Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chuckanut 2009

My fitness level and hill training were not up to pair with my planned pace to reach the finish in around 5 hours. Or maybe I'm just not that fast.

I made it to the top (where A/S 3 is normally located) right on schedule but then gave up 20 minutes on the top loop by taking it too easy trying not to burn myself up (like I have in previous years). The road down was more work than I had planned because of my cramping hamstrings but I made it down in good time. Faster than last year but not quite on pace for this year.

Once I hit the bottom it was just too much work to make my legs shuffle fast while my hamstrings were trying to cramp. About 2 miles for the finish I could tell I could still finish in under 5:30 so I picked it up a little and managed to pass 2-3 runners. I finished in 5:28, 17th master, 72th overall. That's 13 1/2 minutes faster than last year but not where I'd like to be. I guess it's time to get off the sidewalks
and back on the trails.

Picture by Glenn Tachiyama

Thanks Glenn!

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Dash

Despite the cold wet weather we all had a great time at our 1st St. Patrick's Day Dash. The 3 kids did great in their race, especially Nicolette. She exceeded what I thought she could do, but I'll let Jenn blog about that for reasons you already know.

As the dollar sized snow flakes fell, I stood undercover waiting as long as I could before stripping off my pants and jacket. Finally with about 5 minutes before the gun I said my goodbyes and headed for the green wave corral. It's funny, there are thousands of runners there I end up standing next to fellow maniac Michael Shiach (he finished in 29:01). I tried to stay warm and loose until the gun went off but it was just too cold.

At the start it was a 300 yard Mad Dash for the first turn through the snowy puddle ridden streets. My feet were already half frozen so at this point, they could only get warmer. I tried to take it easy for the first mile so I could loosen and heat up my legs. After a half a mile I was warmed up and started to pass people. It's uphill from about a third of a mile to the 2 mile mark then it's a tenth of a mile to the turnaround. I held it pretty steady at about a 7:00 m/m up the hill. It was steeper than I had expected but I figured I could make it up on the way back down.

At the turn around I felt good so I pushed it to about a 6:00 m/m and held it there to the finish. I finished in 24:43 which is a 6:36 pace if the course distance is correct. I suspect it might be a little long.

Since I didn't wear any green I had Jenn paint a Brooks Logo on my cheek.

Here are the unofficial results. The timing company is still cleaning up the mistakes.

Division place: 14 out of 379,
Gender place: 94 out of 3423,
Overall place: 111 out of 7247,
Time: 24:43,
Pace: 6:36

After the race we went straight home to warm up and dry out. The sun came out so I went for a nice 6.5 cool down.

Next up Chuckanut 50k.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Was I on Tiger or Cougar?

I thought I was running on Tiger Mt. but after I saw this I had to rethink that.

It was really cool seeing these prints in the snow. If I had been by myself I think the reaction would have been a little different. It was snowing so I could tell the cat was less than a minute ahead of us.

I had a great run this morning it was a ~15 mile out and back to East Tiger for a total of 7 peaks. It was a little icy going up the nook and over to T2 and T3 but then it was all powder, and once we took the turn to East there were no footprints (except the ones above).

I felt good, I was fast all the way up to T1, T2 and T3 on the return trip. We ended up being out there a little longer than I had planned but I'm blaming it on the ice and the sightseeing.

At the turn around.

This was a great run. My knee was and still is feeling great, almost 100%,. I had plenty of energy the entire way and the snow was awesome.

I have one of those smiles that come from a perfect moment in life. I think it'll be there all day.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rain turned to Sushine

It was raining pretty good this morning on the way up to Tiger Mt. but by the time I made it to the trail head it had stopped and there were even a few tiny speckles of blue in the sky. I met up with Tony and Joe and Shawna and Shawn and shared the trail with them for an hour and a half. They went on to do 12 Summits, or at least that was the plan when I turned around. I did 12 Summits last weekend on an even nicer day than today and my training schedule and knees couldn't fit another one in this weekend.

My run was to be a 3 hour out and back. I ran up the Nook, over T3, T2 and T1 and then down past the X-mas tree and hung a left and headed out toward East Tiger. I ran a total of 1:24 and then stopped. I stopped at the lowest point between T1 and East. It's the large creek crossing just inside the woods after the first small clear cut. Looking back now, I should have gone further maybe to the Preston RR grade crossing. Anyway... I chatted with Shawn and Shawna for a few minutes while we waited for Joe and Tony to show up at the creek. Joe had lost his shoe in some nasty mud so they fell behind. I headed back up over 1 2 and 3 and down the nook stopping to talk to Glenn and then Charlie. I tried to push hard on all the up's thinking it was going to take longer to get back because I Near negative split anything. I was shocked to find it only took me 1:03 to get back which means without the chatting I would have been well under and hour. I think next time I'll go all the way to the next summit and see how that works out for a "3 hour" run.

The good news is, my knee is 70% recovered from the fall I took a month ago so hopefully after Boston I'll be able to ramp up my mileage quickly.