Sunday, December 9, 2012


I’ve been working, running, and riding a lot lately, and I love it. As much as I’d like to do Leadman again, it’s not going to happen. After 14 finishes of the 100 mile bike race, 3 finishes of the 100 mile run and dozens of Silver Rush and Leadville Marathons, Roswitha has had enough of Leadville and is begging me to do something else.  There isn’t really any event quite like the Leadman so I’ve come up with a bucket list of various events for 2013 but haven’t really committed to anything. So for the last couple of months I’ve been running and riding for the sheer love of it.
Over the week of Thanksgiving I took on the Carmichael Thanksgiving Challenge which is ride for at least 250 miles during the week. I made it a little bit more challenging by mixing the mileage with running. Also almost all my bike mileage was either single speed or mountain biking, so the miles came a bit slower. I ended up with 205 miles on the bike and 61 miles running. Being Thanksgiving and all I came to appreciate the fact that at 55 years old I CAN do this. I am so thankful to be able to do what I absolutely love day in and day out.

Best Running Buddy Ever! Max runs everywhere with me
As I thought more about this I realized that in many ways I am in better shape at 55 then when I was in high school. Sure I was much faster at the shorter distances, but I couldn’t of imagined running or riding the distances I do now. And so many of these runs and rides, especially with friends, make me feel like a high school kid again. There is always that sense of adventure on an epic mountain bike ride or run in the mountains, along with the fulfillment of pushing yourself to the limit.

Two years ago to the day I started a long six month interferon and ribavirin treatment that pretty much took me out of commission for almost a year. I tried to continue to ride and run during that time but often was reduced to barely crawling out of bed and shuffling around the block. After I completed the treatment it took months to get my red blood cell count back and slowly get back in shape. During this time I didn’t enjoy running or riding and wondered if I ever would again. I began to get an idea what running must be like for people who don’t exercise and could see why they may not like it. However after going through that, it showed me that no matter how old you are, or how out of shape you are, you can still get yourself in shape and feel like a kid again.  It doesn’t have to be running. It can be anything you love to do; walking, gardening, tennis, yoga, there are so many choices. It’s just a matter going out and doing it. It’s hard at first, but then it becomes one of the things you look forward to everyday. Do what you love and you’ll love what you do. The key is the word “ DO”.

 I saw a video the other day that really spoke to me. The video is from a series about an incredible young ultra-distance mountain runner Killian Jornet; one of the best if not the best mountain runner on the planet. In this video he visits Pablo Vigal a 60 year old runner living in Colorado. What really impressed me in this video is Pablo’s enthusiasm, passion, and love for running. Not to mention he’s hanging with a kid that could be his grandson and happens to be one of the best in the world. He exemplifies everything I feel about endurance, running and life.
So as we slip into the holiday period and we reflect on what we can be thankful for, I am so grateful that I can live my dream every day.  Well Max is giving me that look… Time to go for a run!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2013 Bucket List

Fresh Snow on the  Peak This Morning!
What a gorgeous fall season we’ve been having this year! The weather, although cool in the mornings, has been very mild by Colorado standards. This is the time of year when racing is pretty much done and one starts setting goals and dreaming about next year. I’m tossing a few ideas around but haven’t totally committed to anything yet, except crewing and pacing Sharon Larson in the Leadville 100 Trail Run. One thing I’m always torn on is weather to focus on biking or running. It is so hard to be on top of your game in both. It’s a fine line to balance and very hard to figure out. I certainly did not get it right this year. So I’m putting a bucket list together for 2013 and this is what I’ve come up with so far:
I’d like to run a Boston qualifier at the Avenue of Giants Marathon in May, so that gives me something to train hard for over the winter. It’s a road marathon vs. Trail marathon, something I haven’t done in a while. Always need a goal to shoot for; otherwise it’s tougher to get out on those cold icy dark mornings. I’d love to do Costa Rica’s CoastalChallenge again, but one only has so much vacation. No Leadman in the plans for 2013, but if anyone knows of a similar event, I’d love to hear about it. I’m also looking for a tough 100 mile mountain bike race other than Leadville. I love the Breckenridge 100, but it’s the same weekend as the Silver Rush.

Good to be running with CRUD Again
This week’s training: Took it kind of easy this week to recover from last week’s marathon. At the  same time I started bumping up the intensity to get ready for the Dirty Duo on Nov  3rd.

 Week training Log (select to enlarge)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Marathon Race Report

Team CRUD had a pretty good day at the Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday. Three entries, three podiums! Dan Vega won the overall men’s half marathon, Shannon Meredith won the overall women’s full marathon, and I rounded it out by winning the old farts category in the marathon. And for icing on the cake, Jeff Mulder, a good friend, running his first marathon, ran the perfect race by running the second half one minute faster than the first half. All in all, a fantastic day!

I decided to do the Xterra marathon about a month ago while out running the course with Jeff. Cheyenne Mountain State Park has beautiful trails with a nice flow of rolling hills that that were so fun I signed up as soon as I got home. This would be Jeff’s first marathon and he was running strong, and in training seemed to be doing everything right. With over 3,000 ft of climbing it’s a pretty tough marathon for a first timer.

So Jeff and I arrived at the start to a nice freezing drizzle with every indication that the weather was going to hang around for a while. No worries, just adds to the adventure. Besides I had bandages on my nipples!
Video of the start

After the first half mile or so I settled into what felt like a comfortable and semi fast pace. Shannon pulled up beside me and we ran together the entire first (of two) lap. The first hill seemed a lot longer than I remembered from the elevation profile, so I thought we must have already went over it and we were on the first of four big climbs. That was not the case; we descended a bit then started the first real climb in earnest; eight hundred feet in three miles. The descent never really felt like a descent because it was rolling with lots of short climbs on the way down. Shannon and I talked quite a bit during our time together and we were just cruising along. We ran a couple technical sections and I felt pretty good hopping through the rock gardens. Eventually we came upon the second big climb, about 500 feet in two miles. The descent again was rolling with a couple of semi technical sections which brought us near the start/finish area before heading off for another lap.

As we started the climb on the second lap Shannon must have got bored with me because she took off. Actually, it only appeared that way. Our splits show that I slowed down significantly, as my second lap was almost 15 minutes slower than the first. Shannon just maintained the same speed. At about 17 miles I was struggling a bit and just kept telling myself, only 9 miles, piece of cake. Then just 8 miles, stay loose, no worries, relax, keep going. At 22 miles the final big climb and I got a bit of a second wind. Although I wasn’t sprinting up the mountain, I did run it fairly strong. Coming down though, I was in survival mode and not anywhere near as dainty going through the technical sections as on the first lap. The entire last two miles I was looking back almost as much as I was looking forward. No one caught me so I was able to cruise to the finish in 9th place overall, and 1st in the 50+. Shannon placed 6th overall and 1st  woman. Jeff came in shortly after placing 11th overall, running a very very strong first marathon on a tough course in cold & wet conditions. A great  CRUD day indeed!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thoughts on the Run

I definitely have not been very consistent with this blog and I realized today I haven’t updated since Leadville. I think one of the reasons is I’ve just been spending too much time on Facebook. That is definitely coming to a halt. So with all the politics of late and with the presidential elections, I got to thinking on my run the other day about the state of our nation. I am not an evangelist by any means; be it politics, religion, exercise, environment, health, nutrition, etc. There are far more than enough evangelists in every one of these areas. I tend to think that living by example is the best way of making a statement and if anyone asks my opinion or advice I’ll give it. Preaching tends to turn people off.

Recently I was on a business trip in Midwest U.S. and there was a Wal-Mart with a Subway restaurant next to my hotel. I got in late so I went over to have a sandwich. Without exception every one of the kids behind the counter was overweight to obese. When I asked if they had the Veggie Patty the kid behind the counter looked at me like I was from another planet. Do they only have these in Colorado? So I ordered a Veggie Delight and sat down by the entrance watching people walk in and out. First, I can honestly say that in the 30 or so minutes I sat there, I saw an amazing amount of potential “People of Wal-Mart” photos. But the sad thing is that approximately 7 out of 10 the people were overweight, and of those seven at least three were obese! What has happened to us? Is this typical Americans? (This was heartland America). Or is this just the typical Wal-Mart crowd? Or did I just happen to be there at a bad time?


 This got me thinking about health and nutrition. Oh oh,  here comes the preaching... I truly believe that a plant based diet is the cure to this madness. In my personal experience, it is when I eliminated meat and dairy from my diet (went vegan) almost 20 years ago, that I made the jump from mid-pack expert/category 1 mountain biker to consistent top five and 1st place finishes. And I’ve been able to keep my weight consistent without even trying ever since. At 55 years old I still weigh the same as I did in High School. I hope I’m not coming off as arrogant or preachy, these were just some thoughts I had on a run recently. That 30 minutes in Wal-Mart was such a sad eye opening experience I thought I should share what I sincerely believe to be true. I recently read a very well researched (with links to real scientific studies) at Zen Habits, called A Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet . He says it a lot better than I  can.

So Saturday I’ll be running the Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Trail Marathon. A very tough hilly course. And to  add to the  adventure, its suppose to snow! Oh Yea!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Didn't Quite Make It

My Leadman quest this year came to a crashing halt about 30 miles from the finish of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile run.  After doing the Silver Rush Double, having a good Leadville Trail100 MTB race (good in that I gave it my  all, even though it was among my slowest), and winning my age group in the 10k, I came up short in the 100 mile run. The reason was quite simple; I went out too fast. For some reason I thought even though  I was not anywhere near 2009 fitness (all my races were much slower this year) I could take 2 hours off my  2009 time in the 100 mile run. My goal was to run it in about 22 hours.  So to make a long story short I went out at about a 22 hour pace, held it for about 40 miles, then got destroyed on the double crossing of Hope Pass. At 60 miles things were not looking good at all but I  decided that as long as I could keep moving forward I would. Poor Sharon Larson, my pacer for this segment had to  walk with me the next 10 miles (I couldn’t run) listening to me whine, until my legs began cramping up so bad I could not go on at about 70 miles.
Myself and Alex all smiles at the start
Jeff and me leaving Winfield for a 2nd Hope Pass Crossing (50 miles)

Am I disappointed? A little. The whole purpose of doing  Leadman again was to show there is life after the brutally nasty HEP C treatment, particularly the people in the Colorado Springs HEP C support group in which I am a participant. I think I proved that by completing the races that I did, especially the Silver King double. And I know, had I not made the mistake of going out  too fast I  would have finished the 100 run. I guess to put this in perspective, one can suffer and really tie up the last couple miles in a 10k run by going out too fast. Do this in a marathon and you hit a wall at about 19 miles that can destroy your whole race. Do it in a hundred miler and the effects are multiplied.

The result of starting too fast: Game Over at 70 miles!

So this year’s Leadman is history. Congratulations to all that toed that starting line. There were 99 entries this year and I believe about half made it. Some were very fast. After being away from the Leadville scene for three years it’s amazing to see how the whole series has evolved. It’s huge but somehow keeps the same original spirit that keeps us coming back. Good for Leadville – good for the race. I hope they can manage to keep it that way.
Finally I had an incredible crew during the run. Roswitha, as always running  the show  and doing an incredible job. She is truly a seasoned crew leader in every sense of the word. Jeff Mulder joined her this year as well as paced me over Hope Pass. Incredible guy to have crewing and pacing. As far as a pacer he’s the best anyone can ask for. He sticks to the plan ensuring you  get the right amount of calories as well as entertaining. He definitely helps keep your mind off the suffering. Alex O’Daniel, a 15 year old high school cross country runner who came out from Kent, OH to help crew and signed up to pace from Fish Hatch. Unfortunately I didn’t make it that far, but it was still an eye opening experience for him. And finally, Matt and Sharon Larson who came up to pace, after running the Pikes Peak ascent on the same day. Sharon walked with me ten miles through the night until I couldn’t go on. I know this had to be very painful for her, especially since she had to listen to me whine most of the way.
So all in all this quest was mostly a success. My main mission was to come back from HEP C treatment with a Leadman title. If not for a silly tactical error I would have made it. The important thing is I  can show people going through treatment today that there is life afterward... And, I’m already searching for the next big challenge!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Leadman Hath Beguneth!

Three down three to go. The Leadman hath beguneth.  I can’t say that I am totally happy with the results but I am totally happy that I am able to participate.
The Leadman 2012 began with the Leadville Marathon on June 30th. I decided to run in my NB 110s which is a totally minimalist shoe. I wore them during the Ring the Peak run covering a little over 50 miles. I was really beat up at the end, but thought since this was about half the distance I should be OK. Well they were great on the first half which is mostly climbing. I got to the top of Mosquito Pass in good shape, feeling great and on par with my top times on this course. The descent was a different story. Going down Mosquito Pass destroyed me. By the time I got to the bottom, I felt like I had a stress fracture on the top of my right foot, both shins were destroyed as well as my lower back. And to add insult to injury, I caught my toe on a rock and took a nice spill! As far as I was concerned, I was finished. I walked a good portion up the climb up Ball Mountain, and absolutely could not run downhill. At one point I sat on the side of the mountain and contemplated dropping out, which meant my Leadman was over.  I finally decided that  if I quit now I had no choice later, and if I finished, even if I walked in, I had the choice to continue or not continue the Leadman pursuit. I decided to finish, walking most of the way; my legs were just too beat up to run downhill. I finally hobbled through the finish line 1 hr and 6 min slower than in 2009. Ouch!
So onto the Sliver Rush 50. At the last minute I decided to do both the Leadville Rush 50 mile mountain bike race, then the Silver Rush 50 mile run the next day They both follow the exact same course. Believe it or not the key motivator was not for training purposes but because Steve Bremner said he “might” be impressed if I did. Pretty silly reason, but I’m glad I did it.
Gathering for the Start of the Silver Rush MTB (photographer unknown)
The Silver Rush 50 MTB has grown by leaps and bounds since 2009. There were close to 1000 on the start, making for quite a spectacle.  I got off to a good start so did not get caught up in the huge queue at the top of the running hill. I pretty much took my time on the climb, just staying within myself, as I have not done of race of this difficulty in almost two years. I felt pretty good but held back quite a bit for two reasons: 1) Two years of no real racing, and 2) I had to run the same course tomorrow.

The Silver Rush course is an incredible course that I will always love. It goes above 12,000 feet four times and is described as “Just like the 100 with all the easy parts taken out”. It seems while riding this course you are either going up or down with no in between. All at over 10,000 feet!  I pretty much stayed relaxed throughout the race, hanging around mid-pack, and striking up conversations with fellow riders. I decided after losing so much time in the marathon that I was just looking to complete Leadman rather than race it. One of the nice things about the Leadville races is they are all out and back courses so you can see the race up front when the leaders are coming back and encourage the riders that are still outbound when riding inbound.  The way back also has steeper (but shorter) climbs then outbound, so there is a lot of hike a bikes over the top of passes. The final climb is approximately 3 miles of dirt road in which I have never been passed. It was no different this year and I was able to continually reel in riders ahead of me all the way to the top.  Finally an incredibly fun 10 mile mostly downhill blast to the finish. I love this section and just love to let it rip here.  As much as I love it though, I did ride a bit conservatively, as I’ve cramped here in previous years pushing it all out down the mountain. Again I finished well behind the mark of previous years but again just happy to be here.
The 3 ultrateers - Dave, Larry, & Steve
So Sunday I woke up wondering what I got myself into. My friend and fellow Leadman competitor Dave Spivey was also doing both races, but he planned on dropping at 25 miles. I thought about that option, but I signed up to do this so I was going to see it through. Besides, Steve “might” be impressed. This was also a great test for my new shoes; Hoka Stinson Evos. Which I found to be incredible. More on those in another post.  The first 25 miles I ran very slow and contemplated dropping out all the way  to the ½ way (turnaround) point. Once I started the return trip I was finally committed,  quit feeling sorry for myself, and just ran.  Although I was extremely tired from the day before, I had a good solid second half. I felt like I ran the last 10 mile descent very well considering I’ve never been a very good downhill runner. Those Hokas are awesome! I finished in a very unimpressive time (over 10 hours) but I felt good and not beat up at all! As a matter in fact I had no problem jumping in my car and driving 2 ½ hours home right after the race. But apparently Steve was not impressed as he mentioned to me his girlfriend Rebekka had a faster time last year. Oh well it was a great workout!
Stopping for a pose
So the heart of the Leadman takes off this coming Saturday. The famous Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race, followed on Sunday by the Leadville 10K Trail Race, and then the big daddy of them all - The  Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run on Saturday. It’s gonna be a party!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Colorado On Fire!

Waldo Canyon Fire Courtesy of Kelly Mcgrew
It seems that all of Colorado is on fire right now. I believe ten wildfires at last count. We have a huge one just west of Colorado Springs burning up some of our favorite trails and stomping grounds. It is in its third day and has spread to over 3,500 acres. Temps have been in the high 90s and even reached 100 F on Sunday.  11,000 people were evacuated from their homes including the entire town of Manitou Springs. Over 450 firefighters along with 7 – 10 aircraft have been working in this heat around the clock. And miraculously no structures have been lost so far, even with the fire skirting dangerously close to a major subdivision.   Talk about ultra-endurance. These guys are heroes!

Of course with all this fire, Colorado Springs is covered in a haze of smoke making riding and running a questionable activity. Everything smells like a campfire and the mountains are hidden with a smoky haze.
Scene from I25  crossing Garden of  the Gods Road.

After deciding not to run on Sunday, I finally got restless Sunday evening and went for a run wearing a painter’s mask. I thought “The Leadman is an extreme event that requires extreme preparation” and ran for a little over an hour on a smoky 95 degree afternoon. Since all parks are closed I was force to run a good bit on the roads and with my mask, I definitely got some looks. This is a good week to take it easy though since the first event, The Leadville Marathon is this Saturday. Oh yea there is a fire just outside of Leadville too.
I stopped in my favorite running store the Colorado Running Company for some new shoes. John presented me with a pair of Hoka OneOnes. I said “That is a really ugly shoe.” His reply, “Have you looked in the mirror lately?” That made sense and I bought them… A perfect match!

I was pretty tired this week, stretching a normal three week period into four, so I am really ready for an easy week, which just happens to be the week before the first Leadman event, not to mention Colorado Springs is a hazy smoke pit right now. For those here in Colorado Springs, Care & Share is taking donations of energy bars, water and Gatorade for the fire fighters. Definitely worth doing!

This week's Training Log

Mon AM: Core Strength, crunches, reverse crunches, back bends, and trunk rotations
Tue AM: Ran hills in Ute  Park practicing running down rocky technical descents. Went in by  hotel then run up and down the three major  hills in the park. Felt good and ran the downs better than usual. 1.7 hrs, 10 miles
Tue PM: Pro Cycling ride. 30 min warm-up then up Gold Camp. Legs felt really tired but was able to keep  distance pace, kind of in a no mans land between the 1st and 2nd group. Flatted going  down Orion so rode the rest of the ride alone. Slowest time up Cheyenne Canyon yet 24+ min. Start a second climb but  legs were shot. Headed back to the shop. 2.1 hrs, 30 miles
Wed AM: Easy recovery run - Hanks loop. Legs felt very  tired. Then rode to work. Went as easy as possible but had a strong head wind, so had to push a little. Legs felt pretty shot. Run 0.5 hrs, 3.1 miles. Bike 0.7 hrs 8 miles
Thu AM: Tempo Run. Easy pace  to Woodman/Santa Fe Trail head then tempo from Trail Head to AFA South Gate: 1.6 miles in 12:22, easy past Ice Lake then tempo on AFA hill climb: 0.8 miles in 8:26. Ran relaxed but fast down hill then third tempo from AFA south gate to Woodman Trail head: 1.6 miles in 12:24.. Easy run back home. Ran with new HOKA shoes. Definitely heavier, but softer and will  take some getting use to. Legs felt pretty tired.1.5 hrs, 10.1 miles
Thu PM: Ride with Kevin around AFA counterclockwise from work. Legs were pretty tired and had a hard time keeping up on the climbs. Winds were pretty brutal coming out of the south. Once finished went back to work, grabbed my pack and rode home. Legs are really tired right now. 2hrs, 28 miles
Fri AM: Ride to work. Legs were pretty much dead, so just took it easy and rode as easy as possible. 0.7 hrs, 8 miles
Sat AM: Felt pretty good today. Decided to do some climbing but start tapering for the Leadville Marathon next week too, so only road for a little over 4 hours. Went up Flying W/Rossmere climb in about 8 min, then Gold Camp in 23 min, then 3 * Cheyenne Canyon in 25 min, 24 min, & 23 min. Actually felt better each climb! Rode home through downtown/Santa Fe bike path. Total climbin 5,920 ft. - 4.3 hrs, 54 miles
Sun AM: Ran late in the afternoon/early evening because of  Waldo Canyon Fire and 100 degree temp during the day. Air is very smoky so I wore a painting mask which definitely got some looks from people. Oh  well, Leadman is an extreme event so one sometimes has to do extreme things to train for it. Ran Hank's Open Space, did the hills and practiced running down them, then Santa Fe to Woodman then home. 1.2 hrs, 8 miles

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Racing in my Front Yard!

Raced the Ute Valley Pro XCT Mountain Bike Race Saturday and it was a certainly a shock to the system. I think it’s the first bike race under four hours I’ve done in years. Needless to say it was a sprint right out of the blocks and I was dangling toward the back with my lungs ripped out and legs screaming right from the beginning. The course being practically in my front yard; I know it like the back of my hand. I just haven’t rode at that intensity in years. I’m used to the long stuff! By the second lap I was finally able to adjust to the tempo and get into a rhythm, but the damage was done, I was definitely out of the hunt for top spot in the 50+ age group. I started catching people and focusing on staying relaxed while going fast, especially on the short power climbs. By the third lap I was feeling stronger and reeling in more when I flatted. I had no tools because I thought the race was so short that any mechanical would end the day. It was close to the end of the lap so I rode it flat to the ROTOR tent and re-inflated the tire. It seemed to be holding and off I went. I caught about four more riders in the first half of the fourth and final lap and then another flat. I had nothing to fix it (silly me I left my tools back at the ROTOR tent) so I rode the last half of the lap very slowly and carefully with a flat. Everyone I passed over the last two laps passed me back and I ended up dead last. It was still a lot of fun and just under 1 ½ hours of pure anaerobic hammering; a great workout and an intensity I rarely experience any more.  Just wish I hadn’t forgotten my heart rate monitor, I’d be interested to see how the ol ticker did. Great seeing all my old racing buddies again!
Steve heading up our Mountain

Come dad you're holding us up!
Throughout the day the dogs stopped to take in the view too
To completed the LeadMan sandwich, on Sunday Steve Bremner, Max & Chewy the dogs, and I took a nice 29+ mile jaunt on Pike’s Peak. We got a nice early start at 5:30 am and ran/hiked Barr Trail to the top. We took a different route down, starting with the cog railroad then to an old wagon trail that eventually led to a series of reservoirs.
Following an Old Wagon Trail
The reservoirs were a good thing as it was warming quite a bit the lower we went and the dogs definitely needed water at every opportunity. Both Steve and I eventually ran out of water having to drink from the creeks. At one point we made a right when we should have made a left and ended up in Albequrque. No wait that was bugs bunny.  We ended up at McNichols Reservoir behind Mt. Baldy. We were way off course and had to backtrack until we eventually found the trail leading back to Barr Trail. We came out at no name creek in sweltering heat and had another three miles to the bottom and the next source of water for the dogs. We kept a good pace and the poor dogs were dragging quite a bit. I was super worried for them as it was in the  vicinity of 95 degrees. We had not planned on being out this long but there was nothing we could do now but try  and get them to water as soon as possible. We eventually made it to the bottom where they both headed into the creek and practically laid down in the water. Just a quarter mile more and we were at Steve’s house and finished a truly epic run. Max was pretty shot the rest of the day but he's looking like he may be fully recovered now on Wednesday. As a matter in fact he was very disappointed when I didn’t take him running this morning. I think I’ll give him a couple more days.
Chewy & Max Cooling Off
This week's Training Log

Mon: Core Strength, crunches, reverse crunches, back bends, and trunk rotations
Tues AM: Worked on downhill running this morning. My greatest weakness. Went to Ute Park and ran tempo of various rocky hills then ran as fast as I could down them, focusing on looking ahead and relaxing. Did the NW Corner, the Ridge behind the school, and the no bikes section from the valley. Felt good the whole run. Definitely need to work on downhill trail running at least once a week. 9:37/mile pace. 1.3 hrs, 8 miles
Tues PM: Tues ProCycling shop ride. Felt extremely good today, very reminicent of my old self. 22:18 up Cheyenne Canyon which is about 1 1/2 min faster than last week and I didn't feel like I was pushing it that hard. Felt super strong op Gold Camp also but didn't clock it. HR going up Cheyenne Canyon 149/156. 10:17  up Orion with HR 141/153. HR for entire ride 119/157. 4441 ft of climbing. 2.2 hrs, 30 miles
Wed AM: Tempo Run with Max. Easy pace  to Woodman/Santa Fe Trail head then tempo from Trail Head to AFA South Gate: 1.6 miles in 12:19 @ 7:37/mile, easy past Ice Lake then tempo on AFA hill climb: 0.8 miles in 8:12 @ 9:55/mile. Ran relaxed but fast down hill then third tempo from AFA south gate to Woodman Trail head: 1.6 miles in 11:57 @ 7:24/mile. Easy run back home. Overall pace 8:35/mile Felt really good this morning, running with a big smile! 1.4 hrs, 10.1 miles
Wed PM: Easy ride home from work on mountain bike. Took Santa Fe Trail then an easy loop around Hank's Open Space. Felt pretty tired. HR 102/130. 0.8 hrs, 9.3 miles
Thur AM: Rode over to Ute Park and did a lap of the race course before riding to work. It's kind of flagged so I think I got it right. Felt good riding the course, but felt a little tired riding to work. HR 108/141 1.3 hrs, 14 miles
Thur PM: Worked on my bike to get it ready for race Saturday.
Fri AM: Very easy recovery run with Max - Hank's Loop. Felt kind of stiff and sore at the beginning but limbered up after a mile or so. 9:36/mile, 0.5 hrs, 3.1 miles.
Sat AM: Ute Valley Pro Tour MTB Race. Big shocker - very fast start and I was close to the back right from the start. Too bad I didn't have my HR monitor. Really suffered 1st lap (even though did a 6 mile warm-up including a lap of the course. Felt better on the 2nd lap and started catching people. Flatted on the third lap, stopped at the pit and filled the tire. Unfortunately it was a sidewall tear with a slow leak and went flat again about 1/2 through the 4th lap. Had no CO2 so had to ride last half of lap with a flat. Everyone I passed earlier passed me. Kelly got me right at the finish and I got dead last in the 50+.  1hr: 21 min time.  30 min warm-up, 3 mile cool down after. Total 2.3 hrs 26 miles
Sun AM: Run to top of Pikes Peak then down tracks to Windy Point. Cross Country to old toll road but made wrong turn and ended up at McRenolds Reservoir.  Back tracked and eventuall got back to Barr Trail near No Name Creek. Bar Trail down. 95% when finished, very rough on the dogs Max and Chewey.  8.9 Hours, 29.3 miles

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Weekend in Leadville

Travelled to Leadville with Steve Bremner this weekend for some high altitude biking and running. Steve is a Leadman contender so part of the reason we went was to show him sections of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike course, and get some good Leadman training. We spent about 7.5 hours on the course so Steve got a good taste of what he signed up for. We’ll go over the rest of the course the day after the Leadville Marathon in three weeks. I’ve mentioned Steve many times in the past as he is an incredible ultra-endurance athlete, a good friend, and has accomplished just about everything under the sun, except mountain biking. Quite a feat to take up mountain biking at 56 years old and signing up for Leadman! If anyone can do it, Steve can.  
Steve Heading Out of Leadville

Sugar Loafin Inbound

Back in Leadville after 7 1/2 Hours on the Trail

We stayed overnight with the intent to run from Twin Lakes over Hope Pass to Winfield and back. We started from a campground so we could cross the river over a bridge vs wading across it as the current was strong and high. The campground was a few miles up the road. We got a bit disoriented and ended up doing a 23 mile loop on sections of the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails instead. It was an incredibly enjoyable run on pristine single track, amazing scenery, and for us new trails! What impressed me the most is I never knew there was so much incredible single track in Leadville. I definitely have to come back here with gang on bikes. As an added bonus we came upon the ruins of InterLaken, a huge resort built in the 1800s and abandoned since World War I. Most of the resort is still in very good shape and the main house has been restored by the US Forest Service. Quite an unexpected treat!

Crossing the River via the Bridge

Pristine Single Track Continental Divide Trail

A Land Owner with a sense of Humer
Moutain bikers and hikers are allowed

Steve Refilling his water bottles

These two days combined with the ProCycling leg buster and lung blaster, tempo runs & rides during the week provided another incredible week for Leadman prep. Three weeks until the first event: The Leadville Marathon!

Training Log June 4 - 10, 2012

Mon: Core strength and rest. Still tired from Ring the Peak
Tue AM: Run with Max to AFA and 1 * up AFA Hill. Did three tempo runs, one north on Santa Fe Trail to south entrance of AFA 10:02 @ 7:36/mile. The second up AFA Hill 8:04 @ 9:59/mile, then from AFA south gate for 7:29 @ 7:47/mile. Overall run avg 8:55/mile. Felt really good considering the super long run on Sat. 1.5 hrs/10 Miles
Tue PM: Shop ride. Legs were tired but still was able to maintain a steady pace and keep the HR where I wanted. Was even able to accelerate a couple times when duking it out at the end of the Gold Camp  climb. Took it easy up Orion. 23:41 up Cheyenne Canon with HR 147/154. Overall HR 122/158 with the 158 reached on the Gold Camp Climb. Total climbing 4,507. Even though tired was able to push it and get my HR where it needed to be. 2.2 hrs/29 miles
Wed AM: Easy run with Max. Hank's open space loop. Walked the uphills. Just wanted to do an easy recovery run. 9:52/mile  0.7 hrs/4.1 miles
Wed PM: Very easy ride home. It was pretty windy so rode a lot in a very small gear just spinning and not fighting the wind. HR 96/117  0.6 hrs/7.6 miles
Thurs AM: Ride to work via MTB Ute Park then  Tempo from north of Costco to North Bridge (Gate) of AFA on Santa Fe Trail. Tempo was 39:45, 9.9 miles, HR 136/143. Overall HR 118/143  1.2 hrs/22 miles
Thurs PM - Ride Home very easy. Went South Gate of AFA then Santa Fe Trail to  Rockrimmon Trail. Went out for run when I got home but was very tired. Legs were dead. Went to Hank's and back. 9:37/mile  Bike 0.7 hrs/8.6 miles, Run 0.4 hrs/2.4 miles
Fri AM: Very easy ride to work. Felt really good and the ride seemed really easy. Went CostCo route 0.7 hrs/8 miles
Sat AM: Leadville training ride with Steve. Great ride and I got a lot of extra climbing in by going to the top of some of the climbs then going back down and riding the rest of the way with Steve. Rode from start to Pipeline and back. HR 120/154 and 8,604 ft of climbing. Mileage was a little high from going back and forth during the ride which is great for training. Climbing Bonus! Definitely need to  look an different tires for the race the current ones are very scetchy! Total  time was > 7.5 hrs actual rolling time 5.9 hrs/62 miles
Sun AM: Leadville training run with Steve. We decided to start from the NF campground rather than Twin Lakes so the bikes would be safe, with plan to run over Hope Pass to Winfield and back. Got a little turned around and ended up running portions of the Continental Divide Trail & Colorado Trail. Incredible trail and incredible run. Scenery was magnificant and we got a bonus of discovering Interlaken, a late 1800 resort that is now a ghost town in still excellent condition! 6,175 ft of climbing. 5 hrs/23 miles

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ring the Peak Run

Its pouring down rain mixed with hail, thunder & Lightening, we’re up above 10,000 feet and now someone is shooting at us. CRUD’s annual Ring the Peak Run was all about adjustments this year and adjust we did! For me it started out with a flat tire on the way to the start. So once the tire was fixed, I  headed to the first aid station at 20 miles (womaned by Jill Hessek and Roswitha) and ran the course in reverse until I joined up with the rest of the starters coming the opposite way. There were approximately 15 starters with seven actually completing the entire 66 mile loop. Because of missing the start I completed 51 miles.
Meeting the leaders heading for the Crags
Jill & Roswitha's "Aid" Station

From the first aid station at the Crags we headed up the trail to Pancake Rocks. I’d never been there before and the rocks really do look like giant pancakes! From there we headed down to the road where we met up with our next aid station hostess, Crissy and her kids, and stocked up on food and water.
The Gang of Eight at Pancake Rocks

Once we left Crissy, our first major adjustment was made after an irate KOA campground owner went ballistic when we were cutting through the campground. I didn’t quite understand it because he was the nicest guy in the world last week when we pulled up on mountain bikes. He opened up the store, let us use the bathrooms and was just out right friendly. Today he was screaming, threatening, cussing, and just crazy with rage! We adjusted and went around.
We continued down the road and eventually to trails that led us to Bison Reservoir. The trail from Bison led to private property that we had to cross to get back to the National Forest and the rumor was the owner was adamantly against anyone traversing “his” land. We were attempting to go around the backside of his property when he saw us and tried to hunt us down in a pick-up truck. We had to adjust and scramble over a ridge and try to go around the front side of the property. We came down the ridge and started climbing another at about the same time a thunderstorm complete with hail broke out. So now we are trying to be elite stealth commandos in bright colored rain jackets! As we were climbing the next ridge we heard three shots. This took our minds off the rain, hail, lightening, and miles in our legs. Making our way over the ridge we came to an opening with about 100 meters of open space, through a field, uphill, that we had to cross to get to National Forest property. All eight of us lined up and made a dash for it. If you ever wanted to see the slowest 100 meter dash in history, that was it. Being above 10,000 feet, with over 40 miles in the legs, running uphill, it was not pretty, but we made it.

For the rest of the run it was your typical mountain running. Steep rocky climbs, the jeep road from Hell as Steve calls it, long rocky descents and just running along in paradise. Eventually we arrived at Frosty’s Park, ran the Pipeline Trail to Jones, then Bear Creek to High Drive where we met Gina Harcrow with her kids for our third aid station. We had stayed together up to this point and kept it together up Palmer Trail to the top of Section 16. At this point darkness was approaching and we were like horses heading for barn. The descent down Section 16 split us up and we all finished within a span of 16 – 17 hours, with Harsha and me finish right at dark.

Incredible run, incredible adventure!

For a bonus Steve Bremner took some video  footage and posted at this link:

Training Log May 28 - June 2 2012 Bike Bike Run Run
  HRS Miles HRS Miles
Monday 2 sets Core 20/reps upper and lower body 12 - 20 reps 2 sets        
Tuesday Ran with Sunrise Striders this  morning in Garden of the Gods. Absolutely great workout. Start at Kissing Camels parking lot, run the trails to Rampart Range Road then did 8 min tempo up, 4 min recovery  down, 8 min tempo up, 2 min recovery up, 8 min tempo down, then easy run back to the parking lot. I was very surprised to be in the top ten of the tempo runs. Felt really good and stayed relaxed on the runs. Tempo - .99 miles 8:07 pace, .96 miles 8:36 pace, 1.4 miles 6:09 pace. 8:44 overall pace with 1,617 ft of climbing.      1.2 8.3
  ProCycling Shop Ride. Felt pretty good considering this past weekend and this morning's workout. Went with the second group and was in the top 3 of each climb (Gold Camp, Cheyenne Canyon, Orion). Tied for first on Gold Camp. Tried to keep HR  below 155. HR 123/158, 4071 ft of climbing. 2.1 29    
Wednesday Easy recover run with Max. Hank's Loop. Felt pretty good. 9:37 pace.     0.5 3.2
  Easy ride home from work. Rode with Steve to Manitou then rode home. Tried to keep hills to a minimum and just ride as easy as possible. HR 104/137 2.1 26    
Thursday Ride to work with Tempo. Rode MTB to work today and did tempo from Critirium Bike Shop to Oracle turn off. Temp stats: 31:37, 7.3 miles, HR 134/142. Felt a little tired but was able to get my HR where it needed to be without too much effort. I could feel fatigue in my legs on each of the hills. Over all ride HR 119/142 1.1 13.5    
Friday Easy run with Max, Hanks Loop. Felt a bit tired this morning. 9:38 Pace.     0.5 3.2
Saturday Ring the Peak. Missed the start due to flat tire, but went to the Crags and ran in reverse until I met the leaders and ended up with 51 miles. Incredible run and adventure. Pretty beat up at the end though. Was in a lot of pain, but felt fairly good on Sunday.     13 51
Sunday Recovered from RTP run yesterday        
    5.3 68.5 15.2 65.7
        20.5 134.2