Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Review of the past few months and whats ahead in the months to come

This is a re-set week for me.  I've only run twice, going just over 20 miles for the week.  Prior to this week it's been 17 weeks of over 40 miles running per week, the last 7 have been 45+ miles.  My body, legs and mind have adapted well and as a result I am looking forward to now getting in to training for 2 goal races for the year.

The North Fork 50K is the last weekend of June and in early October I will make a trip to Chattanooga, TN for The Stump Jump 50K.  I'm really looking forward to both races with the Stump Jump being my priority, meaning that in training for the North Fork I will try to get training, rest, nutrition, hydration and pacing figured out.  Then adjust anything if necessary for Stump Jump later in the year.

Getting such a good base of miles I'm hoping will really translate well for training.  Normally at this time of the year I am doing about 20 -25 miles a week.  In fact comparing this year to date to last year - I have run well over 100 more miles already.  And my knees etc have done fine.

I have also been doing general other fitness stuff too.  Each day in January I did 100 push ups.  For February I did 100 Burpees each day.  These both started out really tough but as each month progressed I got stronger with them.  

So, starting next week I will ramp up the mileage gradually and see what happens.  Two places that I run have really contributed to current progress.  Falcon Trail 13 mile loop, and Mt Herman 8 mile loop (with 1600' or so of climbing in the first 1 1/3 mile).  They will continue to get my attention and before too long I will be doing double laps of them.  Sounds like fun.

No Pikes Peak Marathon or Ascent for me this year.  I achieved an age group award on the mountain last year and since then have not really had a desire to go back to try it again.  That may change in the years to come but as I get older and slower, I am enjoying running slower and longer and right now the 50K distance has a good appeal for me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Winter Distance Series Family results

The 4 race series finished up this past Saturday with the 10K in Black Forest.  Aside from a stiff wind from the West it was good running conditions yet again.  The snow from the previous Thursday was all but gone.  All 4 races had good weather to run in.  Race 3 was the trickiest being that it had 4 to 6 inches of partially packed, grainy snow to run on - throughout the whole 5 miles.  So times for most were slower than they could have been.

As for the family results - well I managed to hold off my son in each of the 4 races and beat him by the 4 race cumulative time of almost 6 minutes.  He place second in his age group after the series, this being his 3rd out of the last 4 years he has picked up an age group award in the series.  I am very proud of him.

My ex-wife and my 2 daughters (ages 13 and 8) also ran all 4 races and they all did well.  The Mother of my children ran the series for her first time and came in 7th in her competitive age group.  My oldest daughter came 5th her her age group for the series - this her second time in the series.

And then there is the star of the family, #3599 in the above photo.  Her first time running the series.  She has run a couple of 5K's before, but never anything longer.  So the 4 miler, 5 miler and 10K were all new for her.  The plan was that she would run with her Mother for each race.  Race 1 came and halfway through she was a minute or so ahead of her - and waited for her Mom to catch up.

Race 2 she apparently just bolted off at the start and never looked back.  Race three was the out and back race - 2 1/2 miles out at the turn she was about 20 seconds ahead of her Mom and sister.  She beat them by 3 1/2 minutes.

Oh, did I mention that she set age group course records in each of the first 3 races?  Race 1 she beat it by 1 1/2 minutes.  Race 2 was a new course so everyone set a PR on that course.  Race 3, on the snowy trail - where for comparison purposes I finished 1:45 slower on race day than I did in my best training run - she took a pretty incredible 7 minutes off the age group record.

And then on Saturday she beat the age group record that had stood for 9 years in her age group - admittedly there have not been a lot of 1 - 9 year old's that have run the race - but when any age group record - for any race, but in this case a fairly tough 10K - is beaten, it's a job well done.

She beat it by almost 22 minutes.   To say that I, and the whole family is amazed at what she did and incredibly proud of her is understating it.  Oh, and she also beat her Mother and Sister in the series by over 8 minutes too - just for good measure and extra bragging rights.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A snowy run through the Black Forest Fire zone

This upcoming Saturday is the 4th and final race in the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Distance Series.  As it has been for many years, it will take place on the (dirt and paved) roads of Black Forest.  It's a 10k course with lots of rolling hills through a heavily forested setting.  For those who have run the course in years past that will run it this year - the scenery will be different, very different.

Last Summer, the most destructive fire in Colorado's history ravaged through this area, killing 2 people, destroying hundreds of homes, buildings, vehicles and thousands of acres of trees.  I have driven through the burn area several times since the fire, shedding a tear or more every time.  But I have not run though it until this morning.  Today I wanted to run it not just to remember the course as a final training run for the race - but to see the transformation alongside the course.  I wanted to run it today so that when I run it on Saturday I can focus on the race and not on what I am running alongside.  I wanted to get the tears out today, cause it's kinda hard to run when you are crying, especially in a race.

It snowed 4 - 5 inches of snow in the area last night and that snow likely softened my view of the destruction and damage.  Snow blankets are beautiful, even on burnt and scarred settings.  They partially obscure the destruction, almost diminishing the damage.  But it is still there.

The smell of the fire is still there.  Houses are gone, trees burnt, lives changed.  I am proud to be a member of a running community that will donate part of the proceeds of Saturday's race to the local elementary school located in the heart of the fire zone - that was fought for during the fire.  That aside from melted playground slides and burnt bricks on the side of the building - still stands.  School was in session even today on a snowy morning.  Not only that, but as I ran, the sounds of hammers and saws working away filled the air along several roads - houses, and lives are being rebuilt.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter running fun

In the midst of a chilly and snowy patch of weather - it has not got above 0 degrees (F) today here today and we have had over a foot of snow fall in the past week - I have been determined to keep running outside.  Treadmill be damned.  Bundled I go.

Okay so this morning's 4 miler in -3 degrees with a windchill of minus 20 or so was a test, but once I turned around with the wind at my back I actually started to get too warm.  But Monday's 13 mile lap of Falcon Trail in 8 - 10 inches of snow was awesome, albeit a little slower than normal.

And then there was yesterday, my 8 mile loop of Mt Herman.  Last week I did it in 2 hours, almost half of that time is the first 1 1/3 miles in which almost 1500' of elevation gain takes place - last week was snow covered too.  But not like yesterday in which I was over knee deep in many places and averaging a foot deep of fluffy powder the whole way around.

Highlights had to be several faceplants - almost cartoon like one of them where I am fairly certain all but my feet were sticking out of a snow bank.  I had the trails almost all to myself, the occasional wildlife tracks crossed the paths at times.  Slow going, but so pretty.  After almost 3 hours I got back to my car exhausted and very hungry.  A stop at Rosies Diner on the way home helped with that.

Pictures don't do the run / hike / occasional crawling on all fours and awesome fun I had - justice. But here is what I took.....

Summit of Mt Herman (approx 9070')

The trail goes through here somewhere

Inside Limbaugh Canyon

Thank you Rosie's Diner