Friday, November 26, 2010


What I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • I am thankful for my wonderful wife and two children who got out of bed on Thanksgiving morning when it was 8 degrees outside and ran the Fort Collins Thanksgiving 4-mile race.
  • I am thankful for my health that has allowed me to keep running through the onset of type 1 diabetes over 10 years ago and not only run but accomplish new goals that I thought impossible at the diagnosis of the condition.
  • I am thankful for running and the joy that it brings to my life and the opportunities it provides for fun adventures and traditions like running a race on Thanksgiving morning. This was our 5th consecutive Fort Collins Thanksgiving race and I have run a race on Thanksgiving morning 18 out of the last 20 years.
  • I am thankful for my friends and the great running community that I live in. I am thankful for all the friends that I saw at the race and those who stopped by or stayed for dinner yesterday and that even though much of my family is far away I can still sit at a holiday table surrounded by good people with common interests and enjoy a good meal.
  • I am thankful for where I live. It is deeply comforting to know that after I finish this post, I can lace up my shoes, head out my front door and within a 5 minute jog down the street I will be running beautiful trails and breathing cold, clean mountain air.
  • I am thankful for the challenges ahead. My goals to run a sub 19 minute 5K, a sub three hour marathon, and a mountain 100-miler in 2011 keep me motivated and help me to keep getting back out on the trails to see what I can do.

Happy Running and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back to Soapstone

I went back to run the Soapstone Prairie this morning with a group from Fort Collins and Boulder. It turned out to be a really nice day with much less than the usual amount of wind, comfortable temps and even some sunshine. We started from the Soapstone entrance station and headed west into Red Mountain then up in to Big Hole Open Space, WY for a short section before heading back into Soapstone and around back to the car. I had planned out a 21.5 mile loop, but ended up running 25.5. The pace was comfortable and I felt great. It was a really nice run on a bunch of great trails with a nice group of people. Soapstone is closed Dec., Jan and Feb, so this was a nice last run of the season on what are probably some of my favorite local trails.

Pete, Karen, Dan and Peter on the ridge overlooking Red Mountain Open Space

Marie and Brian running the Cheyenne Rim Trail
I ran with Ean on Saturday in Horsetooth over some more of the CC 50K course, had a tough run up Towers on Thursday night and couldn't get through the speed work I had planned on Tuesday. It was still a good week of about 62 miles with a lot of hills. The plan is to take it pretty easy for the next few days so I can run the Fort Collins Thanksgiving 4 miler well rested. I won't be in the running for an age group pie, but I would love to run under 26 minutes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snow, Arthur's Rock and Western States

We had our first snow in Fort Collins this week and with highs in the 40s the past few days, it feels like winter is here. I ran home from school on Wednesday night and ran back to school on Thursday morning in the snow. This was the first time I've done the run commute this school year, and my plan is to keep it up as part of my weekly schedule. Tuesday, Ean and I did some repeat 1000 m on the dirt path around the park. My plan was to run 5 x 1000 at 4:00 min each with a 3 minute recovery jog between each 1000. My times for the 1000s were: 3:52, 3:50, 3:50, 3:51, 3:54. This adds up to a 19:17 5K and it felt pretty good. I was tired on the last repeat, but overall the workout was pretty comfortable. This gives me some hope that my 2011 marathon goal of a sub 3:00 is not too far out of reach.
I put my name (and my $370 - yikes!) in for the Western States lottery. Chances are less than 20% of getting in and there are plenty of other good races to run in June if I don't make it, but I'm hoping it happens. The lottery is held on December 4. We'll see what happens.
Ean and I went for a great run in Horsetooth and Lory today. We ran from Soderberg, along the valley and up Mill Creek and Howard to the top of Arthur's Rock. We had the whole park mostly to ourselves and the north facing slope on Howard through the trees was a winter wonderland. We went down the Timber Trail and back along the valley to the car. I ran a very comfortable 18 miles doing a few out and backs to reconnect with Ean who ran 15 miles for her longest trail run ever.
We had an interesting encounter with a one antlered buck as we got back to the trail head. We were out for longer than we had planned - 5 hours, but it was a nice way to spend a Sunday together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warren Park 5K T&H

Nick C. giving Tom the "Go" photo by Felix Wong

Ean, Maddie and I all ran the second race in the Fort Collins Running Club's Tortoise and Hare Series this morning. A record setting 45 people showed up to run. Nick Clark, with his amazing math and timing skills, put on a great race and all had a great time. The T&H algorithm predicted that I would run 19:42, but all I could manage was 20:12 and 38th place--my legs were a bit stiff from yesterday's trail run. Ean and Maddie had a much better day tying for 3rd place and both receiving ribbons. After the run, we all enjoyed bagels, coffee and a beautiful view of the mountins at Rocky Mountain Bagel Works. After breakfast, we went to the Runner's Roost where I turned in my entry to the Colorado Marathon--now I'm commited-- and Ean bought a new pair of Brooks trail running shoes to train for and race the Red Hot 33K in Moab, which will be her longest race yet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bobcat Ridge

It was another beautiful day in Northern Colorado. We had sunny skies and a high of 75 degrees. I went for a really nice 14 mile run in Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. I ran the D.R. trail to Mahoney Park, came down the Ginny Trail, ran the out and back on the Eden Valley Spur and back to the car. I ran easy with plenty of stops to let horses go by and take pictures. It was a nice run on an unusually warm November Day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


What better way to start Halloween than a 5K with the family at the park just down the street. We all ran yesterday in costume and had a great time. I was hoping to run under 18 and after going out a bit too fast and struggling to maintain pace in the last mile, I finished in 20:04. A bit disappointing, but it was good enough for 3rd place in the 30-39 age group and 10th place overall. Maddie placed 3rd in the kids race after running the 5K and then she was awarded 3rd in the costume contest for her homemade Mario costume. Shadow and Ean (dressed as the Green Lantern) ran a solid race and Micah completed the whole course in full gorilla suit.
After the race, I went for a nice cool down jog in Pineridge with Don and Nick and then we met the family and some others back at the house for a nice post race breakfast and pumpkin carving on the deck. It was a beautiful warm fall day.