Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rain, snow, wind, sleet and darkness.

I am up in Seattle working for a few days this week. On Saturday night I got done with work around 5 pm and really wanted to get a long run in this weekend. As I was working on Sunday and traveling home I could have only run early in the morning. So Saturday night was the best choice. Got back to the hotel got the rain gear on, grabbed a water bottle and drove to a sporting goods store to get some gels. By the time I got to the parking lot it was 6 pm and the skies a mixture of grey and black with a stiff breeze out of the south. I dressed for the occasion with half tights and shorts on the bottom and 1 short dri-fit, 1 long dri-fit, a thick vest and a rain jacket on the top. Gloves and a hat topped it off.
I parked off 188th in Tukwilla where it is a great spot to jump on the Green River Trail. I would run south to Kent and then pick up the Interurban Trail to head back north at around mile 9. Then its back north for about 8 miles then catch the Green River Trail back south to my car.
The weather was pretty good for the first 1.5 hours with just a headwind to create the illusion of a slight uphill run all the time. I had the tunes on the entire time today and it did seem to help pass the time. Once I made the turn back Northbound the skies started to open up. Only a light rain at first. Then it got dark and it really started coming down. The last 45 minutes or so it was mostly snowing. Yeah it is crazy...snow in western Oregon and Washington in late March! I never got really cold except for my quads but I was soaked everywhere as the wind really pushed the rain and snow through my clothes.
I finished 18.5 miles in 3:05 which was pretty good for me without pushing it. I felt great afterwards too. It is funny how just a few years ago 18 miles would have been a huge thing. Now its just a little cruise around town. Time is the only thing that prevents me from doing more long runs. I didn't keep track of mileage this week but it was over 40 miles which is great. Seems like the only time I get that many miles anymore is when I have done a race that week. But summer is on its way and it will be easier to get out and enjoy the runs.
Did I tell you I love Daylight Savings Time????

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Woo-Hoo! Slug Run!

Well some of us "Slugs" finally got together for a Tuesday night trot on Wildwood. Tom, Katie, Eric and I met up at 1730 for our first 2008 run. We just took it easy on the way out. The skies looked like they could burst at any time and of course I forgot my hat in the car. At 2.5 miles we stopped and chatted per the rules of the run. Then we started to see the white stuff. Little hail or ice pellets started coming down. We took off back for the barn and it was coming down pretty good. Little stingers on my folic-ly challenged head. It did this for only about 10 minutes but we sure got wet and cold. The trail was fun and I felt like a 5 year old splashing in the puddles. Tom and I powered up the Birch trail to the car and got the adult beverages ready. Tom and Katie had just bought a van so it was perfect to have a few snacks and chat till we got cold.

So next Tuesday at 1730 or 530 pm...join us if you want. 10 minute rule applies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Gail and I ran a nice 4+ miles on Wildwood last night. My legs were fatigued but nothing is sore. It was the best I have every felt after a long run. It was great to do the fifty miler with Gail in the beginning because it forced me to go out at a nice even pace. It is so funny how now I am kind of upset with myself for not running longer. I wasn't exhausted at all but just tired. Maybe I am meant to be one of those plodding along long distance runners? This year was supposed to be my year of speed and here I have not done any speed work at all. Oh well guess I was meant to go long.

For those of you interested. About 4 years ago a few of us got together to run the Marine Corp marathon in DC. We formed a little group called "The Slugs". It was the name we all signed up to run the race under and it kind of stuck with us. Over time we all kind of did our own thing, some came and went, some had busy times in life. But we used to run Wildwood every week. So this is an open invite to all interested. We meet at the Birch Trail above Wildwood off 53rd street every Tuesday at 1730 or 530pm for you non 24 hour clock types. We usually just do 4 to 6 miles, if anyone wants to go more it is a free country. The fun is afterwards when we have a little social hour. Maybe an adult beverage and some snacks. So come join us if you want. We are all very methodical in our running. (read SLOW!) Its a fun time. Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

24 Hours! Yeah Right

Saturday Gail and I drove up to Longview for the Pac Rim 24 hour run. We packed enough close to run for a week because it was supposed to rain all day and we figured better to over pack than to forget something. We got to the race about 45 minutes before the start. Many famous faces were there and I was in awe that I could be participating in a race with such Ultra greatness. That is what is so great about this sport. I am like the weekend warrior on the field with Olympians.

We got registered, met my dad and set up our little table with all of our supplies. Each mile as we come by we could grab gels, water, or anything else we would need. The course as I am sure you have heard about is a one mile loop around Sacajawea Park in Longview. It is mostly gravel with some pavement/concrete. It is mostly flat with just a couple of very gentle up hill portions.

At 0900 off we went. There were about 40 runners at the start. Gail and I ran together at a nice slow 10:20 pace or so. Both of us had hamstrings that were pretty bothersome but over time they loosened up. The two of us ran together for about 15 miles or so. Walking the slopes and every time we passed my dad who was walking the course. He was having a rough day but really wanted to get a 50k in. Gail stopped for a little break and I said I was going to press on. I mostly ran for the next few miles. Then I got the surprise of the day. Around mile 23 or so I came around the corner of the course there was my running buddy Rick! Standing there in his running gear holding a water bottle and ready to go. He joined up with me and said he probably couldn't keep up as he has to keep his heart rate under 200. I said "Trust me, we will be going really slow!" We did about a 1/2 a lap and then said "Lets walk and let Gail catch up to us". Gail had said earlier in the day that Rick really should be here doing this with us and I definitely agreed. So it was a real energy boost for both of us when he showed up. We all cruised around the course as Rick said 6 miles was all he can do. Time just flew by as we chatted the entire time. Around mile 30 Rick said it was time to head out. We said our goodbyes and off he went. Gail was starting to have some foot/ankle problems and said she was just going to get her 50k in then take a break and see how she felt.

I grabbed my new Ipod shuffle and headed back out. I have only ran with music once in my life and didn't like it at all. I felt it made me run faster than I wanted too. At home I have been converting all my old records to MP3 format. I have put about 800 songs on my computer from the old 1970 through 1990 time period. So I had put about 150 songs the night before on the Ipod. I even asked Sarah what she thought about it and she said it sometimes made her a bit queasy. But I was going to give it a try. So the tunes went on and off I went. I really started to enjoy the music as it is old rock music I grew up with. In my previous life I played in heavy metal bands and music was the most important thing in my life. When my career path changed to aviation all that changed.

I started pumping out the miles. Mostly running up all but a few of the slopes on the course. Never looking at my GPS mileage. I just wanted to run while I felt good. I would gel or eat every third lap and drink every lap. I felt a blister starting to form on the inside of both my heals. I had taken a couple ibuprofen as my legs had started to get that achy feeling, and they really helped as usual.

Around mile 40 Gail popped back on the course and said she was mainly going to walk as her foot was really hurting. I took a chair break and wanted to pop my blisters. They were not too big and I got most the fluid out of them and hit the trail. My dad was struggling and had taken about a 2 hour nap in his car but was back at it. For being 73 he amazes me.

As it started to get dark I was in the mid 40's running still with my tunes. It was great to see Steve Walters going for his 105 miles (4 marathons he said) and his buddy Tim who was having stomach problems all day, poor guy. Lisa Bliss the Badwater 135 champ was out there doing a 50K and then walking with others the rest of the day. Sarah's non running husband Marc was out there too but seemed to be struggling a bit and ended up calling it a day at 40 miles, which still is awesome. Sarah btw was at the timing tent for at least 8 hours! That was so nice of her to volunteer for that long while she works through her injury. Her son was great too, calling out our bib numbers way ahead of time to help those keeping records of our crazy loops.

Around mile 47 I started to get pretty tired. My dad decided a marathon was enough for him that day and he quit with 27 miles under his belt. Go Dad! To bad he won't turn on his computer and read about how proud I am of him and how he does walking all these races. At mile 48 I stopped and sat in our lawn chairs. I said "OK I'm tired now". At that point Gail was done and had got her 40 miles in and was getting very cold. I said I would do 2 more laps and call it a night. So off I went and waddled through the next two laps. I could have done more but it seemed like a good spot to stop as I had really not trained at all for this distance.

Gail had packed up all of our stuff and had it ready to go in the car when we heard that distinctive voice from afar. Yep you all know who it was. It was Olga cheering and hugging everyone as she and Mike had just dropped by after running a 50k in Bellingham. We chatted with her for a bit then headed off to our flea bag motel to get some rest.

At the motel I took my shoes off and to my surprise my blister was huge! Sticking out about a 1/2 inch and wider than a silver dollar I was shocked as it didn't hurt that much. Gail took a shower and I popped this thing and fluid was going everywhere! I never got these until last summer. I started hydrating more then with just water. I have heard that excess water buildup can cause these. If anyone has more info I would sure appreciate any advice.

We thought we might go back but both of us knew in our heads were done for good. I ended up running the 50 miles in a nice easy 11:33. Pretty slow but that was fine by me. The next morning we got up early and headed home after a golden arches breakfast. I felt tired on Sunday but by Monday my energy level was back. My legs never got sore only tired which is great.

Well thanks to all that helped at Pac Rim and it was a great race and good to see such nice folk again. Hope to see you all at The Rumble next month in Sisters. Oh and Gail just signed up too! YEAH!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wimp or Wonder-Man?

Tomorrow Gail and I head up to Longview for the Pac Rim 24 hour run. I know I am not in shape to do 24 hours and will probably wuss out real early. Gail wants a 50K out of it, any thing else is gravy for her. I am not sure. I think 50 miles would be awesome right now in my training but even that seems a stretch. A 100k would be amazing. 24 hours would be a dream. Plus it is supposed to rain most of the time. So loop after loop looking at the nice warm car will be tough for me mentally. Wish I was in better condition so I could go at this strong. We did get a cheap motel to go crash at if we get tired and think about doing a few more laps later. Don't have any runs scheduled for about a month after this so maybe I should go for it? Well we shall find out soon enough.

Just watched the new movie out on the Bear 100. It was pretty good. Nice following of the runners. You can get it for $25 with free shipping on Amazon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Da Plan! Da Plan!

OK so here is the race plan so far for 2008. I am sure I will add some others and I would like to do some 1/2 marathons early this year too. 13 miles is just a fun distance, you are not gone all day, you can run hard but not that crazy 10K pace and you feel a good work out post run buzz. Marathon wise I want to get a few more states done this year but not sure where to fit them in. I am not a big travel guy anymore because it's what I do for my day job, but I have to get going on the 50 states thing again.

So here it is:
January- Redding Marathon
Feb- Valentine Marathon, Hagg Lake 50K
March- Pac Rim 24 hour run (Goal at least a 50 miler)
April- Peterson Ridge 60K
May- Mac Forest 50k, Forest Park 50K
June- Deadwood S.D. Marathon
July- SOB 50K, PCT 50 Mile
August- Where's Waldo 100K

That is as far as I have got. Waldo scares the #### out of me! Kind of like before I did my first 50 miler last year at PCT. Olga had to tell me I would regret it and always wonder if I could have done it. So her child psychology worked on me!
Fall races I have not really looked at but hope to get some travelers in then. Probably do the Portland marathon just because it is so easy to get to.