Swim WOD

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CrossFit gets wet! This weekend, my gym moved all workouts to the pool. Instead of our normal Saturday morning WOD schedule, willing participants were to meet at Sunset pool in Longmont for a swim WOD. I competitively swam through high school so this was right up my alley. I still feel at home in the water but don’t get there as often as I should.

Swim WOD

The workout was a 500 meter swim with 55 push ups and 55 air squats. But it was done as an inversion. So swim 1 lap, get out, do 1 push-up, swim back, do 10 air squats, swim again, do 2 push-ups, etc. So the push-ups went up and the air squats went down. I swear that getting in and out of the pool was the hardest part. People were losing a lot of time on that. And you could not dive into the water because of pool restrictions so that took some getting used to.

Swim WOD

Sydney has been doing the CrossFit kids program this summer so she was one of 2 kids in her class that came. The kids usually do some modified workout but today they had the same task as we did. She went in a later heat that I did so I got to cheer her own. She was steady through the whole thing and even beat some adults finishing in under 20 minutes!

Swim WOD

I had fun doing this workout so I was trying to keep a good pace. Ended up finishing in 14:02 which was the fastest for the group on the day. Not too shabby for an old swim team veteran. 2 more of these to come later in the summer.

Leadville Heavy Half Marathon 2015

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Distance 15.1 mi
Time 3:08:27
Rank 93 of 549
GPS Analysis Strava

Previously, Previously.

Leadville Heavy Half Marathon 2015

With summer underway, I relocated up to Leadville to kick off summer training. I had planned to hit a lot of peaks but the extra snow pack kind of crushed my motivation. Plus, it was cool and rainy. However, as the days went on, the weather turned the corner. I had a few good runs and started feeling better. My family decided to come up and stay that weekend so I registered for the race just 3 days prior. It is one of my favorite’s so I figured I should get out there if not just to run with friends.

The race staff got Denver news coverage on the snow prep too!

I still remember the day when I got 8th in this race. Probably my best mountain run of all time. Not in that shape today but that was OK. We headed out at 8 AM and I took the climb easily. Even with the time at elevation, my lungs were not happy. I purposely did not medicate on this stay in Leadville to get a clean test. And it showed. Hacking on the ascent while running.

Once we hit the incline of the pass, I was able to start making up ground as the runners turned to hiking and my paces was greater than theirs. I was on the top of the pass in no time mentally. Said hi to Ken and turned tail back to town. The downhill is always glorious — if you train there.

marathon

With all the snow, the race staff had dug tunnels through the snow for us so it made things cozy but really fun. Made up lots of ground on that downhill picking off the folks that weren’t ready to downhill the big rocks. Was having fun. Started seeing my marathon buds and saying hi as they had a long way to go.

The roll back into town is always a grind. 4 miles of road downhill. The Hokas did well. Concentrated on keeping the knees up and the pace came in nicely. Got passed by one guy on the road but he had me easy. Wasn’t able to break 3 hours today but I was content with the finish.

Such a fun race. Start in town and run to the top of the mountain in the back of this photo, then return. How simple.

Leadville Heavy Half Marathon 2015

While I am not racing the Leadville 100 this year, the races there remain near and dear to me. I hope to return to the series one day.

Ozzy Turns Two

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I still think of him as a puppy but he has been his own man since we got him. Always interested in the chase, the run, and the adventure. So for his birthday today, we left work a bit early and went to see if we could get up on top of Colorado real quick. We arrived at the Mount Elbert parking lot — I was the only car. Ugh, in this post-Dave Mackey era nobody likes to see that. So I was a bit skittish but the weather looked as good as it had all week. No snow until just above treeline. What was there was no big deal. The lower slopes were really clean. Deeper wetter snow on the upper slopes. Anyway, that didn’t matter to Ozzy — that is why he was there! Never seen a dog roll around so much then just run his ass off up and down a hill.

Mount Elbert for Ozzy's Birthday

Mount Elbert for Ozzy's Birthday

Mount Elbert for Ozzy's Birthday

Mount Elbert for Ozzy's Birthday

Mount Elbert for Ozzy's Birthday

Paved Paradise

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Yes, Joni (and Justin). And we put up a parking lot.

Paving

So I have been trying to get a driveway put in at the cabin for a few years. No luck. Contractors don’t complete the bid. Or they don’t ever show up. The mountain work ethic always leaves a lot to be desired. So Kim and I are asleep and I hear someone hooking a horn and saying “hello” outside. WTF. I look out and there is a road crew car with lights on top and a guy standing there. I go out in my boxers all groggy and ask if he needs help. He goes on to explain that he is paving a parking lot up the road and he has a load of asphalt he needs to move quickly. He says it looks like I could use a driveway. Am I interested?

Seriously, I don’t know what to think. Is this some practical joke? Yeah, I want a driveway. When? Now, he says. Equipment is rolling down the road. No pressure. How much? He needs to move it so it is about 1/2 price of prior quotes on asphalt. This wasn’t what I had planned to do today but now it just became what we are doing.

Paving

Trucks show up with machinery minutes later and they start grading out what we have. We pulled out our landscaping prints and they quickly traced the borders out. A few hours of prep and they started pouring hot asphalt. I was still sort of amazed. Neighbors started coming over saying they were looking for an asphalt guy too. This guy ends up doing 3 more driveways in our neighborhood this week.

Paving

So we paved paradise. But it wasn’t paradise. I had been snowblowing a dirt driveway for 4 winters. I was sick of breaking shear pins. Never again. And the dirt and dust and mud? Gone. At least from the cars. We still have plenty of non-pavement acreage to keep us occupied.

The whole thing was surreal.

Mosquito Pass

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I would like to blame scheduling reasons on not being back in Leadville as soon as summer started. The knowledge that the snow just hasn’t really receded as much as usual has dampened my motivation. However, the Front Range rains are just as annoying so it was time. Upon arrival, it looks as if there is as much snow up high as there was near the end of ski season. Temps are still in the 50s or 60s mid-day. It is melting but not too fast.

Mosquito Pass

I was motivated for something familiar today where the dogs could roam so we headed over to Mosquito Pass. We made it all the way to the mine on CR 3 with no snow. This is where the aid station is during the Leadville Marathon before you head up the pass. Within 100 yards, the road turned to snow and we really never saw dirt again. The road gets used for snowmobiles over the winter so it tends to be packed down in the center. But if you go off of that too far, you were instantly balls deep in the wet snow. The rest of the time was decent footing but my ankles were definitely worked by the time we were done.

Mosquito Pass

The dogs had a blast roaming their area. There were a 4 pack of female elk making their way on the ridge. The dogs wanted that. But we didn’t indulge. They did get to follow the scent in the opposite direction as we made our way up the pass. We got all the way into the switchbacks and that was about enough for today. The footing was getting worse and the winds were blowing maybe 25 MPH. So at 2.5 miles in, we returned from where we started.

Mosquito Pass

I was sort of glad in this moment to not be racing until fall!

Mosquito Pass

Brought my GoPro because I thought it might make a good visual up there. Nothing exciting. Just me talking, running downhill, and falling on my butt.

Halestorm @ The Fillmore

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Halestorm

Lzzy is back! With a new album which I really like. Next stop Denver. Luckily the Fillmore set the show as all ages so Sydney came with me. Halestorm is easily our favorite chick-fronted rock band. And it was cool to see them headline at the Fillmore where I have seen them open as a supporting act a few times.

Sydney and I stood next to each other and pretty much sang the whole setlist from start to finish. Sydney got a nice surprise by them playing “The Reckoning” which is her current favorite. They had not been playing it on tour when I check prior. Unfortunately, I never got a picture with my own kid. I guess I was too busy dreaming about Lzzy.

Setlist:

  • Love Bites (So Do I)
  • Apocalyptic
  • Freak Like Me
  • Scream
  • I Am the Fire
  • Mz. Hyde
  • Amen
  • Sick Individual
  • The Reckoning
  • Dear Daughter
  • New Modern Love
  • Rock Show
  • Drum Solo
  • Mayhem
  • It’s Not You
  • I Get Off
  • I Like It Heavy
  • I Miss the Misery
  • Here’s to Us

Bolder Boulder 10k 2015

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For the past few years, we have been in Leadville for Memorial Day. That prevented me from running in the nation’s largest road race for the last few years. However, with the rains of late, we decided to stay on the Front Range. When Sydney heard that news, she told me she wanted to run the Bolder Boulder again this year. She had many friends doing it and I think that motivated her to go and register.

Bolder Boulder 10k 2015

What a great way to spend time with my kid, right? Wake up and go for a little jog around Boulder. This is such a classic race if you aren’t from around here. It brings out everyone. They start runners at 7 AM in waves until like 10 and runners cross the finish line until nearly noon. Quite a show having 50,000 runners on the roads and then finishing up in Folsom Field, home of the University of Colorado Buffaloes.

Bolder Boulder 10k 2015

Sydney didn’t train for the race of course. We didn’t know this was happening. But kids can usually just gut out such an event if they are in shape. She held strong until about mile 4. Only walking the water stops and running the rest. I paced her out in front. Barely looking back but knowing she was on my heels and keeping her steady. I thought we might break an hour going into the race but that wasn’t to be today. She got a cramp around this point and went to a walk for a half mile to work it out. I was doing pacer tricks to get her to push the last mile but she wasn’t falling for it. Oh well.

Bolder Boulder 10k 2015

But when she hit the floor of Folsom field she dropped to a 7 minute pace and flew around the stadium. Man, I guess she was just waiting for the big show! I hugged her at the finish and asked why she didn’t do that for all of mile 5! Still proud of her for doing this on her own. I didn’t force. I was asked!

Bolder Boulder 10k 2015

We enjoyed some of the Memorial Day festivities and tributes before heading back out to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. A little of me wants to get back to this race and finally achieve that Wave A (best is AA) some day. Unless I have to pace again!

A Discussion on CrossFit

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I was a guest on Elevation Trail again today. I am going for the record number of guest appearances. Last time, we touched on CrossFit. This time I got the whole show dedicated to it. I am a force to be reckoned with.

sarge

Joining me was my coach and co-owner of my gym, Shawn Wentz. His 10 year experience with this fitness phenomenon was exactly what we wanted to delve into the sport. Enjoy this show.

Show Link

Always Something New

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Track_My_Weight_on_Fitbit

I never really took my health or my fitness serious until the late 2000s. Until then, I just existed in that dimension. But since then I feel like I am always on the search for the next thing. The next bump. Sometimes they are small and hard to find. It might be changing to a different style of shoe. It might be running a different type of training program. But lately, it seems like I am after a bigger impact.

I walked off the Leadville Trail 100 course at a record high race weight of 153. I had been in the 140s prior years. I really curtailed my running in the fall because I felt burnt out physically and wanted some extended rest. Running itself burns a lot of calories but when I am not running, it is hard to shutdown the engine in my mind. The appetite. So last fall, I gained a good amount of weight. I didn’t really care at the time. I felt like my body was reacting to the rest. Was that such a bad thing? Ended the year in the mid-170s.

Then I read an article for which I have since lost the link to. But the gist of the article was that runners “mask health issues” through this large and constant calorie cycle burn. So while you are running, it does feel like you can eat anything and usually do. However, just below the surface many dangerous things were lurking. One study talked about how people who quit running found themselves with type 2 diabetes in record time over their non-running counterparts. As if the running masked all these bad things and you were laying the blueprint all along underneath. That sounded like a really shitty end result to a running career.

I started thinking about my diet more seriously at the start of the year. I kept coming to the realization that if you take the fun out of eating, then life sort of sucks. But I kept making strides at it. I kept trying to see if I could pick off the easy things that seemed like bad ideas. Ice cream at night? OK, limit that down to weekends, then one day, then no days. Kill me now. With a blunt object. Slowly. But then I started thinking about soda. I stopped buying soda at home when I went off diet soda a few years back. Diet Mountain Dew, I miss you. Call me. But now I consume vast amounts at any eating establishment with a fountain drink selection. I purposely would steer my family to eat at places where Cherry Coke was on tap. Screw the food, I would freely download as many cups as possible.

I was only cheating myself. I started doing various regimes with soda. Weekends only. Then it went to 1 meal a week. Then I went to none. All that broke down when we went to Mexico. It was vacation and I chose not to give a shit for ten days. But when I returned, I decided it was time to do something more serious.

I had been following a bunch of friends on Facebook who were Whole30 dieting. Another diet craze but out of interest I read the book in an evening after randomly watching a YouTube video on the topic. I enjoyed their description of how your body gets all messed up because of sugar and other non-natural ingredients in food. It goes on from there but the gist of the diet is sort of a 30 day cleanse to rest the signalling in your body that controls the related feelings, hormones, and your appetite. So I dove in.

Now, I didn’t follow their diet to strict plan but I made a pretty good stab at it. I removed all sugar that I reasonably could. So I drank no soda. I ate no candy or cookies or such things. No ice cream. If something contained sugar, like a salad dressing, I just made sure it was pretty minimal. I still ate fruit so I was getting more natural sources but not the mega-doses of it that I was accustomed to.

The next big target were carb-based things. I stopped with any thing bread related. No pasta. No pizza. Nothing crunchy. That was sort of hard. The only real “cheat” on the diet was that I continued to eat black beans. They say no beans. But beans are the first thing you are allowed to bring back at the end of the 30 days so I kept eating this vegetable because it seemed like an OK choice.

I ended up moving in a very tight circle eating a lot of salads either made at home or from restaurants like Chipotle or Mad Greens. Each meal just became more of a focused effort to just eat calories as designed and move on. Cheating wasn’t really an option. That would just be lazy.

The 30 days of this are up. The big question is probably “how much weight did you lose?” Answer is really a negligible amount. With all the running and weight lifting, maybe I am just converting mass rather than losing it right now. It is a bit depressing because I would be amazing just to be able to make a sacrifice, like no soda, and drop 20 pounds. But that doesn’t seem to be where my body is. But to be fair, they don’t promise weight loss with the diet yet most people do obtain some level of it.

I do think I am still in the process of resetting my sensitivities to foods so I am not ready to quit/stop this just yet. I read the other day that habits take on average 66 days to cure. So maybe that is my new number. Whole66? Why not. But once you have a solid streak going, it makes it harder to break. This might be the end of soda forever. Except on my birthday. But it will probably make me puke anyway.

RIP Yoshi

Animals2 Comments

Yoshi

Today, our orange cat, Yoshi, was sitting in Kim’s lap. Suddenly, he kind of fell off of her like he lost consciousness. I heard Kim scream from the other room. When I went in Kim was picking him up and he was gasping for air. Then suddenly his mouth opened wide and his eyes got fully dilated. He was dead.

It was shocking to say the least. No warning. He was not sick. He was just 4 years old.

Kim took him to the vet and they believed it was a stroke or a heart attack. The whiteness of his mouth indicated some blood loss consistent with those types of events.

We told the kids and they cried. It only took Kayla about 15 minutes to suggest we get a new kitten to cope with the loss. I think the kids will be fine. I feel for my wife though. This wasn’t suppose to happen today.

Sorry, little buddy. That one shocked us.