Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/22/14 Invest in Youth 6 Hour - Lake Stevens WA

I ran this once before, four years ago.  Today's race was not on any calendars and I was unaware of it until five days ago. I ran the Woolley Marathon seven days ago so it will be interesting to see how today goes.

Start - Small group, but enough to qualify for a Maniac race.  Light snow.  It is a long 2.5 miles out and 2.5 back that will be repeated.  Later in the race we can do one mile out and backs.  Last time the 5 mile course was listed as 5.15.  Today they are just calling it 5.  Do 5x a long 5 and one short out and back and we will call it a marathon.  In fact that course is about a half mile long.

I plan to hold my 10/mile pace like I did last week for as long as I can. I will incorporate many walk breaks.

Run the first half mile with Linda and then I am on my own for the rest of the day.  With all the out and backing, I will wave to Linda, Monte, Rick, Stan and a few others quite often.

Mile 15 - Three laps done.  With the exception of King Arthur I am in first place.  He is running with a dog and way ahead of me.  I am curious to know if he is planning to run the whole event.  If not, I could probably do the 50K plus a mile and be the winner.  Maniac Ryan is here to and I am not sure what he is up to.  He started early, so I assume that he is not staying for the whole race.  Both of these guys are way out of my league.  I could not hope to beat them, unless they have other plans for this morning.

Mile 17 - Right quadriceps tighten up and feel sore.  I often get this feeling at about this point in a race when I do marathons on consecutive weekends.  Can't find my S!Caps that I know I put in a pocket.  Snow has changed to rain.  Still holding my pace though.

Mile 20+ - Arthur and Ryan running together finally lap me.  Ryan has been running since 4AM.  Neither will say how far they plan to run.  When they head out for the 50K though I know that I can not run as far as they will today.  I decide to do this one last 5 miles, then one more mile and finish at 26.2.  My legs are tired and I am cold and wet.  Yes I could shuffle and walk another 5 miles but it won't do me any good and perhaps I would be risking injury.  The last long lap goes well, knowing that I am almost done.

Mile 25+ - Check in with 4:28 on the clock.  I decide to shoot for a sub 4:40 finish, an 11 minute mile will do the trick and should be easy.  I run most of it.  Happy that I have no pains, just muscle fatigue.

Mile 26.5 - Finish in 4:38.  Dry off and get some warm soup and sandwich.  Uneventful day.  Nice way to get in another marathon.  Now I will rest and wait 4 weeks before attempting any long distances.

Results Pending

Marathon or Ultra #107
Race #320

Monday, February 17, 2014

2/15/14 Woolley Trail Marathon

Second time here.  Two years ago it was super wet, but today we will be in between storms.  Big rain coming, hopefully I can finish before it starts.

Race improvements - Porta potties at the start/finish.  Also a 9AM start time which makes driving up from Olympia so much easier.  I leave home at 5:40AM and still arrive in plenty of time.  It is a long drive but at $30 entry fee, scenic and safe course, fun medal, and generous aid stations, this is well worth it.

Out and back on a very flat trail.  Various surfaces but mostly very nice for running and little pavement.  Wide trail so you can run next to someone and have room for others coming the other way.  Little trail use other than for the race which is small.  Parking right at the start/finish.  Can you tell how much I like this race?

My plan is to run about a ten minute mile out and then try very hard to have a negative split.

Windy and cold at the start.  I will wear a jacket and hat the whole way, gloves most of the way.  The Maniac jacket has pockets big enough to hold small water bottles comfortably.  It is so much better than that fuel belt.

Start - Largest group is doing the half marathon.  Many doing the 50K.  I opt for 26.2.  We all start together.

Mile 1 - Run with Maniac Tricia for a little while until it is time for me to take a walk break.  I am going to try very hard to be disciplined and run my own paces today, even if it means running mostly alone.  Any time that I get too comfortable and my pace drops to 9:45 I will walk until it gets back up to 9:59.

Mile 2 - Strong head winds.  The 10 minute mile is not quite as easy as it should be.  The wind will come at us the whole way to the turn around.  Strongest when the trail has no trees along it, just open fields.  Fun to see all the farm animals.  Horses, goats, pigs, chickens, llamas, various cattle.  Now a bald eagle sighting.

Mile 4 - First aid station.  Run with a halfer, Chris.  Nice to meet a new guy.  We get through the one muddy section.  My very new and white shoes are christened to the trail.

Mile 6.5 - Aid station 2.  Halfers turn around and I go off solo.  Trail goes right along the mighty Skagit River.

Mile 7 - Zone in on blue shirt woman far ahead.  Ever so gradually gain on her.

Mile 9 - Strongest of the winds, right in my face.  Somewhat discouraging.  I still feel fine, but I know that it must be zapping my energy.

Mile 11.5 - Short course detour onto a paved road.  Pond with seven swans a swimming, plus two more.  Back onto the trail.

Mile 12.5 - Herd of bison in the field.  Would have been fun to bring my camera with me.  Finally catch blue shirt woman.  She says that she has been zoning on the two in front of her for so many miles.

Mile 13.1 - Turn around. Right at 9:59 pace.  2:11 on the clock.  OK here we go.  Goal is now anything under 4:22, and a sub 4:20 would be awesome.  Reset the watch and soon I am running 9:30.  I remember how at Pigtails I took off at mile 14 and picked up the pace way too early and fast.  I paid dearly for it that day.  Today I reel myself back, walk until the new pace is 9:45.  I now plan to keep it at 9:45 until mile 20 or later and then see if I can go faster.

Mile 14 - Lisa Wood sighting

Mile 16 - Nice tailwinds!  Passing a few people.

Mile 19 - I like that at some places in this course you can see about a full mile ahead.  I have probably passed about 8 people since the turn around.  Now I catch up to one more guy.  But there is no one ahead of us.  I ask him jokingly if he is in first place.  He comes to a full stop so that I get ahead of him and says "No, you are".  We cruise in together to the 19.4 mile aid station.  Take two cookies.

Mile 20 - I continue to let the pace drop into the 9:30s and then walk to bring it up to the 9:40s.  So far so good.

Mile 21 - Maniac Wendy is just a tiny speck in the distance.  I would like to be able to catch up to her, but she is really far away.

Mile 22.2 - Last aid station.  I still have plenty of fluids so I just grab a cookie and get out of there.  Now some serious tail wind.  So strong a couple of times that I feel like I am riding on something.  What a great feeling for mile 22 and 23.

Mile 24 - Pace about 9:35 for this second half.  I should get that negative split no problem.  I may be able to go sub 4:20 too.  I remember that the course is a little long, so I keep working hard.

Mile 25 - First rain drops, but not much.  Now I am ready to be done.  No wall today!  What a great feeling to still have energy.  Legs are tired but I feel like I can just keep on going at this pace.  Well I try to pick it up and I can barely go any faster.  I am locked into this pace and that is fine.  Is that the finish line so far away?  No need to walk now, just keep grinding away.

Mile 26.2 - Done!  Very happy with my time.  2:11/2:05 splits!  Some of that is due to the winds, but I will take some credit for smart running.  So much more fun to feel good throughout.  No aches, pains or injuries to deal with.  I hope to run this one again for sure.

12th place of 39
Race #319
Marathon or Ultra #106
Woolley Trail Run #2

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2/1/14 Geoduck Gallop 10K

Last minute decision to run this one.  I have not been here for a couple of years.  Actually I have been protesting the short course on the half marathon.  Since I ran a 50K last week, I will do the shorter 10K today.

Good news: the course for both the 10K and half marathon have been re certified and the length fixed. Day of race entry is $35 and gets me a nice bottle opener finishers medal and a T-shirt.  As I pick up my number I ask the volunteer if it is OK for me to trot instead of gallop.  He quickly replies that although trotting is usually reserved for Thanksgiving races (Turkey Trots) it will be allowed today at this gallop race.

Great to have an indoor area for number pick up, restrooms and waiting around.  I have raced here before where we have been outside in freezing cold the whole time and this is quite an improvement.

Rain earlier and cold.  Puddles to look out for, but it is dry now.  I will wear a hat and gloves the whole way.  I also borrow Jody's Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks shirt.  Superbowl is tomorrow.  When people comment on my shirt I tell them that I am planning to run really fast and scramble around for about twenty yards and then head off course, out of bounds.  It will be fun to rest tomorrow and watch the game, getting in a good workout today.  Photos by Holly.

Not sure how the legs will do. I really do not know what pace to target.  Martinho is here, so I plan to start behind him and see if I can keep up.

Start - The new start line is super wide and the course will narrow down considerably right away.  You can see the chalk start line in this photo.  Within a very short distance we will be on a wide sidewalk that can hold two runners comfortably.  I should line up in the front but I end up a couple of people back.  When we start it is very difficult to get running.  I try to be patient and look for openings that will not be too rude. Keep telling myself that there will be plenty of time and room to run my own race soon enough.

Mile 0.5 - On to the roads and room to run.  Martinho is about 25 yards ahead of me.

Mile 1 - 7:28 - Martinho still 25 yards ahead.

Mile 3 - 7:30 pace - Steady running.  I feel good.  Try to catch up to Martinho but just can not do it. Nice rural roads with no traffic.

Mile 4 - Oh the big very steep downhill and then the killer uphill.  There are some people who will not run this race because of this hill.  Right now I can not blame them.  I am still running but I might as well be walking.  Really tough.  Breathing is ragged.  I get to the top but my legs are shot.  I just can not get into running strong again.  Overall pace at 7:41 per mile.  At the aid station at the top of the hill I actually stop and drink some gatorade.  Give myself just a few seconds for my heart rate to settle down and I take off again.  A guy almost passes me but as we hit a slight downhill and then turn onto the bike path, I get back into the groove.

Mile 5 - Ready to be done, but generally OK.  I should get in under 48 minutes and I am really happy with that.  Volunteers point the way where the course confuses me and soon it is all over.

Mile 6.22 - Finish - 6.17 on the GPS.  Congratulate Martinho who had picked up the pace and finished much better than I did.  Thanks to Rich, Bill and Holly for volunteering. Fun morning. Quick posting of results and I get a ribbon for first in my age group.

10th of 73
Race #318, 10K#28