Monday, July 26, 2010

Pbville with Friends

I spent last weekend crewing Anita F, Time F, and Theresa D-W on some training runs on the LT100 course.
I'm sitting this one out, since my arm is not strong enough and I've lost so much training and lost muscle to fat. I'd rather crew.
Anita just got done with a 37hr Badwater 135, so she was a little slower than usual, but geez, going so soon after BW, and three days in a row... she's off the charts, what can I say?

First, we met at Fish Hatchery where I picked them up and drove them to Twin Lakes. The clouds lit up in a blaze of glory. This photo was taken about 5 minutes too late.

Then I drove to Half Moon. The official course was changed last year. Ken K decided to make it permanent. So no more Half Moon aid station. It'll be Box Car. But to keep things simple in the dark, they decided to take the old route.

When the run was done, we headed for the exquisite Timberline Motel. This posh villa had a bathroom door that actually closed (with a little shove of the shoulder)!
It was good enough for ultra-runners.

Coffee got us going again Saturday morning. We drove to May Queen trailhead, dropped off Theresa D-W's car, and headed to Fish Hatchery.
I took Toastie the Australian Shepherd and drove back to Leadville to get more coffee at the Provin' Grounds. Toastie was a chick magnet. All extremely cute, all in really good shape, and nearly all of them young enough to be my daughters.
Toastie is a very cool dog! We got along GREAT! Almost made me want to get a Border Collie (almost the same as Aust Shep.)
Then I drove to May Queen again and took Toastie for a hike. We had gone about a mile up the trail when Anita, June, and Theresa D-W were coming down. Toastie went ballistic to see mommie again!

Theresa decided to call it a day, so I had the chance to trot back over Sugarloaf Mtn back to Fish Hatchery with June and Anita. We met Joy Robertson near F-H.

That night, we celebrated Anita's Badwater performance at the Tennessee Pass restaurant - best food in Leadville.

Sunday, we climbed Mount Elbert. I sucked at taking photos. Honestly there were all these cute women running around and I forgot there were any other views to look at. I guess there were still mountains around. Take my word for it.

At least I took one of the King of the Mountain - the surly marmot.

A very fun weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Geneva Creek Hiking, Day 2

The 2nd day saw me up bright and early.
Yeah, right!!! Not me!! I slept in! Damn right! Beer before bed, coffee in the a.m., and hittin' the trail no earlier than 9:30a.

Here is probably the best river crossing (deepest). Since I'm not done planning the race route, it's not certain.

Pass the Swampy pond...

It dawned on me that many people who have never been to Colorado don't know this bit of lore/history. Just about anywhere and everywhere you can go in the Colorado Rockies, you will see stumps. Just when you think you're standing where no human has EVER stood before, there's a stump. Not blown-over by wind, but either sawed or chopped. Back in the mining years, they cut just about every tree that grew in the state. Railroad tracks, mine tunnel shoring, firewood, housing, you-name-it. And the sad thing is, just like slaughtering buffalo from trains and leaving hundreds of carcasses to rot in the sun, you can find swathes of old stumps with the mating trees laid across the ground next to them. Without chainsaws, this was particularly lousy management. I'm sure the grunts who cut these trees down were peeved at the idiots they worked for.

Of course, Ma Nature has it's own destructions, but somehow it always ends up as art!

Beirstadt from much further away, along Trail 600.

Top of the ridge, with Red Cone in the center of the pano. This road has far more traffic than I like. People riding 2-stroke engines always seem to drive like idiots. It's like a contest to see who can put the most smoke and dust into the air. But the ridge that climbs on the left is so steep, they have to gun the cramp outa their engines, or they won't make it. And that's the ridge my runners would be going up and down.

The road is so treacherous, if you're not careful, you'll lose your "S".

Whoa! Now I know where baby trees come from! Look at the cahones on that bull tree! I'm just glad I didn't have to see a woody too!

There's only one way to end a hard day on the trail, and it ain't YOGA!!

Geneva Creek Hiking, Day 1

I hit the trails with my GPS, this weekend. Originally, I was going to take my son, but his mother kidnapped him the day before. Her reasons were good, but geez was it sudden! Her mom in Illinois didn't even know she was coming! Poof! They're on the way!

So I plotted out some of what I hope will be a race course.

Not much to say. I hiked north and came back, slept in the back of my Forester, then hiked south and came back. So I'll just post the photos.

Guanella Pass off my right shoulder and Beirstadt off my left.

The whole pano!

Sometimes the trail is clear and other times you follow carnes.

Lots and lots of carnes. There's so many you could follow it in winter on snowshoes, if the snow wasn't too deep yet.

Some sections are wide, steep, and rocky. Plenty of good trail-running rock-n-roll.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free at Last!

Free at last, free at last
I thank God I'm free at last

Sorry to be so melodramatic, but I'm out of my sling.
Orders are to work on regaining the range of motion.
Therapy starts in three weeks. That's gonna hurt more than the original injury.
Currently, I'm hurting myself more than the original injury. I'm shocked at how much range of motion I've lost.
I'm not supposed to lift any weights, but he didn't say anything about surgical tubing, so I've been doing some limited triceps exercises with my ceiling-mounted rubber tubing. I also use it to hold onto while raising my arm higher. The most pain is coming from the front of my arm. The bone certainly is not strong, and sometimes the pain from inside the bone actually gets bad but not dangerously severe.
My arm is getting stimulated a lot. It's getting stronger real fast, but there's a very long way to go. In spite of setbacks, my diet and religious following of doctor orders has led to a faster progress than normal (so far - knock-on-wood).
Overall, though, in spite of all the pain, I feel better. I really enjoy using my left arm, almost like I used to, getting dressed, tying shoes, taking showers, driving my car...

I ran last Thursday with DTR, and at Elk Meadow near Evergreen in my Five Fingers before my friend, Andy's, birthday party. I'm not running on rocky stuff at full speed, and I'll walk if there's the slightest possibility of falling. My left foot hurts today, so tomorrow will probably just be a gym workout. The great news is that my running at Wash Park can proceed at full-speed. There's no reason to run any slower on the manicured track around the park.

A little over a week ago, I hiked 18.6 miles at Red Rocks with a new set of friends - Run Rebellion. About once a month, they do something fun, free, and a bit on the dare-you-to side of things. They like to pick lap-courses and see how many laps people are willing to do. Jason and I have already talked about doing 100 miles at Wash Park. That's 38.8 laps.
Years ago, The first long trail-run I ever had at 24hr/100miles was a self-supported event where I only made it 76 miles. I finished that time with blisters, very severe chaffing in my crotch, and no so good in the armpits, either. I could have kept going, but not the full 24hr nor 100 miles. I quit when I did because I would lose too much quality training if I made my issues ever-worse. And the event didn't even count for anything but training. And I figured I learned everything I had hoped to learn from the event.
But this time, I already know about chaffing, blistering, nutrition, etc. Yep, I'm really, really out of shape, but I'm not exactly "racing", either.
Coming off PF and a broken arm, it's kind of ridiculous, but are any of you surprised that I would go for this? There's no pressure - maybe I'll quit after 40 miles? Or 80? Who cares? It's all just simple fun.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Arm Status

I've had a rocky road with my broken left arm.
Two doctors agreed, no cast, no surgery, no nothing.
The MRI showed my rotator cuff is fine. There's some ligament and tendon tearing on the back, which allowed the shoulder to go forward out of the socket. So the dislocation is healing fine.
The arm is potentially bad news.
4.5 weeks: Almost tripped but didn't, while getting ready for bed. I jolted so violently that my fused arm broke again. It was audible and it hurt like hell for three days. Almost went back on pain meds.
5 weeks: I woke up in pain. Somehow, I re-broke it in my sleep moving around. Again, hurt for three days afterward.
5.5 weeks: I was getting dressed as normal, being real slow and careful. Must've moved 1mm too far when tieing my shoes. Ouch. Again, hurt for three days afterward.
6 weeks: Just about to drift off to sleep. A spider bit me on the left elbow. I jerked, jumped, and rolled to scrape the spider off on the bed-sheet and if it didn't scrape off, it would get crushed. Only that was rather destructive to my broken arm.
But wait, it ain't over!! So I'm about to go to sleep again, and a 2nd spider goes waltzing across my left shoulder! I swiped it into oblivion without any further damage to my arm.
You probably think the spider attacks are done, now, right? Think again! A half-hour later, a Grand-daddy Long-leg bit me on the left thigh, under the sheets, causing me to jerk again. I don't know if I did any additional damage, but it sure caused additional pain. Grand-daddy long-leg? Bite? They can't, right? Their fangs are too short and small. So no, it didn't put some fangs in me, but Grand-daddy long-leg spiders have the most potent venom in the world. Did you know that? Nobody does, because nobody gets bitten by them!!!! Ever had a hornet drag it's stinger across your skin without actually stinging you? That's exactly what the Grand-daddy Long-leg felt like.
So why did 3 totally different species of spider bite me in one night, including one that never bites humans? Sounds like a Hitchcock movie. "Goodeev-unning."
Then the house next door cranked a party up starting at 12:30am. If my arm wasn't broken... If it was any louder, I would have called the cops. That house used to be a really bad party-house for years. I'm not going to be very lenient. The previous owner almost got his house taken away from him. The cops started the legal process to confiscate it, permanently, and auction it off, but the owner managed to head it off with some lawyers and get it sold to a different landlord.

So I haven't been sleeping much, mostly because of the arm.
But to hell with it!! I hiked 18.6 miles, three laps around Red Rocks, today, with the Run Rebellion group for wayward racers. It was a very hot day. I drank over a gallon of fluids and still ended up a little dehydrated. When I was done, I sat in the cold stream.
So I managed to run 39 miles so far this week, and I still have a day to count. This is more mileage than I've done since the LT100 last year. Not bad for a cripple, huh?