Friday, June 30, 2017

bike commute 48

Went over 1500 miles on the year on the ride to/from work this morning.  Halfway to my yearly goal.  Included a very long stop at Cerberus Brewing on the grueling four mile ride home.

night outside 14

We got up early on Sunday and headed up Cinnamon Pass road to the Redcloud Peak trailhead.  Hardrock country!  I was pretty beat up so after taking FOREVER to go just four miles we turned around.  Still a good hike and the dog had a blast.

After the hike it was one last stop at the San Juan Coffee Company before making the trip over to Salida.  It was too hot to leave the dog in the van so unfortunately we had to skip High Alpine Brewing.  We did end up stopping at the Tomichi Creek Trading Post in Sargents on the west side of Monarch Pass.  I needed coffee, and I have some ideas for some long Monarch Crest rides where the station may serve as a fuel point.  Very cool gas station and I saw a few touring mountain bike rigs there.

Then it was the usual Elevation Brewing/Moonlight Pizza/Woods Distillery triple header.

For all the years I've been driving to Salida, I've always wondered about the sign for Hayden Creek that you see in Coaldale, maybe 20 miles east of Salida.  We decided to spend our final night checking the place out.  It was getting dark when we pulled up, but we found a great free campsite right along the creek.

It had been a long weekend and everyone slept great in the tent.

The Rainbow Trail runs right through here, so on Monday morning we got up and hiked a nice 5K.

And after all that it was back home.  First four night camping trip on a very long time for me, first one ever for the dog.

San Juan Solstice

I completed my eighth San Juan Solstice, and my 21st 50 miler, on Saturday, finally crossing the line in 13:21.  It went about as well as I thought it would.  Been combining 40ish miles of running with 60ish miles of biking every week, and while this wasn't enough to crush the course it was at least good enough to get me across the finish line without any big issues.

I actually ran well for most of the race.  I hit halfway in seven hours, just two minutes behind Brooks.  I stayed within sight of him for another ten miles or so before reality set in and he pulled away.  He was the last of my friends I had a chance of beating, as most were well ahead of me the entire day.  If I'm training for the Pikes Peak Marathon, I probably shouldn't talk shit at this race to a bunch of guys training for a hundo, but such is life.  And if you don't know the course, don't be impressed with the negative split, the huge majority of the uphill is in the first half.

I listened to two shows between mile 15 and mile 40.  Gov't Mule from May 1, 2004 in NOLA, and Pearl Jam November 6, 2000 from Seattle.  Both were killer shows and helped keep me going.

I knew the last ten miles wouldn't be pretty, and they weren't.  I got to Slum, mile 40, in ten hours.  And even though 3:21 for the last ten miles is pretty damn sluggish, I spent at least 15 minutes at that aid station drinking beer and chatting with $100 and Becca, then another 15 minutes at the Vickers aid station drinking my only light beer of the year.  To top it off, I arrived at the Packer Saloon, 100 meters from the finish line, in 12:57, and didn't finish for another 24 minutes (Lucho would not be impressed with that sprint time).  So I could have easily cleaned up those aid stations had I been concerned about running a faster time.  Here I am at mile 40 drinking my first beer of the day and wishing this was a 40 mile race:

I found out after the race that two guys drank a shot of fireball at the Carson aid station.  I didn't see any booze there when I went through, so maybe they were genius enough to put some in their drop bags, but for once I was not the first person to consume booze during a race.  Kudos to those guys!

One interesting thing for me is that I carried no calories with me the entire race.  And no drop bags.  Just two water bottles.  Skipped the first aid station as they have very limited supplies and I want to make sure the slower guys get their share, and then I just filled the bottles with water and ate whatever was at the aid station.  The aid stations were on point this year - bacon at Carson (mile 23), mac & cheese at Divide (mile 31), popcicles at Slum (mile 40).  Common thinking in ultrarunning is that you will immediately die if you don't take some kind of gel every eight minutes, but I'm glad I can get by without that stuff.

Back in my Hardrock days I would look to run around twelve hours to make sure I was ready, so given the difference in my goals and training nowadays I'm really satisfied with how this race went down.  Right now I hope this isn't my last SJS, but given I won't be there in 2018 (we will be hiking the Colorado Trail this time next year) we will see where life has me in 2019.

Night outside 13 was spent in the van at the Lake City baseball field.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

run commute 30

First run since Lake City.  Four miles to work, four miles home.  Felt pretty good.

night outside 12

On Friday morning we left for Lake City.  We used to stay at the Town Square cabins and never imagined I'd be able to stay any closer to the start/finish.  But the van made that possible.

As many times as $100 and I have been to Lake City, we've only been to three businesses in town: the Packer Saloon, Restless Spirits Saloon, and the San Juan Coffee Company.  

The Colorado Springs crew drank quite a bit the night before the race, and none of us received the negative treatment that Walmsley did.  Overall the Springs crew performed quite well at the race, despite a few pre-race beers and a shot of well whiskey to end the evening.

Random pic of a sticker I thought was awesome:

night outside 11

We had the van packed and on Thursday after work we bolted towards Buena Vista.  Grabbed dinner at Eddyline and went down to the new Browns Canyon National Monument.  Not sure if out spot is actually in the Monument or in the Fourmile Rec Area, but we always find a great place to park the van and start a fire there.

bike commute 47

Bike to work day!  Got up early and rode down to Urban Steam for bagels and coffee, then headed up to the as-yet-unopened Good Neighbor for burritos and more coffee.  On the way home I took advantage of some brewery specials at Fieldhouse and Fossil.

Most of the 18 miles on the day were all done on bike paths.  Colorado Springs isn't known as a bike friendly city but if you know where you're going you can really get anywhere on the Westside and downtown without having to deal with too much traffic.  And of course there is no reason you'd want to go east of downtown.

Was looking at the local fox news station for an interview they did with my boss for bike to work day, and found a story on the local infantry dudes going for their EIB.  I got this many, many moons ago at Fort Hood.  Not as cool as the CIB, but it is much harder to get since nowadays it's pretty rare to find an infantry guy who hasn't deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I'll get to a weekend update soon.  Quick story is that I got in four more nights outside and another finish at San Juan.

We celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Waldo Canyon fire this month.  We had the usuals over to drink on the roof.  Good times!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Music Pass

Saturday morning we took the van down to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness to explore a bit of Colorado we've never visited.  Parked the van at Grape Creek, grabbed some brews, and headed up to Music Pass.  Beautiful hike and the dogs had a blast.  We weren't in the mood to push the envelope, but there are an endless amount of lakes and peaks here, as well as access to Sand Dunes, and this would be a great place for a big mileage day.

Got in a good eight miles of hiking before getting back and setting up camp.  The dogs got in a few extra miles and didn't help with setup at all.

Spent a great evening doing nothing before hitting the hay.  The next morning we got up and hiked another five miles on the Rainbow Trail, which comes through Grape Creek.

This is a great area and I can't believe I haven't spent more time here.  We went from the garage to hiking in less than 2.5 hours.  Saw a few cars, but not a lot of people, so I assume there's a lot of backcountry hiking/camping going on.  We plan on returning soon, as we want to hike from Grape Creek to Medano Pass as well as the Rito Alto loop.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


$100 and I will be heading out to Wisconsin over the July 4th holiday.  You might think all we do on these WI trips is drink New Glarus and eat cheese, and that is mostly correct, but we will be participating in a championship event this time around:

Yes, we are entered in the Wisconsin State Wife Carrying Championship.  Winner gets $5 per pound of the person who is carried, the carried person's weight in beer, and the honor of competing in the North American Wife Carrying Championship in Maine.

I saw a video of the couple who won the last two years, and needless to say we will not be competing for the win.  In fact I think this will be only slightly more impressive than the time I tried to run the steeplechase in Boulder.  Should be fun though, and I am going to rock this t-shirt when I return to Colorado.

We will also be running the De Forest Freedom Run 10K that morning.  I tend to run well in Wisconsin so I'll probably try to go sub 40.

CityRock 34

Been spending most of my free time outside but now that San Juan training is over it's time to get back to the rock gym.  Hopefully I can get back to twice a week early morning sessions at CityRock.  My office will be moving back downtown this fall so eventually I should be spending a ton of time climbing. 

Also got bike commute 45 in.

run commute 28

Taking it easy this week, at least until Saturday.  8 miles on the day running straight to and from work.  Also got out on the bike for an hour in the evening.  14 miles on the Garden, Sinton, Santa Fe, and Midland paved trails.

Monday, June 19, 2017

bro visit

Had a great time hanging with my brother for a few days last week.  We took him out for the Roman Villa/Murphys double his first night here.

He didn't know this was going to happen, but we took him to see his favorite band, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, at Red Rocks.  Glad $100 and I were somehow able to keep this a surprise until we pulled into the lot at Red Rocks.

We spent his last night in Colorado outside, camping out down near Salida (night outside number nine for me).  The next morning we took the dogs out to Pass Creek Lake, then said our goodbyes at Elevation.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

run commute 27

Long hike with the two Holly's this morning so I took the quick four mile route to work.  Took me over 1000 run miles on the year.

Another four miles home.  Taking the van out tonight.

run commute 26/bike commute 43

Monday - 4.2 miles to work, 5.7 miles home.  Easy.  Still pretty beat up from the weekend.

Tues - quick bike to work.  On the way home I met $100 and my brother at Red Leg, then we dropped by Trinity.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Garden Ten Mile

Wasn't expecting much from this as having my brother in town had me staying up late and drinking too much for several days in a row.  In fact, on my warmup over to the race I changed my goal from sub 70 to sub 80.

New course this year, and once the gun went off I stayed conservative for the first mile, which climbs a pretty big hill.  At the top I felt pretty good and decided to see if I could get that sub 70.  It helped that my arch-nemesis Brooks was close by (photo by Peter).

Brooks led for the first 2.5ish miles, then I unsuccessfully tried to drop him over the next 10K.  There is a terrible hill about 8.7 miles into the race and it crushed me, and Brooks was able to get 15 seconds or so.  I came back at him, but he ended up holding me off.  I ended up sneaking in just under 69 minutes.  34:07 through five miles, 34:50 for the second half.

Really happy with the effort, especially given my long run on Saturday followed by a very late night at Red Rocks for the Big Head Todd show.  And even though Brooks whooped me on my home course I took home the moral victory as I had two beers during the run and he had none.

This race used to be a standard for me - can I still break 70 on a tough, hilly course?  Wasn't sure what the new course would bring, but that personal standard will remain.  My educated guess as someone who runs in the Garden quite often is that this course is about a minute slower than the old course.  The potential for disaster in the second half is real on the new course though, as there are three tough hills over the final 4.5 miles.  You used to be able to count on a several minute negative split, but that is definitely not the case any more.

This pic has been making the rounds on the social medias.  $100 is in the dark blue shirt.

A few more pics I stole from Peter.  Such a great race in a great place.  Made even better with a finish at Rock Ledge Ranch which allows for a beer garden.

Bottomless Pitt

Wasn't expecting much out of Saturday's run but it actually went pretty well.  Made it up to the Bottomless Pitt sign in 2:09ish.  Easy back down, including a good break at Barr Camp.  17+ miles on the day.  Last long effort before Lake City.

incline 28

My brother was due to arrive Thursday evening so I wanted to get the Incline in, knowing the next few days would combine too little sleep and too much booze.  Straight up and straight down, then met Eben at Fossil.

A shot of the Teisher kids and their dogs.  Two of these dogs are named Holly.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

run commute 25

Six miles to work, with three hard miles in there (half a mile rest in between).  6:14 for the first one (slightly downhill, but with multiple stop signs), 6:33 for the second (slightly downhill followed by slightly uphill, includes a long red light), and 6:33 for the third (slightly uphill, on trail).  Hard effort, though I plan on running a lot harder on Sunday.  I'd love to get up north to challenge GZ in a mile this summer.  I think I could come close, but right now I think that distance and effort would leave me crippled for a week.  I do still have plans to shoot for sub 18 this year, but that won't become a focus until after Pikes.

Four miles home.  Was going to ride after that but I walked the dog and went down to Front Range BBQ for some beers instead.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

CityRock 33/bike commute 40

Nice, easy Tuesday.  Six mile ride in the AM, a morning session at CityRock, 16 miles on the way home.  Had to head north after work as Cheyenne Canon was closed as they spray for some weird invasive moth.

Some nice art at the Goose Gossage skate park:

Monday, June 05, 2017

run commute 24

10K to work, four miles home.  Then jumped on the local bike paths for 14 miles of pedaling.  Good day.

weekend update

Friday was bike commute 39.  It included breaking into a friend's house to steal beer and a long stop at Red Leg.  And some rain.

Two pretty decent runs on Sat and Sun.

20 miles on Saturday on the Fat Ass course - Garden, Incline, Barr, Intemann, Red Rock Canyon.  There are approximately eight billion people in the world, and I think they were all on the Incline on Saturday.

On Sunday $100 and I headed over to Cheyenne Canon to hand out brews for the High Drive Challenge.  It had been a while since I cracked a beer open at 7AM.

After the race I had her drop me off at the bottom of the Canon and I ran home.  Cheyenne Canon, Spring Creek, up Capt Jacks, Buckhorn, 666, Section 16, Red Rock Canyon.  17 miles.

I feel pretty good after this weekend about my 14ish hour goal at San Juan.