As most of you know I LOVE food.  Over time I have found food tastes that I like but it lacks the nutrition I need as an endurance junkie...hence the MegaBar!!!  It is almost perfect ratio of nutrition to refuel quickly.  I hope you like as much as I do!!!

1.5 cup peanut butter / Nutella
.5 cup of honey
12 TBSP of water
2 cups of protein powder (I use MetRx Meal Replacement packs / www.metrx.com)
4 cups granola
1 cup dark chocolate chips

1.  Line pan with butter and flour
2.  Place peanut butter and honey in microwave safe bowl.  Heat on high of 30 seconds. Stir and repeat.
3.  Whisk water and protein powder until blended.
4.  Add to PB and honey mix.  Stir until smooth.
5.  Stir in granola and chocolate chips until evenly moistened.
6.  Press evenly in prepared pan.
7.  Chill for 1 hour and cut into bars. 

It is that simple!!!  Let me know if you have any questions!!!
 
 
Week of 2.3.13 to 2.9.13

Running - 103 miles (13.5 hours)
Weight Training - 1 hour

This week I am still fighting off injury so running is the main focus...and I struggled.  I am looking forward to getting everything back on task.

So this week I wanted to take the time to talk alittle bit about my new gear coming in from UltrAspire (www.ultraspire.net, www.ultraspirestore.com).  As most of you know I absolutely love this company and FULLY trust their gear.  Currently I am in the SPRY pack from them and love it.  So here we go!!!

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First up is the Alpha pack.  This pack will be one of their top sellers.  This will be a go to here in CO for races and training.   More than anything I love the ride of this pack.  It sits still and does not bunch your shirt.  LOVE THIS PACK!!!



 http://www.ultraspirestore.com/product-p/ua050bu.htm.


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This pack I will be wearing on m longer runs and ultras.  Same ride as all of their packs (which is great) .  It does have alittle more space and has a bottle.  I will be in this pack for the Divide 135 (www.thedivide135.com) Really looking forward to wroking this ack over!!!







http://www.ultraspirestore.com/product-p/ua056re.htm


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This pack is the ne I am most looking forward to.  Here in CO we are known for long days in the Rockies.  This pack will get alot of work coming up this summer.  I NEED this one!!!











http://www.ultraspirestore.com/Fastpack-Ultra-Red-p/ua055re.htm


So take the time to check them out at www.ultraspire.net and www.ultraspirestore.com.  I use and HIGHLY recommend this company and gear!!!  Shannon tested and Shannon approved!!!
 
 
Week of 1.27.13 to 2.2.13

Running - 82 miles (10 hours)
Cycling - 50 miles (2 hours)
Weight Training - 1.5 hours

This week my training is coming back but I am fighting a slight injury that might keep me off the bike for a week...ugh. 

Anyways...most important in January I had the huge honor and pleasure of working with a team for Athletes In Tandom.  A good friend here in FC has a passion and love for his non profit.  Honestly it is very inspiring and I am VERY honored.  The orginal event is put on by Tampa Bay Tri Gals.  This was my second year on a relay team.  Last year I did 419.2 miles for the month and this year was 384 miles.  This year the difference was in the cycling. 

This year our team rolled again with the relay team win!!!  It was so great to see all the incredible athletes putting in work.  Helps all of us stay focused as well.

So that was my week...nothing overly exciting but work was done.  More VERY important news to come next week
 
 
Week of 1.20.13 to 1.26.13

Running - 86 miles (10.5 hours)
Cycling - 50 miles (2 hours)
Weight Training - 1 hour

This week was a very odd week for my training.  I felt like I had to take a step back because other things coming up.  Last Sunday I came down with the 24 hour flu and that took me out for Monday morning exercise.  Instead of exercise I FINALLY made one of my many dreams come true.  This past week I started my Pearl Izumi (www.pearlizumi.com).

My journey to my job has been a very long one.  Over the past 4-5 years I have been working to set myself up for just this opportunity.  This was also part of the plan when we moved to Colorado.  So this past Monday my dream became real and my new life started at Pearl Izumi.  Needless to say it was an absolutely incredible week!!!  Working for the Run Division there fits me like a glove!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwXexIzSM3Q

This week we also started new fun on Facebook to help people stay motivated throughout the year with exercise and new things to improve.  The kick off was an event called Week of Abs For Weak Abs.  The idea was to push everyone day after day by doing 180 pushups and 180 situps for 1 week.  It was tough but oh so much fun!!!  It looks like it is going to be a year long event.  Oh so much fun!!!

My week ended with an absolute ass kicking on Magnolia Drive (Mags) in Boulder.  Mags is very well know in the area as a place to train at high altitude and still be able to push speed.  Well the overall idea was to run a 3:30-3:35 50K and push tempo.  Yeahhhhhhhhh that didn't happen.  Instead I got my ass kicked and loved every minute.  Even though I dropped my "F BOMBS" than a B-52 I still cherish every minute out there.  Ended up with a nice 50K just under 4 hours and a nice slice of HUMBLE PIE.  Sometimes I need things like that!!!

Well that is it...another week in the books!!!  Who knows what the next week holds but I know I will find out soon enough!!!
 
 
Week of 1.13.13 to 1.19.13

Running - 82.5 miles (10 hours)
Spinning - 100 miles rougly (4 hours spinning)
Swimming - 1 hour
Weight Training - 1.5 hours

This week took me to one of the most fun places I have visited and allowed me to do what I love.  On Sunday I had the honor of being the 3:35 pacer for Clif Bar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ7SL6hxS-c) at the Walt Disney Marathon in Florida.  Now for this Colorado boy it was tough jumping into that heat so the Saturday before I did a double workout at 20.5 miles and 6:39 average.  I need to feel the heat. 

The day started out VERY early with a 2:45 AM alarm and in the lobby at 3:30.  Even though it was 3:30 in the morning the place was BOOMING.  Very high energy as runners were getting set.  The team came together and we were off the the start.  Now for anyone that has not run this race it is a little crowded.  People going every way as we made our way to the start.  At the start it was all business.  Leading the 3:35 group means you have runners that are shooting for a BQ.  I take this VERY serious and make sure everyone knows my plan...nice and steady all the way. 

The race started as normal...people running every which way like a bunch of crazies.  I told my group not to try to hold me at the start as I will be darting in and out of people to get on pace.  Within .25 miles I was up to pace...now the fun begins in locking it in cruise control.  The miles went by quickly but the course seemed very long.  Now this is one of a pacers fears is a course playing out long and Disney was that way.  So I had to lay into the gas pedal to get us up to speed.

As the miles were winding down I was running with 5-7 ladies shooting for BQ and Jeff Dengate from RW.  Jeff is a friend and we always like to run together when we can.  Good guy and INSANE runner.  Around mile 24 I was 2 minutes up and had dropped one of the last ladies I was trying to get to BQ.  I told Jeff to take the group in and I was going to turn back.  As the time rolled down my runner was running her guts out.  Sadly she ended up finishing with a 3:35:01 and I was behind her trying to push her with a 3:35:02.

At the finish I thought she had made it...damnit missed by 1 second.  No doubt in her next race she has it.  And this was the first pacing ever where I did not make under my pace time. 

Shortly after it was quick packing and back to beautiful Colorado.  When I landed in Denver it was 1 degree...and it felt so damn good!!!  So that is it...my weekly check in.  The weeks are adding up and I am starting to enjoy this Tri training.  Who knows where that might lead!!!

 
 
Week of 1.6.13 to 1.12.13
Running - 88.6 miles (9 hours running)
Spinning - 75 miles (3 hours spinning)
Weight Training 2.5 hours (weights and core)

This past week was a good week of exercise but even better week for an incredible sponsor.  This past week I was given the great opportunity to become a sponsored athlete for UltrAspire (www.ultraspire.net). 

I found out about UltrAspire late in 2011 and started to learn more about them as 2012 rolled in.  As most of you know I am a "gear addict" and LOVE new gear!!!  I was amazed by the look and how simple the product line looked.  No frills for me...just do your job and make it look easy.  During the Bighorn 100 race I was running with Darcy Africa.  I noticed she had an UltrAspire SPRY pack on during the race.  It looked like it was riding so snug and easy on her.  As most of you know Darcy is a BEAST and someone I seek advice from often to keep my ass in line.

As the year rolled on I was preparing for Wasatch 100 and was in bad need of a lightweight pack.  I remember seeing Darcy rollin in her pack and seeked her input.  Well needless to say with a VERY small nudge from Darcy just a day before the Wasatch 100 I bought my UltrAspire SPRY pack for the race.  Usually I would not go with something new but it fit so well from trying it on I was not worried about it.  I decided to wear the pack on the front 52 miles then change over.  During that front 52 miles I feel in love with the pack.  It rode so well, did not bounce, and held everything I needed.  I was SOLD!!!

Since that time UltrAspire has become a staple of my gear.  No matter the distance or race you don't often see my without their gear.  From pacing for Clif Bar at 3:05 pace to daily runs it is there.

So to the UltrAspire Staff including Team Leader Krissy Moehl thank you for this incredible opportunity.  I am truly honored and very humble. 

2013 IS ROLLIN ON!!!
 
 
Week of 12.30.12 to 1.5.12

Running - 92.5miles (11 hours)
Spinning - 4 hours (roughly 100 miles)
Swimming - 1 hour
Weight Training - 1.5 hours

So 2013 is off and running!!!  This year I am calling it the year of change.  This year my goals are to do things I have never done and push myself to new areas.  One of the big changes I am making is to go from mileage goals to "time per week" goals.  So this year will be mainly 10-11 hours a week running, 4-5 hours a week spinning, 1-2 hours a week swimming, and 1-2 hours a week weight training.  Needless to say with this being my first week of this training I got my ass HANDED TO ME.  I really enjoyed the running per hour piece and LOVE the spinning aspect because I have to work HARD!!!  The swimming is a different game within itself.  Yes I can swim but don't count on me to make t anywhere.  So much work to do but I enjoy feeling like a rookie all over again.

So many people have asked about goals for 2013.  Right now I have 2 race goals but that is always subject to change.  First I will be taking part in a 135 mile (yes 135 miles) endurance run from Steamboat Springs, CO to Leadville, CO called The Divide 135 (www.thedivide135.com).  I have always wanted to do a 135 mile race so this is my first real test of the year.  You could say I am out to "FEED MY CRAZY".  This will be a mind-bending race but I think I will do well.  I am good at altitude and enjoy the road.  Now the 135 miles is a different ballgame.  The way I see it you only live once so grab life by the balls and hang on!!!

As soon as this race is done I will start my major transition.  I have always wanted to do Ironmans and I am finally starting to make my turn for it.  In August I will be doing the Half Ironman in Boulder, CO to test myself.  Being the hardheaded fool I am I will not go in half-ass.  I will be ready to compete if I can get this freaking swimming down.  Oh how far I have to go and so much to learn.

Also in 2013 I am honred to pace for the Clif Bar Marathon Team and to pace my brother Chris Swedenborg at Steamboat Springs 100 later this year.  And who else knows what might just come calling that needs to be taken on!!!

So 2013 is on and we are all ready.  Time to put "normal" life behind and push through new walls of you.  I am very much looking forward to helping as many people as I can in hopes that they will grow and help others.  So week one is down...time to keep moving into week 2!!!

 
 
As many of you already know I had the great honor of pacing my friend Chris Swedenborg on his first 100 attempt. He yet again pick a doozie with the Leadville 100. I wanted to give you the insight of what it takes to accomplish this and the amount of walls one has to cross.

The week before Leadville Swede and I had talked about his game plan. We had put in countless hours of training and I knew he was ready...well as ready as one can be. Finally Swede drops a number on me of his predicted time. Setting a mighty goal at possible sub 25 hours in Leadville. Oh I knew the ride was on for the both of us.

Saturday morning came and Meg and I had already decided to drive to Frisco the night before so she could run long and we will still have time to get there. As we drove in the butterflies started settling in as they always do when I am pacing. See pacing for me means that no matter what I must stay strong, encourage, motivate, and keep my runner's mind in check. All the while taking care of me to make sure I don't bonk. The ultimate pacers no-no.

As Swede rolled into Winfield at the turn he was all smile as he typically is. He did a few things and then we were off. Man I was so ready to go and went out like Chester from Spike and Chester. The first few miles were easy as Swede gave me a run down on how he was REALLY feeling. Knee was tight, stomach alittle mad, and body alittle tired...aka normal for a 100.

As we approached Hope Pass I could tell Chris was getting low on energy and not taking anything in. Rule 1 of a pacer...take care of your runner. I told him to drop a gel before we started the climb to 12,600 ft. Oh the climb up Hope Pass. This was a monster and Chris was getting tired, legs were dragging, and he was putting in too much fluid with no food. Worried about a salt imbalance I took his bottles and made him eat. Rule 2 of a pacer...you must be their mind. Well after a VERY long fought battle with a drizzling climb up Hope Pass Chris made the top. I am not positive but I think there was a 45 minute mile mixed in there. All in all...test 1 down!!!

Coming down Hope all Chris wanted was fluid and food. When we came into the aid station I got him 2-3 cups of soup, candy, fig newtons, and fluid. Always remember Rule 1. Oh and while I was there I consumed about 700+ calories as well. When we left there was an entirely new Chris. His legs were coming back to life and he was talking again. That was a welcome sight and sound. He had knocked off the second hardest section on the course and it was behind him. Next stop was Twin Lakes.

As we roll into Twin Lakes the crowd was alive. Chris was quickly bouncing back and we were about ready to race the hardest section of the race...night fall. Rolling through Twin Lakes I could tell Swede was feeling the moment as he started to get his swagger back. That a boy Swede...come in looking strong like "that was no mountain". We met with Steph, Meg, and the Swedenborg family (which I loved). At one point Chris said to his dad only 39 miles left. You can imagine the response...you two a nuts!!! Yes I replied!!!

Heading out of Twin Lakes I had forgotten about the climb coming up. Chris hit the first hill and started to slow. I knew what was going on but never let on. Rule 3 of pacing...ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE. I don't care if your runner looks like pure hell. I knew Chris had plenty in the tank and was already doing the math. I knew all we had to do was to hike the rest of the way and we would make it. As I was telling Chris my math I could see some of the pressure was coming off. He is a great hiker and as long as he kept moving he would be there.

As the night came Chris decided he was in the mood to hike. I was absolutely okay with that unless we started to slow too much then I was going to have to push him. It was no problem as he was hiking sub 20 minute miles. Now another part of running 100 miles that most people don't think about is body temps. As the night goes on your body temp will drop and it is too tired to really bring it back up without clothes and warm food. So I had to monitor his temps as well as soon as the night came on.

As we hiked through the night we had a few chances to chat about life, our dreams, and why we do this silly stuff that we do. This to me was one of the highlights of the run. Getting to know Chris better just made me feel like a good good friend. Those few hours were so great.

As we roll into the Fish Hatchery I knew what was coming and that Chris was fading. Time for some tough love. We came in, got some food, Chris changed clothes, and sat for a few minutes. I could tell the DNF was on his mind. I was not going to let that happen as at as we had went and the time in the bank. I said "let's go" and he looked at me like he hated me. I knew he would had rather stayed there but I was not going to let him. As we left the warmth and light of the aid station I grabbed Steph and Parents. I could tell they were worried and I told them not to be. Yes he is tired but I would never push him too much. I will always keep his health in mind and he will be okay. It became very real to me when his mom said "I am counting on you to take care of my son. Don't let me down". Oh it was on now. It was the middle of the night and a major test lay infront of us.

As we start down the road Chris knew what was coming. He had thought about it for hours so there was no blindsiding him. By this time he had picked up my Black Diamond Z Poles. These poles saved him. Coming up the Powerline it was around 5 miles of climbing with 5 false summits. Chris was moving slow but he was still pushing for everything he had. At one point he said he needed to lay down for 5 minutes. I was fine with that but I knew tough love would have to come again. As he lay there he fell asleep, snow flurries were coming down, and he was shaking. I knew I had to get him up to keep moving. Waking him was hard for me as I wanted him to sleep but I knew we had to push on. As we topped Powerline I knew the hardest was over. It was around 3am and we had about 17 miles to go. The biggest climbs were over!!!

As we entered May Queen I was calculating more. I knew the sun would be up soon and we had a few minutes to get ready for the final push. I stopped off to see Meg for a few minutes and make sure she was okay. It was so great to see her smiling face. Chris went on to the aid station to get ready. It was starting to break daylight and I was hoping for a second wind.

Night turned into day and Chris got a burst of energy. We were pushing 17 minute miles walking. I knew baring some bad circumstance we had it. Chris was basically silent and hiking like a mad man. He was determined not to give up. My little legs were getting tired but was loving seeing him push. So I stayed with him but also gave him space. He needed to be in his zone. The day was coming on and the light at the end of the tunnel was near.

As we hiked to the finish line we hit hill after hill after hill. It was like the course was trying to break us one more time. I remember Chris saying if one more f'ing person tells me just 1-2 more miles I am going to beat something with these poles. Yep...time to take my poles back.

Coming into the finish was a blur. It started with Chris cursing the finish line going up another f'ing hill. I told him he would never feel the hill. The crowds were insane. People were cheering, his mom was taking pictures, and we were making our way up. As we get closer to the finish Chris looks at me and says "let's run in". DAMN I got pumped. Here he was 29:25 hours into a 104 mile race and he wants to run in. I was honored to run in with him.

The finish line was closer and I broke off to give him "his" moment. Seeing him cross was one of the most incredible things I had witnessed. He was smiling, parents were crying, Steph was so proud, and Meg and I were choked up over the moment. It was truly a once in a lifetime thing. At that moment I remembered the last and most important rule of pacing. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Huge congrats to Swede for his first buckle. Another huge thank you to Meg, Steph, and the Swedenborg parents for crewing. You all made so much of a difference that you will never know. I am so very honored to have been a small part of this moment. To see someone change in a moment and understand anything is possible was like turning on a light switch.

Chris I am so very proud of you. You showed true grit, huge heart, and tremendous courage. Thank you for the moment!!!
 
 
Picture
A look from the top of the Towers Trail.
This weekends run was a little strange as Swede is tapering down for Leadville 100 in a few weeks. Swede and I have been training together for so long that it just didn't feel quite right.

I decided early in the week that I was going to stay close to home here in Fort Collins and work on having a solid pace run for the day. Plus that meant I got to sleep in!!!

I started around 6:15 from the Soderberg PL onto Towers Trail. I absolutely love Towers as it is a steady climb the entire route. It has taught me to be patient over the year I have been here. Go out to hard and she will beat you down.

First climb up to 7000 ft went well. Body was feeling good and my pace was steady. I dropped a Clif Bar Shot and was on the way!!!

Over the miles and course laid itself out it reminded me how much I love living in Fort Collins. Just a great town with so much to offer to every outdoor lover.

As I got to the turn point I was ready to start pushing the pace. Staying steady but acting like I was on race day. Oh how I love it when my body feels good.

As I topped out at the last big hill I took a few minutes to take it in. It was hot, I was sweaty, and I had the down of the Towers Trail to go. Sometimes I just like to slow down or stop to truly appreciate what I am doing and where I am. Life is REALLY good!!!

Finishing up all I wanted was a Clif Bar and a Red Bull. That is how Swede and I roll after a long workout. My weekly mileage was down to 90 miles abut still 17000 ft vertical climb.

Tic toc...Leadville 100 is well within sight!!!
 
 
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Daybreak coming up the first climb at 11000 feet.
As most of you all know one of the highlights of my running is helping others get to their dreams and goals. One of the ways I can do this is through pacing. This past weekend was Swede's last hard run before the Leadville 100 in 3 weeks. So I left the course and distance up to him.  And in true Swede fashion he delivered an incredible run.

We met at our usually time of 4am on Saturday morning and started our ride to the Indian Wilderness area close to Ward, CO. The mindset was to do the Pawnee and Buchanan Pass and maybe throw in Audobon for good measure. Chris, Steph, and I arrived at the TH at 5:15 and the place was half full. Looks like we are not the only ones hitting the loop. Trail runners started popping out of cars everywhere like Wak-A-Mole. Talking to others we decided to add a few to our group and we were off.

From the start I could tell Swede and Steph meant business. Swede was in the mindset to push the pace. I was in the mindset to sweep the course...nice and easy. Elevation was climbing and the sun was rising...what an incredible sight!!!

First turn comes...and goes...as Swede ran right by it. Ever heard to saying "if you friends jumped off a bridge would you follow?"? Well that was me...I ran right by the turn which I knew and just kept rolling up the mountain. Back tracking is always fun on loose footing...

As we made our way towards Buchanan Pass the trail descended for a while and was very nice rolling areas. I was carrying my trekking poles (which I love, http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/trekking-poles/distance-trekking-pole) in hand and really enjoyed this area.

As we approached the climb to Buchanan Pass I could tell this was going to be a great day of running. The climb was tough but very doable especially with poles. At the top we took a minute to take it all in. We were all feeling good after the initial climb and ready to roll. As we were there Swede pointed out the clouds in the valley that were below us. We were around 12000 feet and the clouds we under us...that was an incredible view.

Now...let me start by saying I have ran in some incredible places before but this next section was one of the best. We come off Buchanan Pass and the trail drops into a beautiful valley full of wildflowers. They were EVERYWHERE. I almost fell a few times looking at them as the trail took us back to tree line. That was one of the memorable areas I have ever ran. As Swede and Steph pushed the tempo through the next section I was just smiling and having the time of my life. That is when I happened...I came around a corner and Steph was standing in the trail holding her hands over her head. I thought either the Clif Shots and elevation is making her crazy or there was an animal with horns around the corner. Turned out she was not crazy and there was a BIG moose standing there. I never knew how big those animals were until now. They looked like a horse with antlers and I wanted to keep my distance. No trying to ride the fuzzy tractor today...

The next areas went by fairly quick and we ran into our friend Rob Howard who was running the loop as well but the other direction. We chatted for a few and were off. Rob was running his last run before taper as well. What is up with everyone looking strong but me?

We get to the last climb of the day and had no idea what to expect. We entered into this "bowl" where the mountains were jagged and straight up. Hmmmmm...where does the trail go? The climb was around 6 miles and 4000 feet up. Oh yeah...this is going to be fun. As I approached the major incline I asked a hiker how far we had to go to top out. He replied "don't worry about distance just try not to fall off". Rather odd at the time but made sense later. The climb was grueling but still walkable. At one point early on I looked up this jagged edge and could see movement. Not knowing what it was at the time I quickly learned it was people hitting the switchbacks. Even going up the trail I had no idea where we were going. FINALLY we top out at 12500 feet and at the Continental Divide. Oh that felt so good as my quads were on fire and poor Steph was going to puke. Swede on the other and was looking smooth and fresh...damn you. We know now the down was coming.

Now something to note about Steph...she is crazy. She runs technical downhill like it is road. Hopefully today with her jacked up stomach I could keep her insight. We BOMBED the downhill the next 5 miles. It was so awesome seeing others hiking up and we were killing the down. We got the "freaking nuts" look...you know the look!!!

Back to the car we called it a day. Steph had just put in one of her longest runs ever, Swede was cruising all day and looked really focused and in shape, and I was feeling good as well. We all were smiling and if you can end smiling that is a good thing. We finished around 28 miles and 7600 feet vertical climb. That took me to 100 miles even with 21600 feet vertical climb for the week.

Swede is ready to roll and I am VERY honored to be there with him as he crosses new bridges in his life. Leadville 100 here we come...
Picture
Topping out on Buchanan Pass with the clouds below us.
Picture
Our "friend" on the trail.