Tag Archives: running

Fast Forward

A couple times a year, my life just hits fast-forward. I got back from Alaska and immediately started packing to move house the next weekend.

Schreck

The McKinstry truck I borrowed for moving came with a stern task master.

After the move, I started unpacking while simultaneously digging out gear for my first 50km trail race, The Rut. I left work at noon on Friday before the Sunday race and drove to Missoula- my pre-race team was second to none:

I'm not sure I would have finished with out these folks cheering me on.

I’m not sure I would have finished with out these folks cheering me on.

The Rut was really hard. My training took a nose-dive in August due to other constraints, and my shoes were too lightweight¬†for the course. Lots of lessons learned: I took the first downhill too fast, I added some glue to the shoes to alleviate a soft spot (and found that hard spots are worse), and for the first time, really actually wanted the dubious “mini-soft-shell gaiters”. Also, poles. Poles would be not stupid on this course. Double also, crew. Having a crew person is rad. Thanks to Paige, Jess, Tod, and Amanda for pinch hitting in that regard.

Up and over the peak at right... twice. Remember it is supposed to be hard.

Up and over the peak at right… twice. Remember it is supposed to be hard.

Post race salt deposit. It was hard.

Post race salt deposit. It was hard.

I got a truly gnarly set of blisters by mile 11, which made the race a lot grittier than it needed to be. Early nutrition and cheering volunteers kept my spirits up. Once we got into the steeper terrain I stopped getting passed and the scenery got a lot better. After adding a full roll of tape to my feet at mile 18, I was ready to fight for the finish. Around mile 25 the blisters were screaming and I dug two painkillers out of my jacket pocket, just to take the edge off against the remaining miles. I’m not proud of needing the pills, but it felt like the right call at the time. I finished in 8hr 4min 10sec. Not the sub-8hrs I hoped for, but for a few long hours afterwards I felt full, that simply finishing was enough. I’m not afraid of the distance, or my feet, any more and

Tape is awesome. Flip flops are awesome.

Tape is awesome. Flip flops are awesome.

I had a wonderful night of recovery (2 dinners!) staying with Jordan and Cari in Bozeman before driving back to Seattle in one go on Monday- it took 3 tries to get out of the car at the first gas stop. Despite the stiffness in my legs, it was a beautiful drive, which was good because I jumped straight into a 11hr workday, and then onto a flight to Chicago for the 2015 North American Passive House Conference (NAPHC) on Wednesday.

What’s wrong with me that this:

Wall insulation cross section.

Wall insulation cross section.

is almost as much fun as this:

These guys are awesome. I think they had more fun than I did.

These guys are awesome. I think they had more fun than I did.

It was a great conference. I linked up with some old colleagues, some new potential clients, and got a lecture from a few of my heroes.

After the last 6 weeks in fast forward, I’m officially ready for a weekend at home.

June

I haven’t been going this hard in a long time. June was gone before I blinked.

Thankfully, between moving house, playing a lot of cello, and two amazing weddings, I actually got in a lot of great climbing.

Up and away.

Up and away.

The first weekend of June I knew that Blodgett Canyon was dry, and I’ve been eager to get after the big granite crack there since I first moved here. Mel, Simon, and I racked up and had a beautiful day on the Drip Buttress (5p, 5.9+) route. It was a perfect start to crack climbing season, as well as a beautiful day out. Tech notes: do it in 3 pitches instead of 5, and there is a really well set rappel before you cross the death slabs into the descent gully- taking it makes the descent much nicer. Look for the red slings on the second rap station. 2 ropes required.

Changeover with two incredible partners.

Changeover with two incredible partners.

Winning.

Winning.

The next weekend was Simon’s birthday, and the only thing he wanted was Lost Horse… well and BBQ ribs. We did both in good style despite a little rain.

Jack gets the high step.

Jack gets the high step.

The first time Simon and I climbed together was in Lost Horse, and we discovered that the bouldering is actually just as good as the route climbing. We rallied a crew and some pads, and made a party of it.

Evan, jamming.

Evan, jamming.

Simon might be one of the most joyful people I know, and being around him always picks me up.

Crank! (on the problem we never did stick)

We never did stick this one… but Simon sure looks good, damn!

The third weekend I headed to Moab for the wedding of two dear friends from Alaska. They rented a house in the foothills of the La Sal mountains and filled it with hilarious, wonderful people. While I was honestly most excited to see Drew & Lindzey get hitched, I wasn’t about to drive 800 miles into Red Rock country without a rope and a rack.

Nate puts it up like a BOSS.

Nate puts it up like a BOSS.

Shoving your digits into a sharp sandstone crack a few hours before playing cello for a wedding might not actually be the best idea, but I’m really glad I got to meet Nate and send a few cool pitches on Wall Street before the festivities.

IMG_1346

Sand stone stoke.

I also got out for a good bit of mountain running in the La Sals. I was here 3 years ago and promised I would come back to explore. I wasn’t disappointed.

Aspen.

Aspen.

After a healthy party, I headed back to Missoula, jumped into work, and jumped into another wedding for two other wonderful people. Steph and Noah invited everyone to Glacier for their big deal, and I was more than happy to bring a cello again. The weather didn’t exactly cooperate, but we had a grand time anyways. Again on wedding morning I snuck out for a run up Oussle Peak, but instead of beautiful vistas, I quickly found myself in the clouds.

My favorite running conditions.

My favorite running conditions.

After more responsible festivities than the previous weekend, I made it home for a few pitches in Lolo with Tess, Michael, Sarah, and my new roommate Cristine.

It's official, we're a climber house now.

It’s official, we’re a climber house now. Cristine pulls on the “old school” 5.10…

If you’re climbing at Braxton Rock, know that there are bolts, and a few pieces of gear really go a long way…

Tess pulls the roof bulge.

Tess pulls the roof bulge.

Well. Dang. That’s a lot of climbing pictures. It was a good month and July already looks just as good. Email me for beta or route specific information. Climb safe.