Showing posts from 2012


View Larger Map Breaking my foot left me with few outlets for physical activity. Running was out. Climbing? Out. Hiking? Probably not a good idea. Ultimate? See running. Football? See running. But I figured out a loophole: biking. With a little bit of pushing, I got my little brother to package and send my bike over. A few trips to the bike shop later, I was good to go. And it was awesome. If you haven't biked recently, steal someone's bike and go. Its the most fun you can have on 2 (or more) wheels without getting a motorcycle license. It's like flying, without the falling. Like driving quickly, but without the metal skeleton. And then I got a crazy idea: I should bike to work. So I did. Well, in actuality, I biked from work one evening and biked to work the next day (I still haven't gotten Maryland plates so I can't park on the street at my current residence). Needless to say, I got lost. In both directions. It probably took me 2 hours to make it home (

Aspen Adventures: Capitol's Stormy Approach

Misery loves company, but its not very photogenic.  So we have no photos from our wet, vehicular Capitol approach. It started with one of those classic Aspen rain storms: sunshine on one side of the street and a down-pour on the other. It's Colorado, we reasoned, the storm should be done in fifteen minutes. Our campsite will be dry by the time we get there. We mistook Snowmass with Snowmass Village, failed to find the turn off, and ended up in Basalt. This didn't get us any closer to the Capitol Creek Trailhead. Nor did it make our campsite any drier. Several hours later we pulled into the Hay Park TH, two miles short of the Capitol Creek TH. Our approach vehicles, a rental Chevy Malibu and an Audi, can't handle rough dirt roads, and we had returned the Jeep already. It's too bad: Hay Park, the closest non 4wd Capitol camping location, was TH for horse trails. The parking lot was inches deep with horse shit. We didn't bother getting out of the car t

Aspen Adventures: Rolling in the Jeep

12000 ft. Three Friends. One rental Jeep. One road which you shouldn't drive if "you don't want want to devalue your vehicle." A 500+ ft drop on the right... And one, very, very large bump. I've got to hand it to Dave. Humvee training most definitely paid off.

Aspen Adventures: Castle and Conundrum

On most 14ers, you should be off of the summit at noon. We woke at the crack of dawn. 8:30. Of course, we were at 12,800 ft. The summit is only ~1,300' above us.* We are not concerned: Dave and I are season 14er vets (I've done ~30ish and Dave's done 25ish). Shane? He's done zero. But he's used to the altitude: Dave and I are coming from sea level. Of course, Dave's sea level is a male-only Kosovo military base, but that's Dave's story, not mine. We are completely ready for this. We JetBoil ed some water for breakfast oatmeal, threw on some sun screen (gotta look good for the ladies!), and set out. It was 9:40. We quickly passed a couple groups of people who had caused us to stir when they passed our campsite  at ungodly early hours. We even fulfilled Dave's dream of meeting three gorgeous women at the summit (around 10:50ish). Unfortunately, they weren't heading in our direction: the 14er virgin in their crew was unwilling to continue th

Aspen Adventures: To the Castle!

Picking up where things got interesting from my August 3rd-August 13th Colorado/Vegas Vacation... We set off to Aspen in an Budget rental car, with some good luck Chipotle burritos (they've got them in DC, but not Kosovo), $200 worth of REI gear (including the new  Colorado's Fourteeners, 3rd Edition  book), and egos significantly bigger than the 14ers we were planning on climbing. We were in a $370 Budget rental car, not my little brother's unused car or one my parents cars because my parents don't trust dirt roads. Nor, as we would later find find out, does Shane's Audi. This posed quite the predicament, because rental car companies don't either. If you're counting, that is exactly zero off-road vehicles. But to access two trailheads, we were going to need one. Half an hour out of Boulder we found our solution:  Eagle Car Rentals , or, as I like to call them, Awesome Eagle Jeep Rentals. If we made it to Aspen before 5:00, we'd be able to rent a j

Almost Running Barefoot

After reading a small sample of the barefoot running literature, I can't tell whether they barefoot proselytizers realize that the probable performance gains from learning the "barefoot running" technique are significantly more important than actually running barefoot. A little bit of background: The concept? Simple: run barefoot. The reasoning behind it? Deceptively simple: humans have been running barefoot for thousands of years, why change that with expensive, unnecessary, injury producing shoes? The execution? Not so simple: we've trained ourselves to run in shoes since childhood, so running barefoot requires unlearning these tendencies. Switching can be a long and painful process. It's difficult to switch from running 6+ miles in shoes to running less than a mile barefoot: you're body feels like it can run farther, but you'll destroy yourself if you do. Halfway through the switch (with the caveat that I've never ran fully barefoot), here&#

A Review: Born to Run

About a month ago, I read Born to Run , by Christopher McDougall. This is a non-fiction book that really resonated with me: I cut many relatable stories, fascinating perspectives, and interesting factoids from this review. The novel combines three threads: the author's quest to become a better runner, a history of the Tarahumara (pronounced something like Tara-oo-mara), and the Caballo Blanco's quest to stage a race between  Scott Jurek , the champion ultra-marathoner and the Tarahumara's best runners. I found each of these threads fascinating. I relate to author's frustration with running: if I'm not careful with how I train, I tend to get injured. I run too far on pavement? My knees hurt. I run downhill too much? My knees hurt. I run too many miles in a week? I start getting shin splints. The easiest way to relate with other runners is bitching about how you're injured too often train to your full potential. Born to Run discusses about why. It does so


Aerial View of the Potomac Tubing is like swimming, except it requires no energy and you have a free hand for beer. You can also do it over rapids. Shallow water's not a problem either. You don't even have to get wet. You can even carry on conversations with people. Ok, it's really nothing like swimming. But it is a great way to spend a Saturday. In what might have to become a more frequent summer occurrence, we went tubing at Harper's Ferry through  Harper's Ferry Adventure Center  (formerly known as "Butt's Tubes." I like "Butt's Tubes" better). As an aside, we went tubing with River Riders  last year. I recommend River Riders of HFAC, since their trips start farther upstream. Here's the scoop. For $36  (read the small print, it's not the advertised $32), you get transit to/from the river, a tube rental, and a sun burn you'll feel for the next week. It's pretty much like a mellower, lazier, warmer, but much lon

Metatarsal Fracture

At the end of March, I discovered that I had broken my third Metatarsal sometime in February. Because lists are fun, here's a list of my February/March activities: Ice climbing. 5M race training. Ran a 5+ Mile race (we got lost somewhere in the middle). Soccer. Skiing. Climbing. Here's a list of what you should do, according to my doctor, with a broken foot:   Naturally, a list of April/May physical activities: Biking. Moral of the story: lists are fun. Blog updates are fun too. Broken feet aren't. 

Guess Who's Back

I'm back. More to come soon. Including empty promises to write more. That is all.