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.