Monthly Archives: March 2009

More Moab Adrenaline…

Ooops, forgot to mention that the next morning after the Moab Xstream race, I felt the urge to get another adrenaline fix, so I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane for my first skydive!! Woo woo! There’s even video to prove it (but it’ll cost you about 89.00 bucks).

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Solo FART places at MOAB XSTREAM


Hello All!

So I have started out the FART season with a bang for us, and the bar is set! I represented the FARTs as a solo racer this past weekend in the Adventure Xstream 12hour race in Moab, UT. Packing and arranging for a fly-in race is quite an undertaking, now I know what Andy goes through! Of course the airlines lost the ‘transition box’ that I meticulously packed and taped and labeled, but fortunately it showed up late the next day, and well before race day. Snow began to fall 2 days before the race, so off I went to buy more gear… I have enough to outfit a platoon now it seems! Race day dawned gorgeous and crisp, around 33 deg. There were over 260 (!) racers! The field seemed highly competitive and highly motivated and I was so excited to be among them.

My two primary goals were to 1) remain healthy/injury-free and 2) finish the course.. the Third goal was to place… Happily I achieved all three of my goals.

I was able to wear my Garmin, so got all the data on distances, times, and heart rate (for late-night fun with statistics). The first split consisted of a 20 mile mt bike climb, up Long canyon and along Gemini bridges trail. At mile 5 began the 2000 foot climb (in approx 2 miles!).  Every competitor I saw had to walk their bike at some point, it was that steep! At Gemini bridges we did a quick transition to climbing harnesses (carried in our packs) and then off the edge we went, about 300 ft down!! What a rush, but no time to enjoy it, had to quickly punch the CP and get to running back up the sandy trail, 6 miles. Had a little hip flexor issue, probably due to the unfamiliar rental bike configuration, and the fact that this was the first time I had ever used my clipless pedals and shoes! So the last 3 miles of the run was not to my expectations, but as I said, primary goal was my health. Then back onto the bikes for a screaming 15 mile downhill and flat. The sand traps were the trickiest part, as they would come up in the trail suddenly and literally stop you in your tracks. I had heard that one gentleman had a nasty fall and had to be carried out. Next I reached to river, for the final transition to kayaking. Here is definitely where I had the greatest advantage, primarily technical, in that all the pairs and 4-somes had to use the mandatory inflatables, and i got to use a hardshell which made my glide down the water lickity-split. I was able to pass 12 (!) boats over the 10-ish miles. It was a beautiful ride, and I got to enjoy some sun and scenery as the other competitors begged to trade boats with me. I made some good tactical choices that helped as well, as I was able to glide over the sand bars that trapped other folks. I think I finished the race in 7hrs 20 min, although that conflicts slightly with their numbers. Either way, I ended up with a giganormous super-c00l medal (nice logo!) to add to the collection, and some really great memories. I did an excellent job with clothing, but still made errors in food choices and placement, so I’ll have to keep working on that for Grizzlyman.

Hopefully the pics I attach come through! Happy Training Everyone, see you in Montana!!!



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One Good Day!

Hi, all!

El Capitan back with you, hoping that you’re all getting in some good training! Spring is right around the corner I think, despite what the weather here at FARTquarters is.

Here’s a correction on our last post, BTW: Andy wanted me to mention that we also did a 38 mile bike ride the day before we did our Bernard Peak snowshoe… I mean, what’s wrong with me, after all?

For those who may not have heard, I’m taking a 15 week Mountain School through the Spokane Mountaineers, and it’s been an awesome experience so far. Our first outdoor evolution is in two weeks, and I’m psyched. Jeni and I joined a few others for a snowshoe up Mt. Spokane last week as a precursor to our other workouts.

Speaking of workouts, we decided to really push ourselves this weekend, and I think we succeeded…

Our day started at 7:50 a.m, at Spokane Falls Community College, which is along the Bloomsday route at about mile 4. We parked the car and bikes there, and ran the 7ish mile Bloomsday course as a warm-up, then we jumped on our bikes and rode to Nine Mile (through some serious ice and snow). Next, we jumped on the Centennial Trail, and rode back to Arbor Crest Winery, a distance of about 30 miles. BTW, the last .8 of a mile up to the winery is NASTY… 15% average grade.

At the top, we parked the bikes and ran 4.4 miles on the bluff, and then ran down the nasty hill and back up, which was a real challenge.

After a short pause for lunch at the winery, we were back on our bikes heading north toward Green Bluff, about 14 miles away. I’d forgotten how big the hill is going up to Green Bluff, but yes, it was noticeable, to say the least. My guess is about 1.5 miles.

We ran an additional 4 miles in the hills on the Bluff, and then headed back toward town into a 25 mph howling wind, accompanied by sleet and freezing rain! Awesome!

We rode back to the college, and then for kicks and giggles, ran down to the river, and did Doomsday Hill not once, but twice, before running back up to the college.

Totals: 60 pretty tough miles on the bikes, a little over 20 miles running with some great hills, and about 10:30 moving time.

In all, a pretty good kick in the pants!

Physically, we both felt pretty good the morning after, which I hope indicates that we are getting in race shape.

We’re heading out to do some rappelling on Wednesday, and hope to get some more good work in this week as well.

Hope everyone is getting out and doing some training… we are heading over to Montana to scout out the Grizzlyman terrain a bit this next week… you’re all welcome!

Don’t forget to put Adventure Sports Week on your calendars… it’s coming quick, and we would love everyones help to spread the word!

See you soon!



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Oh, where oh where have we been?

Hi, Everyone!

I am SO sorry for taking so long in between posts… this past month has been on of the busiest on record, with Great West Gymfest and getting everything in gear for Adventure Sports Week 2009, which is now onlu 91 days away!! Yikes!

First off, just to ease Thomas’ concern, my training has seldom been better… I mean, you never know when someone’s going to ask you to PQ with them… 🙂

Snow biking and snowshoeing are two of my new favorite hobbies, as well as the normal running, and I’ve been getting in plenty of all three. EZven though the mountain isn’t open for riding yet, there are plenty of hills to keep your legs “stimulated,”  and I don’t feel like I’ve lost much since last fall. It will be interesting to see when I can ride the mountain again and do a solid hour uphill how I fare, but now, I feel pretty good, and the bike-run or bike-run-snowshoe bricks have been most enjoyable!

One of the other cool factors has been getting back to the aerobic base training, which I disliked last winter (at least at first) and looked forward to this year… let’s just say I’m a believer. Morgen and Lizzy (new FARTlette Lizzy) came over a couple of weeks ago, and after we did a good bike, we ran the Loop. Morgen was really pushing the pace. I hadn’t tried running fast (well, fast for a 47 year old) in almost two months, and even though he was trotting at almost a minute per mile faster than I had been training, I had no problems keeping the pace, and even after the Big Hill, my recovery was excellent. We ended up less than two minutes off my “record” time for the hilly 6 miles, with no real effort at all. I’m fairly confident I could have broken my mark, so a good start to the year.

Corey Haustein and his wife Michelle are my right hand people for ASW, and are both Ironpeople. Corey is training for the Deepwater 50 miler at ASW in June as his qualifier for Western States, and along with Keith, we did a snazzy surprise 18 miles a week ago on a pretty difficult track, so running is feeling pretty good right now.

One of my plans for the next few weeks is to do a one day “runabout,” similar to the Aussie tradition of a walkabout… I’m going to leave the house at sunrise, and run/jog/hike/speedwalk as far as I can until sunset, and then have Lisa come and pick my carcass up off the road somewhere. This was a suggestion from Dean Karnazes in his new book 50/50, in which he tells the story of running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in 50 different states.

It is a great book, I must say. He has a very engaging, “every man” style of writing, that almost makes you beleive that he’s normal, instead of the freak of nature-fittest man in the world that he is… At this time, he is tentatively scheduled to attend ASW, and I’m psyched to meet him in person!

This past Sunday, a group of 6 of us, including Christine, my race-mate for Grizzlyman, her husband and another friend, Andy and Jeni did a 7.5 hour snowshoe OVER Bernard Peak and down the cutline… 4000 feet vertical up, chest deep snow, awesome!

Last night I started Mountain Guide School, which promises to be awesome… I’ll keep you in touch, but it’s like I’m back in Grad School! It is a robust curriculum, for sure!

Alright… more later! Keep in touch, and good training all!

PS… Keep me in mind, Thomas! I can carry your water or something!  Lol!

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