Really stupid...

If an idea is good, it's on the verge of being stupid. ~ Michel Gondry

I have always had this theory… get a group of people in a room, throw out a bunch of ideas and at the end of the night, look at your list to find the most idiotic and that's the one you should do.

This blog was spawned from one very stupid idea - run the Leadville 100. I gave that a shot in the summer of '07 - completed 73 miles - and survived. The blog lives on...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

L.A. stories...

Wow... there IS a pay phone in L.A.

You know, you're really nobody in L.A. unless you live in a house with a really big door. ~ Harris

I spent the last few days visiting my buddy John and his brother Mike in L.A.. They have a great place in Playa Vista and we spent a fun-filled three days just pretty much kicking it. No real agenda, which was nice.

I flew in early on Saturday then John and I grabbed some food at A Votre Sante in Brentwood. This is apparently a pretty frequent destination for famous Hollywood stars (the Butterscotch Stallion frequents this joint) but none were spotted while we were there. I found the food to be decent, nothing special. Just in case you were wondering. We then drove around Brentwood and the surrounding hills where John gave me a tour of the area and L.A. history lesson.

Not sure how Donovan scored a hat trick when he was two rows in front of us.

Mike showed up later that afternoon and we then headed out to watch some soccer. The Galaxy was playing Chivas USA in an inter-city rivalry that was actually pretty fun to watch. The Roach brothers have some sweet connections so I was treated to amazing seats mid-field, about 25 rows up. Pretty perfect, really. The Galaxy won 5-3 with Landon Donovan pouring in a hat trick. After the game, I drove the guys back to the Playa (John has a sweet whip) and then we went out late-night to Father's Office, a cool bar with a new location in L.A.. They revamped an abandoned old bread factory and turned it into a bunch of upscale shops and whatnot. Pretty sweet.

Mike and I headed out the next morning to a trail run (Sullivan Canyon) John showed me on our tour the previous day. This was a relatively mellow run that was mostly contained within a lush canyon that climbed up to Mulholland Drive (the dirt portion). Mike thought this was 2.5 to 3 miles to the top but it ended up being closer to 4.5. While in the canyon, you wouldn't really know you were in L.A.. Pretty amazing. There was some wildlife, lots of trees and other foliage and the trail increased in pitch throughout the run. I felt kindof like crap as the heat was bugging me a bit and I ran out of water thinking it was only going to be about 6 miles total but it was a lot of fun. At one point, I had about a hundred butterflies flying next to me while I ran down the trail. Sweet! We grabbed a drink at the Brentwood market on the way back to the Playa and then rousted John (he's a vampire) and then headed out for some lunch.

As you can tell, I ate a lot while on the trip. L.A. has some kickass, funky, vegan restaurants and fortunately for me, John and Mike were willing to give them a try. We hit Silverlake, a cool village that is home to a lot of artists and musicians (Beck, Silversun Pickups, etc.) and ate at Flore. Great food for sure. There was this Jame Gumm looking fella working there, which was amusing and a steady stream of freaky people, which made me feel right at home. We kicked around Silverlake for a bit then headed up to the observatory for a peek at this massive city (20 million people) from above. Then drove by the Scientology Castle for a laugh and around Hollywood. Good stuff. We ate that night at Mao's Kitchen in Venice. Good eats, pretty mediocre service. But if you know that going in, you're okay.

Johnny... seriously watching this dog.

Monday morning, I was planning a big run but opted to ride bikes instead. Mike and I rode to Santa Monica for breakfast and then back through Venice. There are some people you see almost every time you go to that area, like Johnny the Dog Watcher and the Running Guy. Johnny sets up shop during the farmer's market and watches everyone's dogs for them. Pretty awesome. The Running Guy is this dude in his 40s (I am guessing) that you can pot blocks off. He never wears a shirt and I literally have seen him almost every time I have gone to Venice. Not sure what his deal is but the dude is like leather and is ALWAYS running down the boardwalk. Probably puts Dean Karnazes to shame. We also saw a habitat-challenged-opiate-enthusiast (homeless junkie) walking down the street with a $5 cup of coffee. Not sure exactly what to say about that but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Pelicans are cool.

Mike and I rode back through Marina del Rey, watched a shitload of pelicans dive bombing for food for a bit, then took Reggie for a walk. Mike needed to get back to the desert so we jammed down to Santa Monica for an amazing lunch at Real Food Daily, a quick trip around the Promenade to check on the world's biggest Chia Pets and then back to the Playa.

Chia Pet

I seem to have picked up a bug on the way home as my throat is wicked sore today. Hoping it isn't serious but we'll see. If it is, it will be the second time this year that I have gotten sick post airline travel. Lame.

I am looking forward to staying home for awhile after so much travel these past two months but did really enjoy my trip. It was good to have very little planned and to just kick it for a few days. I highly recommend that type of vacation.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

When a month feels like a million years...

I hope those last days with her were lucid, heart-opening and helped with a sense of closure and celebrating life. ~ Jonny Copp

So aside from a blip last week where I live-blogged the Enduro, things have been pretty quiet around RunStuRun of late (as I am sure you have noticed). These last few weeks have been crazynuts. Rachel and I have been taking turns going over to Gunnison to help my dad care for my mom in her last days. She passed away two weeks ago after a long battle with cancer. Not good times, I can assure you. Take the quote above and reverse it in every possible way and you will get the experience we have all had to endure.

As most of you probably do not know, I have long been a proponent of physician assisted suicide. I even wrote my Senior Thesis on the subject after doing interviews and surveys of a large group of physicians. Their comfort with the subject was mixed but I feel strongly that we have the right to a dignified death. Unfortunately, there is a small yet vocal community here in the States that disagrees quite fervently. My guess is that few of them had to bear witness to the final weeks of a loved-one with terminal cancer. Let me just say, this is a shitty way to go.

So March and April saw Rach and I taking shifts at my mom's bedside, seeing each other for a few hours every week or so as we became more and more familiar with the 200+ mile drive between my parents' house and our own. I am off again this weekend to L.A. but am hoping to get some serious stay-at-home time in the coming month. Needless to say, I miss my sweetie and can't thank her enough for all she did to help out with what was a repeat performance for her. Rachel's mom died from cancer back in '99 and Rach was her sole care-giver for her final two months. Knowing what doing this once feels like, I can't really put words to how awful the repeat performance must have been.

So the last few weeks weren't all bad. I did get to do a little skiing at the Butte (off the hook), got in a couple of runs in Gunny (flat pavement is a bit boring), did the Enduro with Luke (56 runs, ~112000 feet of vert, not too shabby), and have started running again in order to try to get into shape for the summer's fun and/or games.

I did a short run in the woods around our house on Tuesday that quickly turned into a bit of a lost-in-the-woods post-holing hike but it was fun to get out. There is still too much snow up high so I'll have to stick to the roads up here for a bit. Yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to run Flagstaff and Green Mountains in Boulder. Roughly 10 miles with feet of climbing. I didn't run a lot of this as I am still working into my running fitness and was pretty hammered by the time I made it to Bear Canyon but feel okay about the effort in general. I was quite a bit off my pace from the same run (roughly the same time) last year but that was a spectacular run and like I said, I am still working on my running fitness right now. With only 6 runs or so tallied for the year, I feel good about my performance.

So there you go. The Cliffs Notes version of what is happening in the world of Stu. I am still hoping to break 70 ski days this year (63 thus far) and am really looking forward to a lot of long runs in the coming months. I would also like to build a garage but need to get my act together to get that done. As always, I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Done and done

56 runs. I am destroyed.

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I am getting pretty whupped. Shooting for 50+

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Looking good.

Holy heinous

Third alley can bite me. 27 down.

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My legs are on fire. Luke is señor speedtastic.

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Lap 12 complete. Decent conditions. Good times.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day 61...

Do you think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? ~ Dumbledore

So I am still over here in Gunnison. I did manage to get out yesterday to visit the Butte in its last week of service for this season. Let me tell you... the skiing here is still off the hook. They got 8" (yeah) of somewhat heavy but actually pretty nice pow. I scoff at the 8" number since there were times I was knee deep in the stuff and last time I checked my knees were over 8" off the ground but who's counting, right?

And to top it off, the Butte has this killer ticket deal so I am skiing at $20 per day. Ridunculous.

Teo bowl was the goods but the Funnel was skiing really well too. They also had closed one of the runs on the front side because a mama bear and her two cubs had recently come out of their den so they were being given some breathing space. Kinda neat.

It is snowing again now so tomorrow could be awesome. I may get out for some more turns. We'll see about how things go here at home.

I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Long time no post...

They take away our freedom in the name of Liberty. ~ Stiff Little Fingers

Sorry for the lack of posts, boys and girls... I have been helping to take care of some family stuff about which I can't really talk.

Anyway, I have been over to Gunnison several times in the past few weeks. Just got back yesterday and am heading back over on Saturday. Needless to say, I am getting a little tired of that drive.

I did get in another day at Crested Butte last time I was over. The snow there is still good. Springy but good. I went to Eldora today for a few turns and would say about the same for the conditions there. Even more Springy than the Butte but that is to be expected. I didn't ski particularly well but am pretty exhausted from my last Gunny trip.

Rach is being the world's most awesome person ever by taking a shift over at the parental units' house. She relieved me yesterday and I'll do the same for her on Saturday. Pretty soon we'll just be waving and flashing each other as we pass by on the highway. Not good times. I prefer her nudity in closer proximity to my own. But you probably could have surmised that.

So today was number 59. I was hoping to have a bit more than that by now but circumstances have conspired against my quest for 75 days this season. It is still doable, but we'll see. The Enduro is officially in the "maybe" column at this point as well. I suppose I'll keep you posted on that and it will depend on how the next two weeks play out. I am guessing that 2 weeks of minimal skiing and sleep deprivation won't do much for my fitness but I suppose stranger things have happened.

I sold my dirt bike to Pete (though it has been acting up so I haven't yet cashed his check) and my BMW R1150GS is on the market as well. I haven't been riding it much of late and am probably going to combine the two bikes into one with the purchase of an '08 KLR650. Holding off until I get the GS sold, however as making room in the garage is one of the chief goals.

So that isn't about it but that is all I have time for right now. I did manage to go on a run while in the 'Sack last week (9 miles, 1:20) and am still contemplating a 50-miler but am now considering doing something silly and marginally supported vs. a big race. I'll keep you posted on that as things progress.

Ok. Don't you go a-changin'.


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