Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm still alive...

...not that anyone reads this, but I figured I'd come back, since I'm working on getting back to a place where I'm happy with my running again...

Since I last posted I've run a 100K, a 12 Hour race, 3 50Ks, a Marathon, and a 27.4 mile race... none of my performances are worthy of writing about, but I will say I did have one terrible race at the Green River Marathon this year, though I knew that's what was in store long before starting... If you feel the need to see the results of the races or read my (quick) comments on them, feel free to click the little "Stats" link over on the left...

Really this post only serves to state three things:
  1. My wife & I had a baby in late April, she kicks ass...
  2. I'm back on the wagon and re-learning how to actually train (and so far I feel as though it has been a success)
  3. I might actually try to get back to updating this on occasion... maybe...

Monday, June 07, 2010

I'm a *really* lazy blogger (AKA: Yeesh, my third blog post all year and it's June already...)

Since Lord Hill, the schedule has panned out just as I thought it would...

Tacoma City Marathon
5/2/10 - 3:51:21 - 119th out of 391 finishers
I stayed out quite late the night before celebrating a buddy's birthday and had *really* fallen behind on training prior to this race, so all things considered, I was actually pretty happy with my time. Andre (MM# 764) & I car pooled down together and ran a good chunk of the race together as well.

Watershed Preserve 12 Hour

5/15/10 - 59.13 miles in 11:21:20 - 16th out of 106 finishers
I really enjoyed this race for a lot of different reasons. First off, I got to play on the trails and get a pretty descent amount of miles in (I should have done more in those remaining 39 minutes, but there's always next year). I got in about 50K or so running with various familiar faces, including Eric (MM# 153) & Steve (MM# 510) who are always a blast, then, was joined by Andre who agreed to come out and pace me for the rest of the day, which was great from a motivational stand point. Second, I got to witness a bunch of first - I saw Betsy (MM# 1077) & Matt (MM# 1078) complete 50 miles for the first time, saw Morrie & Zale run their first ultras (31.2 miles!) when their previous distance PRs had been 25K (amazing jump!), and I saw Susan set a distance PR of 19.73 miles despite an early morning pet emergency that kept her from starting 'til noon-ish. To top it off, photographer extraordinaire, Glenn Tachiyama was out there to document the day for us! Check out a few (or all) of his pics from the day...

First Call Spring Run Off Half Marathon
5/22/10 - 2:26:58 - 29th out of 42 finishers
HALF Marathon?!? What the hell was I doing running a half, you may ask. Well, easy answer, this was my buddy Jason's first half marathon, in fact I believe it was his longest run over 5K, so I agreed to run it with him, which was pretty great. The two of us, Morrie, and Susan all car pooled down together. Jason impressed by running the entire distance with out a walk, break, or stop of any sort - congrats Jason! Well done! (When's the next one?)

Green River Marathon
6/5/10 - 3:42:40 - 19th out of 149 finishers
This is a great race that I've done the last 3 years now, which finishes just a few miles from my house. Last year I ran this race on the heels of some damn awful news, this year's race feel a year to the day of that news, so to commemorate (for lack of better word) the day occasion I busted out the same cotton T-shirt I wore last year. I didn't run as fast this year, but I am still quite happy with my time, and enjoyed the race once again.

Photo's of the event by Robcat Keller (please respect his copyright)

Up next is definitely the Vashon Island 50K on 6/26 & possibly The Ghost of Bellevue Marathon the next day to celebrate my birthday (thou' the Ghost is still up in the air, as I will have my parents in town visiting from MN). Besides that, Plain 100 is still the big plan of my up coming races, but I'll be sure to fill in the months in between, and hopefully soon...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am a lazy blogger (AKA: 2010 so far)

Bridle Trails 50K
1/9/10 - 5:40:32 - 46th out of 70 finishers
Slower than last year (no surprise there), but I still had a great time!

Capitol Peaks Mega Fat Ass

1/16/10 - 6:42 - 32nd out of 38 finishers
I got VERY lost toward the end of the race and I had already been going fairly slow, never the less I still enjoyed being out on the trails!

Lord Hill 50K

3/7/10 - 6:26:32 - 4th out of 21 finishers
Got just a wee bit lost in the beginning adding about a mile extra (but so did Shawna the over all winner, so no excuse there). Ran fairly well on the downs, was a bit slow on the ups, and was too slow on the flats of the final loop, but over all I'm happy with the finish. Again, it was on trails, so really how bad could it of been!

My upcoming schedule is still being worked out but as I can see it right now, I have no scheduled events for April. In May I have the Tacoma City Marathon on the 2nd, effectively ending a 7 month long hiatus from long distance road running (sad), and the Redmond Watershed Preserve 12 Hour on the 15th. In June I may once again do the Green River Marathon on the 5th with a firm plan of running the Vashon Island Ultra on the 26th. From there forward things are still up in the air, with the only real solid plan being Plain in September.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2009 = ...

3 Marathons
8 50Ks
2 50 milers
2 100 milers
1 'other' (12 Hour Race, 48.25 miles)

Personal best marathon for 2009 - 3:29:39* (Green River Marathon)
Personal worst marathon for 2009 - 4:36** (Michelle's Grand Ass)

Personal best 50K for 2009 - 4:44* (Pigtail's Run)
Personal worst 50K for 2008 - 6:46:23** (Doppler 50K)

(The 50 milers are COMPLETELY incomparable to one another)

'Favorite' race of 2009 -
Yeesh... I have a great selection to choose from this past year... I promise I'll pick one but let me first say that I really enjoyed all of the following: Bridle Trails 50K, Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass 50K, The White River 50 Mile, STORMY, Hundred in the Hood, Carkeek 12 Hour, and the Doppler 50K. Now, if you're paying attention, you may noticed that all of the fore mentioned involved trail portions, if not entirely, and that's no coincidence. From that list, it's really hard for me to choose, after all, STORMY was my first 100 miler, so that counts for something, having said that I enjoyed Hundred in the Hood even more, White River was once again wonderful, while Cap. Peak, Carkeek, & Doppler were all great in their community feel. In the end I think Bridle Trails edges the rest out, it was the first time I had ran in conditions that sloppy and I had a great time! Doppler gave me plenty of muck too, and it comes in a close 2nd, but it doesn't hold the distinction of being first, thus, Bridle Trails was my favorite race of 2009.

Least enjoyed race of 2009 -
This is easy, Valentine Marathon, no question, I should note that I had great company while running and that does not factor into my choice. I never really properly blogged about the race, one reason was that I really didn't have much good to say about it and I was concerned that bad mouthing the race may some how look bad on my part, now that almost a year has past I can say with out hesitation that I will *never* run another Bob Green Marathon (or holiday marathon, or Kristina Salazar marathon, or whatever else they want to call themselves). The list of reasons why I was unhappy with this race is so long i don't think I have the patience or time to list them all, but here are a few of the highlites (lowlites): it was relatively expensive for a course that was not closed off - the 'official' time keepers were 2 12 year old kids who, guess what, had no interest in actually recording times and acted accordingly - when told that they had ran out of shirts I was offered either a shirt latter or $5 back, I said the $5 would be fine, despite numerous emails I have yet to receive the refund let alone a second response (ie: 'yeah, I'll send you $5, what's your address?' / address sent / no response / 'ummm.. I have yet to receive anything...' / no response / '...seriously, can I have my $5?...' / no response), 3 emails were sent, I have since given up, out of principle though I now tell everyone I can not to run those damn races. (I'm sad I even deadicated this much time to rehashing it.)

Next up: Bridle Trails 2010 (this weekend)!!!

* = PR
** = Personal Worst

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Doppler 50K

(What could be more inviting?)

Alright, so here's the thing, I do my best to live with in my means, but there are a few things that, once I have a taste for them, I want in excessive excess (yep, that much), that list includes, breakfast, La Conner IPA, and miles. Since late July I've been treated to two 100 mile races, a 50 miler, and a 12 hour race (not to mention many an Eggs Benedict and a case of IPA), satiated I should be, but no. So, despite my excitement to run new trails, a week ago 50K was looking just too short.

(The brave few receive their instructions)

On Sunday, I woke up dark and early, prepared and got dressed, kissed the wife goodbye, and was out the door to carpool with fellow West Satellite Mike. We arrived at the Green Mountain trail head in Bremerton with a half hour or so to spare, the perfect amount of time to say some hellos, decide what clothing options to go with, and get briefed by the RD. Despite the pouring rain on the way to the race, by the time we began it had been reduced to a lite drizzle which soon disappeared all together .

(Eric & I, early on, thrilled to be surrounded by woods and snow!)

We were warned prior to starting that it would be best to just run through the puddles as opposed to attempting to avoiding them, this was shown to be good advice early on. After a few puddles which were able to be hopped across or skirted around the 'unavoidables' began to show them selves, the beauty of this of course is that once you go through one, you're already as wet as you can get, which really ends up being a liberating realization, to the point that they become enjoyable!

(Misty Mountain High? Sure, why not?)

About 2/3rds of the course was run along trails with the other 1/3rd on forest service dirt roads, as much as I would have loved 100% trails, the roads were bearable and even provided some scenic views of the Olympic mountains, the Puget sound, and Bremerton below, that, coupled with a light blanket of snow provided for one very enjoyable course!

(Trail? Nope. Stream? Nope. "Unavoidable!" is the proper term!)

The entire run Eric Barnes & I stuck together, and for quite some time we were in good position to come in tied for 3rd (granted there were, at most, 20 other runners), that is until we managed to take a wrong turn and add about an extra mile and a half to 2 miles... oh well, bonus fun/extra credit!

(The Olympics and some blue sky make a guest appearance.)

By the finish, we had been on the course for about 6 hours & 46 minutes, and though, sure, I would loved to have played in the woods for another 20 or so miles, I ended up having a wonderful time and very much hope that this run appears on the calendar for years to come.

(Sorry for the fragmented report, but that's what I'm willing to write right now.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Carkeek 12 Hour

( Coming into the aid station after another lap)

I ran the Carkeek 12 Hour way back on Halloween, I've been meaning to type up a race report ever since but I may have waited too long... here's the short of it (for now, anyway)...
  • The course was 1.93 mile loops with approx. 430ft. of elevation gain per.
  • I ran 25 loops in 11 hours and 40 minutes for a total of 48.25 miles and approx. 10,750 ft. total elevation.
  • I ran ~13 loops with Terry
  • I ran 1 of those 13 in an Elvis costume
  • Some of my favorite running folks were out there, a few were missing too
  • Bob meet me at the end of one of the loops, we chatted and he took a few pics (above and below)
  • Over all, I had a grand old time at this race
  • I apologize that this race report sucks as bad as it does.
('I want a grilled ham & cheese this big!')

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hundred in the Hood!

Shortly after being notified by my wife that she would be visiting her grandmother in Iowa at the end of September, my eyes were glued to race calendars, I know I get bored easily and am always looking for something to do (that's still fun) when ever she's away. I was surprised to see that my local options were quite limited, it came down to 2 races, the Bellingham Bay Marathon or the Hundred in the Hood, the major obstacle with both being expenses. Right away, I knew which race I was more interested in, here's how I saw it, I could pay $110 to run 26.2 miles with about 1400 other runners (including the half marathoners and 5Kers) on the streets of a city I've been to numerous times -OR- I could drop an extra $40, get to run an extra 73.8 miles (turns out it was even more than that) on the famous Pacific Crest Trail which I had yet to step foot on in any state! Again, the decision seemed simple.

After wrangling up some spare $$ (thank you record collection, I knew I kept you around for some reason), arranging a dog sitter (thank you Zale & Morrie), and working out travel arrangements (HUGE thank you Tony, Shawn, & Bob), all that was left to do was the small matter of running 100 miles!

Friday morning I headed to Shawn's house and meet with her and Tony, soon we were on the road to Government Camp, OR. After checking into the hotel (again, HUGE thank you Tony & Shawn) we headed to the race's starting line where packet pick-up was being held, there we said our hellos to a few familiar runners and after a little while headed back into town for pizza and an early retirement to the mattress.

The next morning 3:00am came as early as it sounds like it might, never the less, it was up and at 'em, we got prepared, checked out of the hotel, and drove to the race start with a good half hour or so to spare. The morning was surprisingly chilly and I ended up spending most of the spare time staying toasty in the car, with about 10 minutes 'til the start we headed up and schmoozed a bit with some familiar faces. While waiting for the start I was able to find Rob, he and I had emailed back and forth a bit prior to the race discussing the idea of shooting for a sub-24 hour finish, we had decided that we'd give it a shot but that ultimately, finishing was still the main priority.
(Mt. Hood from about 12 miles in - Photo by Danni Coffman)

At 5am Olga, the co-race director (who, by the way has a great race report on here blog - follow the link), said "GO!" and we were off, into the darkness. I allowed Rob to take the lead, knowing I have no abilities when it comes to even pacing, and soon we were in the woods on the PCT where we would spend the majority of the run. The early going portions, I don't think, could be considered 'technical' but in the dark they did require a bit of consideration prior to each step, but as the hours went forward the trail became smoother and soon the day light was enough to guide our way. Once the headlamp was turned off I really came alive, besides avoiding bees (who managed to sting 3 different runners who were near me, but didn't get me), I was really enjoying my time on the trail, the miles seemed to rush by and before I knew I found myself at the turn around of the first out and back section of the race (mile 14 at Frog Lake). At the aid station I grabbed a few snacks, refilled my water bottle, and was quickly out again.
(The sun begins to sneak through the woods - Photo by Danni Coffman)

The next 14 miles to the 'Horse Camp' aid station flew by even quicker, though I know it is not the case, in my memory the whole distance was a gradual, fast down hill just begging to be run. I felt so comfortable and loose as I cruised down it was ridiculous. When I did arrive at the 'Horse Camp' aid station I couldn't believe 28 miles had already fallen away, in that time I had been treated to great trail conditions and wonderful views of Mt. Hood and Timothy Lake.
(Up along the trail on a perfect day for running- photo by Danni Coffman)

As the race progressed, Rob and I began to get separated on occasion, Rob had run 70+ miles at the Plain 100 less than 2 weeks prior, and as a result, I was just 'feeling' some portions of the race more than he was at the time. I would run ahead then walk for a while until Rob would come up fast on my heals, we kept this going for some time until, at one aid station, Warm Springs Meadows I believe (mile 38.5), I took an extended detour into the woods, working on some, umm, 'secondary business,' when I emerged back on to the trail I was unaware of whether or not I had been passed so I decided to go on as if I had been, it turns out that Rob still was behind me at this point but that wouldn't be known for hours.
(About to begin the second out and back - Photo by Lucinda Iglesias)

The miles between Warm Springs and the Olallie Meadows camp grounds (mile 55) now seem uneventful in my mind, though I can specifically remember my amusement as I headed into the 'Pinheads' aid station and continually passing and being passed by the same two runners as we headed away form it. I guess that since the miles were not momentously bad or good the only portion I really recall well is the brief mile or so that leads off the PCT to the camp ground at mile 55.

When I sat down at Olallie Meadows I changed my socks and shoes, attempted to address some blister issues on the heal of my left foot, and proceeded to eat most everything in site. The volunteers at Olallie were amazing, rushing around making sure each runner had what they needed and then some, I must admit this did make the getting up and leaving all the more unappealing, never the less, I did eventually get up and was once again on my way.

From 55 to the Olallie Lake aid station at mile 58.3 I ran alone, despite the actually distance, this portion seemed long but soon enough I was once again being greeted by friendly volunteers (including a guitar strumming, beer drinking, singer who welcomed runners as we approached)!

I had been feeling good through out the race, but as I continued on to Breitenbush Lake at mile 65 time, time seemed to slow, and miles dropped off slower and slower. At one point, on my way up the hill that way clearly between myself and the aid station, I caught up with Gilles (whom, you may remember I spent the night running with at STORMY), I asked him how much further and he told me that the runner who had just past us going the opposite direction (on the "back" portion of this out and back) told him he had left the aid station 40 minutes (!) ago... I was stunned... how could it still be that much further?

Eventually though, I did arrive, I promptly sat down and soon was talking with 'Mike,' a Californian runner who was attempting his first 100. While talking it became apparent that he was in a bit of a jam, it seems he was with out his drop bag due to some miscommunication between himself and his crew, it was getting cold out and he nothing but what clothes he was already in, I loaned him some cheapo gloves and an extra shirt to layer over what he was already wearing and soon we both headed back into the woods. Once on the trail, it seemed to me the the head lamp Mike was wearing may not be adequate, I insisted he take my hand held flash light as well in case we ended up getting separated, soon there after, that's just what happened. I, for some reason, had gotten my second wind as night fell and was now running good again, eventually I lost sight of Mike behind me but continued forward knowing needed to take advantage of any strong running I had left.

Between 65 and the next aid station at mile 71.4 crossed paths with Rob once again, obviously he was behind me but I was glad to see that he appeared to be moving well so imagine my surprise when I got to the next aid station and there he sat, wrapped up in a blanket sitting next to the fire. He told me he had decided to drop back at mile 65 and was given a ride up to this aid station, I was disappointed for him as I know he was really hoping for a finish, but I won't begin to pretend that I know how it feels to run 70 at Plain and then another 65 less than 2 weeks later, especially knowing that we had both gone out too fast.

I joined Mark Dahlby on the way out of the aid station, together we ran for quite some time. At mile 75, the second visit to Olallie Meadows camp grounds, I once again changed my socks as Mark mumbled a bit about dropping, after a little shit talking from me and some pampering from a very helpful aid station volunteer, we were back on our feet, trying to stay warm as we headed back to the 'Pinheads' aid station.

Despite the good company from Dahlby, miles 75 to 'pinheads' at 85.6 were an unquestionable low spot for me. The entire 10 or so miles, I struggled trying to regulate my temperature going back and forth between too cold and too warm, on the few occasions that I did feel comfortable drowsiness would creep in, and my sleepy feelings were only worsened when the batteries in my head lamp began to dim. Mark did his best to keep me going though I am confident that I slowed us both down considerably, at one point I even needed to use his hand held as my headlamp had dimmed just too much to be useful. When we finally got to 'Pinheads' I was a mess, i sat down to change my batteries and was soon falling asleep being cared for by the volunteers like an ER patient. I told Mark to be on his way, as he was clearly moving better than I was and I had already wasted enough of his time as he waited there for me.

When I finally did head out, I was lucky enough to quickly end up on the heals of 2 more CA runners, Danni & Chris, they first offered to let me pass, but I had just worked hard to catch up with them and when I declined, Danni asked if I wanted to stick with them for a while, I jumped at the opportunity and was thrilled to have company. Despite the fact that I had gone back out on the trail on my own accord, I was still feeling, mentally, very fuzzy, and I can say for a fact that had I not joined up with these two I would have really been stuck in my rut.

I ran with Danni & Chris up until the last 3 miles or so, at which point I decided I'd see what, if anything, I has left. Shortly after breaking off and moving ahead of them I paused and sat on a log (don't ask me why, I really can't say except that I was feeling sorry for my self) very soon after I heard Chris's voice instructing me to "go on, git!," it made me laugh and got my ass in gear one last time, from that point on moved forward with purpose, running a good chunk and walking with determination when running didn't feel like an option. Finally, I saw the turn off on to the road which I knew lead to the finish, I began to run and didn't stop 'til I crossed the line, relieved and exhausted. My official finish time was 28:56:19, almost an hour faster than my STORMY finish time.
(At the finish line with co-race director Olga - Photo by Allison Moore)

At the finish line I was meet by Bob (who's been frequently referenced in past posts) who drove down to see me finish and, eventually, drive me back to Washington. We stuck around for quite some time BSing with other runners and sipping on a few brews (me, not Bob ;-). We ended up seeing all but the final finisher come in and from there headed back to Government Camp to have a burger and beer at the Mt. Hood Brewery. Within about 15 minutes of leaving the restaurant, I was fast asleep in the passenger seat, I stayed that way until we were about 50 miles into WA.

(Surveying the damage - Photos by Allisone Moore & Bob)

In the end, I generally had a great time out at 'Hood,' though I must admit, I feel like I'm may need to be out there next year again, just because I do think I can run better and faster on that course. At this point recovery is going well and I'm looking forward to the Carkeek 12 hour at the end of the month, between now and then I have my first half marathon (weird, I know) and hopefully plenty of good training miles!