Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I am getting ready for almost ten glorious days in Colorado. This will be my sixteenth year of skiing either Summit or Eagle County, and another year at Keystone. You may even catch us on a mountain cam at Keystone Mountain Cam.

Yes, I'm bringing my running shoes, because I only have four weeks left to get ready for the Big Sur marathon. I anticipate the altitude will be a factor, but I figure it will be good for me. Besides, I feel great and after having a great training week last week, I need to stay on it.

The picture is Loveland Pass, from 2007.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Though spring is almost here, I’m not yet ready to begin my spring clean-up. While watching my sons play ball in the yard, I started walking around a bit. There are lots of branches and stuff to clean up, perennials to cut down, beds to edge and mulch, bushes to trim, and one other item with which I was hoping I wouldn’t have to deal: I have a #@$%&*^ mole!!!

It has been active sometime during the past few weeks, as I found new and old runs, in two locations. And going into a wet season it can’t be at a worse time. I haven’t had mole concerns for some time. Last year I finally bagged the one that had been dogging me from 11/2006-5/2007. Previous years were stressful times. Many people who don’t experience moles would have considered me a lunatic, but once invaded by moles, you understand they are evil minions sent forth by Satan to wreak havoc and destruction on the planet and in people’s minds. The Mole Chronicles detail the success and frustration I experienced during a mole invasion in 2004 and 2005. Yes, invasion. I had three years where I was dispatching seven or more moles each year. Just leave a request in the comments if you want me to send you a copy. Moles must be destroyed, no matter the cost.

In the words of the vast society of men working for the cause:

"Let every mole know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to eradicate this scourge from the face of the earth."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Wife is a Saint

I spent Sunday afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese. I have never been to CEC before, and I took Gabriel to a birthday party. Michele has taken the kids there for these events on all previous occasions. It was exactly what I anticipated. flashing lights, games, children's music, general chaos, germs, and noise, noise, noise.

As I have aged, I have become more and more concerned with germs. Okay, I'm a germophobe. This facility, and others like it, must be a cornucopia of nearly all known communicable diseases. The kids crawl around the tunnels and climb the tower with their shoes off, touch everything in sight, wipe their noses, and spread unspeakable microorganisms to everyone and anything with whom they come into contact. Should we incinerate our clothes? But I digress. My tolerance for this kind of chaos is low; probably lower than it is for most people.

I don't know how Michele does it. If I was ever faced with having to choose between say waxing my body or enduring Chuck E. Cheese again, the decision might be a challenge. Yet somehow Michele endures these types of events regularly, and with a smile. That's because she's a great mom who thrives on seeing the kids having fun and enjoying themselves. Not that I don't, but I get a bit uptight with this kind of event, because it is hard for me to see disease-covered hands touching faces or worse, mouths, and I come unglued. I realize the best defense against germs is to be exposed to them, but I firmly believe the kids get their fair share at school.

Maybe I just need to lighten up and relax a bit.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


It's official. #3374. That's my bib number for the Big Sur International Marathon. I have lots of work to do between now and then, but I'm looking forward to it. Signing up for events helps solidify things, but I hadn't seen official confirmation until this morning. Yes, it is obscenely early, but this is what works for me right now. It's too hard to do anything after work, which leaves getting up early and lunchtime.

I'm just stoked to finally feel this is real. Signing up for things and having confirmation of it is a mental milestone. I'd write more about this, but this topic is not original and I'd end up plagiarizing something, since I have recently read articles and blogs about it.

These are pictures of the more scenic areas of the course. The middle of the bridge will have a guy playing music on a grand piano. Strange things in California - Who knew??

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm Back

And it feels great! I'm ramping the activity back up, and tomorrow looks like I'm back on the schedule. I have taken a few easier runs: 3 miles Saturday, 7.8 miles Sunday, and just under 2 yesterday (I ran out of time). I also had two 90 minute easy rides on the bike trainer, and some time in the gym. Now it starts going back to near-normal. I'll do 40 minutes on the treadmill, high-effort and adding .5% incline every half mile. The next ride will be a higher effort one with 20 minutes high rpm drills (1 min by 100/110/120, 6X), then 65 minutes Zone 3 heart rate (<152 for me), wrapping up with high rpm drills again. Sunday is a Zone 3 60 minute run.

I'm not yet sure what's in store for next week, but I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Starting Over

After a ten-day break from all exercise, I start again. Actually, it has been longer than ten days, since I was ill before the break. I think I have run two days out of the last fifteen. I feel like I fell off of a wagon at the base of this road, and just hung out eating bon bons.

Well, no more. It is time to hit it and that is what I will do. Today and tomorrow will be easy runs to get my sea legs back; I'll take an easy three mile run today, and an easy six miler and an easy ride on the bike tomorrow. Then it's back to the plan, ramping up to the higher intensity workouts. I never thought I would be looking forward to the LT (lactate threshold) rides on the bike (mentioned in a previous post), but I am, and they are getting harder. The weather is warming up, and it's time to focus.

I have new running shoes to try out (I retired my others at 400 miles), and I am stoked to get started. The main thing is that I stick to the ramp-up plan; an injury is something I do not need.

Colorado is just a month away, and I'm really starting to look forward to it. This will be my sixteenth year of skiing in Summit/Eagle counties. While there, I'll need to run as well. The altitude will make things interesting.

The picture is of a switchback in Switzerland. I found it on someone else's website while looking for pictures for this post. You might take a look, as there are some cool photos of a motorcycle trip around the mountains in Europe. I just fixed the link.