Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015- A Quick Review

What a year it was on the playing and racing front.  I owe so many people a thanks many times over for the support that I was given this year I don't even know where to begin.  Thank you!  You know who you are.  So a quick breakdown on the racing and playing front.

Even though my total running mileage numbers were down this year, my total hours were up big time.  Guess signing up for Leadman will do that to you.  Here is how 2015 breaks down.

How does that compare to the past years?  Well this is an interesting view.  Now you can see what I mean by total hours being up big time.  This is comparing the last 8 years in total hours in the top and total miles in the bottom.

Solid year of racing with Leadman being the focus of the whole first 8 months of the year then onto cyclocross.  You can go back and read all the race reports on the year, I am not going to get into them all here.  This was my biggest year yet racing also.  Anyways here is the list of all the organized races and/or events from the year.  Lots of great times and memories this year.

2015 Races
Couple of my favorite race shots from the year

I did not read as many as this guy but still got in a solid 33 books.  Of course half of them were zombie apocalypse themed books that that same guy turned me onto back in June.  Plan of finishing out the series that I am currently reading, on book 3 of 8 then moving onto something new for a while, just not sure what yet.  Thinking of getting into the Jack Reacher books next.

2015 Books Read
1. Ready to Run*
2. 80/20 Running
3. Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultrarunning
4. Unbreakable: Navy Seal Way of Life *
5. Wild*
7.  The Boys in the Boat* -awesome read
8.  Kiss or Kill Confessions of a Serial Climber*
9.  Killer Athletes
10. Power, Speed, Endurance 
11. Unbeatable Mind
12. Embrace the Suck
13. Natural Born Heroes*
14. Arisen, Book One Fortress Britain
15. Arisen, Book Two Mogadishu of the Dead*
16. Arisen, Book Three- Three Parts Dead*
17. Arisen, Book Four- Maximum Violence*
18. Arisen Book Five- Exodus*
19. Arisen Book Six- The Horizon*
20. Arisen Book Seven- Death of Empires *
21. Arisen Book Eight- Empire of the Dead *
22. Arisen- Genesis*
23. Arisen- Nemesis*
24. Arisen Book Nine- Cataclysm*
25. My Fight/Your Fight*
26. Arisen Book Ten- The Flood*
27. D-Boys
28. Counter-Assault (2nd D-Boys)
29. How to Avoid Dying - For as Long as Possible
30. Trudge: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
31. Boulder Running Journal*
32. Daniels' Running Formula
33. Soldier On: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Now on to some loose top 10 goals for 2016.
Goals for 2016:
1. Boston Marathon (Shoot for sub 3 hours? Maybe depending on how training goes.)
2. Bighorn 100
3. Finish the 14ers or at least put a dent in it (11 left)
4. Visit my 100th Colorado brewery
5.  Read at least 30 books
6.  Pure fall focus on Cyclocross racing, meaning actually train for it starting in August
7.  Leadville 100 Mountain Bike if I make it through the lottery
8. Support a certain someone at Leadman anyway I can
9. Get a passport, yes I have never had a passport.  I know sad.
10.  Another year of over 2,000 miles running and 3,000 miles cycling


Monday, December 21, 2015

3rd Annual Solstice Grog Slog

Another winter solstice is approaching so that means that it is time for the Annual Solstice Grog Slog.  Another great day out running and drinking with friends.  This year came in at about 25 miles with 7 breweries and a distillery.  Largest group yet, we keep saying that this will be the last year we do this jog but every year it grows.   Go figures.  Think this year we ended up with about a dozen people through out the day, some did the shorter version and some did the whole thing.  We are now down to only 2 people who have completed all 3 of these runs, but I am considering giving someone credit due to him not knowing about the 1st year we held this jog.  That will be for future discussion.

Click here for the write up by GZ along with bunch of photos.   Thanks for putting this together GZ!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Finally turned in my paperwork to get upgraded to the next level in Cyclocross which is a good thing.  Next year I can start the year out racing in the Cat 4 Masters Mens now and race against guys my own age instead of young kids and pro triathletes that decide to do a race here and there.  Racing one more time this Sunday at National Western Complex then I think I will be missing the final race of the season next weekend in Castlerock due to the brewery run we do every year, I still might sneak in one last race on Sunday after the brewery run if I am not to hung over.  Such a fun fall doing these races, think next year I will actually train for them and not just ride on the weekends when I race.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

So It Was Decided

With striking out at the Hardrock 100 lottery, again, 2016 main goal has been decided for me.  Back to Bighorn it is to keep my name in the Hardrock lottery for another 2 years.  One of these days I will get into Hardrock so I can retire from ultrarunning. 

Did a great run today covering from Boulder to Nederland ending at Wild Mountain Brewery.  One of my favorite runs, I try to do this at least once a year.  There is something cool about running somewhere, drinking a beer, then having to ride the bus to get back to your car.  24.7 miles with 6,000 feet of climb, solid day.  Even brought home a growler with me.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rocky Mountain Cyclocross Championships

Another weekend, another CX race!  Fun morning up in Longmont racing the Rocky Mountain CX Champs.  Only 2 more weeks left in the season and you will stop seeing all these biking updates from me and it will turn back to a running blog again.  Thanks again for the awesome photos Bryan!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Nov Numbers & Another Race sign up

November has been a month of returning to feeling somewhat physically normal since Leadville.  It has been a struggle as you might have read in GZ's blog, he is not the only one that has been struggling for a few months.  Anyways with that said here are the numbers for November.  There is also 4 cyclocross races and one 6K cross country race included in these numbers so a solid month on the racing side. 

It has been a very challenging month for me on in my personal and work life so I am very pleased with the work that I was able to put in this month.  I struggle with wanting to include stuff from my personal and work life on this blog and start blogging everyday or two but I am just not there.  Maybe someday.  One thing I do want to share is that I am very thankful for the friends and family that I do have in my life, they have helped me more than they will ever know.  They know who they are.  Thank you.

So anyways back to the important stuff!

I think November was a good stepping stone to rebuilding the deep base that I had this summer.  Originally the plan for 2016 was to race Cross Country Nationals in Bend OR in Feb, then Boston in April, then onto whatever 100 I picked for the summer.  Now that has changed due to life.  It was just to hard to get a group of at least 5 guys over the age of 40 to commit to Bend.  Just a challenge with work, families, ect.  So with that I am re-looking at the first 3 months of 2016 and how I was going to approach training.  I did start following a pretty intense 10k training program a few weeks ago to get ready for Cross Country Nationals in Bend but with that now being scrapped, I am thinking I am just going to go back to pure base work with lots of weights thrown in between now and mid February.  Then come mid February switch over to a pure focus on Boston.  Depending on how that training goes will decide what goals at shoot for at Boston, right now I am pondering if I can break 3 hours or not.  So with that thought process and being talked into it by a certain someone (you know who you are), I have decided to end my base phase by doing this as a long training run.

 This is such a fun run even though I remember when it was a hell of a lot cheaper but I love it.  I love going to Moab, one of my favorite places within easy half day drive.

After this weekend I will be able to lay out the rest of 2016 I think, so more to come.

Couldn't Resist - LT100 MTB

Got invited into a group that needed 1 more person to fill out their lottery group and I could not resist.  I really want to give getting the big buckle a shot by going sub 9 hours and think it is doable, I did 9:28 during Leadman. But if a certain someone signs up for Leadman I will be out there in a support roll.  We will see.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Fun

Hell of a weekend.  With Thanksgiving coming up it is a reminder of the blessing for the friends that I have.

I think this text from wanker sums it up best.  Of course he was to scared to come up and race on Saturday morning since it snowed.

Saturday morning GZ invited me to race with the Flatirons Running team at the Colorado State Cross Country Championships.  This was a 3 lap 6K course that was a lung burner.  No where in shape for this kind of racing but put myself out there going out hard on the 1st lap only to blow halfway through the second lap and try to hang on to the finish.  Good times!  Results can be found here.  All photos below by Timko.

The race was followed by trash talking and beer at Southern Sun in Boulder.  Always a good time with the GOMs.

Saturday night was originally supposed to be my 40th birthday party at a local brewery Nighthawk in Broomfield until life took a left turn on me a few weeks ago and I cancelled it.  Not being happy about me cancelling my party Rebecca talked me into having a small potluck style get together at my house.  Needless to say, the beer was flowing and good times were had by all.  Thank you guys.  It is special to have the friends that I do.

Sunday was spent sitting around the house wasting the day watching episodes of The Man in the High Castle.  Thanks GZ.  I did get out on the bike for a bit and rode over to the Jeffco Airport to catch some guys from the gym competing in the Turkey Challenge at MBS Crossfit.  Always fun watching people destroy themselves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

LT100 Run Report: Just like that, Leadman and Summer is over

Damn, I waited to long to write this up.  I threw all the photos in this post months ago but never got around to finishing it, oh well.  Being that it happened 3 months ago things are starting to blur together and all the small details of the day are easily forgotten.  Honestly that is ok,  I have done enough of these races now that I don't need to log what I ate when so I can look back at it in the future to remind myself for the next race.  So I am going to try and let the photos tell show how each section went, and I will just write a few things that stick out.

Event Description:
50 miles out and back in the midst of the Colorado Rockies. Lowest point is 9,200 ft. and the highest point is Hope Pass, 12,600 ft.  Mixture of forest trails and mountain roads. Pacers allowed after the 50 mile point. 11 well-supplied aid stations with cut-offs.

Here is the race Profile.  You can also find my Strava data by clicking here.  Yes I did get the whole thing on my GPS watch with the help of an external battery source.

Weather:  Near perfect weather all day and night.  Even got a little rain coming down the Powerlines on the outbound which kept things cool.  Could not have asked for a better weather day for me.

Race Report:

Some sections will be long and some parts will be short. It all comes down to if anything eventful happened in that section and to what I can really remember, 24 hours out on the trails and roads in the mountains kind of blend together in a lot of parts especially considering how long I put off typing this up.

The first time in the header is the split for that section of trail and the second time is the total running time from the start of the race.

Start to Mayqueen 2:06/2:06

As much as I hate the 4am start of this race the starting line sure can be an exciting place to be that early in the morning.  Nervous energy everywhere.  Chatted a bit with JP and Neal before the start to try and take the mind off of what was to come.  The cruise around the lake to Mayqueen just an easy cruise.  I did start about 5-6 rows from the front so that I did not get to far back in the pack going around the lake.  I wanted to get to Mayqueen in about 2 hours and I think that went pretty much to plan.  Everything felt pretty good and loose which was shocking to me. Crew meet me here which shocked me, I was not expecting to see them.  Such a great crew.  Was able to ditch the lights and grab the sunglasses.

Mayqueen to OB 2:00/4:06

Focus was just on taking an easy and cruising as much as possible.  Legs felt pretty good going around the lake in the first section but with going up and over Sugarloaf Mountain on this section I really started to feel the deep soreness and tiredness from the 100 mountain bike that I did the week before.  You can see in the photo below of me going down the Powerlines the effort in trying to baby my quads, they were shot at mile 15 and my only thought at the time was dreading how long of a day this is going to turn into if my legs felt this bad this early.  One encouragement that sticks out was that every other Leadman that I talked too was feeling the exact same way.  At least I was not the only one, knowing that helped the mental game for me.

 OB to Pipeline 0:58/5:04

Brandon made his first appearance on this section to check on my progress as I was coming out of the field and hitting the road.  Of course I started to bitch about how my legs were feeling and he just rolled his eyes at me.  As I left Brandon and started jogging up the road to Treeline, Clyde passes me on the road in his truck and  had the windows all written on (photo below).  Made me start laughing and not take everything so serious.  Right there and then it became fun again.  Thanks guys!

Pipeline to Twin 1:42/6:47 

Not much sticks out in this section.  Lots of going back and forth between running and walking as I made my way over to Twin Lakes.  Caught up to 3 other Leadman racers during this section and they were also complaining about energy levels and leg soreness.  Just reinforced my resolve knowing that and always jogged past them until I was out sight before I would give into walking again.  Yes I started racing a little and was not just thinking about surviving anymore.

Twin to Winfield 3:18/10:05

Rolled into Twin Lakes in a pretty good head space which is always promising with the Hope Pass double crossing looming in front of you.  Went into the aid building to fill my bottles and grab food to eat while I walk out of town through the large crowds towards the pass looking for Clyde my crew.  Could not find him and just before crossing the road I hear someone yelling my name and I look up to see Ashley walking towards me waving her arms, WTF!!  She was supposed to be at work!  Guess she took the shift off to come out and surprise me and man did she ever!  Of course this got me all emotional, more than I would like to admit.  Took a few extra minutes here to be with her a little and get some supplies out of the crew bag.  I never did see Clyde here, he dropped off Ashley about 30 seconds before she found me and went to park the car.  If they would have went to park the car and not drop off Ashley I would not have seen anyone from my team here.  Funny how things work out.

Going up and over Hope Pass to the 50 mile turn around point I was lead the whole time by Ryan Krol and his girlfriend who's name I can not remember right now.  Ryan was also doing Leadman and his girlfriend was running the 100, they were staying together for at least the first half.  They set a great pace up and over, I would have been much slower without them so if you are reading this Ryan, thank you.  Of course they dropped me on the downhill because my quads were shot and I could not run worth a shit downhill.

Winfield to Twin 4:31/14:36

Rolled into Winfield the 50 mile turn around at 10 hours and 5 minutes into the race.  That would give me just under 15 hours to cover the 50 miles back to the finish line to get the big buckle and almost 20 hours to finish under the cutoffs.  Things are starting to look promising.  Sat down at Winfield for 5-10 minutes when I arrived to collect myself a little and eat.  For some reason watermelon tasted fucking great and I could not stop eating it.  Ended up eating somewhere around 6 big slices along with some other food.  Picked up Rebecca and we started the adventure back towards the finish line.  About halfway up the backside of Hope Pass I finally hit a wall energy wise and my stomach started cramping really bad.  So bad in fact that I had to lay down and stretch my arms above my head, arch my lower back, and keep my legs straight to get my stomach to let go of the cramp.  It was horrible.  After about the second time of this happening the cramps hurt so bad and my stomach muscles were flexed so hard that it made me puke and up came all the watermelon.  After each episode Rebecca would get me hiking again until we got up and over the top and down the 500 vertical feet to Hopeless Aid station.  Here I made the decision to take 30 minutes to put things back together.  One thing I have learned is the 30 minutes at an aid station to put things back together can save you hours out on the trail.  I started chugging Coke and Ramon noodles.  This combo always works, sugar and salt, and a lot of it.  After seeing 2 runners get married at the the aid station in that 30 minutes we were there Rebecca and I took off and had a pretty good jog back down to Twin.  Some of my favorite photos are from this section and are below.

Twin to Pipeline 2:12/16:48   

Before I get into this section Brandon has a very good recap from pacing me from Twin to Mayqueen that you can read here.  He does a much better job of recapping these sections than I ever will.  So instead of typing all that out just go read Brandon's awesome report.  He actually captured exactly was going on.  It is ok I will wait.

Pipeline to OB 1:25/18:13

Ok this section is still covered in Brandon's report.  Yes I did start feeling really good as we were running towards Outward Bound and just rolled with what my body would give me.  Starting to roll!

I love how the crew decorated the car!


OB to Mayqueen 3:01/21:14

Powerlines!!  For some reason I have always loved going up the Powerlines at mile 80 during Leadville and this time was no exception.  This is where I passed Keith and made fun of him.  Just kidding about the making fun of him part.  Anyways this was also covered in Brandon's report and man I was feeling fucking great on the climb then we hit the downhill and my quads wanted nothing to do with that.  Brandon was correct in his report that I was gambling a little bit pushing the uphills hard, knowing that I could not run the downhills hard if even at all.  We did a lot of walking downhill, just sad. 

Now that is some first class service!!!  What a crew!!!

Mayqueen to Finish 2:45/24:00

Brandon and I rolled into Mayqueen feeling OK.  I wanted to sit for 5 minutes because my quads were killing me from the downhill coming into Mayqueen but Ashley would not allow that, she kicked me out after Clyde gave me some Tylenol to help with the leg soreness I was having.  The first few miles which is rolling trail were a mixture of walking and jogging as Donald and I started making our way the final 13 miles to the finish. The great thing was that I never got cold.  I ran around the lake in just a long sleeve shirt which shocked me.  I was running hot for sure, most people get cold going around the lake in the middle of the night.  As the trail got flatter around the lake the more I ran and the faster I ran.  We started rolling people up left and right.  Felt good, I love passing people late into a race, especially in an ultra.  This lasted until I hit the Boulevard which is the last 3 miles of the course.  I started running out of energy and motivation.  We started doing the run for a minute then walk for a minute, repeat.  This is a great trick to keep moving forward but does eat into your overall pace. I knew I had sub 25 hours in the bag at this point and lost my motivation to push hard to the end until I hit the last hill looking down at the finish line by the high school and realized that I was close to breaking 24 hours.  When I realized this I started running, hard.  I passed 3 other runners, 2 of them Leadmen, in the last 1/2 mile to the finish but could not quite break 24 hours, ended up in 24:00:36, yep I missed it by 37 seconds.  So close to that sub 24 but still did something that I honestly thought I would never do, get the big buckle and during Leadman.   I was in such shock at how things played out I did not know what to say and just sat down in the first chair I saw to collect myself.  "Did that really happen?"  That is all I could think.

Final Thoughts: It was a hell of a fun summer!  I would rate this as one of the best summers since I was a kid.  I would like to thank Ashley who has been putting up with me and my training for the past 8 plus years we have been together.. And of course a huge shout out to Clyde for being the awesome crew chief that he is, anyone that can have this guy crew your 100 is blessed.  Another big shout out to Rebecca who not only paced me over Hope Pass during the run but also played crew chief the previous weekend at the 100 mountain bike race, now that is a friend.  And also of course Brandon and Donald who paced the last 40 miles between the two of them, thank you for making me want to push myself and helping me be successful.  I could not have done it without all you guys, it means more to me than you will ever know to have this kind of support.  Of course a special thank you to Bob who not only training with me through out the year but opened up his home in Leadville to me and gave me the resources I needed to have this awesome summer.  Also a big thanks goes out to James Walsh, Lucho, and Andy Wooten who all gave me valuable advice through out the year to help get me ready for the Leadman races.  They helped take what seemed over whelming amount of work and break it down for me, thank you.   It was a very special experience I got to experience this summer and I am truly blessed to have the people in my life that I do.  Leadman makes for an awesome summer of fun, go give it a shot and let me know if I can help you in anyway. 

Think Bob has some mixed feelings about Leadville this year.