Saturday, July 30, 2016

Whale of a Run 4 Miler - Silverdale WA

36th annual event and our first time here.  Whale Days weekend in Silverdale.  Race is a benefit for Meals on Wheels and is reasonably priced at $20 with no T-shirt option.  Parade to follow the race.  Jody surprised me by wanting to race too, making this our third race this month.

Easy drive from our Hood Canal cabin. Park at the Kitsap Mall, and get our numbers in plenty of time to warm up, but not much time to wait around. Cool for July and cloudy with a little breeze.  Decent mile plus warm up.

Start - Race seems so huge compared to my recent ones.  Wide road is closed here, but we are still packed in.  Find a good spot back a little ways and wait for the go.  Judy Fisher sighting. Ten second count down and then we are off.  Chip timed at the finish line only.  Crowded, boxed in but running at a good clip.  Get passed, pass others, after a quarter of a mile there is room to run.  Downhill start, now flatter and gentle uphill.

Mile 1 - 7:35 - ten seconds slower than last weeks 5K and exactly where I want to be.  But now the hill.  Turn right and start up a long major hill.  Road is open here and there are some cars.  Go under Route 3 and there are cars getting on and off the ramp.  Kid volunteers not really doing much to control traffic.  Uphill is steep and twists and turns.  I am slowing but so is everyone.

Mile 2 - Think about walking but keep moving in a slow run. Wonder what Jody is thinking of this course ( I did warn her that I thought it might be hilly).  Finally the top of the hill.  Right turn and just a little more up.  Now a long flat way.  Overall pace is 8:03 and I should be able to lower that now that the awful hill is done.

Mile 2.5 - Recognize Erik Lindberg ahead.  Slowly gaining on him.  Get passed by a guy with a stroller.  Gentle downhill.  Erik takes water at the aid station, so I do too.  I think I might be able to catch him, but then he starts extending his lead. Martinho is here and should be passing me soon.

Mile 3 - More downhill.  Working hard and getting faster.  Flatter and a headwind.  I draft off a kid for a few steps then pass him.  Left turn and back on to the parade route.  Brass band is playing.  Road is lined with spectators who have staked out a parade view and now are cheering for us.  Long view to the finish line.  I had hoped to beat 32 minutes (8/mile) but now I have my sights on beating 31 minutes.  Passed by one guy but now I am working to catch him back.  Push really hard to the finish.  Catch the guy and also get in under 31.

Finish - Mile 4 (3.99 on the GPS)  Congratulate Erik who says I will beat him next time.  Martinho comes in next just a few seconds behind me.  We go back along the finish to cheer Jenny and then Jody who both had strong runs.  We are tempted to join the Silver Striders for lunch, but decide to head back to the canal sooner than that.  Walk the half mile back to the start line and our car.  Surprisingly large event that I would do again.

75th of 312

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7-23-16 WA State Senior Games 5K

We have been talking about this one for years.  We finally qualify as we both turn 50 this year.  Tammy (10K) is here to enjoying her first time as well. Also Martinho in the 10K and Nona in the 5K.  April to cheer us on.

Enter Tumwater High School Stadium to the sounds of the Olympic theme music.  Polo shirt instead of a T-shirt is different.  Our races are small but there are lots of track and field events going on.  We will see a 99 year old get a gold medal and PR for throwing the shot put from his wheel chair.  So inspiring.  87 year old legend Keith Woods is here to race against me.

5K, 10K and the race walk on the track all start at the same time, but at different locations.  I have had a decent 2 mile warm up, followed by strides and feel good.  Feel great actually.  Remember that nagging right foot issue?  I decided two days before Lakefair that it was just not healing itself, so I opted out of that race and when to the foot doctor.  I got a shot in my inflamed deltoid ligament and felt instant relief.  That was 8 days ago.  I have eased back into running and all feels good.  Now lets see how fast I can go, and hopefully not re injure myself.

Start - Jody, Nona and I are lined up with the other 5Kers.  Lots of cones and marks on the ground, it should not be hard to stay on course.  Plus volunteers to direct.  We get the signal that the races have started and off we go.  My decent warm up is apparent as I find myself going fast.  Settle into a good hard pace and hope to hold on.  Nona catches up to me, then eases back.  I will run with the fear of her just behind me all race and in fact she will finish just a few seconds behind me.

Mile 1 - 5:27!!!, no that can not be right.  That is mile 1 for the 10K race that started a ways behind us.  We are at 0.75 or so.

Real mile 1 (Mile 1.00 on the GPS) - Here is our mile  marker and the watch reads 7:25.  Still way too fast, I know that it will not hold.  Running alone, the guy ahead of me is too far ahead.  Can't sense anyone just behind me.  This place will hold for the rest of the race.

Mile 1.3 - The first two 10K racers pass me.  They hold a big lead in their race and no others will pass me. 

Mile 2 - Breathing is more difficult than getting the legs moving.  Keep pushing and wishing it was over.

Mile 3 - Slowing but not bad. Now the turn into the stadium.  The clock is reading 3 minutes less than my watch.  Going by my watch, I have a chance of beating 24 minutes.  It is going to be close, but that gives me the incentive to run hard all the way through the finish line.

Finish - 23:58 on the watch and that will be my official time.  Nona just behind me.  Now recover and wait a few minutes for Jody.  Jody will see the 24 minutes on the clock (running without a watch) and think that she has a massive PR until I give her the disappointing news.  Still 27 something is a good time.

We wait and cheer in Martinho and then Tammy.

Awards ceremony with a real podium.  Medals for the first three places in each age group.  I am the only runner in 50-55 so I get gold.

Really fun morning.  Great to be feeling good in the feet.  Fun to run with friends and Jody.  Awesome event that I will run again.

8th place of 25
Race #394, 5K#104

Sunday, July 10, 2016

7-9-16 McCleary Run From the Bears 10K

4th time here and I am sure it will be the slowest.  It has been a very poor month for running.  June 12th Tunnel Marathon left me with two hurting feet.  After a few days, the left foot was all better but the right foot continued to nag off and on.  Something near the ankle, not diagnosed and mellow enough to not go to the doctor.  Ice, rest, ice rest and it would get gradually better.  Make sure it feels decent enough for the 10 mile round trip up and down Mt St Helens.  Thinking of starting a separate blog for hiking adventures.  On days when I was running, I just could not get moving.  So for the last month it has been 3-5 miles at a time, with lots of long walk breaks and all of it very slow.  Not motivated to race and I just can not get any speed going.  At Hood Canal for the 4th of July, I used that as an excuse to not race.  Could have gone to any of three races within an hour drive, but I chose to sleep in.  I am signed up for something on 7/23 and Lakefair 7/16 is looming.  On the 4th Tammy reminded me of the Bear Run.  I had forgotten about that one.  By mid week I was running without discomfort and decided to go for it.  If only because I have said that I want to keep doing this for many years.  I turn 50 this week and if this is not an age related slowing, then one is coming and I might as well get used to being in the back of the pack.

Friday night Jody says that she wants to come.  Pleasant surprise.  She knows that I like to get to races super early and is a good sport about leaving the house when I think we should.  Little does she know that I had us leave about 15 minutes later than I would have on my own.  We do know the way and there should be easy parking.  There is and we get there right at 8AM, for the 9AM start.  We happen to be the first ones to the registration table and get numbers 1 and 2!  I don't think that I have been number 1 before.  $10 day of race with the no T-shirt option is a steal.  Back to the car to read for a while and watch people walking around with bib numbers going higher, but not many.

Make our way to the start line.  Meet Andrea who looks really fit and fast.  Another guy who I recognize.  I do very little warm up, won't even log it as mileage.  Jody meanwhile puts in some distance and almost misses the start.  We don't know anyone else and it is a small event.  New race director and she intentionally did not advertise, so that she could manage a small group.  She does hope to grow it for next year and she does a great job of running things this year.  When she has the 2 milers separate from the 10Kers we are surprised to see just about everyone is in the short race.  Only 6 of us in the 10K!  Police Officer Grim talks about safety and then it is time to go.

Start - I plan to ease into it.  We run across the street and on to the right shoulder.  Jody is ahead of me but I get past her and also Andrea.  The one guy in front and starting to extend his lead.  Not going too fast, I decide that I should try to keep near him, just in case I will be able to stay with him and get the victory.

Mile 0.5 - Through downtown.  I sense Andrea is right behind me.  The first guy is gaining a little and I know that I am going too fast.  Sub 8 pace, but it feels OK.

Mile 1 - 8:03 on the watch.  Way faster than expected, now can I hold it.

Mile 2 - I looked back at the water station and Andrea was falling behind.  First place guy is so far ahead, he is a speck in the distance.  Country roads with chip seal that I do not like.  Just a little discomfort in the foot but not bad at all and not getting worse.  Try to stay on the shoulder when there is one and especially when the police officer is driving by.

Mile 3 - 8:09 average pace.  Very happy with that.  Maybe I can hold on and finish at 8:15 pace?

Mile 4 - Another water stop.  I am locked into second place but will pretend that someone is on my heels.  Reach the turn that Ron B missed a few years back.  It is marked but only halfway through the turn.  Jody will hesitate here but get help from a race official.  I am sure that I am on track and try to keep up the pace.

Mile 5.5 - Ready to be done now.  I would have been happy with 53 minutes, but it looks like I have a chance at beating 50.  I can see the finish line and my watch is at 40:19.  Run as fast as I can until I realize that I won't make it. Ease up just a little and cruise in to the end.

Finish - 6.13 on the GPS.  50:17 on the watch.  Cheer in Andrea and then Jody.  Jody is really happy with her 57:18 time, the same as 9 years ago here.  The last two are apparently walking.  No awards but Jody and I both with raffle baskets (sewing stuff and dog stuff).  We are back home by 11AM feeling great about our morning.

I will register for the half at Lakefair and plan to continue to enjoy events like this.

2nd place out of 6
Race#393, Run from the Bears 10K #4