Saturday, August 23, 2014

8/23/14 Run Like a Dog 5K

4th time here at this 9th annual event.  Race that is the closest to my home.  I registered yesterday at packet pick up so now I can leave my house after 8AM and have plenty of warm up time before the 9AM start. $30 includes T-shirt, medal, backpack full of goodies and the proceeds go to the Humane Society.

2 mile warm up, then change into my 5K racing shoes (Brooks Launch).  Fog has lifted and it will warm up but much of the course is on the shaded Chehalis Western Trail.

I worry about all the dogs causing a ruckus at the start, but the RD is good about getting the faster runners up front and the dogs and walkers behind them.

Start - Delayed a few minutes, then a smooth start on the potentially hazardous course which turns, narrows, crosses a street, and narrows again.  Excellent work by the volunteers all along the course.  The change of shoes and quality warm up has me feeling good and I am running well.

Mile 0.4 - Been watching a little kid ahead of me.  Sometimes I misjudge a persons speed, but I am sure that he is going to crumble soon.  And yes, he takes a walk break, then zooms farther ahead.  I gradually catch him and hear him start walking again as I pass.

Mile 1 - 7:15 - Start to feel a little tired in my legs.  This is my third speed workout in the week and I knew that it might be a little rough.  Turn onto a road.  Now I hear heavy fast breathing coming up behind me.  Quite the panting and the dog and its owner get past me.

Mile 1.5 - I pass up on the aid station but the dog just ahead of me decides to check it out. (They have kiddie pools for the dogs that want to cool off)  Now she passes me again.  Later it looks like she is walking, but I still can not catch up.  I do get even to a human female.  Not saying a word I just run side by side with her for a quarter mile or so.  Then I feel like I could go a little faster so I do.

Mile 2.5 - One guy comes up real strong and makes a solid pass.  Now a road crossing and I hear a volunteer say "we can let cars go after this guy"  which I translate as there is no one now close behind me.  Same thing happens at the last road crossing.  No need to look back, but also less pressure to run as fast as I can

Finish - I have a decent sprint at the end and pick it up for the finish.  3.04 on the GPS.

Grab a water and then watch the runners come in.  Fun to see so many with dogs.  Many of the dogs have great form and are having fun.

Lots of vendors (pet related mostly) and some really good raffle prizes but alas I do not win anything.  Still a fun time and great work out on the home course.

19th place of 336
Run Like a Dog 5K #4

Monday, August 11, 2014

8/10/14 Transcendence 12 hour

5th annual event and my 5th time here, making me a legacy runner.  There are 8 of us who ran the first four races, but only 5 of us are here to carry on the legacy.  I don't feel highly motivated to run all day.  Maybe just get the 50K in to count for MM stats and then take a few more easy laps.  50 miles would be great, but it is supposed to be HOT and I just don't care that much. Definitely will not run through pain.  I have not run long since June, so this will be a good chance to hit the wall and work on endurance.  Marathons planned in 3, 4 and 7 weeks from now so it is time to step it up.  Three hours of good solid running to hit the wall and then evaluate from there is the plan.  Also then I will be running fast in the cool of the morning.

Start - Attendance is down this year but it is still a nice event with some Team Cupcakes representing and Tory running her 100th marathon or ultra.  We line up right on time and only a few of us want to be near the front.  Off we go and I settle into third place.  Loops of 1.524 miles.

Loop 1 - 15:16, right at 10min/mile
Loop 2 - 13:17, Playing the role of the rabbit, I am now in first place
Loop 3- 14:03
Loop 4 - 13:55 - Still in first place, but I get passed while taking a quick fluid and salt break. 

3 hours - 12 loops done, 18.3 miles and now I start to warm up and tire.  It was fun while it lasted.  I tell Deb that I am going to walk for the next 9 hours but she does not believe me.  The walk breaks do start and my average lap goes from the 14s to 21-22 minutes.

26.2 miles, about 4:45

50K at 6 hours

So now it is noon and getting quite warm. It will reach the mid to high 80s soon.  Craig has been posting the current standings and I keep seeing that I am in third place.  There are no age group awards, but there are awards for the top 3 male and female.  I decide that I would love a top 3 finish so I keep the breaks short at the aid station and keep moving.

7 hours - a little dehydrated.  I start drinking quite a bit more.  I also take a large dishtowel, soaked in cold water and run with it around my neck.  At the far side of the lake, the sunny oven, I put the towel over my hat and it keeps my head much cooler.  This towel trick helps a lot and I start feeling better.

8 hours - Try to eat a little something after each lap.  Mostly potatoes and gels.  Rounding a corner a little girl says "eww stinky" and I don't know if she means me or the lake.

9 hours - 43 miles - I guess that I will go for 50 miles after all.  Nothing hurts, just hot and tired.  I have 3 hours to cover 7 miles, that should be easy.

10 hours - Other than Holly, I have not seen any locals.  But now Martinho shows up to check on me.  And he is ready to run with me.  I feel bad because I can barely shuffle.  But he does not mind and he is a great distraction.  We talk Silver Strider Strategy and he keeps me motivated by subtly suggesting that the 4th place guy might be catching up.  I look at the leader board and think that I have a lock on third, but only if I keep moving.

11 hours - Martinho and I throw down a 19 minute loop, me thinking it will be my last.  But halfway through, I consider doing one more.  One more loop would ensure third place and would make this the second farthest I have ever run.  (57.9 miles here two years ago on a cooler day).  We cover one final lap, not so fast and call it a day.

51.8 miles

I do get third place and win a nice Guerilla Running visor.  Other than the balls of my feet partially melting during the last hour, things felt pretty good throughout. 

3rd place of 34
Marathon or ultra #113
Race #334
Transcendence 12 hour #5

Monday, August 4, 2014

8/2/14 Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon

4th time here, but it has been a couple of years.  A while back Jody was looking for a half and we picked this one.  Too bad her training did not go as planned and she will not try to be fast here.  But we will come race it anyway. 

To make things easier before the race, I picked up our numbers the day before.  This morning we drive to the start at the airport and will take a shuttle bus back after.  We get there at about 7AM, thirty minutes before the 7:30 start.

A few clouds and a smattering of weird giant rain drops.  It has been so hot lately, I welcome the clouds and the early start time.

Say hi to a few friends and then cram in the start area behind the 1:50 pacer (Sabrina).  My PR  (1:38) was here in 2011, but this year I doubt my speed.  Chelan was 1:52 and I should be better than that, but some runs have been so sluggish.  I will be happy with a feeling good sub 1:50.  Halfhearted half mile warm up.

Start - Crowded but smooth, a few minutes later than scheduled.  Turn off the runway and the short out and back on the road.  Going to be crowded for a while but I will be patient.  Run with Rickie for a bit, have not seen her in ages.  The 1:50 pacers are getting a little ahead and I am still crowded in, so as soon as the road opens I make a move to get ahead of them.

Mile 2 - I had planned to stay with the pacers until the halfway point, but the pack was so tight, I went ahead of them and now have been gradually gaining on them.  I don't want to look back, but I also don't want to get too far ahead.  About an 8:15 pace and it feels comfortable.

Mile 5 - Over the Narrows and up the big hill.  8:21 pace but its not so hard to get up the hill.

Mile 6 - Judy Fisher sighting.  Around the neighborhood and the overall pace is back to 8:15.

Mile 8 - 8:12 overall pace and still feeling comfortable.  A few fat rain drops.  Then warm sun.  Into Cheney stadium and around the warning track.  Just as I leave the stadium, Pacer Sabrina enters, so I know how far ahead I am.

Mile 10 - Start to get a little tired.  That long straight ugly slightly uphill section along Highway 16.  Looking forward to the downhill.  I have not been running with anyone, just doing my own thing.  But now I catch a guy and we grunt a little to each other.  He he gets ahead of me and I catch another runner.  Don't say anything, just run next to her for a bit.  Then run with another guy.  It is nice to pace with someone, we are all just trying to hold on and not slow down.  Really can not wait for the downhills.

Mile 11.5 - The steep downhill is too steep.  With a young guy who is running his first half marathon.  I encourage him, we have a great finish coming up.

Mile 12 - Now the final mile to the end.  Nice gradual downhill.  Happy that everything feels good.  No pains or worry spots.  I will make my time goals, but I still think that I should be faster.  I gave it  a good effort and will get a slight negative split.

Finish Mile 13.1 - 13.19 on the GPS.  Heavy finishers medal.  Great post race gathering area with plenty of food and drink.  I like the live music.  Cheer on the runners and watch Jody finish.  We have to wait a long time for the bus back to the start but it is nice to chat with fellow runners and we make it home before noon.

136th of 790
Race #333, Half Marathon#30, Tacoma Narrows half#4

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/19/14 Chelanman Half Marathon

This has to be my least favorite race that I keep coming back to.  4th time here.  Hot, unsafe road open to traffic, slanty pavement that will hurt my feet.  $50 pre registered entry fee.  But the age group awards are back.  And it will start earlier than before, beating the real heat and avoiding the crush of Olympic distance triathlete runners. And really, am I going to drive all the way out here to watch friends do triathlons and not jump into a half marathon if it is offered?

Jody is running the 10K and she forgot her watch, so I give her mine.  This helps to take the pressure off.  I picture myself running nice and easy and not caring about time.  Maybe I will finish strong and at least be under 1:50.

We got in last night and the smoke from the wildfires was scary.  Chelan is safe but surrounding towns were hit hard.  I feel a little guilty coming here to have fun when people are losing their homes not far away.

Meet up with the only other Half Fanatic in the race.  HF Pam is really cool.  She started running when she was 62 and seems so happy, showing off her HF gear.  We take a "group" photo.

Very short warm up and then it is time to line up.  The RD tells us to self seed by pace, but no one moves to the front.  I know that I should not be in the very front, but no one wants to step forward.  I suggest that if anyone is going to be faster than 8/mile, they should get in front of me.  I expect to go out about 8-8:30/mile.  One woman joins me and her son who looks about 11, gets in front saying that he plans to do about 6:50/mile. I am skeptical and I hope that I don't run over him.

Start -Smooth enough, but a bunch of people go screaming past me on the downhill, the sharp turn and along the hotel parking area.  Up the hill,  and on to the road.  I am running very fast and I wish that these guys had stepped up closer to the line.  Well, no one slow to pass and soon we are stretching out on the shoulder of the highway.

Mile 1 - Don't know my time, but I suspect it is too fast.  Working way harder than the easy effort I had pictured.  Three dead bats on the side of the road.  Feeling warm already.  Strong head wind. I draft a woman for a while and it really seems to help. Then I get in front of her and tell her that she can draft me if she wants.

Mile 2- Good news is that there are aid stations every mile.  I had planned to carry water, but left my bottle in the hotel and it really is fine without.  I will feel thirsty each mile.  Try to just drink a little, but by mile two I am pouring some water on my head.

Mile 3 - Not going to be a good race.  It is hot and my legs don't feel speedy.  Difficult going.  Wondering why I signed up anyway.

Mile 3.1 - 10K runners turn around.  That kid I was skeptical of is doing great!  He is one of the top 10K runners and will go on to a finish must faster than I could have done.  Hoping that Jody and Haley are having good races.

Mile 3.4 -  Nice downhill.  I can see a long way ahead.  No one in front of me for at least a quarter mile.  I count seven little specs of runners far in the distance, all close together.  Now I see that one of the seven, in a white shirt, has stopped and is off to the side.  Another runner has slowed too.  I think the white shirt person might be injured and dropping out.  She is walking back this way, the other runner has continued on.  It takes a while to get closer, then I see that it is a kid.  The poor girl is crying and the sweat and tears are just so sad.  I stop and ask if she is OK.  She missed the turn for the 10K and is super frustrated and upset.  I have a sudden strong feeling of empathy for her.  I just want things to be OK for her. I stop and tell her that it is OK, try to relax, just head back the way you came and it will all be fine. Best words of encouragement that I can think of.  We walk back together just a little way until she starts running.  She was going so fast and would have had a great 10K race.  She will end up in 79th place of 130, which is pretty awesome for a 12 year old who put in an extra two miles in the race. She was so unhappy, what if this turns into a horrible memory for her and she never races again, and wastes that obvious talent? Later I will learn that she is the sister of the fast boy and that her mother was in the half marathon not far behind me.  The mother saw me try to help her and thanked me later.  In the mean time I turn back around and start running again.  No idea how long that took, but whatever the hit on my finish time it was well worth it.  The first few steps though I am still feeling terrible for the girl.  Probably because of the difficulty I was having in my own race, her tears really affected me.  I start having my own crying fit and it takes a giant spider crossing the road in front of me, to think of Jiaxin, and my race starts to brighten up.

Mile 5 - Around a curve and an older teen boy is coming towards me on the other side of the road.  First place runner?  Wait that is super fast and he is not going so quickly.  I yell that he is really fast, and he says that the missed the 10K turn around!  He seems to be handling it better than the girl.  I don't know how anyone could go that far off course.

Mile 6 - Half mile up hill to the turn around.  Quite a hot slog up the hill.  I better not miss my turn or I might end up in Stehekin.

Mile 7 - Made the turn and heading back.  Downhill is great and on the flat after that I start to feel pretty good.  Catch a woman who is training for a marathon and plans to run 14 miles tomorrow.  We go back and forth a bit, with runners coming at us and lots of bikers on the road.

Mile 8 - With that woman and I ask her about the time.  With a little tricky math I figure that I should finish in 1:51.  Feeling good though and I expect and want to get in just under 1:50.

Mile 12.5 - Nice to not be distracted by a watch.  Hot and tired but no wall.  Give a good effort on the final hill, but the woman passes me.  Zip on down to the finish.

Finish - 1:52:43  Slower than I had thought I was going.  Second half was slower than the first half, but I felt better as it went along.  Nice to win 2nd (out of 5) in my age group.  Haley did great, exceeding her expectations.  Jody had a decent run

Two hours later we watch Bill head out for his half marathon after biking 58 miles and swimming some long distance.  An hour and 45 minutes later I walk back from the finish area and cheer runners on.  I keep walking and make it all the way to the last aid station, about 0.8 miles from the finish.  The aid station has been abandoned.  I pick up 15 cups on the ground, pour some coolish water from the jug and then find some bags of ice in a big container.  It is over 80 degrees at this point and these guys have been at it for more than 6 hours now.  I put chunks of ice on the table and each runner takes some.  Bill comes through and I jog with him most of the way to the finish.

Sunday - Tammy completes her first triathlon and may be hooked on the event.  She does great and has fun. 

23rd of 90
Race#332, Half Marathon#29, Chelanman Half #4

Monday, July 14, 2014

7/12/14 McCleary Run from the Bears 10K

3rd time here, but not since 2008.  Same course.  Supposed to be a hot one, but as I drive into Grays Harbor County, the fog is in and it is cloudy and cool before I warm up.  $5 day of race with the no T-shirt option is wonderful.

Plenty of time to gradually warm up.  I run out from the finish and notice paint on the street corresponding to mileage of some kind.  1.92, 1.86. 1.82, 1.76.  I get in two miles and feel pretty good.  Now where are the people?  The start is a quarter mile from the registration table and everyone is still milling about the table area.  Race begins at 9AM.  It is 8:45 and I am the only one near the start.  It is a small event, but there is also a 5K and a 2 mile walk.  One other runner comes by, then one more.  She asks where the start is.  We wonder what is going on and start back to the table.  Then we see a few people walking up and we go back to the start.  A few minutes later, still only a couple of us here so she and I set out again.  I am relaxed but she seems to be stressing that we are going to miss the race.  8:58AM and 4 more people are walking up the road, looks like more farther back, but no one in a rush.  Ok we will just start a little late.  See my niece's neighbor Mike. Other than him and Shawna, I do not know anybody here.

9:10AM  Start - We are finally gathered at the start and ready to go.  Policeman says that he will lead the way and then patrol the roads but be careful as the roads are open to traffic. I am up at the front and after a dramatic "on your mark....get set...go!" we are off.

Mile 0.2 - Out the side street and onto the main road.  There is a wider shoulder on the right and we will be turning right real soon, so I move to the right side of the road.  The runners ahead of me have stayed to the left and I don't know what is going on behind me.  I feel like I am all alone.  Soon enough we turn right and all of us hug the edge of the road through the main part of town.

Mile 0.5 - Three runners are already well ahead of me, and one other is just ahead.  I gradually catch and pass her.  Running pretty hard, but it is a 10K race.

Mile 1.0 - 7:15. Almost as fast as last week and that was a downhill start.  Worried that I will slow, but not much I can do about it now.  One of the three ahead of me has turned around as he is doing the 5K.  That puts me in third place.  One man and one woman ahead and getting smaller by the minute.

Mile 2 - Right turn with a few spectators and I can not help but look back.  Yikes!  A man and a woman about 100 feet back. 

Mile 3-4.5 - Country road.  Pushing as best I can.  Really trying to focus on my form.  Don't let my mind wander.  There is a guy putting a stool out on the street with a free sign.  It would be funny to sit in the chair real quick.  Stop thinking about this and get back to thinking about running.  Make this an exercise in concentration.  When I focus on form I go faster.  At times I can sense and maybe hear the runners behind me.  I am slowing a bit but not too bad.  I think that they will catch me.  Don't look back, that will only encourage them.  5th place is still good.  But not as good as 3rd.  I will not relent.  Aid station up ahead.

Mile 4.5 - Aid station.  I can not help it, I look back and yikes!  The two runners are a little closer.  Definitely too close for comfort. Warmer now and I pour some water on my head and drink a little.  Make it to the turn and decide to put on a surge around the bend.  I run as fast as I can for a bit, hoping that when my chasers get to the turn after they get their water, they will see that I am farther ahead and hopefully out of reach.  Bit of strategery here and I can only hope that it will work.  Now back to my comfortably hard pace.  No pains, just can't make the legs go any faster.

Mile 5.5 - Onto the road home.  Construction painting here.  1.22. 1.26, 1.32, 1.36, 1.42.....I remember that the finish line is about 1.92 so I know how far I have to go.  Curve in the road, I cross over to take the inside tangent and be on the same side as the finish line.  Bit of a downhill, now overlap where we started, quick look back to see that I am locked into third place and then sprint to the finish.

Finish - Mile 6.2 (6.17 on the GPS)  Average pace of 7:28 is faster than my pace for the 4 miler last week.  Flatter course, but I really did feel better today.  90 seconds slower than I was here 6 years ago, but I am very pleased with my time.  Cheer on the finishers.  Awards only for the top male and female, so I go home empty handed, but happy.

3rd place of 25
Race#331, Bear 10K #3

Monday, July 7, 2014

7/4/14 4 on the 4th - Steailacoom

4th of July tradition that I have not done since 2008.  A week ago I figured that I would slip out of the sleeping Hood Canal house early and be back as people were just getting up.  Then Tammy mentioned wanting to do the race and that she would make Bill do it.  Since the three of us planned to run it, Jody joined in.  Then to my great surprise I learned that Jared and Kay would also join in the fun.  Jared and Kay drove up from Oly and the four "adults" left the Canal at 7AM in plenty of time for the 9AM start.

$12.69 pre-registered price.  Nice weather, a little warm in the sun.  Much larger crowd than I expected.  There is now a 4th of July race in DuPont and Tacoma, but lots of runners here, plus the whole parade and marketplace thing going on.  Bill and I warm up for a good mile and a half and then wait for the start.  Lots of running friends here.  Fun to see Jeff, a graduate of mine, who later discovered that he is really fast.

Start - It is crowded but we move off alright.  Screaming downhill, I try to reign it in a little.  See Bill ahead and keep him a few feet behind me.

Mile 0.5 - Ha, there is Tammy.  She went flying for the first bit.  I pass her and dodge a few people to keep up with Bill.

Mile 1.0 - 7:15 - I was expecting faster, with the downhill and by my effort.  It is only going to slow from here.  I put on a sprint, intending to get even with Bill and run with him.  But I feel like I want to extend the sprint and I get a few steps ahead of him.

Mile 2.0 - 2.1 on the GPS.  The turn around is father along that in the previous years that I have run this.  But perhaps they moved the start up a little too.  With the same little pack.  Reach the turn around and head back.

Mile 3.0 - Bill on my tail.  A little kid putting on spurts and trying to block any of us who try to pass him.  He makes it difficult for me to run the tangents.

Mile 3.5 - I slow on the uphill and Bill passes me.  I knew that he would do that. I picture all his biking giving him better strength up the hills.  I yell something about "not so fast" and put on my own surge.  I get past him, but it was too much for me, I am toast.  I keep trying, but he extends the lead and beats me by about 9 seconds.

Finish - Mile 4.0 - 4.15 on the GPS.  I had hoped and expected to be under a 7:30/mile pace.  Based on the GPS my pace was 7:35/mile.  Based on a 4 mile course, my pace was 7:52/mile.  No aches or pains, and no huge fatigue, just not able to run fast today.  Fun time going back and forth with Bill and I am not sore that he beat me.  Cheer on Jody, Kay and and Jared.

31:24 but I suspect a long course
82nd of 371 
8th of 19 in age group
Race #330 
4 on the Fourth # 9

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fathers Day 5K Olympia

First time event, organized by the Capital Christian Church.  Isaac told me about it, I had not seen it on any race calendars.  The last time I know that I ran a race with Isaac was in 2001.  Day of race registration is a mere $10 and includes a T-shirt.  Since I was not sure I would be able to race this weekend, this is a way better deal that trekking up to Tacoma for StN and paying $40 plus parking.  Chambers Trailhead is close to home and I will get back early for family time.

Out and back on the paved Chehalis Western trail.  Since it is a first time event, put on by a church, I do not have great expectations for organization.  I will just enjoy it as a fun run.  Also I did marathons on the last two weekends, my legs are tired and I have not done speed work in a long time.

I get there plenty early and sign up is easy.  Time for a 2 mile warm up, then change into racing shoes.  They do have things well organized and we start right on time.

Start - It is a small race and a fairly wide trail so I do not line up right in the front.  We go off and I immediately wish that I had started closer to the line.Some people start by walking and others are starting very slowly.  I bump into the guy in front of me who had bumped into the guy in front of him as we come to a sudden stop.  Nothing bad really and soon we are running.  After about 30 seconds of assessing the situation I go to the far left of the course and zoom past a big cluster.  Now room to run and a few guys are already getting quite a bit ahead of me.

Mile 0.5 - Pass a few and now gaining on the second place runner.  I am able to pass him and get into a solid second place.  First place is a young guy (later I will learn that he is 14 years old)  who is out of reach but not gaining much more distance.  My only hope is that he falls apart in the second half.

Mile 1 - Working hard and maintaining second place while number one is the same distance ahead.  Stinging nettles reach out onto the trail and I consider brushing against them to distract myself from the effort of holding this pace.

Mile 1.35 - I can see number one at the turn around.  He stops to drink at the aid station.  He starts again and then turns around to properly cross the line, as directed by the volunteer.  This lets me get a little closer.  When I reach the table I get a quick drink and make sure to cross the line while turning around.  I can see the volunteer's eyes on my feet, keeping us all honest.  Start heading back and I can see that I have a large lead on number three.  Number three is farther back from me, than I am from number 1.

Mile 2 - The first place guy is getting faster now and will clearly win.  I try to count runners heading out but give up with some large packs.  There are bout 60 I estimate.  Some want to high five me and I oblige.  One tells me to "catch that kid", which is exactly the type of thing that I would say to someone in that situation.  Another person tells me that I will get the silver medal.  I like that

Finish - Surprised to see 21:00 on the watch.  Then I see that the mileage on the GPS is only 2.84 miles.  That would still give me a 22 something on an accurate course and I am very happy with that.  I congratulate the winner.  Watch and cheer for the runners coming in.  Great vibe from the volunteers and participants.  No timing or place recording though.  That makes it easy for them.  The website clearly stated that there would be awards for the first male and female and the first family that finishes.  They do have those prizes and those are the only runners that they need to keep track of.  I like this idea for a small event like this.  Maybe they could just have a big clock going so people could see their finish times as they cross the line.  It was a nice event and way to get some speed work in.  Really great to see lots of non serious runners of all ages out there getting excercise and enjoyo=ing the outdoors

2nd of about 60