Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Thursday, December 31, 2009

3288 for 2009

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
mid 40s, clear, still snow
mind/body - a little sluggish
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort

Actual: 10 myles - 1.10:18 - avg. 7:02 - much easier than yesterday

I end the year with 3,288 myles. What does it mean? Nothing really. Other than the fact that it's the most myles I've run in a calendar year. Oh, and it's also farther than driving from San Francisco to Boston (3179)... For the decade I've run 16,599 myles - not bad considering that's only going back to 2003 when I starting keeping a log book.

On another note, I can't wait for tomorrow cause I am gonna put the hurt on some French fries and chips and salsa - all in one sitting. My New Year's resolution for 2009 was to avoid all fried food because I had an affinity to chips/salsa and fries, especially after races. Well I succeeded, save it that ONE Sun Chip I ate back in January.... Did you know Sun Chips are fried? They sound healthy but actually they get their name because the sun is used through solar panels to heat the oil to fry the chips - very clever marketing. Through the year it has been more of a challenge staying away from tortilla chips than anything else. Hmm imagine that.... me being Mexican. I got around it by having the waitress bring me fresh tortillas to scoop up the salsa - worked like a charm. 2010's New Year's resolution will be a bit more of a challenge but I'm not gonna tell you yet cause you'll think I'm crazy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

13 myles

South Platte Pkwy - 11:30 A.M.
30s, overcast, partially icy path
mind/body - feeling strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 30 minutes mp (6:15); 5 minute jog; 30 minutes LT (5:50); 5 minute jog; 1 mile VO2 (5:15)

Actual: 30:40 - 5 myles - 6:08; 8 minute jog; 29:50 - 5 myles - 5:58; 8 minute jog; 1 mile - 5:35

This is probably the best (albeit the toughest) workout I've done to give me some sense of pace.

The path was relatively clear with ice in some stops that didn't slow me down too much except going through the round-abouts. The first 30 minutes I decided to go at a pace that felt comfortable and see what I landed on for an average - came up with 6:08 and I feel very confident with that number. I don't know what will happen late in the race but that's what I'm gonna shoot for.

The second 30 minutes was much, much tougher. It's amazing what 10 seconds per mile will do to you. For the first 3 myles I knew I was pushing it faster but felt like I could hold on.... not so. Last two myles was like pushing molasses through a cheese cloth - sa-low. And it hurt. Even though my last mile was 5:54 I really pushed over the top to get that.

And then came the VO2 mile... Mama Mia! Dead legs, burning lungs, and a feeling I haven't had since High School - the urge to throw up! (on the short stuff) 5:35 is all I could muster but I'm OK with that because I gave it everything I had.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12 myles - 1.24:38

Daniels Park - Noon
mid 40s, cloudy, melting snow
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort
Actual: 12 myles - 1.24:38 - avg. 7:03 - nice and easy

Just my standard easy day to break up the hard days. I contemplated doing my tempo workout today because it was nice weather but glad I didn't. I didn't feel the best today, must have been Qdoba from yesterday... At any rate the body is healthy with no minor aches and 3 weeks to go till the marathon. I just looked at the results from last year and it appears I'm gonna have a tough time cracking the top 30 overall - gotta hit 2.39 (based on last year's results). Some fast people out there!

I need a trail, some rocks, and a hill to even the score with these fast people!

Bra-Bra put his helmet on so Myles wanted his on

Monday, December 28, 2009

10 myles

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
40s, starting to see a little pavement, clear
mind/body - eager/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy with 10 x 1 minute on a 10% grade

Actual: 55:35 easy to and from hill; 10 x 1 minute (58:00-1.00:45) on an 8% grade; last mile 5:07:55

This nasty little hill has a source of pain for me for the last 4 years now - today it was no different. Last year was the first time I have ever gone under a minute and today I put them all under a minute. It's 0.18 of a mile (according to Google maps) and has a calculated grade of 8%. The road was pretty clear so I finally got the traction I wanted last week. This was more of a strength workout at VO2 max so I still didn't know how fast (or not) I was going.... soooo I decided to see how fast I could do the final mile of my cool down.

Lungs and legs were primed while the flat road was pretty clear. I had no idea how fast I was going so I just pushed whatever I had left in the ol legs. Legs started to get weak at the 3/4 mark, lungs felt great. 5:07:55 was the final number. And just to be sure I went back with the car to measure it, exactly a mile. My VO2 max mile mark is set at 5:15, based on my LT and mp so I was pretty close. This VO2 max mile was supposed to be part of another workout later in the week but I had to give myself confidence early for the week and will probably do it again for the other workout.

You know what's amazing?? Doing a 5:07 26 times in a row! That's a 2.14 marathon - simply amazing! And 2.14 is only a 'decent' marathon compared to the world's best. Man! Much respect. Give me a hill already...

Myles just before Christmas - the smile says it all!

2010 race schedule

Landing on a race a month has been my strategy in years past, starting in January and ending in September, this year has been a bit tricky. Family, job, and money have got me to stay closer to home in 2010 (save it a couple races). So without further adeux here it is:

As much as I've planned and talked it over with the board this is still 'tentative'. I would really like for the family to join me in New York and see the sights, just don't know if it's possible yet.

As far as goals are concerned; I'd like to set a PR in the marathon and 50K distance, get a faster time at Hard Rock (if I get in), and get a top 5 at Where's Waldo. Sure I have a goal for every race but those are the big ones for me.

Hope to see you somewhere on the 'trail' in 2010

Saturday, December 26, 2009

20 myles - 2.32:56

High Line Canal/Chatfield - 11:00 A.M.
20s, clear, 4 more inches of fresh pow-pow
mind/body - good/feeling fast
Hard Effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy pace (7:05) followed by 1.20 at marathon pace (mp) (6:15)

Actual: 9 myles - 1.18 easy pace (8:40) followed by 9 myles - 57:36 mp (6:24) followed by 15 minutes cool down

Defeated by the snow - again.

I started out at Chatfield going North on the High Line canal to C470, much more snow than a couple days ago - probably 4 more inches on top of the 3 before. Although there were tracks this time - I would much rather no tracks because at least it's smooth with less slipping. Because of the snow I had a very slow pace. I was hoping the loop around Chatfield would be somewhat free of snow... not so.

I had planned on doing 13 myles at mp around Chatfield, just extending my 9 mile loop by doing a two mile double back - didn't quite work out that way. The dam had the most snow on it with snow drifts everywhere - my first two mile split was 14:08 - damn! The faster I tried to go the more I was spinning the wheels. Worked over I got to the road, which was snow packed/icy. I felt fast but I wasn't fast - does that count? There was a four mile stretch that had some asphalt showing in which I clocked a 25:02/6:15 pace and felt good. But that was it. By the time I got around to mile 9 on the loop, the snow got deep again. I finished on a 15 minute cool down doing 10 second leg pick-ups just to round out the 20 myles.

This week I was 'supposed' to dial in the mp but I think I'm further away from knowing than when the week started. Conditions were less than ideal but my perceived effort has gotta be worth something - doesn't it? If anything the run today showed me I can run a 6:15 pace feeling good 2 hours into a run.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 myles - 1.13:29

Daniels Park - noon
17 degrees, snow packed roads, clear
mind/body - not really wanting to run
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy as recovery

Actual: 10 myles - 1.13:29 - avg. 7:20 - easy

Just puttin' in the myles today - didn't have the urge or desire to be out there. I've got a tough workout coming up over the weekend so for the sake of taking a day off tomorrow I 'had' to be out there today.

On another note, ultras are all about ugly feet as shown in Andy's blog. That prompted me to show you my worst feet. This picture was taken after Hard Rock 2007 - a very wet year. Whose feet look worse mine or Andy's?

This is what happens if you soak your feet for 32 hours
(yes that is actually dirt under my skin)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

11 myles

South Platte Parkway - 11:00 A.M.
20s, snowing, 3-4 inches of fresh pow-pow
mind/body - good/feeling fast
Hard effort

Prescribed: 15 minute warm up/cool down - 6 x 1 mile cruise intervals @ 5:45 pace, 1 minute jog

Actual: 30 minute warm up/cool down - 4 x 1 mile (6:02, 5:56, 5:58, 5:59), 1 minute walk

Snow affects speed work - no question.

I parked my car in the usual spot just off of Broadway and C-470 and 'jogged' down to the South Platte Parkway. I was hoping for the path to be plowed - yeah right! Not only was it not plowed but no tracks, so it was 3-4 inches of fresh that was cold and slick underneath. I gave it my best effort to do these 'cruise' intervals but I got worked over in the process. The effort I was putting in was way over the top just to crack 6. If I had to guess I would say my perceived effort was 5:35 - just a guess though. I stopped at 4 intervals because I couldn't do anymore. Defeated I 'jogged' back up to my car for a total of 11 myles. I'll be back South Platte parkway!

Mexican word of the day: JUDO "I yonly ben here wan tine - judo know me"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12 myles - 1.25:19

Daniels Park - noon
40s, cloudy, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy recovery

Actual: 12 myles - 1.25:19 - avg. 7:06 - nice and easy

Just the routine easy run today. Nothing out of the ordinary. Trying to get into the Christmas spirit while on my run today but it just isn't there. We have the rest of the year off with my company but it really isn't 'time off' with the laundry list of things to do. We are launching a new product the first part of January so as you can imagine that if time was really 'taken off' all the i's and t's would have missing parts. So bringing it back to the Christmas spirit - stress of the impending launch is preventing me from dipping into the joyous season. Sorry family.

On the bright side of things we watched a couple movies on our theater system last night. Really cool with a Samsung LED TV, Samsung Bluray player, and Tannoy speakers for the surround sound. Your all invited anytime to see the man cave.

Mexican word of the day: CHICKEN WING. My wife goes to Las Begas to play bingo so Chicken wing

Monday, December 21, 2009

10 myles - 1.07:02

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
50s, overcast, dry
mind/body - good/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 1.15 alternating easy pace (7:10) and marathon pace (6:15)

Actual: 10 myles - 1.07:02. Avg. easy pace - 7:20. Avg. marathon pace - 6:02.

This week is all about dialing the marathon pace (mp). And today I was all over the board but only because I chose to run on my home course that has a bunch of rolling hills. When you're trying dial in a pace, hills don't help. So I resorted to perceived effort which I've had success with before. My mp looked like this: 6:00, 6:13, 5:57, 5:58, 6:05. The first two splits were up hill so it was really hard to predict, the next two were downhill and seemed easy. Finally on the last one (relatively flat) I scaled the effort back a tidge, feeling really comfortable, and nailed what I 'think' my mp will be. By the end of the week I will know for sure.

Mexican word of the day: JULY. "Ju tol me ju were goin to tha store but ju went to see Jose. JULY to me! Julyer!"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

25 myles - 2.58:36

Highline canal - 11:00 A.M.
40s, North wind, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 3 - 3.15 easy pace/steady effort on flat pavement

Actual: 25 myles - 2.58:36 - avg. 7:08 - easy/steady pace on dirt and pavement

I haven't done one of these long, flat runs in over a year and I can honestly say I don't miss it. Sometimes these long, flat runs are tougher than going on a 5 hour run in the mountains. Physiologically I was fine but felt like I was crawling the last 4 myles when in reality I had a negative split coming back: out 1.30:23 and came back in 1.28:13. I don't think I've been on a run of 20+ myles when I didn't get achy muscles and today was no different. But now I also know that those aches work themselves out after a couple more hours.

Good solid week with 65 quality myles. Over the next 3 weeks I'll work on really dialing in my expected marathon pace. I honestly feel it's somewhere between 6:10 and 6:15 right now. btw 6:07 pace would put me in the 2.30 range...

Mexican word of the day: WHEELCHAIR. E.g. "We only have one enchilada left, is OK because wheelchair"

Friday, December 18, 2009

9 myles - 54:13

Chatfield loop - 3:00 P.M.
40s, clear, no wind
mind/body - hesitant/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes marathon pace (6:15) on flat pavement

Actual: 9 myles - 54:13 - avg. 6:01 - mostly flat on pavement

First mile was 5:37... "wait a minute, this isn't a 800 meter repeat - slow down!" So I did and settled in. But even after I settled in I was still hovering around 6 pace - breathing was relaxed and legs felt great. The question is, can I keep it up for 17 more myles?? I'm a little nervous to put up this kind of time because then my expectations change. I'm still gonna shoot for something in the 2.40 range but if I'm clicking off just above 6 pace for 20 myles in the race then I'll shoot for two thirty something.

I feel good about this workout but realize I still have a lot of work to do - speed work that is. The comforting thing is that I'm light years ahead in my training now as opposed to when I set my PR of 2.50 back in 2003.

On a side note: when I put "hesitant" as my state of mind at the top. I think what I really mean is "fearful". I'm either fearful to know how slow I've gotten or fearful of the pain I'm about to inflict upon myself - either way "hesitant" is always associated with speed work.

Almost forgot Mexican word of the day: MUSHROOM. Example: When all my family get in the car there's not mushroom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

14 myles - 1.40:03

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
mild - mid 50s, no wind
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.45 - 2.00 hours, flat and easy

Actual: 14 myles - 1.40:03 - avg. 7:08 - some hills

It's finally nice enough to go for a run without a beanie and tights. High pressure sitting over Colorado will give us a few more days of mild weather so I better hit it before the snow. I felt pretty good today with no aches or pains (which I always fear after speed work). I'll take a day off tomorrow so that I can do more speed stuff on Friday and a longer run on Saturday.

On another note, my basement (or man cave) is nearly complete with the media package coming yesterday. TV is real nice - Samsung LED. I'll test it out on Sunday watching my Cowboys beat up on the unbeaten Saints - No more Mr. Niceguy in December!

Last, I want to teach you all Spanish. Since there are 14 days left in the year I will give you 14 days of Mexican Christmas. Think of it as my gift to you. Today's word is: CHEESE. An example using the word: Maria likes me, but cheese ugly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

9 myles

H.S. track - noon
50s, clear, North wind
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Prescribed: Yasso 800s - 10 x 800 in 2:40-45

Actual: 2 mile warm up, 10 x 800 (2:38, 2:38, 2:38, 2:38, 2:39, 2:36, 2:38, 2:37, 2:39, 2:39), 2 mile cool down

Now that's what I call consistency! I let the first one be my guide for the whole set, whatever I came up with I would try and hit for the remaining 9. This was not an over-the-top, lactate spilling effort either. I was very comfortable -tired- but comfortable the whole time. 9 and 10 were a little more difficult as I started to feel the fatigue and dead legs. As strange as it may seem, this workout is supposed to be predictive of a marathon time. Strange but I think it's been confirmed - we'll see. My goal for the marathon is 2.44

On a more important note, today is Myles 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday little man!

Wearing the Pink Floyd and already trying to ride the tricycle

Monday, December 14, 2009

8 myles - 55:43

Grigs - 3:00 P.M.
mid 40s, clear, calm
mind/body - hesitant/sore throat
easy effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes easy with strides at the end

Actual: 8 myles - 55:43 - avg. 6:57 - 6 x 100 m strides

I was really surprised at how easy this pace was. Even with the little bit of elevation I was hardly breathing - good sign. I have plenty of speed work ahead of me this week so today was a much needed "easy" day.

On another note, check out this link - Pretty cool -huh-! That picture was taken two years ago in Steamboat during the Mountain RATS stage race. I normally don't like to pimp myself but it's such a rarity that I get air time - just had to let you know.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

16 myles - 1.58:51

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
20s, strong North wind, cloudy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 2 hours easy/flat with last mile at marathon pace

Actual: 16 myles - 1.58:51 - avg. 7:25 - last mile 5:55 (oops) - 800 ft. of climbing

Strong North wind going out so it was slow and go. On the way back it was smooth sailing with the wind. My last mile was a little fast but I couldn't gauge very good with the swirling winds, at times it felt hard and at times I was comfortable. My targeted marathon pace is supposed to be 6:15 as that would put me in the 2.40 range.

Good solid week. I got the most important workouts in but only ran 4 days. Hopefully next week will be back to normal with no travel plans.

Friday, December 11, 2009

18 myles - 1.59:34

Kaysville - 11 A.M.
15 degrees, clear, some snow on the road
mind/body - hesitant/strong
hard effort

Prescribed: 20 mins 5:50 pace, 1.20 easy pace, 20 mins 5:50 pace

Actual: 18 myles - 1.59:34 - avg. 6:38. 20:01 - 3.4 myles - 5:53 avg; 1.19:12 easy pace; 20:21 - 3.4 myles - 5:59 avg.

Tough workout! It was cold to start and the lungs didn't seem to be working in the first 20 minutes as I struggled to keep it under 6 pace: 5:57, 5:58, 5:50. Most of this was flat so it was a little concerning to me but I attribute it to the cold. During the middle 1.20 I felt real easy keeping it just above 7 pace but really dreaded the final 20 minutes. I took a Power Gel about 10 minutes before starting the final 20. To my surprise the lungs felt great and even felt I could have picked up the pace, ended up with: 5:56, 6:05 (?), 5:54. I wanted my last mile to be my fastest but I certainly was feeling it being mile # 18. In the end I'm happy with the result.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 myles - 1.05:58

Treadmill - 8 A.M.
-10 degrees outside - nuff said
mind/body - dreading it/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes on the TM - 7:10 pace with 1% increase in incline per quarter till you can't go anymore - 800 recovery flat

Actual: 1.05:58 - 9 myles - 7:13 pace (8.3MPH). 4 sets: 1% to 6% incline per quarter, 800 flat.

Treadmill and speed work should never go together but today it was inevitable with the cold outside. Anyone who went outside today either died or was happy with about a mile run - 10 below this morning.

I made it up to 6% incline at which point I couldn't go anymore. I found myself starring at the light switch on the wall to focus and asking it to take me to a happy place... man I hate the treadmill - it's making me go crazy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

11 myles - 1.56:12

Coyote Ridge - noon
Effing cold!
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 - 1:30 easy effort

Actual: 11 myles - 1.56:12 - avg. 10:33. 1 minute 5K, 4 minute easy for 50 minutes

Cold is about 4 degrees above zero. Effing cold is minus 10 with the wind chill! I really took the "pretty boy/roadie" comment to heart so I bucked up and went out on the trail for my normal 11 mile loop that normally takes about an hour and 15 minutes. With the cold, blowing snow, and 6 inches+ of snow on the ground we were slowed down big time (we meaning Aric Manning and myself). Aric is out in Colorado meeting with Pearl Izumi over the next couple of days to go over the 2010 team so I took my turn to entertain him today on local trails. Entertain or torture?? I don't know what the appropriate term would be. At any rate, we cut through the snow and wind to come back cold and frosty. The little speed work we did was more to break the rhythm of the slow leg turn over trudging through the crusty snow. In the end, good times all around but glad that one is over. Reminded me of Turquoise Lake 20 mile snowshoe race in Leadville.

Now that's frosty!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

14 myles - 1.46:56

Daniels Park - 1:00 P.M.
12 degrees, snowing, South wind
mind/body - not soft
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.45 medium long run, easy effort

Actual: 14 myles - 1.46:56 - avg 7:38 - easy effort

Pretty boy (that's me apparently) snapped out of the soft mode today. And actually I enjoyed this run far more than any ol' run on the TM. With this run I feel like I salvaged the week and will get back on track next week. I'll be traveling next week, going back to Utah so I will at least know where I can run. 6 more weeks until the Arizona RnR marathon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

11 myles - 1.18:35

Treadmill - 4:00 P.M.
20s outside, a little snow
mind/body - eager
Hard effort

Prescribed: Rock Canyon 1/2 marathon or 20 minute @ 5:50 pace, 1.20 slow, 20 minute @ 5:50 pace

Actual: Kenyan cut-down starting at 7MPH, increasing 0.1MPH every 400 m, up thru 10 MPH in 53:34. Remaining time @ 8.7MPH - 11 myles - avg. 7:08

Big difference between what I was supposed to do and what I actually did but at the end of the day I ended up getting some speed work in. This is 3rd time I've done this workout and only the 1st time I've been able to finish it w/o stepping off. It is a tough workout, especially since I hate the TM so much. I really had to concentrate and focus on finishing this workout. Maybe that's going to make a difference as far as mental toughness when it comes time to push through the last 3 myles of the marathon in 6:10 or so. I'm gonna try to get out tomorrow for an hour and 45 but the cold weather is settling in again.... man I'm getting soft in my old age.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

10 myles - 1.13:49

Treadmill - 4:30 P.M.
5 degrees outside - nuff said.
mind/body - not liking the TM
easy effort

Prescribed - 1.15 easy effort

Actual - 1.13:49 - avg. 7:22 - easy effort

I had not run in two days and seemed to be fighting a cold so I did not feel up to doing anything. Finally dragged myself out to the TM and actually felt OK by the time I got into it. Hamstring is a little sore from Monday but nothing to be concerned with (at least I hope not). I may be forced to hop back on the TM today as the weather is still chilly - dreading it already!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8 myles

Jeffco Stadium - 10 A.M.
mid 50s, sunny, clear track
mind/body - reluctant/solid
Hard effort

Prescribed: 15 minute warm up, 8 x 1K in 3:15, 15 minute cool down

Actual: 15:05 warm up, 6 x 1K (3:19, 3:16, 3:15, 3:18, 3:18, 3:20), 20:20 cool down

I knew when I hit 3:20 with a much harder push on the 6th one, I was cooked. I didn't want to over-do it just to get 8 reps in. I'm happy with the result and feel like some speed is coming back.

As you can tell from the "prescribed", Paul Dewitt is coaching me again. I have registered for the Arizona Rock and Roll marathon on January 17th and I needed an extra kick of motivation to get the speed work in. If all goes well (with the speedwork) I will get my marathon PR out of the way early for 2010. Currently my PR is 2.50 but I think I can lower it by 7 minutes with the right training. We'll see how it goes and if I stay healthy.

Right after this run on Monday, I went into a solid two day meeting so I haven't run since. I hope to get out the next two days for a couple hour runs and then on Saturday run a 1/2 marathon race in Pueblo to finish the week off.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

8 myles - 54:54

Daniels Park - 10:00 A.M.
50s, overcast, a little wind
mind/body - good
easy effort

6th day running this week but only got in 54 myles. I did 6x1o second pick ups to full speed dispersed through this run. I read in Running Times last year that this helps with the neurological message from the muscles to the brain for speed. 6:52 casual pace today.

It's been a nice gradual increase over the last month and now it's time to crank it up a little. Crank it up as far as intensity but not too much distance. Over the last year I have been pretty comfortable with an average of 65-70 myles/week, with a spike of 80 here and there - seems to work for me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

15 myles - 1.51:58

HR urban trails - 11:00 A.M.
mid 60s, sun shining, muddy
mind/body - good/Tryptophan philled
easy effort

I cracked the 3,000 mile mark for the year on this run. 3,003 myles to be exact. Farthest I've ever run in one year, thanks in part to the Colorado Trail.... does that count?? I mean, I was walking most of the time and when I was running it was a fast walk at best. I'm gonna count it because I count the myles in a hundred when I walk, right?

Nice little post-turkey run. Trails are still a little muddy on the North facing slopes but manageable nonetheless. I averaged a 7:27 pace today and felt great. I almost went out last night at 9 P.M. because I was feeling really bad of how much food I piled into the pie hole. My favorite this time of year is a good pumpkin pie and we had a good one this year. We didn't bake a thing this year (again) and elected to buy all our stuff from Tony's - It's just such a shame to cook for two days and have it done in 15 minutes. I enjoy the day better when someone else does the cooking, thanks Tony's Market! And we have left-overs.

On another note, my much anticipated 2010 race schedule to be revealed soon

Thursday, November 26, 2009

5K - 29:08

HRCA Turkey Day run - 9:00 A.M.

"Dad - that was harder than I thought!" "Great job Jaxon - I'm proud of you!"

That was the exchange after the race as we picked up our goody bag. Jaxon beat his time by over a minute so he was really happy. 9:22 pace with first mile in 8:45. Here's the video

"Dear Family, I am thankful for you because you care for me. Here are some other reasons I'm thankful for you: You help me with school, feed me, and do my laundry. You also provide a house for me. So I think you deserve the best of thanks. You are the best family."

That's what Jaxon read at Thanksgiving dinner - something he worked on in school. As if I wasn't already proud of him. I too am proud of my family and give thanks to them on this day. Not only my immediate family but to my extended family and friends as well. Good family. Good job. And good friends - what more could anyone want out of life.

After the race - Jaxon decked out in PI gear

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

9 myles - 59:04

Lone Tree Loop - 2:00 P.M.
50s, clear, some mud
mind/body - eager
Hard effort

Got out a little bit later today but I "got out" - that's the key. I was sequestered to my office all day surrounded by paper so this run was liberating. It's funny how a run helps me think clearer... issues I was having before my run were easily solved when I got back. Let that be a lesson - get out and run when ideas and thoughts are jumbled. Solving the world's problems one run at a time.

I went over to the Lone Tree Loop (x2) which has about 300 ft of elevation gain per loop. First loop at a 6:20 pace and then cranked it up for the second loop at a 6:11 pace. I started hitting that red line towards the end of both loops so I know I got something out of it.

Tomorrow Jaxon (10) and I (40) are signed up for the HRCA 5K Turkey Day run. It will be Jaxon's first official race. We did a self timed 5K last year in which he clocked 31 minutes. I asked what he thought he could do this time and his reply "I think I can win it - probably around a 5 minutes per mile" "Well Jaxon that is what it's going to take to win it but maybe we should reconsider the goal to maybe something like 25 minutes?" "You watch Dad!"

I'll have the video camera so we'll all get to watch later tomorrow. If anything we agreed to not stop and walk at all. Needless to say Jaxon is pumped up and so am I, it's gonna be fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

11 myles - 1.15:43

Coyote Ridge trail - 9:00 A.M.
30s, some snow, some mud, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

A couple of good runs the last couple of days, just no time to post. Today was a 6:53 pace with the highlight seeing two bucks compete for a doe. They both looked at me and did not budge - kinda thought they might charge but I assured them I didn't want any part of that doe. Yesterday was a 6:46 pace on a 8 mile run with crisp conditions. I actually hit 6:14 and 6:22 on the way back without a concerted effort - good signs.

Here is a link to the actual CRUD burrito eating world championship. You'll notice I fell behind early but almost caught Tim and Muzzy on the 3rd burrito. On another note, Jaxon and I are doing a 5K turkey day run. He's real excited and thinks he can break 25 minutes - I'll pull him along as best as I can. It's only a matter of time before he starts beatin' this masters runner....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a week!

A week filled with work, work, work, and eat, eat, eat, followed by some running and then some more eating.

For the last week I've been in the great city of San Francisco, sequestered to the Marriott downtown pretty much all day every day. I did, however, get 2 great runs in and one O.K. treadmill run. The two great runs happened on Monday and Wednesday from my hotel to the Golden Gate bridge following the trolley tracks (Powell, California, Hyde) to the pier and then around the bay. By taking that route through the streets and over nob hill I avoided the mass chaos on the Embarcadero, in which I've gone before dodging tons of people. The second run on Wednesday was at night and it was awesome with the lights of the city reflecting off the bay for ample light and lots of people out enjoying the great weather. Only a total of 27 myles in San Fran. but that's OK.

I got back late last night just in time for the Saturday morning CRUD run in which we ran Rampart Road for a good 14 myles. AND THEN let the madness begin with the second annual CRUD burrito eating world championship. I had high hopes going in as I had distended my stomach all week with food and beer (and besides the fact that I was the only Mexican participant). 7 contestants each bought 3 Chipotle burritos with the required ingredients of beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, and tortilla. Some opted to add guac and pico de gallo but I opted for just the bare minimums. My burritos weighed the least at 2.45 lbs, Tim Alison weighed the most at 3.75 lbs (he added chicken??). Right before we began I was really nervous because Tim Hola was back for revenge after I won the tortilla eating contest last year. On your mark, get set, go! Rich Muzzy was a fast start downing the first burrito in 1:25 - dark horse for sure! Tim Hola in 1:35 and I polished the first off in 1:40. Muzzy was on fire as he downed #2 in just under 3 minutes - holy cow! I'm in trouble (I thought). It was a 3 man race at this point, Rick Hessek was a bust and fell way behind, Paul Dewitt has such a small body he was eating like a bird, Harry and the other Tim were just enjoying their food. On to burrito 3 and Muzzy was clearly going to win but I looked at him and he was shaking violently, he couldn't hold his burrito still to shove it in his mouth, Tim and I caught up and with about a 1/4 of a burrito to go Tim Hola slammed his into his mouth, chewed it up and raised his arms in victory, literally seconds before Muzzy. Tim Hola - North Chapter CRUD 1st place and now world burrito eating champion: 7 minutes and 2 seconds. Rich Muzzy - 2nd in 7:25, and I came limping in for 3rd in 9:20. Good times all around. Check out the pics below

5 of the 7

My burritos with the bare minimums

Tim Hola looking very confident

There's no way!

Burrito 3 - my eyes are up checking on Muzzy

Muzzy closest - only 1/2 burrito to go


Saturday, November 14, 2009

13.1 myles - 1.27:47

Wildcat Mountain 1/2 marathon - 8:30 A.M.
20s, a little snow, muddy
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Whew! That was tough! It's been a long time since I've felt that searing of the lungs and I tell you what - I don't miss it!

My initial goal was 1.25 so I was close but not my best performance. I ended up 3rd overall and (hate to say it) I won the master's division. I ended up with a 6:42 pace on a trail course with 1800 ft. of elevation gain. Major props to the winner who clocked a time just under 1.22 (6:15 pace). I went through 5K in 18:27 and 10K in 39:55. I lost contact with the two in front of me right around the 5 mile mark when I realized I was beyond my red line. The hills are where I started to reel them in but just I was closing the hill became a DOWN hill and that's all she wrote with those guys have better leg speed. It's a good start to the speed work but I have a lot of work to do. Race results posted here soon.

Did I happen to mention I don't miss this short stuff? I'd rather drag the battle out over a 1/2 a day or so....

On another note, last night I did some training for our burrito competition that will be held next Saturday, November 21st. I ate 2 Qdoba veggie burritos in 8 minutes! I wasn't even trying! First one went down in 3 minutes, just my normal eating. Second one went down a little slower as I became somewhat full. 3 burritos is going to be challenge but I've gotta be considered the favorite at this point. If anyone wants to join us we will be at Chipotle in Castle Rock - 5642 Allen Way - 303-663-0552 @ 11 A.M. The challenge is to eat 3 Chipotle burritos - first one done wins cash and prizes and declared CRUD burrito champion of the world.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

8 myles - 57:04

HR urban trails - 7:00 A.M.
strong North wind, dry, cloudy
mind/body - groggy to start
easy effort

Been busy the last couple of days preparing for an upcoming national meeting and painting my basement. Needless to say I've been squeezing runs in here and there. Today was nothing special with a 7:08 pace but it sure was nice to be out so early. I'm normally not a morning person but I've found when I get my butt outta bed and run early my day goes a ton better. Having said that, I actually accomplished quite a bit today. I won't bore you with the details but just know I'm smarter today than I was yesterday...

I'm planning on the Wildcat Mountain 1/2 marathon on Saturday. Supposed to be rainy and mucky... perfect! I'm hoping it will scare away those fast roadies so I don't have to kill myself to stay with them. The course is on my home route (the trail I ran today) and has about 1500 ft of elevation. I'm pretty confident I can pull off a 1.25 even in the worst of conditions. Should be fun but I have to say kinda weird doing a race so close to home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

8 myles - 52:26

Daniels Park - 10:00 A.M.
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - ready to go
Hard effort

Gotta admit the legs were a little stiff this morning after my hill workout yesterday on Mt. Sanitas. Where have those Hard Rock legs gone?

Today was my tempo/speed work day. And just for clarification, tempo to me means roughly a 10K pace, slightly slower than 5K and about 20 seconds slower than LT. I went out 4 myles at an easy 7:30 pace and came back at 5:50 pace (5:51, 5:52, 5:48, 5:49 - 23:22). My goal was to hit my 5:53 mark from last week - pretty close. The last mile I think I dipped into LT as the legs were starting to tie up a bit. Feel good all the way around.

Monday, November 9, 2009

~6 myles - 1.00:10

Mt. Sanitas - 2:00 P.M.
dry, clear, 60s
mind/body - good
easy effort

Now I know why those Boulder runners scream down the 'so called' technical stuff in races.... Mt. Sanitas is as technical as they get (next to Bear Mountain). This mountain range; Bear, Green, Mt. Sanitas and the Flat Irons, are relatively close to each other and to downtown Boulder, making for easy access to do frequent gnarly hill repeats. If I lived there I'd be up there everyday - tons of good stuff. I once heard Mackay did Bear up and down in just under an hour - not sure where he started but it doesn't matter cause that stuff is gnarly!

Anyway, today I went up Mt. Sanitas twice because the first time I came down some side canyon and had to go back up to see where I got lost. Made it up the Centennial side in just over 20 minutes - not to sure how that stacks up but I felt good. Boulder is now part of my new territory so hopefully I'll be a frequent visitor to this place and learn all the trails.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

~15 myles - 2.09:43

Santa Fe/ Falcon trail - 7:00 A.M.
mid 40s, clear, dry
mind/body - eager/refreshed
easy effort

Any time you know you're gonna go on a run with JT - it's gotta be easy. Turns our JT was an hour late because he was the designated driver the night before till 4 A.M.... I'm still not sure how that works out because when he drinks till 4 he is usually on time to the runs ....excuses so early on for the South chapter of CRUD

The usual group was there: myself (leading the way of course), Paul, Rick, Larry, Max the dog, Harsha (fresh off his trip from Bangalore), and Harry (the quiet one - huh?). Our intentions early in the week were to get to show our mugs on the ESPN College game day as they were at the Air Force Academy yesterday. Turn our they were set up a little too far and would have been a 6 hour run.

On November 21st, CRUD will be hosting the 2nd annual burrito eating contest at Chipotle in Castle Rock @ 11 A.M. The challenge is to eat 3 of their burritos - first one done wins. That's roughly six pounds of Mexican! I look to be the odds on favorite. More details to follow.

Friday, November 6, 2009

8 myles - 57:04

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
mid 50s, clear, almost dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

The weather had been extremely mild since our last snow dump, still some snow on the ground though. Just wanted to get out today to spin the legs before I headed down to the basement to paint - painting is much harder work. My average was 7:07 and feeling really good. The perceived effort at this pace is much better than a week ago.

Next Saturday I'm probably gonna run a 1/2 marathon put on by Highlands Ranch. It's basically run on my home course anyway so why not go out and push the pace a bit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11 myles - no time

Daniels Park -8:00 A.M.
mid 50s, some mud/snow
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Not a full-on hard effort but did some interval work. My intentions were to go round and round on the High School track but for some reason the H.S. kids think they own it and wouldn't let me on during their gym class...

Because I had to ad-lib on the workout I didn't start my watch. Decided to do 6 x 60 seconds at LT and then finish up on a comfortable fast mile - 5:53 pace. The last mile was thrown in there to give me a target for mile repeats, once I start them. My intended workout was to be 4-3-2-1-1-2-3-4 round the track with a lap jog in between each. When I coached college soccer this was a favorite of all the players so I thought I'd get a taste my own medicine - I guess another day huh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

8 myles - 58:03

Daniels Park - 3:00 P.M.
60s, clear, still not dry
mind/body - good/sore
easy effort

I forgot to mention that I lifted for an hour yesterday after my run which made me sore today. My routine will usually be: weights + core 2 times/wk, tempo run, speed work, two easy days, and one long(er) run. I'll stick with that routine through the end of January when I will concentrate on more myles and less of the weights, maybe only once a week. Weights generally prevent me from getting hurt late in the season with the calf tweaks.

So today I just went out not worrying about time at all, what ever came along I'd accept. Averaged 7:15 with a very easy perceived effort. Saturday I'm going down to Colorado Springs for the long run on Falcon trail and make our way over to the Air Force stadium where ESPN will be there hosting the Army/Air Force game. Look for the CRUD shirts!

You know running is a very selfish, solitary sport. Rarely, if ever, do we get a chance to run for something - meaning a charity or a cause. Some people don't care to and I never have until last week when I was invited to participate in a race held in Brazil. The race is called the Brazil 135, held in conjunction with Badwater 135 and Arrowhead 135. The cause is simple: all proceeds from the race go directly to a mission that will turn around and use the money to build a gymnasium for poverty stricken children. I started reading about the kids and literally got teary eyed and almost felt compelled to help. It made me realize how fortunate I really am.

I am in a position to help, not necessarily through monetary means, but through the gift of running. I hope you will visit this website and consider a donation to help these kids. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to help. On a side note, my name isn't on the list yet because I haven't committed to going yet due to work conflicts but regardless it's a wonderful cause.

Monday, November 2, 2009

8 myles - 52:49

Griggs - 8:00 A.M.
upper 30s, partly cloudy, some snow
mind/body - eager
Hard effort

Long gone are those high school days of 4:30s, so when I click off mid 6s I gotta be happy, especially at 40! Did I say that?? Hmm... just sounds old.

November starts a bit more of a structured approach to training, as in years past. I won't be doing any early 100 mile races so the volume isn't necessary but the speed is. Early next year I'll try for a marathon and 50K PR in the same race and in order for that to happen, speed has to happen - my fav..... pbbbbfffttt - yeah right!

Over the weekend I looked through my previous 5 years of running in log books and I noticed that my approach to daily running has certainly changed. In years past I would push hard every day, every mile. Now it's more of a hard day - easy day alternation (which I learned from Paul D. to be very effective) and not every mile is hard on the hard days. Quality not quantity. But in looking at years past log books I noticed a run that I would do at least 4 times a week and each time (as I wrote notes) I would make a concerted effort to be faster than the last regardless of conditions.

So today I thought I'd go out and see where my speed was at compared to when I was 5 years younger. I'm happy to report that the speed is still there but I'm really gonna have to work hard to get the stamina (at a fast pace) back. 5 years ago I was high 52s, low 53s on a regular basis, today I was 52:49 (6:44, 6:48, 6:57, 6:49, 6:46, 6:13, 6:20, 6:10) - I'm really happy and huge confidence builder moving forward. This route has undulating hills on dirt and paved roads with about 800 ft of climbing so on something flat I think I could be a few minutes faster right now.

Needless to say my body is changing, I can feel it. No more top end speed but it seems as the run goes on I get stronger - I hope that means something for next year when I hope to finally get a hundred mile race right.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

13.3 myles - 2.00:13

HR urban trails - 8:00 A.M.
clear, crisp, snow on the trail
mind/body - good
easy effort

Where are all the weekend snowshoers?? They were supposed to be out before I was to cut trail. Chop-Chop weekend warriors! If I knew you were gonna sleep in I would have taken my snowshoes.

Needless to say I did another round of Jai-me's in the snow while I cut trail. I connected a bunch of trails this morning just to get two hours in. 9:06 pace overall but I made sure when I was on the road that I was closer to 7's so that I got some good leg turnover.

I end the month with 164 myles, the most I've done in October in the last 5 years. And for the year I'm at 2862 - gonna hit 3K for sure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

5 myles - 57:51

Mt. Falcon - 2:00 P.M.
40s, clear, lots-o-snow
mind/body - good
easy effort

The storm has finally passed with clear blue skies today. But with the warmeth - bringeth the sloppeth. I opted for Mt. Falcon because I thought by now someone would have been up there with snowshoes for some packed snow. On the lower portion - yes. Once I got around the point (1.9 myles) all the snowshoe-ers decided to turn around... I carried on through snow drifts up to my knees. It was OK for about 15 minutes but then my bare legs became numb so I turned around just short of the shelter. A whopping 11:34 pace. Lot's of good Jai-me's though. Wait for it.... that would be High knees for you slower folk...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

8 myles - 1.15:38

Coyote Ridge trail - 1:00 P.M.
mind/body - peaceful
easy effort

A conversation with a colleague this morning: "What are you going to do today now that we are snowed in?.... I'm gonna do my business plan and then go run.... What?!? It's a blizzard out there, are you crazy?" I thought, probably. But not because I'm going running....

I don't know about you but snow seems to bring peace and tranquility to a run. The wind and popcorn snow sucked but there's something about making fresh tracks that makes it worth the time. A cheetah type pace today at 9:27. Bring on the snow!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8 myles - 58:40

Coyote Ridge - 3:30 P.M.
mild weather - calm before the storm
mind/body - sloshy/bloated
easy effort

7:20 pace today but it felt much, much slower than that. I've been held up in a meeting for the past two days, eating constantly! Every time I turned around they were bringing more food - 6 square meals each day. Hotel was nice - Westin downtown Denver. I think it's time for another string of 'office' days...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10 myles - 1.17:46

HR urban trails - 8:00 A.M.
snowing, mucky, NW wind
mind/body - good
easy effort

Mucky-muck! Must have rained overnight because the trail was dry yesterday but this morning the mud was caked to my shoes. Didn't feel the best but plugged away with a 7:32 avg. Rather than a true snow, it was more like hail pelting me in the face as I finished up. I end the week with 45 myles and so far for the month of October 133 myles - about right for a recovery month. I'm still not sure about any more races this year but if the next few weeks go good I could see myself doing something in December.... early December that is.

On another note, the CRUD party was yesterday at Palmer Lake. And once again I represented the North CRUD chapter at the party... good thing because as you can see from the picture below - North CRUD swept the awards! Thanks to Smith Optics and Pearl Izumi for providing the all the award give-aways - the recipients were truly grateful.

North CRUD takes home the goods

Friday, October 23, 2009

8 myles - 56:08

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
50s, still a little muddy, sunny
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Whoa! I just realized this is my second 'office day' this week... that's OK my boss would understand. Wait! I don't have a boss... that's right cause I AM the boss. I'm actually preparing for a divisional meeting here in Denver next Monday and Tuesday so it's legit being in the 'office'.

I still didn't feel the turn-over in the legs today so I decided to do a one mile test on flat road. 5:40.92 for the mile but it was as hard as I could go. I'm hopeful the leg speed will come around so that a 5:40 won't seem so anaerobic.

Finally, check this photo out. Not only do we here at Pearl Izumi-Smith run but we race cars too!

Team Director - Aric Manning sprinting to the win

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10 myles - 1.11:49

Daniels Park - 3:30 P.M.
50s, sloppy, a little snow
mind/body - good
easy effort

Even though my effort was easy, it just seemed way too hard for the result - 7:11 pace. It seemed like I should have been going faster but maybe because of the muck I was spinnin' the wheels - so to speak.

On another note, check out this article written up in the NY times. Not so much the article but take a look at those shoes! Those are the new Fuel XC that will becoming out in Spring 2010 - I promise one of thee best -if not best- shoe on the market for 2010. I've attached a picture of the Fuel XC for a closer look. I raced all year in this shoe, along with 300 myles on the CT with no blister OR toenail issues to speak of.

Fuel XC - Spring 2010

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

7 myles - 50:11

Lone Tree loop - 8:00 A.M.
The nice weather has left - 50s and wind
mind/body - good
Hard effort

That's right -hard- effort! Not for the whole thing, just for the middle 5K. Second time I did the Fast Eddy 5K - 18:28 with 300 ft elevation gain on single track. About a minute faster than last week and little bit of a stronger push today. This was my final test to see if I wanted to participate and CRUSH Brownie in the Manitou 5K on Saturday. I'm probably at 17:40 pace for a flat 5K right now and I think that's a little fast for Brownie so I've elected NOT to demoralize him. Maybe when I'm 60 brownie.... If you hit one mile in 5:45 I'll buy you a beer on Saturday and maybe bring you a little prize from Smith Optics (Thanks Aric!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

10 myles - 1.15:40

HR urban trails - 11:00 A.M.
70s, dry, little wind
mind/body - good
easy, easy effort

Another beautiful day here in Denver! Since yesterday was a bit of a push I decided today was going to be real easy... and easy it was with a 7:34 pace. I have a tendency to start slow, knowing that it's an easy effort, but as the run continues I speed up almost without noticing. I made sure today stayed slow, finishing with a nice 7:30 mile. I had one of those "office" days with business plans and expense reports so in order to keep my sanity I had to get out today.

When I don't get out on "office" days

Sunday, October 18, 2009

8 myles - 54:50

Coyote Ridge trail - 8:00 A.M.
really nice! Best days of the year!
mind/body - good
easy effort

It's hard to resist to get outdoors this time of year! I'm really not intending to put any routine to my running since it's a down month for me but the weather is perfect! This is the 3rd time I've done this run this week and have shaved off 2 and 1/2 minutes with the same perceived effort. I guess you can say my body is coming around. Ended up with a 6:51 pace with my last mile in 6:37.

Yesterday I rode the bike for 1.5 hours. I had a great time and wondered why that was only the second time all year I've been on my mountain bike.... OH YAH - there's only 52 weeks in a year of which I spend 44 running. I guess what I'm saying is that although I love to cross train on the mountain bike I just don't have the time. Having said that, I've decided I'm gonna sell my bike. It's a shame such a good bike just sits in my garage 99% of the year. It should go to someone who rides, and rides a lot!

It's a 2006 Giant Anthem 1 - 18 inch. I bought it two years ago and have only rode it a 1/2 dozen times. It retailed for $4000 when it came out 4 years ago. I'm willing to let it go for a mere $1500! Here are the specs on it. I've had two tune-ups in the last two years, one of which was back in July and I have only rode it one time since - yesterday. I'm also gonna put this up on Craig's list as well, so don't wait.

2006 Giant Anthem 1

I will use the money I make off the bike to pay for all my race entries for 2010... and that probably won't cover it! So expensive these days.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

'Extra' proud father here today!

Jaxon competed in his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament today - the 4th annual U.S. National Cup in Arvada, CO. He was nervous all last night and all morning long. But I told him that being nervous is good, it's the same as being excited to compete and wanting to do well. I told him whatever the outcome - I was proud!

Instructors - Mike Nickels and Nobu giving final instructions

As the tournament began he was being shuffled around between groups based on weight and skill level. He finally got placed in a group with two green belts and one blue belt. Jaxon is currently a 3 strip yellow belt, which is just above white belt and below green and blue. Mike told Jaxon not to worry about it because the belt is just a color and that he should rely on his Jiu-Jitsu. Jaxon smiled and was confidently ready to go!

Jaxon in his first match

Here's the score - Jaxon won big time!

Now it was time for his second match, his confidence was high but he was going against a kid that also won his first match big time.

Jaxon get's the first points with a take down

Each match is 3 minutes long so Jaxon was instructed to get take downs, mounts, and possible submissions quickly. As he was going for the submission in this match, winning 2-0 and only 30 seconds to go, his opponent did a complete sweep and full mount on Jaxon and won 4-2. Jaxon is now 1-1 and must win his next to take second place.

Jaxon on top in his second place match

Jaxon had the full mount 3 times and was winning big time when he slipped in an Anaconda and won by submission! 2nd PLACE in his first ever tournament! He was so excited! Man, I am so damn proud of him!

Jaxon Jaime - 2nd place U.S. National Cup - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament

Jaxon and his instructor Big Mike Nickels

As we were leaving Mike said to me "Jaxon is such a good kid, you are lucky to have a kid so special" - I agree Mike. We are lucky to have Jaxon in our lives. CONGRATULATIONS JAXON!

If Mike Nickels looks familiar then you must have watched the Ultimate Fighter season 3 - he lost in the semi-final round. Mike is currently fighting an MMA circuit that feeds the UFC. Mike just won a fight up in Canada two weeks ago - check it out on youtube. You'll see him again in the UFC. We are lucky to have him as an instructor for Jaxon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

9 myles - 1.04:41

Lone Tree Loop - 4:00 P.M.
very nice - 70s, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

It was pretty much all an easy effort today except for a 5K push in the middle..... 19:35 with 600 ft of elevation on trail - not fast but felt good. The question is can I beat brownie next Saturday? I haven't decided if I'm doing the 5K in Manitou Springs before the CRUD party so I would consider today just a little test. I may be there, I may not.... make brownie sweat it out.

Lots of talk out there about ultra runner of the year.... the stuff I read on blogs makes me chuckle. Something to talk about. So serious. Does it really matter? Braggin rights I guess... Err wait... do you get a check?? If so, I'm IN! Who do I bribe? Phbbbfffttt....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

8 myles - 56:19

Coyote Ridge trail - 10:00 A.M.
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - good!
Easy effort

Guess what I did this morning? ...well of course I ran. A good run with a 7:02 avg. and feeling mighty good - I might add.

I did the unthinkable... I put my name in the lottery hat for Western States. I now make 1,801 applicants vying for a mere hundred and 50 slots. Slim chance so I won't get my hopes up. I think I did it for a few reasons: I'm looking for something new, I wanna see how I rank among the best hundred mile racers in the world, and I wanna settle the score with this guy in his "superbowl" race. Good reasons right?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8.5 myles - 58:20

HR urban trails
50s, little wind, dry
mind/body - coming around
easy effort

Slightly faster than yesterday; 6:52 pace today. And what makes me happy is that I was anxious to go faster. "IT" is coming back. The reason I know this is because I started to formulate a plan for next year. This year I think I showed my versatility by placing high in all my races from 50K to 100 myles and even taking on a 500 mile beast. What I'm thinking for next year is to show even more versatility first by setting my marathon PR and 50K PR in the same race and then doing something with Dave Horton... I hate to think what ol Horty has in mind but he mentioned it to me so its his plan. Anyways that's what I'm thinking and well see what happens in between.

On another note, Pearl Izumi-Smith is taking applications for the 2010 team. Go here for more details. So far, I like what I'm hearing as far as plans for the team (i.e. athlete summit with all the sponsors sometime in February at PI.) Hope I make the team.

Monday, October 12, 2009

8 myles - 57:03

Coyote Ridge trail - noon
mid 60s, dry, no wind
mind/body - eager/sluggish
easy effort

Nice easy run with a 7:08 pace. I'm trying not to get into a routine but I just can't help myself - I'm an addict! My days go so much better and I feel much better after a run. The consequence is doing too much to push me back into injury.

It's been a long year for me with training really starting last November for Rocky Raccoon. Having said that I will keep my myles to less than 40 for the month of October and see what the first week of November brings. I really wanna do another race before the end of the year because my work really starts to get busy in January so training might be limited. I'll let my body tell me if it's gonna happen it's tough being 40!

Just reminiscing... Kokomo pass

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quick update

It's been over a week since I've put anything up so I'll give a quick update:

I spent the week in The SLC on business and while in town I was able to get on 5 runs for a grand total of 26 myles. I'm OK with that.
  • Sunday - Bonneville Shoreline Trail where the Wasatch starts and went out to the Great Western Trail, solid hour.
  • Monday - hooked with Christian Johnson above Red Butte Garden for an hour and the highlight of that trip was seeing a Bobcat - pretty cool. Christian showed me his home course and later treated me to din-din - Thanks Christian!
  • Tuesday - ran the streets of The SLC early in search of coffee. Only was out 1/2 hour and came back empty handed. Before I left town though, I went back to Jack Mormon coffee in search of the celestial bean. I may have just had the best cup-o-coffee EVER! Beans are roasted on site by the pound and a cup is brewed as you order.
  • Thursday - up on the Bonneville Shoreline trail starting on the Wasatch course. Went for an hour and loving every minute of it
  • Saturday - A nice fast 6 mile spin on my old home-road course. Still slow at 41:03 but I'm getting "it" back.
The Giardia is gone - thank you very much! Shins are starting to come around, not as quick as I'd like but I have to be cautious. When I stay flat I don't feel them at all but when I go vertical (or somewhat vertical) I feel them coming down. I haven't shut it down for the year just yet. I'm hopeful for a late November or early December 50.

And last, Congrats to my friend Tim Hola for finishing the Iron Man Hawaii yesterday in a time of 9.17! Not his fastest (8.58) but this is something like his 12th finish. Nice job Tim once again!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

6 myles - 50:06

Treadmill at Rec center - 9:00 A.M.
50s and wind outside
mind/body - feeling kinda normal
easy effort

Finally! Starting to feel normal on a run. And at this point I'll take anything I can get. Not only am I dealing with chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) and giadiasis, but I have a common cold as well. Guess you can say the trail beat me up pretty good.

This was my 3rd run since coming off the CT, the two other runs were 5 myles each and completely miserable. Today I felt decent with an 8:21 pace, being mindful of the still injured shins. The doc told me to take 6 weeks off because even though I may not feel pain, I'm still in danger of more damage. She did say I could do the occasional easy run of up to 1/2 hour just to keep the blood moving but riding the bike and swimming were better options. I think I will incorporate the bike and pool just like I did last year while letting the body rest.

To this point in the year I have run 2694 myles. So with 3 months to go I will, for sure, hit the 3K mark for the first time. This year I also ran a high for a week and month with 303 and 504 respectively.

Time to start making plans for next year...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CT - Days 10-12

Day 10
Start 7:00 A.M.
Cuba Gulch - Molas Pass 28.1 myles
9 hours 28 minutes - 3.0 MPH

With less than 30 myles separating me and my family I wanted to make quick work of this day, all the while enjoying the heart of the San Juan's.

I was more than happy to wake up this morning and get going. I don't think Paul had a problem sleeping as I heard his snore over the bugling elks several times. I left both wraps on my shins over night so they didn't balloon up on me... not sure if that was the right thing to do but it seemed to work out.

Paul getting ready to go above Cuba Gulch

Heading back up to the CT we passed our water source and now I wished I had taken a picture to show you this little trickle or better yet trough - animal prints all around. We had to trust the Steripen at this point because we were so high, water was scarce. Like I said before, could have been user error but I'm also not ruling out the device missing one little buggy. Who's to say this was the source of our Giardia but this is certainly a suspect spot. Thank goodness for that 10 day incubation period cause I never would have finished otherwise.

Now onto the rest of Segment 23. I was eager to show Paul the Hard Rock course and get into familiar territory.... come to find out later that the Hard Rock course runs on the old CT. Segment 23 was re-routed a couple of years ago so everything was unfamiliar to me although we were in the same vicinity as the course so the terrain looked the same. I think Paul my even throw his name into the HR lottery next year.

New signage above Maggie Gulch on the new Segment 23

Each day there was a special time for me on the trail (usually early on) when I would reflect on what I was doing and where I was at... today was no different. It was a very calming time in complete silence. And I know this sounds kinda corny but I felt like the trail was accepting me. At any rate, Paul and I were making good time up and down each of the top of the drainage's despite our 15+lb packs. I wanted to keep moving to get to my family early in the day so that I could spend some extra time. Paul wanted to keep moving because he still had to drive home and wanted to do so before dark.

Paul still pulling me along Segment 23

We arrived at Stony Pass and at the time I did not recognize it but the HR course goes right over Stony Pass either to Cunningham or Maggie Gulch, depending upon the direction. Stony Pass is the start of Segment 24 so a little less than 20 myles to go for the day. Segment 24 would be a good test for the ol shins as the last part was a severe downhill to get to the Animas River. But before then we traveled along a high plain (just about 12,000ft) for 10 myles when we finally diverted from the CDT and headed straight down into the Elk Creek drainage. I didn't realize how far down until after two hours and we were still going down.

The drop into Elk Creek

Shins held up fairly well with a few sharp pains here and there but fatigue started to really set in for the first time. I started to get a little loopy as we hit the Animas River, probably due to the fact that Paul and I only had minimal food the night before. We fueled up once we hit the bottom only to be faced with another 2000 ft climb, last one before Molas Pass so I was eager to get over it. Finally we heard engine brakes so we knew Hwy 550 was close. Rounded the last corner where Rick and the Darnold's were there to greet Paul and I. We had made it through the abyss and came out unscathed. Thank you Paul! You were extremely vital in getting me through the crux of my journey.

Paul and I at Molas Pass

As it turns out, my family had not yet arrived. They had fallen victim of a road closure at Wolf Creek and had to turn around and go back through Gunnison - 12 hours to get to Molas Pass. During that time as Paul waited for his truck and I waited for my family, we were treated with burritos from Steam and Steel coffee shop in Silverton. Eric and Lynn had come up to the trailer to say hello and check on my status - thanks guys. Finally the family arrived at 8 P.M. and all is good.

Day 11
Start 5:58 A.M.
Molas Pass - Hotel Draw road 31.8 myles
10 hours 43 minutes - 3.0 MPH

Today is a very special day, not only was my family back but my 10 y.o. son, Jaxon is going to do a segment with me. It doesn't get any better than that!

CT sign at Little Molas lake

My family is back and has recharged my battery. I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel with only two days left. Although the morning started a little rocky for me as I took a wrong turn at a junction above little Molas lake. There is a very nice, new parking area at little Molas with good CT signage but I somehow left on the wrong trail and took a right at a junction above little Molas that took me back down - minor detour... I headed back up and onto the hanging cliff area.

Self portrait above South Mineral

I saw several hunters early and they were really surprised to see me, and dare I say a little pist that I scared their trophy bull elk away. More to come on hunters. Rolling along above South Mineral basin where I had been previously while waiting for HR to start, then to a high saddle, and finally down across Cascade Creek.

Cascade Creek

I made my way into Bolam Pass road and as I did I literally broke down. There were signs everywhere! Jaxon's class had all participated in making poster signs for ME. Why it touched me so deeply was that not only were they supporting me but they were supporting Jaxon - it meant a lot.

A few of the posters

Coupled by the fact that I was nearing the end of my journey, I now get to spend time on the trail with my son, so needless to say I was a little emotional. Certainly the highlight of my trip! Jaxon and I had been talking about this 11 mile segment for months and he was pumped to do it. He had already done 16 myles a month before on segment 4 so his confidence was high.

And were off!

And just like before, Jaxon was a chatter box making it easy to have a conversation with him because I just had to answer yes or no - a true professional pacer. We saw some amazing scenery but in addition we saw our first sign of bears. This spooked Jaxon a bit so the conversation seized for awhile and he stayed right on my heels. But as we made our way over Blackhawk Pass he got excited all over again with his sense of accomplishment.

Fresh bear prints

Jaxon and I sitting atop Blackhawk pass (12,000 ft.)

Jaxon knew he was close so we picked up the pace a bit and even ran for a while. About 3 myles from Hotel Draw road, Rick and Hampton (dog) met up with us and walked fast the rest of the way in. Just over 3 hours after I picked Jaxon up we had finished at Hotel Draw road where I was surprised to find my parent's waiting as well. I'm really proud of Jaxon and I hope this is one of those things that he will not only remember forever but will also give him an appreciation for the wilderness.

Day 11 in the books

Day 12 - FINAL DAY!
Start 3:40 A.M.
Hotel Draw road - Junction Creek 42.1 myles
12 hours 6 minutes - 3.5 MPH

There was a lot of excitement in the air but also a sense of sadness as this epic journey draws to a close.

As I settled into bed around 7 P.M., I really couldn't believe I was gonna do it! But I wasn't done yet so I had to re-focus and concentrate one more time. And make no mistakes. I felt like I had just shut my eyes when I was awakened by thunder and lightning. Not just any ol thunder and lightning in the distance but lightning striking right around our trailer. The kind that comes straight down and you see hit the ground with a vengance. I did not dare look at my watch to see what time it was, just don't let my alarm go off right now.

Thank goodness that ferocious band of clouds passed by the time my alarm went off because the first segment I would tackle (27) is on a ridge line, exposed for almost the entire 20 myles. The guidebook even talks of escape routes just in case a storm hits, great!

As Rick and I left the trailer at 3:00 A.M. it was still spooky out with clouds, mist, and wet everywhere. I'll admit it, I was scared. But I knew there was no way around it. It is what it is and I can't change it. What made things even more difficult was the fact that the trail intersects a myriad of old logging roads at least 7 times in the first 8 myles. I wasn't taking any chances of getting lost so I ripped out the pages of this segment in the CT guidebook. I had been reviewing the guidebook every night so I knew it was very good on details. In addition, Rick drove the road and met me at the first 5 road crossings until the road was no longer safe to travel. We parted ways, still 2 hours from light so it was a little unnerving to say the least.

What made matters worse was that the wind was blowing hard on the exposed ridge line making visibility less than the distance to my feet. My headlamp was catching the mist and clouds and nothing else, kinda like your car's headlamp in a fog bank. I literally had my head straight down to pick up the trail and as I did so I ran head first into a big green Army tent! A TENT right on the trail at 4:30 in the morning!! Talk about a scene from the twilight zone. I shook my head and laughed and walked around, not only the tent, but a huge camp for hunters. Ironically, later in the morning Rick had somehow spoken to the campers down at Hermosa Creek where we had camped and the campers inside the tent were a little more spooked than I was. They thought their buddy was sleep walking again.

Finally! The light of day

The trail was soggy and I have every bit of rain gear on hoping for the light of day to come. Finally just after 6, I could see out in front of me again and the storm appeared to be lifting. Just about that time I snapped the photo below of I what I consider the most beautiful section of the CT.

Cape of Good Hope - Segment 27

This was a magical section! Still on the ridge line so no up or down, just meandering single track with lush green undergrowth. If you are ever down in South West Colorado, you need to see this section! It made all the morning turmoil worth it.

Almost to the end of segment 27, I found myself fighting back emotions. I wouldn't let myself go there yet because I still had 20 some odd myles to go, it wasn't over yet and neither was the scenery.

Taylor Lake - almost to the end of 27

I arrived at Kennebec TH and couldn't hold the emotions any longer. It was my time to let it all go and realize I had accomplished what I set out to do. It was even more emotional than my first Hard Rock finish. But just like I've done at Hard Rock, this was a time to celebrate by myself and then when I actually finished I could celebrate with those who made it possible. It was a very special moment sitting on top of Kennebec pass crying while I reflected on this amazing trail... such a baby.

Onto the last segment

Whew! Crying takes a bunch of energy. I'm tired now, drained of emotions heading down to meet my parents at the bottom of Kennebec Pass. I was a little early but I learned from before and gave my dad a two hour window. Sure enough my parent's were there. WITH Pizza! I forget the name of the pizza place in Durango but it was good! They put it on the engine to heat it up so it hit the spot. A couple slices, a Coke, shed all the rain gear, and I was off.

My parent's at the last pit stop

I had about 16 myles to go and I was running good. I actually ran all the way down to Junction Creek crossing, which is about 5 myles, without stopping. I had those end of race endorphins going now but just as quickly as they arrived, they left without warning. I started to become a bit dizzy as I climbed out of Junction Creek so I slowed up and took some calories.

Down, down, down, in and out of valleys until I finally saw a sign for Gudy's rest. I saw a picture of Gudy's rest in the guidebook and couldn't wait to see it in person and take my picture on it. In my mind, that was the end.

Me on Gudy's rest

Now it was time to see the family and celebrate. As I made my way to Junction Creek I heard whistling.... I knew it was Rick making his way up to meet me. Man! I lost it again. I couldn't help it because I knew the time and effort he put into this trip just so I could succeed. I could not have done this without Rick and the success of this epic journey is just as much his as it is mine. But I share the success with all those people who supported me in one way shape or form.

And finally to the end where my wife and family have decorated the finish line at Junction Creek with everything under the sun that says "40". Yes, I am 40 on this day and I have just accomplished the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I will never forget it. But make no mistake about it, I have not changed - only refined.

40?!?! Really??

My family at Junction Creek

Rick and I at Junction Creek

"Your true character is revealed by the clarity of your convictions, the choices you make, and the promises you keep. Hold strongly to your principles and refuse to follow the currents of convenience. What you say and do defines who you are, and who you are... you are forever."

And now onto Carver's for a T-shirt and a Colorado Trail Nut Brown Ale. Here's to you - my family and friends - cheers!