Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New in the Arsenal!

Arsenal sounds so bad! And yet, it is true. Especially when I become an Einstein Runner. I need a dependable source of information for tracking my runs!

These items arrived yesterday!

My ChampionChip!
The red faced yellow chip is my ChampionChip I purchased when I registered for the Chicago Marathon. I got it. Hmmm... The Chicago Marathon is becoming very real now!

The Nike+ Sportband
The other? The Nike+ Sportband. All of the benefits of the Nike+ System without the iPod part. I am hoping this will be more reliable.

This is an odd piece of equipment. It did not come with any software. You go to the web to get it.

As you download the file, you can remove the packaging and get the unit ready.
Run the installation software. When finished, insert the USB device into your computer. Let it charge the internal battery for two hours.

I went ahead and used the new chip (sensor). I put it on my left shoe replacing the other chip. < Oh yeah! Thanks Tom! You can have it back now! >

I removed the USB device from the computer and replaced it in the Sportband. I pressed the round button on the face for 3 seconds. When the word, "WALK" flashed on the face, I walked about and it found the shoe chip. I was ready for the run!

It worked well. There is a button under the face that will give you info as you run.

Need to pause? Press the round button once quickly. Ready to go again? Press the round once and quickly again. BTW - You know it is running when there is a line moving from side to side at the bottom of the display.

Press the round button for three seconds again to END your run.

Take the USB Device back out of the Sportband. Put it in a USB slot on your computer. The computer senses the USB Device, reads the information and sends it to the Nike+ website. It gives you a chance to log in and you are reviewing your run!

I will review the device in another couple of weeks. Right now? I like it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Running on (and on) (and on)...

I ran 31.10 miles last week. I started the week with a 10.22 mile long run last Sunday.
Yesterday, I ran 13.64 miles. I ran the Platte River recreation path again. This time I ran to the North. There is one section between Mississippi and Exposition Avenues (at Vanderbilt Park) where homeless people congregate on the path. They are never negative or hostile. I always greet them as I run or ride by.

I ran up to the (locked gate) of the Denver Water Board building. I turned around and headed back.
Today, I ran my sore muscles for 3.14 miles at a slow pace.

3 weeks to my first half-marathon of the season!

We took the Mighty YJ out on Saturday to see if anything was open enough to run. We got much further up and into the Yankee Hill trail system then we have been able to get but not as far as we would have liked to.

It was a cold morning. Tom was driving and he mired the passenger rear tire in a snow drift. We used the winch and got right out. It was time to turn around. Going back out we got the tire caught in the same place, but after that we went straight back down the hill without incident.

It snowed on us twice on the mountain. It snowed on us again when we came back to the city. No accumulation, but snow none the less.

That is a classic case of Springtime in the Rockies!

(Thanks to http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/474/documents/SouthPlatteMap.pdf for the excellent graphic of the Platte River Recreation path)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicago Marathon - Reservations are Nearly Full

I got an e-mail this morning from the Chicago Marathon people (newsletter@chicagomarathon.com). This is a quote from the newsletter:

"Registration for the 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is rapidly approaching its 45,000 participant capacity. Only a few thousand open entries are still available. If you are interested in participating in the 2008 event, we encourage you to register now before the field is full. To register, visit chicagomarathon.com."

"Once open registration is closed, entry into the 2008 race can still be obtained through our official charity partners or affiliated international tour groups. For more information on these options, visit chicagomarathon.com."

Planning on attending? Time might be at hand to monitor whether you can register and join a great group of bloggers as we go to Chicago with some of us competing in this competition!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Planning My Season!

My Season is Soon to Begin!

Last week I ran 30.85 miles. The long run for last week was 11.5 miles. Yesterday’s long run was 10 miles. I actually ran it outside! It was windy going out and at my back as I came back.

I like the recreation path. Bicycles are the number one venue on the weekends, but traffic was not too heavy yesterday. The Platte River recreational trail has areas for bikes along the entire length, and in most areas it has sidetracks for runners.

I was amused at one point, when a couple of guys passed me on bikes. “How far today?” The first asked me. I answered, “10 miles, its my long run of the week.” “Wow,” the other said, “ I don’t think I could do 5!” “How far have you gone so far?” from the first one. “8,” I replied. “Wow!” said the second one, "Good for you. I really wish I could do that!" And then they were away!

I did feel dry and thirsty when I got back. It is the time of year when restrooms are open, but the drinking fountains are not turned on yet. Now, now, I do carry water, but it only goes so far…

My Season!
Here is what I am looking at for this season (so far).

South Suburban Parks & Recreation – Highline Canal Fun Run.
I ran the 5K last year. I will run either the 5K or the 10K this year. Lots of fun activities afterwards at this fun, local venue. A good starter.
Saturday, May 10, 2008

Colorado Colfax Marathon/Half-Marathon
This venue is still in its infancy. I want to run the half-marathon this year. Selfish reason. I want to get a half-marathon medal. They offer medals to all finishers! I want mine!
Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Slacker
I ran this race as my first half-marathon. I really enjoyed this race. From high in altitude and elevation to a little less high in altitude and elevation, and one killer hill after the trail section. Unfortunately, I will not run the half-marathon, but I will run the 4 mile race with a friend from work.
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chicago Marathon
I want to be so ready for this one. This will be my very first full marathon. Since 911, I haven’t flown. The reasons are political, as I deeply believe that anyone willing to give up a right to get security is deserving of neither. But, I now have flight tickets, hotel room, confirmed registration for the race.
I will also be able to count half of the run toward the Phedippidations World-Wide Half-Marathon (to be completed for 10/10 to 10/12 this year).
This race will also mean a lot because of a lot of fellow bloggers that are planning to be there. Maddy, Irish Blue, Susan and some others are among them. That would be so cool to meet these wonderful people and to run a marathon with some of them! How cool is that?
Sunday, October 12, 2008.

I am faced with working extra now to assist me in the payment of these registrations! I even offered to pay the entry fee for my friend at the Slacker…

‘Nuff for now!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Weather, Sleep and Nutrition.

Weather is very important to us humans. If you are a runner, it may be even more important. A lot of us folk out here in Colorado know it is Spring because the grass gets greener between snow storms. Yesterday and last night, it snowed again!

I read recently that one's running log should include the amount of time spent sleeping. I have started recording that and found that I generally do not sleep a lot (except maybe after a long run). I average around 6.5 hours of sleep a night. I guess that I've done that for a while but have never really thought about it.

With my job, I am generally up past midnight. Not at work, but up in case (after all, I am the Safety Director). I am always up by 7:00 AM. I don't feel sleep deprived. I have never been a person that needs a lot of sleep. I wake up, feeling refreshed.

Now just 'cause I am wondering, but how much sleep do the rest of you get?

Right now, I weigh 220 pounds. That is heavy. I realize that a lot of that is eating inappropriately. I don't really eat a lot of junk food in the strictest sense. I do like bread. I also like salad.

I run daily around 10:00 AM. I have some oatmeal about an hour before that. Water (generally) during the run. Water is a good thing!

My second meal of the day is around 1:00 PM. A sandwich or chinese food. I try to keep the chinese food to lean meat and lots of veggies.

My job is mostly sedentary. I sit at a desk and type for most of the day. My trouble? I get hungry at around 5 - 6 PM. I tend to munch at that time. It should be my lunch, I guess, but it isn't. This is the time that I tend to over eat.

Finally supper is around 9:00 PM. This is generally a typical hot meal.

Advice is necessary. What do you guys do for food and why does what you do work for you?

Enough for now...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What a Weekend!

So, I am leaving the office on Thursday night around 8:00 PM. I get to a major artery near the office and power to the traffic light goes out. I thought that was odd. I called our office and got through the phone system.

I got home and called our local utility provider. The outage had been reported and I was informed that it would take 4 hours to repair. I waited 4 hours and then called the office. I did not get the voicemail system so I figured the electricity was still out.

I got a call the next morning at 6:30 AM (really early for me). The voicemail would not start and I needed to get in and assess the situation. Up and at 'em!

Hard drive in the voicemail system was lost (failed - became a paperweight). The system would not reboot.

That was the start of a very busy day.

I have constructed a really good vendor's list. I called my telecommunications provider and found out some options. I worked with my people on Executive Row and got authorization for a budget. A little bit of parlaying and a new system was purchased.

Pretty major. Replaced the phone system with a current system that has an integrated voicemail system. It took like six hours to do so. Every user on the system had a new voicemail box by Friday afternoon.

It was a long day but sometimes duty calls and you must attend.

Monday was voicemail training and honing. I had the telecommunications provider come out and fine-tune as well as running some more cabling. It is a very sophisticated system now and should serve us long into the future of the company.

Running? You want to know about Running, Too?
Last week, I ran 29.25 miles (I did get 3.5 miles in on Friday even with all that was going on). Sunday's long run was 11 1/2 miles.

Running The World
I'm participating in a virtual run over at What's a Few Miles Among Friends? A few of us have committed to a weekly group run. We've committed to 100 miles a month. You can read more about this fun project there at the site!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dewey Bridge

Right now, I feel like I have lost an old friend. It saddens me that I will never see this magnificent structure again.

If you have ever been to Moab Utah and taken scenic highway 128 along the Colorado River, then you have seen it. I'm talking about Dewey Bridge.

The bridge was built in 1915 and finished in 1916. It was a connecting point between the 2 banks of the mighty Colorado River at that point. Located 28 miles East of Moab, it served as a major crossing point connecting Western Colorado to Eastern Utah. It was decommissioned in 1988 when a highway bridge was built nearby.

Tom, Molly and I crossed the bridge by foot on Friday, April 4th. It was always fun to walk on as it would sway with just our footsteps. The bridge was a regular stop for many travellers on Highway 128. It was also a part of the famous "Kokepelli Trail."

Sunday afternoon and evening, it burned out of existence.

Many factors contributed to it, but it seems a 7 year old Grand Junction boy was playing with matches in the river bank brush near the bridge.

By the time firefighter and law enforcement could arrive at the site, the bridge fire was out of control and could not be saved.

I will miss this Historic Landmark Bridge.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I love to run trails. Outside, natural trails. Nothing like it anywhere. Running a city is a great way to explore it, but running a trail gets you out and into the natural wonders that our Earth has to offer!

Saturday is my normal day of rest.
That was good as it allowed the three of us - My good friend Tom, my trusted dog Molly, and I - to make the drive from Denver to Moab. About 350 miles, it takes about 6 1/2 hours. Once we got there, we drove the Klondike Bluffs trail, Baby Steps trail, and the Tower Arch trail. From a parking area, we did the 1/2mile trail to Tower Arch (it is inside the boundary of Arches National Park). Then, back in the jeep, and off to check in at the hotel.

This is an annual event that is a group from an internet forum. The group is Jeeperz and can be found at www.jeeperz.com. Both Tom and myself are members of the Colorado Chapter. Just as an aside, mile 13 of my marathon is dedicated to this group of friends and Jeepers!

We went to dinner at a restaurant with some of the people that had arrived from the group. TomVe, a friend from California, asked if I was going to take movies and pictures this year like I had in the past. I told him that I was planning on it. As the mobile member of the group, I had the chance to get really great photos as I run alongside the jeeps on the runs.

Sunday was the start of the trail runs.
Some of the group started in Montrose, Colorado. They ran trails on Saturday while the rest of us headed straight for Moab. They drove to Moab Sunday morning.
The four rigs in Moab already decided to drive the South side of Fins & Things and the loop on the North side that included Frenchy's Fin and Kenny's Climb. Two fun obstacles on the trail. You can out more about this trail here*.
As a group, we ran Moab Rim. The Moab Rim trail is a challenging trail that climbs a cliff edge right by the Colorado River. You can find out more about the trail here*. There are two major obstacles on this trail. The first is a step that is about 3 feet tall. A driver has to keep their wits about them as they climb this step while being very aware that the cliff is directly behind them. I ran this very steep trail as the Rigs drove it.

My friend, Maggie, an elmentary aged young lady ran most of this trail with me on the way down. It was not the only trail that Maggie would run with me. She is a good kid and is often faster than I am! This was the second year that we have run together.

Monday was a long trail.

Monday was the day that we drove Metal Masher. This trail is a long trail that travels across dirt road, slickrock and long stretches of very fine red sand.
There are many obstacles on this trail including Rock Chucker, Mirror Gulch and Widowmaker. You can find out more about this trail here*.

I ran most of this long trail. There are many trails that diverge from this trail and I had to wait for the rigs to catch up (often). I was running a long (earned) downhill section. When I got to the bottom, I looked back and saw that Maggie was following behind me. The dear young lady had followed me from her parents' jeep. We had fun talking and viewing the countryside as the rest of the group caught up. I continued a run while Maggie opted to join her parents and smaller sister in their Jeep.
I was proud of my friend Tom as he was able to realize a goal of his. It was to drive over the Widowmaker obstacle. Widowmaker is a 7 to 8 foot wall at approximately 80 degrees. It is a tough climb for any rig. He attached the winch rope to a hard point and was able to take the obstacle and place another notch on his Jeep.

Tuesday - Hell's Revenge Trail!
Hell's Revenge is one of the penultimate trails in the Moab area. You start by climbing a steep, narrow slickrock fin. The first time you jeep (run) this trail can get the pucker factor going. You can find out more about it here*.

Wednesday was a divergent day.
The larger rigs elected to do Pritchett Canyon (probably the toughest trail that a rig can actually drive. You can find out more about this trail here*.
I was not a member of that group. 4 of us elected to run the Steelbender trail instead. Steelbender is a challenging trail with 2 named obstacles. You can find out more about this trail here*.
Our group only got as far the obstacle named, The Wall. That is where we experienced one of us rolling over. 270 degrees worth. He tried the obstacle but got off the correct line. His driver side back tire feel into a crack on the wall. that forced his rig over to the left. He could have pulled out of that, but he had installed a thumb throttle before the trip. It was set to give the rig gas. as the engine raced, and he pulled to the left, the rig started to fall off of the 6 foeet shelf at the top. The rig fell on the driver's side, then the top, and landed on the passenger side. What a thing to have happen.
Notice that handsome runner person at the front of the rolled rig.

We pulled together as a group with some objectives:
1. Extricate the driver (a hardy 71 year old man).
2. Render first aid, if necessary.
3. Right the rig (set it back on the rubber).
4. Assess whether the rig is driveable or what repairs would be necessary.
We did all that (and if anyone is really interested, I can write another blog later on specifically what we did and what we used to do it).
Suffice it to say, that we were able to get the driver and the his rig out of the back country. His rig went to hs trailer at the hotel. The driver elected to go straight to the hospital emergency room.He was released within a short period of time with a 'partially separated shoulder.'

Thursday was a new trail for us.

Rusty Nail is a trail that connects GoldBar Rim trail to the Golden Spike. It is a short trail, but difficult with 2 named obstacles. Tom drove the Mighty YJ over the first obstacle, RiffRaff, in the photo above. You can read more about this trail here*.

Jason driving into the second named obstacle, No Left Turn. What you cannot see here is the edge of a 200 foot cliff immediately to the left. This obstacle is appropriately named!

Well, we made it to the Golden Spike trail. After the morning's adrenaline driven obstacle taking, a little fun was called for. Here one of the guys' drives up onto the back tire of another rig.

Twice this year, the Trail Dog (me) was able to assist the group. Once on Metal Masher, when we split so some of the group could climb the Widowmaker. I climbed a bluff and was able to see and catch up to the other group to bring us all together for the drive to Gemini Bridges.

The other time was on Rusty Nail when the obstacles had been completed. The trail is not marked well on the long slickrock stretch, so I had run ahead exploring as I went. When the group was starting to get lost, I signalled from the trail. A rig saw me and the group was able to find the trail.

All things must end!
It was a great week. Unfortunately, it had to end. I am sure that all of us took some great memories that will tide us over until we can meet again next year!

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* I would like to thank the good people at TrailDamage.com for their fine website and the great trail information that they provide.