Archive for ‘Sports/Fitness’

June 20, 2012

Aspen: Da Bears

I saw my first bear this summer, but thankfully I was on horseback. With summer hiking on the brain, it’s time to refresh our wild animal encounter skills in case you run into a bear without your trusty steed—and by steed, I could mean pistol, if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am, I mean, I don’t want Nali eaten by a mountain lion).

survival guide

For 19 other wild animals, click here: Freeze or Flee (you have to sign up to see the images any bigger than the one above)

June 18, 2012

Aspen: Summer Hiking

Last summer, I was coaching boot camp and using the abundant hiking trails in Aspen as training tools. The hiking in Aspen is absolutely incredible, but what’s even more incredible is the fact that we don’t even have to get in a car to embark on some great hikes. Here’s a rundown of five hikes you can get to from town, no car necessary!


My fave quick-and-dirty hike with a big payoff. Sometimes called Cougar Highway or Housewife Hill, this challenging 45-minute-or-less hike is steep, shaded, and super-rewarding at the top. Expect to see diamond-encrusted hikers in the latest gear talking on their bluetooths mixed with crazies running the switchbacks and lots of off-leash pups. Take Original until it turns left into Ute Ave, the trailhead is before the Aspen Club on the right.

Hunter Creek

One of the most gorgeous hike/walks to be found in Aspen, it’s great for trail running since it’s not too steep. The scenery can’t be beat: the creek roaring over the rocks is the best soundtrack you could ask for, and the majority of the trail is shaded until you reach the rocky hill (no fun) just before Hunter Valley. It’s strictly dogs-on-leash though, so be careful. Start behind the Hunter Long Houses on Lone Pine, the first right if you follow Mill on the slight curve left, past the Art Museum. Connects to Smuggler …


The original Cougar Highway, this is my least favorite hike but for some reason everyone else seems to enjoy it. It’s a gradual, easy hike up a dusty, rocky dirt road (that cars, dirt bikes, and mountain bikers can also use) to an observation deck that gives a great view of Aspen towards the mountain. If you ask me, the only time to do Smuggler is to walk and chat, which plenty of people do. It also connects to Hunter Creek through Hunter Valley, so you can start or end a point-to-point hike there.

Rio Grande

Its proximity to town and length renders it worth mentioning even if it isn’t a hike, per se. The paved path starting behind the post office and stretching all the way downvalley offers great scenery and easy walking, jogging, and biking.

Little Cloud

A baby hike partially up Aspen Mountain, it’s a great quick primer hike for your first day or two in Aspen. Start a few streets past Koch Park (3rd & Hopkins?), follow some switchbacks up before the trail opens up onto Aspen Mountain near Lift 1A.

The Mountains

Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Highlands, and Snowmass all offer great hiking. The most fun way to hike Aspen Mountain is to take Ute and then continue left from the top, past Gent’s Ridge, and on up to Sundeck. Then you can gondy down! You can also hike straight up the center from under the gondola, but that’s pretty much just like using a stairmaster for a couple of hours.

Of course, there are a billion other awesome hikes over Independence Pass, through the Bells, out Ashcroft, and so on. But am I missing any hidden in-town, no-car-required gems?

March 29, 2012

Austin & Aspen (Kinda): Spartan Race

This post brought to you by Spartan Race. All opinions are 100% mine.


Sort of like the Spartan 300 I used to take on with CrossFit, Spartan Race is a new revolutionary obstacle course—but with a twist—they give you a training protocol.

From beginner trail racers and mud run participants to hardcore warriors, tough guys and marathon runners, everyone comes out to test themselves on the insane obstacle races. There are three levels: Sprint, Super, and Beast. Spartan Race was created with the idea that working out is not always torturous … Spartan Race’s goal is simple: to get you off your couch, throw you in the mud & trails, and feed you one tough endurance event day that will be the adrenalin rush of your life.

Spartan Race provides its participants with a daily workout, a weekly newsletter, and inspiring blogs that will help them get from the couch to the finish line within 45 days. It really is as simple as signing up, showing up, and never ever giving up.

Spartan Race will be in Colorado at Fort Carson May 5th & 6th and in Texas in Burnet May 19th & 20th.

You will understand what it means to be a Spartan at the finish line …

For frequently asked questions and answers check out: / To register:

Visit Sponsor's Site

March 19, 2012

Austin: Best Dog-Friendly Places

Call it the coolest job ever: blogger Will Kearney and his Rhodesian Ridgeback Mr. Eko are traveling the country for Purina’ blog Marking Our TerritoryThey stopped over in Austin during SXSW and awarded the following places with their “Best of Petcentric Places” awards. I have to say, I’m jealous of the job and I more or less agree with the picks, though I’m fairly certain I could never get Denali in a canoe in a million years … also check out 11 reasons pets make or keep you healthy here.

dog in canoe

  • Best Hotel: Decker Creek Bed and Breakfast and Biscuit
    Of all the hotels visited thus far, Eko could live in the Decker Creek B & B & B forever. Behind the beautiful cabin there are 50 acres of fenced-in property where Eko was free to run around. Dogs are even welcomed at breakfast and offered homemade treats!
  • Best Park: Zilker Park
    This park offers the best of both worlds: a path where pet-owners can walk their dog on a leash and a wide open area for dogs to run free, which Eko loved. Feeling more adventurous? Jump into a rented kayak or canoe and enjoy the beauty of Austin from the water!
  • Best Hike/Run: Turkey Creek
    This offers the best hiking scenery and is the only place Will and Eko have found on their trip that allows dogs to be off-leash on a trail. The two-and-a-half mile trail crisscrosses the creek, giving dogs the opportunity to splash around in the water.
  • Best Pet Store: Lofty Dog
    This pet store really matches the atmosphere of the city – laid back and welcoming. Pets are allowed to roam free, which made it easier for Will to shop for treats while Eko was busy playing with the very attentive staff.
  • Best Restaurant: South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery
    Many Austin restaurants are pet-friendly, so Will and Eko chose this spot (also known as Torchy’s Trailer Park) for its unusual setup and fun environment. There are picnic tables, televisions, ping pong tables and foosball tables – what’s not to love!

dog blog

“Austin is a unique city with an active pet-friendly community who were eager to share their favorite spots with us,” said Kearney. Fellow animal lovers can get inspired to start their own journey by logging onto or using the Petcentric Places mobile app to find pet-friendly places and information anytime, anywhere.

March 5, 2012

Play Hooky & Ski Week

Lift ticket sale site Liftopia declared this week Play Hooky & Ski week, an edict I can fully stand behind. If you’re lucky enough to be near a ski resort, do it!

Play Hooky & Ski

February 29, 2012

Leap Day!

What are you going to do on Leap Day?!

In the British Isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man … compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown to 12 pairs of gloves (wtf?), in order to soften the blow. Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat—fair warning, if you will (via wikipedia).

This is, of course, the premise of the movie Leap Year, which was not all that good of a movie but I saw it because it’s terrible and a chick flick and I appear to love those two things.

Anyhow, I think the ideal Leap Day would involve lots of Leaping. As in jumping in the air. I’m going to be doing a Bumps and Steeps Locals Clinic on Aspen Mountain. Not really what I had in mind but time is fast running out on Locals Clinics and I have to attend at least two in order to achieve a break-even on my investment in the unlimited pass. So I go. And given my skills, I may well be leaping. Unintentionally. Sort of like this video:

Wish me luck. Happy Leap Day!

January 26, 2012

Aspen: X Games 2012 … it’s all about the music

Last year I was super psyched to go to X Games and really surprised no one would go with me!

… then I went.

… and now, I will probably not ever go again either. (I also happen to be in Park City this weekend, yay!)

It’s awesome, yes, that X Games are in Aspen. But it’s really crowded, the views are not awesome, and the lines for the buses are beyond ridiculous.

However, the music in town for X Games is also ridiculous. Ridiculous. So we have to appreciate that!

Saturday the always-free Hi-Fi Concert Series at the base of Aspen mountain features AWOLNATION, at 5:30p. Although I enjoyed Big Boi last year, AWOLNATION is definitely a hot-hot act right now and sure to please the X Games crowd.

Belly Up has some stellar acts, a few of which are already sold old (Deadmau5 sold out in a flash and caused a lot of drama to boot):

xgames belly up music aspen

Plus Sunday night TheGoodLife! & Louie Vito present Raekwon & Ghostface Killah with very special guests DJ Spider & 12th Planet.

Heading to the actual X Games? Map below:

Buttermilk Mountain Winter X Games Aspen 2012 spectator map. Click here to download the large version of this map.

EatAspen has a list of all the X Games deals in town here.

January 16, 2012

Top 10 Workout Songs For Winter 2012

We’re finally getting more snow in Aspen! In honor of the falling snow, I’m happy to share with you a list of the top 10 Winter 2012 workout songs … they’re hot in the cold! Readers from Run Hundred–the web’s most heavily-trafficked site for workout music–were  polled regarding their favorite current workout songs. The full list is below, feel free to leave your recs in the comments …

Tim Berg – Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit) – 127 BPM

Katy Perry – The One That Got Away – 135 BPM

Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat (Maan Studio Remix) – 126 BPM

Flo Rida – Good Feeling – 129 BPM

Wolfgang Gartner & Will.I.Am – Forever – 128 BPM

Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight (Goldstein Remix) – 118 BPM

Taio Cruz & Flo Rida – Hangover – 129 BPM

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull & The WAV.s – I Like How It Feels – 129 BPM

Kaskade & Skrillex – Lick It – 128 BPM

Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – 117 BPM

December 5, 2011

Austin: Skate It Up

Austin’s lakes and ponds will probably never freeze in order to get that whole wintery skating thing going on (in contrast to Aspen, where it is TEN degrees as I type this), so we have to build rinks specifically for that purpose. The downtown Whole Foods started the trend a few years ago (and has updated it for 2011, read on), but the famous Oasis Restaurant with its brand new Oasis Texas village is upping the ante with a 1,760 square foot ice skating rink against the sunsets and Lake Travis views for which it is famous.

oasis skating rink

Oasis Texas now consists of five restaurants, four retail shops, entertainment, and office space. The rink is open through January 1. Admission to the rink is $10, which includes skate rental. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Marine Foundation’s Toys for Tots annual holiday campaign and get $1 off skate ticket. Oasis Texas is located at 6550 Comanche Trail. For more info:

Skating rink hours: Monday through Thursday 4-10p; Friday and Saturday 11a-11p; Sunday 11a-8p.
Christmas Eve: 11a-7p; Christmas Day: 1-10p; New Year’s Eve: 11a-10p; New Year’s Day: 11a-10p

Meanwhile, Whole Foods is introducing Disco Karaoke on Ice! Wednesday Nights Through January 15th from 7-9p . Disco Karaoke on Ice will include free hot chocolate, courtesy of Capital One Bank, to the first 50 guests. Plus, all karaoke guests will be entered into a chance to win a $250 gift card. Admission: $10/hour includes skates.

October 6, 2011

Austin: Yoga Festival!

September may have been National Yoga Month, but October hosts the first annual Austin Yoga Festival October 8th & 9th at Fiesta Gardens.  The Festival will be a celebration of all styles of yoga, bringing together Austin’s finest yoga studios, teachers, ayurvedic practitioners, and holistic wellness providers.

Over 30 of Austin’s finest yoga instructors will be leading classes on the festival’s four stages, bringing together the widest range of yoga Austin has ever seen – from kids classes to kundalini, from beginner to ashtanga vinyasa – which is so unbelievably awesome. I’ve been doing a few workshops, and there are some styles or teachers that work for some people (like AT for me) and others for others. The opportunity to try a bunch out … so cool!

The complete schedule of classes & instructors is here:

Tickets: $25/day pass, $40/two day pass (other deals for friends, kids, and so on are listed):

A percentage of all ticket sales from the Festival will go towards supporting several local organizations: Austin Food Bank, Community Yoga, Amala Foundation & Yoga Care Foundation.

Om on!!


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