Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looking back at Steamboat (in pictures)

Campground fun!
Pre-race cow riding?
Token kid through a hole shot

Oh, and the fun stuff, bit of swerving here...

There's the blank stare, good times!
Xavier cheering on finishers with the Anderson crew.
Proud father (emt to the left and right :)
The Garcia fam!
Woody and I enjoying a seat post race, short shorts and spandex!
Gunner to the line!
Gunner and I

X gettin' in on the noise makers
Gunner and Woody
Los tres amigos ( hoping my wife chooses the IPA )
Right in front of our cabin...
Ran over that...

A perfect end to a wonderful day...

Rocks? Yes please.
The coolest bookstore/coffee shop in town has a reading area for kids under the stair case
Another wonderful set of memories with my wife and son. This trip was especially great because we got to spend so much time with my best friend and great new friends. I hope that Xavier will look back at these little family trips and remember them as fondly as I do. For most of the trip, Xavier threw rocks into the Yampa river which was right next to the cabin. Wonderful. More proof that it's not about the race, it's about everything else.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Didn't make it out to Centennial Cone as planned mostly in part because I couldn't convince anyone to come with. I've only been once, and I wasn't confident out there by myself, it's also generally an unpopulated area in cat country so I figured I'd just stay closer to home. Luckily I brought extra batteries because my headlamp started flickering and dying as soon as I was halfway through Matthews/Winters and had spotted 3 sets of eyes looking right back at me. Creepy.

Other than that and this odd sort of puking sensation I kept getting and still have a bit today (could be some sickness deal my son gave me) I felt pretty good. Definitely not great, but I had some decent pop in the climbing legs that I've not seen since before Sun Mountain in June. I think the leg sled is doing it's job, as I don't necessarily feel like Matt C, but solid and strong. First noticed that on the climb up Zorro and it's 8-10 2' stone stairs at the top, those had always given me problems, but not last night. I took it easy, but probably ran close to a fastest time on the loop without ever elevating the breathing. Good notes.

All that said, I'm thinking of either going to Centennial Cone for 2 loops or possibly running the 50K North Fork course. We'll see, but it's nice to not have any real snow to deal with so far.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wednesday night run

The weather shows tomorrow night to be chilly (mid/low 40's) but clear with 0% chance of rain/snow so I'm planning on a nice evening jaunt around Centennial Cone. I'm planning on leaving my house about 7:30 which means I'd start the run just after 8 from the Mayhem Gulch trailhead (bottom of the map).

The run is fairly non technical and not too steep, the first 1.5 miles are a steep but after that it's more rolling and quality singletrack. Plan is to do a full counter clockwise loop, so roughly 17 miles. Easy pace being that it's night, probably 9's or so, just to take in some fall goodness.

If you'd like to join, drop me a comment or an email, I'll have room in the car for a few extras if you want a ride. We're in the DU/Wash Park area.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The week of Jaime

Great week of running so far with one day left. This week I met Jaime Yebra on Thursday night and got in a nice little run around Green Mountain. I had only known Jaime from his blog because he was at Steamboat this year, but he lives just 4 blocks from me! Jaime's a cool dude and we got to chat about all sorts of things in the car and on the run, both of us are Bay Area guys and played D2 baseball in college.

Then this Morning I met up with Scott Jaime and Jim Petterson for a long run on Mt. Falcon. The early (6:30) start held some chill in the air, but it warmed up quickly into just about perfect running weather. On the initial climb, it was pretty clear that is was going to be a long day for me as the legs just really didn't want to climb, but good training I guess. We did the full loop ~15 miles with Jim jamming back to the car after Parmalee for a meeting. Good chatting with Scott on ultras and such, seems more and more I need to focus on mental fortitude, being able to convince my body that it can do more than my brain thinks it can. We are tougher than we think. We passed new Evergreen resident Brandy Erholtz on the way down to the cars; sure is getting faster around here.

The second trip back up became a mental struggle for me as the legs just did not have any go left whatsoever. I was cursing Lucho for suggesting the weight room last Saturday; I got in two sessions (Monday/Friday) with some solid work on the leg sled. Unfortunately, that led to my legs being sore and slow today but hopefully it will eventually lead me to being a stronger climber, something I desperately need in order to progress in my running. In any case, I stopped at the shelter and came back to the car for 21 miles on the day and 4600' of climbing. A good start to the Hellgate buildup.

Good times here though, enjoying the Indian Summer weather, though I believe I'll have plenty of time to become "cold acclimated" for Hellgate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Night Run Tonight

Visitors welcome, starting at 8:35pm from the C-470 lot for Green Mountain/Matthews Winters . Nice short run ~7mi small variations to make it longer if you like and one decent hill 1.25mi +850'. Drop me a comment or an email (on profile page) to let me know if I should wait for you, otherwise we'll just take off right when we get there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Entering the Gates of Hell

This morning when I came in to work I received an artificial email from Dr. David Horton of Liberty University in Virginia. The email was expressing concern for the abilities of the applying Hellgate 100K runner based on the information given in the application. The email made sense to me, as I was unable to put any info in the 100K results or past Hellgate finishes column; I've yet to race at that distance. He asked to explain why I should be allowed to run in the race, to provide a sort of proof that I'd make the cutoffs.

I responded to his email email by showing my past 50 mile results, toughness of terrain, and generally talking myself up. I also name dropped some folks I know who've raced there and finished, and locals I've made new acquaintance with that have connections. A few minutes later, I recieved an email back with a simple response:

"You're in."

My heart is pounding a bit right now to be honest, I'm stoked, and driven. It's been said that the race is freakish, tough, and many fear it as the hardest of the Beast Series, even over the Grindstone 100 Mile.

December 11th at 12:01 AM I take off on what is by far the toughest running task I've ever undertaken. Time to dig deep, to find that place where doubt goes to die and revel in it. As I get ready, I'll continue to do the hard work that I've done in the past for 50 milers, but in addition I'll be taking to some more "intense" training, including night runs in the cold, and water crossings. I've got to figure out what works for keeping my feet warm through the water and snow at night in freezing temps. This may actually make it easier for my time to be spent with family and not out on runs during the daytime.

Going to a new distance has gotten my blood pumping more than running my first ultra two years ago. This race is, in true Horton fasion, longer than 100K at 66.6 miles. Fitting.

Time to HTFU for real.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hill repeats and Intros

Got out this morning for some hill repeats on Lookout Mountain with Lucho, Scott, Aaron and Mike. What can I say? I'm gonna feel that one tomorrow, in fact, I'll probably get out this evening for a short run to keep the muscles a bit loose. Indeed I had a bit of cramping while driving home, and the big boys really handed it to me, that was tough!

It was a pleasure to meet Lucho and Scott, two of our local super studs. Scott is going out for Mountain Masochist in November, and I've put in my entry for Hellgate so we'll hopefully get a long run or two in for the build up (if I can keep up, he's fast!).

During my two weeks off I just got this unruly itch to race again. Hopefully I'll get in, but I can always race Northern CA and visit my parents in December.

I'm really looking forward to running Bergen Peak with some boys from the Steamboat race. Good stuff, and what great weather!

Friday, October 1, 2010

San Diego

Out to attend the Grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Pretty damn cool, as are my Grandparents. Will attempt to bring the camera along for the run up Cowles, maybe more than once, maybe not, schedule dependant. I'm stoked to get running again. My head is filling with irrational running thoughts once again... good to be back.