Saturday, April 4, 2015

4/4/15 Run Like a Fool 5K

5th annual event and my 3rd time here.  So tired of the Capitol Lake loops course, but this is a Club Oly event on a Saturday and there will be lots of friends here.  Pre race sign up was $28 and included a long sleeve shirt.

Prior to the race I counted up all of the racing I have done on this course.  The five times at the 12 hour run are a mind meld.  Add the recent Miles for Music, previous Fools race, Road-end-run race, and the old Run for Rhett course and today will mark my 173rd and 174th racing lake loop.  No wonder I am a little bored of it.

Its a Fool race and I think it will be funny to wear an old bright yellow Pacer shirt from the CCM.  I also put on a Club Oly beanie.  So fun to see Bill wearing the same thing!  We did not plan it really.  Bill has lost a lot of weight, beat me by a minute here a few years ago, and should be close today.

So many helpful volunteers and so well organized.  No lines at packet pickup, despite a record number of runners.  We start right on time.  I did get in a decent two mile warm up.  Cool and windy.  Cloudy and sort of damp in the air.  I need to keep moving before the race to avoid the chills.

Start - I end up starting right behind Bill and we are near the front.  Off we go faster than we should, but not so bad.  Bill is ahead and I will let him go if he gets much faster.  Soon enough he settles in and I catch up and run next to him. 

Mile 1 - Feeling great.  I did not look at my watch at this split though.  The big thing about this course is that the paved and gravel trail, while wide, is open to the public and lots of people come here to run, walk, jog, walk their dog, or have a family outing walking with their dogs and completely blocking the route oblivious to the fact that there is a race going on.  This would be a PR course if not for the human and dog obstacles.  I have accepted that this is how it is here and take it as a challenge.  Right now I am behind four young racers who are slowing a bit, Bill at my side and coming towards us are two people walking a dog.  I make my move, passing the four and dodging the pedestrians and dog.  Pleased with my pick up I am able to go pretty fast before settling back to the pace I was at before.

Mile 1.3 - Tammy sighting.  She is volunteering and as she yells for Bill, I know that he is right behind me.

Mile 1.6 - Into the wind. Around the bend.  Over the bridge. Onto the grass bit.  Speed up on the sidewalk.  Feeling like I can pick it up at any time, but not for long.  A little surge to get past a guy.  Now lots of 5K walkers and slow runners that I am lapping.  Keep up the pace and happy to see that I am at 7:25/mile, faster than last week.

Mile 3.0 - Looks like I will beat Bill.  Final sprint to the finish and no one is close enough to catch me at that speed.

Finish - 3.1 on the GPS.  Really happy to be about 25 seconds faster than last week.  Everything felt good today.  Now it is cold.  I grab a sweatshirt, jog over to Tammy and watch the others come in.  Seems to be getting even colder.  We walk back to the finish area.  Hot coffee! And Muffins!  Lots of snacks.  And the results are ready so quickly.  Lots of raffles but I do not win.  I do get a first in age group water bottle with two gu packs inside.

This ends my third week of trying to run over 50 miles each week.  I ran 56 the first week.  53 the second week.  That week I felt tired and cut my run short on Friday.  The Saturday 5K went fine but a little slow.  This week I decided that 50 might be too much.  I took off completely on Friday, plus the usual Wednesday rest day.  After the race today I end the week with 47 miles but a faster 5K time.  I did not quite make that goal, but I did average over 50/week during that time.  Average weekly mileage since January 1st is 43 miles, way higher than any previous three month period.  No race next weekend, then three marathons in three weeks.

17th of 304
Race#352, 5K#91, RLaF#3

Saturday, March 28, 2015

3/28/15 Hop for Hunger 5K in Yelm

3rd annual event but my first time here.  $15DOR (plus canned food donation) with in bib chip timing by Budu racing.  I get to Ridgeline Middle School early enough that they have not yet blocked off the parking lot.  Soon everyone else will have to go somewhere else to park and walk in a little way.  I have given myself an hour to get registered and do a nice long warm up.

It rained just a little on the way here, but now it is dry with a little wind and the potential for a shower.

Warm up goes well enough.  I am not very confident today.  Yesterday I cut my run short, just feeling very worn down.  I have a bit of a cold, but mostly I am tired from a 20 miler on Tuesday and a fun 2 hour trail run on Thursday.  Today will get me over 50 miles for the second week in a row.  I am averaging 42 miles per week so far this year.  No pains or worries, just some tiredness.  By the 8:30 start time I have put in over two miles and I am ready to go.

But the race will start late.  Long line still at the registration table.  It moves fast enough though and we get going about 15 minutes late.  I have kept doing some sprints to stay ready to go.  Now we crowd into the narrow starting chute.  Lots of kids and families here.  Just a few speedsters.  I am very close to the front and remind myself that after the narrow start it will open up wide into the parking lot and there will be plenty of time for passing if these kids take off like I suspect they will.

Start - Smooth for me.  A few youngsters bolt past me, but I have room to run. Left turn around the school.  I see that we will turn right shortly and I make a move to get ahead of three people, before hitting the tangent.  On the sidewalk, down the road and then we cross the big road (thank you volunteers).  Left onto the Yelm/Tenino Trail (paved)

Mile 0.5 - Flat route out.  I feel like I am running an even pace and I feel good.  Cross little George Road, where I spent some time a few weeks ago.  Pass one woman, but feeling like we are getting spread out.  I am sure that someone is near behind me, but I can not sense them.  Two people walking on the trail, one of them has two dogs on long leashes.  I have to almost go off the pavement to get around them.

Mile 1.25 - Jesse Stevick sighting.  I grunt for him.  Another fast guy coming towards me, then a Jenny Stevick sighting.  Been catching up to a young guy with a grey sweatshirt, but he looks back and then picks up the pace.  Turn around is very well marked.  The trail is blocked with signs and lots of chalk on the ground.  Happy to be heading back and wondering if/when I will tire and fall apart.

Mile 2 - So many slower people coming towards me, some are four across on the trail.  A couple of kids are running towards me on my right, while most everyone is on my left.  Not too hard to negotiate though. Pass one guy, but he will stay right behind me.  Now a little tailwind and I feel a bit of strength and go faster. Nice patch of speed, I get my average pace a little faster.  I know that I will not be able to hold this, but there is not much farther to go.

Mile 2.5 - Off the trail.  The guy in front of me is careful to fully cross the little road and get on the sidewalk before crossing the main road.  I could cut 10 feet off of the distance if I cut this corner, but I decide to do what he did, and hope that the guy behind me does the same thing.  Now up the little hill with the wind in my face.  It is hard but not so bad.  I want to finish under 24 minutes and it looks like I will.  With two turns to go in the parking lot I have two minutes to make my goal and I think that is doable.  Make the final turn, see the finish clock and sprint in to the finish line.

Finish - Run strong past the chip mat and then shut off my watch.  3.13 miles on the GPS, very accurate and fast course.  Happy with my time and especially with how the legs felt.  A few seconds faster than my last two 5K races.  I am planning to run another 5K next Saturday, so today was good training for that.

I would definitely run this one again.

11th of 161

Monday, March 9, 2015

3/7/15 Mountain Marathon

Fifth annual event and my second time here.  I ran this the first year and apparently vowed to never return, but here I am.  I guess that it took me four years to recover from the first time.  Not that it was not a great, well put on event.  It was the foot of snow at elevations above the freezing, deep puddles, shoe sucking mud and the rocky technical trails that made it more of a challenge than I was prepared for.  I did finish that year in 6:19.  Fours years later I have many more trail runs and marathons experienced and I am once again ready for the adventure.  It helped that there is no snow pack in Capitol Forest this year.  It also has not rained much and the trails should be in good shape.  Weather is going to be fantastic this year! Reaching 60 degrees and bright sunshine.

I also have been training for this.  Running lots of hills lately.  I even ran the trails here twice recently.  Two weeks ago I came out and ran the course for an hour out and then back.  I was able to keep my feet dry by walking around the couple of large puddles on the trail.  Average weekly mileage at almost 42/week.  As long as I pace myself well, it should be a good day.

The Rogue Wave and Jason Ryan are sweeping the course, so it will be nice to see them....hopefully not too close behind me.  They both will take pictures that I am using here.

I have also been studying the course map.  After mile 4.5 this will all be new territory for me, since the 2011 course was changed due to deep snow.  I have a copy of the course map with written directions and my big, detailed Capitol Forest map.  I remember last January when my 5 mile race here ended with three bonus miles.  It is so easy to take a wrong turn here, I am going to be very careful today.  No turns unless I am sure.

Map from my Garmin

Start - It is cold before we run, I in a long sleeve shirt over a short sleeve and a Defiance vest.  I'll wear a hat for a few miles.  I have lots of gels and chomps and my new hand held water bottle getting its first try out.  It is larger than the little one I had been using, but it feels good.  We start pretty much on time.  Off onto the road and we do not turn up the hill like I expected.  There is a short out and back and Craig is telling us that it is to get the mileage right and we will not do this on the way back.  Everyone is going so fast.  I am running comfortably and I am near the back.  Maybe the best strategy is to run fast on the roads and when it is safe, and then slow down for the steep hills and dangerous downhills.

Mile 1 - On the uphill dirt road now.  It is in great shape and steeper than ever.  Walking the steepest parts or running very slowly.  Nice to have this wide road to sort out the various paces.  Then onto the trail and up some more.  I could pass the little group in front of me, but choose not to.  I like their pace.

Mile 3 - Out of the woods and onto the Army Line Trail, which is also a road.  Clear cut on one side with views.  Pass a few and get passed by a few.  Now a very newly logged area, logged since I was here two weeks ago.  Logs stacked up and two logs put across the trail that we are now about to go on.  Apparently the logs were put there to stop mountain bikers, but it is OK for us to run here.  Over the logs and onto the second worst bit of trail on this race.  Steeply up a "path" with baseball sized rocks strewn everywhere.  Some walking and lots of slow running.

 Then the left turn onto a better trail.  Very runnable except for the giant puddles every 50 feet or so.  Not so giant that I can't slow down and walk in a little mud on the side each time.  I suppose the fast guys go splashing through here, but I would like to keep my feet dry as long as possible so take it carefully.

Mile 4.5 - Past where I turned around two weeks ago.  Aid station, then more puddles and runnable trail.

Mile 6 - Out onto a logging road.   One woman ahead of me, really above me, this road is so steep.  Steep uphill and long.  I can see a long way up and eventually I can't help but look back.  No one behind me for at least a couple of minutes.  Half Marathon turn around.  I grab a quarter of a PBJ, two cookies and a gel.  Still on the road and still a super steep hill.  Catch up to Claire from Tacoma.  Nice to chat with her as we work our way up and up.  I pass her, but before long she will pass me back.  She is stronger than me on the downhills, but I am doing better on the ups.

Mile 7.5 - Finally at the top of the road and the last aid station before the turn around at mile 13.1.  Runnable but rocky trail to the Grunt.

Mile 9 - Connected with a bit of trail that I ran last April in the Capitol Peak 55K.  It takes me to near the top of the Grunt "trail".  To the right it goes up a short way to the top.  But we go left and down, down down.  Large loose rocks, I take my time.  In fact my pace going down this section will be about the same as when I go up on the return.  Not going to fall today! 

Mile 9.5 - A long way down the Grunt, past the abandoned car.  Two super fast runners coming back, but it will be a long time before number three gets to me.  I am at the part of the race that I was most worried about getting lost.  Crossing dirt roads, intersecting trails.  But everything is very well marked.  No trouble finding my way.  Runnable trail that finally opens into a clear cut with amazing views.

Mile 12 - Back into the woods, then onto a downhill road to the aid station and turn around.  Reach mile 13.1 in 2 hours 53 minutes.  Cup of coke and a cookie and back at it.  Mike Kuhlmann sighting, Steven Ferry Sighting.

Mile 15 - Been gradually gaining on a woman on the twisty single track forested trail.  I get close, then ease off, no rush.  Get closer and ease off again.  I want to make sure that I only pass her once and that she does not come catch me right after I pass her.  OK, it is clear that I am running faster than her now.  I get closer and look for a spot to pass.  There is a little bridge over a tiny creek and I go to say "Well, I think I will pass you here"  But only "Well" comes out, because she jumps in fright, had no idea I was there.  Within half a second I am next to her about to apologize for scaring her, but she is still reacting and pushes me with her arm.  I start to totter over the bridge and before I fall she grabs me and pulls me to safety. The whole thing happened so fast.  We are both apologizing and I think we are even, so we laugh and I continue on.

Mile 16 - Out in the sun.  Warmest part of the race.  My water is half gone.  Now I catch up to a young woman is is taking walk breaks then running just a little. More walking.  We just crossed a road and now on the trail I am not sure if she is in the race, or just out for a hike.  She looks dressed to run, but she is not carrying anything.  No water, no food.  She is in the race and as she drinks the water that I offer her, she tells me that it is her first marathon!  For the rest of the race I will worry about her crumbling with dehydration and her first marathon.  When I see the sweepers I tell them to look for her and make sure she is OK.  At the next aid station, so far away, I also tell them to make sure she is alright and give her a bottle if they have one.  I am going on to have a strong second half and it is amazing when I check the results to find out that she finished less than four minutes after me! 

Mile 17 - But for now I am still running.  I should say walking, up the Grunt.  I can see Clair above me, but too far away.  I grunt and she waves to me.  I thought that all the slower runners had come by, but now five or six people are running down toward me.  I am an hour past the turn around, so they are essentially two hours behind me.  I will learn that this little group took a wrong turn and added about six miles to their race.  That is what can happen here.  Our race is marked with blue and white ribbon.  Some how they got of course but started following blue poles, for a long way.  I feel bad for them, but proud that I studied the course, and secretly a little happy that my finish place will look a little better than it could have.

Mile 18.5 - Ah the sweepers.  Jason gets a picture of me.

Mile 19 - Out to the road and now a long and welcome downhill.  Back on to the relatively flat train with mud puddles.

Mile 21 - They cheer for me at the aid station.  One guy says "Here he comes limping along".  What?  am I limping?  I guess that I am though I had not noticed.  Nothing hurts, just maybe using one leg more than the other to keep moving forward. Grab a cookie on the run and keep going.  I have enough water to get to the finish and still have some gu chomps to eat as I progress.

Mile 21.??? - Watch distance might not be quite right.  Clock time is 5 hours and 2 minutes.  I think that I am near that spot where I turned around two weeks ago.  I had run an hour up, how long did it take me to get down from here?  Less than an hour but I can't remember.  I would love to beat six hours and this is my new goal for late in the race.  Really unsure if I can.  Happy to reach to turn onto the steep rocky downhill.  Slow going over those two logs.  Out onto the Army Line Road.  This bit will be quick.  Two sections to go.  The relatively easy downhill trail and the the downhill road to the finish.  I think that trail should take twenty minutes and the road might be a little more than that, and I start the trail with 5:20 on the clock.

Trail bit took 15 minutes.  I reach the road at 5:35.  I just can not remember how far it is to go.  Two miles?  Maybe 2.5 miles.  We do not have to do that out and back that we did at the start.  Aid station here and I blow through, thank the person but say that I am trying to finish in less than twenty five minutes. "Easy", she says, "Its only 1.5 miles to go"  Oh I hope she is right!  Down the hill, up the little hill, run to the side to let a truck past.  Big downhill.  If only I could reach that lower trail junction, then I would know that it is less than half a mile for sure.  One last uphill.  I make myself run the whole thing.  I am so tired, but it is mental.  I will regret if I walk here and don't beat six hours.  No regrets, I keep running and at a decent pace too.  Now downhill, around a bend and there is that trail head.  I will beat six hours for sure.  I run the last half mile, but easy now and so happy.

Finish - 25.6 miles on the watch, but that happens with trails.  Nice finishers stein that I will use more than a medal.  Thank Rachel for another great event.  Lots of food left and chairs to sit in.

Four years ago I vowed to not run this again.  Now I am already thinking about next year!  Fun times.

2:53/2:57 split times
51st place of 76
Race # 350
Marathon or ultra #122
Mountain Marathon #2

Saturday, February 28, 2015

2/28/15 Miles for Music benefit 5K

A benefit race for the family of Dan Sorrell who was a music teacher in Thurston County.  The race is being organized by a friend of the family, Anna Brooks.  This is also her High School Senior project.  Before the start of the race it was announced that they had raised over $3,000 so far.  That is amazing considering the $10 registration fee and that there will be post race pancakes!  Donations and raffle tickets had most people paying more than the minimum I am sure.

Cold but so bright and sunny.  A little windy too.  Race is twice around Capitol Lake.  I am so burned out on racing here, ( I have raced at least 172 loops here at ten races in the past five years) but I really wanted to do this one.  Good sized crowd, mostly from NCHS.  A few hard core runners here.  The super fast NCHS boys and girls are here so I have no chance of being near the front.  Lots of people are walking one loop.

Good 2 mile warm up and I am ready to go.  Some people still signing in, so it is announced that we will start at 9:15.  More time to warm up.  By race end I will be at 45 miles for the week. Near the end of January I decided that a fun goal for the year would be to average over 40 miles a week.  The most I have ever averaged for an extended period is about 35 miles and that is very low for a marathon runner.  If I can increase the miles, and stay injury free, it should help my endurance and finish times.  For these shorter races I will not taper my mileage and I know that I will be slower than possible.  Feeling pretty good though here at the start.

Start - Start is on the grass and the finish will be off away on the grass to add the 0.1 miles for a true 5K.  My watched had almost timed out of GPS mode but I saved it.  Now right as the start is announced I go to start my timer and see that I have timed out of GPS mode again.  Frustrating aspect of this cheaper Garmin.  I start running and my watch starts searching for satellites.   On to the crushed gravel path and then I am good to go and I start my watch. There will be a clock at the finish, although all finish times might not be reported as an overall results table.  Jody is here to cheer me before going off on her long run.

Mile 0.5 - Round the lake we go. Pass the super fast little kids who are now hitting the wall. Dodge one kid who is looking back and staggering across the sidewalk.  Sort of running with a woman, we dodge walkers and dogs and push the pace with each other.

Mile 1 - Through Marathon Park and now into a strong wind.  Colder and blowing at us in this shaded section.  Still with the woman.  Volunteer with a radio is sayting (into the radio) "number 708, number 708".  I remember that I have number 707 and I had seen this woman I am with warming up and noted that she has number 708.  "Why is he calling in your number?" I ask.  She has no idea.  I wonder if she is in first place.  We round back toward the start and hear the announcer say that our second place female, number 708, has just completed the first lap.  First place woman must be way ahead of us, we do not see her.  Photos by Walt Dale.

Mile 1.5 - I like my new running buddy.  When she gets a little ahead I am able to get even and even get ahead of her.  I feel like I am running strong, but also as fast as I should be going.  Watch says 7:27 pace but I don't know if that is right.  Have to dodge a dog and I jump a little but avoid disaster.  Passing most of the event walkers and others enjoying the morning.  I let 708 pick the best way around walkers and I follow behind her.

Mile 2.4 - Jody again, waiting on her friend.  Telling me that #708 is getting away.  She is now 10 feet in front and my surge to catch up only gets me half way.  She keeps getting faster as I start to slow a bit.  She will go on to pass Steve from Elma.  I get closer to him but can not pick it up enough.  Round to the finish on the grass and have decent power left, but am tiring for sure.

Finish - Cup of water from Kay.  Congratulate Steve and #708.  Pancakes are ready and hot.  Coffee too!  Music by Mr. Sorrell's former students.  Short wait for raffles and age group door prizes.  Alas I do not win, but that is OK.  Really well done event Anna!


Monday, February 16, 2015

2/14/15 Woolley Trail Marathon

My third time here, 6th annual event.  Best weather by far.  Stayed in Bellingham with my Valentine, so it was easy to get to the 9AM start.  Maniac friends that I could run with, but with the 50Ks and trail marathons I have not had a good 26.2 mile course in a while. This is trail, but nice crushed gravel and very flat.   I will run my own pace and see what happens and run with someone if it is meant to be.  I would like to see how long I can hold a 4 hour pace and then how well I can keep moving when I do slow down.  More of a test to see how far I am from 4 hours, I am not really expecting to be there yet.

Start - Nice to see Tracy, Mica, Dan and Suzanne.  I could end up running most of the race with any of them.  I do start off with Tracy.  After about two miles I move ahead, maintaining my 9:10/mile pace.  It feels fine, but faster than I know I should be going.

Mile 3 - Bald eagle in a tree, not so high up, right along the trail.

Mile 5 - Here is that little muddy section from previous years.  RD Terry had said that there was about two inches of water a few days ago.  I have run this course twice before and this section always has some mud.  But my oh my, this year it is bad.  There is a much longer section with super MUD on the side and a clear shin deep creek in the middle.  I am following a woman along the mud way when a runner comes splashing through the water.  My feet are soaked and heavy with mud and water after this section and I decide that on the way back I will just go through the water.  At least my shoes will be cleaner.

Susan Hui brought her camera so here are a few photos of the trail:

Other than this one section, there was no mud.  Some small branches a rocks to look out for, but very runnable the whole way.   Most of the trail is open to the farmlands, but I like this tree lined section:

 Mile 6.6 - Half marathoners turn around at the second aid station.  My socks and shoes are wet but feel OK.  Course thins of runners and I head out along the Skagit River.  Pigtails is about a quarter mile ahead of me and I ever so slowly gain on her.

Mile 11.5 - Feeling good and still approaching Pigtails.  Rather than run right behind her, and not wanting to pass this master of pacing, I decide to catch up and run to the marathon turn around with her.  I assume that she is doing the 50K, which she is.  MM27 was one of the first Maniacs, whose career I followed and inspired my to step it up and see what I could do.  It has been almost ten years now and today it is a treat to be able to run aside her for a mile.  We cross Highway 20 together.  I slow a bit before the turn around, to get organized and so my split time will not be so horrible.  At a 9:12 pace, 2:02 for the half.  Pigtails goes on and I turn around at mile 13.1

Mile 13.2 - Dan and Suzanne right behind me.  They will stalk me down but it will take a while.  Tracy not far behind.  "False Dan" far ahead of me and I gradually gain on him.  A bit of a head wind, but nothing too bad.  Prez and Krez sighting.

Mile 17 - I like the long straight sections where I can see so far ahead.  Tell myself to not look at the distance until I get up to some landmark and it must be more than a half mile away.  Realize that my ankle/foot is not giving me any problems.  Really happy about that.

Mile 19 - Start to tire.  Pace is gradually slowing but not so bad.  I passed one guy who was falling apart, now I catch "False Dan"  At the aid station I look back and see the real Dan, and Suzanne are close behind.  I keep running, to the mud.  Plow right through the water and it is so cold.  It feels great on the feet.  I could really stomp through it, lifting my knees, but instead I take my time and keep moving as I have been.  Out with clean feet and back on the trail.  My socks feel a little bunched up in the front.  If this were a 100 mile race I would want to change them for sure, but I am almost done now.  Post race I will find three small blisters on the tips of toes.

Mile 22 - Aid station.  Ditch that extra water bottle from my pocket and just go with my small one.  Long straight open sections and I am counting down the miles, but trying to not look at my watch too much.  Able to run a full mile, then a very short walk just to have a drink and another S!Cap.  I have felt a little fuzzy headed in the second half and have taken more salt pills that I thought I would need.  They really do help and very quickly too.  Back to my slow run.

Mile 24 - Dan and Suzanne finally pass me. I try to keep up, but just can not hold one.  I am not walking other than to have a drink, just my running keeps getting slower.  I find a nice short stride and everything feels good for mile 24 of a race.  I know that if I go faster I will fall apart, so I am content to jog it in like this.  Wondering if I can beat 4:10.

Mile 26.2 - 26.23 on the GPS.  4:11:36 on the watch.  Five minutes faster than last year. No real wall, just a gradual slowing and I am happy with the results.  In the second half I passed two people and was passed by two others. 

No post race cold and shivering.  I dry my feet and put on sandals, then hang around for some food and to watch the others come in.  Really nice to sit in the sun and cheer for the finishers.

$20 entry fee, parking at the start, great aid stations.......a great February race option.  Especially if the weather cooperates like it did today.

16th of 55
Race#348, marathon or ultra#121, Woolley Trail Marathon#3

Saturday, January 31, 2015

1/31/15 Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50K

My 5th time here, so after today I will have 15 laps around the hidden lake.  It is supposed be be a nice day but it is cool and foggy at the start and will stay cool and foggy all day.  Hat and gloves on for most of the race.  It is dry though and the trail is in great shape.  Very little mud.

Loop 1 - 1:44
I try to start near the back and be patient on the steep downhill start.  A couple of dogs almost cause serious problems, but no one falls and soon we are level with room to pass.  Mile 1 I find myself behind Katie, Leslie, Linda, Jill and two others.  I decide to stay with them for a while.  Nice visit and good way to keep from going out too fast.  Walking the hills (there is a hill around every corner says Rikki) and holding around 11 minutes per mile.  Mile 5 I move ahead but not much faster.  Very familiar with the course and it is nice to be back here.  Maybe there is more crushed gravel in the first two miles that I am not a big fan of, but now a variety of surfaces. Easy going and a take a minute or two to get organized for loop 2.  Past races I have been 1:33-1:35 for loop one, so this is a lot slower, but it feels like a good pace for today.

Loop 2 - 1:40
Run with and leapfrogging Daniel Sherman and also Rikki. Daniel moves ahead and I am mostly alone.  Race is really thinning out.  Feeling good.  Trying to eat and drink enough and at this slow pace it is easy to do so.

Loop 3 - 1:44
Catch up to Ted who says he is tiring.  We go back and forth a little.  When he is ahead of me, it gives me something to pursue.  Still feeling pretty good.  I see Ted walking most of the hills, so I run at least halfway up them, and stay close to him.  Catch early starter Deb.  More than a half mile with Deb is so nice, the time and distance go by so fast and it is easy to forget that I have been running for four hours.  But ted is getting away so I move on.  About mile 20 my right foot/ankle starts to give me bother.  A little too much twisting on the rocks and it hurts in a place where I have had issues before.  By mile 26 I am taking walk breaks to rest the foot.  Too bad because my legs feel great and I have pretty decent energy.  Mile 28, a big mouse sitting in the middle of the trail.  Very odd.  I look back and there is Rikki who has been stalking me all of loop 3.  I point to the mouse, hoping she will see it and she does.  She catches up and we finish the loop together.

Out and Back - 26 minutes
I am so tired, I want to cry when I think of leaving the aid station,, but there is one more bit to do.  My finish time will be way slower than previous years.  Not sure what happened.  I took it slower in the beginning, now I can not step it up.  Tired and the foot is still a bother.  Down the hill.  It always seems so far.  Finally Ted, then Rikki  coming back.  I am not close to anyone, just keep plodding along.  At one point it hits me, the wall.  I feel really tired all of a sudden.  It passes and I am running OK.  Now the big steep hill and it will soon be over.  Pick it up for the very end and happy to be done.

Finish 5:35:10 - I am getting a little tired of this course, but I still love this event.  So cheap and friendly but well organized and on a Saturday not too far from home.  Rikki wins a bag of peanuts for her age group and two hours later it dawns on me that it is why it is called the Nuts Run.  I stay at the finish longer than usual and it is a nice time, but eventually I get chilled, start shivering, and decide to warm up and head home.  I would run it again for sure.

Sunday - easy five miles and the foot feels fine.

20th place of 47 finishers
Race#347 Marathon or Ultra #120
Lake Youngs 50K #5

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24/15 Resolution run 10K

Back to Steilacoom for another race.  I choose the 10K over the 10 miler, so I won't be one of the last ones out there.  Also been having fun with speed workouts.  That plus added mileage has my legs tired from the start today. No aches or pains, nothing stiff, just a little sore in the big muscles and hard to get moving fast during warm up.  This is the price I will pay for the added miles (third week in a row of at least 40 miles) and hopefully it will pay off in future longer races.  Today I will be happy with whatever speed as long as nothing hurts.

Roads are a little wet with some puddles, but no rain right now.  Warm for January and I will run in short sleeves for the first time in a long while. CCM 2002 T-shirt, but no one comments on it.

Start - Lots of familiar faces.  I try to not line up too close to the front, and we are off on time.

Mile 1 - I stayed with Ron for a while, but he is just too fast for me.  I can see Ron, Martinho, Mike and Erik ahead of me.  Crowded field too, but room to run.  Feeling it in my legs and not going as fast as I would like.

Mile 2.5 - Just passed Erik, the others are farther ahead now.  The course splits with 10 milers to the left and 10Kers to the right.  I have done these races so many times, though I usually do the miles and it has been a few years.  I am surprised by the split and now I am running on roads I don't think I have ever been on.  The course is well marked, but I was really expecting to be on a different route.  Lots of turns and small hills here.

Mile 3.1 - Longer than that on the GPS.  Top of a hill and Yannick is there to make sure we turn around.  He gives me a split time of 25:10, which is somewhat discouraging.  I will need a negative split to get under 50 minutes.  Well it does have some nice downhills, but boy do my legs feel tired.

Mile 4 - With a long straight way ahead I see a guy in a purple shirt, then Mike, Ron and Martinho.  I might be gaining on Mike and Ron.

Mile 5 - Pass the purple shirt guy and I still see Mike, Ron and Martinho ahead.  Not going to get them though.  Every once in a while I am able to speed up.  I really like this new gear, it feels so fast.  But of course I can not hold it long.  My overall pace is getting quicker and now I am thinking of going sub 50 minutes.

Mile 5.5 - One guy passes me with strength.  So in the second half I will have passed one and been passed by one.  I'll take it.  Push hard to get to the track.  Round the last bend and see that I will get that negative split easily.  Keep at it and soon it is over.

Finish - 6.37 on the GPS.  We compare GPS mileage and agree that the course is long.  In fact, a couple of people who ran it last year are sure that the turn around should have been halfway up that hill, not at the top.  I suggest that we have a do over, but no one really wants to run it again right now, and of course I was joking.  I was not close to a PR, so I don't mind the bonus mileage, and it was not super long.

Jog a little to cool down and get that 40 mile week in.  Cheer in the other runners.  Fun to see the fast 10 milers come in.  Pedro sighting.  Ricki sighting.

Then inside for a baked potato and awards.  Results are quickly posted, much faster than in past times here.  I get a ribbon for third in my age group (out of four). 

I plan to take a couple of extra days off this week and have better legs for the Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50K next Saturday.  If I complete that race, this month will be about my 3rd highest mileage ever.  So easing back this week seems like the right idea.

29th place of 110
Race #346