Thursday, July 4, 2013

Toughest, Tougherrrrr, downright tough or hard

While surfing the inter webs and all things Googles and the like, I notice a trend in regards to trail runs, ultras and Epic adventures about anything.  It is a small word but the meaning carries an oh so scary thought.  The word for the day is Tough.  It is used in terms of regions, toughest in Shelby county, Toughest in the east,south, west, north,  Toughest in the U.S. Toughest in the entire world.  Toughest ever and you will probably die and should never even think of doing anything remotely close to this impossible whatever feat.
1. Who decides that?
2.  How do you know if it will be tough for me?

I know the psyche of an individual is drawn to great human endeavors that appear like no one could ever accomplish a finish and I know it is a marketing ploy to attract idiots like myself to try something that is so tough that I will have to be at my toughest but I think it is played out.  Maybe I should just toughen up and not let it bother me or maybe I am not capable of this type of Grit,  grittiness or grittier behavior.  That is all, carry on.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Catch up, cause I fell behind

Been a weee bit busy to keep up on the small going ons in my little life but in order to catch everyone up, you get my paraphrased version. 
MMT-DNF I sucked and I didn’t care.  
To much snowboarding(not a bad thing), I was living 10 minutes from four of the best ski resorts in the country/world.  When it is an 18 inch powder day, running is a no go so yeah, not enough running(bad for running a 100 but good for my soul)  My mental game plays a big part of all my long runs and MMT was no different.  Imagine throwing away a reputation of finishing almost everything I start out the window. Yep, I did that. A few years ago a friend introduced me to a runner as “this is the guy that if his head got chopped off, he would pick it up, put it on a stick and look at himself on the way to the finish” Not so much this year and I was ok with that.  At this time,  I still am but not going to make that a habit.  DNF’s suck no matter how you try to justify it. 
Justification math and quitter math. 
Excuse number 2-15 of why I was a quitter.  Got a new job, got promoted, moved to a new city and had a lot on my mind.  I know, the math doesn’t add up.  It is quitter math, it never adds up. 
Fast forward a few weeks, I now live in Fort Collins or Fort Fun as it is called.  I fell into a sweet deal, love where I live, bike/run commute to work almost everyday through the CSU campus(sweet) and awesome trails out my back door.  The beer mecca of Colorado with O’dells, New Belguim, Equinox, funkwerks  and Fort Collins brewery all in my backyard.  Mentally in a good spot, physically running better than I have in sometime….. and then on to The Bighorn 100.
Bighorn 100:  Fuck 100’s I’m retiring from these damn things and never, ever running them again.  Short lived of course.  Mistakes, pack the proper clothing.  The start was 87 degrees, shorts, singlet, 40 miles later and the climb up the canyon it dropped to about 20 degrees.  Bad decision Billy boy.  I had to hang out the 40+ mile aid station for almost an hour to get my core temp back up.  I don’t think I ever been so cold in my life.  I wasn’t DNFing, never crossed my mind but for real was not having a good time.  I fell in the mud/water at 4:00am and got soaked.  Hating life, hating running, throwing up, keep manning up and keep moving on.  Julie, a friend from Jackson Hole, she was my savior come the light and the next day when she caught me and then we started moving.  I also got to share some trail time with my friend Rhonda, who was running the 50 miler and was unexpected but a pleasant and wonderful surprise. I pull to the side of a dirt road to start peeing, a woman passes me and I try to hide my junk(out of respect) as I yell out hey Rhonda, she turns around.   WHAT.  What a beautiful course. Saw a baby moose.  The aid station people are wonderful and the medical personnel were awesome and not overly medical.  I looked and felt like hell.  Probably should have been pulled but I was coherent, joking and jovial as I heaved next to the medical tent.  “Don’t worry doctor peoples, this is what I do”  Bighorn 100 finish number 2 and my
19th 100 miler
89th ultra marathon
Long term and short term memory loss and next up is  the Bear 100.  Training for this one and hope I can rip one.  It’s been awhile since I cared or had the passion to. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday in the mountains

It was a simple run.  7 miles up and down Evergreen mountain.  Shorts, t-shirt and feeling comfortable chatting with Bob Combs in the driveway.  Started at a slow, chat, catch up pace. I've been living in Silverthorne Colorado for the last two months, snowboarding,  living a snowboard bums life in the high country and have not got to run a lot with my compadre, adventurer and good time amigo, so it was great to spend some trail time solving the worlds, life and everyday issues.    Chatting travel plans and MMT, We found ourselves on top of Evergreen mountain in a light drizzle and the temperature dropping quickly.  The clouds rolled in and then the hail and snow.  Stinging our faces and arms.  BOOM the first thunder I've heard in months and it sounded like it was on top of us. No pace increase, no up tempo stride, nothing.  Are we getting use to this mountain weather?  The rain/sleet/hail became colder.  Our conversation in the driveway involved me and how I was going to "man up" as Bob grabbed a light jacket.  "Suck it up, it is only 7 miles" is what I believed I said.  Bob pulled off the trail to don his jacket (smart) and I picked up the pace, my arms, hands and face now numb needed to be down off this mountain(dumb).  The hail balls looked like magical flower petals and I felt alive, flying down off a mountain. Numb, cold and ALIVE.  It was a simple run but sometimes those simple runs turn out to be the best.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Powder days, healing, marathon and a new bucket list

Spent more time snowboarding this year than last and have learned a few things this year just from going more.  The big jumps still scare me but I am spending more time and getting more confident on the medium ones.  I am still struggling with over rotating off the medium jumps when trying to land a backside 360. I'm good with grabs.    Falling still makes me sore.  I like powder days.
My left foot, specifically the tendon on top of the foot from my big toe to the base of my ankle has been jacked up for a few months now and logging miles have been slow and painful.  It is an excuse that I will hang my hat on.  If I wanted to fight through the pain I guess I could have but I didn't see the point.      Finally, it is pain free after many icy hot and ice sessions.
On very little training miles, I ran 7 minutes faster and slowed down after I knew I wouldn't break 4:59.  The Run Through Time Marathon is held during the weekend of daylight savings, hence the name.  The run starts in Salida CO, climbs 4,316 feet, most in the first half marathon and is all trail or dirt road.  Normally this run has beautiful views of the collegiate peaks, this year, not so much.  It started snowing early in the run and snowed most of the day.  The precipitation clouds were low and covered the views.   Finally a long run with little to no pain.  Tuesday(Today) I went snowboarding at Breck in 8 inches of powder and after the first run, my muscles loosened up and zero soreness.  This makes me smile.  Smiling is my favorite.
Bucket list addition:
Planning on climbing a fourteener in the winter (a first for me) next week.
Researching trips to Argentina for a late fall trip to play on one of the seven summits, here is the link.

Spend summer exploring the Colorado Trail and checking off sections.

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." 
-Henry David Thoreau-

Friday, February 15, 2013

Vail week

So a hundred years ago, I went in with a few friends and bought a timeshare in Vail.  We own week six and for some odd weather God reason, this week has turned out to be some of the best snow of the year or hopefully better, the start of something good for the rest of the season.

 My new board/boots and bindings.  Pretty board(Never summer Heritage)

China bowl on the way out.

Hard to go fast when you got a camera non go pro in your hand

The fluffy stuff, I like powder

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why I live here

Someone asked me why I don't blog anymore and so here you go.

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see" Henry Thoreau

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Flew into Bali, Indonesia on late Thursday night on a cheap red eye flight,  I had diving to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday dive one consisted of a coral reef, a large barracuda and clear visibility.  This was my first shore dive excluding certification.
Dive two was the USAT Liberty shipwreck dive.  Over 400 species of fish live on or near the wreckage.  It was very cool to swim through some of the holes in the hull.  The water was warm and this was another first, my first wreck dive.
Spent Friday night walking around town, ate dinner at an Italian restaurant on the beach.
Saturday dives
Dive one was a float dive they called the movie screen.  Imagine one large coral reef wall and a current that carries you down the coastline.  I had to do very little swimming, inflate my BC for buoyancy and float my dive away. 
Dive two was the best dive I’ve done so far at a place called Manta Point.  The name lived up to its billing.  I saw 12 manta rays, The largest manta had a wingspan of about 13 feet and swam right at me, going directly over my head, 4 feet above me.  These beautiful creatures are elegant and graceful.  I almost forgot to breathe and kept thinking about Steve Irwin but I believe it was a different type of ray that killed him.   The water was colder and a parasite in the water attaches themselves to the mantas as the mantas come into to get a good old fashion cleaning from the parasites. 
Spent Saturday night walking around, looking at art.  I bought a sarong and fully intend to wear it but don’t know where yet.  I ate at some famous place for Indonesian food that Mick Jagger ate at.  The servers where happy to point this out to me after they found out where I was from and this is what made this restaurant famous with the tourists. 
Sunday Dives
Dive one was at a place called Crystal Bay.  I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about this dive.  I would consider myself in reasonable shape and somewhat confident in my skills to adapt, somewhat fearless in my actions but after the dive briefing, I questioned in my mind for a few seconds whether or not I was capable of completing this dive.  I learned that two people died here in the last three days.  One person who perished was a Japanese lady who I heard dove in a group of 12 with one dive master for all of them.  This is careless but it is the cheap way to go.  The second diver that died was diving alone, without a buddy, also careless.   Off the back of the boat I went in the form of a backwards somersault into the cold water.  What makes this dive so treacherous is the current, specifically the down current.  We had to stay close to a reef wall as we worked our way around the corner of the reef in the search of Mola molas, a very large, prehistoric looking sunfish.  Once we came around the corner to a large rock wall, boom you are being sucked down with the current.  The bubbles weren’t going up to the surface, they were being pulled down with me, I reached out and grabbed the rock wall and then it became hand over hand, rock climbing underwater.  I worked so hard to get to the top of the rock wall and out of the current that my air consumption went from 100 bar to about 40 bar in what felt like 10 minutes, which is a lot.  I didn’t see any Mola molas but was happy with the outcome that I didn’t die while challenging my diving skills.  Win/Win. 
Dive Two on Saturday was an easy float dive, very relaxing, very colorful. 
Uneventful Sunday night
Flew back to Kuala Lumpur and from KL, I am sitting in an airport in South Korea with an eleven hour layover, waiting to head to San Francisco. 

A mountain on fire

Dive site

Getting ready on the boat

The Bali people put flower petals down for me to walk on

The grounds of the hotel

More of the grounds
My Beach for a few days
On a health and fitness note, I haven’t run or worked out in over a month and half.  I was glad for the break.  Mentally as well as physically I was worn out.  Not very pleased with any of my last couple running results so I decided to not bring running shoes on this trip and take a break from it all for a minute and start with a clean slate.  I almost bought a new pair of asics during my trip but couldn’t see spending $200 on the same shoes I could get in the states for $110(KL was expensive).  I am very much looking forward to running for the love it again and getting back to the mountains. 
I forgot to write a million things but you get the idea.