Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aspen Golden Leaf 2012

I didn't bring my camera - sorry.
My peeps do this every year more as a weekend-long road-party than a race. Although some of us get kinda serious about the race, mostly we're serious about the swag. There's more swag giveaways than any other race I've ever heard of, plus the post-race lunch tends to be equaled only by the SJS50.

I had the luxury of starting in the first wave of six. With bibs going from "1" to over "1000", everyone had to be broken up in 5-minute-apart waves. I was grouped with the 170 runners in wave 1. Yikes! Lance Armstrong was there, as well as Scott Jurek and his girlfriend, Jenny Uehisa, and Karl Remsen (winner) from Leadville.
So now I can say I was only about 8 feet behind Lance Armstrong during a race. Yeah, that was only the first instant of the race, but when you get old and fat, you gotta take what you can, right?

I looked pathetic at the start, with all the elites running away from me, but my finish time was 2hr10m, which allowed me 155th place out of 782 finishers. And I just did a PR in a 51 mile race the weekend before and was limping at the start.
It seemed more people than ever before dropped or were carted away due to injuries. Lots of crashing-and-burning out there that day in spite of perfect weather and trail conditions. The RD warns everyone this is not a walker's race - you're expected to run it. I think the carnage shows that most do. It is a rugged course, actually. The gold and red aspen steal the show, so the ruggedness of the trail doesn't get mentioned. Sometimes you're trying to run in a trough, where your shoe keeps getting caught on the edge of the trough, there are countless tree roots jutting from the ground, and of course there' tons of rocks. There are stretches that are wide and free of hazards, and the last couple of miles is down in town. But if you're going full-tilt-boogie the whole way, there's a good chance of doing a spill.

As everyone knows, I'm not in good cardio condition, so I suck on the climbs. The downhills are what I do best, even through rocks. So this is the first and only time I've ever run Golden Leaf where I didn't lose 20 minutes trying to pass a multitude of people. This time, I passed about as many as passed me.

Fun trip, but my left foot has a new pain. My entire heel hurt, but it wasn't the plantar. I had to ice it in a creek, but that only got rid of the risidual soft tissue swelling around the heel. The root cause seems to be my cuboid bone, and ice and massage doesn't help. Its like a stress fracture. I haven't been doing much running, though, so I'm not sure what it is. Running aggravates it tremendously. It's not much pain. It just sucks.

Otherwise I'm a very happy camper enjoying the changing of the seasons, trying to anticipate my last pre-winter adventures.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Run Rabbit Run 50

No photos, sorry.
This year is the first year for the Run Rabbit 100, but I only ran the 50. I've been injured and getting fat, yet me and the bunny have been dueling and it seems I keep finishing long in the same several minute time-frame.
This year, I hardly trained at all. I used to do 40+ mile solo training runs. This year, nothing longer than a couple dozen miles. I used to break 100 mile in a week a couple times a year. This year I don't know if I broke 40.
Something bad has been brewing in my right foot for the past 11 months. It might be related to falling arches. The pain is at the top of the arch, where the bones are crunching together from arch failure (midtarsal fault or dorsal compression syndrome), I think. Or maybe its a ganglion cyst? Or nerve entrapment? Or gout? Any of the above aggravated by osteoarthritis? I know I have arthritis - it shows up in my x-rays over the past few years.
It's along the tarsometatarsal joint and it started last year when I wasn't running. Running aggravates it, but isn't the exact cause.
So not so much pounding like before.
I've been biking a couple hours or more each week to make up for it.

I wanted to beat my previous PR of 11:23 for Steamboat Run Rabbit Run 50, or RRR50. When I got to Steamboat, I discovered they'd lengthened the course by over half a mile. It's now 51 miles. That's an additional 7 minutes, if you average an 11:20 finish.

I used Vi Fuel for this entire race. Somehow, it seems to enable me to burn my own body fat better than any other fuel. I consumed about 80 calories per hour during the race. Trying to force more made my stomach turn.
I carried two 24oz handheld bottles and no pack. My Vi, salt caps, and everything was in my cargo pockets in my shorts.

It was perfect weather and a perfectly executed plan. As I told a fellow running, I felt appropriately delusional, and was counting on my delusions getting more severe as the race wore on.
I'm not in good cardio fitness, but I have muscle, no brakes, and an ability to run through rocks as if its flat ground. This equates to great downhilling. I was counting on reaching the top of the last steep descent with at least an hour left. I wasn't very fast, but managed 9-minute miles for the last 6.5 miles, which was enough to shave 6 minutes off and set a new PR at 11:17:14.

Monday, September 10, 2012

San Juan Vacation 2012

I've done enough riding lately that my butt no longer needs bike pants. So when I rode my bike up to Clear Lake, and then back down, I discovered a better reason to wear bike pants. They keep your gnuts from slap-slap-slappin' the seat when you're flying down a rocky road.

Ice lake is the most unreal color of blue I've ever seen. And it's fed by a river that coats the black rocks with white residue. Yet trout are growing happy as can be within the waters. At first, I thought it must be a hot springs up above, but the source was cold all the way up.

On the Hardrock 100 course, I haven't been here in YEARS! I didn't plan to be there. My other plans didn't wash, so I made new ones. In the dark, I dead-reckoned my way in the moonless dark to the spot where the KT aid station gets set up. I parked and went to sleep.

I made long days of hiking and biking. Four days to the Run Rabbit Run 50. I'm still old, fat, and slow, but my size has shrunken some (temporarily) right before the race. I weigh the same, but I've turned a lot of fat back into muscle.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I'm taking a much needed vacation. This is both a relaxation and work-out vacation. Kind of convoluted, like most stuff I do.
Started by going camping with my son. Tested out my new ultra-light sleeping bags I bought for fast-packing/biking. Each weigh 1lbs. I figure one can be used as a ground pad on soft ground or sand, or if it gets too cold, I'll put one inside the other. The green-gray bag MtnHardware 800-fill. You can barely see the purple Western Mountaineering HighLite underneath. The spread blue bag is a cheap-ass Coleman type bag. No use wearing-out my flimsy bags if I don't have to.

Flowers near Kenosha Pass. I shot my black powder pistol here.

View of Denver from my friend Kim's rooftop deck.

I'm about to take off to find my two brothers in the San Juans near Lake City. Then I'll leave them for more gallivanting on my own.