Sunday, November 11, 2012

11/10/12 Tis the Season for a Cross County 5K at Millersylvania State Park

My 5th year in a row doing this fun race.  No cost.  Beautiful trails.  But first an injury update:

I left Portland limping pretty bad.  My left heel/plantar faciitis struck hard.  It has been about three years since I have had a flare up.  Last time it was the other foot.  So back to the foot doctor.  I have had two anti inflammatory injections and was fitted for new orthodic inserts.  I have been resting up, stretching and icing.  Did not race the Defiance 50K.  Lost my streak of 100 mile months (93).  Gave up on trying to make the 2013 Tacoma Marathon my 100th marathon or ultra.  The foot has been improving although I can still feel some discomfort in there.  On Thursday I ran a good 4 miles and felt fine afterwards.  In my recovery I would be running another 4 today.  As long as I take it easy I might as well do this fun short race.

Cold and frosty.  It is right about 32 degrees but feels much colder since it has not been this cold yet this season.  I will wear tights and layers, especially since I will not be moving so fast.

About the same turn out as last year.  Most of the runners I do not know this year.  At least Amy is here to add to the fun factor.  We warm up together, but of course I will not be anywhere near her in the race.

Start - I start in the back and hope that there will be a few others about my pace.  Most of the runners look really quick and in fact, when the race starts most of them take off fast.  I feel like I am going faster than I should, but even so, I am way in the back.  I do pass two women early on, and there is one more father back.  Now on the road I pass one guy.  Everyone else is coming back from the turn around and are already too far ahead.

Mile 1 - Frozen leaf trail.  Good footing though.  This really is a very fast course as far as trails go.  No hills and the turns are not excessive.  Just watch for the roots and I should not fall.  At times I can feel my foot discomfort and I slow down a little.  Other times I am moving about as fast as I can and my breathing is ragged.  Hopefully I am not making my foot worse and I am getting a great cardio workout today.

Mile 2 - Woman a ways ahead of me keeps running at my pace, I can not catch her.  People behind me are not getting any closer, so I am on my own for most of this race.

Finish - 3.03 on the GPS and last year the exact same course came out at 3.08 miles.  Either way it is my slowest time here by far and one of my slowest 5Ks ever.  But I'll take it.  Happy to be out here today.

14th place of 18
Tis the Season for a 5K at Millersylvania State Park #5

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10/7/12 Portland Marathon

41st annual event.  My 4th time here.  First marathon for my nephew Luke.  He is way faster than me in the half and has projected a fast finish time.  We will not run together, but it is fun to stay with him the night before and ride in to the race together.  He also has been having major IT band issues, and may very well struggle in the race.  With the 8,000 runners and walkers I will have to keep a sharp eye out just in case I do catch up to him.  Beautiful sunny day.  It is a little warmer at the start than it was at Bellingham last week.  At the finish it will be warm, but very comfortable.  My quads were quite stiff after last weeks race and my left plantar has flared up a little.  Hopefully I can run OK and have about the same finish time as last week.

Start - We get to the start in plenty of time.  I find my corral, C.  Luke is in corral B.  I sit on the curb for a while and remember the last time I was here.  Three years ago I had the flu.  Thought I was getting better and lined up to run.  But I felt weak and just before the start decided to not run.  Nice to be back and feeling fine.  Not sure how the muscles will be, but I am not sick anyway.  The corral system with chip timing works great and soon we are on our way smoothly.

Mile 2 - I can feel my sore quads from last week. 

Mile 3 - I would like to start off at about 9:30 pace and that is about where I am.  The chip timing system will report me as being at 8:47 pace here, but that is not correct.  It is great to have the whole wide road to run in and the crowd is thinning out just a bit.  I pick it up some on the downhill.  Great volunteers, spectators and course.  I forgot how much I do like this event.

Mile 5 - With the downhill my pace has gotten faster and my average is 9:09.  That is faster than last week and it worries me.   But I feel like I am holding back and running comfortably.

Mile 7.5 - Now my left heel starts to ache.  The pain came on pretty quick and reached a higher than expected level.  I can run, but it is not so comfortable.  Luke sighting.  We exchange a high five as he is moving fast and headed back from the out and back.  He will slow dramatically in the second half but still beat me by 21 minutes.

Mile 13.1 - 2:01 Four minutes faster than last week.  If only my foot felt better I would be having a great day.  It is so nice to be out here and I am really enjoying the event, but that ache/pain is distracting and discouraging.

Mile 14 - Maniac Tracy catches me.  We run together for a quarter mile before I send her on.  So nice to see her though, I wish that I could keep up.  But I have found a slower gear that is easier on my foot and I need to stick with this pace.

Mile 16 - Up the big hill to the bridge.  I am able to run the whole way with no walk breaks.  Just slow.  One guy with a bright orange shirt steams past me looking so strong.  In a few minutes I will pass him as he is sitting on the curb with his shoes off, massaging his feet.  A few minutes later he will pass me again. 

Mile 17 - Great view from the top of the bridge.

Mile 19 - Walk breaks have started.  Also getting fairly warm.  The spectators are very encouraging.

Mile 22 - Mile 22-23 is a gift on this course. Nice long downhill.  I am able to run farther than I thought I would, without taking a break.  I am now fairly confident that I will beat my time from last week.  Maybe I can get in under 4:20.  I have no great desire to push it though and I will just work hard but not tax myself too much.

Mile 24 - There is my brother, who is an excellent photographer.

Mile 25 - Woman in front of me stops to vomit.  Then we get stopped by a train.  More of a bus/light rail thing, we are only stopped for a few seconds.  Now back to running.  The crowd gets larger and larger and it is an exciting final sprint to the finish.

Mile 26.2 - Glad to be done and feeling good (except the foot).  Continue through the finish area to get my medal, rose, seedling, finishers shirt, coin, pin, and refreshments.

Overall I had more energy and felt like a better runner than last week.  Tired quads still functioned OK.  But the heel/plantar is bothersome and may require some time off.  I am registered for the Defiance Ultra for this weekend, perhaps I will have to skip it. 

2687th of 6518
Marathon or ultra #91
Race #282