16 November 2008

Autumn Leaves 50k

Race prep usually includes resting and hydrating and eating pasta. Some people are different, do different things... but usually those three things are pretty common. Well in Minnesota, I had many a race (mostly xc ski races) on the morning after watching a hockey game, and well, why not try to replicate past routines! I attended the winterhawks game Friday night, with some friends from school, some of whom had never been to a hockey game, we had a good time. We heckled the cougars from Prince George, and they heckled me when I left w/ 5 minutes to go in the third, but I had to get home to rest! Running 50k tomorrow. Many of my non-running friends think I'm certifiably insane, no question about it. So anyway... I was not getting the rest that I wanted, but they always say it's the night before the night before that really matters right?

Alarm goes off at 5:30 and I hit snooze. Twice. So that basically made me behind my planned scheduled departure. I ate breakfast a little later than I wanted, and I usually forget things when I'm in a rush. I made it out the door, and was on my way.

I had plenty of time before the race to get my stuff to the right spot, and well wait for about 10 minutes. Today, my warm up was going to be during the race. We got going and a "Team Eugene" guy took off. Seriously fast and he didn't let up the whole race. I guess that's why he's on team Eugene (they are fast). So, I was running with my new friend Win, (that's his name), and basically, he was talking and I was wanted to say, shutup, or slow down, but i did neither and just ran next to him.

The first lap was 10k, and the next 5 are 5 miles, and we did the first 10k in about 41 minutes. That was faster than I wanted to, but hey, I was doing fine, so I stopped for some gu, and continued on. The race morning was awesome for running. at most 50 degrees, and sunshine, calm winds. So after that first lap, I took off one of my (3) layers. Now overall, the course was really good, with about 2/3 of the loop being paved trail, and the other 1/3 being real trail. The one gripe I had started during the second lap, when we hit the 1 mile out, 1 mile back section on the same path, so essentially we covered this 12 times over the course of the race. boooring. But you could see the competition which is good (if your 'on') or bad (if you're fading). At this point I couldn't really tell, but I knew I was in 3rd place after the 2nd lap, which I covered easily in about 34 minutes. So that was my planned pace (35 minute 5 mile loops).

This was my first time doing this run and the flyer says 'the loop can be considered very flat and very fast' I'd tend to agree with that. If you want to run a fast ultra this is one good chioce. They did add a small hill this year but it's really small, so it's not really a factor, unless you slip on wet leaves... So I didn't slip on the leaves, don't worry.

The third lap I considered the half way lap, which thinking about this, was really not half way until the 3rd lap is complete. but I needed to think it was half way for moral support. I was still feeling really good, and I think I was down to my sleeveless T at this point, because it was so nice out. It must have pepped me up, because I did the 3rd lap in about 33 minutes. Yea! ahead of pace. Maybe I could turn this into a sub 3 marathon!??! The end of lap 5 is the marathon split. But first I had to do lap 4. Each time going around the loop, I kept seeing the same people... So some were doing the 50 miler, some the 50k, and some even started at 6am... but on the return stretch I saw some of the same people. So I thought Hmmm, he must be chasing me. At this point I knew I was in second place (Win quit after lap 3), with the first place guy, way way out front. So anyway. Lap 4 was just under 35 minutes. I was slowing a bit, still running 7 minute miles. Good enough. still ahead of pace. Honestly my goal today was sub 4. I'd be happy with that. I also thought, it would be cool to run boston pace for a 50k (3:10 marathon pace). I also thought it might be awesome to run sub Meissner in 2006, when he did this same event in 3:40:18. AH HAA a challenge. We're pretty good rivals, at least from 2004-2007 in the bigfoot 10k in Bend, but he usually wastes me in the long stuff, but he's also got way more experience with them. And come to think of it, we only raced a 50k together once. Anyway, I hit the marathon in about 3:01. pretty sweet. Sean said if I hit the marathon in 3:00 I'd have no trouble going under his time. My pace however was slowing. I had 39 minutes to run the last 5 mile loop, after running 26.2 already. My split after the first 2 of the last 5 miles was 15:30, so I was beginning to think I could do it, sub 8 minute miles. We got to the out-n-back section and I saw Stan pacing his wife running (Stan who put together the pumpkin run in N. Bonneville a couple weeks ago) and I asked "would you tell anybody if I turned around now??, we got a laugh about it, but I knew, that 3rd place was not far behind me, and sure enough i got passed right before the turn around, oh well. I was still well ahead of planned pace having a good time (suffering).

The trail section was hard on this last lap. I wasn't running fast, but I was really fighting for it. I got to the line, and the clock said 3:39:59, and then 3:40, and I was like Shit Yea. I guess my 'official' time was 3:40:14, Pretty unbelievable. The ultra running crowd is second to none, it's sure a welcoming and friendly bunch.

So it was a really struggle, those last five miles, but it just goes to show you... keep on keepin on!

Also, I did this run with no ipod. I had planned to bring along the shuffle, only to figure out I left it in the car right when the guy said "1 minute 30 seconds to start", so, maybe that's just as well. Lots of solo time out there in these ultras compared to bike racing and other shorter events.

Anyway! Happy running!

02 November 2008

I-84 EAST.

Well a tired Laurie made it to Thailand after a marathon flight plan that went from PDX to Tokyo (11 hrs), then from Tokyo to Bangkok (7 hrs), and then an 8 hour bus ride to Mae Sot, the site of the Op Smile mission. woah. Send her email she has limited access. Might not respond right away, but I she will get them.

In more local news, make sure and check out the photos from the bonneville dam tour we went to yesterday. It was pretty cool.

I went up early with James, with the intent of running the Pumpkin run 5 miler in North Bonneville, WA. We planned to leave a little early... but I ended up showing up about 5 minutes late, and then James wasn't at the pre-determined meeting place either. Since I was late, I didn't feel like calling him right away, and he showed up at about 4 minutes to 8 (planned departure was 7:45am) The race start was 9am (as indicated on the website of the Columbia Gorge Running Club). We still had enough time to get there. So as we rolled out, we pondered a little on whether or not to take the washington side (hwy 14) or the Oregon side (I-84). At the last moment, I decided to take the oregon side, thinking the time saved would be worth the $1 toll on the bridge of the gods. I exited off of I-205, onto I-84. Only problem was, it was I-84 west. not East, like we wanted. Never make this mistake, even if your not in a hurry. Because there are no exits for miles, and then when you finally get to an exit, you can't just go over to the other side and get back on the interstate going the other direction.

Where was the damn GPS when we needed it. The iPhone sucks for turn by turn directions, unless you want to get in an accident... So we weaved through some city streets, and basically got every red light, and finally, after at least 2 U-turns, found I205, and then got on the right path. We figured we were not going to make it to the run on time, so we figured we'd go anyway, and just run, since it was on trails, and we did have time before the Dam tour at 10am.

We finally made it to N. Bonneville, and what do you know... the race hadn't started yet! so we paid our 2 bucks, and tried to keep warm for a few mintues before it got started. It seemed like if they would have started any later, we would have been late for the dam tour.

The run was good... 4 pretty much flat miles on a very nice trail with views of the gorge and then an unexpected 5th mile that was 3/4 up hill. Not like the uphill at Mac 15k, but brutal still. I ended up 3rd, and got an awesome pumpkin pie, a free 6 inch at subway (in stevenson, WA), a $5 certificate for tha bahma coffe bar in stevenson, and a coffee giftcard for Jolindas in stevenson that doesn't say how much its worth. Pretty sweet for $2 bucks for the entry fee! If you're going through stevenson, i'll hook you up w/ lunch and coffee. Let me know!

Joe Dudemans race report here.

We got to the Dam tour at 10:10, and Lee Sheldon (our professor) wasn't there yet, so all was good on a day where we could have used the extra hour that we got today!!! Too bad there aren't more days when we fall back. Wouldn't it be sweet to set your watch back an hour more days of the year? After the tour we went to the infamous Char Burger (Lee's favorite hang out) for lunch and ate the pumpkin pie that I won earlier in the day.

Bonneville dam slideshow here. (click photo for caption)

Non-acedemic plans over the next few weeks:
Vancouver fall 5 mile
Champeog autum leaves run (which distance? hmm)
Hood River turkey trot