Sunday, April 29, 2007

Capitol Peak ...

Tuesday I did 4 easy miles and Thursday I did 4 fast miles.

Friday I went down early to run the 50 miler down in the Capitol Forest. I got a call from my wife who got a call from a friend of my dad's around 9:30. It was his 69th birthday and he had flat lined while out dancing at the Auburn Eagles. They were very panicked. My dad walks everyday and eats way better than I do, so this was a huge surprise to everyone. They were doing CPR and waiting for an Ambulance.
I had to get up there and fast. So I took Shawn's car and hauled up to Auburn Medical. When I got there he was having a procedure done to open up 2 of his arteries. After a while they wheeled him past on his way up to ICU. He looked good considering he was drugged, unconscious and tubed. The Dr. told us about his condition. He said they wouldn't take the tube out or let him wake up until Saturday night(24 hours). And his heart was just as good as it was when he woke up that morning. So I had to figure out what to do next. Do I sit in the hospital all night and watch him sleep(there were 4 people doing that already, my sister, his girlfriend and 2 of his friends) or do I bring Shawn's car back and get her to her race. I had left her there so she could sleep even though she was quick to say she would come with me and forget the 50 miler. I probably said something about she wasn't getting out of it that easy but I don't remember. I decided he would be fine without me there and he had enough people looking after him and he wouldn't be any better off if I left until morning. I was on the phone for most of the drive down to the motel so it went by fast and I was back in bed before 2:00am.
I got another update call in the morning before we left updating me and confirming that nothing would change until Saturday night. So I decided to run the race and then be back before they woke him up. I figured it would help me to relax and de-stress a little and keep my mind off it for a while.

The Race.
We started off in the dark. There was Eric, Karen, Shawn, and I and 5 or 6 others and Shela. I needed another 15 minutes to prepare but when the "gun" goes off you gotta go! First thing, I was rusty at running in the dark. I couldn't see anything. It was warm and by the 1 mile mark I was sweating even though we were going at a very easy pace. By mile 2 I had shed my gloves and windbreaker. I think everybody else did pretty much the same thing. The pack thinned out quickly. It was Eric, Shawn and I up front followed a ways back by Karen and one other person. By the first aid station Karen and her companion were no where in sight.
It was a beautiful morning. The sun was up and it was warm. I would have never figured Capitol Peak could be so nice. We were running easy all the way through A/S 2 and 3. Shela and I were taking turns at spider web duty but she doesn't do a very good jog so I was still taking mouthfuls of them and after a while I got smart and grabbed a twig to bat them down.
We finally got passed by a 50 mile regular starter and the winner, Jim Kirby, at the 3rd A/S which was also the Start/Finish line. We had been running so easy up to this point, I felt the need to push a little on some of the uphills by just continuing the same pace until I felt labored or until Shawn would start to walk. I also felt Eric was running to easy and wanted him to step it up a little so his Marathon on Sunday would be a little tougher workout. He can't just coast all day and expect to do well at Western!
I felt so good climbing up Capitol Peak. I don't know how to describe it. I had only gotten 1 1/2 hours sleep but it didn't seem like it affected me at all. Shawn said that her knee had made itself known and that she wanted to take it easy on the downhills. What a spoil sport. I love flying down the downhill. ;) I was a good wing man and kept the pace reasonable but still made her push it once in a while.
I'm still amazed at how nice the trail was. Very little mud and NO SNOW! I even have a tan line on my legs. I passed the marathon mark at 5:34 and then pulled into the 6th A/S. I talked with Shawn for almost 7 minutes and we decided to take it easy and change to the 55k and skip the extra 15 mile loop. Her knee would be better served by the shorter distance and my mind wasn't being distracted enough to be out there any longer. So we headed to the finish and Eric went off to do the extra 15 miles and we never saw him again.
After finishing our food we picked up the pace. Our mile times were from 8:43 to 10:50.
We finished in 7:14. After a nice cold soak in the creek I had some soup and a beer (thanks Bill). We hung out for a little while but I needed to get back.

Today I feel great. I don't feel like I ran 35 miles or even 20 miles.
My dad is a wake, his memory is back, he's stable and just laying around, complaining, and waiting for his turn to be cracked open for heart bypass surgery.

Photo's by Glenn!!!

Best shot of me running ... Ever!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mt. Si

After a hard 12 summits last weekend, I took it real easy this week. I figured I'd need my strength to run strong for 50 miles.

Short version: 8:31, PR by 57 minutes, missed goal by 11 minutes.
Long Version:
I slept in Again. Turns out my Alarm clock is set 1 day a head so it thought Sunday was Monday and didn't go off until 5:45. I heard about that when I got home! So I get to the start with 10 minutes to get ready and with about 30 seconds to spare I get to the crowd near the starting line. And off we went. My plan for the day was to run no faster than a 9 m/m unless I was free falling some short hill, and to run no slower than a 10 m/m even on the hills.

With no time for mental preparation I start running like a madman at 10k pace. It took nearly a mile, but I finally reigned myself in to much smarter pace. 1st mile, 8:34 oops, 2ND mile 9:19. That's closer but I really should 9:45 at the fastest.
Right at about 2 miles I passed about 12 people that were all walking up a short but fairly steep hill. I guess they went out too fast and are tired already? Just kidding. I ran fairly even mile splits down to the 10 mile turn around (the lowest point of the course, Time:1:33, 7 min. head) and back to the 14 mile A/S. Time: 2:14, 6 min. ahead I spent an extra minute or so here filling my bottle with the toxic drink they had. (I tested everything from there on, before it went into my bottle) I had to pour it out after 2 miles and went the rest of the way to the 20 mile A/S with no water. Time: 3:10, 10 min. ahead.

This is where I picked up my pacer Shawn "gimpy" Lawson. She would be my pacer by bike. There's no way I could spend 5+ hours sitting on a bike seat. Hat's off to a great pacer with buns of steel. She gave me the low down on how the front runners were doing and how far a head the runners that she thought I should pass were. It took a while to get into a rhythm and at the 29 mile A/S we had pretty much figured it out. I still would like to spend less time just standing around trying to figure out what looks good, but it was a lot faster than if I'd been by myself. Time @ 50k 5:10, buffer gone.

Somewhere between 30 and 34 miles I started to doubt my strategy. I was still running strong and about at the 10 m/m pace I wanted, but running at the same pace for 50 miles doesn't really match the course elevation profile. I should have tried to run slightly slow from 10 to 34 miles which is slightly up hill the whole way. Oops! This is the plan I made and I'm sticking to it. There was a bit of a surprise at 34 miles. The A/S was moved so we had to run down a very steep hill for about 100 yards and then turn around and right back up it. I flew down the hill and had to use the closed steal gate to stop myself. Time: 5:48, 3 min. behind. I took the opportunity to get a little extra food in while walking back up. Maybe too much food! I got to the top and figured I could make up some time on the down hill.
Right at 36 miles I was sucking on a Gel and that gave me a slight gag reflex, which has happened 100's of times before, no biggie. Well this time I got a tiny bit of bile and that triggered an instantaneous explosion of 2 1/2 bottles of drink 3 gels and a half a bottle of espresso drink, and some chips. Wow I never knew my stomach was that big! Thinking back I was the slightest bit queasy from trying to push to pace for the last 2 miles to the 34 mile turn around. Live and learn. Good news was I felt so good after getting sick I was running faster, and much lighter on my feet. It felt like I was making up time all the way to the 40 mile A/S. Time:6:45, 5 min. behind.

The last 10 miles were run until I felt like walking and then I'd walk for under a minute. At the end I was running out of energy and all systems were failing fast. It was probably all in my head because I knew I couldn't meet my 8:20 goal.

Overall I had a great day. I might have been able to run the 8:20 if I had run a little smarter but I'm still happy with my performance. And now I know I can get sick, toss my lunch and come back strong.

It was great to see so many 1st time 50k and 50 mile runners out giving it their all.
Since I didn't have my camera with me and I haven't "borrowed" anybody pictures yet here is some interesting information.

The red is the elevation for 12 Summits the Green is Mt. Si 50 miler.

Mileage: 54 for the week/510 for the year

Saturday, April 14, 2007

12 summits

This week started out with a continuation of last week. I'm just trying to remember how to run without stopping to walk the hills, because there are no hills at the Mt. Si 50 miler.
Monday 0
Tuesday: After dinner (Turkey Soft Tacos) I did 10 miles on the very flat Cedar River Trail. My average pace was 6.2 mph, max speed was 7 mph. I felt really good and I was having a hard time keeping my speed down at the end. The last miles were at and then under 9:00 m/m.
Wednesday 0
Thursday: After dinner (Clam Chowder) I ran around Lake Youngs. I did the 9.6 miles in an average pace of 6.8 mph and a max of 8.3 mph. I know not an even pace but I was tired of running 10 minute miles. I tried to do the first mile slow, 9:19 and the last mile slow 9:26 but the rest were not, 2 miles right at 9 m/m, 5 miles at 8:45 or faster and one at 8:10. It felt real good to run a quicker pace.
Friday 0
Saturday: 12 Summits, 34 miles, over 10,000 elevation gain, 4.1 mph avg, 8.7 max. You can read about it from Eric or Tc.
It was a good run with good company. The weather and trail conditions were perfect. I was sure I'd be only doing 10 or 11 summits because Eric and TC are way faster than I am. Tc was his usual tour guide for the first timer Eric. Telling him to go easy on the ups or you'll be sorry on the way back. "you're gonna want to walk this one" he'd say as he ran up ahead. It didn't seem like either one of them was working very hard. As for me I was ready, as usual, to turn around 3/4 the way up the 1st summit. But since I was out front a little nobody noticed. I slowed and TC went screaming past me. At least I didn't get an elbow as he went by. ;) Just kidding, he only does that in races. We arrived at the top of our 1st summit and it was fogged in, so without haste we headed down and up to our 2nd and then 3rd summits, both also fogged in.


The journey to our next summit is much longer almost an hour. There are still a few blown downs so following the trail can be difficult. The section from the Christmas tree to where you cross the Preston trail is runnable in both directions and some of my favorite trail. I felt good and was running as fast or as slow as I wanted. We hit the road up to our 4th summit and Tc didn't do his usual extra up and down. He said he wasn't feeling fresh but I think he was saving up for later. This summit was also fogged in and I was starting to think it would be like that all day. It's logging road nearly all the way to the next summit. We run and talked about Imus and other things. I didn't even know who this guy was a week ago. The road dead ends about 100 yards from the 5th summit and it's straight up from there. I decided to run it to see if I could get Eric to follow. He didn't. So I pulled out my camera and just waited at the top.

Down the back side is some real good downhill running trail. But after only 4 1/2 minutes Tc said he wanted to Not take a left and continue down this beautiful downhill section. So we went straight which was steeper and more rocky and overgrown and much slower. He blamed it on Glenn. After running back up a logging road we met up with the "real" trail and then the dog leg to our 6th summit. On the last section to the turn around we only saw 2 people and 1 dog. No horses or groups of 8 family members out for a hike. I know the keys were in here somewhere!

We had a nice long break at the car before heading back. I stiffened up a little from all the standing around (12 minutes) but it only took a few minutes to get back into the grove. I felt like I was lagging behind a little until we got near the dog leg to South Tiger. I guess my meal started to kick in at the top. I purposefully had been going easy on the gel and had only had 1 on the way out to the turn around. When we got back down to our gear I wasted no time. I was moving before I even had my pack on. I knew they would pull away from me once we hit the road. I really had to push to keep up on the road and Eric had to do the same on the trail. Once we started the climb up to Middle Tiger we really spread out. I figured we would but I thought it would be me bringing up the rear. Tc was 1 switchback ahead of me and Eric was 1 switchback behind. Tc waited for us in the sun on the backside of the summit. It was the same story on the way to East Tiger but this time Tc threw in a 100 yard hill repeat. We headed out down into the woods and got some good running on the way to the Christmas tree. From there it was more walk than run up to Tiger #1. While I waited for Tc and Eric I took some pictures and gave Shela a snack.

We ran down and up to Tiger #2 where we were treated to a nice 3/4 moon from some "picnickers" up by the communication towers. After a few minutes of laughing we run over to Tiger #3. Tc went down the "#3 freeway" and I treated Eric to a trip down the very steep and technical Nook trail. I like the Nook because no matter how tired you may be you're going to work hard getting down to the bottom. After getting Shela one last drink and washing my shoes in a stream we met Tc at the cars. It took him a few tries but Eric finally talked us into stopping for a snack while he picked up a Pizza for his wife.
Sunday: I did a jog, shuffle, walk with the kids for 3.25 miles easy miles. I was pushing them in the bike trailer but it was still an easy run.

Today my quads are still on fire from 12 summits. I think after an easy week they'll be really ready to do Mt. Si.
Total: 57

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Miles, Miles and More Miles (eggs, eggs & more eggs)

This was the highest (non race week) mileage week in a real long time.

Zero, I take most Mondays off. Usually because of a Race or Double from the weekend.
2.4 miles, I did a hill workout on the treadmill. It always seems like I've been on it for hours, then I look down and I 'm just getting to a half a mile.
Wednesday: 7.1
Tempo run. In preparation for Mt Si 50 miler, I'm trying to teach my legs to run at the same slow pace (about 6.2 mph) on flat or on the ups or downs. Except for a few seconds here and there, I ran between 6.2 & 7 mph the whole way. I put an Aerobics DVD in before I went running so I could jump into it without letting my heart rate drop. And as soon as I ran in the door, Jenn and I did 40 minutes of hardcore cardio and boot camp aerobics. Avg. 6.0 mph.
Thursday: 6.1
Another Tempo run. This time I set my watch to beep annoyingly at me whenever I went too fast or slow. My speed was much more controlled (no 8.3 mph like yesterday)Avg. 6.1 mph. Time 59:59.1 (I said I'd be back in an hour ;)
Friday: 0
Zero miles but I did spend 9 hours on my feet watching the kids so Jenn could go to the office for a day off. I need to do this more often. My feet were killing me!
Saturday: 18.4 up at 4:30 am!
I wanted to run 2 tempo laps around the lake but I had 2 egg hunts to go to and I didn't want to run it in the dark, again. So I came up with a split workout. After what seemed like a just few minutes of sleep, I got up and headed out onto the Cedar River Trail that goes right past my house. Somehow I got a late start (maybe I fell asleep while putting my shoes on?) and couldn't finish 10 miles on time unless I sped up, which I didn't want to do, so I turned around short and headed home. I did stop to read a new sign that I noticed a few days earlier.

This part of the trail floods from blocked drains, a lot, I'm glad they are fixing it.

At around 7 3/4 miles it was 6:30 and it seemed pretty light out. Light enough for the Tiger gate to be open. I hope it will be next weekend. I finished up before 7, ran in the house, grabbed my keys, no licence or wallet, said hi and goodbye to everyone, and drove up to Lake Youngs for the second half of my run. Same plan as before except here there are actual hills, not just 2 or 3 degree inclines. The beeping watch really kept me on track. I dipped below 5 mph 4 times, 2 were on hills but only for a few seconds and 2 were for a quick nature call. Funny thing, looking at my heart rate graph it looks a lot like the altitude graph. I finished the last 2 hills really having to push to keep the pace. My HR got up to 170. Stats for the run; Avg speed 6.2 mph or 9.50 m/m, highest speed 7.7 mph (it's so hard to go that slow on the downhills). This was a great run for me, opposite but great. I normally slow way down going up the hills and fly going down, it's much more fun that way. I arrived back at the house with just enough time to take an ice bath and get ready for the days festivities.
Sunday: 12
Jenn & I headed out the door at 6:30 to do another 2 laps around the lake. After dropping the 3 kids off at Granny's we started running just before 7 am. We did the usual run walk, easy pace that we always do. Even though it had rained the night before the trail was still in great shape. The only mud was on the eastern half of the loop. Jenn's been progressing well with her ability to go further and further. Today was not to be one of those days. Her knee was bothering her so we quit at 12 miles. She ended up doing more miles on the treadmill later. We could have stayed and gone a bit slower but I had to get home to put the Turkey in the oven. We had 16 people coming over for dinner. Of course I ate way too much. Everything was just soooo good!

Total: 46

This Pix was while waiting to have their faces painted. You can see Arthur didn't want anything to do with it. While the other two couldn't wait to get painted. Jessica was excited it was going to be blue. It didn't matter what it was as long as it was blue!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Another Easy Week

I didn't do anything challenging this week. It was more of a maintenance mileage week then anything else. A few short runs and some cross training.

This weekend I did a 10 mile tempo run in the dark Saturday morning and then off to an Easter egg hunt.

Sunday an easy 9 miles Sunday morning then off to another Birthday party.
Total Miles 30.2