Saturday, November 11, 2006

The 5K had good weather, in-between rain storms, the course was three loops on the fitness trail with one 20ft long puddle with water almost up to your knees! Twice it untied my shoes going through it(forgot to double tie). First lap was was ok 7:20, but I slowed down from there and finished in 24 again. Just can't seem to generate any speed these days. Fortunately, I finished 7th out of 11 and they gave out pumpkin pies to the top ten.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wow! It's been over a month since I've done any long runs on trails. It was great to get out to the Capitol forest. I was joined by Chris, DJ, and James for a run from Camp Wedekind around the 17 mile Hell's Creek loop. We started around 8:30 under sunny skies, temp about 45, perfect conditions. However, the first mile was alittle brushy, and the brush was wet. James in the lead took the brunt of it, but he stayed in his "happy place" and plowed through. The trail was gently rolling, had a good run until about half way when I turned my ankle for the second time in 2 days. Took a few minutes to shake it off, hurt mostly on the downhills. The last of 4 of 5 miles are the climb of the run. Ran most of it till my ankle hurt too much, the last mile was all downhill, which was painful but ok. Finished in 3:42, felt sore and great, with a nice view of Mt Rainier in the distance. It was good to run a long run again, especially with great company!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

The run was planned as a loop out of Sol Duc along the High Divide with a side trip to the summit of Mt. Carrie. Robert McIntosh and I took off Thursday afternoon and made it to the Sol Duc resort restaurant in time for dinner. We spent a restful night in his VW camper, except for one errant mouse, with Robert setting his alarm for 4:20 in the morning. Fortunately, he slept through the alarm and we woke at a more civilized 7:00. On the trail at 7:30, we made it about a mile before Robert realized he forgot his water, and ran back to get it. The weather was promising as we ran the 8 miles to Heart Lake where we broke into a beautiful open valley of heather and huckleberries and one bear. Instead of going to the right to the High Divide, we broke left on a trail that skirted Cat mountain with outstanding views of the Hoh river valley, however clouds covered Mt. Olympus and the Bailey Range. To thirds the way around Cat Mountain the trail ends, and the mountain goat scramble starts. A knife edge ridge with sick drops on both sides, called the Cat Walk, is the bridge to Mt. Carrie. Would have been more fun if it wasn't wet. There's no real trail up Mt. Carrie, mostly scrambling up rock and scree, through misty clouds. Our main concern was losing visibility on the way down, but it cleared up a bit at the summit. After a couple of photos, we started down and immediately got caught in a small blizzard. It cleared up quickly, but it was slow going down. When we reached the cutoff to the High Divide, it was obvious we would be finishing in the dark, so we headed back the same way and reached the car around 9. All in all a great trip, the open meadows, glaciers and steep drops were amazing. Best of all, there were zillions of perfectly ripe huckleberries. When I'm reincarnated, I want to be a bear living in the upper Sol Duc!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Last year was my first year running ultras. I entered a couple ultras in Oregon and had alot of fun. I learned about the Oregon ultra series and after viewing my age group results and how I compared, I thought I might have a chance of finishing in the top 3. Your score is determined by how many points are earned per race, with the top 4 race scores added for your total. I planned to run 5 out of the 7 races and included all the longer races since they score higher points. I'm not a fast runner, at my first race at Hagg Lake 50K, I won an award for placing exactly mid-pak! However, after a couple of races, due to who showed up and who I beat, I found myself in first place of my age group! I remained in first place through the first five races. Where's Waldo 100K would decide the winner of our age group by my careful calculations. Mike Burke would beat me, and just by finishing, I would wrap up second in my age group for the series. Way too cool!! Unfortunately, I didn't finish Waldo, so tonight I found that I'm now in 4th place, and could drop more after McKenzie River 50K. Hell's bells!!! I anguished over my decision to drop at Waldo a thousand times, but eventually chaulked it up to the vast unknowns of ultra racing. All in all, I'm very happy with my results this year. I'm still the fastest open heart survivor ultra runner. I won't compete in the series next year, want to do some races in Washington, but I will definitely go after that Waldo hat.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

They say half the fun is getting there and that was my experience for Waldo. I was to ride down with John, then back with Chris. We met at my house to caravan down to Willamette Pass, but as soon as we hit the freeway, Chris took off like a shot and we never saw her again until she pulled in right behind us at the pass. Meanwhile, we flew down I-5 with Colorado road trip music blaring and John talking non-stop on the cell about Cascade Crest. John began eating everything in the car, (about 3,000 calories!) including part of my lunch, then he made me drive because his leg was getting stiff (who was running the ultra the next day?). People gawked at the rest stop as John stuck his leg in a garbage can to stretch his hamstring(you know the drill). But the best was his money juggling magic trick. At the gas station, I tossed him a 20, with the window open and the wind blowing, the bill danced in the air as John juggled it with his hands several times and then it disappeared! We looked in the car but the 20 was gone. John launched out the door and started looking all over the gas station and roadside. Of course there was a long line of cars behind us, so I paid another twenty and as we took off, he anguished how he would never live this down. He even offered me a $100 to keep my mouth shut! As a true magician, when we got to the Willamette pass parking lot, John opened up the back door and pulled out the 20! We camped near the start line so it was easy to get up at 2am, wander over for coffee and a bagel and get ready for the 3am start. I started in second place so I wouldn't get wiped out by trail dust, but there were a bunch of fast runners in the start, so I let about ten go and settled in a pack led by Steve Peterson from my age group. We reached the 10 mile aid station just a few minutes early, woke up some bees, I guess they stung some of the regular starters. The climb up fuji mtn was great, but my stomach started going sour on the way to the Mt Ray station at mile 22 where John was working so I slowed up and Chris showed up and we ran into the aid station together. It was great seeing John there holding my drop bag, offering assistance and advice, but I was still in a funk. Chris said she was going to slow down, so as we left the aid station, she took off like a shot and I never saw her until the finish. I continued to feel worse as I climbed to the next aid station at 28 miles where their offering of pancakes made me gag. On the way to Charlton Lk aid station at 33 miles, my legs then my breathing started to go. At the aid station, I soaked in the lake, sipping coke, but my condition didn't improve and I dropped. I was very disappointed but felt I made the right decision. A few minutes later, Steve Peterson showed up and dropped out of his first ultra after completing 100 others! After a while, I caught a ride back to the start and slept for a few hours until the 4:00 BBQ started. The only good thing about dropping early was I could actually enjoy the BBQ. Meanwhile, John drove over to the Maiden Peak aid station at mile 50 which was a steep 3 mile hike from the road. I saw at the finish radio station that Chris showed up at Maiden Peak at 5:30, she was going to finish! At 8pm, 50 yards from the line, glancing over her shoulder, Chris spied her friend Erin just behind her, and of course, took off like a shot for the finish! She did a tremendous job in a very difficult race (30% of us didn't finish). All in all it was a great experience, great course(at least the first half!) and a tremendous race organization. I would recommend this race to anyone, and have a new found respect for anyone wearing a Waldo finisher hat!

Had a good race, finished at 9:45, more than a half hour quicker than last year (no falls). However, even though I ran faster, there was a faster field this year, last year I finished 41st, 4th in age group, this year 44th, 7th in age group! Heck, the second place finisher overall was 50! Friday night, I slept out on my cot, to my horror, there was a tower of mosquitoes overhead. I used my Western States hankerchief successfully as a bug screen (thanks John) until about 10 when the skeeters went to bed. The weather was perfect in the morning, cool and overcast. I had pace intervals set for finishing at 9:30, hung with a good group for the first six miles, then ended up running alone (as usual). Stayed on pace until the final climb, can't seem to move very well in the sand and got passed by a few people. Sat in a chair at the top for a couple of minutes, enjoying the view (it was now sunny and clear) and the aid station. Just as I was leaving the aid station, Clem was coming in, I've never beaten him before so I thought I better get going, However, after the downhill, I didn't feel very good for the next ten miles. I got passed by a couple of people and figured Clem would show up soon. Fortunatly, I came to life on the downhill just before the FS Rd 58 aid station, about mile 40, chugged down a couple of cups of mountain dew and took off. At the Little Crater aid station, Clem was just arriving when I left, so I took off and ran hard all the way in to the finish, passing several runners. Boy was that different! I was very happy about finishing strong and beating my last two intervals! I ended up beating Clem by over 10 minutes, but talking afterwards, he wasn't having a good day. I think I'm still in 1st place for the series, not sure because they haven't posted SOB results yet. Next is Waldo, got some sage advice from Clem and Todd Temple, a fast guy I met last year, and I'm doing the early start, can't afford to DNF:(

Had too much fun down at Sunriver, biking and rafting, forgot about tapering. The marathon started at 7am, 50 degrees, with about 150 runners. Two laps around Sunriver on rolling, winding asphalt bike trails with squirrels, prairie dogs, a deer, and scary vacationers on bikes! The start was actually about 8 blocks from the village, we walked behind a golf cart up and around a couple of roads to a timing mat on the bike trail. I started with heavy legs, a loaded bladder, and a goal to break 3:35 to qualify for Boston. First mile 8:30 (with pee break) too slow!, second mile 7:10 too fast!, Third mile 7:40, starting to settle down. First lap was ok, on pace for 3:30, then the temp started to rise, and I started to slow. The last 6 miles were mostly around open fields, great exposure to the sun, and it was hot! I settled into survival ultra pace (9:30's) kissed my Boston goodbye and waddled into the finish at 3:47 (which happens to be the same time for my last two marathons!) Luckly, the 6 other guys in my age group didn't fare any better, and I won my age group! Now I have a trophy beer glass and a medal, however, I have to find another marathon to qualify for Boston...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Olympian, The (WA)

May 11, 2004

Heart still in the race

Reeves runs on despite heart attack



Herb Reeves never thought about having a heart attack - until he had one the week before Christmas 2002. Reeves, a distance runner for 20 years, was playing tennis, and he couldn't catch his breath between points. "I thought I must have asthma," Reeves, 50, recalled. Reeves' wife Barbara Sandahl, urged him to see the doctor, and he went to the emergency room a couple of days later - and found out he'd had a heart attack. The next nine months brought a series of heart procedures - including coronary bypass surgery last September. Reeves, 50, plans to run in the Capital City Marathon on Sunday morning, less than eight months after the surgery. "Herb is a most impressive patient and an inspiration to the rest of us," said Dr. Robert Wark, his cardiologist. Reeves said running a marathon seems like a good way to celebrate his recovery. "I first thought running a half-marathon was a reasonable goal after surgery," Reeves said. "I started training with the South Sound Running group, which I've done before, and each run went better and better. "I thought, heck, I might as well do the whole marathon." Reeves said his wife, Barbara Sandahl, and Dr. Wark gave him the green light. "Herb was the last person you'd expect to have this happen to," Sandahl said. "He's so fit." "The fact that he was a really fit guy saved his life." Reeves, who has the trim build of a hardcore runner, said he ignored some warning signs, such as shortness of breath, while running the hills before his heart attack. Reeves' road to recovery has been fast - but it took nine months - and five different procedures - to put him on that road. At first, doctors put a stent - a tiny wire cage that keeps an artery open - in an artery soon after his heart attack. But about 10 percent of stent patients have clotting problems, and Reeves was one of them. Doctors tried medicated stents to keep the clots away, and Reeves did well on treadmill tests. But he still couldn't run. Dr. Wark called for an ultrasound of Reeves' heart, and the problem soon showed up: a narrowing of the left main artery. That artery supplies 2/3 of the blood to the heart muscle, so Reeves had to have bypass surgery, Wark said. "I was kind of like, `What?'," Reeves said. "I felt good - I just couldn't run. "I didn't feel bad, and, all of a sudden, I had to have open- heart surgery. I had just turned 50, and I wondered what it was all about." Reeves said he was lucky that Providence St. Peter Hospital has a top cardiac program. On Sept. 18, 2003, surgeons cut open Reeves' chest and installed the bypass. Reeves walked out of his intensive care room - and got a special T-shirt for the journey. "Usually, you spend three or four days in the hospital, but I was doing really well, so I got out in a couple of days," Reeves said. Reeves, who was in good shape to begin with, was back at work managing Thurston County's building permit center about a week after surgery, Wark said. Reeves joined the Providence St. Peter heart recovery program, which includes monitored treadmill workouts and light weight lifting.

All that went great, and Reeves gradually started to run again, with Wark's permission.

Reeves said he followed his medical guidelines and kept track of his heart rate with a monitor. "It's just a matter of figuring out how much you can do and when," Reeves said.

Reeves said he used to chase down other runners in races, but he now runs with an eye on his wrist monitor. "Now I run by a heart rate monitor," Reeves said. "Instead of speeding up a small hill, I slow down." It seems unfair that Reeves, a long-time runner, would get heart disease, but it can happen to anybody, Dr. Wark said. "! Our bodies are a lot more complicated than simple answers," Wark said. Heart disease strikes for different reasons, and even the most fit athletes should not ignore warning signs, Dr. Wark said. Reeves is back to a regular life, but he does have to watch his heart rate -and his diet, Wark said.

Not many people run marathons, and even fewer of them are recovered heart patients, Wark said. However, it's not unknown at all to see former heart patients on the course, Wark said. Sandahl said she's not worried that her husband is running a marathon.

"He knows how to listen to his body," she said. Reeves said he enjoys life even more now. "I was a real patient person before, and I'm even more now," he said. "This does give you a different perspective." And, for Reeves, that perspective includes tying on a pair of running shoes and hitting the road, and eventually, mountain trails. "I'd like to be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon and do that," Reeves said. "And I'd like to be! able to get back up in the mountains."