Saturday, February 26, 2011

2-26-11 Steilacoom ResolutionRun 15 miles

I had not planned on being here today. I ran a marathon six days ago and I have many races coming up soon. One of my minor goals is to run 151 miles this month. I ran 150.9 last month, so just beating that, with three less days seems like a building of the mileage base that should be doable. With three days left in the month I could run 15 miles today, 6 tomorrow and then have a day off. And there just happens to be the 15 miler in here I am. It will be more fun than running alone, get me another half for the Half Fanatics club and provide gatorade and support along the way. I did not expect to see many friends here, but lots of them do show up and it will be a fun and encouraging time. My times here have been in the 1:59 to 2:02 range but I have no intention of being anywhere near that today.

We had some snow this week and then it turned super cold. It was 16F when I left the house and 23 or so at start time. I have all the layers on, especially since this is a long one and I plan to run on the slow side. The roads are mostly clear and footing should not be an issue. There is some blue sky and some clouds, dry but frigid.

Start - See a bunch of friends and talk with them instead of warming up. I'll just ease into it the first minutes. I am way in the back when we start and that is fine. Smooth start and no hurry for me around the track and up the hill.

Mile 0.5 - Catch up to HF#199. She usually a little slower than me and this is more of a training run for her too, so I decide to run with her for the company. It will be a comfortable pace somewhere between 9 and 9:30 per mile. Maybe I'll leave her if she really slows, or maybe she will ditch me if I hit the wall, who knows what will happen, but I think that we will stay together for most of this.

Mile 7.5 - Turn around at 1:08:43. It has been a pleasant time. MM1480 has run with us most of the time and it was nice to meet him. Same old course I have done so many times. Our pace on the faster side of what we had talked about, can we hold it for the way back?

Mile 10.2 - I get to tell my story of my most miserable run with the dizzy spell and meeting my guardian angel right at the spot where it happened.

Mile 11.5 - Last real uphill. M199 has to walk just a bit. Other than that we have held a very steady pace. I wonder if she is tiring, she did mention "running out of steam" a few minutes ago. I will try to encourage her and I guess at this point just stick with her to the end, but I hope that she can tap some energy reserves and finish strong. In the meantime, I feel great. No aches or pains, just a little heavy legged as I hit 50 miles for the week. I also feel a profound sense of gratitude to be able to be here, to be able to run 15 miles comfortably. We may be far back in the pack and I never win ribbons in Steilacoom, but at least I am out here doing this and having fun.

Mile 13.1 - HF199 has come back strong and I am impressed. She asks the time and I see that we are at 1:58. She does not often run halfs under 2:00 and it dawns on me that she is running well and probably pushing herself hard. We have passed two runners in the second half of this race and no one has passed us. I love negative splits, partially because they are so uncommon. I hope that we can have one here.

Mile 15 -Finish - We held a steady pace and I could sense the finish line and was ready to put on some speed, but HF199 was not quite there yet. Finally down to the track and she does her best sprint actually running quite fast. Very even pacing and great run. We ran the second half under 1:08 getting that negative split. In to the school to warm up and have a baked potato.

Results pending
race #229
15 mile race #6 - all at Steilacoom

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2-20-11 Birch Bay Marathon

43rd running of this event, but my first time here. Jody and Niki are running the half and we enjoyed our stay with Jody's Dad last night. We got our numbers yesterday, so I am comfortable arriving a little later than I usually like to for a race. I like the personalized bib. We arrive at about 7:30 for the 8:00 AM start and I am glad that we did not get there sooner. It is so cold that I just wait in the car until closer to race time. Wind has died down from yesterday but it is cold (about 30 degrees) and sunny. I am cold in my shorts, but have multi layers on top that I hope will keep me warm enough.

Start - With Jody and Niki, Team Kuhl, and a couple other Maniacs, but as soon as we start moving I find myself running alone. Well not alone, just not with anyone I know. Great to be moving and hopefully warm up some.

Mile 1 - About 9 minutes. Crowd is thinning out and I feel good. I am getting warmer, but the hat and gloves will stay on for now. Bit of a head wind.

Mile 3 - Aid station and then up a little hill. Course is on open to traffic roads, some with little shoulder. Great views of the Bay and the mountains. Here the course does a ten mile loop that we will do twice before heading back to the start/finish at Birch Bay State Park.

Mile 5-6 Down a gradual hill to an aid station. The half course splits off shortly and now the crowd has really thinned out. Running by myself. Huge eagle. All black though, so it must be a juvenile. Long big uphill now. Good thing that I scoped this out yesterday, before then I had no idea that there would be such a hill. Two ahead of me are walking. I pass them near the top.

Mile 7 - Now a nice gentle downhill. The pavement has changed to that chip seal stuff that is somewhat uneven on my feet. I can feel the little stones that are glued into the cement. We will have to run on this for about three miles, two times.

Mile 9 - Pass three runners. I am holding a nice pace, not letting myself go too fast. Every time that I pass someone I wonder if it is a bad idea, they will probably catch me later. I am running alone and it is sort of boring. Just waiting to see how it will play out when it gets difficult. There are spray painted mile markers on the road, sometimes with orange cones to see in the distance. The loop is not exactly ten miles, therefore I see the mile 18 marker, then the mile 8 marker about a quarter of a mile down the road. Run for a while, then I can expect to see the mile 19 sign followed by the mile 9 posting. One gripe, but at least I knew about it before hand, is that on this back half of the loop the aid stations are about 3.5 miles apart. I am used to drinking a little every 2 or 2.5 miles. I decided to carry a small bottle and only fill it half way, just to get me through the longer sections. I have it in my jacket pocket and it is bouncing around some, but better than not having the fluids. I also have new shorts that are longish and have a pocket that is down on my thigh. Four fig newtons and one gu gel are swinging around in there at times. Well I'll just eat a newton and try to reposition the stuff as needed.

Mile 13 - Meet back up with the half course. Pass a couple of the slower runners. Mile 10 of the half and I think that Jody must be up ahead a little, but I do not see her. I do pass Mel Preedy who took an hour early start on the marathon.

Mile 14 - Second time on the big loop. Strange "campfire" still burning in somebody's yard. Two big logs and a large electric fan blowing the smoke away from the road. Nobody tending it.

Mile 16 - I've been looking forward to my second time up this long hill. After this there really are no more ups. Can I run the whole hill? I see someone walking ahead of me. I have been worried that a big hill like this at mile 16 could zap my energy for good. I let the pace slow a bit, but keep at it and it really is not hard at all. Soon at the top and passing a couple of people.

Mile 18 - Things are going very well. Hat comes off, then back on. Its cold but I am running well and relaxed. Tick the miles off and hold a steady pace. I feel like I am still holding back and that is a great feeling.

Mile 19 - Still holding back

Mile 21 - This is going to be a good one. Two more miles on the loop,then three to the finish. Little bit downhill, then flat. Stomach feels good so I eat that gu I was saving.

Mile 23 - Final aid station. One runner passes me there, but other than that I was not passed at all after mile 8. Jody is there to cheer me and take pictures. Now my legs start to tighten up a bit. No pain, no cramping, just tightness. I am not holding back anymore, but it is not so difficult either. I do the math and realize that I will beat 4 hours easy. I also have no chance at a PR. Remember to stop looking at the watch now and just run strong.

Mile 24.5 - Debate whether to give Jody my jacket and hat, but decide that the jacket will be a minor struggle to get off with my big GPS watch and I do not feel like stopping to have someone yank on my arm. I drink the last from my bottle and sense a woman runner just behind me. Incentive to get moving faster and she is not able to catch me. The last mile seems really long, but eventually I am in the park and nearing the finish.

Mile 25.9 - Pass a runner who is walking it in. I encourage him to get moving but he just walks. See the clock and am happy with my time, although I expected to be a little lower since I felt so good. Cross the line and walk a bit to recover.

Mile 26.2 - No immediate stiffness as I walk around and encourage those just coming in. It took about 18 miles of feeling like I was just out for a long run, but after that I was so happy to run the whole race and feel strong all the way to the finish. Now I need to figure out how that happened and how to make it happen again. Unfortunately the training regime that I have been diligently following for about two months is going to be difficult to continue with, now that marathon and ultra season is in full swing.

Next is the Mountain Marathon on March 5th. Goal is to finish this tough course with no injury that makes me unable to participate in any of the other races that I am registered for.

36th place of 96

Marathon #50
Marathon or Ultra #59

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2-5-11 Friendship Run 5K

Fourth time at the Westside Cooperative Preschool event in Olympia. Feeling somewhat tired legged. This is a tougher course than the last couple of 5Ks I have done and I'll be happy to beat 22 minutes. I do like the course though mostly along paved nature trails. Cool and cloudy, great running weather.

Start - With over 200 runners I should not be right in front at the start line. We are crowded in a narrow drive way and although I am fairly close to the front there are obviously slower people in front of me. I need to be careful and not panic if I can not run my pace right away. We start right on time and yes, it is crowded and slow. I feel so boxed in as we go through the parking lot. I do a couple of zigs and zags, something I would never do in a marathon, just to get some running room. The crowding keeps me from going out too fast and I am able to pick up the pace when we hit the paved trail. At least I feel like I am working harder, problem is that there is an uphill here. Dan Meuse catches me and we run together for a while.

Mile 1 - Dan moves on ahead. I'm doing OK but not great. A few surges but I am just not able to keep the legs pushing as fast as I would like. Concentrate on form. The trail is squiggly and as I try to get past one guy who is slowing he moves toward the side where I hoped to pass, effectively cutting me off. I go around the other way and see Erik Lindberg not too far ahead.

Mile 2 - Finally catch Erik and move ahead. Holding a steady pace but it is slower than I would like.

Mile 2.7 - Top of the overpass. Feeling a side stitch. Working very hard but all I have to do is hang on for a couple of more minutes. Passed by a young guy. Turn and down the hill. Runner who passed me is stopped! At the on ramp crossing, the cop has stopped us so that cars can go by! Fine if there is a break in the runners, but he really just arbitrarily halted us. I get mad and think about blowing across the road, because it is clear; the vehicle that he is directing forward is not moving yet. I realize that if I do cross I would deserve to be disqualified and really what difference does it make? I am not going to PR, I was not going to beat my course record here. I might as well not let it bug me and just obey the cop. He lets three cars go through and it seems like forever but was probably less than 15 seconds. Three of us now at the crosswalk and in the final bit of running both of them beat me.

Mile 3.1 - On to the finish. My new shoes, Brooks Adrenaline 11, felt fine. Being stopped by the cop gives me a great excuse, maybe it was more like 30 seconds that I had to wait:) Go run another 3 miles easy, take some pictures and then stay for the kids races, results and raffles. This race always has the best raffles, but I do not win anything today. Results are tabulated quickly and accurately. I get a third place in my age group ribbon.

27th of 218
3rd in age group of 12
Race #227 5K#60