Thursday, February 27, 2014


I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my hip today - likely in the femoral neck (where the femur joins to the hip). Despite the obvious frustration of this being my 3rd stress fracture in about 2 years (and second in the same spot), my prior experience actually has me feeling better this time around. I know the path ahead of swimming, pool running, ellipticals and all other manner of evil, yet oddly enough I feel determined. Running itself is supposed to be difficult - this is why it is fun; without adversity to challenge us, what are we actually accomplishing? Running is a journey not about the destination but the road you traveled. With that said, my goal throughout this injury is to always be looking ahead at what I can do today, so that when I can finally run again I will be ready for it.

Also I hope the weather is absolute crap so I don't feel like I'm missing too much.
Until next time...

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I ran a small 5k to support the top ranked triathlon team at CU on Sunday, it was the first race I've competed in in almost 3 years! The course was a winding loop around campus and the weather was in the 20's so there were a few patches of ice on the course. There was a pretty broad spectrum of just 50ish competitors, 1st place was a 15:27 (yeah, that's 4:59's) while last was 54 minutes. I finished 10th with a respectable 18:41 (6:00 min/mile). I was crushed by what looked to be a 10 year old who ran a low 17 minute, but luckily I was able to hold off the lead woman at the finish. I "won" my age-group - I use quotes because I was actually 3rd, but I guess they don't include the overall top 3 in age group awards. Maybe this is common, I haven't raced in so long I wouldn't know. I won some shaker bottle for protein/supplement mixes, which I don't typically use or believe in but now feel inclined to try. Marketing right?
Participation gloves, had to have at least one picture...
I didn't really prepare at all for this race specifically, I haven't done speed work since September, and my running has been awkward as of late due to a lingering hip injury. I did a 33 mile mountain bike ride the day before, so I feel really happy about my performance all the things considered. If I can ever dig myself out of this injury hole I'm currently in, I'd love to actually start racing again, its a totally different atmosphere (and a bunch of free stuff if you're successful). I still have the goal of a sub-18 minute 5k (current PR of 18:15) and a sub-5 mile (current PR of 5:00, I know right) among others.I have a hip checkup scheduled for Thursday, hopefully something good comes of it, but until then I've actually been getting into biking a lot more. Anyways, now I am rambling.

Also I won a raffle which gave me $25 to a specialty bike store whose website suggests that their lowest priced item is $1090. Maybe they sell sunscreen or something.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Quandary Winter Climb

With the goal of completing a winter 14er climb this winter, my buddy Elliot and I set out to summit Quandary Peak. The amount of gear you need for even a relatively modest climb isn't even comparable to what you need for summer (clothes, food and water essentially). Snow shoes, trekking poles, microscpikes, jackets, coats, sweaters...etc. Still it was pretty fun. Used to summer schedules, we arrived at the crack of dawn to find a fresh snow on the trail. First thing I learned is that "fresh pow" isn't to die for (like it is in skiing) when your trying to climb up it.
Peaking out of treeline
It was really hard work breaking trail, but pretty slow too - the final speed average was 0.8mph. We found our way following the route I had plotted on on my watch, so we were never too far from the official trail. Breaking out of treeline, the arduous grind to the summit - which was still shrouded in clouds - began. Going in short intervals, we continued up for a long while, with me still breaking trail the whole way.
What happened to just shoes and socks?
Elliot topping out over a ridge, winds starting to pick up
As time went on, the weather continued to worsen. The light breeze turned to sharp wind with moderate snow. Up and up we went, another group caught up to us before turning around to be somewhere else (why wouldn't you want to be in storm on mountain?).
Compare with previous picture for weather conditions, pictures taken 45 minutes apart
At a certain point visibility was zero, we could see glimpses of the ridge we were following once every 30 seconds or so, but it really wasn't worth the risk to continue. The pictures don't really give justice to how bad it was; especially with no trees around, it was very disorienting. Looking at the GPS track on a topo map says we made it to 13k, but barometer says 12,700 - regardless, it was fun/hard. Hate to turn back before hitting the summit, but we'll be back. We met another fellow in the parking lot who had also turned around before the summit, since we were breaking trail, not sure if anyone made it up that day.
Elliot heading back down in the white-out
Luckily some fine gent packed out a full trail for us on the way down - much easier this way. Would have been life changing to have skied the glades back down with about a foot and a half of untouched powder.
Descending the path we forged. Photo: Elliot

Breaking on the way down

Definitely a good option for a winter climb, had it not been so "Siberian" up top, I have no doubt we would have made it - highly recommend to anyone.
Notice the complete disregard for any switchbacks. Direct lines look mighty fine...