Saturday, December 3, 2016

12/4/16 Saint Martins Jingle Bell Run 5K

4th time here and 4th year in a row.  Always a week after a marathon.  I registered back in July so with early pricing it was $25 with shirt and chip timed.  It bugs me a little that they have continued to make the 5K race for competitive runners only.  If you can't go sub 30 minutes, then you can do the untimed fun run.  I know I can be under 30, but I like having all the walkers show up in the results, making my finish spot look better.

Recovery week was OK.  Got in a good hill workout on Thursday as I am focusing on training for the Mountain Marathon in March.  Yesterday I should have rested, but I had the opportunity to get out for 4 easy miles and I am afraid that I will need early in the month miles to reach my goal for December.  So today I feel a little weary.  Last year I ran a slowish 23:54 and I think that I should be able to beat that today.  Warm up for 2 miles and I feel ready to go.

Cold but dry.  I will wear a beanie hat and after warm up I put on a pair of gloves.  Not sure I need them but I will end up wearing them the whole way.  Two long sleeve T-shirts.  Fun atmosphere, with lots of costumes and people of all ages. One of my CCM Pacers is here, Rob.  I tell him that he has to beat me to keep his 3:30 pace job.  That will be no problem as he will crush it coming in 8th overall at a 6:10 pace!  Barb is here and worried that she won't make the 30 minute cut off, just getting back after injury.


 



Start - I start about a third of the way back.  Takes a few seconds to get over the mat.  But it is less crowded than past years and we can run our own paces right away.  Just a little tight, but not bad.  I head out at a too fast pace, but taking advantage of the pavement before the uneven grass trail.

Mile 1 - 7:30 - but now the uphill and then uneven dirt part, with a little mud.  Lost of people to run near or with, or to go back and forth with.

Mile 1.55 - Through the finish chute and start the second lap.  But I am at 12 minutes and I really doubt I can run the second half faster than the first.  This will be my slowest time here yet.  Nothing hurts and I am pushing myself hard, but the speed is not quite there.  Get going faster, but then there is the trail.

Mile 2.5 - Up the hill again and I am getting passed a lot. And I thought I was strengthening my hill game.  Now I am sure I will not beat last years time.  I keep going hard and get a little faster once I am back on the pavement.  Work really hard to pass one guy on the last stretch.  Then it is over.

Mile 3.1 - 3.11 on the GPS.  Walk back to watch the finishers.  It gets thin after 27 minutes, and when they do come in, I cheer them on.  One small girl will be so close, I scream at her to speed up and she finishes at 30:00 on the clock.  Oh, here comes Barb at 31 something and they are still recording times.  I am glad that they were not so strict on that.

Half mile cool down jog.  Check results on the laptops.  Get snacks.  Rachael Petersen sighting.  Back home by mid morning.  Glad I ran, will probably do it again and trying to not be so disappointed with a slightly slower race than expected.

24:31
58th of 133
Race#404, 5K#107, SMJB#4
****

Friday, November 25, 2016

11/25/16 Grandpa's Wishbone Run

Ran this once before, two years ago.  Great option if I am not doing the big Seattle race on Sunday.  Easy parking just off the highway and $20 entry fee day of race.  Part of the Seattle Quadzilla, so lots of Maniacs here.  Monte running number 501.

Green River paved trail, the same trail I raced on three weeks ago.  This time a double out and back from Tukwilla to the Three Friends Fishing Hole, where the race earlier this month started.

After a wet and stormy day yesterday, it looks like very good running weather today.  Cool but dry, the sun will even peek out a little.

Day after Thanksgiving so I have some dietary indiscretions to deal with.  I ran a good tempo run on Sunday then a huge hill climb (4 miles up Mount Walker, then flew 4 miles down) on Monday.  Here it is Friday and not sure how it will go. No real time goal, though it would be great to beat my time from 2015.

Start - Many runners in the half and we all go out along the sidewalk for a crowded but relaxed start.  Hat, gloves and jacket, though I will take off the gloves soon.

Mile 1 - 9:40 which is faster than it felt.  I would be happy with 10/mile but I don't slow down as I am warming up and everything feels good.  Except the side of my left foot which is giving a fairly sharp and surprising pain now.  Very much unexpected, I shift my stride a little and it goes away, comes back, then goes away for good.  That was weird and a little scary, if it had continued I would have dropped out, and I really did not see that coming.

Mile 2 - On the trail near the river, but now there are orange arrows and xs on the course and pointing in various directions.  Some arrows are pointing to the street and sort of back the way we came and some runners want to go that way.  I am sure that we are supposed to continue on the trail here, but what about the way back?  Our route was very clear getting here, I assume we go back the same way.

It would not be a race along the Green River without some route confusion.  The County is always doing trail maintenance and levee work and there are often detours.  My race here three weeks ago (In Unity We Run) had the least confusion, with one spot that looked closed but with good communication from the RD we were sure this was the right way.  Today there is also a 50K with the half and full (the full being advertised as 27 miles) and I do not know if the 50K people might have a different route.

Mile 4.5 - 9:23 average pace and feeling great.  Larry Macon sighting (world record holder for most marathons) Aid station (the only one on the course but we will hit it 4 times).  Now the bridge across the river and then that long curved part, where Deb and I were longing for the finish line three weeks ago.  Today I know just what we have to do, and after the curve and the next one (with fast runners coming back) it is under the overpass and reach the turn around.

Mile 6.76 - Turn around.  This would make a 27 mile course.  Pedro sighting.  He is behind me!  But he ran a marathon yesterday and has one tomorrow and the next day.  He is probably still warming up and also running conservatively.  I should be faster than most of the quad people so maybe my results will look good, despite whatever time I run.

Mile 11 - Back at the questionable spot.  We shout to a runner heading off that way and David Pearson and I convince her to follow us the way we came.  Also see runners coming back from that way and others who were just ahead of us, now coming towards us. 

Mile 11.5 - Now at another bridge and there is Pedro and three others with him, coming in from the side and crossing ahead of us.  The other route must be quite a bit shorter than what we did.  And not fair!

Mile 13.5 - Reach the start/finish/turn around in about 2:13.  Head right back out.  Now I just wonder how much stamina I have.  Running with David.

Mile 15.5 - He convinces me that we are supposed to take the street route after the crossing, but we lose the arrows and work our way back to the trail in a short bit through a parking lot.  Run the next 8 miles with David.  He is almost deaf and it is a challenge to communicate.  He reads lips great, and that is just a little hard when we are running side by side.  I have known him for a few years and watched him get faster than me, and run more races.  He is on race two of four in four days.  We talk a lot more than I expected and it gets easier.  I have been expecting to hit the wall, and though we take some walk breaks they are short.  I sort of want to be left to my own misery, but David is staying with me, saying he might go off faster at mile 23 or so.  He pushes me along and although tired, I am not really struggling or in any pain.  We both enjoy a Sabrina sighting.

Mile 23 - David gives me a fist bump and heads off faster.  Just before the aid station I see a young runner sitting on the side of the trail with her shoes off.  I ask her if she is OK and it is just blisters that she is tending to.  And yes, she is racing tomorrow.

Mile 25 - The orange arrow junction.  Look back and there is a guy almost there.  I ask which way to go and he suggests that we turn right.  We both think it will be shorter and we both have adequate mileage on our watches.  We take this route and I am surprised with how much mileage it cuts off.  Orange arrows clearly take us to the bridge.  My new running buddy is picking up speed and I am flagging.  Push on hoping to beat my 4:34 from 2015, but pretty sure I won't make it.  Now the long sidewalk to the finish so far away.  Run the whole way, feel good, but happy to be done.

Finish - 26.73 miles on the GPS.  No time to chat or have pancakes.  Head directly to the car for the hour drive and oh I am so stiff when I get home.  But a nice day of running and I am happy with my endurance and only being a minute slower than two years ago.



Results pending
4:35:50
Race #403, Marathon or Ultra #147
****

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

11/5/16 In Unity We Run Marathon

First time here at this 15th annual event.  Great option for a low key race put on by Steve Barrick.  Like his bigger race that I have done, the Green River Marathon, this race will be on the paved trail along the river.  But by being out and back (first upstream and back, then downstream and back) there is no logistical issue of transportation.  Start and finish is just off I-5 and less than an hour from home, with good parking and restrooms.  $20 dollar donation to the food bank.  Aid station near each turn around and at the half, so with six miles between aid, a water bottle is needed.

In an amazing coincidence I am assigned bib#402 and this happens to by my lifetime race number #402.

I had three long races close together in September and October, but now it has been 4 weeks with no long run.  Not sure if I have even gone more than seven miles at once.  I needed the rest but now I have no idea where my endurance is.  With the rain and potentially lonely course, I have no real time goal, just get it done and get in a good workout.  Small race, but I know quite a few people so hopefully I will run with a friend or two.

Start - Light rain with lots more expected.  Half and full line up together, with some early starters gone out an hour ago.  Then we are off.  I feel good and find a nice pace that feels a little fast.

Mile 1 - Still a little dark and it is hard to see my watch, but it looks like I am at 12 minute/mile pace.  That is impossible.  Dan W says that we are at 9:45 pace which sounds about right.  My GPS erred in the fist mile and will be off the whole race.  About then a  strong wind and tremendous burst of rain soak us all.  I stop to put on my trash bag, lose Dan but pick up Crockpot.

Mile 2-6 - Run with the Crockpot and it is nice company.  She is just doing the half today with big adventures last weekend and next weekend.  Heavy rain lets up but the light stuff will continue all day.  Have to watch for puddles on the paved trail.  My feet feel wet, but not soaked through or heavy.  We see Monte and Leslie, and then Deb and Steve coming back, after taking the early start.  An idea forms that I could continue running at a decent pace and catch them around mile 20 or so.  Ideally at mile 22 when I know I will be tired and slowing, then I can just slow and take walk breaks and run at their pace, but have company for the last miles and still get a marathon finish and good workout without pushing it so much.

Mile 10 - Running steady, alone and passing a couple of guys.  Got the average pace to sub 10 minutes per mile, forgetting that it really is faster than that with the GPS screw up.  Short walk breaks to drink or have a gel and then back at it.  Small temptation to quit when I get to the halfway point.  It would be easy to do and I think that with the weather, some runners will do this or did not even show up.  But I need the long run and I feel OK, so I know I will go on.

Mile 13.1 - Back to the start/finish.  Steve B is calling out times and I think he said 2:06 something which seems fast.  I did not look at my watch but I guess that is possible/likely.  Get water at the aid table and there are Deb and Steve F.  I caught them way sooner than expected and neither was having the best day.  In fact they are discussing whether to drop out here.  I want some company and I encourage/cajole them to keep going.  They decide to have a go at it and we set out together.

Mile 15 - Really nice chatting with Deb and Steve.  Easy slow pace, but lots of long walk breaks.  I don't mind the walk breaks but they are quite a bit longer than I would do.  Still when we start running again, every time it gets a little harder.  Get passed by most of the runners who I had gotten ahead of earlier, but I don't care.  No drive or interest in any particular finish time now.  Just have a nice run with friends.

Mile 20 - Steve is tiring and needing to walk more and more.  Deb does not want to get ahead of him, since he waited for her earlier.  I don't feel like I should leave either of them since I encouraged them to keep going after the half.  They would not mind so much but really I don't see the purpose of ditching them at this point.

Mile 24 - Feeling a little cold with the slower pace, but overall it has been OK even with all the rain.  The rain has just about stopped now and I am ready to be done.  Let Deb set the pace and times of the walk breaks.  Steve tells us to go on, he is just going to walk it in from here.  So we do go on.  Long bend in the river when we think the end is near, takes a while to get around but finally there is the bridge and we are done.

Mile 26.2 - Just a couple of people left at the finish line and only a few more runners out on the course.  I wait for Steve, who thanks me for encouraging him to continue and Deb says she is glad to have gotten the long run in.  So we are all happy and soon to by dry.  I will have an easy recovery and will be back on most of this course for a marathon on the day after Thanksgiving.  I plan to run faster then, unless it is raining, or unless I decide to stay with friends.


5:14:14  (2:06/3:08 split!!)
30th of 40
Race#402, Marathon or Ultra#146
*****

Saturday, October 29, 2016

10/29/16 Tenino Pumpkin Dash 5K

The Ghost of the Ghostmuster.  My second time here since the PTA took over from Thurston County.  Attendance is way down this year, with two other race options in Olympia today.  But I take the drive to my old classic course.  Jody here.  And Nicole J, doing her first 5K.  Good thing she brought a bunch of friends with her, otherwise it would have been that much smaller an event.

Damp but no rain or wind and a nice temperature for running.  Take my time with a nice long warm up.  A couple of regulars here, with Tom and I both wearing our long sleeve 2003 Ghostmuster shirt over our 2002 Ghostmuster shirt.  What are the odds of that?  I will go with the short sleeves for the race.





Start - new start location, back a little from the old start, but still in the parking lot.  Course was re-certified in 2014and will be accurate with my GPS.  Acknowledgement to the kid who designed the T-shirt.  Preregistration was $25 with shirt.  5K and 10K start at the same time.  Not crowded we make it over the speed bumps in the parking lot and on to the roads.

Mile 1 - (7:45) - Feel slower than I am running.  Should be able to go faster but can not get it going.  10K splits off and I am dismayed to only see two people ahead of me make the turn.  About 7 others are still in it, in the 5K, ahead of me.

Mile 2 - Going just a little faster, but it is a struggle.  San not concentrate.  My mind keeps wandering and I have to bring it back to the race, but then off I go daydreaming again.  Passed by the first woman.  Loren is ahead of me and not gaining.  Usually he is much faster, maybe I can catch him.  I try to surge and it just is not happening.

Mile 3 - No pain.  Breathing and legs are equal in holding me back.  Realize that I will get in under 24 minutes and I am happy with that.

Mile 3.1 - Happy to be done.  Finish time is better than I felt like I was doing.  Jog back to cheer in Jody.  See a guy carrying his shoes and running in wet socks.  Jody almost catches a guy dressed as a taco.  Now she is done and we both go out to cheer on Nicole.





Good to race with Jody and Nicole, but I think I might have had a better experience at the race in Capitol Forest today.  Well it was good for speed work I guess.  And always interesting to test myself on a familiar course.

Nice to see Craig and Rachel and thanks to them for timing the race.

23:43
8th place of 45
Race#401
5K#106

Sunday, October 9, 2016

10/8/16 Defiance 50K

Race#400!  My 6th time at this one.  I like a lot of things about this race, one being the many friends that I will see.  But for the 50K this year, attendance is way down.  Three other marathons or trail ultras this weekend.  Some Oly people doing the shorter events and lots of runners in the 15K and 30K.  Light rain turning windy later.


loop 1 - 2:00  The past two years I ran 2:02 first loops and I wanted to be there or a little slower.  It takes me  a while to get the legs warmed up and then I feel like I am in a groove.  After the crowded start I settle in behind someone running a nice pace for me.  I stay back 20-30 feet so as to not bug her.  Let people pass anytime someone gets behind me.  Try to take it easy.  But it is so hard to run an even pace.  The last 3.5 easy miles go by fairly quickly.  Now the horrendous, rope assisted decent down the cliff.  Near the finish at 1:58.  I walk it in worried that I have gone out too fast.  Take my time at the aid station then head off for loop 2.

loop 2 - 2:12  The flat promontory is fine, but as soon as I start up the steps I can feel it and slow.  Move along but slower.  Pass Dan Sherman, who will re-pass me later.  By myself the rest of the long day.  On the last miles, I pass a junction that I think is Yannicks but he is not there.  I hope I am close to the end, but the trail goes on and on.  Then a turn and there is Yannick.  That was so discouraging.

loop 3 - 2:35  Well this is just awful.  No real injury, just tired.  After the steps I just can not get running again.  Rain and wind pick up.  A couple of miles of walking and shuffling, then I can jog for longer stretches.  Look back once in a while but no one is there and that does not give me incentive to move along.  Stop at the aid station to thank the volunteers.  I tell then that this is a big deal for me and so great that I get to do this and I could not do this without them.  One asks if it is my first race.  LOL.  Down the hill to the road crossing where a volunteer woman dressed as a banana had been stationed during my first two laps.  She has been replaced by two non costumed volunteers, so I ask "where is the banana?" And I get the answer I was hoping for, "she split".  On to Achilles Hill where I not only walk, I have to stop briefly to gather my strength.  Now the "easy 4 miles" but I know it will be a super long slog and I will not misjudge the distance.  Start running better.  6:07 on the watch and I try to run for ten minutes.  I do it, then keep going.  Very short walk breaks.  Then a slight hamstring cramp and I slow for an S!Cap.  Realize that I will be running a course worst today, no need to stress about it now.  The flat trail goes on forever, right ankle and foot bugging me, but hamstring seems OK.  Finally Yannick, then the road.  No one behind me I take my time on the cliff.  Still almost slip, legs are so tired.  This is a scary thing to attempt after so many hours of running.  Make it down OK and "sprint" to the finish.

Weather is crappy and most people are gone.  I grab some drink and pizza and call it a day.  Not the funnest or most exciting or best running day, but I don't think I would have rather been anywhere else.


6:45:31
31st place of 39
Race#400, Marathon or ultra#145, Defiance 50K #6
****

Saturday, October 1, 2016

10/1/16 Apple Fest 5K, Onalaska WA

I have these 4 races in 4 weeks that I love each one for different reasons.  GOAT is a wonderful trail, Bellingham is one of the best marathons out there, at Defiance next week I get to run all day and see lots of friends.  Here, today is the quintessential small town fun run.  Well organized little event as part of Apple Fest.

I won a free entry for this year at last years race raffle and am happy to be back.  My third time here.  Twice around the lake gravel and maybe a little long, plus my second year doing marathons the past two weekends, so I am not here to run fast.  Just have fun.

Hour drive from home, but it is worth it.  Easy to park and get my number.  Love the feeling like everyone knows each other.  I only see one runner that I know, but it is a nice atmosphere.  Large mug that I will use that work.

 

Cloudy and cool, great for running.  I get in a 1.5 mile warm up and the legs feel good.  Marathon six days ago.  Tuesday was a rough jog/walk.  Thursday felt better but not great by any means.  Took off Friday hoping to be rested up enough for today.  In fact it all feels good and will for the length of the race.

 


Start - Don't want to get trapped behind folks on the long double track trail, so I line up near the front, just behind some very fast looking kids.  We start right at the tower and narrow down to the trail.  Looks good, no one rushing past me.  It opens a little, then I do get behind two runners but am able to move around and pass.  From here on we can pass or be passed with little trouble.  Around the gravel pile, then the uphill and screaming downhill.  Pace is sub 8 which seems fine on this gravel trail.

Mile 1 - Off the trail and glad to be on the pavement where I can try to get into some kind of rhythm.  Really if I can hold this pace and feel like this, I will be very happy.  Great volunteers at every turn.  I make the second sharp left and there is a car right in front of me, but I get around with no problem.  Then the parade route.  Trying to keep things smooth and steady.




Mile 2 - Back to the lake and another lap.  I had passed a couple of people in the past mile, now no one close ahead of me.  Up the hill and that slows me, first time today I feel really tired.  Scream down the hill and I know there is not far to go.  Maintain a good pace, but one guy comes flying past me.  No chance of keeping up, I just run it in as best I can.

Finish - 3.17 on the GPS (3.16 last year)  I won't realize it until I get home, but I beat my time from last year by one second!

Rain starts and wind picks up.  Thank you volunteers for continuing to work the timing boards.  I change and wait in my car until the award ceremony.  The rain stops just in time for awards.  I get first in my age group ribbon out of 5.  Great raffles again, but alas I do not win anything.  Still a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.  Only race I know of where we do a group photo after.....




24:43
10th of 85?
Race#399, 5K#105, Apple Fest 5K#3
*****


Sunday, September 25, 2016

9/25/16 Bellingham Bay Marathon

Tenth annual event and my tenth time here!  As a legacy runner I was invited to the pasta dinner and was awarded a very nice jacket.  There are 18 of us who have done one of the races each year, only three of us have done the full marathon every year.  I keep coming back because this is such a terrific event.

Even the waking early part is not bad this year as I wake at 4:44, one minute before the alarm was set.  On the road by 5AM and parked in my usual spot downtown by 5:15.  I get on the first bus to the start line so there is plenty of time to relax and get ready.  Again the warm, spacious waiting area at the Lummi reservation is so nice.  Chat with Rikkie and other friends, then watch the tribal welcome ceremony.  They go all out this year with dancers in costumes and their songs really are touching.

Now off to the start line.  Perfect temperature. It will stay cloudy most of the way and never get too warm.  Dry and no wind this year!  I ran the GOAT trail marathon last weekend and that was my first full since June, so I expect to lag today.  I know that I will be slow and that it is some combination of not being in the best shape and also still being worn out from last week.  Checking my previous results here I see that a 4:28 is my slowest time.  So I set a goal of beating that if I can.

Start - Line up behind the 4:15 pacer and decide to stay behind/with her.  Would be foolish to go faster than that.  Even when I see Tracy Marshall up ahead, I decide to run smart and not try to stay with her.  I never will see her again as she has a great race.

Mile 0.5 - Bald eagle in a tree close by!

Mile 4 - It has been a nice run along the water.  Staying with the 4:15 group.  There are just a couple of us (names I won't remember), and it has a great vibe.  The pacer is keeping conversation going and I try to not talk too much, stay focused on the running. Another runner has a ton of energy and great stories and is really fun to just run with. The miles go by easy and pleasantly.

Mile 9 - Aid station kids are awesome as always.  Feeling pretty good, but a little discomfort up and down my left leg.  No problem staying with the pacer, but I am losing confidence that I will stay the whole way.  Strong manure smell from the farms.  Pass three maniac friends who started early.  On to the short out and back.

Mile 13.1 - We got a new pacer and the four of us continue with her.  2:07 something at the 13 mile mark, so we are just a little slow and she picks up the pace a bit.  Miss energy is still with us, singing and dancing, but she will be the first to drop off the pace.  Now the long uphill and it is getting tougher.

Mile 17 - Merge with the half but they must have started earlier than usual, because there are very few of them. Not hard to pick around the walkers.  I will be passing halfers all the way from here to the end. But now I start to slow. Stiffening, beat up legs.  Left mostly but also the right.  No sharp pain, but harder to push on.  And not super motivated.  I see 4:15 get away, but I know that I am in OK shape for that 4:28.....if I keep running.  One of the women I have been with since the start is also fading and we run together for a while.  Eventually she is able to move on faster than I.  From here to the end I will be mostly alone, doing more passing than being passed, but not running very well.

Mile 19 - Cookie stop.  Same girl as previous years with fresh, warm chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  So great!

Mile 21 - Through the park, then the not great slog along the sidewalk near the water and downtown.  Mostly running, but very slowly.  Short walk breaks.

Mile 22 - 3:40 on the clock as I get up that hill and have the short bit where I can see the fast runners coming at me as they are very close to the finish. I am feeling beat up but in good spirits.  Looking forward to the trail and then the turn around.  Trail is nice and I plod along.  Mostly passing people, but we are all tired and slow.  Cross the tracks and down to the water.  Thirsty, there is a water fountain and I stop for a long drink.  Been taking the offered gels and drinking at each aid station.  Stomach is doing pretty good today.  Its just the tired legs.  Now the boardwalk over the water and the steep little uphill.  I manage to "run" the entire uphill.  Spectators note that and cheer for me.

Mile 24 - After that hill I sort of perk up.  The legs are not getting any worse.  I am able to run without walk breaks so I just grind it out.  One look back and I can see the 4:30 pacer.  That motivates me to keep on running.  Going to be very close to 4:28 and that is the only goal that pushes me on.  Don't walk!  Don't walk!  Encourage the walkers I am passing to keep moving.  Tell the marathoners that we can beat 4:30 if we do not walk.  I probably pass 40 people in the last two miles, most half marathoners.  I only remember legacy athlete Eric passing me, running oh so strong.

Mile 26 - I can not go fast but I can keep running and I need to to beat 4:28.  That steep downhill and now the last bit to the end.  Lots of spectators lining the finish way.  I hear my name announced and it is over. 

Solid effort at the end, just a long bad patch from mile 17-24.  I am pleased with how the back to back marathon weekends went but will take the two weeks until the next one.


4:27:48
184th of 358
Race#398, Marathon or ultra#144, Bellingham Bay Marathon#10
*****