Sunday, December 23, 2012


So EXCITED!  I am just about to head off to Tanzania to attempt Kilimanjaro.  Hopefully I'll get to tick this one off of my bucket list.  I feel like I'm well prepared and in good condition.  Can't wait.

More to come soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So many cool events, so little time and money

I was browsing events yesterday and saw some very cool one that I'd LOVE to do now that I am expanding my running and riding horizons.  Here are a few of them.

  • Steamboat Stinger -  Mountain biking and trail running in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  VERY NICE!!  My goal would be to complete the 50 mile solo mountain bike race, and then the 26.2 trail marathon the next day - to be crowned King Sting.
  • Cle Elum Ridge This 50K trail race in Cle Elum, Washington boast beautiful scenery along with challenging terrain.  There's approximately 7000 feet of elevation gain for the 50k.  I've go free accommodation, so why not?
  • Desert RATS Western Slope, Colorado.  There are so many things to do- 100K mountain bike event, a 25/50 mile trail run, and best of all, a 5 day run from Grand Junction, Colorado to  world famous Moab, Utah along the beautiful 148-mile Kokopelli trail.  
  • Firecracker 50  50 mile mountain bike race in Breckenridge, Colorado.  Sweet.
  • CELTMAN! Extreme Scottish Triathlon  3.8K swim in a loch, 202K bike, 42K run over two Scotland!  I have to find a way to do this one someday.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jingle Bells and Iron Men

This past weekend, I ran the 2012 Denver Jingle Bell Run with the family.  I felt kind of bad for the race organizers because it has been so warm and beautiful lately and it ends up being 20 degrees and windy on the day they hold their event.  I guess if was sort of nice that there was actually a little bit of snow in the park as we ran with our jingle bells.  This was a run that I'd planned to run for time but instead ran with the family.  My wife has recently decided that she wants to complete an Ironman triathlon.  If she's put her mind to it, I have no doubt that she'll achieve her goal.  However, she's never been much of a runner to this point.  She was a competitive swimmer in high school and a has recently become an accomplish cyclist, but the running part of the triathlon was a big question mark.  She's tried a few times in the past but has always battled shin pain and plantar fasciitis.  I suggested that minimalist running may be the way for her to go if she want to try and complete a marathon.  Being on the mid/fore foot should be much less pounding on her weak spots than a heel strike.  We went out an bought he some minimalist running shoes (Reebok ZigNano) and I am happy to report that things are going well.   When we started the Jingle Bell Run, she complained of her usual running maladies, but as she warmed up and developed a stride and rhythm she felt much better.  In fact, she was able to run the entire distance.  It was great to see her take to the minimalist running and I was happy to run with her rather than against the clock.  She's since had the expected calf soreness but I told her that it will go away if she keeps it up.  Her prospects for completing an Ironman are definitely looking up.

Square Top Mountain in early December

In preparation for my climb upcoming climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I've been trying to get in as many high altitude climbs in the preceding weeks.  Trying to do this in December in Colorado presents some unique challenges.  Due to the lack of snow to this point, avalanches are not much of a concern at this point.  However, winter wind can be brutal.  Despite a forecast of 30 mile per hour winds and gusts up to 70 miles per hour, I decided to give Square Top Mountain off of Guanella Pass a go.  Most folks go up to Guanella Pass in order to climb Mt. Bierstadt or Mt. Evans, two of Colorado's 14ers closest to Denver.  I'd done so many times, but I figured it was time to head west from the pass rather than east.  The hike up Square Top is not particularly difficult.  From the winter road closure to the 13,794 ft summit, it is around 4 mile each way and 2700 vertical feet.  There is a good trail for most of it and a fairly gentle slope for the rest.  As expected, the wind was brutal.  If I removed my glove for even a few seconds my hand would go numb. Surprisingly, there were at least 10 other people on the mountain with me.   Fortunately, the views from the summit were beautiful and I was able to find a pile of rocks to act as a wind break as I enjoyed my lunch.  Most importantly,  I felt strong all day and wasn't even all that tired when I finished.  This bodes well for Kilimanjaro.

I didn't take any pictures but the following link has some good stuff.
Square Top Mountain info

I've also provided a link to my path and data in TrainingPeaks.
My data