Friday, September 21, 2007


I had an appointment this morning for a round of bloodletting (or ‘bloodwork’, in nurse-speak), since I have a family history of heart issues and wanted a baseline from which to track my own heart health. If you’re familiar with the process, most clinics require that you fast for twelve hours to ensure that your blood sugar levels are accurate. This wasn’t my first time fasting the night before a such an appointment, and I had always successfully surrendered my platelets on an empty stomach. However, I didn’t take into consideration that previous fasts were manageable before I started running regularly and eating every 2-3 hours.

Last night I ate dinner about 7:30 and hit the trail about 8:30 for a planned eight-mile out-and-back stretch. I was feeling good and decided to extend the O&B an extra mile, for a total of ten miles. When I arrived home, I naturally went for the fridge, hoping to grab a quick snack before jumping into the shower. It was then I realized that the wheels had been set in motion for a potential catastrophe. The shower did nothing to pacify the monster that would become my appetite. Crawling into bed I knew that by falling asleep the disaster would be averted, and those forty winks came mercifully to my rescue. Only when I rolled over to the 2:03 AM on the alarm clock did the pangs of panic begin to surface. It would be another eight or so hours before I could take my next bite. Soon I could feel myself unraveling as the urge to consume a bowl of Lucky Charms became irresistible. With rebellious craze, I leapt out of bed, inhaled the most delectable serving of vitamin-enriched cereal and proceeded to leave a message with my family care clinic that I would be unable to make the appointment. The binge did not end there, as I wrapped up the nighttime feast with a Power Bar (yes, I even eat these for fun!) and a few savory gulps of ice-cold milk. Defiantly satiated, I slipped back under the covers for a restful sleep. I wonder what my sugar intake would have done to those tests.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Trail to the Holy Grail

I started running in September 2005 after the release of my last album. By then I had almost bottomed out on my mental and physical health and needed something to pull me out of the downward spiral. This came after years of proclaiming to everyone within earshot that I hated jogging and would never take up the sport. But I soon connected with Colorado’s thriving trailrunning culture, where the creative planner could run at least one trail race per week, if crazy enough (see Bernie Boettcher). Colorado claims thousands of miles of trails, and I’ve hiked many of these in the Front Range and beyond. I entered my first race as a competitor in February 2006, finishing in the 69th percentile on a 10-mile paved course. Crossing the finish line, the hook was set. I spent the rest of 2006 entering anything I could manage, with increasingly impressive results. I found that my hiking experience paid off in the uphill courses, as I posted strong finishes at the Mt. Evans Ascent (86th percentile), Pikes Peak Ascent (93rd percentile), and Imogene Pass Run (94th percentile). I still get beaten soundly by guys (and gals) who are 10+ years my senior. However, this is encouraging since it shows me that my best years of running lie ahead. I don’t fill my race calendar like I used to, only because it gets expensive, and I’d rather focus my training on the larger events. I have my first marathon in a couple weeks (more about that later), a ‘Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim’ run at the Grand Canyon (or, ‘R3’) planned for the last weekend of October, and my first ultra (The Kettle Moraine 100K) in June 2008. Hope to see you on the trails someday!