Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The veggie streak is over, I ran this morning and didn't have time to eat until I got to work.
Coming out of King Super this morning, with two bags of groceries, I noticed the wind had picked up a shopping cart and was blowing it at a high rate of speed right towards my jeep. So I took off running and did a flying Bruce Lee-esque kick to deflect the cart about a foot from my grill. This redirected the cart but did not slow it down. I was about to go stop the cart (using my Flash-like super speed, of course) when I noticed I had redirected it about 50 feet right into the shopping-cart-return-thing in the parking lot. This is on top of getting into a fight with a swarm of bees on Saturday, and emerging victorious.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
When did King Super become just as expensive as Safeway?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday AM - bike to work
Monday PM - weights/hoops at the Y
Tuesday AM - 5 miles easy
Tuesday PM - Manitou track workout
Wednesday AM - 10 miles easy
Wednesday PM - CRC happy hour
Thursday AM - 5 miles easy
Thursday PM - Fartlek/Tempo
Friday AM - bike to work
Friday PM - weights/hoops at the Y, Incline
Saturday - long run (20 miles)
Sunday - hill workout
A Manitou Springs Elementary School parent who lives near the west water tower, on Duncan Ave., on the plateau above and between Ruxton (aboveMiramont Castle) and Manitou Ave (uphill on Minnehaha), reported signfiicant Mountain Lion activity in that area this weekend. Their neighbors had a large dog killed on Friday afternoon 4:30 or so, and three other neighbors have been stalked. The cougar stalked another neighbor on Pine Terrance that night at 9:30pm. The other two incidents were 5:30 Friday afternoon, near the original incident, and the day before in the same area. Some of those stalked just "felt something was not right in the woods" and turned around, others heard "something" following them, very quietly, definitely not the resident bear. Another found, on turning around and retracing steps, cougar tracks over hers and her dogs tracks. All those stalked were either an adult and a large dog (Golden Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback...) or adult and large child(age 11). There may have been additional incidents, these are the only ones they have documented. They called the Department of Wildlife, who were closed for the weekend. They then spoke with the operator at the Colorado State Patrol, in Pueblo, the emergency number for the DOW, on Saturday night, who took down information. They have warned all neighbors on the East of the UteTrail (they are on the east side of the ridge, Ute Trail is on the westside of the same ridge at the water treatment plant) which many Manitou residents hike or run. They also have tried to think of (and contact) any residents with elementary age children on Minnehaha, Pine Terrace, Illinois, Pilot Knob, etc, but as the elementary student phone book has not published yet, we may have missed some. They have also tried to warn those with dogs to keep them close, and indoors as much as possible, until they have more information from DOW. As they understand it, a cougar takes dogs when the cougar either is very young ande stablishing territory, or old, and unable pull down deer, or starving(as in a drought year), and will have a range of 5-10 square miles. Families, let's all work together and be vigilent to protect one another and our children! Christine L, Secretary, Manitou Springs Elementary School
Monday, August 25, 2008
What’s worse? Standing in the rain at 3:50AM and knowing I wasn’t ready for this, or shitting in the bushes ten minutes into the run knowing I wasn’t ready for this?
That was the first few minutes of my recent failed attempt at Leadville. I knew in the days leading up to the race that I was still not recovered from my last adventure. But I kept telling myself I could fake my way to the finish line. After all, I had just finished big, bad Hardrock, right?
Therein lies the tough thing about Leadville. I have never heard so many horror stories about blowing up during a race as I hear about Pb. Neil, the caretaker at Barr Camp and a ten time finisher (and multiple DNFer) at Pb, thinks this is because somehow Leadville is considered an “easy” hundred miler. As such, runners are often overconfident heading into the race. This was the case for me, and I found out the hard way that when Leadville bites, it bites hard.
Anyhow, knowing I wasn’t ready, I was not about to throw in the towel. I decided to go for the big buckle and hope for a miracle.
Things started out alright. Yeah, I did have to jump into the bushes at the ten minute mark. The breakfast at the Hostel wasn’t the best, but at least I got rid of it early. The rest of the run to Mayqueen was pretty uneventful. Ran a good chunk of it with 1SGT Sowers, who is stationed at Fort Carson and who I often see at these ultra races. The opening section around Turquoise lake is really cool, you can see runners’ flashlights all around the lake. I felt good on this section but I could tell my body was not up for another hundred miles so soon. Hit the Mayqueen aid station in 2:22. Six minutes faster than last year despite the pit stop.
Left Mayqueen with my iPod and ran the rest of the way to Sugarloaf Pass. During the Leadville training weekend I had run this entire pass, but I decided to play it safe today and walk the hill. Eventually I got over the pass and hammered the long downhill to Fish Hatchery. Hit Fish in 4:24, almost 20 minutes faster than the previous year.
Fish Hatchery to Halfmoon is the most boring part of the course. It’s mostly on a paved road. Normally, this pain is dulled by the great view of Colorado’s two highest mountains, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive. Couldn’t see either on this day, as clouds covered both peaks. So I just turned up the tunes and plugged away.
Coming into Halfmoon, it was nice to see Jim and Beverly, two running friends from the Springs. I finally changed my socks here, and I saw my feet looked horrible – trench foot that looked like I had been standing in a pool of water for days. I also noticed a blister forming on the base of my big toe on my left foot. As I was throwing some duct tape over it, a medical guy came up and asked me if I was alright. Guess I wasn’t looking so hot. But I told him I was fine and immediately left the area, didn’t want to take any chances.
I was looking forward to the next part of the race. Halfmoon to Twin Lakes is mostly along the singletrack of the Colorado Trail, and is mostly runnable. Just me and some great tunes and the trail, it felt good to be alive. Lots of Aspen trees along this section too, I always love running through those. I was still running well here, getting to Twin Lakes in 7:52. The year before I had arrived here at 8:42, and it had taken me half an hour longer to run this same section.
So I’m sitting at Twin Lakes. I duck into the port-o-shitter and then find my drop bag. While changing shoes I have a sudden realization that I’m due to blow up. Not a great feeling as I’m staring the Hope Pass double crossing. Not sure why I got this feeling here, as I was actually feeling somewhat decent and was almost a full hour ahead of last year’s pace. Usually I can deal with these negative mental thoughts, but they seemed to be getting the better of me today.
I run the entire way from Twin Lakes to the beginning of Hope Pass. The river crossing isn’t bad and actually feels good on my tired legs.
I start the climb and it hits me hard. I swear it was steeper this year. And as if I didn’t have enough problems already, mother nature decided to join the party. From the bottom of Hope Pass up to the Hopeless aid station, I saw rain, snow, sleet, marble sized hail, and the first sunshine of the day. Gotta love that Colorado weather.
Hit the Hopeless aid station at 9:40, over an hour faster than last year. I grab a cup of ramen and chill out with the llamas. Eat your food, Tina! A few minutes later I hit the top of Hope Pass and finally I get to run again. Get a boost here as I see Rick in 5th place, not very far behind the leaders, and he looks like he’s still feeling good. Hammer the downhill pretty well but once I get to the dirt road I’m toast. It’s about 1.5 miles long, but seems like 15 miles. I’m unable to run any of the hills. Eventually I reach Winfield. 11:37, still almost an hour ahead of last year.
I change socks and re-tape my hotspot. My feet look like shit and are hurting. My quads are fried. Even my calves, which I’ve never had a problem with, are shot. But the worst thing was my mental state. Honestly, I just didn’t believe I could finish this race. Halfway through it just dumped on me that I still had to run 50 miles, including pulling an all-nighter (which I hate Hate HATE doing), and I just didn’t think I had it in me.
I pushed on. It’s weird, looking back at it I really didn’t feel that bad physically. Definitely better than the year before. But mentally I was never able to find my game.
Tried to run back down the dirt road to Hope Pass, but I had trouble. My legs just didn’t want to move. Then I started the LONG trek up the backside of Hope. Holy bejesus, I don’t think I ever moved so slow. Felt like I got passed by everyone in the race during this climb. During the training weekend I did this section in about 90 minutes. On race day it would take me 2:15. Ouch.
I gave my last effort at a rally coming off Hope Pass. I blew through the Hopeless aid station, passing a lot of people who had passed me on the uphill. Did manage to run from Hopeless all the way down to the river crossing, picking up Rich along the way. Was able to waddle in with Rich to Twin Lakes. Hit TL inbound in 15:03, still an hour ahead of last year’s pace.
Finally saw Katie here. Never accused of being smart, besides trying to pull off the Hardrock/Leadville double, I thought I would attempt this one without a pacer and with little crew. I actually tried to get Katie not to come, but she insisted as it would give her an excuse to hang out in the mountains.
She shoved a ton of food down my throat and helped me change shoes. I think she could tell I wasn’t having any fun. I looked at her and said, “I’m really not sure I can do this.”
That was the beginning of the end for me, as after saying that I allowed myself to believe it, and mentally and physically things went downhill very quickly. I still pushed out of Twin Lakes and up the big climb there, and I was very much further along when night finally came than I was the year before, but I was done.
I had made it about two miles up the big hill when I gave up. The final seven miles to Halfmoon were nice downhill singletrack and I should have been able to make good time here. But I was done. The following slog to the aid station was nothing but a slow moving pity party for me. Physically, I have felt much worse in races before. Mentally, I have never allowed myself to completely fall apart like I did out there, and I’m not very proud of it.
I must have looked really bad, because when I came into Halfmoon a few of the aid station workers said, “oh, you’re the guy with the green light everyone was talking about.” I didn’t even think things over, I just went to the medical director and had him cut my wristband, ending my race.
This race is going to haunt me for a long time. A horrible failure for me, I’d grade my performance as an F-. Had I been able to pull it together for ten seconds at Halfmoon, I would have noticed that A) I was 1:15 ahead of my pace the previous year; B) I had actually done this section 15 minutes quicker than the year before; and C) I HAD WELL OVER TWO HOURS UNTIL THE CUTOFF FOR THAT AID STATION!
In hindsight, I should have had a seat for a while to see if I could recover. Katie was there, and was trying to tell me this, as was the medical director, but I was hearing none of it. Mentally, I had just quit, and I was not going to recover.
What really stings is that lack of mental toughness. That had always been the thing that kept me going, long after the effects of any natural ability or hard training had been exhausted.
Will I ever do another hundred miler? I’m not sure. I can’t imagine going out on a DNF, especially one as disappointing as this. On the other hand, I really can’t say I’ve enjoyed any of the hundreds I’ve attempted. It’s such a huge financial and time commitment, and I’m not sure it’s worth it in the end. You’d think it would be worth it when you cross the finish line, but I’m always too wasted to enjoy that. I could do well at marathons and even 50 milers with only a quarter of the time spent on training, allowing me to have much more of a life here in Colorado. We’ll see…
Aug 31 to Sept 1 - Colorado Invihash
Sept 5 to Sept 7 - Imogene Pass/Ouray Bandito hash
Sept 12 to Sept 14 - Telluride Blues and Brews
The final two weekends will put me out and about on the Hardrock course. Purely for show, of course, as I'm certainly not thinking about doing another hundred after I swore them off at Leadville...
FYI, the actual peak is about half a mile southwest of the antenna farm that is visible from the highway. And yes, that is Pikes Peak looming in the background.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I crashed and burned hard a few miles past Twin Lakes. It was a very long slog of a walk, where I let my vagina bleed all over the place and gave up running for good. It was definitely the worst I've ever felt - a nice mixture of severe depression and horrible physical pain. Almost brought me to tears. My time from Twin Lakes to Halfmoon - 3:30.
Rewind things to one year ago. Melissa had just brought me back over Hope Pass and I was feeling good. Really had the feeling I was gonna finish the race. I was tired, but nothing that wouldn't be expected after covering 60+ miles. I dediced to pick things up to get some breathing room under the cutoff times. My split for the same section of the course last year, in much better weather - 3:45.
This race is going to haunt me for a long time.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday evening local favorites Creating A Newsense are playing at Venue 515. Should be a good day, the year end Incline Club party and then some good tunes.
And this weekend is the Mountain Music Festival at Soda Springs Park. Three cheers for free festivals!
Mayqueen 2:22 (2:28)
Fish Hatchery 4:24 (4:42)
Halfmoon 5:45 (6:13)
Twin Lakes - 7:52 (8:42)
Hopeless - 9:40 (10:44)
Winfield - 11:37 (12:30)
Hopeless 2 - 13:55 (14:44)
Twin Lakes 2 - 15:03 (16:00)
Halfmoon 2 - 18:30 (19:45)
Gonna take some time and see if I can get some of my old speed back. I've always wanted to run Boston, and when I go there I wanna lower my PR (2:55). Don't laugh - I'm only four months removed from my hungover 1:26 half marathon at Platte River.
The tentative schedule, as always subject to change:
Sept 6 - Imogene Pass
Sept 21 - Pony Express (15 miles) OR Boulder Backroads Marathon
Sept 27 - Cripple Creek Crawl
Oct 19 - Denver Marathon OR Palo Duro
Nov 8 - Rim Rock Run (37K)
Jan 5, 2009 - Turquoise Lake 20mi Snowshoe Race
March 2009 - Salida Marathon
May 3, 2009 - Pittsburgh Marathon
August 2009 - Nolans 14er route (100 miles over five days)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Red is the RD of the Palo Duro trail races in Amarillo, TX (the Palo Duro trails are the only place in Texas that somewhat remind me of Colorado). I met him last year when Herb and I rode down there for the 50 miler. Had never met him before, but he treated me like I was family and, even though we arrived late, gave Herb and I a camping spot right by the start/finish. Great guy.
Red is currently not doing well and is in the hospital. My thoughts are with him. My Pabst at Beer Stop Rock tonight will be dedicated to him.
-Walkin' (For Your Love)
-And It Stoned Me
-Pickin' Up The Pieces
-Henry Parsons Died
-All Time Low
-Life During Wartime
-Barstools and Dreamers
-Ain't Life Grand
Holy fuck, what a show that would have been to see! Those tunes will sure as shit get my lame ass up and over Sugarloaf Pass. Probably grab some more live versions of my favorite Panic tune, Climb To Safety, for good measure.
I'll wear my iPod from MayQueen until Twin Lakes. I like having my head clear for the battle against Hope Pass. If I'm running well and have daylight left, I'll pick up the iPod again from Twin Lakes back to Halfmoon.
Thinking of something different for the trip back. Maybe some Leftover Salmon, who rocked the house at Mile High (and is playing Halloween night in Denver!). Maybe a new Cheese show or some Mule. Would love some new love John Butler Trio, but good recordings of his stuff seems pretty hard to find.
FYI, rumors have Widespread Panic in Denver on New Year's Day!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It's been a while since I've had cable (almost four years now) so maybe I'm behind the times, but the amount of commercials was appalling. I've watched the Olympics before and it was never as bad as it was last night.
And I'm officially done caring about swimming. I watched four races last night - and they were all world records. At one point, it was two qualifying rounds of the same event in a row, and the world record fell both times. Is this normal? I've heard about the new speedo suits, and about the "water cube" and how fast it is, it just seems to devalue swimming WR's with so many records falling. Phelps won a gold medal in the butterfly (I think?) in a world record time, then had to swim again in less than an hour. Doesn't seem like it takes a big physical effort for a WR. Track & Field starts soon, maybe my faith in the Olympics will be restored when the conversation turns from easy world records to performance enhancing drug use.
And what was up with the panda sex clip? Who the hell is that Andre-the-Giant in women's clothing NBC has working? How awkward was it when she asked that tiny panda zookeeper about pandas gettin' it on and if the guy panda (named Lulu, FYI) ever gave the women pandas any chochlate? Even Bob Costas seemed a bit taken back by that one.
I certainly don't miss having cable. Wasn't a total loss though - I got to watch election returns and it was nice to see local DA John Newsome get his ass beat!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The hardest part of Leadville is the dreaded Hope Pass double crossing. It's the 20 miles from Twin Lakes out to Winfield and back. It goes up and over Hope Pass, the highest point of the course at 12,600 feet.
You leave Twin Lakes and things aren't too bad for about 1.25 miles. Then you do the big river crossing. Soon after that you begin the climb, almost 3,500 feet straight up. About half a mile from the top of Hope Pass (roughly 4.5 miles from Twin Lakes) there's a small aid station. Then you hit Hope Pass and bomb down the other side to Winfield. Drink a Pabst at Winfield, then head back up and over the Pass and back to Twin Lakes.
Last year, and the plan for this year, I wore my camelbak with 3 liters of water and gear for a storm. Lots of weight. After thinking about it, I'm wondering if I can get through this section using only water bottles.
My splits from last year:
Twin Lakes to Hope Pass AS: 2 hours
Hope Pass AS to Winfield: 1:45
Winfield to Hope Pass AS: 2:15
Hope Pass AS to Twin Lakes: 1:15
I think those times will be faster this year since I'm in better shape and I know the course.
Anyone see any reason I can't do this section with one water bottle?
I can chug a ton of fluid at Twin Lakes and Winfield. They have to hump everything up to Hope Pass via llama, so I'd feel bad for using that much water up there, though I could refill my bottle. Also thinking I can chug an entire bottle from Twin Lakes to the river crossing and then refill there. Yeah, there's a giardia risk, but even if the water in the river is bad, it won't show up for a week or so.
There's also a risk with the weather, as I'll be above treeline around Colorado t-storm time with no rain gear. But this is a risk I think is much less than anything I took on at Hardrock, so I'm not too worried.
So what should I do: one bottle or two?
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2008) — Regular running slows the effects of aging, according to a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths, the research found.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
It was Armstrong's first competitive bicycle race since winning his seventh straight Tour de France in 2005. Wiens took the lead from Armstrong with 10 miles to go in the 100-mile race and finished 1 minute, 56 seconds ahead.
Wiens crossed the finish on a flat back tire in a time of 6 hours, 45 minutes, 47 seconds, shaving 13 minutes off his old record. He set the record last year while holding off Floyd Landis.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Really hit home when I saw pics of the two riders on the pole - biking on trails, drinking Pabst on mountain peaks, having good times with friends - basically the same types of pics I'm always posting on this blog. I tried to imagine life just ending so quickly, one second you're having a good time with good friends, the next second you're just gone. I couldn't even wrap my mind around that possibility. Life is too short folks, don't waste what little you have.
Some pics of the memorial:
Here's a shot of the intersection where the accident happened. The road running straight up and down is 26th. Hard to tell from the lousy pic, but the bikers would have been moving very fast (it's downhill) into the intersection. The driver, heading south on 26th (towards you in this pic), didn't see the pack of bikers and made a left onto Westend, hitting them. It's a slight turn and you wouldn't have to slow your vehicle down to make it.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I always feel a loss when local athletes are lost like this. I will be biking to work tomorrow in their honor.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Got to meet Jason, who is sort of a legend among front range boozers. He seems pretty psyched about the brew he's gonna be making there.
The place is gonna be awesome when it's finally up and running. They're working on the bar right now. 15 or so stools long. There's a restaurant section, and in the back they're gonna have a pretty sweet lounge.
Hoping to snag a part time gig there, so keep your fingers crossed for me. At least I know they trust me - I was given the Trinity company visa card to go get beer for the construction workers.