5 Sep 2013

The Final Post

Today we closed on a house here in unincorporated Boulder County - 1,489 days after leaving Bothell, WA and 1,455 days of being free from home ownership

We spent 854 of these days here in Colorado - Boulder County (629 in 6 different places), Denver (114), the Breckenridge vicinity (79) and Durango (32)

The next most visited places were New Mexico (239), Washington (187), British Columbia (66), New England (53) and Montana (35)

Amongst the most memorable moments: getting back to my hometown Hamilton, getting back to New England, being in British Columbia for the 2010 Winter Olympics, being in Vancouver for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the Fourmile Fire and Burro Days

For the final post I chose a collection of photos from our travels, and it was a lot of fun looking back. Which was the point of this blog - a diary of sorts

Thanks to family and friends who stopped by - Ma & Pa, Josh, Gary, Chuck, Erik, George and so on. Thanks to my bosses Bill Hague & JR for allowing this way of working

And thanks to Maureen & Hudson for four fun years...

In the Berkshires - Monterey, MA



West Quoddy Lighthouse - Lubec, ME



Cutler, ME



Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, ME



Provincetown, MA



Niagara Falls, Ontario



Toronto, Ontario



Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, TX



Durango, CO



Hudson & friend - Durango, CO



Christmas 2009 - Durango, CO



Jackson, WY



Bozeman, MT



Esquimalt, British Columbia



Boulder, CO



Quandary Peak, Blue River, CO



Summit of Quandary Peak



Halloween 2010 in Blue River, CO



Chimayo, NM



Rio Grande Gorge Bridge - Taos, NM



Breckenridge, CO



The Leadville 100, Leadville, CO



Estes Park, CO



Rescue Run, Colorado Springs, CO



Mount Sanitas Boulder, CO



Sugarloaf, CO



Sugarloaf, CO



Boulder, CO



Llama Race 2012, Fairplay, CO



Skunked in Boulder, CO



Boulder, CO



Estes Park, CO



Indian Peaks Wilderness, CO



Longs Peak, CO



Boulder, CO



Los Alamos, NM



Galisteo, NM



Burro Days 2013, Fairplay, CO





Bear Peak, Boulder, CO



Indian Peaks Wilderness, CO



THE END

2 Sep 2013

Breckenridge Half Marathon

Sunrise at Dry Creek



Hudson with his new running buddy, Hank the Saluki



Green #16 for Hudson



I decided to skip the Breckenridge half marathon this year for a few reasons, including trying to move away from always being so competitive with myself and to simply enjoy the race - the social aspect and the seeing of new places. It's also possible that my subconscious wasn't so sure that I was in as good running shape as last year

Anyways, signed up for a local and relatively flat half marathon in Erie. It was perfect; ease the guilt of skipping my "big" race and then enjoy a party up in Jamestown later that evening

I had hoped to get a good sleep - unlike the lousy night before the Jemez - but after only 40 minutes I was awake until 2am. At 1am I had decided to skip the race and turned the alarm off - but woke up anyways at 5:30am

My plan was to run at a sustainable race pace and see how it went. For the first time this year I ran a race with my iPhone and used my GPS apps - MapMyRun will talk to you after every mile in a very robotic female voice and tell you what your pace is. Surprisingly I was running sub 7:30 miles at an easy enough effort so decided to keep it up until I hit a wall. More surprisingly I never did and ran a 1:38:31 - good for 10th place (it was a small town race). It was also a very consistent run, with all miles between 7:06 (mile 2) and 7:42 (mile 13)

On Thursday I went for a run with Leadville Chuck and Woody and we were talking about the Breck half - started feeling pangs of being a pussy. I signed up later that evening

Colts lazing about at Walden Ponds on an easy Friday run



Was tired Saturday night so headed to bed early, dreading the now ritualistic nightmare of insomnia. Sure enough, after 3 hours of nothing I grabbed a beer, a smoke and turned off the alarm. Or so I thought - I had only turned the switch from "radio alarm" to "buzzer alarm". I actually ended up getting a decent enough sleep, so off I went

My plan was once again to run at a sustainable race pace and see how it went. The obvious difference is being above 10,000' with 3,000' of gain, so some sort of strategy was needed

The first section is half a mile on the street before heading up the Burro Trail and then on Spruce Creek Road - all-in maybe 1,400' of the gain over 4.5 miles. As in prior years ran about 95% in 47 very consistent minutes. My first Breck half I had run this section in 48 minutes but faded badly in the second section, whereas last year I had run it in 51 minutes at an easy pace and did much better later

The second section is 2 brutal miles with 1,600' before topping out for a 0.7 mile stretch at 12,500'. I was running in a small group of two guys - one with a serious sounding breathing issue like he may need to be rescued - and one gal. We all ran until the very steep section. I had worked on my hiking this summer - I found out that hiking uses some different muscles than running - so the 1,000' / one mile stretch went from being completely dreaded to somewhat fine (not fun). Ended up finishing this section in 44:15 and was now 5 minutes ahead of last year's time

The final section is essentially all downhill - 3,000' down over 6.5 miles. I passed one guy right away and then only saw one other person. The first mile is a pretty rocky jeep trail but the next four miles are very nice and I was running 7:XX miles (even got a 6:XX mile in). By the final aid station my quads were hurting - and a woman passed me seemingly out of nowhere. I chased her over the final 2 miles - which is a trail system in a rich residential area (all of Breckenridge near the slopes is a rich residential area) - but no luck. Still, did this section in under 50 minutes and came in at 2:21:04 for 8th place

As I was heading out of town I saw a 60+ year old fellow obviously suffering and struggling down the street to the finish. Gave him a few honks and he gave a wave. His effort was much more awesome - good job, Norm Stein...

This is the fellow with the breathing issue - that's me in white coming up behind



Maureen liked this pic but to me smiling isn't acceptable



The best race pic of myself that I've seen was at a race in Colorado Springs with Pike's Peak perfectly framed behind. Even bought it as the money went to Search & Rescue. I wish my pic above was with no smile and this panorama



Thinking about the marathon next year - this is the view they get

18 Aug 2013

Rogers Pass

Ran the Eldorado Springs 4-miler Thursday evening for the third straight year. Fun night race with good prizes and free beer. 28:13, good for 15th place

The wife wasn't able to run this year (but did take the free beer). She was ready to take this photo of me at the finish



Sunrise driving up Flagstaff



Hudson did his 14th & 15th Green summits this weekend. He also chased a wild turkey (which is not good, but the turkey easily got away)



Went up to Rollinsville today and ran from the East Portal TH to Rogers Pass. 11.5 miles RT with 2,700' - which seems like nothing on this major race weekend in the area - the Leadville 100 (100 miles with 18,000') and the Pike's Peak Marathon (26.2 miles with 7,600')

Driving in off the Peak-to-Peak highway



The Moffat Tunnel - an interesting part of Colorado's early history. David Moffat was an industrialist and railway man. The tunnel cost $24M back in the 1920s ($318M in 2013 dollars). 28 people died building it



Rogers Pass Lake



The final push up the Pass. This last section was a half mile and hard. The grade was generally over 20% and as steep as 30%. I saw an older lady and her dog coming down...it's impossible to brag in Colorado



The Pass. The sign seems a tad battered - was hoping for something more photogenic



Views. The final pic is looking down at Winter Park









If we do close on the house, it will be the end of this blog. We started it to have a record of what was going to be a 6-month cross-country trip that has now gone on for 4 years now - although the past 2 years has been spent mostly in Colorado, New Mexico or Seattle. It was also a fun way for our parents and friends to follow along

With trail running we see some amazing places but the iPhone camera doesn't quite capture what we see. We'll probably start a photo blog when we get a better camera. Plus, without this blog we would have lost all photos from the first year since we lost both cameras in the fire. It's a nice back-up system