29 March, 2016

Adventures with Billy The Kid: Spring Break 2016 Days One and Two

obligatory pano shot!
Let me preface it with the week preempting our Spring Break we had two monstrous snow days and I took a personal day to watch my kids because their break didn't coincide with mine. Needless to say, I took my middle daughter skiing with me the Monday. Worked Tuesday. Snowed like the dickens including a wicked pissa of a blizzard on Wednesday (snow day). The remnants of blizzard were so awful; Thursday became another snow day, that leaves Friday as the remaining workday.

the effort and cold is about to take hold!
First day, (or the first day I did an official activity) Saturday. Met an old friend-a former teaching colleague-at Winter Park for some Spring skiing. Skied for six hours! Unheard of for a man of my advancing years.

Second day. Skinny Tire Ride up to Dead Horse Point State Park. Here's my Garmin info if you're interested...https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1103021517
Kevin left; Billy right.
Kevin was pretty hardcore. He caravan'd with us out to Moab to ride DHPSP only to turn around and go back home after the ride; but first let me tell you how it started...
When we arrived in Moab around noon we parked at the Discover Moab sign (parking lot) and were bummed that it was slightly cold but then again we left Colorado where we were socked with a blizzard less than a week ago. We figured wearing one layer would be good because the first thirty miles were uphill (yes, thirty). That strategy worked for a while..
climbing up 313 via my sly selfie!
Little did we know the weather turned south quickly!

Here we are probably twelve miles into the ride. Weather's cooperative, our legs were feeling spunky, and the road wasn't too steep. As we kept climbing, the wind gusts and the sun's rays were quickly becoming inversely proportional (you guess what did what). GPS is great for data; GPS is awful for the ability to look at data if you're OCD about the destination.  I knew we were getting close because the thirty mile point was our turnaround. What did I do? Kept looking at my Garmin and slowly watching the pot NOT boiling. Ever so slowly we finally reach THE SIGN for Dead Horse Point State Park; but we needed another three miles of rolling roads to actually get into the park. By this point we were echeloning to share the brunt of these annoying side gusts while the mercury kept dropping (it's actually red dye in alcohol nowadays). The picture on the right is a road sign telling people to bust a left. Three miles and six burning legs later we make it to the actual sign. Here, I slyly suggested we should turn around to beat the weather and the winds but Kevin wanted to actually go the visitor center and Billy said he was down. So who was I to be a stick in the mud? So off we go to the oh so warm visitor center that had a public restroom. When we were tying our steeds to the post a mountain biker asked where we started from. We replied from Moab and she said she was impressed by our cycling feat. I wanted to say, "Are you also impressed by our lack of warm weather clothes?" Kevin, thankfully lets me bum his windproof vest for the downhill.

My lovely wife Karen, suggested we have an espresso drink because they have a coffee hut there; but we were so cold we just wanted to turn around. Actually it was me who wanted to turn around. Kevin saw the sign for the actual DHPSP view point was another mile (damn brah, another mile? My semimembranosus tendons flanking the back of the knee was feeling like it could cramp at any moment). Of course I left my knee warmers back in Moab because we were starting out warm. Dummy! The trade-off for my self-inflicted pain are these pictures of Dead Horse Point.
The erosive powers of water
Amazing views aren't they? Of course the mile to get to these vistas are downhill, so after we take these gorgeous photos, the winds are absolutely howling so we bust a 180 to high tail it out of there! The road there's one of the highest, exposed roads in the town of Monticello so we have no break from the winds until we pull out of the rollers and it's finally turning into a full tail wind. Yay! But until that point I'm pushing it fairly hard to get my exposed, one-layered, non-thinking self out of that stress test. The downhill back to town's a blast. We sprinted to a sign as we got closer to 191. I jumped waaay too early and Kevin diesels past me for the the win for bragging rights. The weather was fundamentally warmer near Moab and we could even tolerate the head wind (that changed on us) that taunted us on our way back to the car on the newly paved (relatively new) bike path. 62 road miles in Moab. Kind of blasphemous since Moab is the Mecca of mountain biking; but, that's how we-wait for it-roll.

22 March, 2016

My first and last half marathon?

We all left from Robb and Jill's ranch after we dropped off the poochies. Before that, I woke up at 5 a.m. to finish my grades to post to the district's grading program my urchin's academic efforts (at least for people who have a password). It all started after Karen and Robb ran 'The Other Half" half-marathon back in October; and one day, when we were all sitting around during Christmas break, somebody in the group suggested we do the first half, half-marathon come Spring. Me being rather susceptible to peer pressure said, "Ah, what the heck." as did my brother in-law. So. Six hours later and after stopping by The Hot Tomato in Fruita for an early din-din, here we are in Moab.
 If you look at the numbers, we had the opportunity to put a personalized message on it. Mine was "Fly or Die," Karen's was "runforpeace;" Drew's: Dopers suck; and Robb's: the number for Jean Valjean when he was in the French pokie. Got in just in time to get our packet pickup and to sample the free goodies from Clif Bar, who happens to be our cycling team's sponsor as well. Coincidentally it happened to be my brother in-law's birthday so we had a we bit of birthday cake i brought from Cake Crumbs back in Denver. Drew snapped the plastic knife from the motel 8 and needless to say it was a messy yet rather delicious snack before bedtime.
starting to pile up.

'Tis go day. We're up and at 'em and here's what the start line looks like. The start time's at 10 and we're up there by 8:30, so we relax. Once we're off, we're hoofing it pretty good. Karen, Drew, and I have to pee rather fierce so we find a porta potty with a rather long queue and wait it out. Robb's not feeling good this morning so he keeps running and we'll catch up with him later. Later comes, and around mile 9 my IT band is absolutely SCREAMING and I tell Karen I have to walk because I am in pain. So this is how I finish: I walk a bunch and run in twenty second intervals until I finally cross the finish line. I'm motivated by the pace setter carrying the 2:30 sign. What a great motivator. I'm the slowest in my group with a 2:30h. Karen finishes with a 2:12; Robb, a 2:13, and Drew a 2:10. After looking at my Garmin my last 3 miles were 14 minutes a piece. Ouch! Not done with half marathoning. Want to do it free of pain next time as evidenced by my gimpiness as we walk back to our hotel.

We end our hunger at Giliberto's, formerly Los Jilbertos for a mostly empty but delicious refill of kilocalories. It was actually fun...we'll see if another opportunity arises.