Monday, October 26, 2015

10/24/15 Dog Lake Marathon

My first time here.  Fifth running of this little event.  The half has grown and is sold out.  The full remains a small race.

Two attractions for me do this. First the course is net over 2,000 feet downhill.  It should compare to the Light at the End of the Tunnel race and be a fast finish time.  The second is that the race starts about two miles from our little White Pass Village Inn condo.  So it is a good reason to check up on the place.

The course is point to point.  They have shuttles but with Jody's help it is logistically very easy.  Up at 6:30, head right out the door and drive about 8 miles to the Silver Beach Resort.  Lone volunteer is there in the dark ready early to hand out numbers.  I get mine so fast, I am back in the condo before 7 and even try to go back to sleep.

8:40 - Jody drives me to the start.  It is cool but not so cold.  I decide to leave the jacket in the car.  I will wear the hat most of the way, but be quite comfortable with the temperature.  Surprised to see Phil who is going to pace Linda for the second half.  Then I check in with Miranda, and those are the only people I know here.

My plan is to go for a fast time today.

Start - We head out to the Highway and start running downhill.  The course is mostly on Highway 12, on the shoulder, and running with traffic.  The Sheriff is out in force, especially at the start.  We were told to wear bright colors and I am never in fear of the traffic today.  Volunteers are at the couple of places where there is little shoulder.  Right from the start it is a screaming downhill.

Mile 1 - 8:19 - So easy to go this fast.  My plan was to run at a good pace and try to keep it at 8:30 if I felt good.

Mile 2 - 8:17 average pace

Mile 4 - 8:17 average pace - um this is way faster than I should be going.  It is still super downhill and easy.  I really should reign it in.

Mile 5 - 8:20 average pace.  By far the fastest five miles I have ever done in a marathon.  On pace to crush my PR, ha ha.

Mile 5.75 - Right turn off the highway and now a windy road around Clear Lake.  There is no shoulder, just a yellow line in the middle of the road.  Few cars, but you never know what may come around the bend, I run the tangents as much as I dare.

Mile 8 - Course has ups and downs here.  I am running a more normal pace, so I watch my average pace slowly rise.  Following a couple in bright green, and I will stay behind them for most of the race.  Aid station kid is offering Gu, but also wants to be so helpful and open the packet for you while you wait.  I grab one off the table and move on.

Mile 10 - Paved road, but now off the main road and it is a little bumpy.

Mile 11 - Onto a worse road.  Dirt and gravel, with giant potholes.  My car could not handle this road.  We had been promised a steep uphill and I don't think we have hit it yet.  There were a couple of longer uphills and maybe one of those was the big one.

Mile 12 - Nope.  Here is the hill.  It is really steep.  I walk most of it, taking the time for a drink and S!Cap.  Then out to the Highway and off the rough roads.

Mile 13.1 - Average pace is 8:50.  Half finish.  Now it is a straight shot down the highway.  But as I leave the crowd at the half finish, it starts to get lonely out here.  Green shirt couple is a tenth of a mile ahead of me.  I will get passed later on and pass a few also, but never run with anyone.

Mile 15 - 8:52 average pace.  Legs getting tired. The road is mostly flat with a little up and some down.  I am counting the miles to the finish, and it is way too early for that.  A bit of pain on my second to smallest toe on my right foot.  It will bug me the whole way but not as bad as the legs do.

Mile 16 - My hope that the net downhill road part here would allow me to keep running strong has been shattered.  This is tough.  My calf muscles hurt and all up and down my legs are just not right.  I can run, but really slowly.

Mile 18 - Beautiful course.  I can run, but it hurts and is not fun.  Walk some, then find that slow groove again.  Tunnel is neat, but too dark.  Now a really nice downhill.  Wish it would stay like this the whole way, but it levels out and has some little uphills too.  I won't beat 4 hours

Mile 22 - Jody drives by and gets some pics.  Hoping for a 4:10 finish.  Being passed is no fun.  I try to keep up good spirits.  Joke at the aid stations.

Mile 24 - Still slowing.  Horrible second half.  But I tried.  If I run this again, I will not go out so fast at the start.  I also know that the course is not as easy as it appears on the map.  It has been awesome to run on this course and if I do not run it again, I know that I will make this drive every so often and remember being able to run here.

Mile 26 - I can see the finish and it looks very far away.  I speed up some, but don't over do it, easing in to the end.

Mile 26.2 - 26.37 on the GPS.  Great to have Jody here. Calf muscles hurt the most and I am really stiff.  An hour later I am still feeling very stiff and this is the worst my legs have felt in a long time.  Try to drink lots of water and keep moving a little.

Remember the small pain in my toes?  I had forgotten about it.  Until back at the condo.  I can see the blood soaking through my shoe.  My sock is really bloody.  The foot looks awful.  I took a picture, but will spare the reader having to see it.  For most of the race, the toe nail of my smallest toe was digging into the side of the next toe and drawing blood.  Very minor injury that cleaned right up, but looked horrible.

Glad that I ran this one.  Parts of it I enjoyed.  The pain not so much and the tiny event on the highway shoulder is not my favorite.  I don't feel like I have to run it again, but I would not rule out a return to get revenge.

17th of 49
Race#368, Marathon or Ultra#131

Monday, October 12, 2015

10/10/15 Defiance 50K

6th annual event and my 5th time here.  This will be my 6th race in the past five weeks and although my body feels fine, I am a little mentally worn out from racing.  Yesterday, looking at the weather forecast, I was just not that excited to do this one.  But here I am, in the rain, sitting in my car in the dark, waiting for start time and organizing my things.

Rain stops, sun rises and its nice to be back here.  Lots of Olympians here for the shorter events, though it is Terra's first 50K.  Enough friendly Maniacs to fill out the long race. Logistically, course wise, value and overall vibe this is one of my favorite races.  I guess that I forgot that yesterday.

Loop 1 (2:02) - Find the Rogue Wave and her brother and we start off together.  So many runners on the first loop, but with the wide path along the water it goes well.  A little slowdown at the steps, then on to the trail at an easy pace.  About 2 miles in I take a short walk to get a drink and am passed by a large pack.  Running again I can see RW just ahead, but I don't want to work to pass those people.  I am right behind her for a while but gradually they pull away as I stay behind this group.

Mile 3 - The rain starts.  And boy does it come down.  The narrow trail before Fort Nisqually turns into a stream.  Serious flow of water on the small hills, giant puddles forming on the flats.  It will be a soaking mud fest from now on.  Runner a couple of people in front of me falls hard, but says he is fine and continues running ahead of me.  At least it will stay warm.  I will be so wet for the rest of the day, but won't start shivering until it is over.

Miles 4-10 - Crazy rain, otherwise uneventful.  I help a group find the left turn on the small trail (it is well marked in my opinion, but is a very narrow trail  off of a much wider one) they had over shot, just past the French Woman's cable.  As usual many people will miss turns at this race.  I try to not follow the herd and carefully look for the markers.  More volunteers on the course than in previous years and they are so helpful.  Someone stationed at hydrant 25 which is often a trouble spot.  Nellies Gnarly Descent is crazy fun as always.

Looking at past results I had thought that a 2 hour fist loop would be fine.  Hard to pace for it, with all the different speeds and the slow descent at the end, but today I run it in just under 2:02 and I feel great about that. Grab a small baked potato to eat and carry on the trail.

Loop 2 (2:09)- The Lone Wolf and RW are just setting out again when I catch them at the start of the loop.  We run the beach together and up the steps. I feel good and foolishly get ahead of them.  On my own now for a long time.  Rain is letting up.  Half a banana at the aid station.  Slow but steady around the course.  Start leapfrogging a woman (Christine) who will be near me all the way to the end.  Otherwise, some passing and some being passed.  Get lapped by the top two 50k racers about 1.5 miles from the end of my second loop.

Loop 3 ( 2:25)- Start off with another potato in hand.  Stomach doing great today.  There is a big crowd at the finish.  Martinho just ran the 30K and wants to tell me about it, but I am still running and have to get going on this loop before I decide to quit.  Jogging along the beach.  I get a great look at a seal, while apparently missing the humpback whale that was close to shore, just behind me.  Up the steps (for the last time today) and the sun is out.  I take off my jacket and hope for a nice sunny Fall last loop.  Walk when I want to, but lots of slow running.  So thankful for these shoes.  Brooks Adrenaline GTS trail shoe with Brooks infinity socks.  I have great grip in the mud and do not come close to falling at all.  Many people will tumble today.  That could be due to my slow careful pace too, I am hardly reckless on the trails.  Also I can just plow through the puddles.  Soaking my feet, it feels nice and cool.  A quarter mile later, if there were not any more puddles, my feet almost feel dry.  No blisters, no socks moving around, really happy with this set up.

Mile 23 - Wind starts to pick up, clouds roll in.  View to the Narrows Bridge and the Puget Sound is a churning frothy mess.  Big storm coming.

Mile 25 - I have this half run half walk thing that I do when tired.  I am doing it now as I round the Fort Nisqually for the 15th time in my history of racing here, last time for this year.  I will come back again, I love this race.  At the aid station they ask if I am OK because I am limping so much.  I feel fine, no pains at all, I just have a shuffle that looks like a limp.  Half a banana and back to the trail.  I try to get into a more steady run.  The rain is back now, big time.  Huge winds too.  Lots of fir needles and small branches coming down.  Up the exposed Achilles Hill, then down into the forest.

Back and forth with Christine.  Now just the three "easy" miles, then the road and it is essentially over.  Rain and wind letting up a little.  I am running and therefore I do not expect anyone to catch up to me.  But next thing I know, I hear my name and there is the Rogue Wave, who I last saw about 4 hours ago.  It is an energy boost and we run together on the wide trail.  Finally out to the longed for road signalling the end is near. She is running strong and I tell her to go first at the turn to the single track crazy bit.  Christine picked up the pace too and she is right behind me on the way down Nellies.  At the beach, I won't catch RW, but I slow a little and encourage Christine to run fast.  She comes in ahead of me, but my chip time gives me the edge.

Finish - My slowest Defiance 50K but I am happy.  Will come back for sure.

Only a few people left at the finish area.  But they have pizza for us.  And there is Mike Mahany.  He was ahead of me the whole way and I never saw him.  We decide to have a quick leg soak in the salt water, mostly jsut to get the mud off our legs and shoes.  We both regret missing the whale.

43rd of 76
Race#130, Marathon or Ultra#130, Defiance 50K #5

Sunday, October 4, 2015

10/4/15 Shuck and Share (Oysterfest) 5K Shelton WA

Jody is away visiting our grand-baby this weekend, so I found two races to do.  Yesterday was the Onalaska Apple fest 5K.  It was fun, but I was slow.  No pains though.  I am not pre registered for the Shuck and Run so I don't have to do it, but I want to.  Well at 5:30AM I am having second thoughts.  Close call on bailing and sleeping in, but I conquer the Blerch and hit the road to Shelton in time to register for the 8AM start.

$20 DOR, but I miss out on the socks by not registering earlier.  Cold today.  Long sleeves again.  I almost wear a beanie, but ditch it at the last minute.  Shorter warm up than yesterday.  One mile, then a couple of strides and I feel faster than yesterday.

I ran the 8K here in 2004, and the 5K in 2010.  I know that I won't beat my 22:17 from 5 years ago, just hoping to beat yesterday's time.  All pavement will help, but who knows?

Start - Missy Farr sighting and we start together.  Lots of kids and a great turn out for this fundraiser to help the PUD heat low income homes.  From the "Huff and Puff" trailhead and out to the road.  Plenty of room to run.

Mile 0.25 - Pack of mostly kids ahead.  I decide to surge a little and pass them.  Leaving Missy behind I wonder if that was a good idea to do that so early.  Left turn into the bright sun.

Mile 1 - 1.16 on the GPS.  7:25 by the watch, but almost 8 by the mile marker.  One kid passes me, but I am keeping up with everyone else.  Unlike yesterday, I have some runners right in front of me and it is a challenge to stick with them.  A couple of times I catch up to one, try to pass, but they take the challenge and surge ahead.  Left turn.

Mile 2 - These little hills are hard.  Legs feel it, but it is the breathing too.

Mile 2.5 - Final left turn and we can see the finish, it just looks so far away.  If my watch is right I should have a decent time, but if that first mile marker was right I will be pretty slow.  One guy is slowing a bit and I pull even but just can not pass him as he pulls away.  I have given it a good physical and mental effort today and have no regrets. No one passes me after mile 1.   Keep up the intensity until just before the end when I am just a little careful on the gravel.

Finish - 3.04 on the GPS.  Last mile was short to make up for the first long mile.  Very happy with my finish time.  Walk back a bit as I recover and there is Missy, very speedy herself.

Cool down jog on the Huff and Puff.  Put some warm clothes on, cheer on the finishers, and soon enough it is raffle time.  Everyone around me wins something really good, but not me today.  We are dismissed and as I get back to my car I realize that there were no age group awards.  Craig did the timing so results will be posted, probably soon.

20th place of 202
Race#366, 5K#95

Saturday, October 3, 2015

10/3/15 Onalaska Apple Fest 5K

Loved this little race when I first ran it two years ago.  Happy to be back, despite the hour drive.

My 365th race!  A year of races.  Before age 50, so I guess that means that I have run a race on 2% of my days.

4th race weekend in a row.  Half, trail full, full six days ago.  I toyed with doing a full today or tomorrow, but logistically and leg wise it did not seem wise.  There is another 5K tomorrow that I might do depending on how this one goes.  50K a week from today, so a little effort this weekend, then rest up.

Cloudy and cool, I will keep the long sleeves on.  See a fellow "Beat the Blerch" shirt wearer.

$20 registration day of race includes a pint glass.

Start - Narrow part of the trail, by the boat launch.  Hopefully we are lined up according to speed.  Race course instructions, thank the sponsors and we are off.  On to the slightly wider trail that has seen an upgrade since I was here last.  Nice crushed gravel all the way around and wider too.  There will not be the large angular rock that was in spots previously.  Still have to mind the footing.  Now I am behind a large pack and wishing I could get past.  Just then there is the cut off for the side trail that parallels this one for a bit.  The RD had said that we could take either one, as they are the same distance.  I take the lower route and only one of the runners ahead of me does the same.  It is a short bit, but I run as fast as I can and just come in ahead of the large pack.  None of them passes me, so it was a great decision.

Mile 1 - Around the lake and onto the roads.  Couple of turns.  A few runners ahead of me, staying even, but just too far away to feed off of.  I can not sense anyone behind me.  Long straight flat road and I have no excuse to not be fast here.  Other than tired legs.  No pain, I am moving well, but slower than I should be able to.  I also have not done a 5K or any speed work in 6 weeks.

Mile 1.5 - The turn on to Main street, which may or may not be closed as they are setting up for the parade and all the vendors are setting up tents.  Ahead of me they are running on the road so I follow.  Big truck passes me, then stops at one of the vendor tents, blocking this side of the road.  I go to the sidewalk, but that is completely blocked up ahead.  Back onto the road and I squeeze between the open truck door and a tent and warn the guy that there are a lot of runners just behind me.  Past him now, I make the turn back towards the lake.

Mile 2 - Last bit of road before the parking lot.  Trying to go fast here as I know the lake trail will slow me.  Car driving very slowly stops at the stop sign, T intersection, where I will turn right.  He is so close to the edge of the road with tall grass on the edge that I can not pass him on the right.  But he has his left blinker on and I am afraid that he will proceed out and to the left just as I get in front of him.  I can not stay to the right so I go to the left of him, get along side the car and it does pull out and to the left.  I have to stop and wait for him to turn, then I am on my way.  Frustrating but I keep a good attitude, and kept safety first.

Now around the lake again.  Wondering if I can beat my time from two years ago, but it will not be close.  Trying to run hard.  I am not too surprised though when I hear footsteps behind me.  Strong runner pouring it on for the finish.  First person to pass me since the start.

Mile 3.1 - Off the trail and into the finish shoot.  3.16 on the GPS, with a slightly different course from 2013.  Congratulate the guy who passed me.

Recover, spectate, help direct some runners, jog around till awards time.  Only race I know of that does a group photo after the awards.

3rd in age group (40-49) ribbon, and then I win a entry for next year.  Hope I can make it!

15th of about 103
Race#365, 5K#94, Onalaska Apple Fest 5K#2