5/5/14 – 5/11/14

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Longs Peak (Approach, Hike, Retreat)

For running/cycling, this was the only thing I did this week, but it comes after sumitting Longs on Friday, and taking 3 hours off the time to do that, so I’m pretty happy.

The rest of the week was comprised of climbing, including a trip out to Boulder Canyon,



and resting up for my trip that I was going on, later in the month.


Attempting the Longs Peak Fastest Known Time Duathlon



Gettin’ weird on Longs Peak

One of my mini projects this year has been to ride to the Longs Peak Trail head, and summit it, via they Keyhole route. I’ve now done that three times (once, in Winter), having tried about six times to summit. My method to do this, as they say, is now pretty dialed. One direction to go from here is to see how fast you can do this as a personal challenge. Another goal to hit, is the fastest known time to complete.

The current FKT for this is fairly low  – 10:31:00. The setter, Peter Bakwin readily admits this as a soft time, and sees it merely as a placeholder, until someone comes around and sets something a little stouter.

My current time from Tuesday is around 13 hours. Is it possible for me to shave off 2 1/2 hours? It seems like a stretch to say, “yeah“, but I’ve got high hopes:

Friday I did the Duathlon as well, with a time of around 16 hours. Between Friday and Tuesday, because of being a little better prepared, and having the conditions being a little better/faster, I shaved 3 hours off my time (was I really fully recovered?). When I originally did this in March, my time was 19 hours. Each time I go up, I’m taking off 3 hours. There’s obviously a limit to this and my downward time trajectory will stop being so exaggerated, but I haven’t hit it yet.

One free/cheap way to keep getting faster, is just to let the snow melt: I can leave my snow climbing gear (crampons, ice axe) at home, shaving off pounds off my load, as well as necessitating taking less gear for the cold conditions and the trail is going to be faster: slogging in snow is fun, but slow and energy zapping.

I could also borrow an actual road bike, with feather-light components – the road to the trail head is all paved and in fairly good condition. My bike right now tips the scale at 27 pounds.

Not to say I’m a weight weenie, but the trail head from Boulder is almost a vertical mile up in elevation. Take 15 pounds off your load, and anyone will go noticeably faster. Peter was nice enough to share his time splits – he notes that there was much lounging around at the trailhead/summit to well, lounge and to transition, so the total here only adds up to ~9:40:00 – 

  • 3h17m bike up
  • 2h52m ascent
  • 1h38m descent
  • 1h45m bike back

My splits from Tue, look a little like this:

  • 3h18m bike up
  • 4h20m ascent
  • 2h17m descent
  • 1h59m bike back

Strangely, our transition times are somewhat equal, making comparing a little easier.

My hike/run times are much slower – almost twice as slow. I’m not going to get super fast in a month, but the conditions will get better and the course will be faster all by itself, so I’m not worried – if I compare myself to other runners around time on some of the time tested segments around Boulder, I’m up there (surprisingly).

My bike times are on par with Peter – only a little slower coming back. I’ll concede that Peter is much, much stronger a runner than I will ever be, and he’s very adept at technical terrain, but I’ll wager my cycling prowess any day. Given that I can better my ride times simply by riding a much lighter, faster bike (as I’ve explained), things are looking good for my next shot. 

Another funny thing for me: I actually took two ~20 minute naps during my last go at it: Once at the trailhead, and once at the Agnes Vaille shelter at the Keyhole. That’s one way to take off 40 minutes, right there. I just have to get a better “night” sleep, beforehand. I also took around 20 minutes on the top to take dorky picture and look around – it’s simply an incredible place. But, there’s an hour. Now, I just have to find 1 1/2 hours to better. It starts to become very doable, very quickly. I’m stoked to try an actually go at this.

To play “what else is possible”, Bill Wright notes on his well-fleshed out, but sadly out-of-date site that Neal Beidleman and Kevin Cooney have done the Duathlon via the Cables Routes (more technical, but much shorter – by about 2 miles RT) in 7:28:00, which is 3 hours faster still! How they pulled that off, I don’t know, especially since their splits:

  • 2hr37m bike up 
  • 3hr00m hrs total RT ascent/descent
  • 1hr36m bike back

Show a pretty strong bike up/back. Perhaps they knew how to draft each other pretty well. Neal Beidleman has summited Everest as a guide (in 1996, no doubt) – no slouch. Cooney’s experiences also speak volumes:

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,450′); Marangu route – 42 mile round
    trip, 13,000′ of elevation gain, in record 12:45 (uphill,7:11).[1993 w/ John Winsor]
  • Bike-run-climb from Boulder to Long’s Peak
    “Diamond” alpine wall (80 mile bike, 16 mile run, 1500′ climb (5.10) to 14,250′
    elevation; (10:40 roundtrip) [1990 w/ Neal Beidleman]
  • Bike-Run-Climb North Face Capital Peak, Aspen CO [1995]
  • Inca Trail (5:11), in the Peruvian Andes. [1985 – w/
    Beidleman]
  • 2nd place, Soviet race up Mt. Elbrus, Russia
    (18,560′) (spikes required!) [1990]
  • 1st place- course record, “Get High” 30
    mile mountain run, Telluride, CO [1990]
  • 3rd place Doc Holiday 35-mile mountain run,
    Glenwood Springs, CO [1991]
  • 1983-1984: Professional triathlete (Team Mizuno); numerous
    victories in regional races, several top ten USTS finishes, twice qualifying for national
    championships, and competed in Hawaii Ironman

According to this, Beidleman/Cooney have done the Diamond on Longs Peak, biking it from Boulder  in 10:40:00 – pretty insane – only three hours slower than taking the much, much easier Cables route. I can’t touch these guys’ alpine experience, but I could probably outrun them. So, the Diamond: maybe another time, but the Keyhole Route, and maybe Cables afterwards, def. within my grasp, if I play it intelligently.


4/28/14 – 5/4/14


Longs

A pretty fantastic week in my life, I must say.

Monday, April 28, 2014, Green x2

My goal was just to run a pretty good time up Green, via Gregory. “Pretty Good Time” maybe just meant beating my own PR, but that seems to be set pretty low, as I don’t hit up this route all that much. Happy to accomplish that, and then I controlled-fell down the same route at a pace likened to a rabid antelope scared of heights. Or something like that.

Afterwards, I did Freeway, the West Face of the Second, and power-hiked up Green. A beautiful day.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Bear/Sobo/Bear from NCAR, Direct East Face, First Flatiron

Similar to Monday’s little challenge, it was time to better my PR up Fern Canyon to Bear, as it’s been awhile since I had used it as a test piece. Managed to whack off 5:30 off my time, which is… I dunno, amazing. My power-hiking-while-heavily-breathing skillz have little equal.

After hitting up Bear, I tagged Sobo, and went back to Bear, to try to control-fall down (like I do), back to the NCAR trail head. Perhaps, I thought, I could better may time on that, too? When I had last ran this route, I thought I pulled something out of thin air with my speed, so I was nervous, strangely, to see if I could even get close to my time of 50:09. It had been a year, so I guess anything was possible, but I was feeling the effort going up, as well as Monday. Felt, very, very slow on all the easy stuff, and very uncoordinated on all the technical stuff. Managed to fall down twice, skinning my knees and had to stop twice to retie my shoe.

I still hadn’t met up with the Mesa trail after my second fall, which had me slightly limping a bit, before the adrenaline starting covering the pain. Glancing at my watch, I was only a half hour into the run back down, giving my a whole twenty minute to reach the trail head to match my last time. Surprisingly, I did it in 10 minutes flat.

Later that day, we climbed the First Flatiron! via the Direct East Face Route, using ropes and pro and all that. Well, until it get dark and we decided to finish up everything just free soloing it all, rapping down the back. Terribly rewarding, to finally tick that route off. Felt 100% solid on this easy route.

Friday, May 2, 2014 – Longs Peak Duathlon

After leaving at the rise-and-shine time of 12:30 in the a.m., I made my way to the Longs Peak TH, under pretty stiff winds. I wasn’t giving this attempt much of a chance, and made plans to just turn South at the HW72/HW7 junction and ride somewhere else for then rest of the day, but things seem to quiet enough down once up (and exposed), so I thought: why not.

Turned out to be a pretty perfect day – windy, for sure, but nothing that wanted to stop me in my tracks. Took a few cat naps, as I barely got 3 hours of sleep the night, “before”, but made it up and down, without too much bother, just didn’t eat enough throughout the day. Happy to feel as if I had the mountain to myself, as I saw no one until I got back to the trail head, but I think there were a few people milling about (it’s a big place!)

The ride back home wasn’t super fun, as my energy levels were about 0. I couldn’t even start down, without a 15 minute nap, and about 5 cookies mashed into my mouth. Life is good. That makes two sub 24 hour Longs Peak Duathlons for me, for the year. The hardest part of this is hitting the weather window. I made plans to do this only a day or two before heading out, checking the weather on multiple sites, every day. Exhausting! 

Week total on my feet: 34.6 miles, 15,760 feet
Week total on the bike: 48.7 miles, 7,054 feet

Given that my feet are now extremely swollen, no doubt to the exertion (or eating too much bacon, dehydration, some unknown illness, forthcoming alien invasion), I foresee the next week being pretty mellow, as I’ve certainly peaked, or, or something, I have no idea. I’m looking at trail running races in the next few weeks and feeling competitive. This will lead to nothing good.


4/21/14 – 4/27/14

Lots of band practices this week, so not much on the feet, except a lot of climbing! including a small stint in Boulder Canyon to “lead” some 5.9 sport routes. Nice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Sobo/Bear

My goal was really to put in a good time on the Shadow Canyon segment, which I did! @ 23.58, the current CR for that segment. Only a minute + change faster than last weekend w/the Rocky Mountain Runners, but I felt I put in more than 20% more effort to go just that little bit faster. Most likely, I could play it smarter, and just go all out for the last 250 feet and get a better time, rather than redlining the whole segment. Running is really weird. Tagged Bear, by scrambling to the top of the first junction w/the West Ridge trail, cause I can do that sort of stuff. Rocketed down w/abandon.

Boulder – Denver

On my quest to find the most circuitous route from Boulder <-> Denver, I came up with this number:

Start in Boulder, and up Flagstaff, onto Coal Creek and continue down a bit and then up Gap Road, which takes you to Golden Gate Canyon SP. Hit some dirt for a while, until you’re on 119, and go through the gamblin’ towns, to Virginia Canyon, and then down more dirt on Oh My God Road to Idaho Springs. Stop for coffee (of course) and then head up to Echo Lake via the Mt. Evans Highway, and then scoot on over Squaw Pass to Everygreen and down into Morrison. Get through suburbia via bike paths and make it to band practice. Total: around 125 miles, 13,500+ feet of elevation. Not bad for a day’s work. 

Freeway x4, West Face x4

Battery on the GPS died (looks like about halfway), but did the Freeway route on the 2nd 4x, as well as the quick, 30 foot 5.easy pitch up to the summit of the 2nd, via the West Face. Total sh*t show, with the throngs of hikers, most being fairly courteous – just SO MANY. I was finding whole families on the social climbing approach trails, completely lost.

Week total on my feet: ~13.5 miles, 9,391 feet
Week total on the bike: 124 miles, 12,515
Week total on the walls:
3x (at least)

Surprisingly a lot of climbing today – a hard night at the gym (sloppy 5.11d), closing it down after 3.5+ hours of climbing, as well as climbing outdoors in Boulder Canyon (5.9+ lead!), as well as scrambling outside for thousands of feet.



Gettin’ Some Vitamin V – 5.9+ @ The Sport Park

Surprisingly lot of total elevation gain (total ~ 22,000 feet), despite so few days on foot/bike. A nice century+ bike ride, with a ridiculous amount of climbing and a little dirt. I don’t think I can complain about this week – so much done in such a little bit of time!


4/14/14 – 4/20/14

Monday, 3/14/14  – Doc. Visit

Still feeling not so great, general dizziness and such. So, last Monday, I booked myself to see someone about it today – I never do things like that, which is probably not the most intelligent thing. The doctor looked at things, but we all stopped when they found fluid in my middle ear – probably from some sort of virus going on in my system. The next step is like, a complete and total MRI, which… not something I’m going to do on a lark.

Gave me a prescription to try some stuff to get the fluid to dry up – all the prescriptions cause dizziness themselves, so they’re pretty useless. Dizziness, I should say, AND sleepiness. Managed to stretch a 1 hour nap into 16. And there goes my day. Stopped taking those.

Tuesday, 4/15/14 – Climbing

Probably because I lost like, half a day in a drug-addled sleep, I didn’t have time to run/jump/play outside. Met up for climbing at Movement and had a grand time flailing on a 5.11c – a grade I haven’t done in 16 years. Although, if memory serves, I did that grade at a pretty poor style then as well. New climbing partner tends to kick my ass. In a good way.

Wednesday, 4/16/14  – Green x2



Thought I’d, “take it easy” and do a quick trot up Green Mountain, which turned into a surprising PR. Sometimes taking some much time off helps recovery. After one summit, I decided to head up Green again, via GreenBear which was taking it easy, but this time because of being tired from the first summit.

Thursday, 4/17/14 – Freeway x4, Green


Going along the theme of, “Taking it easy”, I thought I’d recon Freeway on the Second Flatiron, and see if I can’t find the fastest way up, as one little project is to try to make a fast time up. After two goes at the route looking for, and trying to remember a route that gave the best mix of easiest to do and hard, but saves time once completed, I went for another go, and put in a good time of 9:47, for the route, which ain’t bad! About 1:30 until I can beat Stefan’s fastest recorded time. Perhaps I can come close with another recon, being a bit better on rock, and having some absolutely fresh legs.

Did another lap (this is usually when people notice that they keep getting passed by me) and wandered over to the South side of the… uh, “main”  Freeway route, just looking at stuff, making four ascents of the block o’ rock in total. After that, I took a quick trot of Green Mountain, to check out the sunset.



Longs Peak, from Green Mt.

Friday, 4/18/14 – Nothin’

I had high goals of doing another circuitous route from Boulder to Denver via… I dunno Squaw Pass, but I got up too late, and decided to take the bus instead. My bike is in bad shape – I’m just waiting for a major piece of the thing to just fall off, leaving me stranded.

Band practice was canceled as I was waiting at the bus stop, so I scratched going to Denver at all, and worked a bit instead, picked up my climbing boots from Rock and Resole and penciled in doing Bear Peak 3x with the Rocky Mountain Runners the next morning. My new climbing partner also wanted to do some climbing outside, so I had in the back of my mind that I’ll probably be cutting things short tomorrow, because a 30 mile run up mountains is gonna take a toll on my ability to climb.

Saturday, 4/19/14 – Sobo/Bear Peak, Boulder Canyon Sport Climbing


I managed to get myself up in time to meet up with the Rocky Mountain Runners, and did a pretty rare social run with about 5 other people. I thought the pace to be moderate – we were going out for almost 30 miles, but compared to other historical times recorded by Strava, we were moving. Everyone except one person bailed on the 3x attempt, and packed it in, after just one time.

I met up with my climbing partner and we headed up to Boulder Canyon, attempting to find our crag to climb. No idea what so ever that there were so many spots! I was under the impression the the canyon had a few spots, here and there, and not like: dozens of crags with many routes in each. Shows what I know.

We burned through a lot of time just teaching me how to clean the route after following, and only managed two easy climbs in, until it started to rain. Awwww. It was my birthday, so we spent the rest of the day/night celebrating, like ya do.

Sunday, 4/19/14 – Sanitas/Bouldering

This was basically a day off, but the weather which was supposed to be rainy again, was AMAZING, and I had to be outside, so I just wandered around Sanitas, looking for things I wanted to Boulder on. I was looking for a crack to work on, which is a tall order for the area. I found a few places, but not much. Relegated myself to just wander up to the top, taking the ridgeline most of the way, and leaving the trail to the throngs of people (until, well, the way back)

Later that night, I finally got around to the Big Bike Rebuild, changing out the cobbled-together drivetrain I’ve been riding with a 2×10 speed setup of contemporary vintage, and things are awesome, again.

Week total on my feet: 34.1 miles, 14,219 feet
Week total on the bike: 0
Week total on the walls: 3x

Although it was a rocky start, my week was salvaged a bit in the running/climbing department, although my biking was non-existent, sadly – and the weather is getting so nice to ride bikes in. Some pretty fast times (for me) while running though, but the best part for this week was in the climbing department, especially finally getting outside to climb on real rock, rather than plastic stuff. My time on Freeway was a nice surprise, I’d like to get the top spot in that, but squeezing 1:30 more out of a 800 foot climb is going to be a tall order.


3/25/14 – 3/30/14

Sick! After a wonderful ride on Monday, I was down for the count, until about Saturday, when I decided it would be fun to try to summit Longs Peak again.

I can tell something’s not right with my body, when I’m riding around 5 mph, confused as to where I’m going, and what I’m doing. No sneezing or coughing for me, my body shuts down in slightly different ways, I guess. Better to hang ‘er up. Working is hard enough with such mental fuzziness. Probably for the best.

3/24/14 Boulder – Golden via Magnolia, HW72, Golden Gate Canyon

An absolute wonderful ride up Magnolia, starting a little before sunrise. Magnolia is known as perhaps the steepest road in Boulder County and indeed, it touches ~30% on some of the first switchbacks. I wasn’t going for any speed records for this ride – although I made good time historically speaking for myself – I just wanted a nice good ride to Golden.

Ride was manageable up Magnolia to Highway 72 (views aren’t bad, either!), and then down Golden Gate Canyon. Well, until I hit the inversion layer and snow flurries, and froze myself stiff. I brought warmer clothes to put on, but I guess I was too stubborn to actually stop riding, change, and thought, instead: “Well, coffee at the bottom will warm me up!” It did, to an extent, but I felt a little defeated from the cold the rest of the day. Winter may have ended at sea level a few days ago, but above 9,000 feet, it’s definitely still very much winter.  

Spent the rest of the day helping friends put together IKEA office cabinets and such for an office remodel. Most happy to be able to lend a hand to these wonderful people. And hey: lunch and dinner!

I hit the bouldering gym on Wednesday (SPOT) and Friday (Denver Bouldering Club) for some OK sessions. Wednesday was def. on the tale end of feeling less than ideal – it’s more than obvious the bike ride on Monday was a little too uncomfortable. I brought along my point and shoot camera to do some demo climbs to go for a… part in a commercial – one of the weird ways I try to scrape up money. If it sounds funny to go for acting parts: it is, but I’ve also gotten them before.

Here’s my little demo climbing reel – no real impressive climbs or anything (around V1/V2)- it was embarrassing enough to film this, so glad the gym was almost empty:

Friday was a little better – I like the problems Denver Bouldering Gym makes. A little strapped for time, or I’d be there all day. Got a ride back to Boulder to help move a claw foot bathtub down from the second floor. Having some upper body strength can help with these sorts of maneuvers. 

One stranger thing I’m dealing with is that my feet are currently swollen, making wearing climbing shoes a little impossible to put on – not that it stops me. The last half hour on Friday was done in approach shoes. Toes felt like sausages.

3/29/14 Longs Peak Duathlon Attempt (stopped at Keyhole)

The forecast called for 25 mph sustained winds, with 55 mph gusts – not too good looking for a summit attempt, but god-damn, you gotta try. With that forecast in the back of my mind and all the mistakes I made despite my last successful attempt, I decided to just work on polishing how I want to approach this challenge.

Unlike last time, I had a huge dinner beforehand and something akin to a balanced breakfast at 2:30 am, before shoving off. Even put on sunscreen before leaving, and snacked regularly on the ride up to the trail head, even brought more food to eat throughout the day. Took much less gear this time, starting with my smaller backpack, but remembered to take an extra pair of gloves (three in total) and another extra pair of socks (also three, in total) and an extra pair of sunglasses – old school ski glasses with extra dark lenses; brought just my trail running shoes, instead of my much heavier boots. Squeezed all this in – the temps were supposed to be low, so I wagered that anything I was wearing was going to be for the entire day.

My system worked fine, but the wind was simply too violent, gusts seemed to come from every direction knocking you around, from treeline to the end of the Boulderfield. Once reaching the Keyhole, it was painfully obvious that going any more forward was out of the question, the wind was just at a violent strength.

At the natural choke point of the Keyhole, you could literally see a vortex of wind and spindrift twisting right above your head. I dared to peek my head out towards the West side of Longs, but I might as well have had entered another world. The wind was at a hurricane force, hitting the entire West face, sweeping anything not actually rock and mountain clear off. Sweat on my face and beard instantly froze, as the windchill made it feel at least 30 degrees colder than in the relative safe cover just on the other side of the ridge. It wasn’t the biggest letdown, as I knew what the conditions would probably be, so I retreated without too much chagrin, leaving the Keyhole at around 11:30 am – much better time than last, which made a good consolation

Stumbled to the trail head in about 2 hours flat – again: much better than last. Decided to take the longer, harder way home via Highway 72 to Nederland, and then down Boulder Canyon. On tired legs, it was somewhat of a slog, but thought it wouldn’t be the worst to do to get ready for my race next weekend, the time off in the middle of the week was a little unplanned and not ideal. Riding down Boulder Canyon was a bit of different story – never again on a weekend – just too much crap traffic and you go about Mach 3 on a bike anyways. I have, of course, said this same thing several times, but it doesn’t seem to stop me from riding this road on a fixed gear, or with a trailer, so I don’t give myself too much of a chance of following it in the future.

Knew I was getting exceedingly tired from lack of sleep (waking up at 2:30 in the a.m. does that, as I started yelling at people on the roads and paths – mostly imperceptible babbling. Ahh, the wonderful little details of +12 hour days. Got home before the sun set – much better than my midnight arrival last time.

1/30/14 – Recovery Ride


Just a short ride to try and recover from the day before. I think, “recovery ride” is any ride that the single speed mountain biker riding on a paved road, wearing the cotton t-shirt absolutely wrecks you on. This had to be actually one of my most satisfying rides of the year – just had the most enjoyable time looking around at all the incredible rock formations around me, and how this is such a special place to be living near.

Week total on my feet: 9.2 miles, 3,810 feet (ONE hike)
Week total on the bike: 163.8 miles, 16,634 feet
Week total on the walls: 2x

I guess for being sick for 3 days, this wasn’t a bad week in the end – I’ll take a > 20,000 feet elevation gain week any week of the month, of any month of the year. Wish I could have gotten on the trail a few more times, but what can you do. .

On Saturday is the Anti Epic 160, so I get to relax a bit and attempt to taper a bit. I’m not sure what to expect from myself, but I think I’m going in to simply survive it, and possibly camp out that night and hike Pikes Peak after a good day’s rest. I’ll have to ride home after that, but I feel it’s best not to make too many crazy plans. On my TODO list this week is to rebuild the bike, as it’s currently just a cobbled mess of components I’ve had kicking around the parts bin. I brought it to the bike shop to get some new things and the mechanic’s diagnosis just repeated, “Yup: broken, yup, broken, yup – “, until we got through practically everything. Not the best idea to take something like that on a 160 mile race. 

Last year, I rode out to the race from Arvada, camped, raced the race, then rode back, all in two days – almost 300 miles. On a single speed. That seems like an overwhelming amount of riding to me, but maybe not. I’ll be riding out again, but I’ll probably start in Littleton and be mostly fresh for the race the next day. I’ll be camping, but most likely at a friend’s house, not too far from the race start. And I’ll have 2×10 speeds, rather than perhaps: two choices of gear selection.

Oh, we’re getting older, I guess (although last year I couldn’t run a mountain marathon, or climb 5.11b, and now: I can). I’m a little unclear where my cycling is at the moment, as I essentially stopped riding from October to well into February, and just focused on running. Not that running hasn’t benefited me, I just don’t know how much crossover there is – I guess we’ll find out. As cyclists like to say, I’m feeling, “good sensations” starting in my legs and what’s an 11 hour day riding to me, really?


3/17/14 – 3/24/14

This week saw a lot of consistent times out, with less rest days, as I start ramping up for my race on the 5th of April!

3/17/14 – Night time ride up Flagstaff

Starting the week off with an “easy” nighttime ride

1/18/14 – Sanitas Clockwise (PR)

Another lunch time sprint up and down Sanitas – better’d my time from last week, which is nice and was basically able to run the entire way up, which is awesome.

>

After work, I rode up Lee Hill Road for the first time in forever. Missed my turn to make it a loop and found myself on top of a hill with only one not saying, “Dead End”: the way I came. Fairly chilling going down

1/19/14 Nightime on Green

Another night time activity – this time summiting Green. Some hilarious falls on some bulletproof ice – I’ve got the wounds to prove it.

Right after the run, I did another ride up Flaggstaff to the ampitheatre. Good times. Nice to be able to double-up something like that, so late at night, when you think the day might have been a writeoff.

1/20 – Boulder – Denver

Rode to Denver, from Boulder, using my usual route not through the mountains. Talked to my mates at Salvagetti about getting a new bike. Stay tuned. Only one small hill on the way, did alright.

1/22 – Sanitas, Flagstaff, Green

Managed to forget to lock my bike at Chautauqua (I mean, really: who does that?) and ran a good mile before I figured out that my pack was feeling a little heavier than usual, and it wasn’t just my head. Was trying on purpose to run this one slow, to see if that gave me some energy to keep going to Bear and Sobo, after Green. Ha, nope. One theory is that I wasn’t having the best day, another is that the weather (snow, freezing rain) just wasn’t helping making it happen. Another is that I fearing running out of food. But probably I was just tired and going slow wasn’t working for me. The jaunt to Sanitas from Chautauqua is like, an actual run, where you cover distance, and not just up and down, which is most likely what tired me out. I should probably run for distance one of these days, it could help things. Observe how lumpy my condition is.

Hoped this day was going to be a Skyline Traverse, but, oh well. My variation wasn’t going to be much of a traverse, but more a linkup of all 4 mountains, by first descending to what feels like a natural starting point, rather than taking the saddle from say, Green to Bear and then Bear to Sobo – the latter is just 300 feet of elevation gain, instead of close to 2,000 you get, by starting on the Mesa Trail. It’s a tidy little linkup and not to be taken too lightly. I certainly didn’t get it happenin’!

Along with this, managed to hit up the climbing gym(s) 3x, Mon/Wed/Fri and both my climbing partner and I tagged a 5.11b. Small victories, I guess. Friday was a bouldering session – seems as if I could do every single V4 problem – sometimes racin’ up them, but couldn’t make much headway on anything V5 or over.  Hopefully, that’s not my wall.

Above is one of those projects that took me half a day to stumble up, and then I could walk up to it, and polish it off – looks so simple on video, but it was so hard to make those slopers work for me. Always a weird feeling.


Week total on my feet: 28.4 miles, 10,902 feet
Week total on the bike: 69.6 miles, 6,712 feet
Week total on the walls: 3x


3/10/14 – 3/16/14


These things that I destroy.


3/10/14 – Sanitas

Don’t laugh, but I’ve started working at a shared working space. It keeps me on task, most of the time. The weather forecast said 70 degrees this day, and staying inside sounded like hell, so I thought I’d try that thing where you go do something active on your lunch break… thing.

At around 1:00pm, I nonchalantly left my desk, with my running shorts in my hands, and made it to the bathroom to change. I left the office, and stuffed the rest of the clothes into my bag on my bike, and shuffled to Sanitas, which is like, a few blocks away (it’s sort of insane). Felt good, so I just thought, “well, let’s go!” with the goal of Not Dying, while trying to make it to the top. Did OK! Didn’t really pause at the top, and just let ‘er loose in one of those sort-of-in-control descents, all the way back to work.

Grabbed my clothes, changed again in the bathroom and made like nothing happened. Which would have worked, but the cycling cap I had been wearing was drenched with sweet. It was sort of nasty, until I finally took it off. Anyways, great time going up and down, and didn’t feel like I wasted a beautiful day



3/12/14 – Longs Peak Duathlon


3/16/14 – Full Moon Flagstaff

Longs Peak took it out of me – Thursday was sort of just this daze trying to recover mentally and physically, that I checked out for a few days, and just focused myself on my work – as, well I’m trying to save up for the Summer of Summers to End All Summers

Thought I’d take a quick spin up Flagstaff since it’s like: right there! And my first race this year looms over me. Put in a good time – def. feeling fitter and fitter at each go at the hill. A lot of this is just my legs remembering how to ride a bike, as I should in general be in awesome shape, and I weigh about 10lbs less than last year, at this time (thanks(?) running). My bike is still heavy as all hell, but I guess that’s a good thing, at the moment.

Week total on my feet: 17.0 miles, 6,628

feet

Week total on the bike: 113.5 miles, 11,743 feet

Finally reaching my goal of summiting Longs Peak in the winter, solo, with a bike approach (Duathlon!) was a good payoff for all the hard work of hiking and climbing and running and cycling I’ve put in. Great time riding up, but once I hit the trail, I felt like total and complete shit, which is a pity. I’m betting a lot of this was a function of not really eating a proper dinner the night before or breakfast the day of, and then just snacking on like peanuts and raisins throughout the day. After a 4 hour bike ride, glycogen stores are gonna be gone, gone, gone and the few handfuls of almonds I tossed in my mouth before shoving off wasn’t gonna make too much of a dent. Nerves, man. They’ll be other days.

Another moronic move was to not apply sunscreen – I got roasted. Even my (admittedly cheap) sunglasses helped little to ward off a serious altitude/hungry/sun exposure headache when up high. Nothing I haven’t experienced before, but I haven’t in a while, and it never gets funner. I’ve since bought a tiny bottle of the stuff, which I’ll keep on my bike, at all days.

Only went climbing once – on… Monday? Nothing too special to note, except I’ve started down climbing some of the routes after I’ve climbed them. Good for the ol’ endurance, which is sort of my Thing, so…

I’m a little bummed for taking 3 whole days off in a row, but the body needed rest, and the times on Sunday were good, meaning I’ve recovered. Would have been nice to sneak in a climbing session in there, but my middle finger isn’t doing too well – I believe it’s called, “Being Injured”?, so giving it a break seemed prudent as well. I dunno, I just wanna be moving 24/7.

This week – man, who cares, I’m just so happy to have bagged Longs. I could see myself doing a repeat of that, Knowing What I Know Now (it WAS my first time on the Keyhole route!), with a lighter kit and a more intelligent eating plan. I could see a quick trip up N. Arapahoe – riding my bike to the TH of course (Magnolia to Ned.!), as the hill looks not so much like a snowy avalanche of death waiting to happen. I also see a ton of cycling, as I try to get ready for a 160 mile bike ride on April 5th. It’ll be a casual affair as “races” go (wouldn’t have it any other way!), but I’d like to actually, I dunno: finish.

In one of my more genius strokes I signed myself up for a race the very next weekend, in Durango – no idea how I’m getting there yet, but if I get out there, I’d like to stay for a little more than just the race. How I’d get back afterwards – man: that is anyone’s guess.