Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Event is Over!

The Question
Did those young whipper-snappers beat the old man?
Yes, they did. I was actually very proud of them. Out of 128 people, they came in 16th and 17th. I came in 69th. Tom came in 72nd. We all came in with a lot of fun.
Ismael, Carlos and me. We had just registered and were waiting for the bus to take us to the starting line.

5:00 AM sure comes early in the morning! I woke up just before the alarm went off. It was tough, but we were out the door at 5:45 AM.

Interstate 70 goes from Denver into the front range of the Rocky Mountains. It starts to climb just as you leave the city. It was a crisp, cool morning. The drive to Georgetown took about an hour.

We were all calling each other as I arrived so we could meet up. Even as we saw each other, we still talked on the cells. All of us got in the lines for packet pickup. At that station, we got our bib numbers and some pins. We only had to wait for the bus for a few minutes. The bus took us to the starting line.

We got off the bus and went right over to get our chips.
The chips were mounted on an ankle bracelet that closed with velcro. They were comfortable and I barely knew it was there.

We met a young runner. Brian is talking to us here. It is his first race. He felt he was ready. He was taking in all the sights of the event. He had trained for it and felt he was ready. He ran with Tom and I.
Brian's first race. He was full of anticipation and full of questions.

The race started a little late. There were a lot of on-site registrations and that meant additional bus trips. The Slacker has a tradition of starting all phases of the race at the same time. Once everyone was ready to race (at both locations) we heard the count down and the start.

Clear Creek at the Start Line.

The Slacker runs along Clear Creek and I-70. There are some beautiful things to see this time of year. The snow load in the mountains was heavy this year. The creek was very full due to run off from the snow level.

The gun goes off. The race is on!

Ismael and Carlos started off the line and stayed ahead of us.

There is a 'tourist' train that runs from Georgetown to Silver Plume. Known as the Georgetown Loop Railroad, it is well known on this side of the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on the continental divide.

The Silver Plume terminus of the railroad. See the railroad cars at the right side?

We were able to see this railroad trestle for quite a while before we ran under it.

The first three miles were all downhill. We made good time. As we enterred Georgetown, the terrain leveled off. There was turn after turn as we ran through the town. With half a mile to go, the course started to climb. I saw that Brian was moving out ahead. With leaden feet that just did not want to respond, I tried a kick. I moved forward. I got even with him, then passed him. I was able to keep that advantage just long enough to go through the finish line!

That last half mile was a killer rise in elevation!

Tom took a picture of his finish time as he ran toward the finish!

Carlos came up to me as I got out of the chute. We high-fived each other on a job well done. We waited for Brian and Tom to finish then went off to get our T-shirts and swag. We had hot dogs, water, and visited all of the booths.

When they posted the times, I found my time to be 37:47 and a pace of 9:27. A PR! (OK, OK... It was my first 4 mile, and was a PR anyway) I was still pleased with my time and pace!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Quote of the Race
I got a kick out of Tom as we got to the bottom of two switchbacks and he looked back up on the course. "Oh good!" he said, "There are runners behind us."


Friday, June 27, 2008

One Day To Go!

The Event is Tomorrow!
4 mile fun run in the mountains benefitting a mountain community. Today was a rest day (1st in 2 weeks). The cool part? Mountain environment, mountain air, and a fun community event. The bad part? 5:00 AM wake up... 5:45 AM out the door and on the 1 hour trip to Georgetown. Need to pick up the race packet and chip by 7:00 AM to get on the bus for the starting line by 7:15 AM.

1, no 2 thermos of coffee, I think. Should get me there. I'll just get some toothpicks to hold the eyes open.

I am ready.

Coffee? Water?A recent study concluded that coffee is not so much a diuretic. The study was simple in the makeup. One group drank cups of coffee. The other group drank the same amount of water. No difference in the amounts of restroom visits! Hmmm...

News tomorrow!
Probably some pictures, too!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2 Days To Go!

The Event
I'll be running from the town of Silver Plume to Georgetown, Colorado. Silver Plume is at 9,200 feet in altitude. Georgetown is at 8,600 feet in elevation. So, most of the 4 mile race will be run at a high elevation and most of it will be run downhill.

Carlos ran it last year (while I ran the half). He said that the course starts uphill before a dramatic downhill course.

All of us work a swing shift. All of us will have to be at Georgetown by 7:00 am (parked and ready to pick up the race packet). The last bus leaves for the start line @ 7:15 AM. The race starts at 8:00 AM.

It should be interesting! Looking forward to it!

Will there be pictures? Of course!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

3 days to go!

The next competition!
3 days until a 4 mile competition. Why 4 miles? There was some interest where I work to run a race together. We are. Shorter than I like, but some of the guys want to kick my old, gray haired body in a competition! Bring it on, youngsters!

It is getting hot out there... I am trying to run as early as I can and still get some sleep. Not easy, though. That shady side of the street sure is attractive now!

Bicycle seats!
When you are not used to the bicycle, it is not easy to get used to the seat. There is a great wearing in a certain area. I tend to move about on the seat to get comfortable (again) from time to time.

Where is the 4 mile run?
The Slacker!
Nah... It's the 4 mile race...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Training, Jeeping and Summer Fun!

Marathon Training
I have completed my second week of training for Chicago. I am using a modified Hal Higdon Novice training schedule. My cross training is on my mountain bike. I completed 34.32 miles last week.
I discovered yesterday that the Bear Creek recreation trail is open all the way to the Platte River. That makes choices for long runs a great deal broader! It had been closed due to a major commercial construction project.

Is it Summer already?
I ran the offset smoker on Memorial day weekend. That makes it sweet now. For a great BBQ meal, I just grab something from the freezer, heat it up and serve it! A great part of Summer at my house.

At the current cost of gas (I heard it went up 10 cents a gallon overnight), I still have to find time (and the money) to go Jeeping. I enjoy it so much!
Tom, Molly and I joined some others to run the Red Elephant Trail. This trail is also close to the city. The trail is steep, with really loose dirt and rocks.
13 rigs went on this trail ride. We drove the Red Elephant and the Mill Creek loop. The Mill Creek loop has a National Forest Service ‘living’ museum of an old cabin maintained in much the same way as when it was built. Visitors tend to leave a personal item of some kind (cabin related usually) and can sign the guest book.
There was some snow but not a lot. We had some fun bashing the way through one wall of drifted snow. Here are some pictures –

Of course, I could not resist the pull to run part of the trail I ran 4 miles of it. Always pack those trail shoes!

Now some people tend to go a little overboard when they design a rig. This is Tom standing by a truck with 53” tires! It looks too pretty to actually run the back country, though!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Run For The Fallen

Marathon Chris listened to Phedippidations #142 and had an idea.

I think it is a great one!

If you are a member of RunnerPlus, please think about and join the Run For The Fallen challenge. You can find it here.

This challenge is to commemorate the fallen soldiers in Iraq who gave their lives for our freedom. Let's honor them by getting many runners together and running 4,000 miles by August 24th.

RunnerPlus is a great site for runners. It will sync many different sources of input and also allows you to manually input your runs. It is an essential site for sharing, logging runs, exchanging information and everything that runners are interested in.

Nike+ is a great site, but it is also highly commercial. You won't get that at RunnerPlus!

If you would like to see a sample runner's pager on the site, try this one.

Thanks, Chris!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blended Tomato Condiment - Catchup, get it?

Last week I ran 19.29 miles. Sunday, I ran 13.66. It was a trial bringing it home yesterday. I left early to beat the heat, but it became a pain by the end of the 9th mile. Being a determined runner, I did finish but I think I could have walked it in faster!

Cross Training…
Today, I rode my bike!
I must admit that it has been a while since I’ve ridden my bike. It is a GT mountain bike with the triple tube molybdenum frame build. I have some hybrid street tires on it. I got it ready last week and will be using for cross training.
I had planned on an hour of riding today. That changed to a half-hour, soon after starting! I do know now that bicycling takes a different (though similar) set of muscles from running. Maybe, this cross training is a good thing.
I did keep hearing some of my mentors whisper in my ear, “Take it easy! Don’t overdo it! This is a first marathon you are training for!”
So, when I was plenty sore, I stopped.

Word of Advice!

I wouldn't eat at this restaurant. If you should pass it while running? Keep on Running!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Interesting, but may be Trivial...

Umm... Err... This is the first time I have linked my PhotoBucket account to my blog. There are some interesting results. I do beleive that I will learn how to use the the link correctly some day...

1. I am in training for my first marathon. The first week is almost over and it has been easy. Then again, my base is greater than the first few weeks of the training schedule.

2. Have you heard about tomatoes and salmonella? 167 people have been affected in 17 western states. Colorado is one of the states. Imagine going to a restaurant, ahving a salad or vegetable dish and not having tomatoes available? It is happening. Tomatoes are available. In Colorado, we are told that if the fruits are grown, harvested and prepared in Colorado, we are OK. We are also told that if the vine is still attached, the tomato is OK to eat. Of course, tomatoes that are available are much higher in price.
Most restaurants choose not to serve any tomatoes in any form. This is a major bummer.

3. Do you dread preparing onions for a dish?
Fresh or cooked, onions can be prepared without an associated smell on you or your hands. Many people wear gloves when preparing onions, but it is not necessary to. After you cut the onion, run cold water. Have a stainless steel utensil available (I use a large stainless steel serving spoon). I wash my hands using the spoon like a bar of soap. Wipe your hands dry. No smell on you!

4. The Jeeping season in Colorado is opening! We've had a rather heavy snow load this last winter.

I ran my rig on Spring Creek trail last Sunday. This trail is normally open year round, but not this year. It is located just west of Idaho Springs.
We started out with 20+ rigs and ended up running 14 rigs.

The view from half-way up the mountainside. The town is Empire, Colorado. The distant mountain range is known as the "Never Summer Range."

The trail was clear all the way up to the "Rock Garden." The Rock Garden is a named obstacle. It is an area filled with assorted sizes of rocks. By traversing it, a rig can move rocks and change how the next rig may go through it. The right side and the bypass were clear. The bigger rigs (read - 40" + tires, clearance and lockers) worked at clearing the left (most difficult side) of fairly heavy snow.

It took the group 4 1/2 hours to run the 5 mile trail. It was a lot of fun, though.

As these rides go, we ended up in a smaller group when we neared the top. Many of the rigs were trailered in so those rigs had to return the way we had come. We did not have that restriction and could venture farther to see if other trails were clear.

We made it to the top and headed on an upper trail toward Idaho Springs. We were able to perform some trail maintenance as we went. A tree had fallen and blocked the trail.

Other rigs were starting to go around the tree. I subscribe to "Stay The Trail" and when people go off trail; it can close a trail, or damage the reputation of the entire community. So it was a strap, a pull and the tree was moved! The trail was clear!

I did not run any portion of this trail.

5. For fun, this is a video of a buggy running the left side to clear snow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

IT (tagged)

Here are my responses!

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
My running 10 years ago would have been a dash to the car during a rain storm.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
Best running experience – My first half-marathon (2007). I chose a smaller venue held high in the Colorado Rockies. The slacker race is held annually and drops 2,000 feet in elevation. I didn’t know that people could run that far! It seemed to take forever (as I am a turtle).. It was a run I was prepared for. Hydrated, Energized, mostly prepared. Trail, road and some mystery surfaces. Great fun in bright sun and at altitude. A friend met me near the finish line and ran me in to it.
Worst running experience – My 1st 10K competition. I should have done better! I’m still analyzing it so I can’t offer as to why.
I do prefer the longer distances, though.

3. Why do you run?
It started out for health reasons. I was fat and lazy. I was comfortable in a sit down office type job. I do volunteer with several firms to give my opinion to poll services.
During one of these, a Cardiologist was setting up a test group. I qualified as I have had high blood pressure for many years, but chose not to do anything about it. Further tests disqualified me, but I did find out that I have MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse).
My family and friends on hearing of the Doctor’s remarks to me, and witnessing my lack of care for myself, almost forced me to change Doctors. My new Doctor took a more hands-on approach to getting healthy. He assigned a diet and suggested running. I still see the same Doctor (twice a year minimally).

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
You know, I’m still new to this avocation. Every piece of advice is examined. I may or may not agree with it but I believe it is all meant to be positive and productive. If, when, I get what I consider to be a bit of bad advice I will let everyone know (after considering the source). Most of our friends and fellow bloggers really do give advice based on their personal knowledge and experience. How can it be bad?

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Jim Henson, of the Muppet Factory, died of organ failure in May of 1990. The cause was a virulent form of pneumonia.
Soon after that, I found myself with similar symptoms. This was a deceptive sickness. I really felt OK, but somewhat rundown. Even went to a Doctor and was told it was a cold. 24 hours later I was in a fight for my life.
I went to an emergency room. I could barely stay conscious. I drifted in and out. I remember waking up in a hospital room. My temperature for the next 5 – 6 days hovered at 105 and above. My bed had a mattress that had ice cold water pumped through it. Nothing was working to reduce the fever. They even used experimental drugs.
I remember one night when a loved one was at my bed. I had just woken up. I looked at them. They had such a serious look on their face. Somehow, I knew, that they had been told that I was dying.
I’m just glad that they didn’t tell me. I had no plans on leaving at that time. I didn’t die. In fact, that was the turn around. 2 days later they removed that mattress.
I was in that hospital room for 15 days. There were lots of complications (including deep vein thrombosis and 4 associated blood clots). I had lung concerns and soon after leaving the hospital, my hair all fell out. My teeth will never be as white as they once were due to the high fever. There were other complications. But none of that matters. I survived!

So, those are my 5 Q&As.

Now, here are the rules…
'IT' GUYS AND GALS: Here's what you're supposed to do:
1. Copy the rules (or your version of them), and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers, and then tag 5 new people.
2. Be sure that everyone tagged knows they have been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a special comment letting them know, and refer them to your blog for details.
3. Once they've answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

I followed part 1 & 3, but just cannot make out number 2…

I do have to admit that it was fun to answer.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Long Run...

Last week I ran 44.41 miles. Why? Why? Don’t you think it might be too far too fast? Not really. I just switched the Sunday run for Saturday. So, last week was long in miles, this week would be a lot better (less miles).

Oh yeah! Training for my running of the Chicago Marathon has begun! I know that training for other events has started for some other bloggers. 5 of those are going to Chicago the same time that I am (see to the right).

Others are D10 and Joanne. If you get a chance, visit these runners and encourage them on!

My Long Run…
The long run was interesting this week. I did take the camera.

It was an exploration run. I ran toward the Harvard Gulch park. In the park, I remembered a sign that pointed out the names of the Rocky Mountains that you can see from the park.
(You can click on the pictures for more detail).

I ran the park and 4 times around track to the north of the park, then headed west. This was the exploration part (finding the Platte River). At about 5 miles in to my run, my left foot caught the edge of an uneven section of sidewalk. I tripped and fell! I caught my fall fairly well, but some damage was done. My hands have some contusions and scratches, but my right calf and right shoulder took the brunt. My camera is also none the worse for the wear. All was minor and not much of a road-rash factor.

After some unplanned for exploring from that point, I found myself at the Platte River.

I found the recreation path and headed south. I found a little park off of the path with a nice sidewalk gamboling through it. It was great! It was also fairly short and ended in an industrial park. I probably should have returned to the Rec path, but ran through the industrial park instead. Please notice that there are no pictures of it!

I like the Platte River Recreation Path. Overall, it has a two-lane nature to it. Primarily used as a bike lane, it does offer expanded width for runners and, at times, a separate path!
I took another way back to house that runs through a drainage area. The area has been made into a park and goes by Englewood City Center. There is an traffic circle/entry area to city hall that has art and a fountain set into it.

Further on, I took a picture of a fountain that graces the side of the path.

Finally, I ran to Clarkson Street for the final part of the run. Why? The Clarkson Street hill. This is the lower third of the hill.

It feeds up to the middle part of the hill. Clarkson Street divides the Craig Rehabilitation Center. It is the bridge above the street that you see.

There is a third part of the hill that continues from there. It is quite a challenge at the end of a long run!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Monday Post...

Running –
Last week I ran 31.78 miles. Mostly around the neighborhood. It is getting hot in Denver now. I need to find a shadier run course.

A friend came by this weekend and told me what a great tan I have this year. I told him that outside running will do that to a person. I am getting my vitamin D most naturally this season.

Training –
I have changed my training schedule for Chicago. The longer runs (over 17 miles) have been bumped up a mile or two. That way, I will have runs under my belt of at least 2 @ 20 miles (1 @ 22 miles), and others at or really near it.
Thanks for the input!

Soon -
Next week, I will run a 10-mile long run. Planning on taking the camera to show everyone my current favorite course. Some of us bloggers did that last year and I got quite a kick out of it.

Cameras –
Recently at the Colorado Colfax Half-Marathon, I did take a camera. It was my Flip Ultra video. I pulled it out twice and I thought I got some on-the-run videos. I didn’t. It was frustrating to attempt to run, try to capture a video, and replace everything in my pack. What does it boil down to? I won’t take the Flip Ultra! It just gets more and more frustrating to use. Anyone want a Flip Ultra cheap?

I love my Canon camera. It is a medium sized 7.1 megapixel image stabilized digital camera. It is quick and easy to use, but it somewhat large and bulky. Both stills and video are excellent on this camera. It is somewhat large, though, and takes up most of my running pack space.

If anyone out there takes a camera with them on their runs, what do you take? Would you recommend it to a fellow runner? Why? Why not?