Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pigtails 50k

I was hopping for snow when I woke up but it didn't make it this far south. After dropping the kids at granny's Jenn and I headed to the trailhead to start our lap together at 6 am. There was supposed to be a few others starting at that same time but I guess they started even earlier.

We got off to a pretty slow start. We had a couple stops in the first mile to remove rocks from Jenn's shoes and a couple to figure out holding leashes, bottles and lights, but we quickly got into a Rhythm after that. We passed Tc going the other way, I guess his trainee didn't show. Then Shawn pulling her spare tire, but by then it was light. We had a nice run. Jenn finished stronger than last year and only 6 minutes slower. Lap #1 time 2:21

I started lap 2 without Shela, cold and with very tight legs. Shela was just too distracted by all the runners and loose dogs, and I didn't feel like fighting with her for 3 hours. My legs were tight from running slow with Jenn. I think it's more work to go that slow then my natural or trained pace. Soon after I started Gwen caught up to me and we ran (or what seemed like sprinting) the 2nd lap together. I think she kept going faster in hopes that I would run out of breath and stop talking. And it worked on a few of the uphills. I guess she just asked all the right questions that turned me into a chatty Kathy. We finished the lap in 1:22 and I didn't stop until I got to the Port-a-Potty. Luckily she was gone when I came out, I don't think I could have made another lap like that. I had a nice long A/S break and then away I went alone again.

I felt pretty good starting this 3rd lap. I could tell I didn't eat enough but I had a gel and figured that would be good to make the last lap.

After about 7 mile TP caught me and we ran together for about a mile but I didn't feel like working that hard anymore so I let him pull away. I finished that lap in 1:31 (not including the A/S time) and again had to hit the head. Something didn't agree with me today. I'll have to figure that one out later. I dropped all my stuff and headed out for the Out & Back to make the distance for the day 50k. I figured it's only a couple miles so I pushed the pace. James was out walking the course and I passed him just before the turn around. I guess he got bored sitting around the finish. That's what you get for being so fast. I finished in 5:44.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mega Fat Ass Figure 8

I finished 7th out of about 130 runners that started, 100 made it to 17 miles, 25 made it to 25 miles, and only 15 of us made the whole 35 miles. WOW!

Due to too much snow, the Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass course was changed to a double lollipop (or figure 8) course done twice. This meant less climbing and less snow and a lot more mud. It could have been a much easier and faster course but because of the condition of the trail it wasn't and there were many more people than normal that stopped at the half-way mark and the times would be slow or at least mine was. It's a lot of work to either skip, hop and jump over the worst parts, or just plow straight through. I heard a lot of runners complaining of hip pains, I guess from all the lateral motion.

The first loop was completely runnable. Weather you did or should was a different story. On the Suunto I recorded about 700 feet of gain which is less than a loop around Lake Youngs. I ran all of the first loop in just under 1:20 and kept going through the A/S onto the second loop. I knew that was way too fast but this was just a fun run and I was having fun. Plus I knew the course would be flat and I expected it to be easier than it was.

Not long into the second loop Shawn caught up to me. We ran within shouting distance of each other for the rest of the day. She was supposed to be running with Tc but she said he ran ahead, and I said "well he didn't pass me". I guess she passed him when he was in the bushes. Somewhere before we hit snow Glenn Rogers caught us, I think we had slowed a bit. This kept us entertained with Adventure Racing stories and sucked us into his 17 mile pace. OK I was in front so I can't blame anyone else. When we turned off onto the detour Glenn said "It's all downhill from here". It didn't matter if that was true or not, I put on my coasting legs and notched up the pace a little. We passed about 4 runners from there to the finish. A couple of them stayed with us and/or we were caught by a couple, because by the time we hit the dreaded clay trench the train of runners was 5 or so long (I didn't look back) and steaming full speed down the trail. Shawn was the caboose, I'm sure she was laughing at the ridiculous pace we were running, knowing we were only halfway done. But, I kept picking up the pace in short bursts and they would slowly reel me in. I guess I was a good motivator for them to finish strong. We hit the A/S at about 3:04, way too fast for this course in this mud. The rest of the train thanked me for bringing them in strong. I couldn't talk any of them into continuing on for another loop.

As I'm dumping my pack, Van comes in and out of the A/S in under 7 seconds, and that would be the last that I saw of her until the finish. After 5 minutes, I finally get my gear transferred around and Shawn and I head out for our second time around the first loop. It was a bit muddier and much slower going than the first time around. It took an extra 21 minutes to complete the 8 miles.
Another 5 minute pit stop at the A/S where we got to here about all the people who decided to stop at 17 miles. Maybe they were the smart ones?

The second time time around the second loop gave me 3 new joys. I nearly ran out of drink and had to shout out to Shawn so she would stop and lend me a few ounces to get me to the S&R water stop. I bonked a little right around the same time, probably because I was conserving my drink and not getting the calories I needed. The last thing was a real awesome crash in the dreaded V-notched red clay section only a few miles from the finish. My right foot landed a couple inches too far right and I was down in a flash. All the force was concentrated on the outside of my leg just under the hip. The leg is a pretty color today. It's a good thing I have a beefy IT band there to pad my Femur. After that I just wanted to get to the finish, quickly. Shawn let me lead (probably so she could keep an eye on me) and we blazed the last 2 miles to the finish. That loop was 22 minutes slower than the first time around.

Suunto Says
Distance: 35.3
Elevation Gain: 4888 ft.
Elevation Loss: 4701 ft.
Time: 7:02

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bridle Trails 50k

This year was the first year that weather was not an issue at Bridle Trials. It was raining hard over night so I thought it would be another year of sloshing through puddles that were over 2 feet deep.

I borrowed a portable AM radio from Shawn so I could listen to the Seahawks get their tails kicked. I guess I should have just concentrated on my running. It would have been a lot more fun Not knowing how bad they did until after I ran.

The first lap seemed to go forever. I was thinking that we must be nearing the end but my watch said I'd only gone 2.5 miles of the 5 mile loop. I thought it must be the game that was making time stand still. After the game, in the dark, time didn't move any faster.

My first two laps, before it got dark, were 44 and 48 minutes. It felt like I was running easy, not even working up a sweat. I started the third lap and almost forgot my lights. Luckily I didn't get too far before I remembered. I ran much slower after it got dark half way through the third lap (52 minutes). The last three laps in total darkness were 58, 1:04, and 1:03. I'm not that happy with the last two laps being over an hour but considering the amount of running I've done lately I can't really complain. Time 5:33, a 9 minute PR over the faster frozen course from last year.

Here's a couple a pix from Eric.

Running some where on lap 2. Steve helping out, handing me my headlamp.

Note: The brand of that head lamp is Hummer, it was a gift. Jenn said I couldn't post what I really wanted to write about the headlamp exchange.