Tabeguache Trail FKT Attempt

 As I’ve hinted before, I’ve had a big project in the works for the last two years - since I moved to Grand Junction actually. There are two long trails leading out of GJ - the well known and well traveled Kokopelli Trail and the far lesser known and rarely traveled Tabeguache Trail. While I originally had my eyes on the Kokopelli Trail, I found myself getting drawn to the Uncompaghre Plateau and the mystery of the Tabeguache Trail. Digging in a little more, I discovered that there was not FKT established for Tabeguache. There wasn’t even a route on the FKT website! As the third leg of the Grand Loop, it was surprising that there wasn’t a route established. There was a route for Kokopelli leading from Fruita to Moab, the Paradox Trail from Moab to Montrose, yet nothing for Tabeguache. Between my attraction to the trail and the terrain it traverses and the potential to be the first person to attempt a thru-run of the Tabeguache, that became my focus. Build out my map and refine the GPX

The fallacy of More

 It’s so easy to believe and we frequently get trapped by this - the fallacy of more. If X worked well, then Y must work better. Usually Y means more - more miles, more long runs, more long races, more MORE. After all, X left you fitter and faster so Y will only build on the successes. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. I’ll be honest - I’ve fallen into that trap a few times over the years. It usually happens when I’ve been close to a desired time in a race or had a good but not satisfying event. I look back at my training and identify areas that I thought limited me - lack of speed workouts, not enough to goal volume, lack of long runs. Then instead of modifying to address the weakness, I try to cram more of everything into the schedule.  And it always, without fail comes back and bites me. I either get injured or I am too exhausted from the training that the taper doesn’t touch it. Before the Austin Marathon in 2004 when I was seconds away from an OTQ time, I tried pushing into

You tried so hard

 And got so far… But it wasn’t far enough. It seems like when I have a big dream, it always takes two tries to get it right. My FKT attempt to be the first person to thru-run the entire Tabeguache trail looks to be on the same trajectory. I had high hopes when I started my watch Thursday at 0400 that we would be able to work with the narrow weather window and reach the Lunch Loop trail head some time on Friday. Was I concerned about how fatigued I had been for the two weeks after the Grand Mesa 50? Absolutely. That race had taken a lot more out of me then I’d anticipated. I was hopeful that the recovery from after the race had pulled me back from the brink a little, but… There were signs that it hadn’t. Regardless, I was committed and felt that I was ready. There was only one way to find out and that was to start.  Heading to Montrose on Wednesday was a quick shift in plans. Originally, Nick and I had every set up for Friday so that I would have a day to finish last minute packing and

That. Was. Brutal…. Grand Mesa Ultras 50 Mile

 Grand Mesa Ultras. Last year I jumped into the 30k for fun a few weeks after Silverheels and had a great time. This year, I decided to bump up in distance to the 50 miler and use the race as my final long effort before the Tabeguache. That was the plan anyway. But how frequently do things really go to plan? Not this time! Watching the weather the week of the race was nerve wracking to say the least. July had been a very active monsoon month, with drench downpours and flash floods. Race kept flipping between nice and more of the same. With fingers crossed for nice, I packed (or so I thought) for more of the same. Besides, the race was at over 10,000’ - even with nice weather, it could be cold up there. Turns out my packing was a little scattered and there were plenty of things that I forgot to bring that could have been useful. We took the scenic route up - Land’s End Road to the edge of the mesa. And then we meandered around the mess for a bit, exploring. Might as well! The sun was ou

The Corner Piece

With every big adventure, there is the capstone -  the corner piece that provides the biggest challenge. For Tabeguache, that piece is the Roubideau section. It’s early on in the trail - starting about mile 32. On the map, it looks fairly flat, but I know that’s not the case based on my research. The route finding is rumored to be challenging as well for the entire segment. But what makes this the hardest segment is the last 7 miles. There’s the descent into and climb out Potter Canyon. And finally, the last five miles of none motorized trail. We’ve ridden it once on our bikes, so I know what I’ll be getting into. It’s not a very well used chunk of trail, with the cow paths sometimes more noticeable then the real trail! I have to hit that section in the light, other wise it’s going to be much to hard to find the trail. And because it’s non-moto, there won’t be much support available.  So mid June came the last scouting for me. One more big day on the trail before the summer races. My g

A changing view

 I know people wear contacts all the time for all kinds of sports. It should be an easy adjustment to get back on the bike with the contact. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been struggling with comfort on the bike since the trails dried out. Running has been fine for the most part, but the cycling is still a work in progress. One day I’m great, the next nothing is clicking. I’m not processing the information as quickly - which doesn’t make sense to me. My vision is good with the contact - near 20/20. I think it’s the shifting positions when I blink. The contact grabs and catches a little, then my entire brain has to reset. And when it’s super dry or hot out, it catches even more frequently. Add in speed from descending and the whole thing isn’t comfortable. Then I start losing confidence in what I’m doing because I’m not willing to push the effort at all so I can see easily. It’s a spiral of slowing down.  Nick has told me on multiple times not worry about it. If I’m not

An Unexpected Goodbye

 We have been living with the threat of saying goodbye to one of the monsters for a while now. After all, DumDum is almost twenty, probables has some health issues and is definitely a cranky old man of a cat. Having something happen to him is almost expected. However, the girls George and Sasha are only 10.5 years old, hardly senior cats in our minds - and quite healthy. Or so we though. Sometimes health issues are hidden until it is truly too late and there’s nothing to do but say goodbye.  At the end of March, I was feeding them their little wet food snack. And I noticed my chunky girl Sasha was just picking at her food. She’s usually quite quick eating so that was a surprise. We watched her over the weekend and realized that she wasn’t really eating much at all. Nothing like normal, just a nibble of dry food here and there. I did the fully non-scientific method of weighing here - held her and stood on the scale, then weighed just me. And she was down a pound or so from the last I’d