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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1/10/15 Run For Faith 10K - Elma WA

My third time here, but first since 2011.  Previously I have run the 5K but today I will run the 10K.  Great little event put on by my running friend Barb, with proceeds going to church missions.  Only $20 day of race, with the no T-shirt option.

Mike Henderson and Ron Burford are here, but running the 5K.  They will finish 2nd and 3rd just behind the winner.  It would have been close and fun to have run that race.  There are just a few of us doing the longer event.  Band-tailed pigeons sighting.

Start - 10AM start and we get going right on time, after I have a decent mile and a half warm up.  Loren is here and thinks that I might be close to him, but he is way faster than me these days.  From the start, he and a woman go out super fast and I will never get close to them.  This leaves me in a pack with 5Kers.  On the sidewalk and a few quick turns.

Mile 1 - More turns.  One guy passes me.  Some 5Kers are ahead too.  Pass the bank where I see that it is 41 degrees.  Light rain and a little wind.  Up and over the Highway 12 overpass.  Down, past the off ramp and to the 5K turnaround.

Mile 2 - After those streets and turns it is nice to be on the little used road at the Vance Creek ponds.  Flat and a long straightaway.  I am in 4th place of the 10K and gradually catching up to number 3.  It takes a long time to get to him.  Then I say hi and run alongside him for a bit.  If I were to try to pass him quickly I would be in trouble.  I am going about as fast as I think I can hold.  Not sure what pace I should be going.  Hoping to not falter in the second half, doubt that I will have saved too much energy.

Mile 2.6 - We see numbers 1 and 2 come at us, then the turn around at mile 2.9 on my GPS.  No volunteer here, but I think it was marked well enough on the road. I get just a few steps ahead of Brian, my new running pal.  Just in time I see a chalk mark with a left turn and we do a short out and back.  From looking at the hand drawn course map before the race, I thought that we were supposed to stay on that road and then make two turns to get back to the main road.  But it is a dead end and the arrow clearly shows us where to go.

Mile 3.5 - Ahead of Brian but I am afraid to look back.  I know that he is close.  I intend to stay on the road, past a volunteer but at the last minute he yells that I am supposed to turn into the park.  Ah, this is the little off road bit that Barb had shown me on the map.  Now on the paved trail in the park and trying to hold my pace.  Have to kindly shout to a couple walking side by side that a racer is coming through.  Now I see the volunteer who points me back to the road.

Mile 4- Start to feel tired.  I have put in more miles than usual in the past days, including a 50 mile week and a seven mile tempo run yesterday.  I expected it to affect my time today and I think it is showing now.  No pains though, so I am running happy.  Just a little scared of Brian behind me.  Third place overall sounds so much better than fourth, plus I think he might be in my age group.

Mile 5.5 - Over the Highway, on the Main Street.  Then the turns.  Finally past the school and a quick look back starts to give me confidence that I will hold my place.  I have slowed a little but and still running OK.  Passing a couple of 5K walkers.  Right turn on the gravel road and I have to swing wide on the uphill to pass two walkers.  Now it is a straight shot to the finish.

Mile 6.2 - Done!  Only 6.01 on the GPS and I suspect that the course is a little short.  Hard to say for sure. My GPS pace reads 7:54 per mile.  If it was a true 6.22 miles, then my pace was 7:39/mile.  Either way I will take it.  Simple bib tag tear off and the volunteer puts it on the board. Awards and finish times are easy for them to calculate with this system and the small number of runners.

I forget to do a cool down run.  Instead I put on a dry shirt and go into the church.  So nice to have a warm and dry area.  The church reception hall is full of food including sandwiches.  Hot coffee too!  Chairs for everyone.  The wait for results is not bad at all.  There are also so many random prizes that everyone gets two items.  The pies are gone by my first pick, but I get a jar of home made jam on my first selection.  A bottle of Tampico pop for my second pick.  Then I get my age group ribbon.

I really like the relaxed vibe, yet quality organization of this event.  I would like everyone to run this one, but if it gets too popular it will cause problems.  Hope it stays small and good like this.

3rd place of 9

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1/1/15 Resolution Run 5 Miler

41st annual event. My 12th time here for either the 5K or 5 miles, 13th New Years Day race. Took it easy in the past week, but also felt really slow.  Time of year, diet, cold weather......who knows.  I am actually afraid that I won't be able to run 9/mile today if it goes like the last couple of runs.  Well I have eaten better the past two days and am well rested by not going out last night so we shall see.

25 degrees and sunny.  No wind, so while it is freezing, I have run in worse.  Shorts, but two long sleeves and  a Defiance vest.  Pedro also has his blue Defiance vest on, so you know it must be cold.

Warm up for almost two miles.  Feeling OK.  With four minutes to the start I line up on the track.

Start - Smaller crowd than previous years.  Lots of fast runners as usual.  I activate the foot pod that I got for Christmas but have not tried yet.  The green light flashes, but I have no idea how to use it.  It did sync to my phone but I do not carry that phone while running.  All the instruction say is that I tap it and run.  I have my Garmin GPS watch too.  We start right on time.  Pedro in front of me, and I had hoped to stay with him for a while.  But he is so fast, I have to let him go right from the start.  I am pushing it faster than I should.  Round the track, now up the hill out of the stadium and the hill feels like hitting the wall.  Must figure out a better pace once I get on flat ground.  Doing a five mile race once a year does not help with pacing.

Mile 1 - 1.04 on the GPS and 7:48 on the watch.  Keep reminding myself that this is 5 miles, not 5K and I should not be going all out.  I am OK with my pace and I trust my endurance, but it is right on the edge.  Legs feel slow, but not nearly as bad as earlier this week.  Breathing is hard.

Mile 1.55 - The 5K turn around.  I have enough breath to make my joke about is it too late to switch the the K race.  Two runners just in front of me, 10 steps past the turn around, look back and ask if that is the K turn around.  I thought it was marked alright, but they blew right past it.  I convince them, in fact shout out, "yeah, turn around if you are doing the Ks!" and they both head back. 

Mile 2.25 - Two people that I did not recognize shout out "Go Andy", and I think that the guy on my tail might also be an Andy.  I sort of want to ask him, but I just can not talk and run at this pace.  Legs and breath are equally uncomfortable.  Gary Cooper sighting.

Mile 2.4 - Tony and Christie sighting.  Looking great.

Mile 2.5 - 19:27 on the watch.  Need an even split to beat 39 minutes.  Now the runners behind me are coming towards me.  Only a couple and then some long gaps.  Is that it?  One turn and then another turn and I am relived to see a large clump of runners coming on.  OK, I won't be that close to the last.

Mile 3 - All thinned out.  There won't be much passing or being passed.  I am going a little faster with a small downhill, but barely holding on.  Try to focus on the running, but my mind keeps wandering. 

Mile 4 - 31 minutes.  I need an 8 minute mile.  Not sure I can do it as I am struggling now.  Pass a couple of 5Kers.  Really tough now, but still in a good mood and happy to be out here.

Mile 4.5 - Rough patch.  Hope I can make time up on the downhill and track.  Two people pass me.  Now down the hill and pick it up as best I can.  I have no finishing kick. I can see the clock at 38:45 with 100 meters to go.  I know that super fast sprinters can do the 100 meter in ten seconds.  Can I do it in 15?  Nope.....I watch the clock hit 39 and a few seconds later I am in.

Mile 5 - 5.07 on the GPS.  Foot pod never registered.  Disappointing to be 84 seconds slower than last year.  Second slowest time of ten 5 milers here.  But not so far off, and better than I was afraid of.  Cool down mile and hang around for results.

Still a fun way to welcome the new year.

Feeling like if I want to get faster I need to either pick marathons and train for them, or just do short stuff.  I love all distances so I continue to not reach my potential at any of them.  For now I am OK with that.

42nd place of 77
6th of 6 in age group!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

12/20/14 Pigtails Flat Ass Marathon

5AM, dark, rain pounding on the roof. I don't really want to get out of bed. 7AM, dark, rain splattering on the roof of my car. I don't really want to go get my race number.  But I do.  Back to the car to get organized and wait for daylight and the 8AM start.  My sixth time here so I know the routine, and I have described the course previously.

Start - Yay, the rain has either stopped or is very light.  Mostly Maniacs here and I know many of them as usual.  We set out on the rougher trail, dodging a few puddles.  I stay near the back as this is a good way to hold my pace early.

Mile 0.5 - MM111 sighting, playing the human traffic cone, at the turn around.  Thanks volunteers! RD Van (pigtails), Jill, and others.  Back to the start line, watching my footing and happy to see myself at about a 10:20 mile.

Mile 1.5 - Past the finish line and onto the real trail.  Plenty of room now to run how I feel.  In fact we are already getting spread out.  Some super fast runners here, and some slower ones too. I am not with anyone and free to run as I please.  Lately I have enjoyed starting slower and being able to hold on better in the last miles.  I should not go faster than 9:30/mile, but I feel good and soon that is my pace.

Mile 2.5 - Catch up to Rikki.  I have not run with her much but now we do.  We chat and it is a nice time.  This takes us all the way to the first aid station.

Mile 6 - After the aid station I can see that Rikki is all warmed up and ready to go a little faster than I should.  We are with Dean now and I let the two of them go on ahead.  For the rest of the race I will see Rikki's pink fluorescent Defiance vest, get smaller and smaller as she gets farther ahead, then come back towards me, off and on.  That vest is one bright spot I can focus on, on this drab day.  Raining a little bit more now.

Mile 8 - The long "lame" section.  River crossings are done.  Now it is paved and along route 169.  With the rain, the cars are so much noisier.  I am running fine and gradually catching up to "Crockpot".  I am going a little faster than I should, so I make the tactical decision to catch her and then stay with her for a while and see how that goes.  We end up spending the next ten miles together.  Its a really good time.  I don't know her well, but have followed her running career for a few years now.  She has about double the number of marathons as I do and her finish times are close to mine.  Today we click off the miles in a clock steady pace.  Surprise, new this year,  a staffed aid station.  I will not have to carry this second small water bottle the whole way.

Mile 13 - MM#1 Prez sighting

Mile 13.6 - The turn around.  2:08 on the watch.

Mile 15 - A little heavier rain.  Some headwind, but not too bad.  Half drowned worms trying to cross the paved trail.

Mile 18 - I am fast through the aid station and leave Crockpot behind.  She is doing the 50K so I was going to leave her soon anyway.  Pass Rikki and Dean too.

Mile 20 - Now the heavy rain.  I have been slowing a little.  Mostly from walking a little more as I try to consume gels, S!Caps, and drink enough water.  Tiring a bit, but not so bad.  I do now walk to put on my stylish trash bag.  Not sure I need it.  It is warmer and not as windy as my last marathon, where I really did have to be careful about hypothermia.  Crockpot, Rikki and Dean pass me as I gear up.  Rikki is taking more walk breaks than I am, but when she runs, she is faster than me, so we stay close but not often together.  Push on to the last aid station.

Mile 21.3 - Aid station. Thanks Betsy and Matt!!  3:27 on my watch.  I remember that last year I finished in 4:27, so all I need to do is run the last five miles in an hour to beat last year's time.  That should be easy, if I do not hit the wall.  It is good to finally have a goal for this race.

Mile 23 - Mostly behind Rikki and Dean.  I would like to catch and stay with them.  I see them walking the bridges and I gain on them, but then I get tired legs and just want to walk the bridges myself.  Happy that I  am able to run for long sections, though my pace has really slowed.  I know that if I just don't walk too much I will beat 4:27.  Every mile closer to the finish and I am sure that my goal is too easy.  It is good to have something to push for as it is a real mental game now.  I do the math and maybe I can beat 4:20?

Mile 25.5 - No mile markers so I am going off my GPS and I can't remember if the course is a little long or not.  I think that I have passed all the landmarks and there is not much farther to go.  Tired, but able to trudge along, I finally catch Rikki and Dean.  I feel a little cheap passing them.  For so many miles I followed them, hoping to stay even and just cross the finish line together.  I pictured myself being a gentleman and slowing at the very end so Rikki could place ahead of me.  But now I cruise past them, don't look back and don't let up the pace.  Getting under 4:20 would be really awesome today and I still have a chance.

Mile 26 - I think this is the last bend in the trail.  Then I can see, through the trees, a car crossing the bridge that is past the finish line, so I know that I am very close.  Make the slight turn and I can see the finish.  I watch as the clock ticks past 4:20.

Mile 26.2 - 26.15 on the GPS.  Happy to be done and seven minutes faster than last year.  No pains, but both calf muscles start cramping a little after I stop running.  I really want to watch the others come in, but now I start shivering.  Put on dry clothes.  Get some of Betsy's famous soup and a slice of pizza.  I am still cold though and don't want to get these clothes wet, so I head home soon after finishing.

This race ends the year on a good note.  I have work to do to get back under 4 hours and every marathon continues to be an adventure so I hope to keep on running them.

19th of 74
Marathon or ultra#119
Pigtails Flat Ass #5

Saturday, December 6, 2014

12/6/14 Saint Martins Jingle Bell Run 5K

My second time here.  Last year was super cold, this year it will be wet with light rain and a few puddles, but not too bad.  Last year I came in 39th of 577 but so many of those were walkers.  This year they are having a "Competitive 5K - under 30 minute finish time" at 9AM, with the 5K fun run and 1.55 mile walk starting at 9:45AM.  I remember that last year I lapped a few walkers and had to negotiate my way around them, so I guess this will be better.

Pricey but a nice long sleeve T-shirt, chip timing and warm staging area in the gym.  8:35 I head out to warm up.  Things feel good.  I had a very good recovery from the marathon that was 8 days ago.  I have not done a 5K in over three months, so I expect to be a little slow.  I am not concerned with my finish time, just want to have a good solid run and speed effort.

Start - Crowded like last year.  I am near the front though and it is a smooth start.  Road widens and we are free to run our own pace.  Catch Mike Henderson and will go back and forth with him the whole way.  Erick Lindburgh is just ahead, but he will stay that way, good for him.

Mile 1.55 - End of first loop.  I joke that I did not know that we had to run it again and somebody laughs.  Too hard to breathe though for much talking.  Legs are good but I have a little side stitch and and breathing so hard, that is my limiting factor.  To be expected, my not being in 5K shape.

Mile 2 - Back and forth with a bunch of people, I am being passed more than I am passing people though.  Kali Walker sighting.  I run faster on the pavement, and then am careful on the grass and trail.  Mike catches me for good this time.  I follow him through the short but very nice conifer needle lined trail.  I just can not catch my breath enough to pick up the pace.  On to the pavement and the finish.  Through the line of cheerleaders and done.

Mile 3.1 - (3.09 on the GPS).  I do not even think about a cool down run.  I start breathing better and walk back to the course before the finish.  Cheer on other runners.  Soon the clock is reading 30 minutes and the last stragglers are coming through.  It is all over so soon.  I go inside for a cookie and to check results on the laptops.  Now I really should go jog a mile, but I am wet and a little cold and just don't feel like it.

Slower than last year, but I am pleased with my run. 

23:18 (7:30 per mile pace)
62nd of 204 competitive runners
5th of 15 in age group (40-49)
Saint Martins Jingle Bell Run 5K #2

Monday, December 1, 2014

11/28/14 Grandpa's Wishbone Marathon

It has been seven weeks since my last race!  I rested after Defiance, which was my fourth marathon in a seven week span.  I was registered for and very much looking forward to running the Turn Back the Clock half marathon on November 2nd, but had to take a sick day.  My first time getting a flu shot and I just happened to run a 102 degree fever two weeks later. Quick trip to Hawaii for Saki and Jake's wedding and the next thing I know November is almost over.

There are four options for Marathons near Seattle on Thanksgiving weekend and some runners do all four.  I have done the big Sunday Seattle race a couple of times, but it is pricy and logistically difficult with a required trip the day before for number pick up.  Thursday is out.  Friday (Grandpa's Wishbone) is the clear choice for this year.  It is south of Seattle, a $20 donation to a food bank and an awesome alternative to the Black Friday madness.  I have been wanting to run this for some years now, hoping to try some of RD Bill's huckleberry pancakes.  Unfortunately this forest trail race has been moved to the Green River paved trail due to logging in Bill's woods the past two years.  It does make it easier for me to get to, and I should know the course to some degree.

The course will be a double out and back, overlapping the Green River Marathon course, but starting in the middle of that route.  It is so easy to get to.  Right off I-5 and a Park and Ride lot directly across from the start/finish.  I get my number and have an hour to eat, relax and prepare to run.

It is warmish and dry, but supposed to rain all day and then get cold.  I wear my Maniac jacket and stuff a trash bag in my pocket just in case.  Small event, with a half and a 50K.  The course is listed as 27 miles.  I had a great 16 mile training run two weeks ago, and then a miserable 8.5 miler in the rain that I cut short last weekend.  Those are my recent long runs.  Bellingham on 9/28 went great at a 9:45 pace, so I decide to run 10:00 per mile today and see how it goes.  Main objective is to finish in good spirits and maintain/build on my endurance.

Great to see Maniac friends as always.  I know about 25% of the runners here today. Ten minute delay for the start. Bill gives some announcement about directions and I will regret not having listened more carefully.  Right at the start I realize that I have a very casual attitude about the course.  I will just follow the crowd and I feel confident that we will do fine.  Bill said something about going around the construction........

Start - I start near the back and off we go down the sidewalk on Interurban Avenue.  About a half mile and then left onto the Green River Trail.  We are going "upstream", the opposite direction of the one way Green River Marathon.  The river itself is brown and near flood stage.  We have had a lot of rain lately.  Chalk mile marker says 1 mile, but GPS says 0.9 and that marker could be from something else.  Our race has orange painted arrows to point the way.

Mile 1 - Maniac Suzie catches up to me to say hi.  She is doing all four races this weekend and will not plan to be as fast as me today.  We catch Monte and she drops back with him. I settle in behind Mike and Gary.  Listen to them talk about Cascade Crest and other races.  Mike, Gary, Suzie and Monte all have many more marathon finishes that me.

Mile 3 - Holding my 10:00 pace, sometimes dipping under a little.  Meet Maniac Karey, finally someone with a mere 18 marathon finishes.

Mile 4 - Aid station.  The only one on the course.  Fill my bottle and keep moving.  Now a fun part of the course.  Running along the river.  There is a bridge crossing ahead and runners are turning left after the bridge, so we can see and wave to runners who are a half mile ahead of us.  There is Sabrina.  I cross the bridge and see some orange arrows pointing left.  This is the detour section because of work on the trail.  I am running comfortably at the back of a small pack.  They are all chatting and everything is fine......until we reach the end of the trail, a major road and no arrows to mark the way.

Mile 5 - Dead stop.  What to do.  Don't panic.  More people coming behind us.  No sign of anyone ahead of us.  Lots of people cutting off the trail and running through the industrial/office park.  Someone says that we went past the detour and we can just parallel the runners going through the parking lot.  I get going, staying on the sidewalk of the busy road, but looking for runners going through the office park.  Then a small road to the left and I take that.  Now I am with Hope Fox and her husband Cliff, making decisions as we run.  He sees some arrows on this sidewalk and we think that we are OK.  Now I see fast runners on the trail, that is up an embankment.  Through some dirt and past a bulldozer, this is clearly not the way we were supposed to go, but it gets us back on the trail along the river.  Funny to look back and see 20 people had followed us.  Steve Walters running fast towards us and I am sure that we just continue on here to the turn around.  We should have turned right at the bridge and stayed on the trail.  Curious to see how much mileage that added to the course.  Maybe not much.  Early starter is coming toward me and I confirm that the turn around is ahead, though he says it is not marked.  "Just look for the three totem poles", that is where you turn around.  Ah the joys of a free race.  No complaints here.  Worse case I would just run until my GPS said 6.75 mile or so and then turn around.  In fact we reach the park with the totem poles right at GPS reading 6.75, so it all worked out OK.  A little worried about Pedro,  Sabrina and Andy Lin who were ahead of me, but I did not see at the turn around.

Mile 8 - I have decided to stay along the river for the return trip.  Somehow I am in front of about 20 people, with no one in site ahead of me.  I will just stay on this trail and it will take me to the bridge and then I will be back on track.  Past the bulldozer where I rejoined the trail on the way out.  I have to go through a barricade that states the trail is closed and under construction but it looks pretty much done.  The trail splits and off the to right there are some runners coming up.  I stay along the river and after about a tenth of a mile I realize that I am on a loop that will bring me back to that other trail.  Tamara is yelling to me.  At this point it is easier and shorter to just keep going and rejoin the main trail after a detour.  I do so, but my mistake puts me behind that whole crowd.  I have been going just slightly faster than most of them so it takes me a while to re pass them.  Mike says that he has taken that long route before.

Mile 11.5 - Holding pace.  Feeling fine.  I take a Power Aid gel and it immediately causes me stomach grief.  I have three different species of gels and some Gu chomps.  Still don't know when or why something will be fine, or cause trouble.  Taking S!Caps every 6 miles or so, but I am barely sweating.  It might have rained just a little earlier, but all of a sudden the skies open up and it starts dumping.  Hopefully it won't last long, but it is coming down hard.  I pull out the trash bag, poke a hole for my head and slip it on.

Mile 13.4 - At the turn around.  It has been pouring for the past 20 minutes.  Serious rain.  I consider dropping out at the half and some runners will.  But I am relatively OK with the jacket and trash bag and it is not too cold yet.  This rain is going to make it memorable for sure.

Mile 16 - More and more puddles.  The shoes are heavy now.  And getting windier and a little colder.  I can not swing my arms, encased inside the bag.  I am wet enough inside the trash bag that my hands are sticking to it, so it is difficult to make any adjustments.  I have to walk a bit, just to drink or eat something.  But my legs feel pretty good.  At the aid station I suggest that they watch for hypothermic runners.  This is a real possibility with the wind and rain.  It will drop to 42 degrees by the finish.  A short section of the paved trail has a smooth dirt trail along side of it.  I ran the dirt on the first out and back, but now it is all one long puddle.  Sometimes if I am not paying careful attention, I end up slogging through a deeper puddle and really soaking my feet.

Mile 18 - Across the bridge and turn right, staying with the river.  Steve, Mark, Pedro and other fast runners.  Ah, there is Sabrina.  She will go on to be first female but at this point she is struggling, wanting an aid station.  She will make it there and get gloves and a jacket.  It is crazy windy and sideways rain on this exposed section.

Mile 20 - Happy to reach the turn around.  By myself.  Not concerned about pace anymore, just survival.  It is not raining as hard, but it is still heavy and windy.  I will take the weather penalty on my time and not let that bother me.  The next two miles, after the turn around are the worst.  Wind more directly at me.  This has got to be zapping my energy, but I am pleased that I am still running OK.  If I do have to walk I really better keep at it, or risk cooling off and start shivering.

Mile 22.5 - Thank the aid station volunteers.  I do like the course for the distance between landmarks.  Now four miles to go.  I run nice and steady for a mile before having to stop to use the bathroom and drink and eat something.  Back to running and feeling good.  No aches or pains.  Heavy shoes though and still dealing with this trash bag, that I am so glad I have on.

Mile 24.5 - Pass early starters Jane, Cindy and Larry Macon.  Still feeling good, I keep on running.  What a great and rare feeling to be running strong at this point in the race.  My finish times are not what they used to be, but I feel like I have been running smarter of late, and definitely doing well in the later miles.  The one mile mark is now a blur of chalk but I know that I have less than a mile to go.  Then on to the sidewalk and a long straight way to the finish tent.

Finish - Mile 27? - 26.5 on the GPS.  I feel like I could keep going and joke about doing the 50K, but I am happy to be done.  Patty records my time and I can tell Ray that Jane is very soon to finish.  I want the pancakes, but first I will take some hot cider to my car and change in to dry clothes.  Dried off, car running and drinking the cider, now I start shivering.  I don't know how else to treat it and it passes in a few minutes.  Go back for pancakes and they are terrific!  But now I get cold and shivery again and decide to head home.  Nice wooden finishers medal.

I really had a good day here and would come back for sure.  I miss the big Seattle race though so I might have to do that one next year.  We shall see.

4:34:50  (very happy with that finish time considering the weather)
Results pending
Marathon or Ultra#118

Monday, October 13, 2014

10/12/14 Defiance 50K

4th time here for this 5th annual event.  Three loops means that I will have completed the course 12 times after today.  I should not take any wrong turns and I should know how to approach the course.  Last year was my slowest time at 6:26.  Splits were not good, so this year I will run the first loop slower. 

Looking like great weather.  Dry and a nice temperature.  Warmish for a Fall run.  Lots of hugs and kind words about my brother, from my Maniac family.  It really means a lot.  Not so emotional today though, I will just run long and have a good time.

Yellow vest this year and I look forward to the new mug.  It is my go to mug at work and I replace it every year with my new Defiance one.

Yes, the Rogue Wave is here and she is a little out of shape so we are evenly matched.  We will start off together.

Loop 1 - (2:02) - Huge for a trail race with the 15K and 30K runners.  We start out at a good spot though and only pass when it is easy to do so.  Trails in great shape.  I wanted to run about 11:30 per mile, but we are doing 12s and that feels faster than it should.  I am worried that it is going to be a bad day.  RW ducks off for a minute and right then I pass a woman with a cool Maniac shirt with stars on the back.  We talk, I find out that she is from Portland, so I ask if she knows Amanda Fritz.  She not only knows of her, but really knows her.  Fun to chat for a bit and then I move ahead.  RW catches back up.  Walk the uphills, try to keep drinking and eating, but I am not counting calories like maybe I should.  Ravens calling in the Ewok forest.  Now the long flat terrific trail that bores me and I think is the worst part of the course.  I guess because there are no landmarks, it all looks the same for a long way.  Runnable but tiresome.  Out to the road, then the fun steep descent with ropes to hold on to.  My slowest ever first loop, which was the plan, but not feeling like I held back very much.  Perhaps 4 marathons and a ten mile race in seven weeks was a bit much.

Loop 2 - (2:06) - The dreaded second loop.  I usually come apart here.  Today is not so bad.  Ravens calling in the Ewok forest again.  When I get to the last flat 4 miles, I know that I have 40 or more minutes to go.  It helps to realize that the distance is that long and I have a decent run here.  Towards the end I can sense someone coming on strong.  It is the race winner, Mike Lyons, lapping me.  I cheer for him, amazing talent.  On to the road and the roped cliff is a little tougher.  At the finish, lots of people are done with their shorter races and I do not feel like running a third loop.  Better not linger here, I head out after filling up the water bottle and grabbing some snacks.

Loop 3 - (2:17) - Somewhere I lost RW but she is back with me now.  We run together for a bit.  I expect her to take off ahead, knowing how tired I feel, but she is also flagging.  Still one of my favorite people to run with.  We have run out of conversation, but that is fine.  And although it is great to have someone at your pace, if at any time one of us wants to move ahead, we do so.  She gets a little ahead now, but then I catch up and pass her for good.  She will finish about 2 minutes behind me.  A mile before the mid loop aid station I start to really struggle.  Some nausea, tired legs.  Walk breaks.  Mama and baby deer just off the trail.  Refuel at the aid station and head out for the last half.  Mostly alone.  Ravens are now making very strong and strange vocalizations.  Much louder.  This section is now renamed the Ravenwood.  Walk up the Achilles Hill and it is not so bad.  Look back and no one behind me.  Down a long way, then up and finally out to the last flat bit.  I look back and a woman is coming on strong.  I should just stop here and let her go by, but the trail is wide so she can pass whenever, and I might as well push it for 50 feet or so until she catches me.  I set off running at a faster pace and somehow manage to keep it up.  I have found some kind of groove, powered by the fact that I can hear this person ten feet behind me.  Make her earn it I am thinking.  A half mile turns into a mile or more of this.  I am amazed at how long I can keep it up.  Finally I say something to her, like "You know that as soon as you pass me I am going to start walking"  She says "No! Keep running, I am feeding off you" or something like that.  We go on like this for another mile.  Not super fast, but perhaps my best running ever at mile 27-28.  Finally I fall apart and she gets by me.  Those two miles were way faster than they would have been, had I been alone.  Pass two more runners and I am well ahead of them before the ropes.  But I pick my way so carefully in the last section that they get right behind me before I am all the way down.  On the promenade, I can run again and finish strong, not letting then catch me.  My split time for this loop is slower, but not as bad as in previous years.  And if I remember right, only two people passed me in the second half of this loop, and I passed two people. 

There is a differential between chip and my watch time, which I started when I crossed the mat.  I think that the chips were not recorded at the start. Either way I barely beat last year's time, which I find better than being slower.

I am prepared with a towel and dry shoes for the post race tradition of soaking the legs in Puget Sound.  Slice of pizza and call it a day.  It is a hard race, but logistically easy and remains one of my favorites.  Now a little break from marathons, with a half in three weeks and the next marathon in about six weeks.  Hopefully I will get some meaningful training in.

6:25:11 by my watch, 6:26:05 chip time.
47th place of 83
Race #340, marathon or ultra#117, Defiance 50K #4