Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ran the upper loop of the Capitol Peak fat ass today. Of course it snowed, but not bad and it didn't start sticking until I got to my parking spot. Just past the intersection of Greenline and C line, there is a large slide across the road, 4 wheelers can drive thru, but not my volvo! Starting up Green line, there is a lot of trees down, edge of the clear cut caused the problem, once in the clear cut, smooth sailing, but between there and trail 50, there is alot of water rutting on the trail. We'll need to build some more water dams. Past the intersection of trail 50, Green line is clear to the top, and the ridge heading down is good also. It looks like the FOCF did major damage to the salmon berries, there is now an 8 ft swath down to the triangle. Met a couple of mountain bikers there, they couldn't find the entrance to Green line going up so I pointed them in the right direction. The trail is in good shape from there down to Wedekind. The worst is Mima Porter between Wedekind and trail 50. One creek crossing is totally washed out and is much bigger, needs a bridge. Just a bit further down the trail, there is a big mud slide with a bunch of trees across the trail. Then at the next creek, the bridge is torn from it's foundation and is hanging on to one side by a corner. I ran the road back down to Green line. It was great running on about an inch of snow, nice and cushy. Looks like we'll need to coordinate with DNR on a couple of bridges and have some chain sawing to do!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Due to a variety of injuries, I haven't actually run on a trail outside the city limits since August! Finally made it up to Capitol forest for some trail work and fat ass recon. John, Kris, and I showed up at the "Y" for the monthly Friends of Capitol Forest work party. I tried out the new trail mower machine, this beast is like an overgrown rototiller with a three foot wide muncher bar on the front. It is diesel powered and totally destroys anything in its path! Can't wait to haul it up to the ridge on greenline and destroy some salmon berry bushes. After an hour and half, I was pooped, wrestling that monster through undulating patches of salal next to the new "Y" parking lot. It started snowing and we were itching to head up to the mountain to check out the last section of the upcoming fat ass. The plan was for John to drop Kris and I off on C line by the greenline crossing, and we would head up the road, catch trail 50 then head down Mima Porter to Fall Creek. John was to park a Fall Creek and hike up Mima Porter till he met us. It was snowing pretty good and the road was totally covered as Kris and I climbed the first couple of miles. Once we hit the trail and started heading down, it was great run in a winter wonderland! The trail was in good shape for the fat ass, the mountain bikers had fixed the deep ruts. We met John near the bottom and back tracked a little so John could see the trail work. The event of the day happened further down the trail where John showed us a fresh cougar track. As we crouched down to examine the print and the deer print next to it, suddenly Kris yelled "bike!" in our periferal vision there was a yellow blur almost upon us and John jumped and let out a yell which made me jump also! Of course it wasn't a cougar, but a mountain biker, but he gave all of us a good scare! It was great being back up on the mountain, I'm starting to get over the injury hump.

Monday, October 08, 2007

After a successful season riddled with injuries, I had to take a month off after Waldo to recover from a shin splint and then, just as I was planning to start up with training again, I caught a bad cold! Finally, the second weekend in October, I'm running again. A couple of 6 mile runs around the lake was enough to prove how out of shape and slow I am. The immediate plan is to ramp up some road mileage to see if I can be ready to run the Seattle Marathon and qualify for Boston. I'm going to work on some strength training and play some tennis to work on my lack of bounce and lateral movement. The ultimate goal is to get back in shape to attack Orcas Island 50K in Feb.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

After DNFing Waldo last year, I've been really looking forward to attacking this beast of a run again. Unfortunately, I spent half my summer injured and I wasn't sure till the White River 50miler if I was in good enough shape. Rode down with Kris who finished last year and we had a spaghetti diner at the Willamette Ski Lodge and listened to Chris Thornley's pre race instructions then I sacked out in my tent right by the start/finish. Woke up at 2am feeling ready, got to the start line for the 3am early start with 30 others. I hiked up the first section with Todd Temple, he's faster than me but had also been injured so we both took it easy. On the downhill, we slowly pulled away from the rest, blew through the Gold lake aid station and started climbing. I let Todd go, but by the time I got to Fuji Mtn. aid station, I was in 4th place. It was 5:45 in the morning and there at 6,500 ft aid station was John Pearch in a grass skirt! I wish I had a camera there. The climb to the top was comfortable and the sunrise view at the top was fantastic. On the way to Mt Ray aid station, I passed Pete "Hippo" and left the aid station in 3rd place out of the early starters. Even though I'm a solid mid packer, I suddenly felt like I was racing and with Hippo in tow took off with renewed vigor. About halfway to the Twins aid station at around 23miles, some hiker moved the trail markings right after Todd passed through the junction and sent me and Hippo the wrong way. I was happily cruising down the trail for another 30 min. when the terrain didn't seem right. We stopped at a junction with more flagging heading downhill when the normal start, first place runner went blowing by down the trail, so off we went. We then hit another junction and ended up on the Gold Lk trail at a stream crossing I recognized. Holy Crap! we were way far away from the Twins. Fortunatly, I felt great and had plenty of time to finish and get that dam hat, so off we went back tracking. We arrived at the Twins aid station about 1.5 hrs late. I ran an extra 6 miles and went from 64th place overall to 90th(out of 100). I felt good but had lost my spunk. I decided to rest at Carlton Lk aid station, where I dropped last year, and get my head back in the game. At Carlton Lk, I got a blister taped up, had a shot of beer from Clem's keg, (I heard I was the only runner that had one), fueled up and took off into the great unknown. I ran mostly by myself for the next 3 hours, walking the ups and cruising the downs, saving energy for the Maiden Peak climb. At the Maiden Peak aid station, I met Hippo again and Kent Holder. I hiked up Maiden just like I did Suntop at White River, steady and energetic. I actually passed those two on the way up, I never pass runners on a hike! I felt great at the top of Maiden and the view was fantastic. I headed down to the Maiden Lk aid station knowing I had the finish and a hat in the bag. However, on the last 7 mile section, I developed a shin splint on my right leg and couldn't run more than a few steps at a time. So I walked around the lakes, enjoying the views, but got concerned about the darkness. Didn't want to finish with a headlamp, so I jogged in and was greeted by Kris and John at the finish and got my Hat! I felt great but hated finishing so late, most runners had gone home, it was dark and cold, and I had to jump into my sleeping bag to stave off hypothermia. Though I was disappointed about the detour, the race was so well done, the aid stations were incredible, and I felt comfortable the whole distance. I feel if I pay attention, I can easily do it under 16 hours next year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Had a successful White River 50, did terrible first half, but recovered and ran a great second half, proving my motto "It doesn't always get worse!". We started friday nite with a Pasta feed at the Snorting Elk at Crystal Mountain, with RD Scott McCoubrey standing there with a crutch, high on pain pills, doing a great job describing the race. The morning weather was great for the start, sunny and cool. I started near the back, my plan was to start out slow. I ran along the single track trail in a pack at a very comfortable pace except for the woman behind me who was so excited, she kept running up alongside me even though there was no room on the trail. The first climb is steep and as usual, everyone started passing me on the hike up. With 5 more miles to Corral Pass, I was feeling down, must only be 10 runners behind me. This section was an out and back, It was great to see all the runners coming back, James let out a holler and was cruising comfortably, but on the way back, I didn't see very many runners :( However, I did figure out I wasn't eating my gels, so I fueled up and started picking up the pace. The last leg of the first loop was a 4.5mile downhill. I now felt great and started passing runners until I tripped over a rock, knocking myself over the steep bank until my left leg got stuck inside the end of a rotton stump. I hurt alittle all over, but the real pain was my left calf cramping. I crawled back up to the trail and noticed I lost one of my handheld bottles. A couple of runners came by and helped me look for my bottle, but it was long gone. I ran well down to the start/finish aid station where John thankfully ran to his car to get me another hand held(I did worry about cooties), which was critical for the next climb. I started the climb to Sun Top full of energy and started passing more runners. Just before the summit, Glen was there taking pictures and this time I was really running! I felt good on the 5mile downhill on the gravel road and continued to pass more runners. At the last aid station, I thought I might be able to finish under 11 hours. But the last 6 miles was gnarly and rooty and it took me 15 minutes longer to reach the finish line. I was very happy with my run even though it took so long. The best part, I ran the second loop almost an hour faster than the first loop and no one passed me until the last 100 yards. Now I feel ready for Waldo!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kris and I had a great 2 1/2 hr run today up at the Capitol Forest. We parked at where Greenline crosses C-line up to Capitol Peak. But started our run up the C-line road until we caught #50 and droped down to Mima Porter to Wedekind. It was wet but not raining and the temp was just right. From Wedekind we headed up Greenline along the ridge to the Capitol Peak junction. The trail was terribly overgrown and not runnable! It will only get worse when the sun comes out again. We got all scratched up and it was slow going. Reminds me of a 50miler I once did... The Greenline trail from the peak back down to the road is still in good shape, the mountain biker's been working on it, probably the only trail that is runnable in Capitol forest! However, prepare yourself for a shock, the section between the Fall Creek bridge and the C-line crossing was just clear cut! The trail is still intack, but they haven't yarded out the trees yet. We had a very enjoyable run and I think we're both ready for our 50 milers next weekend.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The second White River training run this Sunday was much better than the first. Dan and I drove up to Skookum Flats for a 25 mile run up to Sun Top Mountain and back. The weather was great as we started out with a 6 mile jaunt along the river with lots of undulations and roots. This was the last section of the 50 miler, doesn't look like alot of fun to stumble through this at the end of the race. As before, I couldn't quite keep up with the main group, and after 4 miles, Dan and I were on our own. I gave Dan the car keys, I figured he'd easily beat me on the climb. He stopped to get a drink, and I continued on, meeting up with a group of 4 that I hung with till we got to the confusing part by the airport. We lost the trail and meandered around until we found ourselves in shouting distance from Scott and his van. There Scott told me he heard that Dan took a wrong turn and he would go back and look for him. The climb up Sun Top was easier than last week's, but more exposed to the sun. I drank alot and sweated alot and hiked most of the climb. I was slow, but I felt much better than last week. Just before the summit, there was Glen with his camera, so we staged a good shot, looks like I'm charging up the hill, but it was just for show. I mostly just slogged up the steep trail. Unfortunatley, low clouds obscured what should have been a fantastic view of Rainier, but it also cooled the temp down. The last 6 miles was a gradual decline down a gravel road. I just cruised down at a good pace and felt great that I could keep an even pace the whole way without stopping. At the bottom, Dan was at the car, he had turned around and had a good 13 mile run with a side trip to some falls. What a great day, finished under 5 hours,no pains, slow but consistant. Would like to have some more time to train for White River, but I know now that I can run it, I will be slow, but after all, it's just another training run for Waldo!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

After spending a week in Idaho at Tamarack Resort, doing some hiking up ski runs, with no pain in my heel, it's time to get back running again. So today I joined the Seattle Running company training group for a 23 mile run on the White River 50 mile course. I showed up with two water bottles and a full bladder in my pack. Come to find out, Scott was going to have a water aid station at mile 14 at Corral Pass, but I wasn't thinking and left my heavy bladder in my pack. We started out with a good slow pace, I stayed in the back, cause most of these people were fast. After a nice 3 mile warm up, I soon got left behind when we started the hike uphill. I'm a normaly slow hiker, but with my weak ankle, I was even slower!. I ended up hiking by myself, taking it easy so I wouldn't injure myself again. I found as I went along, that I was favoring my ankle and couldn't get any sort of gait going on the uphill runable sections. I started getting frustrated and tired and decided to shorten the run at the turn off to the trail down the mountain. I had gone a little over 10 miles with about 2,500 ft of elevation gain, but it took over 2 hrs. So I hung a right on the 4 mile downhill, should be fun! But I couldn't run downhill very well either. So I ended up jogging/stumbling/walking the downhill to the parking lot. I did accomplish my two main goals, preview the course and don't re-injure myself. But I felt way out of shape. So I got a lot of catching up to do, but at least I'm officially started.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well, the plan was to run the Pacific Crest 1/2 marathon in SunRiver Or. slow enough that I didn't re-injure my Achilles. My physical therapist didn't think it was a good idea, I should be focusing on getting healed up for the White River 50 miler at the end of July. But, I was going to be down there anyway, and I was already signed up for the marathon, so why not just jog the half? At the start, the weather was cool and clear, just perfect. I haven't run a race with 1,000 other runners for a long time, let alone starting in the middle of the pack. I figured I would run around 9:00 minute miles, a little slower on the uphill and a little faster on the downs. It was a pretty flat course though. It was chip timed so it didn't matter it took more than a minute to cross the start line. What a zoo! The start was on a road, but quickly turned into a 10ft wide asphalt trail, so there was quite a traffic jam at the start of the trail. I started slow, but everyone else was even slower, so I had to weave all over the place to make my way forward. I drank alot
prior to the race since the air is so dry there and it usually gets hot later. So I had to pee right away. The good news was there were porta-potties at every mile marker, but there was also a line at each one. It took almost 3 miles before the crowd thinned out and left some running room and I spent the next three miles cruising along, trying to catch an open toilet. Finally, at mile six, I found an empty one. I brought some gels, but forgot my e-caps. They were serving gatoraide which doesn't have enough electrolytes for me, so I spent most of the race looking for someone who might be carrying, but most of the people around me wouldn't know what electrolytes were. I've never passed/been passed by so many runners! By mile 9, I was feeling good, but I was also feeling my heel, so I knew I couldn't drop the hammer and take off for the finish. I passed on the Red Bull aid station with it's screaming hoard of teenagers pushing cans on unsuspecting marathoners. I noticed the best part of running the half is that unlike the marathon, you finished before all the kids on bikes showed up zig-zaging down the trail. I wasn't quite sure of my time, I had messed up my watch, but I wanted to finish at 2 hrs. When I saw the finish clock about 100 feet away, I was a couple of minutes early. I thought about stopping and waiting for the clock to catch up, but because of chip timing, and not having a clue from my watch, and looking pretty stupid in front of a bunch of cheering supporters, I pressed on to the finish. It felt great to run again, I got an ice pack on my foot, a massage, and hope that I've finally turned the corner and can start training again!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Well it's been about 4 weeks since I ran Capitol City Marathon and injured my achilles. After much therapy and some cross training, I managed to run today for the first time. It was only 2 miles and it was slow, but what a great feeling being on the road again! I'm scheduled to run a marathon in Sun River next weekend, not sure what to do yet. I know my physical therapist will say it's out of the question, however, I do need to start getting some miles in to prepare for White River 50miler. For now, the plan is to build up some miles this week and see how I feel on Friday...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hammer Nutrition has been supplying endurance athletes with top of the line sports drinks, electrolites, gels, and supplements since 1992. Their business has grown mostly on athlete referrals rather than distribution through retail outlets. So the success of their products has lead to their widespread use in cycling, triathalons, adventure sports, and ultra trail running. As part of their referral program, if I refer you to them, you get a 15% discount on your first order and I get a credit for future products. It's a win-win for both of us!

To take advantage of this offer, first visit Hammer Nutrition and see what products they have that may be of interest to you. I suggest checking out the Kits, the best way to start out with Hammer Nutrition is either the Short Course Fueling Starter Kit or the Long Course Fueling Starter Kit. Not only do you get the all the products you need for fueling, you also get a flask, purse, and water bottle, and most importantly, the informative fueling handbook. If you are also interested in Supplements, check out the Daily Essentials Kit. Their Tissue Rejuvinator has helped me recover from injuries twice!
Bet you didn't know you can also get Race Ready shorts and Patagonia tops with the same discount. I use Race Ready shorts all the time. The pockets are perfect for holding gels, bars, e-caps, gloves, empty gels(keep trails clean!) and keys!

To get your 15% discount
click here
Fill up your shopping cart and continue on through checkout. When you get to the question "Where did you recently hear about us?", check the option "Referral from Friend" and click the Continue Checkout button. When you get to the payment page, continue down to the Referral Reward section, then in the Friends Customer Number # box, enter 72672 . That's it! You'll get a 15% discount!

I've been using Hammer products for a couple of years and found them to really deliver with out upsetting my system during ultra events. Give them a try, you'll be happy you did!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Being laid up with achilles tendonitis has allowed me to explore cross training opportunities. My last couple of weeks include 3 days of Phyiscal therapy(massage and ultrasound) and 3 days of weight lifting. If I stay injured, I'll be plenty buff by the pool this summer. I also started biking again with a great 2.5 hr ride last Sat. But my newest adventure is Aqua Jogging. I've started with a 45 min work out, and plan to do at least an hour a day, with some sporatic interval work outs. This will get me by, but I sure miss trail running!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I felt more anxious about running this race than normal. Having an injured heal and no training left alot of unknowns to consider, but I got the fever so I jogged down to the start from my house at 6:30am. Met James and Matt, both in good spirits and Kris showed up to cheer us on after running the Mac yesterday on a sprained ankle. I planned to run with Matt, but I missed him at the start. The weather was cool but comfortable and I ran a 7:35 for the first mile, then spent the next two miles slowing down to 8:00 per mile. Matt started with a 8:20 mile, but caught up to me around mile 7 - it was great running with Matt, I kept him from going too fast and he kept me from going too slow. We ran steady though the rolling hills, staying within 10 seconds of a 8 mile/min pace. Everything was fine until the hill at Woodard Bay at mile 15, I couldn't keep up with Matt and let him go. I felt a bout of diarreah coming so I started to really look forward to the porta-potti at mile 18. Of course when I got there, the guy in front of me jumped in first so I had to wait 1.5 min. for him to get out! seemed like an eternity. With that done I took off feeling great, and started picking off people. My friend Bruce Olson showed up on his motorcycle and escorted me the rest of the way. It was great to have someone to talk to again. Unfortunately, around mile 20, my heal pain flared up again. I felt great, but had to slow down and start a running limp. My hopes for qualifying for Boston went down the drain, but my goal for the day was just to finish anyway. I ate another gu at mile 24 and ran comfortably to the finish. My time, though slow was a marathon pr for me since my surgery, by about 2 min.! One of these days I'll get back to my sub 3:30 times. James had a great race, winning his age group and 7th overall in 2:53 I think, Matt finished in 3:37 slowed by leg pains. What a great day! I felt like I could run another 10 miles. It was great to see the Oly trail runners at the finish. I hope I can heal up in time for Lake Youngs.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Since hurting my heal two weeks ago, I haven't run till last thursday. An easy run with our trail running group in Priest Point Park went well with no soreness afterward. So I ran my normal 6 mile around the lake route again with no pain. So today, I ran a little over 7 miles on the marathon course with only minor soreness. I think I'm at about 75%. Either I'm 3/4 healed or will last only 20 miles, hard to say. At least I feel good enough to run the marathon at an 8 min/mile pace until I finish or something goes wrong...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

For some odd reason, while I've been sitting around waiting for my achilles injury to heal. I got it in my head that I need to run our local Capitol City Marathon! I was going down to Oregon to run MacDonald Forest 50K, but now I'd just rather stay put and suffer through the local marathon. I figure I have about a 20% chance of having an enjoyable race. I have run 16 miles of the course, but it was the first time I've run over 8 miles on pavement this year. Now I'm sitting around not running and the race is in 2 weeks. Oh well, maybe my heel will not heal in time...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just had a great time volunteering for the Capitol Peak 50, thought I'd share my experience. I had the best job, driving a van around supporting the aid stations. My day started out at 4:45 am directing traffic for parking, then, just before the start, I took the drop bags to aid station #2, when I returned, ran up the trail a couple of hundred yards to post a directional sign and scare some deer, then ran up the trail again with Craig Dickson and posted a string of poem signs further up the trail. Next I led Glen Tachiyama up to Capitol peak to show him were to take pictures, dropped off a couple "Runners on the road" signs on the way up. I checked in with the aid station at the peak to make sure all the signs were in the right place, then Glen and I hiked up the road to the back side of the peak where I posted another string of poem signs on the grunt(see Photo) and where I think I tweaked my Achilles on my right foot:( Our timing was great, the first runner came though after we were all set. I then drove down to the Wedekind aid station to find out that aid workers for A7 already picked up their stuff and were gone, and Steve Cullen was all loaded up and ready to go to A8. So I left a drop bag for A8with Steve, and drove down to A7 to leave the rest of the drop bags. I hung out for awhile waiting for the first runner through, then I headed back to Wedekind where I found out that Steve was lost and the volunteers only had one bottle of water with them. So I grabbed some supplies and headed down there. Fortunately, Steve found the spot, and they were all set up when I got there. I spent some time at Wedekind, helping out at the aid station, which was great since I actually rarely see any runners in my travels. I hung out until a few minutes after Clem, the sweep, went through, then went down to A7 to pick everything up. By the time Clem showed up, we had everything packed up in the van and everyone could go. After stopping briefly at Wedekind, I headed to A8, packed it up, and sent the volunteers home early, then waited about an hour for Clem. He decided to stop since the last runner had already past Wedekind, so I gave him a ride back to Wedekind. Then we packed up the gear and headed back to the Start. After some food and beer, and watching the last runners finish. I helped pack up the rest of the gear and we were all out of there before dark! It was a great experience, thanks to John's planning, most everything went off with out a hitch, and most importantly, I think the runners had a great experience. I managed to injure myself more than if I had run the race, so I guess this means at least a week off for me!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

With the SunRiver Marathon coming up late June, I thought I should start training on the roads. So last Sunday, James Varner and I ran the middle half of the Capitol City Marathon course. James is planning on running the marathon which is the day after MacDonald Forest. He ran the last half of the course the day before with Dave Mora. (That is Dave Mora who won the Goodwill Games marathon!) I wasn't planning on running hard, so we took off and I settled into my normal 8 min/mile pace that doesn't speed up or slow down no matter how hard I try. The middle of the course has alot of hills or as the brochure would say, scenic and rolling. James just cruised along as I struggled on the hard surface, but we kept a steady pace until we ran into Matt at about mile 14, he was out training for the marathon also. We chatted for a bit, but when we started back up to run, I was stiff as a board! Took alittle bit to warm up but we finished strong and I think we both felt we had a good work out, James figured we went about 16 miles. I was really sore afterwards and had a twing of a strain on my hamstring, but after running today, Tuesday, I feel fine. Seems that I need to hit the roads for some long runs to get my body use to the pavement.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I was really looking forward to running my third Peterson Ridge Rumble since it was the first ultra I ran three years ago. However, our family plans included a few days in Sunriver during spring break then I had to drive my in-laws back early Sunday :( So close, but so far away! But, Clem LaCava posted on the NW list that he wanted to run the Saturday before the rumble at Smith Rock Park, so we arranged to meet up Sat morning at 9:00 in Terrabonne for a 2hr run. Local Curt Ringstad joined us and we car pooled in his truck to save on the $3 parking fee. The run started out in a lite rain (isn't it always supposed to be sunny in Central Oregon?), but the weather improved as we ran. Since Curt and Clem were old hands at running at Smith Rock, they discussed several options and decided to run the opposite direction they usually would do, so we hung a left at the rocks and did a clockwise loop. The run was fantastic, the scenery was incredible and it was great listening to Clem and Curt catching up on what was going on in the local ultra scene and discussing Western States strategies and Curt's constant stops to point out blooming desert flowers and points of interest and history. The highlight for me was standing on the top of the ridge next to the famous Monkey Face rock, directly across from climbers half way up the climb. It seemed like they were only about 50 ft away! You could sit there and talk to them if you wanted. I can't believe after visiting Bend 2-3 times a year for the last 12 years, I never visited Smith Rock Park, now I will!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Today, RD John Pearch and I spent the morning in the pouring rain,doing trail work on the Lost Valley section of the upcomming Capitol Peak 50 miler. This is a very pretty section of trail that can easily lose it's appeal if overgrown. Some of you may remember the 2005 race when we all had to fight through a thick section of salmon berry bushes, getting scratched all over. But today, with brushwacker in hand, we destroyed those pesky bushes and created a freeway through the Lost Valley. I felt great joy and satisfaction buzzing through with a weed wacker, sending pieces of salmon berry bushes flying! I strongly recommend trail work to take out your frustrations or revenge for scratches and trips. I believe John will announce a couple of trail work/training run days in the near future for the Capitol Peak 50 miler. I strongly recommend volunteering, it's worth it!

Monday, March 19, 2007

This was a great trip and as usual, plenty of laughs in addition to the race. Kris drove Kyle and I with her friend, future Western finisher, Anna Bates. Of course, Anna grilled Kyle about his records, his family, and his life on the way up("It's like talking to Lance Armstrong!"). We dropped Kyle at Mt. Vernon, picked up our race packets, and went looking for a brew pub. Kris has a nack of just driving around and finding places. A quick meal, checked in the hotel, Kris repacked all her bags for the fourth time, and they were in their PJ's and in bed by time the rest of the crew showed. Terry, going for his first 50K, stayed with us in the "racer's room", with Alexa, Laura, and James in the other. Did a quick checklist with Terry, and of course, he forgot his waterbottle in Laura's car and ran down to get it. In the morning, Anna gave Terry tons of sage advice as he wondered what to take with - talked him out of his backpack. Got James up at the last moment, and headed for the start. It was pouring down rain! well at least it wasn't snowing like the last three races so far this year. Got our group photo, then Terry and I striped down to a long sleve shirt and took off near the front of the pack for the start. Of course Kyle took off, lead the whole race and won. We ran a comfortable pace for the first 6 miles on the flat, Terry pointing out the house he and Alexa tried to rent for us but, ended up in a legal argument with the landlord(never say I'm an attorney to a landlord!). Once we started the first climb, Terry pulled away and I never saw him again until the finish. I had been anxious about this run, I sprained my foot the week prior and only got the swelling down enough to wear a shoe on Wed. Though still a little swollen and colored, my foot seemed to be ok and I kept up a normal pace. I ended up running with three western states entrants, Eric and his pacer Steve(who I met at Orcas), Tony C., and Clem. After aid station #3, Tony and Clem took off, and I took my time on that knarly ridge trying not to twist my ankle again. That loop was way long, but I ended up catching up with Clem and we both crawed up chin scraper together complaining all the way. I ended up running out of water and was really hungry, so when I got the the aid station, I stayed and ate everything there while everyone else took off. Felt good on the downhill, passed Eric and Clem and hit the last aid station feeling like a winner. But after 5 min. on the flat gravel path, my ankle flared up and my run slowed to a shuffle. It looks from the results, I lost an additional 12min. on that section and was passed by 26 runners, the last one being Clem. A little depressing, but I felt great about the race overall. Finished in 5:52, Terry had an outstanding rookie time of 5:35. Kris came in a little after 6 hours and Anna shortly thereafter. We all went back to the hotel to get showers, Terry (the rookie) took a hot tub, then sat down at a table with Alexa and promptly fainted and fell on the floor. The hotel called our room so Kris and Anna ran downstairs and I took advantage of the empty shower. Terry was ok, just a little dream session and he was up and at it again. Since Anna was insisting on having oysters, our little caravan went on search mission down Chuckanut drive ending up at the Longhorn Tavern in Elgin! The only businesses in this little is town is two bakeries and two taverns. We ended up with some strange beer and sandwiches, but the highlight of the whole trip was the unveiling of Terry's race shirt. The one thing Anna didn't tell Terry about was taping his nipples(I guess it's a guy thing!). Terry's shirt was a bloody mess. I checked out the official finish pictures, and there he is, two gun shots in the chest! I can't wait to see the next cover for Northwest Runner!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Rode up with Jim and we managed to miss the 3:30 ferry, not a big deal, but crossed at night and didn’t see much until we reached Orcas and saw those ever familiar big yellow Capitol forest Trail Run sandwich boards all over the island. Met James at the Lodge, what an awesome place! We claimed our bunks in the first cabin and hobnobbed with the other runners for the rest of the night. Sleeping in the bunkhouse went well, only one snorer out of 16 people. We all got up at 6:30, the weather was threatening, Terry spent most of the morning trying to decide if he was going to run with his backpack or not. It was cool at the start, we all ran together for about 2 miles until the groups split. The hi-lite of the first 9 mile loop was a nasty scramble up moss covered rock that was better than the grunt at Peterson Ridge. The first loop ended at the lodge, it seemed like 12 miles. However, the real fun was just down the trail, a long narly climb up a powerline easement with snow and wind blowing 20-30mph on our backs. I was hiking with Christel and we both anxiously gazed at trees creaking and cracking in the gusts of wind. Then I took a wrong turn for about a 100 yards and lost the people I had been running with. After an hour, I caught up with a couple of runners and we started the climb up to Mt. Constitution. It took awhile, got into some snow, then we reached the false summit. With the strong wind and snow, my hands were getting cold, and I was getting hungry for Top Ramin. There was a sign, two miles to the summit, but due to the conditions, running along a ridge in blowing snow, it felt more like 4 miles! What a wonderful sight seeing that aid station! Laura was there spooning out soup and hot chocolate, and John filled my water bottles. Warmed up and raring to go, I headed down hill with Rich White and instantly noticed my mistake. I wore gloves, but my handheld water bottles were almost frozen and my hands quickly followed suite. I was out of the snow in about 15 minutes but it took another 15 for my hands to thaw out. I ran the downhills carefully, hiked the remaining uphills comfortably, and didn’t tighten up till about the last mile. My time was 7:44, all time slowest 50K, but a very satisfying run. Scott, Terry, and Jim all had very good runs for the 25K, Laura wins the courage award, sweeping the last part of the course, getting lost and finishing in the dark! The best part was the quality, down home music in the lodge that James arranged that evening. After a few beers and a good sleep, Jim and I got up early, cleaned the lodge and cabins, and took off to American Legion pancake feed, planning to catch the 12:45 ferry. John and Peter showed up at the Pancake feed a few minutes after us but when it came time to catch the ferry, we found ourselves in the standby line for the 2:45! John managed to be the #1 car for the 6:00 ferry! Driving down to load on the ferry, we were stopped next to John, as I waved, Jim lurched the car forward and the ferry worker, chagrined that Jim was now out in the intersection, waived us on… we were the last car on! We left the State Park at 10:30am and got home at 8:00pm! Ferry Hell! The Orcas experience was fantastic! James put on one heck of a weekend. This will be a must due from now on!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Was'nt too sure I was going to run since my ankle twist thursday nite ended up worse than I thought. But felt ok Sat so Sunday morning I was there. Matt and I started together, the weather was about perfect, we ran the first mile in 7:00, oops! There was a good crowd this year, didn't have to worry about finishing last again. We settled down and started clicking off 7:28's like clockwork. Everything was going great until mile 6 when my ankle started hurting and I had to slow down a little. Matt continued running strong and passed a couple of runners in the second half. I tightened up in the last three miles and ended up finishing at 1:39, about a minute slower than last year. Matt ran a great race and we think he finished around 1:35. Might be a pr for him. All in all, this is a great, low key, early season speed event. By the way, the winner of the 10k ran a 32, thats 5:11 min/mile!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I started the day early because I was going to help with parking and I knew the road conditions would be snowy. When I got to the Y, James and DJ were there warning people about the icy roads and arranging car pools. I chained up and gave Dave a ride to Fall Creek and we both did some parking help before the start. There was snow on the trail, but the weather wasn't all that bad, I didn't wear a windbreaker. At the start, I took the lead to guide the runners out of the campground and onto the trail. Then I stopped and let the group of fast guys go past. The first leg up to Capitol Peak, I went too fast to begin with and paid for it on the switchbacks. Got passed by a bunch of runners on the hiking part. Unfortunatly, Capitol Peak was socked in so no views this year. At the top I saw Kris who was dropped off up there to run after making a water run, and then Terry caught up to me and passed, only to almost take a wrong turn, then he stopped at the aid station to retrieve some clothes and never caught back up with me. On the way down, my legs felt like lead. Not a good sign since I was planning to do two laps. It was great to see Alexa and DJ at Wedikin cheering everyone on. But it wasn't going to be my day. I finished with the same time as last year and there was no way I could do another lap. After some of Jim's great soup and dry clothes, I spent the rest of the afternoon supporting Kris as she did a second lap sweep. I was disappointed I only did one lap, but I didn't fall, or hurt myself so all in all it was a good experience.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The day started off with blue sky before the start, what a welcome change from the last few days. Kris drove James and I up there in her new car and we listened to some Christmas exchange tunes. We all started together and stayed that way for about a mile till Scott Jurick and the Seattle running co. group came storming by and James hooked up with them. I then took a potty break and took over an hour to catch up with Kris. The sky turned overcast but the weather was perfect, I even ran without a hat on (I never do that), however we soon were running in snow. The Tiger mtn trail just goes up and up then up some more, there was about a foot of snow on the ground for most of the race. But the footing wasn't too bad and it was beautiful winter wonderland in some places. Felt like cross country skiing through the trees in the Cascades! Unfortunately, the viewpoint at the top was socked in so no views this year. I was at my limit for climbing on the last hill, but I followed the same guy for the last hour and we were both very happy with reaching the 3 mile downhill to the finish. James finished in 3:08 complaining about some soccer injury(Scott Jurick finished in 2:38), I came in at 3:22, only a couple of minutes slower than last year, so I was very happy and I didn't fall! Kris finished at 3:40 and we headed down to the Issaqua brew pub, where we met a bunch of people that were at Orcas last year and Big Steve, who creates a party whenever he shows up! This is a great fat ass and now that we know about the brew pub, a must do for next year!