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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One in the bank... of many children... ~ Jane's Addiction

Hit the Basin up this morning for the kick-off for the '09-'10 ski season. I was a little rusty on the first run for sure and my new liners, courtesy of Larry's Bootfitting, will take some getting used to (yes, they are STIFF), but otherwise, it was a good first outing.

Luke and I didn't last very long - not due to any physical, out of shape-ness - but due to the ever building crowd of snow sliders flocking to one of only two mountains open for business. We made about 6 runs before calling it a day and Exo was actually spinning at a much faster tempo than normal. Our final foray into the maze was a 15-minute affair... only an hour or so after catching first chair. Alan is promising more terrain will open soon and with Keystone set to turn next week, the crowds should thin a bit.

I hit the gym on the way home to log some time on the treadmill and do a few surges. Temps climbed today which resulted in a squishy mess on local roads and trails. I definitely would love to get a treadmill at some point. Plop in a movie and bust out 15 miles. Sounds like a great combo to me.

Tomorrow is the date for the annual New York Marathon. This one is definitely on my list of "must-dos" as it is not only enormous but would be really cool to run through all five boroughs. Fred Lebow started the event back in the early 70s (if memory serves). There is a pretty good movie that goes into a lot of interesting detail about the event: Run For Your Life. The New York Times published an article recently about a man who created his own NYC marathon by walking around his block 75 times. I like DIY.

Tomorrow I have a long run on the schedule. Definitely not "planned" yet as I have no clue where it will be but probably will end up somewhere in Boulder. Unless you have other ideas...


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deja vu...

I hear digging but I don't hear chopping. ~ Homer Simpson

Seems like we have done this before. When I got home, there was an additional foot and a half of snow in the driveway. That makes for 3+ for the first day of the storm that is still puking snow. Good stuff. Got the car a little stuck in the driveway, busted out the snow blower and took care of that action post haste. I have to get the snow tires put on ASAP as the stock ones just aren't cutting it any more.

And on a completely unrelated note (and at the risk of sounding anti-social), neither Rach nor I can figure out how we ever survived without Caller ID.

Just sayin' is all.


Get off the couch...

These boots aren't made for walkin'.

Hit 'im with your purse, you pussy! ~ Fan

First big storm of the year rolled in yesterday and deposited (as of last viewing) a foot and a half of fluffiness at our casa. Good stuff. Got up super early (after a pretty crappy night's sleep for whatever reason) to mow the driveway and jam down to Boulder to get in a run. Met up with a cool crew of people and we spun laps at IBM.

Slushy goodness and driving snow throughout but that didn't seem to get in the way too much of doing about 40 minutes of tempo. Ended up with over 10 miles for the day, which was pretty sweet. Seriously, running in the snow is just awesome. You stay totally warm. You don't eat shit every three minutes. And you don't have that stripe of frozen road grime and slush up your butt all day long. Beats riding for sure.

Had to drop the car off for some work and walked from there to try to get some food. First attempt (Noodles) aborted due to a power outage so I ended up at Pei Wei. Good eats, though I was really more in the mood for Noodles. Wandered over to the Mac Store to find it closed for rennovations so have parked it for now at Barnes & Noble. Going to try to get some work done and hopefully the car will be done before all the bozos head back up the canyon. There was a bus stuck in the narrows this morning and one of the guys driving in front of me thought 20 was the appropriate speed all the way down. It's all good, however. Just the standard wackiness.

More to come...


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trimming the fat...

How bodybuilders/Hollywood actors get ripped quick (without annoying shrinkage.) ~ Annoying Internet Ad

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No business like snow business...

Cause one man's ceiling is another man's floor ~ The Beastie Boys

There is just something exciting about a snow storm... particularly one that comes whistling in and pounds you with fresh flakes during your long solo run. Not that 2.5 hours is particularly "long" but conditions do play a major role in how long that feels and how fast one can cover the distance during the planned time.

I used this handy tool for judging what to wear, added a couple of items for backup and to combat what I knew were going to be challenging conditions, and headed out the door under heavy clouds, falling temps and intermittent snow showers that quickly turned to full-on blizzard activity. I was in the zone, however... so much so that I blew through one important turn that I missed due to the trail being covered with fresh pow and my not really paying attention. So I went another way.

The beauty of running familiar territory is that when you do blow a turn and find yourself staring at an adamant "no trespassing" sign, you can just take another route, knowing that eventually, you'll be back on common ground. So I dropped down an old mining road that eventually spilled me out with minimal bushwhacking to the Beav'. Crisis averted, on with my run.

So instead of doing the planned, clockwise loop, I modified my game to roll counter-clockwise - actually the more familiar direction of the two. I power-hiked up to Little Hope then dropped off the back side and into the system of mining roads and singletrack trails which have become my regular stomping grounds. Little Hope feeds to Ski Thing which then heads around the shoulder to Sofa Spring and Funky Boss. A quick, steep climb follows to the shoulder summit and I dropped down Tupperware, fed back to the Casa Trails on which I started (but now hooked into a different section) and headed up to try to find Dan the Man without success. Too much fresh had fallen between my last venture in these woods. So plans changed again, I hit the Fire Station and worked my way back around to Saddlebend, Diver Down, then back up to the other end of Dan the Man to Ladybug then home. I am sure that other people have names for these trails, or perhaps they just refer to them all as one bulk item. Either way, they are a blast.

I actually felt great for most of the run. At times, the going was slowed a bit due to the conditions and by the end I was tired and getting pretty chilly. Temps throughout were in the mid 20s and I was relatively comfortable most of the day with just long pants, a long-sleeved Patagonia Capilene 3 Crew, and gloves but donned a hat and my Patagonia Houdini Jacket when the snow was really coming down. One interesting equipment issue I had early on was with the gaiters (which actually look a lot more like spats) I was wearing. I actually really like them for times when I am sure that dirt and debris are going to be a problem but the string that runs under my foot (to keep the gaiters in place), kept collecting snow, ice and detritus. Eventually, one broke and I removed the other one without further incident. Makes me better understand why some manufacturers go with a Velcro attachment.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome day for a run.

In other news, we got a new kitty about 3 weeks ago. She is a Siamese short hair, is nuts (though that may be redundant) and her name is Nino. She likes to drink out of the faucet and is slightly less aggressive about it than this kitty. I'll post photos soon. We also are saddened by the death of one of our long-term foster bunnies, Rosie le Rose who died late last week. She was a sweetie and will be very sorely missed. Rach does such an awesome job taking care of the little guys and providing them with lots of love and tenderness. Rosie responded in kind and was a welcome addition to our family. We'll miss her tons.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Exploration, discovery...

Whoot, there it is. ~ 95 South

There are many things to appreciate about levering oneself off the couch to go out for a run and I was reminded of one this evening when I braved the elements for a fun trot around the neighborhood trails. Snow started coming down as I pulled on my trainers, grabbed a hat and headed out the door. By the time I reached the woods, it was pounding. And windy. And awesome.

I kept a nice, mellow pace and made my way down familiar singletrack, already dusted with fresh, heavy flakes. Getting out, no matter what the conditions, has become a favorite pastime and I have grown to really enjoy traveling familiar byways in anything nature throws my way. (Check with me again in a few months when it is like, 3° out.)

As I approached my final descent back to dirt roads and the asphalt ribbon of the Peak to Peak, I glanced to my right to discover a new trail - one which I have passed without noticing at least 50 times. The conditions were just right so the snow coverage made this new trail stand out from the pine-needle-covered ground. Otherwise, I would have missed it.

This deviation was not part of my agenda but I had to see where this new trail would take me. I knew it couldn't lead me too far astray and had to intersect with familiar territory fairly quickly given the area in which I was running. After running along for a few minutes, enjoying the undulations and twists of the route, I ran into a mountain biker heading the other direction.

The other funny thing about getting out in all sorts of weather is that when you do meet up with other adventurers, they are always just as happy about being out in the conditions as you. "Great weather for it, huh?" said SeƱor Mountain Bike. "Indeed," I concurred. We chatted briefly and I introduced myself. Now, I'll call this trail "Dan the Man" in his honor. I'm sure it has many other names but that's how I'll refer to it... in my own mind, at least.

So not only did I get in a run but I experienced some rather inclement weather and, in fact DUE to that weather, I found a new trail among those which I have been running for years. That, to me, is bliss.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Ten ways to solve that problem...

Not mine, I assure you. © The New York Times

That was my favorite arm.
~ Douglas

Toenails, or lack thereof, are a fairly common thorn in the side of distance runners. I think I eventually lost 3 during my first attempt at the Leadville 100 and another has finally grown back after last year's Denver Marathon. Some runners lose toenails mid-event - dumping nails out of their socks and continuing on their journey. Losing toenails just seems to be part of the wackiness those of us who enjoy running for hours on end have to endure.

Apparently, there is a small group of endurance athletes who have taken drastic measures to ensure that they no longer have to endure the pain and hassles of toenail loss - permanent removal.

Though this is not a route I believe I would take, it is an interesting, albeit drastic, solution to a common problem. Thoughts?


Monday, October 19, 2009

They figured out a way to make it tougher...

Train don't run out of Wichita... unlessin' you're a hog or a cattle. ~ Owen

There are so many logistics to consider when promoting an event. I flirt with the idea of promoting a race up here from time to time but know there are a lot of hurdles to get over before one can have a successful race. Add trains to the list of hazards to consider. The Des Moines Marathon thought they had this covered. Alas, they were wrong.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pace Chase...

I didn't feel so bad 'til the sun went down. ~ The White Stripes

Headed out to the Res around dusk to run with Chase during his 24-Hours of Boulder effort. I just missed him when I arrived so got to spend some time with his lovely wife, "Saralee" while we waited for him to come back around. It was a beautiful night without a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather for a run.

Chase's other crew member, Duane, had headed out "just to the top of the hill" and ended up doing a full lap. Nice work off the couch, Duane! I took over pacing once they returned to base camp and we headed out across the dam for the first of two laps (for me).

The course is an out/back that starts on pavement by the main Res center, runs east past the boat dock, across the dam then back west across the spillway and up to the north-side trailhead where it turns around at the second aid station (adorned last night with many great jack-o-lanterns) and heads back. Pretty cool in that you get to see the front-runners hauling ass on what is really a very flat, fast course. Chase was spinning great splits during my stint as pacer and we alternated running/walking for 3.5 hours or so.

I hung up my shoes after 2 full laps (15+ miles), defrosted my thoroughly dysfunctional hands (why I didn't wear my gloves is beyond me) and headed home. Chase had completed 9 laps (64+ miles) when I left. He was gunning for a full 100 miles and was still on track at midnight. Hoping to hear more later today and I'll post information when I get it.

All in all, it was fun to get out for a nighttime run with a bunch of other lunatics. If you have never taken some part in a 24-hour, lap-style event, you should give it a whirl sometime: as spectator, crew, pacer, team member or solo runner. They are a lot more spectator-friendly than traditional ultra events for sure.


UPDATE: Just got word that Chase did 12 laps, 85.7 miles total. Hung it up at about 6:00 this morning after 21 hours. Had visible bruises on the soles of his feet - Yikes! Nice job, Chase. That is a proud effort, rolling all but about 22 miles of that solo.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Run, rest, repeat...

...and proud we are of all of them. ~ Maude Lebowski

Killer week on the trails. Missed out on a run on Saturday due to some water turning from liquid to solid in the old house pipes but managed to get that all fixed up in time to get in a great run on Sunday. Rach and I did get to go see Tosca which was simulcast from The Met. These events are just awesome. Definitely go see one if you can.

Sunday, I just spun around the neighborhood trails for two and a half hours. Snow flurries kept me company throughout and it turned out to be a great run. Finished it off with about 15 minutes of "barefoot" running in the Vibram FiveFingers KSOs and I must say, I really like these puppies. They do really poorly in the snow but otherwise are quite kickass.

Took Monday off then hit the Casa Trails again on Tuesday for a quick warm up then a series of 45 second to 1 minute surges. Really felt great. Working on a lot of new tricks after spending time with Janet Runyan and Matt Nasta last week. They are hosting a workshop on the 24th in Boulder. Anyone seeking to get some great gait analysis and mechanics assessment should definitely check it out. Worked on relaxing from my head down with particular focus on my feet, neck and arm swing. Feels great.

Wednesday, I hit the Betasso trails for some tempo work. My warm up was mellow but resulted in a PR for the loop then I kicked it into high gear for 40+ minutes. Betasso is a challenging loop somehow. Just steep enough to put the ouch on a person without a lot of flat terrain on which to coast. I felt a little hammered after the run and headed down to Boulder for the last night of jury selection for this year's Adventure Film Festival. Mark the calendar (November 12-14), it is going to be a good one.

Tonight's run can only be described as "effortless". Took the KSOs out again for the duration of the run and just did a fun little Popsicle loop out my back door. (Well, front door, we don't really have a back door at my house.) Just felt amazing. One has to be a bit careful with foot placement while running on trails with the FiveFingers but everything just feels right. Posture, stride length... everything seems really put together. One tends to run a lot "lighter" with these anti-shoes and I definitely could feel the difference. Part of the run was on fairly hardpacked dirt which definitely took a little getting used to and I don't think I will be replacing my regular shoes anytime soon but I do plan to make "barefooting" part of my regular regimen.

So all in all, I am feeling rather awesome when it comes to getting my run on. And just in time for winter! This weekend should be a blast as I am pacing an online friend at the 24-Hours of Boulder race. Only know him through his blog and a few emails/messages back and forth. Should be fun. If you have time, spin out to the Res on Saturday after 9:00 to cheer on all the ultra runners. I'll be there after dark if that works better for you.

I'll let you know how that goes.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Get your adventure on...

Give 'er. ~ Anon

I have been a member of the Adventure Film team since its inception and this year's festival is shaping up to be a great one. We have been screening films non-stop for months and are getting down to the final few weeks before the Festival which hits the screens of Boulder November 12-14. This year's crop of films will surely honor the legacy of our fallen leader, Jonny Copp.

So mark your calendars, save the date, follow Adventure Film Festival on Facebook or AdventureFilm on Twitter and come out to check out the awesome movies we have lined up.

Hope to see you there.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keep at it...

The longest journey begins with a single step. ~ Lao-tzu

Apparently, running marathons has somewhat transient benefits for most runners. It seems that in recent years, the marathon has become a mainstay on everyone's bucket list - well... life list, since running a marathon with any style whatsoever would not be feasible once one got to bucket-list time (for most people, at least). This Wall Street Journal article explains the phenomenon where people binge to get fit enough to run their event, then dump the regular workouts for less strenuous pastures.

Though marathon training or ultradistance running is not usually an exercise in moderation, one certainly can use an event such as a marathon to jump start a lifestyle change that can lead to improved health (both physical and mental) in the longer term. I know I rarely regret going out for a run, however brief. Give it a shot.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Good eats...

Mmmmmm... purple. ~ Homer Simpson

In addition to whacking down nuun by the truckload, I have been experimenting with some new food selections I picked up from Christopher McDougall's book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. In the book, he mentions iskiate and pinole on numerous occasions and hypes their collective awesomeness for endurance sports. Since no recipes were provided, I was left to my own devices to find information about how to prepare these tasty treats.

So I turned to my buddy, the internet, and found a couple of references to iskiate or chia fresca that turned out to be quite awesome. Here is one recipe:

  • Combine 8oz of water with the juice of 1 lime and a couple tablespoons of sugar (or your favorite sweetener)
  • Shake or stir until the sugar has dissolved
  • Add 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • Mix, drink, feel the pow-ah
The Terahumara use iskiate to fuel their day-long treks and I must say that it is not only delicious but does provide what appears to be a pretty slow burn fuel for longer jaunts as well as a tasty, post-run recovery drink. Chia seeds (yes, the same stuff used to make entertaining Chia Pets) are high in protein and anti-oxidants and can be purchased at many natural food stores or online.

Pinole proved to be even more elusive in both where to find the stuff and how to prepare it. In Born to Run, McDougall mentions the use of pinole as a pre-run favorite as well as being used mid-run to help refuel. Caballo Blanco (Micah True), a gringo who has lived among the Terahumara for many years, takes dried pinole with him on long runs. Pinole is made from dried maize which one grinds into a fine powder and toasts to produce a very complex carbohydrate that is perfect as an energy source for long efforts.

Discovering a recipe for pinole was even more difficult than iskiate so... I made one up using regular corn meal. Two actually. I toasted the meal until golden brown then added some sugar and cinnamon to one batch and added some salt to another to see if either of these did the trick. I even tried eating it a variety of ways: Dry (not so great), mixed with water as a thin sports drink (the corn meal I used was a little too coarse for this to work well), just dumping some in my mouth and washing it down with lots of water (again, not the best plan while on the move). I actually did recognize the benefits to eating pinole even though my delivery methods were less than ideal. The meal tends to swell up in one's stomach, producing a feeling of fullness and my energy levels seemed to stay higher with less spike-and-crash sensation one can experience with other, high-carb food sources.

Undaunted, I contacted the source, Caballo Blanco, for more information.

One of the many things I love about the ultrarunning community is its openness and willingness to provide assistance, guidance and support to others. Shortly after my first ultra race, the 2007 Leadville 100, I contacted the winner, Anton Krupicka for advice. I'd never met Anton (unless you count the brief encounter we shared on the flanks of Hope Pass - he was running back toward the finish, I was still on my way to the turn around), but he quickly responded with a reply (run till your feet bleed then run some more). Micah was no different. Shortly after sending him an email asking for advice about how to prepare Iskiate and pinole, Micah replied with several recommendations for each.

For iskiate, he recommends soaking the chia seeds in water, juice, sports drink... whatever you like until the seeds get plump with the soaked liquid. Then drink them down. I have found them to also be good just tossed in a salad, on oatmeal, etc.

To make real pinole, one starts from whole maize that has been toasted and ground to a fine powder. This can be made into a cream of wheat type meal or can be mixed in water like a sports drink for on-the-go nutrition/hydration.

So I am off to find some maize. Or it can be purchased here:, though Micah says the fresh stuff is way better.

And on that note, I am going to grab a snack.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Where'd I go...

Rach has a problem.

Son, you got a panty on your head.
~ Pickup Driver

Hmmm... apparently I haven't been so great about updating this puppy. Apologies.

I have been super busy with work. We landed some new clients - The Solar Foundation, Strategic Sustainability Consulting, Healthy Chocolate Shop - so getting those projects up and running has kept me busy. I have also been able to run quite a bit and very consistently. Really starting to feel fit again and (gasp!) healthy, even. Good times.

I jammed out to L.A. last weekend to visit the brothers Roach. No agenda, just mellow time at sea level kicking it. We ate some good food and went to a Chivas game and I got in a couple of runs that were damp but fun. It was super warm and humid, even on the West side, and I came back from my "long" run on Sunday completely soaked. It was a quick, fun jaunt out to the nuttiness that is the City of Angels.

Running is going really well. My abdominal pain continues to decrease and I am feeling stronger every week. Did a great run on Wednesday on Boulder's Mesa trail where I put the hurt on myself for a solid 35 minutes. Parts were way slow but I managed to finish strongly and had a blast. Looking forward to more excitement this weekend with a short run on Saturday and 2:15 on Sunday.

Rach also turned me onto a great book - Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. Great read and peppered with people and places with which I am familiar making it extra fun. If you are a runner, and particularly an ultra runner, you must check it out.


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