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It all changes in the blink of an eye

 Imagine if you will - getting on your trainer, spin bike, treadmill or other piece of workout equipment. You've been having weird issues with your eye - including a strange glare on lights, intermittent double vision when you bend over and generally just sensing that something is off. You've been dealing with it for about four weeks now, but it's not getting any better. The appointment with the eye doctor is made for the next day- but no one seems to think it's serious. After all, there's no new floaters, no flashing lights in your eye and no spots where the vision is gone. You can see just fine - when you aren't having the double vision - it's just that something is off but you don't know what. But it's time for a workout - time to put all the wonky vision issues behind you and just focus on the movement and activity. And then... Workout done, you bend over to take off your shoes. That double vision, unfocused vision comes back, like a door falling

Hanging Flume

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I’ll admit - I had never heard of the Hanging Flume prior to seeing the Facebook ads for the race. Intrigued, I googled everything - the Hanging Flume, the Unaweep-Tabeguache scenic byway and of course the race! It was supposed to be in March and I was all set to do it as a last long run for Behind the Rocks. Then the date changed to first November and finally October. With the October date, I pushed it to the back burner. After all, I was planning on the Crested Butte 105k three weeks earlier. Not smart to add another race no matter how interesting it sounds. And then my retina detachment. Well, I wasn’t racing the 105k so…. Time to reassess and maybe do a new race! I waited to sign up until I had gotten some decent long runs to see how I felt. After all, racing a 50k after about two weeks on the couch wasn't the smartest thing to do. Those long runs went well and I was moving much better then I anticipated after the eye surgery. It's always a crap shoot after something like t

Going Slowly

 Being released from the couch was the best feeling ever. Finally! I was able to get up and move and start doing things again. With the instructions to ease back into normal activity - emphasis on the ease in part! I was allowed to actually get up and go for a decent length walk. I could start riding the trainer again. I could even start cooking! I still had the small gas bubble in my eye, but that was fading rapidly. That was the biggest issue with starting to run - that little gas bubble dancing around. And after a week on the couch, the last thing I wanted to do was plunge right back into some high intensity and duration running. A great way to get injured for sure.  The first week after getting off the couch was just some longer walks and easy runs. Short runs, with permission to stop and walk when things felt tired. I was honestly pretty frustrated with how tired my legs were for having that week of nothing but "recovery." I was stiff, tired and my knees were still achin

The Absence of Movement

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 I know more then a few people who think absolutely nothing about sitting around all day, not doing much of anything. I've never been one of them. I have to move - I feel better when I've done something during the day (outside the planned and sometimes needed rest days!) There's been a few times in my life where I haven't been able to do much due to health issues and I was hoping to avoid a repeat for as long as possible. The first was after the retinal detachment in my left eye back in 2011 and the second was following my mountain bike crash in 2019 where I ended up with the severe hemothorax. The first was a week of doing nothing, followed by a  few weeks of easing back into activity. I probably pushed it a little by racing the Xterra West Championships in Las Vegas a month after that surgery. The second was only limited in activity due to the hospitalization and need for portable suction on the chest tube! I would have been up moving quite a bit sooner had it not bee

A Death March of My Own Making

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 I know how to read a map. I’m actually pretty good at reading maps. So how I got us on this never ending trail and seriously underestimated the total miles, I haven’t a clue. The ride started out good - I was a little tired from my run in the morning, checking out a new section of trail. It hadn’t been the longest of runs, but enough. We’d only planned on an easy out and back ride, hopefully reaching where we had turned around last year. It started out nice and mellow - the anticipated plunge down into Cushman Creek and climb back up, then coasting downhill. Every single ride on the plateau seems to start downhill and then we have to climb back up! We soft pedaled down the Cushman road, stopping for one gate until the signs took a detour. That was strange - according to the map, the route stayed on the Cushman road, not diverting off. But the signs quite plainly took the seemingly underused double track. Oh well. That’s the point of scouting, right? Learning the terrain on the ground,

One Small Step

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 With one step off the road, it was further then I had made it last year. That one step, onto the Gold Dust Trail to start the trek back to Poor Man's Gulch was the culmination of a year's worth of training, preparation and drive for redemption. That one step - that much closer to the finish line that had eluded me last year. I made that step to cheers from the volunteers and it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Last year, I never made that step off the road on to the Gold Dust Trail. I dropped at Tarryall III, not willing to take the chance of the long journey to Poor Man's when I wasn't even sure I would make it to Trout Creek. I've second guessed that decision a few times, but never regretted it. There is a difference between the two. I've spent last year knowing that I made the right choice, but still wondering deep down if I could have finished. I had 19 hours for 40 miles... I could (maybe...) have struggled to the finish line. I would

Crag Crest!

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 Okay - running a technical 10 mile trail the weekend after a 100 mile race isn’t the smartest idea. But when the running club is having another low key race on some trails you haven’t seen before, it starts to sound like a decent idea. Add in the chance to mountain bike another new to me trail and it’s an even better idea. After all, no one said that I had to run fast. The mountain biking wasn’t the first idea - Nick and I were gonna ride easy at Lunch Loops before heading up to the Mesa. But when we got up Saturday morning, it was hot and sticky and neither of us felt like dealing with the heat. So we loaded up some extra food, cycling clothes and the bikes then headed up the hill. We figured that Mesa Top trail would be easy enough for me to ride given how tired my legs were and it would be a chill out and back. We’d tried riding up there back in 2019, but the bugs were crazy. I was worried about that again, but hey - bug repellent works well and everyone had assured us they weren’t