High Lonesome

Went and volunteered at a buddy's inaugural hosting of the High Lonesome 100 Endurance Run. As always, I'm so inspired by the heart, desire and will out there at a run like this one. 24k+ vertical feet of climbing topping at 13.1k ft in GNARLY wind, buckets of rain and just some straight up TOUGH conditions. It takes a different kind of person to finish any type of long distance endurance event, but the type of person it takes to go out and even toe the starting line of a "run" like this requires a different kind of heart, mind and guts than most people have ever dreamed of believing exists.

It's so hard for me to believe a finish line like this is anywhere in my future, but my thinking is, if I keep showing up and being so heavily moved by the people out there getting it done, I may, one day, have no choice but to try for myself.

Congrats to all who made this thing happen and with that all those who it happened for.

Here's just a couple photos I took from our aid station at about 10k ft, appx 55 miles in. Horrifying looks on faces do not negate the grit these folks have within.

Last night was something else.

The people we know

This is my good buddy Sam. He is one of the hardest working human beings I have met in my entire life. As an immigrant from Cuba, in search of better opportunity, Sam has transformed his life and shown anyone who has come in contact with him what it's like to work for what you desire and truly be anything you want if you believe in yourself and just do it. He never forgets to be grateful for what and who he has around him, he stays positive and when it's time to make it happen, he just does it. Such an inspiration to me.

There were mornings, training for my first 50 mile run, I'd wake up and sit at the foot of my bed, with my elbows on my knees and my face in my hands. And in my own self-agony remember that at the dark winter hour of 5:30am, Sam had already been at the gym for a half hour… and it was in those moments of remembering my good buddy, my coworker, my new inspiration, working his ass off for all he wanted, I'd get up, layer up and get out the door.

It's been a blessing to get to know Sam and watch his journey unfold. Tomorrow he steps on stage in Vegas, representing the state of Colorado at USA's. I can't be more stoked for him. He is gonna get up there, strut his stuff and make us proud. No matter the outcome, Sam will remain a massive (pun intended 😉) role model to me in all he's faced, overcome and worked so hard for to get where he is.

A triathlete again.

I did it, friends! I drank a free beer today! Of course at the cost of finishing my first triathlon in Colorado and with that, my first in four years. I struggled through the swim, as always. That whole washing machine effect kills me. Gets the anxiety up and makes actual swimming a bit of a chore. I started at the very back of the pack, which helps with the anxious factor but not so much the catch up game. I got out of the water feeling strong and super excited to jump on my bike and give the wheels their first real good roll for their money.

Though I loved every second of today’s ride, getting off the bike and onto my feet is ALWAYS my favorite part of the tri, regardless of how great the ride was. I have a thing for running when I’m already beat up and man, I love running folks down who’d been kicking my tri shorts in all morning, otherwise…

Today was quite interesting on my feet, surely being my hardest effort since the calf injury, but man, reeling in whoever I could and cheering on the few who had it to sneak by… I was surely back in my glory.

Today’s finish line was SUCH a pleasure. I am looking SO extremely forward to building on this, re-learning some technique, training more and with that, harder… I have such a positive outlook after today’s go and am just so excited.

Boulder is a beautiful place to race, BBSC puts on a great event, Boulder Beer Co. is amazing for sharing their product and the only other thing that made today such a memorable valuable experience that it couldn’t have been without is, of course, the support of my wonderful girlfriend through this incredible journey and the presence of my new good friend and dare I say it, “training partner”, Luke…

Tri Boulder was a success. And gradual as this journey may be, I’m ecstatic to admit, I am a triathlete again. Here’s to another chapter in this ridiculous book I call, My Life.

 

Remembering the way

Four months ago, I finished my first 50 mile run. After a solid couple weeks of recovery I went for a run and tore my calf. It took a long three months before my leg was any kind of runnable again. In that time, I fell apart. I gained nearly 15 pounds. I stayed in more than I went out. I constantly felt sick to my stomach which ultimately, naturally lead to feeling sick to my mind. When I cannot run, I feel trapped. Claustrophobic. Like I’ve got no options. I was depressed to a level I hadn’t seen before. I went and saw a therapist to talk through some things. It was obvious, medication was a must. That’s when I bought my new bike – In 2012, I had suffered something like 6 or so months with a mangled shin and it was triathlon that kept me alive. Getting in the pool and on the bike, staying off me feet but still finding the means to put all of me into something so rewarding. Triathlon taught me what it was like to be so much more than I thought I could be. Taught me there more options than I ever realized. Triathlon taught me how to be more motivated and disciplined than I ever knew. It had me feeling sharp, inspired, ready to work hard, not just in training, but in life. I’ve never been the fastest out there. Nor have I ever intended to be. The only thing I’ve ever wanted out of training and racing is to know I am out there at any given time being the best I can. When I was at a loss, three months ago, I thought back to a time something else saved me, and it happened again. The swims and rides with good friends, ultimately leading to getting my running legs back and then getting to spend more miles with more good friends. The swim and the bike have made their way back into my life and hopefully this time, for good. Tomorrow I will step to the line of my first triathlon in three years, almost to the month. I promise you I will not be the fastest out there tomorrow and that is okay. The reward in being out there will come simply in just being out there doing the best I can. An extremely valuable reminder that sometimes it takes the lowest of lows to help you find your highest highs.IMG_3108.jpg

Into the mountains

Finally got into the mountains last week. Managed some imagery here that I was excited to take home and share. I’ve never seen Columbines like we saw out there that day. It was a fantastic hike up to Herman Gulch to Herman Lake. The weather was just right. The trail wasn’t overly crowded. And the sights were beautifully plentiful. Link below to the All Trails tracks to scope the GPS data, route and reviews.

Herman Gulch to Herman Lake

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Failing at blogging: 743, Me: 0 — Back for another try.

There’s always a time of the year I feel slightly more creative and/or more inspired than the rest of the year. This is usually the time of the year I’ll get a blog or website or photo page of some sort back up and running. Well, it’s that time of the year again.

Lot’s of things are going on and I’m just feeling the itch to share. I’ve picked up triathlon again and well, to say the least, it’s been amazing to remember what it’s like to be so humbled by three such self-bettering, physical, mental and all around difficult disciplines. It’s reminding me what it’s like to HAVE to be sharp. Not just able to wake up, daily and sink into the muscle memory of the mundane life-as-we-know-it routine. Running has always been the moments of my life I’ve been the best me. Lately though,  specifically after finishing my first 50 miler, I’ve been realizing, for something that’s become so second nature to be the number one motivator in my life, I had become a little lost. Not bored, or tired of running, just not feeling very PUSHED in my life outside of running to be any better than just “THERE”…

So here it goes. Another shot at triathlon. Perhaps some duathlon. Let’s not forget keeping ultra running in the not so far off subconscious. A chance to document it all, if not for anyone else to follow, just as another way to put down on “paper” what it does to me this time. Because last time, I DO think it made me the best I’d ever seen myself.

Cheers!

Remembering the importance in risk

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Today, I handed Lynette my camera and asked her to take a couple photos of me getting roudy on the adult playground at 12k feet.  I’m glad I did.

When I look at back at this photo I think about what today really was. There were moments I was sad, angry, anxious, scared, happy, elated, enlightened… So much thought – SO many feelings.

Lynette and I did a rock solid 10 mile hike with my brother, in which I got to run a whole bunch. Back to her to check up and make sure she was still great and enjoying herself. Back up to him, a couple hundred meters ahead huffing at his first trip into the high country this year.

It wasn’t until now, looking back at the photos from the day, that I’m beginning to make sense of what the mountains really are to me. They’re my new muse. The thing I know the least about but as of late have seemingly desired the most. They scare me and make me anxious, especially when I can’t control my own well being while in them, or simply just the elements around me.

I’m realizing now, how important these trips into the unknown are for me to stay motivated through a time where mostly everything else in life has left me feeling an unfortunate blunder of repetitiveness – redundant – burned out – like I have no options and nothing to to spark that imagination that once fueled my desire to being bigger and better every day I was awake.

The mountains, at least as of now, are doing that for me. Peeling me from a downward spiral and reminding me what it is to take risks and dive in, not preemptively knowing the outcome – serious as it may be – and being intrigued… moved… terrified of that.

The mountains called me and I came. However long this stay may be, this fuel may burn, so be what it is. But for now I’m enjoying and learning how to be that wild, risk-taking believer I use to be. With any luck at all, the time I spend puting myself through whatever it is I am out there, will reflect massively on the life I show up to partake in the other five days of the week. Maybe I’ll even surprise myself and start living THAT part of my life with a new light and passion. The same way I have on the trails.

Just a quick one

Got out on and around Green Mountain in Golden this morning. I laid in bed contemplating the run, like I do, usually to no avail, so often as of late since starting the CPAP. But then I read some inspirational words by a friend that got my ass in gear and out the door for a real nice jaunt on the hill. Lots of friendly folks out this morning. Beat the heat. Got back and had an ice pop. Pretty flawless, I’d say.

Just throwing it out there: I’ve started a new social media venture. It is called The Runner’s Closet and will host gear introductions, reviews, race rants, trail route offerings, so on and so on. Idea is, I WILL NOT be responsible for the bulk of it and though it may take some time to get rolling to become what I’d like for it to be, it will be a shared community effort. Reposts of what others feel others can’t be without. The things we all use and why. There is SO much capitalism and consumerism in the running industry and as much as I’ve always tried to steer clear from it and run away as affordably as possible… Until I realized. I’m addicted. I love it. I spend so much money on running every year, because it’s truly something I enjoy spending money ON. It’s a rad hobby and enjoyable to get into. AND it doesn’t have to be ALL that expensive either. So with that, I figured, why not make a forum where we can all get together and post and share what it is about the things we spend out money on and use doing the one thing we love most? Find it on Instagram at @therunnerscloset.Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.08.15 AM.png

Just spent night 2 with the CPAP. I realize, I haven’t explained what’s lead to this unforutnate turn of sleeping events, however, what I will say at this point is that I’m so unhappy with sleep. Sleep and I are not on good terms right now. Got out on Green Mt this morning and man did I need that. I’m sore, tired and super fatigued. But some big long breaths on the summit this morning was just what the doctor ordered – actually, no. The doctor ordered artifical breathing through a rubber tube. I guess it was me that ordered the breaths on the mountain. Learning to deal with it.IMG_2626.jpg

Greetings From…

Today I am proud to have released new music for the first time in years that speaks volumes of where my heart and mind are at. These songs are a collection of nostalgic feelings with the one off hokey joke here or there. I’ve attempted to take it back and represent myself, once again, with the sound that taught me what loving music was all about. The art designed by a great buddy of mine, Adam Cutrone, is an homage to a place that put me on the map not just a kid with a dream, but a lost boy with a home. Though hesitant, I’m learning to admit that my days in this place and time are likely numbered, but out here, in Neverland, I’ll continue referencing these happy thoughts as a means to fly high and continue on knowing that home is there as I left it and will always be.

Listen to the music

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