9/11-9/17

Monday: 6.2 miles (1:04) 1112'

First day in a while that I have felt like running and haven't felt like there was no air to breathe in this godforsaken place. I enjoyed my run. Fancy that. Getting all up excited for the next week.

Tuesday: 5.1 miles, 1703'

A rest day from running. I was planning on going out in the morning and finding some light Class 3/4 scrambles to do but ended up bailing after falling asleep at midnight on Monday. I woke up and kept reading 1984, which I feel weird about reading so late in my life. 1984 is one of those books that I always wanted to read and yet never came around to putting in my hands and opening the pages. I breezed through 50 pages or so before putting it down and doing some work.

After finishing up my work, I convinced a roommate to go out around Dinosaur Mountain and do some nice scrambles. We ended up going out in the late afternoon and taking NCAR through and above Mallory Cave Trail (which is still closed due to White Nose Syndrome). We climbed up a few easy class 3 routes with an actual climbing movement or two before I realized that my Altra shoes weren't going to cut it. I knew this before, but after slipping for the 3rd time on what should have been an easy class 4 crack climb, I decided to take it a little easy.

We worked our way up to a nice Class 4 scramble with a few probable class 5 moves when I stopped before the false summit of Dino Mountain. The gap started narrow at the bottom, around 2 feet, and widened by the crack which sat a few feet above my head. It should have been an easy press and shimmy up to the crack, but after failing to get any traction on my shoes I bailed on the move. I just didn't have the confidence for it with the exposure I was getting below.

I sat and watched the sun which was beginning to set hit the side of a few mountains before downclimbing and making it back to the end. A fun day scrambling, but definitely thinking of resoling some running shoes with sticky rubber to make the moves I know I can make with the confidence that my shoes won't slip out from under me.

Wednesday: 8 miles (1:29) 1443'

Another perfect morning to run. Went out on the same warm up run beside NCAR before catching Mesa up into Bear Canyon. I am falling in love with this trail. The sporadic rock placement makes for interesting split second decisions and the cliff drop off looking toward Dinosaur Mountain makes an elegant view. The beginning of the trail is mostly protected by Pine trees, but as I climb further up beyond the switchbacks and the small boulder field I am greeted by an unexpected copse of aspens. I was around half a mile away from the Green Mountain climb before turning around for the day. Most likely climbing around the same trail tomorrow.

Thursday: 9.6 miles (2:01) 2335'

I decided to explore a section of the trail a little closer to Chautauqua to broaden my trail horizons. Decided once I started to visit Royal Arch. Definitely a hard route to run, mainly due to the grip on my Altra shoes and the small steps going up. Ended up doing a ton of powerhiking. Once up to the Arch I sat for a while. Below me flew a screeching hawk ostensibly hunting for prey. As I watched him soar a hummingbird came within a foot of my face and stayed for a few seconds before breaking off in search of nectar. I ran back down on a slightly different path, catching Mesa trail before coming around back home.

Finished up 1984. This has taken a lot more time than it usually does to read a piece of fiction for me. Mainly due to me attempting to soak in all the little details and feel what Orwell felt as he wrote the piece. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised. I came into the book with low expectations due to the popularity of the book---much of which I am sure comes from people who have never read or understand the purpose of his writing. The complete lack of salvation at the end of the book was maybe my favorite part, because sometimes stories don't have a happy ending. And as the great director Orson Welles said, "If you want a happy ending it depends on where you stop the story." Or something like that and possibly misattributed. No clue, I just like the quote.

Friday: 6 miles (:56) 987'

One of my favorite little 6 mile routes up Mesa Trail and onto some maintenance trails. Saw a nice, easy scrambling opportunity at the top of the route that allowed a peaceful view of the front range melding down into the Colorado flatland.

Saturday: 12 miles (2:12) 2007'

Woah there cowboy. I'm feeling dead in these legs. I was planning on doing a longer run up through Bear Canyon, but bailed on that idea as soon as I put my foot down and began running. My legs were tired as #%@! during the climbs. This makes sense, I haven't adapted to the stresses of climbing and my legs are still building up to speed. I decided to detour off into Mesa Trail and take a loop through South Boulder Creek and back up to my house. Once I got out of the climbs, it was a fun romp through a little bit of unexplored trail.

Sunday: 11.1 miles (1:35) 823'

As per my body and some reconfiguration from my coach, decided to lay off the severe uphills today and do something much lighter at Marshall Mesa. My only mistake was thinking that the route was only 10 miles. Once I was 7 miles into the loop and could see the trail sweeping past me and further still from my parked car, I decided to ask someone the distance to finish the loop, "Around 8-9 miles." Oh well, I figured I would finish the loop. I ended up traveling around 16 miles, but the final 5 was a long, glorified cool-down and unrecorded other than by my body.

 

Video/Music of the Week:

8/28-9/3

Monday: 12.25 (2:07) 1440'

Woke up a little later today. I'm feeling a little bit tired from the altitude change, but overall my body has been taking the move pretty well. Had a little oatmeal and a coffee to wake myself up before hitting the trails looking for flatter land. I started off well, finding relatively flat territory just east of Mesa Trail when out of nowhere I found myself going up, up, up again. Followed the Lower Big Bluestem trail skyward for a while until turning around. Had some fun on the downhills before retracing my steps on some of the trails and returning home.

Tuesday: 0

No running, but a mile or two of barefoot walking around the city. I got my library card, enjoyed some bananas, and spent most of the day sitting outside writing.

Wednesday: 11 miles (1:38) 859'

I finally found my flat route. While this means something much different than it does in Kansas, I am actually quite happy with the gradual inclines and declines. I find track-like flat routes monotonous. I had set my alarm for 5:30 in order to start learning to get out before the sun rises, but somehow completely slept through and woke up an hour late. No big deal. I went outside and drank half of my mug of coffee in the relatively cool morning before lacing up the running shoes and breaking into my warm up. One of my favorite things about running early in the morning is the environmental stillness. Only the occasional car passing by as I quicken my pace and find my trail. Once I enter the trail, I forget about any sounds but mice rustling in the wild grass and the early birdsong that the sun brings every summer morning. 

 

Thursday: 11.3 miles (1:37) 843'

Roughly the same flat route as yesterday. I was able to get out before sun rise which likely influenced a slightly uptick in my pace from the previous day. I can get used to running over golden plains which lead into the mountains as the sun rises. What I am most shocked about here are the lack of runners on the trails. People acted as if the trails were so crowded that running became an exercise in avoidance. I have not found this to be the case. And since the people are working hard climbing or pushing the pace and typically quite respectful, I don't see the issue here.

 

Friday: 6 miles (:55) 1,010'

A short one today, decided to climb as high as I could in 3 miles and climb down. I wasn't disappointed. One of the great things about living in Boulder is the ease of climbing practice. I don't need hill repeats when I can just climb a mountain and gain 3,000 feet of elevation in 4-5 miles. Of course, this doesn't account for race specificity, but neither did most of my routes in Topeka. This is a better place to train.

Saturday: 0

Woke up sick. The rest of my body was feeling alright. I ended up getting a lot of work done but no running or exploring today unfortunately. Antsy to jump right back into training.

Sunday: 4.7 miles (:42) 472'

I feel much better. Unfortunately my body is feeling lethargic and my heart rate is uncooperative. I am hoping that tomorrow my body will regulate and be back to normal. Fighting through sickness takes a patience which I am not sure I have. This sickness has allowed me the opportunity to finish reading Philip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I was fascinated by the story, but had a difficult time getting the Harrison Ford Rick Deckard out of my head. This isn't the fault of Dick but rather of the goodness that is Blade Runner.

 

Music/Video of the Week:

He says, "If you value your job, stay out of crime
If you value the crime, stay out of doors
If you value them doors, you'd better lock 'em son
And if you don't want to lock 'em, you'd better buy a gun."

This man is by far my favorite live performer. I didn't know many of his songs before going to his concert and he blew me away.

I Woke up Sick

I woke up sick today. Exactly one week after moving to Boulder, Colorado I woke up with a sore throat, runny nose, and didn't know what to do with myself. I rarely get sick. Typically, I can count on getting sick once every 4 years or so. Today was my very unlucky day. Instead of brooding about my bad luck as I normally do, I decided to take a look at what will be my base diet for the foreseeable future. This diet is based on a mixture of nutrition and price point. Unfortunately for me, price point is an occasional problem.

 

Pre-workout:

I tend to wake up before sunrise and run on a relatively empty stomach. Because of this I start my day with one banana and typically around half a cup of joe. I love the coffee, but in the morning I typically just want to start running. I get antsy if I sit around with my coffee and wait.

Post-workout:

Directly after the run I'll drop a smoothie of frozen fruits/spinach/spirulina.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with some honey. Nothing crazy. I may add peanut butter if I'm feeling frisky.

Lunch:

Spinach salad with pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and nuts of some sort.

Dinner:

Burrito with brown rice & assorted veggies, pinto beans, potatoes, and salsa. 

 

Let's break down the prices:

Banana: .59/lb. One pound will last me for around 5 days.

Coffee: $12/lb. One pound lasts me somewhere around 3 weeks.

Frozen fruit/veggie mix: $8. One bag lasts 1 week.

Spirulina: $13/lb. 1 pound lasts me a few months.

Oatmeal: $1.40/lb. 1 pound lasts 2 weeks.

Honey: $5/lb. 1 lb lasts 3 weeks.

Spinach: $3/box. Box lasts 1 week.

Olive Oil: $8/ 24 fluid oz. Lasts 3 weeks.

Cashews: $9/24 oz. Lasts 2 weeks.

Brown Rice: $.79/lb. Lasts 5 days.

Potatoes: $3.59/10 lb. Lasts 2 weeks.

Salsa: $3.50/jar. 2 weeks.

Beans: $1.15/lb. 1 week.

 

The list is not exact of course, but my groceries should average out to around $25/week. This gives me more than enough food to eat but no additional "fun" foods. This is ok for me for now. I will eventually expand the menu, however my budget dictates some tight spending right now, and hopefully with this new diet I will avoid the sickness.

 

8/22-8/27

Monday: 11 miles (1:32)

One of my last runs around the neighborhood. Feeling a little nostalgic for most of it. A good, easy run on roads before I say goodbye to these and hello to trails.

Tuesday: 8 miles (1:03)

A pretty hot one today for the very last run. Fast and easy.

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 0

Friday: 0

Saturday: 10.3 miles (2:07)

First run in Boulder and spending the time exploring, feeling the altitude, and hiking a lot more than usual. Almost 2,000 feet of ascent on a trail I thought was relatively flat. Quite shocked by the change in landscape.

Sunday: 7.9 miles (2:27)

Woke up and decided to tag Bear Peak for the morning. Around 2,700 feet of gain for the day and a decent amount of scrambling for views and appealing vistas. Sun was bright and loud. Happy to be done before 10.

 

Music/Video of the Week:

If you listen to This American Life, you also heard this gem of a song. Definitely weird. Definitely worth it.

8/14-8/21

Monday: 4 miles (31 minutes)

Excited to be feeling so good today. Pretty hesitant about going out and was mentally setting myself up for disappointment, but it all came through. Pretty overcast and muggy, but it doesn't matter much when I'm only out for 30ish minutes. 

I'm not a 49ers fan, but I am a fan of a man who can still run routes like this at age 54. Sheesh.

 

Tuesday: Off

This has become my typical off day. Feeling great but no running on the schedule for the day. Instead spent most of my morning reading a few different articles. I found this article discussing Facebook to be a fairly sober look at the rise of surveillance based advertising. If you really have a lot of time to spend doing nothing, you can read this article on Julian Assange. Easily skimmable as it treads along many known lines regarding Assange; although I found the psychology of his person a welcome addition to otherwise redundant material.

 

Wednesday: 5 miles (40 minutes)

Body has been wanting to get up a little later, so woke up an hour after sunrise and took my time with my coffee and a few slices of banana bread before getting out the door. Clouds were pretty heavy and the humidity was suggestive of rain. Unfortunately, the road route I chose---the coach has me on roads for the week to mitigate the damage that the uneven terrain of trails may cause to my knee---had a bank of trees that almost completely blocked the south wind: this was generally fine, but made the run much more sauna-ish. 

It is the first week around here for a lot of schoolkids, so as I was running around the neighborhoods I saw parents taking photos of bashful children and buses touring the blocks. A mixture of nostalgia and happiness that I will be graduating in this next week hit me a bit, but overall I was much more concerned that my knee functioned appropriately.

 

Thursday: 6 miles (47 minutes)

Woke up late again, but was able to get out of the door for my run before 9. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was beginning to warm up the pavement as it prepared for another hot summer day. Pretty in the zone today and wasn't paying attention to much other than my breath. A good thing, but I probably went just a little bit over easy pace. It is shocking to see the difference in speed between trails and roads. This is the first time in probably 2 months that I have ran roads for a few days in a row and I'm still getting used to the comparative speed. I would be interested to see a fast pace for me on the pavement, but I'm not sure I want to subject my thighs to that kind of pounding over any sort of distance that matters. T-minus one week until I officially head off to Boulder.

 

Friday: 8 miles (1:02)

Started off my morning with two slices of bagel and some almond cream cheese, which is my usual. Played around with some podcasts and finally got out the day just as the sun came out from behind the clouds. Temperature wise today was the hottest morning of the week, but the humidity has vanished and so we were blessed with a much "drier heat." Did my typical neighborhood run today. While I enjoy the quicker cadence of the roads, I do want to get back to the trails. All in good time.

 

Saturday: 0 miles.

Beginning to think about packing, seeing some friends, and generally preparing for life in Boulder.

 

Sunday: 3.3 miles (26 minutes)

Relatively slow pace but strangely exhausted. I've been expending a ton of mental energy the last few days. Getting out of the door around midday didn't help either.

 

Video/Music

Matt Corby has been one of my favorite artists for the past 7 years. After years of releasing EPs and singles, he finally released his first full album. This was the first song I heard off of the album.