Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How do you tie that knot?

Tonight I went climbing with Matt. It has been a very long time since we roped up together. I would dare say it has been a month. We have been bouldering a few times, but it isn't the same. The weather has been beautiful, it's been rolling in the 70's all week. We decided today would be a good day to go hit up Bongeater. Bongeater is at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is a 10d dihedral. When I say we climbed it, I mean we flailed up it. Okay, so it wasn't quite flailing, but we definitely got worked. Since neither of us is even remotely close to being a 10d trad leader we threw up a TR on it. It starts out as a flaring crack that you pretty much jam in a foot and scramble your way up about 15 feet to a couple of blocks wedged in the crack where you can almost get a decent jam. Then you have to go over these block for about another 15 feet or so before the crack narrows into beautiful hand jams. After about 20 feet of hand width, the crack widens to ridiculous off-width which you just lieback. It is a cool climb and I definitely clawed, jammed, grunted, sweated, and even bled a little to get up. It was painful but as soon as you get back to the ground you think "hey, it wasn't that bad, perhaps I'll give it another go."

It felt good to rope up. It had definitely been too long. Even in that short time I became a little rusty and the rock felt a little foreign. What is it going to be like after a winter of no climbing? I don't know. It was a good time and it felt good to be back up at the rocks.

Winter is coming soon. I can't wait. Pretty soon the snow will begin to fall and daydreams will turn long trail runs to dawn tours and endless powder days. This winter will be fairly crazy. Jess is due at the start of December (beginning of ski season). I know I won't be able to ski as much as I used to, but I don't really care. It is going to be extremely exciting to have a baby!

I am not into resort skiing right now. Most of my ski days will be dawn patrols before work. I figure this should work out well since we will probably be up with the baby. Once the baby goes to sleep, instead of going back to bed, I'll just boot up and hit the skin track. I do look forward to the days I will get to ride with Jess. She is by far my favorite person to ski with. Since we don't have backcountry gear for her we will be heading to the resorts (probably mostly Beaver Mountain). On the days we can't get a sitter for the baby we will go snowshoeing with the baby. It is going to be a good winter.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Running Again

I finally got my shoes today. They are the Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR. The fit pretty well except in the left shoe there is one seam that sticks out a little that rubs a little funny, but I think it will be easily fixed. I went out for a short run, about 35 minutes, up Millcreek Canyon. It was a beautiful evening. It has been raining off and on for the past week and everything had the deeper color that only comes from rain. I love running when it is raining and right after it rains. The best part is running in the mud and puddles. I was a little nervous about the run because it was going to tell me if I was really injured or not. Everything was a little tight so I took it easy. There wasn't any pain anywhere during the run and so far everything feels good post-run. I just need to remember to ease back into running since it has been two weeks since the marathon and my legs had sore areas from the race. I didn't think I would miss running but I did. It felt really good to get out again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bike Commuting

I finally finished my second bike. It is a single speed commuter that I now ride to my carpool. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is no feasible way to fully bike commute to work. I am especially stoked about this bike because 1-I put it together myself (with some good pointers and help from my friend Matt) and 2-It cost less than $40. A friend gave me the frame (he found it in the dumpster along with another frame that he kept for himself). All of the parts came from the SLC Bike Collective. Check out their website. They are a rad non-profit that sells bike parts, has bike education classes, and fixes up bikes to give to under-privileged kids. I am especially stoked (and also promote) bike commuting for the following reasons:

  1. It saves money. I had driven our second car to meet up with the carpool 3-4 days a week. We ended up filling the car with gas about every two weeks. Current cost to top off the tank, about $35. In two weeks of bike commuting the bike will be paid for.
  2. Exercise. I now get an extra 35-40 minutes of exercise a day. You can't complain about this.
  3. It is good for the environment. Less driving equals less emissions.
  4. It feels good to be socially responsible.
Check out the bike:
I still have yet to run since the marathon. I actually wish I could run, I don't like not running. My left knee is still a little sore so I guess it is good that I haven't run yet. The main reason why I haven't run is my shoes are so ridiculously worn out. I have a new pair coming from Montrail and the day I get them I will definitely be out on the trail breaking them (and myself) in.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Run, Run, Run, Run, and Run Some More!

On Saturday I ran my first marathon. It was the Mid Mountain Marathon in Park City. It starts at Deer Valley Ski Resort and traverses at 8000 feet to Park City Mountain Resort and then on to the Canyons where you finish at the base of the resort. It was a relatively grueling run. I had run the length of the course over a couple of training runs in the weeks prior to the race, so I knew what to expect. I finished with a time of 5:07. My time goal was 4:30, but that was a fairly lofty goal for a first marathon that happened to be a trail marathon that isn't on a fast course. There were some interesting challenges to overcome during the race. I started off at a relatively good pace, but after five miles I decided to pick up the pace a little (rookie mistake). That decision did lead to some extreme tiredness later in the race, but the biggest challenge was knee problems that began at mile 10. For the most part it didn't hurt too bad, except on the downhills. This proved to be especially challenging at the end of race where the last six miles are downhill! The last six miles were extremely slow. Overall, I feel really good about the race and am very pleased with my performance and my time. It was certainly a good learning experience and I will hopefully not make the same mistakes in future races. Below is a picture near the start.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I made a bike

Okay that isn't true, I made two bikes. Well I didn't actually "make" the bikes, I just pieced together two bikes from some frames that I had. One is a single speed cruiser for riding around the neighborhood, to the store, etc. The other bike is a single speed commuter. I won't actually commute to work, but I'll ride it to where our carpool meets. I wouldn't ever actually bike to work. A guy from work decided to ride his bike from SLC to Park City. He left at 4:30 AM and got to work at 7:15 AM. Not really a feasible task for everyday. Anyway...The commuter isn't quite done yet. I still need to put on the brake and tape the handlebars, but other than that it is good to go. For now here's a picture of the cruiser. I'll post a pic of the commuter when it is finished.