Friday, September 30, 2011

A jock filled weekend

Alumni weekend is upon us, or maybe just me. Time to relive our former glory.

However, more importantly, it's time for trash talk and reuniting with some good friends who I once shared many long bus rides to such wonderful locales as Las Vegas... the one in New Mexico...

Game time is 10am with BP prior, gotta try and put a few off the scoreboard like the good old days. Now that I'm 30 pounds lighter, it'll be a good time to prove my old theory that you don't have to be huge to hit homers. I'm gonna predict a 1-4 performance with a homer and 3 K's.

First things first though, time to enjoy a few beers with the boys tonight.

This is GREAT. To get an idea of just how bad we really were that first year, check this out.

I try to mention just how poor we were when people bring it up, or I mention that I played ball in college, but it's just easier to see it in writing: 6-45. If you look hard enough you can find me cast in a less negative light (beer to whoever actually reads through it enough to find them), but it's not easy to find...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Phase one complete

Picked up a swap part saddle from the LBS parts bin (nice Bontrager evoke) for $20. Now my butt will be happy. I threw the new saddle on the CX bike to give it a go and this morning I thew my WTB Silverado saddle on the Rockhopper (so much better). The next phases are as follows:

Pedals- SPD/Less than $30

as is the bike is in commuter shape so pedals would allow me to use my Sidi's (which were purchased for $7.95 at DAV thrift store in Lakewood).

Wheels- Here's a tough one, I'll need a 29'er front wheel and a 26'er rear both NON DISC. Surprisingly hard to find old school MTB wheels nowadays. Likely will use my dividend from REI in march to pick up mismatched pair as they are the only place that seems to carry what I need (single wheels) in my price range.

Fork- Rigid, 29'er and Canti compatable

Tires- again, one 29'er and one 26'er, preferably 1.95's and fast (Small block's perhaps)

Now onto the stuff I have no idea about:

Headset- likely also need access to a press?

Stem- at least 100mm, likely need 110 or 120 due to having the smaller frame.

Spacers- including a front brake cable hanger like this one.

Handlebars- high rise, like this. Again, to accommodate my smaller frame.

The last step would be to turn it into a Single Speed, but that's simply to fulfill the desire to have a LOW maintenance bike. The gears currently on are great 18sp and in good condition.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Free meat saw/Project bike/Joke of the day

My co-worker gave me his old 1993 Specialized Rockhopper Sport (in pristine condition) and now I have a winter commuter and a project bike. I'm gonna have some fun and maybe even get it ready for a Leadman 2013 go. Probably the most important fixes initially would be the saddle (it's original and it hurts) and the pedals. otherwise it's fully ready to ride. Even the original "smoke" tires have great tread.

My friend Jesse reinvented his early/mid 90's Specialized into this beast:

That's the inspiration. Jesse's bike is a SS 69'er with mullet brakes (disc front/canti rear).

Joke of the day:

A boy's parents are getting a divorce. The judge asks him, "do you want to live with your mom?"

"No," the boy says, "she beats me."

"Oh," the judge replies, "well, would you like to live with your father?"

"No," the boy says again, "he beats me too."

"Hmm," the judge considers, "who should you live with?"

The boy replies, "can I just live with the Denver Broncos? Because they're not gonna beat anybody."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Quick update about the status of the Garcia household.

All is good on our little patch of grass. As it turns out, Oliver broke his humorous on delivery (left side, basically the bone between your shoulder and elbow). We saw a pediatric orthopedic doctor yesterday and he assured us that it looks good and will heal extremely fast (3 weeks). We've got his arm immobilized by using an ace bandage to keep his hand on his chest (similar to the position a sling puts your arm). Otherwise you'd never know he's got a broken arm. When it's still (99% of the time) he's just a normal baby, no crying unless he's crapped himself or needs food. He fusses when we have to change his shirt but that's to be expected.

Sleep wise we're doing well (knock on wood). He's been cruising off to sleep for 3 hours at a time so we're relatively rested. I'm extremely thankful for that, and I've even got a few runs in. I might try to see if Xavier wants to go check out the Bear Chase Race on Sunday. Speaking of Xavier, I'm taking him on Thursday to go do something fun. Had thought of hiking, so I might check the weather to see if that's a good idea still. If not that, I might take him down to Manitou for the penny arcade and pizza.

Thanks for all the well wishes in the last post, always great to hear from y'all. Nick, Rachel loves the idea of hanging out with Dana and the Clark contingent of germ spreaders during the Chubster so we'll see you there. In other news, I will likely head up to Boulder sometime around Halloween, and take part in a small chunk of legally questionable hi-jinks. Won't be ready for the full deal, probably a heavy half.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oliver Edward Garcia

My second baby boy was born at 3:40AM today!

Crazy stuff as we had just enough time to get to the hospital. Literally, no more than 40 minutes from Rachel waking me up, we had another kid. So stoked right now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beer Sponsor?

Companies can do a lot with grassroots marketing and here is my new idea:

A local beer maker promotes their beer by making me an ambassador. I promise to bring some of the beer to all of my races and share with friends and strangers. Ultrarunners are a great avenue to market at due to the level of beer consumption. I think it's a primary ingredient in all successful racing plans. I'm sure that we can conjure up some scientific studies proving the recovery benefits and social "coolness" factor. I'll even wear a hat.

You get a cheap marketing avenue, and I get a case or two of free beer every month.

Front range brewers, make it happen.

Hildebrand Ranch 6 miler

Come on out and join me for the Hildebrand Ranch 6 miler this Satruday at 8:00 am. Early test to see where the legs are. Come laugh at how slow I am! $10 for a no frills, no BS race.

Or join me for a beer at Three Lions at 6:30am Sunday for the Liverpool v. Tottenham match.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Got a nice early run in with Mark Mobley around the Matthews/Winters area on Sunday morning. Total was something like 8.6 in 1:21 so even while it was an easy pace we didn't slack too much on the climbs. Mark is notably stronger on the climbs and gapped me on the climb back up on the Hogback. Wonderful morning out, loving the crisp 45*F air.

Legs are coming around but still dead and tired. The easy mileage is nice though, and I'm back to daily lunch runs (phone in hand, just in case the baby decides it can't wait). Definitely taking my time getting around the hood at lunch, but it doesn't really matter right now. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll feel rested enough to test out the legs with some speed work.

Three Lions Pub

Perhaps the best place to watch football of the English persuasion in Denver. Three Lions Pub. They even have a booth with taps in the middle, and about 150 TV's.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rock Canyon 1/2

Thinking about heading out to Pueblo on 12/3 to run the Rock Canyon 1/2. Should be a good warm up for the chubster. I have to run 1:24:57 to make sure I beat JT's PR.

The Offseason/Allegiances

Somewhere during the year of 2004 I began following football, well, Clark's brand of football. Having come from a typical American background I'd had no interest in the sport prior and indulged in America's major sports (baseball and football). When I moved to Colorado my roommate (Gunner) played soccer for the school and I began to gradually learn the game and its nuances. By my sophomore year I was skipping out on midweek classes to watch the team I'd grown close to play Champions League matches on ESPN.

I got in over my head as the season continued, I was more and more enticed by Liverpool's captain, Steven Gerrard. He played incredible football, and scored phenomenal goals, a la this one:

The team in 2005 was scrappy, and relied on a revolving cast of role players and creativity. League success was minimal, but we made the Champions League final where I became a Red for life:

In 2006, I found myself sitting in fado irish pub and throwing crap across the bar at the West Ham supporters after this game:

Then, in 2007 I made pilgrimage to Liverpool to watch the final league match of the season. It was incredible old grounds with everything you hope for. Dingy stairwells, cheep beer, and phenomenal seats.

Now, I get to take my son to bars at 8am on Saturdays to watch my boys play. With the running season in regression. My sports viewing will begin to begin to take its place with equal vigor.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hardrock 2012

My application is in the mail.

Anyone want to grab beers on lottery day?


Saturday evening GZ put up the bat signal so I heeded the call to Chautauqua at 6:30 Sunday morning.

Johnny T. joined us and we casually strolled out of the lot at a leisurely pace. Given that I hadn't taken a step since Leadville, I was encouraged with the feel but not surprised that they were still heavy. We headed up the backside of Green, I was thankful to avoid the frontside, and we started huffing and puffing our way up on a beautiful morning (45*F at the lot).

Somewhere around halfway or so my legs just couldn't keep the running motion and I went full on power hike. I was able to stay in contact for a while, but lost contact before the 4way where GZ kindly waited to ensure I didn't go for an unnecessary jaunt down Bear Canyon. Up the ridiculous steps to the summit and I let out a sarcastic, "suck it Tony, that's 2" as it was a second ascent of the year in 3 tries. As if on cue, Tony came hopping up the trail about a minute later and we all chatted on the summit for a while. Johnny T had to bail for work, but GZ, Tony, and I probably spent 10 minutes soaking in the views and catching up.

GZ and I then took the middle route down which was excellent trail, seemingly much flatter than what we had run up and talked family, youth sports and the like on the way back to the car. In all, a perfect morning out. It was nice to finally spend a bit of time on the trail with the mileage master himself and see the messiah on the summit. This time of year is the best, races done, and the only thing to dictate where, when, how far, and how hard you run is simply desire. I want to run up that. There are no easy days, hard days, or "workouts", just running. It's nice like that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mission Full Rest Complete and more on 2012

This coming Sunday I'm going for a run, and I'm stoked. Since Leadville I've done zero running; I'm starting to go through withdrawal. I like taking two full weeks of rest to sit around and let my body heal from a hard effort, but getting that full two weeks tends to be difficult to achieve. The first week is easy, when everything is still out of whack and sore, but the it's the second week, when you feel fine that is the tough one.

While I've enjoyed my beer, I'm looking forward to enjoying the fall weather, even in small doses. Rachel is motoring right along towards having this kid and we're ready at any moment to have it. The sense of imminence means I'll be doing shorter runs, closer to the car and my phone. Sunday, I'm planning on hitting Mt. Morrison. This is the steepest climb on the Denver front range and one that is not frequented by runners or hikers. During the rest period I've decidedly come to recognize the importance of addressing the biggest weaknesses in my running: flat speed and climbing.

This past year's training log focused on base mileage and volume. I would do it again, because with my limited experience, I don't have a real base to draw on, but I feel that the past two years have given me enough to start to focus more on things that I believe will increase my performance. Conveniently, Lucho posted something that essentially confirms my thinking. However, I don't have the base (or talent), so I don't think I can get away with 50 mpw but from my experience I tuck nicely into 90-95 mpw in the meat of my schedule. It's an area that allows for volume AND intensity. That's my focus for the year; never sacrifice one for the other.

In regards to addressing my weaknesses, vertical is something I've lacked in my training at least on a regular basis. My desired race schedule next year will include plenty of vertical, and so Mt. Morrison will likely become a regular fixture in my training alongside Mt. Falcon and Lookout Mountain. Variety is key. Lookout being the best spot for workouts, Falcon being the most logical steep running trail, and Morrison being the place for masochistic workouts. It's our Sanitas/Incline/whatever. I'll also try to get some flat fast work in, while I've constantly avoided the track for a few years, it may be time to find a group to help me. I'm lost there, no experience whatsoever, so a group is likely my best option. That and joining up with folks doing marathon training. We'll see, but it seems like a good option. My group of running buddies has increased dramatically in the last year, so I can hopefully sneak into other workouts without too much hassle.

In short, my ideal race schedule for 2012:
Salida, Fruita 50, Ice Age 50, Hardrock, Wasatch, and Hellgate. Basically a two half season with a focus on speed early and mountains later.

Obviously that depends on my ability to gain entry into the latter four and there are plenty of great races that could replace them if I don't get in so finding races isn't the hard part, the hard part is addressing the issues in my training and tackling them.

Speaking of tackling, it is the start of football season, both here and aboard and my son is taking his cue. He just began preschool (see pic below) and we had a potluck dinner/meet and greet last night at his school. There were a few older kids (6yo) playing with a soccer ball that he wanted to partake in. The older boys began a game of keep away that was frustrating to my kiddo. After about 5 plays, Xavier decided to fix the problem by spearing the oldest kid and taking him to the ground. I know I'm not supposed to condone such behavior, but it made me proud. Find the problem, fix the problem. Now we'll have a double dose of that thinking soon.

Bring it.