Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Starting to Take Form

January Riding at Pueblo Reservoir
Kevin, Sharon, Larry
Four weeks without running so far. I am going to make sure my heel heals completely. Maybe after a half century of stubbornness I’ve finally learned. One of my biggest downfalls and the downfalls of many endurance athletes is not having the patience to heal. My running career was ended for a dozen+ years or so when back in my early 30s I wouldn’t let an Achilles tendon injury heal. I struggled for two years always trying to come back too early. Finally, I got into cycling so I could stay in shape while waiting to heal. It wasn’t until I decided to try LeadMan about 15 years later that I started running again. So this time, I will be patient! Four weeks of stretching, icing, and massaging my foot with a tennis ball has help speed the healing process. I think I could start running now, but I’m going to wait another week and start back slowly.

Being able to ride my bike has helped immensely with the wait period. Actually it feels great riding while not being worn out from running. Without long and hard runs before rides my legs feel light and energetic instead of trashed. I’ve just been having a blast going out and tearing it up on the bike. Poor Max certainly misses the running though. He consistently got up with me in the morning with hope that got fainter and fainter that I would take him running. A couple times he’s laid on the floor whining for me to take him. I felt so terrible. So the cure for Max it turns out, is the same for me; take him mountain biking! He loves it! Problem solved for both of us.

Max has to get his running fix behind a Mountain Bike Now
With the injury I’ve been forced to change my plans. One of my goals for the year was to break 3 hours at the Ave of Giants Marathon. That is out the window. Even if I start running next week, I would risk injury again training at the intensity it would take to accomplish that time. So I will run it just for the joy and experience of running through the giant Redwoods! I am also going to shift my focus to bike racing this year, particuarly the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series. The Rocky Mountain Endurance Series includes the Breckenridge 100. This is definitely among the toughest 100 mile mountain bike races in the world. I raced it in 2010 and absolutely loved every mile of it. On the suffer scale you definitely get your money’s worth!

Finally I reached into my bucket list and pulled out the first thing that came out – Ride the Colorado Trail! Ouch! How did that get in there? Well that’s what came out so that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m still in the planning stages as this will be truly epic. Approximately 500 miles of extreme mountain biking at extreme altitude, 300+ miles of single track, and self-supported. This promises to be quite the adventure!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bringing in the New Year

Well it’s that time again, a new year. Time to reflect on the previous year and set goals and plans for the coming year.  Up until December, I really hadn’t come up with any concrete goals athletically, so I was just running and riding for the sheer love of it, and transportation.  During this time I got into the habit of using my bike for just about everything; commuting to work every day, running errands, and even most of my Christmas shopping. Without realizing it I found two huge benefits;
1) It helped keep me in bike shape
2) Other than a trip to Moab, I haven’t put gas in my truck since September and still have a quarter of a tank!

Toward the middle of December I decided to run the Avenue ofGiants Marathon in May. My goal was to go all out and train to run it in under 3 hours. Paid the $80 entry fee and started training. I figured endurance is not an issue, what I need is speed work and lots of it. I think my enthusiasm got the best of me though and I fell victim to what I preach not to do and that is, doing too much too soon.  So now I’m limping around with Plantar Fasciitis. Everyone I’ve talked to that has experienced this wonderful injury says I’m looking at 6 weeks to 6 months of no running. I’m doing everything I can to speed up the healing so we shall see. In the mean time I can still ride my bike!
2012 was good year in that it was the first full year since treatment and I’ve made full recovery. Some highlights include The Coastal Challenge, Ring the Peak (bike & run), The Silver King, Moab, multiple climbs of Pikes Peak, Collegiate Peaks 50, The week- long” gentlemen’s” ride, and Leadman. I may not have done as well as I would have liked in some of these events, but when I think about it, I have to be pretty satisfied to have participated in these adventures while still regaining my strength and confidence from the year before. I really feel thankful and blessed to be able to train for and participate in quests like these.
2012 Highlights

 Silver Rush 50 Mile Run

Silver Rush 50 Mile Run
Leadville Marathon
Ring the Peak (Run)
Ring the Peak (Bike)
Leadville Trail 100 Run
 Leadville Trail 100 Bike
Leadville Trail 100 Bike

Coastal Challenge (Day 2)

Coastal Challenge (Day 3)

Coastal Challenge Day 4

Coastal Challenge Day 6

So I’m really looking forward to 2013. There are a ton of challenges out there. As much as I’d like to run a sub 3 hour marathon at 55, I may just have to wait until I’m 56. If that’s turns out to be the case, I’ll just have to reach down in my bucket list and pull out another adventure!

Have an awesome 2013!