Monday, November 30

Early AM

Four am and I'm wide awake. Try to roll over for half an hour and give up, why fight it? I'm certainly not lacking rest. My wonderful wife loves her sleep and holidays are all about catching up for her so I've been getting plenty of zzz's. It's a good thing too, sleep helps the healing. So I made a cup of tea, started a killer breakfast and sat down at the good old iBook.

Yesterday was a pretty darn good day. Lots of sleep, some great breakfast and a few hours of climbing in the gym with Marni feeling really strong and really solid on all the 5.10's. I've been doing my PT exercises with the theraband a few times a day since Friday (thanks Jenn!) and by last night I could actually do them all, at least briefly (ie stand on one leg). My walk still has a good hitch to it since I'm not yet able and strong enough to roll through the ball of my foot properly but it's improving with the exercises and I'm psyched about that. It will be good to leave the cane behind, if only so I don't have to hear "my grandpa has that same cane from the little children." The ankle itself feels really really good and once I fix the messed up bio-mechanics I feel like I might actually be closer to normal than not.

Last night I snuck in a bit over an hour on the singlespeed at dusk. Marni had lots of reading to do so I chased the dropping sun before procuring dinner and making desert muffins. The ride was really magical not to be too cheesy. Before I was even a half mile from home, doing a quick lap around the gravel path, I saw two beautiful coyotes. On several different occasions hawks watched and followed me as I made my way to the dog park, all the way to the back and around the singletrack loop for the first time. The sky was far too clear to be the day the weather men predicted and the alpenglow on the Front Range was well worth the rapidly falling temperatures. My ankle continued to show riding improvement and while it's weak still, I'm happy it just keeps getting better. As dark settled in fully I flipped on my headlamp, made a mental note to get the booties out of the closet and spun home. Just the freedom of being able to ride my bike outside again makes a huge difference.

Saturday, November 28

Fatbike Friday: The great boot conundrum

Sorry for the delay Brian! I managed five and half hours on the road bike yesterday thanks to Brett and Erik towing me around, followed immediately by driving up to the hospital to find my wife and wait for my new nephew Walt Berry. Congrats Betsy and Scott! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. However I think the boot problem is a good one so here is my current, excessively researched and currently in motion plan...
Winter boots for racing the Iditarod Trail Invitational (yes my name is finally on the start list!) are an easy proposition so long as you meet two conditions. Either A) you give you your clipless pedal system and switch to flats and/or B) you have feet smaller than a size 10 US.

I have solidly size 12 flippers and find clipless pedals to be a great advantage to me. Crap, now what? Over the past few years I've debated what to do about this problem, making due in Colorado down to -5F or so with extra socks and a vapor barrier system. However there was no chance in hell I was comfortable with this system much below 0 deg F making it a total non starter for going to Alaska or the Arrowhead 135.

Others have had a lot of solutions and MTBR is a wealth of information for those willing to do the digging. MikeC has posted his solution but with feet much smaller than mine, basing my solution off Lake Winter boots seems impossible. Last year I ordered a size 48 boot just to try and while they still come in a 50 wide, there was no way even that was going to be big enough for my ideal system. Others have glued on overboots, tried large SPD sandals with various liners, ordered some really neat Shimano shoes from overseas but none of those solutions hit the "right on" button for me. I've even called cobblers, sole companies and custom cycling shoe makers in a search for something that could meet the vision in my head.

So what is my ideal solution? If I could have just what I wanted, what would it be? Now take this all with a grain of salt as I haven't slogged it out yet in super cold conditions but experience so far with different events has taught me that my research goes a long way towards being prepared. My ideal boot is one that fits me foot, with a large enough toe box for good wiggle and swelling room without an exceptionally sloppy heal. It needs to have a certain amount of insulation built into the shoe, ideally with an inner boot or liner of some sort, namely an Intuition style closed cell foam or pacboot liner. I want the shoe to be functionally waterproof as much as possible. In the summer I feel the waterproofing is detrimental but in the winter I'll be using a vapor barrier foot system and with stepping into overflow at any time a real possibility, I want maximum protection without the weight and bulk of an overboot. I know the overboot system has fans but with coming across overflow or breaking through the ice a real possibility, I want protection all the time regardless of my notice. A built in or added on full time gaiter is important as it will tie into my pants system to provide a large degree of liquid water protection for short term exposure. A sturdy rubber sole for walking traction and lug blocks with enough width to support screw installation is also key. Field serviceable parts, ie shoelaces, are a nice bonus when compared to the BOA system which works well but does wear out/break. Inexpensive (custom cycling shoes run upwards of $1000/pair) and publicly available parts are a nice bonus too. And finally, I want this system to work with SPD style, two hole clipless pedals.

So how was I going to get this ideal boot to happen as it's certainly not something on the market right now? Good question. I started out by making sure I had all the pieces of the system that I knew I was going to use or a decent approximation of them. Most important was the VB insulated sock and pacboot liners mentioned previously on the blog. With these on my foot providing appropriate foot room, sizing charts measured me out somewhere near a size 52 wide cycling shoe. In a 52 there were only a couple options available, namely Sidi and Shimano. The Sidi's come in a MEGA/wide width but their sole is not conducive to walking and the plastic would take complete removal and replacement with a rubber sole to be serviceable. The Shimano shoes seemed plausible but after seeing them in person there were several aspects of the design that made them less appealing, namely the rachet buckles, the low cut and short height toe box. If you're an glue and overboot person they might work for those of you with a size 12 shoe or less (Shimano m086 ~$100).

With cycling shoes all but eliminated I was onto winter boots. I tried on several options at REI, checked out the race reports from past years and finally settled on some boots used last year by one of the Petervary crew, Tracey. Now after some good info from T-race and a quick visit to RU Outside I've now got some winter boots on the way. They look like they've got a great sole, they lace up for great control, they're waterproof with a built in gaiter and they have both internal shoe insulation plus a removable pacboot liner. Plus they had my guesstimated winter size (13) and one size up (14) in stock and on sale. Now there is one relatively giant problem with these, they're not clipless. What? Are you going flat pedals? Nope not without a big old fight.

After some emails and an offer of help from a local orthotics company and fellow cyclist, I'm going the conversion route. The internet is full of some ghetto and not so ghetto approaches to converting regular shoes to clipless duty. The key as I see it is to make a well fitting stiff insert that approximates the shoe's last to mount the cleat to. This will provide stiffness for pedaling but primarily provide a solid place to mount the cleat to with Shimano's SPD plates or t-nuts. The goals of the insert are to be as minimally conductive as possible, ie minimal metal use, to be stiff enough to reduce excessive fatigue to the mounting points, both pedaling and insertion/removal from the pedals, to be thin enough to not excessively add to the height of the sole reducing toe box room and fit the last of the winter boot closely enough that it can be solidly and permanently anchored to the boot. Doing this all in a reliable and professional manner is a tall order but I'm sure it can be done after dissecting all the cycling shoes in the house. With a bit of carbon fiber and epoxy, some expert help and careful retrofit work, I think a good and potentially universal solution can be figured out. More to come after the boots arrive this coming week and I sit down with my partner on this project.

Monday, November 23


Today is 7 weeks post avalanche and at least I'm getting somewhere. Tomorrow I have another doctors appointment and some more x-rays. Baring disaster I'm expecting the docs will start allowing me to do all the things I've been doing anyway the past two weeks, giving me free reign to keep turning the screws on myself. I really do value the doctor's opinion but I've got to balance their conservativeness with how well I can read my own body. I'm also hopeful they'll prescribe some PT so that I can get some help getting my range of motion and strength back in my ankle/calf. While my riding has been coming along, the ROM thing has been a major show stopper on walking correctly which means any significant walking at all. No walking means no hiking and that's a bummer. I can live with no running for a while longer but no hiking sucks big time since I can't get up into the mountains.

At least for the past two weeks I've been able to start working on my fitness. Walking in the boot, plenty of core work, some controlled rock climbing indoors and a healthy amount of the indoor trainer has actually brought me a long way in two weeks. I've done a few two hour rides and on Friday I managed a solid three hour trainer effort after walking home from Starbucks again (with the boot). Yesterday Marni and I went out for my first outdoor ride since I can finally unclip (very carefully) with my left foot. Much to both of our surprises I made it a solid two hours of pavement, bike paths, dirt and even a little snow riding in a few places. It took quite a while to warm up and my strength imbalance was more pronounced outdoors but it was still really nice to finally know I can get outside and also at least get around town to go to the post office, grocery store, bank, etc without the car.
Sorry last week's Fatbike Friday post got skipped. I was surpremely beat after my workouts and then spent most of Saturday out of the house with Marni. I'll have a good one this Friday and they should gradually keep getting better. My footwear strategy has come down to two options and I am close to making a decison. Goodies are on the way from Speedway cycles, a super sweet pair of Hadley 135/165mm hubs to be built into my 100mm rims for the Fatback. An unfortunate delay has the frame itself still awaiting my delivery but I should have all the parts here with low temp grease installed and ready to be hung on the frame as soon as it arrives. And by that time hopefully I can walk which means actual snow biking can take place.

So that's the basic rundown of how I'm doing. I've got a long way to go but at least I'm still seeing incremental gains and there has been a lot of progress in the past two weeks. Crossing my fingers for continued good news tomorrow and if so the ponies will keep getting dirty!

Thursday, November 19

Flying Wonder Dog

Poor Turbo, he must wonder why all the fun stopped so quickly. With me injured and Marni extra busy picking up the slack, his runs, walks and bally chasing adventures came to an abrupt halt. We've been trying to get better lately now that I'm more mobile and today I got him out for a good romp. He loves playing in the snow, pure joy. I rarely attempt to "correct" pictures from my little cheap Cannon digital camera but I liked this shot enough to give it a shot. I'm not much at photo taking or editing but if you click the bigger version I feel like it at least conveys the mood of Turbo and the waning afternoon, almost winter sunshine.
I lagged far behind the flying ball of fluff, walking and hobbling my way carefully to one of our spots. He wanted to go all around the loop to the dirt jumps but I sadly didn't have it in me yet. Instead I made it to one of the closer spots and sat there, snowballs in each hand, training any way I'm still able.
For the first time I'm walking with the cane outside in normal shoes. It's not pretty but there is only one way to get stronger. One step at a time, one day at a time. It does sure beat lying in bed.
newest member of the cane patrol

Wednesday, November 18

Keep fighting

Today was hard. I'm a bit sore and lacking motivation after my Monday and Tuesday physical beat down and a week in general of working hard at recovery. I knew the inevitable "step back" day would come and that helped me accept it but you always hope that somehow you'll just stop having them. The most exciting part of the day was getting my borrowed cane and hopefully starting to leave the crutches behind. Luckily I have Marni who encouraged me to a little active recovery spin which highlighted just how much I've gained in the ankle flexibility department in a week. Tomorrow is a self scheduled rest day with an option for easy climbing with Aaron in the evening.

Now time to get that ankle above my heart, close my eyes and let those healing hormones do their job.

(In actual bike news, my Sorrel PAC boot liners showed up today. I have a shoe they potentially fit in that's already clipless too. We'll see how that goes once I get my hands on said shoe.)

Tuesday, November 17

Exciting socks?

Always on the lookout for a good deal, a couple pairs of RBH Designs socks popped up on Backpacking Light forums in my size for more than half off retail. They arrived yesterday, fit nicely and at least look warm since Marni wants some to wear around the house. I've played with VB footwear before using plastic bags and the GoLite silnylon VB socks but these things seem right up my alley. They're a 3 layer laminated sock which eliminates some of the "multiple sock feel" that I hate in most people's winter footwear systems. More footwear items showing up soon and hopefully I can make a nicely working system with this stuff.

Recovery is still going well. I've been sleeping a lot lately, abnormal for me. I'm not sure if it's the increase in physical activity or the fact that I hardly slept for the first month of my injury but I'll just roll with it. Sleepy time is healing time. Today was a fairly easy ride and this evening Aaron and I are going climbing again at the BRC. Amazingly, climbing with my injured ankle in my mountaineering boot was excellent for my range of motion. I keep making strides towards bending it enough to walk in regular shoes. That is going to be a great day!

Monday, November 16


Sunset over the Sawatch Range descending into Salida, Colorado - Tour Divide 2009
Pictures of me riding the trainer aren't very exciting or interesting so I'm going to pop a few Tour Divide pictures in until there is something remotely interesting to post up. Today was another excellent ride, two solid hours on the trainer with some actual hard efforts. Yesterday's workouts really kicked my butt despite keeping the ride short and easy but they seemed to gain me a bit of new flexibility today which left me turning the screws on the bike a bit more. Walking is still laughable but it's improved over yesterday. I'm grateful for the past four years of riding as it's taught me a lot about reading my body. I'm pushing fairly hard but so far able to walk the line below any significant pain and I'm taking zero pain relievers.

Icing and elevation time has been spent researching and thinking about the remainder of my necessary winter gear. Footwear is the primary concern right now as I've been gathering most of the rest of the gear for several years. I am going to go a different direction with my stove, switching to white gas instead of Esbit or a canister so that will be a new learning experience too. Reading trail stories and Don's trail notes sure is motivating. It looks so beautiful and I'm thankful to have this carrot encouraging my rehab. Another good day down, just got to keep plugging away tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14

Pedal Therapy

Eating a cold hot pocket dinner in an outhouse, watching another rain storm pummel the trail, Tour Divide 2009

Riding this week has been amazing, even the first session measuring barely a few songs worth of time. Each day I've cautiously cranked up the trainer time and effort, looking for a place where my body or ankle would cry uncle. Today I rode for 2 hours and I ended the ride tired, a little saddle sore and sweating but amazingly my ankle never gave up. Tomorrow morning is the true test but each day I've woken up stiff as before but no worse for wear from the riding.

Sure it's an indoor trainer with only dreams of Alaska and crappy TV for company. Standing to pedal is still hard. I cannot unclip with my left foot and spinning much over 90rpms is still out of the question. But at least I can ride! And very shortly that means I can train again, getting stronger each day instead of weaker. When you've been laying in bed for 5 weeks, nothing sounds better than that.

Friday, November 13

Fat Bike Friday: Will it freeze???

Welcome to the first of my little series of Fat Bike Friday posts while I gear up for some fun winter riding and races this year. My first installment is called "Will it freeze?" and I put some tasty and random items in the freezer overnight for taste, texture and hardness testing. You've got to figure that everything on your bike, in your drop bags and sometimes even in your poggies will freeze. The big question is what's still edible and tasty? Let's see how the round one contestants did!

Contestant #1 is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. One of my Tour Divide staples and something that Jill is also fond of lending it winter food cred, Reese's did very well in the freezer test. The chocolate hardened but the center stayed less than solid, warming up and becoming chewy quickly in my mouth. Taste was good with the chocolate slightly subdued and the texture was fine. Based on this information, it's possible that Reece's Big Cups might be the best choice when frozen. Further testing to come...

Contestant #2 is Peanut M&M's. Another Tour Divide favorite, the peanut M&M's fared exceptionally, tasting pretty much like a colder version of normal. They warmed super fast in my mouth and the limited chocolate content made them tasty but not hard to chew. 500 cals/king size pack and frequently on sale. Score!

Contestant #3 is butter. Yum good old butter. Now you non-winter sports people will think I'm crazy but hey I like butter and it's super high in calories per ounce. It's not pure fat with 20% water content but it's good in hot meals, rolled in brown sugar or just eaten straight up. How did it do in the freezer? It came out hard and I was worried but I bit off a chunk and it was great. Easy to slice or eat and just as delicious as normal.

Contestant #4 is summer sausage. I had high hopes for this one after reading some reports that it worked well. It came out of the freezer pretty hard and the bite test was a little discouraging. I sliced off a round and that worked better. It started out hard but quickly warmed up in my mouth and had a good taste and texture though not quite like normal. I think this one needs to be pre-sliced or cubed but it would be a great addition to a meal for fat and protein and salt and also a good "sugar cleansing" snack to help reset the palate when it goes into sweets overload. It's easy for me to OD on summer sausage but it might be a good drop bag item.

Contestant #5 was PB crackers. These little guys were a Tour Divide revelation and have made it into my regular rotation now. They're not a high volume item but they travel surprisingly well and make a great different snack from the normal stuff. The encourage hydration but are edible with minimal water too. How'd they do in the freezer? They were great! Pretty much indistinguishable from normal.

The Bonus Contestant was butter flavored Crisco. The Crisco was firm but still able to be squished and probably cut easily. The package I used for testing was not yet open so I didn't eat any. I may try an open package next time to try it raw and also drop a bit into a dehydrated meal. I'm skeptical but I like butter so maybe Crisco will work too? It is 20% more calorie dense, haha.

What other ideas do you guys have for the next round of "Will it freeze?" I'm thinking pure peanut butter, Poptarts, praline pecans, some sort of chocolate truffle ball, string cheese, Twix, a special non frozen but extra cal hot cocoa recipe I've been wondering about and the best ideas out of your suggestions. Leave a comment and I'll try them out!
In other news, new parts keep trickling into the house and once my frame arrives I'll give the rundown of my parts choices and post some pictures of the build up. Turbo is not amused that another really large bicycle is moving into the house but I sure am excited!

Waking up is hard to do

Every morning is the hardest part right now and today was no exception. The ankle is super stiff when I wake up and the normal feeling while sleeping evaporates instantly as soon as I try to put my feet on the ground.

But I'm so pumped right now. Last night I walked/hobbled very slowly and with the assistance of one crutch in bare feet for the first time. I didn't hurt which is the best part. This morning I got into the shower without resorting to kneeling on the ledge of the tub. Then I walked home a mile from Starbucks with one crutch and my boot and now I'm walking around the house in the boot doing chores without the crutch for the first time pretty comfortably. They're all tiny steps but so encouraging. On my walk home I really felt for the first time like I'm going to be okay eventually.

The Fatbike Friday post will be coming this afternoon and it's more fun but I just had to get this our there since I'm super happy right now. This roller coaster ride isn't over yet but I'll ride the highs when I can.

Thursday, November 12

Just a little more

Another trainer session today and still feeling really good. Hoping to hit a big milestone tomorrow but I won't jinx it quite yet. This evening I'm doing some heat and stretching on the tightest areas and then back to ice, Advil and elevate before bed. It feels so good to be doing something to get better and seeing improvements, even though they're small. Having my Ultrasport entry and check soon arriving in Alaska is really motivating. I think I'm going to print out some of the awesome pictures and hang them around the house for all those times I'm feeling down. I also ordered some boot liners today and talked for a bit with a cobbler. I'm determined to find a good solution to the winter clipless boot problem despite my size 12 stompers. Lots of ideas floating around and underway, we'll see which one actually works in real life.

Tomorrow will be the first Fatbike Friday post and I've got a fun little one planned!

Wednesday, November 11

Zoo Tired

Last night's post about taking the Kinders to the zoo got lost in dreamland. After "one crutching" around the zoo all morning and helping out in the classroom afterwords I was wiped out by 4pm. Marni and I made it home and into the house, a little dinner and both fell asleep in front of the TV somewhere around 7pm. I rallied to come upstairs and stayed awake a little longer but soon I was once again in dreamland preparing for another big day today.

This morning we were up early for another DR appointment and followed it up with breakfast at Snooze. I dropped Marni at home to nap and ran some errands including picking up my sweet new Speedway Fatback 135mm front fork from the post office. Then in the afternoon we watched some more of The Office with my foot up. By evening I was ready to give my first bike trainer session a shot. I felt surprisingly good after the big day yesterday but I was still pretty nervous. It seemed silly to don bike shorts for such a short session but I did it anyway.

I hobbled downstairs, put on my cycling shoes, clipped them in carefully and started to spin. I had the trainer set on really easy at first and it didn't feel too bad, if a bit choppy. I shifted up to the big ring and spun 60-80 rpms. My ankle was super stiff and I felt like my seat would have to go down. Thankfully it started to loosen up somewhat and by the time I hopped off I felt closer to normal. I can certainly put the power down on the pedals (relatively speaking) but it's going to take a little more ankle flexibility to do a longer ride yet. We'll see how everything feels tomorrow and if all is well I'll start inching up the trainer time each day. I can't believe I'm dreaming about watching movies in front of the trainer. Ha!
After I undid my shoes and hopped off the bike, no unclipping yet, I did my core work and a few sets of hangboard pullups. I have to admit, I'm pretty beat. Dinner, ice, elevation, a little vitamin I for me and then off to bed. I'm mostly encouraged but it's still a bit scary how stiff my ankle is. Just got to take the good with the bad and keep on working at it.

More to come and a special post on Friday to kick of some snow biking stoke!

Monday, November 9

One step at a time

So far so good. The bones are healing well and I'm cleared to start walking on the left leg with the boot on for protection. I can sleep and work on my range of motion stuff with the boot off. First I'll start with the crutches or a cane, increasing the weight on my left leg as pain dictates. So far the pain isn't an issue and I can do some walking unassisted though longer sessions like tomorrow's Kindergarten zoo trip will be crutch assisted just in case. After pressing them for a while on various details of what I can and can't do and more importantly why, she finally came back in the room one final time and pushed, pulled and prodded my ankle a bit more. I didn't wince once. Then she watched me walk on it. "You might be further along than we thought but give us two more weeks of healing and another set of x-rays." Not exactly what I wanted to hear but fair enough. She did say the boot would probably come off at that point which would be ideal.

The doctor was not in favor of cycling or other activities yet but the fears were mostly out of concern for a shock loading or crash on the still healing bones from what I could pry out of them. That I understand. More talks tomorrow with Jenn, the PT-inlaw, and I'll make a decision on starting to ride the trainer. Obviously crashing isn't a risk and the weight on the ankle is much less than walking unassisted but perhaps there is another medical point of view I'm missing. I don't want to make anything worse but I also don't want to sit around for 2 more weeks for unfounded paranoia. Even some low level enduro paced sessions would really help stem the loss of fitness too much further. Plus I'd be a lot less bored and it seems like it would help with my range of motion. You know you're bored when you're begging to be able to ride the trainer.

In other news I got to stab my wife in the butt with a needle!I'm not going to steal all her pictures but keep an eye out for her blog and Facebook for the details. That was a new one!

Sunday, November 8

The Score

Five weeks since the accident. Tomorrow we'll see how the bones are healing and I'm banking all my mental energy on good news. It's been quite a different month plus than I'm used to. Sure there was a little one legged shoveling of the two feet of snow.
But mostly hours and hours and hours of this. Well actually this was the good part. Usually it was me alone in bed with my foot up, drugged up and bored. I read and worked on as much as I could but the mental drain of the pain and unknowns ate at me quite a bit too.
The last few days I've tested the ankle just a bit with some indoor one legged rock and ice climbing. Nothing too crazy and no pain so far. At least getting out is good for the brain. Good thing because that helmet sure wasn't doing anything good for it.
Nor was this ice tool?? Haha. I might have Aaron do this to me if they give me 6 more weeks of terrible news.
I've lost an unscientific inch of muscle out of my left leg which is pretty weird. Turbo sure is ready to have his mobile daddy back and I'm ready to be back. At least I'll have more news tomorrow. I'm hoping the xray groundhog doesn't see any strange shadows...

Friday, November 6

Pulling Plastic

Yesterday was a good test day on the ankle. I cleaned the house and in the evening, Aaron took me down to the BRC to climb with him and a friend of his. I still put really limited weight on my ankle but I carefully tried out a few things to see how it felt. No pain last night or today so I'm pretty excited. I ended up climbing primarily one footed at the gym but luckily I could still top rope steep stuff up to about 5.10. The boot is worthless unless I can get the rubber bottom part on the holds and I didn't want to risk slipping off. If I have to wear it for a while longer I'll glue some sticky rubber to the front, otherwise hopefully I can just climb in my mountaineering boot which is much more stable and protective than my rock shoes while at least having some good rubber. I have a feeling it will be a little while until I can lead or boulder and risk a real fall but it felt good to use the muscles again and get pumped. I wasn't quite as terrible as I feared I would be. It was weird to be the center of attention climbing where I usually just fade right into the background.

Tonight we're headed down to Monument to hang out at a little indoor ice climbing competition and check out some new gear for this year. Good timing since the avy monster ate one of my BD Rages and I wanted to get some leashless tools anyway. Cobras are top on my list but I'm curious to see the Nomics as well and play with Aaron's Vipers. The new Fusions look sweet too but might be too mixed focused for me. The Ice Holdz guys are supposed to be there too which could be fun. I want to get some of those when I get the garage wall up.

Sort of lame blog I know but if I can get back into a regular writing groove then that's a good thing. I promise lots of bike stuff to come just as soon as I'm allowed to pedal for real. The trainer is already all setup and Marni and I will get the singlespeeds all cleaned up this weekend. Then hopefully in a few weeks the Fatback will arrive!

Thursday, November 5

Mojo Rising

After 5 weeks I'm feeling the end is in sight, the clouds are starting to break up. Just a few little tests have been super positive with no pain. I got to pedal a bike for a very short time, I put a little weight on the foot in the boot and I've been up all day moving my "office" back downstairs. I'm so sick of laying in bed and it's demotivating. I slept without the boot last night because it's just terribly uncomfortable and with Turbo banished from the bedroom until it's healed (sorry bud) it doesn't need protection at night. My range of motion sucks compared to normal but it's not as bad as my friend Scott's after his 6 weeks in a cast.

Tomorrow is Starbucks Date day, tomorrow night we're going to an indoor ice comp and gathering with my new partner Aaron and his wife and this weekend I'm going to get OUTSIDE! Then just cross your fingers for Marni and I as we both have scary DR appointments on Monday.

Okay time to get back to pumping Dr.Dre and cleaning the house. Oh and Jessie, Marni and I have a surprise for you! If anyone is bored tonight and wants to get me out of the house I wouldn't argue...Marni has class 'til 8:30.

P.S. Yeah NYY!! World Series Champs.

Wednesday, November 4

The Big Snow...Show?

I wrote this post last week when I first heard the news. Since then I've been on a bit of a mental roller coaster. On Monday I have my next appointment and x-rays and I'm really really hoping for good news. My mood has been improving this week the closer I get to the weekend because after 5 weeks spent more in bed than ever in my life, I have my first chance at getting back on my feet. Both of them. Even if (okay okay when) it's severely restricted activity I'll be really excited. While I've been down it's been the worst reported early season Colorado avalanche activity in a long time. There have already been 8 slides catching or nearly catching people. So glad I could start it off...NOT. Okay onto the original post...

I've been keeping busy the past couple weeks, well as busy as one can be when spending as many hours a day as possible with my ankle elevated in bed. Last night I slept until 5am and with a couple wake ups, managed to sleep in until 9am. It may sound strange but that's by far the most sleep I've been able to get in more than 3 weeks. (Last night I slept through the whole night for the first time with one small wake up) Marni is on fall break and Denver's first winter storm is in the process of dumping up to 18 inches (we got 2 feet) at our house with even more in the mountains. As is pretty normal, I pulled the laptop up onto the bed to check the morning emails. Facebook was going off with snow day comments and then I saw it...

An email from Bill Merchant. It could only mean one thing. I clicked on it with my heart racing.

Holy crap it was true! There was an email in my inbox asking me if I still wanted to do the Ultrasport, having emailed to get on the waiting list months ago and unfortunately gotten the very disappointing news that I might not get in this year. I immediately asked Marni and then with her approval, replied that I'd love a spot.

I'm excited about this race because it still scares me and because I want to visit Alaska so badly. The distance (350 miles to McGrath) isn't so bad, but the trail and weather conditions and remoteness of the course is what sets it apart. I feel like I've slowly been building up to this challenge for the past few years and I want to take this next step. I'm not even sure that I'm ready but I'm going to give it a try and I'm really happy to be part of the race. So now the Arrowhead 135 will be my big shakedown ride and then I'll be off to Anchorage for the big show.

Luckily my singlespeed titanium Fatback from Speedway Cycles is already ordered and I'm so pumped! A big thanks to Greg for helping get me on a top notch snow bike that will fit and Marni for supporting a bum like me and still letting me get a new bike. Sorry for all you purple lovers but the Pugs was too small and not my favorite color. I've got a lot to figure out still but now I really feel some urgency.

I can finally let myself start the planning spreadsheet and it is so good to finally have a nice big new goal!

More Ultrasport news to come. I'm still extremely excited and cannot wait to pedal again!