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Last Call 50

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As midnight approached on Saturday, July 11th, Alex and I pulled into the mountain town of Fairplay, CO for the 2020 edition of the Last Call 50 Mile Endurance Run. Less than 2 hours away from metro Denver,  Fairplay sits at about 9500 feet above sea level. The surrounding peaks are the perfect playground for trail runners, and this race would highlight that fact beautifully. With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on the US, there was part of me that worried that Last Call 50 wouldn't even happen at all. But race director (and friend) John LaCroix made sure that there was a detailed protocol in place that would keep runners and volunteers safe and healthy. Part of that was implementing a wave start, with groups of about 20 people each starting the race at 11:40pm, 11:50pm, and then midnight. I was in the 11:50pm grouping. As we lined up to depart from the South Park School track, I told myself one last time, "You've got this." So many questi

Spirit Animal

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I don't buy into astrology all that much. Taurus is my zodiac sign, but I've never particularly been fond of it. Stubborn? Materialistic? Gimme a break. And for that matter, I'm not all that convinced that the alignment of planets that are millions of miles from Earth has anything to do with how my life plays out. But that's not to say that I don't dabble in the mystical. For example, my spirit animal is a Labrador Retriever. No question about it, take it to the bank. Let's examine further: I'm loyal, loveable, happy, and friendly to everyone I meet. In a dog it's a wonderful quality, but I find that my fellow humans tend to get freaked out by it a bit. Also, it's gotten me into a fair bit of trouble over the years. Sometimes I get so stoked to meet friends or go on adventures that I'll make plans in a fit of excitement, only to later remember that I have no ability to actually fulfill those commitments*. I just get caught up in the mom

I Ate His Liver

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I'd like to clarify, mostly for my own sake, why this website exists. I started Breaking 'Burbs for one reason, and it's the same reason I do pretty much everything: my friends were doing it. People I admire were doing it. It seemed like the cool thing to do. Sure, my claim is that I wanted to chronicle my ultra-running adventures. And I'm enjoying that aspect of it. But let's look at the tape: Hannibal Lecter : He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.  Clarice Starling : No. We just...  Hannibal Lecter : No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. As an aspiring ultra-runner, I was digesting a lot of media. YouTube videos, podcasts, books...pretty much anything I could get my hands on. And some of the best stories were firsthand accounts from the runners themselves. They were pouring their hearts out for the world to see, and many of them were doing so in my

March 2018 Recap

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It took me a minute to shake off the disappointment of last month, but now I'm ready to do my monthly recap. March was tough. I battled a bizarre leg ailment that kept me uncomfortable for close to three weeks. After a trip to the doctor and x-rays that came back clean, I decided to gently train through the injury. Slow, short runs combined with self-massage seem to have done the trick, as I'm now able to return to normal running activities. It's still not 100%, but it seems to be improving as I gain strength. That's all the green light I need. MARCH TOTALS: Distance : 39.7 miles (down from 82.6 last March) Time Spent Running : 6hr 39min (way down from 13:03 last March) Elevation Gain : 1,002 ft (down from 3,955 ft last March) THE BIG PICTURE: I can't let myself get as discouraged as I'm feeling right now. I feel like a worthless failure. Sure, I was fighting off an injury, and I had to rest the way I did, but it's still tough. I tend to be a num

Injured?

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March has had its share of misfortune, and it looks to be a disappointing month in terms of running. My enthusiasm and urge to get out the door and enjoy early springtime miles in Colorado has come to a dead stop thanks to... something? Allow me to clarify: I'm injured, and I have no idea to what capacity. I wasn't running any further or harder than I had before. I wasn't trying to incorporate some weird new stretching or weight training into my routine. But nevertheless, there is a throbbing, aching pain in the lower part of my left leg that simply won't go away. At first I thought it was just fatigue from training. I gave it a day to subside, and got back out there and felt fine. Then the paint came back, so I gave it another couple days and it felt normal. But now it's inescapable, and I don't dare go back out there and try to run until I can get a doctor to have a look and see what's wrong. It could be any number of things. A bad case of shin s

February 2018 Recap

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Another month has come and gone in colorful Colorado. It wasn't the coldest February by any stretch, so I managed to continue shaking of the cobwebs of Winter and get some solid time on my feet in the great outdoors. FEBRUARY TOTALS: Distance : 71.5 miles (up from last year's 63.7) Time Spent Running : 12:09 (up from last year's 10:12) Elevation Gain : 2,507 ft (down from last year's 3,037) Again, the lack of hills in Dacono rears its ugly head. I even managed a mountainous trail run this month, which I never did last February, but it still wasn't enough to put me over the edge. I know what's happening: the mud and snow in the foothills are keeping me away. The thought of running in that muck doesn't sound fun at all. And I'm gonna let myself off the hook a bit because I've still managed to get my miles in anyway. Let's remedy that in March! ~JVB

2017 Bear Chase Trail 50k Race Report

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  *NOTE: It's been a few months since I ran the Bear Chase Trail 50k, but I realized I haven't written up a race report for it yet, so I'm gonna do my best to remember the details. When I made the decision to register for the Bear Chase Trail 50k, I was sitting at a burger joint on a Friday afternoon with a colleague. We had just finished plowing through a pile of fries, and I was looking out the window at the late summer afternoon in Colorado. The final stretch of training had begun for the Indian Creek 50 Miler, and I needed to squeeze in a final long run before taper began. My laptop sat open in front of me on the restaurant table, and I returned my gaze to my internet browser window, which was open on UltraSignup.com . In my free time, I enjoy hunting for future events to run, and I couldn't help but notice that there was actually a nearby trail 50k the following morning. Yep, that's right. The following morning. As in... less than 24-hours later. Now,