Friday, March 30, 2012

The Pineridge Downhill Mile: Season 2

The second season of the monthly downhill mile kicked off last night on a beautiful evening in Pineridge.  After a casual loop on the trails, we split in to four start waves and sprinted down the hill.  There were some first time DHMers who ran their fastest mile ever and Pete (earning another dollar from Celeste) and Nick both ran their DHM PR even after a morning of Horsetooth Hill repeats.  After the run we enjoyed pizza and good company back at the house.  The entire evening was a great reminder of things that I have to be thankful for: great local trails, the ability to run, and fantastic friends to share it all with.

Season 1 Best
Alex M
Brian W
Chris H
Dave T
Nick C

If I missed your time, please send me an email or leave a comment so I can add it to the results.

Next DHM is scheduled for April 26.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

24 Hours of Utah - Solo with lots of good friends

Maddie and I put in a half day of school on Friday then jumped in the car to head back out to Moab. This would be mine and Maddie's 4th trip to 24 Hours of Utah the Run.  Back in 2008, this race was my first real ultra running event thay I ran in preparation for the San Juan Solstice 50.  I returned in 2009 with my family to run it solo again and finished 13 laps (1 more than the previous year).  Ean walked the last lap with me that night and we had a great time being out on the slick rock together in the dark under a sky filled with stars.  I went back last year with a free entry (thanks to a facebook trivia contest) and a team of 4 other FCTRs.   We had a great time taking turns running and doing a lot of hanging out and laughing at the campsite.

This year was another solo effort, but I was joined in the solo running by Kyle and Scott (both training for their first 100s this summer) Cat, and Sam.  Also along for the fun were Maddie, Sarah and Leah (Kyle's daughters) Celeste, Jen, Dan and Danny.  So although I was running solo, I knew it wouldn't be too lonely.

It was a beautiful morning and the day promised to be hot.  We took out together on the first lap at a casual pace knowing it would be a long day ahead.  I was quickly reminded of how stunning the lanscape is here and I was so glad to know that I had the whole day and the night to be outside under the warm sun and bright stars admiring the beautiful vistas with good friends while I challenged myself to run as far as I could. 

I ran the first three laps on and off with Sam, Cat, Scott and Kyle.  As the day went on we spread out as a result of different paces, break times, and taking care of the kids, bt we'd still pass eachother out on the course (odd laps were run clockwise and even counter-clockwise, so there were always people going in both directions)
Kyle and I regrouped and ran my10th lap together, finishing 54 miles in just under 12 hours.
starting out lap 10 with some additional company who were on their way
 to the creek to make mud pies

Cat, smiling and moving steadily forward as always
Kyle hitting the point of his longest run ever!
 . . . and he keeps on going.
Sam heading out for another lap late in the day
Maddie was awsome all weekend.  Here she is running me in on lap 10.
10 laps down.    Photo:  Maddie May
After the 10th lap, I took a long break to eat and rest.  I had a wonderful bowl of Ramen prepared by Maddie and Celeste, dug out a long sleeve shirt and my headlamp and headed out alone for lap 11.  I felt really slow and weak as I started up the slick rock portion, but by the time I hit the backside of the loop, I was feeling much better and I ran the last 3 miles in at a decent pace.  I made a quick stop back at the camp and tried to convince Kyle to come back out for another lap, but he chose instead to stay in his tent and cry about the outcome of the Syracuse/Ohio State Game.  So I headed out alone again for lap 12 and I was definitely getting tired, but I finished it feeling okay just a few minutes before midnight.  I sat by the fire near the start/finish for a few minutes and gladly accepted a hot grilled cheese sandwich.  I knew I wanted to get out for at least one more lap and I knew I needed to go do it now, so when I finished my sandwich, I got up and walked back out.  Lap 13 was slow and painful.  I walked a good 90% of it and staggered and stumbled the rest.  It was still nice to be out in the quite Moab night.  I stopped and sat down at the far end of the course to rest and dump fine red Moab sand out of my shoes and socks.  I stumbed back in to camp a little past 2 am and I knew I was done.  Another lap would have been great, but I had nothing left to prove to myself or anyone else, so I pulled on some warmer clothes and climbed into my sleeping bag for a couple hours sleep.

At the awards in the morning, I was glad to see Scott and Sam and Kyle, who had all gone out for a final early morning lap and were feeling good about the day's accomplishments.  I took home the 3rd place medal for the men's 24 hour solo division.  Cat took home the women's 2nd place medal.  Scott and Kyle both ran farther than they ever had before.  Sam, Jen, Celeste, Dan and Danny all had a good day out running in a beautiful place.  The girls sang, danced, jumped rock to rock all the way around the campground and made amazing poop-shaped mudpiles in the creek.  A wonderful weekend outside with so many good friends doing what we all love to do.

Results here

Friday, March 23, 2012

First Towers of Spring

Tonight was the first warm weather, clear trails, daylight Towers Time Trial of the year.  There was a lot of buzz on the FCTR list with talk of PRs and feet of vertical.  I was excited for the run, but sad to not be in PR shape.  I ran my PR on Towers on this same night one year ago when I ran 36:57.  The Soderberg lot was nearly full when Mike and I pulled in at 5:45.  There were probably more people at the run tonight than the last 3 Towers runs combined.  A lot of fair weather Towers climbers out there I guess.  I started with the 40 minute group, feeling like a sub 40 was possible with the god trail conditions considering I ran 42:49 two weeks ago when there was still a fair amount of snow and ice on the trail.  I secretely hoped I might be bale to run 38 minutes.  The run started off well and I felt surprisingly good.  I pushed where I could and held on as steady as possible.  The mile splits went off at 9:08, 12:08, and 10:58.  When I hit 3 miles at just over 32 minutes, I knew I could hit 38 with a good final push to the top.  I ran hard up the next hill and tried to keep it smooth through the short sections of mud, ice and snow in the last quarter mile.  I hit the building and stopped my watch at 37:09-- only 12 seconds off my PR.  This was a great surprise, because I really didn't think I was capable of that tonight.  Two weeks from now, I'm going to break 37 and set a new PR.

Off to Moab with Maddie tomorrow for a the 24 Hour race with Kyle, Scott, Celeste, Sam and others.  Weather looks good.  Should be another fun weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Global Heroes 2012

I will again be applying to be part of the Medtronic Global Heroes and run the Twin Cities Marathon on October to inspire others with medical conditions like diabetes to stay active and not let the condition limit the possibilities for adventure.

Here is an excerpt from the email I received explaining the Global Heroes Program:

A cooperative effort between Twin Cities in Motion and the Medtronic Foundation, the Global Heroes program recognizes runners from around the world who have a medical device to treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain and spinal and neurological disorders.

Up to 25 runners will be selected to receive two entries into the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon or the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, held on Oct. 7, 2012 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 12 years ago at the age of 25, I was a runner and had completed a few marathons and when I got the news of what I had, I thought that was all over.  When I got past the initial shock, I learned that diabetes can be managed and I did everything that I could to continue a normal life.  Before too long I was running again, but I struggled with blood sugar highs and lows that went from frustrating to scary.  A couple years later, I started using an insulin pump to manage my diabetes and things got much better.  This pager sized device allows me to make frequent and precise adjustments to my insulin treatment and maintain much more stable blood sugar levels.  Now I am able to live, play, eat, and run and run and run and still keep close control of my health and diabetes.  I am thankful for this device and the many friends and medical professionals that have helped me manage my diabetes.  I would love to be part of this program and share my story with others who run with diabetes.
I have applied before and was chosen as an alternate last year.  I am hoping that this year I will be selected as one of the 25.  I'll be sending my application in this week.

They do take nominations as well, so if you would like to nominate me as one of the 2012 Global Heroes, you can do that here.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Madness Run Report

It was a great day yesterday on the roads, trails and in the backyard with great runners from the Front Range and beyond.  Sixteen brave, tough and determined souls started before 8:00 am to run 34+ miles around the reservoir and up and down all the big hills along the way.  They were out there for 6-9 hours and they all finished well and mostly worn out.  Another 17 runners started at 8:00 and 9:00 am to run a slightly shorter version of the loop around the lake getting anywhere from 22-26 miles running for 3.5-6.5 hours and another 5 runners ran some other variation of the course to get 9-16 miles on the trails and roads along the reservoir.  The weather cooperated mostly proving pleasant temps and some cloud cover throughout the morning and then just to throw in a little challenge, we got a good strong headwind for the final 7 southward miles to the finish.  The finish line back in the driveway was full of cheers, hugs, congratulations, and photos. The party then moved quickly to food, drink and relaxation on the back deck.  Stories were told about trails taken and turns missed, triumphs and struggles along the way and of course plans were made for future adventures.  This has got to be the best way to finish spring break and begin the spring running season.  I am very fortunate to be able to spend the day running, laughing and enjoying the outdoors with so many friends old and new.  Thanks again to everyone that came out and made the 2nd Annual March Madness Run such a great day.

The 7:00 am group all heading out for a big loop around the reservoir

TNC and crew line up for their 7:45 start
The 8:00 am starters at the line and ready to go
and they're off

The 9:00 am start heading in different directions for runs from 9 to 23 miles
photo by Maddie May

Ed, Kyle and Sarah start picking up the pace on the first hill.
Kyle pushes hard to beat Sarah up the hill in Reservoir Ridge
NMP wins the sprint for the finish.
The Big Boys discuss their run.  Read Burch's story here.
Rob had a great day of running.  Read his report here.
Marie, Brian and Ean finish their marathon loop around the reservoir with some
bonus climbs and off trail treks thrown in
The Honey Badger himself throws down a big finishing kick up the driveway . . .
. . . and collapses, but he don't care.
Cat and Katie finish strong and smiling
Pete is looking a little tired.  Could it be the 41 miles he ran today or is it the 410 miles he has run so far this month?
Scott and Pete won the most miles on the day award with 41.66 miles each and Steph was right there with them with 36.8 
Ning brings it in with a smile after 35+ miles

There was plenty of good food and drink and lots of laughs throughout the afternoon 

Maddie gave us a demonstration of her slackline skills
Katie - looking like a pro
Scotty's got balance
Rob has some skills getting in at least 3 or 4 good steps
I'm not really sure what this guy is doing    photo by R. Erskine
then Ean showed off a bit

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Madness 2012 Results

Great day with the finest runners around.  Thanks to all who came and ran, brought wonderful food, hung out and made the 2nd Annual MM Horsetooth Circumnavigation Run a great success.

Here are the official results from the day:

Pictures and stories coming soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness Start List

Here is the OFFICIAL Start list for tomorrow's big event.  Well, actually it is not very official at all, but it is the best I can do based on comments, rumors, conversations, emails, suggestions, guesses and some that I might have made up altogether.  If you are on this list and want to run a different route at a different time, go for it.  If you are not on this list, it is just because I forgot or I wasn't sure you were coming, but please come anyway and start when ever you want and run whatever you want.  If you have questions, comments or complaints, just send me an email or comment right here.

7:00 am

Long Course- 34 miles+
Pete (+some extra miles)
Slush (starting from his house at 6:00)
Cat (starting from her house at 6:50)
Brian W.
Rob "Honey Badger"
Nick D. (new guy)
Rob E.

Special "Elite without the Elite Attitude" 
7:30 am  Start

Long Course- 34 miles +
The Nick Clark
Ryan B.
Nick P.

8:00 am

The Classic Course- 23 miles 


9:00 am

The Classic Course- 23 miles

shorter routes 9-16 miles
Chris H.
Rachel E.
Brian E.

I know I missed a bunch of people and if you send me an email, I'll be happy to add your name.

Many have been asking what to bring for the pot luck and here's the best I can tell you.  We have some burgers and hot dogs and veggie burgers, some buns, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese and plenty of fuel for the BBQ.  Anything else that sounds good too you or that you'd like would be great.  Rob has promised to bring Cobra Cakes and Pete will probably bring something with quinoa.  Beyond that I don't really know.  We'll see what shows up and I'm sure it will be wonderful.

Weather looks good for tomorrow and the latest trail updates sound pretty good.  There is mention of a cooler with water marked FCTR being placed somewhere on the east side of the reservoir near the Foothills Trail section.

I will be out to mark the first and final miles of the course with chalk later today, but if you are not familiar with the trail, be sure to print and bring the map and directions that can be found here (23 mile description and map) (34 mile and 9 mile course descriptions and maps).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Home and ready for the weekend

After a great week in Santa Fe, it is nice to be back in Colorado.  Sharin' O' the Green 5K and St. Patrick's Day Parade is going to be great tomorrow and Sunday's event is shaping up to be perfect.  Ean and I took Shadow for a run around the park at 7:00 pm tonight with shorts and t-shirts and no lights.  Awesome.

Friday, March 16, 2012


this is from the top of Atalaya on Tuesday, but you get the idea
Ean, Jordan, Jacob and I hiked and ran to the top of Picacho Peak this morning- a fun little 8500' peak just above the art district of Santa Fe.  Wonderful sunny day, beautiful views from the top, and nice outing with my wife, sister and brother-in-law.  We're heading home tomorrow, but plans are already in the works for May family reunion 2013.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy March 14

After a pancake breakfast, we went with the family to the park for a lively game of frisbee.  Later, Ean and I went for a easy run of just a little more than 3 miles and then made pizza and peanut butter pie.  Another wonderful day on spring break.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness updates

Things are shaping up nicely for Sunday's run.  Long range forecast is calling for 73 degrees with sunshine.  Runners are coming from Fort Collins, Boulder, Golden and everywhere in between.  And, new this year, the wonderful Kerri and Kim will be set up to provide massage after your run.  They will be there from noon to about 3:00 with sign-ups available for 15-20, 30 minute massages at $1/minute.  They are skilled in sports massage and my wife is certain that a couple of sessions with Kerri completely solved her IT band issues.

We'll have the slackline set up in the back-yard for those needing some additional challenge after the run too.  My daughter is quite good at it and is a very patient instructor.

There have been some questions about start times and and routes to be run.  Here's what I know:  Pete, Scott, Ning, Rob and some others plan to start at 7:00 and run the full 34+ mile, 6500'+ route.  Mary, Ean, Celeste and more are starting at 8:00 to run the 23 mile reservoir loop.  Sarah H. and I and hopefully a few more will be starting at 9:00 to run the 23 mile route.  Send me an email or comment here with your plans, to help others decide when to start and where to run.  Send me an email if you have any questions.  I look farward to seeing you all in a few days.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


After a wonderful morning of family breakfast, ice skating at the community center and a large and spicy plate of veggie burritos from The Shed in the Plaza, I decided to run back to the house via Atalaya Mountain.  I walked through town and up Old Santa Fe Trail east of town hoping that I would be able to successfully digest my overly large lunch.  After nearly an hour of walking, I hit the dirt and headed up Trail 174 toward the 9100' peak.  The trail climbed in and out of the trees and through some slush and ice for 3.5 miles.  I hit the peak just after 6:00 pm as the sun was starting to go down.  I admired the view to the west and hoped I would make it down the mountain and off the trail before it got too dark.  The snowy switchbacks made for some slow going at the top, but I was able to run the last couple miles to the road as I watched the sky turn a deep orange and the sun dropped below the distant western horizon.  I ran the last 3 miles back to the house in the dark on the narrow road down the hill and had to make some quick jumps over the curb and into the brush to avoid being hit by occasional oncoming cars.  I got back to the warm house full of my family just as Jordan and Jacob were putting the finishing touches on a casual late dinner that we ate while playing or watching an exciting game of Mexican Train dominoes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mays in Santa Fe

We woke up early this morning and drove to Santa Fe.  It is wonderful to see my dad, my stepmom Pat, my big sis Hillary, and her husband, David, and their pug Zac, my baby sister Jordan, and her husband Jacob and their 9 month old daughter Imogen.  After lunch and some time to catch-up, Ean and I got ready to head out for a run and we were very happy to have Jordan and Jacob come with us.  We ran from the rental house towards the hills in hopes of finding trails.  We did find a creek bed that looked promising and it lead us to the Atalaya Mountain Trail.  We had gone nearly four miles and had been gone an hour, so we decided to head back to be home in time for dinner.  I think I'll head back up there tomorrow and go for the peak.  We jogged and walked back to the house and enjoyed a wonderful dinner -- my wife and children, my dad and step mom and all my sisters and brothers in-law and my niece around the table.  It is going to be a great week with my family-- we even have t-shirts. My plan is to wake up early tomorrow and run the the top of Atalaya Mountain.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

FCTR/BTR/SI Fun Run in FoCo

Here they come
A few days ago Rob "Honey Badger" sent out an invite for Boulderites to come join some FoCo folks on a big run in Horsetooth Mtn. Park and Lory State Park on the course of the upcoming Quad Rock 25.   I knew that many of the trails on this route would be either snowy, icy or muddy and they were talking about starting early, so I really wasn't too sure.  But as the day got closer and the weather forecast looked more and more amazing and I knew I'd be spending much of Sunday in the car, I decided I was in.  The group plan was to drive in to Lory and start at the Soldier Canyon lot where the QR Race would start and finish.  I parked at Soderberg rather than drive all the way around to Lory and pay $6 and ran south to meet them.  It was a warm, sunny and all around perfect morning.  As I came in to the wide open valley just past the HT/Lory Border, I saw a large group of runners heading down the trail still over a mile off.  I was pretty certain it was our group, and then I heard them talking, laughing, hollering and I knew it was them.  I ran on and we met up a few minutes later.  It was a great group of people to spend the day with on the trails- Rob, Mary, Marie, Kristel, Shannon, Eddie, Katie, Ning, Basit, and Amanda.  Soon after I joined the group, we made the turn up Sawmill for the first climb of the day.  The trail was icy in spots, but a lot better than I expected.
The group kept the climbing pace casual knowing that there were many miles and many feet of climbing yet to go.  We ran and hiked Sawmill to Stout to Towers and then cruised down Spring Creek to the Falls, where we stopped to admire the early spring run off.
From the falls we ran on to the Main HT lot where we were surprised with a full aid station courtesy of Mindy, Lindsay and Sarah.  I drank some coke with ice and ate chips and gummy bears.  Eric and Ben, who had taken a different route met up with us here.  Mary and Marie had headed back a little ealier.  We took our time enjoying the spread and filling our water and then headed up the trail towards Horsetooth Rock.  Justen joined us here after a smooth kid hand off with Kristel.

The views of Longs Peak and RMNP as we ran up South Ridge were fantastic. When we got to the Wathen turn off, we decided to take another detour off the QR course to climb the south tooth of the Rock which is slightly more technical than the more heavily visited north tooth, nad I feel like the views were better too.

 After some time to enjoys the views, we climbed back down and continued along West Ridge, which had some significant snowy portions, and back on to Towers.  Before descending Mill Creek, the gang spelled out the names of our running groups that were out together today.

As expected, Mill Creek was the toughest trail of the day with long sections of ankle to shin deep snow most of the way down.  We connected from Mill Creek to Howard and made the last big climb of the day up to the base of Arthur's Rock.  I split from the group here and headed down the Arthur's Rock Trail to the valley while they went on to Timber and dropped down to the Lory entrance where they had started.  There was a lot of ice at the bottom of the AR trail and I walked it very carefully.  At the trailhead, I sat a bench for a few minutes to eat something, drink the last of my water and attempt to regroup enough to run the final three miles back to the car.  While I was sitting, Alec, who we had seen and talked to briefly at the top of he AR trail, ran in and we talked for a few minutes and realized we were going to the same place and decided to run it in together.  The run on the East Valley went by pretty quickly as Alec and I talked about past and upcoming runs and adventures.  When I got back to the car, my watch said I had run nearly 26 miles with over 5000 feet of climbing and I had been out on the trail for 7 and a half hours.  A perfect way to start spring break.