Sunday, August 22, 2021

Race Report: Pikes Peak Marathon

 After 8 months of training, including just over 33 miles of elevation gain, today was the day. The Pikes Peak Marathon, called by Runners' World as one of the toughest races in the world. With 7800 feet of elevation gain over 13 miles on top of a granite mountain, Runners' World might have a point.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Race Report: Barr Trail Mountain Race

Barr Trail (last week, not today)
Trail racing is not the same as road racing. Whereas I used to be able to occasionally make the podium for age group finishing in smaller races, I'm a much slower runner on the trails - as is everyone. 

Lining up this morning outside the Cog Rail station at the end of Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs, I was concerned about hitting the cutoff times, which I never give a second thought to in road races. The race goes up Barr Trail to Barr Camp and back down again, for a relatively random race total of 12.8 miles. I've been running Barr for years and know the trail well, and have been on it a couple times a week this season. The last several times up to Barr Camp I've been getting faster, but I also know it's a different trail each time, and there are no guarantees in trail running. 

Barr Trail Mountain Race is primarily a local race, although it does attract some folks from out of state, as it is the second leg of the Pikes Peak qualifier. With the small contingent of out-of-towners, I figured I wouldn't be last, but I did want to not embarrass myself.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Trail Magic

 The alarm went off at 4am. 

So many of my running stories start this way you would think I am an early morning person. I am not by nature, although life is clearly forcing me in that direction. Thank God for coffee on workdays. But I digress.

I had a long run planned for today, so I was up early to get down to Manitou. The plan was to run from bottom to top of Pikes Peak, then go back down and up 2 miles, then head over to the Crag's Trail and go down three and have Eric pick me up at the Devil's Playground. I added an extra egg to my pre-run breakfast and packed my running vest with water and food for a 20 mile excursion. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

14 Angry White Men

Juneteenth is set to become the 11th federal holiday in the US, but not for the efforts by 14 white Republican men in the US House of Representatives who voted against such a measure. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Midnight Snack

 As a human, I find sleep more or less essential. Without enough (and "enough" has a fuzzy definition over here), I do things like:

  • start the coffee pot without actually adding the coffee grounds
  • begin my day without glasses or contacts and then wonder why I can't see well
  • struggle with basic conjugations of the English language
We make concerted efforts to get to bed at reasonable hours. One of us insists he is a light sleeper, and wears earplugs to bed every night. I might argue he is not quite as "light" of a sleeper as he believes himself to be, and the addition of earplugs creates a nearly impenetrable barrier that allows him to remain cocooned in dreams, while the other of us is left to do things like "hear the Christmas tree fall over."

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Race Report: Garden of the Gods 10 Miler

 Look! A race report! The first since the New York City Marathon in 2019, because, you know, #2020. I actually participated in the Climb4Change Power Hour a couple weeks ago at the Challenge Hill in Castle Rock, but this is the first distance race I've been in since I ran the five boroughs.

I was up super early this morning, after a night of tossing around. We had some friends over for dinner the night before, and I should have probably avoided eating about half the stuff I ate, as my stomach was giving me issues. Also, our normally dry Colorado weather took a turn and the humidity present overnight felt like we had somehow been transported to the beach. Knowing the day was going to be warm, I slathered on the sunscreen and the Body Glide, filled up my water bottles, and was on the road by about 5:30. I parked at the elementary school outside the park, stretched, and gave myself a one-mile warmup, ending the near the start line. I made sure to get some extra water as it was already warm and the humidity was still pretty high - which is nearly unheard of here. I was glad I was in a tank top and light colored half-tights. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Don't Panic, or Tripping into Middle Age

 42, according to the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, is the secret of life, the universe, of everything. However, having recently slid through that particular birthday, 42 has yet to impart any secrets to me.

Middle-age has not come with its own guide to this particular galaxy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Just Checking, Are You Ok?

We had recently moved into our first apartment in Colorado. Eric was out of town for work, and I hosted friends in our one-bedroom, so I was sleeping on the floor in the kitchen area of the tiny space when early that morning, my phone began to buzz with texts.

"Tell me you didn't go see Batman last night."

"Just checking you are ok."

Sleepy, not having listened to the news, I started checking to see what was going on, to learn that a man opened fire in a theatre in Aurora, Colorado.

A couple years later, while Eric and I were checking out the Petrified Forest, similar texts came in.

"Where are you? Are you ok?"

"Is that clinic near you?"

A man had opened fire on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, which in fact, was near my primary grocery store. The police had used my bank lobby as a safe location from which to respond. 

Two weeks ago, it happened again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tips for Making Better Films

 Dear Hollywood,

May I offer you some advice? I know that you do a lot of research to make sure that your movies are as true-to-life they can be... I mean, you put nipples on the Batman suit, so clearly your commitment to accuracy of detail should not be underestimated. But I think we might need to talk about the apocalypse movies. Having lived through this anti-utopian affair known as #2020, which apparently signed on for the #2021 sequel, I have some thoughts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

One Day More

I don't write music. I do, however, plagiarize a LOT of music, change the lyrics to suit my purposes, and/or randomly belt out Broadway showtunes because they have a line that sort-of-relates-to-the-topic-but-only-kind-of. 

All. The Time.

So, it should be no surprise that this is the song running through my head, and who I think should sing the different parts. Surprisingly, I had to change very little of the lyrics (yes, "one more day with him not caring" is the original). The more you know Les Miserables, the more this makes sense. 

Sing along with me, will you?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

No-No, or How We Broke in the New Subi

Well, the holidays are over, and January is apparently #2020's ugly hangover. I was hoping for a fresh start, but yesterday the world burned down again in ways that ushered in new fresh hells, and, well, I need a bit of a distraction as I sort out my feelings while climbing the Incline over and over. 

So! Story time, boys and girls!

We have been in discussions, Eric and I, about replacing HailNo. She's been a good car, but she was tripping the light fantastic toward 200,000 miles, and with a storm season coming up to coincide with a sabbatical Eric is planning, that could have meant a continent's worth of additional miles on her this spring. So he started looking, all over the country, for what's next. The smart money means you don't buy a Subaru in Colorado, as its the state car and they go for a premium here. When we got my Forester, we bought her from a dealer in Connecticut, and could have sold her for $5000 more than we bought her for after we crossed the state line.