Monthly Archives: August 2010

Wild Life

I’ve been on a typical taper roller coaster over the past several days.  Felt absolutely awful on a 13 mile run Saturday, but have been getting progressively better since then.  Washing my hands every 30 seconds to avoid catching my daughter’s 2nd-week-of-school cold.  Scrambling to get drop bags packed, lists made and checked off, etc. – but seemingly not making any progress at all.  My lower calves feel like shredded beef.  My knee hurts.  I have to shuffle along the carpet when I get out of bed, and can’t walk normally for about 10-15 minutes.

And then, I found THIS in the basement this morning.

Wildlife, indeed.  14″ Prarie Rattlesnake.  As in, rah-tulll-snayk!

I ran downstairs in the pre-dawn darkness to grab my iPod off the desk where it had been charging.  I started to flip on the light and then blew right past it remembering that I had already unplugged the iPod last night and it was just sitting there for me to grab and go.  Got back upstairs and finished getting ready for work, but still had 10 minutes to kill before taking Malcolm to school.  Busted downstairs again to kick off a movie download so it could run while I was at work, flipped on the light, took three steps…

You have GOT to be joking.

Okay, where’s the hidden camera.  Ha, ha.

No such luck, it was the real-freaking-deal.

After successfully channeling my inner Steve Irwin and capturing it, I was faced with a dilemma of mind-blowing proportions.  My brain very nearly blew a gasket just thinking about it.  Do I tell anyone??? Unleash the drama?  The questions?  The FEAR?  Or…  Do I just keep it to myself, and figure out what to do later?

I decided to keep it to myself, just for now, until I could assess the situation better.  I carefully carried the box up the stairs and stopped at the landing to scope things out.  Everyone busy in the kitchen, go.  I turned to pick up the box and got two steps up before my wife’s eyes met mine transmitting the message (loud and clear), what in the hell is that!?!  I shot back an emphatic glance (the kids were still oblivious), you don’t want to know…  as I hurried past and out the front door.

Ultimately, reason won over and we showed the kids and had a good talk about being careful.  They weren’t as freaked out as I expected, and took it pretty well.  Jessica’s elementary school mascot is The Roxborough Rattler, so not that big of deal to her.

After surviving this week, running 100 miles on Saturday is going to be a walk in the park.

Leadville Night Run

Partook in the annual tradition of running the last 23 miles of the LT100 course at night a couple of weeks before race-time.  This year we had a group of about a dozen or so show up.  The spectacularly clear night of last year was replaced with clouds and rain.  We all got totally soaked, but at least it didn’t really get too cold.

I came out of this run with a good feel for where my fitness is at.  I’m pretty happy with where things are, and could definitely feel the big mile weeks of July kicking in.  I only wish I could be/stay healthy enough to string 4-5 months like that together.  Getting there…

Here are some highlights:

Getting into town early and running the 8 miles out to the meeting spot.  I gave myself plenty of time, took it very easy, and enjoyed cruising along to some tunes watching the storms gather around the valley.

Meeting Brandon (of 2:59 Boston fame), and Brownie (multi-time Hardrocker and on his way to a Rocky Mountain Slam).  I’ve followed their blogs for a while and it was great to meet in person and get a good run in together.

Blazing up Powerline.  Despite doing essentially zero climbing in training, I hung with the lead group and ascended Sugarloaf 10 minutes faster than last year.  I felt really strong on the running portions, but sucked bad on the hiking sections – that fast/efficient hiking stride is something I need to work on.

Running in the rain.  It had been a while, and I was soaked to the bone, but stayed warm and comfortable.  Good practice anyway.

Shot bloks.  I had just popped 3 in my mouth when Brandon took off leading the group down the Colorado Trail.  It was wet and slick, and I was concentrating hard on my foot placement.  I was so focused that I think I just ran with that huge mouthful of bloks for 5+ minutes without ever getting them down.  I finally gave up and just sprayed them into the trees.

Night train.  I love running at night at a good clip on a trail with a good group like that.  Just hang on.

Footwork.  Plenty of opportunity for trouble, but no slips or trips.  A+.  Even felt good enough to blast down the final hill full of chunky rocks and blow past the group.  Really happy to have survived that, a fall would have been ugly.

The group.  Man, what a solid bunch of runners!  Brownie, Brandon, Leila, Ryan, Greek, Patrick, and Woody.  Really worked me over.  That is one strong crew and are all looking super-good for race day.

Race numbers are assigned, time to start tagging the drop bags.

See you in 2 weeks!


Playing bridge ninja at the end of our backpacking trip.

Just wrapped up my biggest-ever month of training.  419 miles in July.  I went from never having run a 100 mile week in training, to doing 3.  The remaining week was a 55 mile backpacking trip in the Gore Range (yes, I counted those miles in the July total).

We’ll see if this push pays off at Leadville in a few weeks.  I like to really back my legs into a corner, then step away and let them come out swinging.  Probably not the best approach, but I do seem to respond pretty well to it.

On the injury front I’m VERY happy that my 1.5 year old heel/PF problem has been fading away.  Of more concern now is the fact that the problem is manifesting itself higher up the chain now, in the lower calf/upper achilles area.  Feeling pretty shredded there right now.  Still doing lots of rehab and focus on those weaker areas.  I am starting to get a sensation  of things ‘knitting’ back together so hopefully that trend will continue and the legs will be ready for race day.

I haven’t been doing much climbing to speak of, or any speedwork at all.  The injured areas can’t tolerate it right now.  Just running long and slow, and doing LOTS of doubles.  Haven’t really done any two-a-days in the past, but have found it to be pretty useful in squeezing in all the mileage.  I’ve done several evening runs in the 2-5 mile range in my Vibrams over the past couple of months.  I really like running in those things and like the added  strength I am feeling in my feet/ankles/calves as a result.

Vibrams at the amusement park.

Things aren’t perfect, but are looking a little better than last year at this time.  I ran 790 miles in May/June/July of last year.  This year came in at 921 so I’m pretty happy with that.  I will be SO glad once all of my lower leg issues resolve and I don’t feel like I am being held back by them anymore.  As it stands now, I’m taking what I can get and trying to get stronger while still allowing for some recovery and healing.  It may not all pan out as soon as I would like, but I can feel progress being made and think that things will be good in the long term.

On to Leadville!