Wednesday, March 30, 2016

my other blog

Going to do some blogging for Pikes Peak Sports once again.  My latest post is over here.  You could say I'm a professional writer now since I got a free entry into the Pikes Peak Marathon for this (and, due to a glitch in the system, I didn't have to shell out 50 bones to do the Double) or you could say my stuff is so bad they asked me to write about the Double and still made me pay for the Ascent.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Still trying to get some long rides in, but the weather is not playing nice.  Was hoping to ride the trails of Lake Pueblo on Sunday, but got word that things there were still a mess.  So I left the house with a plan to ride up to Pikes Peak Brewing instead.  Made it to the Academy gates (where all the no trespassing signs had been removed but the gates were still locked) and the Santa Fe trail just turned to poo.  I hopped the fence and continued for a quarter mile but any farther would have required a hike-a-bike.  So I turned around and tooled around town, getting in a solid 40 miles.

Rest day on Monday.  Nice hour hike in the Garden with the dog in the morning, then an hour of hot yoga after work.

10K on Tuesday morning.  Knew the track would still be a mess, so I did some two minutes on/two minutes off. Inspired by GZ's recent mile goals, going to start leaning towards shorter intervals on Tuesday.

Christ, this is Pitt's new hoops coach.  Nothing super creepy to see here.  Interesting hire, to say the least.  My faith in humanity takes a hit every time I have to follow sports message boards on the internet, so I'm glad they at least got the hire over with.

Oddly, this pic came up when I was googling the above image.  A much better representation of a great university:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Incline 25

We got a good bit of snow last night.  Easily at least six inches at the house.  Here's the front yard.  The flamingos had it rough but they survived:

Almost bailed on working out but I figured I'd do something.  On my way out I told $100, "I'll be back between 20 minutes and four hours."

Incline number 25 on the year.  Lots of snow everywhere.  Well over a foot by the time I got to the top.  Quite the slog, but at least it wasn't too cold.  Quite a few others out there getting after it.  Took me three hours to make the loop.  Wanted to hit Red Mountain as well but that trail wasn't broken at all and it would have taken me forever.

Shortly after the Incline summit:

By Tuesday all this snow will be gone.  Going to be a bit messy for a while.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Having a pretty good week so far.

Monday and Tuesday were good weather days.  Not so much today, though it seems we're not getting hit as bad as the folks in Denver/Boulder.

Monday is a rest day, so the dog and I took a nice morning hike and then I biked to work.  Was still beautiful (and light) after work so I took the long way home - up Cheyenne Canon to the Columbine trail, then down to Spring Creek, then back home via Gold Camp and Red Rock Canyon.  I had the thought while riding those trails that not many folks have a better commute home from work than I do.

Tuesday morning I got up to head to the track, but in the time I walked from my porch to the sidewalk I decided it was too warm out for the track and I headed over to Red Rock Canyon instead.  An hour of running those trails was just what the doctor ordered.  Also got in a good 20 mile road ride on the way home from work.  Legs are pretty beat up after three straight days of solid riding.

Today, the same day that GZ decides he wants to get fast, I figured it was time to start learning to run up hill again.  Headed back to Cheyenne Canon and ran the old Canya Canon 6K course, then back down.  Snowing this morning.  Too dark to go without a headlamp, but turning on the headlamp just lit up the snow and I couldn't see.  But it was fun, and I did run the entire thing, which I wasn't sure I could do right now.  52 minutes to the top (it's exactly four miles from where I start).  Going to make this my Wednesday morning run until all the snow goes away, then I'll switch to a hump day morning summit of Mt. Muscoco.

Pitt is looking for a new hoops coach.  Very bittersweet as I was still a big fan of Jamie Dixon, but I admit the program has lost a bit of luster since we joined the ACC.  It was actually announced that Sean Miller was going to take the job, which caused the heads of every member of the Panther nation to explode with joy.  Why would the head coach of a top program take the Pitt job?  Check out this video, and check out who made the pass...

Hot damn those uniforms are the best!

Anywho, Coach Miller is not coming home, nor was he ever thinking about it.  So I wondered how a legit media joint could make such a mistake.  I sometimes wish I would have taken a path towards a career in journalism, and I found this article about sources awesome to read, regardless of the Pitt slant.

Monday, March 21, 2016

week in review

I was hoping for a big bike week and a smaller run week, but weather forced the opposite.  50 miles running, 70 miles on the bike.  Got in another 13 miles of hiking with the dog.

We got snow and frigid weather on Saturday which crushed my spirit.  Wanted to get in 100K on the bike but it was just too cold for that.  Got out for a slow two hour run over in Red Rock Canyon instead.

On Sunday the dog and I headed up the Incline, trip number 24, and then I grabbed the bike and bolted down to Canon City.  Due to time constraints (I had to be at Murphy's for BLOS's 40th b-day party) I only had three hours to ride.  Explored Temple Canyon Road, then popped out at the south rim of the Royal Gorge.  Made two big climbs (including Skyline Drive) back to the City.  31 miles total, lots of climbing.

I have found that I can run 100% pain free in Altras, which has me stoked beyond belief.  I won a pair back in August and they were pretty much an afterthought during my Hoka phase.  But they may have saved my running.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Temple Canyon

On the way back from Salida we took a dog break to hike Temple Canyon in Canon City.  Love this hike.  Minor pain in the butt to drive to but it's quickly becoming a favorite.

Friday, March 18, 2016


Woke up to some snow.  Yuk.  Two inches on the dirt and grass, nothing on the streets or sidewalks.  Seven miles on the Garden roads.

Picked up what might be my final Red Rocks tickets for the year, Tedeschi Trucks.  Thought about going after Panic tix, but I think I'll just couch tour that. 

Loves me some March Madness!  Pitt vs Wisconsin is on at 4:45PM here in Colorado.  The wife is visiting her parents in Florida so I won't have to put up with her whining once Pitt crushes the Badgers.  Of course, my favorite nickname in all college sports belongs to Wichita State.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Yet another incredible weekend down in Salida.

I will never do well at this race and that's fine with me.  The Run Through Time sort of kicks off spring for me, which means it's time to start getting in shape after being lazy all winter.  Plus, at my age, massive amounts of pizza and whiskey and beer the night before a marathon is going to negatively affect any dreams of speed.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for me to cover the marathon, given how I haven't been running hills or distance.

Of course, you can see how hard I was pushing:

Given my Friday night and how difficult the new course was, I wondered if I'd even break six hours.  So when I crossed the line feeling good at 5:15, I was pretty happy.

The new course was awesome, and it's great to see what this race is now compared to what it was a decade ago when it started.  Not counting the initial two mile loop that allows folks to thin out, we're only on the dirt road for 3/4 of a mile.

A few pics from our ride up Tenderfoot Hill:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Incline #23

Early morning on the Incline.  Fresh snow.  Yuk.  But I need to get the laps in as the Incline will be closed late fall/early summer for repairs.

Got a parking ticket on Ruxton.  At 6AM, when signs all over the place state they do not start enforcing until 7AM.  I'm going to challenge it, but if I lose I'll be boycotting the bars and restaurants of Manitou for a bit to recoup that money.  Solid work, city of Manitou.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

whiskey #6

Wood's High Mountain Distillery in Salida.  This was their staple Tenderfoot whiskey.  Most people correctly describe this as harsh, but I love that characteristic. 

Good whiskey.  Good gin.  Best bloody mary in town.  Dog friendly.  Awesome bartenders.  I cannot say enough good things about this place. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Salida or bust!

Off to Salida for a weekend of trails and beer and whiskey and pizza and dogs and even the fat bike.  Love that place and hope to live there someday. 

As a Pittsburgher there's not much I love more than making fun of Cleveland.  So I dug this awesome article on the Cleveland Clowns and the end of the Johnny Football saga.  I can't remember the last time Cleveland had a team that wasn't embarrassing.  The article says the Browns are "the equivalent of the person who's been divorced three times and thinks the drummer in the rock band who keeps asking to borrow a credit card would make an excellent fourth spouse" and that about sums it up perfectly.  Sorry, Wyatt.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


No Pitt talk today as my beloved Panthers were crushed by Carolina.  Gots to wait until Sunday evening to find out if we made the dance.  I don't think we deserve to go, but my gut says Pitt will get in.

Nice seven miler in the Garden this morning.  Last run until Salida.  Feeling a little bit better about that race.  Still thinking 5.5 hours or so, but at least now I'm thinking it will be somewhat fun instead of the long, painful slog I had been envisioning.

Solid brew tonight, thanks Bob!  Dog is not very happy with me right now as it was shower night for her.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Incline #22

Another trip up the hill with $100 and the dog on Tuesday evening.  This is probably the first week of the year I'll only get up the Incline once.

This morning it was an easy hour on the trails of Red Rock Canyon.  As much as I'm looking forward to daylight savings, it's going to suck in the morning to need the headlamp for the whole run again.

ACC tourney starts today.  Pitt plays at 10AM.  March madness is here!

Update:  Pitt easily picked up a dominating win over the crybaby Orange, 72-71.  They say you can't beat a good team three times in a season, and I agree as that was our third win over the 'Cuse this year.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Tuesday track

Trying a new approach to Monday.  Active recovery.  Sleeping in (until 5:15AM, very late for me on weekdays), taking the dog out for an easy hike in the Garden for an hour, then a chill five mile bike to work.  After riding home, the wife and I went to hot yoga.  And another walk with the dog right before bed.

But Tuesday remains track day.  Quarters!  10 x 400m, 200m RBI.  After a garbage 96 on the first lap, I ran the next few in 90-91 and then the last four between 84 and 88.  6.7 miles total.

Sharapova busted for drugs.  I'm still a fan.  Maria, if things get too tough, I always have vodka in my liquor cabinet!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Incline #21

Awesome weekend on the books.  On Saturday I headed over to Monument Valley Park for the Nielsen Challenge.  Ran 12:27, with splits of 6:27 and 6:00.  Felt so much better on Saturday than I did on Tuesday crapping out mile repeats.

After the Nielsen I took out the fat bike for a killer ride - Red Rock Canyon, the Chutes, Chamberlain, Cheyenne Canon, Buckhorn, Columbine, Spring Creek, and back to Fossil Brewing.  A hard 23 miles with 3500 feet of climbing, three hours.

Nice Saturday night as I headed over to Manitou for two of my favorite local bands.  Blue Frog at Kinfolk's, then Colorado Floyd at the Mariner.

Finally got some time on my feet on Sunday.  Knew this would be rough due to the hangover, but at least I got to suffer.  Over to the Incline, Barr Trail, Red Mountain, then back to the house via Intemann and Red Rock Canyon.  Only 17 miles, but 4.5 hours at least trying to move forward.  Gives me a little hope that I'll at least be able to finish Salida.

Garmin watch is on the fritz and is refusing to upload.  I recently started a sabbatical on bookface, now it looks like I'm not going to bother with strava either (my watch is supposed to automatically upload to garmin connect, my go-to log, and then it automatically sends that info to strava; I'll take the time to manually type the info into garmin, but not strava).

Took a few pics on the run.  Here's the Incline taken from the Intemann trail:

A shot of Red Mountain from the Intemann trail:

The Incline taken from Iron Mountain:

The Incline, Rocky Mountain, and a bit of Pikes, the view from Iron Mountain:

The sprawling metropolis of Manitou Springs:

The Manitou track, with the Garden in the background.  My house is somewhere in this pic. 

Jai Alai

Back when I was about to visit Florida someone suggested I try the Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing.  Tried hard, but I was unable to find it.  But I got a can in the mail the other day, and it was pretty delicious.

In totally unrelated news, I'm really glad I don't have a roof rack.  Because it seems shit like this always happens to folks with roof racks.

Friday, March 04, 2016

incline #20

The dog and I took a co-worker on his first trip up the Incline this morning.   #1 of his life for him, #3 on the week for the dog and I.  Dude is a retired Academy grad, got fat and lazy after leaving the Air Force, then got sick of being fat and lazy and decided to train for the Air Force Marathon.  He's lost 35 pounds already.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

garden roads

Caught the Banff film festival here in the Springs last night.  One of the better nights in all the years I've gone (eight or so).  Maybe I'm just jaded with the whole running thing right now, but the flick about UTMB really turned me off due to the North Face demanding to have their logo in the shot at all times.

Springs was recently ranked the #5 city to live in.  At this point in my life I couldn't imagine leaving for Denver or Austin, two towns I've spent a lot of time in.  Way too big.  The Springs is growing as well, but luckily we are insulated from that as the city grows uncontrollably east.  If we had to leave for a big city, it would be for Pittsburgh or Madison.  Note: the next move we hope to make is to Salida, which did not make the list.

Nice seven miler on the Garden roads this morning, 60 minutes. 

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when the dog wasn't allowed on the bed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Incline #19

Beautiful Monday night on the Incline.  Dog was a little shit which made for a slow time due to trying to keep her under wraps, but I still got up the hill.  Waiting for the big crowds to show up now that it's lighter longer and it's been very warm, but I've pretty much had the Incline to myself the previous two nights.  Met $100 at Manitou Brewing after the run to help celebrate their two year anniversary.  Their High Ground IPA is really hitting the spot for me nowadays.

Decent month in February.  185 miles running and 320 miles on the bike.  Had some rough weather in there but I somewhat kept keeping on.  I still struggle with the lower running mileage, as my brain will always default back to running, hence the 320 miles biking still continue to register as a goose egg.  Overall I feel like I continue to trend in the right direction as far as overall fitness is concerned.  Salida will be a shitshow though, I'm guessing I'll be hiking a lot and finish on the wrong side of six hours.

Knew of this story, but never saw the picture.  A few years ago this guy was in town for the wounded warrior games, and he did the Incline.  Think of him next time you're coming up with excuses for bailing on something.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

incline #18/track

Took advantage of the extra day to get over to Manitou after work.  Thought the Incline would be packed, but I saw no one.  Relaxed effort, just felt good to be outside in late February and not freezing.  Hope to get to 25 before March ends, halfway towards my goal for the year.

Up early on Tuesday to hit the track.  3 x 1 mile, 600m RBI.  6:18, 6:20, 6:46.  GZ had a recent post on Wanjiru/Kedebe going at it a few years ago, and how badly Kedebe tanked during the final part of the race.  He must have felt similar to how I felt on the last mile.  In my defense, I actually quit this workout after the second mile, but forced myself back onto the track for that final repeat.  I should have just done two.  But I'm a winner for trying, I suppose.

Stout month is over.  Finished the 29 day run with the Java Stout from Santa Fe brewing.  Can't wait to drink nothing but PBR and IPAs for the next eleven months straight.