Thursday, June 28, 2012


Got the ok from the doc that I could start light workouts and that my eyes are fine and healing nicely.  Grabbed some gear and headed to Leadville to play on Mt. Elbert.
Set my alarm for 4;45am to get up the mountain early.  The rain was coming down and being the baby that I am, I don't like to get wet, I rolled over and went back to bed.  By 6:30am the rain stopped and 7:15am I was out my car door.  I felt good all the way up, climbed strong and ran most of the down.  Passed about 50 kids from the Colorado Mountain College first ascent program going up and down.  This is a summer camp for kids, they get to explore the big mountains and mountain activities.(rock climbing, big mountains and whitewater rafting) Talked to a few of the CMC guides and  also ran into a girl from Cincinnati and another lady wearing a Oil Creek 100 shirt.  Well wasn't I just Mr. chatterbox.
The skinny on Elbert:

Mt. Elbert
My 20th 14er
My 18th Colorado 14er out of 55
Highest mountain in Colorado standing at a whopping 14, 433 ft above sea level
I started out from the North Mount Elbert Trailhead at 10, 050 ft.
The summit trail utilizes a small portion of the Colorado Trail. 
All Class one, which is non-technical and a hike up. 
I summited from the northeast side 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Head in the clouds and on me pillow

Been spending the last few days in the high country.  Due to the recovery process of my eye surgery, I won't be cleared to do any stressful exercise until Tuesday.   Hardrock looming in the very near future, I need to maximize this down time.  Wednesday evening I drove to Loveland pass to car camp around 12k and spent most of the day at the pass, reading and skipping rocks in a lake.
My bedtime view.

 Mid day Thursday, I drove to Georgetown to eat dinner and then head to Guanella pass for some oxygen deprived sleep.  Friday morning, I saw my first, in the wild, Moose.

Getting antsy for my  return to run/hiking, Normally, with Doctors orders, I would interpret to fit my own needs but I think I'm going to trust my surgeon on this one and follow them to a T. My right rib is healing nicely and the small twinge of pain I get in my left knee is unnoticeable.  This might be just what I needed.
Best TV of the year is on and coming up.
Olympic track and field trials in Eugene OR
Tour de France starts Sunday June 30-Allez!, Allez!

Finished two more books, blasting through these things like I was on a crack binge.
Reading a lot is keeping me out of trouble.

"Gypsy Boy" by Mikey Walsh-disturbing look into the Romany gypsy way of life.
"Eat and Run" by Scott Jurek-Fun read, some good looking recipes**, kind of weird to read about Races I have been to, and people I have met in this small but ever growing ultra running world.

**probably should start following some of these recipes since my nutrition kind of sucks and I throw up  every run that is longer than 60 miles**

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Seeing is deceiving dreaming is believing

Flew into Akron airport late Thursday night.  Thanks Beth for picking me up in the middle of your busy schedule.  The flight was a few minutes delayed but all went well.  Friday I went shopping for some new clothes.  I haven't had to wear a button down shirt or tie for over year and all those fancy clothes are packed away in storage. Went to dinner with my baby sister and my nephew who just graduated high school.   Saturday morning got up super early and played 9 holes with one of my best friends since we were babies and then we went to mill creek park for a run to introduce him to trail running.  Ran into the husband of one of my old managers, who lives in Cincinnati.  Small world it is.  Attended a ceremony for my other nephew.  Congrats Jacob on your achievement. Well done young man.  Sunday morning I ran for two hours in Mill Creek Park with Slim followed by a cookout with family members I haven't seen in years.  It was nice to reconnect.  Back home to Colorado mid day Sunday.

Eye surgery on Monday:
Not gonna lie, I was a tad bit nervous.  Surgery wasn't until 4:00pm so I had all day to think about the what if's and lasts.  What if this is the last time I can drive, find my PO box, read signs, see the mountains, see peoples faces?  It was a weird feeling.  Surgery went well.  It was kind of freaky to feel the pressure of the surgical instruments in my eye and  I could see what the surgeon was doing inside the eye he was working on.  They didn't put me out just numbed the eyes and we were holding a conversation.  I got a clear lens exchange in my left eye(the worst eye)  This procedure is where a small incision is made in the white of the eye, they go behind the pupil, remove my funky, non working lens and replace it with a permanent new one.  This took about 5 minutes.  My right eye was a LASIK procedure.  Lift the outer flap of the eye and laser remove the cells to change my focal point in the back of my eye so it is more accurate.  This took about 2 minutes.  That evening my vision was a little cloudy due to the swelling.  The next morning I had one of four follow up appointments that I was able to drive to. The prognosis, it's all good.   The cloudiness is gone, my vision is now 30-20.  My left eye is still "learning" to adjust to far away objects without glasses and my eyes are a little more sensitive to sunlight which is all normal.  I bought my first real pair of sunglasses.   No heavy exercise for a week and I have to sleep with covers over my eyes for a week to prevent me from rubbing them.  I keep reaching for my glasses to adjust them on my face like I have a nervous twitch but I'm sure this will go away soon.

Finished two books:
"All Over But The Shouting" by Rick Bragg. (took me forever since I read more in the summer)
"A Long Way Gone Memoirs of A Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah(very good read, highly recommended)

I leave you with a little ditty

"I see said the blind man to his deaf wife,
sitting at the corner of the round table!
As he picked up a hammer and saw...
While his crippled son ran up the stairs!!!."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sore ribbed, Mountain climbing, Scuba diver

Early last week whilst running some trails near Elephant butte, I hit the dirt.  Tripping over a rock that was rudely sticking out of the middle of the trail.  Airborne, my life flashed before my very eyes(not really) but I scraped up my leg/wrist and landed very hard on my right nipple region.  I thought from the horrific pain that I may have ripped my nipple off.  It was in place, just at his always has been.  Today, the pain is still present in my right chest region.  It hurts to put on my seatbelt.  Pain, Pain go away.  
Saturday Morning first and second of four scuba dives at Chattfield lake.  The water was not as cold as I thought it would be at 8 am.  The visibility was about 5 feet.  We were paired up in a group of four.  My buddy, Kylie, and two other people.  We dove to about 20 feet and performed a few skills to get signed off on.  These skills included partial and full flood of our masks, out of air, hovering and proper ascend/descend techniques.  
Sunday Morning third and fourth of four dives.  We took a few tours around the lake using a compass and following a few fixed lines.  At the bottom they have a fire hydrant, shopping cart, sail boat attached to a trailer, mannequin, and perch.  Visibility was still not very good.  We had to show a few more skills such as emergency out of air ascent.  I am now a certified scuba diver and am looking forward to diving in some bigger oceans and seas where I can see more than my fins and hopefully go on a few shark dives.  
Been climbing a lot of mountains in preparation for my up and coming hundred.  Slept at Loveland pass on Monday night and Tuesday morning hiked cupid peak/grizzly peak and to the base of Torreys peak.  Tuesday Evening, slept at Guanella pass and climbed Bierstadt on Wednesday morning.  I have two concerns with this up and coming hundred.  1.  Will my ribs be healed up by then or at least not hurt so bad and 2.  Will this be the hundred  that I don't throw up 30 times and am able to keep some calories in my body? I sure hope so because this hundred is hard and long.  Time will tell.  
Leaving for Ohio Thursday night and will be back to CO on Sunday for eye surgery on Monday.  
Will I be able to see on Tuesday?  Time will tell.  

Bierstadt and the sawtooth before nightfall

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekly recap

Early Tuesday morning, I met with my eye ball surgeon.  They took some measurements and did a few tests.  June 18th is the go date.
Spent Tuesday evening camping at Loveland pass and reading.  being in the mountains changes the way I look at life.  It makes it simple and real.  The view from my sleeping bag is snow capped, rugged peaks surrounding me,  the sound of snow melt rushing to the lake and more stars then the sky is night. The air is crisp and clean.   All very simple yet all very powerful and with purpose.  These views have been there longer than I can fathom and will be there long after I'm gone.   Wednesday morning the goal was to climb Cupid peak, grizzly peak and Torreys.  Starting up and within two miles I knew this wasn't going to happen.  The wind and cold was more than brutal. I made it to the top of Cupid peak(13,117 ft) before turning around.    I put my smile in my pocket. The mountains win again.

Thursdays run was fun and it felt like I was flying.
Friday morning I drove to Manitou springs for a run on the ring the peak trail.  This trail basically goes around the base of pikes peak.

The entire trail ring is about 65-66 miles, I decided to run 21 miles of this section from the COG railway, below the incline in the counter clock wise direction.

Backside view of pikes peak.

Then a fun night out in Manitou springs.
This time next Sunday, I will be a certified PADI scuba diver.  I have two dives on Saturday morning and two dives on Sunday morning.  Ocean diving,  bring it.