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.