Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I feel bad for posting this now. Lots of great stories of suffering and pushing limits from Western States, whereas my Bighorn mantra for almost 30 hours was "if it feels like a physical effort of any kind, slow down." Of course, most of the Western crew aren't staring at Hardrock in a few days...

Great trip to northern Wyoming. Katie and I rolled out Wednesday after work and crashed at a rest stop in Chugwater, WY. Left early the next morning and we were at Sheridan in no time. Checked out the Mint Bar, picked up the race packet, placed drop bags, then met up with John C and Pete back at the Mint Bar. Made my biggest mistake of race weekend at the Mint: listened and believed John's description of the race. He made the course and conditions out to be a little harder than they really were. Hit up the pasta dinner with those guys before heading out to our campsite in Dayton. A few more beers at the Crazy Woman Saloon and soon it was off to bed.

Race morning was uneventful. Grabbed a huge breakfast at a delicious diner in Dayton. Then just chilled out until the 11AM start.

Finally the gun went off and the race was on. I settled into a slow jog, blending in with the back of the pack. The first few miles were on a dirt road along the Tongue River. I was feeling good, but didn't want to start too fast. We soon hit the Tongue River trailhead and started the first climb of the day. I was behind a lot of people and did a lot of slow walking up this hill.

At the top of the first climb we hit a dirt road and begin a steep descent, aka The Haul. I somehow managed to miss a very well marked turn onto a singletrack trail and got lost for the first time of the day. Only went about a quarter of a mile, and was very lucky to catch a runner on the other side of a creek out of the corner of my eye, or who knew how much extra credit distance I would have run.

Through the Sheep Creek aid station feeling good, I started picking up the pace just a bit. Nice run through the Wyoming wilderness, wildflowers all over the place, to Dry Fork (mile 13-ish). Reached the DF aid station in 3:08:11, in 50th place.

Had my best section of the race between Dry Fork and Footbridge (mile 30). It's slightly downhill, until you reach The Wall where it gets pretty steep. I ran this entire section, stopping only at the Cow Camp aid station to eat some bacon. Never approached a race effort here but I was definitely moving a bit faster than I was the first three hours of the race.

The 18 mile section from Footbridge to Porcupine Ranger Station went well. I hiked all of the uphill but I was moving forward with a purpose and I was well under the cutoffs. There's a minor climb out of Footbridge which was dry, but things soon began to get wet and muddy. I trudged on, getting lost for half a mile or so near Duncan Creek Crossing, but soon enough I was headed down the big hill to Porcupine (mile 48 and the psychological half way point). Passed Pete shortly before this aid station, he was having some GI issues and wasn't looking too well at this point.

I hit porcupine in12:17:58, in 30th place. The aid station went well for me. Katie was waiting there with my first King's Chef bacon cheeseburger of the day. Also downed a few bottles of ensure and finished a snickers. I threw on some old Army camo pants, a sweatshirt, and my Boston jacket. John had told me it would get colder than the North Pole in the canyons at night, and I didn't want to suffer like that. Picked up my pacer, Sean K, here. Sean had never faced a run this far or ran through the night before, but he's getting ready for Leadville and needed the work. I assured him I'd slow down to whatever pace it took for him to make it.

Left Porcupine and I was sweating my balls off before we got halfway up the climb out. Took off some clothes and continued to walk so I could digest all those calories. Made horrible time between Porcupine and Footbridge, getting passed by lots and lots of runners.

Hit Footbridge shortly after dawn. I saw my buddy Boulder Bob there, his day was over due to some foot issues. Tried to talk him into returning but he wasn't having it. Changed shoes at Footbridge for the first time of the day and got prepared for the biggest climb of the race, The Wall. John had made The Wall out to be some Everest-meets-the-Incline impossible hill. I started slow and got slower, but before I knew it the climb was done and I was kinda sad about how lame it was. Colorado has really spoiled me as far as taking on epic climbs in other states.

From the top of The Wall it was mostly hiking all the way over to Dry Fork, with an extra long break at Cow Camp for more bacon. I was very sleepy at DF, having gone through the night, but for covering 70+ miles I was in very good shape. I was well under the cutoff and I knew I could walk it in and finish, and that was my plan. Checked in at DF in 24:07:29, 51st place. For as slow as I was going, and for all the long breaks I was taking along the way, I had only lost one place since I had been at DF some 21 hours earlier. Katie was once again waiting here with a bacon cheeseburger, and I drank my first PBR in a long time.

Even more hiking between Dry Fork and Upper Sheep Creek. Lots of 50 milers and 50Kers passing me here. This section was nice, I was feeling good and just out on a hike in a beautiful part of the country I had never seen before. Sean was starting to zonk here, this was by far the farthest he had ever run, but he was faking some enthusiasm and doing a terriffic job as a pacer. As we came into Upper Sheep Creek I told him I wanted a 20 minute break, and for the first time all day he stopped trying to get me to move my ass faster.

After taking the longest break of the day I looked at my watch and some competitive gene deep down kicked in and said I should at least put forth an effort to break 30 hours. So I picked up the pace considerably as we climbed The Haul, beginning to pass lots of folks from the shorter races. We got to the top and I started bombing down the other side. After such a minimal effort all day I had a lot left, and I hammered the final downhill as hard as I could. Ended up catching Pete, who had somehow passed me, and mentioned going hard so we could hit the Crazy Woman Saloon and still break 30 hours. He tagged along as we continued down. Soon enough we hit the Tongue River trailhead where the course flattens out for the final four miles. I was done at this point and started to walk, telling Pete and Sean that I had done my part to guarantee a sub 30 hour finish and I was now going to walk the rest of the way. I think Pete and Sean were glad to be finished.

The final few miles were spent hiking and goofing off, only running when someone was about to take our picture. The grape popsicle at the final aid station was awesome, and before I knew it we were back in Dayton. Katie saw us coming and ran into the Crazy Woman, on the course at mile 99.75, and got me and Pete a can of Busch and Sean a shot of tequila. We spent about 15 minutes in the bar before Pete and I went and crossed the finish line.

I ended up finishing 44th overall, in 29:24:07. 95 finishers, with 42 DNF's.

Had a blast at the race. Beautiful course. Lots of fun, and the very little effort I was able to put forth and get a finish bodes well for my Rocky Mountain Slam goals. Some day I'd like to go back and take a shot at a sub 24 hour run. I'm not convinced this course is as hard as everyone says, and I certainly don't think it's as hard as Leadville. I feel that if I gave the same effort at Pb as I did at Bighorn, I'd get pulled around Fish Hatchery for not meeting the cutoff.

Big thanks to Katie and Sean, they were a terrific crew. And great to see so many old and new friends out there!

Lived to run another day, which was my goal for the race. Bring on Hardrock!

eight days

Just got an e-mail reminding me that Hardrock check-in begins in eight days! Hell yeah!

I still refuse to believe it, but John DeWalt is not on the entrant list. As exciting at the whole Geoff/Tony/Killian/Nick finish was, I doubt it could compare to watching this animal kiss the Hardrock, as has done 14 times, the last at the age of 73.

back to Taos...

Think I'm gonna bail on CO Invihash this year in favor of the Taos Mountain Music Festival. $260 gets a two night stay at the ski lodge (at the TH for Wheeler Peak) and two tickets to the show, headlined by Yonder Mountain String Band and Gov't Mule. Gives me a good excuse to head back to the bars of Taos as well...

halfway through 2010...

Commute #14 this morning, easy five miles to work. Have the goal of 20 times of running/riding to work in 2010, but might hafta shoot for 30.

Been six months since I've had fast food.

Currently sitting at 1890 miles for the year. Probably get another 10-12 in tonight at the CRC happy hour run.

I've gone to yoga 47 times. Little behind, but I'll catch up. Should have went with 100 hours as the goal, as I'm at 55 hours for the year.

Way behind on the push up goals. Probably have to average 150 a day for the rest of the year to catch up.

Starting to think about Hardrock. Drop bags, splits, finish time. More on that to follow...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

beer is good

Article from the Sac Bee that says Tony felt better after drinking beer. I knew I shoulda told the hashers at Brown's Bar to make him do some shots, he woulda been under 15 for sure!

Finally something Tony and I have in common, as I feel better after drinking beer as well!

I'm back...

Bighorn and Wheeler Peak reports to come. Sometime. But don't get too excited, they're gonna pale in comparison to everything that went down at Western States. Big kudos to everyone who laid it on the line out there. And Fast Eddy, you are the worst of all time at providing updates!

Meredith had a great race and finally got that nice silver buckle. But reports had her enjoying an ice cream sandwich at the finish line. If this is true she has lost the bet. Mer, I have yet to receive any pictures of you drinking! Now that I can eat fast food again I'm thinking of going for a 50 piece mcnugget meal followed by a few KFC double downs.

Ran the Scar last night. Ran the whole friggin' thing, which I never thought I'd be able to do. Up in just under 46 minutes. Last time it took me over an hour, though I was goofing off a lot more on that run. Legs are recovering nicely from Bighorn.

Off to play in the mountains this weekend. Camping at Winfield, doing the Missouri/Belford/Oxford loop on Saturday, drinking in Leadville, then becoming the first person to run a sub 13 5K at 10,000 feet. Then the annual Blues Traveler show at Red Rocks. Good times. A pic of the mountains I'll be playing in this weekend, stolen from Brandon:

Friday, June 25, 2010

letsrun western forum

The Western post on letsrun is in full swing. See it here.

"Reading the ultrabashers is like listening to virgins talk about their favorite sex positions."

Good luck to the Douche Rocket and Andy H and AJW and everyone else running this weekend!

cat fight

Good interview with Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan over here. You gotta sit through the first three minutes, but it's worth it.

The highlight is when Kara says, "The next time I race Shalane I'm going to beat her pushing a baby stroller."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

July 3rd mountain run

Thinking of saving the hundred bones the Leadville Marathon now costs (I tried to enter months ago but the website was screwed up) and doing this run instead. Maybe with some bonus miles on Hope Pass as well. Hafta do it on July 3rd, as I'll be trying to go sub 13 at the Leadville Firecracker 5K on the 4th. Anyone interested in joining me?

finally, a bear!

Incline yesterday, very slow. 1:45 starting and ending at Kinfolk's. Took this one very easy. Going to crush my body (and liver) this weekend down at Taos and then I'll switch to mostly power hiking to recover for Hardrock.

Kudos to Spread 'Em of the NOLA hash for nailing the Incline in 34 minutes! Not bad for someone who lives below sea level! It's a solid 34 as well, starting from the very bottom, as well as running up Ruxton before hand. Most folks start their watch well up the Incline so they can brag about low times. And most folks drive all the way up Ruxton, which contributes to the parking issues that keep muddling the legal opening of the Incline. I refuse to acknowledge any Incline effort that includes having a car on Ruxton. Of course, this has done nothing to stop the 70,000 people per year from climbing, but I'm trying.

But the big news - I finally ended my bearless streak! Lived in CO for almost five years and even though I've had countless trash cans foraged through by some furry invaders, I had never seen a bear before. But we saw a HUGE black bear just off Ruxton last night! Great stuff!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

hooray Purple Castle!

Gazette-a-palooza today, but I gotta post this article about King's Chef. The Food Network named the Purple Castle the best breakfast in Colorado!

Incline happy hour

Gazette article about out little Thursday night Incline happy hour can be seen here.

Gonna hit the Incline tonight if anyone wants to join me. Probably start from Soda Springs Park around 6PM.

praise the lord and pass the bong!

Could be a new church coming to the Springs. This one may not be quite as annoying as some of the mega-churches though. See the story here. FYI, the guy in the story was ordained by the Universal Life Church, the same peeps who gave me my religious superpowers.

The comments should be pretty good, here are a few of the good ones so far:

How are they going to get home from service? "Obviously they're going to take the church "bus", a 1961 VW minibus complete with tie-dye paint job and shag carpet interior."

"The last time I went to church I ended up married so I don't go to those places any more. Too scary, however a few hits, a little communion wine. Maybe it's time to seek the lord again ??"

"Moses smoked the burning bush? That would explain a lot. 40 years to cross the Sinai which is an 11 day guided tour on a camel? That's stoned."

back at it...

Easy five in Red Rock Canyon last night, same thing this morning. Legs are pretty tired but nothing serious, think I may have survived Bighorn pretty much unscathed.

Seed got planted in my head for a traverse of Zion national park. 48 miles. Could tack it on to a trip to Havasupai Falls in the GC. Anyone know anything about that trek?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Western States

Getting giddy for Western this weekend. Good luck to everyone running and pacing down there! Gonna be awesome to watch. The five runners I'll be tracking on my phone:

Meredith Terranova
Tony K
Nick Clark
Andy Henshaw

Think of me when you're out on the course suffering, guys, as I'll be climbing mountains and drinking beers and rockin' out in Taos, but watching the e-mail as well. Plan to hijack some other phones to track these guys too:

Hal K
Herb Tanzer
Gordy Ainsleigh
Kilian Jornet
Axel Reissnecker
Geoff Roes
Dan Solinski

Monday, June 21, 2010


Finished 44th out of 95 finishers. Lots of DNF's. Very easy effort, and I'm feeling fairly decent today. The goal was to survive and come out ready for Hardrock, and that was accomplished. Fairly decent time when comparing it to other Rocky Mountain Slam finishers. Awesome weekend all around. I'll do a report in a bit. Here's the shot of me immediately after finishing, celebrating in the Tongue River:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

good luck!

About to head to Wyoming. Katie will have access to my blog and facebook account, so look for updates.

Lots of stuff going on this weekend:

San Juan Solstice
Mt. Evans
Mt. Washington
The Sailin' Shoes 5K

Wish I could run them all. I know lots of people running in all these races. Best of luck to everyone gettin' at it this weekend!

Bighorn aid station grub

For miles 48 and 87.  Much better than gu!

carbo loading for Bighorn!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mt. Evans

A few pics I took the other week when Shad and I ran up Mt. Evans:

never, ever give up!

Great post on not giving up on your dreams over here. The story will be in my mind during Bighorn...

Out There

The Gazette Out There guys have a new website, check it out over here. Is it me, or does it seem very similar to this new outdoors website?

Check out this article on the tornado in Leadville. All the snow on those mountains makes me want to cry.

happy birthday!

One year old today.  Just over 16,000 miles, most of those on some pretty epic weekend road trips.

Any suggestions for a nickname?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Garden pic

No, that is not a picture of Usain Bolt. It's me, launching into my finishing kick at the Garden 10 miler.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Pretty solid weekend.

Section 16 on Friday - 5.5 miles with a good, steep climb. Might start doing this as a weekly time trial kind of thing.

Was planning on heading up and down Pikes on Saturday, but crappy weather up high but a squash to those plans. Did end up getting to Barr Camp, than ran with Fast Eddy up to Adaman Rock, then continued on Elk Park out to the sign for the oil tunnels. Steady rain, but nothing like what was going on above treeline. 5 hours of time on my feet, a good chunk of it over 10,000 feet. Ended at Kinfolk's, where I got the first PBR of the day. Free beer rocks!

Garden 10 miler today. Volunteered before the race, nabbing a coveted Triple Crown of Running race staff t-shirt! Since I started at the back of the pack it took me 10 minutes just to get to the mile mark. Took the day easy, hitting 6 miles in 45 minutes before stopping to drink a beer with Muzzy. Hit nine miles in 74:30, then dropped a furious final mile to finish in 1:19:54. Ended up getting 15 miles in on the day by running to and from the race.

Final weekend of hard training. Feeling good. Bring on Bighorn!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bighorn strategy

Been working on my Bighorn splits. Here's what I got so far (the race starts at 11AM):

Dry Fork Ridge out (13.4 mi) - 2PM
Footbridge out (30 mi) - 6:30PM
Porcupine (48 mi) - midnight
Footbridge in (66 mi) - 6AM
Dry Fork Ridge in (82.5 mi) - 10AM
Scott Park/Finish - 4PM

Gives me 7.5 hours to cover the first 30 miles, 11.5 hours to cover the mid 36 miles (night time, typically my worst section of a 100), and 10 hours to cover the final 34 miles.

This gets me to the finish line in 29 hours. The only goal I have for the race is to finish and keep my Rocky Mountain Slam dreams alive, so I'd be very happy even with a 33:59 (especially with how I've been running lately).

Not sure if the Bighorn peeps update the website during the race, but I'll have Katie updating this blog when she can.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


fast trail group

Group shot of the "fast trail group" at the Garden training runs. Three of us were actually at the Garden to start running at 5AM. Ended up the workout doing 8 x 400 meters. Good times!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Barr Camp

Nice article in the Gazette about Neal and Teresa can be seen here. Hope to see those two on Saturday.

Golden Gate 50K

Results are over here. I ran 6:41:47 and finished 25th overall. Don't laugh too hard at the time, it was a tough course. Hell, it took Justin R damn near five hours to run it. Had I given any effort at all on the downhills I would have been a good half an hour faster.

Went in looking for a good, long run, and that's just what I got. No pain with the hip/glute thing. Really pushed it on the uphills, really slacked on the downhills. Going on three hours sleep didn't help my performance either, but it's good training for Hardrock.

Beautiful and rugged singletrack trails up there in Golden. This is one I'll do every year.

Eight days 'till Bighorn. Rocky Mountain Slam or bust!

My other ride is your mom!

Commute #14

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

not quite ready for prime time...

BLOS's race report from his first Ironman attempt is over here. Somehow he managed to make my Boston and Jemez performances look like Olympic caliber stuff!

Niobarra Nausea

8 x 90 seconds up Niobarra hill this morning. Showed up so early for some bonus miles that foursquare gave me the "school night" badge since it assumed I just stayed up all night. 8.8 miles, 90 minutes.

Got the final Hardrock snow report, looks like it's gonna be a dry year this time around.

Gonna run up Pikes Peak this Saturday if anyone is interested in joining me. Will hafta be a super early run so I can get to the Colorado Running Company in time to catch this leg of the Gravity Tattoo world tour.

Biking to work tomorrow. First time I've been on my bike since last year's bike to work day. Hope I don't hurt myself.

Ten days 'till Bighorn...

Sunday, June 06, 2010


I'll do a full recap later, but it was another epic weekend. Great show on Friday night with Medeski, Martin, & Wood and John Butler Trio. Then a great 50K on Saturday (I finished in 6:41-ish; not too shabby when you consider it damn near took Justin R five hours), followed by a classic Big Head Todd show. Sunday morning I met up with Shad and we crushed Mt. Evans from Summit Lake, spending well over four hours above 10,000 feet for the day.

Good times!

Many pics to follow, here's one of me and $100 moments after I finished.

Friday, June 04, 2010

hooray summer!

new 5K AR!

Bernard Lagat busted out a 12:54! Solinsky close behind in 12:56!

And in even more impressive news, I PR'd my 21 workout over lunch in 16:40.

Incline happy hour

Hit the Incline then went up and over about half a mile past No Name Creek. Easy effort. 7 miles, 100 minutes.

BLOS has sold out and is attempting a half ironman this weekend. Good luck to him out there.

Think Matt C has lost it. He actually said hi to me on Barr Trail. It's the most unfocused I've ever seen him during training.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Kara's bedroom

Just thought this blog needed a picture of Kara Goucher's bedroom:
Her house is for sale if anyone is interested. Hopefully she's planning on moving to Colorado, while leaving Adam and the kid behind...

As one like-minded letsrun poster said:

$739,000 to be able to use the same shower, bathtub, and sauna as Kara Goucher?

Worth it.


Easy ten miles home from work yesterday. 2 hours, but a lot of that time was spent visiting Tanya in her new flower shop and then yelling at Leadman Larry to pedal faster at a Bear Creek Park MTB race. No problems with the hip/glute anymore, should be good to go this weekend at the Dirty Thirty. I've volunteered to DD for the JBT show, so maybe I'll show up to the starting line sober this time...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

hooray Amy!

AVT, who runs with the Sunrise Striders every Tuesday and Thursday morning, recently won the Med-City marathon up in Minnesota! Read about it here!

he's back!

It just blows my mind that there will be people going to this church. And giving the guy money. Unbelievable.

commute #13

Easy run to work this morning, with bonus loops around America the Beautiful Park and Prospect Lake. The Penrose fountain has been turned on. I hear the Uncle Wilbur statue is flowing. They're watering the grass in Memorial Park. Maybe there is hope for our village yet...

8.2 miles, 68 minutes. You know it's gonna be a good day when Panic's "Climb To Safety" pops up twice on the shuffle!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

National Running Day

June 2 is National Running Day. Guess I'll be running to work to celebrate the return of logging lots of junk miles to stay ahead of Brandon...


Total amount spent on running so far this year: $1883.00. Total miles run after the Ridge Road repeats this morning: 1566.9 (please note that it's still more than this guy). That works out to $1.20 per mile. This should be the month where I dip under a buck a mile.

Congrats to my buddy and Hardrock pacer from last year, Paul S, who found out today he gets to toe the line in Silverton this year! Fast Eddy, are you in yet? Remember, you said you'd give me ten hours this year!

25 miles already in this week. More to come, as well as the 50K this weekend and Mt. Evans on Sunday. The greats sometimes get hurt - besides me, I hear Usain Bolt is having some achilles issues.

Great run up the Scar, including seeing a pack of 20-30 mountain goats scampering on the cliffs, last night. That's gonna be my Monday evening staple for a while if anyone wants to join me.

live broadcast!

JBT is gonna broadcast their show this Friday live on the web! If you're not one of the superfly cool people who will actually be at the show, you can at least listen to it.

FYI, from 9:25PM to 9:40PM I will be in the beer line...