Saturday, October 29, 2016

10/29/16 Tenino Pumpkin Dash 5K

The Ghost of the Ghostmuster.  My second time here since the PTA took over from Thurston County.  Attendance is way down this year, with two other race options in Olympia today.  But I take the drive to my old classic course.  Jody here.  And Nicole J, doing her first 5K.  Good thing she brought a bunch of friends with her, otherwise it would have been that much smaller an event.

Damp but no rain or wind and a nice temperature for running.  Take my time with a nice long warm up.  A couple of regulars here, with Tom and I both wearing our long sleeve 2003 Ghostmuster shirt over our 2002 Ghostmuster shirt.  What are the odds of that?  I will go with the short sleeves for the race.

Start - new start location, back a little from the old start, but still in the parking lot.  Course was re-certified in 2014and will be accurate with my GPS.  Acknowledgement to the kid who designed the T-shirt.  Preregistration was $25 with shirt.  5K and 10K start at the same time.  Not crowded we make it over the speed bumps in the parking lot and on to the roads.

Mile 1 - (7:45) - Feel slower than I am running.  Should be able to go faster but can not get it going.  10K splits off and I am dismayed to only see two people ahead of me make the turn.  About 7 others are still in it, in the 5K, ahead of me.

Mile 2 - Going just a little faster, but it is a struggle.  San not concentrate.  My mind keeps wandering and I have to bring it back to the race, but then off I go daydreaming again.  Passed by the first woman.  Loren is ahead of me and not gaining.  Usually he is much faster, maybe I can catch him.  I try to surge and it just is not happening.

Mile 3 - No pain.  Breathing and legs are equal in holding me back.  Realize that I will get in under 24 minutes and I am happy with that.

Mile 3.1 - Happy to be done.  Finish time is better than I felt like I was doing.  Jog back to cheer in Jody.  See a guy carrying his shoes and running in wet socks.  Jody almost catches a guy dressed as a taco.  Now she is done and we both go out to cheer on Nicole.

Good to race with Jody and Nicole, but I think I might have had a better experience at the race in Capitol Forest today.  Well it was good for speed work I guess.  And always interesting to test myself on a familiar course.

Nice to see Craig and Rachel and thanks to them for timing the race.

8th place of 45

Sunday, October 9, 2016

10/8/16 Defiance 50K

Race#400!  My 6th time at this one.  I like a lot of things about this race, one being the many friends that I will see.  But for the 50K this year, attendance is way down.  Three other marathons or trail ultras this weekend.  Some Oly people doing the shorter events and lots of runners in the 15K and 30K.  Light rain turning windy later.

loop 1 - 2:00  The past two years I ran 2:02 first loops and I wanted to be there or a little slower.  It takes me  a while to get the legs warmed up and then I feel like I am in a groove.  After the crowded start I settle in behind someone running a nice pace for me.  I stay back 20-30 feet so as to not bug her.  Let people pass anytime someone gets behind me.  Try to take it easy.  But it is so hard to run an even pace.  The last 3.5 easy miles go by fairly quickly.  Now the horrendous, rope assisted decent down the cliff.  Near the finish at 1:58.  I walk it in worried that I have gone out too fast.  Take my time at the aid station then head off for loop 2.

loop 2 - 2:12  The flat promontory is fine, but as soon as I start up the steps I can feel it and slow.  Move along but slower.  Pass Dan Sherman, who will re-pass me later.  By myself the rest of the long day.  On the last miles, I pass a junction that I think is Yannicks but he is not there.  I hope I am close to the end, but the trail goes on and on.  Then a turn and there is Yannick.  That was so discouraging.

loop 3 - 2:35  Well this is just awful.  No real injury, just tired.  After the steps I just can not get running again.  Rain and wind pick up.  A couple of miles of walking and shuffling, then I can jog for longer stretches.  Look back once in a while but no one is there and that does not give me incentive to move along.  Stop at the aid station to thank the volunteers.  I tell then that this is a big deal for me and so great that I get to do this and I could not do this without them.  One asks if it is my first race.  LOL.  Down the hill to the road crossing where a volunteer woman dressed as a banana had been stationed during my first two laps.  She has been replaced by two non costumed volunteers, so I ask "where is the banana?" And I get the answer I was hoping for, "she split".  On to Achilles Hill where I not only walk, I have to stop briefly to gather my strength.  Now the "easy 4 miles" but I know it will be a super long slog and I will not misjudge the distance.  Start running better.  6:07 on the watch and I try to run for ten minutes.  I do it, then keep going.  Very short walk breaks.  Then a slight hamstring cramp and I slow for an S!Cap.  Realize that I will be running a course worst today, no need to stress about it now.  The flat trail goes on forever, right ankle and foot bugging me, but hamstring seems OK.  Finally Yannick, then the road.  No one behind me I take my time on the cliff.  Still almost slip, legs are so tired.  This is a scary thing to attempt after so many hours of running.  Make it down OK and "sprint" to the finish.

Weather is crappy and most people are gone.  I grab some drink and pizza and call it a day.  Not the funnest or most exciting or best running day, but I don't think I would have rather been anywhere else.

31st place of 39
Race#400, Marathon or ultra#145, Defiance 50K #6

Saturday, October 1, 2016

10/1/16 Apple Fest 5K, Onalaska WA

I have these 4 races in 4 weeks that I love each one for different reasons.  GOAT is a wonderful trail, Bellingham is one of the best marathons out there, at Defiance next week I get to run all day and see lots of friends.  Here, today is the quintessential small town fun run.  Well organized little event as part of Apple Fest.

I won a free entry for this year at last years race raffle and am happy to be back.  My third time here.  Twice around the lake gravel and maybe a little long, plus my second year doing marathons the past two weekends, so I am not here to run fast.  Just have fun.

Hour drive from home, but it is worth it.  Easy to park and get my number.  Love the feeling like everyone knows each other.  I only see one runner that I know, but it is a nice atmosphere.  Large mug that I will use that work.


Cloudy and cool, great for running.  I get in a 1.5 mile warm up and the legs feel good.  Marathon six days ago.  Tuesday was a rough jog/walk.  Thursday felt better but not great by any means.  Took off Friday hoping to be rested up enough for today.  In fact it all feels good and will for the length of the race.


Start - Don't want to get trapped behind folks on the long double track trail, so I line up near the front, just behind some very fast looking kids.  We start right at the tower and narrow down to the trail.  Looks good, no one rushing past me.  It opens a little, then I do get behind two runners but am able to move around and pass.  From here on we can pass or be passed with little trouble.  Around the gravel pile, then the uphill and screaming downhill.  Pace is sub 8 which seems fine on this gravel trail.

Mile 1 - Off the trail and glad to be on the pavement where I can try to get into some kind of rhythm.  Really if I can hold this pace and feel like this, I will be very happy.  Great volunteers at every turn.  I make the second sharp left and there is a car right in front of me, but I get around with no problem.  Then the parade route.  Trying to keep things smooth and steady.

Mile 2 - Back to the lake and another lap.  I had passed a couple of people in the past mile, now no one close ahead of me.  Up the hill and that slows me, first time today I feel really tired.  Scream down the hill and I know there is not far to go.  Maintain a good pace, but one guy comes flying past me.  No chance of keeping up, I just run it in as best I can.

Finish - 3.17 on the GPS (3.16 last year)  I won't realize it until I get home, but I beat my time from last year by one second!

Rain starts and wind picks up.  Thank you volunteers for continuing to work the timing boards.  I change and wait in my car until the award ceremony.  The rain stops just in time for awards.  I get first in my age group ribbon out of 5.  Great raffles again, but alas I do not win anything.  Still a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.  Only race I know of where we do a group photo after.....

10th of 85?
Race#399, 5K#105, Apple Fest 5K#3