week of oct 21st thru oct 27th, 2013 (mile marker 20…1/5 of the way there!)

Monday the 21st

4 miles, +200′ vert. :49. nice slow recovery jog on an awesome autumn day. Feelin’ a little stiff after yesterday’s jaunt with Kels.  55 degrees and sunny—perfect!


perch #FIFTY on the year. probably won’t make it to 100 perch ascents like last year but I suppose a summer away from the Big Hills will do that.  We’ll see though. +600′ vertical, 1:12.52. Stayed in MAT. second best round trip in MAT–felt a bit tired today and had a hard time staying consistent. but it’s hard to be upset when it’s 55 and sunny. i love fall in colorado.


rest day–resting the legs for the big effort this Saturday


15 miles of road biking with Jay-pop. 1:09. Up to the Reservoir, over to Bingham Hill and up Taft.  Felt good to be on the bike again; good workout without poundin’ the feet.


rest day, sort of.  Rode ~10 miles with a tandem bike group of folks with visual impairments.  Really enjoyed piloting! Though, my butt’s a little sore after the last two days…


Rocky Mountain Tiger Hilloween III   Woooo!  25.2 miles, +5200′ vertical, 7:30.30.  Great day in the hills, great friends, great weather! Accompanied by Kelsea, Maya, Maeve, Humphrey, Andrew, Jay-pop. Lots of hiking, some jogging. Felt good til about mile 20, which ain’t bad. good to get in some vertical and lactic acid into the legs. Haven’t tangled with The Beast* since the Quad Rock 50 in May. perfect weather–sunny and 60 degrees. started at 715am and went to about 3pm. Great hiking and chatting with so many people on a long outing. Actually felt a little lonely for the 7 miles I was by myself! Animal sightings: one turkey, one black squirrel, one black dog.


yeah right.

Weekly Totals:

35 foot miles, ~9.5 hours, +6000′ vert (171’/mile).

25 bike miles, 2.5 hours.

Great mix of running, biking and resting this week.  Saturday’s “event” was a good indication of where I’m at in training.  Most of the day was hiking but it included a lot of necessary hill climbing.  I was happy that I stayed both strong (until about mile 20) and, maybe more importantly, felt relatively fine the next day (though definitely some leg/butt soreness).  It was fun being in the hills with so many friends in one day.  Looking to continue this uphill training block this next week.

*The Beast: (1) the part deep inside that screams at me to stop. to relax. to find a couch. mmm, beer. pizza. malt-shake. yummm. (2) a mythical creature that lives in the part of my brain dealing with reason and sound judgement (cerebrum?). (3) an animal that hibernates until I go into the Pain Zone (see: Pain Zone), at which point it begins stirring. (4) doubt; second-guessing. (5) thoughts needing to be squashed/controlled/overcome in order to continue.


week of oct 14th thru oct 20th, 2013 (mile marker 18.1)

Monday the 14th

perch #47, 3.5 miles, +570′ vert. ~1 hour. Great first day back in Coloradie, though a bit chilly.  Hike/jogged with Duder, Boj and Eric who were visiting from the MN.  Great way to get back into things.


7.75 miles, +~400′ vert, 1:35. Maxwell-Pine Ridge loop with Boj and Duder.  Boj is gettin’ ready for a mostly-flat-with-a-few-hills 10 miler next week in St. Paul, so this was a good route.  Knee giving me some issues but nothing major (hopefully). 


perch #48 on the year with big poppa Jay. +600′ vert, 6 miles, 1:15. Cold mornin’ run with Jaybird and his new kicks. Stylin’. gotta get me some of them new PIs.  stayed in MAT at 150 bpm. 




perch #49, 6 miles, +600′ vert. 1:17.  First significant snowfall of the season overnight.  Sunny and good weather during the run, which made for sloppy-muddy trails most of the way up.  This added both time and effort (hard to keep below the Max Aerobic Threshold).  First time gettin’ out there by myself in a few weeks–a strange fact considering I ran with people about three times last year total.  Nice havin’ company! Also nice bein’ alone.  best of both worlds!


rest day–lots of homework catch-up, lots of tea and a big breakfast with KMac 🙂  #bestkindofday


9.75 miles, ~500′ vert. 3 hours. Great hike with Kels and Maya, with a little bit of joggin’ thrown in. Kels gearin’ up for the PHX half marathon with the mother-figure in two weeks. Good to put some miles in without so much pounding on the knees and IT. 

Weekly Totals:

33 foot miles, ~8 hours, +~2700′ vert. (~82’/mile). 

Great first week back–maybe a bit too many miles but the biggest day was mostly hiking so I’m not too worried about it.  Weather gettin’ colder and I’m starting to think about winter-strategy. That is, maybe focusing more on time rather than miles as the trails get muddier or snow-packed.  Going to also start monitoring my vertical feet per mile (or vertical feet per hour in the winter months).  Gotta make sure I’m staying on par with what Leadville will require: between 150 and 170′ per mile (on average).  Though a lot if not most of the course is joggable, I’m keepin’ my mind on Hope Pass’s double crossing (about 400′ vertical per mile from miles 40-60) and will shift my training in preparation.  To start, I’m participating in Mountain Tiger Hilloween III this Saturday, a do-it-yourself, “honor system” type event that encourages people all over the country to spend ten hours getting as much vertical gain and miles in as possible.  Post results online, win prizes, no entrance fee.  Sounds good! Hopin’ to get some peeps out there to put in some time with me.  More on all of that next week!

On Inspiration and Heroes (mile marker 18)

I don’t usually need much in the way of motivation to get out and run.  I love the routine of exertion and sweat and the endorphin kick that comes with hoofing it up an incline.  But like anyone else, there are a number of days when I just…don’t…wanna.  It’s too cold! It’s too hot! There’s too much smoke in the air (a legitimate excuse the last two summers). I’m tired! I ate too much bacon!  Running is dumb! What is running anyway? Why are we here?  Who are we? Etc.

I usually only require a slight nudge to get past these thoughts—I will remind myself that I have never once regretted going for a run.  That is once I’m about 10 minutes into it.   I’ll sometimes just take a quick walk to the end of the sidewalk, glance westward and consider the foothills and mountains that hold many potential adventures.  Sometimes my leg muscles will start twitching, itching to get moving.  Sometimes the thought of keeping the routine going gets me rollin’.  “If you want to run Leadville, you gotta run. Even and especially when you don’t want to.”  That usually does it.

But when none of these work…

I’ll read a quote or poem, listen to a song, watch a video clip, learn about an amazing human doing amazing things.  I’ve noticed that one of the biggest motivators/inspirations to keep running is a simple picture of a person (any person) hiking or running on a trail.  I’d like to know the psychology/sociological reasons behind this (Maeve…Kels…?).  I’ve included many of these inspirations below.  Maybe they’ll help you too.  Now, let’s be clear: these words/pictures/videos/links have a touch of cliché-ness to them.  They are not my experiences.  They are not my own thoughts.  But they can help. If they get me out the door, I’ll take it.   Enjoy!

Film and Photos:

Anton Krupicka (see: OtHeR bLoGs link), a local Colorado mountain runner, provides this winter inspiration (helpful for the months ahead):  http://vimeo.com/26899667

Kels and I don’t really like the name of this website, but my goodness, the photos!   www.trailporn.com

Great and fitting title to this trail running short-film: http://vimeo.com/47355798

I might have already included this Leadville 100 video in one of my first posts, but it definitely keeps my eye on the prize, and feet on the trail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWRActOyvek

Great athletes, great landscapes.  Not much more needed:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uAWGblQXv0  I love the last line: “Ideally I’d like to be a bird—but running is a close second.”

The shred of patriotism in me mixed with my hockey-filled upbringing always combines to produce a tear and goose bumps when I watch this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88

Amazing People:

I get inspired by lots of different people—many I know pretty well: Kelsea (what an amazing woman!), my parents, my siblings, the great bee wrangler of northeast Minneapolis; and many I don’t know so well: Mandela, Gandhi, Trotsky, David James Duncan, Mr. Darcy (??), Subcomandante Marcos.  Here’s a few others more closely associated with running and the wilderness:

A great and humble man, I spent about 6 months reading everything I could find on this guy.  Simply unbelievable:  http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runners/emil-zatopek

The Zatopek of the cycling world. Before the drugs. Before the money.      http://www.cyclelicio.us/2009/mick-murphy-the-irish-iron-man-cyclist/

Kilian Jornet—probably the best endurance athlete to come along in a while, and a pretty cool dude too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRl0PjiPnyM

Dick Freakin’ Proenneke.  Ever heard of this guy? Lived in the Alaskan wilderness. Alone. For 35 years.  Documented it too.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss

Some Words:

(there’s so many powerful, beautiful words and quotes out there—though quotes can be so cliché and devoid of meaning sometimes.  Remember those “motivational posters” with quotes at the bottom?  Lol.  But…sometimes certain quotes can help.)

“…what is it you will do with your one, wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver

“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I run. It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s being creative.”  Steve Prefontaine

“Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.”  Abe Gubegna


My brother and I spent a couple summers (about ten years ago) watching the Tour de France, being totally inspired and in awe of Lance Armstrong, and then we’d get on our road bikes and ride in the afternoon.  Those were great summers.

As a baseball fan I remember the glorious summer of 1998, when Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa matched dinger for dinger in pursuit of the coveted home run record.

These are two of many examples that have taught me a lesson about inspiration.  I stopped having/believing in heroes a while ago—about the time I realized that humans are prone to do both amazing and beautiful things—exploration, endurance, science, spiritual introspection, compassion—amazing things!—but also plenty of not-so great things too: we cheat, we lie, we fight and compete for meaningless honors and glory (as well as a host of other things not needing mention).  Ok…what’s my point?  Regardless of whether you are a super-athlete, a scientist discovering cancer treatments, a president, a Buddhist monk…whoever—you will make mistakes.  You will fail sometimes. You are not perfect.  Hero-worship can set one up for disappointment and what’s worse (in my opinion), it will distract you from being your own hero, your own inspiration.  It will distract you from your own greatness and your own adventure.  In short: being inspired to do fun/amazing/challenging things by other people doing amazing things = good.  Turning these people into heroes = well, not so helpful.  Be yourself. Have your own style. Live your own adventure. Or as Sanka Coffie puts it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=askJo-rtUFE

I’m just lookin’ to get off the couch (when I’m feeling unmotivated), in order to create and live out my own adventure.

Thanks for readin’.  Run on.

week of oct 7th thru oct 13th, 2013 (mile marker 16.7)

I spent the entirety of this week in Philly, checking in with my O&M program at Salus University.  I used it as a (somewhat) needed rest week.  I went for a few jogs, did a bunch of walking (roundtrip to-and-from school was about 3 miles) and mostly focused on school stuff.  As such, I of course put on about 3 lbs. (even though I reeeeally tried not to).  Oh well.  

Weekly Totals:

~10 foot miles, ~3 hours, negligible vertical gain.

Going to try and get back to business this week, and begin focusing more on vertical gain per mile. My next slated full rest week will not be until Thanksgiving.  Mornings are gettin’ pretty chilly already (21 degrees this morning)…a long cold winter ahead? 

week of sept 30th thru oct 6th, 2013 (mile marker 14)

Monday the 30th

perch #44. 6 miles, +600′ vert. 1:20. very slow recovery run with Duder. mornings are gettin’ chilly. lots of walkin’ and slow moving–just givin’ the legs a little stretch.


rest, with some stretching and other exercises


perch #45, 6 miles, +600′ vert. 1:12. great run. everything seemed to click–stayed below MAT entire way but still ran most of it. 3 minutes faster than the last time i did this route with the same HR. that’s a good sign…right?  felt strong and steady.


perch #46. 7 miles, +700′ vert. 1:24. another good run in the MAT zone. same kind of run as yesterday with an extra mile leg thrown in. felt great again.


rest and stretching


flew to Philly for an 8-day school session and the beginning of a recovery week (well, maybe recovery 10 days).  plan on takin’ it easy, maybe a few short jogs.


day of rest.  homework and playoff baseball with friends.  

Weekly Totals:

19 foot miles, ~4 hours, ~+2000′ vertical gain.

Week started out well, especially with a good ‘indicator’ run on Wednesday.  Definitely slacked toward the end of the week but was expecting it with my Philly week approaching.  Going to enjoy the down week ahead while avoiding the addition of 3-5lbs that is standard on trips/vacations.  Upon returning to the CO I definitely want to start adding more vertical gain to the outings.  Leadville ain’t gonna be very flat.

Speaking of Leadville…booked a nice little house this week for the days surrounding the LT100 next August.  Right near the start (and finish) line.  Even though I can’t sign-up for the actual race yet, I think the house rental means I’m all in. At least that’s what I’m taking it to mean.    #all.in.