As you can see from this photo of Darwin in front of my shop, it was a beautiful sunny day here in Palmer Lake today. In fact, it has been pretty nice all week except for one day of snow and wind. Tomorrow should be a nice day for a long run up Rampart Range Rd. The group will then come down through Waldo canyon but I'll skip that part due to the snow. I'm really psyched with the improvement in my hamstring this week. I have run every day on the treadmill and might have finally stumbled on the right combination of treatments to get me back on track. I have been stretching like crazy and can actually comfortably touch my toes for the first time since college (when we had to stretch as part of practice). I am also rolling my hamstring on a firm foam roller before and after each run. Finally, I bought a Chopat thigh/hamstring sleeve online and have been wearing that when running. It is quite tight all the way up to my butt and just keeps everything warm and in place. I've now run 7 days in a row for the first time in more than a year and it feels better than a week ago.
I'm actually feeling good enough that I signed up for a race online yesterday. I'm not ready to committ to it, but as with so many races it was going to fill up and I wanted to be in just in case I'm ready. More on that in a week or two if things keep going well. I'm also signed up for American River and will be out in Sacramento that week anyway (to deliver a bed and table to a customer) so I still may end up doing it. If it was a trail race I'd do it for sure just as a long run, but it isn't exactly the most scenic setting in the world and I'd really rather save it for a year when I am ready to run a fast time. If I don't do AR, I'll probably at least do a long run on the WS course while out there.
Red Hot 50K in Moab - good luck to everyone going out for this one. Last year an avalanche on I70 caused a lot of front rangers to miss the race but no such problems this year. Several CRUDers will be going out to run in the red rocks.
Cheyenne Mountain Half Marathon Trail Race - There will be a new trail race taking place on Sept 20 this year at the new (year old) Cheyenne Mountain State Park. I'm sort of the RD for this, as the state park people contacted me about putting on an ultra. Basically, the state just acquired a new piece of open space that allows for unbroken public land from CMSP to Mueller state park up in Teller County. There are no trails connecting the two yet, but there will eventually be an ultra going from one to the other and back (about 50 miles). In the meantime, we will be putting on a trail race on the existing trail system in CMSP. Stay tuned for more info. It will be a fairly challenging trail half; I'm predicting about 1:30 for a winning time. Me and the CRUD gang have been scoping out potential routes and are getting close to the exact distance.
CO Democratic Caucus - This was a first for us (first year here having a caucus). It was pretty cool actually. First, nobody really knew how to run it so we all just read the instructions and stumbled through. I felt like a kid hiding in the back of the classroom when we had to volunteer/nominate delegates for the county convention. Second, it was neat seeing so many of our neighbors there. We sort of figured a lot of our neighbors were democrats due to the hippy dippy nature of our neighborhood, but El Paso county is like 75% republican so you never know. The biggest rap against the caucus format is it supposedly favors the party activists but it certainly didn't seem that way to us. Everybody just sort of talked about the various candidates and then we did the 2 types of votes (straw and preference). Obama was the big winner, by the way, in our precinct.
I just finished up a new design last week and got some profesional photos taken; it is a Shaker inspired desk, secretary, and chair made of Cherry and Birdseye Maple. The seat is woven from reeds. It was my first attempt weaving a herringbone pattern and it shows.
In other woodworking news, I did my part to stimulate the economy this week by purchasing a large, very expensive, dual drum sander. If anybody has a stubborn callous that needs treatment, stop on by and we can sand it right off. I had a scary experience last time I tackled a wiring project at the shop, so I have a real electrician coming over this weekend to get the new machine hooked up.