Saturday, January 31, 2015

1/31/15 Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50K

My 5th time here, so after today I will have 15 laps around the hidden lake.  It is supposed be be a nice day but it is cool and foggy at the start and will stay cool and foggy all day.  Hat and gloves on for most of the race.  It is dry though and the trail is in great shape.  Very little mud.

Loop 1 - 1:44
I try to start near the back and be patient on the steep downhill start.  A couple of dogs almost cause serious problems, but no one falls and soon we are level with room to pass.  Mile 1 I find myself behind Katie, Leslie, Linda, Jill and two others.  I decide to stay with them for a while.  Nice visit and good way to keep from going out too fast.  Walking the hills (there is a hill around every corner says Rikki) and holding around 11 minutes per mile.  Mile 5 I move ahead but not much faster.  Very familiar with the course and it is nice to be back here.  Maybe there is more crushed gravel in the first two miles that I am not a big fan of, but now a variety of surfaces. Easy going and a take a minute or two to get organized for loop 2.  Past races I have been 1:33-1:35 for loop one, so this is a lot slower, but it feels like a good pace for today.

Loop 2 - 1:40
Run with and leapfrogging Daniel Sherman and also Rikki. Daniel moves ahead and I am mostly alone.  Race is really thinning out.  Feeling good.  Trying to eat and drink enough and at this slow pace it is easy to do so.

Loop 3 - 1:44
Catch up to Ted who says he is tiring.  We go back and forth a little.  When he is ahead of me, it gives me something to pursue.  Still feeling pretty good.  I see Ted walking most of the hills, so I run at least halfway up them, and stay close to him.  Catch early starter Deb.  More than a half mile with Deb is so nice, the time and distance go by so fast and it is easy to forget that I have been running for four hours.  But ted is getting away so I move on.  About mile 20 my right foot/ankle starts to give me bother.  A little too much twisting on the rocks and it hurts in a place where I have had issues before.  By mile 26 I am taking walk breaks to rest the foot.  Too bad because my legs feel great and I have pretty decent energy.  Mile 28, a big mouse sitting in the middle of the trail.  Very odd.  I look back and there is Rikki who has been stalking me all of loop 3.  I point to the mouse, hoping she will see it and she does.  She catches up and we finish the loop together.

Out and Back - 26 minutes
I am so tired, I want to cry when I think of leaving the aid station,, but there is one more bit to do.  My finish time will be way slower than previous years.  Not sure what happened.  I took it slower in the beginning, now I can not step it up.  Tired and the foot is still a bother.  Down the hill.  It always seems so far.  Finally Ted, then Rikki  coming back.  I am not close to anyone, just keep plodding along.  At one point it hits me, the wall.  I feel really tired all of a sudden.  It passes and I am running OK.  Now the big steep hill and it will soon be over.  Pick it up for the very end and happy to be done.

Finish 5:35:10 - I am getting a little tired of this course, but I still love this event.  So cheap and friendly but well organized and on a Saturday not too far from home.  Rikki wins a bag of peanuts for her age group and two hours later it dawns on me that it is why it is called the Nuts Run.  I stay at the finish longer than usual and it is a nice time, but eventually I get chilled, start shivering, and decide to warm up and head home.  I would run it again for sure.

Sunday - easy five miles and the foot feels fine.

20th place of 47 finishers
Race#347 Marathon or Ultra #120
Lake Youngs 50K #5

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24/15 Resolution run 10K

Back to Steilacoom for another race.  I choose the 10K over the 10 miler, so I won't be one of the last ones out there.  Also been having fun with speed workouts.  That plus added mileage has my legs tired from the start today. No aches or pains, nothing stiff, just a little sore in the big muscles and hard to get moving fast during warm up.  This is the price I will pay for the added miles (third week in a row of at least 40 miles) and hopefully it will pay off in future longer races.  Today I will be happy with whatever speed as long as nothing hurts.

Roads are a little wet with some puddles, but no rain right now.  Warm for January and I will run in short sleeves for the first time in a long while. CCM 2002 T-shirt, but no one comments on it.

Start - Lots of familiar faces.  I try to not line up too close to the front, and we are off on time.

Mile 1 - I stayed with Ron for a while, but he is just too fast for me.  I can see Ron, Martinho, Mike and Erik ahead of me.  Crowded field too, but room to run.  Feeling it in my legs and not going as fast as I would like.

Mile 2.5 - Just passed Erik, the others are farther ahead now.  The course splits with 10 milers to the left and 10Kers to the right.  I have done these races so many times, though I usually do the miles and it has been a few years.  I am surprised by the split and now I am running on roads I don't think I have ever been on.  The course is well marked, but I was really expecting to be on a different route.  Lots of turns and small hills here.

Mile 3.1 - Longer than that on the GPS.  Top of a hill and Yannick is there to make sure we turn around.  He gives me a split time of 25:10, which is somewhat discouraging.  I will need a negative split to get under 50 minutes.  Well it does have some nice downhills, but boy do my legs feel tired.

Mile 4 - With a long straight way ahead I see a guy in a purple shirt, then Mike, Ron and Martinho.  I might be gaining on Mike and Ron.

Mile 5 - Pass the purple shirt guy and I still see Mike, Ron and Martinho ahead.  Not going to get them though.  Every once in a while I am able to speed up.  I really like this new gear, it feels so fast.  But of course I can not hold it long.  My overall pace is getting quicker and now I am thinking of going sub 50 minutes.

Mile 5.5 - One guy passes me with strength.  So in the second half I will have passed one and been passed by one.  I'll take it.  Push hard to get to the track.  Round the last bend and see that I will get that negative split easily.  Keep at it and soon it is over.

Finish - 6.37 on the GPS.  We compare GPS mileage and agree that the course is long.  In fact, a couple of people who ran it last year are sure that the turn around should have been halfway up that hill, not at the top.  I suggest that we have a do over, but no one really wants to run it again right now, and of course I was joking.  I was not close to a PR, so I don't mind the bonus mileage, and it was not super long.

Jog a little to cool down and get that 40 mile week in.  Cheer in the other runners.  Fun to see the fast 10 milers come in.  Pedro sighting.  Ricki sighting.

Then inside for a baked potato and awards.  Results are quickly posted, much faster than in past times here.  I get a ribbon for third in my age group (out of four). 

I plan to take a couple of extra days off this week and have better legs for the Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50K next Saturday.  If I complete that race, this month will be about my 3rd highest mileage ever.  So easing back this week seems like the right idea.

29th place of 110
Race #346

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1/10/15 Run For Faith 10K - Elma WA

My third time here, but first since 2011.  Previously I have run the 5K but today I will run the 10K.  Great little event put on by my running friend Barb, with proceeds going to church missions.  Only $20 day of race, with the no T-shirt option.

Mike Henderson and Ron Burford are here, but running the 5K.  They will finish 2nd and 3rd just behind the winner.  It would have been close and fun to have run that race.  There are just a few of us doing the longer event.  Band-tailed pigeons sighting.

Start - 10AM start and we get going right on time, after I have a decent mile and a half warm up.  Loren is here and thinks that I might be close to him, but he is way faster than me these days.  From the start, he and a woman go out super fast and I will never get close to them.  This leaves me in a pack with 5Kers.  On the sidewalk and a few quick turns.

Mile 1 - More turns.  One guy passes me.  Some 5Kers are ahead too.  Pass the bank where I see that it is 41 degrees.  Light rain and a little wind.  Up and over the Highway 12 overpass.  Down, past the off ramp and to the 5K turnaround.

Mile 2 - After those streets and turns it is nice to be on the little used road at the Vance Creek ponds.  Flat and a long straightaway.  I am in 4th place of the 10K and gradually catching up to number 3.  It takes a long time to get to him.  Then I say hi and run alongside him for a bit.  If I were to try to pass him quickly I would be in trouble.  I am going about as fast as I think I can hold.  Not sure what pace I should be going.  Hoping to not falter in the second half, doubt that I will have saved too much energy.

Mile 2.6 - We see numbers 1 and 2 come at us, then the turn around at mile 2.9 on my GPS.  No volunteer here, but I think it was marked well enough on the road. I get just a few steps ahead of Brian, my new running pal.  Just in time I see a chalk mark with a left turn and we do a short out and back.  From looking at the hand drawn course map before the race, I thought that we were supposed to stay on that road and then make two turns to get back to the main road.  But it is a dead end and the arrow clearly shows us where to go.

Mile 3.5 - Ahead of Brian but I am afraid to look back.  I know that he is close.  I intend to stay on the road, past a volunteer but at the last minute he yells that I am supposed to turn into the park.  Ah, this is the little off road bit that Barb had shown me on the map.  Now on the paved trail in the park and trying to hold my pace.  Have to kindly shout to a couple walking side by side that a racer is coming through.  Now I see the volunteer who points me back to the road.

Mile 4- Start to feel tired.  I have put in more miles than usual in the past days, including a 50 mile week and a seven mile tempo run yesterday.  I expected it to affect my time today and I think it is showing now.  No pains though, so I am running happy.  Just a little scared of Brian behind me.  Third place overall sounds so much better than fourth, plus I think he might be in my age group.

Mile 5.5 - Over the Highway, on the Main Street.  Then the turns.  Finally past the school and a quick look back starts to give me confidence that I will hold my place.  I have slowed a little but and still running OK.  Passing a couple of 5K walkers.  Right turn on the gravel road and I have to swing wide on the uphill to pass two walkers.  Now it is a straight shot to the finish.

Mile 6.2 - Done!  Only 6.01 on the GPS and I suspect that the course is a little short.  Hard to say for sure. My GPS pace reads 7:54 per mile.  If it was a true 6.22 miles, then my pace was 7:39/mile.  Either way I will take it.  Simple bib tag tear off and the volunteer puts it on the board. Awards and finish times are easy for them to calculate with this system and the small number of runners.

I forget to do a cool down run.  Instead I put on a dry shirt and go into the church.  So nice to have a warm and dry area.  The church reception hall is full of food including sandwiches.  Hot coffee too!  Chairs for everyone.  The wait for results is not bad at all.  There are also so many random prizes that everyone gets two items.  The pies are gone by my first pick, but I get a jar of home made jam on my first selection.  A bottle of Tampico pop for my second pick.  Then I get my age group ribbon.

I really like the relaxed vibe, yet quality organization of this event.  I would like everyone to run this one, but if it gets too popular it will cause problems.  Hope it stays small and good like this.

3rd place of 9

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1/1/15 Resolution Run 5 Miler

41st annual event. My 12th time here for either the 5K or 5 miles, 13th New Years Day race. Took it easy in the past week, but also felt really slow.  Time of year, diet, cold weather......who knows.  I am actually afraid that I won't be able to run 9/mile today if it goes like the last couple of runs.  Well I have eaten better the past two days and am well rested by not going out last night so we shall see.

25 degrees and sunny.  No wind, so while it is freezing, I have run in worse.  Shorts, but two long sleeves and  a Defiance vest.  Pedro also has his blue Defiance vest on, so you know it must be cold.

Warm up for almost two miles.  Feeling OK.  With four minutes to the start I line up on the track.

Start - Smaller crowd than previous years.  Lots of fast runners as usual.  I activate the foot pod that I got for Christmas but have not tried yet.  The green light flashes, but I have no idea how to use it.  It did sync to my phone but I do not carry that phone while running.  All the instruction say is that I tap it and run.  I have my Garmin GPS watch too.  We start right on time.  Pedro in front of me, and I had hoped to stay with him for a while.  But he is so fast, I have to let him go right from the start.  I am pushing it faster than I should.  Round the track, now up the hill out of the stadium and the hill feels like hitting the wall.  Must figure out a better pace once I get on flat ground.  Doing a five mile race once a year does not help with pacing.

Mile 1 - 1.04 on the GPS and 7:48 on the watch.  Keep reminding myself that this is 5 miles, not 5K and I should not be going all out.  I am OK with my pace and I trust my endurance, but it is right on the edge.  Legs feel slow, but not nearly as bad as earlier this week.  Breathing is hard.

Mile 1.55 - The 5K turn around.  I have enough breath to make my joke about is it too late to switch the the K race.  Two runners just in front of me, 10 steps past the turn around, look back and ask if that is the K turn around.  I thought it was marked alright, but they blew right past it.  I convince them, in fact shout out, "yeah, turn around if you are doing the Ks!" and they both head back. 

Mile 2.25 - Two people that I did not recognize shout out "Go Andy", and I think that the guy on my tail might also be an Andy.  I sort of want to ask him, but I just can not talk and run at this pace.  Legs and breath are equally uncomfortable.  Gary Cooper sighting.

Mile 2.4 - Tony and Christie sighting.  Looking great.

Mile 2.5 - 19:27 on the watch.  Need an even split to beat 39 minutes.  Now the runners behind me are coming towards me.  Only a couple and then some long gaps.  Is that it?  One turn and then another turn and I am relived to see a large clump of runners coming on.  OK, I won't be that close to the last.

Mile 3 - All thinned out.  There won't be much passing or being passed.  I am going a little faster with a small downhill, but barely holding on.  Try to focus on the running, but my mind keeps wandering. 

Mile 4 - 31 minutes.  I need an 8 minute mile.  Not sure I can do it as I am struggling now.  Pass a couple of 5Kers.  Really tough now, but still in a good mood and happy to be out here.

Mile 4.5 - Rough patch.  Hope I can make time up on the downhill and track.  Two people pass me.  Now down the hill and pick it up as best I can.  I have no finishing kick. I can see the clock at 38:45 with 100 meters to go.  I know that super fast sprinters can do the 100 meter in ten seconds.  Can I do it in 15?  Nope.....I watch the clock hit 39 and a few seconds later I am in.

Mile 5 - 5.07 on the GPS.  Foot pod never registered.  Disappointing to be 84 seconds slower than last year.  Second slowest time of ten 5 milers here.  But not so far off, and better than I was afraid of.  Cool down mile and hang around for results.

Still a fun way to welcome the new year.

Feeling like if I want to get faster I need to either pick marathons and train for them, or just do short stuff.  I love all distances so I continue to not reach my potential at any of them.  For now I am OK with that.

42nd place of 77
6th of 6 in age group!