Who signs up for a 50K trail run only 4 days before the event?  Yep, that happened this week.

Received a promo email for The Bear Chase Trail Race last weekend, Friday before New Hampshire.  Generally I delete these (my run schedule’s set 6 months out) but was out-of-town/travelling soooo the ad stayed in my Inbox.

Home sweet Colorado Home.  Cool & overcast all week, highs never topped 60 (GREAT weather).  Didn’t have a great run in Keene (REDEMPTION).  Short miles this month in my Run the Year challenge (Sept 30th race) AND only 45 minutes from Home.

I know, I know – crazy ‘healthy‘ addiction.  Paid FULL price & promised Ro we’d hike tomorrow 🙂

Saturday morning.  Hydration vest outta the closet, packed a drop bag – pickles/watermelon/chicken noodle soup, change of clothes (shirt/socks).  I’m my own crew today.  Socks?  Yep, NINE water crossings – 6 of those, knee deep water.  LOVE LOVED it!

Missed bib pick-up night before (work obligation).  Arrived half-hour early in Lakewood’s Bear Creek Lake Park.  FREE parking ($10 fee waived for runners).  Volunteer handed me a Bib, 4 safety pins & my Bear Chase tech shirt.  BAM, done.

2nd time in a month, I’d be running the event’s low-mile race.  100K, 50 mile or 50K – that’s it.  First time since April 2016, I actually registered for a 50K (ran 3 last year).  Marathon 6 miles.  Baby steps.  I see a 50-mile race in my 2018 future.

Sun rose pink over Bear Creek Lake, hats off for the National Anthem & we were off.  Bunched up at the first water crossing, then hiked UP the first of three big climbs.  Backside of hill?  I flew.  Since REVEL Rockies training this Spring, I’m a much better downhill runner.

Easiest trail terrain to date – rolling hills, root-free course (my trail nemesis).  Ran strong first 14 miles.  Lost my mojo during the sun-exposed 6.9 miles ‘round Fox Hollow Golf Course.  No tree, no shade, no wind.  Popped in the ear-buds, tried to flood my head with sound.

Last loop (18.8 miles in), half marathon distance to go.  Dilly-dallied 10 minutes at Bag Drop.  Re-clothed (dry shirt/dry socks), bathroom break, swallowed a half-thermos of chicken noodle.  Departed with a fresh bottle of electrolytes.

Last climb UP, right quad cramped.  Unfamiliar territory.  Nearby runner asked if I needed salt tabs.  I thanked him, swallowed both & hoped for a miracle.  I’m a puker, not a cramper.  Limped/walked the climb, limped/jogged the backside.

Clouds rolled in, temp dropped 10-15 degrees, winds kicked up.  No sun, no headphones…no need.  Quad cramp ceased.  My miracle.

Slow pace – 12/min mile – but I kept moving.  Shoulders back, no walk, no slog.  Head voices stopped.  Focused on a guy in white, later a couple both dressed in red.  Approached, paced closed behind, then passed/moved ahead.  Ninth & final water crossing.

Less than a mile to go AND… I lost the trail.  Are you kidding me??  Bush-whacked thru high grass & willow thicket.  Crossed a paved road, met a 100K runner.  Had run past the Finish by more than half a mile.  Disappointed…but back on trail – I kept moving.

Actually came up BEHIND the Finish.  7 hours – that’s a looooong time but I FINISHED.  32 miles total.  WOW!  ALSO surprisingly, compared with 2016 results – cut more than an hour off my best time.  Today’s run a 50K PR.

Out like a LION (September), in with a ROAR (October) – starting tomorrow with a high-altitude hike.  Gotta, hafta – promised the pup, right?  LOVE LOVE my Colorado life ❤


The Bear Chase

Running @ Lakewood, CO, 50K 9/30/2017, by HAL Sports


Keenan Haga

Bib #732  CHIP TIME  07:04:43



meanwhile far, far away in Germany…look who’s celebrating Oktoberfest!



Voice mails & texts during my 3-day Eclipse weekend in Casper, cards in the box.  More of a BIRTHDAY WEEK than just one day 🙂

Celebrated day-after with Ash & Tom.  Best cake EVER, my first trail-running cake.  Trail itself, malted milk balls.  Icing, Nutella.

Birthday DINNER?  Old Bay shrimp boil (outside cooked on the grill).  Birthday APP?  Deviled eggs.  ALL my favourites!

and a MOVIE.  Not just any movie, Sharknado 5.   Yep, FIVE years of shark tornados.  This year’s serial cast in London.  Sharknados disrupting Big Ben.  Ancient shark cave drawings discovered in Stonehenge.  Appears even our ancestors were plagued with cloud-flying, funnel-spinning Great Whites/makos/hammerheads.  Who knew?  LOL>  Perfect evening!

MOST AWESOME GIFT?  Sis sent a lamp.  Not just any lamp, a Filimin – a long distance touch lamp.  7 minutes set-up.  Plugged-in unit, attached WiFi, added profile to Sis’ group.  Chose a unique color, any shade on the ROYGBIV rainbow.  That’s pretty much it.

My colour: GREEN.  Sis’ colour: PURPLE.

Honestly, my family is not a touchy-feely bunch.  We’re not huggers.  Texting heart emojis: tightest we get ❤


What is Filimin For?

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell someone you love them.


A text, email or phone call are all nice, but often they’re just not enough. We all desire something more: a hug; a presence; something simple, mindful and “beyond words.”


So we created Filimin. Filimins are decorative touch lights that connect you with those you love.


How does Filimin work?


Imagine you and a loved one each have a Filimin. When you think of her, simply touch your Filimin. Both Filimins will respond to your touch, gently glowing together with one of hundreds of colors to choose from. Knowing you are thinking of her, she can respond by touching her Filimin, and both of your Filimins will together glow a new color.


If your Filimin is part of a group, all of the Filimins will glow together! Every member of the group knows that they’re in someone’s special thoughts, and can immediately return the love and good will.


I get it – it’s a lamp.  I touch the lamp it glows GREEN.  But telling ya folks, when I see PURPLE – knowing my Sister miles away touched her lamp, that she’s thinking of me?  Whew, emotional.  For the guy who seemingly has everything…

It’s a GREAT gift.  Search it out for your family this Christmas.



Birthday Filimin


How Filimins Are Made


Filimins are assembled, tested and packed at Women’s Initiative Network (WIN).


WIN is a small non-profit organization in Wichita, Kansas which helps women in their journey from abusive situations to independence and the workforce.  Many are homeless, with children, recovering from addiction, but have already made the brave decision to stop the cycle of abuse for them and for their families. WIN offers these women a full range of services, including job support and training, emotional and educational support, and resource acquisition.


The women at WIN assemble Filimins from start to finish. They solder, program and configure printed circuit boards, operate CNC machines, use power tools, test, glue, and run each Filimin through a 9-point quality assurance test before packing and shipping them. In developing this process with us, they have accomplished things they never thought they might and have gained confidence and competence in new skill sets.



Alarm came early, morning after the wedding.  Hike day!  But first, another 4 mile trek along Silverthorne’s Blue River Trail (’cause every day’s a run day).  Altitude, check.  Thin air, check check.  Guilted Sis into joining me.  St. Louis has peaks, right?

Clothes change, backpack, piled into the Grecos SUV rental – heading UP.

The Buffalo Mountain Trail is fairly short but strenuous, gaining over 3000′ in just 2.75 miles. Portions of the trail negotiate steep switchbacks and rugged talus fields above treeline, which require careful time management and equal exertion on the descent.

Short quarter-mile trek thru lodgepole pine then SNOW.  Entire Greco family on today’s hike PLUS Stephen (working next week from Colorado).  Sis & nephew Jack went out fast.  In theory, niece Victoria doesn’t hike – she’d finish the same snow trek UP UP UP, all while holding a GoPro.  Despite the snow, sun blazed warm.  Perfect hike weather.  The trail itself, crazy steep.  Snow, snow melt, ice.

 N39 37.217 W106 07.809 — 1.5 miles : Rapid climb through high subalpine forest

Breathe.  Hike.  Suck down more water…and hike again.  Snow to the left, snow to the right, surrounded by pine – but the path always UP UP UP.  Never reached a point where the trail leveled off.  Going back was crazy fun.  Mix of slide, backside & feet.

For the record – I’m the one who called it.  No mas.  PLUS we’ve got afternoon plans 🙂

Splash bath in the hotel public restroom (already checked out of my room).  Saved a table in Frisco while Team Greco took proper showers.  Lunch choice: Greco’s Pastaria.  Seemed fitting (‘though we failed to receive any ‘Greco family’ discount) 🙂

Day’s last activity: Frisco Escape Room.

Colorado’s Favorite Historically Inspired Escape Room!

Frisco Escape Room is a fun, challenging, immersive, interactive game experience taking place every day. While it looks like an ordinary room, it’s actually a puzzle. During your adventure in our escapes, you will find yourself flexing your brain and looking in nooks and crannies you never even noticed. Find the hidden objects, figure out the clues and solve the puzzles to earn your freedom. You have a limited amount of time, so be quick!

Entered the room, received our instructions.  No cameras, phones allowed.  Timer started & the game began.

In 1898 Pug Ryan and his gang robbed the Denver Hotel on Main St. in Breckenridge making off with considerable loot. The men fled to a cabin in Kokomo where they were soon caught up with by two lawmen. A shootout ensued, resulting in the death of Pug’s partner and both lawmen. Pug narrowly escaped leaving behind his ill-gotten gains. Ten years later, school children stumble upon the treasure while having a luncheon on Jacque Mountain. Among the loot, was the gold pocket watch that belonged to Robert Foote, the owner of the Denver Hotel.


The year is 1908. You’re a miner who’s been down on their luck. You’ve just heard that some school children have found the loot from the Denver Hotel heist. Rumor is that they have stashed it in the schoolhouse until they can get it back to Mr. Foote. Can you sneak into the classroom and steal the watch while the kids finish their luncheon?

Locked in a 1908 schoolroom.  Blackboard, desks, lockers.  US Map & The Periodic Table, hung from the wall.

Tick, tick, tick.  10 minutes in, nothing.  Bell rang, timer revealed a hint.  Closer on the 2nd clue.  Bell rang again, ARGH – soooo close, seemed so obvious.  Clues progressively got harder.  At the same time, we grew stronger/more intuitive/worked together as a Team.

Periodic table — NINE — 3rd # of the combination lock.  Got it!

  • N – Nitrogen
  • I – Iodine
  • Ne – Neon

School books found inside each desk.  Puzzle piece on top of the lockers, placed over page 53 in ‘Treasure Island’ revealed 4 letters, to be used on an alpha lock, drawer in the Teacher’s desk.  Inside?  Answer key to the students’ history tests.

That’s it, no more spoilers.  Locked in an old schoolroom with family – absolutely the BEST!!



Buffalo Cabin Trail  (short video before GoPro died — thanks Victoria!)



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