Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last week

 I took the weekend (and Monday) off as we went camping in Winter Park. I hung with my wife and boys and relaxed. With two days off I still ended last week with 12:45 total time and 23620 total feet of climbing. The knee seems to be getting better and better as it gains strength (duh) and hasn't even twinged in a couple weeks now. I'll continue to focus more on the bike and limit my running to every other day at most just to be safe. If my brain stays on track then hopefully by ~September or so I can be back up to speed and go full bore.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Walker again + pics.

GZ came up this morning and we ran Walker Ranch. Of course, typical G, I'm driving to the parking lot early (5:50am) and I see him running up the road already at it. Absolutely perfect morning. Thankfully George is beat up as he nears the end of his last big week before taking on the Pikes Peak Marathon/ Leadville 100 double. He still jogged fast enough that I ran the loop 6:00 faster than I did 2 days ago. It felt easier too and I was able to actually talk a little bit in between gasps.

A few pics courtesy of GZ.
I live near the top of those hills on the right.

The stairs. 


Looking West over Denver.

That's a bathroom at the trail head. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Walker Ranch

My legs and lungs are coming back quickly and my head remains stable in it's motivation. I decided to run Walker Ranch this morning after more than 2 years away. Kind of lame because it's very close to home and one of my favorite runs. Just 7.4 miles with ~1700ft of gain but it's deceptive. I've heard it described as Escher-esque as it seems you're always climbing. Beautiful trail loop that butts up to the back side of the Flatirons in Boulder. I timed it at 1:24 today which isn't stellar. I've run it in 53:xx clock-wise and averaged 1:09 for 5 laps back in 2012. It's motivating to consider working back to that fitness.
 The best part though was that my knee felt 100%.
 The week so far. 12400 ft of climbing on the bike between Monday and Tuesday and 1677ft on Walker today.
Strava proof.

Friday, July 24, 2015

MAF Test

Here are the results of my MAF test. 2200 feet altitude. ~80 degrees.

A few disjointed thoughts. I started using the Maffetone method in 1996 so it's been 19 years. I've run hundreds of tests on top of coaching ~600 athletes over the past 15 years using some form or level of Maffetone training principles and seeing/ analyzing those results. So when I do a MAF test on the run (or bike) I pretty much know what the result will be, to a point, during the warm-up. That explains why this test was so brief. Just 2 miles. I ran 1 mile super easy (HR below 130) and then ran another mile again below 130 (the first mile on the screen shot) and then 2 miles at HR 140-150. I use 140-150 as my MAF range which is also synonymous with Zone 2 for me. I draw from several different methods, and heavily from experience, anytime I plan my own training and for my athletes as one size never fits all. Strict MAF using the formula would put me at 127-137. Part of my thinking with that is if I were to get a metabolic economy test I'm pretty certain it would show that my tipping point is over 160 HR. So when I'm training and using HR 140-150 I'm certain that I'm at an effort level that meets the needs of the training goal. Another purpose of MAF is to keep the effort healthful and moderate enough that I don't break down or risk injury. And that's another reason that I choose the higher range is that I'm durable. Running at 140-150 will not cause break down or injury for me. It's still too moderate.
  2 miles for the test. I ran the first mile and it was looking fine and then my pace dropped way off and by the end of mile 2 I had what I needed. There was a significant drop off in pace (1:29) which shows that I have very poor "endurance". No surprise. I could have easily ended the test at 1.25 miles (hell, I didn't even need a test to tell me that) and gotten what I needed. Even just a few miles stressed my body enough that my heart was working harder. I could have continued the test but why? To see even more shitty data? There was no need because continuing wouldn't have revealed any more useful information and also because I now have plenty of comparable data for a future test and that was really the only point of doing it. Stretching the test further would have revealed that I'm in terrible shape and my endurance sucks... duh.
  Another idea is that when I do test again and if my warm-up is correct and my first mile (or even first half mile) yields a slower pace than today's test I see little reason at all to continue. I'll stop the test immediately because I already know that the result won't be better. If I continue the test nothing in the HR data will reveal any answers or solutions or even what the problem is as the miles go on.
 That's all I have to say about that. For now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 X 1' on 1' workout

 I learned this run workout back in 1998 while living in Seattle. I initially learned it as 20 X 1 and then extended that to 40 X 1. Canova has similar workouts that employ longer interval lengths which I've run in the past. Like 8 X 1 mile on 400m.
 On paper the workout doesn't look like much but the devil is in the details, or in this case, the pace. When I ran the 8 X 1 mile on 400, each mile ended up being in 5:20-5:30 and each 400 was in about 1:30 (6:00 pace). The idea is to run the hard interval at or slightly above threshold and the "easy" interval just below threshold.
 The key to the effectiveness, and difficulty, lies completely in the pace of the "easy" interval. When you only ease up slightly when you're hurting it's like moving your hand just an inch further from the candle. It doesn't help much. So there is also a solid mental component to this.
 This is a great workout for teaching not only where your edge is but also the skill of making just subtle pace changes to salvage the over-all pace. Just like in a race. You'll never nail this run by using a GPS or strict paces. This has to be done more by feel, running just hard enough and then recovering just enough.  If you try it then measure the first attempt. Get your 20:00 distance. Then in the future try to run farther for the 20:00.

 Variations that I love for this structure are doing it on a constant incline and also doing it on the bike. I have a 2.5 mile climb near my house that starts at 8400 ft and ends at 9200 ft altitude. Trying to run easy and recover on a 6% grade at altitude is an oxymoron so this ends up being basically 20:00 hard. And really that's the best way to think of this session!
  Another variation would be to extend the workout. If you do 20 X 1 on 1 then you want to dial back the paces slightly. And for a really long one like 40 X 1 on 1 you'd run the hard minutes at threshold and then ease back to Z3 (tempo or marathon pace). So you could think of it as 1:00 at 10k pace on 1:00 at marathon pace.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday deck project

 This is not an ad.
 My home sits at 8200 feet altitude and most of it was built in 1951. It's been added on to over the years along with a 400 square foot wrap around deck. We love it and it's a part of our home that we use every day. But living at high altitude is brutal on everything. With the exception of most nights the weather is always intense with either pounding sun or snow or as we've seen this year, rain. The wood on the deck is getting worn and our neighbor just replaced his ~300 square foot deck with Trex and it cost him over $10,000. I looked at replacing half of the deck with flagstone but ended up not liking the idea. Behr sells a decking treatment called Deckover and Home Depot recently offered a mail in rebate on 5 gallons so we decided to try it. It's basically this crazy thick and heavy paint with sand in it and it makes the wood very similar to Trex. It seals the wood and fills in cracks that water can get in to. Here's a few pics of the progress so far...

Before and after. 

The added sand really gives it texture. This is a first coat so the second will fill in the small cracks. You do have to fill the larger cracks with a brush. 

First coat with contrast.

I was hoping it would match the house a little better. The house is oil stained and the sun fades it very quickly. 

The next project will be replacing the beams under the deck near this tree. I've had to cut the hole bigger a couple of times but you can see from the nails that there's a beam that has already been moved and will need it again soon. 
 So we'll see how it ends up. Right now my premature thought is that it will be great. 5 gallons cost me $120.00 which isn't too far removed from the stain that I used a few years ago. This seems more durable and will hopefully protect the deck well. I'll write a follow up post in 20 years to let you know.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday ramble.

  I watched Roadhouse last night in a fit of new but familiar insomnia. Found it on Netflix. Just thought I'd share the wholesome Marlboro badassness that is Samuel Pack Elliott. One of the few and fortunate that have the gift of being able to pull off the moustache. Same goes with Swayze and the mullet... excellent.

Solid few days since I last posted. On the EP podcast today I talked a little about my exercise goals, which are quite basic. I'm fully aware that I'm bi-polar in moving vigorously. I saw a funny meme the other day that said "I'm not lazy... I'm full of potential energy" and that describes me. Actually I do have one goal and that's to be functional. When GZ came up and we ran last week I said that I'd be fine and good just being able to do that sort of thing. And so I head out with what I'm seeing as a new appreciation for being able to do just that. I rode today, just messing around and ended with a KOM (stravatastical) on a route I've been riding frequently. I wasn't riding particularly hard but Tool's Schism came on my ear hole sound electronical fruit thingy and it was on. "I know the pieces fit 'cause I watched them fall away"... good stuff. Haven't we all had the pieces together only to watch them fall apart? Maynard is a freaking genius.
 Appreciating being able to function at an above average level. For this country that is a bar that is set quite low. Fortunately I run in a circle that means I have to work a little to just hang. Being below average means I can't bang out a 100 mile run tomorrow... love it!
 I spent the weekend in my favorite town in the world (maybe even the whole county) Leadville supporting athletes for the Silver Rush 50 bike. I mentioned a few times that I was happy I wasn't racing but that was misleading. I envied the motivation and excitement of the athletes racing. I wanted to be them again and I thought about the race on my rides this week. Again with my mindset I try to avoid considering beyond tomorrow.
 I got some bad news today about one of my athletes that raced the 50 in Leadville and then drove home. He was diagnosed with a DVT (a blood clot in his calf.) This is devastating and an "injury" that could have killed him had a piece of the clot broken off and made its way to his heart. A reminder to athletes that muscle damage followed by a long period of sitting can end you. Compression gear, massage, and moving during travel is good. Possibly an aspirin but that is only what has been passed down word of mouth. Unfortunately his Leadman is probably over. I'm super bummed by this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Merlin Agilis

I've had this bike since ~2004 when I was sponsored by Merlin. It's just perfect for me in both fit and POU (Philosophy Of Use) meaning it's bomb proof. I also like the compact design. I also have a Merlin Extralight which is a more traditional geometry but this is the bike I always feel best on.
 Nothing special at all about the build, again back to POU. I ride maybe 80% on dirt roads and it's been raining for days now so I've been riding in a bit of muck. No sense in using a $300 derailleur or carbon rims. The tires are Kenda Karvs, like little Tomac Small Block 8's which is my favorite mountain tires, these are perfect for the sandy soil I ride on. Even when it's wet up here it doesn't get super sloppy so the minimal tread pattern is perfect. These are 25c's which is all my Merlin will tolerate at the chainstays. They're only ~25.00 too and come in several colorways.  
54cm Merlin Agilis ca 2004. 3/2 titanium. I hate those handlebars. I can't get a comfortable adjustment for both the tops and the drops. If I get the tops flat then the drops aren't comfortable. 

Compact cranks rule up here. My cassette is a 12-27. Definitely a climbing set-up. I ride 172.5mm. 

Time ATAC pedals. I love Time pedals. My first pair of real pedals were Time Magnesium something-or-others (Criterium I think) and I have newer Time road pedals but the cleats suck in dirt. 

Engraved head tube/ badge. Love it.  

Kenda Karvs road tires. 

Engraved Merlin on the BB shell. Nice welds too. Not quite a Moots but good nonetheless.  

Tight tolerance on the chainstays. 

Engraved Merlin on the rear dropout. I also favor the non-lever skewers. These are machined aluminum with steel rods. Another POU of mine is to not skimp too much on load bearing things like a skewer (stems and handlebars too). I hit a lot of rocks and holes at speed. I'm adding 30g with the steel... whatever. 

Shimano wheelset. Not a big fan of radial lacing for a training wheel but these are proving to be solid.  

Definitely not slammed, but neither is my lumbar spine. And you can see in the first picture I have plenty of handlebar drop. I tried to loosely match my position on my MTB so I wouldn't have such a severe disparity in positions. I have a 33 inch inseam which puts my seat height up a bit too.   

I love this seatpost. Zero offset, 6/4 Ti. Elegant, comfortable, and indestructible. Also pretty damn light. And my Fizik Arione Wing Flex. Best saddle ever! I have one on my MTB too. Super long and flexy.   

Monday, July 6, 2015


Up and out at 6:00am to shake out my legs after running with GZ. We He jogged but it was my longest run in months. My legs felt really good though and I got out for an hour on the bike later. This morning I had a little bit of flat legs as expected but my knee is 100% which pleases me. That's a statement we should all use more often. "That pleases me."

 Tonight I headed out after my wife got home at 6:00pm into rain and ~55 degrees for hill intervals.

These were done as much in the big ring as I could so it didn't matter much that my legs were flat. It was just grinding with a low cadence and standing for as long as my legs could handle (I'm focusing on standing mostly to strengthen my knees and hips.) The two little blips on the last two humps were rolling sprints to max effort with high cadence to change things up a bit.
 Right now I'm not too concerned with data or structure. I like tracking vertical is all. But HR or pace or total hours I'll leave alone for awhile. There's a 50/50 chance I'll stop exercising tomorrow so I'm just going to roll with the motivation I have today and hope it's still there when I wake up tomorrow.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week review

 Run 17- 3:00
Bike 72- 6:30
Strength ~2:00
15,614 feet of climbing between the bike and run.

 GZ drove up this morning and we ran The Bacon Strip which is a 10 mile out and back that is pretty much my staple route. It's a solid run with ~1800ft of climbing and a good mix of terrain that allows you to work any aspect of training, except for flat work. Here's the profile:

  So about 11.5 hours this week. The run volume was good in a safe kind of way. My knee felt good today so I'm moving towards better.
 Next week is a MAF test on the track and possibly a MAF/watt test on the bike.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Cycling has been my main exercise as I build back into a semblance of not sucking. I find that I can easily get 1-2 hours a day without much of drain on energy like running tends to do. Plus my knee is still not 100% and I can feel a faint ache after runs in the medial tibial plateau (to get all sciencey) or basically inside of my knee which I suspect may have been a stress fracture. Webmd said it was either ebola or an ear infection but I'm going with a stress fracture. I didn't need a doctor to tell me to rest so I rested. If I'm patient I'm sure I can get it back to health. Anyway, here's my ride this morning.

 And I'm rebuilding an old fly rod that I got on e-bay for $7.50. It's a 7 foot, 2-piece, 4-ish weight, fiberglass South Bend made (probably) in the 70's. And the color is awesome I think. I've developed an affinity for glass after buying a 8'6" South Bend rod and matching reel made in 1971, the same year I was born... so it's old as hell (it's my header pic). This new one had a few torqued and missing guides so I bought a set (on e-bay again) for $3.99. And I went with red thread so it's going to be Christmassy. The thread cost more than the rod did BUT IT HAS SPARKLES! Totally worth it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


3.87 miles in 39:36. 10:14 pace. 658 feet of climbing with average HR 145. Max 156.
Not really a test so much as just getting an idea as to how much work I have ahead. Starting from scratch is never easy.
 I could use this run as a baseline test but I think a proper warm-up is a critical aspect to good testing and the terrain doesn't really allow that. I could jump on the treadmill and do the warm-up but I'm not that concerned. The Nederland track is 14 miles away so I'll probably test there. It sits at 8400ft altitude which I think is fine since I've lived at 8200ft for 6 years now. I do think true MAF (and fat adaptation) is heavily affected by altitude but again, since I live here it is specific to me. And really if I think about it testing at lower elevations would make less sense.
  Ya, odd distance but I had a phone call at 7:00 and had to get home. HR average 145/ max 156 so definitely not a true MAF run. Tons of walking as usual but that corrects itself quick. 658ft of vert today gives me 8600ft of gain so far this week, I biked Monday and Tuesday. And speaking of MAF I won't be using the 180-age formula, rather I'll be using experience and more of a zone based range. HR 140-150 will be my training range and I know that this is plenty moderate to serve the purpose. It would be more Zone 2 than MAF.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


 It's been a bit of time and I keep thinking I'll revive this place. Things and stuff.
 It's been 11 months since I've had a drop of alcohol.
 I've been biking and running. Since I'm prone to brief spurts of training and then nothing for months I'm keeping it loose and just fun. No training logs. HRM once in awhile to touch base with my PE. We'll see where that goes. I've been wearing my Skoras on most of my runs and am liking the minimalist feel. Not sure I'll use them for long long runs but for anything under 10 they feel good. I've been wearing Skoras as my casual shoes for several years now so my soleus didn't take the hit I thought they would. They're definitely the most comfortable shoes I have and as durable as any boots I own, the things will not wear out.
 Lifting weights has been the biggest focus. I've given up on thinking I can gain much weight if any. I tried the whole "eating more" thing and failed quit when I realized it was quite unnatural for me. So I'm back to just listening to my body and hunger. My diet has cleaned up a ton and I'm juicing and keeping processed CHO to near zero. I eat too many eggs and too much almond butter I think.
 My kids are out of school and I've been taking them out and about. Fishing, canoeing and camping mostly. Liv is running his first race this coming weekend. I mentioned that I wanted to run a 4th of July 5k and he jumped at the chance to run with me. He's as excited as me. Ben said no way to the idea and I said he didn't have to run it (I wouldn't have made him anyway) if he gave me one good reason not to and he said "I don't want to". Perfectly good reason I think. Ben's more the fisherman and cyclist.
 So that's it. Hopefully I'll post more and I would like to use this as my training log if I keep exercising. I'll be doing a MAF test soon which will be a good chance for me to post some thoughts on that process.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leather fly rod case

52" long. Over 400 hand stitches. 7 trout. 13 flies. Mahogany antique finish.

Last minute change was adding this piece to close off the reel case. This was easily the most difficult sewing. The original idea wouldn't have been nearly this cool though. 

All told there are 13 flies on the case. 

Probably my favorite image is the trout tail that I added last minute when I couldn't figure out what to put in that space.