Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quaint As Austria

First off, thanks to all of you who ordered shirts, just awesome! And, thanks also for your patience as I am learning how to navigate my way through this whole shirt selling thing. Appreciate your support!

The kids and I came up to Vail yesterday to stay with a girlfriend and her kids. We are staying right in Vail Village at the base of the chairlifts. Last night we did some poking around the Village which might even be quainter than some villages in Austria, but I don’t know because I’ve never been to Austria.


This is outside of our condo. That’s snow on the barren ski slopes.


I found a couple signs I should probably plaster to my forehead.



Oxygen is over-rated in these parts.


All I do is lay around. I’m just not cut out for exercise.


Some times I like to do tricks:


This morning I get up at the ass crack of dawn to tackle Vail Pass on my bike. The summit is about a 15 mile climb from our condo. I was going it alone. It was chilly when I left – maybe 45 degrees. I knew that climbing from 8.150 to 10,400 feet might freeze my nuts off, or some kind of body part.

The first few miles I cruised along thinking, what’s the big deal, this is no problem. By mile six, I really started climbing and it was that steep crazy climbing where you are in your granny gear, pushing as hard as you can and going 5 mph. At certain steep steep spots you consider actually walking your bike because it may be that or fall off on your face.


I couldn’t bring myself to walk the bike so I pressed on. Around every turn I would think, “Okay, the summit has got to be around the next bend.” It wasn’t. It’s good to know where you’re going


And where you’ve been.


I seriously thought I would encounter a bear and he would make me his bitch - I was literally the only one I saw out there. But I didn’t see Deliverance bear. Only saw some deer who were rude enough to stand there, still, on the side of the path and stare me down. The look in their eyes was something like, “What the eff is she doing?” I shrugged those fawns off, giving them a dirty look back.

Finally I reached the top, and the view did not disappoint.


Coming down, the snow and rushing water made it cold as hell. That’s what 1 hour hot showers and endless cups of coffee are for, right?

All in all, 2,400 feet of elevation gain. 30 miles out and back. You don’t want to know how long it took me. 1:20 going up, :45 coming down.


When I got back I stuffed my face at the breakfast buffet with hard boiled eggs, scones, bananas and yogurt with granola. Emma walked up as I was peeling and eating the egg. “WHO FARTED?” she yelled. I told her it was the egg. But I got to wondering why do farts smell so much like hard boiled eggs? And given that, why do we keep eating hard boiled eggs?

I’ll leave you with that conundrum.

Do you work out while on vacation? I never used to. Once I got really into running (about three years ago) I started always exercising while on vacation, regardless of where I am.  For me, it just starts my day off right. Then I don’t feel so bad about basking in the sun all day eating nachos and drinking margaritas.



  1. As long as those deer didn't tell you you had a purdy mouth, I think you're OK.

    Beautiful spot to be, I love that area. Also, you totally win for making it up that hill.

  2. LOL Deliverance bear....

    Too funny.

    Wanna feel really good about your biking? Ride where I live: it's FLAT FLAT FLAT and you'll probably torch everyone.

    Elevation profile:


    (the bump is the 2nd St. overpass)


  3. Great Job on the Pass climb. But no one else?? I was on that path some years ago walking to the top from the Copper side and the bikes were thick. Guess you got a great day to enjoy it all to yourself. Better that way. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  4. Love it and can totally relate today! Mine was 30 miles in the hills of VA that back up to the Appalachian Trail. Gave it my all at 6 mph, too. Ouch!

  5. holy crap I would NOT make it up that hill. 1:20 seems pretty fast to me considering the elevation!! At least you could reap your reward on that sweet downhill.
    Way to go!

  6. Rotten eggs produce a gas called hydrogen sulfide. Some people produce hydrogen sulfide in their intestines, so their farts would smell like rotten eggs. Hydrogen sulfide is ofter produced in high school chemistry classes and is called "rotten egg gas" and it smells like bad, stinky farts.

    what it's national blonde day - I had to prove I was smart.

    Freaking LOVE VAIL!!

  7. Sort of like New Austria... or neue Österriech, as they say in the old country ;-) Very pretty!

    Awesome ride! I rode yesterday... but it was the opposite of yours... flat and by a large body of water as opposed to steep and by large land masses. Oh, and really short and easy instead of long and arduous.

    Love those signs! Enjoy your stay in Vail :)

  8. Love the pictures. I've wondered that about boiled eggs myself. And who was the first person that said "Look what just came out of that chicken's butt. HMMM I wonder what that would taste like?"? Crazy people! That scene in deliverance is hard to watch. I think I may have fast forwarded through most of it. Sounds like you got to enjoy your solitary ride though, and beautiful scenery!!

  9. Every time I climb a monster hill I think crap I can't stop because if I try I'll fall on my face!!!! I hate the feeling of climbing like that.

  10. What an awesome climb, Lance! Building the pillars...

    I always work out on vacation. Like you said, makes it easier to indulge a bit!

  11. There were people at 70.3 IMCA that actually did fall of their bikes. I was going 9 sucked hard boiled eggs to be honest.

    Here is what I find about HBE....they typically only smell that bad when they are cold. When they are just boiled they don't have that odor. Is it just me?

    BASUAR....Bad Ass SUAR !!!!

    Great job and seriously you cannot stop 70.3s and MUST register for Puerto Rico in March so we can do it together.

  12. Wow, out of nowhere...EMZ, you crack me up! :-) Beth, the scenery is beautiful. Enjoy!

  13. That looks awesome! I'm heading off to Cody, WY on Saturday for two weeks and MUST keep up with my Xterra training plan while I am there. They have a wonderful rec center, which is only 11.2 miles (I google mapped it!) from my Uncle's house - a wonderful bike ride. But no place to rent a bike in Cody or nearby parts. BOO. So I will train indoors, but the altitude change (to 5500 ft) will be good!

  14. Wow, well done Colorado. That view is worth the climb (probably not what your legs were thinking at the time...) - gorgeous!

    I always pack workout clothes on vacation, and usually hold true to the plans...we're heading to KS tomorrow and have been informed its 108* today. I'm not so sure how those "plans" will hold out this time. (Ugh. Kansas.)

  15. I've ski'd in Vail. Beautiful. Hard to imagine that it's even prettier than Boulder. I'd rather live in Boulder.

    You know, the only way I can workout during vacation is being completely committed to it BEFORE I go. I have to make that promise to myself. If not, I'd blow it off. Guilt works for me.

  16. Only in the last year have I started exercising when on vacation. But when you're in a beautiful place like that, you just HAVE to get out there!

  17. I'm super jealous you are in Vail and even more so that you tackled Vail Pass! I am thinking about doing the Copper Triangle and that's one of the passes. I ran DOWN it a couple years ago when I ran the Colorado Relay and that was one of my legs and it scared the crap out of me at 11pm, pitch dark, and a headlamp that was wonky. I thought of the bear for 15 miles!! Glad you got it done and didn't give up! I'm not sure I could have done in in 1:20...not sure I could do it in 2:20.

    Have a great mini vacation...don't watch too much Sponge Bob!!

  18. On my 1.3mi bike ride home from work today, against the wind, I almost came to a standstill despite pedalling forward. Of course, I'm sure all the other cyclist who've passed me going to and from work wouldn't have had any problem with the wind.

    Once my husband put some eggs on to boil, remembered he had to be somewhere, and forgot all about the eggs. When he got home the house was full of smoke, and the eggs had burst in the pan (which fortunately had had the lid on it). The whole house smelled like hard boiled eggs and smoke. And it was winter, so we were freezing while trying to air out the house.

  19. First of all, I'd like to say that I crapped mid-run yesterday which is fairly uncommon for me. And I thought of you.

    Second, I'm going on vacation starting Monday and am in the middle of my half-marathon training... I know I will have to do at least three runs while away (Speedwork, Tempo and Long) and I'm a bit uneasy about it.
    Any tips to fitting in training runs while not at home?

    PS- You are a monster for climbing that hill. If you find out how to share your super-human gene, please tell.

  20. Awesome pictures and what a ride for you...
    I miss Colorado!

  21. That was one amazing bike ride. The reward at the summit made it worth it. You just can't find that kind of view in New York. Lucky you.

  22. Loved the pictures. The first one looked like Whistler Village, British Columbia.

  23. Beautiful photos! Last year I exercised every day on vacation AND I hauled my scale along -I had just lost a lot of weight and didn't want vacation to set me back - my thought was that if vacation ruined all my hard work, then everything I did to that point was nothing more than a diet - and that's not what I was going for - I was going for 'healthy lifestyle.'

  24. i'm going to vail the last week of july & now i can't wait!! looks gorgeous!

  25. beastly climb!! glad u ddin't get eaten by a bear but if u had met one maybe a well timed eggy fart would have fended him off?

    thanks for sharing the sites...luv some of those signs!

    i always exercise regardless of where i am, i don't see working out as a 'chore,' i luv how it makes me feel. :)

  26. I definitely would have been walking my bike up that hill. Or would have just turned around and gone back down! That's an amazing ride.

    I do workout on vacation. I try to rearrange my schedule so my rest day is one of the vacation days, but I run or walk on vacation. It's fun to run in new places. Unless there are bears.