Saturday, August 31, 2013

8-31-13 Over the Narrows Ten Mile Race

Fourth annual event and my 4th time here.  I am a legacy runner.  Last year I was having foot issues and took it nice and easy, having a fun time with some friends.  Today I would like to run faster.  Not PR fast, but hopefully in the 1:18-1:19 time frame.  I surprised myself at the 5K two weeks ago, hopefully I can set it up here too.

Easy parking this year. Bright sunshine at the start.  Martinho and I compare sunglasses.

Start - I know that the course will narrow down soon after the start, so I line up close to the front.  Chip timing only at the finish is another reason to be near the front, but the race is not huge, so it really does not make much of a difference.  Smooth start even with the turns in the parking lot.

Mile 1 - Gentle downhill in 7:15.  Run with Martinho

Mile 2 - Still going downhill and running too fast.  I do not feel at my best today.  Working hard to keep this pace.  And now the sharp turn and instant steep uphill.  Steepest hill of the race and it gets me good.  Hang on and keep going. Martinho gets ahead of me and I will watch him gradually extend his lead for the next 8 miles.

Mile 3.5 - On to the bridge.  Bright sun and warm.  Sweating and feeling the heat.  Long down hill.

Mile 4.8 - Lead runner coming back.  It is Miguel and he has a tremendous lead.

Mile 4.9 - No Pedro, no Ginger.  Big uphill.  Hills!!  That last 5K was so flat.  That 12 hour race was so flat.  That speed work I have been doing was largely on flats.  I need to get back to the hills.  Well today will help.

Mile 5.3 - Here is the turn around.  I had forgotten about the shorter way back.  Great downhill but still not feeling so good.  Worried about the last hills.  Judy Fischer sighting.

Mile 7 - See the 5K runners coming toward me.  They have a different start and finish area which must make logistics difficult.  Still a well organized event put on by the Rotary Club. $30 with medal and chip timing and a no T-shirt option.  Proceeds to aid school children.

Mile 8 - Holding on OK.  Nobody is passing me though there are two guys on my tail and now after the steep downhill, we have a two mile climb.  Both guys pass me and I wonder how many more will get me on this uphill.  I have slowed a lot since the start, but I am not losing it completely.  Keep working hard.  I don't think that I will beat 1:20, that is a bit slower than I had wanted today.

Mile 8.5 - Wondering if anyone is behind me.  I do not want to look back, as that is such a sign of weakness.  A woman in a car is giving a "woot, woot, woot" for the two guys who are ahead of me.  Now silence, then she gives me the "woot woot woot".  Now I will be able to tell how far back the next person is without looking back.  As I am running hard, I am also listening and waiting for it.....good it has been at least ten "woot, woot woot".  The next runner should not be a challenge for me if I can keep up this pace.  In fact no one else does pass me as I cruise on in.

Mile 10 - 10.0 on the GPS.  Not even close to 1:20 but I am happy with the workout.  Just not my day, but not so far off from where I should/would like to be.  I think that the lack of hill training did me in and I can work on that for the next races.

Maybe a 5K in the near future, then the Bellingham Bay Marathon on 9/29

47th place of 325
Race#301, Over the Narrows #4

Saturday, August 17, 2013

8-17-13 Thunder Rumble 5K - Tumwater

My 300th race, but after the hoopla of six days ago, lets just keep it low key.  First time event.  I had not planned to race today, but found myself with free time this morning.  The race benefits military and their families.  It was not largely advertised so I expect a small turn out.  It looks to be pretty well organized with Rich Brown doing the timing.  The porta-potties do not arrive until after the race is over, but luckily it is not a problem for me.  Day of race entry is $30 and I get what I believe to be my 131st race T-shirt.

How are the legs?  I ran 50.2 miles six days ago.  I took three days off and did and easy 2.1 miles on Thursday.  That run included walk breaks.  No real stiffness or soreness just tired.  I am just here to get in a couple of miles and have fun.  Small race with good raffles.  I was going to run a few miles anyway, might as well join the fun here.  I expect a 25-26 minute finish time.

My arches are fully recovered from the plantar faciitis of last winter.  It was a year ago that they started acting up.  One cause was too many miles in a different shoe.  I love the feel of the Brooks Launch, but it does not have the arch support that I need.  I have not worn them since the disastrous Portland Marathon of last October.  But I wear them today for this short race.  I promise that I will never wear them for long runs though.

When I arrive at the site, the flat roads near the airport, I see that the Army has sent a large force.  Good thing they are not in my age group, I think.  I am worried that it will be a jam up and a much larger event, but only a handful of soldiers will be registered runners.  Most will start in the back and stay in formation, all coming in right at the 30 minute mark.

I see Tammy.  Third race in a row where I have seen here.  She wants to do a warm up mile or so.  We have a half hour to the start and we set off at an easy pace.  Wow, my legs feel much better than expected.  I warm up easily and I love these shoes.  I am able to get in some surges and sprints before the start.  Everything feels great.  I don't have a single part of me that is nagging or worrisome in any way.  This is very rare.  I might as well run as fast as I can and dial it back if anything comes up.

Start - We all line up and start right on time.  Thanks to the city of Tumwater we should not get lost.  Just follow the cones.

I am behind Mike Henderson.  I am running way faster than I should.  Small race with plenty of room to do my own thing.  At about 0.75 miles I pass Mike.  He stays right behind me though.

Mile 1 - 7:16  Mike has coached High School track and cross country for many years and now I am one of his students.  He is encouraging me and advising me to relax my arms. "Don't slow down, just keep tapping away...tap tap tap".  

Mile 1.5 - Aid station.  I think about some water and decide that I probably do not need it. But then I see that my friend Tina is handing out cups.  I take one, sloshing most on my face and shirt, but a little goes in my mouth.  Gentle headwind and starting to slow.  Gasping for air.

Mile 2 - Legs are fine, I just do not have breath.  Mike still coaching me.  Ugh, I did tell him about the 50 miles I just ran. Why won't he pass me and leave me alone!  Then I could just ease back. 

Mile 2.5 - I wish that I could just slow down, this is so hard. Nothing hurts and I am not quite at the pace where I think I will vomit, so I push on.  In a way I am glad that Mike is with me as I know that I will slow if/when he does get past me.  In fact he soon turns it on for a sprint to the finish and I try to go faster but simply can not. Another guy comes zooming past me and then it is the final turn.

Mile 3.1 - Finished. 3.08 on the GPS.  22:54 on the clock.  Quite a bit faster than my last 5K in June, I am ecstatic about that finish time.  It is so much fun to run fast, I really felt like I was flying for the first part anyway.  Very unexpected.  It makes me want to work harder to get faster and with my next marathon more than six weeks away, I do have time to work on faster paces.

Great raffle prizes but alas I do not win any.  I do get a first place in my age group medal.  So does Tammy.  Strange age group groupings.  There is a 31-33 age group.  Mine is 45-50.  Great to see Richard Olafson take command of the 80+ age group.

Next up, I hope to run the Over the Narrows 10 miler in two weeks. 

13th place of 105

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/11/13 Transcendence 12 hour Olympia

My 100th marathon or ultra!  About 5 years ago I made the ambitious goal of running 50 marathons by age 50.  Now I am at 100 and three years early.  A year ago I mapped it all out and was planning for number 100 at Tacoma in May.  But my plantar had other ideas and I missed a couple of months of racing.  The feet are fine now.  In fact everything feels good and since it has been a month since my last marathon, I have even been able to incorporate some speed workouts with the regular runs.  Nothing speedy about today though.  Today it is all about the endurance to keep moving and about celebrating number 100.

My 4th time here.  I am a "legacy" runner, having completed all of the previous events.

It is a small event, capped at 70, but many of the runners are my Marathon Maniac friends.  I do not train with the local clubs, so races are my running social outlet.  A few miles a the end of a marathon is all it takes to bond with a fellow sufferer.  Years ago it was all about finish time and what I could accomplish.  Now I look forward to sharing the adventure with others and seeing how it will unfold.

When I heard that Ginger had to be in Portland the day before the race and was asking about where she might sleep in her car for a few hours, or find a cheap hotel, I said "nonsense" and invited her to stay with us.  She is one of my favorite Maniacs and it was fun to start my celebration by hosting her.  I gave her the "medal room" and put out various running relating comfort items like a banana and bottle of gatorade so she would feel at home.  She will go on to run 68 miles, win the women's race and break the course record that she set last year.  Since the race starts 15 minutes from home and I have done this before, it is logistically very easy and it is no trouble to host her.

I suspected that I would be given bib #100, but I had no idea that it would be decorated so nicely.

Dixie, an old friend who now lives in Canada was passing through town and I was hoping to see her at some point during the race.  But her plans changed and she came through in the middle of the night.  But she put this poster up for me and I got to see it at every lap.  Marie made a giant card for people to sign and that was really nice.

My other Canadian friend, Maniac Tracy, is here.  I see her just before the start.  I hope that we get to run together some.  With this race I tend to see the same people over and over, or if they are running right at my pace and just ahead or behind, I might hardly see them at all.  Linda is here and will run all day and I won't see her until we are all done.

We start just as the sun is rising and around and around we go.  I do start off with Tracy and it is a great way to start things off.  We talk and get caught up, running an easy ten minute mile.  Before I know it four loops have passed, and we have run 6 miles before 7AM.  I try to be quick through the end of each loop, but it seems like there is always something to do. Grab some fluid and or food, maybe take an S!Cap, apply sunscreen, or dig out the sunglasses.  I lose Tracy after 4 laps but pick up Maniac Paige.  Our first time running together and it is another nice loop.  Lose Paige and pick up MM#1 the president Steve Yee.  I tell him that it is all his fault. Without this club I would never have considered running so many marathons.  He says that he thinks I could be one to eventually make it into the hall of fame.  Talk about long range goals, I will have to complete another 233 marathons to achieve than rank.  At a reasonable 10-15 a year it just could happen eventually.  I see no need to quit this lifestyle.  Lose Steve and keep going around in loops.

Mile 21 - Jody comes for a visit.  She can not run with me due to a calf strain, but I walk a bit with her and enjoy seeing her a couple of times throughout the day.  I glance at my watch and see that the battery has died.  It does not matter and really it frees me up to just keep moving and not worry about time.  As long as I do not stop, the miles will add up.  Now Tammy joins me for a while and of course she turns it into a party.

Tammy wants to be there when I complete enough miles to count it as a marathon.  Most would think that it is 26.2 miles, but in a longer timed event, the Maniac Club requires that I complete at least 50K.  I am tiring and running slowly but reach 26.2 in good spirits.  I am presented with a cowboy hat to go with my pony.

Bill has joined me and he will pace me for 15 miles.

Kern and Lori sighting:

 Maniac Katie sighting just before completing the 50K:

And then I run into the history books; enough miles that if I quit now I can call it my 100th marathon:

But it is only noon.  I have six more hours to run if I want to.  Bill is patient as I am shuffling and taking lots of walk breaks.  At times it gets quite hot out.  Fortunately there are some clouds off on on to cool things off.  My right heel/achilles has been acting up and I change stride and it seems to get better.  Miles 20 -34 are not easy.  We talk about it and I decide to take a bit of a break and change shoes.  I soak my feet in an ice bath, have a slice of pizza and drink a lot of Carbo Pro.  Fresh socks and shoes feel good and now we walk a bit while my feet thaw and I digest.  Bill does two more laps with me and I am feeling much better.

Mile 36 - Now on my own, but often a little while with others.  I do not have a GPS but I get a mileage update to confirm where I think I am at each loop.  Ginger keeps passing me, then Steve who will complete 74 miles!

Mile 41 - The clock at the check in tells me that I have three hours left and 9 miles to go to reach 50 miles.  Should be no problem.  The actual distance will be 50.3.  Anything over 50 miles would be fine.  Last year I did one more loop, covering 51.8 miles.  Some people will run the 50.3 and stop, so if I do one more lap it will make my finishing place higher.

Tom and Katie walking around the lake.  Tom's first ultra.

Mile 46.5 - Deb and I fall in together.  We walk.  She is not highly motivated at this point.  We are excited for Marie though who is working very hard to reach 50 miles, but she is two laps behind me.  I know that I could walk it in and reach 50, but I am unsure that Marie can do it.  The bottoms of my feet are really starting to feel the pavement and gravel.  I think that I might be getting giant blisters on the bottoms of my feet.  Should I push on and try to get in that one more lap, or should I just enjoy the end of this day and walk with Deb.  She suggests that I not injure myself and it is easy to stay and enjoy her company.  Marie catches up and I plan to pace her to the end. We run about a third of a loop, but then I just can not keep up!  I have to walk.  Then I see that Deb is walking and Marie has gone on.  I catch Deb and we finish together.

Mile 50.3 - Done!  But the race drama is not over.  I sit and drink for a bit then go just ahead of the finish to watch Steve and Ginger's winning last laps.  Lisa gets 50.3 miles on her 50th marathon.  Niki completes 51.8 miles!  Joe has been encouraging her and offering me water,watermellon and other goodies all day.  Marie makes it to 50.3 with 6 minutes to spare.  Monte gets his 50 miles in with about 2 minutes to go.

Thanks to Rachel, Craig, and all the Guerilla Running volunteers.  This was the perfect race to celebrate number 100 and it was a fantastic day.

50.3 miles
11 hours 17 minutes 18 seconds
Marathon or ultra#100