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...

RunStuRun has moved to

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well that went poorly...

I don't feel the sickness yet, but it's in the post. That's for sure. I'm in the junkie limbo at the moment. Too ill to sleep. Too tired to stay awake, but the sickness is on its way. Sweat, chills, nausea. Pain and craving. A need like nothing else I've ever known will soon take hold of me. It's on its way. ~ Mark Renton

Headed down to Boulder early this morning to join Bob, Thomas and Zack for a 12-mile circumnavigation of South Boulder and Bear Peaks. This was supposed to be about a 3 hour adventure but ended up being more like 5 hours (for me). Yuck. Not even sure how long we were out or how far we went but I do know I ran out of water and ended up with heat exhaustion or something. Not the best run of my career.

From the onset, I was sweating profusely (as I am known to do) but felt I had packed enough food and water to make the full loop. We bushwhacked up to the Bastille trail then down into Eldorado Canyon. If you have never been to Eldo, it is worth the trip. Lots of spectacular cliffs and people climbing and whatnot.

Once we reached the canyon floor, we headed up, up, up to Walker Ranch then up some more to the north trailhead. From there we started up a "private" road (thinking this would lead us to our ultimate destination more quickly given our experience the last time we tried this route) and were about a half mile from where we needed to be when confronted by homeowners who explained that we needed to head back the way we came. Ugh. So back we went.

Surprisingly, a few minutes later we were offered a ride by the same person who had turned us back. We gladly accepted and were driven to the top of Flagstaff to jump on a trail that would eventually lead us to near where we intended to go in the first place.

By this point, I was rationing water fairly aggressively and started not feeling particularly well but soldiered on down Bear Canyon to Mesa Trail. Once we hit Mesa, all hell broke loose with my body and its ability to keep anything resembling a steady pace. I told the other guys to go on and quickly feel behind as I walked the majority of the way back down to the trailhead.

In a word, I felt pretty shitty and quickly grabbed some spare water from my truck and then plopped down in the creek to try to cool off and soak. I wasn't particularly hungry (not a good sign) but thought a Jamba Juice might do the trick so I drove to Superior (the nearest Jamba location) and checked movie times since that was going to be my next goal. The closer I got to the store, the less I felt going to a movie was going to be a good idea so I decided to head straight home after getting my fix.

While placing my order, I started feeling REALLY sick and woozy so rushed over to some seats they have in the store to sit down. I put my had down on the counter and tried to not get sick. The woman who took my order brought my card over to me (I had abandoned it in my rush to sit down) and I suspect she thought I was wickedly hungover or a junkie or something then just a short time later, one of the other staff members came over to bring me my order, ask if I was okay and offer to bring me a damp towel. Super cool. I had broken out in a crazy sweat and had goosebumps at this point. Then my hands went numb. Oh joy.

After drinking some of the cold, tasty beverage, I started to feel a bit better and decided it was time to hit the road. I asked for some water then started driving back home up Coal Creek Canyon. After awhile, I decided that I probably should pull over because I was just feeling worse and worse. Once I started seeing double, I immediately pulled over to take a nap. I rolled down the windows and climbed into the back seat to see if a little rest would help things out. Then I started puking.

So I threw up a little, then a lot, then rested for at least an hour. Not even sure. I didn't call Rach to tell her what was going on because I didn't have a signal when I pulled over but she called after awhile to see if everything was okay. She had offered to come get me when I was down in Superior but at that point I was feeling okay so I didn't take her up on it. In retrospect, that would have been prudent.

I rested for a bit longer and was feeling better so I headed on up the hill. After about a mile, I started feeling sick again but there wasn't anywhere to pull over. So I fought it for as long as I could and then fortunately a pull out appeared and I took it. I threw up a few more times and then called Rach to meet me in Pinecliffe which was only a couple of miles up the road. By the time I made it to Pinecliffe, I was feeling much better and so I just kept driving. I passed Rach going the other way at the end of our road and she turned around to see if I needed help. At this point, I felt well enough to make it the remaining 3 miles to our house. Rach is so awesome to come help me out.

Once I got home, I took a shower, drank a bunch of water and rested for a bit. I am feeling a lot better now but am pretty sure my temp is still up a bit. I have been whacking down popsicles and water and am now starting to feel a bit hungry. May try some actual food in a bit.

So the moral of this story (or lesson anyway) is to always bring more than you think you will need and start your runs that have the potential to get warm early, early in the morning. Especially if you are a Stu who is inclined toward excessive temperatures and requiring way more water than your average bear.

I think I'll take tomorrow off. And probably Tuesday as well.


[edit]: And my back is killing me after moving 2-tons of pellets twice on Thursday.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The three "Rs"...

Simplify, man. ~ Springfield recycle guy

This guy
rules. Hey, another "R"!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Fast is not my middle name...

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. ~ Walter Bagehot

Two good training runs this week. One missed day (thought I had it off on the ole schedule). Feeling generally okay. Not super but not too bad.

On Tuesday, I did some LT training down in Boulder and quickly discovered how hard a 3:30 marathon is going to be. I am just not that fast yet. Getting there for sure, but I was totally maxed out for 4 out of 8 miles and whew... Rolling sub 8s all day is going to be a challenge. I am pretty sure I am up to it but need to put in some focused training to get my leg speed up and get to the point where I can spin those splits over and over. It was warm as well, which never helps me. I did take a dip in the creek after the run, which was nice. Motionbased stats.

Yesterday, I went out for a slow 10-mile trail run. Really the goal was to keep my heartrate down and for the most part, I succeeded. I had to walk the steepest section in the Park but still managed about 9 miles in just over an hour and a half. I felt okay for most of the run. My legs seemed to burn a bit more quickly than I had hoped but that's how it goes sometimes. It was a beautiful day up in the high country and nice to just get out for awhile. I am definitely noticing that I am able to maintain higher speeds with less effort so I suppose that means I am doing something right. Whee! Here are the stats for any nerds out there.

Also, did I mention that I saw a bobcat on the way home from Ward the other day? Pretty cool. Only the second one I have seen up here. Well, it was closer to Ward but there you go.

Today I'm hoping to cajole Pete into coming out for a slow 5-miler and then to talk my sweet Rach into going to see a movie. Then we'll rush home before all the Labor Day Weekend drunkards get out on the roads. To quote the Beastie Boys, "If you're drivin' don't drink, and if you're drinkin' don't drive." Pretty simple, really.

And on one final, political note... Palin quite possibly may be the worst VP pick in history. From the environment, to energy policy, to science... she has it all wrong and zero experience and an ongoing abuse of power/ethics investigation to boot. I am baffled by this selection. We'll see what happens but I don't really see how this helps McCain at all. Fine by me. Here's a great analysis of her credentials if you are interested.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flow like water...

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Thunder rumbled in the distance as I pulled on my Sauconys for a slow 13-mile run. I headed southeast, down the Beav, cautiously eyeing the dark bank of clouds building ominously to the north. My steps were punctuated by intermittent claps of thunder and I quickly adjusted my plans to stay closer to home, and in the confines of the forest. My 13-mile road run was abandoned for the trails and easier access to a rapid escape route.

I headed uphill, running strongly and timing my breathing with my cadence. My goal was not a fast pace or even splits but to keep my legs turning over as if driven by a metronome. Tick, tick, tick. The miles slipped by and I soon gained access to the woods along a hidden single track.

This trail, fast but technical, led me downhill through Aspen groves, whispering encouragement as I focused on staying fluid while negotiating tight, rocky sections. The old mining trail is punctuated by large, flat stones placed into a pseudo-flagstone path. Navigating these at speed can be a challenge and as rain began to fall, the task required even more attention.

Thunder built in intensity along with the rain but actual lightning strikes seemed few and far between and when timed, were miles away. I reached the lowest elevation of the day's adventure and headed up the steepest sections in an increasingly soggy state. Rain turned to sleet as I ran through a section dubbed "Funky Boss" then quickly to rain again as I passed "The Flume". I sped along in the steady patter of raindrops and quickly reached the summit and the "Tupperware" trail. This new section of singletrack drops quickly downhill to a more frequented artery in this part of Roosevelt National Forest.

Temperatures dropped to the point where a jacket seemed prudent so I donned my Marmot shell and ran back uphill toward today's second summit. Though soaked, the light cover provided the comfort required and I was quickly able to stow it back in my belt and run on, feeling strong and fit. As the clouds lifted and rain turned to a light drizzle I headed back downhill, towards home.

Geek link.


Friday, August 22, 2008

I own one house...

...and didn't need to get my people to check to confirm that.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Did I mention I can't deal with heat?

If you can't take the heat, try moving away from the radiator. ~ Anon (probably some jackass named "stubert"

No wonder I felt like crap today. I was supposed to have a nice, steady, aerobic run but that plan went out the window and I just kinda suffered for about 2 hours on the Mesa Trail. Always a fan of changing plans (seems like I had a conversation with myself about this at one point), I started with the tentative goal of doing the whole Trail (out/back) which would have been about 13 miles. After passing NCAR, I tossed that horrendous idea out the window and decided to just go with the scheduled 10-mile.

I couldn't figure out what was going on but experienced the same sort of high heartrate as Tuesday. I was soaked with sweat and had a tough time running a lot of the hills without really spiking. When I got back to the car, the temp said 96 degrees. Yikes. In any event, I finished and didn't cry so I am chalking this one up in the "Tie" column.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Heat and Stus do not mix...

I'm Mr. Heat Blister, I'm Mister Hundred and One. ~ Heat Miser

It is amazing how intolerant of heat I am. Yesterday, I was in Boulder and my run got delayed until around noon. It definitely wasn't what I would consider "hot" down there but I suffered a bit nonetheless. Maybe I had just prepared myself for an easier time but my heartrate was through the roof all day. I must admit, I was having a hard time not running too fast (which contributed for sure) but my heartrate in general was just a lot higher than normal.

This could all be attributed to lots of different issues - from base fatigue to the physiology of how one's body keeps cool. I am guessing it is a combination of factors. My sleep patterns have been a bit screwed up of late (getting to bed a lot later than normal) and I have been training more consistently as well. I am sure both these have contributed to my current state (which isn't bad, mind you). Those items, coupled with my heart having to work harder to push blood closer to the surface of my skin in order to cool me off in warmer temps is probably what did it.

In any event, I had a fairly hectic morning then finally got out for an 8-mile loop around central Boulder. I am able to maintain increased speeds on flat roads (which is nice) and aside from the overheating, felt okay. My legs were turning over well and so I worked on form and then did some strides at the end. All in all, a pretty good run.

On Sunday, I did a 13-mile loop up by my place and tried to keep a steady pace of 8:45-9:30 pacing. I spun the loop in just under 2-hours, which is averaging about 9-minute miles. This was supposed to be an aerobic endeavor but trying to keep that steady pace up hills at altitude definitely pushed me up into "going too hard" territory on a few occasions. I may just switch to heartrate training or something to ensure that I don't overdo it.

Tomorrow, I have a 10-miler scheduled and will be down in Boulder again. Might jump on some trails down there just for kicks or run their awesome network of bike paths. I'll try to get out earlier this time so as to not get stuck in the heat. Anyone up for a run?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ta daaaaa...

The first fall of snow is not just an event, it is a magical event. ~ J.B. Priestley

Snow! Not at my house but damned close. I thought we had a good shot at getting some here but it didn't happen (since we have lived up in the hills, the only month during which it hasn't snowed once at our place is August).

I decided to head down to the rec center to run on the treadmill and swim. This, apparently, was enough to get the clouds to lift and the sun to come out. So had I waited an hour or so, I could have had a pleasant run outside. In any event, I got in a good treadmill run, felt great, sunk swam for a bit and was treated to spectacular views of the snowcapped peaks near our house upon finishing up. Good times!

So for my run I did 1 mile warm-up at a 10-minute pace, then another mile at a 4-hour marathon pace (9-minute miles) then 2 miles at a 3:30 marathon pace (7:57-minute miles) then stepped it up for the last hard mile at a 3-hour marathon pace. Then I warmed down for a mile back at 10-minute pace. Interestingly, I was able to keep my heartrate in the 140s at the 4-hour pace and it only jumped up a little at the 3:30. Forget about the 3-hour mark. I would have a lot of work to do to be able to sustain that pace for more than a few miles. And keep in mind this is all on a treadmill, which doesn't really count.

Then I swam for about 15 minutes. Which was plenty. I am less than efficient in the pool.

So send your thoughts out to the poor bastards doing the Leadville 100 today. I am guessing it is pretty ugly up there.


One year (give or take)...

I have incredible amounts of hope that things can change. It takes people who believe. ~ Morgan Spurlock

I can lead off with the simple statement, "I am really, REALLY glad I am not racing the Leadville 100 this year." Crap weather has settled into the state this year and it is like Portland in December out there right now. Only colder.

The race started today at 4:00 and I am guessing the leaders are about at Fish Hatchery now. The forecast is for highs in the low 50s with rain mixed with snow and lows in the low 30s. Not stellar conditions for a long run. Call me a wuss but, well... I am not quite sure how to finish that sentence.

My training has been usurped by work the past few days but I plan to get out there today regardless of the drizzle and low cloud ceiling. Our road is like some sort of sick sports bar event (slippery, wet, muddy and not warm at all) so I may head for the tarmac in Boulder or somewhere to get in some flat, fast and less dirty miles. We'll see how the day progresses. I still plan to launch John Shors' new site today. At least for private viewing.

So I have started working on preparation for the Las Vegas marathon and am still fine-tuning my training regimen. Shooting for faster pacing and more fluid form that I am hoping will translate into improved results in eventual ultras. This week I did a longer run on Monday with extended tempo, hill repeats on Tuesday (really a short session with 6 200-yard hills) and then a slow run at ~10-minute pace from the cycle shop in Rollinsville back to my place on Wednesday. I intended to do about 12 yesterday but that just didn't happen so I may shoot for a hard workout today then a longer run tomorrow to finish off the week.

I have been reading a great book that Caleb recommended called Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas. It is helping me figure out strategy, training ideas, how to keep from getting overtrained, and much more. Good stuff.

Incidentally, Pandora pretty much kicks ass. Check it out if you haven't already. Works on the iPhone too, which is super cool.

Have I mentioned that Rach makes the best granola ever?

If you haven't seen this blog, check it out. A woman in England is trying to go a month without using plastic. She hasn't succeeded but it is an interesting read and highlights ways in which we can be better, more conscious consumers. I was actually thinking that one could do a Morgan Spurlock sort of thing with plastic but someone beat me to it.

And I have to say that though I have tried to not pay too much attention to the Olympics due to China's appalling human rights and pollution records (yes, I know our's sucks too... I would have to boycott a US hosted Olympics too), the Michael Phelps story has been quite exciting to follow.

Have a good, soggy Saturday.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Stormed off...

Pain is inevitable, suffering optional. ~ Haruki Murakami

Well, my last two efforts have been less than stellar but that is just how it goes sometimes. I felt awesome for the first half of a 13-miler on Saturday but then hit the wall pretty hard. I didn't really eat well beforehand, which screwed me up. It was a fun run nonetheless. I headed down the Beav then up my super-secret cut-off trail that leads to the bottom of Raccoon Trail in GGCSP. I then ran (did the whole thing!) up up up to Panorama Point and over to Mule Deer. It rained on me pretty much the whole time then tapered off as I turned onto Coyote Trail. This is where I started bonking. Not cool. I struggled back up Elk then managed to run at a fairly decent pace back home. Not my best run ever but whatchagonnado? Running in the rain was a nice treat for sure.

Today, I headed up to do the Devil's Thumb/King Lake loop above Hessie. I really suffered on the way up (man, that trail is steep and technical) then storms rolled in. I didn't really feel like being above treeline in a thunderstorm so I headed back down after only about 4.5 miles or so. Not a big deal. Got in about 9.5 or 10 total so that was cool.

I am looking forward to getting a marathon running book that Caleb recommended. It should be here tomorrow. I am hoping to run a 3:30 at Las Vegas (this may be ambitious) and need to figure out how to best train for this accelerated speed. I know I can do the distance but really think that if I can nail down the fluidity and speed of a sub 4/sub 3:30 marathon, it will help me a lot for ultras. We'll see how that goes. Most programs I have looked at lately have one running daily with really short runs during the week and one longer effort on the weekend. A 3-mile run just seems silly to me at this point but I'm going to give it a shot.

Other than that, I have just been working and hanging with my special lady. She is the best. We are trying to figure out how to get tickets for Obama's speech at Mile High but apparently there have been 80,000 ticket requests from Colorado residents and only 75,000 seats. So I am guessing that is a no-go. Oh well.

We are also suffering a plague of humming birds right now. Seriously dozens at a time visiting our feeders which we have to fill twice a day. This happens every year but it is still amazing to watch. Rach likes to joke that our sugar bill is going to put us in the poor house. Guess we'll just have to start selling off the kitties.

Oh. I am now the proud former owner of a Yukon XL. Holmsey was finally sold today. Even got a decent price. Not what he was worth but as Rach's brother Brian says, "You can't give those things away right now." He will be missed. Lots of fun adventures were had in that truck. Hopefully the new owners will enjoy him just as much.

RIP Isaac, Bernie and Spencer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Honk if I start to doze off. ~ Rach

Well I clearly haven't been keeping up with things around here and am determined to not let things get that out of hand again. Here is a rundown of activities and whatnot over the past couple of weeks:

  • Running: I haven't been getting out nearly as often as I would like but when I HAVE gotten out, it has been quite good. Since I signed up to do the Las Vegas Marathon in December, I have started trying to focus more on faster pacing. So far I have come to realize that a) running fast is tough and b) I am not very fast. I did a 7-mile run last week in the woods that went really well. I think I kept about a 10-minute pace without killing myself. On Tuesday I ran a 13-miler in Gunnison in about 1:50 or so. I even spun 4 laps on the track to see how fast I can run a mile (not very). Interesting that my "fastest" mile pace is about 7 minutes but I can hook up multiple 7:45s. Gonna have to work on that. Overall, I feel good about where I am right now as I have a long time before the marathon. I'll probably screw everything up by tossing in a 50-miler sometime in the next couple of months but that is pretty typical of me.
  • Gunnison: I spent the last few days over in Gunny visiting with family and friends. We held my mom's memorial service on Wednesday so there were a ton of people in town. It was great to get to see everyone but I am a bit exhausted from the festivities. Rach showed how awesome she is by coming over for the service and then entertaining our niece, Kailey for the evening (as well as everyone else). She is taking a well-deserved nap right now.
  • Golf: I continue to stink it up on the course. I did okay on the front 9 (playing with my dad, brother and uncle, John) but fell apart on the back 9. I am guessing finishing a half-marathon less than an hour before tee time didn't help me any but really, I probably would have been just as bad regardless.
  • Bears: Saw a bear up at my aunt and uncle's (Betty and Dale) place in Spring Creek. Always neat seeing the big critters.
  • Loss: One of our most beloved bunnies died Monday morning. Poor Sean. He was a great fella and a good friend. I will miss him a ton.
So that's the Cliff's Notes version. I'll be better about updates in the future.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Parking lot

I70 eastbound is a mess.

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