Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seriously trying to have fun

9 miles - 9 hour work day. Damn. Headed to Chatauqua and parked on Baseline road immediately after work and a trip to the vending machine. Fueled by Lornadoone cookies and licorice, I did my first continuous climb of Green Mountain from Gregory Canyon. With the exception of stopping to pee, I made it up in just over 45 minutes. 14+minute miles is pretty sad, I'll be the first to admit, but the run was a breakthrough. Instead of scrambling up and expending every drop of energy I had in sporadic bursts, I actually managed to float up the mountain relatively consistently. Letting go of speed is hard, but I have to if I want to learn how to actually climb for sustained periods. The run went beautifully. Rather my typical descent of Gregory Canyon(I say typical as if I've been here more than 3 weeks), I went down Bear Canyon and took the Mesa trail back. This trail is my new favorite. It also added almost 2 miles to my usual route and had some great scenery.

non running- taught kickboxing and water aerobics! Call me Richard Simmons. Also several hours of desk jockeying.

Mentally draining day, 0 miles. No sleep the night before. Awoke every few minutes with really strange pain in my head and eyes. Not sure what's up with that. Paralympic water ski training at 6:30am, then work until 5. Gotta know when to fold 'em. I've been beaten down by the day yet again. This blog has turned from a training log into a daily bitch session. As far as my own intentions go, it's nice to record how I feel from day to day and it helps me psychologically to see what I'm thinking after some reflection. From a "write something entertaining" standpoint, this isn't exactly great reading. More posts on relevant things coming up.

Showed Jason and Shelly Robillard my favorite restaurant/brewery downtown, so I can't say I'm too upset about missing a run. Mountain Sun has some tasty beer and good bean and rice burritos.

AM- 5 miles - easy run on the Boulder Creek Path that ended up being fairly quick. I suppose the possibility of being late for work will do that.  Pretty flat route, but the pace was around 7 minutes/mile. I never have much to say after runs like this. I work up a sweat then go home.

Another day off due to lack of time. Worked all day, then drove down to Morrison to meet with Rick and Scott, organizers of the Naked Foot 5k. Jason and Shelly are in town and took Sam and I along to meet up with the guys. Cool fellows putting on a sweet event here in Boulder. Merrell is pretty impressive with their involvement with the minimalist running ideology across the nation.

AM-9 miles- took Jason up Green and down Bear Canyon to show him my favorite route in the park. It felt weird to be the one who knows where to go. I still feel like this place is so new to me. can't believe its been a month. All of my runs since my arrival here have been solo. The company of another runner is something I had forgotten the value of. We made it to the summit pretty quickly and I felt better during that run than any other so far. I was glad to share the trail with someone.

PM-6 miles- Played trail guide with Jason and Shelly on the Flagstaff and Gregory Canyon trails. We did some climbing on the rocks, some view taking, and some running. Their ability to adapt to altitude is making me feel pretty weak. Feels like I'm still not used to it, but they're doing great after a couple days.

Saturday "Dry Run"
AM - 4 miles- Nakedfoot 5k - 17:40something or something. Planned on just visiting new and old friends at Merrell, helping out, and enjoying the cool atmosphere. Jon offered me pair of unreleased kicks to test out, so I obliged and ran the race in them. Half assed warmup that consisted of me running to the Juan, then raced the 5k. Placed 4th overall(makes handjob gesture*) to a badass barefoot dude in a kilt(not Jason) and a couple high school kids. Enjoyed hanging out with Jason, Shelly, John, Ken Bob Saxton(and pooch Herman), Rob Sanchez, and Scott. Really sweet event at Foothills Park here in Boulder. Swag aplenty and some speedwork.

Only picture I found of me from the Nakedfoot. Can't explain the facial expression or donning of Merrell Buff.

PM - Boulder Reservoir Father's Day 4.5k - 17:xx again - Great Course and some fun times. Samantha and I volunteered at the event and had fun registering runners and paddle boarders for the events. Again, more swag! Great food good folks all around. Free White Rascal Beer(my personal favorite) and Hawaiian BBQ. Absolutely no warm up as I was signing up other runners until 4:55(race started at 5). Really windy on the open plains, but a fun course with very little elevation change, only slight uphill and downhill and no real flat parts. It was almost ideal. The wind slowed us down, making the times more akin to 5k times for most. The atmosphere was a bit more competitive(prize money involved), but nothing some beers can't fix. Possibly a top 10 finish, but I don't know or care. Almost got "chicked." EDIT: looks like 12th place. What an ass clown.

Running Guru lets you download the pics from the race for free! cool!
hobbjogged my way to 12th place among(or should I say behind) a pretty tough looking field.
Only one who ran in the leis they were handing out.

PM 2 - Did 4 with Sam on the Boulder Creek Path. She's been my sole support system since our move to Boulder. The least I could do was drag my lazy ass out and have a nice run with her to get her workout in. Enjoyed the path and watched the sun go down. Time to go have some libations.**

AM- 7 miles. Took Jason and Shelly up the mountain again before they left town. Not a lot of continuous running, but some shooting for Jason's Blog on the Merrell site. The standard route up Gregory. Being in a place where a mountain run is in such close proximity is great.

PM- Mountain biking with Sam. 3 hour ride in the foot hills trails in South Boulder. Lots of scenic trails that traverse cattle fields, cross streams, and climb hills. Really rocky trails, but I think we did well for a couple newbies on low-end bikes. Sam's trusty Schwinn held up over the nasty stuff and my Marlin with a broken fork stayed solid. Note:Sam is a pretty damn good mountain biker, as I've found out. very cool.
Shall I run again? maybe if I get the lawn mowed and other homeowner shit.

48 miles? I'll take it. It was low volume, but pretty high quality stuff. It showed me that I can do back to back runs and that it's easier with people around. I learned quite a lot and had fun. This low mileage crap is pretty typical for me 80% of the year anyway.  This week, since it wasn't run completely solo, should have some pictures attached to it once I snag 'em from Jason's camera.

In other news:
I have gone on a "frantic search for motivation" spree. I have signed up for a rash of races for the purpose of helping me to get out and enjoy the trails that I'm so blessed to have in my backyard. I'm overly ambitious. Of this I'm well aware.
- I'm struggling with altitude and extended climbs. What is the first logical thing to do? How about sign up for a 50 mile mountain race at 10,000-12,000feet off the sea? After a few beers and some discussion with bad influences, I registered for the Leadville 50mile trail run. I have less than 1 month to train, but I'm determined to enjoy it. I've gone into every race in the past year with the intent to win or hit a time goal. A race such as this one will free me of such expectations and allow me to face off against the steep climbs, the thin air, and weakness that resides inside me. This will also serve as the ever so sorely needed long run before I leave Colorado. I'm capable, but still in search of a situations that calls for the effort. I'm forcing my lazy streak out of me.
- I lack any motivation to cross train. Despite my stereotypical "skinnyfat" distance runner's build, I can't seem to force myself into a gym. I know that a small amount of strength could do wonders for my trail running, especially if I maintain my (not so) high mileage. Exploring Boulder can be done not only by foot, but mountain bike and by climbing. While wandering around the booths at the Father's Day race, I came across Columbia's Muddy Buddy event tent. A 6 mile partner event with an obstacle every mile, mountain biking, and a mud pit at the end. Pretty damn sweet, if you ask me! Samantha, not usually one to want to pay money to enter events, was excited at the thought. We signed up immediately(saving a few dollars), and were immediately enthused at the idea of training together for such a crazy event. It's new for both of us, so it will be a great equalizer. Preparing for the event will also give us good reason to hit the trails and climbing areas together. We now have a "Muddy Buddy" shirt hanging on our wall as a reminder to run, bike, and do body weight/agility exercises. This kind of training feels different; we're free of any obligation. The more we train, the more fun we'll have at this race.

Life doesn't suck right now, but I do miss my Dad this Father's day weekend. Even among all the great male influences in my life, my Dad is by far my biggest inspiration to turn myself into a good man.

*"handjob gesture" - similar to eye rolling, a phrase meaning a facetious "whoopee" that I borrowed from fellow blogger P. Thanks Pat.

**libations - classy word used by barefooter and real boss Pat Sweeney for alcohol and all things mind altering and fun.

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