My Workout Diary: Bobby Stuckey
We got the master sommelier and co-owner of Boulder’s award-winning restaurant Frasca Food and Wine, to keep a workout diary for one week.
Bobby Stuckey is one of the most famous and acclaimed sommeliers working in the United States today. He’s co-owner of Boulder restaurants Frasca Food and Wine and Pizzeria Locale as well as Denver’s Tavernetta and the forthcoming wine bar Sunday Vinyl. And that’s not to mention his Italian wine brand Scarpetta.
While his career is incredibly impressive, it’s actually his fallback plan. Up until the spring of 1995, when he was 25, his life centered around professional cycling. He was under contract for a team and traveled around the United States competing in road races. “I’ve always been a fan of and a participant in endurance sports,” he says. “I started running 10Ks when I was a little kid, in high school I did triathlons and from that I got into racing bicycles.”
To make ends meet he worked in restaurants while he raced and he ultimately realized that was what he wanted to do with his life. But he insists that the experience of being a professional athlete was actually the perfect preparation for opening his own establishments. “I think it really helped me be a great restaurateur,” he says. Since cycling “is really humbling. It’s really hard to do.”
While he usually works six days a week overseeing his veritable empire, he still squeezes in frequent runs or bike rides around Boulder. He also has done more than 20 marathons and is planning to do another one next year.
I asked him to keep a workout diary for me when he was recently in Tennessee for a special bike race that the famed resort Blackberry Farm holds each year. Read on for his diary.
A 5:45 AM wake up call was a little aggressive, since I worked service the night before in Denver at Tavernetta. But I wanted to get a run in before heading out to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. It was an easy eight-mile run with Craig Lewis (retired professional cyclist, wine importer and amazing runner) and we saw the sun come up. This is a sight that myself and most restaurant employees do not get a chance to see. It was super beautiful. We ran out past Wonderland Lake up over a couple of hills and cruised home to pack before an 8:45 AM ride to the airport. I hope that I didn’t forget anything packing this quick. Off to Blackberry Farm.
Well, here we are at Blackberry Farm for the Pro-Am Classic, which is a three-day bike ride with a super charged chef and sommelier presence for dinner and post-ride lunches. I feel very honored and humbled to get to do it. Sam Beall, the late proprietor of Blackberry Farm, was an amazing cyclist and an amazing food and beverage force. So in his memory, the event gets better and better each year. With saying that, I do not recommend being a 50-year old and showing up to this event without riding much beforehand. This summer, I rode maybe twice a week from the Friends and Fellows Ride at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in mid-June until now. Not the best build up for three days like this, but hey, I am here, so let’s see what happens.
Today, was a 47-mile ride, ridden pretty hard. In the 47 miles, we had 4,500 vertical feet of climbing. The hardest part was on Butterfly Gap, which is a beast and it was great to see my business partner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson climb like a goat to get second on the segment. Then a rolling section that ended with a five-mile, hard effort, timed section. The hard part: retired pro Craig Lewis went to the front six miles before the timed section to thin it out. It pretty much meant that myself and the rest of the group were fatigued before we got to the start. It was super fun and super hard. (Note to self: I should have ridden my bike more this summer).
Day two of the beat down at Blackberry Farm. Today was 50 miles with a 2,500 vertical of climbing. It was much less climbing than yesterday, but a hard, hot day regardless. In the stage, we did two timed efforts—A.K.A. little races. The first one was a TTT (team time trail), where your team needs to finish with five of the 10 team members you start with. Our team was captained by the great George Hincapie. (Funny, I raced on his team in 1993 at the U.S. Olympic Festival.) This event always kills. It’s super hard. But it felt great to be able to be one of the five to finish together. It was a super hard effort. Then another effort 10 miles later. Ouch. Next time I sign up for something like this, I need to ride my bike more than two days a week.
I woke up early at Blackberry Farm to get a run in on the trails before the rest of the day and heading back to Colorado. Only at Blackberry Farm do you get a “Good Morning Mr. Stuckey!” from the gardener as you jump on the trails. Today, was super hot and super humid.
Back in Boulder. I woke up and did a great, easy 10 mile run at the Boulder Reservoir. I was happy to be home!
I woke up early and got my e-mails done and then headed out to the Boulder Reservoir for an old-school Scandinavian work out called Fartlek, which translates to speed play. Since I have been running pretty steady all July and August, but not doing anything that would be a structured workout, this is a great way to re-introduce some high-paced running. For years, I have used this when I need to wake myself up and get back to logging some harder workouts. And, since I am running a half marathon next Saturday, I might as well start now.
It goes like this: it’s a total of about 10 miles with a 20-minute warm-up without looking at the milage, then three minutes full-force with two minutes easy pace. You continue this for 45 minutes. In the beginning, those two easy minutes seem perfect but by three-quarters of the run, I am praying for the two minutes easy pace to feel longer…by the actual race, you are back at it. I came home super happy and excited as today’s Fartlek went well. My wife, Danette, said she could tell by how I walked in the door that I had a great solo mission. She loves asking “How was your Fartlek total mileage?” When I looked at the end, it was just a touch over 10 miles and done in just under 75 minutes, including an easy warm up and an easy cool down.
The legendary Poorman. I love this run. It has been a staple for me and fellow Boulderites for years. It is an 11-mile loop up Boulder Canyon to Four Mile Canyon up over Poorman Hill, which is a dirt road, and then down Sunshine Canyon. It’s a great run and it is a great way to put a smile on my face.
My Workout Diary features the fitness regiments of bartenders, chefs, distillers, and brand ambassadors.
Interview has been condensed and edited.