Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday review and a needed day off.

So today I took the day off.  This past weekend I knocked out 47 miles in essentially 4 workouts.

I'm tired, but not overly sore.  That's pleasantly surprising.  It leaves me feeling encouraged that I can cover 50 miles in under 15 hours.  Still not entirely convinced, but if I knew I could do it, I'm not sure I'd be all that motivated to...

Saturday was obviously the big effort, but just getting out of bed yesterday was a fair effort in itself.  Once I did, I discovered that the coffee I'd picked up at Target was decaf.  Why on Earth would anyone want decaffeinated coffee?  Ugh.  I sat on the couch for a while feeling sorry for myself and attempting to rally to go running, all without caffeine.

Finally around 10, I managed to muster enough "I must go running" mantras to actually get out the door.  I ran one of my pretty standard routes.  East along the powerlines, east along the North shore of union resevoir and out to Mead HS (I think that's the school), then south and back to home.  It's almost exactly 14 miles.

Saw some notable things while I was out.  An American White Pelican, and some folks in a field with a freaking trebuchet.  They launched it while I was standing there watching.  Cool.  Seriously.  I don't know what precisely the payload was, but it sure went a long way.

I spent a fair bit of time watching random crap on this run so I didn't get home until almost 1.  I went directly for burrito.  Brought it home and watched Man v Food for a while as the burrito digested and mustered up another trip out the door.

This time I slipped on my Bikilas and ran my most standard route, the 8.5 mile lariat around McIntosh Lake.  McIntosh is a really enjoyable circuit.  There is often cool birdlife out there.  I've seen egrets, coots, pelicans and yesterday a Great Blue Heron buzzed me.  It's crazy to me that Colorado has so many birds so commonly associated with coastal wetlands.  They're migratory of course, but still crazy.  Pelicans for frak sake!

I wasn't done when I got home though, I wanted to get 10 miles for my evening workout so I slipped off my vibrams, grabbed the leash and Homey and I ran the 2 miles out and back on the Rough and Ready bike path with a brief visit to say Happy Birthday to my friend Anya and her sister Reese.  I was offered a slice of cake, but I didn't my stomach would be stoked with all that sugar.  I tried to decline politely, but  it came out, "I don't think it'll stay down."  That's pretty random, and probably not all that polite.  Oh well, Liz and Will are at least familiar with me.

I guess that's it.  I'm still working up the video from Saturday.  I wasn't happy with the DivX conversion so I am looking for a codec which will let me import the video directly into Vegas.  Think I found it tonight, but left my laptop at work so the test will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Today's "Run"...

Went out with the goal of completing the Boulder Skyline Traverse today, but ran out of water.  That made things a bit tough, especially as I was coming down off of Green Mtn. with a virtually empty 100oz bladder.

My route took me from 19th and the Creek path South via Benson Earth Sciences (for a pee stop) to the Mesa Trail.  Felt pretty good along this portion of the (still) run and really I really enjoyed the views once up on Mesa. Took Mesa to Shadow Canyon and up.  That sucker is a straight up slog.  Steep, technical.   Not much running for a 210 lb dude.  Took 55 minutes.

South from the Shadow Canyon to South Boulder Peak where I forgot to hit my lap button, but it was about 12 minutes and then back north to Bear.

Bear is a treat.  It's bald.  Requires some scrambling to get the summit, but once there you've got 360 degrees of unobstructed view.  On a clear, haze free day, you could probably see Wyoming.  Coming down off of Bear, a dude (Kevin?) and I chatted for a bit and he noted an air show going on down in the Centennial Airport area.  That was sweet, I had been wondering, "What the heck is that weird pillar of smoke over there?" for a while.

The trek from Bear north to Green Mountain went not so well, I'd been not enjoying the sun too much and it was  giving me a bit of tough time.  Combine that with a rocky, technical descent and I found myself not hammering like I would have liked.  Keep the ankles happy - race coming up.  Once the trail turned up though, the wheels almost popped off.  My Camelback got a workout.  I hiked an awful lot of the trail, ran when I could, but that wasn't often.

Up, up, up - to Green.  Not my favorite summit in Boulder.  Too crowded, lots of trees.  Vistas are nice, but Bear is way better.  At this point, people were starting to look at me, perhaps wondering if I was ok.  I'd been conserving water and was really feeling it at this point.  I think I hit the summit of Green in about 4 hours, maybe a little more.  The real relief there was:  It's almost all downhill from here.  Unfortunately, there are still tough technical bits before you get to the nice, wide open, Ranger Trail.

My brain was really starting to fade at this point.  I was able to run most of the way to the Tenderfoot Trail on Flagstaff (it's all downhill), but I wasn't digging it.  At some point before crossing Flagstaff Road, I ran out of Heed (stuff is good btw, sweetened with Maltose and Sugar - not HFCS - Mild Mellon in my pack today).  Got to the ranger station on Flagstaff and discovered that the water fountain was broken and not to be repaired.  Vandals.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Fortunately this was a weekend and the ranger cottage was actually open.  I'd've been hitch hiking otherwise. Gentleman inside (had a couple of gallons of water - I took a pint) and I chatted for a while.  Turns out his son had ridden the LT100 mountain bike version a 2 weeks ago.  10 hours or something like that.  Cool.

All the rest was down hill.  I hit a trail I'd never been on before that pops out right at Eben G. Fine Park where I expected to have some water, but the fountain was pathetic.  Seriously.  Thought I'd get some water for my pack, but I got water for my mouth and that was all.

Sucked a bunch down and took off for the car, after about 25 meters on the creek path I could no longer take my shoes going "shshshshshshsh" and I took them off.  The last 1.5 miles or so of my run today was barefoot.  Set a couple of folks aback by that - "That guy is running barefoot?!" and another "Dude!  Barefoot!  Hard core man!"

Anyway.  I've got some video from today's "run" and I'll post it later.  Boulder is sweet.
Thanks for reading,

When I got home I'd come around far enough that Homey and I went out for 3 more miles.  Me in VFF and he barefoot (surprise).  Total for today 22 miles in less than 7 hours.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where did my brain go?

Yesterday I couldn't remember where I parked the car and couldn't tell the Chinese restaurant my phone number.

This morning I get all of my gear into a bag so that I can join the Boulder Trail Runners Friday Lunch Run and somehow neglect to put clothes in with my hat, ipod, shoes, water bottles, 5 hour energy.  I'll run barefoot, but not bare assed...Good grief.  That means today I'll be cutting it short once again.  FRAK!  I guess I'll have fresh legs for the Skyline Traverse on Saturday - maybe I'll have some style to give the effort, but it really leaves me wondering where my brain went...

On another topic, I've been thinking I've got to get some kind of device to record my longer runs that doesn't weigh 12 lbs.  Carrying 100+ ounces of water is enough that my pack (and back) won't miss the Canon.  I've wanted to get a device which would handle all of my portable electronic needs, but I just can't bring myself to spring for the data plan associated with a smartphone.  I'm only someplace where I don't have wifi about 2 hours every day.  Do I need to be more connected than that?

I guess I'm going to pick up a Kodak Playsport.  The Flip is more popular, but I think I like the video quality of the Kodak better. It'll be fun to shoot video while I'm out running and when the Beanery gets back, it'll be fun to point something at him - especially if we move to Bolivia.

Probably head out for 6 or so once I get home and into the clothes I laid out on the bed and then I'll recline on the couch and Netflix a couple episodes of Pillars of the Earth.  I've heard some good things about that show.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekend Run Plans - Scrapped?

I'd been planning to head out to Aspen this weekend to run the Four Passes Loop with my cousin Dave. Was jazzed, but then the weather forecast started looking crappy in his corner of the world. It's still got a day to turn around, but I'd rather take my chances with a bear than a lightening bolt...

I still have to log some big miles running this weekend though. I've got some options:  One would to head out to Fruita to run the 26.1 mile Fruita 25 course on Saturday and do it again on Sunday.  This has the advantage of getting me into red rock country again which is always good, but it's a damn long drive for a 2 day weekend and Homey would have to stay with a friend.  Earlier today I was pretty pumped about this option, but now I'm not digging it so much.

The other is to stay in Boulder and run some trails around here.  It's not like trails are hard to find in this neck of the woods.  One big loop I've read about, but not done in its entirety is the "Boulder Skyline Traverse."  Depending on where you park it's a 24+ mile loop which bags all 5 summits that make up - surprise - the Boulder skyline.  I suppose I'd do this Saturday early and follow it up Sunday with an out and back which starts at Hall Ranch and heads over to Button Rock Reservoir or down to Heil Ranch.

Possibly the biggest advantage of staying close to home is I know almost to the picosecond where the nearest Chipotle is from the finish line of these efforts.

The weather has one more day to fix itself.  I'd prefer to head out to Aspen.  The Bells are beautiful, but I prefer hot, sweaty and alive to cold, wet and sparkly every day of the week.  If the weather doesn't come around, I expect I'll stay in town for my running this weekend.

Oh right, that yawning sound...  That's me flaking on my run today.  I slept like crap last night.  Nightmares, weird noises outside, the cats freaking out.  Seemed like I looked at the clock every 15 minutes.  Haven't had any energy at all.  Going to knock out 3 with the Holmes and call it good.

Thank for reading.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Run Blogging - Everybody does it.

I have tried this before.

Not terribly successfully.

It seems there's either not much to say or there's way too much and the things I want to get said just...just get left, lonely, somewhere in a deep dusty corner of my brain.

Why would I try doing this again?  Well, some people I've met and respect have moved me with their prose and I've got a pretty big event coming up which I kind of want to ruminate about.  Maybe when it's over I'll keep on writing, maybe not.

What's the event?  I'm getting ready to run in something crazy called Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat.  It's a 50 mile trail run and frankly I'm damn nervous about it.  In part because I haven't ever come close to running that far, in part because the week prior I'm doing the Imogene Pass Run, and in part because I feel like I'm probably a bit under prepared.

All right then, why?  I'm largely doing this race because of Brandon Fuller.  A fellow Longmont runner, who is in a class far removed from me:  Leadville 100 finisher, sub 3 hour marathoner...

His blog made me start thinking, "Well maybe I could run a 50."  I've done 3 marathons in the last year after all, and a 4th in the Indian Peaks training for RRR.  The marathon distance isn't really much to worry about anymore.  I know I can.  Hell, if I cared to do focused training with real speedwork, tightly controlled diet and very limited beer intake, I'm sure I could go sub 3 hours in the marathon.

Anyway.  I'm not sure what or when I'll write.  Today's muse came because I had an unexpected reaction to my workout today:  very sore calves after 9 miles in Vibram Five Fingers.  It's been a long time since I had trouble after a VFF workout, but there it is.  I had planned on doing another 6 after work, but I didn't have my "long run" shoes so I just headed home, best not to aggravate when you're 4 weeks out from a big race.

Thanks for reading.
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