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doug in co

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doug in co last won the day on October 12

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  1. spectacular, thank you.. good bread is very hard to find in the US.. I like Dave's Killer Bread, if my wife doesn't make bread for me ;-)
  2. doug in co

    run the red desert

    I've wandered the Red Desert of Wyoming for decades now, first shown to me by my fishing/canoeing/hunting friend Ken. His father was the state geologist for Dept of Transport and knew all the good places. The Red desert is sometimes red but more often a sagebrush green and grey. This is the Great Divide Basin, where none of the precipitation drains into any ocean, directly or indirectly. The Continental Divide runs through the middle of the basin, which seems odd. Though it's a desert there is a startling amount of life in it, sage grouse, golden eagles, pronghorn, wild horses, grumpy old misanthropes like me and Ken.. There is of course oil and gas under them there sagebrush flats. We've seen the traffic jump from us to nearly a car per hour on the lonely dirt roads, and oil rigs ruining the skyline. Run the Red Desert races were started to raise awareness of the desert, its fragility, and raise some money to help protect it. I've been trying to run them for several years. Finally this year I blocked off the weekend on the calendar at the beginning of the year, notified DW, and signed up. Ken came along as we planned a couple of days fishing and rambling around WY backroads after the race. Initial plan was to camp in Lander behind a motel, where Ken had camped before during the Tour de Wyoming. There was a new owner who gave us the hard sell and we got a room in the motel instead. When I first met Ken he had a Cowfish sticker on his truck, fishbone skeleton with a cow's head. I always thought it was some kind of odd Wyoming thing like the jackalope, in fact it is a bar and grill in Lander. The jackalope has a page to itself on the Wyoming Game and Fish website.. The Cowfish is still going nearly thirty years after we met, surely we aren't that old ? Dinner there excellent with a fine Atlantic City Gold beer from the neighbor brewery. Atlantic City is one of the ghost towns of the Red Desert. Our server was a girl from Asheville NC, who moved to Lander for the climbing and outdoor life. Next morning breakfast at the greasy spoon, we had a non-binary server. Ken said, that's a strong woman.. the local cowboys seemed fine with the whole idea. Race morning, Ken dropped me off in Silver Pass City, another ghost town, and went off fishing on the Popo Agie river in the red canyon. Strong cold winds. I found a bench behind some low willows as a windbreak to do the 15 minutes of stretching, donkey kicks etc that is now needed to placate my left knee before running. Race briefing included the Wyoming Rules: if you meet someone out on the trail, rancher, hunter, etc: 1. stop 2. smile 3. say hello. They also mentioned that the half marathon is in fact 13.8 miles. Any complaint about it not being exactly 13.1 miles gets you an instant DQ. Ha. I did a little warmup run to get my asthmatic old lungs used to the idea of breathing hard. The lungs tend to lose the plot a bit these days and need reminders of what they're supposed to be doing. The side canyon was dense with willow, the mud was dense with moose tracks. Moose are somewhat dangerous at the best of times, now coming into the rut it wasn't a good time to be alone in moose paradise, jogged back hastily. There was a stream crossing about half a mile into the run, thigh deep and a couple of yards wide. I'd planned to start where I'd finish, mid to back of pack. Having designs on the age group win however, I channeled my old cross-country racing strategies and went out hard to get ahead of the bunch-up at the stream crossing. This worked well except now I was running with people much faster than me. Luckily in another half mile the route went straight up a scree slope and we were all walking. This isn't the slope in question, rather a bit later with an actual two-track road which was also too steep to run. I took a good picture of the walkers behind me at this point, or it would have been good without the thumb over half the camera lens, oh well. This got us up onto the CDT (Continental Divide Trail). It wasn't your usual easily-appreciated mountain views of the CDT.. On to some singletrack through the pine and juniper, then out onto a good dirt road for a bit of cruising until the first and only aid station. Wind still blowing. The road stretched out.. It dropped over that first hill, through a barbed wire/fencepost gate, and into another stream crossing. Another rule from the race briefing was to always close a gate behind you, never mind if there were other runners coming. The young woman and I at the gate followed the rule, slamming it closed in the teeth of the group behind us, apologizing as we went. The crossing had been softened up for us by the resident cows. This produced forty feet of succulent mud knee-deep or worse. It's a good thing I had my Dirty Girl gaiters on, with wool socks below. Several of the runners at last year's Devil on the Divide run had these gaiters, I'd admired them and bought a pair. This went well until my wife picked up the package and asked, so what exactly are you buying from dirtygirl.com ? Now the trouble started. Six miles to go, all of it uphill, and straight into that Wyoming breeze which is a stiff gale in any other state, 20mph gusting to 30-plus. A young pup of 60 came by me near the start of this hill. It's astonishing how accurate my age-group age radar is - looked at him and thought, could be late 50s but my guess is 60. I watched the age-group winner run/walk away from me and couldn't do a thing about it. My run was faster but I couldn't keep it up for more than a couple hundred yards at best, his run was slower but went on longer before the inevitable walk. I'd have felt bad about my progress and walking here except that no-one was passing me. We ground on. The view behind, The view ahead, This went on for some time. Talked a bit with companion run/walker Jamie, next weekend doing a Spartan race 50k which sounds to me like no fun at all. Time and the hour runs through the roughest day, here I am dragging my pot belly across the finish line. Finish 2:54, 69/122 overall, 2/9 in age group. The young pup went 2:52. We were both roundly defeated by a 68-year-old woman who ran 2:45. I'd better get rid of the pot belly and try again next year. Talked a bit with Andy while enjoying a postrace beer. He's a chef for a private ranch near Jackson Hole, lived in Winston-Salem NC in the 90s when we worked there, except he was in high school. His parents were running the 'We Card' campaign for RJ Reynolds. In the quiet periods at the ranch Andy teaches cooking at the community college. He said he's pretty easy going, though one of the modules is run by the pastry chef at the Four Seasons and she's hardass. Wandered off with Ken into the Wyoming back country, the camping and fishing was good. Next year in Wyoming.
  3. late to the party as usual.. terrific results, well done ! I look forward to the report from Finland.. my one and only half-IM, came out the water in 33 very disappointed, turned out swim was long.. yes no swim is the right length and conditions will always change.. do I need a new bike? probably not, with the aero bars and deep wheels you have 90% of the aero gains you'd have with a superbike of $10 000.. do I need a coach? Had planned to get a coach for the first time in my life, going to the World AG champs in Olympic distance.. but life got in the way and I knew I wouldn't have much control over, or enough, training hours.. didn't do it and regret it a little. My 8-ball points to yes, if it will be possible to get in the hours.. what’s the best long sleeve wetsuit? very much dependent on fit.. and there's no good way to find out what fits.. best advice imo is still this older article, https://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Wetsuit_by_brand/The_Slowtwitch_Wetsuit_Guide_5085.html what bike trainer should I buy? I have a dumb Tacx trainer which does everything I need - rider and trainer are well matched ;-) If buying now would incline to one of the direct-drive ones - less stress on the bike frame, and much quicker to mount the bike to the trainer. Watch out for sweat on the bike.. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/i_destroyed_my_bike_on_my_trainer_P7341832/?page=unread#unread
  4. spent a year not running with a bad knee. Physical therapist gave me 15min of exercises to do before every run, several of them the same as yours. I asked, so how long do I have to do this ? Answer with a smile, just as long as you want to keep running ;-)
  5. bike was 38min for 12.5 miles, swim 7min for 300yd. Usually I can swim about 4:10-20 for 300yd, this included the run up from transition and the run back down to finish.. some of which I may have walked, ha. when I was young I ran shirtless because I had abs and didn't care. In my 50s as the flab appeared I got self-conscious about it and invested in a number of run singlets. Now I'm old enough not to care much anymore.. in fact have also gone back to swim training in a Speedo brief, which makes people avert their eyes I think ;-)
  6. doug in co

    The Lucky One

    yes.. doubled my mileage, added longer runs, more hillwork.. never did get back.. But we're still moving ! call it a win.
  7. very late, race report.. In the old days (early 2000s) it used to take me 2 hours to get to the race site down in Pueblo CO. This year it took 1h 20min ? Well I'm getting faster at something anyway. The 2004 Ford Sport Trac is apparently quicker than the old 1990 Geo Metro used to be. It's on the CSU campus, nice and quiet, up on a hill with a view across the plain to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The hill is good for views, not so wonderful for running or biking back up at the end of each leg. A reverse order tri, run first, then bike and swim. Off we went, down that hill. See feature/header pic above, I'm the fat man in blue in the middle of the pic. This was a nasty shock to the ego as I hadn't previously realized I've acquired a gut to go along with the slow race paces. Eish. Grind back up that hill again. Last year the Saucony Endorphin Speed went on sale at my local run shop, I bought a pair just to see what the fancy new speed shoes are like. Pretty nice. But, last year's 5k in a triathlon was 28:04 in the old race shoes and I'd hoped for a bit of a boost. Today it was 28:01, though admittedly a much hillier course. The gut is now hanging out the bottom of the singlet, my apologies to all the spectators who had to see that. It's a Speedo top which is slightly faster than bare skin for the swim. I'd forgotten it wasn't quite long enough.. Off on the bike with high hopes, though I can't run anymore the bike has been holding relatively steady. The course bombs down the hill then out onto the plains to a turnaround at the airport. The road was quiet making for a nice ride. The swim was crowded. Usually I can swim at the front in peace, today I was behind all the runners who were much faster than me. It was also much much harder than expected, could barely wave my arms around. Finished, in more ways than one. 34 overall, 3rd AG, ranking 60th on run, 38th on bike, 20th on swim. A nice plaque for AG awards. If I could still run the AG win would have been possible, oh well. T News story from the local paper. Grant Drummond used to race Tim Hola (on L in picture) for the win every year, then some careless driver wasn't paying attention, knocked Grant off his bike and into a wheelchair. A reminder to be grateful. Since I was in the neighborhood, stopped by the Arkansas river tailwater below Pueblo dam for a bit of fishing. The water was high and the fish hiding. I didn't mind, just being on the river is therapy enough. The swallows were nesting below the bridge. A bit industrial up below the dam wall. A few smaller trout and quite good enough too. Plan was to run the Red Desert half in September as the next run race. That's gone by the board now, pfui. I raced canoe slalom National championships a few weeks back, which was fun, here with friend Jeff in the tandem boat and working on an upstream gate. Came back with Covid which was not fun. Fully vaccinated with 2 boosters, always masked indoors, camped at the canoe races so we were outdoors and socially distanced - yet still somehow managed to contract it. Fevers to 104 with all the usual other symptoms except for loss of taste and smell. The Paxlovid anti-viral medication makes everything taste like bitter ashes, better than an ER though. I do wonder how bad it might have been without the medication, as there were two days where I felt really quite bad, worse than anything since viral meningitis back in the early 2000s. Self-isolated at home in the master bedroom suite which helped not at all as the rest of the family got it from me. Sorry family.. Fortunately no-one had really bad symptoms and we all seem to be slowly improving. I haven't worked out in 2 weeks and don't want to, just too tired. So that's a bit of a bore. Still here, still moving, sounds like a big win actually ;-)
  8. doug in co

    racing this year

    picture is from last fall's elk hunting trip.. been trying for ten years, this is the first of all the coming years when I won't be going up a mountain in the fall looking for elk. I'll miss it though in some ways it's a relief, a lot of planning, then physically and mentally tough long days in the field. Applications go in April and I didn't have to spend those hours of analyzing snowpack, forage, long-range weather forecasts, herd reports, etc etc. After my sainted PT fixed (mostly) the L knee, and the heel bursitis is mostly under control, I was hoping to actually run a couple races this year. Turns out the race is against old Father Time, who is undefeated.. I can do the miles I used to do, slower than before, but the real change is in recovery. A long run even easy takes about 3 days of recovery. Four days of moderate training in a row is the best I can do, then have to lie down and breathe slowly for a day. The HRV4Training app on my phone has been useful as it gives an objective measure for the stress/recovery status. I'd always feel a bit of guilt when not working out, or backing off the scheduled workout to something easier. The app lets me see my weariness is not mere laziness and I really do need that rest day. So the plan got scaled way back. The Red Desert half-marathon on trail/dirt road in September, and a sprint distance triathlon next week. The Ordinary Mortals tri ran from the early 90s until 2006, I raced it from 2000 to 2006, winning my age group for the first time in that last race. The original race director retired and it faded away, renewed at a different location with different courses in 2012 or so. That coincided with my personal lapse in racing so I haven't yet raced this course. Planning to wear my 2002 race shirt to the race, the shirt is beautifully faded and comfortable 😉 Race report to come, should I survive.. In other news, we hosted an Easter party for church with a spit-roast lamb and roughly 60 people, for the first time in 3 years. We were all very happy to be there and see each other.. one son away at college, the other actually flew home for Easter because he knows what a good party it is..
  9. doug in co

    That was April!

    yuk sorry about the Boston struggle - thank you for the report, enjoyed it..
  10. doug in co

    Comeback 2022 - week 15-17

    my wife maintains it's much harder being a marathon supporter, than running it 😉 all that dashing around and trying to find parking and/or synchronize on public transport..
  11. doug in co

    Prairie Spirit 50k

    yes, that's very odd - you are doing plenty of miles, I never did 100 mile weeks, would top out around 60-80..
  12. doug in co

    Prairie Spirit 50k

    well done ! with your marathon PR, sub-3:30 should be very much possible.. my experience with 50k was that it was functionally indistinguishable from a marathon. That might be a distorted view given that a 56k was my primary race each year and I'd run marathons as long training runs..
  13. doug in co

    Comeback 2022 - week 13

    loved the NK Jemisin and Martha Wells books.. at last test, my a1c was 5.6 instead of 5.7, magically I'm no longer pre-diabetic.. though come to think of it, we've been doing the Orthodox fast for Lent this year, maybe all the vegetables helped. (no meat, fish, dairy or eggs, wine and oil allowed on weekends only). came out of twice-weekly PT for six months recently. The knee is holding up, the shoulder has now broken down with a new rotator cuff problem. I've been trying an app we get free through work, Hinge Health. It seems to be more for sedentary office workers with chronic pain though, hasn't been helpful. Back to PT I guess. My wife worked at the church for a decade or so, told me that the older parishioners seemed to spend much of their day just getting to all the doctor appointments. Here I go ;-) CT scan tomorrow, lung function test next week, dermatologist after that, have to fit in PT somehow around earning a living..
  14. doug in co

    Comeback 2022 - week 8

    I used to run in everything.. last month in MN I decided that I was no longer running in single digit temps, and did laps indoors at U of MN's beautiful facility.. ugh on the diabetes and meds. I'm pre-diabetic apparently despite forty years of running and triathlon.. last week was cross-country skiing with some friends, we were comparing our heart EKG apps on the phones. Steve (67) then said, "but wait till you need the blood glycogen ones too !" gee thanks Steve.. My old doctor retired. My new doctor said, you can control this with diet and exercise. I lost it a bit.. if I exercised any more I'd need to retire to get the workouts in, been eating clean for decades now..
  15. impressive mileages there.. wow. What's the 50k goal race ? I used to run a 56k race every year, and did a couple of 50k runs - my best was 3:20 and 101st place, very annoyed because I wanted sub-3:20 and top 100 ;-) my reading ran into a roadblock this month - was reading through the Ngaio Marsh murder mysteries on an app called Hoopla from the library. Last night finished #12 and went to borrow the next one, message "sorry you have exceeded your limit of 12 books per month, see you next month !". Humph. Now I have to find something else to read..
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