Wednesday, August 28, 2019

bike commute 53

Still pretty friggin' sore from Pikes, 99% of that from bombing down the hill on Sunday.  Plus I have a huge blister on my left heel, basically taking up half of my foot.  I'll be fairly lazy through the Phish shows this weekend and then ramp things up for the Fort Benning marathon in November.

Not being a complete slug though.  Still walking the dog for 75 minutes every morning, and I biked to work today.  And did some easy gym climbing at lunch.

My splits on Sat vs Sun:

Spur - 16:37/17:13
No Name - 59:18/57:38
Barr Camp - 1:43:35/1:41:09

No A Frame splits for the Ascent but I gotta think they were about equal for both of my runs, then I just lost four minutes above treeline on Sunday.  Ouch.

Lot of folks showing interest in Pikes next year.  Should be fun.

Monday, August 26, 2019


Not quite what I wanted, but I was pretty happy both with the Marathon and the weekend as a whole.

On Sunday I went up in 3:30:05.  Would have liked to go six seconds quicker, but it is what it is.  Not like you can sprint the final 100 meters up there.  Of course, I might have made it had I not stopped for a beer shortly after No Name.  This pic was taken approximately 65 minutes into the race and I'm already sweating my ass off.  Hot one for sure, especially later on in the day.

I did accomplish a goal of being above treeline before Killian came by.  Wasn't by much, but I made it.  Sage wasn't too far behind him at that point, so I kind of knew he hadn't gone sub 2:01.  Totally unrelated: Matt was working his ice cream stand rocking a t-shirt that said "while you were looking for parking I ran up and down Pikes Peak."

My down was 2:05:22.  Again, not what I wanted, but it wasn't too bad considering all that was going on.  I had a terrible top two miles coming down, feeling the effects of Saturday and another day of high winds, before I could start to get things rolling.  A bunch of people passed me during those first two miles, but I think I eventually got them all back.

GZ thoroughly whooped me.  I think I went from Barr Camp to the summit a few seconds faster than he did, but he got to Barr over eight minutes quicker than me and came down the mountain four minutes faster, most of that time coming on the upper half of the mountain.  I did catch JV on what was possibly his worst day ever and now have a two race winning streak going there.

Love everything about this race, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  Sub 3:30 ascent both days and a sub two on the descent will be the goal.  I'll be in a new age group and those times might actually be competitive.

Relive 'Pikes'


Saturday, August 24, 2019


Just like I said, somewhere between 3:15 and 3:30. 

Had a good, conservative start and passed a ton of folks after Barr Camp.  Overall a good, solid, but not spectacular run.  Would have liked to been a few minutes faster.  But it seemed to be a slow day overall, with my very un-scientific poll of running buddies all a bit disappointed with their times.  Windy up above tree line, maybe that had something to do with it.

Pretty sore after this one.  Time to sit on the couch, eat pizza, and watch college football.

Friday, August 23, 2019


Fairly difficult for me to predict what I'll run this year.  I haven't raced much, spending a lot of weekends living out of a van and spending most of my workouts getting to and from work, and even those split up between running and riding.

That being said, the races I have done have pretty much been good (the Garden ten miler and a hungover Summer Roundup), and I did alright at a very difficult (for me) mountain bike race not long ago.  My Barr Trail runs have gone really well.  I recently nabbed an Incline PR.  And the runs to/from work have been a lot faster than the last few years of me always plodding around at 10+ minute per mile.

The quality is there.  The quantity?  Not so much.  I've been running 30 miles a week for several months now.

But I feel fit, and the goal is 3:15.  And if I'm close to that, I know that my masters PR on the Ascent is 3:12.  On Sunday, I'd like to go sub two on the downhill.  Ideally with a sub six last mile while pulling away from GZ and JV.

Or, you know, it could be a total disaster and I'll run 4+ on Saturday and 7+ on Sunday and all the beer is gone before I finish.

We'll see how it all shakes out.  Good luck to everyone running this weekend!

Bonus prediction: no course records fall this weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

catching up

Summer is almost over, where the hell is the time going?

On Thurs close to noon I got a text from Wiley.  Turns out he was on his way to Denver and had some extra tickets to Shakey Graves at Red Rocks.  So $100 and I changed some plans and made it up for the show.  Great show and even though the pic doesn't do it justice there was a huge full moon watching the gig as well.

Air Force season tickets arrived on Friday, so football season must be here!  Super excited for this game:

On Friday after a good ten mile run up and down Barr we headed out to Buena Vista to catch one of our favorites, The Brothers Comatose.  Finally figured out how to drive onto the old Midland railroad bed so we had a great spot to camp.  Stumbled into town and hit the Jailhouse and Deerhammer. 

Was missing our dog as she was hanging with Moose back in Colorado Springs for the night.  But we ran into BJ who was "charging his electric vehicle" (drinking whiskey) on his way up to Leadville to watch his wife Dreama finish Leadville.  And he had Summit the dog with him.

Then it was over to the Lariat for the show.  Couldn't believe it but they have cans of Utica Club there.  A steal at $2 per can.

Awesome show by the BroCos!  So much fun I took one whole pic the entire show.

Did I mention we had a great campsite?  The required morning coffee pic:

I ran for 40 minutes in BV and then we headed back to the Springs.  I took the van over to Trails End Taproom for their van life show.  Good times and it was great seeing some other van dorks.  There was a used sprinter there selling for $125K if anyone is interested in the minimalism of #vanlife.

On Sunday I ran up to No Name Creek and then we headed up to Leavitt Pavillion in Denver.  Had never heard of the place but the Brothers were finishing up their Colorado run with a free show.  Loved the joint, and they have 50 free concerts there each year.  This season is winding down but I'll definitely be back next year.  As an added bonus for old farts like me, the shows start early and end at 7:45.

Taking it easy this week as Pikes looms.  I'll try to get a prediction post up this week, but the cliff notes version is that I expect to finish between 3:15 and 3:30 on Saturday and 5:15 and 5:30 on Sunday.

Some bad Phish news as they have scrapped all camping at Dicks.  Turns out Denver has some plague ridden prairie dogs.  So I booked a room at the Days Inn on Colfax, where I'm much more likely to get some disease than camping on the dirt.  At least the hotel is across the street from Sancho's.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

trail angel

We had been wanting to supply some trail magic ever since we finished the Colorado Trail last year, and we took the opportunity to do that as well as help out Amanda and Connilee this past weekend.

And we got to introduce Moose to van life.

First stop was the fitness course behind the Leadville campus of the Colorado Mountain College.  A favorite of the dogs.

Then a few of the Leadville staples.

We had to pick up Amanda's vehicle at the Timberline Lake trail head, which was located near mile 87ish of the bike race.  Watched the race for about an hour and was lucky enough to catch a few of the COS locals.  Fun, but it did not light any fires inside me to make me think about doing such a thing again.

Saw a few hikers at this trail head and provided them with beer and snacks.  They were very greatful.

Next we set up camp at Twin Lakes while we waited for A&C to show up.  $100 cooked them a good dinner and we had a few beverages ready for them.

On Sunday morning after those two took off we took the dogs for a hike on the CO trail.  The signs brought back a lot of memories!

Then it was off to Winfield, where we would spend the night.  We set up our trail angel station at this sign.

Saw about a dozen hikers that day.  Lots of beers and soda, lots of candy bars, lots of water fill ups, and even some bacon when the rain allowed us to fire up the stove.  Loved chatting with all the hikers, hearing their trail stories.  Later that evening $100 and found ourselves talking about some of our future goals - the PCT and the AT.

A&C ended up crashing at Winfield due to the shitty weather.  But we all had fun hanging out.  Even the dogs.

On Monday A&C headed out super early to make it to Cottonwood Pass, where we would meet them.  After breaking camp and making the drive to the Pass, I took Moose for a good four mile hike south towards Monarch Pass.  That dog never tires out.

Saw a bunch more hikers and they were all glad for some brews.  Even saw Kircher as he was doing some crazy multi day bike ride that included Cottonwood Pass.

To end things we got in a new brewery on the way home. Funky Town in Florissant.

I was hoping to get in a bit of running over the weekend, but with the dogs and bullshitting with so many hikers that never happened.  Did spend quite a bit of time over 10000 feet, so at least there's that.  For the week:

run - 31 miles
bike - 32 miles
hike - 22 miles
CityRock - four climbs

Friday, August 09, 2019

incline 21

Got after it a bit after work on the incline and was rewarded with a 28:46.  I claim 28:30 as my PR but that was done so long ago that I remember using a timex ironman and I would just eyeball the time at the bottom and top and hope my math was correct, so it's quite possible that this is my fastest time ever.  My previous best for this strava segment, first step to last, was 30:30 back in May of 2017.

bike commute 48

Tues - run commute 49.  4.2 miles to work, 5.6 miles home.  CityRock 89 at lunch.

Wed - had to take the van over to Wayfarer world HQ to get a rooftop fan installed.  Then rode 2.7 miles from there to the office, and 2.7 miles back after work.  Then rode an hour in Red Rock Canyon before dropping by Trails End.  And CityRock 90 at lunch.

Thurs - run commute 50.  4.1 miles to work, 4.2 back home.  When I started the year I set a goal of 50 run and 50 bike commutes, and it looks like I'll get there for both.  CityRock 91 at lunch, and then later that evening $100 and I went back for some more climbing.

Fri - bike commute 48.  4.2 miles to work.  CityRock 92 at lunch.

We are headed over to Chaffee County this weekend to hang around the Colorado Trail.  Some friends are running from Twin Lakes to Cottonwood Pass and we will be tracking them while helping out any other hungry/thirsty hikers.  Should be made even more interesting as we'll have two dogs, or one dog and a Moose.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

South Boundary

Solid long weekend living out of our van!

We left Thursday after work and headed to Oil Well Flats, making our usual stop at Florence Brewing.

On Friday I got in a good hour run before we headed south towards Taos.  Took the scenic way, passing by Bishop Castle and driving through Colorado City before dropping by Cold Beer, New Mexico.

While at Cold Beer we were chatting with another van lifer and he filled us in on the brewery scene between CB and Taos.  We stopped at Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, Comanche Creek Brewing in Eagle Nest, and Enchanted Circle in Angel Fire.  Good times!

Saturday was the ride.  40 miles from Angel Fire to Taos.  I didn't think I would have any issues with a 40 mile ride but this route handed me my ass.  The climbing over the first 18 or so miles took a lot out of me, and then the second half descent was a lot more technical than I was expecting and it crushed me.  Finished in 5:33, which isn't a disaster, but as I said it was a lot harder than I was planning on.  I could do better though, and if I go back next year the goal will be to go sub five.

Relive 'South Boundary'

After some post ride brews, we headed out to our campsite.  Took some time at the Rio Grande Gorge bridge first.       

We also checked out the earthship place.  Pretty cool stuff there.

We parked the van at a place called Hotel Luna Mystica.  The joint has a bunch of renovated airstreams available to rent, plus they have a ton of open space to pitch a tent or park a van.  Oh yeah, they are also less than 100 feet from the Taos Mesa Brewing mothership!  Needless to say a good time was had Saturday night.

Up and early Sunday for a nice, easy dog hike before breakfast at the Taos Diner, then it was off to check out the Sand Dunes.  The Dunes are one of the very few dog friendly national parks, and we had a great hike with the pup through the still flowing river at the base of the Dunes.  Then it was off to Alamosa for dinner at San Luis Valley Brewing, followed by desert at Square Peg.

After Alamosa we went back east and got our campsite at Zapata Falls.  Another good hike up to the water and then we retired to the van due to a storm coming in.

On Monday I did a good hour run on the steep stuff above Zapata Falls, and we started the trek home.  Dropping by Soulcraft to break up the drive.  The dog was done.

Awesome trip capping off an awesome week.  The numbers for the week:

run - 30 miles
ride - 87 miles
hike - 16 miles
Two trips to CityRock