Friday, May 29, 2020

road trip

We finally decided to hit the road and we had a pretty good time.

Our first stop was Scottsbulff, NE.  Flyover Brewing, which I had been to way back when I ran the Monumental Marathon.  First time sitting down and eating inside a restaurant since Salida weekend in Mid March.  It was kind of weird but awesome as well.

After lunch we made the trip over to Carhenge to view the greatness there.

Then it was off to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  There were some tourist towns near Mt. Rushmore and they seemed pretty packed, and in general SD was open for business with very few rules.  We found two breweries in Hill City, where we would end up camping for the night.

Practiced a little every day.  I have now "played" guitar in four states.

My one fan was totally into the performance.  Need to teach her to hold up a lighter.

On Sunday we drove north to White Butte, North Dakota.  Definitely on the outskirts of the middle of nowhere.  Pleasant 3.7 mile hike from the small parking spot to the peak.

Then it was back to Spearfish, SD.  Three breweries there.  Spearfish, Sawyer, and Crow Peak.  I know I'm spoiled living on the Front Range but I didn't have a single local NE/SD/WY beer that was any better than mediocre on this trip.  The burger at Spearfish was pretty fantastic though.

Great spot along a creek just outside Spearfish.  Woke up Sunday morning and made the short drive over to Devils Tower.  Great place to check out and it really made me miss climbing.

Headed down to Laramie after that.  Kind of weird there - it was sort of open but also wasn't open.  Definitely kept the mediocre beer theme going though.

Parked for the night at Vedauwoo.  Another great climbing place.

On Tuesday it was time to head home.  Dropped by Fort Collins to see a buddy, then continued south.  105W was open for business.

As was Pikes Peak Brewing.

Happy to get the van out after sheltering in place for so long.  Will probably head out again this weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pikes is a go! (50%)

Working on the road trip post.  We had a great time and I got my 21st state highpoint in.

Run commute 33 on Wednesday.  Knee is feeling much better.  Bike commute 41 on Thursday.

Red Leg Brewing opened last night.  Lots of weird new rules but maybe, hopefully, this is the beginning of a long crawl back to normal?

Word on Pikes was released today.  The Ascent is cancelled.  The Marathon is applying for a waiver and they hope to have the race.  I guess I need to add some hills to the low weekly mileage I've been doing.

Friday, May 22, 2020

bike commute 40

Odd week for me without the running.  Lots of dog hikes, lots of riding to/from work via Red Rock Canyon, and I'm still hiking at lunch until CityRock opens back up.  Lots of yoga/stretching.  Knee seems to be improving a bit.  Will start running again on Wednesday. 

Currently 194.3 miles across Tennessee.  30% done.

Barr Trail Mountain Race cancelled today.  Was looking forward to doing the new Garden to Peak challenge (formerly the Triple Crown), but now two of the three races aren't happening.  I expect Pikes to cancel soon as well.

I do expect two of my races to happen - the Alpine 50 in Lake City in late August, and the Rut in Montana in early September.  And if (when) Chicago bows out I might be able to keep my Salida Marathon streak alive.

Van trip is on for the long weekend.  Seems like everything is open in Nebraska/South Dakota/North Dakota/Wyoming.  In some of those places I'm not sure anything actually closed at all.  We will be doing lunch at Flyover Brewing in Scottsbluff, Nebraska (my second time there - I drank a few beers there when I ran the Nebraska Monumental Marathon a few years ago) on Saturday and I'm guessing it will be pretty weird to go into a place and sit down to eat/drink. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Rocky Mountain

Friday - run commute 32.  5.5 miles to work, 3.2 miles back home via Front Range BBQ.

Saturday - Rocky Mountain via Barr Trail.  Ten miles.  I haven't been running a while bunch of hills and it showed.  There was a Manitou city employee at the base of the incline telling folks not to use it.

On Saturday afternoon we drove the van for the first time since the COVID stuff kicked off.  I'm doing the Feast of St. Arnold's pub crawl, so we went out to Black Forest Brewing and then up to Pikes Peak Brewing, finding some good dog walking spots along the way.  Pikes had a full on tailgate party going on in the parking lot.

Sunday - my knee is still giving me some minor issues so I've decided to take the week off from running.  Did get out on the bike, up High Drive, down the Chutes, and all over Red Rock Canyon.

Friday, May 15, 2020

new guitar day!

Sunday - I'm knocking off the Feast of St. Arnold brewery pub crawl and I rode around to hit up a bunch of east side breweries on the list.  Lost Friend, Cogstone, and Metric over 34 miles.

Mon - 8 x 200m at the Holmes track.

Tues - good morning garage gym session followed by bike commute 37.

Wed - run commute 31.  Five miles to work, four miles back home. 

Thurs - an early morning dog hike followed by a rare zero day.  Might have drank a bit too much on Wed night, and then I justified being lazy all day Thursday by claiming I was trying to heal my bum knee.  Weaksause.  At least by driving to work I could hit Roman Villa and Red Leg on the way home.

Thursday was also a new guitar day!  Picked up a Martin Backpacker.  It's a very small travel guitar, as I wanted something relatively cheap and small that I could bring along in the van.  But even this low end Martin is several levels better quality than the suzuki that was in my basement.

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Wed - run commute 30.  Sondermann Park route both ways, 5.5 miles each.  Another 7.3 miles of hiking throughout the day.

Thurs - bike commute 36.  Awesome new route to work through Red Rock Canyon and Bear Creek Park.  Earlier that day the dog and I had been out and she ate something, and I could only get about half of it out of her mouth.  No big deal as this kind of thing happens on a lot of our hikes.  But later that day, $100, who was working a rare 1PM to 9PM shift so she was home, called to say the dog was acting strange.  Similar to the last time she got a hold of some drugs a homeless guy dropped.  We decided to see if things would pass.  When I got home at 5PM and she wasn't there to greet me at the back door, I knew something was up.  I found her in the living room and it was terrible - she couldn't move and she was looking at me with fear in her eyes and I felt like she was also trying to apologize for not coming to the door to greet me.  Immediately called my vet and then took Holly to the dog ER.  I was really worried this might be it.  But the clinic worked their magic, gave the dog an injection of other drugs, and Holly has been recovering fairly well.  The vet did have a chat with me about the possibility of Holly eating one of the poisoned meatballs that some loser has been leaving around the Westside lately, but there's no way to tell if that is what happened.

Fri - the dog didn't sleep at all on Thurs night and I stayed up with her, and I ended up taking the day off to hang with her.  Did sneak out for my 7.4 mile Garden trail loop in the afternoon.  Holly made slow but steady progress in the right direction all day long.  The dog is single-handedly trying to bring the USA out of the current economic hardship - this is her second vet visit during quarantine and the total bill sits at $1000.

Sat - the dog continues to get better and we got out for a 1.5 mile hike before I headed over to Cheyenne Canon.  Ran a good loop there which included some new to me trails and summits of Muscoco and Cutler.  8.8 miles with 2500 feet of gain.  Knee was not happy with the downhills though.  Later on Saturday $100 made it out to the hash, complete with special social distance rules.

For the week:

run - 41 miles
ride - 54 miles
hike - 28 miles

I'm at 99.8 miles in the Virtual Race Across Tennessee.  Near the town of Boliver.

The guitar playing continues.  I'll move to level three on Fender play this week.  The chords are still sloppy but slightly improving. 

Writing this on Sunday morning and the dog seems to be approaching 100%.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

run commute 30

Sunday - 14 mile run on my COVID loop.  Followed by a 14 mile ride on the COVID loop.

Monday - currently dealing with a bum left knee.  Think I pulled or tweaked it or something.  It gets better, close to 100% when I hike or run, but hurts when I'm not using it.  Decided to take two days off from running to see if that did anything.  Did do some yoga, and got in my daily Tennessee 5.1 miles over three dog hikes.

Tues - early morning hour of biking in Red Rock Canyon before work.  Bike commute 35.  14 mile ride back home.  Since CityRock is closed, I have been going for an hour hike during lunch at the office.  That, and two dog walks, helped me get to 5.1 miles.

Wed - run commute 30.  5.5 miles through Sondermann in 45 minutes.  So damn happy winter is gone.  5.5 miles back home the same way.  And another 7.3 miles over three hikes, including down to Front Range after work for a burger and to-go beer.  Started the Jordan documentary and it validates my personal opinion that civilization peaked in the mid to late 90s and we are on the downside now.

I'm at 77.1 miles in my virtual race across Tennessee.  Approaching Laconia.  12.2% done.  The official website is a bit of a mess since approximately 18 million have signed up for the race, but the doc has been doing some good work of documenting the course.

I had planned on tagging along on the annual brewfest bike pub crawl this weekend, which had obviously been amended due to the lack of a beer festival.  Even had a campsite reserved in Lyons.  But then the town of Lyons cancelled that, and I decided to bail on the ride.  I think shit needs to start re-opening, but I'm still going to stick to El Paso County for at least two more weekends.  We have a van trip through Nebraska/South & North Dakota/Wyoming planned for Memorial Day and we are planning on breaking our quarantine at that time. 

Sunday, May 03, 2020


Good long run on Saturday.  I haven't been up Williams Canyon since before the Waldo fire a bunch of years ago.  Got back there on Saturday and was reminded of how spectacular that place is.  From my house over to Manitou, up Williams, down Rampart Range Road, and some Garden trails back to my house is a great 15 mile loop.  Took me just under three hours, including a long break to chat with Hessek and Sullivan over in the canyon.

Another week in the books.

run - 41 miles, seven hours
ride - 98 miles, 9.5 hours
hike - 28 miles, 10.25 hours

Christ, another month in the books as well.  The numbers for April:

run - 131.5 miles, 21.5 hours
ride - 346 miles, 34 hours
hike - 120 miles, 44 hours

Been lacking in motivation lately so I signed up for the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee.  The only time I'll attempt a Laz race.  1000k between now and September, which is an average of five miles a day.  Counts hikes, so my dog will be a big part of it.

Speaking of virtual races, I got this in the mail the other day:

Also on Saturday I did my first ever virtual hash.  It is about one millionth of a percent as cool as regular hashing.

Friday, May 01, 2020

run commute 29

Wed - run commute 28.  5.5 miles to the office through Sondermann Park.  Knee was feeling wonky so I took the bus home and jumped on the bike for 15 miles.

Thurs - bike commute 34.  Eleven miles to/from the office.  Watched the Andy Frasco World Saving Shitshow, his weekly show, and it was fantastic.  Will watch it every week from here on out.

Fri - run commute 29.  3.7 miles to work.  2.7 back to Front Range BBQ for a to-go beer.  Then walked over to Routes Outfitter, who had their grand opening today.  Seems like a cool place.