Monday, October 26, 2020

Cheyenne Mountain 50k


Sun - Fall Series II at Monument Valley Park.  4.1 miles in 27:33, not too shabby after the annual Brewery Marathon the evening before.  

Mon - 8 x 200m up at the Holmes track in the AM, easy 13.8 mile ride in the evening.

Tues - bike commute 73.  10k there through Sondermann, eleven back home.  CityRock 56 at lunch.

Wed - 7.4 mile Garden trail run at dawn, 10 mile bike loop in Red Rock Canyon at dusk.

Thurs - bike commute 74.  6.7 miles there, 4.1 back.  CityRock 57 for lunch.

Fri - run commute 62.  4.3 miles in 39 minutes down the Midland Trail.  The beginning of a weird stretch of weather that will take us between 8F and 70F over the next few days.  The temp dropped significantly by 5PM and I just took the bus home.

Sat - Cheyenne Mountain 50k.  Went pretty well all things considered.  For Salida I correctly predicted I'd get to mile 17ish before shit start to hurt, and for this one I figured I'd make it about 22 miles.  And that was spot on.  At least in Salida I had Rick to push me, but I was in no man's land at CM and my pace really suffered over the final few miles.  Thankfully, due to the COVID, the course was changed and ended up being significantly short, my garmin clocked it at 26.8 miles.  5:22:46 for me, well short of the five hours I was hoping for.  Freezing cold at the start but it was pretty hot during the second half of the run.  Celebrated after the run over at Fossil, who turned six years old today.

Sun - body was a hot mess from the run, but I still got the dog out for a nice 5k hike before the truly shitty weather came to visit.  Spent the rest of the day vegging out, eating junk food, and watching football, including my undefeated Steelers.  Notice I'm not really talking about Pitt Panther football much these days.  The temp continued to drop all day and by the time I left the house at 6PM to meet Marc and Amanda at Fossil it was 13F and snowing.

Mon - got up at 4:20AM to shovel sidewalks and it was 7F.  I do four houses now, ours and three of our older neighbors, which isn't hard as snow in the Springs is light and fluffy, but it does take me a good hour to knock it all out.  At six the temp had gone up a whole degree, and when I tried to take the dog out she almost immediately developed her fake limp that she pulls whenever it's too cold to walk.  That will probably be it as the high today is 14F.  Back to the mid 60s by the weekend though.

Sunday, October 18, 2020


The last 90 or so minutes of Salida really put a hurtin' on the body as I was still feeling it on Friday.  So most of this week was spent recovering.

Mon - the legs and the liver were wrecked.  Easy four mile hike in Salida with the dog.

Tues - bike commute 71.  Four there, eleven back.

Wed - run commute 60.  Three there, four back.  

Thurs - bike commute 72.  6.5 miles through Sondermann to work, 10.5 on the COVID loop back home.

Fri - run commute 61.  Four miles to the office.  After work I jumped on a PikeRide and met $100 at Smiling Toad.

Sat - easy ride around town then over to watch the state cross country championship races.  Great stuff watching those kids get after it.

For the week:

run - 40 miles

ride - 45 miles

hike - 21 miles

Thursday, October 15, 2020


Pretty good run down at the Salida marathon.  As with Pikes, I just missed my goal time, running 5:02:26, but I had fun and pushed pretty hard over the last 10k so I was happy.  Started hurting around mile 17, then Rick H caught up to me (I think I had a two minute head start on him due to the wave starts) around mile 20 and I pushed hard to stay with him.  I knew if I could be with him at mile 25 I'd have a shot to take him down.  But at the mile 24 aid station I had been out of water for a while so I had to stop, while he had a pack on and ran through.  I wouldn't see him again until the finish line.  

The rest of the weekend was a blast as well.  Soulcraft, Benson's, Wood's, Tres Litros, lots of hiking with the dog, a good ride with $100.  Also saw a ton of peeps I hadn't seen in a while and it's good to see everyone surviving the shitshow of 2020.

Friday, October 09, 2020


Mon - pretty sore from all the racing over the weekend, and maybe a bit hungover.  But I still got to the track for 8 x 200m.  Got out in the evening for a nice ten mile loop on the bike in Red Rock Canyon.

Tues - bike commute 70.  Straight to work, 3.8 miles, eleven back home.

Wed - Early long hike on the Garden roads to celebrate the motorless morning, followed by run commute 58.  Four there, four back.  Guitar lesson in the evening followed by the weekly trip to Benny's.  

Thurs - run commute 59.  Five miles there, 5.5 back through Sondermann.  Coming down off the Mesa I spotted a fire over near the Incline.  Luckily it seems they have it under control.

Fri - another early hike to take the dog up on the Mesa  to see if we could spot the fire.  We didn't.  So hopefully it's out.  Jumped on a PikeRide to head to work, leaving in a few hours for Salida.

In Salida Friday through Monday.  The marathon is on Sunday, which will mess up the normal pub crawl schedule but somehow I'll survive.  Also going to make a quick trip to Crestone on Saturday as we're thinking about buying land there.  Originally, when the year began, I planned on running a sub 3:10 on October 11th, but now I'll be shooting for my usual five hour Salida slog.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

road trip

Man alive, what a great trip!  

We started off Thursday after work, heading over to the Wayfarer World HQ in Colorado Springs.  Then it was a quick drive down to Florence Brewing before heading out to the Royal Gorge for the first night.  One of the themes for the trip: smoke.  We were getting smoke in Colorado from some fires in California, so driving towards CA wasn't going to make things better.

The next morning we got up and went for a nice run on the Gorge trails.  Then it was off to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

The plan was to get to Fruita for the night, and by the time we got to Montrose the breweries were open.  We hit Horsefly and 2 Rascals.  Horsefly provided the first of another theme for the trip - bacon cheeseburgers.

Also dropped by Monumental Beer Works on the way, good stuff there.  Then it was Hot Tomato, waiting at Copper Club Brewing while the pizza was cooked.  Love me some Fruita time.  We camped way out at 18 Road.  Dinner, short hike with the dog, some guitar playing, and then we hit the hay early.

Up super early for a good desert dog hike in the pitch dark, then we shot off across Utah.  Weren't looking to stop at all there, but as we were approaching Delta, UT, we noticed this place:

And holy hell did they have a good bacon cheeseburger!

We got to Great Basin National Park in the early afternoon.  The place, as is the case for most national parks, isn't very dog friendly so we took a driving tour and then headed out to Sacramento Pass, some BLM land not far from the park entrance.  Lots of OHV folks, but we took the dog on a nice 5k singletrack loop near the campsite and didn't see a single person on the trail.  Did that same loop again early the next morning with the pup.

We were now driving highway 50 through Nevada.  Lots of interesting places.  Like this place, the International Cafe in Austin, NV.  They will not serve you if you have a mask on.  Of course we went in and grabbed a beer.

Hit another gem along the way, Middlegate Station.  Another fantastic burger.

We finally pulled into Reno around 6PM.  Stayed at the very dog friendly Whitney Peak Hotel.  They even have a dog park across the street.

And it's located right by this famous sign.

The dog was happy to have some AC as it had been hot outside, so she was alright with us humans heading out to explore Reno.  Found some solid places.  Ended up not hiking Boundary Peak due to logistics (van couldn't have made the road to the trailhead, so would have had to rent a car), so I plan on visiting Reno again in the future.

The next day we visited Wayfarer Vans in Reno, then headed south on 395.  I drove that highway back in 2011 and it was fantastic.  Unfortunately we wouldn't see very much this time as the smoke greatly limited visibility.
But hey, we did get to go to The Mobil.  We've been wanting to go to that gas station since 2012 when the podcast came out.  And despite the high expectations the place didn't disappoint.

Not your typical gas station food.

And we continued south.  One of the Wayfarer Reno guys recommended the June Lake Scenic Loop, so we took it, and discovered a sweet brewery along the way, June Lake Brewing.

And of course we stopped by Mammoth Brewing Company, home of the 395 IPA.  The smoke was so bad here I swear we were about to be burned alive, but the bartender assured me the fires were actually nowhere near Mammoth.

We ended the day sleeping in a casino parking lot in Bishop.  Home of Mountain Rambler Brewing.

Next day was off to Death Valley.  Passed through some quality trail towns like Independence and Lone Pine before turning off 395 and heading east.  I think Death Valley is technically a little more dog friendly than most national parks, but they can be that way as the heat regulates dog activities pretty well.  We drove down to Badwater Basin, and there must have been a cold front blowing through as it was only 104F.  On the way back from the Basin we took the Artist's Drive loop and I highly recommend it.

Dog was happy to chill in the van.

Once we exited Death Valley on the east side we were now in alien country.  The route we were going to take would skirt the perimeter of Area 51, you know, if Area 51 actually existed.  North up to Tonopah and then over to Rachel, NV, home of the world famous Little Ale Inn, which is where we spent the night.

On the road again the next day, we headed south towards Vegas.  Stopped to check out Valley of Fire State Park, very dog friendly but again we had to be wary of the heat.

Went down the Lake Mead Scenic Highway towards Vegas.  Decided to pull off to try to get near some water.  You know that oft quoted line along the lines of "it ain't an adventure 'till something goes wrong..."?  Well shit went wrong here.  I hit some kind of vehicle sand trap and got stuck.  We dug for a good hour in the Vegas heat and completely spent ourselves, to no avail.  Luckily we have roadside assistance on our insurance and it was easy to call for a tow, though super embarasing.

While waiting for the tow truck, covered in a gross mixture of sweat and sand, we decided that a hotel next door to the Double Down Saloon would be pretty cool.  Dog could get some AC and the adults could get some copious amounts of cheap booze.

The next morning I took the dog for a nice walk around the UNLV campus and we finally found the Tark statue.  College hoops back in the mid 90s sure was something else.

Then it was off to Flagstaff.  We were really hurting for a laundromat by this point in the trip, and luckily there's one right across the street from Beaver Street Brewing.

Also hit Dark Sky BrewingHistoric Brewing, and Wanderlust Brewing.  Special thanks to $100 for driving this portion of the trip, as I obviously wasn't in any shape to operate a big vehicle.  Dark Sky was fantastic, the best beer I'd had since leaving Colorado.

Found some forest land not far outside of Flag and called it a night.  The next day took us to Durango, where again we found some hidden campsite on BLM land.  

Next morning was Pagosa, where $100 did some fishing, and then we finished the day at a regular-for-us campsite just outside of Salida.  By Sunday afternoon we were back home in COS and my friends were over mooching all the beer we brought back.

3104 total miles.  $429.42 total in gas money, though that included a fill up in Woodland Park to leave us with a full tank next time we head out.  Great trip and we can't wait to head out again!

Monday, October 05, 2020

fall series I

Pretty good day at the first race of the Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series.  Hard effort on the 5k loop (I had it at 2.9) and I managed to go sub 20.  Finished in 21st place in 19:47.  152 finishers, started ten at a time every 30 seconds.  Very strange times to be racing. 

Saturday, October 03, 2020

High Drive Challenge

Back to racing on Saturday with the High Drive Challenge.  Ten mile race, straight up to the top of High Drive and back.  I stayed a bit too late at Fossil which definitely slowed me up a bit, but it was still a solid effort.  Wanted to break 90 minutes and I finished in 1:27:58.  You can see a map of the run here.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

bike commute 69

Monday - eleven mile run in Red Rock Canyon, two hours.  DIM hash in the evening.  If you hadn't  noticed, the days are getting much shorter.

Tues - so the dog and I head out for our early morning walk and about two blocks down the road we come up on a guy trying to get into his car.  I say "good morning," hoping not to startle him.  But I do startle him, and it is clear he is breaking into the vehicle.  I loudly announce, "hey, is that your car" and the dude takes off running.  We go on our way and half an hour later we see a bear in Pioneer Park.  About as action packed as you can get before 6AM on a Tuesday.  Bike commute 68 and CityRock 53 as well.  My climbing fitness has definitely taken a hit from the break.

Wed - run commute 56.  Five miles in 42 minutes to work, four miles easy and slow back.  CityRock 54 at lunch.  Guitar lesson after work, followed by a quick trip to Benny's.

Thurs - bike commute 69.  No climbing at lunch because the Purple Castle has returned!  Currently only the castle is open but there are rumors of a downtown place opening soon-ish.  Hot damn that burger was delicious!