Life has been great so far this year, but not my running life. I ran the Yukon Do It Marathon on 12/31 and intended to shuffle through a 5K race the next day. I have a six year streak of New Years Day races at Steilacoom and wanted that to continue. I just could not do it. Maybe if I had been preregistered I would have had more incentive to get out of bed. Well I soon learned that my battered legs needed some rest anyway.
January 4 - easy run, feeling OK, then I pull a hamstring and have to walk it in. Not too serious, but I know that I will need a few days off.
January 7 - White Elephant 5 Miler - Good thing I did not preregister. I went as a spectator and rested my leg.
January 8-13 - very slow and easy running. Low mileage. Leg is improving. One day I am plugging along and get a sudden pain in the ball of my left foot. Feels like a bruise or a cramp. It is so bad that I have to stop and take off my shoe and massage it a bit. It gets better right away.
January 14 - Run for Faith 5K - Did not run. Had not planned on it anyway since we were on an awesome family ski trip that weekend anyway.
January 16 - Month is half over and I need to put in some miles otherwise I will lose my 100 miles per month streak. Ice and snow on the ground but I slog out 10 miles anyway, probably with little training benefit.
January 17 - snow
January 18-20 Major snow, branches down everywhere, power out for 36 hours. Managed a couple of short runs and a nice one up in our Seattle refuge.
January 21 - Steilacoom 10 miler is cancelled due to the storm
January 22 - Tumwater Cross Country 5K is cancelled due to the storm.
I need to race at Lake Youngs in order to get over 100 miles for the month and to continue my streak of running at least one race per calendar month every month since December 2007. My 50K PR (5:09) is here but I have no expectation of doing that well. I hope be able to get in under 5:30
This is my third year here. Previously it was directed by Pigtails. This year some of her friends are taking over, the Nuts Runners. Everything seems the same as it has been and they do a fine job of putting on this event.
Pulling in to the parking lot I get a great view of a large coyote.
Loop 1 (1:33:29)
Smooth start down the big hill. At the bottom of the hill though there is some frozen mud and ice. Some slipping but no one goes down. Wide trail now for easy sorting out. Run and leapfrog with Ken, Kurt and Kristin. Walking up the hills and keeping the pace around 10 minutes per mile. I like this course with its rolling hills but nothing too steep. Wide trail of various surfaces. King County did a terrific job of getting all the downed trees and branches cleared out. Many sections of fence are new (the trail follows the fence line and it is impossible to get lost). There are some small branches and a few loose rocks to watch for, but no real obstacles. Not as muddy as last year.
Loop 2 (1:32:53)
Strike out on my own and I am feeling very good. I do step on a rock on the ball of my left foot and it seizes up, like that day two weeks ago. I am worried that it will become very painful but I am able to squish my toes as I run and stretch things out and in about a half mile I have forgotten about that problem. I can see Pigtails a ways ahead of me and I am gradually gaining on her, but I will be smart and not try to pass her. I like the long straight gentle down and up at mile 5.9. After this will be a steep uphill where I will reward myself with a walk break. I make the turn but the hill is not there. By mile 7.5 I realize that the big hill must be earlier on the course and I just can not remember covering that ground on this loop. I feel very very good and am thinking that maybe I will have a good finish time. If I can keep up this pace, I'll have a PR.
Loop 3 (1:48:50)
As soon as I leave the aid station however I start to tire. I am running OK, but my pace has slowed. I have been eating two fig newtons on each loop but now I decide to use a Powebar Gel. The cookies just get so dry after a while. The race drink is Nuun, which I am not really used to. I should have kept one bottle as plain water. The instant I try downing the gel, myt stomach rebels. I had not been feeling all that nauseous, but now I instantly feel like I am going to vomit. I am picturing myself on my knees on the side of the trail. I am able to keep things down though, but I have to move so slowly to recover. It takes about 2 miles before I feel better able to run. Now I have obviously given up on any PR, that is fine. There are four of my friends/rivals just behind me. I can not see them when I look back, but knowing that they are not far behind gives me some incentive to keep pushing along. Walk, run, shuffle, mostly jog along in low gear. So happy to see this loop come to an end
Loop 4 - 2.2 mile out and back (26:42)
Back on the trail for the out and back. Try to run most of it. On the way back I can tell that my finish place is secure. Only two people passed me after the second loop, despite my slowing. I also realize that I will beat 5:30, so I don't kill myself to finish. Ease up the steep hill and on to the finish line. I am very satisfied to have completed this race. Other than hitting the wall and the short term nausea, things went well. I also have a streak of running at least one marathon or ultra every calendar month for 18 months now and I am happy to continue to run this one every January.
29th place of 56 finishers
7th out of 7 in age group 45-49 (tough age group today!!)
Marathon or Ultra#78
Lake Youngs Ultra#3