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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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chalk this up in the "not good" column...

It's Al Gore's fault. ~ Plethora of Global warming deniers

Ladies and gentlemen, this Fall we could witness an event never before seen by human eyes. The polar ice cap may completely melt away. This, my friends, is not good (in case you haven't been paying attention).

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.


Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice-free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.

Yikes. Read a synopsis here.

On a lighter note, Luke and I went for a singlespeed ride yesterday on the Sourdough Trail north of Nederland. Though I thought I would be able to hang, Luke pretty much kicked my ass as usual. I am going to fit the Humuhumnukunukuapua'a with a shock ASAP. Maybe that will help me keep up.

Hanging with Rach today and working on the deck. Hope to have that completed before we run up to the Melamed's for dinner.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Western States cancelled...

It is with deep regret that we announce today that the 35th running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run has been cancelled. ~ Greg Soderlund

On the super-mega-bummer-front, the Western States 100 which was to be held this weekend has been canceled due to spreading wildfires in the area. Currently, California has nearly 850 wildfires burning (Yikes!) and several are threatening the area around Squaw Valley in which the annual endurance run is held.

The Western States run is one for which runners have to qualify and is kindof a big deal in the UltraMarathon world so I really feel for those who prepared and anticipated being able to participate. In the grand scheme of things, the fires themselves are more of a bummer, affecting wildlife, property and people. Just a drag all around.

I have been working on my 70% training the last couple of days logging a couple of good efforts while trying to keep my heartrate down. Yesterday, I did a cool run up to the Park and around the Raccoon loop (roughly 8 miles) in 1:30 and followed that up today (paying much closer attention to my 70%) with a 7 miler along a similar route in 1:15. Good stuff.

That's it for now. Think non-firey thoughts.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Solar rant...

You'll recoup your costs in 15-20 years. ~ Solar industry dipshits

Ok, after reading yet another article tying costs of solar solely to one's reduction in energy costs, I had to voice in.

I am so sick of this particular analysis regarding the benefits to adding solar to one's property. Listen, people... solar panels are an investment that will be recouped not only in lower energy costs (immediate cost recoup) but in increased home equity (delayed cost recoup). Anyone who sits there and tells you that this isn't a worthwhile investment because it will take x number of years to recoup is completely missing the point.

I hear this all the time (and have even been discouraged from adding solar to my home by people IN THE INDUSTRY) due to this argument. "How long do you plan to stay in your home? 8 years? Then it isn't worth doing." Seriously guys, you are perhaps the worst sales people on the planet. Improving your home's energy efficiency directly influences the value of your property. Jeez.

Ok. I feel a bit better now.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stuck on the dime...

Wandering around and making mistakes, I climb the plateau; having climbed the plateau, I go up the mountain. But now I have lost my way, and I am wandering around in the forest; without the Guru, I do not understand. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

I feel a bit stuck. Seems like I am pounding it in the 10-12 mile range but then really lag on anything greater. I am still trying to figure out Leadville (which may be moot at this point) but I need to be able to feel relatively confident at 25-30 miles in order to think I have a shot at finishing the full 50. I would really like to give it a go as many of my other goals and aspirations for the year have not come to fruition but I am still just not sure at this point.

I headed back out yesterday and logged another solid 10 in about 1:50. Just about right on an 11-minute pace. Not too bad though I felt kinda crappy for about a third of the run. My stomach was giving me troubles. I think I need to eliminate the energy chunks from Whole Foods I have been testing. They just aren't doing it for me. I just ran the standard 10-mile neighborhood loop with a couple of mods thrown in for interest. After trucking up Tin Can Alley and Funky Boss, I headed all the way up to the top and then burned a lap on Double-Down (a trail I put in a few years back) and then finished up on Tupperware. That trail has gotten pretty cool with someone constructing a tee-pee towards the finish you roll through. Fun to see other people out there getting creative.

Post-run I bailed on the soak and went for a dirt bike ride. Found a hook up from Magnolia to Flagstaff, which was pretty sweet and mapped a 30-miler from my house to Luke's. May get brave and do that sometime later in the summer. Not soaking made me feel the run a little more than normal so I have just been kicking it thus far today though I am jonezing for a quick spin in the woods. Might go tick off 5 miles here before dinner.

I have been reading a bunch of Anton Krupicka's old posts and man, that guy is really something. Apparently, he eats gels during his runs and fills his bottles (untreated) in streams along the way. I was wondering how the hell he covered so much ground with only a bottle or two and there's the answer. I am sure he has built up a tolerance to all the creepy crawlies but damn... not sure I can commit to that strategy. Plus, I think I would get super sick of gels only. But who am I to judge... he's the badass with all the wins and course records under his belt. He's competing in the Western States this coming weekend. Hope he kills it.

So that is my story. Hope you had a great weekend.


[update] Couldn't stand it any longer and went out for a short, fast 5-miler. 4.7 or so, just over 42 minutes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just not sure...

[insert quote here]

Post run on Tuesday, I was pretty sure that I was going to give the Leadville 50 a go. It leaves the gate on the 20th of July and I gave myself until mid-June to figure out if I was ready or not. Tuesday, I had a great run around the neighborhood. 10+ miles in under 2 hours. Felt spectacular the whole way, dinked around the woods a little on some new trails I discovered last week, etc. After yesterday's effort, however, I am not so certain about my 50-mile aspirations this July.

I headed out around 10 for what I was hoping would turn into a 20+ miler. I started up the neighborhood trails and worked my way down to the far end of the Beav' reaching the highway in just over 6 miles at a strong pace. I actually felt great, smooth, fit. A good start to the day.

I ran down the highway for a bit and then jumped on CR97 which links up to Magnolia. I walked the steeper sections but still felt like things were going as planned. Once I hit Mag, I headed east and then up the Blue Dot trail. Starting to feel a little fatigued and having problems keeping my heartrate down, I backed off a bit once I got on the dots and then just started feeling worse and worse. I ran out of water about 2 hours in with another 20 or so to Ned. Bummer. This wasn't helping my performance at all.

I found a house with an outside faucet, filled up and guzzelled the fresh water pretty much immediately then stopped in to the grocery store to refill (per plan) and to buy a soda. By this point, I was really sweaty, fatigued and uncertain about my ability to finish the run as planned.

I headed out towards the Highschool trails at a brisk walk with intermittent running but mostly just walking at about a 15-minute pace. Once I got to the trails, I re-evaluated my condition, the amount of time/distance to go and my current effort and decided that the shortest way home with a chance of rescue was the best plan. I was still able to walk at a decent pace and run a little but getting stuck out in the woods just didn't seem like a terrific plan. I texted in the troops (Rach) and headed back to the Peak to Peak in order to ease a pick up.

She got the message and came down to Ned to pick me up. I was about a mile west of Ned by the time she reached me (not knowing whether or not she received the message) and that ended my day. 16+ miles 3+ hours. Not pretty.

I am really not sure what happened. Perhaps I went out too fast, didn't eat enough, just wasn't feeling it... probably a combination of those things. The heat (if you want to call it that) was a bit of a problem for me but I will have to deal with that if I am to do the race so I need to keep training in the mid-day hours. I may give it another shot over the weekend and see if I can manage to keep it together for 25 - 30 miles or not. I feel okay today but slept for a long time last night. We'll just have to see. Leadville or no, I plan to keep on running as it does make me happy.

Post run, Rach and I headed down to the Bunny Ranch as I wanted to spend some time with her, get a smoothie and some food and she needed to pick up meds from the shelter for Skipper. We came home, whacked down a huge plate of veggie sushi and watched Kurosawa. I had to head to bed about half-way through but enjoyed the film to that point (The Idiot). I'll have to watch the rest tonight.

So there you have it. Not sure what "it" is, but there you go.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good week (and it's only Thursday)...

Well I'll be damned. ~ Beavis

Rach got back home Tuesday afternoon after spending a full week running the shelter in Broomfield. Needless to say, I am really happy she is home. I made some trips down to see her while she was away but it isn't the same as having your sweetie close by. She is super tired from a long and hectic week caring for the bunnies and their owners but did an amazing job. She rules.

So I decided to step it up a bit in the last week or so... I did a fun Singlespeed ride around the neighborhood last Friday. Worked on a new section of trail that is pretty promising and just tooled around in the woods. I broke my chain about 2/3 of the way through and had to coast/walk/kick home but it was still fun to get out and explore.

Saturday, Luke, Pete and I met up in Ned for a fun SS ride. We hit the Highschool Trails then the Habitrail then did some exploring up high above West Mag. Fun stuff. Pete recently picked up a sweet 29'er Singlespeed ride and it is a blast. Once I got home I decided to do some work around the house then, since I was still grubby, threw on the running shoes and went back out for a quick 5-miler. Felt great. I kept a sub 10 pace (average) and just kindof cruised. It was good to get a double in.

I took Sunday off then went back out on Monday for my longest run this year to date. I ran from my house, up some old trails with new singletrack to the Park, then headed out for the long Zoo loop (Raccoon to Mule Deer, to Elk and back down Raccoon, through the campground and back home). This was about 18 miles and I did it in right around 3 hours. Felt decent for about the first 12 then a bit pukey for the last 6 but that is how it goes sometimes. I ran out of water and spun a lap back through the campground to refill then somehow managed to turn off my watch so I don't have exact numbers but the above are pretty close guesses.

Wednesday, I headed back up to the Park for a little exploration and the goal of hitting 10 miles. I was really focusing on staying relaxed, keeping my heartrate down and flowing. Mission accomplished. I was trying to keep a 10 minute pace for most of the run (didn't manage that, really) but didn't really walk much at all and ran everything on Raccoon, which was cool. It was nice to be able to conceptualize and then accomplish a nice, smooth, easy 10 miles. Several years ago I wouldn't have considered this possible so am pretty happy with my progress. I felt really great for about 7.5 miles then started getting a little tired but rolling almost 30 miles in a couple of days felt good. I am hoping to get out again tomorrow (Friday) and then maybe again on Saturday depending upon what is going on.

So all in all, a good week. I am starting to feel strong again, have really started to feel more efficient and am able to pick a pace and stick with it longer than ever before. This week will be decision time regarding Leadville. Right now I am on the fence. We'll see if this weekend will kick me to one side or the other.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's getting Juney...

Nineteen years ago today... this guy stood in front of a tank, and the end result is we Americans get to buy cheap crap from Wal-Mart. Somehow I don’t think that is what he intended. ~ Todd Bellamy

The Aspens are starting to leaf out. It is definitely springtime in the Rockies. The temps are rising, snow is slowly starting to melt in the high country (though it is still hanging pretty tough up really high), the humming birds are in full effect. As much as I will miss the winter it is fun to see the seasons change. One of the many things I would miss if I ever had to live elsewhere.

This week has been a little hectic but good. After our ski last week, I was geared up to go back out on Saturday but that fell through so I went for a run instead. Kind of explored around a bit in the woods near my house and found some cool new stuff. I started out down the Beav then went up to Whispering Hope (a new trail a couple of miles from my casa). From there I climbed back up to familiar territory: Tin Can Alley to Funky Boss. I then did some exploring around an incomplete trail I call Tupperware and hooked up most of it but there is still some work to do to get it completely hooked up. About 9 miles total. Good stuff.

Rach and I cleaned cages at the Bunny Ranch on Sunday then she headed down to stay at the shelter for a week on Tuesday. She usually co-Manages but for this week she is running it on her own. It is a ton of work with help... this is going to be a big week for her running the show solo. Plus, I'll miss having her at home to myself. I'm selfish... whatchagonnado?

The weather yesterday was kinda crappy but it broke mid-afternoon so I headed out for a trail run. I wasn't quite sure how long to go and just played it by ear. Cool and cloudy, it threatened to rain pretty much the whole time and thundered a bit. I was really lucky, however and never got dumped on.

Map of the Big Zoo Popsicle

I ran out my door and into the woods behind my house with the goal of getting up to Golden Gate Canyon State Park and then would decide from there how far to take it. I took it easy on the way out with the goal of running the second half faster than the first (not sure I accomplished that, really) and felt great by the time I hit the Park. I pretty much decided to just go for it and dropped down to what I call the Zoo Loop: Elk to Mule Deer and back up and around to Raccoon. It is about an 8-mile loop and I managed to run most of it - only walking the steepest or most gravely sections. Felt decent most of the way and only started to fade a bit towards the end. Roughly 14 miles total. Good run. Check out the stats.

I am still not sure about Leadville... giving it until the middle of the month to decide on that one. Overall, however, I am feeling pretty decent. I'll keep you posted with progress.


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