Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Think I'm still gonna attempt to run the Greys/Torreys double the weekend after Invihash though. Also might get one more shot at Quandry, and might take a day off work for another hike through the Collegiate Peaks, but that'll about wrap up the summer climbing season.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Decided at the last minute to join Free Bus(c)h and Knees Up for a climb up all 14,196 feet of Mt. Yale, my first of the Collegiate Peaks! And what a trip it was. Cold weather, snow, and clouds that kept visibility to less than 15 feet. On a clear day you can see 30 other 14ers from the top of Yale, but on Sunday I could barely see my hand in front of my face.
It was me and four chicks, and I must admit that as we approached the final ridge to the summit I had doubts as to whether we'd be able to make it. Conditions were really shitty, but these were all Colorado chicks so they were able to hang tough.
Of course, about 20 minutes after we left the peak the cloud cover lifted and the sun poked out, and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
Congrats to Katie on her first 14er, and to Melissa for finally getting up off the couch! For the record, it was my 11th 14er.
Pics can be found here.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I would guess that about 60% of the reason I fared so well was that I moved to Colorado, was able to train at altitude everyday, and was familiar with the course. The other 40% was that I trained like an animal, a lot harder than last year. Hanging out with the Incline Club and Team CRUD has that effect on people.
Taking the week off to recover (except for the Pikes Peak hash, of course), and I'll get back into hard training again after I climb Mount Yale with Free Bus(c)h and Melissa tomorrow.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Began the day with a 4:20 wake up, and soon I found myself drinking coffee at the Pikes Peak Inn in Manitou Springs, which was serving as Rogue HQ.
Slowly rumbled over to bag check. Since the Ascent ends on the Peak, and it's sorta chilly up there, you're allowed to send a bag from the start line up to the top of the mountain. I had a very heavy bag, due to the fact that I had a six pack of PBR in there!
Great to see a ton of my Austin buddies before the start. Took my mind off all the normal pre-race jitterey stuff. I'm still amazed that anyone from Austin (elevation of about 600 feet) can come up here and finish these mountain races, and congrats to all who did just that!
Race starts at 7AM. I start at the back and am basically in last place, a strategy that served me well at the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Way too many folks run the Manitou/Ruxton part of the race way too fast, and they're already finished once they get to Barr Trail. I had been working out pretty hard lately and knew I'd have a good race as long as I didn't go out too fast.
First aid station was run by the Jack Quinn's Running Club. So I had a lot of fans there. Thanks to Ryan, Charlie, Lauren, and all the other Quinn wanks. Though I still can't believe yunz guys wouldn't give me any booze!!!
On to the W's. People are already hurting here, less than two miles into the race. I begin to pass people. Lots of people. About halfway up the W's I see Abe. He looks pretty good and is walking, a good strategy for folks who don't train on the mountains. Still, as I pass him, I say, "Hey Rogue, the walk-a-thon ain't 'till next week!"
Still feeling good as I top the W's, still passing a lot of people, but I still resist the urge to speed things up. Before the race I told myself to take it easy until No Name Creek, and I'm holding to that strategy. The tunnel and the top of the incline come and go.
Grab some Gatorade at No Name Creek and decide to pick up the pace. I run this section of the trail about once a week with Team CRUD, and it's usually at a suicidal pace, so I'm used to discomfort here. I start passing even more tired runners.
Hit Barr Camp at just over 90 minutes. Say hello to Teresa and Neil but I keep going. Bottomless Pitt comes and goes and I have yet to walk, a new Barr Trail record for me. I make it about another half mile before I have to slow to a walk.
But even as I start to walk, I'm having a great race. I'm almost at treeline now, and the thin air doesn't affect me. My legs are starting to burn due to the previous ten miles, but I know I'll be able to push to the finish. Not even thinking about Sunday's upcoming marathon, I decide to give everything I can for a good Ascent time.
Had a great race above treeline. Was able to run a lot of it, and even when I had to walk I was able to pass some runners. Definite benefits for a former infantryman who now has Pikes Peak in his backyard.
Final sprint up the Golden Stairs and I hit the tape in 3:07:31. Over 20 minutes faster than last year. Good for 69th overall male (out of 1091 men finishers) and 8th (of 128) in my age group. Also puts me in 8th place for those doing the Double!
More importantly, my finish allows me to pick up my drop bag and pop open a Pabst. I scramble down some rocks and grab a nice seat about 50 meters from the finish line. Great spot to watch the final stretch of the race. Had a lot of friends in this race, and it was great to see them finish. Congrats to Nicole for her first Ascent finish!
Ended up spending several hours on the Peak waiting for Easy Access to finish. Unknown to me, she had been turned around at Barr Camp and wasn't going to hit the top that day. Oh well, more time above 14,000 feet for me! And don't worry Steph, you'll get 'em next year!
Shortly after bagging four 14ers and recovering at the South Park Saloon, Nicole and I were off to see Robert Randolph and the Black Crowes. Of course we first hit the Morrison Inn and then arrived at the show few hours early to tailgate with fellow Rogues Amy and Gwen. The end result wasn't too pretty but it definitely got me in the mood for some tunes!
As most of yunz know I'm a pretty big fan of live music. And I've always heard people talking about Red Rocks like it's some kind of live music mecca. Well, I gotta tell you folks, those people are right. Basically a concert venue carved into a mountain, I've never been to a venue that could hold a candle to this place. If you consider yourself a live music afficianado you gotta see a show up here! You can't beat the scenery and the acoustics are unbelievable.
Robert Randolph opened the show and rocked out. Very funky. Most of my loyal readers haven't heard of him, but check him out. You can bug Social Retard to burn you a copy, she's the one who introduced me to Robert and the Family Band. As a super bonus, Randolph closed his set with a cover of Jimi's "Voodoo Chile." I felt bad for the Crowes, having to follow this band on stage.
But the Crowes surely didn't disappoint. It was the last show of the tour, and they had a great sound. Very tight. Plus, they played a lot of my old favorites. Definitely a lot better gig than when I saw 'em at ACL, and I thought they were pretty good there.
So my first trip to Red Rocks was one to remember. Outdoor concert season is almost over, but I'm definitely gonna hit a lot more shows next year!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Ascent - 3:28:35
Decent - 1:48:55
Total - 5:17:30
Good enough for 52nd overall and 5th in my age group. One of the nicer trophies I've ever gotten! And the performance was good enough to put me at 10th among all the doublers.
The Austinites had a terrific showing once again! Easy Access had some issues and was turned around at Barr Camp, but everyone else ran pretty well, including Austin hashers Lovebite and No Dick Doc, who both finished the marathon.
Gotta get to work now, I'll post a more complete account soon.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
But the real excitement of the day came after the train, when we whitewater rafted through the Gorge. Hadn't done any whitewater since my sis and I would tube down 'ol Penns Creek. She'd get out and walk past the whitewater, but I'd always tackle it.
Anyways, the whitewater in the Gorge was a bit more than Penns Creek had ever offered. Pretty scary at times, but the trip was a blast! I got to ride at the front of the boat, which was awesome. We even had a fat guy fall off the boat, it took me and another guy quite a while to pull him back in.
FYI, Canon City is on the way to Monarch from Colorado Springs. Invihashers looking for something to do on Friday afternoon should look into doing one of these trips.
Pics are here.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Been out to the Leadville area quite a bit lately, and it's had a profound effect on me. Think I'm gonna dedicate my next year towards this:
Monday, August 14, 2006
Set up camp at Kite Lake and proceeded to drink a few brews. Beautiful night, and our tent was surrounded by 14ers on every side. Around 2AM a monsoon blew through and I thought we might get blown off a cliff, but my $20 Coleman tent I bought at the PX about five years ago held tough.
Up at 5:15AM, we stepped off at 6AM Saturday morning. Lincoln was by far the tough one, but the entire hike was awfully strenuous and most of it was well above 13,000 feet. Good class 2 with some sections of class 3 thrown in. For a flatlander, Nicole did pretty well, especially considering the fact that we had to push the pace due to threatening clouds slowly rolling in.
Depart Kite Lake - 6AM
Summit Mt. Democrat - 7:45AM
Depart Democrat - 8:10AM
Summit Mt. Cameron - 9:40AM
Depart Cameron - 10:00AM
Summit Mt. Lincoln - 10:15AM
Depart Lincoln - 10:25AM
Summit Bross - 10:45AM
Depart Bross - 11:15AM
Arrive Kite Lake - 12:15PM
So there you have it. 6+ hours. Four 14ers to add to my list (Bross was my tenth one!). 4 cans of PBR. 4 Philly blunts. And a great excuse to head back to the South Park Saloon for a bacon cheeseburger and some more PBR!
My pics are here.
Nicole's pics are here, and those ones include Red Rocks, the train, and whitewater rafting.
Not much time now, but since Friday I have passed an Air Force physical, was sent down Quandry Peak by shitty weather, drank at the countries highest saloon, camped through a late night CO monsoon, successfully completed the DeCaLiBro trek, rocked out at Red Rocks, took a killer train ride, and white water rafted through the Royal Gorge! Woohoo!
Pics should be posted tonight.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Sounds like a good joke, but it's gonna happen this Saturday! Dragging along Nicole, Amy, and Melissa for a heckuva day, planning on bagging four 14ers before it's all over. Possible attempt at Quandry on Friday too!
Then it's off to my first show at Red Rocks, Robert Randolph and the Black Crowes!
And no rest on Sunday, whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge!
Monday, August 07, 2006
Getting ready for the beer mile. Looking high and low for my beloved Vasque Velocity shoes, which I've been running in for almost a year now. Not in the house, not in the jeep, where the hell could they be? I figured I musta left them at a hash, so I shot off an APB to the Colorado hash list. Was running out of time (it was almost 3PM and I had to start warming up for the beer mile, which was at 6PM) so I just grabbed another pair of shoes and jumped onto my mountain bike for the ride over to NBN's house.
About two blocks away from my house, there sit my sneakers in the middle of the road.
I have no idea how they got there.
"Friendship is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth."
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I'd call the tech guys at Apple, but the only thing they've ever done for me was to look at me condescendingly and say "you need to get a MAC." No, Apple has to make a damn product that works without crashing and losing my music, you assholes!
Anyways, talked about the AF Reserve. Also talked about Western PA, as the recruiter was from Butler. Good local benefits, such as use of all post facilities (they have a pretty good gym) and entry into military night at the Colorado Springs Sky Sox games (cheaper beer and hot dogs!). Asked about the posibility of moving back to Pittsburgh halfway through any committment I make, and that was fine, I'd just finish up my time with the local unit out there.
Plus, I got a sweet Air Force Reserve t-shirt!
Couldn't really talk about AF jobs. All he could offer that day was a cop job. But he said that towards the end of Sept the new job list comes out, and due to a new unit in the area being stood up there are gonna be a ton of jobs on the list. So I'm waiting 'till that comes out.
Part of me wants to do the cop thing. It's the closest thing to the infantry the AF has. Probably the most adventurous job too, with the best chance to deploy. But I think I'm gonna stick with some technical job, get some good training that can lead to a decent paying civilian job someday.
Anyways, this means I'll be working in Canyon City for the time everyone visits for Invihash. No big deal, I'll just hafta leave every morning around 6AM and won't be back until 6:30PM. My house is still open to any and all crashers though.
If anyone is interested, there's some cool stuff to do in Canyon City (you'll hafta drive through that city on your way to Monarch). The Royal Gorge is there. There's a pretty cool train ride there, including one with a beer car. You can also visit the prison museum. See the old gas chamber, learn how to make a homemade shank from a toothbrush, that kinda stuff. Actually, there are quite a few Austin harriettes I'd rather not give that kinda knowledge to...
On the drive to Monarch yunz'll also pass through a cool town called Salida. I did the Zeb Pike marathon there back in February. They have a killer pizza joint/microbrewery, would make a great place for lunch.
Also look for a MOPP (Moon Over Pikes Peak) hash or pub crawl of some sort on that Thursday night!
One thing to keep in mind about the Monarch Mountain Lodge is that it's pretty isolated. No quick trips to a restaurant or pub or coffee shop or anything like that. Very different from past invihashes. So besides trail, the entire weekend will be spent in the hotel boozing! Woohoo!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Walked up to the bar to order a much deserved Laughing Lab. Bartender says this round is on the house! Woohoo! So I down that first beer pretty quick and order up a second round. Barkeep says this round is also free. Woohoo!
Anyways, several pints later, I find out that some complete stranger had retired that day and had decided to pick up the tab, for the entire bar, for the entire night. I'm sure he got quite the surprise after having the Colorado hash show up! But, except for liberally tipping the bartender, I got to drink Laughing Lab for free for four straight hours!
Good thing I had rode my bike! My new goal in life is to get a DUI while riding my Klein. But if I didn't do it last Monday night, I'm not sure it can be done.
1. Each competitor drinks four cans of beer and runs four laps on a track (Start - beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap - finish).
2. Beer must be consumed before the lap is begun, within the transition area which is the 10 meter zone before the start/finish line on a 400m track.
3. The race begins with the drinking of the first beer in the last meter of the transition zone to ensure the comptitors run a complete mile (1609 meters).
4. Women drink four beers in four laps (past rule lists only required ladies to drink three beers).
5. Competitors must drink canned beer and the cans should not be less than 355ml (the standard can volume) or 12oz (the imperial equivalent). Bottles may be substituted for cans as long as they are at least 12 oz (341 ml) in volume.
6. No specialized cans or bottles may be used that give an advantage by allowing the beer to pour at a faster rate. ie "super mega mouth cans" or "wide mouth bottles" are prohibited.
7. Beer cans must not be tampered with in any manner, ie. no shotgunning or puncturing of the can except for opening the can by the tab at the top. The same applies with bottles - no straws or other aids are allowed in order to aid in the speed of pouring.
8. Beer must be a minimum of 5% alcohol by volume. Hard ciders and lemonades will not suffice. The beer must be a fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and flavored with hops. For an abbreviated list of valid beers and exceptions, click here.
9. Each beer can must not be opened until the competitor enters the transition zone on each lap.
10. Competitors who vomit before they finish the race must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race (immediately after the completion of their 4th lap). Note: Vomitting more than once during the race still requires only one penalty lap at the end.