 1:45, but I felt good enough to run an easy 1:38.  Even went over to Lake Pueblo afterwards for a 90 minute ride.  Completely unexpected to have a decent day since it seems that so far all I've been doing in December is drinking and eating and signing up for races.

Thursday, December 05, 2019


Currently stuck in my usual holiday rut which involves eating and drinking too much and too little exercise.

Did make it up to the Air Force/Wyoming game on Saturday to watch AF notch their 10th win of the season.  Been a great year for them and they are currently in the top 25.  Unfortunately things are not going that well for my beloved Pitt Panthers.

On Sunday I had to run the cadet back up to the Hill so I ran the Academy roads.  It's been windy AF here lately.  Easy six miles.

Currently on run commute 75 and bike commute 73.  Everything is just to and from work the quick way now.

Couch toured the Phish show from Pitt last night.