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Being a Boulder Dad + Run Blog Catch-up

May 6, 2013

Yesterday I did something I’ve been looking forward to for, well, kind of forever.  I hiked with my kid to the top of a legit mountain.  To be fair, we drove halfway up but it was still a HUGE effort for 6-year-old legs.  The route to the summit of Green Mountain, overlooking the Boulder valley to the east and dozens of snow-capped peaks to the west, was only 1.64 miles but it is almost entirely up hill.

A rare, unprompted hug just because:

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“Up hill” is hard to put in perspective for those who don’t live in the mountains.  Over that relatively short stretch, we climbed roughly 1500′, all on trail, most of it technical (rocky, rooty, angled) and almost all covered with a combination of ice, snow, slush, and/or mud. Even for adults, even in dry weather, the climb is a tough one.  There are parts where it is steep enough to grab onto trees or rocks to scramble upwards.  And he did it!  I surprised Sagan with some cake at the top, where he repeatedly made the final Big Rock climb to the summit marker.

Cake eater:

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“Big Rock” (probably has a real, more stately name but I don’t know it) at the Green Mt. summit:

Big Rock

Once we summited, of course we had to make our way back down.  The return, in dry conditions, has tricky sections but is fairly quick to navigate.  With the conditions and lack of any solid footing (I made the mistake of going sans “traction” – the metal mini-crampon stuff that make ice/snow a little less slippery), we had to battle our way back down.  In spots, I had to swing Sagan over ice-covered rocks; most of the way down we held hands.  We figured out an effective method whereby I’d cross my hands behind my back and he’d hold both hands, using my body for balance and leverage.  It was kind of awesome.

With light-up kid shoes with kid-worn soles, it was a sometimes frustrating and entirely exhausting effort for Sagan but he had a good attitude.  He even ran some short dry sections in both directions.  By the end, after 2 hours and 32 minutes moving time, a 3.3 miles round-trip with over 3000′ of elevation change, he was a zombie.  But, no tears, almost no complaining, and mega, well-earned pride, enhanced by the many sincere compliments he received from other hikers (all adults, we saw no other kids of any age the entire trip).  He is a bad-ass kid and I couldn’t love him more.

I have another kid I’m quite fond of but she’s usually doing this:

Story

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I’ve also been running.  Not much inspiration but I’m starting to get my head and heart into ultra mode again.  My previous blog post was right before heading out for the High Line Canal FatAss run.  I made it through reasonably well, covering about 59 miles in just over 13 hours.  It was flat and felt like it lasted 3 days.  Much of it I ran solo – the event had quite a few runners but each had their own goals and many we either running shorter portions much more quickly or doing out-and-backs from places along the route.  “Sherpa” John LaCroix, the organizer and only person to cover the entire 64ish miles of the run, amazed me with his determination and good will.

The High Line Canal run was my 4th event in John’s 2013 Winter Expeditions FatAss Runs.  I was surprised that, with the exception of John, I covered more total miles over the series than any of the 52 participants (full series results).  None of these were races – for time or distance, but it was nice to be recognized by John, who emailed:

Congrats to Mike Randall!
Mike ran the most HP Miles this winter with 147. He wins this winters Human Potential Prize pack which includes some PowerBar Product, a Human Potential Hat or Visor, and some other nifty things I’ll dig up in my garage.

For full disclosure, this DOES NOT MEAN I’m the top runner in the group – many of the men and women are top notch ultrarunners who ran only an event or two – but I did run the most within the scheduled series, which I still think is pretty cool.

I’ve had a few other big days out recently, including my first race of 2013 this past Saturday.  Out at the Greenland 50k I ran ok, finishing the four loops of smooth, flat (for CO), wide open trails in a respectable 5:07.  I think I took it too easy for the first 20 miles, not wanting to push at all in what was supposed to be an “easy” long run.  I now wonder how much faster I could have gone, given ideal weather and friendly course, but I’m kind of proud that I held back as planned and now, two days later with yesterday’s hearty hike in between, I feel physically and mentally ready to get back at it.  But, with the QuadRock 50-miler (11k’ climbing!) just 5 days away, I’ll be taking it easy all week so I’m somewhat fresh for that big ol’ challenge.

At Greenland 50k, almost naked…

Big spring and summer ahead, with 5 more ultras already scheduled, culminating in the Leadville 100.  I’m planning on running long quite a bit, resting a bit more in between, focusing more on ascent than mileage, and generally enjoying the mountains without putting much stress on myself.  I’d love to break 25 hours at Leadville (fewer than 10% of those who start the race do so) but I’m realizing that any finish there is and should remain my primary – and secondary – goal.  To that end, I need to be sure my body and mind are ready to just keep going and I’ll train accordingly.

I’m not sure how much run blogging I’ll be doing in the next few months.  Could have stretches where I pop on here daily, or maybe I’ll next update in late August.  Life is busy and good, with the move nearly finalized, many great, supportive friends, and some interesting summer to-dos with the family.  I think I’ll drink more beer, too.

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3 Comments
  1. olgav100 permalink

    Great to hear from you, however rare. Sagan did an awesome job, high five him for me! Great views too, I am so jealous. Goota tackle that Green from your house when visit in August – leave written directions, please:) Nice job on Sherpa’s FA’s and on Quadrock too. Stay focused, stay smart, enjoy your life.

    • Olga, thanks for keeping up with my blog. There are tons of routes from our place, if you are looking to do some peaks the “Boulder Skyline” run is just for you. I’ll try to get some details for you before your visit. 🙂

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