Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, 02/19/11 Chariot Maiden Voyage

After a lot of waffling over whether or not I should indulge, a great deal, combined with a few other things miraculously coming together, I decided to pull the trigger and buy a top of the line, Chariot CX2 with jogging kit, biking kit and strolling kit.  What's the big deal you ask? 

Chariots cost a little more than most other joggers and I always wondered what all the fuss was about, how could they really be worth that much money?  A baby jogger is a baby jogger right?  That is what I thought also, but after befriending North Face sponsored runner and father of 1 year old twin girls, Sam Thompson (yes, that Sam Thompson, the guy who paved the way for Deano by running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days), he had me completely sold on the concept.

I placed my order last Friday and had to wait through the weekend for the order to be shipped and processed.  On Monday, I checked my e-mail all day waiting for the UPS tracking code, but it never showed.  When I got home that evening, I had a message saying that the credit card was not going through for some security reasons (probably since it was a large purchase made in Canada), so, once that got cleared up on Tuesday morning, the incessant UPS tracking commenced.  After getting fired up even further watching the Chariot vids on the website, I was more excited than if I had ordered a new carbon Madone with Dura-Ace, as I will certainly use the Chariot more.

UPS indicated a Friday delivery and sure enough after returning home from a trip up Green, there were two large Chariot boxes on the doorstep and I quickly got to work, carefully unwrapping and assembing as though it were Christmas day.  Just a year ago or less, I would have laughed if anyone had predicted that I would eventually be so into baby joggers and mini vans.  How times change.

A welcome sight

Very easy to assemble

Isabelle was in the house crying, so instead of just rocking her, I put her to work helping get the Chariot set up.  (She seemed to enjoy helping and the busy work got her to stop crying) (Chariot pictured with strolling kit)

Ready to roll

For our maiden voyage, I decided to jog them over to see Mom at work which is 4 miles away via sidewalks, bike path and a smattering of curbs, un-announced dead end sidewalks and a bumpy gravel field crossing.  I had them well bundled and zipped in under the hard plastic weather shields, but things warmed quickly in the sun and we were soon peeling back the side and front panels for some nice ventilation.  I stopped every 5 minutes or so to check on them and make sure they were not too hot or too cold and make sure they seemed content and comfortable.  They seemed to be doing great with the added supporters I got for them.  They are still a little small, so I took it really easy, being careful to tilt the jogger back and slow down for even the smallest bumps and imperfections in the sidewalk.

Just after arriving at the hospital (Isabelle left, Amelie right)

Mom sure was glad to see her girls

Sierra checking up on them when we got home

The outing ended up being just a little too long (with the ~40 minute stop at the hospital to visit Mom), as Amelie started to cry about 2 miles from home and Isabelle was occasionally voicing her eagerness to get home and eat as well, which, needless to say, inspired me to hurry it along a bit.

Pushing the Chariot was a bit more work than I anticipated and I give Sam and Brandon major credit for running fast races with 2 kids in a Chariot or BOB.  My scrawny arms were a little sore and I was constantly adjusting to find the optimal hand position.  The hand brake is great, as once you get some momentum going down even a small hill, it works great to keep speed in check.  I think part of what made the run more difficult than it should have been was running Green Mountain immidiately prior and not recovering/rehydrating from it before I got into an 8 mile run pushing a jogger.

We had a great time and look forward to many more adventures in the Chariot as we all build our strength and endurance a bit.


4 miles to hospital:  40 minutes
Visiting with Allison and co-workers:  ~40 minutes
4 miles home:  37 minutes

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday, 02/19/11 Green Mountain

For a change of pace and scenery, I decided to ascend Gregory/Greenman, or what some refer to as the "middle route".  Today I decided to spike up for the first ~:49 seconds of luge run at the start after scaring myself a bit tip toeing on it yesterday.  Made decent progress up Gregory, pushing a little where flattish, but then really cutting back and just hiked some sections where it was steeper, being cautious of my achilles mostly.

Like yesterday, a load of hard glare ice, uneven frozen footprints, dry rock sections (all too short to warrant removing the spikes) and finally a few minutes of bliss on perfectly packed snow on the final switchbacks to the summit.  In my mind, the route seems just slightly longer than the other two usual routes, but after running it today, it seemed bit longer than I remember (at least regarding time).

Enjoyed the summit for a while, debating which descent route would be the lesser of 5 evils.  Ultimately decided to backtrack the way I came.  Almost had a head on with two runners ascending Greenman below the Saddle/Greenman jct. on a blind sweeping turn (not that close, but closer than usual with the ice).  After the fact, I realized it may have been Jason S, but I have never met him and it all happened a little quick.

44:27 up
30:31 down

Friday, 02/18/11 Green Mountain

Started up from Gregory Canyon around 1:30pm and immidiately knew conditions were going to be interesting, as what is normally the first ~minute of the run was rock solid, bullet proof ice despite the reasonably comfortable 50's-ish temps.  I negotiated the first section (just barely) without traction, as I knew things would soon clear up for the remainder of the way up Gregory Canyon, but progress was slow and careful.

Once at the top of Gregory, I threw on the spikes, as I had a feeling that aside from a few short sections, the remainder of the trail, to the 4-way at least, would be very slick.  Much of it was like a luge run, which was actually OK if you have reasonably sharp microspikes, but some sections on the upper ridge are melted out, so it was either glare ice, or scratching on rock.

I took it fairly mellow and Sierra was ahead of me most of the way having a blast in the softer snow on the side of the trail.  Spent a long while soaking up the sun on the summit before heading down.

The descent required some caution due to the uneven and sometimes awkward footing.  It never really flowed and running on the ice was like pounding pavement, only harder.

Up:  44
Down:  24

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday, 02/16/11 Lagerman Reservoir

Had a reasonably enjoyable run from work, out to Lagerman Reservoir and back. It actually seemed hot today, but the price for the warmth was a strong Westerly wind which I fought for half of the run. Headed West on Pike Rd. and as per usual, was hating it for the first mile or so as I debated just bagging the run. With each mile that passed beneath my feet though, I became increasingly accepting of it and even came to enjoy it by the time I got to the dirt road leading to the reservoir (note to self, drive the 5 minutes of pavement to get to the dirt next time to spare myself the misery of plodding along streets and sidewalks). The reservoir was larger than I expected and made for a pleasant loop with great views before I had to head back toward work. The tailwind on the way back was great, mainly because I could now hear the podcast I was trying to listen to.

Ironically, when I returned to work and checked my e-mail, I got the following comment to my blog from Kraig:

"Jeff, you work really close to my house. If you take Clover Basin west there are some nice gravel roads to run on past Lagerman Res or 81st street to Oxford Rd.  It is around 2 miles of pavement to get to the gravel."

8 miles
150 vertical
59 minutes
155 avg. HR

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, 02/14/11 Longmont Run

Got out on my lunch break for a super easy run around Longmont, but chose a new route this time.  N. on S. Fordham, zig zagged through parks and neighborhoods to Nelson, then W. to Airport Rd., past Amgen (thought about stopping in for a boost of sorts), hit up some new path that wound it's way NE to Golden Ponds Park, E. along the St. Vrain path, through a ton of mud along the creek and across the muddy fairgrounds. crossed Hover, past Home Depot and back on Dry Creek Dr..  It took me several miles to get into this run, but it was so nice out, I was just enjoying the sunshine on my face so much, it did not matter that I was running on flat cement and mud (OK, it matters, but I am slowly learning to accept that something is better than nothing).

6.5 miles
137 avg. HR
108 vertical

Weekly Wrap Up 02/07/11 - 02/13/11

I'm still taking it easy on my achilles by taking time off and spending a lot of time over here getting in some great baby jogger walks and thoroughly enjoying it.

Thursday, 02/10/11:  2.5 miles pushing the baby jogger through un-shoveled sidewalks, snowbanks and slush.

Friday, 02/11/11:  3 miles with the jogger on dryer, but still often times snow covered paths.

Saturday, 02/12/11:  Green Mountain from Chautauqua with Brandon, up back, down front.  Casual pace, just catching up really and not pushing the achilles (51 up).

Sunday, 02/13/11:  Green Mountain with Allison and Sierra (up/down back).  Started late morning and the temp was warm, but the wind was cranking pretty good.  At the last minute, I grabbed a few extra articles of warm clothing and sure was glad that I did, as the easy pace, combined with the howling wind made me really cold.  Might have passed by Shad in Gregory Canyon, but realized it after the fact.  The creaky trees were a bit un-nerving at times and I was nearly lifted off the ground on several occasions.  Our summit stay was brief.  (up in 1:07, down in 40).  Sierra seems to be getting back to her old self, not sure what her problem was in the fall, but she is a stout mountain dog again and seems to recover well afterwards.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, 02/05/11 Green

Met up with Footfeathers for an easy trip up Green.  Started at Chautauqua, up Gregory/Ranger, down Bear Canyon. Great to catch up with Tim.

Up 52:07 (avg. HR 143)
Down ??

Friday, 02/04/11 Green

Up/Down Gregory Ranger with Sierra.  Sierra was great today, was like a puppy again in the snow and she was ahead of me the whole time waiting on my slow self.  Took it very easy for the sake of my achilles.

48:46 up (149 avg. HR)
29:17 down (132 avg. HR)