Friday, January 31, 2020

the week that wasn't...

Wed - run commute six.  4.2 miles to work, 3.5 miles back home.

Thurs - been trying to fight off the Wu-Tang Corona virus and felt like crud today.  So I didn't do anything.  Three mile dog hike before jumping on the bus to work.  Even bailed on CityRock.

Fri - still feeling like CRUD plus it was balls cold out this morning.  One mile dog hike, swept the walks (we got about an inch of snow), jumped the bus to work.  I did buy a compass at Mountain Chalet, so at least that is outdoorsey.  Started to finally feel better towards 5PM, and I did get out for a 5k run after work.

So definitely a down week, but on the good side I got through the avalanche class (assuming I don't die during the field sessions this weekend). 

For January:

run - 140 miles, 30:18:53
ride - 224 miles, 20:46:57
hike - 94 miles, 36:51:05

Plus twelve sessions at CityRock, and even a few hours of hot yoga.  And nine inclines.

Not great, but definitely stepping things up a little from my lazy December.  Only about six weeks until Salida, so it's time to start thinking about getting ready for that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

incline 9

Fri - incline number seven with the Cadet.  Her first night incline.  Her uncle and I spent every Friday (and Thursday, and Saturday, and Sunday...) night drinking heavily so at least she is ahead of us in that regard.

Sat - winter series two at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  I had a really good run.  For just over three miles of the 3.75 mile (was supposed to be four flat but the RD sucks) course I was dueling, and losing to, a twelve year old girl.  I remember this same girl two years ago, at age ten, hanging out just ahead of me for 2.5 miles the last time I went sub 18 at a 5k.  I am definitely not getting any faster, and this girl is still not beating me.  What the fuck is wrong with parents nowadays?

Took advantage of the warm weather to head out for a quick mountain bike ride after the race.  Still icy at Red Rock Canyon but it was good to be reminded that I haven't been climbing much on the bike.  Ended the ride at Fossil.

Good numbers for the week considering it's winter.

hike - 24 miles
bike - 58 miles, 5:41
run - 30 miles, 5:30

Sun - incline 8 & 9.  Solid double.  Plus an hour of hot yoga in the evening.

Mon - today was the annual homeless census so my day was all over the place.  I did get to the track in the evening for 8 x 200m.  Comical how slow my 200m speed is nowadays, but getting to the track is better than not getting to the track.  I have made it through January with one incline and one track/race per week.

Tues - bike commute eleven.

I have a Colorado Mountain Club avalanche class this week (Tues and Thurs classroom sessions, then two outdoor sessions on Sat and Sun) and the CMC ice climbing class next week.  So that should put a good dent in training.  I am not looking to pick up snow sports but I need these prerequisites for the CMC High Altitude Mountaineering School that ends with a climb of Rainier. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

bike commute 10

Tues - run commute four, CityRock ten.  A good AM run and solid lunch of climbing.

Wed - bike commute nine, CityRock eleven.

Thurs - run commute five, CityRock twelve.  Some good bouldering at lunch.

Fri - easy bike commute ten.  Might have drank a bit too much at Fossil on Thurs after work. 

$100 has become deathly ill, possibly the Wu-Tang Corona virus, and called in sick to work for the first time since I've known her. 

Not quite as exciting at Pearl Jam ticket news: scored $5 tix to see Air Force hoops vs. the current #4 San Diego State.  Included with the ticket is the opportunity to take a picture with the Cheese-It Bowl trophy.  I know you're jealous.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

pearl jam

This April I'm gonna party like it's 1996 as I scored tix to see Pearl Jam in Denver!!!

sand dunes

Took the van down to the San Luis Valley over the weekend.  The usual Friday post-work spot at Oil Well Flats, then Sat and Sun nights at the Dunes.

On Saturday we spend some time at the Dunes before heading up to the Zapata Falls campground.  It was cold and I was surprised to see three other campers there.  One was in a tent, and I actually thought about checking on him Sunday morning, but I passed.  Hope he didn't freeze to death.

Up early Sunday to head back to the Dunes for a good hike.

After the hike we headed over to Del Norte for lunch at Three Barrel Brewing.

Then we decided to try a new place, the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool.  We loved it.  Heated pools and hot tubs, and a bar.  A bit pricey, a tent site was $25 (compared to Zapata, which is $11) and then you still had to pay to get into the pools.  But we had a blast.

When we woke up on Monday it was -8F.  Definitely the coldest we've ever slept in the van.  Hopefully a record that stands forever.

Left pretty early on Monday to get home in time to hit the DIM Hash.  BLOS and I took the pack from Benny's to Tony's along the path of the recent stabbing spree.  Good times.

Friday, January 17, 2020

incline 6/track

Wed - bike commute seven.  Eleven miles to work, four miles back.  After that I headed over to Manitou for incline number six.  This is the time of year when after work feels so damn late just because it's so dark.  Felt like I started the incline at 2AM, though it was really 6:30PM.

Thurs - bike commute eight.  Same 11/4 combo as Wed.  CityRock nine at lunch, where I had a very high gravity day and wasn't able to get very far up any of the walls I tried.

Fri - up early to hit the track.  Needed to get this to keep my one track session or race every week.  First two weeks were the Rescue Run and Winter Series.  Not good conditions at 5AM - probably 17F with light but steady winds.  6 x 400m with 200m RBI.  Didn't time these as my watch was under four layers of clothes and I'm guessing they were all well over 90.

We are headed down to Canon City after work, then to the Sand Dunes for Sat and Sun.  Will likely see below 0F at the Zapata campsite where we stay.  Back on Monday so BLOS and I can hare a DIM hash that follows the route of the recent stabbing spree. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Fri - bike commute five.  We have basically turned into a two vehicle family, but one of those vehicles is a huge van which is a pain in the ass to drive around the city.  So today I had to bike to work, then bolt at lunch to bike to/from a dentist appointment, and then ride home.  And somehow I survived.  Incline five after work.

Sat - nice early morning visit to the Bear Creek Dog Park followed by the first race in the PPRR Winter Series.  Difficult 5K course with three big hills and lots of ice, so I was happy with barely breaking 21 minutes.

Then it was Black Forest Brewing, then Bull & Bush, then Sancho's, then a few more bars before heading to the Mission Ballroom to see the Infamous Stringdusters.  Needless to say I was a bit of a hot mess for the show, but it was a great time. 

Sun - hungover, but still got out for a run.  Tried to hit the track at East High School but it was all locked up, so I did a big loop of City Park.

Mon/Tues commutes - some weird stuff going on in the Springs.  Around 1AM on Monday there was a weird stabbing spree that started on the Midland Trail and proceeded down to America The Beautiful Park along my normal commute route.  The dude then rolled up to the Tony's area and stabbed some more people.  I ran this route on Tuesday morning and saw blood on the paved path.  And on Monday as I was riding home north on the Santa Fe trail, they had a huge portion of the park, near the start of the Nielsen Challenge, covered in police tape with a huge police presence.  Turns out they found some human remains there

Clearly all this is a sign that I should stop going to work!

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

run commute 1

Mon - bike commute three, 21 miles total.  Good session at CityRock at lunch.

Tues - run commute one.  4.2 miles to work, 3.4 miles back home.  CityRock four at lunch.

Trying to up my gym climbing game this year.  Would like to get to the point where I can reliably climb 5.9 and V4 indoors.  Currently I consider myself a 5.8/V3 guy.  The 5.9 should be easy if I can figure out how to deal with my fear of heights.  The V4 portion is going to take some work.

I signed up for the Rut Trifecta.  Last race I'll be entering other than some local low key races I'll jump into from time to time.  Will be shooting for three more states in '20 - Montana, Illinois, and Florida.  Current Rut plan is to do a van trip, riding the Alpine 50 in Lake City and then exploring Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. 

Sunday, January 05, 2020

incline 4

Thurs - bike commute one.  21.5 miles on the day.  And a good lunch climb at CityRock.

Fri - bike commute two.  Ten miles to work, four back home, followed by my second incline of the year.

Sat - I want to commit to one incline and one track session or race every week in 2020.  So I hopped on the bike and rode over to Monument Valley Park for the two mile Nielsen Challenge.  Not a great run for me, I was still 100 meters from the start line when the gun went off, then I had to work through hundreds of runners on the bike path, a good chunk of which was covered in ice.  But I ran hard, hitting mile one in 6:38 and coming back in 6:05 to finish in 12:52.

After that we packed up the van and headed down to Fremont County.  First stop was Florence Mountain Park where we hiked Newlin Creek.  Awesome trail and we will definitely go back once the snow and ice melt, will be a great summer hike with the dog.  After the hike we hit up Florence Brewing before heading out to Oil Well Flats.  Got there without much daylight left, so after another quick dog hike we got a good fire going.  Early return on Sunday as we had to pick up our cadet at the airport at 8:30AM.

Sun - two trips up the Incline.  Eight miles took me almost three hours.  An hour of hot yoga to end the weekend.

Friday, January 03, 2020


The final numbers:

run - 1711 miles on 303 runs.  Average of 5.6 miles per run.
bike - 1895 miles on 238 rides.  7.9 miles per ride.
hike - 848 miles on 317 hikes.  2.7 miles per hike.  The dog says this needs to improve.

66 run commutes.  61 bike commutes.  127 days without a car.  Not sure how many days I worked but that's the huge majority.  That's about 1016 miles saved off the jeep.  Just under $600 saved at the current IRS mileage rate.  Not a windfall by any means but the time savings of being able to get in a workout during a commute is invaluable to me.

140 climbing sessions at CityRock.  Mine usually last a half hour or so.  Plus a bunch of outdoor climbs both with the CMC and solo.

Three new state highpoints - Utah, Alabama, and Georgia.  A new marathon state in Georgia.

Nothing big on the race front for me.  A good, but definitely not great, Pikes.  And a minor let down at Benning, though that could have been much worse.

Still a great year though.  Really loving the van and that probably provided the best highlights.  The big trip to Utah, the smaller trips to Canon City and Chaffee County and New Mexico.  Just getting out there to goof off with the wife and dog nowadays brings me as much joy as any big race.

rescue run/incline 1

Had zero plans for new years eve but that somehow ended up with way more beers than I should have, ending with us climbing up on the roof to watch the Peak fireworks.  Good times.

But that meant the Rescue Run was a wash for me.  It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be given the hangover, but my 48:44 wasn't anything to write home about.  Photo stolen from Tom Dewane.

Was still feeling like shit at 3PM but I sucked it up and headed over to the Incline.  Maybe this will be the year I hit 50 inclines?  Yeah, probably not.

Also signed up for some races.  The Lake City Alpine 50 and the local triple crown, including the Double.  $100 is signed up for the triple crown, with the Ascent, and with Chicago this will be her biggest running year ever.

One more race to sign up for, and depending on how life goes this next few days that will either be the Tioga Pass Run or the Rut.

Thursday, January 02, 2020


Six days is way too long to be away from my dog, but sometimes you gotta do what the wife says.  Combo x-mas/dad's 70th birthday, so there was a lot going on and we didn't get to explore much outside of the golf course community of The Villages.

Lots of these signs though.  I still freak out when I see a gator, but the folks down there don't bat an eye.

We did make it up to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala for a half day.  Besides the alligators, I do love the swamps.  So different than what I'm used to in Colorado.

We rented a kayak at the state park and went off in search of manatees.  Saw a bunch of gators and turtles, and even quite a few monkeys.

After 90 minutes we were about to give up on our sea cow quest when we finally spotted one!

We got pretty close, then this guy decides to go under our boat.  They are friendly, but playful, and he could have very easily flipped us into the gator infested water.  But he was cool.

After the state park we went out to the 88 Bar.  Found out about this place while checking out the Florida Trail, it's a common stop among hikers.  Super cool place.

Then we hit Infinite Ale Works in Ocala.  As impressed as I was with the beer in Georgia, I was underwhelmed with the central Florida beer scene.

Luckily, you can get Yuengling down there, which I drank like I was a high school kid back in Pennsylvania.

The Villages is a golf cart community.  I guess if I had to live there I'd have something similar to this:

This is a copper sculpture in the Orlando airport.  Super creepy.

Good trip but sheesh was I glad to get back to Colorado.