Monthly Archives: January 2015

Between marathon training, work & this year’s extreme run schedule, I sometimes find myself overextended/time crunched.  If only a few more hours in the day…right?

Luckily last week I synced the calendar in my head with the one on my wall & found an extra weekend – SWEET surprise!

Laundry, groceries, sleep?  Nope.  Mountain time – much needed time in the mountains.

Despite the weather forecast, woke Saturday a.m. with ‘hike’ on the brain & no snow on the ground.  Grabbed water & light snacks, sat my backpack on the kitchen floor.  Begging, almost crazed…Ro knew we were going somewhere.  Road trip!

Decided on Horsetooth Rock in Fort Collins.  Altitude, check.  Only an hour half drive north, still on the Front Range…but just east of our snow pounded Rockies.  Didn’t disappoint.

With the exception of a few icy patches & an intermittent burst of flurries, very little precip.  Nearing the rock scramble finish, I unleashed Ro (for both our safety) & led the boulder climb UP.

Few feet more to summit, Ro found his way & bounded to the top.  Stopped for a half hour & soaked up the immensity of our surroundings, the peaks, thin air, quiet – almost complete stillness.

During our hike return, my hiking partner Cliff suggested we drive to Severance & try Bruce’s world famous Rocky Mountain Oysters – a.k.a. bull testicles.   25 minutes to the east, Severance is a small blink of a town near Greeley on the Plains.

Bruce’s menu is anything but ordinary.  What I call: “cowboy exotica” 🙂   Bison, elk & yak burgers (yeah I said yak); both Rocky Mountain & Black Hills oysters.  Settled on elk & yak (each of us took a half) and a combo plate of oysters.

We were split on game burgers – I prefer elk.  However, hands down Black Hills over Rocky Mountain.  MyCOLORADOLife foodie review: Rocky Mountain oysters are more sinewy, a bit chewy.  That said, tastes good going down.  YUM!

 

 

Early to bed, early to rise – 330am to be precise, now that’s early.  Official race start 615am, a-ok by me.  Concerned with Florida heat & humidity, happy to get in as many miles as possible before sunrise.

Miami would be my first major race – plan on adding San Francisco (in July) & hopefully NYC to that list in 2015.  80 countries were represented here.  Heavy Spanish contingent made for a fun, unique race – lotta vocal enthusiasm, hip hop & salsa.

With South Beach closed to traffic, took Miami’s MetroMover to the Start at American Airlines Arena, the Heat’s NBA home.

Beautiful course – palm tree lined, 4 long Oceanside treks including MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach & Venetian Causeway connecting San Marco & Biscayne Islands.  Flat course, only man-made bridge inclines – had hoped to sub-4, maybe PR here.

Lined up in Corral D, ran tight with the 3:55 pacers.  Grabbed water at mile 10, a banana at 14, gel at 15, salt packet at 18 & my second gel at 20.  Generally am not an eater, nor supplement during races.  Kept looking for answers to hold pace.

High humidity restricted breathing – never felt relaxed, fought water pushing into my lungs.

Pace group slowed & grabbed water, then quickly recaptured cadence after each aid station.  At mile 18 I stopped, they moved ahead & sadly that was goodbye.  I struggled on this beautiful course – the 4 hour pace lady passed at mile 23.  Pulled off my headphones & used crowd energy to fuel the last mile.

Finish Line in sight, heard my name announced – K R ‘AGA, Estados Unidos

Laid on pavement, sucked in oxygen & zoned out listening to the Spanish announcer call in runners.  Coooo-lumbia, Cooba, Guatemala.  Never been a huge fan of Florida.  Miami, however – highly recommended.  So much energy.

Soaked up rays in Bayfront Park, waiting for my marathon partner Stacy to finish.  Quick shower & lunch before flying home to Denver.  Gator bites – perfect end to a tropical marathon get-away.

 

Bib 1339 K R HAGA Miami Marathon » Louisville, CO Finished 04:12:55

 

Ashton  Congrats on another finish!!

Stephen  Makes me believe there is a warmer, sunnier day in store someday even for those of us in the snowy Northeast!!!

Val  God bless anyone who runs that far in FL humidity. Good job!

Kelly  Nice work!

Tracy  Love this pic

Stacy  I might have to get a copy of your playlist & try it out. You look so focused in that weather! Great job!

Tina  Go K*!  Now you can eat all the Brussels sprouts you want.

Michael  um…consider shaving that face for these southern courses.

Leslie  Way to go!

Dmitriy  Nice pic! Good result!

Carmel   Well done! You are still amazing!

Tammy   I miss shorts. It would take me hours to find a pair.

Thomas  Great run Keenan!

Collette   Way to go! Great picture too.

 

Many thanks for all the encouraging words – much appreciated! 

 

Marathon’d one-third of America in 2014 & never flew a red-eye.  This year already have 4 scheduled thru March.  Price a guy pays to reach East Coast races (& use minimal vacation days) 🙂

Left Denver at 1:20am, arriving in Miami just after 7am EST.  Shared costs with fellow Maniac Stacy this trip, who met me at the airport in a rental (Stacy flew red-eye into nearby Fort Lauderdale).  Super fun sharing my 48-hour tropical get-away with another marathoner – generally lotta solo travel in my 50 State Quest.

Grabbed juice & water, then headed Downtown for an early lunch at Havana 1957 – in Miami, a Cubano is the must-eat.

A Cubano is a variation of a ham and cheese originally created in cafes catering to Cuban workers in the early Cuban immigrant communities of Florida.  The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread.

Checked into a downtown apartment near tomorrow’s race Start (used Airbnb, cheaper than a traditional hotel), then trekked a mile to meet our scheduled afternoon tour.  Kayaking in Biscayne Nat’l Park was Plan A (cancelled – big waves & strong ocean undertow), Airboat Tour was Plan B (unfortunately tour bus never showed – argh).

Easy to suffer a letdown when plans go awry (& operating on little sleep).  This is where travelling double really ROCKS.  Only 4 miles from the nearest public beach so ‘beach day’ it is.  Thanks Stacy.

Caught a few winks on the sand – re-centered & re-energized, now ready to explore.  Stacy spotted a market-size crab hiding in rocks near the marina shoreline.  HUGE!  Ventured further south thru Key Biscayne to Cape Florida State Park – more white-powder sand, pelicans AND a lighthouse.  FAAANNNTASTIC!  Ya’ll know I LOVE lighthouses.

Sometimes the best plans are travelling with no plans at all 🙂

Early to bed, early to rise – tomorrow is run day…but not before downing a plate of squid.  I AM a fan of the ocean.  YUM!

 

 

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