Sunday, August 30, 2009

Talk talk talk

So Heather and I are seriously talking about moving back to St. Louis. For some, this isn't a surprise and for those that I haven't talked to in a while, it may be. Strangely, for the first time, I actually discussed it and do not feel bummed about it in the least. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE Colorado and the things I can do here in my free time. I'm supposed to race in Moab in 2 weeks. I'm backpacking/fly fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park for 4 days in about 4 weeks. I'm going backpacking/fly fishing in remote places for 2 long weekends in October. I always have been and always will be fascinated by the mountains and all of their history. However, I really want to see my wife be able to pursue more of her career goals and it's just difficult to see that happening here in Colorado as the mental health profession is not high on the list here unless you wanna work in a prison. The other thing that's been eating me lately is that I'm tired of us not making any money. I have some fantastic connections back home and know I wouldn't have any trouble getting into a good school. I could also make about 10 grand more back home and that's decent cash when the cost of living is lower to boot. Right now we're thinking about St. Charles so we can live close to our friends Adam, Mary and their 2 girls. It feels good to be looking at it in a different way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whole Enchilada

There's a ride in Moab each year called the Whole Enchilada. From what I can gather it uses a portion of a popular shuttle ride there that has a REALLY LONG downhill. Don't quote me but I wanna say it's like 15 miles. Anyway people get shuttled to the top and then ride the trail down. Now some endurance guy or guys got the idea to make a nasty loop that includes this downhill portion. So every year a bunch of people get together and do a spirited ride on this loop. This year I'll be going thanks to an invite I got the other day from Marshal Bird. I think the loop is just under 70 miles long and right at 15,000' of gain. It's really important for me to get my nutrition more dialed in for this so I can enjoy it and set some thing straight in my head.
I did ride last night but today I did a longer ride. I'm going to keep some data on my rides for maybe a month and then see what it looks like. The stats from today are:
Distance: 30.7
Time: 2:49
Avg. HR: 158 bpm
Calories burned: 2262
Weight pre-ride: 163.4
Weight post-ride: 159.8 (I lost 3.6lbs.)

Now I guess I'm primarily interested in the caloric information and the weight loss which should be mostly from water loss due to sweat. According to this info I burned about 750 calories each hour and I lost an average of 1.2lbs. of water weight each hour. A small bottle of water weighs right at 1.3lbs. I only drank a bit over 2 bottles today (I never drink enough water). Today I ate 1100 calories for breakfast. I did not eat the first hour on the bike. The second hour I ate 350 calories. The last 49 minutes I ate 160 calories. Now I don't know anything about nutrition but I'm wanting to see if there's anything to be gained from all this or am I wasting time here? I guess in the last week or so I've come to wonder about the fact that I'm NOT cut out for longer endurance stuff. I've spoken to some guys who are darn near as scrawny as me and they make it work. The only difference I can conclude after talking to them is with their intake of food and water.

Here's some pics from the ride today:

Pics from Cheesman Reservoir the other day. Went up there to fish for smallies but got NO LOVE. Water levels were really down.

Last time I fished here the water was almost halfway up this boulder.

Look how big he is.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How 'bout these???????

Yesterday Heather and I went back to school shopping. We both needed to get some new clothes and we both wanted to get new eyeglasses. Shopping for frames with Heather is a lot like shopping for house paint with Heather. She has trouble making a decision. I nail something down within the hour. I lost count of how many different eyeglass places we went into. The number of frames that she tried on is easily in the hundreds and they all look pretty damn similar to me. So for hours, the only question I was asked was, "How about these?" This question isn't as bad as, "Do these make my butt look big?" But it is close. I can't tell the difference between the 10th frame and the 297th one. After an 8 hour shopping marathon, we headed home. With no eyeglasses for Heather. I decided to not get any myself but only because I'm a cheap bastard unless it's cool gear.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to take her to 8 hours worth of bike shops to help me pick out a set of black grips. How about these? How about these? Are these too thick? Do you like these better than the ones we saw at the other shop? How about these?

I love my wife to death but she is blind as a bat without her glasses. I will say that I was afforded a bit of humor when I began thinking about what? Seinfeld of course. The episode where George lost his glasses at the gym came to mind. Heather has trouble trying on new frames (without her contacts) b/c she can't see herself in the mirror. At one point I began to giggle when I thought about George picking out ladies glasses from the Gloria Vanderbilt collection. While eating pretzels in Jerry's apartment, Kramer said, "May I have some of those pretzels madam?" I was in tears as I saw her squinting in the mirror. At one point, Jerry even said, "George can squint his way down to like 20/30 version.
I rode my bike for the first time tonight since getting back home. It wasn't anything crazy. I went up and did 10 miles on Lovell Gulch but man was it fun. I haven't even cleaned my bike up from the CTR and I don't even care.

This is a picture I snapped on day one of the race as I headed up Georgia Pass in the evening. It was a beautiful evening. I stopped on top to eat a bit and then put on the warm clothes for the cold descent down to Swan River.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Takin' a break

I was considering doing the Crested Butte 100 on September 26th but my good buddy Scott recently informed that he has pulled a backcountry permit for Rocky Mountain National Park. There's room for me and I haven't been backpacking in the high country in too long so I'm going. Looks like most of the boys will head in on Thursday morning and I'll cruise up after work and hike in as far as I can by headlamp and then either meet them late or meet up the next morning. We're going to be hammering any one of 4 alpine lakes that are crammed full of Greenback Cutts. Did I mention that the elk will be in full rut during that time. They'll be bugling ALL NIGHT LONG. I'm giddy as a school girl.
I've been getting quite the education today on nutrition. I don't know squat about what to eat on the bike. As a cross country racer I ate whatever I wanted and never worried about it. I'm sure I could have been a more successful racer if I had paid more attention to it. I know I can finish something like the CTR but I can't do it on my current diet AND have fun doing it. Seasoned racers like Dave Harris, Chris Plesko, and Marshal Bird are very particular and specific about what they eat. I could pick out stuff blindfolded. These guys all do quite a bit of calculations while they're strolling through the gas stations, grocery stores or just sitting in a restaurant. Not me. When I start riding again in a few weeks I'm going to start paying very close attention to (and documenting) things like water loss through sweat, calories burned per hour based on terrain and speed and then start looking at what's going in my body. I now have some preliminary numbers of what should be going in my body for breakfast each morning during something like the CTR and what should be going in each hour and I'm stunned. It's no wonder I hit the wall and hallucinated on Sargents Mesa. I have spent the last 2 years working to improve my cycling fitness and my ability to ride long hours but that's not the problem. I'm on the right track with what I should be eating but I'm not even in the ballpark with how much. I'm not sure I'll line up for the CTR again just yet. There's something else I'd like to try this year but making it happen might be an issue.

Thanks so much for the kind words everyone. It's really nice to hear from some of the players about how difficult this race truly is even for them and it makes me feel better. Maybe now I'll get around to writing up something to go with all this years pictures.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Behold...the engineering feat that is a Swiss Cake Roll! How do they do it?

Wait a second.......the resemblance is uncanny. That must be why, despite all of his shenanigans, I just couldn't go on without the big guy. He is the canine equivalent to a favorite snacky cake of mine.

Safeway was running a sale on Swiss Cake Rolls the other day. 4 boxes of them for $5. If eating them all day long is wrong then I don't wanna be right.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I'm sitting next to the screen door talking on the phone with my buddy Leo tonight. The Jeep and the van are right below the deck. I hear some racket and ask Heather what the noise was. She says it was me and I give her the stink eye. Then I hear it again and tell her to mute the tv. Then I hear it again. I tell Leo I'll call him back and grab my bike light and pop out the front door to find a small bear trying to get in the sliding window of my damn van. So I scan the yard looking for mom and finally see her behind the van but then see another cub in front of the van. I grab the snow shovel from the front porch and start banging it on the deck. Mom moves to the end of the driveway but the cubs have NO FEAR. Not good. I wanna scare the piss out of the cubs. I start yelling. Nothing. I can't see mom and that is nerve wracking. Heather's yelling at me but I can't let these cubs do this or they'll get into real trouble in town. I finally spot where mom is and feel comfortable enough to get in the driveway and grab the garden hose. I let em have it and they make for the tree in the side yard but mom didn't dig that. I got one 45lb pitbull on the deck going ape crazy to get at whatever is in the driveway and another 70+ one trying his damndest to get under the bed. Needless to say I know who's getting an extra milk bone tonight. I finally got them to move along but they just strolled real easily across the street and through the creek.
All you can see if eyes here.

All this after last night when I let Dharma out to go poddy and spotted some eyes looking at me from across the street. We have a lot of animals up here but the eyes were really far apart so I knew it was something big. I grabbed my light to get a better look. I actually thought it was a mountain lion. It turned out to be a lone deer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This is some weather that I ran into while coming down from Kenosha Pass during the race. You are looking in to the valley that contains South Park. By the time I started making my way up Georgia Pass this was pretty much gone and the chilly evening was setting in.

Heather and I continued to move my crap from the middle school to the high school today. I just have to get my couch and then sort through everything. You can fit a lot of stuff in the van.

My wrist is still pretty sore today. I'd really like to go for a mountain bike ride but I have no interest in touching that road bike. Gonna continue to let it rest for another week or so before I do anything.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back home

6 days of LONG rides. 350ish miles of mostly singletrack. 0 flats or mechanicals of any kind. 1 minor crash. 1 nightmare where I awoke in tears. 43,000' of gain. 1 ballzy little ferret and a very sore and swollen wrist area (I'm supposed to go fishing with my buddy Scott this week but I can't throw a fly rod so we're gonna fish with bobbers and drink beer).

I've been back home for a few days now and doing nothing but sleeping and eating. Right now I don't know that I'll try that trail again. Right now I don't know that I'm cut out to do super long endurance stuff like that. I just can not bring in enough calories to maintain the engine. I cant believe how much food I had when I rolled out of BV. I didn't eat hardly any of it to get to the Hot Springs. I pigged out there but still managed to eat through almost all my food in the next 2 days.

I've started writing up a race report 3 times now and deleted them all. I'm completely fine with the fact that I pulled the plug this year. I just had so many thoughts racing through my head that last day that I'm not sure what to say about the race. I do believe it's out of my system though but we'll see what happens over the next few months. I have tons of pics.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just got back from a little ride around town with that Marshal Bird character. Tell ya what...I learned so much from my mistakes last year. But I think I just learned as much additional information while tooling around with him. I'm going to need to think about some last minute nutritional things (I'm not real educated on that kind of stuff) that he talked about/suggested. I also have a real good visual on some of the segments that I have not seen before. Marshal's been doing this kind of stuff for a while now and he knows a thing or two. I really wasn't nervous but after reviewing some of the names on the start list and hearing about them...I am now. Keep your eyes on Jefe Branham, Stefan Griebel, Dave Harris, Owen Murphy, Scott Morris, Ethan Passant, Jason Shellman.....oh boy.

Thanks for the advice Marshal.

Heading to Denver soon.