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Showing posts from November, 2012

Night Time at Red Rocks

I should know better then to try to lead a group ride at Red Rocks - I rarely ride there during the day and only know a few of the trails really well. So when Nick asked if I wanted chaperons (him and Cameron) for yesterday's ride, I quickly agreed. Stacy and Lonna don't usually ride there either and having the boys around would be good. They know all the trails and the easiest ways to connect between singletrack fun. With that said, it was the perfect night to ride at Red Rocks.

As we started on the first section of single track - Codell's trail, a newish trail that traces the top of one of the ridges, we were treated to the moon rise. The just past full moon gleamed pumpkin orange, ringed by low clouds. There were plenty of times I had to remind myself to keep my eyes on the trail instead of moon watching! A chilly wind cut through the air, but otherwise it was a perfect night for ride. Codell's is a fun trail and riding it at night was cool. One of the few trails in…

Camper trials

At some point in time, we'd like to be able to take the cats with us camping. I don't leaving them home alone - they always seem so depressed when we leave and so skittish when we get home. So we've been gradually getting everyone ready for a camper trip. Step 0 was really the harnesses. We got harnesses for all of the cats - blue for Sasha, red for Dum Dum and pink for George. The first few times we harnessed them up was funny. George didn't seem to mind at all, but the other two acted like they were paralyzed. So silly. But know, they all seem to be handling the harnesses well. Sasha is even back to playing with her harness on.

So onto step 1 - introducing them to the camper! Parked in the front yard, not going anywhere... We got it all nice and warm, took the litter box out and some food and water out. Then time for the cats. Loaded them up in the carriers and out we went. And the meow choir began. All three of them - whining and meowing like crazy. George was of co…

Time to run

November certainly flew by. It seems just yesterday I was talking with friends about the Rock Canyon Half Marathon and deciding to sign up. And now the race is just a week away. Wow. Am I ready to run a half marathon? I think so, actually I'm pretty sure I'm ready. I've done plenty of good workouts in the last few weeks. A few long runs and some really solid interval sessions. I've seen some good times on the Garmin on the last two workouts and know I can run a solid race. Pacing will be an issue. Because of the low running workload this year, I won't be able to get away with starting too fast and hoping to hold on. Starting smart and steadily building will be the best way to finish with a solid time. Hopefully I will be able to match last year's time.

I'm also bringing all my warm clothes again. Last year, with the shoe and wind and sub freezing temps was a bit of a challenge. It will be a little easier to plan since I am driving down race morning this yea…

Thankful

Watching all the ads on TV has gotten me thinking. We aren't allowed to celebrate holidays anymore - at least not in the traditional way. Instead it's all about the shopping and getting the best deals on junk you don't need and probably can't afford. I don't remember which store it was for,  but the ad with the turkey throwing the car keys in the middle of the dinner was disturbing to me. I mean, really? Is trying to gather friends and family together for a nice dinner that wrong? It's rare to even sit down as a family without electronic interruptions - let us have one day of silence and togetherness. The other thing I found disturbing about that commercial was the emphasis on more, more,  more. It is not enough to be happy and thankful for what we have any more. It is always out dated or just not in style Unless what you have doesn't work anymore is another of the same thing really needed? I would say no. And the disposability of today's items makes us…

St Mary's

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I know one day the snow will come. I'm actually looking forward to a few nice, snowy days and the moisture is badly needed. All the trails are loose and dry - sand surfing on the kitty litter is a needed skill. But until we get some snow, the big rides in the canyon are still on. We held off one weekend doing the planned ride up to St Mary's because of the weather and bike issues. The brain and shock on my Era needed some major work, so I was riding my HT. Not a bike Nick wanted me to take down St Mary's. So with a working suspension and nice weather forecasted, we headed up this Saturday.

As usual, the climb up Gold Camp was long. I was working hard, trying to keep up with Nick and Matt. But the sluggishness and gunk in my legs from the cold were gone, so I was able to settle into a solid tempo. The boys still pulled away as we climbed, but I wasn't getting completely dropped. It was chilly in the shade, with all the streams frozen over and patches of snow. But in the…

Time for a Change

After two years sporting the red and white of Ascent Cycling, Nick and I have decided it's time for a change. We parted ways with Ascent in early October. It's been a good two years, but it was time to move on. I'm happy we had the opportunity to meet and race with the Ascent gang. It's a good group of guys and gals who like to ride their bikes almost as much as they like talking about riding. I'm also happy we parted ways on such good terms and with the high of our second place at the 24 Hour Mountain Bike National Championships in our back yard.

Obviously, a change like this required a lot of thought. Nick and I spent many hours discussing our options and where we wanted to go - both team wise and for our riding and racing. In the end, there were a number of things that factored into our decision to leave Ascent, including the possibility of Nick working for another shop in town. I don't feel it is needed to go into details, but we happy with our choice and l…

Ginger Glazed Cranberry Scones

Cranberries are one of the joys of the fall season. There's nothing like the sweet tartness of homemade cranberry sauce to recall holidays and gatherings past. Since I don't have a huge family and the holidays weren't a big affair, I make just make cranberry sauce from the time the berries appear in the store to when they vanish come January. But I limited my cranberry adventures to just sauce - sometimes with a little orange or a touch of ginger. I'd never tried baking with cranberries before. So these scones were a pleasant surprise - combining all the things I love about cranberries in a light and yummy scone. Add in the ginger orange glaze and they are perfect for a holiday brunch or a not so sweet dessert.

Pre heat oven to 375 and grease a large baking sheet

In small bowl, combine and let sit:
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

In a separate bowl, mix:
2 cups flour (combining types is okay)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if making gluten…

the absence of disease

A long time ago - either while in undergrad or PT school, I read an interesting definition of health and being healthy. Since I spent last week fighting off an early seasons cold, it seemed very applicable. I don't remember the source or context, but it still rings true.

Health is the absence of disease or a condition when there is nothing wrong or unusual happening in the body.

Think about it - do you notice when you are healthy? waking up saying "Man, I feel healthy today." Not usually - but you definitely notice when you are not healthy. You don't feel awesome working out when things are going good and don't pay attention to little signs. But when an injury has laid you low, things aren't "right." So its a perfect definition - the absence of disease.

Working in health care makes me appreciate my own absence of disease. I see a whole rang of people -from those who know they are sick and want to get better to those who have no clue. There are pati…

A great day for trespassing

Winter time for Nick and I means its time to think about Colorado's favorite illegal trail. The Manitou Incline. As a native, I actually remember there being a train running up those ties. And I even had the opputuniety to ride the Incline a few times. Mostly when I was training for the Pikes Peak Ascent and didn't feel like running down Mount Manitou. But now, its a series of brutal steps up to the top of Mount Manitou. Still technically Illegal and trespassing but a really good workout and lots of "fun." I've only done it a few times and usually when the snow is flying and the temperatures below freezing.

So with a chilly sun and neither one of use feeling ready to bundle up and ride in the cold, we headed to Manitou. There were already plenty of people out hiking but less then on normal fall days. I was still feeling a little under the weather from my cold so just hikes. Even just hiking was hard. Those steps aren't designed for short legs. I remembered r…

Wait five minutes....

When I was growing up, the favorite saying was "wait five minutes and the weather will change." It was a reference to how hard forecasting the weather in Colorado Springs can be and how volatile the weather is. Well, today was definitely a "wait five minutes" kinda ride. We went to bed with the idea to go big and get another solid day in on (for me) some new, fun trails. Woke up to grey, overcast and a smattering of rain and those plans changes. We opted to still have a big day up in the mountains, but to not stray quite so far a Field. With the clouds and the off and on rain, getting miles from Gold Camp and a quick bail to home didn't seem all that smart. Meeting up with Cam in the Stratton parking lot and we all decided on the back-up plan. Still fun, but not as big a day.
Then came the weather changes. When we pedaled up the Chutes, it was grey, cool and windy. But at the top of the Chutes, the sun had chased the clouds away, revealing crisp blue skies. It…

Off the Wall

For the last two winters, our method of cross training has been bouldering. We go to the climbing gym - not to climb up, but across the walls. Its loads of fun, great strengthening and an awesome dynamic activity. Propreoception, motor planning and balance are all challenged while hanging on the wall. Or more accurately, trying not to fall off the wall! Skinny armed cyclists with muscles legs tend to stand out just a little among the shiftless convention of the other boulderers. We are rather bottom heavy, which does not make for great climbing. But fun is the point and so is getting out of the house during the winter months.

Bouldering uses a 0-10 scale for rating how difficult the problems are. The smaller the numbers, the easier the problem. So a v0 is like a ladder on the wall and a v10 is like.... well I've never climbed a v10 so I don't know! Harder then most people can do. Us poor cyclists must give the real climbers something to laugh about as we flail about on the v1 …

End of Daylight Savings or the return of the sunrise

It's always funny - the first days after the fall back. Sunday morning, everyone is so excited about the extra hour of sleep and the light in the mornings. But as the darkness creeps across the land earlier then expected, those same people start complaining loudly about the loss of light. Maybe I just noticed it more this year on Twitter and such. I know people complain every year about falling back and the early sunset, but I was also seeing the "real time" exultation's about the sunrise in the morning.

I'm a morning person - I like getting up, getting things done early. Over the last few weeks, with the sunrise approaching 7:30, it's been hard to get motivated and get up. Darkness does that to you! It just feels really early since the sun isn't peaking above the horizon yet. Running before work has been fun, getting home before the sun even rises. I love the peace and quiet of early morning runs, but the the animals still out and about, it's a littl…

Getting Dirty at the Du - Cafe Velo Dirty Du

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Sometimes deciding to do a local race at the last minute is the best decision. I had been on the fence about doing the CES Cafe Velo Dirty Duathlon for several weeks - one day I'd been feeling spunky, so I was all gungho, the next day dragging and not wanted to race at all. Just starting to get my running back was another concern keeping me from signing up. But after two solid runs this week and a really fun TallBoy ride on Friday, I was all in. And it turned out to be a great day for a race. It was fun to see so many members of the local MTB crowd stepping outside the box and giving multisport a try. With an "about" three mile run, nine mile bike and another "about" three mile run, it was a short and sweet event. I pushed the pace a little to take the lead in the women's race on the first run and was able to hold on until the finish line in 1:21:57. Jayson and Colorado Endurance Sports did (as usual) a fantastic job with race and the post race party at Caf…

Trick or Treat

A planned girls night ride and party for Halloween turned into a solo adventure for me, myself and I. It was too nice a night to sit around and hand out candy. All dressed up and ready to go, with my lights charged and mounted - so off I went, with my phone close at hand and my pepper spray in a jersey pocket. (I'm not supposed to night ride alone - just not smartest thing) I bolted past the herds of kids out searching for sugar, seeking the solitude of Stratton. And in the darkness broken only by my lights, I found a new awareness - the stillness of peace. There is no silence in Stratton - but the utter aloneness with my thoughts, my tires crackling on the gravel and the rasp of my breathing and pounding of my heart.

Stillness - at night, all alone, the air is still in the trees of Stratton. There is no wind and although the city is sprawled out below, a sense of isolation.Clouds obscured the rising moon, lending an even heavier air to the feeling of aloneness.  Except not truly …