Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cool Running Gone?

I have used the site for my running log for a few years now. bought them and transferred over the database to their site. I finally got in but can't find my running log. Has anyone else had this problem? If so did you find your log? Any help would be great. As Forest would say, "I'm not a very bright man".

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Marathon: The Good and the Bad

Well I ended up driving up to the Christmas Marathon by myself last Sunday as Rick had sewing to do (Ask him I won't tell!) and it was Gail's weekend to work. The 10:30 a.m. start made the drive nice as I didn't need to leave home till almost 8.

This is the third time I have run this race so it was nice to know what to expect. We started with maybe a 100 or so other runners. Jim Scheer and I ran together for the first few miles but he is always faster than me at the start so I let him go early. The weather was pretty nice with clouds and temps in the low 40's. I had dressed for rain so I took my Maniac jacket off pretty early on. I was only running 9:40 pace or so this wasn't going to be any PR. Around mile 8 I saw Steve Walters running in his Santa's cap. At mile 10 I ran into Sarah who had taken the early start. We waved and high fived and went on our way. The wind was a tad breezy at probably 10 to 15 mph with mostly headwind. Since the course is an "out and back" I was hoping for headwinds heading home.

My plan was the same as usual: Two gulps of water every 10 minutes, one Gel every 45 minutes and 3 E-caps every hour. I also needed to really make sure I took those gels towards the end of the race, no matter how crappy I felt.

At the turn around I chatted with Fenny for a bit then ran into Jim, I guess he made a wrong turn somewhere and that is how I got around him. At this point we ran about 5 miles into the wind. The wind would gust over 20 mph every now and then which makes it feel like you are running up hill all the time. At mile 17 or so I ran with Leslie, a fellow Maniac. She is on her amazing 47th marathon of the year! The winds really started picking up around mile 18 with some gusts over 25 to 30 mph, luckily though it was mostly a crosswind or tailwind at this point.

At mile 20 we make the turn back onto the main highway. The wind was really howling but was nicely at my back. This part of the course is mostly rolling uphills. I felt kind of weak around mile 19 and figured the bonk was coming on. But surprisingly I felt good the last 5 miles and never had to walk. The rain came in the last 4 miles so the jacket that was around my waist for the entire race was finally put to use. I just kept on my trotting along. Yes I did trot this race. I finished in 4:28 a pretty slow race for me but I never really pushed it but never felt bad either. I am hoping that my increased use of gels is what is getting me by the bonk, or it might be I am just getting slower? Who knows but it sure feels better.

What is slowing me down is the amount of times I am having to water the weeds, 3 times again in this race and it is always in the first two hours. Some races it is up to 5 times!! Rarely do I have to go during the last part of a race. Someday I will figure this out but it usually adds 3 to 5 minutes to my finish time.

At the finish line they were out of medals as usual so they gave me "division winner" plaque, which is nice but doesn't reallyl mean anything. For once they still had food around so I made this big thick meat and cheese sandwich, grabbed some chips and headed to my car. On the way back home I stopped at Starbuck's for a latte and big coffee, my recovery drink of choice. Oh yeah I forgot about the store bought Mocha Frappacuino I had in the car! Hmmm...I think I like coffee?

So this was marathon or longer number 17 for me this year. Next week might be Pigtails 50K in Renton or I might skip it and do the Purge and Splurge 50k on Wildwood on New Years Eve. I love running these races but I hate the travel time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


This is pretty darn funny. Gail always makes me sign up for the Fat-Boyee division at most marathons. Well guess what happened? I won the Clydesdale division at the Tucson Marathon! Yes I hope you all were sitting down while you are reading this or you might have hit your head as you passed out! We hardly ever stick around for the awards because Fat-Boyee's don't often win much. (Gail wins more than me for sure!) But a few days after the race Gail tells me I won my division. Then a few days latter I got the award in the mail. It is pretty cool looking and is signed by Pam Reed on the back

Well off to run in the rain tomorrow at the Christmas Marathon up by Olympia. Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tucson Marathon

Gail and I headed south to the sun on Saturday for the Tucson Marathon. Well it's not really in Tucson but up in the hills with a start in Oracle. We landed in Phoenix with wind and rain. We grabbed a cheap rental car and headed out for the 100 mile drive south. We had very strong winds and rain. The forecast was for better weather the next day.

We got to the expo late in the afternoon and it was a pretty basic one. Just a 10 booths or so but packet pick up was a breeze. We changed hotels to one close to the the bus pick up location which saved us probably an hour in the morning. Used to be a big deal to only eat pasta the night before, no beer or such too. So we had pizza and beer that night! I guess I am not a rookie anymore! I was pretty tired so we crashed about 8pm mountain time which is darn early.

We got up early to catch the bus which is about 3 miles from our hotel. You had to be there between 5 and 6 am. We then bussed about 25 miles out to the start up in the hills at 4,800 feet.
It was a tad chilly in the 40's but no wind and clear skies. I decided to run in shorts, short sleeve tech shirt and my yelllow Maniac singlet and some toss-able gloves. It turned out to be just right.

The start is up on a narrow residential road and it is big time downhill for the first mile. I started near the back as usual and tried to run loose and not bust my quads early. This race is known for its downhill but really is not all that way. We had a few easy up hills as we cruised through the mining town of Oracle. I was running a 8 minute pace on the downhills and about 9:30 on the flats.

We joined the main highway at around mile 5 or so and had a nice gradual downhill grade. I was making good time but not pushing it. I had to take multiple leaks on the first half of the race. (Too much coffee I guess) 4 times I had to stop in the first 13 miles!! Around mile 7 I turned my running cap around backwards. I like to do this when I get warm so my forehead stays nice and cool. As I did this I passed this woman, then I hear "Little too early for the rally cap don't you think?" I laughed so hard. I used to do that when I really wanted to push it. I would turn that cap around thinking it made me faster. It was my motivator. Well she and I chatted for quite a few minutes. I love the conversations you get into on these runs. It can really make the time pass.

Around mile 8 a woman named Nicole said "Hi, I was just running with your wife, she is awesome!" "I am supposed to yell your nickname (Fat-Boyee) but was afraid you would yell Fat-Girl back to me!" We laughed and had a great chat. She had run with Hippo at Miwok 100 k this year and they had gotten lost together.

At mile 9 you head up towards the Biosphere. This is a pretty good uphill climb for a 4 mile out and back. I could tell the elevation slowed me down but my legs felt real good. I saw Gail on the turn around and we high fived as usual. At mile 13.8 we then turned back on the highway and had a nice gradual downhill and a road so straight I thought it didn't turn till it got to Cali-forn-ee-ah. I ran the first 1/2 in about 2:05 and I was shooting for about a 4:10 race so I felt a bit behind but figured it would be mostly downhill from here on out.

If you don't like the desert and long straight roads this isn't the marathon for you. I was still feeling good and was taking a couple gulps of water every 10 minutes, a Gel every 45 and 3 E-Caps every hour. My blisters on my heels seemed to be fine as I took Olga's advice and put a couple of Blist-O-Bans on them and they were fine the entire race.

Entering this race I had no real goals. But once I got past 15 miles or so I was still feeling good so I figured I would try and not to walk and be strong and pass the "Bonkers" the last few miles. By mile 20 I was at 3:10 and I still felt strong. Nothing was bothering me at all. The course then started to flatten out and then through in some easy up hills.

Around mile 24 I started to get a bit light headed feeling but my legs felt great. My pace slowed to 10:20 or so and sub 4:10 was out of the question. I didn't take my last Gel at 3:45 and I think that was a mistake. I thought I could power through but I probably needed that energy boost. At mile 25 they had a table handing out beer so I stopped and once again they were shocked as I powered down a couple of gulps for fun.

The finish is up an easy grade which is never much fun. I think all finishes should be downhill! I gave it a little sprint to the finish which is rare for me. I crossed in 4:15:30 at a 9:45 pace. I ran the first 6 at a 9:11 pace, the half at 9:33 and mile 20 at 9:31, so I was pretty consistent till the last 3 miles or so.

I got my medal and then went to root for Gail. She was hoping to PR below 4:27. I ran into Nicole again and she and I both cheered for Gail as she made the turn for the finish. Gail crossed the line in 4:34. No PR but one of her better times this year. Plus she had her usual big happy smile on! Did I tell you how lucky I am to have her run these races! She really wanted to run this one. I probably wouldn't have gone without her little push for us to go.

The post race food was a joke by marathon standards. Full banana's, apples, some tortilla with pb and honey, and some other minor items. Not worth staying for thats for sure. Maybe it's an Arizona thing? The Lost Dutchman Marathon was the same at the finish. At least the weather was awesome. It was 60 and clear. I even got a little sunburn on my face in December! We grabbed our drop bags and caught a bus back to our car (5 miles or so). We had decided to head home early so we showered and hit the road for the drive back to Phoenix to catch a flight back to the impending storm in Portland.

Overall the race was a 2 star out of 5. The good part was the ease of the expo and the mostly downhill course. The bad was the traffic getting to the parking, the 45 minute bus ride to the start, the mostly boring course, the lack of finisher food and the fact the course is not really all downhill. If you need Arizona for a 50 state this one would do but if I had a chance I would do The Lost Dutchman in Phoenix over this one even though Dutch is harder.

Everyone was complaining about how bad their quads felt with all the downhill running but I never really had that problem, guess it's all that trail running this summer that saved me. I did get a bit sore about 24 hours later but was probably the best I have felt the day after a marathon. I did open up some more blisters on my heel but for some reason they didn't hurt during or after the race.

So what's up next? Not really sure but I think I will either do the Christmas Marathon or Pigtail's Flat Ass 50K, or maybe the Red Lizzards Fat Ass run on Wildwood this month. Or maybe get crazy and do all three! :) One more will give me 30 lifetime so it is a goal I want to get by the end of the month. I do miss the trails though for sure.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

WS 100 Lottery

Whaaaaaaaa.....suck suck....whaaaaaaaaa....suck suck.....whaaaaaaa!!!

Guess that answers your question. Neither Gail or I made it in. Well at least I know I will be in 2010 as a two time loser. Congrats to all that made it in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dedication or Stupidity?

I am on a layover in Edmonton, Alberta. It was snowing lightly today but I really wanted to go for a run. So out I went. The problem was not the snow but the temperature, it was 5 degrees F when I left. I had my tights, shorts, a couple shirts and my sweat shirt (hoody). I only did 4 miles but with a 10 mph wind blowing it made the wind chill about -5. It was fun to run in the snow and they really try to keep the bike paths pretty clear here. But cold is cold and my quads were ice cubes when I got back to the room. A 20 minute hot shower did fix it though.

Tomorrow I am in San Francisco so hopefully the 50 degree weather there will feel hot! Probably just run tomorrow then call it quits till the Tucson Marathon on Sunday. We are going to fly down to Phoenix then drive down to Tucson. Should be a fun race if the weather cooperates.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


November has been a tough month for me to get out the door. Yeah I did the Autumn Leaves 50 miler on the 3rd but since then it hasn't been much. I did have that toenail yanked off and that thing was more sore than I expected, as I limped around for days. I think the early sunset is what is really slowing me down. I don't really run in the morning unless a group is going out. I love running in the evening in the summer, but that is tough in the darkness of winter. Treadmill? Only in rare cases. Guess I need a goal to get my butt going. WS 100? Wonder if that will do it? Ha!

Thanksgiving was fun. It is my favorite Holiday of the year. No pressure, just friends and family and lots of good food and drink. My dad showed up as usual. Olga and her son Stephen accepted our invite and we all had a good time. It is one of the few times a year I cook. I just like doing it. Around 4pm we then drove to Salem to spend some time with my mom. So it was a bit of a long day but well worth it.

Yesterday I ran 16 miles on Wildwood via the Germantown Road entrance. That part of the trail is really nice and pretty flat. I joined Rick, Olga, Sarah, Adrien, and Rob. The problem was I was late to the start. I did a dork move and went across the St. Johns Bridge twice! So by the time I got to the parking lot everyone was ready to run. I grabbed my stuff and caught up to Rick after about a 1/2 mile. I never did catch up to the others which was a kind of bummer as you know I like to chat with everyone. Rick and I didn't want to do the 4 hours plus that Olga wanted to do. We are running the Tucson Marathon next weekend so I guess I better save something for that race. We did 16 miles in just over 3 hours with some breaks in there. My legs got a tad tired towards the end, the aching not that fatigue feeling so it was not that big of a deal. But this is the longest run I have done since the 50 miler.

The bad news is that I got two more blisters on my feet. In the exact same spot on each foot, on the inside of the heal and partially on the bottom. I never have gotten blisters in my previous 15 years of running! I have changed shoes, wear the same socks, orthodics on, orthodics off? I have tried tons of different things. This is really starting to become a pain as the blisters are not small but at least an inch and a half wide circle. If anyone has any ideas I am open to any and all suggestions.

Well one week till the big day. Yep, the day she gets in the WS 100 and I get to be on her crew. I know she will get it. I just have that feeling. Go Gail!

Friday, November 9, 2007


Well I figured once I got that nail off, my toe would heal quickly. Boy was I wrong. I am eating Tylenol like they are cheeseburgers after a race. I can't wear a shoe so I am in socks and sandals. It wakes me up at night due to the pain. I am either a sissy or it was worse than I thought. I am going to unwrap it today and see how she looks. Doc said I could even run the next day if I wanted to. But I couldn't even get a shoe on if I wanted to. Stay tuned for more gory details.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Toe Nail-Less WS 100?

Well Gail and I went and did it now. We both signed up for the WS 100 today. I know we are crazy but hey ya gotta do what you gotta do! I fly over that course quite often and look down and think. "I have to try that some day and I'm not getting any younger". I actually hope Gail gets in as I know she could finish this one. She is tough as nails and is just like the little energizer bunny. She just keeps going and going. I mean her longest run for months and months before the Portland Marathon was just 14 miles or so. Then she breezes through the marathon. Then she only runs another 14 miler before Autumn Leaves. Yes she ran often but not allot of long miles. She finishes a 50 miler then goes to work and stands on her feet the whole next day!!!! She is my hero for sure.

Well I went and did it this afternoon. My big toe was getting huge so I got in to see a Podiatrist today. He said it was close to being infected and the nail bed at the base was ripped off. So he said we should take the whole thing off. It was attached on the right side still. He gave me the option of killing the root so I wouldn't have a toe nail anymore but I vetoed that. So four shots of pain killer of a pair of pliers and off it came. Lots of fluid and blood but I survived. Guess I can start running whenever I want though. I had the nurse take pictures so when he sends them to me I will post them here. Plus I brought the nail home for Gail to wear around her neck. Ha!

50 do I hear 50? 52.7? 52.7? Sold! For 52.7 miles!

Well on Saturday I ran the Autumn Leaves 50/50. Gail, Rick and I had decided months ago that this would be our first 50 mile race, but Rick and I couldn't wait and did the PCT 50 in July. So this was to be our second 50 miler and Gail's first. The course was at Champoeg Park south of Portland, on a flat 5 mile loop course. 80% on pavement and 20% on trail.

The 3 of us Slugs took the 0600 start in the dark. It was our first race outside of daylight and all three of us enjoyed it. We did a little 1.2 mile loop to get started. On the way back we heard Olga in her car yelling "You crazy runners, get out of my way!" Nah, not really but she was trying to make her way on the foggy road to the start to be the Head Lap Counter. Once we got out on the main trail it was very surreal. Foggy, frosted leaves on the trail and 1/2 a moon overhead. About 6 of us ended up together and all had a nice chat. Sarah and I alternated leading the group and I tried to get us lost as a trail was incorrectly marked. We added probably 1/4 mile to our distance until the RD got the signs fixed. Once we hit the dirt it was hard to see the trail with just headlamps. The leaves covered much of the trail and it caused us to hesitate quite a few times. At one point it I took a tree root on my bad toe and nearly did a face plant. Sarah was ahead of me and if she was two feet closer I would have taken her down with me! We made the turn at the start / finish line and headed out for the second lap. We all started to run our own pace and our group slowly dissolved.

It was just a gorgeous morning as the sun rose up and tried to burn off the fog. By the middle of lap 2 I turned off my headlamp. My nutrition goal was to drink two gulps of water every 10 minutes, take a gel every 45 to 60 minutes and take 3 ecaps every hour. When I started to get hungry I would eat boiled potatoes with salt at the aid stations. Thats all I consumed the entire race and it seem to work. 10 gels, 27 ecaps and about 180 oz of water.

Around mile 15 my arch started to feel like it was getting a blister. I had decided to run in my old Nike Pre's which had about 350 miles on them as I was worried my Nike Structure Triax shoes were too stiff for me. I was also worried that the Pre's might be a tad short as my feet swell and that did turn out to be true. I ended up with a nasty Silver Dollar sized blister on my right arch, a fifty cent piece size one on my right little toe, and numerous other little ones and the worst, my mostly dead big toenail on my left foot got decimated. I had stubbed it bad a couple of times during the race and have pretty much ripped the live portion off the nail bed. I am actually going to a Podiatrist today to have it looked at as half my large toe is a multi color of red, purple and white!

The good news was that due to the nice slow pace and 8 days rest my hip, glut and hammie didn't bother me all day. I think they just don't like to train and so thats why they are always acting up until race day. It may have helped that I took two Advil prior to the start and then 2 more at about mile 30. I know thats a bit much to take but I didn't want these injuries to get fired up.

The loop course was fun at first as I would see Gail twice a loop and usual Rick once or twice. Saying hi to other Maniacs like Karen, Eric, Steve, Sarah, Fenny and Jim made it more interesting. Coming to the finish every time I would hear Olga screaming at me. It was great to hear a familiar voice at the completion of every lap. She is the ultimate Ultra Cheerleader. In fact maybe we should all pitch in and buy her one of those High School Cheerleader outfits to wear? I wonder if she would like that????

I didn't really start to get tired till around the 30 mile mark when my pace slowed to about a 11 minute per mile. You have to remember that I watered the trees NINE times on this race, almost every lap. I guess that is a good thing but it sure hurts the time. I really tried not to doddle in aid stations and only stopped about half the time. I didn't wear a water belt and just hand carried one bottle. I hate drinking out of cups and when I am thirsty I want a drink now.

The 10k's rolled out and I saw my dad on the course. It is so cool to see your 73 year old father out there power walking along. He has really been an inspiration to me. Too bad he is computer illiterate and can not enjoy me boasting about him. Watching those fast 10 k folks really made me understand why I don't like running short races anymore. It looks like it hurts too damn much! All that heavy breathing and such.

After about 6 laps I was having a tough time. The usual Ultra lows had hit. I wasn't having any more fun, I was tired of doing loops, my feet hurt, I hated the pavement, the park was stupid, it was too sunny, there were too many leaves on the trail, etc. I just wasn't happy guy. I new this would pass but it always seems to take too long.

My worst laps were 8 and 9 (miles 40 to 47). Lap nine I really walked allot. My pace dropped to over 14 minutes per mile and was the slowest of the race. I didn't really hurt to run but I just didn't want too. I think this is when having a running buddy or pacer would really help you keep trotting. Each time I saw Gail she was getting closer. I figured at the current pace she would pass me sometime in the last lap. It did give me a bit of a push to run more after seeing that. It wasn't and ego or race thing it was just a little mental push that she was giving me. Rick had decided to just do the 50k as he was at a pretty low energy state. Saw him a few times at the finish line before he headed home for a cold one. We all have those days for sure.

At the last turn 3 of us stopped at the aid station at about the same time. I grabbed some taters and salt and Olga made a great comment. "Buddy up and get out there you guys". That really seemed to be a good idea and a couple of runners did just that. It is great how she shares her vast experience with the rest of us "wanna-be's". I headed out for the last lap knowing I was going to get this one done. I tried to run as much as I could. I only walked about 1/4 mile twice and that was much better than I had done over the last 4 laps. With 2.5 miles left to go Gail and I crossed paths, she was only a couple hundred yards behind me and looked great! I figured she would catch me and we could finish together. I walked a bit but ran the last 1.5 miles to the finish running my fastest lap since mile 1 to 26. Coming up to the finish there wasn't many folks left, just a handful waiting on us slow pokes. But that great Ultra community let out a big cheer. I tell ya, it feels as good as finishing a huge marathon with thousands of people at the finish line. Olga gave me a medal and a the required hug, others said congrats. It was a great feeling to be done. I wasn't totally wasted either. I said "Gail should be along shortly" just as Olga screamed "There she is!" It was fun to cheer for her as she finished only about a minute after me. It was her first 50 miler! 19 miles farther than she had every run. She got her medal and I got a kiss. It was a great finish for both of us.

My watch says I finished in 10:45:46 for 52.7 miles. The first draft from the RD shows 10:48.37 and 50.2 miles. He asked for changes and comments. Strange to be off that much in time for a small race.

We then grazed the food, drank a pepsi and chatted for about 30 minutes and cheered other finishers behind us. It was a fun group as usual to hang around with. We walked back to the car and changed shoes, this is when I saw the devastation on my big toe. I mean I have lost tons of nails before but this one is a mess. We drove home talking about the usual. How hard the race was and what massive amounts of food we are going to eat when we get home!

The next day I was as sore as I have every been. My quads were even a bit sore and that hasn't happened since early summer. I think my lack of training the last 3 weeks really took a toll on my strength. It still is amazing how you can not train that much and still go do a 50. I really think allot of it is mental and dealing with the pain rather than your physical conditioning. Now if I was a fast runner that would probably be a different story. But I had a good base, running around 15 ultras/marathons this year.

Now what is next? Over the last year or so I have always dreamed of running Western States 100. Now I have a qualifier. What do I do? I know I will enter the lottery today. Gail and I still haven't decided if we will buddy up or try our chances alone. Even if she got in and I didn't, I would be just as happy. I actually would love to pace her the last 30 miles or so. I truly think she probably has a better chance of finishing than I do. Today is our day to decide...what shall we do? I just want to get on that trail with everyone else. To be a part of something great. If I don't finish? That is ok with me. But trust me when I say if I got in I would do everything to try and finish under 3o hours. I need to do this race.

My next race? Not really sure. We are thinking about Tucson on December 2nd and maybe the Christmas Marathon or Pigtails Flat Ass around the same time. Strange not having a race planned. I bet that doesn't last for long!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Little "Freaky"

So I went to the Chiro since my Orthopedic is popular now and it takes 3 weeks to get into see him. I told him about the "pain in my butt" (Gail says she has that around me all the time!) and my hip. Well I guess I am sort of like Ronda and have had this pain in the Tush for quite a while. Well it really bugged me during the Portland Marathon so I figured I better do something about it as it was causing pain and stiffness done my right hamstring and calf. Well it turns out I have one of the smaller muscles in the behind that is all fired up. It is causing problems all the way down my right leg to back of the knee. The Doc worked on it and knew just where to work, there are a few spots he dug in at that made me grunt pretty good. (Boyz don't cry ya know) Then he worked on the IT band off my hip to my knee. He has me doing the same Jane Fonda exercises that Ronda said she was doing plus a few more. He suggested that I quit running for a bit but also realized that wouldn't happen. I did got get an hour long massage which fired it up for a day but did feel better after that.

So I have not been running a whole lot since Portland and I am getting pretty worried about the Autumn Leaves 50 miler on November 3rd. So this week in Seattle I decided to run a bit more than I have been. The hip hurts one run and the hammie the next. Last night I did a nice 10 miler on the Green River Trail in Seattle area. I love that bike path as its is a nice rural setting in an urban world. I am running super slow now because of the fear of making it worse. Can't remember the last time I ran a sub 10 pace. Well I am over 30 miles for the week and that is allot for me in the last few months.

Well last night kind of "Freaked me Out". I woke up about 1 A.M. for some reason, I remember feeling restless but in my half awake state didn't know why. Well I figured it out when the sharp pain hit me in the hip area. It was like a pulse that would come randomly every 10 to 15 seconds. Never had anything like this and it was not fun. I got up and walked and it didn't seem to help. Laying in bed I tried different positions and finally on my back seemed to settle it down. It never came back. So I don't know what to think? I am going to take today off and try and run one more long one this weekend.

I hope I have the guts to make it through the 50 this weekend. For sure I am not ready to push it at all. See you all there!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Portland Marathon

Boy am I a lazy Blogger! It has been a month since I have put anything up. Well here goes. A week ago I ran the Portland Marathon, it is the third time I have ran this one and even though it was my slowest it was also the most fun.

(Notice the high leg kick I have. No I am not walking!!)

A gaggle of us met near the start at 0630. It included Rick, Mark, Sarah, Gail and myself. We chatted it up for a bit then headed to the middle of the pack for the start. It was a bit breezy but the temperature was nice in the mid 50's. Gail got us to do the "1-2-3 SLUGS!" start line cheer then the gun went off and as in most big marathons you stand around for a few minutes till the group begins to move. This year they had a different start area because of construction and I thought it worked out much better than the usually way they do it. Once you crossed the start line I don't think we ever had to walk again due to congestion.

My hip and IT band were all fired up so this was going to be a just "get 'er done" marathon. At about mile 1 we hit the Drum Corp that is always the highlight of the music on this course. They are amazing and really get the blood flowing. I wish they could be at mile 23 when I really need them!! For the first 4 miles Gail, Rick, Sarah and myself all just ran in the same area. Once we hit the downhill portion and headed back down Front Street (Naito Parkway I guess) is where I left most the group. This is when my Hamstring and calf started to tweek. I think it is a by product of my hip or sciatic nerve in my right leg that has been giving me fits. I knew right then it would be a cautious day for any speed. My buddy Eric caught up to me in this area and we ran together until I had to water the bushes around mile 7. Eric ran an amazing race having been sick for weeks before hand and hardly training at all. Good job Hitch!

Well after having a chat with a shrub I ran into Steve Vega. Steve works with me and this was his first marathon. He and I ended up running the next 10 miles together. It was a great time and it really made the time pass. The ugly out and back on Front seemed to fly by. Another Slug Katie was out at mile 7 jumping up and down and cheering us on in a pink outfit. (Thanks "Chunks" it was great to have you out there today.) As we hit about mile 16 Steve started having some cramping problems and I tried to help with some E-Caps. He drifted behind and I ended up running the race solo from here on out. As we headed up the hill to the St. Johns bridge I considered walking but just did my baby steps ultra pace all the way over the bridge. Its not really a bad climb its just that you are a bit fatigued at mile 17. As usual it was a great view at the top and you get a bit juiced up as you head down the back side to North Portland.

Running in North Portland is by far the best part of this course. The fans are great and there are allot of them. I continued my even pace past the 20 mile point and felt pretty good mentally but just a bit tired physically. Every step hurt but I have learned to run with pain for years so this was nothing but an annoyance. My nutrition plan continued as it always has this year. Two gulps of water every 10 minutes, one Gel every 45 minutes and 3 E-caps every hour. I hand carried one water bottle and no belt (a first for me with no belt). It was pretty easy to fill my bottle as I just walked every third aid station and just poured 3 cups or so of water in my bottle.

We did have some pretty good south winds as we headed back to town. The big downhill on Interstate avenue was nice but the wind took some of the fun out of it. This is around mile 23 and my legs were getting a bit tired here. I never walked the course except to down a Gel a times or to refill my bottle. Just after mile 24 is where I have bonked pretty hard the last two races here. I ran those much harder so this seemed much better today. Just before we crossed back into downtown Portland they a group of fans had a couch on the sidewalk and were handing out beer. I ran up sat down, crossed my legs and said " I will have a beer please." The guy looked shocked and said "you want one?" I said "sure". I gulped down the dixie cup size beer, jumped up and took off. Damn that was fun! Always wanted to do that!

We crossed the bridge and heading back up Front Street towards the finish. A fellow Maniac came up and ran with me for a bit. He later said his wife to be was somewhere in the crowd so he was looking all around. They had a big noisy crowd for the finish and it was fun to trot by them. I usually don't like big marathons but this was kind of fun. I crossed the line in 4:21:27 my slowest time yet here. But I was happy because I felt good and ran a great even pace. Here is my pace throughout the race
10K 9:47
9.1 mile 9:3;7
13.1 9:43
20 9:51
finish 9:59

Yeah the last couple miles were pretty darn slow but thats usually the case with me.

The finish area was awesome. I talked with tons of Maniacs and other running friends. I ate grapes, ice cream , chips and tons of other junk. I chatted with Jim, Fenny, Hollywood, Leslie, Sarah, Steve W, Steve V and so many more. I ended up hanging out for about an hour. Gail had a great race and finished in 4:30:32 a PR for her at Portland. Rick had a 4:57, Eric a 4:54, Steve V a 4:27, and Sarah who almost caught me had a great 4:22:47.

I never felt bad after this race which was sure nice. Oh except after the ice cream and potato chips.(Yuck!) So after a bit we walked to our car. We parked on the street and only had about 6 blocks to go. We zipped out of traffic and were home in about 20 minutes. I am not a big fan of this marathon but it is sure sweet to be able to be home so quick. I will probably end up doing this every year I figure.

Well an update on this week. I have only ran 6 miles and my leg and hip are not getting better. Not sure what to do so I may go see a doc soon. I have the Autumn Leaves 50 miler in 3 weeks and I don't want to screw up that by being hurt but on the other hand I hate the fact I am losing fitness. I hardly ran at all the week before the marathon so I am sure I am losing allot. This weekend the 20th Gail and I may run the Olympia Halloween Marathon or we may fly off and do some other. (We both have 5 days off) I was hoping to do the San Francisco 12 hour run but it has closed darn it.

Well thanks all for a great time last Sunday. Lets do it again soon!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stubbed Toes and Awesome Views

The McKenzie River Trail 50K was everything I hoped it would be. It all started when Gail, Rick and I were in Olathe, Kansas running a marathon in late March. The MRTR web site said that if you didn't get your application postmarked by April 1st you wouldn't get in. So we all mailed in our applications from Kansas on the day we headed home.

The race starts at Carmen Reservoir on the McKenzie river. Gail and Rick took the early start at 6:30. I wanted to try and break 6 hours so I took the regular start one hour later. We all had stayed at a motel in McKenzie Bridge so it was a quick 20 minute drive up to the start. The start line was about a 1/4 mile from where you could park so we all hiked back to that point. The RD gave us instructions and then off we went. About halfway back to the parking lot about 30 runners met us coming the other way, they had either been waiting in line at the Porta-Johns or missed the need to come back to the start line. Most were good kids and went to the line before starting but a few just joined in with the pack. Like 30 seconds is going to matter over 31 miles!

We soon hit the trail and it was a bit of a climb the first couple miles with the usual walking until the crowd thins out. Some parts were pretty steep but very short. By mile two I could already feel a tightness in both my upper calves which wasn't normal. This stayed with me the entire race and I had never had this before. I think I must have over stretched them on these initial climbs it was an annoyance but never a problem to run with. We hit the east side of Clear Lake with its lava flows. You couldn't always run but they didn't last for long. The view of the lake was fantastic but I couldn't look for long or I would be on my face! At aid station one at 5.7 miles I stripped my gloves and long sleeve shirt, refilled my water bottle took a Gel and kept going. I knew the hard part was over as we gained about 200 feet over this section. Now it was going to be mostly down hill for the next 26 miles as we would lose about 1700 feet in elevation.

We now crossed over to the west side of Clear Lake and ran through just rolling trails. My goal was a 10 minute pace but the walking and crowds had me at about 11 minutes at this time. Yeah all you "speedy's" out there I know I am slow but I am also old and 220 pounds. Ha-Ha! As we passed back by Carmen we got to AS #2 at 11 miles. I was Gel-ing every 50 minutes and 3 E-Caps every hour. I also took a minimum of 2 gulps of water every 10 minutes. I estimated that I drank about 168 oz of water on the course. I am doing so much better now that I quit any sports drink. I drink more often and feel much better after the race. I have increase my eating and Gels to replace the lost calories from the sports drinks. I hand carried one bottle and had one on a belt. I also took two ibuprofen around here again as my legs started to ache. A half hour later I felt much better.

Out of AS 2 we lose the River as it goes underground for a few miles. It then pops up in this amazing Blue Pool. I stopped and went to the edge of a cliff to look at it. It was the most incredible shades of blue and aquamarine. I called to another runner to look and she too was very impressed. This part of the course had very sharp lava rocks on the trail with some steep and curvy sections. I like this technical parts and tried to pick up the pace here. I started passing some smarter and more cautious runners here. If you would fall here it would be broken bones.

At AS 3 I did the usual chips and few bites of aid food, refilled the bottles and ate as I walked out of the stations. My goal for the day was to never spend more than 2 minutes at any aid station. I did accomplish that goal too. We ran along Trail Bridge Reservoir and crossed a few ridge lines. None of the climbs required walking but I did on most of them, saving my energy for being speedy downhill.

Just past AS 4 at mile 22 I ran into Rick. He informed me that he had lost his lunch a few times and was having a rough day. He said he had just sent Gail off on her own a few minutes later. I ran with him for 15 minutes or so and then headed out. I felt bad to leave him but he said he was doing better and was going to finish even if he walked in. What a stud! I am sure if I was barfing on the trail I would DNF right now. He gets the badge of courage for this race. From here on in the trail is pretty sweet. It is mostly soft needles and rolls along the river. You do climb up a few hundred feet now and then but always roll back down to the beautiful McKenzie. I only walked the steep hills in here but mostly ran a little over a 10 min pace. As the temperatures warmed up I did went down to the river and got my bandanna wet tied it around my neck and boy that felt good.

As I cruised into the last AS at mile 25 I saw the most lovely site, the woman I adore. There was Gail hitting the brownies! She was to be my savior the next 6 miles.We chatted and headed out. She then took off running and I followed closely for a bit. This trail is full of roots and rocks so if you follow someone to closely you probably soon be eating dirt. So I put some space between us and she was running a perfect pace for me right now. At times she would pull up to 200 yards ahead, sometimes I would be right behind but she was pure RFM (Relentless Forward Motion) as she rarely walked the hills. She was just powering up them. This is from the woman that figured she might even DNF because her longest run since about late April was 14 miles! Now she is out doing 31!!!! No guys! She is taken...she is with me! Ha! She said she felt great and that taking it easy with Rick in the beginning was really helping her be strong now.

At mile 30 we saw Kate who was a volunteer with us at Waldo a few weeks earlier. She was at an unplanned aid station passing out ice cold water. What a gal! We chatted for a minute then went off to finish. With about a mile left a runner named Barb came up behind us. We offered to let her by but she was fine. Her and I had chatted very early in this race for a few miles. She must be famous cause everyone said "Hi Barb!". Gail kept up her RFM and I felt she was dragging me on with a rope. I kept waiting for the hill as from reading Sarahs Blog I knew the finish was on a short up hill. Soon there it was. I ran up beside Gail and she grabbed my hand as we did the last 50 yards together. What a way to finish, both of us with big smiles on our faces on a great course with 80 degrees and blue sky! Yeeee--haaa! It was work but it was sure fun. Running those last miles with Gail made my day. She can be my pacer any day. But I think she is made to do this. I am sure a 100 miler is in her future, and most likely before mine.

At the finish line we saw many friends including Sean, Olga and many others I have met in this sport. Well I sucked down a cold pepsi and Gail and I headed to the river to soak. That river was so cold I couldn't stay in for more than 1 minute at a time. We would cheer the runners telling them its only 200 yards left. Then we saw Rick! Whoo-hooo! He was going to finish and a much better time than either of us thought. Way to go Pole! We walked back to the finish line and we all talked then headed over to the community center to eat and socialize some more. They had amazing chicken noodle soup and berry cobbler. We listened to the awards for the fast people and were amazed at how fast some folks can run. Way to go winners!

We dropped Rick off at his motel, showered and headed home. Both Gail and I loved this race and this valley. I didn't hit my goal of 6 hours but 6:17 was close to my PR so I will take it. It was one of the best Ultra's I have done and having Detour there made it so much more fun. Whats up next? Well it looks like the Portland Marathon on October 7th. I would like to get another race in before that but I think my schedule won't allow it.

Sarah, happy belated birthday. Olga, thanks for taking the pictures.

Put MRTR on your list, its a great one!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Miss that river

Rick and I ran with the Portland Marathon Clinic at Fit Right NW today. Was a nice 16 mile run on a gorgeous day on the east bank of the Willamette River down to the Sellwood Bridge then down to east 23rd street. Then we doubled back to the Sellwood and crossed over to the west side. Everyone ran nice and easy today. I used to run this course almost every week but it has probably been over 6 months. I do miss this route. No aid stations so lots of folks got caught without water bottles, so there was a mad rush to every water fountain. I am usually carrying two bottles just so that I get used to packing. Most the ultras I have run I finish at least 1.5 bottles between aid stations so I need to make sure I have enough with me.

My IT band up near my hip was talking to me today. It said "Bret you big dork! You ran fast this week and didn't even ease into to it. Therefore I am pissed off and I am going to remind you that I am here!" Yeah yeah I did do a 10k on my own this week. I wanted to see if I could still move along at a fast pace like I used to. Well yes I found out I could. Problem is I never try and run fast anymore so I tweaked the IT band. I will use the roller this week and just take it easy.

Rick, Gail and I are doing the McKenzie River 50K this Saturday. If anyone has any knowledge of this course let me know. I don't have a clue what to expect except for some great sights.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You are what you eat

So Gail and I headed to the Oregon State Fair last night after work. We try to go for a few hours every year. The main attraction? FOOD! So here is how healthy I ate last night. 1 corn dog, 1 scone, 1 beer, 1 barbecued corn and to top it all off, a huge vanilla ice cream cone. Yep I should be on the cover of Healthy Living magazine, all 220 pounds of me.

On a more serious note, some of you from the Portland area may now Kathy Ryan. She is an awesome runner in her late 60's. She has run close to 50 marathons and is trying to join the 50 states club. Well Friday night on the Hood to Coast run she collapsed at night on the road. Luckily some women state troopers (that were running) and a nurse found her. Her heart stopped and they performed CPR. After about 8 minutes she was revived and is now recovering at OHSU. Lets all send good thoughts her way and I hope to see her out running again soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


So this morning I ran with the Portland Marathon Clinic. I have not run with them this year. They were running mile 6 through 26 on the Portland Marathon course. I ran with the 3:45 pace group and it was pretty slow the first 10 miles, probably running between 10:15 and 11:00 minute pace. They did pick it up the last half of the course though.
It has been awhile since I have ran that long on pavement, probably early summer? I had a good time and felt pretty strong most the run. I had some great chats with some of the group. Over time it comes out in conversation how many marathons you have run. It still is hard for me to say "twenty five". Seems like just recently I was the rookie with only a few under my belt.

I was soon being asked for advice on everything from pacing to knee pain to what I eat during and after a race? (Gels during, hamburgers, pizza or KFC after!!!) But it was fun to chat and it made the time go by so much faster. I also feel old, as one young woman I talked to told me her dad was doing the Canadian Iron Man today. I was waiting for her to say "he's about your age." Most of the folks had run a few marathons before with Eugene and Portland being the most talked about.
Another thing I noticed was that no one seemed to drink as much as they probably should have. Maybe half had water belts and no one hand carried. For me every year I drink more and more. I still feel that is one of the weakest areas of the marathoner. When I started I hardly drank at all, maybe a couple of bottles over 4 hours, and yes I did bonk hard many times. Every year I seem to drink more and more. I know you can over drink but I sure don't see that very often.

The last mile or so I overheard a woman talking about how she "was so done." The guy she was running with said he was going to "speed up and take it on home." So I gently eased up next to her and started some small talk. She verified that she was tired and that she had just come off an injury and this was not fun the last few miles. She had run previous marathons so was not a rookie. Well I started talking as Bret can do and slowed my pace to match hers. The rest of the group just kind of took off. She was planning on walking in but by talking with her she ran to the finish with me. She thanked me for running and chatting with her.

It felt good to help out some folks today whether it was with some advice or pacing. I kept thinking about the Ultra community and how it has this bond or closeness, and everyone always helps everyone out if needed. You don't see that as much in the Marathon crowd, it seems more competitive. But it is where I have come from. I felt so good after this run, yeah my legs were tired but the rest of me felt really good. I have taken for years as I have grown as a runner, maybe today was my time to start giving back? Thanks fellow Ultra runners, maybe you are rubbing off on me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A New Trail

Gail has turned into a trail runner. She is finding all these new trails and hardly running on the streets anymore. On Sunday she said we should go find the Marquam trail and run up to Council Crest. We drove up Terwilliger past the Chart House and found the trail just about 1/4 mile down the hill. It is a pretty steady 3.5 mile climb up to Council Crest Park for a great view. The trail is in awesome shape and you only have to cross a few roads. Once we got to the top we spent 15 minutes or so just taking in the views.
On the way down Gail started to feel a bit hungry, or I should say very hungry. She had a Gel but that didn't seem to be enough. So luckily I found some Blackberry's that were starting to turn ripe along the trail. After probably 3 handfuls she was feeling better and off we went. It was just like having a 7-11 in the woods!
Next time I would like to add the extra miles to the Wildwood Trail. It says it's only another 2.2 miles from Council Crest.
I am writing this on friday morning. I am office boy all week as the boss is on vacation. I haven't really run since Sunday. Hard for me to get motivated. Gail is leaving soon for her Hood to Coast race. Go Nike Chicks!! I am going to do a 20 mile training run on the Portland Marathon course with the Portland Marathon Training Clinic on Saturday. I have done this run the last few years and its a nice small group to do it with. My next race isn't until September 8th for the McKenzie 50K so I gotta keep those miles up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What can I get for you?

On Saturday Gail and I volunteered at the Mt. Ray aid station for the Where's Waldo 100k. We both got off work Friday and then headed up to Oakridge to spend the night. With a short 30 minute drive to the aid station early Saturday monring we were ready to go. With runners from the early start getting to us just after 7:00 am. I was given a "meet and greet" assignment, which means when you came in I asked "What can I get for you?" I tried to think what I would want as a runner and then asked those questions. Gail was at the drop bags helping each runner get there bag as quick as possible. My goal was to make them all smile, feel good about themselves and get them back on the trail as quick as they wanted too. It was great to talk to some of the elite runners and see what was working for them. Meghan and her chocolate milk is one that really surprised me. Gail was amazed to see one of the elite men stuff a huge snickers bar down in less than a minute and wash it down with a Red Bull! Whatever works is what I have found out.

We were done at the aid station by 11 am and Gail and I got changed for a run of our own. We went down the trail toward Bobby Lake on the advice of Kate at our aid station. When we got 4 miles or so out we ran into Kate sweeping the trail and Meghan Arbogast's husband at a T in the trail. We sadly found out that someone had sabotaged the trail markers and many of the leaders ran the wrong way. I can not believe that someone would do this. Many of the leaders ran numerous extra miles and ended up dropping. Allot of runners did more miles after they figured out what went wrong. Well Gail and I continued on to Bobby Lake as Kate had said it would be a nice run around the it. We got to the Lake and turned right following a trail. Well as we trekked on the trail got smaller and smaller. More logs across the trail. Gail kept saying "are you sure this is the trail" "Yes" I replied, "out here they don't get much use." Well about 20 minutes later you could hardly call it a trail anymore. We were having to walk allot just to go over the dead trees. Next thing you know there really isn't a trail anymore. We are fighting our way through deep woods. Gail thinks the trail is up the hill so I hike up a bit and look. No trail. So we keep going...across dried out bogs and super thick small trees. I am getting nervous but as long as the lake is there we will make it back. As we crossed a small bog area I saw bear tracks. "Mommy!!!" We kept going. Finally Gail said "I'm going to walk up a bit, I still think there maybe a trail up there" "OK fine, go ahead, but I tell ya...there isn't one up there" One minute later we walk on to a really nice wide trail. Opps! Oh well....I guess I should have asked the birds for directions after all! After over an hour walking through thick forest we were back on the trail heading for the car. I missed another trail turn later and added about a mile to our planned run. We ended up doing a bit over 13 miles but quite a few of those were exploring the woods of Bobby Lake! Gail's nickname if Detour. She got this one night from taking a wrong turn in Forest Park and our running group looking for her for about an hour. This one was all my fault. Later I told some of our new friends from the aid station about this. They then called me "Detour two!"

Gail and I drove to the finish were we got to see the leaders finish. It was a great time and I introduced Gail to the Finish Hugger, Olga. She was having a grand time handing out the prizes and greeting each finisher with a big smile. We only stayed 45 minutes or so and then headed back home. Gail and I both thoroughly enjoyed our time and hope to do it again soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Haulin Aspen Marathon

I have been lazy in posting about this race. I caught a cold for the week before this race so I wasn't even sure if I would be running it. I figured I would just get up early Sunday morning and if I felt OK I would just drive over to Bend the day of the race. Well I jumped in the car at 2:40am for the drive. Just me and all the party folks on the road at this time of the night!

I got to the start line about an hour ahead of time. It was a pretty chilly morning with temps in the low 40's I would guess. I socialized with a few Maniacs and then off we went. I started my usual slow pace with only a few folks behind me. There ended up being only 131 marathoners which is a great size race. The first mile is on pavement, then we head onto the trails for the next 25. The first 14 miles of the course is mostly uphill with a roughly 2500 foot elevation gain. I ran the hills till about mile 10 or 11 where the really steep grade starts. I just power walked about 90% of this. I had a few folks pass me trying to run and watched a few ahead of me run up the hill. I said to myself that I would probably pass most of them later and they would have expended too much energy on these steep climbs. Sure enough I think I passed everyone by the finish except for one or two. This climb was not on trails but on gravel/rocky roads. It was a clear blue sky and the view was fantastic.

At roughly mile 14 we hit an aid station and then entered the woods for mostly single track all the way to the finish. It was nice to run downhill but the quads did start to fade a bit. I was getting some pretty good leg fatigue by mile 17 so I took a couple of Ibuprofen and soon felt just fine. I know, I know, I am becoming quite the drug addict on these races, but it sure seems to work for me. I stayed with my usual plan of only drinking water, which I usually take 2 gulps every mile. I did one Gu and 3 E-caps every hour. Since I have quit the sports drinks my stomach sure feels much better now late in the run.

Around mile 21 I almost did a face plant. It was one of those face first, arms a swinging, "oh my God" ones. I saved it barely but tweaked my hamstring with the extreme stretch. One interesting thing was that my fatigue and leg pain went away and my energy level quickly jumped up. It is amazing what a shot of adrenaline will do for you!! The hamstring only hurt for a few miles then all was well again.

I crossed the finish line at 4:53:37 which was my goal of braking 5 hours. Still having my chest cough during the race and the size of the hills with a bit of altitude thrown in, I was very happy to finish this race. It was a pretty typical race for me except I never felt really tired the last 6 miles or so. I guess running 50 two weeks prior had helped me with that. (Even though I only ran about 10 training miles between these two races). Over the last 13 miles of the course I only had one person pass me. This guy was helping a fellow runner at an aid station when I passed him about mile 18. He then passed me at about mile 25. So I felt really good that I could keep up the pace for the entire race. Plus he was about 20 years younger and 75 pounds lighter than me.

The post race fixin's is the best of any marathon or race that I have been to. Other RD's could sure learn from how Haulin' Aspen does this. It is great to eat hot pasta, cesear salad and bread after a race. Plus they have a great assortment of other foods. They did run out of beer but I am not a big beer fan after a race.

I highly recommend that everyone try this race. It is a great course and challenging but not overly so. You need to go into it with the idea that this is just like an Trail Ultra but is only marathon length. Hill training is a must. I am sure that folks that were not prepared for the elevation changes had a pretty frustrating day. No Boston qualifier here for sure.

Well looks like I covered most everything. I am sitting here in my hotel in Burbank. Still a bit sore but think I will go out for a trot to the LA Zoo, maybe even up Griffith Park a bit. I will post pix of the rae when the become available.

Monday, July 30, 2007


What a month this has been. July 4th the Sauvie marathon. July 14th the SOB 50K. And now my first 50 miler! The PCT 50/50 from Timothy Lake to Timberline Lodge and back. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would run 50 miles.

Friday night I drove up to the Clackamas Lake campground where Rick had set up his trailer. The campground was only about a half mile from the start which worked out so nice. Rick and I had the usual spag and bread dinner then crashed about 10pm, wake up call was to be at 0400 for the 0530 early start. I had never taken an early start before but with a 12 hour cut off I had no idea when I would finish.

I got to the start line about 10 seconds before they shouted "Go!". I was messing around with my Garmin GPS watch trying to get it to acquire the satellites. If I run before it syncs up I often will not get any readouts the entire run. So I had set it on the car waiting for it to work. Then off I ran the few hundred yards to the start just in time. I threw off my old sweatshirt and off we went. (Olga and Monika you can keep it.)

The run first went up the road to about a .7 turnaround they had to add due to the Forest Service not allowing us to run into Little Crater Lake. Back down past the start and up the hill to the trail. We went by big signs that said Pacific Crest Trail but a hundred yards beyond that was the chalk to mark another trail. So being the back of the packer that I am I followed the "experts" and off we went into the woods. About a 1/4 mile into the trail folks started yelling and some runners came back towards us. "They marked the wrong trail!" and so we turned around. Lucky for us we didn't run very far. Well onto the PCT we went. The trail was nice and wide and just rolling with the usual rocks and roots. Rick and I decided to take Olga's advice and for the first 2 hours run 8 minutes then walk 1. 2 to 4 hours we would run 6, walk 2. Then from 4 hours on run 4 and walk 2. We did walk up all big hills and run down the downhills regardless of time. It was hard to walk early on but it really helps in the long run.

At around mile 12 or so we got our first awesome views of our goal, Mt. Hood. This was as we traversed a very steep mountain. We then drifted down to the Highway 26 crossing. I was still feeling good as I making sure to drink about a bottle and a half of water per hour at least. (Hand carried one bottle and one in the water belt). I took the usual 3 endurolytes and 1 gu per hour. We then cruised up another mountain and through some super dense forest then crossed Highway 35 and the Barlow Road aid station. This is where the real climb started. From here out it is uphill to just above Timberline lodge. I walked probably 75% of this portion, trying to walk fast while still keeping my heart in my chest! About half way up you run onto the beach. Yes there is a beach on Mt Hood. It is sand just like you find on the coast. The walking was not overly difficult as we made our way up the east side of the White River Canyon. I could see the lodge and knew we had to go up higher then drop back to the lodge. At the lodge aid station my buddy Eric was there again to help out as he had been at most the other stations. I changed my socks as I still don't have any Gators and I wanted my bad heel blister to stay dry. I felt really good here at mile 25, much better than I expected. Out of the chair and off I went.

You climb back up the mountain a bit then its 90% downhill to the Barlow Road aid station again. I didn't run fast but tried to stay a nice constant pace without trashing my quads. I ran into Rick coming up the hill and he said he was pretty beat. We chatted for a minute and then both continued on our quest. About half way down the trail I started feeling pretty crappy. I thought about quitting, "DNF wouldn't be that bad? At least I tried?" As I rolled into the 32 mile aid station Eric was there again. I got my drop bag and sat down to change my socks or maybe I didn't? I don't know as its all a blur now. But I do remember being a little dazed and confused. Eric kept telling me to eat..."yeah yeah I know" I crankily said. I got up and nibbled at the snacks. At this point I had them put ice in my bandanna, tied it around my neck and had a great drip air conditioning system! This thing is the best for warm days. This was for sure the low point in the race for me.

I crossed the Highway and knew it was big uphill coming. I felt dead and mostly just walked. After about 10 minutes I remembered the Advil I had brought and took 2 of them. I forced down some Sport Beans, endurolytes and lots of water. After about 30 minutes of climb I started running. "Wow! I feel great! This is fun! Look at those views!" I suddenly realized that I felt good. Once again I think the Advil just took enough of the pain away to let my brain be free again. I felt real good now till about mile 43. There was one more big hill but I just power walked it. Then the sweetness of long easy downhills. Two things gave me more boost here. One was that when my GPS watch said 40 miles and I was in new territory. "I have run 40 frickin' miles! Woo-Hoo!" Second was the the course became more technical with lots of roots and rocks. This forces me to concentrate on where my next step will be and really makes the time pass by.

Just before the last aid station I was walking and looked up and there was Eric heading towards me. I said "Your not supposed to see me walking." We laughed and he joined up behind me as I walked then started an easy run into the last aid station. He again helped me get my bottles filled and made me eat. I started to feel pretty weak again by this point. Eric said "could I make it in on my own?" and said "no problem". It was only a bit over 6 miles to the finish. So he headed home and I went off to the finish.

About a mile out of the aid station my blister popped on my heal, actually it was a new one too. I was pretty tired and was walking at least half the time here as the course was pretty flat. It soon hurt more to walk than run so I tried to trot as much as I could. I came up on a woman and her pacer. She had cramped up and couldn't run anymore. They said the finish was only about 3/4's of a mile away. This juiced me up and I ran the rest of the way in.

As I came to the finish line maybe only 50 people or so were still around. But the Ultra community loves its own so the cheers were really loud. At the finish, Olga the RD was standing there with a medal to put around my neck and arms outstretched to give me a finisher hug. I hesitated as I thought "are you sure you want to hug this smelly thing?" But she did it anyway. As I watched later she was giving big hugs to every finisher. That was pretty cool. I think everyone really appreciated them.

Well I did it. I still am sort of unbelieving in what I just accomplished. Yeah I finished slow at 11 hours and 51 minutes. But that was secondary. The goal was to finish so I am extremely happy with that. I am no longer a 50 mile Virgin!

My true hero in this race is a woman I don't even know. At the mile 32 aid station her running partner said to watch her close and make sure she gets some electrolytes. I went to talk to her and she was in a fog, looking very dazed. She said she was dizzy and that she should have run the 50K not the 50 miler. Luckily the EMT's were nearby as I thought for sure she would probably need them. Well about and hour after I finished this woman crosses the finish line. I stand up and cheer loudly as she had the courage to get up from that chair and finish the next 18 miles. That takes more inner strength than I have. I would have called it a day I think. As she finished you could see the emotion in her come out. It was quite an experience to witness and makes me proud to be a part of this.

Rick came in a while later and said he has new respect for those that do 100 milers. I agreed. we ate some Garden Burgers, chatted with Hippo, rested for a bit then off to the trailer and I headed for home. I felt really good on the drive and relished in what I had just done. Whats next? I don't know. I figured Haulin' Aspen but my feet are blister trash so I guess I will just wait and see.

Eric you are the man! At most every aid station. You kept me on track, not let me forget stuff and gave me the encouragement to keep going. Thanks so much and the Beers are on me at your request!

Pete aka "Hippo". Your chair and the cold Starbucks Mocha you gave me at the finish was so sweet. It really helped me cross that low blood pressure threshold I often get after the finish. Thanks!

Sarah and Marc: Marc you are amazing! No training and run 50 miles in someone elses shoes! Sarah, thanks for the photo off your blog. I stole one as I had no camera.

See all you Waldo folks at the aid station at mile 20 or so. Gail and I will be working there.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fatigue Setting In?

Or is it that I just haven't trained enough this year?

Saturday night I went out to get some time on my feet before my first 50 miler this weekend. I ran some moderate hills in the area and got 12 miles in 2 hours. I walked some just to get used to it for the upcoming race. I felt really tired the entire run and my feet are still a bit sore from last weekends 50k. So the plan is to take the rest of the week off before the race on Saturday. I have found that I don't lose much fitness when I do this and my body recovers so much better.

What is interesting is that I have not lost the weight I usually do each summer. This year I am probably 10 pounds heavier than I normally am. Due to the decrease in training that I am doing because I have been running so many long races. I have done 10 marathons or longer this year. That is huge for me. Some folks say I should just cut back on the eating, that just is not an option for me!

Rick and I decided to take the 0530 early start for the PCT. I think it is a wise decision. We don't know how we are going to do over 50 miles and secondly it will be nice and cool for a longer time with the early start. Hope the Bears are not hungry early!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

S.O.B. 50K

Siskiyou Out Back, yeah right. I prefer SOB! Actually it was a pretty good run for me. By far the best scenery of any Ultra I have run.

Gail and I drove down to MFR (Medford in pilot talk) friday night and stayed in Ashland. We got up early on Saturday and were at the start at the Mt. Ashland parking lota good hour before the race. Did I ever say I love the parking at Ultra's? It is so great to park 100 yards from the start of the race. Not like these Mega-Marthon's where you are miles away. Gail didn't have the miles under her belt to do the 50K so she was going to run the 15K that started an hour and a half after my race. Packet pickup was a breeze, once again so nice compared to the forced "day before pick ups" of marathons. I ran into a few folks I know before the race, David from Eugene and Hippo from Vancouver. We had a nice chat then walked over to the start. Go was yelled and off we went. Weather was great with a high clouds and mid 50's.

We wound around some forest service roads then dropped in on the the Pacific Coast Trail. Ran across a great meadow with the beginning of awesome views. Of course the first mile I was my usual second from the last. Fat-Boyee's are not fast starters but look out when the momentum starts! As we wound around the mountains there was one big descent that I flew down for about 4 miles. My quads felt great but my calves were barking dogs. I just hoped that I wouldn't have to return back up this way later.

The Aid Stations were great with the usual Ultra snacks. My plan was again to run with water only, take 3 E-Caps an hour and one Gu. Then grab a few chips and other items and most aid stations after the 10 mile point. I seem to be doing better with out the sports drinks anymore but getting my salts from the Endurolytes.

I was walking most the uphill sections and picking up the pace on all the downhills. With all my nagging injuries the only one that I felt all day was the right foot pain and that was only a 2 on 1 to 10 scale. My knee pain went away at the 1/2 mile point and has never returned. My hip/ IT band never did show up.

The first 15 miles was a breeze and the turn around is at a great site with fantastic views. Am I going on about these views? Yes because I wanted to just stop and take in all the sites. But with the trail ultras if you don't watch the path every second the ground will rise up and smite thee in the nose! We then ran on some roads for a few miles and I was concerned I may have missed a turn off at some point. But I soon looked back and saw David a few hundred yards back on my tail and I knew then I was on the trail or we were both lost. We then went on to a trail that traversed what I think was Big Red Mountain. This was some great single track and became pretty rocky in places. I started catching some of the early starters in this area.

Later we crossed the side of some mountains with extreme drop offs on the left. The course became pretty technical with tons of loose rocks, plus it was a downhill grade. This is where I was going a tad too fast and tripped. Luckily it was downhill so my feet had time to get back underneath me and I didn't fly off into the abyss. That would have been a real ugly place to fall!

As we wound back to the last quarter of the course my worst fear came true. We did have climb back up that downgrade that I flew down early in the race. This was at about mile 22 and I was getting pretty tired at this point. As I walked up this steep trail I started to experience some new adventures. Like, breathing really wild and crazy, sort of like anaerobic breathing and along with the 6500 foot elevation kicking my butt. I just couldn't catch my breath. Slowly runners passed me hear, probably 6 or 7 of them. Some asked how I was doing with a serious look. I just said "I am here and I am OK". During this 5 mile climb I was walking at a 25 minute per mile pace at times. Which is sad for me as I walk pretty good clip up hills. I tried to work on normalizing my breathing and it seemed to work for a while. I ended up having to step off the trail and stop and rest for 30 seconds or so. (I never stop at ultras except the aid staions). This was all new to me. Soon I started getting light headed. I was imagining if I collapsed here that it would be such a pain for the rescue crew to get me out of this location. Oh how the mind wanders on these runs. I began thinking about my food intake. At the last aid station I didn't eat much except for some chips and watermelon. It had been almost 2 hours since my last Gu. I was drinking allot of water but at the high dry altitude I felt it was needed. I did not want to eat that Gu. My stomach said no way. I sucked it down as my brain won out over my gut. This trail just never wanted to stop going up but soon my energy level seemed to go up and I could at least walk without weaving too much.

At the Willamette Meridian aid station at mile 26.2 I sat down and took the rocks and garbage out of my shoes. I probably sat for 4 or 5 minutes and I really think it helped me to finish. I probably ran 65% of the last 5 miles as most of it was downhill. With about 1.5 miles to go I spotted Gail running towards me on the trail. It was great to see her as it gave a good boost but I have found I get kind of emotional at this point in the race when I see someone close to me. She was a good pacer though as she ran behind me quietly and just asked a couple of questions. I had run with one hand held bottle and my large bottle on my belt. She asked if I wanted to give her my belt. I said "no" but then said sure. It was more of a relief to get it off than I had expected it to be. The finish was great as it was a gradual downhill. The had a decent crowd still hanging around cheering so it was fun to come down the chute. I finished in 6:38. This was my 3rd fastest 50K only behind the 24 hour run in Longview and the Forest Park 50K. It was good to be done and I did not have my often collapse in the 20 minutes after the race.

I collected my finishers beer mug. (Which is very cool. Way better than any medal.) I went and changed my shirt and Gail and I went back to have a hot lunch they were serving. They had no coffee (my post race savior drink) but I did have two 12 ounce Mountain Dews and a couple of waters. Hippo, Gail and I chatted for a good while and David came by and I met his wife. (David left me for good about mile 20 or so) I met Karen Wiggins too. We all had a good time chatting about our successes and the days failures.

Gail and I hoped in the Explorer and headed back towards L.O. In Ashland we hit Dutch brothers coffee and I had a medium mocha frap, and a small coffee. Gail got a small frap and I ended up drinking half of hers. Have I ever mentioned I like coffee???? We had a great ride home chatting all the way with just one food stop. Did I ever tell you that I have the greatest woman in the world? Who else gets a beautiful gal who is smart, funny and likes to run. It makes such a difference when she is involved in these races. I talk to so many who don't have the spouse involved in this crazy hobby. I think the Maniac's called it POSF. (Pissed off spousal factor.) Well anyway since she is now a college graduate she will be getting up to marathon shape in another few weeks. Did I mention how lucky I am??

Well overall this was a great race. I saw things most folks will never see. Run places most runners will never go. And drove my body to places it has never been (That damn Gu depleted hill!) Towards the end of the race I said "screw that PCT 50 miler! I am doing the 50K!" At the end of the race I told Hippo and David the same thing. They said wait a few days and we all know how true that is. I just could not imagine running another 20 miles. I have done 38 before and could have done that this day too but another 20??? I just don't know. Stay tuned as two weeks from now you and I will know my decision.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Well we are off to Ashland this afternoon to run the SOB 50K tomorrow at Mt. Ashland. Gail is going to do the 15K as she doesn't feel ready for the 50K quite yet. We were going to fly down for free but the flights look pretty full so I think we will just take the 4.5 hour drive, that way we can come back whenever we want this weekend.

I am pretty nervous for this race. I have been having some pretty bad left knee pain on any hills or going up stairs. Very sharp pain not my usual tendonitis pain I get. But then I got the IT band thing going on near my right hip, started to get pretty bad near the end of Sauvie marathon. Plus I have the unknown pain still in my right foot. But the worse is my throat, that is from all the severe whining that I have been doing!!! Jeez what a complainer! My fear is always that one of these gets so bad out on the trail I have to basically crawl to get back to an aid station. Or worse yet, DNF. With all this going on I should be smart and take the early start, but I like pressure so I think I will do the regular start and just try and beat all the cutoff times. I do deserve all these injuries. I never cross train anymore. No bike, no weights, no aerobics, no stretching, no nothing. I just run. And as I get older I know I will need to do more to prevent this from happening but I am basically a lazy athlete.

Well I will post the results early next week of this weekends challenge. Two weeks later it will be my first 50 miler. Maybe I will start getting nervous for that one now.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I hate warm weather!

Ran the Sauvie HOT Marathon on July 4th. This is the first time I have ran the full marathon as I really like running the half. And of course this year it's all sunny and warm. I am truly a wuss when it comes to running in the heat. I never felt really hot but just tired and that is what usually happens to me when it gets warm.

The pre-race was fun seeing fellow Maniac friends, Hippo, Sean, Leslie, and Steve. Many other Maniac's were there too that I have not met. We got a group picture and I hope someone posts it in the future. The race started a few minutes late and there were 175 runners or so. It was a double loop course on flat pavement. I ran with Rick for the first 3 miles or so then decided to push it up a bit and see how I could do. I felt pretty good the first 13 and hit my goal of sub 2 hours. Then about mile 14 I started to wear down pretty fast and new I wasn't going to get sub 4 today. I struggled the rest of the race and walked a few times even before 20 miles. I carried just one bottle of water but was refilling it on the second loop almost every aid station. I took just water this race and no sports drink. I consumed 4 gels and 9 E-caps to balance out the salts. If any one thinks this is not enough let me know as I am just experimenting. By mile 20 I was walking almost every mile for 90 seconds or so.

Around mile 21 Gail drove by in her car. She had run the half then jumped in her car to check on Rick and I. When she got to me she forced me to take a water bottle and I dumped most of it on my head as I still had fluids in my own bottle. 10 minutes or so she was on the road running with me. This was pretty cool as her longest run since April 30th was only 8 miles. So she ran 13 in the race then ran the last 3 miles or so with me to the finish. She could run forever I think!

My IT band near my hip flexor started acting up again and is really worrying me for SOB. Need to get on the roller this week and see if I can stretch it out. Hills will really kill it.

Didn't have too much fun on this run for some reason. Not sure why probably just the heat. After the races I consumed the strawberry shortcake, talked to Sean for a bit (he came in 4th) and then started to get my usual post race nauseousness and heading to the car to turn on the air conditioning to cool down. I watched till Rick finished, then Gail and I headed home.

Now comes the amazing part. I felt like crap still on the drive home. But I stopped at Starbuck's and Gail ran in and got me a small Mocha Frappacino and a small coffee. Two drinks of the Mocha and I felt great! It was like I had gotten an I-V. I couldn't believe it. The new miracle cure! When we got home we ordered our usual post race pizza and just took it easy all afternoon.

I ended up running a 4:21 which is pretty much the average for me. A good race is sub 4:10 and a bad one is over 4:30, so I guess with the heat I will take this time and move on. I have wanted to get some more heat training so I guess I got what I wanted. Most the folks after the race said the heat had slowed them down too. I have gotten heat exhaustion a few times and never really know that it is coming on till I am flat on my back.

SOB at Mt. Ashland in 10 days. Looking forward to it but just hope my IT band gets better or I am doomed.

PS Those of you that are embarrassed to stand by me at the marathons with my yellow shorts, yellow maniac top and yellow and green Pre shoes? Well I have good news, my yellow shorts sort of wore out in this race. So they will now be retired. Yep, I no longer will look like a yellow neon sign out there! I have run probably 20 races in those shorts....but no more. Please keep the applause down!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Big Month a comin'

Well I have not posted much to the Blog as I haven't done much. No races for weeks (Green River) and I am missing the fun. But that is all to end very soon. One week from today is the Sauvie Island Marathon and that will start a very busy month of July. Ten days after Sauvie comes the SOB 50K at Mt. Ashland, then two weeks after that is the PCT 50. I was planning on doing only the 50K but with all these folks doing longer races I figured it's time I step up the plate and be a real ultra runner, so I think I will try and do the 50 (gulp) miler. The most I have ever run was the 38 miles at Sean's romp in Sisters, so whats another 12 miles and a little hike up Mt. Hood to Timberline lodge (gulp-gulp)? I know my first 50 miler should be flat like I had planned on doing at Autumn leaves in November but what the heck. I can always DNF and say I was attacked by Bigfoot on the trail.

So at Sauvie I was planning on trying for a marathon PR. My half PR is on that course and I always do real well there. The problem is that with all the longer runs I have not done any speed work and it really shows. I don't train fast and I don't race fast. Plus I have found I get a lot less injuries if I don't try and push the speed but just go for the endurance. The pace to run a sub 4 marathon seems so fast when I try it in training now. I guess I will just push it a bit and see what happens. I told Gail that I think I will try something different in this race. I know this goes against what everyone says you should do. I am going to go out pretty fast after I warm up in the first 3 or 4 miles in the race. I am going to push pretty hard and see how long I can last. I will probably bonk at 20 or so but maybe not, so I am just going to experiment and see what happens. If any of you wise and experienced folks out there got an opinion on this please post what you think. My plan is to really hit the Gells (Gu) and water early and more frequent than I usually do. I have become much more tolerant of Gu's lately and have switched almost entirely away from any sports drink to just plane old H2O. I will Gu every 40 minutes or so and carry a bottle so I don't have to stop at the aid stations except to refill. I will use the Endurolytes to give me the salts that I will not be getting from the sports drinks. Please, everyone...give me your advice.

I think I have a good progression for this month. After the 26 miles I have the 50K at SOB which should prepare me for the 50 miler at PCT two weeks later. I am trying to get warm weather running in but it has been so mild of late. So I got 3 races in July, nothing really scheduled in August except I am thinking of doing the Haulin' Aspen marathon in Bend (did the 1/2 last year) and even thinking maybe I should do Crater Lake the day before and try for a double. Never done that either.

So far this year is turning into a very crazy year for me. I will hit my goal of 12 marathons this year even before the summer is out. And Gail, if you read this? I am sorry all I talk about is running lately, I know I am a little (er...lot) over zealous with this. Thanks for putting up with it. You are the best!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Put it in a bottle and save it

Put off running all day on Monday. Finally went out around 7 pm. I ran the hills around LO and some trails I've found in the last few months. Started off a bit rough (Don't eat two hand fulls of Almonds before a run!) but ended up feeling great. I just kept adding more miles and didn't really want to quit. I just felt like Forest Gump and wanted to keep running. I love this feeling and wish running would always be like this. I ended up running over 12 miles and figured it was time to head home as Gail would think I might have turned into Road Pizza. (Famous Patty quote from Portland Marathon Training Clinic) Enjoy those runs folks, they don't happen very often.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What? No race report?

Yeah I know, I'm a loser. No race this weekend. I was thinking of doing the Young's Lake Ultra but didn't want to leave Portland so early to drive up to Seattle. I even thought of doing the marathon out in Port Angeles, but figured traffic would be a nightmare coming back on Sunday. So I just wussed out and went for a great run in Forest Park with Rick and Eric. We did about 17 miles on Wildwood, Saltzman and then back. We got pretty wet as the rain started but it wasn't cold till we stopped. I felt good most of the run with just some minor fatigue in the legs.

I've done 8 marathon/ultras this year which is huge for me. My goal was to do 12, so with Sauvie, SOB, PCT and McKenzie already lined up it looks like I should hit the target without any problems. (Please no broken ankle this year!) I do worry about running in the heat of the summer as I don't do very well when it gets real warm. I have no clue how anyone could run with the temperature over 100 degrees. I die over 80. I will try and train more in the middle of the day this year and hope it helps.

This upcoming weekend is my last weekend off for quite a while. I guess no racing till July 4th. I wish I was like Hippo and was retired. But I guess I gotta pay for all these entry fees somehow.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

"I Think I'm Done Now"

As Forrest said, I think its time for a break. I ran the Green River Marathon yesterday in Seattle. It is a free, low key race that is amazing. I suggest everyone try this race. We had only 35 runners or so at the start so it was a very laid back event but also well organized. They had 9 well stocked aid stations. The course is a bit complicated if you have never run it before and I had to stop a few times and read my directions, but I never did take a wrong turn.

The race starts on the Green River in Kent. As the RD yells out "Go!" off head northbound. We are running most of the first 13 miles or so on the bike path that follows the Green River towards Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound. Once again this 220 pound boy is in last place. By the 1/2 mile mark I am a good 200 yards behind everyone and in last place. Guess I am like one of those old steam train engines you see in the westerns. I start off super slow but once I get going I do pretty good. It is a bit depressing to see everyone way ahead of you in the beginning and you feel a bit left out of the excitement of the first few miles. An interesting tidbit is that if I am doing a 1/2 marathon or less I go out and run at least a 1/2 mile before the race. That really improves my pace in the beginning of a race, but in a marathon or longer I don't want to waste the energy.

Top notch aid station volunteers!

Well I pass my first runner by about mile 2 1/2. Thereafter I pass a few that stop at aid stations and other runners every few miles. I only got passed by 1 other marathoner who I passed earlier so I guess I do finish pretty strong even though I sure don't feel that way. Ha funny....just thought about my last comment. When you are in last place at the start I guess not too many other runners do pass you! "I'm not a bright man but I know what running is" (FG sort of quote.)
It was a beautiful day in Seattle. Clear skies and warm at the start. I wore my Maniac singlet with no other shirt. I never do that as I like running with a t shirt dri-fit type of top. But today was going to be warm so I thought I would try a marathon with just the singlet. Guess what? This old white boy got a tad sun burned! Yeah all that old white meat that never sees the light of day got toasted! I really look like I should be living in a double-wide now with this tacky tan line! I can't remember the last time I got burned. I just thought it was Seattle plus I would be done by 1pm and all would be ok. Wrong! Oh well guess I will do the sun block next time.

The course continues where I run much of my time spent in Seattle. I love this path along the Green River. In the winter its a great place to run when its wet or even in the dark. It winds through the farm land of the Kent Valley as you go through Kent, Tukwilla, Renton then into west Seattle. My legs felt great. I kept expecting them to tire as I have done 2 50K's in the last two weeks. But this course is very flat so it was little or no stress on them. I was actually wanting some hills so I could stretch them out a bit.

By about mile 8 I started chatting with a woman from Seattle who had run this the previous year. She filled in the few holes of the course I hadn't run before. She has had an interesting life as a photo journalist. Living over 14 years in Africa and being the main photo person for CNN. Her husband and her two cute little red headed, three year old children would meet her every few miles. We ran for 5 or 6 miles together then I gently pulled away.

As we headed past Boeing Field Airport the course starts to get a city feeling to it. This is the area where I could have gotten lost. Plus lots of traffic as you run next to some 4 lane Highways. We then get into some residential areas then industrial parks at around mile 15 or so. My legs started to ache just like last week so I took a couple Advil which again seem to really help. (yes I know, I am becoming a drug addict.) I also tried to drink as much as I could. I knew the heat which was in the upper 70's by now would hurt me if I didn't. I eat only 3 gu's on the run but felt ok with that. I also took about 12 ecaps today.

By mile 22 we hit the area near Alki. Had amazing views across Elliot Bay to downtown Seattle. The wind had been blowing 10 mph or so in our faces most of the run. This kept me cool but also slowed me down for sure. This is where I started to have to walk a bit. I would walk about .15 of a mile then run 3/4's to one mile if I could. I did this pretty much to the finish. I think the heat was what was getting me as I really had very few complaints from my legs. Usually my quads go out but this time the only discomfort was the hamstrings on both legs right near the top. Wasn't really bad just annoying.

As we headed into the busy area of Alki point every things got really busy. This area is full of tourists and locals alike, all enjoying the great weather on the beach. I didn't really know where the finish was but just kept plugging along. We had no race bibs so we kind of just blended in to the other joggers. Well....some folks did. I wore my yellow Maniac shirt, my yellow running shorts and my Nike Pre shoes that are white, yellow and green. (Eugene Marathon/Oregon Ducks) So being a 6'4" Fat-Boyee I think I kind of stand out! "Hey Martha, look at the that old guy wobbling down the road in that crazy outfit. I bet he is only running a mile or so. Boy he is out of shape and sure looks stupid!"

Well the finish was finally in sight. With Lenore as the official time keeper, I crossed the line(?) area and was getting "high fives" from the other Maniacs. Lenore asked me "if my time of 4:19:12 works for me? Or did I need to change it?" I said I would like 3:59:59 but if not that is what I show too. I felt good breaking 4:20 today after last weeks races. I probably could have done sub 4:10 but just didn't have the mental push for that today. This was a fun race, you all should do it sometime, plus free is nice compared to these mega marathons that charge $125 or so. I like the small races much better. No hassles, just run.

On the drive back to Portland I started to have the light headiness and nauseousness that I often get after a marathon. So instead of looking like a drunk driver on I-5 I pulled over half way between Tacoma and Olympia. I got a couple plain cheeseburgers and took a little 20 min nap in my car. I woke up feeling much better. Was it the food or the nap? I don't know. But I walked over to Starbucks and got my Grande Latte for the rest of the trip home. I felt good the rest of the night except for
my stupid sunburn!

Well whats up next? I don't have a marathon planned till the Foot Traffic Flat on July 4th. Other wise known as the race with free strawberry shortcake at the finish! Next weekend is the Helvatia half marathon which I really enjoy. Maybe I will go do that. See how it is to try and run fast again. Been quite a while since I have done a half.