Monday, August 28, 2006

Cascade Crest Classic 100

Well I finished in a time of 30:22. And (right behind me) so did fellow Maniac, Renton Resident, and 1st time 100 miler Shawn Lawson, in 30:35.

Way to go Shawn!

At around 10: am the clock counted down to zero, and we were off.
And everybody just sort of starts moving. It's an easy jog at first, about 1.8 miles of flat dirt road. Then the road ends and the real race begins. The trail goes up and up. There is this tan flour like dust on the ground that you’ll see, and breathe in, for the next 95 miles. I reach the first aid station in just over 42 minutes. It’s at about (I say about because I’ve only used this new foot pod gadget once so it might not be that accurate yet) 3054 ft., only 850 ft. up from the start. I saw fellow Maniac Van there taking down names. I grabbed a piece of banana as I ran by and yelled thanks. At 3.6 miles it was too early to stop. This A/S also marked the change from the wide jeep trail to the single track switch back laden trail.
Over the next 2 ½ miles we climbed to nearly 5000 ft. We stayed at that height through the next A/S, Cole Butte. I’ve been out here 2:26 and have only gone 9.77 miles! But now I can let gravity do all the work. It’s nearly all downhill for the first half of this section (to the next A/S) so I’m cruising at a steady 6.7 mph.
After 3 miles of blissful downhill running the trail goes up again and my pace drops to just faster than a snail. 14.73 miles is the distance I’d gone when I pulled into Blowout Mt. and 3:32 was my time. I’m still moving at a pretty good pace and everything seems to be going as planned. I tried one of those peanut butter and Jelly wraps but only got half of it down. I knew I if ate anymore it would all come back up.

This next section into Tacoma Pass has a nice downhill for nearly 2 miles where I re-passed all (and then some) of the runners that passed me on the previous climbs. The whole crew was at Tacoma Pass. My wonderful wife Jennifer, Nicolette Jessica and Arthur my three kids, Stacy my excellent pacer, and I could even hear Shela (my blue heeler) off in the distance telling me to hurry because wanted to run too. I tried to get out of there as quickly as I could but everybody wanted to know what was going on. At 23.06 miles and 5:22 minutes I wasn’t even ¼ the way done so at this time I was still pretty focused on moving. Eric Sach ran a good A/S and every 90 seconds he would bark out “get outta here Arthur”. I finally did after about 4 minutes which turned out to be rather typical of the time it took me at each A/S.
It’s mostly up to Snowshoe Butte, the next A/S and I’m now running neck and neck with the snails. I get there, 28.73 miles, in 7:04. I guess it’s the hottest part of the day but at the time it didn’t seem that hot. I’d been drinking right and downing gels very regularly. It’s a tiny water and small snacks only A/S. This was fine with me because so far my alternating from drink to water was working pretty well. I’d just had a section that was mostly drink so by the time I got to the A/S I was ready for a mostly water filled bladder. I would try to estimate how much water I would need for the coming section and then add about 20 ounces to that so I would be sure to not run out. The only thing I don’t like about bladders, you can’t see them to be able to tell they are almost empty. I did get an upset stomach somewhere in here but it didn't slow me down.
I made good time and arrived at Stampede Pass, 34.29 miles, in 8:23. From what I heard there were already some drops. Wow I guess it was hotter than they expected. I saw my crew again and grabbed my lights. My stomach, feet, legs were all still holding up well. The only thing that was not so good was my ability to go uphill. I was mostly eating pretzels and gels. I would eat a half a bite of something they had at each A/S but none of it looked good. Around 7:45 pm I had some Exercise-induced hematuria that came and went until around 10 am.
I got to Meadow Mt. mile 41.62 in 10:18 (about 8:18 pm). In the 4 minutes I was at Meadow Mt. the last bit of light was gone. So I strapped on my head lamp and grabbed one of my flashlights lights and off I went into the darkness. The cool air did feel good but I heard the A/S workers talking about blankets and how cold it was getting. That reminded that I needed to keep moving at a good pace. I got into the rhythm of night running very quickly and it felt like I didn’t loose that much speed but my watch now tells me I was topping out at only 5 mph on the downhills. I passed a few people so I guess comparatively I was going fast. It felt like I was 10 years old and running at a speed just under the point at which you loose control and crash. That is until the trail went up again.
I cruised into Olallie Meadows mile 47.73 in 12:13. At this point that’s only 13 minutes behind where I wanted to be. I passed 1 or 2 more people and I don’t recall getting passed by anyone. Scott McCoubrey was running this A/S and they had real good food and music. He said I looked good and was doing great. I had a plate of food and got outta there.
The next stop would be Hyak. But I had to find it first. Turns out that would be hard to do. I tried to find it Friday 3 times but could not. Jennifer tried to find it Saturday morning without me but with Stacy who had been there before and with exact, Correct Directions, from Glenn and Tony but she couldn’t find it then either. It turns out that the side road which wasn’t even in the directions was washed out. I guess nobody thought to check that before race day??? Without a place to park our trailer Jennifer had to drive all the way home and drop it off. Then drive all the way back in time to meet me at Tacoma Pass. And then do it again after I left Hyak so the kids could get some sleep in a bed instead of a car seat.
So I had left Olallie headed north on the PCT. I got to the turnoff where I had to bushwhack down to the John Wayne trail. This is a road that is now impassable because of a landslide or least that’s what it looked like in the dark. I had to take this abandoned road, and then turn off the side of the mountain. There were to be three ropes to help you down the steepest parts. I came across a girl sitting down on the trail she said she was just resting and seemed to be fine. So I continued whacking my way through thick Alder spouts. I came across an orange flag telling me I was still on the road. It was just on my right. Unfortunately the brush was so thick I didn’t see the other flags further to the right telling me it was time go over the cliff. So I kept going through the bush until I couldn’t go any further. The girl that had been resting was not too far behind me. I guess she also missed the flagging. She said she had not seen any flags in a while. So we headed back up the trail and came across that some flag but I immediately saw two more of to the right. And with wreck-less abandon I ran off into the woods. Maybe next year they’ll put a ribbon all the way across so you can’t go past the turn and maybe they’ll clear some of the Alders also. The first two ropes weren’t hard to get down but the last one was a bit tricky so I decided to go down backwards. The detour had only cost me 20 minutes so that wasn’t too bad. I just got a bit scratched up trying to make good time. From here to Hyak it was all roads some dirt some paved. I went through “the tunnel” which seems to go on forever! Probably because it’s uphill and I did get a little cold from the headwind.
Finally after running for a little while on the pavement I came across the new Hyak A/S mile 54.01 in 14:14, that’s 45 minutes behind where I wanted to be. Make that an hour by the time I left. Here I would pickup Stacy and Shela. I changed into a long sleeved shirt, got some new supplies, and then heard about all the adventures and misadventures of the day, and 16 minutes later I was on my way. We would spend the next 2 hours on the road going up and getting passed by countless people.
Keechelus Ridge is at mile 61.53. I made it there in 16:48 only 1:03 behind schedule. I’ve never run this far or for this long! This road section just seems to go on and on but it would be worse if you could see that it really did go forever. Thankfully the night hid that from us. Shela was being pretty impatient because of the slow pace. That would be a theme for the rest of the day. The next 6 miles would be the opposite mostly all downhill. I passed most of the people that passed me on the uphill. We still only averaged only 4.5 mph but that’s better than the 2.7 mph on the uphill. Finally we got down to Kachess Lake, now we could get off this road! Time 18:18 distance 68.51.
This is the start of the trail from Hell. For me it was the trail from Heaven! I loved going through the woods jumping over downed trees and around sharp corners. It took Stacy a little while to get into the grove of night running but I think she picked it up pretty fast. My extra enthusiasm helped me keep a good pace for about half the lake then I ran out of gas again and had to slow down. Just before the end of the lake it was light enough to turn off our lights.
We made it to Mineral Creek, mile 74.52 in 21:09. Here I had some soup and retrieved supplies from the drop bags. I had to borrow a short sleeved shirt from James because mine was not in my bag. I started to get some chaffing so I used some Vaseline they had and started up the road. This road goes up for 6.96 miles. We didn’t make very good time going up and by the time we got to the top it was already getting warm. Once again I was passed by a number of people on this uphill section. No Name Road water stop was at mile 79.18 time was 22:31. No Name trailhead was mile 81.48 at a time of 23:43.
I saw Shawn’s brother waiting for her at No Name trailhead. It sounded like she was an hour or so behind us and doing well. I hoped she would catch us but that never happened. It was nice to be trails again and off the road with no name. I think I can come up with some good names for it! The ups were getting harder but the downs were still ok. The next A/S was at 25:42 (the 2nd time), the total miles so far, 86.52. This is where you branch off for an out and back. I got my lucky number at the top. According to my watch, this is the highest point of the course at 5732 feet and the time was 25:28. We stopped just long enough to snap a few pictures and back down we went. I had twisted my knee a few miles earlier so I was taking it easy on the downhill sections in order not to further any damage and to keep the pain at a manageable level. I’m such a wimp! In just over an hour we were at the French cabin Mt. A/S. Time 26:53 and 89.28 miles. They had some ice water there for Shela but I think she was more concerned with the 2 dogs she had to share it with. From this A/S there was one more climb then it would be downhill all the way to the finish. By this time it was pretty hot. We eventually made it to the saddle at the top of Silver Creek. I told Stacy that this was it no more climbs. She liked not having to go up anymore hills. I was really hoping to have more left to be able to cruise this part of the course but we were all real tired. And since we were well off my target pace I decided to be conservative on this long downhill section. The side effect of that is that it seemed to take forever. When we neared the bottom, maybe ½ mile or so out, the temperature felt like it jumped 20 degrees. The Silver Creek A/S guy said it was 100 on the road but I’m going with the 91 degree reading from the car. Either way it was hot and I was glad to only be a few miles from the finish. My crew wasn’t at the last the A/S because once again the directions were faulty. I also heard this from other first timers. So I had to keep the same pair of shoes and socks I’d been wearing from the start. Which would have been ok but I had stopped a couple of times to cool off in the creeks we ran by. It was the first time my feet had been wet seen Friday. I always forget that dust and water make Mud. Miles so far, 96.07 time 29:06
The last section was on a hot dusty dirt road, then onto pavement and across I-90 and through Easton. We finish where we started at the Fire Station.
Time 30:22, estimated mileage 100.03
Unofficial results.
Race Photos by Glenn

I have some statistics for those that like them.
Start 2204 feet
A/S 1 3054 feet 879 up 42 feet down
Etc.Etc. Email me for a copy.

Today I feel great. My feet are little bruised and my toes are tingly. My calves are sore along with many offer smaller muscles. My Quads feel like I didn't even run this weekend. My head is still a little foggy. I expected to have problems staying awake and losing my mind but I didn't.

Special thanks to Jennifer and Stacy!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vegas Baby!!!

As many of you know Jennifer planned a surprise trip for our anniversary this past weekend. This made me change my running schedule from Grey Rock 50K to CCC 100. Well I didn’t mind that at all. I know that I’m ready for it. Well the trip was to Vegas. We had a great time. I only got about 3 hours of sleep both nights. We went to the Phantom of the Opera and The Battle of the Kings. Both were great. And other than the lung cancer from all the second hand smoke, it couldn’t have been a more perfect trip.
We decided, instead of running on the hotels treadmill (not open 24 hours a day), we'd run the stairs. And I didn’t want to leave her behind as I ran out in the beautiful 97 degree heat. I normally don't like spiraling up and down stairs but the stairs in the Luxor were fun! They go up at an angle so you zigzag up the side of the pyramid instead of going straight up. If you ever get a chance, try it. I dropped a few pennies over the side of the catwalk and they slid and bounced 27 flights all the way to the bottom.

Mileage this week
Monday... zero
Tuesday... 9.5 Lake Youngs
Wednesday... zero
Thursday... 9.5 miles Lake Youngs
Friday... 90 flights of stairs, 6 hrs of walking around (4 miles)
Saturday... 60 flights of stairs, 8 hrs of walking around (5 miles)
Sunday... Zero
Total 28 miles, 1173 ytd

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cougar Mt. 13 miler

As I'm tapering for CCC I decided to run the Cougar Mt. 13 miler. My reasons For this were; so I could get in a speed workout and then do another one the next day since it was so short, the technical trail is great training and lastly and most importantly so I could compare it to where I was a year ago when I ran it. Last year I ran it in 2:42, this year in 2:13. 29 MINUTES FASTER!!! That's more than 2 minutes per mile! I was pretty happy with the results. My avg. heart rate was 165 with a peak of 179. That's compares to an average of 140 for 12 Summits and 152 for White River. I was very surprised I could keep up the faster pace for that long. I followed that up on Sunday with what I thought was an easy run around Lake Youngs but only took me 1:36.

Mileage this week
Monday... zero
Tuesday... zero
Wednesday... 9.3 miles flat
Thursday... 9.6 miles Lake Youngs
Friday... zero
Saturday... 13 miles Cougar Mt.
Sunday... 9.6 miles Lake Youngs, followed by 4 hours of walking at the Zoo.
Total 42 miles, 1147 ytd

Monday, August 07, 2006

12 Summits

After White River I took it pretty easy this week. Although I did do a loop around Lake Youngs in the dark to refresh my leg and ankle memory.
On Saturday I was treated to a tour of the 12 Summits run this by tc. This is a Must do for anyone training for a mountain Ultra. It's over 10,500 feet of elevation gain. There is a good variety of trail and some great views of Mt. Rainier. It was a perfect day for running, sunny but not too hot. We finished in just over 8 hours which too me seemed like a nice pace. Here are Tony’s pictures.

Mileage this week
Monday... zero
Tuesday... 5.5 miles
Wednesday... zero
Thursday... 9.5 Lake Young at night
Friday... zero
Saturday... 34 miles 12 summits
Sunday... 3 miles
Total 52 miles, 1105 ytd

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

White River 50 Mile

I was looking forward to running in the heat but it turned out to be cold. I used my pack instead of bottles so I would always have about 20 oz. more than I needed to get to the next AS. I really hate running out of water and you never know maybe it will get hot. I did the early start (58 minutes early) so that even if things went really wrong I could still do a death march to the finish and continue my “never DNF’d streak”. I staggered out of the tent trailer at about a quarter to 5:00 for the 5:30 start. I didn't get much sleep from the kids having to go to the vault toilet to the dogs barking at people driving by to the Porto Potties being dragged right past us because they were delivered to the wrong spot. Every hour and half, just as I was getting to the good stuff something would wake me. Jennifer says it is good training for CCC.
After getting checked in and doing all the rest of the preparations needed to run, it was just light enough to see and we were off and I was already tired. It was only 3.9 to the first AS which is pretty flat and 3.91 to my first trip into the woods. Time 42 minutes. There would be 2 more pit stops in the woods, which is not like me. It must have been the Oatmeal. I didn't have my usual half a pizza the night before nor did I have my usual pre-race breakfast.
The race went very well all day. I took it easy to the 2nd AS. I did a run until it got too steep, walk until it leveled off which took 2 hours to get to the 2nd AS where the race leaders started to catch me, about 11 miles in. Time 2:42. They started pulling me along about 2 miles later. The out and back was great because I got to see everybody but it's dicey in stops where it's "less than a single track". At the third AS I took about 5 minutes to refill my pack and change shirts and grab some food. WAY to long. Total time 3:48, 1:05 for that leg. The first uphill to the turn around seems to take forever as does the downhill through the woods back to the start. I didn’t stop at AS 4 because I had plenty of drink. Total time 4:52, 1:03 for that leg. I continued to cruise down the single track, trying to save some leg for Sun Top Rd., to AS #5 where I got to see the family and change into my third shirt. Again I took way to long talking with the kids and consoling the dogs. Total time 5:50, 58 minutes for that leg. I started out the day in my NODM shirt which was perfect, long sleeved and turtle neck then changed into a short sleeve at AS #3. It was still cold but I knew it was the right choice with the sun starting to come out. And then a cutoff short sleeve at AS #5 which kept me more than cool all day but would and did give me a nice rash from my Hydro pack. So off I went again to another climb that again seemed to go on foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I was definitely feeling the hills by the time I came into AS 6. My run walk the ups had become mostly walk. Total time 7:03, 1:13 for that leg. After filling up my supplies and not being able to talk James Varner out of DNF’ing I was off. It had turned into a nice day but still not as warm as I would have liked. I walked pretty much all the ups in this section. My up hill muscles were done for the day and both calves had been cramping for a while (not from lack of salt). I get to AS 7 and it feels like my legs are done but my mind is thinking Fly! Total time 8:35, 1:31 for that leg. Now all the long climbs are out of the way, I'm at the top, 38 miles down and a couple of easy 10K's (actually they updated it to 7 miles each) to go. My plan was to fly down Sun Top Rd. as I did at the end of the training run which was only 25 miles then, some how, stagger the last 10K to the finish. Well as I'm changing into my light soft road shoes TP comes into the AS and is gone before I could get my calf and hip un-cramped from sitting and changing shoes. He got about a 200 or more yards head start and it looked like we going the same pace. Well I've never run with him before so I tried to speed up. It took me what seems like 2 miles to finally catch him, but it was worth it. We chatted for a while, all the way down to the bottom, passing 4 or 5 maybe 6 runners. I don’t know it's kind of foggy now. But as soon as the road flattened out at the bottom he was gone and I was left wondering how I was going to make it the last 8 1/2 miles to the finish. Soon after that I came to the end of the road and my "crew". They were in the van watching a movie. I got my bag of goodies back that I had left in the van at AS #5 and I was off, into the woods, paused at the last AS to grab a couple a GU's and some coke. Total time 9:36, 1:01 for that leg. I was able to go at a good pace but I got passed by a few people. I don't know what it was, maybe I got a second wind or maybe it was that I was smelling the finish or maybe it was the light Kayano's that were giving me a boost. I picked up the pace and passed three or four people some of whom had just passed me. I would say "don't worry about me; you're still 58 minutes ahead of me". I ran most of that section even the ups. Some people don’t like this part; it’s kind of technical especially when you’re tired. I ran it on fresh legs two weeks ago and it was great. I guess in my mind I was remembering that run which gave me the extra speed. I finished strong at 10:51, 1:15 for that last leg. After the race everybody hung out and ate and talked and would cheer on the finishers as they came in, some just making the cut-off of 7:30 pm.

Mileage this week
Total 62 miles, 1053 ytd