Sunday, February 27, 2011

Incline Club, uh huh!!

Today was my first ever run with the famous Incline Club. I opted for the long run, man did we hit it hard today. For those that are familiar with the Colorado Springs / Manitou trails, we ran from town to Ute Pass Trail, to Waldo Canyon, to Longs Ranch Road, to Barr Trail. Overall, about 19.5 miles and somewhere around 5000 feet elevation gain. There is one three mile stretch of Longs Ranch Road that gains 1000 feet per mile for three miles. That is a lot of climbing.

I primarily ran with another newbie to the Incline Club, we were lucky we didn't get lost. I ended up being out about 30 minutes longer than I planned, so I was kicking hard down Barr Trail to make it home on time. After all, it is my anniversary (12 years).

Here are a few pics from the run:

Waldo Canyon trail with Pikes Peak in the background.

Looking up Longs Ranch Road.

Now for the rest of the anniversary... laundry, cleaning and dinner at home. Woo-hoo!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Busy Day

Started the day by getting up sort of late, around ~6:30 or so, and lounging around for a bit with the kids. I was only planning to run for an hour or so today, so I finally got out about 7:30. I managed about 6 miles in Ute Valley, our local park. It was nice out, except for the wind. Crazy wind!!

I got back in time so that Jen could head out with her friend Kristen and run the last of the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series, a 20K through the Black Forest. She had to battle wind gusts were hitting 50 MPH!! That is not fun. While Jen was running I took Sam to a birthday party then went shopping with Alice, Paige and Mason before getting lunch at Red Robin. After lunch we picked up Sam, then picked up Mom after her race, then headed straight to swim lessons.

The kids have an awesome swim instructor who has worked wonders on Sam, Alice and Paige this year. Today, she was not busy (we were the only ones there) so the owner of the school, Donna, took Mason in the water for a gratis one hour lesson. It was unreal how comfortable he was, and he had a blast. Paige has improved incredibly, and she is very ready to join the team this year. Sam and Alice worked on diving and flip turns, along with some stroke development.

If it sounds like we were busy today, that would be correct. All this and we were home by 2:30, and ready to nap. No time for that, just cleaning and playing with the kids.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get out with the Incline Club for their weekly long run. I have never run with them, so I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Tonight was Stammtisch night. If you are anything like I was about a year ago, you are thinking what the world is Stammtisch???

Jen and I have good friends in the neighborhood who are German. Evidently, they have some crazy customs, like Stammtisch, that just do not generally translate to the US. Except, in the case of about 10-15 of my friends, Stammtisch translates just fine.

What is Stammtisch? Essentially, it is a quite informal group of friends and acquaintances that gets together once a month as a discussion group. To discuss what, you might ask? Anything typically related to some relevent current event.... Politics, World Events, Religion, Popular Science, the more potentially polarizing the better. Basically, the group leader publishes a loose set of topics about 2 weeks ahead of the meeting, then you do a bit of research (or not) and show up with libation.

We always drink, that seems mandatory. Then a fairly diverse group of upper middle class white men (politically, if not economically or racially) drink and discuss the issues. What could go wrong with that???

Remarkably, it is always a very enjoyable, and eye opening night. Many different perspectives are presented, and it always stays amicable. We simply throw out perspectives and poke holes at each others views or perceptions. It is truly amazing how much your knowledge base can expand through these simple dialogs, with educated individuals from different viewpoints.

Just FYI, tonights topics were:

Egypt and the rest of the Arabic world – where is this going to end?
People on Mars – do we really need to fly there?
Is the DOW going to hit 14000 again this year?
What do we think about the Colorado Springs “Reform Team”? (a local political issue)
In case you are wondering, I ran there, Then drank some wine and a few beers, then ran home. It was my environmental statement. Plus allowed me to drink as required to support my views... huh?

Glass Half Full

The last couple of days I have not been super excited about running. I have been getting out of bed 5-10 minutes late. Checking the internet for 5-10 minutes before getting dressed. Just kind of dragging my feet prior to getting out the door. The last two days I have had runs of 3 miles and 4 miles, not really setting the world on fire for mileage. Then I realized, any other time I would have skipped out on the runs entirely. Even during Leadville training, I had down weeks, and I still finished. So I am just going to be happy with the fact that I still managed to drag myself out the door.

Speaking of Leadville, Jen was asking me yesterday if I was secretly planning to run the race this year. She gets suspicious of me any time my training picks up, as she knows I do want to repeat in the LT100 to try to improve my time. After I (honestly) told her I had no intentions this year, I browsed the website only to find the race is full. I am not sure this has ever happened before. 750 runners are already signed up for the 100 mile jaunt through the mountains. Crazy.

I do need to find something to do in the fall. Maybe a triathlon? Another 50? A trail marathon? Perhaps a new 100 miler... (doubt it)?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This morning I did my first hill repeat workout in a long time. I do remember why I have let it go for so long.

When I woke up it seemed to be blowing pretty hard, so I considered bailing on the run this morning. As I got around I realized it wasn't that bad outside, but I had squandered 20 minutes between laying in bed and looking online at the news. Since I was dealing with limited time, I thought I would squeeze in a short hill workout, thinking the short timeframe would be a good way to get back into these types of workouts.

I did, however, forget how hard it is run up hills, repeatedly, in Colorado. I was pathetically out of breathe halfway through my first push. The second and third got easier, the fourth was brutal, and then I cooled down and went home. .

We are celebrating a holiday in the Wescott house today. It was two years ago today that we first met Mason, and brought the scared little guy back to our hotel in Zhengzhou, China. Now that scared little guy is your normal all American kid, 3.5 years old and no longer timid in any way, shape, or form. He is crawling all over me as I type this, so I think that is my cue to sign off for today.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bad Planning

We are still managing to hold on to some fairly nice weather, so I snuck out while Jen and the kids were at Sunday School and got in a decent 12+ miles. The only problem was, I left myself about 4 miles of uphill as the finish. Normally, that would not be a big deal, except just as I started north to head home the wind picked up pretty steady. So I ran the last 4 miles uphill into headwinds of 20-30 miles per hour. That is not really enjoyable.

I did manage to get 34 miles this week, and I am feeling stronger. At this point I will maintain my week day mileage then extend my longer weekend runs to build up to the 40-50 miles per week I need to be at in the next month. I have about 6-7 weeks still before taper, and I would like to get 3 to 4 runs of 20+ miles in (with one at 30+) before the second week of April.

I do have a 3 day weekend this weelend, so we just need to figure out what to do tomorrow with our free time. Skiing? Playing? Most likely cleaning.... blah.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Morning Miles

I was really exhausted this morning, but I dragged myself out of bed at 5:15 to log a few miles before work. I ran my standard 5 mile loop through the neighborhood. It was 41 degrees when I started out, and I was running in shorts. There was a good breeze but nothing like yesterday.

It is supposed to be almost 60 outside today. This weather is awesome.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blown Away

How's this for irony, I had a long post written titled "Blown Away", making jokes about our crazy awesome weather and the crazy wind that goes with it. Then I blew it away, meaning I accidentally deleted the entire post. Dammit... anyways, I got in 6 miles at 5am with crazy 30 miles per hour wind in my face the first three miles out. I wasn't fast, but it was a workout nonetheless.

I don't think I mentioned anything yesterday about my great end to a crappy Valentines Day. I worked until 7pm and missed the great dinner Jen made for the kids and I. I missed the kids opening their gifts from Valentines Day. So I walked in the door, and my dinner was on the table, and the kids were playing with toys. Sam had gotten a small, indoor remote control helicopter. So of course I walk in and take the controller from him and start playing with it. Then Jen handed me my present... A remote control helicopter like Sam's. I know my wife really knows me and loves me. I also received an outdoor guided day of climbing... awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday Night

After a long, long Sunday, I finally got in my miles at 9pm. Had planned on running earlier, but sometimes things don't go as planned.

In fact, I would have likely bailed on my run altogether, except the fact I had left my car at the grocery store 2 miles away earlier in the day knowing I would get it after my run, so effectively I had no choice. Since I had to get out, I did manage to get in 7.5 miles, but it was not as far as I had planned for the day. Still not bad, and I think I will live.

I managed 29 miles for the week, a bit short of where I wanted to be but not bad. I will keep up the balance of February much like the start, and really start stretching the longer weekend runs in March,

On a positive note, we got a lot of work done around the house this weekend.  A FULL truckload went to Goodwill, of stuff that we have been moving around for 10 years without using. Let the purge continue!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I managed to get outside today (in the daylight) for 5.5 miles of mixed road and trails around the house. Other than obscene wind, the weather is outstanding. I ran on primarily snow covered trails in shorts and a t-shirt, and was completely comfortable. Did I mention it is the middle of February?

Nearly 60 degrees outside. Not too shabby.

Tomorrow I should get out for a couple hours to round out another good week. Weather is supposed to WARM up tomorrow!!

Now it is time to clean, organize, and take some loads to Goodwill. I am currently disorganized and it drives me CRAZY!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Groundhog Day

Day 3 out of 4 spent on the treadmill. I really do not get into running on the treadmill that much, but it does serve it's purpose. I was most likely going to bail on the run tonight, but there is no good excuse when there is a treadmill in the basement. Plus, I never really watch TV, so I can watch guilt free.

I managed to get in 6 tonight, so I am keeping pace with my base mileage well. We are expecting a solid warming trend here for a week or so, which should help keep me on pace. About 2 more weeks of 30-35 miles per week and I will really start stretching out some longer runs in March.

On a positive note, one more workday until the weekend. I am really looking forward to some time with Jen and the kids, I am still working too much and I have really been looking forward to any time off.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recovery Run

Today was a long day. Got to bed about 1:00 am after driving back from the show in Denver, then did not sleep well. I was awake at about 4:30 and had trouble getting back to sleep. It seemed like a combination of having been at a VERY loud show, surrounded by chain smokers, and having had a few beers (fortunately my friend Allen doesn't drink so he drove!) kept me from really getting into a deep sleep.

Then another wonderful (sarcasm) day at work, let's say I am tired. However, after a rest day yesterday I did manage 4 miles on the treadmill tonight. And as usual I feel better for having run.

Now a bit of laundry, and off to bed. I think I will sleep better tonight!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

After another long day at work, I was not in a great mood tonight. After eating dinner, playing a game with the kids and helping get them down to bed, I came downstairs to balance the checkbook (oh fun). All this added up to a cranky husband, so I decided to hit the treadmill for 3 miles or so. As usual, once I got going it felt so good I managed to run 6 miles and felt like I could have gone all night, other than I have to be at work at 6am tomorrow and I will be out late at a concert tomorrow.

Needless to say, I feel much better now. We will see how a little Ozzy Osbourne makes me feel tomorrow. I always love an Ozzy show, you would think I would outgrow it (I know Jen thought I would at some point, and I think she is still holding out hope). Maybe someday... but that day is not today!!

He looks a lot less crazy than he used to... right?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Morning at the Barr

Nope, not that kind of bar. While Jen and the kids went to church this morning, I found an hour and 45 minutes to go and run. I snuck over to the Barr Trail and got about 4 miles up and 4 miles down. For those that do not know, Barr Trail is the main hiking trail from Manitou Springs, CO to the summit of Pikes Peak. It has an AVERAGE grade of 11% for 13 total miles, and it can be one of the most humbling experiences a runner can experience. The views were gorgeous.

The round trip from my car came out to 8.6 miles, but the workout really translates to more than an 8 mile run, as the elevation is brutal at the base of this trail. Going up I am usually happy to average 15 minute miles, and today was no exception. There was a nice layer of soft snow that made the running a bit tricky in areas, but for the most part traction was great and the scenery was outstanding. Some pics below.

One note from the amazing file, Ian Sharman just won the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail race in Texas yesterday in a time of 12:44:33. For those slow with math, that is an average of 7:38 per mile for 100 miles... sick.

Lovely self portrait from about 8500 feet.

Good view of the trail.

This is actually looking over town, just can't really see it...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

I feel like I am finally hitting a groove. I got out Thursday night with Kent in Ute Valley Park. We hit about 5 miles in ~1 inch of fresh snow. It was a beautiful night and there was great lighting, almost easier to see without the headlamp.

Friday was a rest day. I originally figured I would get a few miles on the treadmill, but I got a better offer... Actually, I had a date with Alice (my 7 year old). We went to Chik Fil A, Mr. Biggs then out for ice cream. After go-karts, laser tag, inflatable jumpers, and getting home at 9:30, I was totally spent and punted the plan for a run. But what an awesome night. With four kids, it is really special to get some one on one time.

This morning Jen got out for a long run, and wound up getting in about 11 miles with Kristen. They are training for a new 25k in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, so they are ready, and they still have 2 months. I made it out for a quick 5.3 miles in Garden of the Gods this morning. I cut it short because we had to head out to Denver to a Chinese New Year celebration. We all had fun but Mason really had a blast. He enjoys getting to see glimpses of Chinese culture, and it is good for him to see so many other families with brother and sisters of various shapes and sizes!! Enjoy the year of the Rabbit, being a Rabbit myself, I am especially looking forward to it. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Freeeking Cold Out

Short post tonight. Ended up just running on the treadmill (which I hate) because it is negative 300 degrees outside. Or something close to that, anyway. (this after I just posted about how I am so tough and love to run in foul weather, but I mean it is seriously like -9 outside!!)

Did one of my preferred treadmill workouts. Start at any speed (I use 7.5 mph) and increase speed by 0.1 mph every quarter mile. It forces you to run negative splits and pushes you out of a comfort zone, plus it breaks up the monotony of running on a hamster wheel. I did 5 miles like this, with increases in speed faster during the last half mile to get me to 10 mph, then I ran a final mile or so at 7.5 again.

Since treadmills are boring, I find it much more tolerable personally to constantly mess with either speed, or incline, or both.

Also, as soon as Jen and I get our computers all straightened out, I will start posting pictures from my runs again.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day off

The only exercise I got today was a couple of 12 oz curls. Every now and then it is healthy to relax and have a beer (or two). Not that it was a stress free day. Work... always a joy. Then came home to get caught up on bills, get ready for taxes, and help Jen get her new computer up and running. That last one is important because her old computer becomes my NEW computer. And yes I am excited.

Today's HIGH was -2 degrees, tomorrow is not looking much better. Could be a treadmill day, or maybe I will just work on a few more Coronas.