Thursday, December 27, 2007

Year in Review

As I sit here at work with another snowy Colorado blizzard going on outside with nothing to work on I started reflecting on the past year of racing and climbing. I guess it is that time of year to reflect on the past year and start planning the upcoming year.

2007 has been my greatest year yet and I did not even plan on it. Everything just kind of fell into place. I basically went from a back of the packer at races to finishing in the top 20 in my age group on every race I entered. I also got a lot of the 14ers here in Colorado completed this year, over half of 58 that there are in this great state. Here is a list of what I was able to do this year as far as racing.

Mount Evans Ascent(14.5 miles): 2:30:00 for 4th in my age group (4500 ft of climbing)
Wild West Relay (195 mile relay): No Whiners team got 4th in divison
Georgetown Half Marathon: 1:27 for 16th in my age group
Leadville 10K: 42:50 for 3rd overall and age group, race at 10,000 feet
Bohemian Alps 50K (33.8 miles): 4:31:00 for 5th overall
Denver Marathon: 3:13:45 for 16th in age group

Not a bad year of racing considering my goals these year was just to finish a marathon in under 4 hours. I have not been able to do that until this year. What a change considering that last year I finished the Estes Park Marathon in over 5 hours.

Also this past year I had the chance to climb many mountains both in the winter and summer. I have completed 29 of the 58 14ers in the state and even repeated 8 of them for 37 total 14ers for the year. Not bad considering that I was not planning on climbing that much. I went on a trip last Feb to Quandary and got hooked. This total does not include the 20 or so other mountains under 14,000 feet that I have climbed this year or the 35 mile 4 pass Maroon Bells backpacking loop. It has been a great year in the mountains.

Here is the link to all of my pictures for the past year, enjoy!
Shad's Pictures

For this upcoming year I have decided to redirect my energy into mostly just running and attempting my first 50 and 100 mile runs. Here is a picture of my upcoming training plan. Of course this is still a work in progress. If you click on the spreadsheet below it will enlarge.

It may be hard to read the photo, sorry about that but basically there is 2-3 short races, 2 marathons, 2 50Ks, 3 50 milers, and then the grand daddy of 2008, Leadville 100 mile trail run. There is also an attempt on the John Muir trail in California which is over 200 miles long. This would basically be averaging 31 miles a day for 7 days. I thought this would be good slow endurance training for Leadville 100 which is the overall goal in 2008.

We will see if I can hold up to all of this. I am sure some of the races and training will change based on how I am feeling as I work throughout the year. I will have to back off on the speed and just attempt to just finish each race. I need to make sure that I can recover from race to race and not grind myself into the ground until the Leadville 100 at which time I will give it my all.

As far as finishing my climbing of all the 14ers, I will fit them in here and there. I plan on doing at least Snowmass when Kirk is ready to do his last 14er sometime this year. These mountains are not going anywhere and I will get them all done, just not this year. I want my last 14er to be Handies as I finish Hardrock 100 mile trail run. I need to work my way up to that, maybe in 2009. Hardrock is the hardest 100 miler out there. What a cool way to finish all the 14ers huh?

I want to thank everyone for their support and help this year. Everyone from my girlfriend Ashley for running with me and putting up with my long climbing trips and my crazy training schedule. I also want to thank my main training partners Rebecca, Neal and Rachel for the motivation this year, it sucks to do long runs solo. I am looking forward to the adventures on the trail that we have planned for 2008! I also want to thank climbing partners Kirk, Dan, Scott, Chris, and Prakash along with Rebecca again for getting after the 14ers with me this year, hopefully my training will allow me to get in a few climbs in 2008 with you. I am also thankful for all the people I got to meet/train with/climb with from and websites. I also want to thank Clyde for introducing me to ultras. We will see where this leads to this year buddy. I am looking forward to all the ultras that we have planned together in 2008.

I hope that everyone has a great 2008 and see you on the trails!


Friday, November 9, 2007

BACK AT IT.........

I have been slacking the last few weeks and have ran a total of 30 miles or so. I think it is good that I took the time off. I have been going at since last fall without any kind of a break. This week the slow rebuilding process will be starting. Every run will be at an easy to moderate pace, it will be all about base building from here on out. I am not saying that I will not be running hills just that I will not be going full bore up them. I did sign up for my next major race this week, The Red Hot 50K in Moab, here is the Link:

Red Hot 50K

Also this past weekend I reclimbed Longs Peak again. This a 16 mile round trip hike that can be very challaging this time of year. The wind beat the crap out of us. In Aug I did this climb in 7 hours and 50 mins, last week it took us 13 hours. Snow and ice really slow you down. Anyway below are some pictures of the climb and KirkT should be posting a trip report on in the next couple of days.

Here is the link to Kirk's trip report:

Long's peak trip report

Sunday, October 14, 2007


It finially arrived, race day. My uncle Steve and I signed up for this marathon almost 10 months ago when they were running a special of when you signed up you got a free entry. I never thought it would get here and at the same time I was hoping that it wouldn't. I have had nothing but bad experences with marathons the last 2 years and have not been able to figure them out. I always seem to crash around mile 22 but at least I finished every one. This year on my third attempt it is different, I have been running a lot more and even got a 33 mile run under my belt to prove to myself that it was not the distance but a mental block that I put on myself. All week I have been ready until I saw the weather forecast, rain, rain, and more rain. I hate running in the rain. Don't really know why but I do. Maybe it is because I can not get warm or that I can not hear since I can't wear my hearing aid. Either way I just plain hate the rain.

So Sunday morning everyone gets up around 6am, we get all the kids loaded up into the van and on the way to the race downtown around 6:45 for the 8am start. Having already gotten our chips and race number all we had to do was show up and run. It was a cold and wet morning when we got there, I am guessing around 40 degrees and a constant drizzle of rain. I do not think it got above 50 all day long and it never stopped raining.

As the 8am start got closer Steve and I got into the chute for the mass start. They had different sections marked off based on what pace you were expecting to run. We lined up between the 7 and 8 mins per mile signs. Knowing that people always line up in a faster group than they usually run we worked our way up closer to the 7 min sign. Shortly after 8am we were off to a quick start. About 1-2 miles into the run Steve and I caught up with the 3:20 pace group. I told Steve at this point that my goal was to try and stay in front of this pacer. At that point Steve must have decided to back off a bit because I looked to my side and he was not there, that was the last time I saw him until the race was over. I passed the 3 mile mark at 21 mins, right on pace and feeling good. From mile 3-13 I do not really remember anything. I just went on auto pilot and chugged along. I pasted the 10K mark in 43 mins and the 13 mile mark in 1:31.

At the halfway point I realized that maybe I can qualify for Boston, I had 1:39 to get the finish. The qualifing time for my age group is 3:10. It is possible. From mile 13-22 the course has you running through houses south of downtown and through Wash park which I hate. Since I could not really hear anything or see anything due to not wearing my hearing aid and glasses I basically just looked at the 6 feet of pavement in front of me and tried to hang on as much as possible. Around mile 16 I think it was I did finally see Ashley and my uncle's family though!!! That was a huge mental boost for me. I knew that they were on the course cheering me on but I could not pick them out due to not being able to hear or see well. I was very relieved when I saw Ashley and picked up my pace.

As we were heading back downtown for the finish I pasted mile 21 at 2:30. That gave me 40 mins to run 5.2 miles, just under 8 min miles. I tried with everything that I had but the cramping in my legs hurt to bad and I was so cold from being wet. I finished in 3:13, 3 mins off from qualifing for Boston. Crap, so close! I ran the second 13 miles in 1:42. As I crossed the finish line I almost fell, my joints hurt so bad and one of the volunteers caught me. Finally I saw Ashley again, she was so happy for me and that is what I needed to hear. I was bummed about falling 3 mins short but like she said, I took off 1:15 from my best marathon time in only 1 year, not bad. If I keep this kind of improvement up I will be under 3 hours before to long. I am so lucky to have her to help me keep things in persective.

After the race we all went back to the condo to warm up. Steve and family took off back to Nebraska. Ashley and I on the other had some friends over for food and drinks to celebrate an end to a great summer and to cheer on the Rockies as they beat the Diamond Backs. What a great day!!!

My results.
Overall Rank Class Rank Pace Sex Rank Age Final
61 of 1563 16 of 159 00:07:23 53 31 03:13:45

Steve's Results
Overall Rank Class Rank Pace Sex Rank Age Final
542 of 1563 65 of 125 00:09:17 405 43 04:03:37

Thursday, October 4, 2007

You know you're a 14er nut when...

This is from many people on I can relate to most of these if not all of them.

Train hard.......Shad

You know you're a 14er nut when...

You visit REI more often than your local grocery store.

Noticing the mountains can stop you mid-sentence in a conversation.

Your work schedule revolves around your climbing schedule.

You hear about a "summit on world poverty" and wonder how climbing could improve the world economy.

You walk into your room to go to bed, realize that you washed your sheets today but didn't put them back on the mattress, and just nab your sleeping bag and collapse anyway.

You rate a potentially compatible member of the opposite sex on a difficulty level of 1 to 5.

Your friends consider you a "mountain geek."

You look at a pebble and notice that it resembles a 14er on a very small scale.

You wear hiking boots or shoes on a regular basis (if you wear them to a formal event, extra points.)

You don't need to have any kind of entertainment when you're on a long car ride in Colorado... the view is sufficient.

You can recognize all of the 14ers by name just by seeing a picture of them.

Your ideal vacation is in the mountains climbing for days on end.

You know who Albert Ellingwood was.

You consider naming pets and children after 14ers.

You consider naming pets and children after people or screennames you discovered on

You examine a stone building and wonder what it's difficulty rating is.

You hear someone in the middle of a conversation say "I like it on top" and don't take it in a derogatory way.

You know the name and screenname of a man who climbed Mt. Elbert in a purple pimp suit and demoted Sunshine Peak to a centennial 13er.

You log onto more than your e-mail account.

you go to take your clothes out of the washer and they are already dry

You see a painting with a mountain in it and start to try and figure out what the best route would be to climb it (same goes for movies)

You name your fantasy football team the Colorado 14'ers

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Endurance Athlete's Personal Ad Translation Guide

I came across this somewhere a while back and loved it. I wish I knew who wrote it but I don't.

Endurance Athlete's Personal Ad Translation Guide

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I train in any type of weather. If its raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100% humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don't want to hear any complaints cause I will still train in it and your just a big wuss for complaining about it.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: with or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peleton, I don't care. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then your not my type. I will let you draft, but if you can't hang and I drop you I will see ya later. I am a capable mechanic, but don't expect me to change your flats or tune your
bike. You need to learn that on your own.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Lets run hills until we puke. I have just as many shoes as you only mine are better because they are functional and all look the same.

"I enjoy dining out." Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don't be shy cause with the amount of food I eat you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison. Don't get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of ya. Most importantly don't expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring something to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4000+ calories a day your going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Ohh, and don't ask me any questions during breakfast, Mid Morning Lunch, Lunch, Afternoon lunch, Dinner or Recovery Dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into a 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the ocean for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you're going to find out what mass start is and let me assure you that you don't want to find out.

"I find fullfillment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not racing I am volunteering and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out sports drink to cyclist going 20 mph. Just stick the ol' arm out there and hope it doesn't get taken off.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time. Just back off cause I am strategizing and in a pissy mood cause I am worried about my "A" race and can't workout.

"I am an active person." Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 mandatory hours of sleep a night. 10 hours a week are devoted to myself during the offseason and 20 during race season leaving us 4 hours. 2 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so lets make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day. If you are a licensed message therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

"I enjoy road trips and leisurely drives." Really means: You have your choice of Wisconsin, Idaho, Florida, California, Arizona, and New York, but don't expect to do much site seeing. If I get enough support from you we might be able to include Hawaii in there.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: Lets grab a moutain bike and get our HR's up to 90%. There's plenty of time to look around on the descent as trees and bushes whiz by you at 40 mph.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: while we are running, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how horribly out of shape we are, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm interested in photography" Really Means: My a camera is permanently perched a tripod in front of my trainer. I obsess over taking photos of my bike position and analyzing them to get the perfect setup.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and bike computer are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if I find you as entertaining on long runs and rides as my mp3 player.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bohemian Alps 50K 9-15-07

I thought I would share my photos and a short race report from my first Ultra Marathon this past Saturday. The link to all my Photos is at the end of this e-mail, just click on the Bohemian Alps Ultra Marathon Album to view them.

This past Saturday Sept. 15th, I attempted my first of hopefully many Ultras with the great support of my girlfriend Ashley, her son Braden, and my uncle Steve. This race was called the Bohemian Alps Ultra Marathon 50K and was located in the central part of Nebraska not to far from Lincoln. The race was actually a little longer than 50K, it was a 32 mile run. I chose this race because it gave me a chance to drop down in elevation to 1000 feet above sea level and visit family on the way back to Colorado. One would think that since it was located in Nebraska that it would be a flat course but boy was I wrong. It was 32 miles of pure steep rolling hills. The hills were short but steep. You would run up a hill that was only 400-500 yards long and gain 200-300 feet only to look over the top to see miles and miles more of the same. Hills as far as the eye could see, FUN!!!!!

After a night of no sleep due to the rooster crowing from 3:30 am on, we lined up to start at 7:30 am. The first 2 miles I stayed in a pack of about 5 people as I warmed up. The 3 leaders took off like bandits and we lost site of the leader after 2 miles but could always see the other 2. At about the 2 mile mark after a good warm up a guy that I meet in the pack I was running with named Jason from Wahoo (I believe) Nebraska (was a cross country runner at Kansas State) and I decided to push a little since we both felt good. We took turns leading and breaking the wind for each other. It did not take us long to catch and pass the 3rd place guy. About 10 mins later we passed the second place guy around mile 10 and could see the first place guy ahead of us about 1/2 mile. I was starting to hurt as Jason and I pulled into mile 13-14 or so. I looked down at my watch to see that we covered the first 13-14 miles in 1:11ish or so. I just ran the fastest 13 miles that I ever have, there is no way I could keep this pace for 32 miles. At this point I told Jason that I was not going to be able to keep that pace and needed to back off and that I would see him at the end. I needed to run my race. Jason asked me if I was sure about that and I said yes. At this point I set myself into a 8 min mile pace and just chugged along. Ashley even rode her bike with me for a bit, that was great. At mile 16 my uncle Steve decided that he would join me and run for a while to keep me company.

Over the course of the next 10 miles from mile 16 to 26 was pretty uneventful. I did stop once to go to the bathroom but outside of that I just plotted along at my pace. Most of this section was long a tree lined bike path so my crew only had access to me every 2-3 miles or so. This was the most boring section of the race. After breaking off the bike path and getting back on the dirt roads we hit the 26 mile mark fairly quickly at 3:18. Not bad!!! I still felt good too, I was feeling good with only 6 miles left and starting to get cocky when I crashed and hit the bottom of the valley.

At mile 27-28 or so we had to head off into the local cross country course called Timber Point or as the locals called it Timber Hell. This is where I started having stomach and leg issues. I started to feel like I was going to puke and my legs were starting to cramp a bit in the calves. Usually I start feeling this way at mile 22 so not feeling this way until 28 is an improvement I guess. Timber Point was a 2 mile run around a lake on path that was mowed threw the weeds. I slowed greatly because of my problems and out of the fear of rolling an ankle or something. After power walking/ jogging through Timber Hell, it was a great relief to see my crew at mile 30 and get some Cyomax (drink). I ran out while going around the lake only had water which will not do the job. I need calories which is why I was not feeling good.

At this point I only had 2 miles left of jogging/power walking to the finish. These were the longest 2 miles I have experienced so far. I had to break down and put my I-pod on so that I could go away mentally. I did not want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to go away and keep moving forward. The whole time I was cussing at myself for slowing so much and for starting out so fast. Needless to say I finally crossed the finish line at 4:31 in 5th place and it was over........ I could not believe that the last 6 miles took me over an hour to complete. Wow that was a shock.

This was a very humbling experience for me and I am think that I am ready for the Denver Marathon in 3 weeks. I was worried because I seem to crash and burn at mile 22 or so the past couple of races. This seems to no longer be the case. We will see.

I really want to thank Ashley, Braden, and Steve for going with me and crewing for me. This would have been a nightmare without them! Thanks guys!!!

Here is the link to some pictures. Just click on Bohemian Alps Ultra Marathon album.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Doing the Bells with Traverse (South to North)

This is the trip report that I wrote on 9/1/07 for the Maroon Bells climb. Enjoy
Maroon Peak & N Maroon Peak
Date: Saturday, Sept 1st 2007
Route: ascend S Ridge of Maroon Peak, traverse to N Maroon, descend N Maroon NE Ridge
Team: Kirk (KirkT) and Shad (Shad)

I have been zeroing in on these peaks all summer after seeing them on my 4 pass loop trip around the Bell in June. That was the first time that I have been in this area. The first time I saw the Bells I got the urge to climb them. They were officially on my summer of 2007 list.

One week before Labor Day KirkT called me to see what my plans were for the Labor Day weekend. I was supposed to go down to the San Juans for a few days but really was not in the mood to drive that far and had to be home on Monday. He made the suggestion of the Bells and it was game on from that point on.

Friday night at 5pm we left the Denver area and headed to Aspen arriving around 8-9pm. The overnight parking lot was full so we had to park in the overflow parking about 1/4-1/2 mile down the road. I was a little worried about this. How many people are going to be on the mountain tomorrow? Was it going to be safe? We will see.

After a great night of sleeping under the stars we were off at 4:15am hiking up the road to the trailhead. After about 45 mins into the hike I realized that I should not have been leading without my head lamp on. I was on the wrong trail and was doing the loop around Maroon Lake, I missed the turn off for Crater Lake. So an hour was wasted, oh well. After getting on the the correct trail we hit Crater Lake and the turn off to head up the ridge by the bent tree in no time. At Crater Lake I thought about hiding my rope and climbing gear here and picking up on the way back because I had a pinched nerve or something in my neck and the weight was bothering me. I decided to take it anyway and suffer with the weight so I popped a couple of pills. Good think I did as you will see later. From here on out it is going to be an uphill slog.

The first half of the trail to gain the ridge was easy to follow but we lost the trail once we got into the rocks so we decided to make our own way up. Here is a trail map. In blue is the standard route and in red is our route. I may be off a little but should be very close to where we went. We tryed to stay as direct as possible.

At this point in the game we have passed 2 or so people and could see 3 head of us. I guess all those people were somewhere else and not on the Bells. We only saw about 10-12 people all day.

We finally gained the ridge by the notch.

From here we just followed the carins to the summit.

It took us about 6 hours to get to the top of South Maroon with the 1 hour side trip around Maroon Lake that I lead us on. But we made it no problem.

After spending a half hour on the summit watching the clouds we decided that we both were ok with the weather and that we were going to commit to the traverse. We left down the traverse around 11 or so. The first part of the traverse from South to North is the down climb down into the bottom of the saddle. This down climb is not bad if you take your time and not rush it. After hitting the bottom of the saddle the fun begins as you climb up North Maroon.

It took us two hours to complete the traverse from South Maroon to North Maroon.

The decent off of North Maroon took all of my energy and I did not take the time for pictures. This was one of the hardest down climbs that I have ever done. We did the traverse without using the rope but due to how poorly the route was marked on the decent of North Maroon we kept getting off route and caught in cliff bands. We ended up doing 2 repells to get off this mountain, one of about 30 feet and one of about 100 feet. It was the longest and most tiring decent I have ever done. It took us 6 hours to get from the top of North Maroon back to the car.

We finally reached the lovely site of Kirk‘s truck at 7:30pm, 15 hours after starting. What a day!!! We were both beat and in trouble, Kirk with his wife and me with my girlfriend. It took us 5 hours longer than we thought it would and they were worried. They had every right to be for we under estimated how hard the route finding on this mountain would be. Even with all of this this has been my favorite climb so far as I hit the halfway point of my 14er list. I would gladly do it again for everyone that knows me well knows that I am sucker for punishment.

Here is a link to all my pictures.

Link to trip report on, just cut and paste into browser: