Woo boy. The difficulties of writing the things you do down, in order to keep some sort of history of said things.
And for what end? I’d like to say it’s so that I can use it to look back, and track progress and all that. I do it – or want to do it to keep myself committed to my goals of progressing. We all love a narrative. We were there, now we’re here. And we’re much better, now!
Sometimes it works that way, other times, not so much. Many things have gotten in my way, mostly laziness; sometimes financial emergencies; or relationship issues; or I get sick for seemingly weeks.
Recently? I think I broke my foot! I honestly can’t tell if this is a broken bone, or a really bad sprain/strain. If it’s a broken bone, it’s one of those tiny bones that float around your foot, that you can’t really heal in any systemic way, so nothing to do about it anyways.
If it’s a sprain/strain, it’s a kind I’ve never had before. Partly because it’s on my left foot, and not my right. My poor right foot has seen countless sprains in my life, mostly due to skateboarding accidents. I’m used to feeling my right foot sprained, but my left foot, it’s aaaaaaaall new feels. But the pain doesn’t seem to be centralized in one area, which is bewildering to me. No real swelling – def. no discoloration.
So, how’d I do it? I fell on my head (mostly), and I guess my foot (a little bit) bouldering indoors. Missed the dyno. So lame! There goes my, “practice indoors because it’s safe” hypothesis.
My go-to for any injury is rest the thing that’s injured until said Thing doesn’t hurt as much. If that doesn’t do it in a few days, I usually just start again, because I will go insane just moping around. I get all philosophical on the injury, too: “It’s either going to get better, or it won’t and I’ll die either way”
So, I shall try again, to keep a weekly log of my tireless tasks at physical self improvement, starting this week, and ending at when it’s far too nice out to really find this minutiae important enough to make public.
Monday, Oct 26 2015 – Bouldering @ Movement
Good boulder sess. today – very quick warmup of some V0’s and V1’s, which mutated into playing One Less Hold on some V1s until that got boring. Then I moved over to a V5 project I was working on a bit. Managed to send that problem. My issue was a fussy and reachy hold with bad feet. Try as I might, I could never find really great feet, so I just focused on getting the best grip on the key hold. Once I was able to do that, the rest of the problem was easy.
Moved on to the 45 degree overhanging wall to a V4. This wall is not one of my strengths, as I’m pretty heavy, and pretty weak. Good to work on your weaknesses, yeah? The problem starts off with a pretty easy traverse right with plenty of feet, then goes up on crimps. I wasn’t able to finish the problem, but made a lot more headway than I ever had, so that was a win. One of the problems was that I needed to be accurate with where I was initially catching the crimpy small holds, the other issue is that I had to pivot as much as I could, to make the reach as little as possible and have my body as much into the wall as I could. Still felt awkward, but I surprised myself enough, that if I had another fresh go, I could probably finish the last two moves. Sadly, I think the wall is being reset tomorrow.
After that, tried another V5, this one almost on slab. It uses a corner as a hold for your left hand, then a pinch to your right. Then, you’re just left with pretty small chips for feet and hands, and a traverse to the right to finish it all up. I worked on this one a little but with another, stronger climber, but neither of us could figure it out, although since we were both of similar heights and ape indexes, we were both hoping to steal each other’s beta. Alas.
I ended the two hours sess. with another bouldering game: This time picking some easy routes on the 45 degree overhanging wall, and purposely cutting my feet on every move. Very tiring, but I was able to fit a few sets in of doing that and left the gym pretty toasted.
Thanks everyone who made the time to come over to Neptune Mountaineering and participate in my talk! I really appreciate everyone’s interest and support! Thank you Neptune Mountaineering for hosting the event!
GPS tracks of the routes I presented are available on my Strava Routes page:
- Boulder to 4th of July Campsite (Arapahoe Peaks Access) (pavement, and some dirt roads)
- Boulder to Longs Peak E. Trailhead via Jamestown (pavement all the way)
- Tour 14er: Front Range (pavement and some dirt roads)
- Tour 14er: Sawatch (copious use of the Colorado Trail, where access by bikes is allowed)
Some of the routes/races I mentioned:
It was many things, to many, many people. Here’s what it meant to me:
Salvagetti + Happy Coffee: a bike drive thru to by coffee + bike parts, open early in the morning. Another master idea by Scott. I borrowed those beefy tires from one of the mechanics of Salvagetti to try to ride this beast of a machine on some of the more technical parts of the Colorado Trail, in hopes of bagging some 14ers. Long story short: unsuccessful trip in many regards (Trailer?!), but I learned a lot and vowed to try again. September, 2010
I think I was on a date. We had just visited The Denver Art Museum. Practically across the street, there’s a block of row houses converted into businesses. One was a bike shop, with a hand painted sign, illustrated with a bike, and an Italian flag.
It read, “Salvagetti“.
Mon Sep 21 – Neighborhood Trails (s)
Quickie around the trails near my house. Funnily, I’ve never been to any of these trails, which is a little embarassing. Good tuneup for the rest of the week, I guess.
The summit of La Plata, my third fourteen thousand foot mountain for the day, still seemed impossibly far away. The storm system that had surprisingly reappeared just over my shoulder was now again not so quietly building up force. Thunder boomed. On any other day I would have called it.
I crawled upward, rather than descend downward. What I needed desperately to do was to text the only person I knew who was in the area: my girlfriend. The only way to do that was to top the summit and chance getting cell coverage. Finally there, I typed furiously with cold fingers, wind and snow burning my cheeks:
HELP. I AM NOT OK. Too weak to keep going and stuck in another storm. Going to walk back to the La Plata Trailhead. I should be able to make it.
Are you there?
If my SPOT Tracker stops moving, I may have just passed out for a bit. If you get this, please meet me... meet me wherever I'm found.
If the text got out, and if she herself had service (who knows where she was camped?) she may then be there to help me with my extraction. A gamble, but it was my best idea to avoid calling Search and Rescue. It was going to be a cold night waiting out whatever was about to come down without her help. I just had an ultralight bivvy – a plastic bag essentially, to nestle in. I brought no sleeping bag.
Sending the message, I turned around, and immediately felt lost on the descent. My Unsupported Nolans 14 attempt was over, but my night was only beginning.
Shortly after finishing up 34 days of bagging some high peaks, self-powered.
Since completing my own Tour 14er, where I rode to, then summited the 58 (by my count) Colorado mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, I’ve started to get a fair bit of correspondence from people telling me that they’re inspired by what I’ve (and others) have done. They think to themselves: Boy howdy: I own a bike and there’s a group of mountains nearby that have that siren-like song attracting me to climb them – why not use my bike to ride to all of those mountains, then summit: fair means and self-supported?
Then they ask me, “So well: what are the details? How do you pull this off?”
After crossing the finish line, letting out a long slow exhale, a big smile – and then a little cry to myself in the corner of the parking lot: my 2015 Dirty 30 was in the bag @ 5:50:33. Relief.
The days leading up to the race were a little less than ideal: I caught a cold! Right when the weather relented from the weeks of rain, rain, rain. I missed a few runs I wanted to do, and exchanged them for very easy sessions of spinning on the bike indoors, or doing nothing at all. Better to let the cold pass, than to potentially make things worse. A bit too sheer of a drop off for tapering for my tastes, but it’s what I was given. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I have years of base building, I’ve been relatively injury free all year – save a small hamstring strain I’ve consciously worked to prevent in the future, and I’ve been PR’ing all over the place. Time to line up!