Friday, September 24, 2010

7 days, 21 hours and counting

That's how close my marathon is; it will be here before I know it.  I really felt like I was ready and then......I went to weather.com and saw this:

Sat
Oct 2
Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
HIGH 95°
LOW 66°
0%

YUCK, with a 6:45 a.m. start it is going to warm for the entire 26.2 miles; at least they are mostly downhill miles.

Happy running this weekend.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

22-miler is in the books!

It is officially taper time; St. George is a mere 17 days away and I feel like I am ready, or at least as ready as I can be.

On Saturday morning I did a 4-mile pace run and am happy with the results:

1-1/2 mile warm-up
Mile 1:  8:04
Mile 2:  8:14
Mile 3:  8:10
Mile 4:  8:12
1/2 mile cool down

I was supposed to stay in the 8:20 - 8:25 range, which is about 20 seconds faster than my goal pace; obviously I didn't do too well in that respect.  Maybe this means I am going to bust out an unbelievable marathon or maybe it means I need to work on my pacing......

On Sunday morning I was up & out the door bright and early to meet Vicki for our 22 miler; she mapped out a great course in the Wilsonville/Sherwood area, which is just a little South of Portland.  It is a beautiful, more "pastoral", area and a very nice change from the city.  Our friend Pat met us for the first 8-mile loop so we donned our safety vests & head lamps and headed out into the darkness; we enjoyed a nice and easy pace for this portion of the run.  This part of the course was relatively flat, but I knew the hills were coming.  We dropped Pat off at the car, grabbed our sunglasses, hit the restroom at Starbucks and took back off. 

The next 18 miles clicked by as we chatted and enjoyed the beautiful countryside; it was a spectacular morning in the Northwest and just a pleasure to be outside.  We climbed some pretty good hills and I found a nice little 12 acre piece of property, with a house, that could be mine for a mere 1.2 million :-)

We made it back to the cars (and Starbucks) with an average pace of 9:37 for the distance; we even ended up with negative splits, I don't think I have ever had negative splits on a long run before.  I was tired when I finished but knew I could have gone 26.2

It was intentional that I did my pace run on Saturday and my long run on Sunday; I was supposed to be fatigued for Sunday's run.  I was supposed to run on Monday, but I decided to take a rest day, I was tired and will run Tuesday instead. 

It is all coming together; we will see how I fare on race day.  I decided to run with the 3:50 pace group, my goal for St. George is 3:53.  I think it is a realistic goal.  Check out the elevation map of the course:


 There is a 2,600 foot elevation loss over the length of the race; I think it is going to be a good PR course for me.  I may not be able to walk on Sunday morning though; as this much downhill could take a toll on my knees and quads.

As an extra added bonus, the race is on my birthday - a birthday PR would be the best!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hood to Coast Race Report

Another Hood to Coast (HTC) has been completed; this was my 7th HTC and the 7th different leg I have run.  My long term goal for HTC is to run every leg; I would then honestly be able to say I've experienced the entire race.

Here are some stats:

Fastest Team Finish:                 17:24
Slowest Team Finish:                33:19
"Our" Team Finish:                   28:54

Our team (Van 1) started at Timberline Lodge at noon on Friday, August 27th; I was in Van 2 and we took over from Van 1 around 5:00 p.m. Friday afternoon in beautiful Sandy, Oregon.  I was running leg 10 so I had a while to wait for my first leg.  There are 6 runners per van so Van 1 runs legs 1-6, 13-18, and 25-30; this leaves Van 2 to run legs 7-12, 19-24 and 31-36.


Rea and I waiting at one of the exchanges during our first set of legs

Rob rocked the pink safety vest; his manhood remained intact
My goal for HTC was to run all my legs at an 8:30 pace; you could argue either that I failed or that I succeeded.  Here are the numbers:

Leg 10
6.18 miles
8:14 average pace

Leg 22
6.93 miles
8:20 average pace

Leg 34
4.11 miles
8:31 average pace

As you can see two of the three runs were less than an 8:30 pace, but one was very slightly over (8:31).  So, they were not all 8:30 or better, but the average was better than 8:30 :-)  I'm really mad at myself because on my third leg I walked a bit up one hill; had I not done this I would have gotten my sub-8:30's on all three legs.  I was really tired by this point and while this leg was the shortest of my legs, there were three hills; one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end.



If you've never run a relay, you can't appreciate how important porta potties become to you and how much you love the guys that keep them clean for you along the course

Post race at the beach, this guy ran dressed like this - you see it all at HTC!

I never saw these gals on the course, but they rocked it at the finish line.  By this time I had run 18+ miles, hadn't had any sleep and had consumed two beers; I was feeling no pain.  Obviously Andrew and Mark (from my team) enjoyed these ladies

Seaside, Oregon

A team mate of the dude in the earlier photo

Great music and cold beer; what more could you ask for?

This was taken at the last major exchange and is one of the "sleeping" areas; although not much sleeping happened here.
I can't wait for next year........happy running!